C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bandh call evokes mixed response
  Most shops shut till 2 pm; air, train, bus services unaffected; BJP workers stage dharnas across the city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The Bharat bandh call given by the NDA, Left parties and the SP in protest against the diesel price hike, FDI in multi-brand retail and cap on subsidised LPG, evoked a mixed response in the city. A majority of the shops remained closed in the city. However, air, train and local bus services remained unaffected.

A police officer tries to stop BJYM national president Anurag Thakur (encircled) from entering the Sector 19 market during the bandh on Thursday.
A police officer tries to stop BJYM national president Anurag Thakur (encircled) from entering the Sector 19 market during the bandh on Thursday. Tribune photo: pradeep tewari

The bandh call, however, paralysed fruit and vegetable supplies at the wholesale vegetable and fruit market in Sector 26 here. Since the morning, transporters at the Sector 26 grain market remained off the road, affecting the daily supply of essential commodities.

Traders at the Sector 26 wholesale market said the supplies to the city were reduced by 50 per cent today. Kanwal Mahajan, a trader, said the local vegetable and fruit market remained open throughout the day. However, work at the market was hampered as the supplies from other areas were affected. Suresh Kumar, a vegetable vendor, said there was a dearth of fresh

vegetables in the market today. The presence of customers was also thin in the market, he said.

At the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), Sectors 17 and 43, buses originating from Punjab and Haryana brought in a few passengers, affecting local taxi and auto-rickshaw operators, who were seen sitting idle. JS Sawhney, president of the local taxi union, said apprehending trouble, many people preferred not to travel.

In the city, BJP workers staged dharnas at the Sector 26 mandi before moving through the markets of Sectors 17, 18, 19, 22, 27 and 28. The police had to resort to a mild lathi charge when BJP workers, led by party leader Anurag Thakur and local BJP president Sanjay Tandon, were trying to convince shopkeepers to down their shutters.

Chandigarh Beopar Mandal president Charanjiv Singh claimed that around 80 per cent of the shops in various markets of Chandigarh remained closed till 2 pm. He added that at many places, shopkeepers staged dharnas as a mark of protest outside markets. He said chemists had been exempted from the bandh.

Traders of Sector 17 were divided over the bandh call and a section of them observed a bandh. The Progressive Traders Welfare Association of Sector 17, led by its president Varinder Gularia, observed a complete bandh.

The largest and most important market of Sector 22 also participated in the bandh. A majority of the shopkeepers took part in it.

The market associations of Sectors 19, 23, 24, 27, 30, 32, 34, 37, 38, 40, 41, 44, 45 and 46 also observed a complete bandh.

Diwakar Sahoonja, chief patron of the Beopar Mandal, said in spite of a short notice of two days, traders in the city showed remarkable unity to protest against FDI in retail. 

Fruit, veggie supplies hit

The bandh paralysed fruit and vegetable supplies to the wholesale vegetable and fruit market in Sector 26. Since the morning, transporters at the Sector 26 grain market remained off the road, affecting the daily supply of essential commodities. 



No untoward incident reported during bandh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 20
No untoward incident was reported in the district that witnessed a near-complete bandh here today. Most of the shops were found closed since the morning. Though many activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) were seen taking repeated rounds in markets, no tiff between shopkeepers and party members took place.

Shops remain closed due to the bandh at Sector 11 in Panchkula on Thursday.
Shops remain closed due to the bandh at Sector 11 in Panchkula on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal

The police confirmed that the bandh was peaceful. “We have made all arrangements to deal with untoward incidents. But it remained peaceful”, said a senior police official here.

Jaswant Singh, local leader of the Akali Dal, said people were favouring the bandh call. “We took rounds of the markets here but found only a few shops opened. When we approached them, nobody resisted and shut the shops immediately,” said Jaswant Singh.

Except emergencies services and a few schools, all other business and industrial houses remained closed, claimed Jaswant Singh.

Meanwhile, the bandh call received a good response in the periphery, including Kharar, Kurali, Zirakpur, Banur and Morinda. Sources said all shops, factories and other private concerns remained closed today.

Panchkula: Residents gave a mixed response to the bandh call here. Most of the shopkeepers opened their shops by the evening.

Sources said earlier in the morning, many shops were found closed.

In the evening there was full rush in the markets of Sectors 7, 8, 11 and 15. “Seeing many shops opened in the markets, shopkeepers, who did not open their establishments, also started their business,” said Sanjeev Sharma, a shopkeeper in Sector 8.

The police claimed that they have made all the arrangements to deal with any mischievous elements. However, no untoward incident was reported in the city.

Fatehgarh Sahib: Complete bandh was observed in Fatehgarh Sahib and in the adjoining towns of Mandi Gobindgarh, Amloh, Bassi Pathana and Khamano today.

Hundreds of SAD and BJP workers led by Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, General Secretary, marched through the main bazaars of the town raising slogans against the Union Government and demanding rollback of hike in diesel price and FDI in Nulti-brand retail. The protesters marched towards the Deputy Commissioner’s office and hold a rally there.

Addressing the gathering, Prof Chandumajra lashed out at the Union Government and termed it as anti-people government. He demanded that either the government should change its decisions or it should quit on moral grounds.

Later, a delegation led by Prof Chandumajra presented a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.

Dera Bassi: Markets in the area remained closed for some hours, whereas protesting activists of different political parties held demonstrations and blocked traffic at some places.

Members of the SAD and BJP forced the shopkeepers to close shops to protest against the rising prices of diesel. The activists raised slogans against the government and demanded rollback of diesel prices and foreign direct investment. Leaders and activists of the CPI and CPM held demonstrations separately and marched in the markets and blocked traffic for some time at Dera Bassi and Banur. They raised same demands. They also protested against the taxes imposed by the SAD- BJP government of Punjab. 



Status report on F&CC decisions
MC staff set to miss Sept 24 deadline 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
It seems the municipal corporation does not believe in taking seriously the decisions taken by its finance and contract committee (F&CC). A classic example of this is that the authorities are set to miss the deadline for tabling the status report of the projects and decisions taken at the meetings of the committee during the past 18 months. 

For the past three months, at every meeting, instructions were given to officials to prepare a detailed status report of the projects and decisions implemented by them. However, the authorities have failed to prepare the report, which was to be tabled at the next meeting of the finance and contract committee, scheduled for September 24.

Last month, an action-taken report for six months was tabled at the committee meeting. However, members refused to discuss it on the plea that major decisions were missing in the report. The members objected that the authorities had not mentioned the status of the implementation of the decisions taken by the committee. Later, it was decided that at the next meeting, the status report for 18 months will be tabled by the authorities.

In the report, which was tabled last month, the authorities made no mention about the status of the allotted works and how many contracts had been cancelled by the department concerned due to a delay in the completion of the work by contractors. At the committee meeting, it was also decided that a list of the petty works lying pending due to a delay in execution by contractors be mentioned so that these could be cancelled and re-allotted.

Similarly, the committee had directed that a "malba patrolling vehicle" be launched in the city to monitor the illegal dumping of malba by residents. Interestingly, in the action-taken report, the authorities have made no mention about it. The authorities have not even mentioned anything about the special F&CC meetings held for the implementation of a pilot project for the door-to-door garbage collection in Sector 22 and its status.

Congress councillor Subhash Chawla said the committee had asked the authorities to prepare the status report of the project so that the members could suggest how to speed up the work, which was going on at a slow pace for the past many months.

BJP councillor Rajesh Gupta expressed dissatisfaction over the report as no details about the action taken on the decisions taken by the present F&CC find mention in it.

Another decision taken by the committee in May was that the MC will deploy sanitation workers to clean community centres after the holding of any social gathering and will charge Rs 500 for it from residents. However, so far no staff has been appointed for this purpose. 

Action-taken report

Last month, an action-taken report for six months was tabled at the F&CC meeting. However, members refused to discuss it on the plea that major decisions were missing in the report. Later, it was decided that at the next meeting, the status report for 18 months will be tabled by the authorities 



43.8 pc children of migrants go without immunisation
 PGI study throws up alarming data 
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
A study conducted by the PGI on children of migrant labourers in Chandigarh has revealed that 43.8 per cent of them have not been immunised. The study has found that over 55 per cent of them are malnourished.

The findings of the study look alarming in the backdrop of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data according to which no Indian state has more than 20 per cent children without immunisation.

The study shows that children of migrant labourers predominantly remain "invisible" in terms of health care accessibility.

The study was conducted at construction sites in the City Beautiful in 2009-10 to find out child care practices, prevalence of malnutrition, and the status of immunisation among children up to the age of six years.

A total of 239 children were enrolled for the study at 11 sites where most of the population comprised migrant labourers from states such as Bihar, MP, UP, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. None of the sites had any arrangements for looking after children of working mothers. It was also found that only 5 per cent of the mothers were at home, involved in taking care of the family, while the rest were working at the sites. Among the children of these working mothers, 13.3 per cent were "totally unsupervised", while others were supervised by older siblings, grandparents or neighbours.

While the prevalence of malnutrition was 56.5 per cent, stunting was recorded among 37.8 per cent children. The percentage of severely malnourished children was as high as 21.25, the study found.

Given the high prevalence of malnutrition and lack of immunisation, there is an urgent need for doing something for this vulnerable section of society. Tailoring an all inclusive, community-oriented package of services to suit the migrant nature of the population of construction workers will yield the desired results, said Dr Pratibha Singhi, Professor, Department of Paediatrics, PGI.

Public lecture

To mark the golden jubilee of the PGI, a team of experts from the Advanced Paediatrics Centre will hold a public lecture on the issue of childhood vaccination on Friday from 3 pm to 5 pm in the auditorium of the centre. The lecture will comprise short presentations on various vaccines and immunisation issues. The event will also provide an opportunity to the public to interact with experts



Snehalaya case
No child protection unit in city 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
To provide a safe environment to children in the city, there is need for setting up a state child protection unit. At present, there is no such unit in the city for the safety of children, especially from abuses and child trafficking.

The point has been mentioned in the report of an inquiry conducted by the State Legal Services Authority (SLSA), Chandigarh, on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the matter pertaining to missing children from Snehalaya, a home for the destitute.

The inquiry report, prepared by Jagdeep Jain, Member Secretary, SLSA, says, “No such child protection unit has been constituted. Therefore, there is none to supervise and monitor committees, agencies and institutions (which are working for child welfare). Without the constitution of such a nodal unit, there can be no effective implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act.”

“In the absence of such a unit, various committees are virtually directionless with nobody to monitor and supervise these. Therefore, it is imperative that a state child protection unit is set up strictly in accordance with the requirements of the Act,” the report says.

A senior official of the UT Administration said the function of a state child protection unit was to ensure "coordination of associated child protection services for vulnerable and destitute children, including juveniles".

He said such a unit could also give support to people working to save children from child marriage, combating trafficking of children and to check child labour and missing children. Such units also maintained the standard of services provided in juvenile and observation homes.

The official said such units not only looked at cases of child abuse but also dealt with long- and short-term issues of concern, such as physical, emotional and medical neglect of children, whose social circumstances put them at risk of injury or further abuse. 

Handle kids with human touch

“Snehalaya is an effort to protect and shape the supreme asset of the country — children. While it is important to discharge the day-to-day responsibilities listed in the Act and rules, it is necessary to go beyond the letter of law and imbibe the spirit behind it. Children need to be looked after and groomed not merely on the basis of statutory provisions but also with human touch and concern.” Report 



ragging incident
8 students expelled from hostel 
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The eight students of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, who were suspended on a charge of ragging, have been expelled from the hostel and asked to stay away from the college for a month. The college has decided to shift first-year students to the ground floor of the hostel in a bid to keep a check on such incidents.

Manso being taken for a medical examination from the Sector 19 police station in Chandigarh on Thursday
Nowwhere to go: Manso being taken for a medical examination from the Sector 19 police station in Chandigarh on Thursday. tribune photo: Pradeep tewari

Since these students will not be able to attend classes for a month, they may also have to repeat the semester in case they fall short of attendance. “A semester is of a six-month duration, which also includes examinations and holidays. Since these students will miss the college for a month, they may fall short of attendance and could be debarred from appearing in the examinations,” said College Principal Pardeep Bhagat.

Panjab University rules stipulate that students should have a minimum of 75 per cent attendance to be eligible to appear in the final examinations.

Bhagat said a decision had been taken to allot rooms to first-year students on the ground floor to check such incidents in the future. The hostel rooms had already been vacated by the students suspended by the college.

Meanwhile, an inquiry into the ragging incident has revealed that there were around five first-year students who were ragged throughout the night at the boys' hostel.

They were kept awake throughout the night, following which they lodged a complaint on the anti-ragging helpline numbers displayed on the college and hostel premises.

The college, which at present does not take any anti-ragging undertaking from students at the time of the admission, now plans to seek an undertaking from them that they will not be involved in ragging during the entire duration of the course.

Wardens of the boys and the girls' hostels have been asked to make regular rounds of the hostels and hold frequent interactions with first-year students. 

May fall short of attendance

"A semester is of a six-month duration, which also includes examinations and holidays. Since these students will miss the college for a month, they may fall short of attendance and could be debarred from appearing in the examinations" — Pardeep Bhagat, Principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture 



At 85, mother of 8 left to fend for herself
  Deserted by her children, woman spends day at police station, sent to old-age home 
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
She brought up her eight children painstakingly. It did not matter if she had to feed them all by herself, often choosing to sleep over an empty stomach. However, when it came to looking after her during the twilight of her life, a frail 85-year-old Manso, having a fading memory and weak eyesight, was deserted by her children and left on the roadside.

Exhibiting dilution of family values, her children left her alone to fend for herself.

This unfortunate woman, who was once a proud mother of eight, had difficulty recalling the names of her children and had nowhere to go. The police managed to talk to three of her eight children, all of whom refused to take their mother home.

After spending close to eight hours at the Sector 19 police station today, the woman was finally sent to an old-age home later this evening.

She was dropped at the police station by a PCR van in the morning, as the police found her on a road seeking help in finding her children.

With tears welling in her eyes, the woman kept weeping on her state and refused to eat anything offered to her by policemen at the police station. “I have eight children, none of whom are ready to take me home. I have nowhere to go,” she told the police. The woman’s plight moved some policemen who were left teary eyed. They expressed shock at the deteriorating family values.

On being questioned by the police, the woman narrated her tale of woe and said she was with her daughter in Sector 32 until last night and had earlier stayed with one of her sons in Mauli Jagran. Her daughter turned her out of her house last night as she was going abroad.

Investigations by the police revealed that one of her sons resides in Burail, another lives in Mauli Jagran, the third son is in Anandpur Sahib and the fourth one in Ambala. Her fifth son is a juice vendor, who resides in Sector 42. He came to the police station but refused to take her home.

One of the three daughters of the woman is abroad, one is well settled in Mohali and the third daughter is in Sector 32, who turned her mother out of her house last night.

The police managed to contact one of her sons, a juice vendor, who was summoned to the police station. The son, however, refused to take his mother home and stated that he only had a one-room rented accommodation and there was no place for his mother.

“I was disowned by my family 25 years ago. I cannot take her home, as I have financial constraints. I have no contact with either of my brothers or sisters and it’s their responsibility,” her son Kirpal Singh told the police.

The police also called up her Sector 32-based daughter, who expressed complete ignorance about the matter. “She came to me only two days ago. I had to lock up my house as I had to go out of station. I have no idea where she resides,” her daughter told the police on the phone. 


Sector 17 may not house diwali stalls
 MC to table proposal at F&CC meeting on September 24
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The municipal corporation has mooted a proposal not to grant permission for setting up Diwali stalls at Sector 17 from this year. The proposal is going to be tabled in the finance and contract committee (F&CC) meeting, scheduled for September 24.

As per the proposal, mooted up by the MC enforcement department it has been suggested that the authorities should cancel the permission to the shopkeepers to subletting 50 stalls to be set up during Diwali at Sector 17.

In a report prepared by the enforcement department, it was mentioned that for the past two years, most of the shopkeepers who took permission for setting up stalls in front of their shops at Sector 17 had sublet the stalls on double rates.

Reports also mentioned that there was major chaos of parking due to setting up of extra stalls in the market.

Keeping all these facts in view, it has recommended cancellation of allotment of these stalls.

It may be mentioned that earlier also these stalls were cancelled after the fire department had raised an objection on it as the shopkeepers setting up sweets shops used to keep cylinders for preparing sweets there and cracker shops were also set up adjoining to it.

Officials said due to setting up of these stalls here for the past two years the corporation was not getting much response for circus ground where the stalls were rented by the authorities.

Another proposal, which is going to be table in the committee meeting is that resident the welfare association of Sector 21 has agreed to sign an MOU with the corporation for maintaining the parks of their area.

Recently, the MC had framed a policy for giving parks to the RWA’s for maintenance by giving them nominal amount. The authorities are also going to table the proposal for construction of night Food Street at Sector 48 for which the tender of Rs 29 lakh has been received by the authorities.



industrial area-II
MC team removes encroachments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
In a special anti-encroachment drive, the enforcement wing of the municipal corporation today removed encroachments from Industrial Area Phase-II.

During the drive, the enforcement team found 10 trucks and 2 hydra cranes dumped and which had been parked in a green belt for a long time. The enforcement staff impounded the vehicles from the site and issued challans to the encroachers.

In addition to that the team seized various items from the junk dealers and rehri pharis including almirahs, plastic chairs, tables, counters and issued 100 challans to the encroachers.

The drive was carried under the directions of Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach and under the supervision of Superintendent, Kashmira Singh and ten sub-inspectors of enforcement wing, MC.



Policeman found drunk on duty, suspended

Chandigarh, September 20
A constable posted with the Police Control Room was found drunk on duty last night. He was suspended today. A caller passed the information to the Police Control Room that a constable of the PCR vehicle stationed at Kishangarh Chowk was heavily drunk. On getting the information, another PCR van from the Mani Majra police station was sent to the spot.

It was found that the constable, Dharambir Singh, of PCR Vehicle Amb-35 was heavily drunk and his medical examination was conducted.

The doctor gave the medical opinion that that, “Dharambir Singh was smelling of alcohol in breath”. In view of dereliction of duty being a member of disciplined force, constable Dharambir Singh has been placed under suspension with immediate effect and sent to the Police Lines. — TNS



Waterlogging problem
Mumbai IIT team visits Mohali to find solution
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 20
To help the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) in solving the waterlogging problem, a team of experts from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai, today reached the city.

The team, headed by Dr Kapil Gupta, Head of Urban Drainage Department of IIT, Mumbai, and comprising four experts, today visited the worst-affected areas.

A team of GMADA officials, including the Chief Administrator AK Sinha, accompanied the team (of experts from IIT). On the issue, AK Sinha said maps, drawings and other related documents regarding water drainage system in the city would be shown to the team of experts. “This will be the team’s maiden visit to the city. The experts would continue visiting the place and would aid us in providing the best available solution to solve the waterlogging problem,” said Sinha. 



Diversion of surplus water to Sukhna
File affidavit by Oct 5, HC tells UT Administration

Chandigarh, September 20
Less than a week after the Chandigarh Administration expressed its inability to divert surplus water from the city to the Sukhna Lake, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today gave it additional time till October 5 for filing an affidavit on the issue.

The UT Chief Engineer was also asked to place before the Court any scheme for removing shrubs and silt from the Lake. As the Save Sukhna case came up for resumed hearing before the Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Jasbir Singh and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain this morning, senior advocate Rajiv Atma Ram suggested increasing the Lake’s depth.

He said the process could be carried out during the dry days. He also informed the Bench that nothing less than 35 per cent of the Lake’s area was under silt and forest. UT senior standing counsel, on the other hand, argued that rainy season made all the difference. He claimed that two years of proper rain; and the lake won’t dry for another 20 years. The Bench had earlier asked the counsel for the UT Administration to explore the feasibility of diverting the surplus water in the months of December and January to the Lake."In December and January, the water consumption is less, it can be poured into Sukhna," the Bench had orally remarked. The Bench had added nothing much was done to de-silt the lake, despite the deployment of over 100 people for the process. The High Court, on a previous date of hearing, had asked chief secretaries of Punjab and Haryana to put their heads together with Advisor to the UT Administrator to find an alternative. — TNS



Tricity Scan
Blood donation

The Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Youth Club, Chandigarh, organised a blood donation camp at Mata Basani Temple here yesterday. President of the club, Hitesh Bhardwaj said around 125 donors donated blood. Tanvi Garg, SDM, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Rehabilitation centre
Rehabilitation Centre for Handicapped Children - Prayaas (a project of Indian Council for Child Welfare, UT, Chandigarh) organised a symposium on "Early Identification, Assessment and Intervention for Children with Learning Disabilities" here today. On the occasion, KK Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator-cum-President, ICCW, said, "The Chandigarh Administration takes this symposium as an opportunity to interact with the experts and to learn about the various problems being faced by the group. It also aims to re-orient and strengthen its programmes for children with special needs to better contribute towards this cause." Anil Kumar, Home Secretary-cum-Vice President, ICCW, in his address explained the basic aim of the symposium which was to arm the councillors and anganwadi workers with the knowledge that will help them identify learning disabilities in children at the initial stages. This timely and specialised intervention is the only way to ensure a quality life for children with learning disabilities.

‘Walk for Fun’
A "Walk for Fun" for senior citizens of the city will be organised at the Sukhna Lake by the Chandigarh Police and Senior Citizens Association on September 22. The walk will be organised in male and female categories in the age group of 60 to 70 years. The distance of the walk will be 2 km for men and 1 km for women. Anyone willing to participate in the event can register him/herself for the event with the association at the Sukhna Lake on September 22 between 6.00 am to 6.30 am. The participants must bring a proof for their age and should also be medically fit for participation. The walk is being organised every year by the Chandigarh Police and the Senior Citizen Association to promote greater interaction between the senior citizens and the Chandigarh Police.

One-day seminar by Infosys
Well-known I-T company Infosys conducted a one-day seminar on the theme "Spark-Raising Aspirations" at the Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences. While addressing the students, keynote speaker Pankaj Bharti asserted that education should meet the needs of everyone and should provide the best opportunities for personal and professional growth. He also said Information-Technology is playing a vital role in meeting these needs. The aim of the seminar was to make the students aware about the importance of Information-Technology in the corporate world. Highlighting the importance of I-T, Bharti said that the pace of change brought about by new technologies has had a significant effect on the way people live, work, and play worldwide. He further informed the students about approaches to complete a task effectively and described how new and emerging technologies challenged the traditional processes of teaching and learning.

School event
The pre-primary wing of Saupin's-32, Chandigarh, organised an interesting car-washing activity on the school premises. Children were taught to save water while washing cars by using a bucket instead of running water from hoses. Different parts of the car were also shown to the children who enjoyed the event. It turned out to be an educative and fun-filled activity for the tiny tots.

Prize distribution
A "Hindi Fortnight" was organised by Bhakra-Beas Management Board (BBMB) in the board's secretariat, Chandigarh, from September 1, 2012, to September 15, 2012. In a function held today, AB Agrawal, chairman, BBMB, gave away prizes to the winners of the Hindi competitions organised during the Hindi fortnight. Ashok Thapar, member, power, BBMB, HK Gupta, secretary, BBMB, RS Jalta, special secretary, BBMB, and other senior officers and employees were present on the occasion.

panchkula Scan

Hansraj Public School, Sector 6, Panchkula, has been adjudged the number one school in Haryana in an extensive survey conducted by the World-C Fore Survey of School-2012. The award will be received by principal Jaya Bhardwaj in New Delhi on September 29. The school also made it to the number four slot in the combined ranking of Punjab and Haryana and to the number 25 at national level. The school also secured the number one position at the national level in the field of sports.

Students of Dikshant International School, Zirakpur, organise a signature campaign on the eve of International Peace Day at Sector 17 in Chandigarh on Thursday.
Students of Dikshant International School, Zirakpur, organise a signature campaign on the eve of International Peace Day at Sector 17 in Chandigarh on Thursday.  Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan 

mohali Scan
Signature campaign
On the eve of the International Day of Peace, the students of Dikshant International School, Zirakpur, spread the message of peace at the Sector-17 market, Chandigarh, by organising a signature campaign. The students made a 12-feet-long statue of Lord Buddha sitting on lotus, signifying peace, on which they took messages. The signature campaign stressed on promoting people-to-people contact and cultural exchanges for spreading the message of peace in the region.

—Tribune Reporters



pu senate
Preparations for last phase of poll begin
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
Panjab University is all set to hold elections to the 15 seats reserved for the graduate constituency in the Senate on September 23. A total of 278 polling booths are being set in various parts of North India for polling in which around 3 lakh voters will exercise their franchise. Around 850 PU employees will supervise the polling process.

A team of three members, comprising one polling agent and two supporting staff, will be incharge of each polling booth.

PU officials said that the polling booths will be in Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Dehradun and Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan.

As compared to the last elections held in 2008, 74,000 more voters have registered with the university for the graduate constituency this time. Their were over 2.32 lakh voters during the last poll.

The voting percentage during last elections was low, with only around 65,000 voters casting their votes. Out of these around 7,000 votes were declared invalid.

This year 65 candidates are in the race to get elected on 15 seats. Many sitting Senators are also trying their luck again.

The elections on 8 seats, reserved in the Senate for PU affiliated arts college principals and arts college teachers will also held on the same day at the polling booths in Punjab and Chandigarh. There are around 22 teachers in the fray for 8 seats in the arts college teachers’ constituency.

The polling agents will be leaving for their polling stations on Friday and will return to the PU campus on September 24 with the ballot boxes. All the ballot boxes will be collected at the gymnasium hall where the counting will be done. 

Total number of seats in graduate constituency 15

Candidates in the race 65
Registered voters Around 3 lakhs
Polling booths 278 

Sep 23 Elections to 15 seats of the graduate constituency and eights seats each for arts college principals and teachers

Sep 24 Polling agents will return to campus with ballot boxes

Sep 25 9.00am: Counting of votes for the arts college principals' constituency, followed by declaration of results

11.00am: Counting of votes for the arts teachers' constituency, followed by declaration of results

5.00pm: Ballot boxes of the graduate constituency to be opened for separating the votes for each candidate

Sep 26 Winners of graduate constituency to be declared, followed by a 10-hour break.

Sep 27 Declaration of results of remaining seats to begin. This might continue for a few more days, depending upon the votes polled.



Many pvt schools opting for school-based board exams
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service,

Chandigarh, September 20
Many private schools in the region are opting for school-based board examination from the current session, further easing the pressure on students.

The decision to opt either for school-based or board-based class X exams was announced in 2009 and implemented in 2010 in senior secondary schools (up to class XII).

From the current session, this option has been given to secondary schools as well (up to class X). However, board-based exam has been made mandatory for those student who wish to opt for a different board after class X. In this case, the schools will have to register them separately in case they had opted for school-based board.

RJ Khanderao, regional officer, CBSE, said that there is a growing trend in the region of school preferring for school-based board exams in class X. The exact figure will however be known once the online registration of class IX and X students is over, he said. According to him, whether in school-based or board-based exam, it is the CBSE that announces results and issues certificates to the students.

The only difference is that in the board-based exam, the board checks the SA-2 paper and in school-based exam, both the SA-1 and SA-2 papers are checked within the school premises.

According to a rough estimate, only 30 per cent of about 8 lakh students across India appeared for class X board-based exam in the last session. The figure is likely to come down to 20 per cent in the 2013 exam.

Kavita Das, principal of St Johns High School, which has school-based board exam, said that no doubt the new system would bring down stress levels, it is still a vital job to prepare students holistically for future challenges.

According to her, the role of schools is very important to ensure the sanctity of school-based board examination. "We in our trying our best to achieve the same," she said.

Jaya Bhardwaj, principal, Hans Raj School, Panchkula, says that the decision has definitely made education very easy up to the secondary level, but the responsibility of schools has gone up. There is now lot of competition at the senior secondary level. The schools must take this aspect in consideration, she said.

Rakesh Sachdeva, principal, DAV-15, informed that all the DAVs in the tricity have opted for school-based board exam. However, as far as government shools are concerned, it is still board-based exam. Principal of a government school said that they might switch to school-based board exam if education department allow.ed



Expert dwells on art at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
Panjab University organised a colloquium in the university auditorium today. Eminent art historian, Prof BN Goswamy, presently professor emeritus, Department of Art History and Visual Arts, PU, delivered the lecture. He spoke on the topic “Ways of Seeing: The World of the Indian Painter”.

Vice-Chancellor Arun Grover, while inaugurating the first lecture in the colloquia said that these lectures will provide a platform for intellectual exchange and help to enhance the quality of academics and research in the university. He added that the university would hold a lecture every month on diverse subjects as a part of the series.

Professor Goswamy began his lecture with the definition of the word "Kavi" which means a person with fine understanding, a prophet or a thinker who is able to go behind the appearance. He said, “A scientist, a psychologist or a sociologist would look at art only in a singular way, but any work of art is like an onion, having layers one after another. There has to be an awareness that there is something to be discovered in every layer.”

Explaining the various ways of looking at art, he said, "There is no single way of viewing art; rather, there are various strategies of seeing a work of art. All we have to do is to open our eyes and minds to look from various angles. Interspersed with beautiful couplets in Hindi and Urdu, the art works showcased by Prof Goswamy included paintings from 17th and 18th century, paintings with mythological themes, arabic calligraphy and images of sculptures. The lecture was not only a visual treat but also helped one gain an insight into the minds of the artists.



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