C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Streetlights fail to glow
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has spent crores on installing designer streetlights in Industrial Area, but over 60 per cent of these are non-functional due to technical problem.

In 2008, the MC had allotted a Rs 1.5 crore contract to a private contractor to install streetlight poles on the road from poultry farm to the railway station near Industrial Area, Phase I. However, the MC has failed to fix lights on these poles.

Sources said the authorities have failed to fix the lights as bulbs were to be installed instead of tube light on these poles. Residents revealed that they had taken up this issue with authorities a number of times, but in vain.

MC Deputy Mayor Satish Kainth demanded an inquiry against officials who had allotted the work and did not bother to check whether the poles were they were as per the norms fixed by the MC.

Streetlights in another locality of Industrial Area, Phase I, are non-functional due to the damaged underground wiring. The wiring was damaged when the paver blocks were laid ariubd two years ago.

Sources revealed that the tussle between the road and electrical wings of the MC over expenditure had delayed the work. To repair the underground cables, the electrical wing had proposed to remove the paver blocks for which the road wing is claiming a fine of around Rs 1 lakh from the former. The electrical wing is also refusing to pay for the repair work as the damage to the underground wires were done by the road wing while laying paver blocks.



fiza’s death
It was murder: Alvi
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 11
Local media was once again on its toes when social activist Salim Alvi, a resident of Bulandshahr, who was close to Anuradha Bali aka Fiza, turned up all of sudden at Fiza’s house in Sector 48 about 5 pm today.

Alvi has been summoned by the Mohali police for quizzing following his statement in a section of media about three days ago in which he said that Fiza was facing threat to life from a senior Haryana leader. However, the police did not quiz Alvi as all senior officials were busy in at meeting ahead of the Independence Day.

“The police called me tomorrow, but I am going back for a function back home,” said Alvi while talking to Chandigarh Tribune over phone.

Mohali SSP GS Bhullar said Alvi did not contact them and came here on his own. “It’s a serious investigation. How can one come for quizzing at anytime without informing the police? We will quiz him in due course and we will decide the time,” said Bhullar.

Alvi, however, alleged that Fiza was murdered. “I am 99 per cent sure that it was a pre-planned murder. I talked to her on August 1 for about 30 minutes around 5 pm. She was happy and also had discussed her programme of a press conference at Bulandshahr on August 9. We had planned to visit Baba Ramdev to join his agitation,” claimed Alvi, adding that he felt nothing unusual or unnatural during his talk with Fiza that day.

Alvi claimed that Fiza used to talk to him regarding threats to her life time and again. “She had also told me that the police did not take her seriously on the issue whenever she asked for security,” said Alvi, who came in contact with her in January 2010. Alvi, who reached Fiza’s house, paid floral tributes to the departed soul at the main entry gate. “She was a good soul, but had a painful death. She was a bold and a brave woman and did not deserve such end,” said Alvi.

Lockers not searched

The Mohali police could not search Fiza’s lockers on Saturday due to unavailability of officials of the Income Tax department and other concerned departments. “We will open the lockers on Monday,” said Swarndeep Singh, SP (City). The recovered jewellery and Rs 92.8 lakh could not be deposited in the government treasury for the same reasons.



Police recovers Fiza’s medical bill from Scorpio
Our Correspondent

Ambala, August 11
The Ambala police has recovered a medical bill issued by a chemist at Government Medical College Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, in the name of Anuradha Bali from the Scorpio found abandoned on Jarot Road near Ambala City on Thursday.

The Ambala police has also questioned several persons about the abandoned SUV. The vehicle has been kept at the Baldev Nagar police station and bears engine number BS64B1665 and chassis number is MAITA 2 BSC 62B 66080.

Security agency owner abandoned Scorpio at Ambala

Mohali: The Scorpio vehicle which was borrowed by Fiza from her advocate friend Dilip Mahajan on June 22, was with Balwinder Singh, owner of a Dera Bassi-based security agency.

Swarndeep Singh, SP (City), claimed that Balwinder Singh has admitted that the Scorpio was with him till a couple of days ago. Fiza had given it to him.

“He told the police that he was scared after the news on the vehicle flashed in a section of media and he abandoned the vehicle at Ambala,” said Swarndeep Singh.

Both the number plates, which were found missing from the vehicle, were also removed by Balwinder Singh, he added.

Balwinder Singh, who used to provide security to Fiza on some occasions, was quizzed by the Mohali police in the case.

Notably, Dilip Mahajan, a Chandigarh-based advocate and an acquaintance of Fiza, had given his vehicle to Fiza on June 20. When Fiza did not return his vehicle despite repeated requests, Mahajan sent a postal complaint to the Chandigarh SSP on July 30. The vehicle was recovered by the Ambala police on Jarot Road near Ambala City.



Extortion continues in P’kula
Vendors plan to shift from Sec-15 market due to police ‘inaction’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 11
Extortion from small vendors and ‘rehri walas’ at Sector 15 in Panchkula continues. However, the police has turned a blind eye to the menace.

It was a day back when the vendors got a case registered against a youth who used to extort money daily from 30 to 35 vendors at gunpoint. But the police instead of taking any concrete action against the accused snubbed the vendors.

Although Dharmender, a resident of Sector 15, was called at the police post but no tangible action was taken against him and he was let off. The police now claims that the accused is absconding and they are looking for him.

Sources said that when the market association members along with the vendors went to the police to register a case, the police snubbed the members saying that they too might be taking money from the vendors.

“He used to come in a Hyundai Verna car daily. He would point a pistol at us and would ask us to give whatever money we had. Sometimes he used to send children asking for spring rolls and other snacks. When we used to ask for money the children dialled Dharmender’s number,” said Vari (name changed), a rehri wala.

Another vendor who runs a rehri of Chinese food, on the condition of anonymity said, “Sometimes he would come around 9 pm and would ask for money at gunpoint. Even before he got out of his car, we all would get so scared that we would take out the money and give it to him before he says anything.”

“He would thrash and beat us if we say we don’t earn much. Finally one day we decided to complain the matter to the market president and the police,” said another vendor requesting anonymity. He said, “As I am a poor person and cannot afford to give money and since the police too is being non-cooperative, I have decided to shift from this place.”

The market president of Sector-15, Vijay Sharma, said it was after he got a complaint from the vendors that he accompanied them to the police station.

However, the police gave a totally different version of the story. “The vendors complained the matter to the market members, but they shooed them away saying that they have encroached upon the area. It was we who took the matter seriously and registered a case against the accused,” said In-charge of the police post, Sector 15, Panchkula, ASI Gurmail Singh.



Monkey catchers give up after 2 months
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
It seems the simians are too smart for the trained monkey catchers hired by the UT Administration. The experts, who were awarded contract to catch monkeys in the city, finally gave up before these smart simians and left the contract as they failed to catch even a single monkey for the past two months.

For the past two months, Gurgaon-based trained monkey catchers were trying to catch the monkeys by laying traps in the various parts of the city, but these monkeys always outsmart them.

The UT Administration had awarded the contract to catch monkeys in June and it was decided that it would pay catchers Rs 550 per monkey.

A senior official of the UT Administration said there were around 10 members in the monkey catchers' team. Before laying traps, the catchers had visited many sectors of the city to ascertain the simian population. Finally, they decided to start the exercise of catching monkeys from Sector 27 and 28.

Sources added that the UT Administration was hopeful that these experts would be able to catch a large number of monkeys from the city. In June, the monkey catchers installed cages and placed nets to catch the simians in the government schools of Sector 27 and 28.

Sources added that the team of experts waited for hours. The monkeys climbed boundary walls, but did not come towards the cages and nets.

UT's Chief Conservator of Forests Santosh Kumar said the department had forfeited the security amount deposited by the catchers and fresh tenders had been floated to hire new catchers.

According to an estimate by forest officials, around 500 monkeys roamed freely in the city. At present, the department had only two baboons, Manu and Basanti, to chase away the monkeys.

The department was paying around Rs 7,500 each to baboon trainers every month. Manu was at the UT Secretariat in Sector 9 and Basanti at the forest office in Sector 19.

The monkey menace was prevalent in northern sectors, including Sectors 8, 9, 10, 11, 18, 26, 27 and 28. The monkey menace in these areas was forcing residents to stay indoors in the morning and late-evening hours.

Round-the-clock helpline

In case of problems related to monkeys in the city, residents can dial 4639999, the round-the-clock helpline provided by the forest and wildlife department.

In search of food

There is enough food in the city and monkeys come back to the city in search of food. Be it hotels, restaurants or houses, people throw food outside and make food easily available for monkeys. A number of baboons in the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary is also a matter of concern as monkeys are scared away and impelled to enter the city again.


Laying of paver blocks
No policy to monitor work
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Sounds strange, but it is a fact that the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC), which is spending crores of rupees on laying paver blocks and widening of roads annually in the city, are not monitoring the quality of work, as their is no policy in place for it. The authorities fritter public money on these works without any proper planning and coordination between roads and paver blocks wings.

The result is evident at various places across the city. In Sector 17, the paver blocks, which were laid a year ago, were broken and dismantled due to the poor quality of work. During a visit to the area, it was found that the paver blocks laid on the roadside a year ago had starting showing cracks in it. This is not the picture of Sector 17 only, but during the visit to various sectors, including 19, 22, 28, 29, 34 and 51 and Industrial Areas, Phase I and II, it was found that the paver blocks, which were laid a year ago, have either broken or caved in. In some sectors, contractor had laid the paver blocks of different sizes. As per the MC manual, the compressive strength of paver blocks has to be checked by the registered institutions with the MC.

When contacted, MC Chief Engineer SS Bidda said he would direct officials to repair the broken paver blocks in the areas where they have been found either broken or dismantled.

In fact, the classic example of lack of coordination in the departments could be gauged from the fact that the road department is dismantling the paver blocks in Sector 21, which were laid only three months ago, to widen the road. Interestingly, the authorities have no data about how many works are being monitored every month by the department concerned. As per the corporation’s manual, after the work is completed, the officials of the department concerned have to visit the site and issue a certificate of satisfaction to the contractor. But it seems that this norm is lying buried in the files of the corporation.



More rain likely in next two days: Met department
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
As dark clouds made their presence felt over the city, the meteorological department has been expecting good rainfall for the next two days in Chandigarh. The city received rainfall close to 11 mm on Thursday and about 13 mm yesterday, which according to met officials was reasonably a good figure considering the drought-like situation looming large over the region.

However, if the weather department is to be believed, the further prospect of rain does not seem very exciting. Surinder Pal, regional officer at the met department, said the weather might remain fine till Sunday, but further prediction is definitely below normal.

As per information, August is already lagging behind as compare to last year’s figures. The overall rainfall deficiency in Chandigarh has increased to 45 per cent from 32 per cent till July 31 this year.

The figures reveal that Chandigarh has received just 280.8 mm of rainfall from June 1 till August 9 against the normal rainfall of 511.6 mm, registering the overall deficiency of 45 per cent till date. The combined rainfall of last year from June 1 till August 9 was, however, 506.8 mm and it was in fact more than 20 per cent excess of the normal rainfall during the same period in 2010.

Surinder Pal said there might be some scattered cases of rainfall over the region, but the drought-like situation looked imminent this year.

According to Surinder, while many parts of Haryana, too, received rainfall to the tune of 14 mm on Thursday, which according to our estimate has reduced its overall deficiency to 68 per cent from 72 per cent last week, but there would not be any drastic change in the deficiency in the days to come.

The region, according to him, is expected to end up with dismay figures.



Anupama’s parents to move consumer forum
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The parents of 17-year-old Anupama, who died three weeks ago at the PGI, have now planned to move the consumer forum against the tertiary care institute.

Anupama, a student of Government Model School, Sector 18, died on July 25 after she was brought to the PGI on July 17 when her leg was crushed under the rear tyre of a CTU bus on her way to school.

At present, an external committee is reviewing the alleged negligence on the part of PGI in operating Anupama timely.

“She was our only support. The loss of losing a young child is irreparable. We want the court to bring justice to our family by looking into the negligence of PGI staff. We will file the case next week,” said Anupama’s father, Amit Sarkar.



Baby’s Death
Parents withdraw complaint
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
A day after a two-year-old baby died at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, the parents have withdrawn their complaint wherein they had alleged negligence on the part of hospital staff nurse.

The father, Rajiv Kumar, refused further investigations, including post-mortem.

A high drama was witnessed at the hospital yesterday when the father alleged that the condition of the baby deteriorated after the nurse mixed two injection medicines due to which the baby died immediately.



Family fails to get response
Announced reward of Rs 20 lakh for giving clues in Sham Mall murder case
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Even after announcing a reward of Rs 20 lakh on August 4 for giving clues regarding the sensational murder of Amarjit Singh Khurana, owner of Sham Mall in Sector 34, the family has failed to get any response.

The only calls received by the family was from people in Punjab seeking financial help, detective agencies offering to solve the case and some unknown callers trying their luck in dark.

Khurana’s family that has been waiting from last three years for the case to be solved had announced a reward of Rs 20 lakh for anyone providing substantial information in the case.

Amarjit Singh was shot dead at point blank range by two unidentified motorcyclists outside his residence in Sector 35 on May 5, 2009. After the Chandigarh Police failed to crack the case, the investigation was transferred to the CBI in October, 2010.

The deceased’s son, Gagandeep Khurana, said around 20 calls had been received after the advertisements were published, however, nobody has provided any information that can be helpful in cracking the case. The calls received were mostly from Punjab from people seeking financial help. It was surprising that people who didn’t even know anything about the murder called in a hope of getting the financial assistance, Khurana said.

The family has also received calls from the detective agencies claiming to solve the case in return of reward money. Many callers in a hope of getting money have called the family trying to give details about the murder, failing to provide any vital information.

Earlier a reward of Rs 2 lakh was announced in 2009, however, when the CBI has also failed to make any breakthrough in the case, we decided to raise the reward money, Khurana said.

The crime branch of the UT police has recently procured the production warrant of a notorious criminal, Amar Singh, alias Sunny, from Himachal Pradesh and brought him to Chandigarh. Amar is suspected to be involved in the murder.



Research quality goes in 3 yrs: PGI dean
Says increased inflow of patients the reason
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The PGI today marked its first-ever research day as a part of the ongoing golden jubilee celebrations. Addressing a gathering of senior researchers from various institutions and PGI faculty, dean, Dr Amod Gupta, pointed out that the quality of research at the PGI has moved down over the past three years.

The increased inflow of patients, which keeps doctors pre-occupied, is the key cause for the recent slide in the research initiative at the PGI, Dr Gupta said.

“The PGI caters to over 6,000 patients everyday at OPDs and those indoor. Attending to such a number of patients on a daily basis leaves the doctors highly occupied, resulting into lack of quality time for research,” said Dr Gupta.

Further, highlighting the contribution of the PGI in the field of medical education, research and quality patient care, PGI director YK Chawla said over 15,000 PGI research papers had been published so far.

“The PGI researches find citations in 3,000 to 4,000 other researches every year. We have faculty strength of almost 500 and more than 8,000 other members of staff, including nurses, technicians and paramedical staff,” Dr Chawla said.

Chief guest Ashwani Kumar, Union Minister of State for Planning, Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, highlighted the need for translational research in order to ensure affordable healthcare to all.

“Global innovation and technology alliances with strategic partners should form an integrated approach. For this, India needs new structures and mechanisms to create an innovation system, which enables indigenous methods for affordable innovations and benchmarking of global best practices for quality innovations.”

The department of biotechnology (DBT) has entered into a partnership with Stanford University (USA) to create the Stanford-India Biodesign (SIB) Programme, which aims to groom the future leaders of the Indian medical technology industry, Kumar added.



Police fails to learn a lesson
Two robbery incidents reported in 15 days
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 11
Two incidents of car robbery were reported in the city in the past 15 days. However, the Panchkula police is yet to learn its lessons. The tank chowk where the robbers struck on Friday morning is a high profile area, with Chandimandir Cantonment on one side and VIP Sector 6. Yet no PCR service is available there to curb crime.

On Friday morning, four unidentified youths had looted Rs 48,000 and mobile phones from three persons at gunpoint. The robbers, with uncovered faces, had posed themselves to be the officials of the excise department and stopped the victims when the latter were on their way to grain market, Chandigarh.

About 15 days ago, an old couple was robbed of his Verna car at gunpoint near the Sectors-26/27 dividing road by three unidentified youths. This case was cracked by the Jalandhar CIA team which arrested two of the three robbers. Even after the incident, the Panchkula police was caught napping as no PCR was seen on any of the sensitive points in Panchkula resulting in such incidents.

"No PCR, neither stationary nor even patrolling, is ever sighted here despite being a high profile area. It is shameful for the police that in the early morning a robbery incident had taken place," said Rajinder Tripathi, a resident of Sector 2, Panchkula.

"Had there been a PCR stationed at this point, the robbery would not have been taken place. I have never seen the cops patrolling even," said Diksha Chandra, a resident of Sector 8, Panchkula.

"After the incident, it is not even safe to go for a morning walk. I have warned my daughters also not to move out early morning," said Vikas Kapoor, a resident of Sector 6.

When contacted the incharge of the Sector 7 police post, Mange Ram, said, "How would they be arrested so soon. Our investigations are on and we are looking for them. The registration number of the van in which the miscreants came also seems to be wrong."

"PCRs are never stationed at that point but cops keep on patrolling in that area," said a senior police officer.



Mohali gets another Suvidha Kendra
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 11
The chairman of the District Planning Committee, Harbhajan Mann, inaugurated a Suvidha Kendra on the premises of the Municipal Corporation office at Sector 68 here yesterday.

The new Kendra, second in the town, would provide various services to the residents, including attestation of documents, issuance of certificates and receipt of applications for ration cards and sewer connections. The first Kendra was set up in the Administrative Complex in Phase I.

Mann said the Kendra would cater to the needs of residents living far from Phase I.

He said the town would be beautified and a sum of Rs 10 crore would be spent on laying of paver blocks. Besides, Rs 5 crore had been set aside for maintaining parks and improving lighting system on roads.

Mann further said that 13 modern garbage collection centres would be set up in various parts of the town at a cost of Rs 1 crore.



Windowpanes of three vehicles smashed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 11
Unidentified miscreants broke the windowpanes of three cars at Sector 71 on Friday night. This is the second such incident in the past couple of days.

Anil Kumar and Parminder Dhillon, residents of Sector 71, were shocked to see the broken windowpanes of their vehicles this morning. Area residents say such incidents have become a routine. “The miscreants select expensive vehicles. They smashed the windowpanes of Toyota Innova, Ford Fiesta and Hyundai I-20 cars on Friday night,” said Anil Kumar.

He said some unidentified persons had broken the windowpanes of two vehicles in the area two days ago. “I think the miscreants take pleasure in such activities,” added Anil Kumar. The victims have filed a complaint at the Mataur police station. Similar act was reported in Phase IX about a fortnight ago. The police had even rounded up three youths but it turned out to be a case of enmity between the parties, said Phase VIII police officer.



Chandigarh scan
Talk held

The First Friday Forum organised a talk on “Learning from life” by Vanita Arora, a freelance journalist. She emphasised on how one can tap his or her fullest potential while serving humanity and how one should go about inculcating divine qualities like love, respect, and faith in one’s character.

Scholarship awarded

On the recommendation of the CBSE, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam has awarded a scholarship of Rs 2,000 per month for a period of five years to Pitambar, son of a Haryana cadre IAS officer, in view of his meritorious academic performance and extra-curricular activities in Lawrence School, Sanawar. A recipient of International Youth Award, Pitambar was selected for an international educational mission to Tonbridge School in the UK during his schooling at Lawrence School.

Panchkula scan
Condolence meeting

A meeting of Yadav Sabha, Chandigarh, was held under the chairmanship of president Ram Narain Yadav at Sector 25 in Panchkula. In the meeting the members remembered Veteran Samajwadi Party leader and two-time Rajya Sabha MP Chaudhary Harmohan Singh Yadav in Kanpur recently.

Residents’ problems

A delegation of Residents Welfare Association, Sector 50, under the leadership of its president and general secretary Kamal Gupta and Prahlad Bhagat Vasudeva, respectively, met Pawan Kumar Bansal, Hon’ble Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources to discuss various problems faced by the residents. The major issues were: rehabilitation and shifting of Colony No 5 , provisions of installation of huts, benches for sitting and swings in the parks of the co-operative societies and law and order situation in the area. — TNS



PU student Elections
Police to track poll expenses
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Not just the Panjab University (PU) authorities, but the Chandigarh police too will appoint observers to keep a tab over the money spent by the student leaders in university elections. The Chandigarh police also recently held a meeting with taxi operators and contractors providing tents, chairs etc in the area and asked them to inform the police about the student parties hiring their services.

PU student bodies need to be cautious this year before organising trips, movie shows, and parties at discos to woo the voters as the police observes will be keeping a close watch on their activities.

SHO Sector 11 police station Gurmukh Singh said the police won't depend on the finance observes appointed by the university and will be deputing their own observers in civil clothes to keep a check on the money spent by student parties. "A meeting was also held with the taxi operators and contractors providing tents under the area falling in DSP Central, asking them to inform police if the PU student bodies hire cabs and tents," the SHO said. He also said that a record of the expenses made by the student bodies will be procured from all the sources and would be used as evidence if it exceeds Rs 5,000.

Police sources said that an account of posters printed by all the student organisations will be made to keep a record on the expenses made on printed material, even though the use of printed material is not allowed during the election.

Lyngdoh committee recommendations clearly mention that no student contesting elections can spend more then Rs 5,000 in the elections. However, the amounts spend by student leaders run into several lakhs, with student bodies making all efforts to woo the voters.

Although all the candidates furnish the bills of expenses made during the elections, the university fails to audit the bills, which is itself a violation of the Lyngdoh recommendations.

The university has also planned to appoint observers this year who would check the expenses made by the parties.



Scheme to improve secondary education fails to take off in UT
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service,

Chandigarh, August 11
Centrally-sponsored Rash-triya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) that was started in the UT about three years ago to support secondary education in government schools has not taken off well. The scheme is found largely on papers since not many activities as envisaged under this scheme have seen the light of day.

According to the objectives of the scheme, it will improve the quality of secondary education resulting in enhanced intellectual, social and cultural learning.

It would also ensure good laboratories and modern infrastructure for the students of class IX-X. But despite the fact that RMSA has a broader perspective to promote education, the schools in Chandigarh have not received the grant required to meet the goals.

The official blame the central government for not providing sufficient and timely funds under this scheme. A senior official at the education department said that they were expecting good funds from the Centre but nothing concrete came.

However many feel that the UT officials have not made serious efforts to get funds from the Centre under the scheme.

As per the figures received, the overall outlay plan approved for the year 2010-11 was about Rs 4.2 crore against which only Rs 45 lakh were received in that financial year.

The next financial year too was pretty much the same as against the approved outlay of Rs 4.79 crore, Rs 1.53 were received which the department used for building maintenance expenses and other similar requirements.

The department has recently sent a budget proposal of Rs 5 crore under this scheme. Saroj Mittal, project co-coordinator of the scheme, said, "The proposal has already been submitted to the central government and we hope to get the approval very soon."



government schools
Option to change school, stream still open for students in 3rd counselling
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service,

Chandigarh, August 11
There is still an opportunity for candidates to apply for their desired streams or change their schools as the third counselling begins from Monday.

According to an estimate of the education department, there are about 2,000 seats to be filled in the last counselling.

Although nearly half of the available seats are in humanities, there are quite a few seats available in science, commerce and vocational streams in several coveted model schools. "About 400 seats are vacant in the science steam, about 300-400 in commerce and about 200 in vocational courses and rest are in humanities," said an education department official.

Out of the vacant seats, more than 1,200 fall in the reserved categories.

An official informed, "Not more than 200-300 seats are expected to be filled against the reserved seats because they mainly fall in physically challenged, defence personnel, and freedom fighter categories, and there is often a shortfall of deserving candidates. That is why they remain vacant even till the third counselling." According to him all the vacant reserved seats will be de-reserved during the third counselling and would be allotted on the basis of

merit to deserving candidates. A candidate must keep in mind that even if there is no seat vacant in the general category, he/she can still have some hope against the reserved seats.

As per education department's new tentative list of the seats available in government schools, GMSSS-16 has about 15 seats in the science stream in general category, about 12 seats in the commerce stream and an equal number of seats in reserved categories. GMSSS-32 has about 11 seats in science and about 4 in commerce, and quite a few in the reserved category as well. GMSSS-37 has about 20 seats vacant in the science stream and about an equal number in the reserved categories. GMSSS-40 has no seat available in the science stream in the general category, but there are 9 seats available in the personnel quota, 6 in physically challenged category, and 3 in the freedom fighter category. GMSSS-18 has about 11 seats vacant in commerce and about 12 seats in the reserved categories. GMSSS-35 has no seat in the science stream in general category, but about 21 seats in the reserved categories. GMSSS-46 has about 21 seats in the science stream in the general category and about 16 in the reserved quotas. In the commerce stream it has about 7 seats for the general quota and 14 reserved seats.

It is also true that most of the humanities seats are available in periphery schools and non-model senior secondary schools which are not filled in the last two counsellings. The reason being that not many students opt for these schools as they lack amenities.

The cut offs will however remain the same as decided in the first and second counselling sessions, said officials. It can be increased too depending upon the number of applications received.

According to information, the counselling will begin with submission of forms on August 13-14 (9:00 am -1:00 pm). The list indicating the allotment of schools and streams will be displayed on August 24 morning at the education department website.Fee will be deposited on August 25-26 in the school where the candidate has been allotted a seat.

While students can submit the forms online, they can also be submit them manually at government model schools in Sector 10, Sector 19, Sector 21, Sector 40, Sector 46, and Manimajra. Fresh prospectus and forms are also available in these centres.



Financially weak students might never make it to pvt schools under RTE
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, August 11
The dreams of children from poor families of attending reputed private schools in the district under the RTE Act are not coming true as none of them have so far been recommended by the education authorities for the privilege.

Such children may never make it to private aided or associated schools under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act as education officials have found that their hands are somewhat tied in the matter.

The Act requires private schools to reserve 25 per cent of the seats for children from poor families, with the expenses being reimbursed by the state.

Sources said the district education office could recommend the names of poor children for admission to private institutions only if there were no seats vacant in the government and aided schools. It was necessary to first fill all the seats in the government and aided schools before making such recommendations.

However, such a situation is unlikely to arise as seats are usually available in almost all 280 government primary schools in Mohali district. Sources said the student strength in these institutions was only 25,794 and more could be accommodated. In Mohali, the number of students on rolls in government primary schools is rather low, with only 113 students in the Phase VII institution, 149 in the Phase 3B1 school, 165 in the Mohali village school, 182 in the Phase VI school and 381 in the Phase II school.

Education Department officials say that under the RTE scheme, funds are to be obtained from the government to be given to the private school where a poor student is admitted on recommendation. Such funds cannot be availed unless proper justification is given for making the recommendation.

The RTE Act, 2009, had come into force from April 1, 2010, and is to be fully implemented by March 31, 2013. The aim is to provide basic education to all children in the age bracket of 6-14 years.



Panjab university
Exhaust waiting list before converting sports seats to general, demand parents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Parents of the applicants who had applied for Joint Admission Counselling (JAC) for admission to six engineering institutes in the city under the sports category today made a representation to the Panjab University Vice Chancellor demanding that a counselling session must be held if seats under the category become vacant again.

NC Jindal, parent of one of the students, stated that although all the seats under this category have been filled, there are chances of students vacating them, following which they want that the candidates in the waiting list be given a chance. "We have got information that the seats falling vacant will be converted to general category. However it should be done only after the waiting list under the sports category is exhausted," Jindal said.

When contacted, JAC coordinator Suhkwinder Singh said that the seats under the sports category are never converted into general category. He also said that the decision for holding counselling for sports category if seats get vacated is taken by the admission committee. "Till now no seat has been vacated and the decision will be taken if the situation arises," he said.



500 students take part in traffic awareness programme

Chandigarh, August 11
The Traffic Awareness and Road Safety Society of Post Graduate Government College-11 organised an awareness programme-cum-exhibition regarding the traffic rules today among the students.

More than 500 students participated in the programme during which chief traffic marshal Grewal, traffic marshal Harman Sidhu, along with traffic police inspector Tripta Kumari and head constable Vinod Kumar delivered an extensive lecture about traffic signals, rules, causes of accidents and safety measures. They also gave some case studies and distributed pamphlets among the students to make them aware of traffic rules and safety measures. The speakers made their lectures engaging by showing video clips related to the subject. — TNS



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