C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Former Punjab Police DIG Defies HC order
Encroaches upon greenbelt in Mohali, pitches tent for his security staff
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 19
Not caring two hoots about the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, former Punjab Police DIG NS Dhillon has erected a tent on a greenbelt located near his house at Phase X in Mohali.

The tent was removed by the police about three months ago, but was pitched again. The makeshift arrangement is being used as a shelter for the security guards. Cots have been kept in the tent and the power supply is being provided from the former police official’s residence.

About eight months ago, three tents had been erected at the site and even a makeshift wall was constructed by the security staff, thus depriving the residents of the area to use the greenbelt.

SP (City) Swarndeep Singh said he had sought a report in this regard from the DSP (City 1) and DSP (City II) about a month ago. “In their report, both the DSPs had categorically stated that all such tents were removed,” said Swarndeep Singh.

When told about the presence of a tent at Phase X, Swarndeep Singh said: “It seems that the tent has been pitched again.”

He immediately added that he was sending his team to check the latest status. “If the tent is there, it will be removed immediately,” said Swarndeep Singh.

A resident of the area said they were shocked that a retired police officer was dishonouring the orders of the High Court. “We cannot raise a noise as we are too scared to say anything,” he said.

Notably, GMADA had prepared a list of about 23 such encroachers in the area following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court about two years ago, ordering immediate removal of tents from greenbelts and parks. AK Sinha, Chief Administrator of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) said: “I will again depute a team to check encroachments on parks and greenbelts. If found, immediate action would be initiated.”

Police takes action
Later in the day, a police team removed the tent after The Tribune contacted SP Swarndeep Singh for an official word on the issue. He sent a team immediately to the spot to take action.



MC executive officer ‘justifies’ encroachments
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 19
“Please understand, bade afsaron ka maamla hai” (it’s about senior officials) was the brusque reply of executive officer of the MC OP Sihag even as the encroachments outside the houses of bureaucrats in Panchkula stay put.

Chandigarh Tribune had reported on Saturday and Sunday about the encroachments by bureaucrats in violation of the Punjab and Haryana High Court order by pitching tents and giving all kinds of facilities to their security guards.

Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) BK Garg’s security men have pitched six tents outside the residence with a special bathroom and a kitchen outside his residence at Sector 7 in Panchkula. All kinds of facilities, including beddings and televisions, have also been provided to the staff.

Similarly, Haryana ADGP MS Mann has ‘constructed’ an illegal toilet in a park for his security guards near his residence at Sector 6 in Panchkula.

Former Punjab Chief Secretary Jai Singh Gill has provided the tent facility to his guards near his residence at Sector 6 in Panchkula.

MC and HUDA have a joint responsibility to remove encroachments. The estate officer of HUDA, Ashwini Sharma, assured that he would take action on Tuesday morning since he was not having adequate force today.

But when MC executive officer Sihag was asked why the encroachment was not removed, he said: “I can’t see any encroachment now. Everything has been removed after the High Court orders. Where is the encroachment now?”

When he was told that the encroachment was still in place and had been reported, he said: “Please thoda sa samjha karo, bade afsaron ka maamla hai.”

He said the Deputy Commissioner or the City Magistrate could be asked about the same. But both were not available for comments.



MC fails to remove illegal tent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The MC authorities have failed to remove the encroachment by an IAS officer of Punjab, Sumer Singh Gurjar, posted as Director, State Transport, Punjab, claiming they cannot act on the violation in the absence of a complaint.

Gurjar has been using a tent pitched outside house No 901 in Sector 7. The officer has encroached upon a part of the road outside his house and is using it as a temporary shelter for his security staff.

Gurjar's servant, security guard and driver are using the tent. The tent has been erected on the rear side of his house. On the front side of his house, a note has pasted on the gate stating that the entry is from the rear side.

MC Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach said: “We don’t know whether it is an encroachment or not. Earlier, on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, we had removed all illegal tents. In this case, the MC will check whether there is any encroachment or not and take action accordingly.”



cheating case
Seven beneficiaries questioned by CBI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Seven of the 10 beneficiaries today reached the CBI office in Sector 30 where the CBI sleuths questioned them about their involvement in the PGI cheating case.

Four of the beneficiaries were arranged by Dr Gangadhar Reddy, who was solving the paper from Patna while the rest were hired by prime accused Dr Gurivi Reddy. All the beneficiaries hail from Andhra Pradesh.

CBI sources said the beneficiaries were part of the conspiracy and attempted to cheat during the exam by paying hefty amounts to prime accused Gurivi Reddy.

Three of the beneficiaries Venkateshwar, Ramna and Shiva, were arranged by accused Dr Gangadhar Reddy. They told the investigating officers that they reside in the same apartment where Reddy lives and got in touch with him as he assured them of making them clear the exam. The beneficiaries will be extensively interrogated in the coming days and will also be confronted with other accused in the CBI custody.

CBI Magistrate Rajnish Kumar today extended the custody of accused Dr Ganagadhar Reddy by four days. The doctor, who was brought from Patna on transit remand, will now be produced in the court on November 24 along with prime accused Gurivi Reddy. Gangadhar was meant to solve the paper from Patna and mail it to the beneficiaries appearing in the exam.

While procuring the police remand for Gangadhar Reddy, the CBI told the court that the beneficiaries would be confronted with both Gangadhar Reddy and Gurivi Reddy to gather evidence in the case and their remand was required. The CBI also said that expert doctor Gangadhar Reddy had a criminal past and had been arrested twice earlier for his involvement in solving the papers. He is the second main accused after the mastermind of the gang Gurivi Reddy.

CBI slaps sections of forgery on 15 accused

The CBI today slapped sections of cheating by impersonation, forgery, using forged documents as genuine under Sections 419, 467, 468, 471 of the IPC in the FIR registered in the PGI scam. The sections were added today after CBI procured more evidence in the case such as fake certificates and forms submitted by the accused. Earlier, the CBI had registered the case against all 15 accused under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC. The 15 accused include eight girls, who were decoy candidates meant to leak the paper, prime accused Gurivi Reddy and six persons who were part of the gang. The decoy candidates were meant to leak the paper through bluetooth devices, get it solved from experts sitting in Patna, who would then mail it back to the beneficiaries appearing for the exam.



Decoy candidates filled double forms, says CBI
Forms had fictitious names, addresses, same photos with different hairstyles
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Consider this: Case 1: A decoy candidate G Krishnaveni, who has been arrested by the CBI, filled two admission forms for PGI MD/MS entrance exam. In one form, she gave her fictitious name as S Padmini and in the second form she filled her name as G Sahaja. She attached the same photograph on both the forms, one with a trendy haircut and the other with her hair tied up in a ponytail.

Case 2: Another decoy candidate with the name of G Sivageetha also filled two forms to double ensure she appears for the test. In one form, she filled her name as N Nandini while in the second form she submitted her name as G Padmaja. She wears spectacles in one photograph attached with the form and is without spectacles in the other form.

Both Krishnaveni and Sivageetha along with six other decoy candidates in form of helper girls were issued two admit cards each by the PGI at different addresses in Andhra Pradesh.

Over a week’s investigations by the CBI into the sensational PGI cheating case have revealed that all eight girl candidates who had appeared for the PGI MD/MS entrance examination on November 10 as decoy candidates to leak the paper had submitted double forms to completely ensure they get admit cards. CBI’s investigations have revealed that the all the girls filled two entrance forms with fictitious names and addresses and same passport size photograph. The girls have altered their hairstyles in the passport size photographs submitted on two different forms to con the PGI authorities while filling the form for the entrance test.

“All the eight decoy candidates filled two forms each and were issue two admit cards. Their purpose was to ensure they get the admit cards as the names, addresses and certificates attached were all fictitious. The mastermind of the gang Gurivi Reddy made them fill double forms to ensure they get in the examination hall,” said a CBI official.

The revelation exposes poor scrutiny of forms by the PGI as the authorities failed to catch even a single decoy candidate on the basis of forms they submitted.

The CBI today collected handwriting samples of all the eight girls (seven of whom were arrested from examination centres and one from the hotel) and asked them to fill PGI admission forms. Their samples will be sent to the CFSL for matching with the handwriting on the forms submitted.

The decoy candidates were meant to leak the paper through bluetooth devices to experts in Patna from where they solved the paper and sent it back to the actual beneficiaries who had paid hefty sums to the mastermind Gurivi Reddy for clearing the exam.



PGI to install bug detectors to check cheating
The hi-tech device can detect hidden gadgets even on off mode
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Waking up from a deep slumber, the PGIMER has planned to install hi-tech bug detectors to check cheating during the rescheduled MD/MS exam on December 8.

The bug detector, which costs nearly Rs 25,000 per unit, can detect the hidden devices easily during the scan even when the device is on the off mode. The bug detector scans cellular signals and frequencies and possesses real-time GPS tracking system.

On November 10, the CBI nabbed seven candidates who were using sophisticated devices during the exam. However, in the absence of security arrangements at the exam centres, another group of suspected candidates managed to escape. So much so that the institution was forced to cancel the exam to ensure that none of the beneficiaries of the racket could clear it.

A senior official at the PGI said: “Besides metal detectors and jammers, the bug detectors will be used at all the exam centres. The bug detector will overcome the limitations of metal detectors in locating the non-metallic hidden devices. Some candidates act smart by turning off the devices during the scanning process at the entry of the exam centre. The bug detector has a special feature which can locate even the deactivated hidden cameras or other devices.”

The PGI is studying the modalities of other security arrangements like real-time face recognition and biometric attendance system to keep a tab on cheating during exams.

A total of 5,700 candidates had appeared in the exam held on November 10. The admit cards of candidate issued during the previous exam would be considered valid for the rescheduled exam.

The centres for the rescheduled exam have been identified by the PGI and the information will be available on the PGI’s official website www.pgimer.nic.in on Tuesday.



UT renews lease of Chandigarh Golf Club
Demands over Rs 9 cr for 5 yrs ending March 2013
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Renewing the lease of Chandigarh Golf Club for a period of five years, the UT Estate Office today demanded over Rs 9 crore as the lease money from the club authorities.

With the issue of lease money of clubs reaching the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Chandigarh Administration renewed the lease agreement for five years ending March 15, 2013. The lease was last renewed in 2008.

In the renewed lease agreement issued by the UT estate office, the club has been asked to pay the lease money of Rs 13.44 lakh per month, which comes to Rs 1.61 crore annually, as the rent for the building and another Rs 10,000 per acre per annum for 1,306 acres of open land being maintained as greens.

The unauthorised construction undertaken by the club, once approved as the built-up area, will be separately assessed for charging the rent. The annual enhancement in the rent at a rate of 7 per cent would be applicable for the five-year lease period ending March 15, 2013.

A senior official in the administration said the lease of the club had been renewed with effect from March 16, 2008. The lease of the club expired in 2008. Previously, the club was paying Rs 8,200 per month as rent for the building, fixed in 1988.

Since the club is taking all benefits of concessional allotment of land, it would have to comply with the requirements of the RTI Act as the public authority. It has been further pointed out that the modalities were being worked out to give the club a more public-oriented face.

“The lease rent proposed would be subject to the approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs,” said an official.

New lease agreement on cards
UT officials said after Chandigarh Golf Club, the UT Administration was proposing a major hike in the lease money of Chandigarh Club. The records of the club have been sought to check the source of income. “It could be around Rs 3 lakh per month or more,” said an official.


No auction this year
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
If the UT officials are to be believed, there will be no auction of commercial and residential properties in the city this year.

With just over a month left for the year-end, the UT Estate Office is still waiting for a reply from the UT’s Finance Department regarding fixation of the reserve price of plots. “The dates can only be fixed once the reserve price is decided,” said a senior UT official.

Another official in the finance department said the matter would be put up before UT Adviser KK Sharma before taking any decision.

Initially, the UT had announced to hold the auction of around 150 sites by the second or third week of December. But the groundwork, like identifying the sites, getting physical verification of the sites to look for encumbrances and one-month prior notice, has not been done so far.

As the UT’s Estate Rules, the bid money of the auctioned sites has to be deposited within 90 days of auction within the financial year ending March 2013. This means that the auction has to be conducted before January 1, 2013.

The dismal auctions by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) have further dissuaded the UT officials for going ahead with the auction.

By not holding the auction this year, this would be for the fourth consecutive year that the UT would not be holding the auction. The last auction was held in December 2009.

Sources in the Chandigarh Administration said that this year, the estate office had planned to put under the hammer certain commercial sites in the upcoming southern sectors. “When the freehold commercial sites in Mohali attracted a few bidders, one can expect the response for the leasehold sites,” said an official.



Administration to look for land in Mullanpur
Construction of dwelling units for UT employees under housing scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
To meet the housing demands of UT employees, the Chandigarh Administration has started exploring the possibility of looking for land in the neighbouring area of Mullanpur in Punjab.

With the land shrinking in the city and the authorities turning a blind eye to the demand of employees, the UT has already held informal talks with its Punjab counterparts on the possibility of UT employees either forming a cooperative society or Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) going out of Chandigarh to come up with a housing project.

The issue was debated during a meeting of senior UT officials today. The officials were asked to work out the modalities for inter-state cooperation for solving the problem of not only the UT employees, but the employees of Punjab and Haryana government who were posted in Chandigarh.

Confirming the development, KK Sharma, UT Adviser, said the UT was inclined to give land to Punjab for setting up offices and residential quarters for ministers or other elected representatives of the state assembly. The demand for land to house government offices would get a prerogative over the housing issue and Punjab had been asked to give its requirement. Inter-state cooperation on the housing issue was being looked in to. "Urbanisation on the periphery of the UT, barring the northern sectors, was acceptable," he said.

The UT employees housing scheme has been hanging fire for the past three years. As per the original plan, the Chandigarh Administration had earmarked 89.87 acres in Sectors 53, 54 and 55 for general housing scheme. But out of 89.97 acres, 11.97 acres was carved out exclusively for employees under the A Category (three-bedroom flats), mostly to be allotted to IAS, IPS and state civil services officers who had served in the UT in Sector 53 and other chunks in Sectors 52 and 54 were reserved for other categories of employees.

But now the UT Administration is thinking of giving land for housing in vacant chunks of land in Maloya and Sarangpur.

The Administrator asked the CHB chairman to complete all 25,728 dwelling units by March 31, 2013

Taking a serious note of the delay in completion of 12,000 one room tenements out of the total 25,000 tenements, the UT Administrator today directed the CHB chairman, Satya Gopal, to ensure that all dwelling units were completed by March 31.



Only 3 turn up at public darbar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Only three complainants turned up for UT Administrator Shivraj Patil’s public darbar today. The darbar has been witnessing a low turnout for long.

Meanwhile, taking up the first complaint filed by Ashok Bector, who had appealed for action against a retired DSP of Chandigarh for destroying the office record under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Patil said the complainant should file an affidavit regarding the same and if the contents of the same were true, action would be taken as per rules.

In another complaint, Arun K Lall requested that his pay should be protected. It was furnished by the official concerned that the clause was not in the contract signed at the time of his appointment.

To which the Administrator replied, “If we are bound by law and if there is any governmental circular concerning the same, we will look for a way to help you.”

Another complainant, Jasdeep Singh, said the Chandigarh police was trying to cancel an FIR against Mal Singh, Prithi Singh and Mohinder Singh. Patil was told that the case was registered with the Ludhiana police and it was the only competent authority to take action in this regard.

The Administrator also reviewed the progress of solar photovoltaic systems' installation in offices, institutional and residential buildings, preparation of master plan of Chandigarh and progress of Slum Rehabilitation Project in Chandigarh



Air India told to pay relief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The UT Consumer Redressal Forum has penalised Air India for redeeming the mileage points of the complainant against an air travel service, which was originally never availed by him.

The court has directed the Airlines to pay Rs 25,000 to the complainant for mental agony and harassment.

The complainant joined a joint frequent flyer programme "Flying Returns" with Air India, whereby the points were to be awarded as per the travel made through the airlines and the same could be redeemed for getting free airline tickets or to adjust as part payment for future travelling.

It was stated that the complainant filled the requisite membership form and became the member of the programme on January 31, 1998. Thereafter, the complainant kept travelling through Air India Airlines and accumulated 17,5,573 frequent flyer points till August, 2002.

It was stated that the complainant wanted to travel from Delhi to New York in February, 2003, and he requested the airlines to book a return ticket but they responded that he had a total point limit of 18,7,930 and for travelling, he required 18,8,000 mileage points.

Therefore, he should make the payment of Rs 70 within a period of 45 days, but due to some personal reasons, he never travelled.

The complainant had informed Air India officials about his change of address. The complainant contacted the opposite parties for crediting the points back to his account, but despite the request, they did not do it.

"The airlines never restored the points to the account of the complainant," held the court.



chhath puja
70,000 devotees make offerings to setting sun
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Over 70,000 people observed Chhath Puja at the Sector 42 lake here today. Preparations were in full swing right from the morning and everyone made their offerings at the sunset.

Dilip Kumar, organising secretary, Purvanchal Welfare Association, said that everything went smoothly.

The local administration and the police had made elaborate arrangements for hassle-free celebrations. Around 200 police personnel were deputed on the spot.

The devotees will again visit the lake tomorrow morning to make offerings to the rising sun.

The offerings include fruits and vegetables. Sugarcane is an important part of the festival, Kumar said.

“As people will start gathering as early as 3am, we have made all the required arrangements,” he said.



Culture of hills brought alive in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Chureshwar Lok Nritya Sanskritik Mandal, Sirmour, performed folk songs and dances of Himachal Pradesh at Punjab Kala Bhawan here today. The event started with “deepak nritya”, with folk dancers carrying earthen lamps on their heads and picking up handkerchiefs with their tongues from the ground.

They also performed “natti” dance on the occasion. The dancers held each others hands and celebrated the culture of their land with local songs and dance movements.

The performance concluded with the mask dance portraying the folklore.

“Himachal Pradesh’s folklore includes myths, legends, folk tales, proverbs, chants and even curses,” said Jagdish Singh, organiser of the group.



Awareness campaigns fall flat
Pollution level rose six times than the permissible limits on Divali
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 19
All the awareness campaigns for the pollution-free Divali has failed in Panchkula as the air pollution was six times more than the permissible limits this time. For the first time, the data regarding air pollution was collected by using the Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Machine. According to the data, released by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB), the air pollution on Divali was 600 mg/cubic meter while the prescribed limit is 100 mg/cubic meter.

The data was recorded for the five days (three days before Divali to a day after the festival). Even the peak value of Sulphur Oxide on the day of Divali was 66 Micro gm/cubic meters. “People should realise the disadvantages of using crackers. The air pollution was so high that you can understand how harmful it would be,” said JP Singh, the Regional Officer (RO) of the Pollution Control Board.

He further said: “Previously the data was being collected manually but this time the machine has collected the data.” The level of suspended particulate matter (in micro gm/cubic meter) in Panchkula on November 10, 11,12 was 258, 309 and 322 respectively. On the day of Divali it was 600 micro gm/ cubic metre while a day after the festival it was 291. The level on all the days was high as compared to the prescribed limit of 100 micro gm/cubic meters.

Meanwhile, the peak value of sulphur oxide (in microgm/cubic meter) on November 10 was 9.5, on November 11 was 25.2, on November 12 was 52. The peak value of sulphur oxide on Divali was 66 micro gm/cubic meter) and a day after Divali it reduced to 31. However, the prescribed limit is 60 microgram/cubic meter. The Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring System, which was installed at the headquarters of the HSPCB in Sector 6, Panchkula, recorded the air pollution. The whole system is online. Panchkula is one of the four stations in Haryana, which have this online machine.



Student dies under mysterious circumstances at Gharuan varsity
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 19
A 19-year-old student of Chandigarh University, Gharuan, died under mysterious circumstances today. Gursewak Singh, a final year student of polytechnic diploma in mechanical was declared brought dead by the doctors at the Civil Hospital, Phase VI, this morning. His roommates claimed that he was found unconscious in the hostel room today. "He died on the way to the hospital," said one of the roommates.

Sources at the hospital claimed that lips and nails of the deceased had turned blue, indicating that it could be a case of poisoning. The friends of the deceased said they had watched a movie on their laptop late last night. "While we all had gone to sleep, Gursewak was still busy on his laptop at around 1.30 am. "Today morning, when we went to wake him up for the breakfast, he was found unconscious and was shifted to the hospital immediately," said one of his friends.

DSP R S Mrar said a post-mortem was conducted and the viscera had been sent for further tests to determine the cause of death. "At the moment, we are unable to comment on the cause of the death. It might be a case of suicide or overdosing of some drug. Investigations are on," said DSP Mrar. He also added that the deceased was the son of Punjab police head constable Karamjit Singh and the family was also not willing for conducting a post-mortem. Meanwhile, college chairman Satwant Singh Sandhu said due to Gursewak's death, the institute was close today. 



Encroachments: UT approaches Punjab, Haryana governments
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
After failing to remove glazing and other illegal construction on the upper floors of the building of the Punjab and Haryana offices in Sector 17, the UT Administration has sought help from the Punjab and Haryana Governments in getting the violations checked.

In a letter to the Punjab and Haryana Chief Secretaries, the UT Finance Secretary-cum-Secretary, Urban Development, has sought their cooperation in maintaining the heritage status of Sector 17. The heritage status does not allow glazing on the corridors.

Earlier, Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin had sent a letter to the erring Punjab offices, located in 70 bays buildings and Haryana offices, located in 30 bays buildings. Over 50 offices of both the states are situated on the upper floors of the SCOs in the Sector.

Besides the government offices, the Estate Office had issued around 50 notices to the violators, which included several banks, government offices and commercial establishments. The Architecture Department has pointed out that the defacement of buildings was also against the heritage plan.

Most of the owners and occupants of the buildings at the Sector have covered corridors with glazing, plywood or other material to convert the open area into rooms. Interestingly, the UT Excise and Taxation Office is also among the violators.

Meanwhile, The UT Estate Office today removed glazing from the various SCOs at Sector 17 after serving a 30-day notice to the violators. The deadline to remove the glazing had ended on yesterday.



Pakistan national gets new lease of life

Mohali, November 19
"My family and I had lost all the hope but the Indian doctors saved my life. I am indebted to them and can't express my feelings," said 44-year-old Pakistan national Anwar Ali after undergoing a successful liver transplantation operation at Fortis Hospital, Phase IX, Mohali.

Anwar Ali, who especially came from Hyderabad (Sind) for his treatment, was happy that he had chosen India for the purpose. "In Pakistan, the doctors had told me that I would not live for long. Through Google and some of my friends and I found this hospital and decided to come here for my treatment. Here the doctors, staff and the people, whom I met, gave me a lot of love which is unforgettable," said Anwar Ali, who got the part of liver from his son Adeel Shah.

Dr Subba Rao V Kanchustambam, chief liver transplant surgeon and director, Centre for Liver Transplant and Hepatobiliary Services, said Anwar Ali was fit now.

“The patient and his son are doing well and have been discharged from the hospital,” said Dr Subba Rao. — TNS



chandigarh scan
Student bring laurels

Students of the PU and workers of an NGO clean a pond in the PU on Monday.
Students of the PU and workers of an NGO clean a pond in the PU on Monday. Tribune Photo: Manoja Mhajan

Students of the engineering department of GGS Sachdeva Group of Educational Institutes, Kharar, brought laurels to the institute by bagging the top positions in various events during the 15th ISTE Techno-Cultural Festival, organised at RIEIT, Ropar campus, recently. It needs to be mentioned that GGS Sachdeva Group students has recently won the gold medal in the PTU Inter-Zonal Youth Festival at GNIMT, Ludhiana. Surinder Pal Singh Sachdeva, Chairman, GGS Sachdeva Group, congratulated the students and said they were proud of students for winning the trophies in both academics and extra-curricular activities .He encouraged them to keep up the tradition.

Welfare programmes

The Chandigarh Administration is implementing the 15-Point Programme for the welfare of minority communities. In this direction, the Chandigarh Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and Minorities Financial and Development Corporation have sanctioned loans to the 39 persons, belonging to minority communities. During the current financial year, 21 persons belonging to minority communities were provided loans out of the total185 sanctioned cases. 87 persons, belonging to the minority communities were given training in different trades out of the 308 persons during the financial year 2011-12. During the current financial year, training to 88 persons have been imparted in different trades, which is 23.46 per cent of the total cases. The Chandigarh Administration is also implementing centrally-sponsored schemes of pre-metric, post-metric and merit-cum-means based scholarship schemes for minority communities through the Education Department and during the financial years 2010-11 and 2011-12, 4,000 students under the pre-metric scholarship scheme for minority communities got scholarship.

Under the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme, there are 48,689 beneficiaries out of which 7,490 children, adolescent girls, pregnant and nursing mothers belonging to minority communities have been benefited, which is 15.38 per cent of the total.

IVF technique

Talking about the changing trends, Dr Umesh Jindal of Sant Memorial Nursing Home said over the years there were many things in IVF, which had changed and the success rate had increased to 40 per cent. "There are improved injections, which are available at competitive rates, are simple to use and less painful. New techniques and better equipments have also been introduced," he said.

“50-year-old Meeta (name changed) from Sector 55, Chandigarh, wants to have a baby, not because her daughter or daughter- in- law could not conceive but because her young son had died and now the emptiness can be filled only with the arrival of a baby. This old couple does not want to adopt a child. They want a biological baby. Medically it is possible for this old couple to have their own baby with the help of IVF but it is not ethical for a doctor,” says Dr Umesh Jindal.


An emergency meeting of the Central Committee Meeting of Executive Engineers’ DWSS Forum held on Monday. All the members of the committee, especially invited representatives from all the circles attended the meeting. The members expressed their concern over the scapegoat approach, adopted by the department against the cadre. It was felt that the huge shortage of staff in all categories, massive workload, unrealistic physical targets and scarcity of funds have paralysed the performance of the department. The members protested the ad-hoc work culture of the department. They said a lot of time was being consumed in getting the documents of the court cases from different offices.

"The non- responsible attitude of the higher supervisory authorities has further aggravated the situation. The absence of the engineer- in- chief has resulted into the lack of coordination and uniformity for the smooth functioning of the department," they lamented. The members also protested against the indiscriminate time extensions granted to all categories of the staff. — TNS



The case of ‘headless’ schools
Education Department fails to fill vacant posts of headmaster
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Several government schools in the city are running without their respective headmasters. In last three to four months, headmasters of as many as three model high schools have retired, but their posts are still lying vacant.

The headmaster of Government Model High School (GMHS), Sector 38, retired in the month of August, and that of GMHS-28 as well as Government High School, Dadumajra, retired on September 30.

Even as the financial as well as administrative powers have been vested to the senior teachers in these schools, insiders say that without a proper controlling authority, it is very difficult to maintain overall control.

A teacher of GHS-Dadumajra said that the overall discipline in the school has definitely suffered after the retirement of the school head. Besides it is very difficult to bear the pressure of administrative work.

A senior teacher at GMHS-28 said that besides administrative work, the implementation of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) and the RTE Act has enlarged the official responsibility of headmasters; therefore, there should not be any delays in appointing the new school head.

Besides these schools, the charge of Government High School, Sector 25, has been lying with the head of GMHS-25 for a long time. Seven middle schools in Chandigarh, including those at Sector 52 and Palsora village, also do not have a proper controlling authority.

In 2009, eight TGT teachers were selected for the post of headmaster in government middle schools in Chandigarh. There was another proposal to appoint seven more TGT teachers as heads in the middle schools; however, nothing has happened so far.

Dr Vinod Sharma, president of the Government Teachers’ Union, said that the issue of the Education Department should initiate the promotion of various cadres to fill the vacant posts. “Hundreds of TGT cadre teachers are waiting for their promotion for the last 20 years. The department, therefore, must start promoting teachers to avoid mismanagement in schools,” he said.

Senior officials of the Education Department said that the issue of promotions was under consideration and a positive development was expected soon.



Paper missing in CTET kit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
A Mohali-based visually-impaired candidate could not complete his Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) held yesterday as one of the four papers was missing in his exam kit.

The candidate, Himanshu Garg, said that his exam kit was supposed to have four papers — child development and pedagogy, social studies, English and Punjabi. While the first three papers were present in the kit, it did not have the Punjabi paper carrying 30 marks.

“I protested during the exam, upon which the official present there told me that he would report the same to the CBSE officials,” said Himanshu.

“When I asked for an additional Punjabi paper, the officials said that they could not provide it because every visually-impaired candidate is given a separate kit,” he said.

The CBSE’s regional director RJ Khanderao said that while the matter would be investigated by the Delhi headoffice, it could have happened due to some mistake on the part of the candidate, since all the application forms were filled online this year.



Still no clarity over common admission schedule
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Even as the admission process for the next academic session is about to begin in private schools of the city, there is still no clarity over the fate of the common admission schedule, issued by the Education Department last month.

According to the schedule, the admission process in private schools was supposed to start on November 30, but several schools have already started the process.

St Joseph’s School, School 44, has already received over 35 application forms for the 160 available seats to be filled at the entry-level classes. Vivek High School’s admission process, meanwhile, is also starting from November 26, four days before the stipulated date.

Chief coordinator officer of St Joseph’s School Naresh Handa said that their admission process started even before the education department announced the schedule. “It was already mentioned in the diary of the school students,” he said.

On the other hand, many schools are expected to issue their own schedule in the coming days. Gurpreet Bakshi of St Kabir School, Sector 26, said that their schedule was expected within a day or two. Sources in Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, said that their admission schedule would come out within this week.

Senior officials of the Education Department had earlier claimed that they would call a meeting of all the private schools to clarify the issue, but no such meeting has taken place so far.

A senior official of the department, however, said that the issue was very serious and they would call the meeting within two to three days.

Process already on
St Joseph’s School, School 44, has already received over 35 application forms for the 160 available seats to be filled at the entry-level classes. Vivek High School’s admission process, meanwhile, is also starting from November 26, four days before the stipulated date.



DAV-15 to host heritage quiz
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Over 70 schools from the tricity will participate in the city round of CBSE Heritage India Quiz to be held at DAV School, Sector 15, on November 23.

The event aims at inculcating interest for the rich heritage and diversity of our country among the students.

CBSE officials informed that three students from each school will participate in this quiz. They will first appear for a written paper consisting of 30 questions. Six best schools will be selected for the oral round. The top two teams of the city round will then progress to the regional round.



from schools
Mount Carmel students stage Broadway musical
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Students of Mount Carmel School, Sector 47, staged an adaptation of the Broadway musical “The Sound of Music” at Tagore Theatre as part of their silver jubilee celebrations on Monday. The audience was kept spellbound by around 105 students who displayed their talent while portraying the various characters and rendering the songs.

Annual Day

Stepping Stones Senior Secondary School celebrated its annual function at Sports Complex, Sector 7, on Monday. All the children were seen in the best of their festive spirits. They sang and danced to the song “Kadam Kadam Badaye Ja”. They displayed their talents in athletics, long jump, shot put, martial arts, gymnastics, aerobics and various forms of dances. Principal Anu Kumar read out the school’s annual report and delivered a motivational speech on the occasion.

Science Express

A group of 45 students from Government Senior Secondary School, Dhanas, and Government Model High School, Dhanas, visited the railway station to see the Science Express on biodiversity. Children got first-hand knowledge of the physiographic divisions of India. They also learnt about the extinct species of flora and fauna, marine life and formation of petroleum and recycling of waste material.

Umesh shines in quiz

Umesh, a Class VIII student of Government Senior Secondary School, Maloya, has secured the second position at a quiz competition organised by the Municipal Corporation. He also received a cash prize.

Talent search

Government Model High School, Sector 36, will be organising an open talent search programme on the school premises on November 23. Various competitions including poetry recitation, fancy dress, poster making, painting, candle and diya decoration, kite making , mehendi designing, rangoli making, embroidery, clay modelling, greeting cards making, paper folding, salad making will be held on the occasion. Nearly 650 students from pre-nursery to Class X will participate under different categories.

Science workshop

A workshop on "Joy of Science" was organised for over 200 Class X students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 46. Various theorems and principles of chemistry, physics and mathematics were explained to the students.

Children's Day

Saupin's School, Sector 32, celebrated Children's Day with great fun and frolic. The school campus buzzed with excitement as children came dressed in their best attires. They participated in fun-filled activities on the occasion. They were joined by teachers in the three-legged and spoon-and-lemon race. To make the day special and memorable, the teachers also prepared a dance programme and a chorus song.



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