C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Railway Budget
One-way journey in AC Chair car to cost about Rs 40 more
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The new Railway Budget has put more burden on the pockets of city residents. Now, one will have to pay about Rs 40 more for the one-way journey to Delhi in AC Chair car. Also, commuters will have to pay Rs 7 to Rs 8 extra for travelling to Delhi in the sleeper class in other express trains for the 256-km journey from the city to New Delhi.

Hopes of tricity residents were dashed to the ground as no new trains, including the third Shatabdi and intercity express train from Chandigarh to Amritsar, were announced today.

The residents were hoping for a midday Shatabdi train or Duronto from the city to the national capital in view of the huge rush in the morning and evening Shatabdi operating between Kalka and New Delhi.

Senior officials of the Ambala division had sent a proposal to the higher authorities in New Delhi to start an intercity express train between Chandigarh and Amritsar with stoppages at Ludhiana and Jalandhar in view of the lukewarm response to the Amritsar-Chandigarh Duronto train.

City residents were expecting the announcement of the Chandigarh-Bhubaneswar train via Bengaluru or extending some other train up to the city. But this too has not been announced, much to the disappointment of thousands of workers from Orissa in the city.

The only solace the residents could derive was the increased frequency of Chandigarh-Bandra and Chandigarh-Dibrugarh express trains. The Chandigarh-Bandra train, announced by former railway minister Mamta Bannerji in the railway budget of 2011-12, will chug off from the city on March 18 next. The Chandigarh-Dibrugarh train, which runs every Wednesday, will also run as a summer special on Sunday for 13 weeks.

The authorities at the Ambala division are yet to receive the detailed budget report, but they said on the condition of anonymity that no major projects had been announced for the division.



City residents resent rail fare hike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The steep hike in the rail fares announced by the Railway Minister in the Budget presented for the 2012-13 fiscal did not go well with the tricity residents. Passengers would now have to shell out another 10-12 per cent for booking their tickets to various parts of the country.

The Railway Minister has announced a raise of 2 paise per km for suburban and ordinary second class. Similarly, increase for mail express second class will be by 3 paise per km; for sleeper class by 5 paise per km; for AC Chair Car, AC 3 tier and First Class by 10 paise per km; AC 2 Tier by 15 paise per km; and AC I by 30 paise per km. Corresponding rationalisation in minimum distance and fare chargeable in various classes have also been proposed.

“I travel to Delhi every weekend as my family stays there. The extra fare is definitely going to burn a hole in my pocket,” said Manoj Bhagta.

Vaibhav Jain, an advocate, said that it was really unfortunate that no new train had been announced from City Beautiful. He said that the steep hike in the rail fares was uncalled for as the common man was burdened with the rising inflation and it was difficult for him to make both ends meet.

Naveen ManglaniNaveen Manglani, president, Chamber of Chandigarh Industries, said that the revision in fares is unnecessary as the railways has been generating additional revenue by revising goods freight and increasing the ‘Tatkal’ quota seats. He said a Duronto train from Chandigarh to Mumbai is a necessity. There is a tremendous traffic from Chandigarh-Mumbai, and there are four daily flights on this sector.


Kamal GuptaKamal Gupta, a businessman and resident of Chandigarh, said that he was hoping for the announcement of a new Shatabdi train from the city as there is huge rush in the current trains. He said an increase in the rail fares was unexpected and these should have been avoided. He also said that there was a need to improve the facilities in the trains.

“The increase in the fares is too much as one would have to shell out Rs 50 to Rs 100 for travelling in sleeper class in express trains. There was no ground for increasing the fares,” said Major DP Singh, former principal, Government College.

SangeetaSangeeta, a resident of Sector 20, Panchkula, said that common man was already burdened with the rising rate of inflation. The rail fares would put extra burden on the common man.”

The new railway budget presented in the Parliament in New Delhi on Wednesday has surely left a bitter taste in residents’ mouths with the union railway minister Dinesh Trivedi increasing the fare of AC chair car by 15 paise per kilometer. Trivedi also did not dole out any new trains from the city leaving the residents further disappointed.

With the new fare, tickets for the two Shatabdis plying between Chandigarh and New Delhi, which are among one of the most sought after trains, would now be approximately Rs 471. Regular travellers including businessmen are certainly to feel the heat with the increased fare. Talking to The Financial World, Alok Gupta, a local businessman said, “I travel to Delhi every weekend on business purpose.

The extra fare is definitely going to burn a hole in my pocket.” Similar sentiments were shared by Naresh Yadav, who works in a private firm in the city. “I used to travel every weekend to Delhi as my family stays there.

The increased fare is certainly not a happy development.” The distance between the two stations is around 250 km.



Cadre conflict comes to UT
Junior UT IAS officers being preferred over senior officers from Punjab, Haryana; stung, Chief Secretaries write to Centre
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The UT Administration’s recent decision to create two more secretary-level positions has not only created a vertical split in the Administration, but has also raised eyebrows on the procedures followed in the reallocation of departments among the secretaries.

The decision has led to the Chief Secretaries of both Punjab and Haryana writing to the Union Government with their objections to the decision that relates to a city that has UT status solely because it is politically disputed by two states. The issue is expected to take a more serious political turn with both the Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers now expected to raise the issue with the Centre.

Till recently, the UT Administration had two key secretaries -- Home and Finance, each of who belong to the Haryana and Punjab cadres of the IAS, respectively. Each time a new Home or Finance Secretary is appointed, a panel of officers shortlisted by the respective states (Haryana and Punjab) is sent to the Administration, which in turn forwards it to the Government of India, which is the sole repository for taking a decision.

The present UT Home Secretary, Anil Kumar, belongs to the 1988 batch of the Haryana cadre while Finance Secretary VK Singh belongs to the 1990 batch of the Punjab cadre. But recently, the Administration appointed a third secretary -- Prerna Puri, a far junior IAS officer belonging to the UT cadre with just six years experience. Puri, who belongs to the 2006 batch, is 18 batches junior to the UT Home Secretary and 16 batches junior to the Finance Secretary and has never held the post of an Additional Deputy Commissioner, let alone the pivotal post of Deputy Commissioner.

Until recently, her confirmed appointment was that of Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM), a first assignment on entry into the IAS. Her only other major experience has been that of holding additional charge as Municipal Commissioner for a few months.

Puri has been re-designated Secretary of Information Technology (IT) and the house allotment committee. Yesterday, she was assigned the charge of Special Secretary (Projects) which will entail reviewing special projects being implemented by the engineering department, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) and the Municipal Corporation.

What has raised eyebrows is that all three departments are headed by her seniors. The CHB is headed by Satyagopal, a 1988 UT cadre officer, the engineering department by Finance Secretary VK Singh (1990 batch) and the Municipal Corporation by Vivek Pratap Singh, a 1996 batch Punjab cadre IAS officer. This is expected to cause awkward situations. Although the post of a fourth secretary is yet to be filled, Satyagopal has until then been given additional charge of the local bodies. The UT Administrator on the advice of the Adviser, KK Sharma, has reallocated the departments in contrast to the fact that the portfolios of the Home and Finance Secretaries are decided only by the Union Government.

While the Home Secretary continues to oversee the police and jail departments, the departments of law and vigilance have been allotted to Satyagopal and the Adviser, KK Sharma, respectively. When contacted, Sharma said he had nothing to say on the matter.



2 constables dismissed
Had fired gunshots near SSP’s residence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Taking stern action against two constables who created nuisance and fired gunshots outside the SSP’s residence late on Sunday night, senior police officials dismissed the two policemen today. Constables Jagbir Singh and Baleer Singh, who fired gunshots at about 1.30 am near the SSP’s residence, were dismissed from service with immediate effect.

UT police Inspector Satpal had a miraculous escape when Jagbir Singh fired two shots at him. The police received much flak for the firing by the constables who were in an inebriated state.

A few minutes before the incident, the constables had created a ruckus at the police headquarters. The constables posted with the PCR went out of control and hurled abuses at anyone who came their way. The constables at present are in judicial custody and have been booked in an attempt to murder case.

Constable Jagbir Singh, in charge of the PCR van, and Balbir Singh had consumed large amounts of liquor at around midnight while on duty at the ISBT roundabout in Sector 17. They then headed towards the police headquarters and sought leave from duty as they were drunk. They have been involved in similar incidents in the past too and were habitual offenders, the police said.

Late reaction?

Senior police officials said the dismissal of the constables would serve as a deterrent and send the message across the force that such behaviour will not be tolerated. It is also being looked into why the PCR personnel reacted late and failed to apprehend the constables at the police headquarters itself.



Woman turns hostile, supports ‘killer’ son
Accused had strangled his father
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The UT police received another setback today when a woman retracted from her statements given to the police and refused to identify her husband’s killer in court, who incidentally is her son. The murder case of the senior citizen fell flat in court with the woman turning hostile. This is the fourth murder case in a month which turned weak after the key witness turned hostile.

The murder occurred in October 2010 when 32-year-old Ajay strangled his 65-year-old father after a dispute over the sale of their house turned ugly at Pulsora village in Sector 56. After killing his father, he threatened his mother Gomti Devi and other family members before fleeing. He was later arrested.

As per the prosecution, Chinta Ram, the victim, had got into an argument with his son in his room on the first floor of the house after Ajay asked his father to sell the house they were staying in, saying he needed money. When he refused, Ajay strangled him. He then threatened his mother of dire consequences if she informed the police.

However, during the recording of evidence in the court of Additional Sessions Judge SS Sahni today, she said there was no dispute in their family and she was never threatened by her son, as stated by the police.

Though she had informed the police of the murder, she told the court today that she never gave any statement to the police. The case is now set for the final order in the next hearing.

Past Incidents

March 4: A woman turned hostile in the murder case of her sister. Her husband was accused in the case.

February 2: A woman refused to identify her NRI husband’s killers in court

February 25: Son turns hostile in mother’s murder case.



Eve-teaser makes 160 calls at ‘100’
Arrested for passing lewd remarks against women constables
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
A teenager working as a barber in Sector 15 harassed the staff at the police control room (PCR) by repeatedly dialling “100” and passing lewd remarks against women constables who answered the phone. The calls, totalling 160, started pouring in since last night and continued for a major part of today when the special technical cell of the police finally traced the caller and arrested him. The accused, Mahinder Singh, was handed over to the Sector 3 police station.

Hailing from a remote village in Himachal Pradesh, 18-year-old Mahinder works in a barber shop. Without disclosing his identity, he urged the women constables on duty to talk to him and be his “friend”. The shift of the PCR changed, but the phone kept ringing and he continued to pass vulgar comments. At least six women constables were harassed.

Some of the women constables even asked him if he was not scared calling them up and also threatened to get him arrested, but it did not deter him. The technical cell of the police then swung into action and traced the caller. He was arrested under Section 294 (obscene acts and gestures) of the IPC in a case registered at the Sector 3 police station.

“He told us that he was just passing time as calls to the number ‘100’ are free. He never thought that he could be arrested on the basis of his number,” said SI Sukhchain Singh, additional SHO of the Sector 3 police station.


Poor response likely to auction of commercial sites by HUDA
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 14
In view of the steep hike in the reserve price of commercial sites in various parts of Panchkula, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is likely to receive a lukewarm response during the auction to be held on March 21. This year, HUDA is going to put 88 commercial sites under the hammer, besides three school sites in various parts of the town.

After witnessing a lukewarm response in the last commercial auctions, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is once again ready to put 88 commercial sites under the hammer in Panchkula. In the last auction held in July 2011, HUDA had failed to invite the prospective bidders and was able to auction only nine sites against the 38 sites put up for auction. In that auction HUDA had got Rs 59 crore.

As per information, this year the reserve price of the shop-cum-office in Sector 14 has been fixed at Rs 15 crore. Similarly, the reserve price of more than Rs 1 crore has been fixed for the two booths in Sectors 8 and 9 whereas the booth without basement in Sector 20 has been fixed at Rs 43.41 lakh.

HUDA was to held the auction on February 23, but it had to postpone the same due to certain reasons.

A senior educationist said the reserve price of Rs 32 crore for the school site was too high. He said for the construction of school with modern infrastructure one would have to invest Rs 60 to 70 crore and only corporate or real estate builders could invest such huge sums for setting up the school.

Suresh Aggarwal, president, Haryana State Property Dealers’ Welfare Association, said HUDA officials should have conducted a market survey before finalising the reserve prices for the sites. He said the prices should have been fixed either at par with the market price or below the market price otherwise HUDA would find no bidders this time also. He said already there was slump in the real estate sector and there were no buyers in the market.



Special F&CC meeting tomorrow
Converting two Sec-17 parking lots into no-vehicle zones after 4 pm
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
A special meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the municipal corporation (MC) has been called for March 16 to finalise modalities of converting two important parking lots at Sector 17 into no-vehicle zones after 4 pm.

Sources said a blueprint of the proposal of converting Dr Sahib Singh and Empire Store parking lots into no-vehicle zones would be tabled during the meeting for the consideration of the F&CC.

The sources said a meeting with the Mayor was scheduled as the authorities had to prepare a blueprint of the proposal and work out the fee which they would have to pay the contractors concerned for vacating the parking lots.

Recently, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had told the UT Administration to earmark two parking areas at Sector 17 as no-vehicle zones after 4 pm and made it clear that the Administration would have to enforce the decision by April 1.

As per MC records, the capacity of the Empire Store parking lot was 400 vehicles and Dr Sahib Singh parking lot catered to 900 cars.

A senior MC official said a decision on other sites to accommodate the vehicles after 4 pm would have to be taken during the meeting.

In 2005, a proposal to construct four multi-level parking lots at all four corners of Sector 17 and convert the plaza into a vehicle-free zone was mooted in the General House.

Officials had proposed that landscaping be done in internal parts of the sector from where the parking lots were proposed to be shifted.

MC records revealed that the House had approved the proposal. It had been lying in cold storage due to the delay in the pilot multi-level parking project.



Sector 17: Over to city residents, now
In the fourth and concluding part of the series, Chandigarh Tribune seeks the suggestions of residents to solve the problem of parking that ails the heart of the city



Inside Babudom
Monica first woman to head global tax transparency unit
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Monica BhatiaChandigarh, March 14
A city girl has been chosen to head the Secretariat of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes within the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (CTPA).

Forty-three-year-old Monica Bhatia, who belongs to the 1990 batch of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), will thus not only become the first Indian, but also the first woman to head of the crucial tax transparency unit of the global finance body, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that functions under the group of G-20 countries and has 108 member nations.

Monica did her LLM from Panjab University and MBA from Zicklin School of Business in New York. She also holds a Certified Public Accountant certification from the US.

Daughter of former Haryana cadre IAS officer, DV Bhatia (1985 batch), Monica Bhatia is currently Director in the Department of Personnel and Training. She is expected to take up her new assignment on April 1.

Her father had served the Chandigarh Administration in various capacities, including Managing Director of the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation (CITCO) besides Assistant Estate Officer. He is also the lifetime vice-president of the All-India Tennis Association and heads the Haryana Tennis Association.

The programme was put in place in 2009 to advance the transparency agenda globally. Her assignment will require her to ensure quick and effective implementation of the peer review schedule that will start functioning on practical aspects of information exchange. She will also manage the fast extension of the Global Forum, which now includes 108 member nations on equal footing.

With over 20 years experience in the Ministry of Finance, especially in the Income Tax Department, she was heading the international tax unit at the Income Tax Department where she was tasked with conducting audits of non-resident companies.

She had also worked as an assessor to the Global Forum's peer reviews.



Redefine success, says Anupam Kher
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
“Been different” is how Anupam Kher’s journey so far can best described. The actor who dared to play a 65-year-old man in the movie Saaransh when he was just 27 has done it again. While the entire army of motivational gurus dish out books lauding success and ways to achieve it, here is Kher celebrating failure with his best seller ‘The Best Thing About You is YOU’.

Poised as he has always been, Anupam Kher interacted with the audience in Vivek High School, talking about accepting failures. “It is surprising for me that one of the most successful ventures of mine happens to be the one where I talk of my failures. The best way to deal with failures is to consider it a temporary setback. Hurdles will soon start appearing smaller and easy to deal with,” says Kher.

The book which has taken the market by storm has 50 chapters which, rather than being preaching, are an amalgamation of the noteworthy incidents of the actor's life and traditional Indian and foreign stories. Topics such as 'We Are All Unhappy', 'The Anger Syndrome', 'Discontent Is A Disease', and 'Comparison Begets Regret' present examples from all over the world to substantiate his view that success needs to be redefined.

Talking about the early onset of ‘failure’ among youngsters, he adds , “ It is unfortunate that given the increased pressure of career, relationship, or peers, failures have an early onset amongst children these days. A class III child who may not have scored 90 percent feels he has failed. We need to change this outlook. No matter what happens, youngsters need to have a positive outlook towards life. This life of mine has taught me that success is not gaining or achieving but striving and giving your best, because fate still has its role to play.”



Three-day fest on Kabir concludes
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, March 14
The performance on the finale of the three day festival on Kabir ‘Suno Bhai Sadho’ by Padamshri Prahlad Tipanya of Dewas was as grand as its start. The annual event, organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi as a tribute to mystic saint Kabir featured performances by six well known maestros of Kabir Bani who bared the spiritual and sufiana meanings of Kabir’s words with their renditions.

The concluding day commenced with Ustad Mahesha Ram bringing alive the simplicity and richness of Kabir’s verses singing in the Rajasthani

folk tradition. After an invocatory Ganesh Vandna ‘Pyare sada nand’, Mahesha Ram greeted the Lord with his presentation ‘Vaari jaaon, balihari jaaon’. He doled out more Kabir bhajans like ‘Raam re naam ro’, and ‘Khujlam anmol heera, aiasa veed sa’ before ‘kanku patri’. Singing on a five stringed Tamboora with his eyes closed, Mahesha Ram seemed to be in direct communion with the Lord.

Amidst applause Padamshri Prahlad Tipnaya with five member troupe took the centre stage to spell sufiana magic. He opened with wisdom-laced couplets of Kabir before reciting ‘Guru vandna sab jag manganhara satgur’. The next chorus ‘Tan Ram ka mandir?´was also well performed. He went on to delineate the complex philosophy of Kabir while singing his verses like ‘Bhela hai perr milta nahin’ ‘Karta karm kijey’ , ‘ Mein vaari jaaon’ and many more on the demand of the audience.

Tipanya was ably supported by Dev Narayan on the violin, Ajay Tipanya on the dholak, Vijay Tipanya (vocal), Dharminder Tipnya (vocal) and Mangesh Mangrol. A teacher by profession, Tipanya impressed the audience by explaining the concept and meaning of the verses with their contemporary relevance. Based on his study and experience he said he considers Kabir an enigma, a wonderful experience not succumbing to the outside pressure. He was appreciative of the city crowd for evincing a deep interest and understating in the philosophy of Kabir.

Earlier in the day, documentary films on Kabir produced by Shabnam Virmani were screened. Akademi chairperson Kamal Tewari welcomed the chief guest Samir Mathur, Home Secretary, Haryana, and VK Singh, IAS, Secretary Finance, UT, who honoured the artists. Jainendra Singh of AIR anchored the three day fest with commendable expertise.



Hike in licence fee
Admn should consider our views: Liquor contractors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
As the UT Administration has already proposed a hike in the licence fee under the excise policy for 2012-13, liquor contractors of Chandigarh feel that the UT Administration should listen to their objections before finalising the policy.

President of the Chandigarh Wines Merchants Association Satpal said as they were aware of the ground reality of business, the UT Administration should consider their views and only after that they should finalise the excise policy. He added that they could suggest a number of things which could be considered by the UT Administration for good liquor trade in the city.

A liquor trader said the UT Administration should take care of customers’ pocket and should not take steps, which would result in the hike.

The UT Administration has proposed a hike of 10 to 15 per cent in the annual licence fee, which the interested parties paid to bag the liquor vend licences, liquor is all set to be more expensive in the city.



Teachers sweep roads, polish shoes in protest
Tribune News Service

Teachers stage a protest in support of their demands at Sector 5 in Panchkula on Wednesday
Teachers stage a protest in support of their demands at Sector 5 in Panchkula on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, March 14
About 250 teachers from different parts of Haryana protested in a unique style by sweeping roads and polishing shoes near Shiksha Sadan at Sector 5 here today. The agitation led to a traffic jam on the road. Members of the Paatar Teachers Association cleaned up the road separating Sectors 2 and 5.

They also polished shoes of passersby. They also raised slogans against the authorities of the education department for not fulfilling their demands.

The protesters also submitted a memorandum to Surila Rajan, Director (Education) and urged her not to appoint contractual teachers in the new academic session starting from April 1. They also demanded that only interviews should be held while appointing teachers.

The teachers threatened to intensify their stir if their demands were not accepted.



Leopard yet to resurface
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
To capture the leopard, which was stuck in a pipe at the Indian Air Force (IAF) station since Monday, UT forest and wildlife department officials today placed a live goat to lure the hungry animal. Earlier, a live chicken was hung at the opening of the pipe.

The officials had put a cage in front of the pipe to catch it in case it ventured out. An official said they were suspecting that the leopard had taken one or two dogs inside the pipe after killing those, which was helping it survive.

He further said IAF officials had informed them that a few dogs in the area were missing for the last one week. He added that they tried to scare the leopard with crackers, but to no avail. Water was also put inside the pipe, but it did not work, he said.



Woman falls into Sukhna, saves herself
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
A 30-year-old woman accidentally fell into the Sukhna Lake here this evening. Laxma, a Sector-7 resident, managed to save herself and came out of the water. She had come for a walk at the lake with her two children, aged seven and five, when she fell at the regulator end.

The incident occurred when she was sitting at the staircase near the bank of the lake and her purse fell into the lake.

She fell as she bent to take the purse out. The water was shallow at that end and she managed to emerge out of the water. By that time, passersby had informed the police, which reached the spot and took stock of the situation.



Blame game mars BJP meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Allegations and counter-allegations were levelled by senior BJP leaders during a core committee meeting chaired by party national general secretary JP Nadda here today. Sources said the leaders alleged that the responsibility of the defeat in the recent municipal corporation (MC) elections was due to differences between within the party.

The sources said Harmohan Dhawan and Satyapal Jain held Chandigarh BJP president Sanjay Tandon responsible for the defeat on account of faulty ticket distribution.

The Tandon faction alleged that the defeat was due to the non-cooperation of the rival group. No conclusion was reached at in the five-hour long meeting. The meeting would be held again tomorrow.



Raid on restaurant for tax evasion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The Excise and Taxation Department of Chandigarh today raided the Sector 26 located restaurant, Lobby, and confiscated its account books on the charge of not depositing the quarterly returns and tax evasion.

An amount of Rs 17 lakh as tax was pending with the restaurant.

The department has also issued notice to the restaurant operator.



70 doctors attend opthalmology lecture
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
On the occasion of World Glaucoma Week celebrations, Chandigarh Ophthalmological Society has organised a lecture by Prof Ravi Thomas, an international authority on glaucoma, and Director of Queensland Eye Institute, Brisbane, Australia, here today.

Dr Thomas discussed optic disc evaluation in glaucoma on the occasion. The talk was attended by 70 ophthalmologists of the tricity.





Seminar concludes

The two-day UGC-sponsored seminar on “Indian Writing in English: A Search Within” organised by the department of English of Post-graduate Government College for Girls, Sector-11, Chandigarh concluded today. Issues such as canonisation, historical representation, marginalisation, dalit literature, translation and feminism with reference to Indian writings in English were discussed. More than fifteen delegates from across the country presented research-papers on a wide variety of themes.


The department of education is organising a two-day national seminar on ‘Adolescents Dilemma: A Challenge’ on March 16-17, at the Golden Jubilee Hall, PU. There will be four technical sessions on the themes - ‘At Crossroads: Transition from school to college’ , ‘Know Thyself: Importance of knowing one’s aptitude’, ‘Unlearning to learn-Effective study habits and study skills’ and ‘Walking the talk: Career planning and occupational choices’. Research scholars will be making research paper presentations.

Federal bank branch inaugurated

The inauguration of Federal bank branch in Chandigarh on Wednesday
The inauguration of Federal bank branch in Chandigarh on Wednesday.

Federal Bank has inaugurated two new branches in Sector 22 C and 38 D here on Wednesday. The function was held at Hotel Shivalik View. Dr Gopal Munjal, RS Methoda, Prof JS Bawa, zonal head of the bank, Jose V Joseph, spoke on the occasion. All the branches have customer friendly services such as ATM, NRI services, core banking solution, RTGS/NEFT, Net banking facility, mobile banking, international debit card, all types of deposits and advances; life and general insurance products and mutual funds. Also, customers are eligible for ‘utsav’ rewards for usage of debit cards. The bank is also offering ‘Payment Gateway & Point of Sale’ services.

Pre-Budget talk

Gurukul Vidyapeeth Institute of Management and Technology organised a pre-Budget talk by eminent personalities at the CII here today. Chief guest Raj Singh, Registrar of Companies, Punjab, HP and Chandigarh, advocated the restoration of standard deduction for the benefits of the salaried class. Prominent among those who spoke were Manmohan Kumar Garg, CEO of Gurukul Vidyapeeth.


Booklet released

On the eve of World Consumer Day, the Rotaract and Rotary Club of Panchkula, in a joint legal aid project, released a booklet "Consumer Law Guide" compiled by advocate Pankaj Chandgothia, president of the Consumer Courts Bar Association, for free distribution among the general public to promote consumer awareness. The release of the book also coincided with the World Rotaract Week being celebrated all over the world from March 11-17.

— Tribune Reporters



73 students get job through ‘Avsar’
The PU employment fest has been extended by two days
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The Panjab University’s job fest ‘Avsar’ turned out to be lucky for 73 students who succeeded in getting job letters. Over 236 students have also been short-listed by various companies for the final round. With more companies visiting the campus, the placement drive which was to end today, has been extended for two more days.

The 73 students who have been selected will receive an average package of Rs 2 - 3.5 lakh.

The companies offering handsome packages include Quadrangle Consulting (Rs 5 lakh per annum). It has short-listed three students from the psychology department for the final round. Trigma Solutions has short-listed eight MBA students, offering them package of Rs 4.8 lakh, while Info Math that has given offer letters to seven students at a package of Rs 3.6 lakh. Ind-Swift has hired MBA and M.Pharma students at an annual package of Rs 2.80 lakh. Standard Yellow Pages were also hiring graduate students at a package of Rs 1.80 lakh per annum.

PU officials said that nine-companies are scheduled to visit the university on Thursday to hire students of the University Institute of Hotel Management, MBA, Library Sciences, and students from the evening departments.

Officials said that several educational institutes, including Lovely Professional University, would be visiting the campus on Friday to hire students for teaching posts. “We are anticipating to place over 60 students in various educational institutes,” officials said.

Students of 54 departments had registered themselves for the placement drive out of which students of 46 departments attended the drive. PU officials claimed that the final list of students placed and the packages offered to them would be compiled at the end of the drive.



Lack of ‘guides’ irks varsity students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
With the semester at Panjab University coming to end, the students of various departments are having a tough time finding ‘guides’ and help books in the market as the books for most humanities subjects are not available. The second semester students of history, Punjabi and political science in particular are finding it difficult to get help books at book stalls in the city.

Atul Kashyap, a book seller at Sector 15 market, said that the demand for help books for post graduate courses is on the rise; however, there is a shortage of books for the second semester. “As the semester is about to end, the students are frequently visiting us for help books,” he said.

Another bookseller in the market said that the help books for subjects including public administration and economics for all the semesters are not available in the market. Since the Panjab University shifted to the semester system, the change in pattern of syllabus led to a shortage of help books. Gagandeep Singh, an MA student at PU said that those who don’t make class notes have to depend on help books and the unavailability of help books before the exams could land us in trouble.



PU to organise conference on sustainable development
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
With an aim to initiate a peer review of the national and international sustainable development scenario, the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), Panjab University, is hosting a national conference on ‘Sustainable Development: A Paradigm Shift from Principles to Rights’ on March 15-16.

The conference, being coordinated by Sabina Salim and Dr Anupam Bahri, would deliberate on issues of Sustainable development, which are divided into four technical sessions.

The sessions would include exhaustive discussions on the various aspects of sustainanble deveopment such as economic development, social equity, environment protection, sustainable development of forests, rights of indigenous people, food securiy, green economy, national and international laws towards sustainable development, climate change, marine pollution, nuclear radiations, oil spills etc. More than 100 papers are expected to be presented during the two-day conference.



Two-day techno-cultural fest kicks off
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 14
Spontania-12, the fifth annual techno-cum-cultural fest of the Swami Vivekanand Group of Institutes, got off with much fanfare at the college premises here today. The organisers claimed that over 50 colleges of region, mostly affiliated with Punjab Technical University, have been participating in the two-day fest.

The fest was inaugurated by BB Mittal, Deputy General Manager, Union Bank of India. “Such fests help in developing the hidden talent, personality and the spirit of competitiveness among students,” said Mittal.

The two-day event would witness a series of technical activities like dirt race, Facebook quiz, ‘Techmania’, ‘Code Combat’, and ‘Mechanique Skills’, and cultural activities including dance fusion, folk, singing, clay art, photography and fashion show.



GMCH to train police personnel in accident victim care
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
In order to provide training on trauma and emergency life support to police personnel and volunteers from Chandigarh, the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, will organise a workshop here tomorrow.

This will strengthen the knowledge and skills of Chandigarh Police personnel as they are the “first responders” in the pre-hospital trauma care, said Professir Raj Bahadur, Director Principal, GMCH.

The proper handling of accident victims while shifting them to hospital from the spot can reduce a substantial number of casualities, he said.

It was last year that under WHO (World Health Organisation) “Road Safety 10” project, a series of workshops and trainings for doctors and paramedics of Punjab were conducted at various trauma centers.

Following its success, Alok Kumar (IPS), Deputy Inspector General, Police, Chandigarh requested to hold such training sessions for police personnel.

Nearly 150 people die in more than 425 road accidents in Chandigarh every year. A majority of the victims in such cases are shifted to hospital by police personnel who need to be trained for handling injured victims, said Dr Raj Bahadur.

The workshop will comprise of didactic lectures and “Hands On” practical scenario based training on mannequins and simulators.

The full day training will be imparted under the guidance of Prof Raj Bahadur and comprehensive emergency life support team that includes Dr Manpreet Singh.

Such trainings are now scheduled once every month for the current year, said director principal.



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