C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Govt buildings potential tinderbox
Sprinkler system, fire alarm, smoke detectors missing; no trained personnel to conduct fire safety drills
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

The fire-fighting equipment installed in the Town Hall building at Sector 17 is lying non-functional.
The fire-fighting equipment installed in the Town Hall building at Sector 17 is lying non-functional. Tribune Photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, September 26
All government buildings in the city have breached fire safety norms, putting lives of their employees and visitors in danger. An inspection conducted by the fire and emergency department of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has established that none of the 35 government buildings in the city follow fire safety norms in letter and spirit.

The inspection also revealed that some buildings were without firefighting equipment while others had non-functional system to control fire.

The Deputy Commissioner's office in Sector 17 and the Punjab Mini Secretariat in Sector 9 are without the alarm system or smoke detectors. The UT Estate Office, which houses the Deputy Commissioner’s office, does not have adequate exit points in case of an emergency. The haphazard seating arrangements showed that in case of a mishap, employees would find it difficult to escape.

The inspection team found that fire-safety equipment installed in the Town Hall building, Udyog Bhawan and Custom and Revenue department building in Sector 17 were non-functional.

The sprinkler system, fire alarm and smoke detectors were non-functional at the Punjab Irrigation Department’s headquarters in Sector 18, Central Ground Water Board in Sector 27, Mahatma Gandhi Institute and Teachers Training Institute in Sector 26, Central Soil Water and Conservator Research Institute in Sector 27 and CSIO in Sector 30.

The Government Laboratory in Sector 11 has failed to follow the fire safety norms by not installing the sprinkler system, fixed fire pipelines, water tank for supply of water during a fire incident and a smoke detector.

Sailing in the same boat are the government educational and hospital buildings. The report states that Panjab University (PU) has not installed fire-safety equipment in any of its departments and in the administrative block. There are no signboards on entry and exit points of the university departments. University hostels are also without proper firefighting system. Fire safety norms say that a fire control room should be set up in every hostel.

During the inspection of Punjab Engineering College, it was found that except fire extinguishers, no other fire safety equipment, including fire alarm, smoke detector, sprinkler system, fire control room and signboards, were installed in the building.

No fire safety system was in place in both the government colleges of Sector 11. The team also found no fire safety system in the hostels and some departments in the PGI.

Chief fire officer Rajiv Gupta said they have issued notices to government departments which are without proper fire safety system. They have been asked to install and repair firefighting equipment on their premises, he added.

The report stated that no personnel with technical know-how had been deployed in any of the government buildings to monitor the maintenance of the fire safety equipment. Resultantly, the equipment installed in the buildings is non-functional.

Who’s flouting norms

  • Deputy Commissioner’s office
  • Town Hall building
  • Punjab Mini Secretariat
  • Custom & Revenue Department
  • Udyog Bhawan
  • Mahatma Gandhi Institute
  • Central Soil, Water and Conservator Research Institute
  • Central Ground Water Board
  • Punjab Irrigation headquarters
  • Teachers Training Institute
  • Panjab University
  • Punjab Engineering College
  • PGI
  • Government Colleges for boys and girls, Sector 11



Playing with fire
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Racks containing old files have been dumped in the basement of the MC building in Sector 17, Chandigarh, which is without a sprinkler system and a smoke detector. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, September 26
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation does not practice what it preaches. For, its fire department that keeps a hawk’s eye on other’s violations is itself not equipped with a fire safety system.

Housed in the MC building at Sector 17, the fire department has neither inspected the building nor conducted any mock drill. The fire safety measures have always been found wanting in the MC building.

The fact came to light when a fire team visited the MC’s basement only to be left shocked after finding no smoke detectors or a sprinkler system. Though a number of reminders had been sent to the engineering department to install the equipment in past two years, no action has been taken so far.

Chief fire officer Rajiv Gupta said the report of the inspection was submitted to him today and soon a notice would be issued to the MC authorities for violating fire safety norms.

The inspection team reported that the MC had violated fire safety norms by constructing a temporary cabin in the corridor on the top floor of the building.

Fire safety norms state that the corridors of all buildings should have a clear passage and open staircase connecting all floors with details of exit points. The MC building corridors are blocked by racks and almirahs of old records and files.

Moreover, the electricity wires should be fixed properly as these prove to be the major cause of fire due to short circuit. In the MC building, electricity wires are hanging loosely and scant regard has been paid to proper fitting. Adding to the Fire Act violation, the corporation has also dumped old broken furniture and records in the basement where seating arrangements have also been made for the employees of two divisions.

Lurking danger

  • No sprinkler system or smoke detector
  • Temporary cabin raised in the corridor on the top floor
  • Corridors blocked by racks
  • Loose and hanging electricity wires
  • Broken furniture dumped in the basement



Embarrassed, officials get their act together
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
"Hello, this is Chandigarh women helpline. How may I help you, madam," was the voice on the other side of the phone at the Chandigarh women helpline today after a senior police official gave a mouthful to the helpline staff and gave them lessons in English.

The helpline attendants, who till yesterday were not even aware of the meaning of eve-teasing, were asked to remain updated with the terminology used commonly in issues related to crime against women.

It was learnt that the senior police officials had summoned the staff of the women helpline saying "Don't you know the meaning of eve-teasing? It means a boy has passed remarks at a girl".

The issue was highlighted in these columns on Wednesday. A policewoman, who took the call at the helpline, did not even know the meaning of eve-teasing.

SSP (Operations) RS Ghuman said a crash course was organised for the staff. He added, "Of course, they had to be explained about eve-teasing."

He said he was glad to learn that the attendant was speaking fluent English today.

"But we will keep a check," he stated. The policewoman was not only speaking fluently, but also offered to send a PCR at the spot.

Even after 24 hours, the police has not been able to trace the policewoman who had answered the call at 2.10 pm on Tuesday saying she did not know the meaning of eve-teasing.

Ghuman said, "We are looking into the matter. The attendant will be traced soon."



15 specimens of prohibited animals seized
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 26
A team of People For Animals (PFA), an animal welfare organisation, along with police officials, today conducted a raid at DAV Public School, Phase X, and seized around 15 specimens of prohibited animals, including cobras, lizards, turtles and frogs, from the biology lab of the school.

The PFA team, which came from Delhi to raid the school following a tip-off, confiscated the specimens, including four cobras, two monitor lizards, three turtles, two frogs and two conches.

Provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, prohibit institutions from preserving animals, covered under the wildlife Act, in their laboratories for research purposes.

All the confiscated jars containing the animals were sent to the Phase XI police station.

The team said the school authorities feigned ignorance when asked about the provisions of the wildlife Act.

“Rosy Sharma, school principal, claimed that she was not aware of the law and maintained that the specimens were more than a decade old," said Saurav Gupta, PFA raiding officer.

When asked about the raid, the school principal said no raid was conducted at the school. “The school is closed and the staff is leaving. No such raid was conducted here," said the principal. After that she switched off her mobile phone.

Saurav Gupta said they had lodged a complaint with the police as well as the District Forest Officer (DFO) against the managing director, principal and administration of the school.

On the issue, DSP Darshan Singh Mann said the police would seek District Attorney's opinion. “Besides, we will also seek a verification report from the wildlife officials before initiating action," said DSP Mann.

The PFA team, DSP Mann and SHO of the Phase XI police station Rajpal Singh Gill reached the school at 3 pm. “We have been given assurance by the police as well as the DFO that action would be taken in a day or two. “If there will be no action, we will move the court," said the PFA team.

Instruction by CBSE

On June 14, 2012, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had asked its affiliated schools to surrender any preserved museum specimen of plants and animals that were rare and threatened (under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972) to the Ministry of Environment and Forest Department.

Maneka Gandhi seeks action

Maneka Gandhi, the animal right activist, spoke to DSP Darshan Singh Mann after the PFA team recovered the specimens of prohibited animals from the school and lodged a complaint with the police in this connection. Sources said she directed the officer to take immediate action after registering the case against the school management.



8.33 pc bonus for CITCO employees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
In a meeting of the CITCO Board of Directors held under the chairmanship of Anil Kumar, Home Secretary-cum-Chairman, CITCO, today, it was decided that bonus would be paid at a rate of 8.33 per cent (maximum of Rs 3,500 per employee) to the eligible employees under the Payment of Bonus Act.

Hundred employees will avail the benefit. However, it could not be confirmed whether CITCO would give ex-gratia amount of around Rs 11,000 in form of Diwali gift. An official said the employees might not get the amount this year due to low profit.

"The amount to be given as ex-gratia as Diwali gift is being worked out afresh," said an official.

On the other hand, CITCO is purchasing a luxury car for the UT guest house in Delhi.

"If profit is low, undue expenditure should be avoided," said a CITCO employee

Meanwhile, the board has also decided to give discount up to 40 per cent to former directors at par with retired Group A category officials of CITCO.

To improve sales and for the overall strategic planning, the board desired that a strategic consultant must be appointed at the earliest.

Besides, in order to face the increased competition from the market, the board stated that efforts should be made to increase online bookings of rooms. To provide more facilities in the Multi-purpose Industrial Community Centre, the proposal of construction of two rooms has been approved by the board.

The board also approved the revision and payment of conveyance allowance to special categories of employees as per a Chandigarh Administration circular dated February 14, 2012.



Doctor in dock over issuing 'fake' medical certificate
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
A doctor working at a poly clinic in Sector 22 is in the dock over issuing a "fake" physical fitness certificate to a patient.

The certificate submitted by the patient, Charanjeev Kumar, an employee of the Haryana State Leprosy Cell, raised doubts among the authorities over the authenticity of the document, who sent a letter to the local health authorities seeking a few clarifications. Following which, Dr Rajiv Vadehra, UT acting director, health services, marked an inquiry into the case.

As per information, Dr Suryakant Sharma, after retirement joined the clinic at Sector 22 under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) a few months ago. On July 23, he issued a medical certificate to Charanjeev diagnosing him with coronary artery disease (CAD) (under investigation). Charanjeev, however, was issued the fitness certificate by the same doctor on July 4 mentioning that the patient required rest till July 30.

The certificate issued by the doctor deputed under the TB programme to the patient of heart ailment raised doubts among the employers of Charanjeev who sought clarifications asking whether the opinion of any cardiologist was taken into consideration by the said doctor before issuing the certificate.

However, Dr Suryakant Sharma said there was nothing wrong with the medical certificate. “Charanjeev complained of chest pain and after going through his ECG report I sent him to Government Multi-speciality Hospital, Sector 16. There doctors kept him under observation for a day," said Dr Sharma.

“I issued the certificate on August 4 and advised him to rest till July 30,” added Dr Sharma.

What caused the doubt?

The certificate issued by the doctor deputed under the TB programme to the patient of heart ailment raised doubts among the employers of Charanjeev who sought clarifications asking whether the opinion of any cardiologist was taken into consideration by the said doctor before issuing the certificate.



Mehak's parents allege harassment
Hina Rohtaki
Tribue News Service

Panchkula, September 26
The parents of Mehak, 23-year-old girl who was found dead under mysterious circumstances at her in-laws residence in Sector 16, Panchkula, alleged that instead of probing the case, the police was harassing them.

The family was called for investigations. It was on August 20 when Mehak was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Mehak, who hails from Delhi, had tied a knot with a Panchkula-based businessman, Sandeep Garg.

"They are torturing us. Rather than investigating the case, the police officials wanted to know about our bank accounts and our source of income.

They asked us how we managed to give dowry during the wedding," said Rajeev Aggarwal, brother of the deceased.

He added that the police has not arrested the accused so far despite registering a case against them.

"I will look into the matter," said a senior police official of the state crime branch.

It was a month ago when the Panchkula Police had arrested Sandeep Garg, Mehak's husband on dowry death charge. The case was transferred to the state crime branch.

It was after Mehak's parents met Panchkula Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Parul Kush and protested outside her office along with Nari Niketan members that the police arrested Sandeep to pacify the agitated members.

The autopsy report of the deceased had also raised serious questions as the same had revealed injury marks and congestions in various organs.



Regularisation of contractual workers
Safai karmacharis block gate of Dadu Majra garbage processing plant
Tribune News Service

Members of the All India Safai Mazdoor Congress, Chandigarh, stage a protest at Dadu Majra on Wednesday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, September 26
Safai karmacharis of the Municipal Corporation today staged protest in front of the garbage processing plant at Dadu Majra and did not allow a single garbage collection vehicle to enter the plant for processing till the evening. Although garbage was collected by the corporation staff, but no vehicle with garbage was allowed to enter the plant.

The high drama started at 7 in the morning when the Sweepers Association members blocked the gates of the garbage plant. They demanded for regularisation of contractual sweepers of the corporation. They also said that they will not allow the garbage vehicles to enter the plant until their demands are met.

The employees withdrew their strike in the evening after the MC Commissioner assured them to look into their demands.

Some of the residents faced much inconvenience today as garbage was not collected from their home due to the protest. On the other hand, no fruitful result came out even after several rounds of meetings between the representatives of employees and the officials of the Health Department.

The plant representative, RD Sharma, said since the morning the management had to shut down the plant as the association members did not allow garbage vehicles to enter the premises of the plant. He said after a number of reminders to the MC authorities to vacate the entrance, no action was taken against them.



MC water works without back-up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The municipal corporation water works at Sector 39 does not have a sufficient back-up arrangement for an uninterrupted supply in case of any major fault at the Kajauli Water Works.

The fact came to light following a visit to the water works by 27 councillors, along with the Mayor and a team of public health officials, today.

During the visit, officials told the councillors that there were seven water storage tanks of 6 MGD in Sector 39 water works which had the capacity to supply water for two hours to the city in case of any emergency.

Out of the seven tanks, one is lying defunct and the authorities are left with 30 MGD only whereas another 5 MGD water of the tanks cannot be supplied to residential areas as the base water has silt and sand in it.

The councillors were not satisfied with the security arrangements at the water works as it had no CCTV camera the wall of the premises was also broken.

The councillors asked how could the authorities depend on four security guards to keep a vigil on the water works that was spread on 116 acres.

The councillors failed to inspect all seven storage tanks due to wild growth.

Water and Sewerage Committee chairman Mukesh Bassi said the initiative was taken to visit the water works following requests made by the councillors.



CTU auctioning condemned buses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) has begun the process of auctioning condemned buses that have been lying dumped at various depots.

Officials of the CTU said the auction committee constituted by the Chandigarh Administration today auctioned 27 buses in depot number 1 located in Industrial Area, Phase I. The auction fetched Rs 55.65 lakh.

TPS Phoolka, director, CTU, said more such buses would be auctioned in the coming days. A total of 81 buses are to be auctioned.

A huge junk of around 120 condemned buses is lying dumped in the two workshops located in Industrial Area, Phase I. The CTU has not been able to dispose of the buses for the past three years due to official rigmarole involved in the auctioning of the junk.

The buses parked in depot number 1 and depot number 2 are not only blocking vital space in the already inadequate workshops, but have also led to unhygienic conditions. 



Rs 185 crore to be spent on village development
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 26
The Punjab government is to spend Rs 185.39 crore for developing 19 villages of the district. Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Surjit Singh Rakhra said the selected villages would be provided with all advanced facilities under the development programme of the state government.

While expressing concern over the delay in releasing the amount to the village panchayats in lieu of panchayat land acquired by GMADA, Rakhra said compensation of Rs 113 crore was stuck in court and nobody was following the case. “This money is meant to be spent on the development of villages,” said Rakhra.

Those who were present in the meeting were Financial Commissioner Development Mandeep Singh Sandhu, Director Balwinder Singh Multani and Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam.



Counting begins for graduates seats
One out of every seven votes found invalid, booth capturing also suspected
Tribune News Service

Empty Gymnasium Hall after counting was suspended at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Wednesday.

Chandigarh, September 26
The counting of votes for the 15 seats under the graduate constituency of the Panjab University Senate, for which elections were held on September 23, began at the university’s Gymnasium Hall here today.

A total of 65 candidates were in fray for these seats for which 74,520 votes were polled at 278 polling booths across the northern region. Around 10,534 votes, however, turned out to be invalid. Although the university officials had counted the invalid votes by the afternoon and had separated the valid votes, recounting of the valid votes was done after many ballot papers were found with the counter foil attached to them among the valid votes.

The recounting of invalid votes was also done after some candidates complained that many valid votes were counted among the invalid ones. The counting of the votes was finally initiated late in the evening.

The result of one of the seats will be declared initially, followed by a ten-hour break. The counting for the remaining 14 seats will continue round-the-clock till the results of all the seats are declared. Meanwhile, candidates along with their supporters were seen campaigning outside the Gymnasium Hall demanding no discrepancy in the counting process.


  • Apart from invalid votes, many ballot papers were found with the counter foil attached to them, pointing towards booth capturing
  • The counter foils have to be separated from the ballot paper by the officials on the election duty before handing over the ballot paper to the voter
  • Some ballots without the hologram were also found during the counting. These are suspected to be fake ballot papers

Counting suspended

The counting process was suspended for about two hours around 9pm after some supporters of the contesting candidates misbehaved with the staff involved in the counting process at the Gymnasium Hall



City schools, colleges ill-prepared for earthquakes
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Are students safe in city schools and colleges? If we go by the lethargic attitude adopted by various UT Administration departments, including education departments, towards taking necessary steps to deal with the threat of earthquakes in the region, the answer remains in the negative.

The threat of earthquakes in the region, including Chandigarh, was brought to light by IIT professors and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) officials in a multi-state earthquake meeting held in the city in July this year.

Speaking in that meeting, which was attended by representatives of all the departments of the UT Administration, NDMA member HK Gupta had said that North India falls in an earthquake-prone zone. He had further discussed a hypothetical scenario of an earthquake, measuring eight on the Richter scale, with its epicentre at Sundernagar town in Mandi district and 200-km rupture length. He said that such an earthquake could affect many cities of Punjab and Haryana as well
as Chandigarh.

Two IIT professors -- Ravi Sinha from IIT Mumbai and CVR Murthy from IIT Chennai -- discussed in detail the need to undertake major activities to execute multi-state earthquake preparedness, including awareness drives and mock drills scheduled for February next year.

The Deputy Commissioner, UT, who was made the overall nodal officer for Chandigarh under this project, wrote a letter to heads of all the departments in the month of August, directing them to supply his office with all the required data and information within two days. This information was supposed to be forwarded to the IIT professors for the preparation of a detailed contingency plan to deal with any kind of emergency that the city might encounter in the future.

The major information required to prepare the plan pertained to schools and colleges. In the school department, however, no specific meeting has taken place despite there being 104 schools, all of which need to furnish their standard procedural detail separately. A senior official of the department said that some effort had been made in this direction, such as sending five employees for training, but nothing concrete has happened.

The standard operating procedure includes detailed information about the available infrastructure, structure of the building and its resource inventory. This information is important to make the department building immune to any disaster and further train the officials to tackle any emergency.

Nodal officer assigned for the higher education department Bikram Rana, meanwhile, said that a meeting attended by all the college representatives was held, in which they were asked to submit their standard operating procedure at the earliest. They were also asked to form their disaster management committee at the institutional level, Rana said. The colleges are still in the process of supplying the required information.

Rinkal Mahajan, state coordinator officer for this project, said that quick action was required from all the departments so that a detailed strategy could be prepared and training and awareness drives could be started on time.

The delay is also being attributed to the appointment of a new Deputy Commissioner. The new DC, Mohammed Shayin, told this correspondent that he required some time to study the project details.



NITTTR to train 20,000 polytechnic teachers
Programme aims at improving quality of education
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
To improve the quality of polytechnic teachers in the region, National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR), Chandigarh, has introduced an induction programme to impart training to more than 20,000 teachers working in polytechnic colleges across nine northern states of India within six months.

The teachers will be trained on teaching pedagogy through the information and communication technology (ICT), for which a pilot project is already running at the institute. Under the pilot project that concludes on September 28, around 450 teachers are being trained through video-conferencing facility, which has linked the institute with different terminals at distant places.

Following this, the training will be conducted in cycles of five to seven days, with each batch having upto 1,000 trainees.

Institute Director Dr MP Poonia said that the technology-based outreach programme would enable the institute to reach out to teachers at far away places. “For instance, under the pilot project, we are linked to the teachers even in Jodhpur, and lectures and live demonstrations are being provided to them,” he said. The programme aimed at uplifting the teaching skills of polytechnic colleges, he added.

IK Bhutt from Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur, who came to deliver a lecture, said that there were issues regarding quality of teachers especially in polytechnic colleges; therefore, it was important to groom them to ultimately enhance the standard of education as well as students, he said.

Our country, he said, lagged behind in manufacturing sector, and the skilled polytechnic students could boost this sector.

He also suggested that good engineering colleges should mentor a cluster of polytechnic colleges in every state.

There are over 1,300 government and private polytechnic colleges in the nine northern states that are being targeted by this programme. Highest number of these colleges is in Uttar Pradesh, followed by Punjab and Haryana.



Third edition of CBSE’s SGAI test on January 20
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will conduct the third edition of Students Global Aptitude Index (SGAI) test on January 20 next year. Started in the year 2011, more than 3 lakh students have already appeared for the test. It is an optional test conducted by the CBSE after the Class X board exams to help students gauge their mental ability and make career choices.

“This test is designed to help students identify their ability and interests by checking their scientific, numerical and social aptitude,” said Chandigarh-based CBSE counsellor Rakesh Sachdeva.

Sachdeva said there was no harm in appearing for the test, since it had no particular syllabus and required no special preparation. Mental preparedness and sincere responses are the pre-requisites for this test, she said.

Board officials said the test aimed at helping the larger population including parents, teachers and students to initiate a dialogue about their future course of action.

CBSE officials said unlike the conventional aptitude tests, which indicate professional orientations, the SGAI test aimed at empowering children with “self knowledge” in terms of their aptitude and interest. It would enable them to make career and subject choices, they said.

A parent, Bhupesh Aggarwal, said that such an endeavour was very helpful for parents to identify the talent of their children.

About the test

  • Students Global Aptitude Index (SGAI) test helps students to make career and subject choices after Class X
  • The last date to fill the form for the test is October 31. All details with a nominal fee of Rs 100 per student have to be sent to the CBSE by the schools



PUTA demands more seats for teachers in Senate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) has written to the Vice-President of India, who is also the university Chancellor, to nominate at least 18 PU teachers to the Senate. The Vice-President nominates 36 of the 91 members of the Senate. Of the 47 seats for which elections are held, only five are reserved for the PU teachers.

PUTA president Khalid Mohammed said at present, the representation of university teachers in the PU Senate was very less. As a result, the university teachers do not get their due representation in the Syndicate, Board of Finance and other important bodies, he said.

“For instance, in the current Syndicate there is no university teacher except the Dean Colleges of the University. Similarly, in the current Board of Finance, there is not a single teacher from the campus,” he said.

PUTA in its letter to Vice-President Hamid Ansari stated stated that for immediate and better understanding of weaknesses and strengths of the university, more participation of teachers in the Senate was required.

The letter went on to state that PU has experienced and efficient faculty that has served and contributed in different scientific, technical and literary bodies at the national level, and their services can be utilised for the university too.



National-level scholarship for city boy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Saurabh Sharma, a city lad who is currently studying at the IIT, Delhi, has been named as one of the Aditya Birla Scholars for 2012. He will get an annual scholarship of Rs 65,000. He was selected by the Aditya Birla Foundation after an interview held on September 22 at Mumbai. Saurabh secured an all-India rank of 102 in the IIT-JEE and 54 in the AIEEE conducted in 2012. He has also participated in many national-levelcompetitions including the National Science Olympiad and the International Maths Olympiad.

He was also the city topper for three consecutive years in the Green Olympiad, and among the two Indian students who visited NASA when he was studying in Class VIII.



Lecture on ‘American dream’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
A special lecture on ‘American Studies and the American Dreams’ was organised by the ICSSR North-Western Regional Centre, Panjab University.

Ms Shirley Wajda, American studies expert and historian from Kent State University, spoke on the American trade and its ramifications during the lecture. She said the dream of the American people was not to buy cars and earn high wages, but they dreamt of a social order with opportunity for everyone regardless of circumstances. She said during the Great Depression of 1929, the economic conditions were not good, and people wanted stability and a just social order.

The concept of the American Dreams involved the provisions of education, security and better living conditions, she said. After the depression, many programmes were implemented for social welfare. According to her, a house became symbol of stability after the depression. Racial discrimination in housing and economic disparity was also discussed.



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