C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


The ailing walls of PGI OTs
Leaking roofs, inadequate lights plague hospital; rise in surgical site infections
Ritika Jha
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
Leaking roofs and inadequate lights have become a common site at the operation theatres at PGIMER’s Nehru Hospital in the absence of thorough renovation over the last many years. The hospital has witnessed an increase in the number of patients with surgical site infections.

While the officials claim that all the buildings at the country’s renowned health institution, including the Nehru Hospital, undergo renovation on a yearly basis. A recent instance where a heavy light almost fell over a patient ahead of a surgery has brought to light the inadequate maintenance of the Operation Theatres (OT) here.

In its own study conducted over the last three years, the PGI has found that the infections picked up from the surgical site (operation theatre) are the most common among the hospital acquired infections (HAI) found in patients undergoing treatment at the institute.

The study conducted by the department of hospital administration and department of medical microbilogy at the PGI also found that the rate of HAIs affecting the patients doubled in the last three years, rising from 17 per cent in 2008 to 32 per cent in 2011.

While the researchers are trying to determine the reason for the increasing number of surgical site infections in patients, sources attributed it to the fact that the attendants of the patients (who generally keep moving in and out of the hospital) are made to do all kinds nursing tasks, including changing the bandage.

Constructed over 60 years ago, all the 16 OTs on the fourth and fifth floors of the Nehru Hospital are in dire need of repair. The sources revealed that due to leakage in sewerage pipes, some of the OTs have developed seepage on the ceilings.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had, last year in September, sanctioned Rs 200 crore for the renovation of the Research Block (Rs 150 crore) and Nehru Hospital (Rs 50 crore). However, the work has not even been initiated till date.

While the officials claim that the renovation of the hospital is underway, no alternative arrangements for shifting of these 16 OTs have been made till date.

When contacted, PGI official spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar only had to say, “The maintenance of OTs is done regularly. Total renovation of Nehru Hospital and the Reseach Block is in the pipeline.”

The renovation takes place during summer vacations every year, when the OTs remain closed in shifts for 15 days. 

Not the first incidence

Last year, a patient had died after his bandages caught fire due to a short-circuit in the defibrillator at the Emergency Wing. Later, another patient had a narrow escape in the operation theatre when the AC duct caught fire. The patient was shifted out immediately.

High on Infection rate

The study conducted by the department of hospital administration and department of medical microbilogy at the PGI found that the rate of hospital acquired infections affecting the patients doubled in the last three years, rising from 17 per cent in 2008 to 32 per cent in 2011. 


Window smashers on the prowl
Two incidents reported in a day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
Miscreants smashed the windowpanes of two cars in separate incidents here today. While one incident occurred in the busy Sector 15 market in the afternoon, another incident was reported at around the same time in the Sector 28 market.

The first incident occurred in the afternoon when Tarun, a resident of Kansal, had parked his Swift car outside Gopal Sweets in Sector 15. He reported to the police that he had come to the sweetmeat shop with his friend at around 1 pm. He returned at around 2.15 pm and was shocked to see the rear windowpanes of his car smashed. He reported that cash amounting to Rs 80,000, some documents and laptop had been stolen.

However, the police is taking the entire incident with a pinch of salt, as there were no eyewitnesses to the incident in the busy market. The police also suspect if any chemical was used to break the windowpane as no one heard any noise.

“We are verifying the facts of the case and are investigating. The nearby shopkeepers told us that the car was parked since morning but the complainant told us that he came there at 1 pm. We are checking all aspects and will register a case accordingly,” said Inspector Gurmukh Singh, SHO, Sector 11 police station.

In the second incident reported in Sector 28, windowpanes of a car belonging to a city resident, Devraj, were smashed near a food joint.

However, the complainant refused to lodge any complaint as no loss of valuables were reported. A DDR has been lodged at the Sector 26 police station. 



Snake scare forces resident indoors
Wildlife department officials fail to turn up; PCR comes to rescue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
A resident of Sector 30 was holed up in his house for two hours when a poisonous snake, viper, appeared in front of his house here this evening.
Kapil (31) spotted the snake at 8 pm and called up on the helpline of the UT wildlife department for help. But nobody came to his rescue from the wildlife department. The helpline attendant, however, advised him to either contact the PCR, the fire brigade or the snake catcher, Salim Khan.

He then called up Salim Khan who asked be picked up. “But I could not move out of the house as the snake was at the main entrance of my house, ”said Kapil.

Finally, Kapil called up the PCR that came to his rescue. “They picked up the snake and took it away in a polythene bag. Only then we were able to come out of the house,” said Kapil, who is an employee in a telecom company. He further said the police told him that it was a viper, which is a poisonous species.

“I wanted to save the snake by choosing not to kill it. But nobody from the wildlife department came to its rescue. The police has now taken it away,” said Kapil.

Saurabh Kumar, Deputy Conservator of Forests, said they did not get any call on their helpline number. “He must have called on our environment helpline. Otherwise, we would have gone and rescued the snake. We have rescued many snakes after getting calls from residents,” he said. 



P’kula police contests probe
Says Chandigarh Police is biased
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 27
The Panchkula police has accused the Chandigarh Police of being “overzealous” in the ACP Adarshdeep case. The ACP (under training) was booked for thrashing a Chandigarh police constable recently.

The Panchkula Police has disputed the action of the Chandigarh Police and sent a missive accusing the Chandigarh Police of being biased. Also the Panchkula Police has sent a report to the government of Haryana mentioning as to how the Chandigarh Police allegedly played mischief and got him behind bars.

Adarshdeep is presently lodged in Burail Jail. It was on August 20 when Panchkula ACP (under training) Adarshdeep Singh, his brother Gagandeep Singh and father Gurmeet Singh were arrested for reportedly thrashing a Chandigarh Police constable, Dilawar Singh, over parking issue at the Police Society, Sector 51,Chandigarh .

Adarshdeep had also alleged that his family was beaten up by the constable and a complaint was given in this regard but no action was taken.

“We have seen the CCTV footage of the brawl and it is found that Adarshdeep is innocent. Even otherwise in such a situation, when someone’s family is involved, a family member is bound to intervene. We have written to the Chandigarh Police contesting that they arrested him without substantial proof and justice may be provided,” said KK Sharma, Panchkula Commissioner of Police.

He further added, “Even Adarshdeep had also given a complaint to the Chandigarh Police which went unnoticed. So we have asked them to do a fair probe and in turn, the Chandigarh Police has also ensured that they will surely look into the matter.”

The official also said that a report had also been sent to the Haryana government mentioning about the same. In the report it is states as to how Adarshdeep has been implicated. Panchkula Police said in the letter sent by the Panchkula Police it was mentioned how the Chandigarh Police was biased and quickly arrested the ACP. “We have given substantial proof to the Chandigarh Police and have asked them why they have unnecessarily implicated our officer. It is also written that their action was biased and they have been asked to do justice with the case,” said a senior police officer on the condition of anonymity.

Ranjiv Dalal, Haryana Director General of Police (DGP), also confirmed that the action taken by the Chandigarh Police against Adarshdeep has been contested. He said, “It is true. The Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner of Police have contested the investigations made by the Chandigarh Police in the Adarshdeep case.” When contacted, Chandigarh SSP Naunihal Singh said, " I am not aware of it. They might have written to the IG or the DIG." DIG Alok Kumar was not available for comments. 



acp case
Officer in custody for more than 48 hours
According to rules, suspension is a must
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 27
As per service rules, a government servant is to be placed under suspension if he spends more than 48 hours behind bars. Whatever may be the case, in the ACP Adarshdeep case, the authorities in Panchkula have not taken any action yet and are busy passing the buck. It has been eight days since ACP (under training) Adarshdeep Singh is lodged in Burail Jail.

It is stated in the government service guidelines that any government servant with effect from the date of his detention, (if he is detained in custody, whether on a criminal charge or otherwise) for a period exceeding 48 hours will be placed under suspension. When asked about any action taken against Adarshdeep Senior officials started passing the buck.

When contacted Haryana Director General of Police (DGP), Ranjiv Dalal, said, “I don’t know. The Panchkula Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Police may have taken necessary action in the Adarshdeep case.”

When Parul Kush, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), was contacted, she said, “In this case, I am not authorised to comment on the issue as he is a gazetted officer.”

KK Sharma, Panchkula Commissioner of Police, said, “Adarshdeep is not at fault. He is behind bars unnecessarily. We have written to the Chandigarh police contesting their action”.



Stress, alcohol taking toll on youth: Experts
Ritika Jha
Tribune News Service

  • Chandigarh, August 27
    A group pf youngsters reportedly annoyed with a teenaged boy whom they bumped into in the wee hours on Saturday, first roughly pulled the boy into the car and then threw him into a different sector.
  • An NRI was murdered by a group of youngsters following a sudden provocation outside a food joint in Sector 22, in January this year. The youngsters had allegedly attacked the man - a stranger to them - following a scuffle.
  • A Panchkula resident received an injury in the eye when he was attacked with the butt of a gun at the lightpoint by occupants of a Swift car following a chase, after the resident entered into an argument while driving.

With instances of rage resulting in violence rising in the city, psychiatrists have come up with some significant observations and solutions to the problem marking ‘World Anger Day’ on Tuesday.

Speaking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Dr BS Chavan, head of department of psychiatry at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, pointed out stress and alcohol intake as the key cause of anger among adults.

Why are we angry?

Due to fierce competition at work place as well as the pressure for multi-tasking has added to the stress levels among the working class. In a rush to prove them selves, they run down other people and stretch arguments beyond limits and indulge in violence.

People suffering from anti-social disorders often get down to violence or road rage as they get a thrill by breaking the rules.

Impulse control disorder in another form of anger where a person becomes so angry that he vents out his anger by hitting the opponent badly or throwing away items. He later realises his mistake and repents also for the damage caused.

Consumption of alcohol is another big cause of abrupt behaviour, as the person loses control over his actions and tends to over-react.

Take a chill pill

While medication is the last resort to curb most of the above-mentioned causes of anger, people suffering from impulse control disorder often require medication.

Self-introspection is the best solution for shunning anger. It is important for the person to confess to himself that his temperament is different from others.

The immediate way of controlling anger is to walk away from the situation, which a person finds annoying or provocative. If anger still persists, then one should try and change his focus.

Deep breathing can also be another immediate solution.



Nine-yr-old kidnapped
Neighbours booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
A nine-year-old girl was allegedly kidnapped by her neighbours from Indira Colony at Mani Majra. The girl, Shobha, is still missing and the UT Police has booked two neighbours. A case has been registered at the Mani Majra police station.

The girl, a student of Class III in Government School, Mani Majra, failed to return home last evening after playing with friends in the colony.

Her father, Daya Ram, who is a mason, lodged a complaint against his landlord Raja and his bother, who he suspected had kidnapped his daughter. He said he had an ongoing dispute with them and they kidnapped his daughter to settle scores.

The police found the neighbours house locked and inquiries revealed that they had gone to their native village in Haryana. Police investigations also revealed that the girl was last seen with the neighbours in the park in Mani Majra.

“The neighbours have also gone missing that is why the girl’s family is suspecting them. We have lodged a case and are investigating,” said Inspector Yash Pal, SHO, Mani Majra police station. 


Mehak's kin allege police inaction
Seek help from Panchkula DCP Parul Kush; say will protest if accused not arrested
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 27
Mehak’s family along with members of the Nari Niketan visited Panchkula DCP Parul Kush’s office this afternoon alleging that it was a double murder and even after eight days the police had failed to arrest the accused.

They said they would stage a protest outside Haryana Director General of Police Ranjiv Dalal’s office, if the accused were not arrested in time.

It was on August 19 that the body of 23-year-old Delhi girl, Mehak, was found with a stole around her neck under mysterious circumstances at her in-laws residence in Sector 16, Panchkula. Her husband, Sandeep Garg, is still absconding.

“It is a double murder. They have killed my daughter and my nephew also. It has been around 10 days and the police has not arrested the accused," said deceased's mother Kaanta Devi.

The autopsy report had revealed that the girl had a male foetus.

She added, “When they were constantly demanding dowry, I told my daughter that things would fall in place with time."

The family members alleged that the Panchkula DCP, Parul Kush, did not show much interest in the case.

"The DCP said they were investigating the case and would arrest the accused soon. The police has been saying the same thing since day one," said deceased's brother Rajeev Aggarwal.

The autopsy report had also raised serious questions as the same had revealed injury marks in various organs indicating that she was first poisoned.

Mehak’s in-laws were booked for dowry death as the victim was allegedly being tortured. No arrests have been made so far.

Husband detained

  • In a major breakthrough, Mehak's husband Sandeep Garg, was detained by the police. It was after the family members of Mehak protested outside DCP Parul Kush’s office that the police took action to pacify the agitators.
  • When contacted, SHO Lakshmi Chand said, “We have not yet arrested him. We have detained him for investigation. If we don’t find any substantial proof against him, we will let him off the hook.”
  • The police said on the one hand Garg had lost his dear wife while on the other he had to be detained.



Dead councillor alive on website
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
While candidates are busy filing nomination papers for the byelections, the official website of the municipal corporation still shows late Laxmi Devi as its councillor from ward number 7.

Surprisingly, a week ago the UT state election commission had notified that the byelections from ward number 7 would be held on September 15 following the death of BJP councillor Laxmi Devi, but the corporation did not bother to update the information on its webpage till date.

This shows the authenticity of the information which one gets from the official website of the municipal corporation (MC) as the authorities seem to have forgotten to update it for long. Laxmi Devi passed away in May 2 after she met with a accident.

This is not the only faux pas, but there are other classic examples as well. As per the official website, last action taken report was prepared in 2010 while in the General House held in December last year, a detailed action report of last four years was tabled. Even the MC Commissioner column on the website is still lying blank as if the new Commissioner has nothing to share with the residents of the city.

Making mockery of the citizen charter column of the corporation on the official website, the authorities have not bothered to update the officials' names on it. A majority of officials mentioned in the charter have either been repatriated to their parent states or transferred by the authorities. Records of the corporation reveal that since 2004 (the year when the citizen charter was approved), the information has not been updated.

The officials who have retired or repatriated are still a part of the official website. Horticulture XEN Arun Kansal who retired last year is still holding the same position and XEN electrical who was repatriated four months ago to the UT Administration also finds mention on the website as head of the department.



New DC assumes charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
A 2002-batch Haryana cadre IAS officer, Mohammed Shahin, today took over as the new Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh. He replaced Brijendra Singh, son of senior Congress leader, who has been repatriated to his parent state.

Soon after taking over his new assignment, the new DC while sounding to be pro-active sought some time to understand the issues, primarily the estate office, excise, revenue, vehicle registration and licensing.

Prior to joining as the DC, he was HUDA Administrator, Hisar, and has also been Deputy Commissioner, Ambala. In the long list of unsolved issues left by predecessor, finalising the report of the infamous booth scam, computerisation of the record of the estate office and streamlining the functioning of the nearly crippled Registration and Licensing Authority, are some of the core issues that will need his attention.

During Brijendar Singh's tenure, who mostly avoided media glare, the report on the booth scam could not be finalised and the main issues remained unsolved. 



Things get going in Zirakpur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
Once having the dubious distinction of being Chandigarh’s poor cousin targeted by developers because of its proximity to the City Beautiful, Zirakpur is on the fast track of planned and systematic development.

Encroachments have been removed from malls and housing colonies. This is not all. Penal action, too, has been initiated against various violators as per provisions of law.

Information made available to a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court suggests that the Zirakpur municipal council has taken action against as many as 500 encroachers “and encroachments have been removed”.

The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority, too, has identified nothing less than 30 cases of different types of violations, wherein penal action has been taken. The executive officer of the civic body has also informed the Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Jasbir Singh and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain that sewage treatment plant would be completed by March 31, 2013.

The Bench was also told that the work of laying of underground sewerage lines has been completed to the extent of 90 per cent and the remaining work would be completed by March 31, next year.

The significant assertions came during the hearing of a suo motu case on the facilities available in Zirakpur. During the hearing of the case, director, Punjab local government, Ashok Kumar Gupta, was present in the court. In an affidavit, he informed the Bench that Zirakpur’s masterplan was made effective in 2009 and “thereafter within the municipal limits no unauthorised construction has cropped up”.

Taking on record the assertions, the Bench closed the petition with observations: “In view of the orders passed by the court from time to time and the assurance given by the director, local government, Punjab, in his affidavits, placed on record on earlier dates and today, this writ petition is disposed of”.



Rain breathes life into Sukhna
25 new pedal boats to attract tourists
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
As the rainfall has increased the water level at the city's landmark Sukhna Lake, the Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Corporation (CITCO) has decided to purchase 25 new pedal boats.

The CITCO authorities are also re-painting and repairing present pedal boats and "shikaras".

Though the proposal regarding the purchase of new boats was prepared in the beginning of the year, but as the water level of Sukhna Lake had gone down in summer, the authorities were forced to postpone the plan to purchase new boats.

AK Malhotra, general manager (tourism), CITCO, said they were planning to cash in on the festive season. "As a large number of tourists are expected to visit the Sukhna Lake during the festive season, they have decided to purchase new boats," he added.

He added that the increase in the water level at the lake, after the rainfall, has also resulted in good boating business for CITCO. He added that now the daily income from boating business had crossed the figure of Rs 50,000.

CITCO records reveal that on an average of 2,500 to 3,000 tourists come for boating on weekends and 1,000 to 1,500 on weekdays.



Proposed hike in entertainment allowances of officials
Move may add to CHB’s woes
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
For the financial crisis-ridden Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), the construction arm of the Chandigarh Administration, a proposed increase in the entertainment allowances of its officials is all set to make the board poorer by a few lakhs.

Citing insufficient funds at their disposal, the officials of the CHB have proposed a 200 per cent hike in their monthly entertainment allowance.

The hike ranging from 100 per cent to 200 per cent has been proposed across the board, ranging from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to technocrats.

Sources said around 35 officials, including the CEO, secretary, chief engineer, chief accounts officer and senior architect would benefit from the hike.

“On the one hand, the Union Ministry and the Chandigarh Administration have been seeking curtailment of the expenditure by its various departments while on the other the CHB issue of hiking the entertainment allowance is in contradiction," said a senior UT official.

The issue will be tabled in a meeting of the CHB board members. In the same meeting, another issue of capping the monthly entertainment allowance of the chairman of the board will be raised.

So far the entertainment allowance of the chairman has been unlimited, the Chief Executive Officer and the secretary of the board could spend Rs 1,500 per month.

While the CHB’s chairman, Satya Gopal, was not available for comments, the CEO, Rodney L Ralte, who has recently taken over the charge, said the allowance had not been hiked since 2006. “The final decision on the issue has to be taken by the board of members in the forthcoming meeting," he added.

Sources said when the proposed hike in allowances of the CEO and secretary was proposed, the chairman is learnt to have proposed a cap on his entertainment allowance. In the same light, the allowance of the CEO and the secretary is likely to be increased by 100 per cent.

Presently, the entertainment allowance of the CEO and secretary is Rs 1,500 per month, the allowance of chief engineer, chief accounts officer, senior architect is Rs 600 per month. 



Potholes a blot on City Beautiful, MC’s claims exposed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
Heavy rain has played havoc on city roads. The residents of the City Beautiful, particularly drivers, had a bumpy ride throughout the day as all roads have developed potholes.

Huge potholes and signs of repair works bore the testimony of the destruction that the roads have suffered. The road condition also exposed the claims of the engineering department of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

A portion of the caved-in road whereas others have developed several potholes.
A portion of the caved-in road whereas others have developed several potholes. Tribune photos: S Chandan

Major roads which are damaged due to waterlogging or blockage of sewerage: Sector 16, 17 roundabouts, Sectors 27, 28, 29, Sector 56 roundabout, roads near railway station, IT parks.

Most of the slip roads seemed vanished as huge slush had covered them.

Thick cover of mud and slush on the roads has spelt doom for road users especially two-wheelers. The authorities concerned failed to clear the sand from the roads, which further created problems.



Close shave for milkman
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 27
High drama was witnessed at Kumbhra Chowk when a milkman’s motorcycle stuck in a manhole, the cover of which caved in, this afternoon. The man escaped unhurt.
The chowk was blocked by agitated PTI teachers today. The milkman tried to cross the chowk by taking his vehicle on the ‘kutcha’ path. When Baljit, the milkman, was trying to cross the manhole, its cover caved in immediately.

In a bid to save Baljit, one of the protesters fell inside the manhole. Both Baljit Singh and the protesters escaped unhurt.

Meanwhile, the PTI Teachers Union held a protest march on the roads and sat on dharna at Kumbhra Chowk. Navkiran Singh Khatra, an office-bearer of the union, said that their hunger strike entered the fourth day. “We are not being given our appointment letters despite the orders of the high court. We are also planning to file a contempt case in this connection,” said Kulwinder Singh, general secretary of the union.



PWD workers protest in support of demands
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 27
Workers of the Haryana PWD department today gheraoed the Vidhan Sabha to press for their demands. However, they were stopped by the police at the road separating Sectors 4 and 5 and were not allowed to go farther.

It was in the morning when thousands of mechanical union workers had gathered outside their head office in Sector 4, Panchkula, from where they marched towards the Vidhan Sabha.

The agitated workers also staged protest when they were stopped by the Panchkula police. It was only after the officer on special duty of Haryana Chief Minister, BR Beri, reached the spot and assured to get a meeting fixed with the CM on August 29 that the situation came under control.



BSP candidate files nomination papers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
BSP candidate Seema Yadav today filed her nomination papers for by-elections to Ward Number 7 of Municipal Corporation with great pomp and show. BSP councillors Janat Jahan Ul-Haq and Naresh Kumar accompanied her while she came to file her papers in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation office today.

BSP leader Nirmal Devi proposed Seema Yadav’s name for the election. Others in the fray are Congress candidate Poonam Sharma and BJP candidate Bindu Rana, who is daughter-in-law of ex-councillor Laxmi Devi. Both the candidates will file their papers tomorrow, which is the last day of filing of nomination for the by-election. 



Seven child labourers rescued
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
The Anti Human Trafficking Unit of UT Police rescued as many as seven children between the age of eight to 14 years from dhabas and meat shops in the city.

The police received secret information on child labour being rampant at dhabas and meat shops of Burail village, Sector 45, Chandigarh. A joint raid was conducted along with the team of Labour Department and Social Welfare Department under the supervision of Baljit Singh Chadha, DSP-Women Child Support Unit.

After rescuing seven children, the police found that children were given very low salary and were living in an unhygienic condition. The shopkeepers have been challaned by the labour inspectors.

Medical examination of the children was conducted and they have been shifted to Snehalaya in Maloya.



BCom counselling over, vacant seats filled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
The 30 seats of BCom, the most sought-after undergraduate course in Chandigarh, that were lying vacant in the city colleges affiliated to Panjab University have been filled following the completion of the last round of counselling at the PU Law Auditorium here today.

In the UT pool, admissions closed at the rank of 1,900 with 61 per cent being the cut-off marks. In the general pool, the cut-off was 61.6 per cent with the closing rank of 1,131. While 85 per cent of the seats were reserved for students from Chandigarh, the students from the general pool competed for the remaining 15 per cent of seats.

Coordinator of BCom admissions Suresh Chadha said: “All the seats have been filled to full capacity. No more applications will be entertained.”

He further said the counseling for admission to BCom courses being offered at PU-affiliated colleges in Ludhiana would be held tomorrow.

This year, the number of applicants was three times the number of seats offered by the university. For a total of around 4,000 seats, over 12,000 applications were received by the university.

The second movement list for admission to BCom was declared on July 17. In the UT pool, the highest score point admitted was 107 at GGDSD College, Sector 32. In terms of cut-offs, the government colleges performed better this year.



NSS to open job opportunities
Proposal to introduce skill development in the community service scheme
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
With the aim of imparting employability skills to students while they do community work under the National Service Scheme (NSS), the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has decided to transform the NSS into National Service and Skill Development Scheme (NSSD).

The new scheme would be offered to the first year graduate students who would be able to undertake short term certificate as well as diploma and advanced level programmes based on the employability enhancing skill, along with their regular degrees.

State Liaison Officer, Chandigarh, Bikram Rana said that as necessitated by this scheme, the department had started the process to assess job opportunities available in Chandigarh. The department would be sending assessment forms to all government offices, and stakeholders of various industries, to garner data about job requirements and opportunities in the market, he said. Simultaneously, undergraduate students in the city would be contacted through the NSS volunteers to assess their fields of interest, Rana said.

The collected data would then be put before a state-level coordination committee, comprising of experts drawn from academia, government and industry, which would be responsible for developing curriculum for the proposed courses, he said.

Once the curriculum was developed, it would be placed before the Academic Council (AC) of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and submitted to AICTE, UGC and other bodies for their recognition. Those who would successfully complete these courses would be awarded an appropriate level of certification by the School of Vocational Education, TISS, Rana said.

While the deadline to introduce the courses had been fixed as November-December this year, Rana said the whole process might take some more time since it involved extensive work to prepare courses as per the local needs. “While there is no infrastructure problem at colleges in Chandigarh, but there might be a need to appoint special faculty for these courses,” he said.

Director Higher Education, UT, Ajoy Sharma, said an important aspect of the NSSD was that it would be designed based on the local employment needs, and moreover it would sensitise the young minds to think about career options beyond the conventional courses. The department, he said, was taking the course very seriously and positive results would come out in future.

Proposed courses

The duration of courses under National Service and Skill Development Scheme will vary from six to eighteen months. In each semester, two to four credit modules will be offered through classroom lectures, tutorials and practical work. The modules will be structured in a way that it motivates the students to reach advanced level of competence by the end of the graduation programme. A student would need to acquire 20 credits to clear the certificate, 40 credits for a diploma and about 60 credits for an advanced diploma.



Over 100 donate blood at PGGCG-42
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
As many as 107 units of blood was collected at a blood donation camp held at Post Graduate Government College for Girls (PGGCG), Sector 42, here today. Students as well as staff members, including teaching and non-teaching staff, donated blood during the camp. The National Service Scheme volunteers from the college also participated in the camp.

Dr Neelam Sharma, camp coordinator, said it was important for volunteers to realise the significance of such camps. When organised in educational institutions, such camps sensitise students towards needs of others, she said. The blood donation camp was organised by the college in collaboration with the PGIMER. It was sponsored by Lions Club Chandigarh, Lions and Lioness Club, Panchkula, and Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association. 



school notes
Powerpoint presentation

Chandigarh: To encourage students to refine and showcase their communication and presentation skills, a powerpoint presentation competition was organised at Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, on Monday. The topics included “Smile is Contagious” and “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind”. The participants from Classes VIII and IX impressed the audience with their expertly designed presentations along with balanced and well-researched commentaries. The first position was clinched by Class VIII-A (Simran Singh and Naini Dahra). The second position went to Class VIII-D (Saurabh Gupta and Raghav Chadha) and the third position went to Class IX-D (Angel Pandhi and Tanisha Malhotra).

Antakshari competition

New Public School, Sector 18, emerged as the winner in students’ antakshari competition at the ongoing Fanta Fiesta 2012. A total of 22 teams from Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Rajpura, Pinjore, Nabha and Ambala participated in the competition at Govternment Model School, Sector 10. The final four teams played various melodious and exciting rounds under three different levels.

Students display practical skills

A student describes a model prepared by him during an exhibition held at Hansraj Public School in Sector 6, Panchkula, on Monday.
A student describes a model prepared by him during an exhibition held at Hansraj Public School in Sector 6, Panchkula, on Monday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula: Students of Hans Raj Public school were at their creative best at ‘The Effervescence’, an exhibition to reflect the practical work done in the classroom, held on the school campus on Monday. In the exhibition, the students displayed models, charts and live shows based on various fields like mathematics, science, social sciences, languages, and art and craft in over 25 rooms. In order to sensitise people on the broad social, political, economic and environmental issues, pamphlets, posters, slogans, collages and charts were also displayed. Principal Jaya Bhardwaj applauded the efforts put in by the teachers and the students. She emphasised on education based on practical skills. The school authorities also honoured Dr Ravinder Talwar who had been recently nominated as the secretary of the DAVCMC, New Delhi.

Raghav Noria grabs NTSE scholarship

Raghav Noria, a Class IX student of Hansraj Public School has received a scholarship under the National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) conducted by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). Raghav had successfully cleared the state-level NTSE by securing the third position in Panchkula and the 14th rank in the state of Haryana. He scored 165 marks out of a total of 200 marks at the national level. Raghav attributed his success to his teachers and parents who inspired him to work tirelessly.

Tricity students showcase creative talent

Over 350 students participated in a painting and debate competition at Satluj Public School, Sector 4, on Monday. Students representing around 70 schools from the tricity showcased their creative talents on the occasion. — TNS



Children from remote areas of J&K come visiting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
As part of an Army-sponsored educational and motivational tour, a group of 25 students and teachers from far-flung areas of Tangdhar and Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir visited the Western Command Headquarters at Chandimandir today.

The students, aged 11 to 17 years, belonged to the remote border area of the Karnah valley, which is sparsely populated and has minimal basic infrastructure. Most of the children had come out of their native place for the first time. They were thrilled to see various tourist spots in the city including the Rock Garden, Rose Garden, Sukhna Lake, Sector-17 Plaza, and the Rajiv Gandhi IT Park, as well as the Yadavindra Gardens at Pinjore.

The students also interacted with senior officers of the Western Command who encouraged them to pursue their education with determination and aim to attain higher qualifications. The officers motivated the students to spread the message of peace and harmony.

During their eleven-day tour, the children will also be visiting several other places including Jammu and Shimla.



CBSE-affiliated private schools in city yet to wake up
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
As compared to government schools, private schools in the city have not woken up yet to the concept of vocational courses. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), in a circular issued to its affiliated schools in May, had directed them to make a choice from a wide array of vocational courses to be offered from the next academic session at the senior secondary level.

There are 33 vocational courses that the board has offered to the schools in streams including commerce, engineering, agriculture, home science, health and paramedical, hospitality and tourism, information technology, mass media and insurance.

A very few schools in Chandigarh, however, had taken any initiative to apply for such courses.

Reema Dewan, principal of Delhi Public School, Sector 40, said vocational courses were the need of the hour and the issue asked for a serious discussion.

She said the schools lacked initiative in this direction, despite these courses not requiring any special infrastructure, because there was not much demand from students. Time had come for parents to think of diverse career options for their children, she said.

Kavita Das, principal of St John’s High School, Sector 26, said their school was serious about starting vocational courses and was in the process of getting students’ feedback. She, however, said the process would take some time because their school had students from a wide section of society. The school, moreover, could not start anything that students would find difficult to pursue after the school, she added.

Rakesh Sachdeva, principal of the DAV School, Sector 15, said: “Every school needs to have a serious discussion on the issue. There is no doubt that more schools should opt for vocational courses, since it will definitely lead to more employment opportunities for students in the future.”

The courses offered by the CBSE include bakery and confectionery, food production, hotel management and catering, medical laboratory technology, healthcare and beauty culture, fashion design and clothing construction, and textile designs. 

Will lead to more opportunities

Every school needs to have a serious discussion on the issue. There is no doubt that more schools should opt for vocational courses, since it will definitely lead to more employment opportunities for students in the future~

Rakesh Sachdeva, Principal, DAV School, Sector 15



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