C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Garg at the receiving end
Protesters dump garbage in front of Senior Deputy Mayor’s house'
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The stink of the strike by door-to-door garbage-collection employees reached the door of the municipal corporation (MC) here today as hundreds of protesters piled up garbage in front of the house of Senior Deputy Mayor Darshan Kumar Garg.

He tried to get help from Mayor Raj Bala Malik and MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh, but nobody reached the spot to help him. The police came to his rescue, following which the protesters decided to go back.

The employees had been up in arms for the last one week against the pilot project started by the MC to transport garbage directly from houses to the garbage-processing plant on a contract basis. They feared losing their means of livelihood.

Around 10:30 am, hundreds of protesting employees belonging to the rag-pickers branch of the Rahstriya Safai Mazdoor Congress went in front of Garg’s house at Palsora in Sector 56 here and threw garbage there.

The president of the union, Shamsher Lohatia, said the Senior Deputy Mayor had tried to scuttle the strike by asking contractual workers to lift garbage in his area. This enraged them and they threw garbage in front of his house, he added.

In case the authorities failed to protect the interests of employees, such protests would be staged in front of the houses of the Mayor and the MC Commissioner as well, he further said.

Garg said he failed to understand the reason behind the move of employees as he was not the only one who was associated with the decision to start the pilot project.

“I am more pained that no councillor or MC official came to help me. After waiting for them, I requested contractual employees in the area to lift the garbage. It was lifted after 4 pm,” he said.

Residents had been at the receiving end as they had to dispose of garbage themselves. Garbage had been littered all around dustbins placed at different places in sectors, leaving the areas stinking.

The open space behind the Vivek High School had been turned into a garbage-dumping ground as dustbin had already been filled.

Renu of Sector 47 said she had been disposing of garbage from her house for the last four days. There was no space to dispose it of at dustbins in the area, she added.

Crux of the matter

Garbage-collection workers and their families had been protesting against MC plans of giving the job to contractors. They feared that they would lose their jobs or be heavily underpaid. They had been seeking pay in accordance with the scales of regular MC workers. The civic body authorities has been maintaining that the workers need not fear as they would be adjusted on the rolls of new contractors, which was unacceptable to them. 



Going not easy for probe committee
Hard to verify details of property outside UT of most beneficiaries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The three-member committee probing the booth allotment scam of the UT estate office has been finding it hard to verify property details of a majority of the 88 beneficiaries.

The reason is that the committee has no clue about the property details of beneficiaries, like plot number and sector or area of location.

Under such circumstances, the panel may find it hard to fix beneficiaries for hiding information about other properties at the time of allotment of booths at the Sector-41 booth market. The panel is headed by Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh.

Assistant estate officer Rahul Gupta said it would not be possible to disclose details of the probe yet.

Barring around 14 cases, in which the estate office had been able to dig out details of other properties located in Chandigarh, getting details of properties located at Mohali, Mullanpur and other peripheral areas was nearly impossible.

As per the inquiry report submitted by former Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) PS Shergill and statements given by complainants Nathu Ram and Dinesh Kumar Sood, incomplete details of properties of beneficiaries had been mentioned.

Since the major anomaly was hiding information about other properties, it was imperative to thoroughly verify contents of complaints and correlate those.

While the estate office could act against beneficiaries whose irregularities had been proved beyond doubt, the same yardstick could not be used against the beneficiaries whose property details were incomplete.

The estate office had issued show-cause notices to 88 beneficiaries, giving them the opportunity of a hearing.

During the inquiry conducted by the ADC, none of the beneficiaries, including UT officials and politicians, were given the opportunity to give their viewpoint.

Last year, the Administration had constituted the panel to take the findings of the two-year-old Shergill report to its logical conclusion.

The Administration had pointed out that Shergill did not seek the response of a single person against whom the allegations were levelled.

Booth scam timeline

While probing the allotments at the Sector-41 market between 2002 and 2007, Shergill had pointed to the involvement of politicians and officials. According to the report, the financial dimensions ran into crores. The inquiry officer had relied entirely on the complainants. After fire at the Bajwara ‘rehri’ market on May 23, 1989, the first complaint was made in May, 200, and the second in November, 2005. It was alleged that the list of 119 was cut to 171 before the draw in 2007. The complainants issued a legal notice in February, 2010. The ADC submitted the report on February 24, 2011. The Administration ordered a thorough probe thereafter. 



SIT submits report on kidney scam
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 6
The special investigation team (SIT), constituted to go deep into the facts of the infamous kidney scam here, has reportedly indicted around seven persons in its report.

Sources claimed that discrepancies had been found at certain levels in the scam and the persons indicted included the clerical staff of local hospitals and agents who had brought or arranged donors and patients.

The SIT submitted its report to the Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police, GS Bhullar, who stated that he was yet to go through the report. He confirmed that he had received the report.

“The report has been submitted to me, but I have yet to go through it,” said Bhullar, adding that he would be able to comment on it only after studying it.

He claimed that the guilty, if any, would not be spared. The sources also claimed that more persons were expected to land in the police net in the future.

It had taken more than four months for the SIT to complete its investigations and prepare its report in the scam, which was unearthed in December last year. During the process of investigations, the SIT had physically verified the maximum number of donors and recipients of kidneys, whose names surfaced in the scam. The number of such persons was said to be over 200.

The sources claimed that in certain cases of kidney transplant, the addresses given by donors and recipients to hospitals concerned were found to be bogus.

A report in this regard was published in these columns on February 22, which mentioned that at least 15 such cases had been detected where donors and recipients from outside the state, even from Nepal, gave local addresses, where they either stayed for a few days or never did. 



Board results not to matter much
Private schools have filled around 2,500 of the 3,000 class-XI seats
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
With private schools here having already filled around 2,500 of the 3,000 class-XI seats, CBSE and ICSE board examination results will have little relevance this year.

With schools having got the go-ahead to admit their own class-X students, the opportunity has been utilised by schools to start class-XI admissions, unofficially giving seats on the basis of pre-board scores.

This action, which according to schools will give those the much-required extra academic month, has not only defeated the relevance and purpose of board scores, but will also take the admission cutoff to an all-time high, much to the annoyance of those awaiting class-X results.

“My school is only up to class X. I have scored 85 per cent in the pre-board examination, but expect above 95 per cent in the board examination. I tried for provisional admission in the medical stream at a known private school, but it refused,” said Tamanna Sanyal, who had appeared from a local convent school.

“It has asked for management fund, which my father cannot afford. I decided to wait till the board results, but the school told us that only three seats were vacant in the medical stream and the cutoff was expected to be 98 per cent. What is the fun of performing in the board examination if seats are already sold out,” she added.

Agreeing with her, many parents accused schools of demanding money for provisional admission. Information technology professional Gurjeet Singh said, “The talk about using pre-board scores is just a drama. In reality, the one who pays the most gets the seat. I have just shifted here and my daughter had appeared in the class-X examination from a Delhi school.”He added, “When I got to know about admissions, I took her to many schools here, but nobody gave a damn about her 90 per cent score in the pre-board examination. They wanted around Rs 1 lakh as management fund to secure her a seat in her stream. It is ridiculous and the authorities should do something.”

When contacted, Independent School Association president HS Mamik said, “There may be a few black sheep, who are selling seats, but not us. We are taking pre-board scores into account, in addition to the principle of first-come-first-served. We are running a bridge course and that is perfectly allowed under the CBSE.”

‘Extra money? No way’

}Schools can start the class-XI session for their own class-X students, but will have to ensure that no child is forced to change the stream once the results are declared. No school can demand any extra money or bribe to give seats. Parents should report any such incident to us and we will look into the matter.~

RJ Khanderao, Regional Director, CBSE 



Making a mockery of security cover
Key witness in Beant Singh assassination case has received several threats
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 6
Balwinder Singh, key witness in the assassination case of then Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, has been virtually left to fend for himself as neither the Chandigarh Police, nor the Punjab Police has taken full responsibility for his security.

The arrangement on paper is different from the reality on the ground. A police escort leaves him at the Chandigarh-Mohali border. From there, he is accompanied by only two policemen.

He is supposed to have at least seven security personnel and an escort vehicle. The van at his service is not functional, making a mockery of the exercise of providing him security cover.

Balwinder has anticipated a serious threat to his life. His apprehension is important in the context that he happens to be the crucial witness during the trial.

To make matters worse, at least a couple of accused in the case are on the run and the prime witness has received explicit threatening notes from different quarters.

According to information provided in court, the Chandigarh Police is supposed to have given five PSOs, a guard, a PCR motorcycle and a round-the-clock PCR patrol at his house in Chandigarh. “As I have shifted to Mohali, the PCR motorcycle escort does not come there. They say they have to remain within the limits of the city,” Balwinder said.

“When I go to my duty at the 13th Battalion office in the city everyday, they reach there directly instead of escorting me while I travel in the city,” he further said. The Gypsy provided to escort him was in a dilapidated condition, he added. Most of the time, it used to break down, he rued. “What is the purpose of giving a condemned vehicle for security? Adding insult to injury, no driver has been provided for the vehicle,” he lamented.

“At no point of time am I given a cover of more than two policemen. I was clearly told that I would be provided seven personnel for security,” he said. Balwinder claimed that he had approached several senior officials, but was still waiting for the outcome.

“I have also met senior officials of the Punjab Police to provide me security on the pattern of the UT Police,” he said. Balwinder had also sent a representation to the President last week, mentioning several other problems being faced by him. 


Wooing Bacchus lovers with gifts
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
In a matter of few days, the usual scene of the Bacchus lovers making a beeline to the liquor vends across the city has changed. Now, the liquor contractors are running after Bacchus lovers to woo them.

Right from offering discounts in the traverns to free gift on every purchase at the counter, the contractors after giving high bids are finding ways and means to keep their business running. “ I am offering 10 per cent discount on the bill in the travern, if a person buys liquor from my vend”, said Navneet, a liquor contractor of Sector 17 here.

The UT Excise and Taxation Department in the new Excise Policy 2012-2013 has increased the license fee and excise duty substantially. Followings this, the liquor prices in Chandigarh have come almost at par with the neighbouring vends in Mohali.

Mela Ram, a liquor vend operator in Burail, was giving torch, set of glasses and key rings as gifts. Sat Pal, another contractor, said apart from giving gifts, he was signing each and every bottle to lend credibility and genuineness to the sale.

In the new policy, the minimum retail price of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) and country liquor has been increased by 40 per cent to 50 per cent. The counter sale price of liquor has increased by at least 35 per cent compared to the previous years prices. In case of IMFL, the excise duty and the assessment fee has been increased up to Rs 60 per proof litre (PL). The minimum reserved price of a liquor vend has been based on the last year’s highest quoted price for the respective vend and further increasing it by 20 per cent. The UT Excise Department has kept the annual quota of country liquor unchanged at 27 lakh proof litre (PL) and of IMFL at two crore PL.

About 2 lakh cartons of pervious year IMFL quota is still to be lifted

Officials in the excise department reveal that about two lakh cartons of liquor of the last year IMFL quota could not be lifted despite concerted effort by the contractors to offer heavy discounts. 



Another 200 challaned in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
Continuing its drive against use of tinted glass on cars, the UT police challaned another 200 vehicles today.
In the last three days, more than 750 offenders have been booked and the black film has been removed on the spot. Besides this, the Chandigarh Traffic Police organised special drives against drunk driving and over-speeding in the city.

Last night, seven barriers were set up at different places in the city to check drunk driving from 11pm to 2am and 40 persons were challaned for drunk driving and all the vehicles were impounded. During a checking of over-speeding vehicles at different places, 275 offenders have been booked this week.

Residents in Sector 28 faced inconvenience today as over 150 car owners crowded the Sector 28 motor market to get black films removed from their cars. The residents alleged that the shop owners burnt the removed car films, which polluted the air in the area. Kuldeep Singh Walia, a Sector 28 resident, alleged they had to face a lot of inconvenience on Sunday and the air was polluted in the area due to the burning of black films. 



Whistle blower cries foul, assaulted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The whistle blower in the scam involving registration of sale deeds of Shivalik Hills on the basis of bogus documents in Majri Tehsil has alleged inaction on part of the Mohali police to act against the persons who attacked and assaulted him. He was admitted to the trauma ward at GMSH, Sector 16, when one of his hands suffered serious injury in the attack that took place few days ago. A part of one of the finger of the victim has been chopped off in the assault.

Victim Sher Singh had got an FIR registered against several persons for selling of land in Jyanti Majri block while showing dead and non-existing persons as sellers of land. The Police had registered an FIR after he had approached the High Court. SSP GPS Bhullar said that justice would prevail and the investigation would be done throughly.

But instead of probing the matter and taking the assailants to task, the police has registered a case of assault and trespass against Sher Singh on a complaint lodged by Rekha, who has alleged that she was assaulted after Sher Singh tress passed in her house. She was admitted to the Kharar hospital. “The police has registered a counter case to pressure me to keep silent about the scam” Sher Singh said. The police said they were probing into the matter 



Better facilities at GMSH- 16
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
City residents can hope for better health care at Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, in the near future as the authorities have started computerisation of many facilities, including X-ray machines, pharmacy, and even reports of diagnostic laboratories.

While the trial run of X-ray machines has already been initiated, it will take some more time to extend this procedure to other facilities, said Dr Rajeev Wadhera, medical superintendent.

The X-ray machine has been attached with a computer in the radiology department. With this the image of the X-ray of a patient will be downloaded into the computer and through the local area network, it will be available to the doctors on their computers no matter whether they are sitting in the OPD, emergency or in the operationa theatre. An added advantage of the faiciltiy will be that the physician will be able to zoom in the X-ray of his patient on his desktop for which he had to go to the X-ray room earlier. This facility will help in early diagnosis of a patient, which will further result in prompt and proper treatment. And it will also save the patient and his attendants from shuttling between the X-ray room and OPDs.

Till now, a majority of the patients visiting the OPDs are directed to collect their X-ray report the next day. The doctors at the hospital, however, attend their OPDs every alternate day. In case a doctor avails a holiday on the day of the OPD, many patients have to wait for five days for further consultation. With report of the X-ray available on computer network of the hospital, the doctor will be able to examine the report on the same day.

For the reports from dianostic laboratories fully automatic machines equipped with self -generating reports will be attached to the computers and the report of such tests will be available on all the computers. The doctor will only need to feed the registration number of the patient to locate the report.

Upgraded equipment

Computerisation of many facilities, including X-ray machines, pharmacy, and even reports of diagnostic laboratories, treatment will become easier and fast.



Reconstitute Punjab Wakf Board on old pattern: Jamait-e-Ulma Hind
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The Jamait-e-Ulma Hind has demanded restoration of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh Wakf Board to its earlier form that existed before 2003.

The president of Jamait-e-Ulma Hind, Hazrat Maulana Arshad Madni, while addressing the media here said the way Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was advocating single Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for Punjab and Haryana, the Jamait-e-Ulma Hind also wanted a single Wakf Board for the two states to deal with problems of the Muslim community.

Instead of giving land for education and religious purposes on lease, the government should permanently transfer land in the name of concerned organisations and make it free hold. He also demanded that encroachments made on places related to the Muslim community should be immediately vacated and further encroachments should be stopped.

“In a democratic country like India, it is not justified to be partial towards any religion. Giving example of Chandigarh, he added that the City Beautiful had a large number of Muslim population spread over various sectors in the city. “However, there are few mosques in the city to perform namaz, whereas the city has enough number of religious places of worship of different religions,” he said. He also pointed towards the Muslim children were lagging behind in education due to lack of a Madarsa.

He said that Punjab, Haryana, HP and Chandigarh did not have any provision for education in Urdu because of which the Muslim children were bereft of their traditional education system. He said in 2009, the Central Wakf Board directed that the Punjab Wakf Board be re-constituted on the old pattern wherein the boards of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh be brought under one umbrella.

Others present on the spot were Jamait-e-Ulma Hind general secretary Maulana Azmi Farooqui; Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh’s president Maulana Mohammad Khalid Qazmi, general secretary Maulana Shakeel Ahmed Qazmi, vice-president Maulana Mumtaz Ahmed Qazmi, Peer Ji Hafiz Hussain Ahmed Mujaidi, Sector 20 Jama Masjid’s Imam Maulana Mohamad Ajmal Khan, Mufti Khalil Ahmed from Malerkotla and president of the Panchkula Muslim Vikas Society Major Mohammad Shafiq.



Security gates sans guards, notice to contractor Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, May 6
The security gate system of the town seems to have gone for a toss with complaints trickling in from the residents about the absence of guards at many gates compelling the Mohali municipal council to put the contractor on notice and threatening to scrap the agreement with him.

A three-day period directing the contractor to provide details about the guards hired by him for manning the gates at night has expired.

The contractor was told to furnish the address; phone numbers, ESI number and other details, failing which the letter issued to him would be considered as a three-month notice for ending the contract.

Following the complaints from the residents that several metal gates were not in a proper shape and were often found swinging freely on to the road, a letter was issued to the contractor by the council.

As many as 69 security gates were installed in various parts of the town for providing security to residents at night. The contractor, who was using these gates for displaying paid advertisements, was asked to hire security guards as per the terms of the agreement.

As per the plan, these gates were to be closed at night leaving one gate open which was to be manned by a security guard who would maintain a register to enter the names of persons entering that particular area once the gates were closed. The security guard was to be deployed after carrying out police verification.

Vishawdeep Dutta of Selvel Company, however, said he had received the letter from the council asking him to provide details in connection with security guards. He said he would furnish all details of his employees on May 7. He added that he had employed more than 20 security personnel to man the gates at night and two supervisors.

Earlier, he had repaired 14 gates,” added Dutta.

The plan to put up security gates was drawn by the former SSP of Mohali, Jatinder Singh Aulakh, and was discussed at length in a meeting, which was attended by former SP (City) Varinder Pal Singh and former council president Rajinder Singh Rana.



It’s not going to be a cakewalk for new DCP
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 6
The new Deputy Commissioner of Police, Parul Jain, will assume the charge tomorrow.

Earlier, a Superintendent of Police, who could take decisions at his own level, headed the district police, but after the introduction of the commissionerate system, the DCP has to report to the IG who is also the Commissioner of Ambala and Panchkula districts.

In such a situation, the new DCP will have to prove her ability in taking any important decision.

Due to the town’s close proximity to Union Territory of Chandigarh, reports of every minor or major incident reach the top officials of the state government and senior politicians. There are about 1,100 police personnel to guard the district spread over 60 sq km with a population of 5.5 lakh while 400 police officials remain on VVIP duty.

The district shares border with the neighbouring states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, besides UT Chandigarh which helps criminals escape easily.

There is also a shortage of traffic police personnel. Commuters can be seen jumping the red light in the absence of any check. A number of accidents have occurred on the national highway number 22 and 73. Earlier, 200 home guard jawans were recruited to man the major accident spots but due to financial crunch they had to be withdrawn.

The police so far has failed to crack the murder of a chowkidar in the Berkeley loot case, NRI murder in Morni hills and Rs 6 lakh gunpoint robbery near Little Flower School in Sector 15. Improvement of the traffic system and coordination between the police and general public are the major challenges before the new DCP.



Police ropes in co. to curb crime
To register data, photographs, fingerprints of tenants, domestic helps
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The Chandigarh police is in the process of registering data, photographs and fingerprints of tenants, domestic helps, vendors and floating labourers such as security guards, plumbers, electricians, drivers, immigrants and other casual labour to track such persons incase they commit any crime.

A Delhi-based company, which has already done such an exercise successfully in the cities like Mumbai, Gurgaon, Delhi and Noida today in association with the local police briefed residents at a meeting of the Federation of Sector Welfare Association, Chandigarh (FOSWAC) here.

The first executive Committee meeting after the elections of office-bearers of FOSWAC was at the Auditorium of Baba Makhan Shah Lobana Bhawan, Sector 30-A.

Chairman PC Sanghi, at the meeting informed the members that the Resident Welfare Association (RWA) named as one/two bedroom CHB flats, Sector 49-D had submitted an application for seeking affiliation with FOSWAC, which was approved by the executive committee. Another RWA of Sector 44 C had also shown interest to become the member of FOSWAC in the next meeting, he said.

The issue regarding the implementation of garbage collection project all over the city on the pattern of a pilot project taken up by the MCC in Sector 22 was discussed and on account of the lack of consensus, the matter was deferred to the next meeting.



Training in dealing with epileptic students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The School of Public Health, PGIMER, in association with the National Rural Health Mission, UT, Chandigarh, will organise a series of workshops on “First aid management of epilepsy” for schoolteachers and students of Chandigarh. The four-day workshop will start from tomorrow at the PGI.

The workshops are part of the project entitled “Evaluating the impact of comprehensive epilepsy education programme for school teachers in Chandigarh city” sponsored by NRHM, UT, Chandigarh. Principal investigator Dr Sonu Goel, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh, will head the project along with co-investigators.

Epilepsy affects nearly 50 million people worldwide. However, 80 per cent cases of epilepsy are found in the developing countries. Epilepsy is a grave social stigma in most societies. It also leads to increased risk of mortality and morbidity. In India, it has been reported that schoolteachers and students lack knowledge regarding the appropriate first aid action to be taken for epilepsy management. Various wrong practices and myths associated with epilepsy have also been reported among students.



Machine that cleans shoes
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
Everyone has heard of a washing machine that cleans the clothes, however, the students of the PEC University have come-up with a cleansing devise that washes shoes, cleans it with brush and also dries the shoes. This multi-purpose cleansing devise gets the shoe ready to wear at the same time after the wash.

A team of four students of mechanical engineering department that include Prabhjot Singh, Rajat Saini, Rahul Bansal and Hitesh Singla is behind the innovative project.

Rahul, one of the team members, said that they have conceptualised, designed and fabricated a cleansing mechanism to render non-leather shoe dirt free.

Explaining about the devise Rahul said that the proposed solution would employ the same cleaning action of detergent-water mixture as used in conventional washing machines, but in addition provision is made for the brushing and drying of the article. “The absence of these two mechanisms is the main disadvantage while washing shoes etc in conventional washing machine. Hence, we fill this void in the vast market of multipurpose washing machines with the following device,” he said.

Prabhjot, another member of the team, said that the entire phenomenon of washing takes place inside a closed cubical chamber called the cleansing chamber.

The chamber is made of wood, which is lined with waterproof coating, or fibreglass. The cleansing mechanism is carried out in three stages including dry washing, wet washing and drying.

“The first stage includes dry washing by compressed air. To accomplish this we required a compressed air cylinder. Initially, shoe is mounted in between the clamps, which are rotated by the motor. The compressed air is delivered to the cleansing-chamber by means of multiple nozzles directed at the shoe. The nozzles are horizontally placed in the side faces of chamber. The dirt is blown away and collected at the bottom of the chamber,” Prabhjot said.

After the dry cleansing of the shoe, the water mixed with detergent in required amount is pumped from the water tank placed alongside the cleansing chamber. Here the cleansing action is accomplished using brushes mounted on the wooden plates. The team members stated that after wet washing the dirty water is drained out through the drain holes in the bottom face of the cleansing chamber and the brushes are lifted side wards to clear the view of compressed air coming out of nozzles so as to get a direct hit on the shoe. Then comes the drying stage that uses compressed heated air, which is delivered through the same nozzles.

The students believe that the device can be employed in industries like shoe manufacturing as a finish-cleaning machine.



Six-story collage ‘Chekhov ki Duniya’ captivates audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, May 6
The National School of Drama Repertoire company, Delhi, and Rang Virsat with The Tribune group of newspapers as the media partner presented a collage of six stories titled ‘Chekhov ki Duniya’ as part of two day Yayawar Theatre festival being held at the auditorium of Vivek High School, here today.

The accomplished artists of the apex theatre ensemble virtually translated the soul of writings of the Great Russian author Anton Chekhov and saluted his genius by enacting the stories with diverse thematic content with perfection under the able direction of invincible thespian Ranjit Kapoor.

Opening up with “Chheenk’, a story replete with genial laughter ends on a thought provoking serious note as the protagonist fails to redeem himself of the guilt with which he had annoyed his superior officer.

Ranjeet Kapoor had taken stories relating to a common man’s problems in the collage like the surgery, where unskilled dentist is engaged in the extraction of a tooth of a priest. The audience relished “Shikari” the most because of its romantic sensuous overtones, twists in story and the suspense it maintained for the imagination of the audience. Similarly the “Birthday Gift” Dooba Hua Admi” and Besahara Aurat had contradictory attributes and based on simple stories but the way actors adhered to perfect timings, throwing of dialogues filling the stage with thrilling actions the kept the audience glued to their seats.

Parsoon Soni Madhumita, Deep Kumar, Rajni Bala, Kailash Chauhan shined through the production. Earlier, principal PK Singh honored director Ranjeet Kapoor and Ravinder Tripathy.



Chandigarh scan
CT scan machine installed

A state-of-the-art 16 slice CT-scan machine was inaugurated at Bharat Vikas Parishad Charitable Medical Centre, Indira Holiday Home, Sector 24-B, Chandigarh, today. This is the first of its kind CT-scan machine in the tri-city after PGI. The machine was inaugurated by Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh. Chief Minister Dhumal appreciated the role of Bharat Vikas Parishad for in helping the community. Speaking on the occasion, Ajay Dutta, director, Bharat Vikas Parishad, said, “Our commitment has always been to bring latest world class technologies and equipment to the masses and we continue to make efforts to achieve this objective.


The State Bank of India organised an “All India Conclave on Personal Banking Business”. The event was inaugurated by A Krishnakumar, managing director & group executive (national banking) at Timber Trail, Parwanoo. The conclave was organised to brainstorm on the strategies to be adopted to give a fillip to the personal banking business. Speaking on the occasion, Krishnakumar took pride in sharing that SBI has become India’s largest home loan provider crossing Rs 1 lakh crore, covering 20 lakh families. He asked the participants to deliberate on the ways and means by which the products of SBI can be made more attractive and customer friendly.


Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya held a seminar on “Developing Self Esteem” at the zonal office, Rajyoga Bhawan, Sector 33-A. Prof Onkar Chand from Electronics and Communication Engineering Department, IET Bhaddal Technical Campus, talked about the techniques to develop a good self esteem. He stressed that Self esteem has the potential to make or break an individual’s personal and professional life.

Cultural event

IIPM (Indian Institute of Planning and Management) organised the cultural event ‘Cicero’ on the IIPM campus in Phase-8, Mohali. CICERO takes its name from the great debater and Roman philosopher Cicero, who introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy. The event was inaugurated by Jayanta Chakorborti, dean, IIPM, Chandigarh. Schools that participated in the event included St Peters, St John, Bhavan Vidyalya and Shivalik public school. The overall winner of the carnival was Bhawan Vidyalya and the winner of choreography was Netaji Model School. The winners of Mr & Miss Cicero were Ehsas Khan and Harmeet kaur from St Soldier’s public school. — tribune reporters



Private schools hike fee
DC directs DEO to hold enquiry
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 6
The Deputy Commissioner, Ashima Brar, has ordered the district education officer for holding an enquiry into the irrational and whimsical fee hike being charged by the private school in the town. The DC has directed the DEOs (secondary and primary) to hold an immediate enquiry and submit the report within a week.

The order came following a complaint filed by Hemant Kinger, convenor, Panchkula Joint Welfare Association, that despite the orders passed by the division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to seek prior approval of the boards to increase the fee, the private school in the district had increased the fee.

Giving an example as to how the private schools in the town have hiked the fee, Kinger stated that examination fee Rs 1,300 per annum, Rs 3,600 monthly fee Rs 2,500 as information and technology fee Rs 1,000 as registration fee, admission fee Rs 5,000 and practical fee Rs 9,00 were being charged from every student. Besides, the students were being forced to buy stationary and uniform from school shops, he added.

Kinger said Rs 20,000 were being charged from a student seek new admission while Rs 10,000 were charged from the old students. He said that common man was already burdened in view of the inflation and the irrational increased fee by the school has further aggravated the problems for the parents of the students of these schools.

Notably, opening the new chapter of fairness in school education, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ruled, “No fee and other charges shall be enhanced by any school situated within the territorial jurisdiction of this court and affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, Punjab School Education Board and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education, without prior approval of the respective board or council.”

While demanding high-level enquiry, Kinger said that the affiliation of those schools, which increase the fee without seeking prior approval from the concerned boards, should be cancelled.



PU examination system needs overhaul

Need to hold the guilty accountable Like every year, the annual examination for Panjab University and its affiliated colleges this year too registered mistakes in various question papers. The same kind of mistakes continue to be repeated every year, despite big announcements being made by the university to revamp the existing system by appointing committees, sub-committees and expert committees.

Till the time the university starts holding officials accountable for the mistakes, there is very little scope for any improvement in the existing system. If a student pays with his percentage for committing a mistake in the answer-sheet, a teacher too needs to be pulled up for making mistakes in the question paper. Examination results depict the work a students had put in during a semester or a year, and if the paper has errors the students have no choice but to rely on the grace marks awarded to one and all.

Having worked in the same system for more than two decades, I do not remember even a single case where the teachers or the examination branch officials responsible for a mistake have been adequately reprimanded. The university needs to ensure that a question paper which is finally sent to the examination hall does not carry any mistake.

The errors this time were quite huge. There was this paper which had answers written alongside questions. Another exam was conducted for lesser marks than it was supposed to. These are not minor mistakes and the university needs to ensure that the people responsible for the errors are held accountable.

Gurdeep Singh, Chandigarh.

Student leaders must raise the issue

It really amazes me how the student leaders who are bothered about late night library facilities and buses for girls remain totally unfazed by the errors in the question papers. Except for staging ‘dharnas’ once in a while, no student organisation till date has got really involved with the cause of upgrading the examination system in the university. In fact, students should take it upon themselves and question their leaders about their knowledge about the education system in the university, particularly the examination system. I can bet that the majority will be found lacking. Leaders need to be question, challenged and held accountable. Instead of satisfying themselves with the grace marks accorded by the university officials, the leaders should pressurise the university to put in place an error free examination system. It is indeed appalling to learn that students get questions out of the syllabus in the exams. Students should seek answers for the problems they are facing.

Harshbir Quadian, Mohali

Slip ups galore at the examination branch

Errors in question papers seem to have become a common feature in the examinations conducted by Panjab University (PU). Lapses in different forms have been reported frequently - out of syllabus questions, inadequate supply of question papers, wrong questions or even questions with already filled correct answers. It is really not acceptable that one of the top universities of the country is exhibiting such callousness and irresponsible behaviour. The students have to bear the brunt and face heavy inconvenience besides their precious time is wasted. The Board of Studies has to be very serious about the issue so that such incidents do not reoccur. In the current system, there are a large number of people involved in the examination process before the question papers reach their final destination. As a result, the risk of errors compounds with every step of the process. For that purpose, a special team should be set up to check for errors at every step, especially proof reading by an expert before and after paper goes for printing to avoid printing mistakes, and a subject specialist to avoid wrong questions being printed.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Sector-38 C, Chandigarh

Not a big issue

I really don't understand the big noise being created about out of syllabus question papers in the general examination for undergraduate and post graduate classes. The grace marks given as a corrective step were the same for everyone; so the marks did not affect the general merit. Moreover, the paper setters do not always teach the particular class for which they set the papers. The so-called out-of-syllabus questions were very much related to the subject and the teacher expected the students to have worked a little more than what was given in their books. The university, on its part, can study the chinks in the process to ensure an improved system in the future. Like in the case where the question paper carried the answers alongside qestions, the paper setters or the examination department officials or both need to share the blame.

Dr Sunil Dogra, Chandigarh

Callous attitude reponsible for the mistakes

It is really shocking to learn that Panjab University, which was known for its high standards of education, has now started losing its shine in the eyes of the world. Every now and then we hear about wrong questions being set for university exams for under-graduate and post graduation courses. This is problematic both for the students as well as the teachers as extra dates have to be announced for re-examinations. This also results in wasteful expenditure by the university. Certainly, there is a callous approach to the setting of question papers. Even the superiors who check the final papers do not perform their duties well. All those responsible for the job must be punished for the negligence on their parts. It is a matter of grave concern that such careless and irresponsible approach is adopted by the concerned authorities as far as the setting of a question paper is concerned. Perhaps a "sab chalta hai" attitude is adopted by the university. The university authorities should be more strict and vigilant and cross-check the papers before delivering them to the candidates in the examination hall. Errors must be corrected and the PU authorities must make it sure there is no discrepancy in the question papers. The name of Panjab University must not be sullied with such careless mistakes.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Teachers need to contribute more

I have been reading about the out of syllabus question papers in Panjab University examination for a lot of years in local newspapers. I have also been reading about different committees, headed by eminent personalities form different fields, being constituted to improve the system. But nothing has happened on ground. It is the same story every year. Examinations are the most important component of the university education and yet a sizable number of teachers is not participating in either setting, invigilating or evaluating papers. The matter has been taken up by the concerned quarters, several times earlier, however, to no avail. Teachers are demanding their rights from the university for a long time and there grievances need to be addressed. However, teachers on their part too need to answer what they are doing to improve the education system. The contribution of teachers in improving the educational atmosphere has been negligible.

Dr Harjeet Sohi, Chandigarh

PU losing its reputation

It has been observed in the recent past that there is a deterioration in the over-all education system. There was a time when Panjab University enjoyed a good reputation, but its image has been sullied because of its examination system. Papers being leaked out, questions being out of syllabus etc are some of the ailments which have become a common feature of the PU examination system.

The university has also received complaints from different examinations centres regarding copying. All these issues, at the end of the day, are detrimental for a students career. Recently, it has been seen that mistakes are being reported paper after paper. It is not out of place to mention some of the infirmities which came to light in the examinations conducted in this session by the university. For instance, the police had caught the two persons red handed while accepting money to leak the cost accountancy question paper of BCom-II.

In another case, students of BA-III year found one question missing from the questing paper. Earlier, the BSc-I students appearing for the botany examination found answer to a 10-marks fill-in-the-blank question printed in the question paper itself. Although after getting the information, the university authorities decided to divide and adjust the marks in different question, the students were not satisfied. Sincere efforts are needed to make the examination system fool-proof. Controller of Examinations needs to exercise a strict check; all teachers should be involved in the examination process, including paper setting, invigilating and evaluation; those who commit mistakes in the question papers need be penalised severely.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Involve experts to avoid errors

The examination branch of Panjab University does not seem to be learning any lesson from its mistakes. As such lapses have become synonymous with the PU examinations. Sometimes the questions are not in accordance with the syllabus or are outright wrong. Such a callous attitude is just not acceptable. Such mistakes are really bad for students as they cause panic and distraction. The members of Board of Studies must take a serious note of the problem and resolve then to ensure that the interest of students is protected. The question paper must be checked by subject experts, apart from the paper setter, to check for wrong questions creeping in the papers. Also, an expert should check the paper for any kind of misprint from the teacher’s copy. This process should be done before and after printing of the paper. Also, in case any such incident occurs, students should be promised grace marks for the wrong questions to prevent them from panicking.

Vineet Kapoor

Senate needs to take action

Confusion, chaos and mismanagement mark the annual examinations at Punjab University even as the university is seeking a Central status. The Senate should immediately mark an enquiry against the concerned authorities in the examination branch or withdraw its claims to get the status of a central university. If they cannot conduct the examinations in a proper manner, they cannot expect to get the status of a central university. Even PU senate members should take measures to solve the issue instead of merely marking an enquiry and waiting. Student unions must also write about the issue to the local member of Parliament and the Union Human Resource Development Minister. The university authorities and the VC should realise that the matter pertains to the interest of the students and hence should not politicise the issue. Clearly, this should be a lesson to the functionaries like the Chancellor and the Controller of Examinations of the University.

Er Sachin Sharma, Chandigarh

Paper setters are to be blamed

The ongoing controversy is an eye opener and has once again shown the carelessness attitude of officials responsible of setting question paper. It also shows that no lesson has been learnt from the past mistakes. The university authorities should come up with some concrete proposal for a permanent solution to reduce unrest among the students. In my view 90 per cent of the responsibility for the error lies with the paper setter a sit appears that they do not devote enough time in setting the paper. They should consult 10 to 15 books of various authors while setting the paper. But it appears that this is not being done these days. It seems that paper setter frame the question paper just by using previous years’ question papers. Admittedly, the remuneration they get to set question papers is not adequate, hence the disinterest in doing the job properly. Also, the time given to the paper setter is not enough and the ones to suffer in the entire process are the students. The system needs to be regularised. Paper setters should be given plenty of time. In addition to their daily job, they are busy in setting papers of other university, evaluating papers, checking theses of PhD students etc. The university needs a regular Controller of Examination instead of a stop gap arrangement.

Kulbhushan Kanwar

General Secretary, Residents Welfare Association, Sector-48, Chandigarh

Open House Question

City residents are living amid garbage in the wake of the ongoing agitation by garbage correction employees. The MC initiative of collecting garbage from houses has met with a lot of resistance. Write about your problems and suggestions for improving the garbage-collection system in the city to openhouse@tribunemail.com



Over 2,000 take AFMC MBBS test
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The AFMC MBBS entrance exam was held across various centers in the city today with around 2000 students talking the exam.
The course duration is 4 years 6 months. Those candidates who successfully complete course work are exclusively appointed as doctors to deploy their duties in the Indian Armed Forces. The AFMC Pune is residential medical college and research institution that offers opportunities to men and women.

The AFMC MBBS entrance examination is a single paper of objective type questions in physics, chemistry, biology, intelligence, logical reasoning and English.

All-India merit list is prepared on the basis of performance in entrance examination and the AFMC Pune conducts interview procedure and fitness test for final offer 
of admission.



From schools
IRIS workshop organised

Chandigarh: An IRIS workshop was organised at Shishu Niketan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22. It was an initiative by Intel in collaboration with department of science and technology and the CII where students and teachers from 17 schools participated.

Mother’s Day celebrated

The students of the social science and the NSS club of Mount Carmel School celebrated Mother’s Day. A cultural programme was organised on the occasion. Students presented self-composed poems praising their mothers, a couple of dances choreographed on songs related to mothers and a few songs. The students also presented hand made cards and flowers to their mothers, who were invited on the occasion.

Water Resources Day celebrated

The Green Glory Eco Club of Govt Model Senior Secondary School, MHC, Manimajra, celebrated Water Resources Day on the school premises. The members of the club presented a skit on the topic ‘Save Every Drop of Water’ in the school assembly. — TNS



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