C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Unions strike work, impact partial
Stir hits functioning at public-sector banks, transport services also partly affected
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Various trade unions, including the AICCTU and the CITU, supported by the clerical staff in the banking sector, caused inconvenience to the public here today. The 24-hour joint strike call was given by major trade unions against the alleged anti-labour policies of the Centre.

The major impact of the strike was seen in the banking sector, where employees of most public-sector banks participated in the strike. Only employees of private banks were working today.

Of daily transactions worth about Rs 500 crore in the tricity, transactions worth around Rs 400 crore were not affected, sources said. Employees of state and Central governments also participated in the day-long strike.

There was little impact of the strike in the industrial sector, with industrial workers failing to join in the stir. Public dealing at public-sector banks was paralysed. Work at private-sector banks remained unaffected.

Members of the AICCTU and CITU, supported by the Punjab Engineering College Mess Workers’ Union, the PGI Contract Workers’ Union and the Panjab University hostel mess union, gathered at Sector-25 rally ground and staged a day-long dharna.

Kamaljeet, national secretary, AICCTU, told the Chandigarh Tribune that the strike call was given to press upon the Centre to fulfil long-pending demands in time, failing which they would intensify their agitation.

He said their main demands included doing away with the contract system, regularising contractual employees and giving them pension, giving minimum wages up to Rs 10,000 and revoking limitations imposed on EPF and ESI schemes.

He said they had also asked the government to implement the UN Convention Charter numbers 78 and 98, pertaining to working conditions of contractual employees, which also said trade union rights be implemented at all workplaces across the country.

Transport services and banking operations in the tricity were hit. While transport services from the city to different parts of Haryana were hit because of the strike, bus services to cities in Punjab were hit partially as unions organised a ‘chakka jam’ for three hours, the causing inconvenience to commuters. Even as contractual employees of the PGI, the GMSH and the GMCH abstained from duty, there was no effect on health services in the region. Regular employees of the hospitals held a candle-lit rally from the PGI gate to Sector 17.



DC in the dock for panchayat land sale
HC wants details of deeds at Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and Mubarakpur
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today ruled that Mohali’s former Deputy Commissioner (DC) and the Registrar of Documents did not bother to protect public property. It also called for details of sale deeds relating to ‘shamlat deh’ and ‘jumla mushtarka malkan’ land in Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and Mubarakpur.

The directions came on a petition filed by Mohinder Singh of Mubarakpur village in the Dera Bassi tehsil. ‘Jumla mushtarka malkan’ land was to be used for common purposes of the village and ‘shamlat deh’ was additional land of a village in common ownership.

Taking up the petition, the Bench of Justice Rajive Bhalla and Justice RK Jain asserted, “The case relates to the sale of public property, viz land admittedly described in the revenue record as ‘jumla mushtarka malkan war digar haqdaran’. Rule 16 (ii) of the East Punjab Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Rules, 1949, prescribes that though the ownership of such land vests with the proprietors, its management and control lies with the gram panchayat.

“The sale deeds in the present case were executed by the so-called proprietors on the basis of dubious determination of shareholdings of the vendors. The Registrar of Documents and the then Deputy Commissioner have not bothered to protect public property and permitted the sale of panchayat land. “The Mohali Deputy Commissioner shall file an affidavit, setting out the number of sale deeds relating to ‘shamlat deh’ and ‘jumla mushtarka malkan’ land in Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Mubarakpur, Bhankarpur and Majri.”

In his petition, Mohinder Singh had moved the high court against the Financial Commissioner (Revenue) and other respondents. The petitioner had alleged that 25 kanal and four marla had been purchased just for Rs 78,75,000 by Mohinder Singh of Bishangarh. The petitioner had added that this was done with the active participation of the revenue authorities. Describing it as a case of fraud and land grab, the petitioner had also challenged the order dated September 2, 2009, and subsequent orders, whereby mutation had been illegally and arbitrarily sanctioned in Mohinder Singh’s favour without valid basis and title.



AGMUT cadre gets more teeth
House allotment, information technology depts go to Prerna Puri
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
In a development towards assigning more powers to AGMUT-cadre IAS officers in the Chandigarh Administration, Prerna Puri, a 2006-batch officer, was assigned the task of secretaries of the departments of information technology (IT) and house allotment today.

Top departments had largely remained distributed between offices of the Finance and Home Secretaries, who were from Punjab and Haryana cadres, respectively. The development followed a recent decision of the Centre to give posts of two secretaries to UT.

Reliable sources added that the Administration would get only one secretary from the UT cadre. Both departments were with the office of UT Finance Secretary VK Singh, a Punjab-cadre officer.

Similarly, the office of the UT Home Secretary was not as strong as it used to be during the tenure of Ram Niwas last year. At least 23 departments, including important ones like estate office, education, vigilance, personnel, tourism, CITCO and food and civil supplies, had come under the UT Home Secretary then, but all were later taken away.

A senior officer with the UT Administration, on the condition of anonymity, said the IT department was one of the major departments with VK Singh. Another senior officer said, “Giving IT and house allotment is a small beginning. Over a period of time, UT-cadre officers will get more charge.”

“Getting back main charge has weakened the position of the post. Everyone knows that power has been tilting towards AGMUT-cadre officers for the last couple of months. CITCO and the CHB were already in their lap,” the officer added. “The city belongs to Punjab and Haryana and so, the domination should remain with them,” said another senior official. There were seven IAS officers from the AGMUT cadre with the Chandigarh Administration while the number of officers from Punjab and Haryana was three and two, respectively.

Puri relinquished charge as municipal corporation Commissioner after Punjab-cadre officer Vivek Pratap joined this evening.



What a waste, every year!
 Civic body gives luggage trolley bags its councillors
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Every year, all 35 councillors are provided luggage trolley bags for carrying a ‘truckload’ of their agenda items for the General House of the municipal corporation (MC).

More importantly, the practice has been going on since 1996. A senior official revealed that in 1996, all councillors were given folders as they had to carry agenda booklets to House meetings.

A decision was taken that each councillor would get an MC diary, a calendar and stationery, along with a folder, from the Mayor as the year commenced. Later the Mayor was to issue small briefcases to all councillors annually.

The official said luggage bags, along with stationery, were being given to all councillors by the Mayor in January for the past seven years.

An official said on the condition of anonymity that the money spent on the purchase of luggage bags came from the non-Plan head of the budget.

It had become a practice that each Mayor wrote a request letter to the MC Commissioner and funds had been released annually.

The authorities spent lakhs two years ago to facilitate councillors to become tech-savvy by providing them laptops so that the agenda could be e-mailed to them.

But neither were the luggage bags utilised, nor were the laptops used to receive the agenda or take up grievances of people.

SAD councillor and former Mayor Harjinder Kaur said there was a need to facilitate councillors according to their requirements and data cards for laptops should be provided to them.

Finding it strange that it was an annual feature in the MC, BJP councillor Arun Sood said he would advise the Mayor that they utilise the money to make councillors tech-savvy for better connectivity with residents.



Bullet planted, argues police
 Says Dr Sofat’s driver Nelson was not shot at
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 28
The controversial case of Nelson, Dr Sumit Sofat’s driver, being shot at in 2009, took an interesting turn today, with the Panchkula police moving the district court, arguing that the bullet was planted inside the body and he never received any gunshot.

The police pointed out that the bullet was planted in the body of the driver by specialists. The shootout was said to be staged to prove that the driver had been shot at by a Ludhiana-based businessman, Ramesh Pashan, with whom Dr Sofat had a property dispute.

In the application moved under Section 319 of the CrPC, public prosecutor Narinder Bhuria mentioned that the injury was superficial and the bullet was planted. The prosecution demanded that Nelson be summoned as accused. The application was moved after a PGI doctor recorded his statement last week. In the statement, recorded by public prosecutor Dharampal, Dr Rahul Singh had stated that as per the medico-legal case summary of the patient, treated by Dr Rajat Kalra, who had left the PGI, the nature of injury had been shown to be simple as the injury was superficial and not deep.

“The injury has been described to be a simple one. There is an entry hole, but no exit hole. The injury is superficial. In a firearm injury, the bullet penetrates deep, which is not the case herein. If a bullet is fired from a distance, it travels with speed and cannot automatically be stopped within the body unless it hits a bony part. With that hit, there is every possibility that a fracture is be observed on that bone. In the present case, there is not a single fracture.

A bullet cannot stop on its own due to resistance of skin and tissue,” the statement read. On September 17, 2010, the Panchkula police arrested Sofat from Sector 22 in Chandigarh. Dr Sofat was booked following investigations into his complaint regarding a robbery and shootout at the Morni hills on July 19, 2009. The complaint was found to be an attempt to framing Pashan and his sons Vinayak and Abhinav in a criminal case.

Dr Sumit Sofat Made news in Dehradun as well

Dr Sumit Sofat had landed himself in trouble in Dehradun as well, where he had got a false case of gangrape registered against the Pashan family. After finding that the complaint was fraudulent, the Dehradun police had registered a case of rape under Section 376 of the IPC against Sofat in August, 2009.


36 structures razed in demolition drive
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 28
As many as 36 commercial structures constructed illegally in various places were demolished by the enforcement wing of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) today.

The demolition drive, headed by Davinder Singh, executive engineer, started around 8:00 am and went on till the evening. Thirty police personnel accompanied the team during the operations.

Davinder Singh said that among the structures removed were a restaurant on the Kurali-Siswan road, a food court and two offices of property dealers near Chandigarh Engineering College. He said that though no major opposition was witnessed during the demolitions, tension prevailed for some time when some persons gathered at Sanauli village during the drive. Demolitions were also carried out in some areas in Banur and Dera Bassi.

Santosh Kumar Bains, an SDO who was part of the team, said that four shops constructed outside ‘lal dora’ in Jagatpura village were demolished. A tower constructed at Nadiali village without taking permission from GMADA authorities was also demolished.

In Kandala village three shops which were constructed outside the limits were demolished. These were being used to sell construction material.

Two other constructions, one by a police personnel and the other by a doctor (both had illegally constructed a room and boundary walls on two pieces of land), were also demolished during the drive. 



Punjabi version of Hindi play ‘Chehrey’ enthrals audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 28
Theatre for Theatre marked their participation in the ongoing TFT Basant theatre fest with a brilliant presentation of the Punjabi version of their Hindi play Chehrey at the Randhawa Auditorium.

The play presented a powerful satire on hypocrisy and duplicity of standard in people otherwise hailed as symbols of uprightness and honesty in the society.

Written by Dr Shanker Shesh, the play unmasks and juxtaposes the conflict between the inner self and the public life of a man. The direction of thespian Sudesh Sharma deserves a special applause. The crisp Punjabi script and dialogues sculpted by Ms Bhupinder Kaur augmented the production level.

The playwright has employed the element of contrast, which runs thorough out the play, be it the unusual ambience of a cremation ground and a dead body awaiting funeral stalled by torrential rains, or a Bollywood cheat exploiting a rural lass for a prosperous film career, or an opposition Panchayat leader critical of the performing of rituals and ceremonies.

As the sequences are enacted, true selves of the otherwise respected dignitaries are revealed by creating contrasting situations like a Bollywood cheat (Shenti Saini) exploiting an innocent village girl (Suniti Jaitely) for role in films.

Leading the cast were veteran film actor Parvesh Sethi (Bhavani), retired sessions judge KK Doda (Sukh Lal), JBS Sodhi (Sahu), Navrang (Pandit) and Naresh Bhagat (Parmanand).

Youngsters Karan, Shivinderpal, Gurpreet and Mohit Gupta also gave good performances.



Dead foetus found
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 28
A dead foetus was found in Kumbra village here today. According to reports, children saw stray dogs dragging the foetus around which drew the attention of the locals. The villagers later buried the foetus near a temple.

Officials inspect the foetus found at Kumbra village, Mohali, on Tuesday.
Officials inspect the foetus found at Kumbra village, Mohali, on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Dr Manraj Singh, SMO at the Mohali Civil Hospital, the SHO and the Tehsildar visited the village to look into the matter. The SMO said that the foetus, which was dug out , appeared to be seven-eight months old. It was taken to the Civil Hospital for a postmortem examination. A board would be set up to enquire into the matter, he added.

He said if the postmortem report was not conclusive, the foetus would be sent for a DNA examination.



GMCH-32 to have mobile unit for cancer screening
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
The Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, is all set to have a mobile unit with facilities of mammography and ultrasound for the screening of breast cancer. The hospital has already placed an order for the unit after the Chandigarh Administration sanctioned Rs 1.60 crore for the purpose.

The unit will not have only the facility for mammography but in addition, facility of conducting ultrasound of the breast as well as for ultrasound guided five-needle aspiration.



GMCH-32 contractual sweepers scatter garbage at hospital
Nationwide strike call by trade unions evokes partial response in region; work resumed after a few hours in UT health centres
Tribune Reprters

Chandigarh, February 28
The nationwide strike call by trade unions evoked a partial response in city government hospitals.
Garbage littered by contractual sweepers at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32; and (below) an empty Panchkula bus stand on Tuesday.
(Top) Garbage littered by contractual sweepers at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32; and (below) an empty Panchkula bus stand on Tuesday. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan and S Chandan

While some of the workers did not reach for work in the morning hours at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), the workers at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, decided to stay at the workplace. At GMSH, Sector16, also the workers decided to remain on duties. Vijay Kumar, a union leader, at GMCH and press secretary of the UT and MC employees’ co-ordination committee, said the workers at GMCH who were not on duty participated in the dharna held at Sector 17.

The contractual employees of hospitals also sat on a dharna at the Sector 25 rally ground.

However, they observed strike for few hours but later returned to work. Meanwhile, the Contract Sweeper Union of the Government Medical College and Hospital protesting against alleged non-disbursal of bonus and uniforms littered the garbage in the hospital. They also alleged that they were not given national gazetted holidays for the past one year. As soon as the members of union reached the hospital in the morning, they littered garbage lying in the dustbins at different places in the hospital. Soon all the prominent places, including OPDs of the hospital were littered with the garbage, putting the staff and patients to the inconvenience.

We had pleaded before the authorities several times to find a solution to the problem but all in vain and the workers were compelled to such a step, said Krishan Bal Boiht, president of the union. This time, the workers resumed work after three hours of strike, but soon the union would go on a full-day strike if the grievances of the union members were not redressed, said Ajay Tak, vice-president of the union. the hospital medical superintendent Dr Vipin Kushal said that the step taken by the workers to air their grievances was unfortunate. No body is supposed to harass the patients at the hospital, he said. The administration had taken notice of it and appropriate action would be taken, he added.

Panchkula: A nation-wide 24-hour strike called by 11 major trade unions on Tuesday evoked a mixed response. Functioning of public sector banking operations and Haryana roadways bus services was disrupted due to the strike making the residents suffer.

Protesters this morning stopped buses in the Sector 5 bus stand. They sat on a dharna outside the bus stand and raised anti-government slogans. The police was deployed there in sufficient numbers to deal with the protesters.

CITU president Amarnath Verma said that they were protesting in response to the call given by the central trade unions and he added that strike was successful in Panchkula.

Ambala: The nation-wide strike by various employees unions evoked a mixed response in Ambala city and cantonment areas today. The police had made adequate security arrangements to deal with any situation in the district. The district administration has also deployed duty magistrates at all three subdivisions of the district to maintain law and order.

Except a few private banks all the nationalised banks in the district remained closed. Insurance sector, income tax and MES departments also took an active part in the strike. The spokesman of the Federation of India Banks Employees Union VK Verma claimed that the strike in the banks was totally successful.

Haryana roadways service was also affected due to the strike as the members of Haryana Roadways Workers Union sat on the main gate of the roadways depot early in the morning and did not allow the buses to come out. However the roadways authorities managed to ply some of its buses on the road. GM Ambala Roadways claimed that around 80 percent buses plied on the regular routes while the president of Ambala Roadways Union, Inder Singh Badhana, said the strike in roadways was quite successful.

INTUC did not participate in the strike.

The electricity supply in the district remained undisrupted as hardly 10 percent of the employees of electricity department (operation) joined the strike. Haryana Power Corporation Workers Union staged dharna at Dhoolkot power station. There was a mixed response to the strike in various departments like health, PWD, irrigation and education. CITU and Sarw Karmchari Sangh took out a protest march in the city and handed over a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.

DCP Shashank Anand said that no untoward incident was reported in the district. He said that a large number of police force was deployed at the sensitive places of the district.

Dera Bassi: Following the national level strike call given by different trade unions, various government institutions and offices, banks, at Dera Bassi, Lalru, Banur and Zirakpur, remained closed. Most of the employees of these departments were on strike. Workers of electricity department held rallies and meetings in favour of their demands at their offices.

The call was given by different trade unions of country including All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Bhartiya Mazdoor sangh (BMS), and (INTUC). The main demands which were raised by striking employees include the implementation of minimum wages for unskilled labourers, stopping the privatisation of government institutions, starting regular recruitment in government institutions, ending the contract system in public institutions, and providing proper pay-scales to all government employees.

The state leader of Ministerial Services Union (MSU), Harbhajan Singh, said that employees unions had raised the demands of implementation of minimum wages and stopping the privatisation of public sector institutions.

Sanjeeb Bandalish, national president of All India State Bank Staff Federation said that bank employees have been opposing granting of banking licenses to industrial houses. He also opposed the Khandewal committee report which was considered against the interests of bank employees. Employees rallies here were addressed by Jagdish Sharma, deputy general secretary of PSEB employees federation, AITUC circle president Brijmohan Sharma, Technical Services Union leader Jaikishan and Sunil dutt. 



Amit garg case
Vigilance department to issues look-out notice for two
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
The Vigilance Department of the UT police will issue a look-out notice for two persons who led Amit Garg to Sector 17 police station along with his mother’s body.

As part of the ongoing enquiry into Amit’s suicide in Ambala, the department reviewed the 70-second long CCTV footage of the Sector 17 police station where two persons were seen accompanying Amit to the police and gesturing behind his back.

According to sources, the department will put a look-out notice and will also release their pictures tomorrow, to ensure further strength in the investigation.

“The officials have gone through various aspects, including the study of the CCTV clipping. After going through the clip it was found that two persons were taking the victim inside the police station. We are searching for those two so to get addition value in the investigation” said an officer.

In addition to DSP Roshan Lal and Industrial Area SHO Malkit Singh even the officials of Sector 17 and 34 have come under scrutiny for not taking any action despite being fully aware of Amit’s situation and the fact that he carried his mother’s body in his car.

A total of 30 persons have been questioned in regard to this case, the officials have also recovered CCTV footage of various places, where the victim had taken his mother’s body.

Amit, a faulty member of Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology (SVIET), was found dead at a Mohra-based hotel, while his mother’s body lay in his car. He had come to city carrying his mother’s body and claimed that she had committed suicide. He went to two hospitals and police stations before approaching the police by the Tribune team. The Chandigarh police officials asked Amit to take the body to his native place and cremate her.



Policeman guilty of bribe repatriated
 Was guilty of taking bribe of Rs 3,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
ASI Deshraj of the proclaimed offender special team of the UT police has been repatriated to his parent state Punjab after being found guilty of taking Rs 3,000 as bribe in connivance with head constable Vajinder Singh. While Deshraj is on the run, Vajinder has been nabbed by the CBI.

The CBI had received a complaint from Rupesh Tangri, a proclaimed offender in a cheque-bounce case. Tangri had alleged that ASI Deshraj had offered to give him time to get bail by delaying his arrest for Rs 4,000.

A review of Tangri’s mobile phone calls revealed that a colleague of Deshraj was in constant touch with him through an official phone. Acting on a tip-off, the CBI asked him to negotiate and the deal was struck for Rs 3,000, which he was asked to deliver at the Sector-17 bus stand.

According to CBI officials, Vajinder landed up to collect the money, but Tangri insisted on giving it to Deshraj. Following his insistence, Vajinder took him to Tangri’s house at Sector 46, from where he was nabbed, while Deshraj managed to flee.



Traders beat up contractor’s employee
 Were objecting to laying of pipeline in Industrial Area at Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 28
An employee of a contractor of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) was allegedly beaten up during the laying of a stormwater pipe in Industrial Area, Phase IX, here today.

The trouble arose when industrial unit owners objected to the work. They said they feared that the pipe, which was too close to their units, would endanger the units, especially if leakage occurred in the pipe in the future. They added that the digging work was at a depth that was much lower than the foundation level of the industrial units.

However, Davinder Singh, executive engineer, GMADA, said the unit owners were unnecessarily getting panicky. All care was being taken while carrying out the work so that no private property was adversely affected.



‘0001’ fetches Rs 9.5 lakh
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 28
Setting a new record in the auction of vehicle numbers, the number, 0001 in the “Q” series, went for Rs 9.50 lakh here today. The reserve price was only Rs 50,000. The number was bought by Makhan Singh, an agriculturist of Bari village.

Makhan Singh, who bought the number.
Makhan Singh, who bought the number. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

The auction, which drew a good response, netted a total revenue of Rs 71, 24, 400, DTO Sukhwinder Kumar, said.

He said all single-digit numbers were sold in the auction covering the “Q” series and some pending numbers in the “P” series.

Two series were taken up this time as no auction had taken place for the past three or four months due to Assembly elections.

The DTO said “fancy”numbers with a reserve price of Rs 10,000 were also disposed of. In the “Q” series, number 0007 fetched Rs 7 lakh while 0006 was sold for Rs 1.51 lakh and number 0002 fetched Rs 1.25 lakh.

In the case of “fancy” numbers (“Q”) with a reserve price of Rs 3,000, number 0065 fetched Rs 4 lakh, number 0100 went for Rs 2.20 lakh and 0013 for Rs 1.03 lakh while 0047 was auctioned for Rs 1 lakh. Number 1313 was sold for Rs 1.12 lakh and 6565 for Rs 1.50 lakh.



Officials need to be sensitised on use of solar energy: Expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Aiming at sharing best ways for harnessing solar energy and addressing critical issues for implementing solar technology in City Beautiful, a one-day seminar on “Chandigarh- Solar City of the Future: Planning and Implementation” was held at the UT Guest House, here today.

The event was organised by the UT department of science and technology in collaboration with Punjab Engineering College.

Chandigarh has been declared a “Model Solar City” by the Government of India.

“The need is to sensitise all officials of various government departments and public in general about the use of solar energy so as to mitigate the effect of climate change,” said DK Tiwari, secretary of the department of science and technology, here today.

Earlier, KK Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator, who inaugurated the seminar, called upon all delegates and experts to deliberate on critical issues related to the implementation of solar technology in the city.

The keynote address was delivered by AK Tripathy, director (solar city), Ministry of Non Renewal Energy (MNRE), Government of India. He said the Central government would give Chandigarh a special incentive in form of 50 per cent central support.

Those who were present in the seminar included UT Finance Secretary VK Singh, Prerna Puri, IAS, Santosh Kumar, UT Chief Conservator of Forests, Prof Viresh Dutta from IIT Delhi and Prof Manoj Datta. 



Chandigarh Scan

150 volunteers donate blood
More than 100 volunteers donated blood in a camp organised by the NSS unit of Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, on Tuesday in collaboration with ‘Ehsaa’, the red ribbon camp, and Blood Bank Society. Meanwhile, as many as 50 volunteers donated blood during a camp organised by JW Marriott. The camp was organised in association with Rotary and Blood Bank Society Resource Centre.

Cleanliness drive
To bring awareness among residents, an awareness campaign-cum-cleanliness drive was carried out in Mauli Jagran on Tuesday by area councillor Rajinder Kaur Rattu in the presence of Dr BK Salwan, Medical Officer, health and sanitation wing of the municipal corporation, Chandigarh. At least 20 additional sanitation workers cleaned roads and streets. Tractor trailers and cycle rickshaw carts were deployed for lifting garbage. As many as 11 challans were issued for various offences.

‘Safety Day’ observed
The students of UKG wing observed a ‘Safety Day’ on the school premises here today. The main idea was to create awareness about safety measures and to inculcate better understanding in case of any emergency. Kids participated in various activities like songs, poetry recitation and plays. Parents were invited to the show.

Informative talk
Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, Chandigarh, organised an informative talk on employment opportunities for MEd and postgraduate diploma students. Praveen, employment officer, Regional Employment Exchange, Chandigarh, briefed students about the procedure of getting registered with the Regional Employment Exchange. He also threw light on the qualifications and other requisites for different professions like the Armed Forces, UPSC, etc. It was an interactive session and students put forth their queries before the resource person.

Insurance firm’s new plan
Reliance Life Insurance Company has launched a new “Unit Linked Plan-Reliance Life Insurance Classic Plan II” that offers customers dual benefits of insurance protection and market linked return. Announcing the launch of the plan here today, Malay Ghosh, president and ED, Reliance Life Insurance, said, the plan offered customers a life cover benefit that was equal to the sum assured or the fund value, whichever was higher. “The new feature allows the customers to get the benefit of enhancing their savings, coupled with insurance protection, at minimal cost,” he said.

Students participate in an annual athletics meet at Shivalik Public School in Phase VI of Mohali  on Tuesday.Sports meet
Students of classes I and II of Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, Mohali, participated in the annual sports meet today. The sports meet started with unfurling of the school flag by director DS Bedi. Various activities were held, including a march past. — TNS

Students participate in an annual athletics meet at Shivalik Public School in Phase VI of Mohali  on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu



Sobti’s Successor
Senator in search committee leaves fraternity fuming
Sumedha Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, February 28
The search committee constituted for the selection of new Vice Chancellor of Panjab University, Chandigarh, has come under the scanner with questions being raised on the issue of propriety. Former Ambassador IS Chadha, who is one of the members of the panel, happens to be an active Panjab University-nominated senator.

What has left PU senators, including faculty members, fuming is the fact that Chadha, a retired IFS officer, who is not only a part of many committees and has exercised his vote on several issues, has been included in this high-powered panel.

“I never applied for the committee but the Chancellor appointed me and why should anybody have an objection on his discretion?” Chadha said.

The fraternity, however, refuses to accept the arrangement alleging Chadha to be favouring a particular senator who will be in the race to become the next VC.

“The transparency has been sent in for a toss as somebody with stakes in university gets a say in selecting the new VC. Chadha may be a nominated senator but any senate proceeding can be reviewed and one can decipher his affiliations to one particular group. If senate politics is going to decide on the new VC, then why not get this selection done by the senate itself?” questioned HS Ghosal, a senator.

“Propriety demands that a sitting senator who remained an active participant in the electoral politics of senate and syndicate and other elections should himself disassociate from any such search committee. Selecting a new VC requires utmost transparency and there should not be a scope for anybody to influence the members,” added another senior senator Rabindernath Sharma.

The other two members of the panel include acclaimed jurist Justice Leila Seth and noted scientist based in Hyderabad Dr P Rama Rao. 



UIET students stand out
Team wins first prize for designing cost-effective vehicle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Team Chargeurs Phoenix, a team of 11 students of University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), Panjab University, Chandigarh, won the first prize in a national-level motor sports event “BAJA SAEINDIA-2012” held in Indore.

The team’s cost efficient vehicle was appreciated by all. About 100 colleges and universities across the country participated in the event. The UIET team secured 46 points out of 50.

The students have designed and fabricated a single seat off-road vehicle with minimum cost which is meant to be driven at tough terrain. It has a 305 cc engine with a speed of 54km per hour and mileage of 22km.

Explaining the speciality of the vehicle, students said its suspension was designed for 200mm bump and 100mm rebound. The vehicle has several innovative features. Like headlights rotate in accordance with the steering so as to facilitate the driver to take sharp turns at night. For the purpose, an angle encoder is used to record values from steering shaft and actuate a stepper motor to which headlights are coupled.

Students stated that the vehicle could be operated in two modes-power mode and efficiency mode. In power mode, the vehicle is operated in a racing condition and the power is the main concern while in the efficiency mode, the vehicle is operated for best mileage.

It has IR sensors, which sense the RPM of engine. RPM information is fed to micro-controller wherein based upon a pre fed logic gear to be shifted is decided. Information about the gear to be shifted is thereafter displayed on the PCB board. This information helps the driver shift the gears.

It took the team eight months to design the vehicle and three months to fabricate it. An amount of Rs 1.62 lakh was spent on the vehicle. Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti has also announced a cash reward of Rs 70,000 to encourage the students.



CSIO observes National Science Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
The Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) celebrated National Science Day today by holding an “Open Day” and organising a special lecture for its scientists and staff members. All labs of the CSIO remained open for the general public.

Around 1,000 visitors, including students from various schools, colleges, universities and local residents went around the laboratories of the institute. They interacted with scientists and were apprised of the technologies available and being pursued at the CSIO.

Later, Dr SR Gowarikar, former director, CSIO, and director, Tulani Foundation, Pune, delivered the science day lecture on “The role of particle accelerator in development of science”. He said the research was being carried out in the field for the past 80 years and even the discoveries of 1932 had not become obsolete yet. He said there was no substitute for pure sciences, pure physics or pure chemistry, and knowledge had no boundaries. He also encouraged scientists to re-think about the variations and appropriately apply the changes for innovations.

Dr Gowarikar said, “Science is the study of nature and since nature exists, so does the science”.

Starting from quarks to atoms, he described the fundamentals of particle physics in a very lucid manner. 



Board exam fever: Students approach councillors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
With hardly two days left for the CBSE examination, councillors are busy giving tips on how to attempt question papers.

It is the most frequently asked query. Alka Mehta, a councillor and a principal, Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), Sector 26, said as the exams were nearing, more and more students were approaching the councillors.

Ravijaj Kaur, another councillor, appointed by the UT education department, who is also principal of GMSSS-37, said students who were appearing for boards for the first time wanted to know ways to crack exams.

“Students also wanted to know as to how much time should be devoted to each question,” Kaur said.

A councillor said they were also giving tips on how to attempt papers confidently.

Surendra Singh, principal, GMSSS, Sector 33, another councillor, said students wanted to know how to score well in exams.”

A CBSE councillor said as the preparatory holidays were about to end, students had shifted their focus from preparation to ways of attempting question papers and most of the queries were related to this only.” 



Fellowship for student
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Making the college proud, Akshi Chawla a psychology student of MCM College, bagged the coveted fellowship under YIF 2012-13. The YIF fellowship is offered to 50 students from various academic disciplines across the country.

The International Foundation for Research and Education (IFRE) and University of Pennsylvania have collaborated in the design and delivery of the programme.

Puneet Bedi, principal of the college, appreciated Akshi on her achievement.



Deepak Kaushik is PUSA president
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Deepak Kaushik won the Panjab University Staff Association (PUSA) elections to the post of president after defeating Dharam Pal Sharma who has remained PUSA president for over two decades. While Kaushik secured 322 votes, Sharma managed to bag 273 votes, meanwhile the third contender for the presidential post Jaswinder got 196 votes.

Kaushik last year had contested the PUSA elections from Dharam Pal Sharma’s group, and had lost then, however, this year he decided to contest independently. Kaushik had lost to Gurdip Singh who had fielded Jaswinder this year.

There are around 864 voters among the non-teaching staff members registered in PU.

Kaushik group’s Inder Mohan won the elections to the post of senior vice-president. Meanwhile, Damodar Dass became the vice-president while Ravinder Mohan was elected to the post of general secretary, both belongs to the Sharma group.

Kaushik said getting the vacant posts of non-teaching staff filled would be his first priority. “I will also urge the university authorities to give inter-departmental promotion to employees,” he added.



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