C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


GPS to enable tracking of ambulances
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
In a bid to check the misuse of ambulances, as reported in the past, Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, has installed Global Positioning System (GPS) in its ambulances. The system will help the hospital act faster in the golden hour — the first and most crucial hour for a victim after an accident.

In a first in the city, the GPS installed in each of the 10 ambulances at the hospital ensures that operators at the base centre locate the ambulances nearest to the patient’s location and inform the driver.

The GPS also ensures that the ambulances reach the desired location and to the hospital faster, brightening the chances of saving lives.

“The operators at the emergency helpline keep a tab on the movement of the ambulances. Other than enhancing patient assistance, the GPS plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of attendants of patients and the staff on board the ambulances,” said Dr Rajiv Vadera, medical superintendent, GMSH-16. The GPS has been installed at a cost of Rs 1 lakh.

The system was launched last week and has been running successfully. The officials said an LCD screen will be installed at the base centre (enquiry office) that will display the location of the ambulance.

Misuse of ambulances

  • Ambulances had been wasting 65 per cent of the travel time on duties other than the emergency cases. Only 35 per cent of the time is being spent on ferrying patients
  • In February last year, one of the ambulances was found to have covered 30 km for ferrying patients, while the mileage for the month was 600 km. Records revealed that two ambulances travelled only 600 km for services like patient care in a month



Bike-borne youths stalk girl in P’kula
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 10
In a hair-raising incident, two bike-borne youths stalked a girl and tried to take her hostage for 15 minutes from Sector 7 to Sector 9 in Panchkula. The victim, 27, was driving a car while her brother was sitting by her side when she overtook the youths, who in a fit of rage, tried to stop her.

The youths hurled abuses at her. The unidentified youths were on a bullet motorcycle. They fled when the victim started crying for help. A case has been registered at the Sector 5 police station.

The victim, an interior designer, is a resident of Dhakoli. She was on her way home in her i10 car after shopping with her brother at Sector 7. Station house officer of the Sector 5 police station inspector Deepak Kumar said: “I went to the spot, but the youths had fled.”

“My sister overtook the motorcycle near Shalimar Mall. But they started following the car and tried to stop us,” said victim’s brother Harman. He added: “Terrified, we dialled 100 for help. The police personnel attending the call said they would do the needful,” said the victim’s brother

When no PCR reached to their aid, the girl took the car towards the KFC and the youths fled. The victim has noted down the registration number of the bike.



Shocker: P’kula police personnel fear the computer
Find it hard to type leave application, send it through email; rush to cyber cafes for help
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 10
A departmental communication by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) to her subordinates to send their leave application through email has put police personnel in a fix. Reason: Most of the policemen have little knowledge about computers. They are queuing up at cyber cafes to send their leave applications to the office of the controlling police officer.

Some policemen are approaching the administrative staff in the office of the DCP and the ACP to type and forward their application to seniors.

The DCP said the system of emailing leave applications avoided hassles faced by subordinates who kept waiting for hours outside the office of their seniors for the approval.

Police personnel, especially from Barwala, Pinjore and Kalka, will not have to wait for hours to get their leave approved. All police stations have computer with Internet facility, the DCP added.

Meant to increase productivity among police personnel, who often waste visiting the office of a senior to submit the leave application, the move has proved to be counterproductive as they are wasting time at the cyber cafes to get their applications typed and emailed.

Officials in the information office said about 70 per cent of the police personnel don’t know how to email.

“I have never used a computer. I don’t know the ABC of computer. How many times should I ask my SHO or friends to send an email,” said a constable, requesting anonymity.

An assistant sub-inspector said: “I always go to a cyber café to mail a leave application. But now I have urged the owner of the cyber café to teach me how to surf Internet.”

When contacted, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Virender Sanwgan said: “A computer learning course has been planned so the police personnel are made computer friendly.”


Goods worth Rs 10 lakh gutted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
Goods worth Rs 10 lakh were gutted in a fire that broke out at a booth in Sector 29 in the wee hours on Sunday. Fire officials received a call at 3.45 am and three fire tenders were rushed to the spot. But the damage had already been done at Bajaj Confectionary by the time the call was made.

The cause of the fire is said to be short circuit. The labourers sleeping near the booth saw the flames coming out of the shutter. The owner of the shop, Gulshan Kumar Bajaj, said: “We got to know about the fire quite late. I have been running this shop for the past 30 years.”

The fire department will check violations at the booth on Monday. The fire destroyed everything stored inside the shop, including a fridge and confectionary items.



Forced celibacy for Chatt Bir zoo animals
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chatt Bir (Banur), February 10
As the world celebrates devotion, love and bonding between partners on Valentine’s Day the ‘King of Amazon’ at Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park has no queen. The majestic four-year-old jaguar, Ishu, has been forced to spend his life in a cage without a partner for the past two years. It’s not an isolated case as seven more animals and birds, mostly exotic or endangered species, have been living without partners. These include a zebra, a fallow deer, a lion-tailed macaque, a hyena, a white stork, a black-necked stork and a black swan.

Ishu was brought to the zoo two years ago from Delhi to make a pair with a female jaguar. Unfortunately, the female jaguar died after a few months and since then Ishu is under forced celibacy.

The story of the hyena, fondly called as Mona, is no different. She and her male partner were brought to the zoo in 2005-06. She killed her partner when the zoo keepers tried to initiate the breeding programme. Another female hyena also died a few years ago. She has been spending her days without a partner for the past six years.

An eight-year-old female zebra is also alone as her male partner has been sent to Nandankanan Zoo on loan basis. The zoo authorities had brought her here last year. As zebras are known to live in large groups, spending days alone is nothing less than a torture for her.

A light-coloured fallow deer, also known as buck, lost his partner in 2009-10. Since then, he has been waiting for a new partner.

The critically endangered a lion-tailed macaque might be one of the main attractions at the zoo, but this 40-year-old animal has been spending his time alone for the past over 10 years. “He is here for the past 35 years. Seeing his age and habit of living alone, our proposal of bringing a female partner from the Mysore zoo was rejected by the technical committee of the Central Zoo Authority,” said Harpal Singh, the block officer of the zoo. The three single birds include a white stork, a black-necked stork and a black swan. They have been kept in a group.

Violation of rules

Rule 37 of the Recognition of Zoo Rules, 1992, clearly mentions that no animal will be kept without a mate for a period exceeding one year unless there is a legitimate reason for doing so or if the animal has already passed its prime and is not capable of breeding. “We are not violating rules. The single animals and birds are either endangered or exotic species. No zoo authority wants to spare exotic animals,” said Dr Manish Kumar, director of the zoo. He said the zoo authorities can acquire an animal or a bird only on an exchange programme. “We have planned to give the jaguar to the Hyderabad zoo on breeding loan. We will get a cub in lieu of that. There is no surplus zebra in any zoo across the country. “We have sent the zebra on a loan programme to the Nandankanan zoo and we will get an offspring in return. For fallow deer, we are mulling over getting a female deer from other countries.



Open house response
Be compassionate to the mentally challenged

Lalita Talwar, whose mentally challenged son died at Sector 37, Chandigarh. File photo

Taking care of the mentally challenged can be highly challenging. Experts say such persons may hurt themselves as they are unable to speak their mind. Parents suffer the most. On learning that their child is not normal, parents' world comes crashing down. Friends and neighbours should be compassionate to special children.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali.

Interaction with neighbours must

A death having gone unnoticed for four days points towards the insensitivity of society. Enquiring about the well being of the mentally challenged is a part of the policing charter, but the ground reality is entirely different. One should be on good terms with his or her immediate neighbours and should learn to trust.

SC Luthra, Mani Majra

Police should maintain record

The death of Divakar Talwar, a mentally challenged elderly man, has brought to the fore the plight of such people. The police should maintain a record of couples who are living alone and should get in touch with these people on a regular basis to enquire about their health.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Govt should come to their rescue

Society needs to mend its ways. Stress leads to mental sickness. An increase in the number of people suffering from mental ailments is a cause of concern. Many a time, these people are forced to lead a melancholy life. It is the duty of their near and dear ones to make them happy and feel special. Their illness should be timely diagnosed and proper medication should be given to them. In the absence of relatives, it becomes a responsibility of the neighbours to take care of such people. The government should also extend help to them. Lets all shun our differences and apprehensions and help these people lead a normal life.

Baljinder Kaur, Mohali

Awareness should be created

Mental health is a neglected area where awareness is low even among the health professionals. Cases are rising due to stress, increased competition, family disputes and problems at work place. Early identification and intervention can contribute to effective treatment. Efforts to change the attitude of general public towards persons with mental illness should be made.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Policy should be chalked out

It seems that people have turned a blind eye to the plight of such people. The government should chalk out a policy to benefit the mentally challenged.

Gurmit Singh Saini, Canada

System needs to be streamlined

The death of Divakar Talwar has come as a shock. There is a need to work out a policy to improve the health system focusing on the timely and efficient delivery of healthcare while strictly adhering to the principle that no citizen will go without healthcare because of an inability to pay.

Ajit Singh, Canada

Seek help from NGOs

Depression is the most common mental disorder. It occurs due to poverty, unemployment, family dispute and unhappy married life. Sadness, discouragement, despair and hopelessness sum up depression. Also, people with mental illness do not come forward because of the social stigma attached to it. Help from NGOs should be sought.

Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula

People should not be insensitive

How can people be insensitive towards the mentally challenged? Nobody in the neighbourhood bothered to enquire about the health of the mother-son duo. They were left to fend for themselves.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Admn should put in efforts

The Administration and the police need to maintain a record of such people so that social organisations who can help them.

ML Garg, Chandigarh

Open house question

Be it regularisation of violation in CHB flats, extension of lal dora of villages, ban on transfer of lease property or relaxation in the estate rules, the pro-active approach of the Chandigarh Administration has put the local MP, Pawan Kumar Bansal, in a tight spot. The bureaucracy and political leadership seem to be working at cross purposes as far as solving the pending issues of the city residents are concerned. What needs to be done to address the burning issues of the city. Write your suggestion to openhouse@tribunemail.com.



Chandigarh scan
Kathak performance

Kathak dancer Divya Dikshit performs at Bal Bhawan, Sector 23, in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Kathak dancer Divya Dikshit left the 300-strong audience spellbound at Bal Bhawan, Sector 23. She began her performance with Guru Vandana, followed by presentation of a story from the life of Gautam Buddha. Through her performance, Divya presented the “Osho Concept of Dance”.

Basant mela

State Bank Ladies Club today organised Basant Utsav at their apartments in Sector 42. Games and food stalls were set up. Visitors and families of the organisers had a gala time. Maruti Udyog displayed their latest offerings at the venue. The event was inaugurated by SK Dash, general manager, State Bank of India, Chandigarh Circle. The prize distribution ceremony was presided over by NK Chari, chief general manager.

Cancer survey

Punjab must initiate strict measures to decrease the use of pesticides in agriculture, and also work towards minimising environmental toxicity in the state. This formed part of the recommendations of the ‘Dialogue on Punjab State Cancer Survey’ organised by the Environmental Health Action Group of Kheti Virasat Mission. The day-long discussion on the recent cancer survey of the state was held at the Golden Jubilee Auditorium of Panjab University. Several eminent healthcare professionals, oncologists, social and political thinkers and activists participated in the discussion.

Mohali scan
Orthopaedic camp

Over 1,000 patients were treated at a free orthopaedic camp at Sri Guru Harkishan Sahib Charitable Eye Institute and Super Specialty Hospital, Sohana. Dr Gagandeep Singh Sachdeva and Dr MS Narula conducted free tests and distributed medicines.

Faculty development

Desh Bhagat University organised a faculty development programme. Nearly 30 faculty members attended this programme. It aimed at providing information about entrepreneurship to the teachers, so that they could share it with students to make them job providers instead of job seekers. — TNS



Melange of classical, modern dance performances marks annual function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
Tagore Theatre today played host to the annual function of Strawberry Fields Junior School studded with colourful and lively performances of children. The backdrop symbolised unity and harmony, regardless of differences in language, caste, colour and creed. Nearly 650 children from kindergarten to class IV participated in 21 sequences as part of a delightful medley of music and dance choreographed by Shiamak Davar’s dance company.

Students added life and soul to characters from some of the most popular musicals. John Travolta’s Grease, Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins, foot tapping numbers from Oliver Twist and performances on Bollywood songs captivated the audience in the jampacked theatre.

A melange of the classical and modern, contemporary and jazz, retro and rock-n-roll, and disco and hip-hop was the result of a fortnight-long workshop.

During the workshop, students learnt to infuse life into characters they had seen on the celluloid or read about in books or had heard of from their parents. The result: Each sequence was received with gusto and warmth during the event.

“I did not want the show to get over. The ninety minutes got over before we could even blink our eyes,” said Shivani, mother of Ahaan who participated in the retro medley.

School principal Aman Sidhu said: “We have experimented with many formats and have come to the conclusion that music and dance is the most vibrant of all. Children express their feelings in a myriad ways and they imbibe all the different nuances so effortlessly. The end result always reaffirms this belief.”



MC proposes Rs 616.62 crore budget
To be tabled at Finance and Contract Committee meeting on Monday
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
The Municipal Corporation has proposed a budget of Rs 616.62 crore for 2013-14, which will be tabled at the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) meeting on Monday.

Under the planned head, the civic body has proposed a budget of Rs 219 crore, while Rs 236 crore has been proposed under the non-planned head. The budget will be placed before the General House meeting for the final approval.

Interestingly, the civic body had proposed a budget of Rs 812.78 crore during the last financial year, and this time, the estimate has been brought down. The budget amount has been reduced in view of the deficit in the last fiscal year’s budget proposal.

The deficit has shown the inability of the civic body to produce the fund utilization certificate before the UT Administration. The proposal of the budget for the financial year 2013-14 has already been reviewed by the Special Secretary of Finance (SSF).

During the review, the budget allocated to nearly each major head was trimmed down. These included road and bridges, electrification, civil works, infrastructure facilities in villages and storm water drainage.

For instance, the Rs 60 crore amount proposed by the MC for roads and bridges was reduced to Rs 40 crore by the SSF. Similarly, for electrification in the city, Rs 33 crore was approved by the SSF against the MC’s demand of Rs 70 crore. For civic works, the civic body will be granted Rs 20 crore against the proposed amount of Rs 42 crore.

The expenses to be incurred on the forthcoming Rose Festival (starting February 22), bidding of the two shops at the Night Food Street in Sector 15 have also been included in the budget.

Proposed amount reduced

The Rs 60 crore amount proposed by the MC for roads and bridges was reduced to Rs 40 crore by the SSF. Similarly, for electrification in the city, Rs 33 crore was approved by the SSF against the MC’s demand of Rs 70 crore. For civic works, the civic body will be granted Rs 20 crore against the proposed amount of Rs 42 crore.



Paediatric surgeons discuss rare surgeries in children
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
Paediatric surgeons from across the country shared experiences of rare surgeries in children as young as one-week old, using laproscopy at a three-day continuous medical education (CME) held at PGIMER. Problems of unusually large-size head is one of the common problems diagnosed by experts at the Advanced Pediatrics Centre of the PGI.

“About 150 such cases came last year, where size of the brain was found to have reduced due to excessive water content inside the head,” said Dr KLN Rao from the APC, PGIMER.

During an interaction with reporters, the experts shared how laproscopy had helped surgeons reduce the time taken during surgery and also improved standards of pediatric surgery.

The surgeons also discussed the latest advances made in minimally invasive surgery in newborns and older children. The topics discussed in details were minimally invasive gastro-intestinal, genito-urinary, thoracic and hepato-biliary surgeries.

Advanced surgical procedures included single port laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery. Treatment of hydrocephalus in children through endoscopic route was also highlighted by the pediatric neurosurgeons.

An endotrainer session was conducted for the junior delegates who could practice and learn new techniques in laparoscopy. Eminent pediatric surgeons from all over India and few international faculty participated in the conference.



Face lift
Work going on in full swing at railway station
Tribune News Service

Construction of waiting rooms in progress; and (right) renovation work under way at the Chandigarh railway station. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, February 10
The Chandigarh railway station is being face-lifted at a cost of Rs 20 crore. The deadline of six months has been set for the completion of all small projects. The work is going on in full swing. PK Sangi, divisional railway manager, said that the escalator was being installed at platform numbers 2 and 3 from outside the station. The construction of new toilet blocks along with waiting rooms for the passengers was also going on.

He said three new parcel rooms had been constructed at the end point of the station and soon it would become operational.He further informed that the foundation work of the foot bridge had already commenced. Sangi stated that the work to face lift the Panchkula side entrance will begin after the work on platform number 6 is completed. To facilitate commuters, the authorities have also installed a pre-paid booth at the station entrance point. Sources said that the Chandigarh Police had started the pre-paid auto service at the station few years ago, but it was shutdown by the railway authorities as no permission had been sought by the department for the same.

The authorities are also planning to install an old engine at the entrance of the station for which a narrow gauge has already been set up by the department.

Recently, Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had inspected the status of all ongoing works and directed the officials to complete the small projects at the earliest.

Bansal has also approved Rs one lakh for the beautification of the group housing society located in Sector 49 from the MPLAD fund.

Ludhiana track to be functional soon

PK Sangi, Divisional Manager, Railways, on Sunday inspected the status of Ludhiana track and stated that by the end of current financial year, the track would be functional.



Renovation of working women hostel on paper
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
City's oldest working women hostel in Bal Bhawan, Sector 23, is in need of repair. Social welfare director of Chandigarh Rajesh Jogpal stated that the students of Architect College were drafting a proposal which would be submitted to the UT engineering department. He said the final decision on the hostel renovation would be taken by the higher authorities.

The locked working women hostel at Bal Bhawan in Sector 23, which was shut down in 2009 for renovation; and (right) broken furniture at the hostel. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

As per records of the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW), in 2009 after paying a visit to Bal Bhawan and working women hostel, the then UT Home Secretary had announced that both the buildings, including a multi-purpose hall, parking area and guard post, would be renovated. After this, a number of meetings of the council were held and a budget of Rs 83.42 lakh was approved for the renovation in 2010.

In 2011, some members of the council complained about the delay, following which the Adviser to the UT Administrator, KK Sharma, instructed the engineering department to speed up the renovation work. Executive members of the council also directed the engineering department to submit a status report of the work in the next meeting.

However, till date no renovation work has been undertaken by the UT engineering wing. A communication was sent to the social welfare department, asking it to list the requirements and submit it to the engineering department so that planning could be done accordingly.

In 2009, the Administration had also mooted a plan to shift the working women hostel to Sector 24. But later, the proposal was shelved. The hostel was shut down in 2009 for the work.

The 50-bed working women hostel was established in 1979. The monthly charges were Rs 1,500. Fifty girls resided in the hostel before it was shut down. The social welfare department was also running an aanganwari training centre on the premises.



1985 Bus Blast: Accused was getting funds from abroad
Tribune News Service

Santokh Singh Bajwa Chandigarh, February 10
Seventy-year-old Santokh Singh Bajwa, who was arrested by the UT police for his alleged involvement in a bomb blast case, was active on Internet and had created websites. He was getting funds from three of his college friends settled in Canada, said UT SSP Naunihal Singh.

Police officials said the data recovered from him was being scrutinised and his links with people abroad were also under scanner.

Bajwa, who was arrested for his alleged involvement in a bomb blast that took place in 1985 on a Haryana Roadways bus near Kurukshetra, had gone to Canada in 1968 where he worked for Park-Davis Medicine.

During his stay in Canada, Bajwa called his three college friends — Gurdeep Singh Kabul Singh, both residents of Tanda village, and Amarjit Singh, a resident of Chandigarh — to Canada.

Police officials said his friends also became active members of the Communist Party of Canada. While Bajwa returned to India in 1970, his friends stayed back.

Bajwa was arrested by the UT police on Friday night while he was on his way to Kharar to meet his brother. Police teams had also gone to his hideouts in Himachal Pradesh in search of more illegal weapons.

A team of the Haryana Police also reached Chandigarh to question the accused.



Minor girl’s baby shows improvement
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
The three-day old baby, who is underweight and suffering from jaundice, has shown little improvement. She had been battling for survival at the PGIMER. The baby has been taken out of the incubator.

An official from Childline, an NGO, which has been acting as the guardian for the 17-year-old minor girl, who gave birth to the baby three days ago, informed that they would request the doctors to discharge the girl and the baby on Monday.

The 17-year-old girl, who belongs to Bareilly, delivered a baby boy on Thursday.

An official from Childline said that the girl’s father had given a written statement four months ago that the family would not own the baby. “The child will now be legally owned by the Mother Teresa home,” said the official.

The girl was allegedly impregnated by a shop owner in Bareilly.

She had undergone medical examination at Government Multi Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, four months ago. Counsellors at the hospital had told the Childline that many couples had shown interest in adopting the child.

It would, however, be the discretion of the Mother Teressa Home, Sector 23, to decide on the adoption, if anyone came forward now, said the Childline official.

On Thursday, her brother-in-law, who works as a labourer in Dhanas, took her to the PGIMER after receiving a call from Mother Teressa home.



Defence research laboratory, Central University ink pact
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
The Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), a Defence Research and Development Organisation establishment, and Central University, Himachal Pradesh, (CUHP), Dharamsala, have joined hands to undertake scientific research.

An MoU was signed by Dr Manjit Singh, director, TBRL, and BR Dhiman, Registrar, CUHP, to enhance the collaborative work in certain scientific areas.

The MoU will allow the TBRL to extend its facilities to faculty members and students of the CUHP for carrying out research work and project work for postgraduation, MPhil and PhD programmes.

In addition, the TBRL and the CUHP will jointly organise workshops, symposium and conferences on topics of mutual interest. Both organisations also agreed to access each other’s library and laboratory resources. They will also initiate joint research programmes on selected areas leading to joint publications of research papers.

CUHP Vice-Chancellor Dr Furqan Qamar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof Joginder Verma, CUHP, associate directors, TBRL, Dr Amarjit Singh and TK Raychaudhary and senior scientists from the TBRL and faculty members from the CUHP were also present.



Ride on Balongi bridge a nightmare
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 10
The bridge connecting Balongi with Mohali is in a pitiable condition. The bridge, which is near the cremation ground, is full of potholes. Commuting on it is not less than a nightmare. Surinder Singh, a resident of Phase V, said everyday an accident took place on the bridge.

"It is the busiest road of the town. Due to potholes and uneven surface, it becomes difficult for one to commute on it," said Surinder Singh.

Rajesh Arora of Phase 3B2 said the situation turns from bad to worse during rainy season. "Water gets accumulated on the bridge," he said.

"I fail to understand why the authorities are not getting the bridge repaired. A number of pleas have fallen on deaf ears," said Suresh Kumar, a resident.

When contacted, AK Sinha, chief administrator of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority, said a new bridge would be constructed. "We are mulling over outsourcing the work to a company that will use latest technologies to construct the bridge. The work will be completed in a month or so," he said.



Foswac meeting
Residents apprise Mayor of civic problems
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
During a meeting of the Federation of Sector Welfare Association in Chandigarh (FOSWAC), Mayor Subhash Chawla addressed the grievances of residents. During the meeting, representatives of various associations apprised the Mayor of the civic issues, including removal of green patch, “which has been affecting the character of the city”, lack of civic amenities like community centres, proper maintenance of roads, parks and streetlights.

The other problems pointed out by the residents included non-implementation of “malba” and green waste by-laws and no display of list of names and mobile numbers of inspector concerned at community centres. The residents complained to the Mayor regarding stray dogs menace.

They requested the Mayor to hold regular interactions with the Resident welfare associations to sort out their problems.

The meeting was held at the Community Centre in Sector 35 under the chairmanship of PC Sanghi, Chairman, FOSWAC. The Mayor was there to redress problems.



Globalisation threat to our biodiversity: Expert

Chandigarh: A two-day national seminar on globalization was held at DAV College, Sector 10.

It focused on the socio-cultural and economic concerns of globalisation in North-West India.

Chief guest RK Kohli, a renowned environmentalist and Dean University Instructions, Punjab University, discussed the impact of globalisation on ecology and environment.

Citing the example of parthenium hysterophorus, known as Congress grass, as the biggest invader upon the Indian soil, Kohli revealed that today at least 75 per cent of the plants in India were of the American origin, posing a threat to our biodiversity.

“High population density, unmatched mineral resources and government’s vision of long-term planning were the main challenges posed to our environment and agriculture,” he said. — TNS



Girl faints during sports meet
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 10
A 20-year-old student fainted during a sports meet being held at Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Sector 3, Panchkula.

The student was rushed to a hospital.

Doctors said the girl fainted due to low blood pressure. She was participating in a 400-m race.

When the girl fainted, no stretcher was available at the stadium.



Implementing RTE act
Punjab schools seek more time

Mohali, February 10
Private schools in Punjab have demanded at least eight years to fulfil all the requirements of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act.

In a meeting held at Phase-VIII here today, members of Punjab Private Schools Organisation asked for time until 2020 to upgrade their infrastructure as per conditions laid down by the Act.

“We have very limited resources; therefore, we are unable to fulfil all the conditions. If we not given more time, future of over five lakh students along with the teaching and non-teaching staff of these schools will be kept at stake,” said Tej Pal Singh, general secretary of the organisation.

He added in Punjab over 5,000 private schools, which had been given the status of “association schools” by the Punjab School Education Board in 2009-10, were to upgrade their infrastructure as per rules laid down by the Education Department. The department had to regularly inspect the progress made by these schools, but no such inspections took place.

The board recently sent a communique to the authorities concerned, asking for directions whether the status given to schools should be continued. — TNS



Students’ future at stake
Government schools running without core subject teachers
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
Nearly 350 students of classes XI and XII at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 27, will sit for the final examination next month without having studied two core subjects in their classrooms. The school had no sociology and math teachers in the current academic session, due to which no class could be held for these subjects.

A class XI student said after marking their attendance during the sociology period, students were left to fend for themselves.

The 130 class XII students had a tough time preparing for the sociology practical test last week. Students said they copied answers from their old practical files during the test.

A teacher, requesting anonymity, said they had no option but to let the students refer to their old practical files. “An outsider was called to conduct the test,” claimed the school principal, Sunita Singh.

Things were no different during the mathematics class as well. “It was like a free period throughout the year. We don’t know how we will manage to pass the final exam,” said a worried class XI non-medical student.

Several students said they had to take private coaching due to the non-availability of the subject teachers.

Not a lone incident

The quality education was compromised this academic session in nearly half of the government senior secondary schools in Chandigarh. These schools faced a serious shortage of post graduate teachers (PGTs), due to which several core subjects could not be taught to thousands of students.

According to sources, the UT Education Department is short of more than 200 PGTs. An official at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, said there was only one chemistry teacher for seven sections of the non-medical stream in the school. At Government Model Senior Secondary School, Karsan, there was no teacher for economics and political science throughout the current academic session.

“While the education department increased the number of sections of class XI in as many as 15 periphery senior secondary schools, it did not provide more teachers to any of these schools,” said a school headmaster.

Swarn Singh Kamboj, president of the UT Cadre Teachers’ Welfare Association, said the department officials were responsible for the deteriorating standards of education. “There have been no promotions or new appointments of PGTs for a long time now,” he said.

Vinod Sharma, president of Government Teachers’ Union, said the department must accede to their demand of promoting the trained graduate teachers (TGTs) to the post of lecturer in order to reduce the shortage of teachers in government schools.

Senior department officials told this correspondent the process of promotion was already underway. Nearly 200 teachers would be promoted to the post of lecturer soon to address the shortage, they said.



From schools
Community service

Chandigarh: St John's High school, Sector 26, was honoured for an outstanding community service in digital learning at State Education Summit Punjab 2013. Principal Kavita C Das was presented a trophy by Punjab Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka at the state-level function in Chandigarh. Das said the school conducted extensive outreach programmes such as visiting old age homes, institute for the blind, orphanages and slum colonies to adopting animals at the Chhat Bir Zoo.

Art exhibition

It was creativity at its best during the art and craft exhibition at Mount Carmel School, Sector 47-B. Items made out of waste material by students of classes I to X were on display. Students’ paintings covering a wide range of themes including nature, landscape, flower composition and mural art were also showcased.


A workshop, “Heal Yourself”, was held at Vivek High School, Sector 38. It aimed at creating a more understanding classroom learning environment. The USA-based Patricia Crane and Rick Nichols conducted the. School principal Mrs PK Singh said the workshop focused on generating awareness about the powerful spiritual energy that we are all endowed with and ways in which we can utilise it.

Annual fete

Mohali: Yadavindra Public School concluded its two-day annual fete on Sunday. Visitors comprising of students, parents, alumni, and teachers thronged the school grounds. Joy rides such as ferris wheel and boat ride were arranged for children. Games and food stalls were also a hit.

Cultural show

Kilkari-13, a cultural show at Manav Mangal Smart School captivated the audience on Sunday. Students of pre-nursery, nursery and kindergarten classes presented a colourful programme. The show began with the school’s annual report followed by a prayer dance. “Rambha pe Sambha” presented by the Nursery students was appreciated by all. A beautifully choreographed and coordinated performance on a Bengali folk song was also presented.


Outgoing class XII students of Shishu Niketan School were bid adieu during a special function. The class X students presented a cultural show. They gave titles to their outgoing seniors. School principal Cdr Chadha wished good luck to students for their board exams. Mementoes were given to all the students as a token of love by the school director.

St Vivekanand school

Pinjore: Class XI students of St Vivekanand Millennium School, HMT Township, gave a warm farewell to the outgoing students of class XII. The boys, dressed in smartly tailored suits and girls attired in saris and designer suits attended the function. Titles were given to the class XII students, highlighting the uniqueness of each individual. — TNS



Community radio
PU students to sensitise public about gender issues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
In a bid to sensitise people about the gender issues, the School of Communication Studies at Panjab University is all set to roll out a programme, “Hamari Beti”, on the community radio Jyotirgamaya. The programme will cover issues such as female foeticide and crime against women. Chairperson of the department Archana Singh said female foeticide continued to be an issue of grave concern in North India, especially in the Punjab region.

“The issue has multi-pronged repercussions and to address it, the department is launching the new programme. It aims at involving various opinion leaders and members of the community in finding a solution to the problem. Since it is a community endeavour, all the concerned citizens are welcome to participate,” she said.

During the programme, students will be interviewing women who have achieved great heights in the face of difficulties. “Woman with grit, determination, initiative and strong willpower, who can be a role model for other girls, will be an ideal guest on the new programme,” an official said.

As the show evolves, the department plans to experiment with other formats as well. The duration of the programme has been fixed at half an hour, to be broadcasted once a week.

The ongoing programme “Hamara Samaj” will incorporate “Hamari Beti” every Saturday. Students have already recorded 12 interviews for the programme.

It will be launched on 13, the second anniversary of PU’s community radio. A special programme “Radio Rewind” prepared for the occasion will also be played that day.



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