C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC passes Rs 849-crore budget
Coffers bleed as UT Administration fails to issue grant-in-aid again

Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
With the UT Administration again failing to issue any grant-in-aid to the Municipal Corporation (MC) for the fiscal year 2011-12, the cash reserves of the otherwise “rich” corporation are on the wane.

Against an opening cash reserve of Rs 579.72 crore last year, the coffers of the MC showed a decline of Rs 144 crore, standing at Rs 323.83 crore, as the civic body passed its annual budget of Rs 849.48 crore today.

As a result, if like the last two financial years the UT Administration does not disburse the grant-in-aid to the MC on time, the authorities will have to meet the expenditure from their own resources, which are steadily declining. In the next fiscal year also the MC authorities expect a decrease in the anticipated grant from the Administration.

Without levying any new tax, the House approved a budget of Rs 481.69 crore under the plan head; Rs 219.90 crore under the non-plan head; and Rs 141.41 crore from its own receipts under various other heads.

MC Additional Commissioner Sunil Bhatia informed the General House that last year the MC had withdrawn funds from fixed deposits as the grant-in-aid was not received on time.

MC chief engineer SS Bidda told the House that last year the authorities had anticipated a grant of Rs 692 crore from the Administration, but to date only Rs 206 crore had been sanctioned. Out of this, Rs 164 crore had been disbursed by the Administration and the next instalments of Rs 42 crore is yet to be released.

Pointing out at the decline in the opening balance, Congress councillor Subhash Chawla asked why the MC authorities had not taken up the matter with the Administration.

Another Congress councillor, Pardeep Chabbra, said for the last two years, the Administration had not released its share of matching grant against the collected property tax, which it had assured of when the MC imposed the tax. He said it was a matter of concern that there was a decline in the tax collection in the last two years.

The MC expects to increase its revenue generation from various sources in the next financial year. As per the budgetary report, the expected revenue for the next fiscal will be Rs 1,125 crore as against Rs 909.91 crore in the current year budget.

BJP councillors staged a walkout from the House when the Mayor, Raj Bala Malik, denied a detailed discussion on the budget.



Councillors slam budget in unison
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Councillors argue during the General House of the municipal corporation at Sector 17 in Chandigarh.
Councillors argue during the General House of the municipal corporation at Sector 17 in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, February 29
Cutting across party lines, councillors today stated that the budget of the next fiscal year, tabled during the General House of the municipal corporation (MC) for approval, was a vision-less document.

A majority of the councillors asked why the authorities had not taken any initiative to consult them to know the priorities of their areas before preparing the document. They said the distribution of funds for major projects was uneven.

Pointing out major errors in the budget, nominated councillor Surinder Bahga said it was strange that the authorities had allocated only Rs 5 crore for a multi-level parking project.

Going by the market cost, the project could not be completed with less than Rs 60 crore, he added. The authorities had proposed Rs 2 crore for the construction of primary school, he said.

The project could be completed with only Rs 1 crore, he stated. Raising a question mark over the preparation of estimates by the authorities, he asked why had no town planner been appointed for the projects.

Congress councillor Subhash Chawla expressed surprise over not consulting councillors or the Mayor before preparing the budget document.

He said it was strange that the past two Mayors had discontinued the practice, which was the main reason for major areas being given a miss in the budget.

SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur said it was decided in the finance and contract committee meeting that the Mayor would call a meeting of all councillors to discuss the budget before tabling it in the House, but no such initiative was taken.

BJP councillor Arun Sood said the budget speeches of the previous Mayor and the incumbent did not vary and it was just a shuffling of figures.

Mayor Raj Bala Malik announced that a special monitoring budget meeting would be convened every three months, in which all departments would table status reports on ongoing projects and the costs incurred thereon.



Dr Raj Bahadur gets yet another extension
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The Director-Principal (DP) of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, Dr Raj Bahadur, received yet another extension today, albeit an unspecified one, as the process of selecting his successor hangs fire with the UPSC. This is the fourth extension for Dr Bahadur, who came on a two-year deputation to the hospital on December 1, 2007.

The UT Administration has made it clear to the PGI authorities, the parent organisation of Dr Bahadur, that it would not be relieving him till his successor is appointed. While UT officials maintain that the process for the selection of the new DP is “under process”, applicants for the post confide that they are yet to hear from the UPSC.

Though the UT health officials are now putting the onus for the delay on the UPSC, documents accessed by The Tribune through the Right to Information Act (RTI) reveal that the Administration has been delaying the matters, wittingly or unwittingly, and giving repeated extensions to Dr Bahadur. Unlike the PGI, where an acting Director is appointed at the end of the tenure of an incumbent, the Administration has set it own rules in retaining Dr Bahadur, despite strong objections from the PGI.

Documents reveal that though the process for the selection of the new DP was initiated on September 4, 2011, with an advertisement inviting applications from eligible doctors, the file of the candidates was sent to the UPSC on November 28, two days before the culmination of Dr Bahadur’s third extension. This was despite the fact that the last day for receiving applications for the post was November 3. Why the Administration took 25 days to send the file remains questionable.

As per the RTI reply (copy in the possession of The Tribune) given by the Under Secretary and CPIO, UPSC, the applications from the Administration were received by hand under the single-window system on November 30, 2011. According to a letter sent by the Administration, there are a total of nine applicants for the post, including five from the GMCH, but only four are eligible “in terms of notified recruitment rules for the post”.



Amit Garg case
Role of eight police officials under scanner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The role of eight policemen and SHOs and DSPs of police stations of Sectors 17, 34 and Industrial Area, has come under the scanner for negligence of duty in handling the Amit Garg case. Amit had later committed suicide.

On February 22, Amit carried the body of his mother to various police stations, asking the police to register a case against an unknown woman who was the reason for forcing his mother to commit suicide. No senior officer confirmed any official inquiry being marked into the matter. According to sources, the department is expected to submit its report in the case concerned in a day or two.

At least 30 persons have been questioned in connection with the suicide. Amit had committed suicide at a hotel near Ambala while his mother’s body lay in his car.



Hollywood crew comes calling
Oscar-winning director in city to shoot film on Osama bin Laden
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
There is excitement among students of Punjab Engineering College (PEC) as Oscar-winner and legendary Hollywood director Kathryn Bigelow, who has directed “The Hurt Locker”, is shooting a film on Osama bin Laden on the campus.

Though her crew refused to reveal anything about the film and claimed it to be a thriller, sources confirmed it was based on Laden.

The crew has been shooting on the PEC campus for over 10 days. Sources said since Laden had earned a civil engineering degree from King Abdul Aziz University, an engineering college had been selected for shooting the scenes related to his college days.

The college has vacated the civil engineering office where the crew is setting up sets. “We are hoping to meet Hollywood actors who would be shooting on the campus and meet the director,” said a student. Another student said they had offered help to the crew with anything that it may need.

The shooting for the film was also held in Sector 15 today, with shops being turned into movie sets and boards written in Urdu. Auto-rickshaws, police vehicles and buses have been painted and decorated as in Islamic countries.

Sources said the shooting would continue for over a month and the crew would also be visiting parts of Punjab. The film will also be shot in other parts of the city, including the Grain Market in Sector 26.

‘The Hurt Locker’, made in 2008, won six Oscars, including best director for Bigelow. She is the first woman to win the award.



River, nullah in Kansal area non-existent now: Punjab govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The Punjab government has categorically stated that the river or nullah in the Kansal area is now non-existent. In a reply to a PIL filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court on saving Sukhna Lake, the Punjab government has relied on Google image to portray that the land under the river was individually held and had now been put to various uses in Kaimbwala village in Chandigarh and Kansal in Punjab.

The affidavit filed by the Additional Secretary, Punjab department of local bodies, Vinod Kumar Bhalla, also sought directions from the Bench for an impact assessment report by a technical committee of experts. The measure should be taken to ensure that Sukhna is well fed with water from approximately 5,000 acres of the forest area.

Punjab also claimed the topography of the area was such that it did not allow water to flow in the lake from Punjab side, which is Kansal and the Nayagaon area. Moreover, Kaimbwala village in Chandigarh formed a physical barrier between Kansal and the lake. It will not allow water to cross over the surface towards the lake. The affidavit has now been posted for hearing on March 12, along with the main case.

Amicus Curiae or the friend of the Court Tanu Bedi on the previous date of hearing had refuted the State of Punjab’s claims that the catchment area did not fall in its territory. For the purpose, she referred to a board in Sukhna wildlife Sanctuary saying that 277 hectare of agriculture land in the catchment area fell in Punjab, 252 hectare in Haryana, and 366 hectare fell in the UT. She also sought details of the high-rise constructions in the area.

Assisting the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the Save Sukhna case, Bedi also told the Bench that large-scale construction work was going on in the catchments area on the Punjab side. This, she claimed, was in complete contravention of the High Court directions.

In her detail report, Bedi submitted that on March 14 last year, the Punjab and Haryana High Court stayed all kind of constructions in the catchments area of the lake falling under the jurisdiction of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. But, apparently the High Court mandate was not complied with in true spirit.



MC wakes up to stray dog menace
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
After a dogbite incident in which a councillor was involved, the municipal corporation (MC) authorities and the councillor concerned realised that they had no proper system to control the stray dog menace.

After the commencement of proceedings of the General House today, a councillor raised the issue that the menace was increasing in the city and the authorities were not taking any stringent action to curb it.

Congress councillor and former Mayor Pardeep Chabbra read an e-mail from a resident in his ward about the menace and complained about the increase in dogbite cases in the city.

During his tenure as Mayor, he had taken up the issue of the construction of a dog pound, but no initiative has been taken on by the authorities, he said.

Complaining about the failure of MC to execute dog bylaws approved five years ago, SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur demanded that the medical officer health table a report of dog sterilisation every month to know how effectively the bylaws were being implemented.

The MC medical officer health informed the House that they had sterlised 500 stray dogs thorough the assistance of NGOs, but the department had no provision to keep dogs anywhere as a dog pound was yet to be constructed.

A nominated councillor, Maj DS Sandhu (retd), asked why the services of only two NGOs were being utilised to sterilise stray dogs when hundreds of veterinary doctors were available in the city.

MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh assured the House that a status report on the implementation of dog bylaws would be tabled in the next meeting of the House.



Chandigarh scan
Accessing e-resources

The library of DAV College, Sector10, organised a lecture on “Accessing e-resources at AC Joshi Library” by Dr Raj Kumar, librarian, AC Joshi Library, PU.

Deepti Madaan, chief librarian of DAV College, Sector 10, emphasised on the need for the libraries to keep pace with the changing scenario and to meet the requirements of tech-savvy readers.

Kumar highlighted the urgency to digitalise the libraries. He spoke of the resources available at Panjab University, which could be accessed by teachers and students to update their knowledge.

Rotary Vocational Awards

In a ceremony, Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik conferred the Rotary Vocational Awards on five persons who showed extraordinary compassion for fellow human beings and commitment towards doing their duty.

General VP Malik, former Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army was the chief guest and presented the awards to Chandigarh police personnel Ganga Prasad, Monica and Suman, Sudha Gupta, a social worker and Pandit Shiv Krishan, a cashier at a sweet shop. Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik also gifted Braille slates to the visually impaired children of Blind School, Sector 26, and these were presented to them by Ranjana Malik.

Placement drive

The placement cell of Post-Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector-11, Chandigarh, organised a placement drive in the college on Wednesday. WIPRO BPO conducted interviews for recruiting executives-technical and non-technical staff for their different locations throughout India. More than 150 students of final year from all streams appeared for the interview. More than 20 students were selected and were given placement letters. The package ranged between Rs 1.20 to Rs 1.5 lakh.

‘Chaupal’ show

The pre-primary wing of Delhi Public School put up a spectacular two-day show 'Chaupal' which concluded here on Wednesday. The show was enthralling wherein, the tiny tots took the audience to the villages of Bihar, UP, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, stories told and retold by the elders through generations were enacted. The children cast a magic spell on the audience with their captivating performance.


Prof Yogesh Chawla, Director, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), honoured two faculty members of the institute, Dr KL Khanduja, professor and head of the biophysics department, and Dr Arun K Misra, additional professor, department of psychiatry, DDTC, along with eight officers on their superannuation today by presenting mementos to them.

Deputy Director (Administration) Chetan PS Rao and Financial Adviser Sushil Thakur handed over beneficiary cheques comprising GPF, gratuity and group insurance to them.

Panchkula scan


Woodlands House School, Sector-8, Panchkula, held their annual function ‘Musique-2012’ at Tagore Theatre, Chandigarh, on Wednesdy. The theme of the show was music. Nursery students presented popular songs and dance
numbers from yester years to present times. The programme started from classical dance recital Saraswati Vandana followed by various performances. Children of age group 2 to 5 years mesmerised the parents and audience by their power-packed performances.

Job fest

Panchkula Engineering College on Wednesday organised a mega job fest on their campus in Panchkula. Around 2,000 students from various educational institutes of the region participated out of which 569 have been called for the final round of interview. Job were offered in different sectors like manufacturing, auto engineering, IT and FMCG and many others.

Annual function

E-Max International School celebrated its third annual function on Wednesday with enthusiasm and flavour. Praveen Kumar Mehta, DCP, Ambala (rural) was the chief guest on the occasion. Chairman Om Prakash Aggarwal welcomed the chief guest by presenting bouquets. The cultural programme included dances, games, plays, solo songs, group dances and folk orchestra.

Mohali scan

Building scientific temper

A thoughtful discussion on the theme “Building Scientific Temper Among the Youth” was pondered at by the faculty, students and resource persons present during the celebration of the National Science Day in the Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Landran, here on Wednesday. Dr Jayanti Dutta, deputy director, Academics Staff College, Panjab University, Chandigarh, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Science day

Students of Mohali Government College celebrated the birth anniversary of scientist CV Raman as Science Day on Wednesday. The principal, Dr Kumkum Kohli, organised a science tour for the students with a view to updating their knowledge. Faculty members took 25 students to the Panjab University campus, where they visited science laboratories of different departments, including geology and botany.

— Tribune reporters



Former nursing student goes berserk, damages hospital property
Was struck off rolls three years ago for violent, erratic behaviour
Our Correspondent

The broken chairs at Fortis Hospital in Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, February 29
A former student of the Fortis School of Nursing who was struck off the rolls about three years ago went on the rampage and damaged the hospital property here today.

The incident took place around 8 am when Chhatar Singh, hailing from Sri Ganganagar, allegedly went berserk and broke the sliding doors of the in-patient department. He also allegedly damaged a plasma TV in the IPD lobby, one LCD in Café Coffee Day, public telephones, apart from other items. Soon after he was overpowered by the security personnel of the hospital and handed over to the police.

A press release issued by the Fortis Hospital today stated that Chhatar Singh had claimed that he was an attendant of a patient admitted in the CCU. It was also learnt that Chhatar Singh had joined the school of nursing in 2007. He was allegedly not found to be “suitable for this responsibility as his behaviour was violent and erratic. He was expelled from the school on April 3, 2009, i.e. nearly three years ago, after he ignored all warnings given to him”.

A case under Sections 452, 323, 427, and 506 of the IPC has been registered on the statement of a security personnel of the hospital in this regard.



14 illegal structures razed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 29
As many as 14 structures constructed illegally in various places were demolished by the enforcement wing of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) even as the drive faced a tough opposition at Balongi village here today.

Only one house was demolished in Balongi village after which the drive was halted as tension gripped the area. A large number of people had gathered and some persons made preparations to pelt stones at the team. A road was also blocked as a mark of protest.

BS Bhullar claimed that he had constructed a five-marla house in the area which had been duly got registered with the authorities concerned proving it to be a legal construction. He said no notice had been served on him by the civic body.

Davinder Singh, executive engineer, GMADA, however, said no construction was allowed without prior permission from GMADA in the periphery area. Under GMADA’s “zero tolerance” policy any new construction was to be demolished at the earliest for which notices were not issued.

Davinder Singh added that three units producing paver blocks were demolished, some showrooms constructed on the Kurali-Siswan road were also razed apart from two shops in Mullanpur area.

He said the drive which started around 6 am went on till the evening. 



No consumer forum proceedings from this week
Member passes away; new appointment likely to take time
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 29
Following the death of its member, SP Singh, on Saturday, the Panchkula District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum will not be able to function from this week onwards.

Ashok Jain, president of the forum, has requested the president of the Haryana State Commission, Justice (retd) RS Madan, to depute a part-time member from some other district of Haryana, so that the forum could hold its sittings in the interest of aggrieved consumers. But sources said new appointments were likely to take some time and the chances of deputing a part-time member were also bleak.

Pankaj Chandgothia, president of the Consumer Courts Bar Association, said Sub Section 2 of Section 14 of the Consumer Protection Act prescribed the Quorum of the Court to be at least two members.

Chandgothia said one of the members, Sarita Jain, had retired way back on September 6, 2011, and the post of woman member was lying vacant since then. With the death of the second member, the forum could now no longer function on the judicial side.

With this sudden death of member SP Singh, hundreds of consumers will continue to suffer for a long time in the absence of judicial hearings of their complaints in Panchkula. The state of Haryana is already reeling under the burden of as many as 24 vacant posts of members in various districts and several members already officiating at more than two forums.



Benares express? Wait a bit more
Railway Board yet to okay special Holi train
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
With just a week to go for Holi, which falls on March 8, the proposed train from Chandigarh to Benares is yet to get the final nod from the Railway Board. A huge rush of migrants from Uttar Pradesh generally makes a beeline to the railway station to book tickets for their native places to celebrate Holi there.

Senior officials with the Ambala division had sent a proposal to the Railway Board of two or three trips of a special train to Benares via Lucknow.

If everything went as per plan, it would be the first occasion of a special train plying to Benares and other parts of Uttar Pradesh around Holi.

The senior officials had proposed that the special train chug off from the city on March 3, 5 and 6.

The board had already approved some trains. Seats in all trains, including the Chandigarh-Lucknow Unchahaar Express and the Sadbhavna Express, were already booked.



Sanitation contract extended
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 29
Even as the municipal council is planning to carry out the work of lifting garbage at its own level instead of outsourcing it, the sanitation contract of the town has been extended by about a month.

The decision to extend the contract till March 31 after the earlier contract expired on Sunday was taken at a meeting held by the administrator of the civic body JC Sabharwal. Tenders will be called to give the sanitation work on contract from April 1. Unlike last year when even the work of lifting garbage was given on contract, the council is now planning to call tenders only for the cleaning of the town.

Radesh Kalra, executive officer, said since the council had three tractors, three dumper placers and 12 trailers, it was decided that the work of lifting garbage be carried out by the civic body itself by “outsourcing” employees.

He said if the work of lifting garbage was also given on contract the machinery of the civic body would rot leading to a financial loss.

Kalra further added that stricter terms of agreement were being chalked out for giving sanitation work on contract in order to bring about an improvement in the state of sanitation in Mohali. He said each zone would be divided into several beats and the contractor would be asked to provide safai sewaks on the basis of beats instead of the entire zone. Often complaints were received that inadequate number of employees were engaged by contractors resulting in poor sanitation. 



Saluting womanhood
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 29
The Punjabi play ‘Agli dastak hon ton pehlan’ was presented by the Natyam group from Bathinda in the second TFT Basant Theatre Festival at Randhawa auditorium here today.

It was a credible tribute to womanhood and a woman’s devout dedication and sacrifices for her family and motherland.

Written by Pali Bhupinder, the play flourished under the direction of Kirti Kirpal to bring into focus the woes and sufferings of womanhood.

Only woman faced the consequences after a man from the family was killed in war, riots or acts of terrorism, pointed out the play.

Woman was subjected to misery and social apathy in case of inter-caste marriage and victimised on other issues, it further pointed out.

The play was a salutation to womanhood in all manifestations, as a girl, a sister, a daughter, a wife and a mother.

The play was structured in a middle-class family in Punjab, which progressed as the protagonist’s revelations in her diary were enacted.

There were oblique references to Partition and atrocities against minority communities, with illegitimate children made to face more problems.



Poor upkeep of park irks residents
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 29
Residents have complained to the GMADA authorities about the poor upkeep of Silvi Park in Phase X here. The residents, who have written to the Chief Administrator of GMADA, said the condition of the park had deteriorated over the years due to the lack of proper maintenance by the authorities.

A resident, Satwant Singh Rangi, said the park had been adjudged the best park a few years ago. Now, no one was owning responsibility for its maintenance.

The residents said garbage remained scattered in the park. The authorities had failed to check the stray dog menace, they added. Besides, the area had wild growth, the water in the pool had not been changed since years and it had become a breeding place for mosquitoes. They added that the toilets remained locked.



New official takes charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
SK Chadha today took over as Chief Engineer of the UT engineering department in a brief ceremony at the UT Secretariat here following the superannuation of SK Jaitley here this evening.

Two Chief Engineers with the Chandigarh Housing Board, GS Rosha and SK Jain, also superannuated. CHB Chairman Satya Gopal said no one was given charge of Chief Engineer as no serving officer fulfilled the criteria.

The board had written to the Centre to name a panel of officers, he said, adding that there had not been any development on that front at the moment.

Chadha joined the department as junior engineer in 1978. He was promoted to SDO in 1988. He took over as XEN in 2004. He held charge as XEN with the municipal corporation in 1999.



Nights to be colder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
Though people in the region got slight relief from cold-wave conditions, nights would be colder as night temperatures were likely to decline in the next few days.

The minimum temperature plummeted by about 1.5 degree Celsius in the tricity, bringing in the chill during morning and evening hours. The night temperature was 9.4 degree Celsius, one degree below normal.

There was a slight increase of 0.6 degree Celsius in the maximum temperature, which was recorded at 25.2 degree Celsius. The maximum relative humidity was 78 per cent and the minimum 29 per cent.

The weather office predicted a mainly clear sky, with mist or haze during morning and evening hours. There would be a marginal decline in day and night temperatures.



PU Syndicate decides against fee hike
Enhances salaries of part-time lecturers in law department
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
In an important development, the Panjab University Syndicate today decided that there will be no fee hike in the forthcoming academic session(July 2012-2013). It has been specified that there will be no hike in the fee for the courses run by the university.

The Syndicate also decided on a fee waiver for orphaned students subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions. The university also enhanced the salary of part-time lecturers in the department of laws from Rs 15,600 to Rs 20,800 per month.

The Syndicate also cleared the appointment of Prof Naval Kishore as Dean, College Development Council (DCDC), unanimously, a press note said here today.

Certain complaints regarding the alleged irregularities in the framing of qualifications for the post of DCDC had been made to the Chancellor, Dr Hamid Ansari. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof RC Sobti, had constituted a nine-member committee to look into it. The committee felt “that the complaint is baseless and bereft of any merit and deserves to be ignored” and recommended that the “Vice-Chancellor place the recommendations of the selection committee before the Syndicate”. This was done and the House unanimously approved the selection of Prof Naval Kishore. The university will consider the cases of re-employment of university teachers in the light of allowing continuation for three years with one-day break in continuation of their services. Every year, only the academically active status report would be required to be submitted by the faculty member concerned through the head of the department with an advance copy to the Dean, University Instruction. The Vice-Chancellor would be the competent authority to accept this report and allow continuance of the said teacher.

The Syndicate decided to close the case of Prof RK Wanchoo, whose prosecution was being sought. The development comes following the acceptance of the recommendation received from Dr Wajahat Habibhullah, Chairperson, National Commission for Minorities, that the case may be closed on the same grounds by which the Board of Governors of the National Institute of Technology, Srinagar, had refused the sanction of prosecution for Prof Mir and Nisar and recommended to the HRD ministry that the case may be closed.

At least 20 doctorate degrees were cleared by the Syndicate. The House accepted the recommendation of the Joint Research Board that to overcome the problem of acute shortage of professors in certain subjects, after the viva voce of a PhD candidate is held, the position should be reviewed and those examiners who have not been appointed from the recommended panel of examiners be recommended again for appointment to evaluate the PhD thesis.



Enforce teachers’ evaluation: PU students
Protest before Syndicate meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The demand for introducing teachers’ evaluation system by the Panjab University students two years ago has once again gained momentum as the members of the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) staged a protest before the Syndicate meeting demanding immediate introduction of the same.

Members of the student organisation led by SOPU chief Brinder Dhillon staged a protest outside the administrative block of PU and submitted a memorandum to each Syndicate member demanding the implementation of teachers’ evaluation system.

Dhillon said that the issue of the teachers’ evaluation system , which was raised two years ago and was approved by the PU Senate had not been implemented by the university authorities yet.

“It’s due to the campus politics that the university has not been able to implement it. As a result, the student-teacher relationship has taken a beating”, he said.

The students demanded that the university should constitute a time-bound committee to look into the modalities of the teachers’ evaluation system and it should be implemented from the coming academic session.

“We don’t understand as to why are the teachers scared of the teachers’ evaluation system, when students can be evaluated why not teachers,” Dhillon said.

The students have threatened to intensify the protest if the authorities fail to meet their demands.

An altercation between the protesting students and the police was also witnessed, which was later resolved with the intervention of the university authorities.



Correspondence Course
Exams nearing, but students still awaiting study material
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
With hardly a month left for the Panjab University correspondence examinations to commence, a large number of students enrolled for the examinations through the University School of Open Learning (USOL) are yet to receive the complete study material.

Many students are still awaiting their study material from PU for their upcoming exams so that they can begin with their preparations.

Yashveer Tyagi, a student of BA I, who hails from Ambala and has enrolled under the course said that his exams would begin from April 1, and he had received only a part of the study material.

“This is an irresponsible act on the part of the university and due to the delay in dispatching the material I will be left with little to prepare for my exams”, he said.

Sources said that the correspondence department was receiving a large number of queries from the students who had not received the study material.

LK Bansal, chairperson, USOL, said that the department was in the process of dispatching the remaining study material and the students would get them soon. “Although many students have already received the lessons, those remaining too will receive the study material soon”, Bansal said.



CBSE exams for Class X, XII begin today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The final countdown has begun for students who will be appearing for the CBSE Class XII exams tomorrow. The exams will commence with English paper.

Students of Class XII will begin with English paper followed by political science and physics. Although the Class X exams will begin with the painting exam, however, their first mainstream paper will be mathematics on March 2. Class XII examinations will get over on April 13 and Class X examinations will end on March 26.

With the preliminary exam of All-India Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Entrance Examination 2012 falling on April 1, the last mainstream board exams of medical students of Class XII has been scheduled for March 17 (biology). The medical students will have two-week time to prepare for the entrance test. The final examination of the same will be held on May 13.

The non-medical students will get over with their mainstream board exam on March 24 (mathematics) and will get ample time to prepare for the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE). The offline AIEEE will be conducted on April 29 and the online AIEEE will be held between May 7 and 25.



Sensitising students on gender issues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
In an innovative venture, the Department-cum-Centre for Women’s Studies, today organised a gender sensitisation workshop on the Panjab University Campus. The workshop was based on interactive sessions with the participants, conducted by eminent scholars with the expertise in the field of gender studies.

Students attended the workshop from various departments of the university, including sciences, laws, arts, and languages. The workshop was based on interactive sessions with the participants, conducted by eminent scholars with the expertise in the field of gender studies. Professor Rajesh Gill, chairperson of the department, explained the spirit of the workshop, which aimed at providing a platform for the youth to discuss issues, openly which were never taken up in routine lives.

The interactive session witnessed a great response from the students, who thrashed out issues of gender violence, gender discrimination and human insensitivity. The students came out with their own experiences, suggestion and solutions to curb gender violence.

The participants were also shown documentaries and role-plays highlighting the problems of eve-teasing, violence against women and female foeticide to which young students responded actively.

The chairperson stressed that such workshops should become a regular feature in this university, in view of the high rate of gender violence among youth in the metropolitan cities.



Twenty students get roll of honour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42; today organised its 30th annual prize-giving function on the college premises.

As many as 354 students were awarded prizes for excelling in the field of academics, sports and co-curricular activities.

Twenty students were honoured with the roll of honour, whereas 269 students were awarded academic prizes for securing positions in the university and house examination. Sixty one students were awarded mementos for cultural activities, sports, student council, NCC, NSS and blood donation.

“Scoop”, the annual news letter of the functional english department was also released on the occasion. Principal Mani Bedi highlighted the achievements of the college for the current session. The principal also stated that from the coming academic session new academic programmes in the subjects of M.Sc (IT), M.Sc microbial biotechnology, BA and B.Sc - IT (elective), career-oriented programmes in the subjects of animation and graphics, web designing and multimedia, mass communication and video reporting, disaster management and entrepreneurship would also be started in the college.



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