C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


I-T raids on 4 realtors
Over Rs 2 crore unearthed, incriminating documents seized
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
In a major crackdown, officials of the income tax department conducted raids on the premises of four prominent real estate developers here today. Though officials concerned remain tight-lipped, sources said an amount of over Rs 2 crore was unearthed till the evening.

At 8:30 am, 24 teams, comprising over 150 officials from different parts of the country, arrived here under the supervision of the Panchkula office of the Director Investigation.

They simultaneously descended upon the offices and residences of the Janta Land Promoters Limited at Mohali, the Sushma Builders at Zirakpur, and the Acme Builders and Jagat Singh and Sons, both at Sector 35.

The targeted 24 premises were located at Panchkula Mohali, Zirakpur, Ambala and Ludhiana. The teams not only detected an unaccounted-for amount of over Rs 2 crore, but seized several incriminating documents.

A large number of computer hard disks, pen drives, handwritten diaries, unaccounted-for bank accounts and ‘benaami’ lockers were also seized, said the sources.

The exact amount of the haul would be known only after the assessment of the documents seized, said the sources.



Govt establishments in UT issued tax-evasion notices
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Almost a year after luxury tax was imposed on hotels and banquet halls in the city, government-run establishments under the hospitality wings of the Punjab and Haryana governments here have been found evading the tax, running into lakhs.

The UT excise and taxation department has issued notices to a number of such establishments, including clubs and private bodies, after conducting a survey.

Establishments include the Punjab Bhavan, the Haryana Bhavan, the Himachal Bhavan, the Lake Sports Club, the Chandigarh Golf Club, the Chandigarh Gold Academy and the Rock Garden.

The Director, Hospitality, Punjab, NS Brar, said the tax being paid by the UT Guest House was being studied. “We will pay the tax as per procedure,” he said.

Sources said the authorities of some establishments had sent their comments. The exact tax could be calculated once all establishments sent their details to the department, they added.

As per the Punjab Tax on Luxuries Act, 2009, notified in the union territory in August, 2011, every proprietor of a hotel or banquet hall had to pay 4 per cent tax on luxuries provided.

Any establishment charging above Rs 200 for a room and above Rs 5,000 for a banquet hall had to pay the tax.

Establishments run by Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation (CITCO) and premises rented by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and the UT Sports Department had also been issued notices.

CITCO General Manager Arvind Malhotra said CITCO, being in the hotel industry, had been paying luxury tax. In the notices, the establishments had been asked to get themselves registered and deposit the tax.

Lawyer Ajay Jagga said if the tax had to be levied, it should be on private and government establishments.



Cameras at just 3 signals used to challan red light violators
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
While the UT traffic police has, making use of CCTV cameras, challaned over 1,000 motorists for jumping red light this year, it has done so usingf cameras installed at only three traffic light points.

It has failed to utilise CCTV cameras for challaning red light violations at all 20 traffic junctions where these are installed.

The reason is lack of in-built intelligence in the cameras, as a result of which those have to be operated manually. This has made only three traffic light points technically feasible.

The police has been challaning motorists for red light violation through CCTV cameras installed at the PVR Centra Mall traffic light point, the Sector 16-17 roundabout and the Sector 22-23 traffic light point only since the last one year.

Cameras at the other 17 intersections are rarely used for challaning for red light violation, sources said.

A traffic police official said since they were issuing the challan for jumping red light making use of CCTVs manually from the control room, the challan could be issued only at T-points.

The traffic police control room did not have sufficient manpower who could sit and man the 20 intersections.

Though the traffic police had claimed that the cameras would be equipped with automatic challaning software, it had not been installed till date.

All challans were being issued manually. Two or three personnel stationed at the traffic control room had to manually zoom in to capture violators.

Data revealed that the police issued 48,097 challans by making use of these cameras last year.

Over 85 per cent (41,010) were issued for zebra crossing violations. This year, cameras had led to over 11,000 challans, of which 8,516 comprised zebra crossing violations.

Serious offences like using mobile phone while driving, faulty number plate and driving without seat belt and without helmet largely went unchecked. If these offences were being spotted, it was only at a few light points.

Till March this year, cameras could detect only two violations of using mobile phone while driving, 44 of triple riding, nine of driving without seat belt, 389 of driving without helmet and 922 of jumping red light.

Last year, the traffic police, making use of these CCTV cameras at the three traffic light points, challaned 1,705 violators for jumping red light.



Girls live healthier than boys, says survey
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Girls are more health-conscious than boys. They are also more religious-minded and believe in meaningful relationships with friends.

These factors were the highlights of a study conducted by Dr Suraj Senjam, under the guidance of Dr Amarjeet Singh of the department of community medicine at the PGI.

The study was conducted among 100 boys and 100 girls at randomly selected colleges in the city during 2007-2008. Their health-promoting lifestyle profile (HPLP) and sense of coherence (SoC) scores were estimated in the interviews.

Girls are more optimistic in life and accept new experiences and challenges, reveals the study. The mean HPLP and SoC scores of the students were 138.69 and 130.87, respectively.

Girls also care more about their health than boys. Girls (63 per cent) consult doctors more than boys (50 per cent) and wash their hands more regularly (96 per cent) than boys (88 per cent).

The number of girl students practising yoga was double that of boy students. Only nine boys were found to be doing so against 18 girls.

While eating, girls are more concerened about the calories they consume than boys. More girls (25 per cent) make effort to choose a diet low in fat than boys (24 per cent).

The number of girls was also higher when it came to the knowledge about details of products to be consumed. A total of 68 per cent girls do not forget to read labels on packed food before eating. The number of such boys was 55 per cent.

The number of girls optimistic in life was also found to be on the higher side. A total of 72 per cent girls were found to be hopeful about their future, against 70 boys.

When it comes to spirituality, 92 per cent girls accepted that they had faith in God. Among boys, only 77 per cent said they believed in God.

Against 77 per cent boys, 88 per cent girls believe in meaningful relationships with friends. A total of 85 per cent girls said they were ready to accept new experiences and challenges, against 83 per cent boys.

The youth is seriously at risk of non-communicable diseases as they lead fast-paced lives, said Dr Amarjeet Singh. To counter this threat, the team had written the book ‘Mantras for healthy lifestyle- a salutogenic approach’ for students, he added.

Authored by Dr Sonu Goel, Dr Nandalal Singh, Dr Sonika Goel, Akanksha Goel, Tejinder Kaur, Canny Gogia and Dr Suraj Senjam, the book would be distributed free among students of five colleges in Chandigarh as part of an intervention package of the ICMR project on ‘salutogenesis’.

The healthy lifestyle package included physical exercise, healthy diet, yoga, religious or spiritual orientation, meditation and philanthropic activities, said Dr Amarjeet Singh.



Sectors stink as sanitation staff stir on
Tribune News Service

Garbage lies at the Sector-15 centre . Tribune Photo: S Chandan
Garbage lies at the Sector-15 centre. Tribune Photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, May 2
Continuing their protest, the members of the door-to-door garbage collection employees association today did not collect garbage at 11 sectors in the city. The employees staged a dharna in front of the office of the municipal corporation. A spokesman for the association said the employees did not collect garbage from Sector 10, where the Mayor’s residence is situated, in protest against her inaction on their grievances.

The employees said until the corporation made some arrangement to adjust them in the garbage collection wing, they would continue their strike in phases and not collect garbage.

Addressing a rally of the employees, former MP and national in charge of the legal and legislative cell of the BJP, Satya Pal Jain, urged the UT Administrator to call the representatives of the safai karamcharis, who had staged a dharna outside the office of the municipal corporation, hold talks with them and sort out the matter amicably by accepting their genuine demands.

Owing to the strike, residents had no option but to dispose of garbage on their own. FOSWAC president PC Sanghi took up the matter with the municipal corporation Commissioner, VP Singh.

He said until the matter between the employees and the authorities was sorted out, the authorities should make alternative arrangements for garbage collection.

During a visit to Sector 18, it was found that the garbage bags were lying near the gates of residences. No sanitation employee had turned up to collect them for the last two days.

Suman of Sector 27 said they had been disposing of garbage on their own as no employee had come to collect it for the last two days. She said even if the employees were protesting, it was the duty of the authorities to make some alternative arrangements for the disposal of domestic waste.

Opposing the pilot project launched in Sector 22, under which garbage-collection work had been awarded to a contractor, BJP councillor Arun Sood wrote to the MC Commissioner, stating that the authorities should start a pilot project in Sector 37, which was in his ward, but with different terms and conditions.

He suggested that the corporation not hire staff from a contractor for door-to-door collection as then earlier experience of the corporation of outsourcing garbage collection was not good.


Mohali favourite with Paying guests
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 2
With cheaper rent in comparison to Chandigarh and a number of professional colleges coming up in the adjoining areas of the town, Mohali has emerged as a big destination for youngsters who wish to stay as paying guests (PG).

According to a rough estimate, over 20,000 youngsters have been staying as PGs in different parts of the town and the number has been increasing rapidly.

“Now, most of the landlords prefer PGs to tenants. The simple reason is the huge income they earn from PGs. People here have been earning five times more than what they get as rent from tenants,” said Tajinder Singh, a resident of Phase III-B 2.

Rajesh Narang, who runs a PG accommodation in his house at Phase 7, said most of the youngsters preferred the town to Chandigarh due to cheaper PG charges here.

“Here the charges per person with food are between Rs 2,500 and 4,000 while in Chandigarh the charges normally start from a minimum of Rs 5,000,” said Narang.

The other reason, he added, was new constructions in the town. “The houses here are newly constructed while in Chandigarh most of the PG accommodations are being run in old houses where rooms are very small,” said Narang.

Only 115 registered with GMADA

While the number of PG accommodation runs in several hundreds, the GMADA records show the number of such houses is around 115 only.

“Earlier, it was 215 in 2009 but when we served notices on those who ran PG accommodations, the figure had come down to around 115,” said a senior official of GMADA, adding that the latest survey on PGs had been done in 2011.

Owing to a lackadaisical attitude of GMADA in dealing with the issue, only eight persons have registered with it to run the PG business.

Navjot Kaur, Estate Officer, GMADA, said she knew nothing about the issue. “You know I have joined here recently, so I am unaware of the facts,” said Navjot Kaur.

An official of the department admitted that the policy of GMADA defining the term PG was ‘ambiguous’ and people were ‘befooling’ the department by preparing rent deeds to show their PGs as tenants.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam admitted that the mushrooming of PG accommodations should be controlled. “The authorities concerned should enforce the terms and conditions properly. To avoid any action, the people in the business should also get themselves registered as per the law and furnish details of the PGs and the tenants to the police,” said Roojam.

Police acts fast on complaints

On a complaint of some neighbours, the Mohali police has rounded up at least 24 youngsters, including six girls, living in three adjoining flats in Sector 68. The owners of these flats were not residing in them, which is mandatory as per the guidelines of GMADA. The neighbours had complained that the youngsters had made their lives hell by making loud noises at odd hours and leading an objectionable lifestyle. The SP (City), Harpreet Singh, said the police gets such complaints every now and then. “We take immediate action on such complaints. The sufferers can approach us anytime,” said Harpreet Singh.

Residents complain

While the landlords in the PG business have been earning big bucks by converting their houses into PG accommodations, most of the persons living in the neighbourhood of such accommodations generally complain of several problems, including loud noise, rowdyism, haphazard parking of vehicles and ‘rampant dating’.

In our locality, several girls, living as PGs, wear skimpy clothes and never hesitate to meet their boyfriends in the locality. This affects our children a lot,” said Kavita, a housewife and resident of Phase 7.

Similarly, Parduman Singh of Sector 68 complained most of the boys living as PGs in his ‘mohalla’ sit in balconies of their houses or on the streets. “Most of the residents here do not allow their girls to venture out. Rampant dating in the nearby parks and in front of houses is another big problem we face here,” said Parduman Singh.



Chandigarh scan
Awards for child welfare

The Ministry of Women and Child Development, New Delhi, has instituted the National Award for Child Welfare to give recognition to individuals and institutions who have made outstanding contributions to child welfare. The award will be given to three individuals and five institutions. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 3 lakh and a citation to each institution and Rs 1 lakh and a citation to each individual. The ministry has also instituted Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award for Service to Children to give recognition to three individuals who make outstanding contribution to service for children in the field of child development, child protection and child welfare. The award will be given to three individuals who have worked for the cause of children for over 10 years. It carries a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh and a citation.


The Chandigarh Administration has appointed Rajiv Kumar Gupta, PCS, Joint Commissioner and Secretary, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, relieving Laiit Siwach, HCS, Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, of the charge with immediate effect.

Public hearing

The Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, Shivraj Patil, will not be visiting the UT Secretariat for the public hearing session scheduled to be held on May 7.

Online filing of ESIC returns

The Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has mandated online submission of filing of its returns of contributions (RC) to make the process more convenient for thousands of employers across the region. Acting on various reports that several branches, including those in Punjab, have demanded submission of hard copies of RCs, the Delhi headquarters, in an order sent to all the branch offices has clarified that under no circumstances the employers are to be asked to submit the hard copies of RCs. “The move to go online for submission of returns aims at ensuring complete transparency in the working of the organisation and enhancing convenience to the employers whose number runs into thousands here. The system will in the long run prove to be beneficial for employees who will get maximum benefit under this central scheme”, said Subhash Sharma, Assistant Director-cum-Manager, ESIC, Chandigarh.

Coaching classes

The last date for the submission of applications for a fresh batch of coaching classes for the UGC-NET examination (humanities), to be started at the Centre for IAS & other Competitive Examinations, Panjab University, has been extended to May 5. The classes will commence from May 7, said Prof Rajan Gaur, Honorary Director of the Centre.

Career exhibition

A career exhibition by the students of MEd (Guidance and Counselling), Department of Education, Panjab University, will be held at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sector 25, from 10 am to 1 pm on May 4, Dr Nandita, Chairperson, Department of Education, PU, said.

Garhwal Sabha poll

The elections to the Garwal Sabha, Chandigarh, will be held on May 6. The results will be announced on May 7. There are 36 candidates in the fray. The Uttarakhand Yuva Jan Chetna Manch, led by Vikram Singh Bisht, is the new contender this time.


The following have been elected the office-bearers of the Industries Association of Chandigarh: president- Arun Mahajan; vice-president- Arvind K Mehan; honorary secretary- YK Mahajan; joint secretary- SK Dhir; and treasurer- Kulbir Pahwa.


Dr Ranjay Vardhan, Senior Assistant Professor of Sociology at the PG Government College for Girls, Sector 42, has been invited to present his paper, “Gender and Conflict: A Case Analysis of Role Conflict of Working Women”, at the IJAS International Conference for Academic Disciplines to be held at Harvard University, Massachusetts, US, from May 27 to 31. He has earlier presented papers at international conferences in Europe and Asia.


UT Inspector General of Police PK Srivastava on Wednesday inaugurated state-of-the-art dental equipment (dental chair), installed in the Police Hospital in Sector 26 Police Lines. Dr P Mangat, MO dental surgeon, gave the briefing of working of new equipment.


Negi Garhwal Sabha chief

Major Onkar Singh Negi (retd) and Lalit Vikram Singh Negi were unanimously elected president and general secretary, respectively, of the Garhwal Sabha, Panchkula, on Tuesday. The other elected office-bearers are: senior vice-president - Bir Singh Bisht; vice-president - Surinder Singh Rawat; secretary - Jaswant Singh Sajwan; finance secretary - Jasbir Singh Negi; culture secretary - Devinder Mundepi; observer - Chander Pal Singh Bisht; and organisation secretaries - Ranbir Singh Jagri, Satinder Singh Negi, Ranbir Singh Bisht and Baghat Singh Bisht.

BTech course

The Gurukul Vidyapeeth Institute of Engineering and Technology would offer a BTech course in 3D animation and graphics. The course has been approved by the AICTE. The institute would offer intensive programmes that will slowly, but surely, equip the students with the knowledge about the technologies used in 3D animation. — TNS


Mohali scan


An investiture was organised by Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Sector 69, to nominate students for various appointments in the school. The Principal, SK Sharma, formally inducted the selected students into the School Council. Addressing the students, Sharma said the school had bestowed a huge responsibility on them and they should carry out their duties in such a way that they set an example for the entire school. Shimran Chawla was appointed Head Girl and Danish Chadha Head Boy.



Removal of hoardings
Notices issued to 100 traders
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

A view of hoardings on showrooms at a market in Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, May 2
Concerned over the haphazard hoardings put up by traders in various markets of the town, which not only block fresh air but also play a major hindrance in firefighting operations in case of emergency, the authorities have served notices to showroom owners.

According to information, more than 100 traders in the town have issued notices for illegally putting hoardings in front of their business establishments by the municipal corporation (MC).

The step has been taken after the recent survey conducted by the MC authorities after several shops in a showroom in Sector 11 were gutted on March 28. Sources said a survey in various sectors was completed recently in which more than 100 shopkeepers were found to be violating the Advertisement Act of the MC. The authorities have issued notices to the violators to remove the same within seven days, failing which an action would be taken as per the law.

Notably, large hoardings installed outside the showroom in Sector 11 had hindered the operations of firemen, as they failed to target water cannons towards the first and second floor of the showrooms.

It was only after a hydraulic fire tender, two water boozers and one fire tender were brought from Chandigarh, which doused fire. It took more than two hours for 11 fire tenders from the town and Chandigarh to extinguish the fire.

Executive official OP Sihag said notices had been served to more than 100 showroom owners to remove the hoardings, which obstructs the firefighting operations. He said if the showroom owners failed to remove the hoardings, legal action would be taken against them. He said they would also be instructed to install the firefighting equipment at the shops, which would help in reducing the impact of the fire.



HUDA takes possession of plot
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 2
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) today took possession of plot 190 at Sector 4 in the Mansa Devi Complex (MDC) her today. The plot had been allotted to the chairman of Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC), RN Prashar.

The action was taken by HUDA following the decision of the apex court to cancel the allotment about 14 months ago. Earlier the Haryana Urban Development Authority authorities had twice gone to take possession of the plot, but as the house was locked, the team had returned empty handed.

Prashar had land at Bhainsa Tibba village, near Mansa Devi temple. An award for 848 square metres was announced by the land acquisition collector on September 5, 2000.

The land was released from acquisition in 2006. Instead of handing over possession of the land released, plot 190 was allotted to Prashar in exchange of the land released by Haryana Urban Development Authority.

Following the illegal release of land and its exchange with a plot worth crores at the MDC, the Punjab and Haryana High Court itself took cognisance of the matter as some petitioners, including Prashar, sought the enhancement of compensation after the withdrawal of petitions started.



3 buses sans permit impounded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The State Transport Authority of the UT today impounded three private vehicles which were plying in the city without permit. Confirming the development, Secretary Balbir Singh Dhol, said: “Two buses were going to Rajasthan and the third one to Punjab. The buses going to Rajasthan were, in fact, offering sleeper facility, which is not permitted in the city. We had issued at least three advertisements in the leading newspapers warning bus operators who ply such buses, illegally”.

“The teams carried out a surprise inspection at the ticket counters in Sector 22. The inspection was followed up with raids at the places where these buses were parked. For a simple challan, an operator is required to pay a compounding fee. Buses plying without permits have to get their papers through the courts,” Dhol added.



BJP councillor succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Laxmi Devi Chandigarh, May 2
A 55-year-old BJP councillor, Laxmi Devi of ward number 7, died today after remaining in comma for a month. The first timer, Laxmi Devi, met with a road accident one month ago after which she did not regain consciousness. A BJP senior leader said she was admitted to the PGI and died at 5 this morning.

She survived by her husband Mamchand Rana, who was ex-sarpanch of the village, and four children, out of which three are married.

All municipal corporation councilors, along with the Mayor and officials were present during cremation at Maloya.



Model alleges colleague dumped her
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
In a case of matrimonial dispute, a city-based model has alleged that a colleague of hers married her and then dumped her. The woman alleged that the accused, who is a resident of Haryana and a model, married her in a temple at Sector 19.

According to the police, the two, who are in their mid-twenties, are friends. The girl had approached the police saying that the man now refused to accept her. She also produced some photographs to ascertain her claim.

The police has not registered any case in this regard and the crime against women cell is probing the matter. The man, Pardeep Kharab, a native of Haryana, has said to have worked in certain Bollywood movies.



‘Avoid smoking during IPL matches’
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 2
Mohali’s Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam today issued directions to the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) to refrain from surrogate advertisements and smoking during the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) matches at the stadium.

“Mohali has been announced as the first smoke-free town of the state, so no promotion of any such banned product would be tolerated,” said Roojam.

Notably, the authorities have already issued about a dozen challans for smoking in the stadium during the last few matches.

Roojam added that an action would also be taken against all those found selling and using tobacco products at any site in the town.



Police directive to jewellers
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, May 2
The police today directed jewellers and owners of petrol pumps to take precautionary measures to avoid any untoward incidents on their premises.

In a meeting held at the police station, the police has directed the businessmen to install CCTV cameras and alarm system on their premises and set up safes to keep cash.

Station House Officer of the Zirakpur police station, Tarlochan Singh, said the meeting was called to alert these businessmen. “It was a routine meeting and they (the businessmen) were told about new safety systems, which help in avoiding the untoward incidents,” said Tarlochan Singh.



Panjab university
Teachers divided over leave rules
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The demand for implementing Child Care Leave (CCL) for teachers in Panjab University (PU) has left the teaching fraternity divided. While the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) wants to get two-years of CCL implemented (the leave can be taken anytime till the child turns 18 years old), senior teachers say that the move would bring down their causal leaves from 20 days to 8 days and duty leaves, which currently are unlimited, to 30 days per year.

PU authorities called a meeting today after PUTA announced to stage a protest. The meeting was attended by PU officials, senior faculty members and the PUTA president.

The meeting witnessed opposition from various faculty members who were of the view that adopting the UGC leave regulations in toto would adversely affect the teachers who could not avail the CCL. Presently, the university is following Leave Regulation Calendar Volume I.

A senior faculty member said that they are not opposing the implementation of CCL, but there should be some provision to ensure that the teachers whose children have already turned 18 are not adversely affected. “The introduction would cut down our casual leaves and will also restrict the duty leave to 30 days a year,” said a faculty member.

PUTA on the other hand stated that the provision of CCL is very much a part of the UGC Regulations 2010.

“The state and central governments have already implemented the scheme and the female employees are availing two years of leave meant for looking after minor children in the family,” PUTA president Akshay Kumar said. Kumar further added that around 50 per cent of the PU faculty consists of young woman employees and the scheme has a social mandate. Working couples bringing up children in the modern day competitive world need to provide full time parenting and attention to their children. In order to express resentment over the delay in implementation of CCL, PUTA will stage a protest on Thursday at the VC office.

PU Registrar AK Bhandari said that the new rules cannot be introduced overnight. The old rules need to be amended by the Regulation Committee and would then go to the Syndicate. After the Senate approval, the matter will be sent to the Ministry of Human Resource and Development for final approval.

The Registrar also said that if the university replaces the existing rules with the UGC rules, there would be changes in all kinds of leaves.



School notes
'All-Fruits Day'

St Joan’s Public School, Zirakpur, celebrated “All Fruits Day” in all its fervour. Students and teachers participated whole-heartedly in the event with students bringing fruits in their tiffin. Some students made a collage of their favourite fruits, while others recited rhymes and sang songs. Students were also provided fruits by the school management. The principal told the students about importance of eating fruits and made the students aware about the necessity of eating fruits daily.


A total of 231 students of Rayat & Bahra College of Education, Sahauran, received BEd and MEd degrees during the college’s fourth convocation held today at its Mohali campus. Chief guest Sikandar Singh Maluka, Education, Higher Education and Language Minister, Government of Punjab, delivered the convocation address. Chairman Gurvinder Singh Bahra gave information about the Rayat Bahra Group of Institutes and appreciated the initiative of adopting over hundred schools under the neighbourhood development programme. Maluka said that it was is the need of the hour to update the curriculum and make education relevant to today’s needs. Lamenting that Punjab was lagging behind in higher education, Maluka said that a lot needs to be done to bring Punjab at par with other states.


An inter-house quiz competition was held in the premises of Shishu Niketan, Mohali. The quiz was based on the newspaper headlines of April. Students were told to read the newspaper daily and collect the headlines. The motive behind the quiz was to develop the habit of reading newspapers among the students. The participants of all houses were well prepared and the Nilgiri House emerged as the winner in a close competition.


The investiture ceremony for the 2012-13 session was held at Saupin's-32, Chandigarh, today. It was a proud moment for the newly elected members of the student council as they marched to hold the honour. Guneet Singh Sidhu and Astha Chopra were awarded the badge of honour and sash for the post of Head-Boy and Head-Girl respectively. Sunil Bhatia, Director of Sports, Chandigarh, administered the oath of office to the office bearers who pledged to perform their duties with utmost sincerity. Dinesh Mongia (famous international cricketer) was the guest of honour. The major attraction of the day was the declaration of scholarships worth Rs 3 lakh to the deserving students in various sporting fields. 114 students were given cash-prizes and scholarships. — Tribune Reporters



Science department to get Rs 20-cr grant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Panjab University is soon expected to get a purse grant of Rs 20 crore for carrying research in the department of sciences. A presentation was made today by the Vice Chancellor in this regard before the Department of Science and Technology at Delhi.

The university had got the first instalment of Rs 10 crore under purse grant in 2009 and utilised the amount. For claiming the remaining Rs 20 crore of grant, PU, along with around 20 other universities, made a presentation on the progress of the university.

PU’s Dean Research RK Kohli also accompanied the VC for the presentation. Kohli said that the university’s level of H-Index (a measure of the level of research) was 50 at the time of the first instalment. While in last three years the H-Index has jumped to 85. “Our H-Index was the second highest among the all universities that gave the presentation for the second instalment of the grant,” Kohli said. He also said that they are hopeful of getting the grant, which would be further utilised for carrying research in the department of sciences.



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