C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Passengers bear the brunt
Forced to hire taxis for Haryana & Delhi on day 2 of strike; banking services hit
Tribune News Service
The Bank Square in Chandigarh wears a deserted look on the second day of the Bharat bandh on Thursday
The Bank Square in Chandigarh wears a deserted look on the second day of the Bharat bandh on Thursday. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, February 21
Life in the city was disrupted for the second day today due to the nationwide strike called by central trade unions in support of their demands.

The strike left thousands of passengers, who had to board buses from Chandigarh to Haryana and Delhi, stranded. Banking services in the city and sanitation services at the PGI were also affected.

The industry in Chandigarh reportedly suffered a loss of around Rs 250 crore during the two-day strike.

BSNL and postal services in the city also remained suspended, causing inconvenience to people.

The worst affected due to the strike were passengers, who had to commute from the city to Haryana and Delhi. While some cancelled their travel plans, many passengers hired taxis through car pool. Each passenger had to shell out between Rs 600 and Rs 800 to reach Delhi by a taxi.

Since morning, passengers started reaching the bus stand, little knowing that buses to Haryana would not ply. They were seen running from one enquiry counter to another to find out if any bus would ply today.

Jatin Kapoor, who owns a travel company in Delhi, said after waiting for a bus for over two hours, he, along with some other passengers, hired a taxi, which charged them Rs 700 per seat till the Delhi bus stand. Those who had to travel till Ambala were charged Rs 100 per seat.

Commuters, who had to go to the interior parts of Haryana, faced a tough time as they had limited options to reach their destinations.

Bir Singh, a distressed commuter hailing from Bhiwani, around 250 km from Chandigarh, said he could not find anyone along with whom he could hire a taxi to reach his destination.

A transport official said on an average, 150 buses plied from the Sector 17 bus stand to various destinations in Haryana and Delhi.

Local commuters did not suffer as the CTU had resumed its services today.

More than 1,600 contractual workers at the PGI, including sweepers and hospital attendants, observed a strike due to which cleanliness suffered at all buildings of the hospital complex. At the new OPD block, waste material could be seen lying on floors. The toilets remained untidy in the absence of sweepers.

The banking activities remained paralysed in Chandigarh for the second day in a row. All public sector banks took part in the two-day nationwide strike, that ended today. People faced inconvenience as they could not carry out any financial transaction.



Day II of stir: Public services hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
No complaints were entertained by the staff at the customer care centres of the BSNL in the city. Many subscribers failed to deposit their dues at the centres today, the last date for depositing dues. Now, they will have to pay the fine.

The BSNL circle president, RL Moudgil, said as the entire staff was on strike today, no public dealing was carried out in the offices of the BSNL here.

Similar was the situation at the Postal Department offices. Residents visited the offices with the hope that the authorities might have made some alternative arrangements for Speed Posts and money orders, but they were disappointed as all the offices were closed.

President of the Income Tax Employees Federation, North West, PK Vasudeva said 100 per cent employees remained on strike today also.

Power pangs for residents

On the second day of the strike by trade unions, the city residents again faced inconvenience due to power cuts and the delay in rectifying faults in the supply lines.

As employees were on strike, the UT Electricity Department failed to restore power supply to many areas in the city.

At the complaint centres, around 40 complaints were received from different sectors and colonies, including Sector 33, 45, Mani Majra and Maloya.

Gopal Joshi, general secretary, Powermen Union, said they held a rally in Sector 17 against the government, which was not considering their pending demands. They distributed pamphlets among the agitators. The employees, who were on strike, did not attend to any complaints, he added.

Banking services paralysed

Banking activities remained paralysed in Chandigarh for the second day in a row with all the public sector banks joining the national wide trade unions' protest that ended today. While the people faced a lot of inconvenience, as they could not carry out any financial transactions, the real effect of the strike will be seen when the banks begin operations tomorrow. An official said cheques issued for yesterday and today would reach the clearing house tomorrow only and the next day being a Sunday, it will be credited to people’s account by Monday evening or Tuesday morning.

A resident, Bharat Hiteshi, said he could not withdraw money since his bank was closed and he did not get cash at any ATM. Another resident, Anuradha Joshi, said he had to urgently submit documents relating to a fund transaction from Bangalore but could not do so because of the strike. Meanwhile, the ATM service was not much hit in the city. “All the banks ensured that their ATMs were fully loaded before the strike. The situation was also better because the private banks were functional," said an official.

PGI contractual staff observe strike

Contractual workers, including hospital attendants and safai karamcharis, at the PGIMER continued their strike today. Nearly 250 workers demonstrated against the delay in the acceptance of their demands. They staged a dharna at the entrance of the hospital campus throughout the day.

While all major services continued without disruption, cleanliness suffered at all the buildings of the PGIMER, including the New OPD block, Advanced Trauma Centre (ATC) and Nehru Hospital, as safai karamcharis had been staying away from work since 6 am on Wednesday. Their demands include the regualrisation of workers who have been serving at the PGIMER for the past 15 years. They also demanded salary on a par with that of regular workers of their grade.

Officials at the PGIMER claimed that all emergency services, OPDs and indoor services functioned normally. According to the contingency plan, the hospital attendants and sanitation attendants, from within and outside, had been redeployed in different areas. With the cooperation of clinicians, paramedical and other staff, the functioning at the PGI was near normal.

The number of patients registered in the New OPD block was 5,515 till 4 pm and nearly 127 major surgeries were performed in the OTs of Emergency Complex, Trauma Centre, Nehru Hospital, Advanced Paediatric Centre, Advanced Eye Centre and Advanced Cardiac Centre.



it park expansion
UT Administration to recover Rs 30 cr paid as compensation to landowners
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
A day after receiving a legal opinion for not filing a review petition against the Supreme Court order in the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park, phase III, case, the UT Administration has now decided to recover Rs 30 crore from landowners who had accepted compensation for parting with their land.

There were over 200 persons, whose land was to be acquired for the phase III of the IT Park. Of them, 35 had accepted the compensation amount. The remaining landowners had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the land acquisition process.

The Administration has now written to the legal department to approach the court for issuing directions to the landowners to return the compensation amount with interest.

Earlier, many landowners had approached the Administration saying that they were not in a position to refund the money.

In October last year, the Supreme Court had quashed the acquisition of 272 acres for the proposed phase III of the IT Park.

The Supreme Court order had come as a major blow to the Administration, which was hoping to attract investments worth more than Rs 2,500 crore, software export of Rs 2,500 crore and generating employment opportunities for over 35,000 IT professionals through the third phase of the IT Park.

During the tenure of a former UT Administrator, Gen SF Rodrigues (retd), the Administration had started acquiring land for the IT Park, phase III. Notifications to acquire 272 acres were issued in June 2006, August 2006 and Feb 2007. Later, the media had reported anomalies in the land acquisition process. The MHA had ordered a special audit of various projects of the Administration.

The audit raised objections to the land acquired for the third phase and submitted a report to the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The landowners moved court, but in March 2011, the HC rejected their petitions.

They then moved the Supreme Court, which on October 12, 2012, quashed the land acquisition process for the expansion of the IT Park.



Alert pilot averts collision at airport
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
A major tragedy was averted at the Chandigarh airport after an alert pilot prevented a collision between two aircraft having hundreds of passengers on board.

The incident reportedly took place on Tuesday at 3.10 pm when an aircraft belonging to Indigo Airlines was about to land at the domestic airport without releasing that another aircraft was at the runway.

A passenger on board, Satwant Singh, said the presence of mind of the pilot saved the day for over 200 passengers on the aircraft. Seeing an aircraft on the runway, he spent some time in the sky.

“All passengers were caught unawares as the pilot, instead of landing, immediately took the aircraft to a certain height, said another passenger Udeshpal Singh. According to him, passengers got panicky as it took a few minutes for the aircraft to stabilise in the air.

“We remained airborne for 20 minutes before landing at the airport. The pilot then announced that it all happened as there was another aircraft on the runway,” said the passenger.

Passengers said officials tried to hush up the issue. We were not allowed to meet the pilot even after the incident, said one of the passengers. Attempts to contact the airport authorities in this regard proved futile.

Passengers have demanded an inquiry into the matter. This is not the only such incident at the airport here. Two aircraft were a mere 15 ft away from crashing into each other at the Chandigarh airport on December 16, 2008.


Signboards, hoardings removed from markets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
The enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation today removed 70 signboards and hoardings displayed in the markets of sectors 15 and 22.

These hoardings were displayed in violation of the provisions of the Advertisement Control Order. Earlier, notices were also issued to the shopkeepers.

During the drive, the enforcement staff faced opposition of traders in Sector 22. They gave assurance to the staff that they would remove encroachments tomorrow.

The drive was conducted under the supervision of Lalit Siwach, Additional Commissioner.

Kashmira Singh, Superintendent, Enforcement Wing, said the shopkeepers in Sector 22 stated that there were electrical wires on the signboards, so they need some time to remove them. After consultation with senior officials, traders were given one-day time to remove hoardings, he added.

He added they removed hoardings from Sector 15 and 22.



Mohali Police vacates community centres
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 21
A day before the deadline set by the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding vacation of the illegally occupied community centres, the Mohali police today shifted its Mataur police station from Sector 71 and the police line from Phase 11.

The Mataur police station has been shifted to the Radha Soami Stasang Bhawan’s building at Phase 7, Mohali, while the police line have been set up in the building of Industries Department, Phase 7, Industrial Area, Mohali. Some of its wings, including the women cell and the economic offence wing have been shifted to two showrooms of the Industries Department in Phase 1, Industrial Area, Mohali.

The High Court has directed the police to vacate the centres before February 22.

Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SP (City) Swarndeep Singh, and the area’s DSP Rajinder Sohal inspected the new sites and issued instructions to the officials to make these functional with an immediate effect.

Notably, Mohali-based Congress leader and former councillor Kuljit Singh Bedi had filed a PIL in the High Court in this regard.

The police had also occupied the community centre of Phase 6, which it had vacated few months ago.

Bedi said due to the encroachment, the public was suffering a lot and was forced to hold their functions in hotels and marriage palaces.



Ruckus over entry into temple
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 21
High drama was witnessed in front of the Radha Krishna temple at Phase 4 when some residents of Phase 2 alleged that they were not being allowed entry by some members of the temple’s management committee here this evening.

One of the residents said that they had been outrightly told that they were not allowed to enter the temple, when they wanted to conduct a religious ceremony inside.

On the other hand, the president of the committee, Desraj Gupta, refuted the allegations, saying nobody had stopped anyone. “They are making baseless allegations against committee members,” he said.

Earlier, heated arguments were being exchanged between the two groups.

Karan, one of the residents, claimed that he along with other devotees — Ashu Wadhwa, Shweta and Satwant Kaur — all residents of Phase 2, visited the temple in the evening for lighting a ‘jot’ for some ritual.

“We were told to go to the temple in Phase 2. We argued why we could not enter that temple but to no avail. This is ridiculous as temples are not meant for the area’s residents only,” he said.



Lodge complaints on IGP’s email ID

Chandigarh, February 21
The public can now approach the IGP, Chandigarh, directly through a newly created e-mail ID: igp-chd@nic.in. Besides, a police officer will be available during night hours from midnight to 5 am daily to attend to complaints/problems of people.

The police officer will be available on the mobile phone number 9465121000 during the night. People can register their complaints on this number. The police claimed that they would get an immediate response. — TNS



PGI worker takes insecticide

Chandigarh, February 21
A 30-year-old hospital attendant at the PGIMER reportedly consumed an insecticide after alleging harassment at the hands of a woman colleague. A resident of Nayagaon, Santosh Kumar, was rushed to the PGIMER Emergency at around 1.30 pm from his residence.

He had been undergoing harassment at the hands of a nurse for the past few months, said Santosh's co-worker. Santosh, who reportedly consumed the insecticide after reaching home at around 1pm today, is learnt to be stable now. He works as a contractual hospital attendant. — TNS



Security beefed up in city

Chandigarh, February 21
In view of the serial blasts in Hyderabad, the police beefed up security in and around the city today.

All the vehicles, including two-wheelers, four-wheelers, transport and roadways buses, are being checked by the police. — TNS



PCR staff get digital cameras

Chandigarh, February 21
The staff of the Police Control Room vehicles have been provided with 60 high-resolution digital cameras and torches. The camera, with a 4 GB memory card, has a capacity of 1,000 still photographs or 20-minute high density video recording. These were provided to 60 PCR vehicles individually.

These digital cameras will help the PCR staff in capturing scenes of spot situations. Besides, 15 advanced torches with sufficient battery backup are being issued to the staff. — TNS



Govt depts owe Rs 2.3 crore to PSPCL
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, February 21
A whopping amount of more than Rs 2.30 crore remains unpaid as electricity bills by government departments, including the police, to the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL), over the past several months.

Among the defaulters are the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation, the ESI hospital, GMADA, the Mohali Municipal Corporation and the Nayagaon Civic Body. Out of Rs 2.30 crore, the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation alone owes more than Rs 1.71 crore . While the division of the water supply wing covering the Mullanpur area has an outstanding amount of over Rs 1.12 crore, the division covering the Balongi area has not paid power bills to the tune of Rs 59.70 lakh. However, the concerned Executive Engineer Sukhwinder Singh said the outstanding payments had to be made by village panchayats, even though letters for payment of defaulting amounts were issued in the name of his department.

In the line of defaulters, next is the Nayagaon civic body, which has not cleared power bills amounting to Rs 19.66 lakh, followed by the Police department, which owes Rs 14. 41 lakh to the power corporation. While the amount outstanding towards the SHO, Phase VIII focal point, is more than Rs 9.91 lakh, the office and the residence of the SSP have not cleared power bills to the tune of Rs 8.50 lakh.

The ESI hospital in the Phase VII industrial area has not paid power bills totaling Rs 3,25,183. The Mohali Municipal Corporation has an outstanding amount of Rs 1.70 lakh from its canteen running in Silvi Park , Phase X, while more than Rs 1 lakh is also outstanding for power being used in Silvi Park.

GMADA is yet to clear a bill of more than Rs 2.19 lakh for the community centre functioning in Sector 65. A number of power bills issued in connection to the usage of traffic lights have also not been cleared by GMADA, apart from other payments related to the use of lights in various parks of the town.

Sources in the PSPCL said that letters were written every now and then to the defaulting departments but most of the time these were not taken seriously. If the trend continued the authorities concerned would have to seek permission from higher levels to cut the power connections of various government departments for failing to clear their power bills.



Traders seek cut in VAT rates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) submitted a memorandum to the UT Administration to bring VAT rates in the city on a par with those prevailing in Punjab and Haryana.

A delegation of senior functionaries of the CBM, comprising its president Charanjiv Singh, chief patron Diwakar Sahoonja, general secretary Vinod Joshi and president of the Timber Market Association Umesh Sood, met the Finance Secretary, UT, VK Singh, and submitted to him a memorandum regarding much higher VAT rates in Chandigarh compared to those prevailing in the adjoining states of Punjab and Haryana.

The delegation also submitted to VK Singh the copies of the notifications of Haryana and the recent notification of the Punjab Government wherein the VAT rates have been reduced to 5 per cent whereas the VAT rates in Chandigarh are 12.5 per cent, making it impossible for the timber traders to survive.



Allottees stage protest against GMADA
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 21
The members of the Plot Allotment Sangarsh Committee, Sector 76 to 80, staged a protest outside the office of the GMADA today for its failure to give possession of the remaining plots to the allottees.

The protesters said that despite directions from the government, the GMADA authorities had not yet given possession of litigation-free plots to the allottees. Besides, GMADA was not undertaking development works in the area.

President of the committee Sucha Singh Kalour said if the GMADA fails to take action in the matter within one month, the members would meet again on March 24 to decide the next course of action.



Woman bouncer gets ‘Zindagi Live Award’
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
A local woman bouncer, Kiran Thakur, was awarded Zindagi Live Award by a TV channel in a felicitation function held in Taj Palace Hotel at Delhi, yesterday.

Kiran Thaur, aka ‘Kiran Didi’, a famous name among all local party eves, has struggled hard to make her own identity in the society. Her struggle was well appreciated when she was awarded with ‘Zindagi Live award’. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Delhi’s Chief Minister Sheila Dixit presented the award to her.

“I never thought in my wildest fantasies that I would stand in front of such a huge gathering. The moment was just amazing. My job is to stand outside the clubs but last night, I was at cloud nine, when I was given so much respect and care. The joy was doubled when Aishwarya hugged me and appreciated my status in the society,” said Kiran, who works as a bouncer in a Sector 9 based disco.

The 34 years old Kiran is pursuing the ‘unusual’ vocation of being a bouncer at a local club from past five years before taking changing her profession from teaching to a security head at Fun Republic followed by a recruitment officer in a private security company.

“People have different views about my profession. But for me, it is my identity and now fame. I was not born with a silver spoon,” said Kiran, mother of two daughters and a three-year-old son.

She said, “My husband and brother-in-law have supported me throughout and if I talk about my present life, I am pretty much happy. I don’t want my daughters to face the problems that I have faced.”

“My son describes me as Salman Khan,” shared Kiran with a huge smile on her face.



RTE admissions put on hold
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
Several private schools in Chandigarh put their admission process on hold, to the extent of 25% seats as stipulated under Right to Education Act, citing the recent Delhi High Court judgement upholding the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry’s stand that children below six years of age are not covered under the RTE Act.

St Kabir’s Col A K Bakshi said that their process to fill the reserved RTE seats from EWS category was in process for the past two weeks but the school would not proceed further, unless the administration brought them clarity on the recent stand by the central government.

More than 95% of schools in Chandigarh had kept their stipulated RTE seats under EWS and disadvantage quota at the nursery level, which schools claimed, stood invalidated in light of the recent affidavit filed by the Union HRD Ministry in Delhi High court.

HS Mamik, president of Independent Private School Association said, “When the Union HRD Ministry, that governs the RTE act, has itself pointed out that the nursery class is not part of the RTE act, there is no point keeping our nursery seats reserved under this act.”

Those schools, which have already filled their RTE seats, are also in the state of confusion. “While we have filled all our RTE seats, we are in state of perplexity due to the different interpretations of the recent Delhi High Court judgement. The administration must remove our doubts", said Aruna Bhardwaj, Principal of Gurukul Global High School

Taking the issue further, Private School Association submitted the written representation to the education department, seeking clarification on the issue. “We will wait for the response of the education department before taking any step,” said HS Mamik.

Education Department holds meeting

Sources in the education department said, a meeting to this regard was held to discuss the judgement of the Delhi High Court.

A senior official said, their preliminary study showed that the judgement did not challenge the responsibility of the private un-aided schools to admit the children belonging to EWS and disadvantaged group, in pre-elementary classes to the extent of 25%. But the department is preparing the detailed note of the judgement and schools would be informed accordingly.



Another chance for unaided private schools to get recognition
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 21
Giving another opportunity to the unaided private schools, the Director-General, School Education, has extended the last date till March 12 for the filing of self-declarations, to get recognition under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. District Education Officer (DEO), Elementary and Secondary, Vinod Kumar said that earlier the last date for filing such declarations was October 12, 2012, but some unaided private schools in the district had failed to do so by that date.

The DEO appealed to the managements of the concerned schools to submit the self-declarations to the RTE cell in his office to avoid action under the RTE Act.

He said the schools failing to file the self-declarations by the due date were supposed to stop functioning under Section 19 of the Act.



PEC alumni go down memory lane
Tribune News Service

Alumni of the 1963 batch on the PEC campus, Sector 12, Chandigarh, on Thursday
Alumni of the 1963 batch on the PEC campus, Sector 12, Chandigarh, on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, February 21
It was a nostalgic day for the 1963 batch of PEC students who after a long interval of 50-years, reunited at the college. The oldies were still young at heart, went around the campus and also visited the hostels to cherish this moment. The reunion witnessed many students who had settled in America, Canada and England.

The clock had turned 50 years back since everyone was lost in the sweet-sour, romantic memories of one’s youth. Arun Trikha one of the alumnus from US, settled abroad for the past 49 years and had worked for Boeing Company for about 38 years, reached the city especially to attend the reunion. Trikha who was accompanied by his wife said that it was great to see the old companions back at the college again.

Vijay Ralhan another batch mate running his business in US, shared his sweet memories, he said that the year when the first girl student joined their college as a junior was a welcome change. “Earlier, the girls used to be there only in the Architecture College, their campus was located next to ours”, he said.

The alumni walked across the campus with their better-half and narrated the tales of their college days. Subhash Handa, another alumni, retired from IIT Roorke, and presently the Director General of Quantum Global Campus, Roorkee, said that he went to see his room in Shivalik hostel where he stayed during his college days.

On February 22 and 23 the 1963 batch would go for a trip to Kasauli and visit different places of Chandigarh, like Rock garden, Rose garden and Lake.

GS Bedi, another student from the same batch while coordinating the event, ensured that they did not miss 50th year of reunion. He said that all the batch mates were requested to coordinate with each other. Over fifty students participated in the reunion and decided to form a committee to gather ideas from all classmates for doing something beneficial towards society.



Arshee wins debate at youth festival
Tribune News Service

Arshee Khosla
Arshee Khosla

Chandigarh, February 21
Arshee Khosla, a first-year student of MA Economics, Panjab University, stood first in debate at the 28th Inter-University National Youth Festival, organised by Association of Indian Universities (AIU), under the aegis of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports held at University of Kalyani, West Bengal, here

Prior to this she won the First position at the Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival (Chandigarh), Second position at the Inter-Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival (Hariana, Hoshiarpur) and again Second position at the 28th Inter-University North Zone Youth Festival 2012-13 (Amritsar).



PUSU announces office-bearers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
The Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) at Panjab University today announced its panel for the upcoming academic session to work for the students' rights. Though PUSU had already announced Yadwinder Singh as their party president, the party declared its remaining panel which included Sumit Goklaney as the campus president, Baljit Singh Choudhary as the party chairman.

The remaining panel members, included Sukhjit Singh Brar as the state president of PUSU, Cherry Brar as the state chairman, senior vice- president Shivdeep Singh Dhillon, vice-president Kuldeep Kamboj, campus in charge Gurminder Maur, chairman all colleges Paramjit Bath, chairman advisory council Harpreet Mavi.



PU engineering dept renamed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
The University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (UICET), Panjab University, Chandigarh, in collaboration with Chandigarh Regional Centre of the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers, celebrated its renaming ceremony on the occasion of the birthday of Late Prof SS Bhatnagar, here. The department was renamed as ‘Dr S S Bhatnagar University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology’.

On the occasion, Arun Bhatnagar, grandson of Dr Bhatnagar, was the Guest of Honour.

Arun Bhatnagar in his address relived the moments which he spent with his late grandfather. PU Vice-Chancellor, Arun Kumar Grover, while informing the students, focused on SS Bhatnagar’s public stature and presented dignitaries with the glorious history of the department, transcending its foundation in 1958.



World Bank to invest $500 m on tech education
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 21
The World Bank is planning to invest $500 million under Phase 2 of the Central Government’s Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP) to prepare the postgraduate students for research and development. This was announced by Kurt Larsen, a World Bank expert, today.

Larsen, who was addressing the participating members in the north region progress review of the programme held at the Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Landran, said his team was here to assist, facilitate and solve working modalities for the institutions and it was only because of the success of TEQIP-I that TEQIP-II was rolling. The main focus areas were training, faculty development, institution-industry interface and helping weak students. Student employability in the volatile world employment markets was a major challenge to be met. As for quality teachers, he said the aim was fill the gap in 5 to 10 years.

Six institutes from Punjab, two from the UT and one from Himachal Pradesh took part in the review meeting and presented details on fund allocation, expenses and challenges being faced to the representatives of the World Bank and the Government of India.

The participating colleges included CEC, Landran, PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh, NIT, Kurukshetra, Thapar University, Patiala, and UIET, Punjab University, Chandigarh.

Chandigarh Engineering College became the first private college in the state to get Rs 4 crore grants.

Satnam Singh Sandhu, Chairman, CGC and Chancellor, CU, while referring to the grants given to CEC, said this support would further enhance the efforts towards increasing the industry-academia interface, R&D-based projects and postgraduate pass outs, thereby raising the level of technical education in Punjab.

The grant had been provided on a qualitative bidding selection process and only those institutes that met all the parameters of eligibility had been selected for grants, said Mohanbir Singh Sidhu.

He said the TEQIP aims to upscale and support the ongoing efforts of the Government of India to improve the quality of technical education.



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