C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Minors were violated repeatedly
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 15
Three minor girls, who were sexually assaulted by a retired Army Major, were repeatedly raped by the latter in the past six months.

The twins are five-year-old while the third girl is eight-year-old. They reside in the neighbourhood of the accused, Harish Chander Sharma (65).

“The medical examination of the victims has confirmed that they were repeatedly raped,” said a police official.

The victims told the police how the accused lured them. The heinous crime came to the light when a woman in the neighbourhood, who holds religious classes for children of the locality, realised that the three girls were late. “When the girls reached my house, I saw the eldest girl whispering in the ear of the younger girls not to tell me about the toffees that they got from the accused. However, one of them spilled the beans,” she said. “I took them inside a room one by one and asked them to tell me the truth,” she added.

The woman called the neighbours and asked Sharma to come out of his house, who confessed to the crime.

The neighbours were suspicious about the behaviour of the accused when he ill-treated boys and never let them enter his house. “He never socialised much and he used to ask girls to join tuition classes,” said another neighbour.

The police found packets of new pencils, sharpeners and toffees from the accused’s house at Sector 12 in Panchkula.

Chances were that more children might have fallen prey to the accused, said Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashwin Shenvi.

The accused was produced in a court todaywhich sent him to a one-day police remand. 



Parents mum over questions
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 15
Oblivious of the damage that has been done by their ‘uncle’, the innocent girls are asking their parents why were they taken to a hospital.

The victims said they were getting ready for a religious class when the accused asked them to come to his place. “I have some toffees for you. Come inside beta,” he said.

“When we went there, he gave toffees to my sisters and took me to a corner,” said the eight-year-old victim.

The eldest girl did not realise what the accused was doing. He then asked the girl to chop vegetables for him. He did the same with her sisters and they thought it was a game.

The victims said the accused used to call them to his residence quite often on the pretext of giving them toffees.

“My daughters are asking why they are being taken to the hospital,” said the victim’s mother. 



Retired Major Sharma had a bizarre lifestyle
No one was allowed in his house except minor girls, says neighbour
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 15
Dingy room, piled up years’ old newspapers with encircled mistakes, usage of the term ‘‘certified idiots’’ for those parking cars in front of his house, stinking environment inside his house has been the bizarre lifestyle of the retired Major speaks about his state of mind. Major Harish Chander Sharma (retired) was arrested yesterday for sexually assaulting small girls on the pretext of giving them toffees.

During the search conducted by the police at his residence in Sector 12 today, they were astonished to find the way the retired Army officer was living.

“He has kept old newspapers piled up with encircled mistakes with black marker. The whole room was stinking and it was completely a dingy room,” said a police official requesting anonymity.

A board was put up outside his house with a warning signal for those parking cars outside his house, ‘‘You may park your vehicle in front of this gate only if you are a certified idiot. ’’

Sharma’s wardrobe was nothing less than a museum with couple of shirts, shorts and shoes, which were about 40 years old. He informed the same to the police that he had a passion to keep his belongings with him for his entire life.“He never told anything about his family and never allowed anyone to enter his house except small girls,” said a neighbour. 



He left his family four years ago
Saved 10 per cent office pension for children, says Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February
Major Sharma left his house in Sector 19, four years ago, after he began behaving strangely.

The police said, Sharma’s family said that he never used to listen to them.

After a fight, he left the house and never returned.

The family is residing in Sector 19, Panchkula.

Sharma has been telling the police since yesterday that he is a good human being who saved 10 per cent of his pension for children. 



11-year-old’s presence of mind saved her
She bit him on his leg and fled
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 15
For this 11-year-old, it was her presence of mind, which saved her from the clutches of retired Major Harish Chander Sharma. After sensing something was not right, she fought back the Major and fled after biting him on his leg.

“He called me saying that he has some toffees and gifts for me. When I went inside, he asked me to sit. When he came close to me, I sensed something was wrong,” said the girl.

“I bit him hard on his leg and ran from his house. But I did not tell anyone at that time. I was so upset and scared that I could not sleep for many nights after the incident,” she said while talking to The Tribune today.

She revealed her story to the police today, a day after Major was arrested. 

No advocate ready to take up his case

No advocate was ready to take up Sharma’s case on Friday. No one wanted to defend him and wanted him behind bars.

Was boarded out of Army on medical grounds

In the nineties, Sharma was boarded out from the Army on medical grounds saying that he had some mental sickness. In 1989, he was working with the Sri-Lankan peace keeping force.



CBI lays bare claims of revenue official
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Laying bare the claims of the accused revenue official, Balraj Singh, that property related documents recovered from his house by the CBI belonged to his brother-in-law, the CBI investigations have revealed that the brother-in-law of accused runs a cycle repair shop near Zirakpur and has never filed an income tax return.

The CBI had recovered property related documents in his brother-in-law’s name following a raid on the accused’s residence at Mansa Devi Complex in Panchkula on February 13.

A CBI official said that properties worth over Rs 4.5 crore were in the name of his brother-in-law who runs a cycle tyre repair shop while rest are in his father-in-law’s name.

“The property related documents have made us explore the possibility of registering a case of disproportionate assets against the accused. There is no explanation whatsoever on how a cycle repair shop owner can own properties worth crores,” said a Central Bureau of Investigation official.

The Central Bureau of Investigation recovered documents related to the ownership of a 10 marla plot in Hallo Majra worth Rs 1 crore, a palatial house in Kaithal, two three-bedroom flats at Mansa Devi Complex and a six marla plot in Khudda Lahora, besides others.

The CBI had arrested the revenue official for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 50,000 on February 13.

While the deal was set for Rs 1 lakh, the accused had come to collect the first instalment of the bribe amount at the district courts when he was nabbed. 



IT raids on 13 business houses of Synergy Thrislinglton 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Sleuths of the Income Tax Department today raided 13 business houses of Synergy Thrislinglton in the northern region. The team also raided hotel JW Marriot in Sector 35, which is also owned by the company.

Raids were also conducted on the business associates of the company at Baddi, Nalagarh, Mohali, Jammu, Delhi and Mumbai.

A team of the Income Tax Department comprising officials from Chandigarh, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh conducted the raids. Chairman-cum-managing director of the company Harpal Singh’s residence at Sector 10 was also raided. Important documents were seized from the 10-storeyed building constructed by the company in 48 hours at Industrial Area, Phase I, Mohali.

Though members of the Income Tax team avoided media queries, sources said the business associates of the company in Sector 19, Industrial Area, Phase IX, Mohali, were raided. Sources said the team conducted raids on two firms in Baddi and one each in Nalagarh and Jammu. Two teams were formed and all 13 firms of the company in the region were raided simultaneously.

Besides, raids were conducted at the Kirloskar Green DG Sets at Sector 26 and at its associates in Dera Bassi and Kathua. The raids were on till the filing of this report. Sources revealed that the trading activities of the business houses where raids were conducted were under the scanner. 



Setback to Chandigarh Golf Club 
Sessions court turns down appeal of green card holders 
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
In a major setback to Chandigarh Golf Club, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge SS Sahni today dismissed an appeal challenging the lower court’s order of 2010 in which the membership of green card holders was declared null and void.

The court upheld the decision of the lower court pronounced in March 2010, which stated that ineligible members were granted the green card membership.

The green holders were enrolled in 2005 allegedly in violation of rules. Golf Club had challenged the lower court’s order in favour of Brigadier Sukhdev Singh (retd), a resident of Sector 33 and their appeal was dismissed today.

Singh had moved the court in 2006 against the action of Golf Club. He alleged that members who were ineligible were granted the green card membership in violation of the rules and regulations. It was averred that in utter violation of the provisions, the management committee on September 17, 2005, had decided to grant a one-time exemption to the children of members who were above 21 years and had no knowledge of golf. The decision, however, lacked quorum, he alleged.

Refuting allegations, the counsel for the defendant club had filed an appeal in the sessions court stating that there was no strict rule in the byelaws which stated that the consent of the three-fourth majority of members should be taken to grant the one-time exemption.

Dismissing the appeal, the lower court had said the club failed to place on record any amended rules and regulations on the basis of which they had been given membership. "The club has given the membership by favouring its near and dear ones, which is illegal and in violation of rules," it was alleged. 



589 green card members shown the door
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
With the dismissal of appeal filed by the Chandigarh Golf Club (GGC) Management, the local court has shown the door to 589 green card members of CGC under the dependent category. Many of these 'dependents' were between 50 and 62 years when they were made members.

The green card membership was given to out-of-turn applicants to favour the IAS and IPS “lobby”.

Brig Sukhdev Singh (retired), a resident of Sector 33, who had challenged the alleged irregularities in the grant of green card membership, these members were given membership against the rules.

GS Sandhu, president, Chandigarh Golf Club, said that he couldn’t comment on the issue, as they had not received the court’s orders.

In 2005, 313 applicants were given green card membership whereas in 2007, total 276 applicants were made green card members.

At the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on September 17, 2005, a resolution was passed giving one-time exemption to those members who in the past could not make their dependents green card members.

Whereas at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the club on April 8, 2007, the house resolved to extend the one-time relaxation for the grant of green card membership to May 13, 2007 in respect of dependents who could not register themselves before the age of 21 years on terms and conditions approved at the EGM held on September 17, 2005.

Brig Sukhdev Singh said that he had applied for the membership of the club under the defence services category on the payment of a non-refundable registration fee of Rs 2,500 in August 1994, but till date he was not given the membership. However, he claimed that he was superseded by many applicants who had applied for membership after he had.

The decision was taken by an incomplete quorum of 172 members. Whereas to amend rules, the quorum should have 250 members, of which three quarter should vote in favour of the resolution, he pointed out in his complaint before the court. 

Who can be green card members?

He should be son or daughter of a permanent member

He or she should be below 21 years of age

He or she should be playing golf

For boys: Achieve golf handicap 18 before the age of 21

For girls: Achieve golf handicap 24 before the age of 21

If golf handicap is not achieved or ward not registered for green card members between the age of 18 and 21, the ward is ineligible for green card membership 

What is handicap?

A handicap is a numerical measure of a golfer's potential playing ability based on the tees played for a given course. It is used to calculate a net score from the number of strokes actually played during a competition, thus allowing players of different proficiency to play against each other on equal terms. The higher the handicap of a player, the poorer the player is relative to those with lower handicaps

Chandigarh Golf Club has 1,800 permanent members and the fee of a permanent member is Rs 3.5 lakh. Presently, the UT Administration and the Golf Club are at loggerheads over the renewal of lease of the club.


secy level posts 
UT seeks additional panel of IAS officers from Haryana
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
While Punjab is demanding its right over one Secretary-level post out of recently created two secretary-level posts, the UT Administration has sought additional panel of IAS officers from Haryana. The Haryana government has already sent names of three officers and now they will have to send names of three more IAS officers.

Recently, the MHA had sanctioned two posts of secretary, one post of additional secretary and one post of the additional deputy commissioner after analysing the requirement of the UT Administration.

While one each post of secretary level are for Punjab and Haryana. Even the third Finance Commission in its report had stressed the need for more secretary-level posts. Whereas remaining two posts are for the UT cadre officers.

The Haryana government had recently sent a panel of three IAS officers for the secretary-level posts in the Chandigarh Administration.

The panel includes the names of Surjeet Singh, a 1998 batch IAS officer at present working as HUDA Administrator (headquarters) in Panchkula, RC Verma, a 2001 batch IAS officer posted as Director, Industrial Training, and A Srinivas, a 2004 batch IAS officer. Srinivas's name was also on the panel, which was sent for the post of Deputy Commissioner.

A senior official of the UT Administration said that along with the earlier panel, the Haryana government had not sent related documents but now the government had submitted those documents to the Administration.

On the point of additional panel of officers from the Haryana government, an official added that they wanted some more choices, therefore the Administration sought additional panel of officers from Haryana.

At present, the posts of Home Secretary and Deputy Commissioner are with the Haryana cadre IAS officers, whereas the posts of Finance Secretary, MD of CITCO, Special Secretary (Finance) and Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation are with the Punjab cadre IAS officers.

The UT cadre officers are holding the posts of Adviser, Chairman, Chandigarh Housing Board, and Additional Secretary (Home).

Pb govt opposed the delay

The Punjab government had already opposed the delay on the part of the Chandigarh Administration for not inviting panel of officers from Punjab for other secretary level posts. 



Rose festival: 140 varieties showcased
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The fourth Panjab University Rose Festival was inaugurated today with over 140 varieties of roses at the Prof. RC Paul Rose Garden on the Panjab University campus.

The major attraction was the flower show, which received above 400 entries and saw the participation of 25 institutes.

PGIMER got the maximum number of prizes followed by the Chandigarh Housing Board.

Other prominent winners were Janta Land Promoters Ltd. and Punjab State Ware Housing Corporation.

There is a lot for children at the festival as they can play games, swings, go for camel rides etc.

To spread awareness among the masses, pavilions have been set up by the traffic police and the blood bank society.

To cater to the spiritual needs, pavilion of Brahm Kumaries is also set up at the rose festival.

To explore the hidden talent of youth from schools, colleges, university and the general public various competitions was organised on the first day, which included singing, mono acting, quiz competition etc.

Anil Thakur, divisional engineer (horticulture)-cum-organiser of the festival, said that on the very first day, the quiz, mono acting and singing competitions drew large crowds.

The singing competition had 100 entries.

Even the rain could not dampen the spirit of the participants and the audience and the events were enjoyed and appreciated by all those present there.



City witnesses rain in February after six years
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
After six years, the city experienced rainfall in February. Met officials said that rain and thundershowers would continue tomorrow due to which there will be a decline in the day and night temperatures. In the last six years, the highest rainfall recorded in the city was 63.5 mm on February 11. As per the records of the met department, in the past six years there has been no report of rain in the month of February in the city.

Met department director Surinder Pal Singh said that earlier in 80’s the city used to witness heavy rain. He said it rains between January and February and this year due to snowfall it has rained in February.

There was a sharp decline in the day’s temperature which fell by 6 to 8 degrees Celsius in the city, the minimum temperature dropped marginally by 1 to 2 degrees Celsius, MeT office sources said. The maximum temperature recorded in the city today is 20.2 degree Celsius and minimum is 13.2 degree Celsius.



Irony, was inspired by Nelson Mandela
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 15
In an irony, Major Harish Chander Sharma (retd), who has been accused of raping minor girls was inspired by Nelson Mandela so much that he bought two shirts similar to the ones worn by the South African leader a few years ago and treasured those as his prized possession.

In an informal interaction with this reporter a few months ago, Sharma had exhibited his wardrobe and collection of shoes bought by him as long as three decades ago.

He had treasured six shorts and equal number of shirts by painstakingly washing and ironing these on his own.

He has a pair of shoes which is 36 years old, another pair 28 years old, two pairs are around 15 years old. The newest pair of shoes he has is 13 years old.

He has other pairs of shoes also, but they all have been mothballed and kept aside. He got these shoes made by a Chinese workman at Hyderabad. “I still remember that I travelled especially from Banglore to Hyderabad to give the size and place order for the shoes. The size was taken at 23 different places on the feet and they also put my feet in the cast to be sure about the size. The shoes had cost me Rs 200 then and paid Rs 32 for the postage. At that time the best shoes was Bata’s Ambassador which used to cost only Rs 50 then,”

Major Sharma had revealed in his conversation with this reporter a few months ago.



Family admitted to hospital 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 15
The Mohali district administration got Dildar Singh and his three family members admitted to the Civil Hospital in Phase VI today.

They were taken to the hospital by the naib tehsildar and the SHO of the Matour police station. Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam directed the hospital authorities to ensure that the family members were given proper treatment and were not allowed to leave the hospital.

They had reportedly confined themselves to their house for the past few years.

Earlier, when they were admitted to a hospital by the police and an NGO, they left the hospital after creating a ruckus there. 



Cognizance 2012 winners felicitated at jampacked ceremony
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15 
Winners of The Tribune scrapbook competition, Cognizance 2012, were felicitated at Panjab University’s Law Auditorium here today. 

Around 15,000 students from classes VI to X in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar participated in the competition from November 27 to December 31 last year.

Alok Kumar, CDRSM, Indian Oil Corporation, was the chief guest and Nimrit Kaur from Nivia Sports was the guest of honour on the occasion. The highlight of the function was performances by Bal Shree awardee Rahul and Punjabi singer Jeet Hakam.

Students of Chandigarh and Mohali bagged the first prize in all the five categories. They included Mankeerat Narang (class VI) of YPS, Mohali; Jaiyta Sood (class VII) of Carmel Convent School, Sector 9; Triman Kaur (class VIII) of Delhi Public School, Sector 41, Suman Gautam (Class IX) of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sector 25; and Sukhveet Kaur (class X) of Sant Waryam Singh Memorial Public School, Ratwara Sahib, Mohali.

Students who received the second prize included Mehar Kaur of Sacred Heart School, Sector 26; Sehaj Roop Singh of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27; Gunpreet Kaur of DAV School, Ludhiana; Ashray Gakhar of St John’s High School, Sector 26; and Sarvupkar of Shivalik Public School, Sector 41.

The third prize went to Kanishka Wadhera of St Kabir School, Sector 26; Erakrit Vohra of DAV School, Mohali; Diksha Sapra of Guru Harkrishan Public School, Amritsar; Rahat Kaur and Kashika Chawla, both of Senior Study School, Amritsar.

The jury comprised of DS Bedi, director, Shivalik Group of Schools; Rosy Sharma, principal, DAV School, Mohali; Anu Kumar, principal, Stepping Stones School, Chandigarh; Vandana Saxena, principal, Tribune Model School, Sector 29; Jyata, principal, Saupins School, Panchkula; and Ritu Oberoi, principal, GGSVM, Ratwara Sahib.

Suman Gautam
Class IX, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sector 25, chandigarh Participating in the competition to win a laptop for her brother, Suman ensured her hard work bore fruits. 

“My brother, who recently joined a medical lab technician course needs a laptop. He, however, didn’t demand one from my parents because we are from a humble background,” she says, adding, “Then, The Tribune scrapbook competition happened, and I put in all my efforts to win it to get a laptop for my brother.”  It will help him in studies, says an elated Suman.

“During the whole exercise, I realised how important it was to study various subjects. I enjoyed doing an in-depth research on various topics and learnt a lot of extraordinary things,” says Suman. She says her humble background never became a barrier in life. Winning the competition has instilled in her the confidence to fight against all odds, she says.

Jaiyta Sood
Class VII, Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, Chandigarh Not fond of history earlier, Jaiyta says she was exposed to various interesting historical facts while researching for the competition.  “I read about tribes, freedom fighters and other important topics which not only increased my knowledge but helped me in understanding the importance of different disciplines including history,” says Jaiyta.  Winning the competition is like a dream come true for her. “I put in a lot of effort, even worked till late at night, to ensure that there was no mistake,” she says. One of the toppers in her class, Jaiyta aims to become a civil servant. “I know it is difficult to excel in the civil services examination, but I will try my best to achieve my dreams,” she says. She says “Sound” was her favourite topic during the competition. 

Sukhveet Kaur
Class X, Sant Waryam Singh Memorial School, Mohali Fond of reading short stories and fiction, Sukhveet put in a lot of hard work while exploring various issues and then neatly placing the compiled information on the scrapbook. “Although, I was confident of making it to the top three, winning such a prestigious award definitely came as a surprise. The whole exercise introduced me to many new topics that I did not study in the classroom,” says Sukhveet. Science and math are her favourite subjects. Aspiring to become a doctor, she says the award had instilled in her the confidence to face new challenges. 

Mankeerat Narang
class VI, Yadavindra Public School, Mohali Mankeerat has barely stepped into adolescence, but she already dreams big. “I want to become a dancer and a creative artist,” says the youngest winner of the competition. A kathak dancer, she enjoys performing as it fills her heart with joy. “While I love to read, I think I can express myself better with creative art,” she says. She says preparing the scrapbook was a wonderful experience. Ecstatic over seeing people clap for her during the award ceremony, she says her mother was the one who motivated her to complete the scrapbook on time.



Centre notifies definition of EWS and disadvantaged group
Will help Education Dept in pressing private schools to fill reserved seats
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The Government of India has notified the definition of children belonging to the disadvantaged group and economically weaker section (EWS) under Sections 2(d) and 2(e) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act.

The move will bring clarity to the admission process being carried out at the private unaided schools of the city, which are mandated to fill 25 per cent of their seats from the EWS and disadvantaged group under the RTE Act. 

The senior officials of the UT Education Department said with the definition being notified to the administration, the department was now in a better position to press the private schools to fill their reserved seats under the Act. 

With no official notification on this issue so far, many schools had been carrying out their admission process without filling the seats required to be reserved under the Act. 

“Most of the seats for the next academic session that were reserved under the RTE Act are lying vacant in Chandigarh. The fresh move will be vital for filling these seats,” said a department official. 

As per the approved notification, under the Section 2(d) of the RTE Act, a child whose parents’ or guardians’ annual income from all sources is less than Rs 1.5 lakh will be considered as belonging to the EWS category. 

The disadvantage group, under the Section 2(e), will consist of children from the scheduled caste, scheduled tribe or other backward class category, besides orphans and children of war widows residing in the city. 

Children of disabled parents will also be covered under the Section 2(e), subject to the condition that parents are suffering from a minimum of 60 per cent disability. For this purpose, a certificate issued by the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, or the PGI will be considered. 

Officials of the Education Department said the notification had come four months after the draft notification was sent to the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development. 

“We had a series of meetings with the MHRD officials, following which the notification has been approved,” said a senior official. The notification will soon be published in the official gazette of the ministry, he said. 

The department had already clarified to the schools that there was no sub-quota within the 25 per cent seats reserved under the RTE Act. “The aim is to fill the required number of reserved seats, whether from the disadvantaged group or the economically weaker section of the society,” said the official. 



Panjab University mulls over opening Gate No IV
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
With the growing traffic on the PU campus leading to frequent snarl-ups, the university is mulling over opening the Gate No IV near the law department. 

This will ease the flow of traffic to and from the Department of Laws, University Institute of Legal Studies and University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The gate has been lying closed for the past two decades due to security reasons. 
The suggestion was made by the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA). PUTA president Mohammed Khalid said he had recently raised the issue with the PU authorities.

“An additional gate will help in regulating traffic by reducing the influx of vehicles from the existing three gates,” he said. 

The police, however, has recommended against any such move. Station House Officer, Sector-11 police station, Inspector Gurmukh Singh said in their communication to the PU, they had clearly stated that another gate, that too near the law department, would led to security concerns. 

He said the law department was one of the most sensitive areas on the campus. The PUTA president said the gate could at least be opened during the working hours.



City student excels at moot court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Prateek Mahajan, a tenth semester student of the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), Panjab University, has been adjudged as the best student advocate among the 150 participants at the 24th All India Moot Court Competition at Thiruvananthapuram. 

Forty-eight teams from the top law colleges and universities from all over the country had participated in the moot court competition based on the burning legal issue of the ‘Constitutional Validity of Section 66-A of the IT Act’. 

Prateek Mahajan was awarded the best student advocate on various parameters including the knowledge of law and its interpretation, skills of advocacy and persuasiveness, clarity, brevity and ingenuity, court manners, articulation of legal issues and legal analysis. 

In 2011, Prateek had also won the 15th edition of the competition in Bengaluru.



NTSE: 11 city students make the cut in first round

Chandigarh, February 15
A total of 11 local students, including five girls, qualified for the National Talent Search Examination (NTSE), to be conducted in May this year. 

Its first round, the State Talent Search Examination (STSE), was held in November 18 last year. NTSE is the most prestigious scholarship exam for school students. 

Among the 11 qualified students, Himanshu Gupta of Shivalik Public School topped the exam, followed by Shradha Pruti of Sacred Heart School. Manvi Sharma achieved came third, followed by Ankita Aggarwal and Shaksham Gupta. Other selected students are Gautam Singal, Megha Goyal, Sanchit, Shivani, Sanjay Kumar, and Vedaant Raj. — TNS



Chandigarh scan

Placement guidance

In the current scenario of a highly competitive job market, employers are looking for graduates with more than just a degree. Edward Trewhella, Director, Oxford Brookes International, interacted with the media on study options available for Indian students willing to study in UK, placement options at Brookes and much more.


The following have been elected office bearers of the Guru Nanak Welfare Committee of Sector 29-C: Ajiab Singh— president, Harjinder— vice-president, Sukhwinder Singh— general secretary, Mohan Singh Negi— joint secretary, Gurpal Singh— propaganda secretary and Sukhdev Singh— cashier.

Innovation award for PU scholar

Anshuman Shukla, working as UGC research fellow at University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), Panjab University, has been awarded Bio-Asia Innovation Award 2013, at Global BioAsia Conference held in Hyderabad. His research work on “Optimized Oral Mucosal Vaccine for Diphtheria using Nano-Bilosomes” was selected for award. Over 2,000 delegates from across 49 countries including US, UK, South Africa, Sweden and Malaysia participated in the event.

Award for Prof GS Gupta

The Indian Society for the Study of Reproduction and Fertility (ISSRF) conferred a Lifetime Achievement Award-2013 on GS Gupta, Ex-Professor, Department of Biophysics, PU, for his outstanding contributions in the field of reproductive health at International Conference on Repromics-Omics in Reproduction and Development, held at Thiruvananthapuram. Gupta is a well known protein chemist and has contributed significantly in understanding the male reproduction at molecular level.

Artificial knee joint

A US company has introduced in India a knee joint replacement implant specifically designed for the Asian population. Dr Paul H. Dehaan, Department of Surgery Chair, Centegra Hospital McHenry, USA, who was in Chandigarh, explained there is a basic difference in the bone structure of the Western and Asian people. Since most knee replacement implants so far have been designed according to the anthropological measurements of the Western people, these implants tend to mismatch by some degree when used in Indian patients, he explained. Dr Harsimran Singh, Joint Replacement Surgeon at Fortis Hospital, Mohali, said the design was long awaited by the orthopaedic fraternity in India.

Students visit SOS village

Students of B Ed., M Ed and MA Education of Desh Bhagat College of Education visited SOS village at the nearby town of Rajpura and interacted with the children residing there. SOS village is a non-governmental organisation which is run on public donations. It is a place where abandoned and orphaned children are looked after and brought up in the most homely atmosphere. Its aim is to provide good education to the children and make them good citizens. The students visited various houses of this unique village and studied how the children live and work together.

Valedictory function

Portage training workshop of ICDS staff and INPA students was held from February 4 to 6 at Karuna Sadan, Sector 11. Eight ICDS trainees and 28 INPA trainees were trained for portage training for children from birth to 6 years of age. Valedictory function to distribute portage training kits, certificates etc was initiated by Jatinder Kinra on February 14.

Basant Panchami celebrations

Students of Sarva Institute of Hotel Management (SIHM) celebrated the advent of Basant Panchami by telling the masses about the importance of the festival. Students attired in yellow performed a short play conveying the message of national integration and brotherhood. According to Malini Dhahiya, Director, Sarva Institute of Hotel Management, stressed on the need to celebrate centuries-old traditional values along with modern-day trends.

SVIET ranked fourth

Swami Vivekananda Institute of Engineering and Technology (SVIET) ranked fourth in IIT Mumbai’s nationwide campaign-cum-competition — The Techfest Green Challenge Campus Challenge (TGCC), which concluded recently. The challenge stretched over a five-month span and was well contested by 110 educational institutes. This was a novel concept of utilising the techniques devised by youth towards environment conservation. The team’s tasks included a green short film for local villagers, water conservation techniques in campus, waste water recycling, rain water harvesting, tying up with local NGOs for initiating public awareness campaigns, action plan for local biodiversity, stress on organic farming and vermicompost and NSS initiation for sanitation in local villages.

Founder's Day

Desh Bhagat University celebrated its Founder's Day with great zeal and fervour. The highlight of the celebrations were the inauguration of Sarojini Naidu Girls Hostel by Anchal Kumar Gupta, Managing Director of State Bank of Patiala. Gupta appreciated the role being played by the Desh Bhagat University in providing professional and technical education in the state.

Aadhar cards

For the residents of Sector 15 Panchkula, Aadhar cards are being made by the officials at Government Primary school Sector 15. The officials will sit from 9 am to 6 pm and the Aadhar cards would be made. — TNS



Mistakes in social science textbook annoy teacher
Protests outside the office of Punjab School Education Board at Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 15
A Chandigarh college lecturer, hailing from Karnataka, today staged a protest in front of the Punjab School Education Board's office highlighting mistakes in a social science textbook.

Prof Pt Rao Dharennavar sat under a tree and had a small placard next to him with "Punjabi maan boli da satkar karo" written on it.

He said the social science textbook for Class X published by the board in Punjabi contained many mistakes, including wrong sentences.

To illustrate his point, he showed page 82 (lesson 5) of the textbook where, according to him, the sentence formation was not correct. Besides, in the first sentence on the page the word "matra" should have been used instead of "rashi". In the second paragraph related to the country's river waters, the figure should have been 30 million sq km and not 3 million sq km.

He said the board's language development cell had not been active since 2007 as vacant posts of member had not been filled.

Professor Rao, who is a lecturer at Government College in Sector 46, Chandigarh, has translated "Japji Sahib", "Sukhmani Sahib" and "Zafarnama" into Kannada. He has also translated eight Kannada books into Punjabi. These include "Akka Mahadevi", "Jagatguru Baswanna", "Bhima Shankar ki Mahima", "Kavi Rattan Kanakdas", "Sangeet Rattan Purandardas" and "Mahagyani Saravdyna".

Board secretary Balwinder Singh said Professor Rao should have brought the mistakes, if any, to the notice of the board authorities. He could have protested if they failed to take appropriate action. However, the secretary gave an assurance that the matter would be discussed on Monday with the subject expert concerned who had cleared the textbook.



Achievements of NIPER highlighted
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 15
Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil said, "As per the "Innovation Policy of 2013", introduced by the Prime Minister, India will be among the top five global scientific powers by 2020."

Patil was the chief guest at a foundation day function of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) today.

Dr KK Bhutani, officiating director, highlighted the achievements of NIPER that included publication of 865 research papers by the faculty in national and international journals and filing of 83 patents. NIPER had identified thrust areas in neglected diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, leishmaniasis and diabetes. The faculty had got more than 300 sponsored, consultancy projects and had also signed two licensing agreements with an Indian company and two US-based companies.

During the second session, Dr TS Balganesh, scientist, CSIR, delivered the Astra Zeneca Oration entitled "Trials and Tribulations: The challenge of finding new drugs for the treatment of Tuberculosis".

His lecture focused on what researchers should not do while pursuing their research on tuberculosis. The director presented the best scientific support award to Nishi Sharda, best technical support award to Sandeep Sachdeva and best administrative support award to Hardip Singh.



PU’s School of Communication Studies wins award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Panjab University's School of Communication Studies has been honoured with Indy's Leadership Award for outstanding contribution to the field of mass communication education. The award was presented to the school on February 14 in Mumbai. It was collected by the school's alumni, Jyoti Kapoor, Sharin Bhatti and Tahira Kashyap, who live and work in Mumbai.

The award is given for excellence in mass communication. It made its debut in 2007. Founders of Stars of the Industry Awards, Jonathan Peters and Rayka Rogers, launched the Indy's as annual awards given by a jury from leading professional bodies in the field of media.

The award, which sweeps across all sections and aspects of communication, is a testimony to a flourishing media age.

It honours excellence in mass communication, including fields like advertising, media planning and buying and public relations. They are given for corporate, individual and institutional contribution towards building excellence in the specified sectors.

The Indy’s leadership award, which sweeps across all sections and aspects of communication, is a testimony to a flourishing media age. It honours excellence in mass communication, including fields like advertising, media planning and buying and public relations




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