C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Life term for Neki, paramour
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 6
The Mohali district and sessions court today sentenced Neki Nalwa and her paramour Himmat Singh, alias Brandy, to life imprisonment for killing her husband Sukhwinder Singh. In the jampacked courtroom, Additional Sessions Judge RS Rai pronounced the life term and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 each on them.

The judge also pronounced two-year RI and a fine of Rs 5,000 on Brandy for forging his driver's licence and one-year RI under the Arms Act. The substantive sentences shall run concurrently, stated the 117-page judgement.

Public prosecutor Vijay Singla had sought capital punishment for them. The judge held that: "The case could not be brought under the maxim of the rarest of the rare cases. Also, neither of them is a previous convict, nor has a criminal record. Thus, I do not find any special reason for awarding the death penalty, which is imperative."

“We will appeal,” the convicts said while coming out of the court. Neki's counsel said they would approach the High Court after it reopens on July 2.

Case history

On December 5, 2005, Sukhwinder Singh, an engineer in Quark City, was shot at point-blank range with a .32 bore pistol by Brandy when he was walking with his wife Neki near his house in Sector 69 at around 10.35 pm. The couple had a strained relationship and had filed for divorce in February 2005.

Later, it came to light that Neki and Brandy had conspired to kill Sukhwinder for his money. On the fateful night, she had prepared a sumptuous dinner for him and also urged him to go for a walk. Call details revealed that Neki had told Brandy, who was having drinks at a club in Chandigarh, about the route of their walk. Brandy had come in a Maruti, which he parked nearby, and came close to the victim before shooting him in the neck. Sukhwinder was rushed to the PGI, where he was declared brought dead.

Neki had tried to mislead the police by saying two motorcycle-borne miscreants had shot him. But two eyewitnesses -- Karan Kad, a contractor, and his friend Jaspreet Singh -- who crossed them on a motorcycle at the time of the incident, gave Brandy's car number to the police.

A few days before he was killed, Sukhwinder had been suspended on charges of misappropriation of funds. Neki and Brandy had reportedly been in a relationship since 1998 when they were in college. It was a second marriage for both Neki and Sukhwinder. They have a 12-year-old son.

Victim's father wants life term till death

Inderjit Singh, father of the victim Sukhwinder Singh, expressed satisfaction over the judgement, but said he was expecting at least life term till death for both. “I will go to the court again to get them life term till death,” he said.

Third convict

The third convict in the case, Paramvir Singh, who was sent to six-month imprisonment on Monday and is on bail at present, also came to the court to hear the sentence. He did not go the courtroom and remained seated in his lawyer’s chamber. He had provided five cartridges to Brandy, who had an unlicensed revolver. One of the cartridges was used to kill Sukhwinder Singh.

Will appeal in High Court

Neki and Brandy, who were anxious before the pronouncement of the sentence, seemed composed later. “I will approach the High Court now,” said Neki after the pronouncement of the quantum of the sentence. Some of her relatives, including her brother, were present in the court. Brandy’s father Mohinder Bir Singh was also in the courtroom. “I have earned a lot, but today it seems that all has been lost,” he said.

How it unfolded

  • December 4, 2005 Sukhwinder Singh, an engineer with Quark City, was shot by Brandy while he was walking with his wife Neki near their house in Sector 69.
  • December 7, 2005 The police arrested Neki and Brandy. Both were lodged at Patiala Central Jail. Another accused, Paramvir Singh, was also arrested for providing five cartridges to Brandy.
  • June 2, 2012 A local court held all the three accused guilty in the case.
  • June 4, 2012 Paramvir Singh sentenced to six-month imprisonment.



Jinxed, Panchkula police looks heavenward
Plans to organise havan to remove ‘ill-omen’ plaguing Sector 14 station
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 6
In an effort to "remove ill-omen", the staff at the Sector 14 police station are planning to organise a havan. The reason: two of its Station House Officers (SHOs) have either been suspended or sent to the Police Lines while another Additional SHO has lost Rs 53,500 by way of ATM card cloning.

Sources said the staff at the police station was "advised" to hold a havan or some other ritual to negate the effect of the ill-omen else troubles will continue to haunt them. A senior police officer, who visited the police station recently, in a lighter vein also advised some rituals.

On May 14, SHO Aman Kumar was placed under suspension after he was found guilty of dilly-dallying the registration of a case and subsequent arrest of two senior officials of the Punjab Government in a gangrape case. The suspension had come following an inquiry by the ACP, Dheeraj Setia, who had submitted the report to the Deputy Commissioner of Police. The accused were arrested on May 1, 33 days after the incident.

In a case pertaining to the alleged thrashing of a chartered accountant, Om Uppal, on May 31 at the police station, SHO Virender was transferred to the Police Lines.

The police had towed away Uppal's car from the no-parking zone of Sector 8 and brought it to the Sector 14 police station. When Uppal came to know about it, he demanded a challan chit. When the police refused to do so, he got into a scuffle with the ASI and his uniform got torn. When Uppal lodged a complaint about the police high-handedness, an inquiry was marked and Virender was shifted to the Police Lines.

The troubles for the Sector 14 police staff did not end there as Additional SHO Lakshmi Chand became the target of ATM card cloning. Some person withdrew Rs 53,500 in four transactions from his savings bank account through ATM machines of Punjab National Bank and State Bank of India located in Kurukshetra, Karnal and Panipat. He came to know about it when he tried to withdraw his salary. Only Rs 61 was left in his account. He said he had lodged a complaint with the bank.



Four burglaries in Sector 27
No let-up in cases of theft
Tribune News Service

A shopkeeper shows the locks that were broken.

Chandigarh, June 6
Four booths were burgled in Sector 27 here last night. The thefts occurred merely two days after five booths in Sector 16 were burgled. The police has its hands full with 680 cases of theft, burglary and vehicle theft already registered this year. Owners of four SCOs in Sector 27 had a harrowing time this morning when they discovered that the locks of their shops were broken.

Theft amounting to Rs 60,000 was reported from a garment and communication store. Five mobile phones were also stolen from the shop. Cash amounting to Rs 500 was stolen from a chemist shop while Rs 2,000 and 20 recharge coupons were missing from another medical store.

The beginning of 2012 has spelt havoc for residents, with the city witnessing an average of three thefts every day.

Vehicle thefts

Fiftynine cases of vehicle theft were registered in January and the figure rose to 69 in February. In April, 75 cases of vehicle theft were reported and the number increased to 86 in May.


A number of burglaries have been reported during the daytime. The city has witnessed 94 cases of burglary so far this year and over 60 per cent of these are unsolved.

Other cases

Cases of mobile phones and laptops being stolen are on the rise. To date, the police has registered 241 cases of theft. On an average, 50 such cases are reported every month.



Records damaged in fire at Haryana industry dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6 
The information technology section of the Haryana industry department, which is located on the first floor of the 30 bays building, Sector 17, was gutted last night. A watchman alerted the fire department at 12.30 am and six fire engines were sent immediately to douse the fire.

A fire official said the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained, but as the fire broke out in the IT section, the cause could not have been a short circuit.

Station Fire Officer ML Sharma said the fire may have started due to an inverter not having been switched off by officials last night. An air-conditioner and a computer in the room were gutted, but records lying in an almirah were partially damaged.

He said a fire safety system had been installed in the building, but since the fire broke out at night, there was nobody to use the fire extinguishers.

Despite several calls, the Director of Industry could not be contacted.

MC warning

The MC has issued a warning to the MC medical office of health located near the Haryana industries department, where the fire broke out, for not installing a fire safety system. The MC has also asked it to clear the passage where almirahs and broken furniture are lying.

Incidents in 2011

  • A minor fire erupted in the cabin allotted to the National Informatics Centre, Haryana, due to a short circuit on the ninth floor of the Punjab and Haryana Secretariat.
  • A major fire broke out in two wings of Punjab National Bank and electronics equipment worth lakhs, besides important records, was destroyed.



Notices issued to hotels
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
About 100 notices have been issued to restaurant and hotel owners of Sectors 26, 34, 35 and 43 for major violations in fire safety norms. Sources said during a drive undertaken by the fire department, not a single restaurant was found well-equipped with fire safety measures.

The fire team found that none of them had pasted entry and exit boards on the premises. Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers installed at food joints were not in working condition. MC Chief Fire Officer Rajiv Gupta said during the last fortnight, a drive was conducted at hotels and major flaws were detected.

The staff deployed by restaurant owners for the maintenance of fire safety equipment did not know how to operate the equipment. In some cases, staircase of the basement had been blocked. Some restaurants did not have heat detectors.



MC house tax committee to meet tomorrow
Implementation of proposal turns into bone of contention within party

Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
The implementation of the proposal on house tax by the municipal corporation (MC) has become a bone of contention within the Congress. Congress councillor and house tax committee chairman Satprakash Aggarwal is proposing imposition, with exemption to owners of small houses.

On the other hand, the Congress unanimously rejected the proposal on imposing house tax during the General House in April.

During a party meeting, chaired by Union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, instructions had been given to all party councillors to oppose any tax or revision in property tax, which was being proposed by the Administration for the last two years.

It had asked all councillors to leave the decision on the implementation of house tax to the Administration and not decide in the House.

During the coordination committee meeting yesterday, UT Adviser KK Sharma discussed the issue with Mayor Raj Bala Malik, but she said the General House had rejected it.

A special meeting of the house tax committee was convened for June 8 to take a final decision on the imposition of house tax.

Aggarwal said he would moot the proposal on exemption for owners of rehabilitation and low-rung houses.

He further said the issue of revision of commercial property tax would be discussed. The department proposed a minimal increase in commercial tax on property.

MC records revealed that commercial tax was imposed in 2004 and revised in 2007. The authorities had not revised the tax since then.

A decision on hiring a private agency for a survey of commercial property not covered in the data would also be taken during the meeting.

During a joint meeting with Administration and MC officials in April, UT Administrator Shivraj Patil had directed the Administration to send a letter to the MC on imposing house tax, failing which the authorities would initiate action.



Chandigarh Scan
'Dreaming trees'

For allowing the concept of a greener Chandigarh to grow on residents, the UT State Legal Services Authority has come up with a unique green initiative. It has christened two trees near the fountain at the Sector-17 plaza 'dreaming trees'. On the World Environment Day, visitors to Sector 17 were invited to make a wish. They were asked to tie a green band around the trees. The authority claimed that the back-to-nature call? was its way of allowing residents to repose faith in nature. About 100 visitors tied ribbons around the trees on Tuesday alone. The authority also invited the general public to paint and scribble their views on the environment. Those participating in this drive were presented a herbal sapling each.

Voters' survey

The Election Commission of India has directed the general public and political parties in the city to conduct a door-to-door survey and rationalise polling stations as part of pre-revision activities of the special summary revision of photo-electoral rolls. The survey will be conducted from June 8 to correct particulars of registered electors and striking out names of ineligible ones.

Bank scheme

The Central Bank of India has launched a new recurring deposit scheme, Cent Lakhpati, wherein depositors can start a recurring deposit of between Rs 1,000 and Rs 4,000 per month. At the end of the deposit period, they will receive Rs 1 lakh as maturity value. The tenure of the deposit ranges from 23 month to 76 months, depending on the monthly deposit amount. There is no tax deduction at source. The rate of interest ranges from 8.5 per cent to 9 per cent and is 9.5 per cent for senior citizens.

Environment Day

Under the ambit of the Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes the World Environment Day was celebrated at Sector 8 in collaboration with the Rotary district 3080 and the market association of the sector. An awareness rally was organised, which passed through different parts of the sector.

Saplings planted

On the occasion of the World Environment Day, the staff of the DLF City Centre Mall got together with the Tushar Foundation, a non-government organisation, to participate in a sapling plantation drive as a tribute to safeguarding the environment. They also invited schoolchildren and visitors. The ceremony was used to drive home the message that corporate growth should lead to sustainable development. A pledge was taken to safeguard the environment.

Loan mela held

A loan mela was organised by the State Bank of India at its Sector-30 branch. There was a huge response from customers, who were sanctioned home loans, car loans, education loans and personal loans. Loan sanction letters were issued on the spot.

Date extended

The food and supplies department has decided to allow the registration of ration-card holders who have not drawn their full entitlement of rations during May to draw it up to June 15 from fair price shops or mobile vans where they are registered.

BSNL workers

On a call given by the Forum of BSNL Unions and Associations, a 'dharna' was organised in front of the office of the Chief General Manager, Punjab circle, to protest against the delay in grant to IDA merger with pay and the withdrawal of medical allowance.

— Tribune Reporters



Admn to conduct survey
Will upgrade infrastructure to meet demand for power
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
After witnessing the massive problem of overloading, resulting in frequent breakdowns, the UT Administration has, for the first time, decided to conduct a survey from the power grid to upgrade infrastructure to meet the ever-increasing power demand. The survey will also focus on the requirement of infrastructure in the next 20 years.

At present, the infrastructure has failed to take the ever-increasing power load, especially in southern sectors. An official has said a survey will be conducted and a report prepared, pointing out the areas where the authorities need to upgrade infrastructure.

The UT Administration is also upgrading infrastructure to deal with the problem of overloading. The Administration is setting up a 220-KV station at Mani Majra, besides upgrading transformers at Sectors 34 and 52, which deal with the southern belt.

Giving details about overloading, an official said consumers had not declared their actual load and so, the authorities did not know the actual load. Last year, only 5,000 consumers had approached the electricity department to declare actual load.

The official added that consumers, including domestic and commercial, had increased from 1,30,000 in 1991 to over 2,20,000 at present. With the increase in the number of consumers, the power load had also increased as people had now started using air-conditioners instead of coolers in summer.

There had not been a corresponding increase in the number of transformers, for which one of the biggest reasons was that the UT Administration did not get details on power load from residents, resulting in frequent tripping of power supply, he added.

Sources added that 'kundi' connections were also increasing the load on transformers. At present, the UT was suffering a loss of Rs 7 crore every year from around 20,000 unauthorised 'kundi' connections.

UT electricity department Superintending Engineer MP Singh said they would soon replace old cables in colonies with new ones. People would not be able to cut the wires and use those for 'kundi' connections, he added.

According to a survey conducted by an NGO, around 3.5 lakh people were living in 40 slums of Chandigarh. According to the survey, 14 of the slums that were being provided electricity through private contractors were not satisfied with the service and a number of slum-dwellers were using 'kundi' connections.



No respite from power cuts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
Residents witnessed unscheduled power cuts again last night and thid afternoon. Residents of Sectors 29, 23 and 30, Mani Majra, Dhanas and Daria faced power cuts.

Last night, there was a power cut from 12 midnight to 4 am at Sector 30. Residents of Mani Majra witnessed power cuts from 2 pm to 6 pm today.

Sarika Sharma of Sector 30 said they were spending sleepless nights. She added that when she tried to contact the complaint centre, there was no response.

Vivek Singh of Mani Majra said he made a number of calls to the complaint centre, but the number was busy every time. He questioned the need to set up the centre when the staff did not answer calls.

A senior official with the Administration said they could not withdraw more power from the northern grid.

He added that there was no shortage of power with the Administration.

He stated that the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission had started slapping heavy penalty on states overdrawing power from it these days.



Tubewell non-functional for six months
Commissioner gives two days time to authorities to fix the matter

Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 6
Machinery installed for pumping water from a tubewell in Phase III B 1 here mysteriously vanished that too at a time when residents are facing water crisis. Both the agencies - the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the Water Supply and Sanitation Wing, which works under the Municipal Corporation-do not know the whereabouts of the machinery and are blaming each other for the disappearance.

The GMADA had sunk the tubewell in 2010 and handed it over to the Water Supply and Sanitation Wing on March 30, 2011. The tubewell was handed over in working order.

Sources said that the tubewell has not been functioning over the past six months. Six months back the submersible motor set was removed for repairs but was not put back.

The officials of the Water Supply and Sanitation Wing have been writing to the GMADA authorities over the past two months to put back the motor which was taken for repairs as the water supply to the area was being adversely affected. While one such letter was written on April 2, the other two were written on May 11 and May 22.

However, the GMADA officials said that they had received only one letter in this regard. Moreover, they said, GMADA had nothing to do with the tubewell after it was handed over to the agency concerned in working order. The maintenance of the machinery had to be done by the agency running the tubewell even if the motor set had developed a snag during the warranty period as all relevant documents were passed on at the time when the tubewell was handed over.

It is learnt that officials of both the departments were called by the Superintending Engineer of the corporation in connection with the disappearance of the submersible motor set after the matter was brought to the notice of the Commissioner of the civic body by The Tribune. The officials were unable to trace the missing machinery.

Varun Roojam, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, who is also the Deputy Commissioner of Mohali, said that two days time was given to both the agencies to make the tubewell functional. They have also been asked to give a report in connection with the disappearance of the machinery. 



DTP held hostage by residents of Manav Colony
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 6
Irked over the video-graphing of their houses, the residents of Manav Colony near Saketri today held District Town Planner (DTP) and his team hostage for about one and a half hours.

As the news of DTP Hitesh Sharma’s arrival spread in the area, more than 500 people gathered at the spot and raised slogans against the DTP authorities. The team went to the colony at around 3.30 pm to video-graph the illegal houses constructed by the residents. The team continued to video-graph the illegal constructions in the area for about an hour. The residents gheraoed Sharma and his team and snatched the cassette from them. Sharma and his team were released when someone informed that the Mansa Devi Complex police will arrive at the site.

Sharma said he along with his team had gone to video graph the illegal constructions in Manav Colony and had completed about 80 per cent of the job. He said the residents gathered at the site took away the recorded cassette. He said they could come out of the colony with the help of the police.

MDC police station incharge Aruna said the police team immediately rushed to the area. She said the residents have taken the cassette and if they received complaint from the DTP they would take action against the residents of the colony as per law.

There are around 150 illegal buildings in the area and about 125 families are living in them. The department has already asked the Land Acquisition Officer to move the court as people are carrying out construction despite status quo by the High Court. About eight to 10 persons had constructed houses in Manav Colony and had moved the court against the project to be set up under the Mata Mansa Devi Urban Complex Development Plan. But now 100 illegal houses have already come up and a few are under construction.



28 police officials promoted, over 10 transferred
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
In a major reshuffle in the UT police, over 10 inspectors were transferred and another 28 officials promoted today. Seven sub-inspectors were promoted to the rank of inspector.

Inspector Ram Gopal was designated SHO of the Sector-17 police station. Inspector Ranjodh Singh would take charge of the crime branch. Inspector Maninder Singh was posted additional in charge of the crime branch.

Inspector Neeraj Sarna was designated SHO of the Sector-3 police station. Inspector Anokh Singh was made SHO of the Sector-26 police station. Inspector Bhupinder Singh was posted SHO of the Sector-36 police station.

Inspector Sri Parkash was posted as in charge of the cyber cell. Inspector Jaswinder Kaur was transferred from the women cell to the RTC. Inspector Jasminder Singh was posted with the operations cell.

Inspector Dilsher Singh Chandel was transferred to the RI Lines. Inspector Devinder Sharma was posted as MTO in charge. Inspector Umrao Singh was transferred to the Police Lines.

Fifteen assistant sub-inspectors were promoted to sub-inspector. Six sub-inspectors were elevated to the rank of inspector.

Seven constables were promoted to assistant sub-inspector. They were Jasminder Singh, Maninder Singh, Karam Chand, Kulbir Kaur, Kuldeep Kaur, Reena Yadav and Jasbir Singh.



High drama over dowry
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 6
There was high drama at Sector 8 here as a family allegedly refused entry to their daughter-in-law last evening. The ruckus started as soon as a family from Ludhiana, reportedly having a business in coalmines across the country, arrived in the area to drop their daughter.

The husband’s family, reportedly running a coach factory at Baddi, did not allow the wife to enter the house and locked it from inside.

The wife’s family raised slogans against the husband’s family and alleged that they were harassing her by demanding more dowry.

They also alleged that they had informed the police, which tried to take the side of the husband’s family.

The ruckus continued for about five hours and a large number of people gathered at the spot, leading to a traffic jam in the area.

The police arrived at the spot and tried to pacify the families. It reportedly also mediated between the families.

The wife’s father, Parveen Tayal, told mediapersons that his daughter Rajita wedded Amit Goel in May, 2011, and was living with them for the last about six months.

He alleged that when they came to drop her, her husband’s family did not allow them to enter the house and turned her out.

He claimed that several efforts to solve the matter had yielded no result and they came to drop her here yesterday.



Dispute ends in compromise
Security guard, housing society member withdraw complaints
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 6
Four days after a security guard posted at a housing society in the Mansa Devi Complex (MDC) reportedly received threatening telephone calls, both parties arrived at a compromise here yesterday.

ACP Venod Kumar called both parties to the MDC police station and heard their grievances. Complaints filed by both parties were later withdrawn.

Victim Rajesh, security guard with a housing society at Sector 5 in the MDC, filed a complaint against Prakhar Gupta, a class-XII student of the DPS in Chandigarh, at the MDC police station on June 1.

The police told him then that it would investigate only after Prakhar lodged a parallel complaint against him, he alleged.

MDC SHO Aruna said Rajesh had accepted that he misbehaved with Prakhar as the latter abused him and asked him to close taps from where water was flowing.

She said Rajesh had accepted that he filed the complaint after being instigated by some other members of the society.

The ACP said the compromise was arrived at after Prakhar's father BK Gupta assured him that he would advise his son not to indulge in brawls and concentrate on studies.



MHA extends two officials' tenure
Rajinder Nagarkoti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
The UT Administration, facing shortage of senior officials, has got relief as the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has agreed to extend the tenure of two officials, CITCO MD DK Tiwari and municipal corporation Additional Commissioner Sunil Bhatia.

Confirming the development, UT Adviser KK Sharma said the MHA had agreed on the extension. He added that Tiwari's tenure was extended till January and Bhatia's for three months.

To deal with the shortage of officials, the Administration had told the MHA that officers would not be relieved till the time they found replacements.

Senior officials with the Administration were heading a number of departments and the situation would worsen if they were transferred or repatriated, it had added.

Finance Secretary VK Singh was holding charge of 17 departments and Home Secretary Anil Kumar was heading 20 departments.

With three officers on the verge of transfer to their parent cadres and a PCS officer seeking repatriation, the Administration had pressed the panic button. Many other officers were on the verge of transfer to their parent cadres.

In a communication to the UT Administration, Director Higher Education Ajoy Sharma, a Punjab-cadre IAS officer, who was on six-month leave outside India, had sought repatriation to his parent cadre.



BJP team meets CHB chairman
Wants need-based changes in houses regularised, notices withdrawn

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
Former MP Satya Pal Jain and BJP councillor Davesh Moudgil have urged the UT Administration to regularise need-based changes in houses allotted by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) in various parts of the city.

They said ownership should be transferred to GPA holders and a similar relaxation should be given in case of EWS and LIG houses.

A BJP delegation from ward 22, led by Jain and Moudgil, met CHB chairman Satya Gopal recently and submitted a memorandum in this regard.

Jain said the size of families of allottees had increased with the passage of time, because of which people had been compelled to make need-based alterations in their houses.

Moudgil said notices had been issued to thousands of allottees even for minor changes. They urged the authorities to withdraw the notices and regularise the alterations.



Defence pension info goes online

Chandigarh, June 6
Veterans will now be able to get instant information on the quantum of pension they are entitled to. The Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) has launched an online system that enable them determine their exact pension.

The system, called Suvigya, has been developed by the CGDA. There are different categories of pensioners, including officers, personnel below officer rank, family pensioners and defence civilian staff. To get to know their due emoluments, pensioners will have to visit the CGDA homepage. They have to enter their basic particulars as well as details of the last drawn pay to calculate their latest pension. — TNS



Govt Schools
Class XI admissions begin tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
City government schools will finally start the admission process for class XI from June 8. Having been a success for last two years, the online counselling or seat allocation would continue this year as well to ensure transparency in admissions. However, former DPI Sandeep Hans' plans to have online registrations have apparently not materialised. Although students can download and fill the form online, they will have to submit it at centres set up in six different schools. The students downloading the online form will have to also buy a prospectus worth Rs120, and registration form attached to it has to be submitted at the specified centres.

With a lot students having been left our by private schools, the total number of applicants is expected to rise by around 30 per cent. With a majority of students having scored more than 9 CGPA, the cut-offs are expected to soar at least in the science streams at GMSSS in Sector 16, 35 and 37.

“We are all geared up for admissions and expect a large turnout. A small increase in the number of commerce seats has been done and we expect that all applicants will get their preferred streams in schools on basis of their merit,” said DEO Ram Kumar.



UIET students develop networking website
Amit Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
Students of Panjab University's University Institute of Engineering and Technology have come up with an innovative project. They have developed an online network (www.KedderWolf.com) for interaction between professional students undergoing trainings, doing major or minor projects or research, and collaborating in groups in any field. The portal will help the students, teachers and technocrats from different colleges and companies for working on similar projects.

The website was inaugurated by director UIET Prof Renu Vig today.

Speaking about the concept, Ashish Kumar, a UIET student, said that this is an online portal for people to share, innovate, discuss and collaborate. "Many times the potential of a youth gets wasted due to lack of proper guidance and a place where similar thinking minds from different backgrounds can come together and collaborate," he said.

Students mentioned that KEDDER stands for "Knowledge on Engineering, Designing, Development, Entrepreneurship and Research" and wolf is a symbolic representation of focus, passion, clarity of thought and teamwork which is required for the success of a project.

Anshul Guleria, another team member, said that the KedderWolf network brings a space where the ignited minds from everywhere can come together to share, discuss and work in synchronisation. "The web portal gives its users the ability to form different groups and projects where people with same interests and goals can join and form a team to work on their respective projects," he said.

Loaded with a lot of features like file sharing, deadline setting and role assigning to different members of the groups, KedderWolf visions a student community with better outreach and interaction with the corporate community and their student peers.

Anshul Goyal, another UIET student, mentioned that the team will emphasise on "engineering beyond books" by encouraging project work and practical application of education to bridge the gap between industry and academia, thereby enhance the employability among the student community.



Teachers demand end to supervising construction jobs in govt schools
Tribune New Service

Panchkula, June 6
The demand for a separate engineering wing in the education department for supervising the construction of buildings, rooms and kitchens in government schools is being raised by the education fraternity.

Senior teachers said that those teachers who have been assigned the duty of supervising the construction works in schools don’t have any technical expertise or experience in the construction sector. This could lead to serious shortcomings in the construction of the building. The teachers also said that supervising construction work is a distraction which adversely affects their teaching job. This also affects the overall results of the schools.

Notably, the government provides funds to the heads of the government schools under the Sarv Shikha Abhiyaan who further assign the duty of construction work to one of the teachers of the same school. The number of students has considerably increased in the government school after the launch of the midday meal scheme and this has resulted in a paucity of space and rooms in the schools. The funds are provided for constructing rooms or kitchen in the school. But the education department, instead of handing over the work to the construction wing of the government, assigns the work to a teacher.

However, now the teaching community has started raising the demand of setting up a separate engineering wing in the education department. They have said that a separate construction wing should be set up in the education department on the lines of the engineering wings in other departments.

According to information, Additional District Education Officer Sujata Rana, Block Education Officer Ishawar Singh Mann and senior teachers in the district have suggested to officials of the Education Department for the setting up of separate construction wing which would not only help in quality construction work but also help in saving the funds.

However, Education Minister Geeta Bhukkal said that education department has its own engineering wing and staff including chief engineer, executive engineers, and junior engineers. She said only supervisory duty were being assigned to the regular teachers whenever any construction activity is undertaken in a school.



Reappear exams
SOPU submits memorandum to VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
Students’ Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) submitted a memorandum to the Vice-Chancellor regarding the way in which the re-appear exam of the students of science departments (Hons School) and UIET will be conducted in July-August this year.

The memorandum was submitted by SOPU campus president Manoj Lubana and party president Bikram Jattana.

Lubana said that the university has given a golden chance to the final semester students of BSc honours, MSc honours and also to students re-appear in seven or eight exams. However, the university has not offered the same opportunity to students having lesser number of re-appear exams. “We have demanded that all the students should be given the opportunity to reappear in golden chance to be held in July and August,” Lubana said.

“There are a number of students having only a few re-appear exams who are not allowed to utilise this chance. This backlog will affect students badly when they appear after a delay. Studies of the students having a less number of re-appear exams will be affected when they will sit for re-appear exams in later semesters due to the increased workload caused by the large number of papers,” Lubana said.

SOPU members also demanded that the fee of special chance given to UIET students is Rs 10,000, which is beyond the limit of students and should be brought down. “PU is trying to mint money from the students by charging such a high fee,” students said.



PU reverts decision to reshuffle wardens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
Acting on the representation made by the hostel wardens with regard to the recent shuffling, the Panjab University authorities today decided to restore the wardens to their previous hostels.

The wardens of boys hostel no 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8 were shuffled by university on Tuesday and two new wardens, Gaurav Gaur of Centre for Social Work and Devinderpreet Singh from PU’s BDS College, were appointed.

Among the girls hostels, wardens of hostels no 1 to 7 were shuffled, while Kuljeet Kaur Brar of USOL and Prabhdip Brar from University Institute of Fashion Technology, were appointed as two new wardens.

The unexpected shuffling of wardens without any particular reason had led to unrest among them following which they made a representation to the Vice-Chancellor.

Sources said that the wardens had pointed-out that they had already prepared for the allocation of hostel rooms to different departments in the upcoming academic session and the sudden shuffling would disturb the process.

Confirming the development, Dean Student Welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia said that all the wardens would continue with their present hostels, while the four new wardens (for two boys, one girls and the working women hostel) will soon take charge.



Conclave to mark 50 years of challenges in distant education
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
To mark 50 years of challenges in distance education, the University School of Open Learning today organised a national conclave of directors and CEOs of open and distance education institutes. The event was inaugurated by the Minister of Education, Punjab, S Sikander Singh Maluka. The Minister spoke of the radical changes being brought about in the education sector. He enlightened the audience about the need of community colleges engaged in vocational education and sought the help of the universities in opening community colleges in every district of India.

The first session of the conclave began with veteran distance educationist Prof S Bhatnagar, former director, Directorate of Correspondence Courses, recalling how the early distance education institutes evolved as shadow institutes of host universities. He termed distance education as a boon but wanted that today’s distance educators must make it the backbone of the modern education.



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