C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Man shot at, Rs 17.58 lakh looted
Tribune News Service

Policemen with his bike at the crime spot on the road dividing Sectors 14 and 12 in Panchkula on Monday.
Policemen with his bike at the crime spot on the road dividing Sectors 14 and 12 in Panchkula on Monday. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, January 21
In a daylight robbery, four masked youths allegedly looted Rs 17.58 lakh from an employee of a cash collection company after opening fire on his leg on the road dividing Sectors 14 and 12, Panchkula. After collecting cash from various outlets in Panchkula, the victim, Ritanesh Tripathi (30), was going on his bike to deposit the money in IDBI Bank in Sector 10 when he was shot at by the youths.

A passerby saw the victim lying on the road and took him to a nearby private hospital in Sector 14, where Tripathi’s is undergoing treatment.

Tripathi, a resident of Daria, works at the CMS cash collection company based in Sector 47, Chandigarh. After collecting cash from various clients in Sectors 11, 14 and 16, the victim had collected cash from a Bata showroom in Sector 20 and was going to deposit the entire amount in the bank.

“According to the complaint, Tripathi had collected cash from a Bata showroom and was on his way when four youths in a white Etios car intercepted him,” said a police official. The youths were wearing monkey caps.

He said, “Three of the four youths came out of the car and asked the victim to hand over the cash bag. When he resisted, they shot at him in his leg and fled with the bag.”

Employees of the company said usually a single employee did not carry more than Rs 3 lakh and a security van accompanied him. Today, due to a shortage of staff, Tripathi collected the amount all by himself.

Asked what action was taken by the police in similar robberies reported earlier in which persons carrying huge amounts were targeted, DCP Parul Kush said, “ Nakas are laid and continuous patrolling is done. We are doing our best to check crime.”

A case under Section 397 (robbery with intention to cause grievous hurt) has been registered at the Sector 14 police station. 

DGP pulls up Panchkula police

Haryana DGP SN Vashisht pulled up the Panchkula police on Monday after he came to know about the deteriorating law and order situation in the city. He has directed Commissioner of Police KK Sharma and Deputy Commissioner of Police Parul Kush to “show results” by solving crime cases.

“I came to know about the horrendous incident that took place on Monday and have directed the police to solve the case as soon as possible,” said Vashisht.

He said, “I have also told them that if they need extra force, it will be provided. The safety of the people is our priority.” 



Man tries to rape two-year-old
Thrashed by irate public, admitted to PGI in a critical state
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Already angered by the Delhi gang rape incident, an irate public today beat up a 45-year-old man who attempted to rape a two-year-old girl inside a room near a tubewell. The accused was brutally thrashed by the public, including a woman bouncer who thrashed the accused for quite some time, resulting in critical injuries to him.

The 45-year-old man attempted to rape a two-year-old girl by taking her inside a room near a tubewell in Sector 56 here this morning. The girl’s grandmother caught the accused and raised the alarm. Residents of the area and passersby thrashed the accused for more than half an hour before the police was intimated and reached the spot. The accused sustained critical injuries and has been admitted to the PGI. He sustained a head injury and his right forefinger was also broken.

The police has booked the accused, Babu Lal, a native of Bihar, in a case of attempt to rape under Sections 376 and 511 of the IPC. The police said he was working as a tubewell operator at the same place for the past nine years and his wife and children were in Bihar.

The police said the accused worked near the girl’s residence in Sector 56. He had earlier attempted to rape the two-year-old girl yesterday evening too when he asked her to remove her clothes by taking her inside the room near the tubewell. At that time, the girl saw her mother and rushed to her.

This morning again, he took the girl inside a room and was attempting to rape her when the girl’s grandmother came looking for her. She saw the accused and raised the alarm.

A large number of people gathered and caught hold of the accused and beat him up with rods and punches.

The police reached the spot and the accused had to be taken to the PGI where he has been admitted in a critical state. The medical examination of the girl confirmed that an attempt was made to rape her. A case against the accused has been registered at the Sector 39 police station.



Jiya’s kidnapper gets life term
Court says police helped accused, probe was shoddy
Tribune News Service

Accused Ravinder Gill being produced in a court in Panchkula on Monday.
Accused Ravinder Gill being produced in a court in Panchkula on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, January 21
The court today awarded life imprisonment to Ravinder Gill, who had kidnapped a girl Jiya from her residence in Sector 7 here in 2009. Jiya was two-and-a-half-years old at the time of the incident. The court said the police had helped the accused and the investigations done by it were shoddy.

A fine of Rs 25,000 has also been imposed on Gill. The case had come up for hearing before District and Sessions Judge Anita Chaudhary. Gill was convicted after the child’s grandfather, MS Kang, identified the accused.

It was stated that “discrepancies in investigations were introduced by the police” to help the accused.

The order said, “It is indeed a case of shoddy investigations.”

It said, “The prosecution version contains discrepancies, some on material aspects, but it doesn’t demolish the prosecution case. It appears that the discrepancies have been introduced by the investigation officer (IO) to help the accused.”

The IO should have known how the identification parade was to be held. There was no evidence that any application had been moved. The IO created documents, said the order.

Jiya, daughter of the owner of a city-based gymnasium, was kidnapped on October 20, 2009. Ravinder had come in a Honda City car and kidnapped Jiya while she was playing with her friends outside her house. The child was rescued by the family after paying a ransom of Rs 18 lakh to the accused at Verka Chowk, Phase 6, Mohali, said sources.

Gill was arrested by the police on December 29, 2011, on a charge of the theft of a car. It then came to light that Gill was behind Jiya’s kidnapping.

During the court case, two witnesses, Sheela Devi, a domestic help, and Vishal Singla, a passerby, had turned hostile.



Kidnapping case: Woman arrested in Panipat
3-year-old Harmeini reunited with her parents after six days of agony; third accused named
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
In a major breakthrough, the UT police made the first arrest in the kidnapping case of three-year-old Harmeini, alias Eddu, today. It arrested a 22-year-old woman, Chinar, from Panipat.

Chinar is one of the three accused in the Harmeini kidnapping case. Harmeini was recovered by the police from a village near Jind yesterday and has been reunited with her parents. A police team, headed by Inspector Sri Parkash, got a tip-off and arrested Chinar from the bus stand at Panipat. The girl is a co-accused in the case. She had kept the girl in her confinement for six days at the behest of Jagpal Beniwal and his brother-in-law Raju, a resident of Kaithal. Both Jagpal and Raju are still on the run. The police said they would be arrested soon, adding that there were more accomplices who helped the accused in the case and they would also be arrested soon.

Police investigations revealed that the kidnapped girl used to address Chinar as her “masi” and thus it was easier for her to kidnap her along with her male accomplice, Jagpal.

The police said the name of the third accused, Raju, cropped up during the investigations as he was the one who used to make ransom calls and kept the child in confinement for six days along with Chinar. He used to frequently switch locations. The prime accused, Jagpal, used to stay at a separate place and was in touch with Chinar and Raju all these days when the girl was in their confinement.

The police said it had recorded conversations of the accused while making ransom calls and threatening the family.

Harmeini was kidnapped on January 15 from Hotel Royal Inn in Sector 22 by her father’s business partner Jagpal and his woman accomplice, Chinar. Harmeini’s father Harish Arora, who is into the business of share trading, and her mother Priya Arora, residents of Delhi, had reported to the police that Jagpal was demanding a ransom of Rs 60 lakh from them. A financial dispute was the reason behind the kidnapping.

The police had dispatched separate teams to various districts in Haryana and Delhi to recover the girl and arrest the accuse. The accused had threatened the family that he would kill the girl if the amount was not paid to him.

“Signed” compromise led to girl’s recovery

Elaborating on the entire operation that led to the recovery of the three-year-old girl from Jind, DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh said on January 20 at 9.30 am, a call was made by accused Jagpal Beniwal to pay the ransom at his residence at Rajgarh Dhobi village in Jind district and asked them to give him in writing that they would withdraw the case registered against him.

He again called at 12.30 pm on Harish Arora’s mobile to pay the ransom. The police said the accused was duped on the pretext of a “signed compromise” and pressure mounted by the police.

A mediator rounded up by the police convinced Jagpal that the amount of Rs 60 lakh had been deposited in his bank account and a compromise deal for the withdrawal of the case had also been signed. The accused then dropped the girl hastily in the village near Jind and the girl was recovered by the police.

SSP Naunihal Singh said their priority was to recover the girl and they had suspended the operation for the time being when the girl was recovered safely.

“Our priority was to recover the girl safe and the accused can be arrested later. We are satisfied that without paying any ransom, we have managed to recover the girl,” said the SSP. 

Want to see accused behind bars, says a relieved mother

Happy to be with her daughter after six days of mental stress and tension when Harmieni was kidnapped, her mother Priya Arora said she could never imagine that their business partner and family friend Jagpal could play such a nasty game with them by abducting their daughter. “It was all unexpected. I am thankful to the police and am determined to see the accused behind bars. We will fight the case in court till the end,” she said. She said reunion with her daughter was the happiest moment of her life.

Girl used to be thrashed

In safe custody with her parents, the girl, Harmieni, was still traumatised and told her mother that Chinar used to beat her whenever she used to cry for her parents. Her mother said she was not speaking much and was in a state of shock. Her mother said she was wearing the same clothes that she was wearing at the time when she was kidnapped and was not given proper food while in the kidnappers’ custody.



External probe committee fails to fix responsibility for delay
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Despite pointing out "error in judgement" by a team in prioritising Anupama Sarkar's surgery, a 15-year-old patient who died at the PGI in July last year, the external probe committee has failed to nail the “culprits”.

In its report submitted to the PGI, a copy of which is available with Chandigarh Tribune, the committee has mentioned that doctors who deposed before it accepted that there was a delay. Despite this, it has failed to fix responsibility for the “delay”.

“The injury of this patient should have raised a high index of suspicion that the patient had sustained ‘crush injury’ on the thigh and was likely to develop serious complications. However, the team (those who attended on Anupama) decided to stick to their previous waiting list and hence this patient could not be taken for surgery till July 19, 2012. This was an error in judgement,” reads the report submitted by the committee to the PGI Director.

“The committee feels that priority should have been given to this patient (Anupama),” the report states.

The report, which runs into over 250 pages, has 25 recommendations for the institution, primarily blaming heavy patient rush for the issue. Chandigarh Tribune had reported these recommendations earlier.

Anupama, a student of Government Model School, Sector 18, died on July 24 last year. She was taken to the PGI on July 17 after her left leg was crushed under the rear wheels of a CTU bus while she was on her way back home from school.

Her parents alleged that Anupama was taken to the Advanced Trauma Centre of the PGI by the police, where a doctor bandaged her left leg.

Her parents alleged that since the bandage on her leg was not changed for many days, the patient developed gangrene and septicemia. “Doctors failed to check the spread of gangrene during the amputation of her lower left limb, which led to her death,” said Amit Sarkar, Anupama’s father.

Anupama’s parents had moved the UT Consumer Forum against the PGI and the CTU a month after her death.

Following her death, an internal probe committee was constituted which gave a clean chit to the doctors and paramedical staff involved in the case. Following this, an external probe committee was constituted on August 2.

Consumer forum seeks copy of report

The UT Consumer Forum on Monday directed the PGI to submit a duly attested and certified copy of the report of the external probe committee. The PGI had submitted the report on Monday, but the forum found “incomplete”. The forum has also directed Dr Sameer Aggarwal, Advanced Trauma Centre in charge and key respondent in the case, to provide detailed answers to questions put up by Anupama's counsel during the previous hearing in the case. The case will now come up for hearing on February 4.


Encroachers back at grain market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
The Grain Market of Sector 26 continues to greet visitors with foul smell and traffic jams, thanks to encroachments on roadsides.

A few days ago, the Estate Office, in collaboration with the Municipal Corporation, carried out an anti-encroachment drive in the area but the situation is back to square one.

The Grain Market, which was set up in the early 90s on a piece of land auctioned by the UT Estate Office with the purpose of providing the best marketing facilities to farmers of the region, is again becoming a blot on the City Beautiful. With more than 5,000 people visiting the market daily, cleanliness in the area has been hit.

“The roadside encroachments should be checked on a regular basis. The officials have dismantled the covered areas outside shops but they should also remove encroachments on the roads here. These encroachments lead to long traffic jams and poor sanitation in the grain market,” said Mohi Sood, a shopkeeper. He added: “These encroachments affect our business. The Market Committee has failed to keep a check on them,” said Mohit.

Another shopkeeper added: “The officials should visit the market at least twice a week. Just after a few hours of anti-encroachment drive, these encroachers occupy their regular spots and start their business,” said Davinder Bansal.



Additional staff to be deputed for collecting revised railway fares
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Extra staff will be deputed by the railway authorities on trains with short journeys from Chandigarh, tomorrow, to collect revised fares which come into force from midnight, as proposed by the Union railway minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal.

The official said that since the new fares would be applicable from today midnight, the difference of the fare chart would be issued to the ticket travel examiner (TTE), who will collect the revised fare from the commuters, on all the trains which commute from city.

the official further revealed that a communication had been received from the Union ministry, with directions that commercial inspectors should make surprise visit to stations under their preview, to check whether the revised fare were being collected from the passengers or not.

The Railway senior-divisional commercial manager, G M Singh, said that the extra staff would be deputed on all the three Shatabdi trains, to collect the revised fares on train itself.

As per the revised-fare chart, the minimum increase in the fare, made by the railway minister is of Rs 5, which was Rs 2, earlier. However there is no change in the reservation fee and platform ticket which is Rs 20 and Rs 5 respectively.

According to the fresh fare chart, the minimum increase in mail-express and passenger train will be Rs 27, for first-class Rs 45, for sleeper class Rs 37, for AC chair car Rs 192, for Jan Shatabdi Rs 36, for AC three-tier Rs 402 and for second seating Rs 79.

Box: Revised Fares

Class minimum distance for charge Increase in fare per km

Second class

(suburban) 10 Km 0.2 paisa

- Second Class

(non-suburban) 10 Km 0.3 paisa

- Second class

(mail/express) 50 Km 0.4 paisa

- Sleeper class 200 Km 0.6 paisa

- AC chair car 150 Km 10 paisa

- AC 3-tier 300 Km 10 paisa

- First class 100 Km 0.3 paisa

- AC 2-tier 300 Km 0.6 paisa

- AC first class 300 Km 10 paisa

(per passenger)

IBox: Revised fare of Shatabdi train

Train no New fares Existing fares

12005 (New Delhi to Chandigarh) evening

Executive class Rs 965 Rs 940

Chair car Rs 460 Rs 436

12006 (Chandigarh to News Delhi) morning

Executive class Rs 990 Rs 960

Chair car Rs 480 Rs 451

12012 (Chandigarh to New Delhi) evening

Executive class Rs 1105 Rs 1075

Chair car Rs 555 Rs 524

12046-12045 (Chandigarh to New Delhi and return)

Executive class Rs 1035 Rs 1010

Chair car Rs 510 Rs 482



CTU calls off strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
After day-long hectic meeting between the CTU Workers Union and officials of the Chandigarh Administration, the union today called off its pen-down strike, which was to be held tomorrow.

Earlier, the union had announced the support of the roadways unions of Punjab and Haryana for the strike. It had been announced that the CTU buses would remain off the road for the entire day during the strike.

The president of the CTU Union, Bhupinder Singh, claimed the officials had agreed that they would not abolish posts in the CTU and would not extend the annual maintenance contract (AMC) for buying 98 new buses beyond three years. The officials have also agreed to buy front-engine buses in the next lot, he added.



SSP marks inquiry into rape case 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 21
Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, Mohali, today marked an inquiry to DSP (City 1) for the registration of rape case that was registered at Naya Gaon police station yesterday.

The inquiry was marked following a dharna by the residents of two villages- Balongi and Daun- in front of the SSP’s office today morning.

The agitators, including the family members of the accused Naresh Kumar, claimed that he (Naresh) was falsely implicated in the case.

Demanding a high-level inquiry, the wife of the accused and his father, Prem Singh, claimed that in a bid to settle score with Naresh, some of their relatives in connivance of some police officials have falsely implicated him in the case.

“Naresh was at home during the time of the incident. The police can check the tower location of his mobile to ascertain his presence in the area of incident,” said the wife of the accused claiming that the girl was used to implicate her husband into a false case.

SSP Bhullar assured the agitators that a proper inquiry would be conducted to ascertain all the facts in the case.

“We will also check the role of the police officials in question,” said Bhullar.

The police had registered a case under Sections 328, 376, of the IPC against Naresh Kumar, a resident of Daun village, yesterday on the complaint of a 23-year-old woman of Sector 56, Chandigarh.

In her complaint, the victim had alleged that Naresh, a property dealer, had raped her after giving her sedative in water near Nada Bridge on Saturday night. She alleged that she had taken lift in his car after her moped got punctured near the bridge. 



Road Safety Week concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Celebrations of the 24th Road Safety Week concluded today amidst a colourful event at the Tagore Theatre.

Students of SD College, Sector 32, Chandigarh, performed a skit on road safety. The motive was to spread awareness and emphasis the necessity of traffic rules in one’s own interest.

Meera Sharma, coordinator of the event, and associate professor at GGDSD College, said it was important to involve youths in road safety programme as they were the ones who could ensure smooth and safe traffic flow by becoming responsible road users. Prizes were distributed among the winners of painting and quiz contests.



Mobile medical unit boon for Mohali patients
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 21
The mobile medical unit, running in Mohali district is proving to be a boon, for people living in far flung areas, as patients are examined by a doctor in villages and medicines are given to them free of cost, said Dr Neelam Bhardwaj, Civil Surgeon, here today.

She said that a doctor and other staff members available in the mobile unit examined the patients. As many as 1287 patients were examined during the month of December, 106 X-rays and 25 ECGs were also done by the mobile unit. Till now, medicines worth Rs eight lakh have been distributed among the patients.

Dr Bhardwaj further said that a sum of Rs 23.75 lakh was distributed, under the Mata Kaushalya scheme, which entitled every woman giving birth to her child in a government hospital, to an incentive of Rs 1,000.

Village health sanitation committees were also formed in each village and a sum of Rs 18.67 lakh was given to such committees to execute the work assigned to such set-ups, she added.



Man alleges police harassment
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 21
A man who reported to the police that he saw a girl being beaten up and forcibly taken away on Monday has alleged police harassment. The police has denied his allegation and has not registered a case.

Deepak Sharma, a Chandigarh business, said he was on his way to the Chandigarh railway station when he saw a girl being slapped and forced to ride pillion on a bike.

"I saw a youth on a bike chasing a girl walking along the Sector 11-15 road. The boy slapped the girl and forcibly took her away," said Sharma.

"I called up 100 and informed the police about the incident. I received a call from the SHO asking me to come to the place where the incident took place and explain what I saw," Sharma said. He was later called to the police station, where he alleged the police harassed him. "They asked me frivolous questions such as what my schedule was and what I was doing there. The Panchkula police, instead of tracing the girl, concluded that the youth could have been the girl's acquaintance," Sharma said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Parul Kush said: "We did not have the bike's number. What we had was the eye-witness's phone number. Since no complaint was made, we had to call him to the police station. He was asked everything very politely."



Licence fee: Vends deposit Rs 3 crore

Chandigarh, January 21
With the deadline for erring liquor vend licensees to deposit 75 per cent of the licence fee ending today, about Rs 3 crore had been deposited with the UT Excise and Taxation Department till this evening.

The 13 licensees, whose vends had been closed temporarily on last Friday, were the first ones to deposit the amount. Including the licence fee due till January 31, the total collection was pegged at about Rs 10 crore.

Sources said though the total amount to be collected from all the erring licensees came to about Rs 23 crore, it was being deposited in instalments. The last date to deposit the licencee fee was October 31, 2012, but licensees continued to take the liberty of extending their payment schedules. total licence fee from the 152 vends, both of IMFL and country liquor, comes to Rs 155 crore. 



Chandigarh Scan
Economic census

As per the guidelines of the Central Statistical Organisation, Government of India, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Sixth Economic Census will be conducted in Chandigarh from February 1 to March 31. The Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Chandigarh, is the nodal agency for implementing the scheme. It would be responsible for carrying out or undertaking all such activities or programme relating to conduct of the economic census. There are total 2,050 enumeration blocks in Chandigarh as per list supplied by the Director, Census Operations, Chandigarh. The enumerators will visit each house, shops, commercial establishment and factories to collect the requisite information in the schedules.

Engineering entrance exam

The Swami Devi Dyal Group of Professional Institutions, Barwala, conducted North India Engineering Entrance Exam for the aspirants of engineering courses for academic session 2013-2014. More than 1,800 students from over 50 schools of the northern region participated in the test. As many as 1,800 students are taking offline test at five centres on the Barwala campus. In addition, more than 2,300 students have opted for the online mode. They will participate in the online exam to be held on January 24. Moti Lal Jindal, president, and Ashok Jindal, vice-president of the group, welcomed the students and their parents, teachers on the college premises.

EPF Staff Union elections

Elections of the EPF Staff Union were held in which all members were unanimously elected unopposed. Vijay Kumar Sharma has been elected as general secretary, Sant Singh and Chaman Lal as vice-president, Anil Kumar Sharma as joint secretary and Kamal Chand has been elected as treasurer. Six executive members were also elected.

Employees’ union holds rally

On a state-level call, the Mohali DC Employees Union today organised a rally at the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Phase 1 here. Om Parkash, president of the union, said among the main demands of the employees were sanctioning of posts, appointment of legal adviser at the district level and upgrade of posts. He said as per the programme, the ministerial staff would abstain from work on January 23 and January 24 and the employees would observe a pen-down strike. — TNS



ATS Valley School launches Art and Music Academy
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, January 21
ATS Valley School today launched its Art and Music Academy on the school premises here.

“The academy is not only limited to our students but also it is opened for all,” said Arun Kapur, executive director of Universal Learn Today, which is managing the school here.

Kapur said the academy would function after the school timings under the experts on the subjects.

“Schoolteachers will also be involved in the academy so that they should be on learning mode always. For us, creativity is the most important factor in the development of any human being. With this purpose, we have opened the academy where interested persons can learn musical instruments, painting, sculpture, pottery, Indian and Western music,” said Kapur.

Getamber Anand, CMD of the ATS Group, said the children aged 3 and above could get admission to the academy.

“The classes will be held by nationally acclaimed artists where the learners will get a chance to explore and develop their talent under the guidance of these experts,” said Anand.

Earlier, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal was scheduled to inaugurate the academy today but he did not turn up at the venue.

“He is busy in DSGPC elections in Delhi so he could not come here,” said Kapur.

The school also organised its first Art and Music Festival in which tiny tots of several play schools from Dhakoli, Chandigarh, Panchkula, Zirakpur and Ambala participated.

“Such festivals, competitions and celebrations are necessary to bring out the talent of children. So, we have been holding such events for students and their parents every now and then,” said Kapur.



Education Dept talks tough on conversion of seats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
The UT Education Department talked tough as far as vacant seats under the RTE Act are concerned for the next academic session. In its written reply, the Education Department clarified that the schools would not be allowed to convert their unoccupied reserved seats under the RTE Act into the general category before April 15.

As per the written reply, all schools have been told to formally inform the Education Department about their vacant seats under the RTE reservation by February 15.

Based on the date received, the department would itself locate the potential students and will send the list of such candidates to the concerned schools by March 31. The reply further said the schools could take another 10 days (up to April 10) to complete their education process for these students. In case, if there are some seats left in spite of the best of the efforts of the department, the schools are allowed to convert them for the general category after April 15 by formally submitting the declaration to the District Education Officer.

Schools unconvinced

The schools were not convinced with the stand of the department on the issue. A principal said it was the wrong move to prolong the admission process for so long. "Moreover, the department has not given any guarantee to provide us the deserving candidates for the vacant seats. In case, our seats did not get fill up, we will not find even the general category students because it would be too late by that time," he said.



No clarity on key issues, say private schools
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Even as the Education Department sent a reply to the Independent Schools Association, Chandigarh, on their specific queries sought on the RTE Act, there still seemed no clarity on the key issues relating to the Act.

Private schools said several important issues were yet not responded in the written reply sent to them, in light of which the whole exercise did not bear any positive result.

“The written reply seems too little and too late as the statuesque is still maintained on the key issues,” said HS Mamik, president of the Independent School Association.

He said the confusion still exists about how much reimbursement the schools would get against the 25 per cent reservation under the RTE Act.

Mamik said it was clearly mentioned in the Chandigarh Administration’s circular issued in 2005 that those schools which were allotted land at the concessional rates and were under obligation to reserve 15 per cent of their seats for Economically Weaker Section (EWS), could charge the nominal amount against the seats reserved for these EWS students.

“Even as the department has clarified that this 15 per cent EWS quota is part of the 25 per cent RTE reservation, there is no clarity whether or not the department will reimburse the schools for the same,” said Mamik.

He clarified that in case the department imbursed us for the remaining 10 per cent of reserved seats, the schools had all power to charge nominal amount from EWS students as mentioned in the 2005 circular.

He said: “The association will take some time to comprehend the whole reply, but we don’t think that it has removed any confusion over the pending issues”.

Reply to pending issues to be sent separately

The Education Department has stated in its written reply that the schools would soon be informed about the pending issues separately.

According to the written reply, the notification on per child expenditure would be issued soon. For 2010-11 and 2011-12, the due payment would be made in lump sum and for 2012-13, the reimbursement would be made either in six-monthly or yearly manner.

Regarding the query on what percentage should SC/ST/OBC and other EWS category be admitted within 25 per cent reservation, the reply stated that there was no specific sub-quota required within RTE reservation.

“The schools are just supposed to admit 25 per cent students from the weaker section and disadvantage groups and they can come from any background specified here,” said the reply.

According to the department, the notification by the Government of India for eligibility income criteria under EWS will also follow soon.



From  Schools
Students bring laurels

Navkaramanjeet Singh and Anirudh of class VI brought laurels for St. Soldier School, Mohali, by bagging a silver medal in the International Table Soccer (Doubles) U-12 category. They vied with 800 students to clinch this position. They defeated the duo of Nepal (3-0) to bag the second place. V. Tiwana, principal of the school, felicitated them in the morning assembly. She applauded their achievement and wished them good luck for the upcoming tournament to be held in Malaysia in July.

Road Safety Week

BMD Public School, Chandigarh, participated in the Road Safety Week organised by the Chandigarh traffic police from January 13 to January 21. Students were made aware of traffic rules by participating in different activities like slogan-writing competition, drawing of traffic lights and safety rules. A documentary film was also shown to students to make them aware of traffic rules and regulations.

Blue Bird High School

Road Safety Week was observed at Blue Bird High School, Sector 16, Panchkula. Students were made aware of traffic rules and road safety. The students were sworn an oath to follow instructions as they were for their benefit, safety and happiness. Principal Bhatnagar said every parent and student should follow the rules laid down by the traffic police for the safety of one and all.

India’s Best Dramebaaz

Gargi Sharma, a student of class II of Gian Jyoti Global School, Phase 2, Mohali, has been selected for the third round of the reality show, India’s Best Dramebaaz, to be held in Mumbai. This reality show will start on ZEE-TV from February 2. Gargi cleared the first round of this dance and drama audition. For the second round, she went to Noida and was finally selected for the third round to be held on January 27 in Mumbai.

Students pledge to save water

DAV Senior Secondary Public School, Sector 8, Panchkula, hosted poster-making and slogan-writing competitions on the school campus to mark the beginning of all-India launch of the “Project Boond”. The objective of the “DAV initiative”, launched by Punam Suri, president of the DAV College Managing Committee, New Delhi, is to generate awareness and concern about water conservation among the students. The students took an oath in the morning assembly to conserve natural resources. They also reaffirmed their commitment for global concern to save water. Thereafter, teachers and students shared their views on the importance of water in the day-to-day life.

DAV Public School

DAV Public School, Sector 8-C, Chandigarh, initiated “Project Boond” under the aegis of the DAV College Managing Committee, New Delhi. It organised various activities such as poster-making, slogan-writing, creative-writing and paragraph-writing competitions for the students from class III to class X. The motive of the programme was to make the students aware of the importance of water conservation. The drive will continue till International Water Conservation Day, which falls on March 22.

Educational visit

The junior wing of Saupin’s School, Panchkula, visited the Railway Station, Chandigarh, and the ISBT-17. The students were told about the significance of these stations meant for trains and buses. They were informed about the safety measures to be taken while entering and coming out of these stations.

Woollens donated

Students of Satluj Public School, Sector 4, Panchkula, as part of their community outreach programme, donated woollen clothes for further distribution to the needy. Principal Krit Serai handed over the clothes to the Indo-Global Group. These clothes would be handed over to the needy through them.

Tributes paid

Students and teachers of Sant Isher Singh Public School, Mohali, paid rich tributes to late S Sukhdev Singh Gill, founder of the school. Gill believed in broad-based and well-balanced holistic development of children. The students and the staff observed a two-minute silence to pay tributes to the founder. Students from class I to class X recited Japji Sahib Path in their classes. — TNS



Appointment of 66 teachers put on hold
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
The UT Education Department has put on hold the appointment of 48 Junior Basic Teachers (JBTs) and 18 Trained Graduate Teachers (TGTs) under the OBC category. The department is awaiting a clarification on some backward castes, which are doubtful for the entitlement under the OBC reservation. The recruitment process of other categories is on.

As per the reservation policy of the Chandigarh Administration formulated under the Union government’s directions, the Scheduled Castes from all over the country are eligible for the purpose of the reservation of vacancies in Chandigarh.

But, as far as the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) are concerned, the benefit of reservation to this category would be extended to only those castes, which are included in the UT’s as well as the Central Government’s OBC list.

For instance, several OBC applicants had “Saini” as their caste in the ongoing recruitment process. During the cross-checking, the department found that although this caste was mentioned in the Union OBC list, it had not corresponding reference in the state OBC list.

Besides, there are others castes such as “Nais”, “Bhuhalia Lohar”, and “Gadaria” having the similar doubts.

A senior official said: “The matter was discussed with the local Social Welfare Department and it was initially confirmed that those castes, which were not mentioned in either of the OBC lists, don’t entitle for reservation benefits. But, to ensure the complete transparency in this matter, the department has sought a written clarification from the concerned department, which is expected soon.”

The official further said there were one or two castes, which were there in both lists, but their spellings did not match with the candidates’ certificates. A clarification on this issue has also been sought.

“Overall, there are 10-12 castes that are under scanner. After the proper clarification, the appointment of the pending posts will be resumed,” said the official.

Meanwhile, the appointment of a total of 654 JBTs has already begun. Today, 137 teachers from the general category were given appointment letters.

In the OBC category, while 116 out of the 166 candidates will be given appointment letters tomorrow, the rest of the 48 OBC seats will be filled after the clarification on this matter.

Similarly, 206 out of the 224 TGT posts are already been filled and the rest of the 18 OBC posts are waiting for the similar clarifications.

Officials of the department said early response from the Social Welfare Department could expedite the appointment of the pending cases.

As reported by The Tribune last week, the department is also in a fix over the vacant posts of the ex-servicemen cadre for which clarification is already being sought for its conversion to other categories.



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