C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘Tilla kulfi’ tickles taste buds of Canadian PM
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service
Canadian PM Stephen Harper being received by Adviser to the UT Administration Satya Gopal on Wednesday
Canadian PM Stephen Harper being received by Adviser to the UT Administration Satya Gopal on Wednesday. A Tribune Photograph
The bhangra team which came to perform during the Canadian PM’s visit at a dhaba in Sector 28 in Chandigarh on Wednesday
The bhangra team which came to perform during the Canadian PM’s visit at a dhaba in Sector 28 in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune Photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, November 7
It was neither butter chicken nor ‘malai kofta’, but ‘tilla kulfi’ prepared by Isher Sweets at Kalka that tickled the taste buds of international guests during the visit of Canadian Prime Minister Stephan Harper to Deluxe Dhaba in Sector 28.

The delegation of 60 persons, including politicians of Canada and Punjab, businessman and officials of the Canadian government, savoured ‘tilla kulfi’ after dinner. However, the PM’s wife, Laureen Harper, did not accompany him to the dhaba.

Earlier today, officials of the Canadian Consulate cancelled the PM’s visit to the Sector 28 Pal Dhaba and decided to go to Deluxe Dhaba in the same sector. Amid tight security of the Canadian Federal Police and the UT police, the Canadian PM reached the dhaba at 7.25 pm. He was welcomed with the beats of dhol and bhangra performance by children.

Deluxe Dhaba owner Manish Goyal said the Canadian PM wanted the real feel of the dhaba and they had made arrangements in the open. Harper tasted butter chicken, lemon chicken, ‘rogan josh’, ‘palak paneer’, ‘chilly parantha’, ‘lachedar parantha’, yellow dal, ‘malai kofta’ and rice. His favourite was ‘tilla kulfi, which we procure from Isher Sweets at Kalka, Goyal added. Goyal said the officials of the Canadian Consulate had selected the menu on Wednesday morning and they managed to prepare everything on time. He added that Harper was impressed with the food and bhangra performance and told him that ‘everything was great’.

Punjabi singer and chairman of the Mohali Planning Board Harbhajan Maan also accompanied Harper.

Pal Dhaba wears a deserted look following cancellation of Canadian PM’s visit
Pal Dhaba wears a deserted look following cancellation of Canadian PM’s visit . Tribune Photo: Parvesh Chauhan

PM gives Pal Dhaba a miss

While Canadian PM Stephen Harper was enjoying dinner at Deluxe Dhaba, popular eatery Pal Dhaba in the same sector wore a deserted look where the PM was scheduled to visit earlier. Three brothers Mahinder Singh, Pritpal Singh and Joginder Singh, owners of Pal Dhaba, had decorated their dhaba for the PM’s visit and till the last moment, they were expecting him. Joginder Pal Singh said they were not disappointed. “We are happy that the Canadian Consulate recognises our food,” he said.

Why not Pal Dhaba?

Why the Canadian authorities cancelled Pal Dhaba and selected Deluxe Dhaba? This was the question on everybody’s mind. Last week, during a press conference, officials of the Canadian Consulate had said that they cancelled the visit to Pal Dhaba due to security reasons. But if security was the reason, then why they finalised Deluxe Dhaba, which is in the same sector and at a distance of about 500m from Pal Dhaba. However, sources in the administration said on learning about the building bylaws violations, the PM’s visit to Pal Dhaba was cancelled.

Tight security in place

Security agencies had cordoned off the area and a tent was erected around Deluxe Dhaba. The police directed all traders around the dhaba to close their shops for security reasons. Even the residents of the area were told to stay indoors. There were security men on the rooftops of houses and shops. 

PM stays at JW Marriott

The Canadian Consulate had booked the entire floor of JW Marriott Hotel in Sector 35 for the Canadian PM. Nobody was allowed on the floor and security personnel of the Canadian and UT Police were deployed in and around the hotel. Moreover, there were around 50 vehicles in the cavalcade of the PM.

Consulate pays bill

Owner of Deluxe Dhaba Manish Goyal said the Canadian Consulate paid the bill of the food served to the PM and his delegation. He, however, didn’t divulge the details of the bill.

Memorable day

Team head of Deluxe Dhaba Bharat said it was a memorable day for him and his team members, who prepared delicious food for the Canadian PM. He added that he had never thought that he and his team would prepare and serve food to the Canadian Prime Minister.



Security beefed up for Canadian Prime Minister’s visit
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 7
It was nothing less than high alert in the town as nearly 650 policemen were out on the roads to guard the route, marked for passing of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper today.

Though Harper was scheduled to go to Anandpur Sahib by air, the local police did not take any risk and deployed 400 policemen, supervised by three SP rank officers, today .

Similarly, in the entire funnel area, nearly 250 policemen were on duty. They remained on duty for over eight hours from 9 am to 5.30 pm. Giving details, SP (City) Swarndeep Singh said the proper rehearsals were held in the past two days. "There were four SPs, seven DSPs and all inspectors to supervise the policemen on VVVIP duty. We had been conducting a thorough search of the entire area under guard," said SP Swarndeep Singh.

Meanwhile, most of the policemen, including all SHOs were put on duty on the road routes and funnel area, the work in the police stations was affected. "I came for some work but In was told that all were on some other duty," said Gurinder Singh, a resident of Phase V.



Snarl-ups, chaos on city roads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Snarl-ups and chaos ruled the city’s roads following the Canadian Prime Minister’s visit for a major part of the day today as commuters remained stuck in serpentine queues of vehicles.

The situation was the worst in the evening on Dakshin Marg and roads leading to Sectors 34/35 dividing road which remained choked with vehicles owing to the VVIP visit.

The traffic scenario worsened after 6 pm, as the traffic police personnel struggled to cope with the increased rush. Long queues of vehicles were seen at The Tribune roundabout leading to the airport road for more than an hour in the evening.

Heavy traffic congestion was witnessed at the Sectors 25/36 small roundabout and at Attawa roundabout where traffic was halted for a long time.

The worst affected was Dakshin Marg, including Sectors 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 22, 21, 20, 30 and 29. Moreover, Sectors 18, 19 and roads leading to Mohali were also clogged.

It was chaos in Sector 22, where shopping was at its peak. Traffic jams were witnessed in the evening at the Piccadily traffic lights, Aroma traffic lights, ISBT roundabout and along Udyog Path marking roundabouts of Sectors 18-19-20-21, Housing Board traffic lights to Sector 26, Sector 20-30 roundabout and Sector 33-34 small roundabout.

The traffic helpline number remained flooded with calls of harassed commuters remaining stuck in snarl-ups.



Spic and span city greets Harper 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
VVIP visits always prove a blessing in disguise for city residents, particularly for those who are usually ignored by the municipal corporation. The residents experienced the same on the scheduled visit of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to the city today.

City residents had been making a hue and cry about the ill-management of garbage for the past 10 months, which had resulted in health problems. In the last 10 General House meetings of the MC, the elected councillors had also raised the issue time and again, but to no avail. Interestingly, for the past one week, special teams of sweepers are on their toes to polish and clean all the roads which were supposed to be on the itinerary of the Canadian PM. Till Wednesday morning, the MC employees were on their job to give final touches to every road. They cleared huge heaps of garbage lying on the roadside. Sweepers and the lifting vehicle were jointly engaged in the sanitation drive.

A team of sweepers was deployed at the airport light point which is an entry to the city. But for the past one year, the MC and the UT Administration were confused over the jurisdiction of the area.

A senior official of the MC said the cleanliness drive was being conducted ahead of the festival season and not for the visit of any VIP to the city.



Nostalgic homecoming for Canadian Sports Minister
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
It was a homecoming filled with nostalgia for 52-year-old Baljeet Singh Gosal (Bal Gosal), sports minister of Canada, who was a part of the delegation led by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the city.

An alumnus of Panjab University, Bal visited the City Beautiful today, 31 years after he had emigrated to Canada in 1981. “Today is the moment to recall my youthful days when I was a student and played pranks with others, enjoyed a good laughter with fellow students. I can only say that I miss those two years spent here when I was pursuing a law degree from the PU,” were his words while talking to The Tribune today.

Despite having a busy day with the Canadian PM, Bal squeezed in time to meet his old friends. “I am touched. They have been waiting for me,” he said.

The minister recalled how he had contested the student council elections but tasted defeat for the post of the general secretary. “I used to participate in all functions. Student life is all about exploring and I explored it well. Although I failed to visit PU today, I am hopeful of visiting the campus this weekend. We will all go together,” said Bal.

Bal belongs to Ratainda village of Nawanshahr district of Punjab and completed his graduation from a Jalandhar-based college. He is a former soccer player and also attained a level-II coaching certificate after moving to Canada. “Well, soccer is my love and being belong to the Doaba belt, it’s a hereditary gift for me. During my early days in Canada, the economy was bad and I was pursuing studies. During those days, I had coached a soccer team consisting of players between 6 and 9 years. Although I failed to attain big in soccer, but I have played soccer at the college level.

About his decision to shift to Canada, he said: “Most of my family members were based in London and Canada. And after marriage, I decided to shift there. Initially, I faced a lot of trouble, but slowly adapted to the environment there. During

my working days with an insurance company, my Gujarati boss changed my name to ‘Bal’ and after it’s Bal Gosal. I joined the party in 1993 and on May 2 this year, I took over as the sports minister” he added.

On the sports culture in India, the minister said: “Sports is still developing here and in Canada it’s quite developed. I had a brief meeting with Jitneder Singh (Indian Sports Minister) yesterday and I am happy to see some new plans coming for young sportspersons. I had a word with former sports minister Ajay Maken during the Olympics and he made me abreast of growing love for sports in India,” said Bal.

“We had some formal discussion and hopefully it will be implemented soon for the welfare of sports in both the countries,” said Bal. He mentioned that Punjabis in Canada love to play kabaddi. “We have many kabaddi clubs over there and every Punjabi child wants to be in that club, he added.



6-yr-old saved from cruel mother
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
A team of the Anti-Child Trafficking Unit of the UT police today rescued a six-year-old boy who was allegedly being mentally and physically tortured by his mother.

The neighbours informed the police and the mother of the boy was sent to jail after being booked under Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Act.

The accused, Pooja, is a mother of four children and used to allegedly beat up her son with an iron rod. She is a resident of Dhanas. A case has been registered at the Sector 11 police station.

The child was rescued and sent to the UT Administration-run home for destitute children, Snehalaya, at Maloya.

The police said the accused use to beat up her son with iron rod and other sharp-edged weapons. After the neighbours informed the police, a team led by inspector Kulbir Kaur and sub-inspector Rohtash Singh rescued the boy.

On the statement of the child and the neighbours, a case was registered against the accused. Raj Kumar, husband of the accused, is into a private job. He was also questioned by the police.



Protesting students cross line of decency at varsity
Try to forcibly enter VC’s office, use abusive language
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
High drama was witnessed outside the Panjab University Vice-Chancellor’s office when the Chandigarh Police had to use force to control the protesting students from entering the VC’s office.

The protesting students were demanding rollback in hostel mess charges. The PU campus witnessed heights of indiscipline with students using derogatory language in their slogans by calling the VC and the Dean Students Welfare (DSW) a ‘dog’.

The protest staged by not more than 50 students, including girls, turned aggressive. The protesters tried to scale the gates outside the VC’s office following which the police had to intervene and use force to maintain law and order.

The protesting students alleged that the police manhandled them and even pushed girls.

The protesters abused the DSW when he came to pacify them. The girls also used unparliamentarily language during the protest.

A meeting of a committee formed by the PU over the students’ demand was held in the office of the VC. After the meeting, the CV Arun Grover appealed to the protesting students to cooperate with the university administration in maintaining discipline and law and order on the campus. The VC said he was ready to listen to the genuine problems of the students and fulfil their legitimate demands.

Justifying their move, PU officials stated that the recent increase in rates of the LPG cylinder had led to the hike in mess charges. If the LPG rates are reduced or the subsidy, for which a request has already been sent to Indian Oil Corporation, is received, the decision on mess charges would be revoked.

Student leader on defaulters’ list

Some of the student leaders are yet to clear their dues. Sunny Mehta, a student leader participating in the protest, is himself a defaulter who is yet to pay the room rent of around Rs 3,200 for his overstay in hostel number II. Mehta paid his mess dues of over Rs 6,000 after his room was locked by the hostel warden and his belongings were confiscated. Even after repeated requests by the PU authorities, the leader has failed to clear his dues.



4-0 defeat still on mind: Yuvi
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
"It's time to take revenge and the 4-0 defeat is still on my mind," said Yuvraj Singh when asked about the upcoming India-England series starting from November 15.

All set to make a comeback to the Indian cricket test squad, after fighting cancer, the all-rounder is all set to perform well in the upcoming series.

"I am ready to face any situation," said Yuvi, who was in the city during the opening of a showroom at Sector 17.

"We are hopeful of tasting victory," he said while adding that world-class batsman Kevin Pietersen would not affect the team's performance.

"I put up a good show during the matches for Dulep Trophy and will try to live up to the expectations of my fans," said Yuvraj.

Manoj Tiwary gets little attention

Ace batsman and captain of West Bengal Ranji team, Manoj Tiwary, was also present during the inauguration. Although everyone failed to recognise him, the player shared the dais with Yuvi after the media approached him.

"I am excited about the upcoming Ranji match against Punjab. The team defeated Hyderabad and we will continue to perform well. After making it to the test squad, Yuvi and Bhajji (Harbhajan), will not be playing with us, but we will ensure that it does not affect the team's performance," Manoj.

"A player always feels it bad if he is not selected for the mainstream tournaments. But there is always a way, I will put in efforts and prove mettle in domestic cricket so that I can ensure my place in the Indian squad," said Manoj.


Cracker stalls to be set up at Sector 43
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
This Divali, the municipal corporation will allow setting up of cracker stalls in Sector 43 instead of Sector 22.

A proposal was sent to the UT Deputy Commissioner today.

In a recent Finance and Contract Committee, it was decided that the cracker market of Sector 22 would be shifted to Sector 43.

A proposal has been drafted by the corporation stating that the stalls would be set up at apni mandi ground in Sector 43.

The venue has been shifted only for the markets of Sector 22.

Sources in the corporation stated that the move would ease out congestion in the open space and the fire department could also make proper arrangements for the safety of residents by deploying a fire tender near the cracker shops.

In the proposal, the authorities said for the past two years, no stall had been allowed in the Sector 22 market as in 2009, during a surprise check, a team of officials found that some firecracker sellers, in temporary stalls, were not following fire-safety norms and so they were asked to shut down their shops.

MC Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach stated that the proposal, in this regard, was sent to the Deputy Commissioner for consideration so that the licences could be issued on these grounds.

Recently, in the Finance and Contract Committee meeting, it was decided that no cracker stalls should be allowed to be set up in Sector 22 as it resulted in chaos in the area and a fire could break out anytime. Members of the committee said they were not allowed to set up stalls near a polyclinic whereas all 16 stalls in Sector 22 were set up near a polyclinic. As per records of the corporation, the stalls were set up at the Sector 34 exhibition ground last year.



Pending Demands
GMSH employees suspend work for two hours
500 pathological and X-ray tests postponed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
About 150 employees of Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, suspended work for more than two hours on Wednesday.

About 500 pathological and X-ray tests were postponed at the hospital as the employees, including sweepers, lab technicians and nurses, demanded regularisation of service, preparation of seniority list for promotion and filling of vacant posts.

While there was nobody to carry patient stretchers inside the emergency, patients kept waiting outside the labs as none of the technicians attended to them. The strike continued from 9 am to 11 pm.

Kapil Sharma, a Mohali resident, had taken his 80-year-old bed-ridden mother to the hospital for the treatment of her knee-joint pain. "I failed to find anybody to assist me in shifting my mother from the car to the stretcher. Why can't the hospital authorities make some alternative arrangement?"

Another patient, Ram Lal, a labourer, who has been struggling to find his turn for the X-ray test of his arm for the past three days, came to the hospital in the morning.

"I have been waiting for my turn for the past so many days but could not get the test done. One of the technicians had asked me to reach early today. But I will have to bear with the pain." The employees held a protest outside the hospital gate.

Despite repeated attempts, the Medical Superintendent, Dr Rajiv Vadera, and Deputy Medical Superintendent, Dr G Dewan, could not be contacted.



Anupama case
Probe panel yet to submit report
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
The external inquiry committee constituted to probe the Anupama case is yet to submit its report to the competent authority, even four months after her death.

Last month, the committee had claimed that the inquiry was almost complete and the report would soon be submitted. However, the committee has been sitting over its conclusions for the past one month. Sources confirmed that the final meeting of the committee, which was scheduled for November 3, could not be held as none of the members confirmed about their presence.

Asked about the status of the inquiry, Dr SS Gill, chairman of the committee, also the Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences, Faridkot, said: “There is one more meeting which is to be held before we submit the final report.”€ť

Anupama, a student of Government Model School, Sector 18, died on July 24, after she was brought to the PGI on July 17 when her leg was crushed under the rear tyre of a CTU bus on her way back home from school.

Anupama’s parents had moved the UT Consumer Forum in August, alleging negligence on the part of the PGI and the CTU. In their reply to the court last week, both the PGI and the CTU had denied allegations negligence. Also, the CTU had contended that the accident took place due to Anupama’s negligence as she was trying to board a moving bus.

Amit Sarkar, Anupama’s father, said: “The CTU is trying to shield its staff.”

Waiting for court order

“Although the external probe committee’s inquiry is independent of the court’s judgement, it is possible that the committee would be waiting for the court’s order. The next hearing of the case is scheduled for November 16 and in order to avoid conflicting conclusions, the committee might have decided to wait till the court decides anything,” said Anupama’s parents’ lawyer Pankaj Chandgothia.

CTU’s relpy in court

Filing its reply in previous hearing of the court, a copy of which is with Chandigarh Tribune, the CTU had contended: “The present complaint (which seeks compensation of Rs 85 lakh) is not maintainable as the complainant has already received a sum of Rs 3,00,000 as a compensation on the human attitude ground from the answering respondents/Chandigarh Administration. So, the complainants are not entitled to seek such a relief from this court.”



UT excise dept raids CII fair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
The UT Excise and Taxation Department conducted a raid on the first day of the CII fair today to verify the VAT deposited with the department for setting up stalls in the fair.

A team of officials under the supervision of Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner Naresh Dubey conducted the raid at parade ground in Sector 17.

The raiding team found that no separate permission had been taken for setting up of stalls at the fair. Even the bill books of some shopkeepers were not authentic.

Naresh Dubey said the department was yet to check the records to verify whether VAT for all stalls had been deposited by the CII or not. He stated that the CII had deposited Rs 10 lakh as security, but it was yet to be calculated as to how many stalls were to be set up in the fair.

General secretary of the All-India Federation of Cloth Association Arvind Jain today made a complaint to the UT Deputy Commissioner Mohammand Shayin that the CII was organising an exhibition-cum-sale at the parade ground, but the CII authorities had taken the permission for exhibition and not for sale. He alleged that no stall owner had deposited VAT with the excise department.

Denying all the allegations, CII spokesperson Tarun Goswami said there was a delay in the completion of tax formalities of a few Pakistani stall owners who had reached here today morning. He said when the excise team conducted the raid, they had produced VAT deposit papers of 430 stalls set up in the fair.

As a regular practice, the CII has been advising all the participants to follow the guidelines for sales transactions. After the visit of the officials, another requisite security deposit has been submitted to the department for the recent bookings, said Regional Director, CII (Northern Region) Pikender Pal Singh.



Workers yet to get plots under housing scheme
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 7
Members of Mohali Industries and Commerce Association, Phase VIII B, have been running from pillar to post to get plots under the Centre's industrial housing scheme for entrepreneurs and workers.

Talking to The Tribune, Col BS Sekhon, vice-president of the association, said although the apex court had maintained the right of entrepreneurs and workers to the residential plots under the said scheme, yet despite serving two legal notices on authorities concerned, including the PSIEC, after the apex court's decision, the applicants had not get their rights.

"Almost eight years have passed, we have invested our hard-earned money in the scheme but still we are not clear about our fate," said Col Sekhon and other members of the association.

Giving details, Col Sekhon said the PSIEC had offered 280 residential plots in Phase VIII B on December 20, 2003 and as many as 87 applications were received from entrepreneurs and workers category. "The rest 193 plots were offered to general category applicants against a total of 3400 applications. While under general category, the draw was held on March 31, 2004, the 87 applicants were pronounced as allottees under preferential category," said Col Sekhon, adding that, as the authorities did not issue allotment letters they had to approach various courts to settle the issue.

"In its judgement on March 9, 2010, the apex court has maintained our right by upholding that the scheme was meant for entrepreneurs and workers. After that we have sent two legal notices to the authorities concerned but We did not get any response till date," claimed the members of the association.

Meanwhile, despite several attempts, the senior functionaries of the PSIEC could not be contacted for comments.



Mohali fire dept goes hi-tech
Purchases latest fire engine costing over Rs 6 crore
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, November 7
Mohali fire dept has gone hi-tech with the acquisition of one of the latest fire engines costing over Rs 6 crore which can deal with flames and other emergencies in high-rise buildings.

The fire engine, which reached Mohali last evening, has been parked on the premises of the office of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and will be handed over to the local fire brigade after a demonstration by the employees of the company. Sources said that this might take two or three days.

Equipped with an aerial ladder hydraulic platform with a working height of 55 m, the cost of the fire engine is Rs 6.28 crore.

A two-member team, headed by Superintending Engineer of GMADA Nirmal Singh Kahlon, had gone to Finland in June for the inspection of the fire engine. The company , Bronto Skylift, was asked by GMADA officials to carry out some alterations in the vehicle in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

The sources said the same company had supplied a similar fire engine to Chandigarh, but the length of the ladder in that vehicle was only 45 m against 55 m in the new Mohali fire engine.

Several times in the past the local fire brigade had found itself inadequate in tackling crises. On July 20, it could not rescue a sewadar who got stranded on a 110-foot Nishan Sahib at a gurdwara at Sohana. A local fire engine, which reached the scene, had a ladder of only about 35 ft. Help from the Chandigarh fire brigade had to be sought to bring down the sewadar.

Mohali fire brigade had been crying for hi-tech equipment for long as it was not able to tackle emergencies in high-rise buildings. Several letters were written to the local civic body in this regard, but due to a shortage of funds the much-needed vehicle could not be purchased.



Slip roads to ease Panchkula traffic
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 7
To tide over the traffic problem, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is constructing slip roads near the Sectors 7/18 lights, Sector 8 lights and Tank Chowk.

Every hour, about 1,475 vehicles pass through the first point, 1,200 through the second while 1,100 through the third point.

On taking a right turn from the housing board to enter Panchkula, one witnesses bumper-to-bumper traffic at the Sectors 7/18 lights. Situation is no better at Sector 8 lights and Tank Chowk, where traffic jams have become a routine affair.

"These points were identified following the repeated complaints of commuters. To solve the problem we thought of constructing slip roads near these points. The move will ease out traffic congestion," said a senior HUDA official.

At Sectors 7/18 lights, it takes one 25 minutes to make way through the congested road while at Sector 8 lights and Tank Chowk, one needs 15 minutes.

"A slip road is being constructed near Sectors 7/18 lights. Seeing the chaos, commuters prefer to take alternative routes to reach their respective destinations," added the official.

"It becomes difficult for us to commute on these roads. The situation worsens during the festive season," said Saransh Chawla, a resident of Sector 11, Panchkula. "A number of accidents have taken place on these roads," said Vrisha Sharma, a resident of Sector 19, Panchkula.



Health Notes
PGI to set up alumni cell

Chandigarh: The PGIMER has decided to establish an alumni cell to facilitate collaboration and cooperation with its alumni. Its alumni comprise over 5,000 medical specialists and superspecialists and thousands of graduates and postgraduates in nursing, basic sciences and paramedical sciences.

The PGI alumni are spread all over the world and hold distinct positions in reputed medical centres and hospitals. The alumni cell will promote participation of the alumni in various PGI activities. It also aims at involving the alumni in clinical and academic programmes. To kick start the alumni relationship, a Golden Jubilee Alumni meeting is planned on December 15 and 16.

All the alumni have been invited to register for the conference. Detailed information has been made available at the website (www.pgialumni.org). The cell also aims at preparing an up-to-date list of the contact addresses and emails. — TNS



common admission schedule
Pvt shcools in fix
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
At a meeting held today, members of the Independent School Association, Chandigarh, said it would be difficult for the private schools to strictly follow the common admission schedule announced by the UT Education Department last month. The members were of the view that common admission schedule, according to which the admission process was to begin from November 30, was advisory in nature.

"There will be some changes in the Education Department's common admission schedule," said Gurpreet Singh Bakshi, senior office-bearer of the association.

According to him, the changes are sought not because schools don't want to follow the RTE Act. The department must understand that every school had its own constraints and it was important for the department to understand and acknowledge the overall schedule of the private schools, he added.

"This was the reason when we urged the department to hold a meeting before finalising the schedule but they did not consult us," said Bakshi. The members of the association said the schedule directed the schools to announce their fee structureand it was not possible at this point.

"The Punjab and Haryana High Court has reserved its judgement on the issue of fee hike. Till the final verdict, the schools can't take any action," said one of the members of the association. Another association members said, "We will soon write a letter to the senior officials of the Education Department to hold a joint meeting so that all the issues relating to the admission for the next academic session could be solved."



More teachers make it to PU Senate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
The list of nominated Senate members, which has the names of many PU teachers, has pointed towards a changing trend as academicians are being preferred for nomination in the Senate. Nomination of some renowned people, including famous Punjabi writer Gurdial Singh, who is considered as stalwart of Punjabi literature is a welcome step.

Out of the 36 nominated members, there are 13 serving teachers and 6 retired teachers. In 2008, only 10 PU teachers were nominated to the Senate. Mohammed Khalid, president of Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) said they expected that in next four years the university teachers would find their place in all governing bodies of the university. "This is a golden opportunity for the university teachers and they should take academic leadership in their hands. The presence of teachers in the Senate would initiate the process of inclusion of more teachers in the statuary decision making bodies," he said.

Presence of personalities like Gurdial Singh is also expected to bring a change in the education system. He has received about 17 awards, including Jnanpith Award, Padam Shri, Shiromani Sahitkar Award, Punjab Sahitya Akademi Award, the Soviet Land Nehru Award and Bhai Veer Singh Fiction Award.

Speaking to The Tribune, Gurdial Singh, who has authored nine novels and 11 short stories, said his focus would be on raising the standard of education in the university and colleges. "I would raise the issues that would help in reforming the education system," he said.

Other known personalities who have been nominated to the Senate, include Rashpal Malhotra, Executive Vice-Chairman, CRIID, Chandigarh, and Dr Pramod Kumar, Director, Institute for Development and Communication (IDC) and Chairperson, Punjab Governance Reforms Commission, Chandigarh. The term of Senate is for four years, which began on November 1.



Hike in prices of beverages irks students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
After increase in the mess charges by PU, the shopkeepers at Panjab University have also increased the cost of beverages. A cup of coffee now cost Rs 15, which earlier was Rs 12. The cost of a cup of tea has also been hiked to Rs 7 which was Rs 5.50 earlier. The students said the hike was unjustified as they were not informed about this decision by the university authorities. One of the students said while the decision to increase the mess charges was taken after informing the students, this time the university failed to hold a meeting before giving its node to the new rates.

The students said the prices of beverages, including lemon water, fruit shakes, had no link with the increase in prices of LPG cylinders and still the prices were revised.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia, said a committee had been constituted for negotiating the rates of eatables at the Student Centre. The committee would also have members of the student council, he added.



soch 2012
Champions trophy to Chitkara School of Mass Communication

Chandigarh, November 7
The Chitkara School of Mass Communication won the champions trophy on day three of Panjab University’s annual media festival, SOCH. Following the tradition, the department released a souvenir of the sixth edition of the fest.

The day began with a singing competition, Malhaar, in which 11 colleges participated. The event was judged by upcoming Punjabi singer Jassi Gill and ex-chairperson of music department at PU Dr Pankaj Mala Sharma. Jassi crooned some of his popular songs, “Choodiyaan,” and “Vigde Sharaabi,” and enthralled the audience with his charm.

A speech by NASSCOM media outreach director Rajeev Vaishnav brought down the curtains to the event. — TNS



Bhavan Vidyalaya organises exhibition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior organised exhibition "Bharat Avlokan-Ek Prayas" to commenorate the platinum jubilee of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan and 125-birth anniversary of its founder president Kulpati K M Munshi. The exhibition showcased the art and culture, cuisine , architecture and famous personalities of various states of the nation.

Dignitaries, who visited the exhibition, included chief guest RK Saboo, chairman Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, PR Aggarwal, secretary, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, and Vineeta Arora, principal of Senior Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan School.

The joint endeavour of the students and the teachers brought alive the very essence of the nation. Colourful costumes, magnificent forts of Rajasthan were beautifully showcased by the children.

Class KG students depicted the IT hub of India, and highlighted the issue of women empowerment. Class I students took everyone to West Bengal and showcased the colonial architecture and celebration of the famous Durga Puja.

Assam, the land of the hills and valleys, was showcased by class XI students. Class IV students exhibited the glorious Ganesha Chaturathi while class V students depicted Dev Bhoomi Himachal Pardesh.



Students celebrate founder’s week

Chandigarh, November 7
As a part of the seventeenth Founder's Week Celebrations, students of Vivek High School, Sector 38, Chandigarh, organised "Srijan", an exhibition, and displayed their skill.

The Critical Thinking Fair-2012 was also held at the school. The students also participated in various games like Taekwondo and Karate. Yesterday students of class III to performed play "Kissa-e-Akbar Birbal". The play was an adaptation of three stories from the Akbar -Birbal folklore. The play was directed by Ravinder Kumar and choreographed by Ragini Kulkarni. — TNS



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