C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


New court wing violates city’s vision: HC
Says Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park also falls short 
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
In a display of forthrightness, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today minced no words to say its new wing set up by the UT Administration was in blatant violation of the vision of the city.

The first of its kind verbal observation came from Justice Mahesh Grover during the hearing of the Tata Camelot case. Justice Grover was sharing the Bench with the Chief Justice of the High Court, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, when he made the significant remarks. He also made it clear that the Administration was to be blamed for the violation.

As the case came up for hearing, Justice Grover questioned city senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal if the new wing was not in violation of the vision. As Kaushal fumbled for an answer, Justice Grover asserted: “The new wing is in blatant violation of the city’s vision; and this is just one of the many things we are pointing out.”

The observations were made verbally as a passing reference, and cannot be construed as an expression by the Bench on the merits of the case.

The observations came soon after Kaushal attempted to build up a case against the Tata Camelot project by indicating that the proposed high-rise structures were coming in way of the heritage status for Chandigarh.

Appearing before the Bench this morning, Kaushal said the edict of the city had been destroyed; and the sanctity of the city’s northern part was being violated. The entire vision of Chandigarh was being ruined.

Justice Grover also questioned the UT counsel on where was the vision when the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park was set up.

The High Court was the first building to be made wholly of concrete. Approximately Rs 40 lakh was spent on its construction. While there is nothing extraordinary in the new wing, the “original” High Court is a linear block with the main facade toward the piazza. It has a rhythmic arcade created by a parasol-like roof, which shades the entire building.

Keeping in view the special dignity of the judges, Le Corbusier created a special entrance for them through a high portico resting on three giant pylons painted in bright hues.

Administration in a fix

The UT Administration has approved the administrative block and upper floor of the Bar Association in the Punjab and Haryana High Court Complex. Sources claimed that for the new addition in the Bar Association building, Rs 2.4 crore had been approved and the engineering department was on the verge of floating tenders. The estimate for the new administrative block was yet to be approved. Sources said the Administration was in a fix following the clearance of its heritage report by the MHA recently, which clearly states that no further structure would be erected which disrupts the view of the Shivalik hills from the city. Though senior functionaries chose to remain tightlipped on the issue, a top official, requesting anonymity, said if needed, necessary changes would be made in the building plans of these project.




Tata housing project fails to get NOC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
Tata Housing appeared before the UT Chief Wildlife Warden for obtaining necessary clearances, but its plea was turned down.

This was revealed during the hearing of the Tata Camelot case. Chandigarh senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal told the Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Mahesh Grover that its plea for a no-objection certificate (NOC) had been rejected. Just about two days ago, it again appeared before the authority seeking the withdrawal of the order on the ground that it was not given an opportunity of hearing.

The case continued today with senior advocate ML Sarin insisting that the proposed 35-storeyed structure was against the vision of Corbusier, who had designed the city in a way that every point should be visible. The laws did not allow buildings to be more than 25-ft high, Sarin said.

Describing the lake as the heart and soul of the city, he added that the entire area, where the project was coming up, was its catchment. Allowing the 35-storeyed building to come up would not only sound the death knell of the lake, but also obliterate the view of the mountains. He was assisting the court on behalf of the Sarin Memorial Legal Aid Foundation.

Defending the project, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi contended that according to the master plan, within 1 km of Nayagaon, high-rise buildings were not permitted. But Tata Camelot project was not within a kilometre. Further, on August 14, 2008, a draft master plan was prepared, which was notified on August 23, 2008, inviting objections. After considering the objections, the final master plan was notified on January 2, 2009. The Chandigarh Administration did not file any objection. The case will come up for hearing tomorrow.

The High Court has already directed a stay on Tata Camelot Housing Colony Project coming up in Kansal village.



Panchkula police lets its men down
Errant drivers walk free in most cases that reach court
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 14
Leave aside the common man, the Panchkula police has failed to deliver justice to even its own men, especially in cases where errant drivers knocked down policemen at nakas. Though criminal cases were registered swiftly against such drivers, the accused were acquitted in as many as four cases. In two other cases, policemen failed to identify the attackers.

In these cases, the police and the prosecution department failed to produce substantial evidences against the accused, resulting in their acquittal.

Requesting anonymity, a traffic police constable said they put their lives at risk at nakas as several drunk drivers and even criminals tried to flee. In an attempt to stop them, the policemen have sometimes sustained injuries.

On the issue of acquittals and untraced report, DCP Maneesh Chaudhary said it would be wrong to suggest that the police did not try its best to ensure the conviction of errant drivers. In the cases where the accused were arrested, the police had submitted a strong chargesheet in the court. It was the court’s decision to acquit and he did not want to comment on it.

Sameer Sethi, a lawyer, said the accused were acquitted as the police had slapped attempt to murder charges against drivers and it was difficult to prove that a driver’s intention was to kill. The police should apply the IPC Sections wisely. 

Past incidents

June 20, 2010: A head constable was hit by a car at a naka at Surajpur on the Kalka-Zirakpur highway. Four youths were arrested, but were acquitted in in 2011.

October 16, 2010: Sub-Inspector Kuldip Singh was nearly run over by a car. The accused were arrested, but five were acquitted and only one was awarded two-year imprisonment.

July 7, 2009: Constable Satish Kumar was hit by a helmet-less motorcyclist near Sector 5. A case was registered, but he failed to identify the accused.

September 8, 2008: A traffic constable was knocked down by a motorcyclist near Ramgarh. The accused was acquitted in 2009.

January 20, 2008: Home Guard constable Mahesh was knocked down by a cab driver. A case was registered, but the accused was acquitted in 2010.

August 29, 2007: A car driver knocked down a constable near Sector 12-A. The police failed to arrest the accused as policemen failed to take down the car number.



Vivek Pratap new MC Commissioner
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Vivek Pratap Chandigarh, February 14
After a long gap of nearly a year, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) will finally have Vivek Pratap Singh, a 1996 batch Punjab IAS officer, as the new Commissioner. Prena Puri, a 2006 batch IAS officer who was given a temporary charge, was officiating as the Commissioner ever since Roshan Sankaria was repatriated to his parent Punjab cadre in April 2011.

The department of personnel and training in the ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions has ordered the inter-deputation for three years from the date of his reporting for duty.

Serving as the Director, Technical Education (Punjab), in 2011, Vivek Pratap Singh’s name was recommended by the UT Administration from among a panel of three officers in February last. Vivek Pratap Singh has also served as the Chief Administrator of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA).

The name of Vivek Pratap Singh was received by the Administration in January 2011 from Punjab along with names of Sameer Kumar, the then Secretary (Home), and Sucha Ram Ladhar, who was serving as a Commissioner in Jalandhar.

Two months after the repatriation of Sankaria, the additional charge of the MC Commissioner was given to the DC-cum-Commissioner Brijendra Singh. Brijendra Singh went on leave from June 4 to 19, during which Prerna Puri was handed over additional charge of the MC Commissioner.



Former PGI Director to join Max
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Dr KK Talwar Chandigarh, February 14
Former PGI Director and cardiologist, Dr KK Talwar, is set to join the Punjab Government and Max Health Care’s public private partnership (PPP) venture of a 200-bedded Max Hospital at Mohali. He is also the Chairman of the Medical Council of India.

According to sources, Dr Talwar will be spending two days every week at Max Super Speciality, inaugurated in September last. According to officials, the government has contemplated to dedicate a fund of Rs 100 crore for the free treatment of poor patients and plans to generate an income for the same from the 5 per cent revenue that it will get from its venture with Max. Officials revealed that 3.15 acres of land was given for the project with an upfront payment of Rs 3.5 crore.


Immigration firm office sealed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
The special investigating team (SIT) of the UT Police formed to crack dubious immigration firms today sealed the main head office of the World Wide Immigration and Consultancy Services (WWICS) in Mohali. A search was conducted and the police questioned as many as 150 employees of the firm.

The company is in the dock for allegedly violating norms while issuing visa on work permit to its clients.

On February 3, the SIT had sealed offices of 20 immigration firms, including WWICS in Sector 22.

It was today that it sealed the head office of the company. DSP (SIT) Anil Joshi said the office was sealed in connection with the registration of a case under Section 420 of the IPC against the firm. “We have seized some indiscriminating documents against the company and sealed the office for duping a number of people. The company did not possess a licence,” he added.

“The firm failed to adhere to the guidelines set by the ministry and cheated aspirants,” stated the DSP. The Chandigarh Police had set up the SIT to check the mushrooming of illegal immigration companies in the city after a spate of incidents where aspirants were duped on the pretext of being sent abroad.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued today, the immigration firm’s spokesperson stated that the services provided by the company were not amenable to the provisions of The Emigration Act, 1983. WWICS is not dealing with work permits. “The company has been working in a totally transparent manner since 1993 and has built the trust and confidence of people by providing genuine lawful services related to permanent residency and immigration to its clients and stands committed for the same. The company is cooperating with the investigating officers and has full faith in their working,” he added.



Gangrape on wheels
Police opposes accused’s plea to turn approver
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 14
In the infamous case of gangrape on wheels in Panchkula, in which two students had raped their friend’s minor sister, the Panchkula Police today opposed the application filed by the accused, Marshal Arora, who wants to turn prosecution’s approver.

The police today informed the district court that it had a strong case against the accused and it did not need any approver. Meanwhile, it did not reply to the application filed by the victim’s family members in which they had sought re-investigation of the case.

To become an approver, accused Marshal Arora of the NAC, Mani Majra, a BA student of a private college in Chandigarh, had filed an application in the court.

Marshal Arora, in his application, had stated: “The applicant is in the knowledge of certain facts regarding the case which have not been brought to the kind notice of the court by the investigation agency.”

In his application, he had sought the permission from the court to allow him to become an approver of the prosecution in the case.

In the case, the police had already filed a chargesheet against Sahil Puri, a resident of Sector 2, and mechanical engineering student at a Baddi-based private university, and Marshal Arora.

It was on the complaint of the victim’s family that the Panchkula police on June 28 arrested Sahil Puri and Marshal Arora.

An FIR was lodged under Sections 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to compel her into marriage) and 376-G (gang rape) against both the accused at the Sector 5 police station.

The victim’s father had stated that the accused were known to his son and often used to visit their house.

He said on June 26 he had gone out for some work and on return he found his daughter missing.

He said after looking for her for sometime, he informed the police and soon the accused threw her near the gate and fled in a car.

In his complaint to the police, the victim’s father had stated that the accused had taken advantage of their absence and forcibly took the girl with them.

They had made her consume liquor.

Later, the accused had raped her inside the car.



MC puts in effort to spruce up town
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 14
To improve the state of sanitation in residential colonies of Zirakpur, the municipal council today launched a major block-wise cleanliness drive in the town.

An executive officer of the council, Parminder Singh Saro, said the drive would help spruce up the town.

He said the officials concerned had been asked to check the condition of road berms and vacant plots in the colonies of Dhakoli, Baltana, Pabhat, Lohgarh and other surrounding areas.

The council has also decided to check the cattle menace on the highway. He said the officer concerned had been asked to use a tractor-trailer to impound the cattle.

The officer said the elections had kept the employees preoccupied for two months.

He said a sanitary inspector would be the in charge of the drive who would submit a report in the evening.

One killed in mishap

Banur: One person was killed while two others sustained serious injuries after the car they were travelling in collided with a canter on the Chandigarh-Rajpura road near Banur yesterday.

The deceased was identified as Balwinder Singh Sandhu, a resident of Sector 21, Panchkula, while the injured, Vijay Kumar, a resident of Mani Majra, and Ajay Kumar, a resident of Sector 21, Panchkula, were admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

Driver of the canter fled the spot. A case has been registered in this connection. — OC



Mayor checks school, dispensary in Mani Majra
Asks officials to speed up repair works
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
The Municipal Corporation engineering wing should speed up the repair works of the school and civil dispensary located in Mani Majra. These instructions were given to the officials by Mayor Raj Bala Malik during an inspection to these sites by her today. Officials were also directed to ensure proper maintenance of the greenery within the schools, dispensary and the surrounding areas.

During the visit to the school, the Mayor also checked the mid-day-meal being distributed to the children and instructed the staff to maintain proper hygiene. She also visited the classrooms and interacted with the students.

During the inspection of the dispensary, the Mayor checked the attendance register maintained by the dispensary staff and also the patient register. The availability of stock of medicines with the pharmacist and emergency kits were also inspected.

She also directed the officials to issue the stock to medicines to the dispensary staff as per the standard specifications.

During the inspection, the Mayor was accompanied by Additional Commissioner Sunil Bhatia, Dr BK Salwan, MOH, and officials of the medical officer health and engineering wing of the corporation.



Congress leader suspended from party
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) president BB Behl, today, dismissed former Mayor and vice-president of CTCC Surinder Singh, from the party, for anti-party activities. Surinder Singh was dismissed for six years from the party for anti-party activities during the MC polls held last year.

Sources said that in the recent MC polls, the party had sidelined Surinder Singh by not giving him a party ticket from Mani Majra. During the MC elections, allegations were levelled that he was indulging in anti-party activities in Mani Majra.

The party sources said that it was pointed out in the meeting that even though Surinder Singh had a strong hold in the wards which comprised the areas of Mani Majra but he did not support the party candidates in the elections. Resultantly the party had to face defeat in these wards.

Political observers opined that the suspension of Surinder Singh had given benefit to the BJP and the independent candidates in the MC polls.



BJP opposes sub-committees formed by Raj Bala Malik
Meets UT Adviser, submits memorandum
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
Demanding de-notification of 12 sub-committees, which were constituted by the Municipal Corporation Mayor Raj Bala Malik yesterday, a delegation of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiromani Akali Dal councillors today submitted a memorandum to UT Advisor to Administrator KK Sharma.

In the memorandum councillors brought to the notice of the UT Advisor that as per the Section 42 of the MC Act, the constitution of committees was obligatory function of the corporation, which could not be delegated to a non-authority. Resultantly, the resolution in the meeting of the general house of the corporation held on January 23 to authorise the Mayor to constitute the committees was illegal. The councillors alleged that 12 committees which were constituted by the Mayor were illegal and was in violation of the provisions of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act.

The councillors demanded that all the committees which were constituted by the Mayor should be dissolved immediately and fresh committees should be constituted according to the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act.

The Advisor assured the delegation that he would discuss the matter with the Administrator and the Municipal Corporation Commissioner and necessary action would be taken in the matter.

In the last meeting of the house, the BJP had opposed on the issue that there was no provision in the MC Act that the Mayor could delegate the power of constituting sub-committees. Due to which the committees should be constituted by the House rather than the Mayor.

The House has unanimously delegated the power to the Mayor to constitute the sub-committees.

The Mayor appointed BSP councillor Jannat Jahan Ul-Haq as the chairman of road and independent councillor Gurcharan Das Kala as enforcement committee chairman. Congress councillors who were appointed as the chairman of sub-committeees includes Mukesh Bassi for water and sewerage committee, Harphool Chand Kalyan for sanitation committee, Gurbax Rawat for art and culture committee Sheela Devi for electricity committee and Sat Parkash Aggrawal for house tax. Opposition BJP councillor Desh Raj Gupta for apni mandi and Laxmi Devi for slum development committee and nominated councillors who were appointed as chairman are Surinder Bahga for environment committee, Aruna Goel for women empowerment committee and MP Kohli for fire and emergency committee.



68 challaned for traffic violations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
The UT police was on its toes on Valentine’s Day and challaned 68 persons for violating traffic rules on the geri route. Those challaned include 24 challans for overspeeding.

The UT police had set up special nakas at various points throughout the city. While 40 youths were challaned for driving without helmet, others were challaned for triple riding.

Meanwhile, traffic sleuths also impounded motorcycles when the drivers failed to produce relevant documents. The challans were issued near MCM, DAV College, Sector 36, Government College for Girls (GCG), Sector 11, near PU and Government College, Sector 46.



Road safety workshop 

Chandigarh, February 14
The Chandigarh traffic police organised a road safety exhibition and workshop at Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, here today.

A book “Road Safety Our Concern” and a handbook on the analysis of road accidents in the city were also distributed and a film on road safety was also shown to the students. More than 3,600 pamphlets on road safety were also distributed to the school students. — TNS



Special police officials voice anger
Refuse to work as Home Guard volunteers
Tribune News Service

Special police officials (SPOs) protest outside the office of the Punjab Home Guards in Industrial Area, Phase I, Mohali.
Special police officials (SPOs) protest outside the office of the Punjab Home Guards in Industrial Area, Phase I, Mohali. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, February 14
Hundreds of special police officers (SPOs), working in different districts on daily wages since 1992, are protesting against the state police’s move to recruit them as Home Guard volunteers.

The youths, who gathered in the head office of the Punjab Home Guards in Industrial Area, Phase I, alleged that they were being forced to fill in forms giving their willingness to join Home Guard service. They said they were skeptical about the move by the police department to launch the fresh recruitment drive. There should be assurance from the government that their services would be regularised.

They lamented that the state government had failed to implement the recommendations of the committee that had advocated absorption of the SPOs against different posts. 



Police Commissioner to address public grievances twice a week
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 14
For the convenience of Panchkula residents, the Commissioner of Ambala-Panchkula police commissionerate, Anant Kumar Dhul, will sit in Panchkula two days a week.

Earlier, the residents were finding it difficult to approach the Commissioner as he sits in his office at Ambala. But now he will listen to the grievances of residents in a building constructed near the Mansa Devi police station.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Anant Kumar Dhul today held a crime review meeting with the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Maneesh Chaudhary, DSPs and SHOs.

Dhul issued directions to the Panchkula Police to start the functioning of committees, which were constituted with the support of residents and police, to maintain peace. He said petty fights should be dealt with the support of these committees.

He said they had identified 27 accident-prone points in Panchkula district, including the highways, and would soon hold meeting with the district administration, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and municipal corporation (MC) to take some remedial steps in this regard. He told mediapersons that they had also constituted a number of teams to check mining in the area and they were conducting surprise checks. To deal with stray cattle menace, he said, directions had been issued to the Panchkula Police to contact gaushala committees.



88 beneficiaries yet to get show-cause notice
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
The UT Estate Office has not served a show-cause notice to at least one-third of the ‘illegal beneficiaries’ in the infamous booth scam, although the process of issuing notices had begun around a month ago.

The department is now making tall claims of completing the process in a day or two.

“The notices will be issued to the beneficiaries within two days,” said Rahul Gupta, UT Assistant Estate Officer.

The department has singled out a total of 88 beneficiaries stating that the latter had submitted false affidavits.

The department had begun issuing notices to these beneficiaries in parts from January 18. The officials had claimed that it would take them 10 days to complete the process.

So far, about 50 notices have been served. “The beneficiaries have been given 15 days to file a reply failing which action will be initiated ex parte,” read the notice.

But no such action has been taken so far.

Last year, the booth scam had rocked the city following the submission of an inquiry report by the then UT Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shegill in the last week of February. In his report, Shergill had pointed out involvement of big names, including Union Minister and MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, former UT Adviser Pradip Mehra and a number senior officials of the UT administration. 



High Commission offices in city inspected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
The Chandigarh Police has carried out a special drive and inspected all the High Commission offices based in the city, here today.

The security check was made after some bombers targeted the staff of Israel Embassy in New Delhi on Monday. After the incident, the police has marked red zone and sensitive areas, where police personnel have been deployed.

The Chandigarh police has taken special checking drive at the Canadian commission in Sector 17, British Library, Incertitude of French Learning, Sector 36, and Commission Office, Sector 8, with the help of Explosive Vapor Detector (EVD). The UT police will carry out the drive for another week.

“There will be security for another week in all the important areas of the city. The city is on red alert and we will try to avoid any untoward incident” said a police official.



It will not be a cakewalk for panel chairmen
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
It will not be a cakewalk for the newly elected chairmen of the four sub-committees of the Municipal Corporation to take care of these committees as these committees have not taken any decision for the past three years.

A classic example is the slum development committee, which was constituted in 2007 by former Mayor Harjinder Kaur, who was also the chairman of this committee. Regular meetings were held by the officials in that year. Later in 2008, this committee met three times under the chairmanship of Manjit Singh Chauhan and in 2009 only two meetings was held with Sheela Devi as its chairperson. Last year not even a single meeting was conducted by former nominated councillor late Arshad Khan.

Similarly the women empowerment committee, which had been constituted five years ago to provide better platform to women in the city and also formulate new projects that would help in the enhancement of their power has not come up with any concrete plans.

Even if one checks the record of the last five years, one finds that this committee gets active only near the Lohri festival to decide the theme for the rest of the year, otherwise only routine monthly meetings are convened by the chairman. Even while going through the minutes of few of the meetings held in the last three years, one finds that no special programme for the welfare or up-lifting of women has been proposed by the committee in the house.

The House assessment tax committee chairman only held a single meeting last year. In fact in the last five years no Mayor was able to convince any councillor to hold the chair of this committee. Last year too, Deputy Mayor Sheela Devi was appointed as the chairman of this committee as no councillor agreeed to hold this post. Sailing in the same boat is the water supply and sewerage disposal committee, whose chairman is on leave and his charge has not been given to anybody to convene the meeting in his absence.



Mercury likely to dip in tricity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
The tricity region may experience cold-wave conditions as the night temperature is likely to fall by about three to four notches and the sky will remain cloudy in the next two days.

The weather office has predicted that the sky will be partly cloudy with mist or haze occurring in the morning and evening hours. The day and night temperatures are likely to fall further as the maximum temperature on Wednesday will be around 19 ºC and minimum temperature on Thursday will be around 8 ºC, said the met department.

Rainfall has occurred at isolated places in the neighboring Punjab and Haryana. The night temperature fell markedly and was normal. The lowest minimum temperature was 6°C recorded at Amritsar in Punjab while in Haryana it was 9 °C recorded at Narnaul.

The Met department has predicted cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thundershowers at isolated places during the next 24 hours. However, there will be decline in the rainfall activity during the subsequent two days, the met officials said.

City Met Director Surinder Pal said that there would be improvement in the weather in the next 48 hours and there would be decrease in the rainfall activity. However, the sky will again become cloudy in the region after February 16, he added.

Meanwhile, the maximum temperature was recorded at 19.8 degrees Celsius on Tuesday three degrees below normal while the minimum temperature was recorded at 11.8 degrees Celsius four degrees below normal.

The maximum relative humidity was recorded at 84 per cent while the minimum was recorded at 57 per cent.



Singhvi: We need to be on guard always
‘Most terror cases emanate from our neighbourhood’
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
Describing the Delhi blast as a "serious matter", national spokesman of the Congress party Abhishek Manu Singhvi today called for "eternal vigilance".

Refusing to take cognisance of allegations regarding Iran targeting Israelis worldwide and being behind the blast, Singhvi also categorically said bulk of terrorism emanated either from India's neighbour, or was connected with modules inspired from them.

In Chandigarh for defending Tata Camelot project before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Singhvi said: "It's a serious matter, though I think its an exaggeration to suggest India is a ground for international terrorism."

"For, till now the bulk of it emanates either from our neighbour, or is connected with modules inspired from our neighbourhood. However, the ultimate analysis is that terrorism has no boundaries, no religion, no caste and no nationality. Eternal vigilance is a small price which we must pay for our security".

On the allegations of Iran being involved in the embassy car blast in Delhi, Singhvi said these were mere allegations. "India never reacts to mere allegations," he said, adding that the country does not believe in naming other countries. In any case an official denial has already come from that country.

Replying to a query on the Khurshid-EC row, Singhvi said: "The matter should be treated as closed as far as the Congress is concerned in view of the specific statement that Constitutional authorities should not and were never intended to be disrespected and that all entities should necessarily function within the parameters of the Indian Constitution".

Expressing disapproval of the media coverage of the Army chief row after the Supreme Court's verdict, Singhvi insisted: "It was unfair for the Press to repeatedly raise the issues in such a delicate matter after a very satisfactory and desirable closure has been applied by none else than the Apex Court".

Visibly exultant over the Congress performance in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, Singhvi said: The Congress is confident that the results it shows in UP both on its own and with its pre-declared coalition partners will be both breathtaking and stunning."

"Without trying to be presumptuous I would, on a lighter vein, advise the powers that be to spend time in drafting cabinet formation".



PGI to hold workshop on biostatistics
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
The department of biostatistics, PGI, will be organising a two-day workshop, beginning on February 17. Prof KK Bhutani, Director, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) will be the chief guest of the academic event.

The theme of the third Biostatistical Workshop is ‘Study Design and Sample Size Determination in Medical Research’. The event will see the participation of candidates from institutes, universities and colleges in and around Chandigarh. The workshop is being supported by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The theme of the event had received a huge response from the medical fraternity during the last two workshops.

The organising secretary, Dr Pramod K Gupta, assistant professor, department of biostatistics, PGIMER, emphasised that the topic of the workshop (Design of Study and Sample Size Determination) was an integral part of almost every research study for obtaining reliable outcomes. However, different study designs demand adjustments in sample sizes, which is eventually very crucial to the study.

Chairman Prof Anil KGupta, head, department of biostatistics-cum-Medical Superintendent, PGIMER, opined that such workshops are extremely vital for medical professionals as they enrich their research skills and help in improve patient care.



Kashmiri students on Chandigarh visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
A group of 23 schoolboys, accompanied by two teachers from Kishtwar, Jammu and Kashmir, are visiting Chandigarh and other nearby places on their first ever trip beyond the remote confines of the mountainous district.

The students, aged 17-21 years, visited the Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake, Yadvindra Gardens in Pinjore and other places of interest. They are also scheduled to visit Delhi and Agra during their 11-day sojourn.

The aim of the trip, being sponsored by the Army under Operation Sadbhavana, is to expose these young minds to the development and progress taking place around the country, and mould them to join the national mainstream.

The tour was flagged-off from Kishtwar by Brig SS Prasad, Sector Commander, Rashtriya Rifles, on February 11.



Tricity Scan
College team wins competition

Students of the BBA Club of GGDSD College brought laurels to the college by securing the second position in the zonal round of ‘United Minds’, a business simulation competition, featuring over 60 teams from the northern region. The event was organised by IIM-Bangalore in association with the United World School of Business, Gurgaon. The competition involved the teams competing in over 5 levels in which they had to take various financial, marketing and operational decisions with the aim to maximize their shareholder value. The team, whose members include Siddharth Grover (BBA-III), Kanav Bakshi (B.Com-III), and Ankit Arora (BBA-III) will now represent the college at the national level at IIM-Bangalore in March this year.

Body donated

Justice PK Palli’s body was donated to the Department of Anatomy, PGIMER. Born in a family of lawyers, Justice Palli served as a judge and practised in the Supreme Court for few years after retirement. He was also a member of the ethics committee of PGIMER, Chandigarh.

Senior citizens’ club

Senior citizens of Sector11, have constituted a group, named ‘Golden Age Club’, to fight isolation and neglect during old age. Members of the club plan to become actively involved in socio-economic, cultural and political life. According to Prof Gurdev Singh, former Director, National Service Scheme, PU, who is the prime mover behind the formation of the group, “The idea to form the group emerged after conducting focused group discussions with senior citizens. Fast disintegration of social fabric of our society has hit the elderly and they are being made to feel redundant.

The main focus of the club would be to act as a ‘Think Tank’ and ‘Pressure Group’ for issues concerning old people and society at large. The club would organise periodical group discussions and interact with media to achieve its objective.

Cyber cafe usage rules

Local District Magistrate Brijendra Singh has prohibited the use of cyber cafes by people whose identification cannot be established by the owner of the cafe. The order aims to prevent antisocial elements, criminals and terrorists from using cyber cafes to mislead security/investigating agencies, creating panic in the public or endangering the security of VIPs. Cyber Cafe owners have been ordered to maintain a register in which entry of visitor's name, address, telephone number and identity proof, have to be mentioned. The visitor/user would make entry in his/her handwriting. The identity of the visitor would be established through identity card, voter card, ration card, driving license, passport and photo credit card. Activity server log would be preserved in the main server and the record will be kept for at least six months

Blood donation camp

The NSS Unit of DAV College, Sector 10, today organised a blood donation camp. The principal Dr AK Nanda encouraged the students to celebrate the Valentine’s Day by donating blood for the cause of humanity. The main attraction of the blood donation camp was the state-of-the-art blood mobile van. Dr Sumita Bakshi and Professor Rajinder Singh, coordinators NSS Unit, conducted the campin which 182 units of blood were donated. 



PSEB mulls separate directorate for open school
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 14
To streamline the process of conducting exams for open school students, the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) is contemplating establishing a separate directorate of the open school.

About 80,000 students studying in classes X, XI and XII take the open school examination conducted by the board across the state.

Dr Dalbir Singh Dhillon, chairman of the Punjab School Education Board, today said the separate directorate would help improve coordination between officials. Presently, the director (academics) is looking after the job.

A new post will be created on the pattern of director (computers) and director (academics).

For the time being, the charge of the director (open school) will be given to an official in the board. The authorities were also planning to introduce more subjects in the school.

The chairman said the board was in no mood to take action against any of its affiliated schools that had not submitted the awards of internal assessment.

Around 820 schools had been issued notices for not sending awards of the internal assessment done by them.

“The schools will now have to send the awards within seven days through e-mails,” he said.

The vice-chairman and secretary of the board, Suresh Tandon, and Dr Balwinder Singh, respectively, said the second semester datesheet of Class X and senior secondary level had been changed and the new one would be announced shortly.

Some of the Class XII exams would be held on March 12, March 13, March 14 and March 15, Tandon added.

The officials said as the board was reeling under financial crunch, it had been necessitated to ask schools to share the expenses of installation of CCTV cameras at examination centres.

He appealed to the schools to bear with the board and assured that from next year the board would bear all expenses .

Recently, the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) had directed private schools to pay for the CCTV cameras to be installed at the examination centres.

Each school will have to shell out Rs 40,000 for the purpose.

The decision was conveyed during a meeting with the District Education Officer (DEO’s) and other officials involved in the conduct of annual exams through semester system for classes X and XII.



PU institute adjudged best in business communication
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
Mumbai Public Relations Council of India (PRCI) awarded the School of Communication Studies, Panjab University, the Best Business Communication School of the Year (National) Award for 2011-12. H.K. Dua, Member of Parliament, presented the Chanakya Award at the 6th Global Conclave. SCS was selected from amongst several nominations on the basis of its excellent performance in academic, establishing community radio, developing strong ties with alumni etc.

PRCI is an apex body of public relations professionals and business communicators in the country, and Chanakya Awards for excellence in public relations and communication are awarded every year.

Lecture by Cambridge University Professor

Ajit Singh, Emeritus Professor, University of Cambridge, UK, delivered a lecture on ‘The Current Global Economic and Financial Crisis’ organised by the Department of Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, under the UGC Special Assistance Programme.

Vice Chancellor, Prof RC Sobti presided over the lecture. Prof Singh outlined the causes of the present global economic crisis and asserted that it is much less severe than the Great Depression of 1930s because of three main reasons.

Firstly, the continuity of fast growth in India, China and other developing countries; secondly, unprecedented cooperation between countries symbolised by the G20, and thirdly, the creation and governance by like-minded people in the US of a corrective economic policy programme .

Seminar on history

A two-day seminar on “History Society and Punjabi Novel” was inaugurated by Vice Chancellor Professor R.C. Sobti at Panjab University today. The Department of Evening Studies, Panjab University, in collaboration with the ICSSR, is organising the seminar. Professor GK Chadha, president, South Asia University, New Delhi, was the chief guest.

Prof Rana Nayyar, chairman, Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University delivered the keynote address and conducted the seminar where the importance of modern Punjabi literature, different historical, social and cultural changes were discussed.


An international conference on ‘Frontiers in Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and their Applications (NanoSciTech - 2012)’ will be held from February 15 - 18, 2012. NanoSciTech-2012 would provide a platform for exploring newer vistas in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology for collaborative ventures, experiential learning and technological breakthroughs. The three-day conference will be inaugurated by Ashok Misra, chairman, Intellectual Ventures, and the keynote address will be delivered by Prof Ajay K Sood, a well-known nanotechnologist from the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore.



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