C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bee attack on school kids 
45 class VI students of Govt Sen Sec School Sec 40-A injured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
Honeybees attacked nearly 45 students of class VI of Government Senior Secondary School Sector 40-A here this afternoon when the children, along with their physical education teacher, were playing in the school ground during their sports period.

Many students sustained injuries from bee stings. One of the children has been kept under observation at GMSH-16, as he complained of vomiting.

Panic prevailed among other schoolchildren also after the incident. According to an eyewitness, somebody threw stones from outside the boundary wall of the school on the bee hive, after which honeybees attacked the children who were playing near a tree in the ground. The teacher tried to save the children by telling them to immediately go inside the school building, but due to sudden attack, most of the children had already been stung by bees.

All injured students, along with two teachers and a staff member of the school assisted by the police, reached the nearby civil dispensary of Sector 40. Paramjeet, the school teacher who accompanied the students, said out of 45 students, 30 were administered first-aid by the dispensary staff and rest were referred to Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, as the doctor was not available in the dispensary.

A GMSH doctor, who examined the students, said after medication, all 15 students were kept under observation for an hour and when they felt fine, they were sent to their homes.

“We were unaware about what happened and how the bees attacked us, as all of us were busy playing. One of our classmates Vikram cried that he had been stung by bees and we all rushed towards the school building to save ourselves. But none of us could save ourselves from bee stings as the building was far from the ground,” said Deepa of class VI, who was also attacked by bees.

Another student Anita, who was crying due to pain from bee stings, said in the past also such incidents happened with their seniors in the school as the bee hive problem was very common in and around the school premises.

District education officer Ram Kumar said the school management had not informed about the incident to the education department. He said it’s unacceptable that the principal didn't inform the MC authorities about bee hives, which presumably was there for weeks. Ignorance cannot be a plea to justify callousness. We will look into the matter and take necessary action.

An official of the MOH, KR Chirwatkar, said they had not received any complaint about the bee hive from the school where the incident occurred. So no action has been taken by the department to remove it.



MC departments pass the buck
No clarity on the department responsible for removing beehives 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
Unconcerned over the increasing cases of bee-attacks in the city, the Municipal Corporation is busy passing the responsibility of removing beehives from one department to another. The corporation is yet to decide which department should deal with complaints regarding the removal of beehives.

The medical officers of health and horticulture departments are at loggerheads and are passing the buck for handling the issue, while the worst sufferers are the residents. The Municipal Corporation records reveal that three to four complaint regarding beehives are reported by the residents on an average everyday. As per official records, the MC had constituted a special cell to handle beehives, but their work was only to receive complaints and forward them to the horticulture department. In fact, during the last three months several cases of bee-attacks were reported from various parts of the city, but no departmental action was initiated to remove the hives from the places where the incidents took place.

Officials of the MOH department stated that there are no orders on the removal of the beehives in the city. In case there is a beehive in a residential area, they take a written undertaking from the owner of the house asking for the removal of the hive.

Recently, the MOH department had sought legal opinion from the law department as to whether or not the issue came under the jurisdiction of the pest control department. The law officer is reported to have replied that the matter it is not under the preview of pest control department as bees do not come under the category of pests. After this the MOH sent a communication to the horticulture department saying that in future cases regarding removal of beehives should be handled by them as a majority of the hives are on trees which come under their preview.

However, as neither the MOH nor horticulture department has received any official communication on dealing with the menace, the residents are at the mercy of bees.



High drama at Sacred Heart
PFA men barge into lab, seize specimens of species ‘forbidden’ under wildlife Act
Sumedha Sharma 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
High drama prevailed at Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, here today when a Delhi-based team of the People for Animals (PFA), accompanied by the UT police, raided the school’s biology laboratory and reportedly seized specimens of species “forbidden” under the Wildlife Act 1972.

The team barged into the school premises at around 11:30 am and claimed to have recovered specimens of 12 dissected cobras, four turtles, two bats, frogs, guinea pigs and monitor lizards.

The specimens were, however, returned following an altercation with the school and the UT authorities over the registration of an FIR.

Though the PFA activists demanded registration of an FIR against the school principal, the UT police registered a DDR on the grounds of seeking clarification on the Act.

The school authorities, meanwhile, claimed that the specimens were purchased before 2006 when dissection and exhibit of the specimens were banned. They were, however, were left fuming at the raid and accused PFA activists and the police of forcibly trespassing into the school premises and harassing them.

“We are being handpicked and victimised. Fraudulent people who initially claimed to be from the wildlife department and then from the PFA barged into the premises accompanied by the police, media and numerous people, ignoring the decorum of an all-girl school. They went to our biology laboratory, picked specimens and took them away in a private car rather than an official one. We got our legal advisors and even wildlife department officials came to the scene and foiled the plans of the so-called activists. As far as specimens are concerned, a majority are 40 years old and are part of the CBSE curriculum,” read an official statement issued by the school.

The PFA activists, however, refuted the claims, as the team leader Saurabh Gupta said, “We have been conducting raids in Delhi and it was at Green Fields School that we got a clue about an Agra-based factory of specimens, which also serves this school. It was on the intervention of MP Pawan Bansal, which helped the school, and the UT authorities, including forest officials, that the UT Administration closed its eyes to the blatant violation of the wildlife act. It was shocking that no official, including wildlife ones, did anything despite the recovery of cobras, which are schedule I animals.”



Invigilator brutally assaulted by engineering students
Objected to use of unfair means in exam
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 17
Telling two students to “behave” during an examination by an invigilator cost him dear today.

Vinod Kumar, who works as a mechanical workshop instructor at the Chandigarh Group of Colleges at Landran, was brutally bashed up by about eight students of the college following his raising objection to using unfair means during the examination here today. 

While Vinod landed at the local Civil Hospital in Phase 6 with injuries on his head, legs, abdomen and face, the police registered an attempt to murder case against eight persons, including the main accused Kamalpreet Singh at Sohana Police Station. 

Vinod Kumar, who stopped Kamalpreet Singh and one more unidentified student for using mobile phones during the examination, was attacked by Kamalpreet along with his friend, carrying rods and sticks immediately after the end of the examination. Vinod Kumar was bashed up on the college premises. Some eyewitnesses claimed that some other staff members tried to intervene in the matter, but they were also thrashed up by the students. 

Taking action against Kamalpreet Singh, a mechanical student and a resident of Barnala, the college authorities suspended him immediately.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the victim Vinod Kumar said, “Kamalpreet and one more student were using mobile phone. He stopped them and called the superintendent, who sent them out of the examination hall. In the afternoon, when I came out of the hall, Kamalpreet and his friends attacked me with rods and injured me badly.”

Vinod Kumar claimed all other accused, except one, were also students of the college. 

Terming the incident unfortunate, Dr GD Bansal, director-general of the CGC, said they had suspended Kamlpreet Singh while the footage of the CCTV are being seen to identify the other students. “Strict action would also be taken against them,” said Dr Bansal. 

Meanwhile, a case under Section 307 of the IPC has been registered against Kampreet Singh and seven others at Sohana Police Station. 

“We are trying to nab the culprits,” said Harjinder Singh, SHO of the police station. Notably, this is not the first such case of thrashing professors by the students in the college.

On March 1, an assistant professor, namely Arvinder Singh Kang, was attacked by some students. 

“Security of the staff is really a matter of concern here,” said a staff member on condition of anonymity. 

staff concerned over security On March 1, an assistant professor, namely Arvinder Singh Kang, was attacked by some students. “Security of the staff is really a matter of concern here,” said a staff member on condition of anonymity. 



UT should be ashamed: Maneka Gandhi 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17 
“I am ashamed and embarrassed at UT bureaucracy which, not caring about the norms, shielded the school on an alleged call of sitting MP Pawan Bansal,” said an irate Maneka Gandhi, MP and director, PFA. 

Speaking to The Tribune over the UT’s failure to register an FIR against Sacred Heart School for violating the norms, she revealed, “I called everybody from Home Secretary, Forest Secretary to police officials. All of them initially claimed ignorance about the incident and provisions of the Act and then said that they had got a call from Pawan Bansal, asking them not to register an FIR. If that is true, as an MP, Bansal is supposed to safeguard law rather than help people to break law and get away with it. It’s unfortunate that laws of the land are ignored in Chandigarh and it’s just the VIP status which counts. ”

We will follow rules: SSP 

Be it school or PFA activists, both are up against the UT police for favouring the other party, but according to SSP Naunihal Singh the police has paid for its good faith.

“An PFA activist came to us complaining about the violation of the Act in this school. We went with him and checked the premises, but an FIR cannot be registered on their whims and fancies. We have registered a DDR and forwarded a detailed report to the wildlife department, seeking its advice,” said Singh.



After 5 months, acid attack accused arrested
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
More than five months after an acid attack on a teenager working with a mall in Industrial Area left her critically injured, the UT police finally arrested the 21-year-old accused Amandeep today. The accused was absconding all these months and was running from the police’s eye. The Punjab and Haryana Court had rejected his anticipatory bail plea and he was evading arrest.

A police team of the Industrial Area police station arrested the accused from his residence in a village near Fatehgarh Sahib. Amandeep used to earlier work with Westside Mall and was a colleague of the victim.

The second accused who was present with him on the bike when they threw acid on the girl’s face is yet to be arrested.

Amandeep, along with his accomplice, had poured acid on Neha Thakur, as she was walking towards the Sector 28 light point with her colleague Nirmala on November 28 last year.

Based on the statements of her family members and friends, the police had said that Amandeep had been harassing the girl for some time and Neha’s brother had lodged a complaint against him at Burail police post in October, a month prior to the attack.

In the complaint, Neha’s brother had alleged that Amandeep was mentally harassing his sister and used to call her at late-night hours. He had fought with her over a financial issue on the day he poured acid on her face.

An investigating officer in the case said the accused gave the police a trying time as he never resumed his job nor did he reach his home where they had dispatched teams all these months.

The police acted on a tip-off and finally arrested the accused in the attempt to murder case today.



MC seeks Rs 395 cr from govt
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, April 17
The Mohali Municipal Council has sought nearly Rs 395 crore from the government for widening of roads, augmentation of water supply system, maintenance of old streetlight network, replacement of sewer pipelines, as the fund-starved civic body finds itself helpless to carry out major maintenance works in the town.

The request for funds was sent to the government by the council through deputy director, local government, about two weeks ago.

The requirement of funds for various maintenance works was drawn up after the minister for local government had held a meeting with officials of all civic bodies of the state last month and asked them to bring to his notice various requirements from their respective areas.

Sources in the council said Rs 235 crore were required for widening and strengthening of the roads in various parts of the town. Civic body officials feel that there was an urgent need to widen the C-roads from Phases I to XI as the load on these had increased with the passage of time. The number of cars in the town had gone up drastically and people had also started parking their vehicles on the roads due to the shortage of space. This had led to traffic hazards. About 200-km area of the C-roads requires widening.

It is learnt that a sum of Rs 75.76 crore has been sought by the civic body for augmenting the water supply system, replacement of sewer pipelines and also to improve water supply and sewerage system in the Industrial Area, Phases VI to IX. A sum of Rs 25 crore was required to sink new tube-wells and improve the supply system. The sewerage network of the town was quite old and brick storm sewer was caving in at various points, including the road leading from Sector 70 to Balongi village. A sum of Rs 43.76 crore was required to set the system right.

The department of public health, which is maintaining the sewerage system, had carried out a survey in the town before submitting the financial requirement to the civic body. A sum of Rs 7 crore was required for the Industrial Area.

Sources further said as the wiring and poles of the streetlight network were old, a sum of Rs 55 crore was demanded for replacement and upgradation of the streetlight. There was also a proposal to have lead lights, though it was comparatively a costly affair.

The fire brigade run by the council does not have 200-ft long ladder to tackle flames even when high-rise buildings are coming up in the town. The purchase of such multi-purpose ladders requires a sum of Rs 7 crore. Moreover, two new fire stations have been planned for the town. Additional machinery for these fire stations will also have to be purchased. So to bring about an improvement in fire services, the civic body has sought a sum of Rs 29 crore from the government.

Another sum of Rs 20 lakh was required to introduce computerisation in all branches of the civic body under the e-governance system. At present, branches dealing with water supply and birth and death certificates were fully computerised, while other branches were in the process of getting computerised.

Widening of road

Rs 235 crore were required for widening and strengthening of the roads in various parts of the town. Civic body officials feel that there was an urgent need to widen the C-roads from Phases I to XI as the load on these had increased with the passage of time. The number of cars in the town had gone up drastically and people had also started parking their vehicles on the roads due to the shortage of space. This had led to traffic hazards. About 200-km area of the C-roads requires widening



‘Shift meat market to slaughterhouse’
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 17
The meat market in the Industrial Area, Phase I, which has been shifted from Abheypur village a few years ago, has been giving sleepless nights to residents passing though the area, as some of the shopkeepers were allegedly slaughtering animals in the open behind their shops.

Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 12-A, said he passes through the road daily to join his duties at his office based in the Industrial Area. He said every day he witnessed one or two meat sellers slaughtering goats in the open and blood of the animal is thrown into the nallah passing by.

He said he had requested the authorities a number of times to shift these shops to the slaughterhouse, which is covered by a boundary wall.

According to information, former president of the Panchkula Municipal Council, Ravinder Rawal, had inspected the building in 2008 and had urged HUDA authorities to make some changes in the structure.

However, more than four years have passed since then, but the building is yet to be handed over to the MC.

Notably, HUDA in 2009 had constructed the slaughterhouse and meat market in Panchkula on the cost of Rs 20 lakh in the Industrial Area, Phase I. But residents of Zirakpur had alleged that this construction is the complete contravention of the guidelines of the Supreme Court because the slaughterhouse shares a wall
with several houses in the neighbouring Zirakpur area.

However, according to official sources, the high court had directed HUDA authorities to handover the building to the municipal council authorities after seeking clearance from the Haryana State Pollution Control Board.

Confirming the same, Panchkula MC executive officer KK Jain said the meat shops would be shifted to the slaughterhouse after HUDA handovers the building to the MC after getting the clearance from the pollution control board.



Implementation of development works assessed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 17
Punjab rural and panchayat development minister Surjit Singh Rakhra directed officials to take an action against those who were involved in illegal possession of “shamlat” land in various villages in the state.

“The officials’ responsibility in these cases has been fixed and those found guilty would also face the music,” said the cabinet minister, while addressing mediapersons at the Vikas Bhawan in Phase VIII here today.

Rakhra was in the town to preside over the meeting to assess the implementation of various developmental schemes by the rural development and panchayat department here today.

Rakhra also directed the officials concerned to remain present during the auctions of the land to ensure transparency in the process.

“In an auction up to Rs 1 lakh, the panchayat secretary needed to be present, while in the cases involving more amount, presence of high officials of the department is mandatory,” said Rakhra, while issuing directions to the officials.

On the developmental works in the state, Rakhra claimed that every house in the rural areas would have toilet facility within three years. “For the overall development of all villages in the state, different schemes would be launched for each village. The purpose is to check the developmental works and the expenditure on them effectively,” said Rakhra.

Rakhra also said the state government would demand to raise wages for the farm workers under the MGNREGA scheme.

“Every such worker would be issued a pocket card under the MGNREGA scheme to provide him work,” said Rakhra.

To discourage drug addiction among the rural folk, Rakhra announced special grant for those villages, which would be found drug free.



Safety issues on the back burner
Chandigarh, Panchkula refuse to learn from the Jalandhar factory collapse incident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
The factory building collapse in Jalandhar on Sunday night has raised safety issues in the tricity.

Almost five years after the tragic incident of roof collapse in the Sector 26 grain market, the Chandigarh Administration seems to have forgotten the recommendations of the committee that had advocated structural changes in some of the old buildings in the city.

The committee comprising the previous Deputy Commissioner, RK Rao, and a Superintending Engineer had surveyed a number of buildings and give a long list of recommendations.

The committee had declared a building of the health department in Sector 24, a portion of Nehru Centre for Performing Arts in Sector 34, a government school building in Maloya and certain houses in Sector 19 as unsafe.

Now, no UT official is aware about the recommendations of the committee.

Meanwhile, the UT Chief Engineer, SK Chadha, said at present there was no unsafe building in the city. Officials in the Estate Office said no building under their preview was unsafe.

Consumer forum building unsafe in Panchkula

An old building Nahan Kothi, which houses the District Consumer and Disputes Redressal Forum, was declared unsafe by the MC authorities a few years back.

A team of experts had later visited the site and directed the authorities concerned to initiate certain steps to make the building safe.

Confirming the same, MC Executive Officer said the building was declared unsafe some years back. He said as he had joined recently, he did not know the present status of the building.

Grim scenario

Five years after the tragic incident of roof collapse in Sector 26 grain market, the Chandigarh Administration has forgotten the recommendations of the committee that had advocated structural changes in some of the old buildings in the city

In Panchkula, the building which houses the consumer forum had been declared unsafe years back



Disaster management cell comes up in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 17
Keeping in view of the building collapse incident in Jalandhar, the Mohali district administration has set up a disaster management cell to deal with emergency situations in an effective manner here.

Mohali’s deputy commissioner Varun Roojam said the cell comprise disaster analysts and disaster resource persons.

The cell is being set up in the same building, having the office of the Deputy Commissioner in Phase 1, here.

“The cell is being created to deal effectively with any emergency situation. The cell will also impart training to other departments to deal with disasters,” said Roojam.

Taking another initiative, Roojam today issued orders to conduct a fresh survey of buildings, which fall under ‘dangerous’ or fire-prone category.

“Though the situation is altogether different in Mohali as compared to old cities, we use to conduct such surveys on a routine basis to avoid any disaster like one that occurred in Jalandhar,” said Roojam.



Identity proof must for cyber cafe visitors: DC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh today issued directions prohibiting the use of cyber cafes by persons who could not furnish documents regarding their identity.

Cyber cafe owners have been asked to maintain a register of visitors and it would be mandatory for them to note down visitor's name, address, telephone number and details of identity proof.

The identity of the visitor would be established through an identity card, voter I-card, ration card, driving licence, passport and photo credit card. The order has been issued under Section 144 of the CrPC.

Instructions for restaurants

The UT District Magistrate, Brijendra Singh, today issued directions prohibiting restaurants, discos, clubs and vendors from operating between 1.00 am and 4.30 am in the city. However, these orders would not apply to coffee shops in hotels, hospitals, chemist shops and petrol pumps. Restaurants, discos and clubs have been allowed to remain open till 2.00 am on Saturdays and Sundays (except for the sale and service of liquor which is governed separately by excise laws).



CTU workers oppose withdrawal of long-route buses; write to Sonia, PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
With the standoff between the Chandigarh Administration and the CTU Workers Union over the issue of running CTU buses on long routes continuing, the issue has reached the office of UPA president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and the Home Ministry.

The workers union has submitted a memorandum to Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and the Home Ministry over the issue.

The UT Administrator, Shivraj Patil, during a recent review meeting, had expressed his displeasure over the non-implementation of his directive of withdrawing buses from long routes triggering strong protest from the CTU union.

Quoting facts and provisions of the inter-state agreement, the union members, while addressing a protest rally outside the office of the CTU Director, said the administration do not realise that buses on long routes make profit. “The top brass was working against the interests of the Union Territory. While Punjab and Haryana are adding to their fleet of AC buses on Delhi-Chandigarh route, two HVAC buses of CTU were recently withdrawn from the route. And there is no one to question the bureaucracy,” said union president Bhupinder Singh.

The Chandigarh Administration has been contemplating to withdraw 60 ordinary buses from long routes. The CTU has already withdrawn 20 heating-ventilation and air-conditioned (HVAC) buses from long routes.

Instead of making efforts to arrange funds to procure new buses and phase out the old buses, the Administrator has advised the UT officials to run the old buses that are road worthy, but have outlived their utility as per fixed norms.



Chandigarh scan

‘Water Conservation Fortnight’: At a function organised by the department of environment, Yuvsatta and Wapcos Limited, a “Water Conservation Fortnight” was launched in the city from Government High School, Sector 47-A, here on Tuesday. Artistes of the Mask Theatre presented a street play “Jal hi jiwan hai” (Water- the elixir of life) on the occasion. Giving information about the initiative, Santosh Kumar, conservator of forests and director, department of environment, said in view of the growing water crisis, this campaign is to involve more and more people, especially students to hold “water audit” in their respective household. They will be sensitised to note down total consumption of water during cooking, gardening, leaking taps, while bathing, brushing teeth, shaving, in toilets or washing open spaces and vehicles.

42 notices issued: The municipal corporation issued 42 notices on Tuesday for the misuse of water in the morning hours. The corporation imposed a ban on irrigating lawns and washing of cars and courtyards from 5.30 am to 8.30 am. The authorities constituted 14 teams headed by the SDO to check misuse of water during the morning hours.

Collaboration: The American Hotel and Lodging Association based in Orlando, Florida, USA, on Tuesday launched a diploma in food production and patisserie in collaboration with the Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management, Gharuan, Mohali. The major advantage of this globally recognised diploma is that students can take admission immediately after matriculation. The 18-month diploma include 12 months on theory and practical classes in the college and remaining six months are devoted to the industrial training in leading five star hotels of the country.

Mass casual leave: PGI nurses will be on mass casual leave on April 25, as the authorities are not accepting their demands from a long time. This has been resolved in a PGI nurses’ welfare association’s general body meeting on Tuesday. After the meeting, all male and female nurses marched to the PGI director’s office to hand over the notice of agitation. During the protest, which was staged on Tuesday by the nurses, demands were displayed on play cards and posters. Association president Lakhvinder Singh addressed the nurses during the general meeting.

‘One Watt Campaign’: Godrej Appliances on Tuesday flagged off its national consumer initiative to conserve electricity, as it launched “One Watt Campaign- Lets Save a Billion Watts”. The initiative has been launched in association with the IPL team, Kings XI Punjab. As a part of this campaign, “One Watt project” vans will tour across the country till May 14. These vans will have an inbuilt kiosk, where public can register their pledge to conserve energy and share it across the social platforms. Flanked by Adam Gilchrist, captain-coach, Kings XI Punjab; George Menezes, COO, Godrej Appliances; said the objective of the campaign was to create consciousness about our environment and hence save energy.

Allegations annulled: FOSWAC election committee annulled the allegations made by PC Sangi Group on the Puri Group on Tuesday. The committee sought comments of Gurdev Singh Ahlwalia and GS Sathi, advocate, on the complaints of candidates for vice-chairman and general secretary. In their comments, the advocate alleged that the complaints are at the instance of PC Sanghi and are contrary to the provisions of the constitution of FOSWAC. The committee accepted their version and declared that their nominations papers are in order. The election will be held on April 22.

Appointed: The Haryana government on Tuesday appointed Mandir Singh Bhadana as the chairman of Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC). Bhadana, who is also a member of the commission since December 2010, has also served as officiating chairman of the commission for over two months in 2011. Bhadana would be taking over the charge on Wednesday.

SIT empowered: The special investigating team (SIT) of the UT police, which has been cracking its whip on fake immigration and fake degrees rackets, has been empowered to develop information on any crime as well as organised crime as per law. Headed by DSP Anil Joshi, senior police officials empowered SIT on Tuesday. — Tribune Reporters



Rare books
How long will they last?
PU seems to be least interested in preserving collection in absence of archival lab
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
Although Panjab University (PU) has a rich collection of over 1,400 rare manuscripts and about 20,000 books, however, how long they will last is a big question, as the university seems to be least interested in preserving the collection in the absence of an archival lab, which is a must for prolonging the life of books.

The library’s rare book section’s demand to have a lab and trained staff has been hanging fire since many years in the absence of which the books are outsourced for fumigation.

Mritunjay Kumar, in charge of the rare books section in AC Joshi Library, said they had been repeatedly writing to the university authorities for developing an archival laboratory for fumigation of books and having staff trained from the National Archives of India.

Kumar said the fumigation process involved heating the books at a temperature of 100 degrees and lessening the acid content of the paper that is further followed with lamination and re-binding of the books. “The books also have limited life, but with the proper and timely fumigation, we can prolong the life of a book,” he said.

Interestingly, PU does not even have a special budget for maintaining these manuscripts and books. “Despite our demand, the university has not made any effort to create special funds for these books. The UGC also has a provision for maintaining the rare books for which PU needs to initiate the proposal,” he said.

Kumar said other universities in the region, including Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Jamia Millia Islamia University and Aligarh Muslim University, had their own independent archive cells and laboratories to preserve the books.

University librarian Raj Kumar admitted that they have no infrastructure to preserve the books and even lack experts who can prolong the life of the books.



2 students held for selling question paper
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
Blowing the lid of a racket of selling question papers in Panjab University (PU), the UT police in a special operation last night caught two students red-handed who were selling question papers in the campus.

The police arrested Vikas, a resident of Jhajhar district in Haryana, and Yashvir, a resident of Harigarh village in Jind in Haryana, and recovered a handwritten paper of BCom and Rs 3,000 from them. Both accused are BA students of Government College, Sector 11. They were produced in court and remanded to one-day police custody.

A case under Sections 420, 511 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 11 police station.

The police had caught the two red-handed while accepting money to leak the cost accountancy question paper of BCom-II of Panjab University, the exam for which was scheduled today.

The accused told the police during interrogation that he was merely acting as a conduit and did not know the kingpin of the racket. The paper was being sold to a student for Rs 15,000 and a deal was finally settled for Rs 3,000. DSP Anil Joshi said the kingpin of the racket fled the spot and raids were on to arrest him.

However, the paper that was leaked was not the one that was given to the students today and the exam was held as scheduled at 2 pm. The police held a meeting with the university authorities in morning and preventive measures were accordingly taken, sources said.



UGC grants Rs 49.3 lakh to Dev Samaj college
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
The Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, has received a grant of Rs 49.30 lakh from the University Grants Commission (UGC) for laboratory equipment and teaching aids. From the next session, the college plans to create smart classrooms equipped with all ultra modern facilities to make the process of teaching/learning more interactive, effective and learner oriented.

The college has been granted another Rs 7 lakh grant for renovation of rooms and for creation of smart classrooms. The college plans to create a digital language lab for improvement of English of the students.

The college has also been granted Rs 7 lakh by the UGC for another add-on course i.e. “Animation and Graphics”. It is already running add-on courses like cosmetology, entrepreneurship, web designing, communicative English, event management, computer-based accounting, insurance business and advertising.

Officials said keeping in mind the need of the students for hostel, two floors of another hostel will be ready by the next session.

The college also plans to start MA in economics and BSc (IT) from the next academic session, subject to the approval of the university.



English olympiad
Naitik, Anamika hog limelight
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 17
Students of Manav Mangal added yet another feather in their cap by their commendable performance in the first level of International Olympiad of English language organised by the Educational Society of English language held on November 3 last year.

Naitik of class V, Neel Aryan Gupta of class VI and Anamika Singla of class VII have bagged first positions in Haryana. Naitik and Anamika Singla have topped in Haryana securing 98.3 per cent marks, whereas Neel Aryan Gupta has secured 95.7 per cent marks. Similarly, Bhuvnesh Singla of class IV, Janhvi Gaur of class V and Chehak Garg of class VII have clinched the second position at the state level.

Chhavi Garg of class IV, Akshita of class V and Rahul of class VII have secured the third position in Haryana. The winners have been awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals, along with certificates.

School principal Sandeep Sardana congratulated the young achievers for bringing laurels to the school. He appreciated their efforts and encouraged them to move ahead with single-minded devotion.



Exhibition a crowd-puller

Chandigarh, April 17
“Historie of the World”, a book published in 1634 AD during the regime of Charles-I was the main attraction for visitors in the exhibition of rare books organised by Panjab University (PU). Various manuscripts in seven different languages are also exhibited by PU.

Panjab University has a collection of 20,000 rare books in different subjects, out of which around 200 were put on display for the students and faculty members.

The oldest book with PU is written by Secundus C Plinius, printed during the regime of Charles I.

Excited after seeing the rare books, Mehar Verma, a research scholar, said it was surprising to know that PU owned a treasure of books and manuscripts.

The library has a collection of 1,492 manuscripts in diverse languages like Arabic, Persian, Devnagri, Gurmukhi, Sanskrit and Sharda, dating back mostly to the period of 17-18th century. The oldest manuscript in the library “Siraj-ul-Salikin” dates back to 995 AD.

With an aim to preserve the content of the rare books, the university has also started digitalisation of the books. The picture of each page of the book is clicked and then transferred into the computer in the form of a book. Officials said around 700 books had already been digitalised. — TNS



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