C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Lawyers’ strike turns ugly
Police uses water cannons on protesters outside Raj Bhawan; cops among 10 injured
Tribune News Service

Policewomen try to stop the protesters
Policewomen try to stop the protesters. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, March 6
The UT police today used water cannons on agitating lawyers of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, who were protesting against the registration of a case against advocates in a case of manhandling a head constable. The lawyers, who are on an indefinite strike, broke two police barricades as they held a procession to meet the Governor. The police used water cannons when some of the advocates broke the barricades and went into a prohibited area near the Haryana Raj Bhawan to meet the Governor.

Members of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association assembled on the High Court premises in the morning and marched towards UT Administrator and Punjab Governor Shivraj V Patil's official residence.

They were first stopped at barricades near the Rock Garden by around 200 women police officers. The lawyers convinced the police that they would peacefully submit a memorandum to the Governor and were then allowed to move on.
Policewomen stand guard behind barricades during the lawyers’ protest
Policewomen stand guard behind barricades during the lawyers’ protest. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan
The police uses water cannons to stop lawyers outside the Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh on Wednesday
The police uses water cannons to stop lawyers outside the Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

High drama was witnessed when the police stopped them at barricades at a distance of 100 metres from the Raj Bhawan where Section 144 of the CrPc (ban on assembly of persons) had been imposed. As the police stopped them, one of the advocates forcibly jumped over the barricade and as the others tried to follow, the police used water cannons on them to disperse them.

At least 10 advocates and police personnel sustained minor injuries when the water cannons were used and a scuffle broke out between the police and the advocates. They were taken to Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16 where they were discharged after being given first aid.

Five of the advocates were then allowed to go and meet the Governor. However, the Governor later gave permission to only one advocate, Anupam Gupta, to come and meet him.

Gupta refused to go inside and insisted that he would meet the Governor along with the entire Bar. The advocates protested till 6 pm at the Sectors 5, 6, 7 and 8 roundabout near the Raj Bhawan. Later, the police registered an FIR against the agitating lawyers for rioting and assault on police under Sections 188, 332, 353, 147 and 149 of the IPC and Section 3 of the Public Defacement Act. However, no one has been named in the FIR.

The Home Secretary said they would identify the people who broke the law and action would be taken against them.

Lawyer hits out at Patil

Senior advocate Anupam Gupta said there was massive deployment of the police. He accused the Governor of not having the courage to face the lawyers even though he was a lawyer himself. “The manner in which we have been stopped and treated has impelled us to expose the Governor. Patil was afraid of facing people of Mumbai post-26/11. It is believed that Patil, who the Union Home Minister at that time, spent more time changing his attire instead of dealing with the menace of terror in Mumbai. The lawyers will remain on an indefinite strike till the FIR is withdrawn. No lawyer will appear before any court on behalf of the police and Patil will be boycotted by all lawyers in all legal judicial functions.”

He said he was contacted by UT Adviser KK Sharma yesterday and Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin came twice to him at his residence, once last evening and again this morning. He said Secretary to the Governor MP Singh also called him up this morning. “I assured all of them repeatedly that the march will be peaceful and they need not fear any law and order problem so long as we are allowed to reach the Raj Bhawan. We have kept our word and they have stabbed us in the back,” he said.

What the Home Secretary has to say

Addressing a press conference this evening, the UT Home Secretary said the advocates were given permission to peacefully submit a memorandum at the Raj Bhawan and Section 144 was implemented within a 1-km radius of the Raj Bhawan. “We allowed the advocates to move closer to the Raj Bhawan; they were stopped from marching in the prohibited area following which they tried to break the barricades following which the police used water cannons to disperse them,” he said.

Lawyers to continue strike

The High Court Bar Association said it would continue its indefinite strike in protest against the registration of an FIR against 20 lawyers allegedly involved in the thrashing of a head constable on the court premises.

The FIR was registered on Monday against former Additional Advocate General of Punjab Rupinder Singh Khosla and 19 other High Court lawyers. The remaining lawyers, who had allegedly thrashed Ramesh Chand, a head constable with the Chandigarh police, on February 26 were yet to be identified, the police said. Terming it a "conspiracy" hatched by the Chandigarh police against the lawyers, the Bar association had labelled the FIR as "concocted and false".

Meanwhile, the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana has given a call to advocates across Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to suspend work for two days.

Jammers used by police

High drama was witnessed in the evening when the advocates noticed that their mobiles had no signal as the police deployed a jammer vehicle near the spot where they were protesting. After lawyers raised a hue and cry , the vehicle was taken away from there.



Hundreds of litigants harassed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
It was a day of harassment for hundreds of litigants who came to the Punjab and Haryana High Court from the far-flung areas to attend their court hearing, as their cases could not be heard owing to the lawyers’ strike.

Moreover, due to the massive force deployed around the High Court and the blocked road, the litigants faced a lot of inconvenience.

As the lawyers took out a procession, the route from the Sukhna Lake leading to Sectors 5, 6, 7 and 8 roundabout was blocked and the commuters were a harried lot.

Anita, a resident of Rohtak who had come to attend a court hearing, said she faced a lot of harassment as her case did not come up for hearing. She had to walk all the way to the bus stand as there were no buses or auto-rickshaws on that route.

Sham Sunder, a resident of Amritsar, said he started from home early in the morning to reach the High Court at 10 am to attend a court hearing and now had to return empty handed.

“These advocates are having their own issues with the police, but what is the fault of the common man? We are being unnecessarily harassed,” he said.



Rs 28-cr PNB Fraud
CBI court gives clean chit to seven accused
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
In a setback to the investigating agency, the CBI court of Vimal Kumar today discharged seven persons, including former General Manager of PNB BP Chopra, in a Rs 28-crore scam. The court discharged the accused, six bank officials and a businessman, in the case even before charges could be framed against them.

The case dates back to 2008 when the CBI had booked six PNB officials and a businessman for allegedly embezzling Rs 28 crore. The money was disbursed as a loan to set up a captive power plant. The plant, however, was never set up.

The accused, who were discharged today, are former PNB General Manager BP Chopra, former General Manager NK Mehta, Deputy General Manager RS Alagh, senior managers AS Rana, RK Dhar and SK Raizada, and a local businessman, Manoj Goyal.

In 2006, a Chandigarh-based company, Balaji Magnese Private Ltd, had applied to the PNB for a loan to set up a captive power plant at its site manufacturing ferrous alloys in Gagret, Himachal Pradesh. Gagret is around 200 km from Chandigarh. The company has an office branch in the Mansa Devi Complex.

According to the CBI case, former PNB General Manager (Haryana Zone) BP Chopra was accused of approving the Rs 28-crore loan. The loan was approved from the Industrial Area, Phase I, branch of the bank.

Between June 3, 2006, and January 31, 2007, the owner of the company, Manoj Goyal, withdrew the amount in around four instalments from the bank, stated the CBI.

The CBI had found that there was no sign of any construction. It found that the equipment, which the company owner claimed belonged to the power plant, actually belonged to someone else.

“The company's owner supplied fake bills to the bank. The first bill was of the purchase of a turbine worth Rs 1.8 crore. However, the inspection report found no turbine had been installed at the site. The entire matter was in the notice of bank officials, including BP Chopra, but they refused to pay any heed and disbursed another loan for Rs 1 crore to the company for the purchase of coal for the power plant,” said a CBI official.

In June 2007, the bank officials declared the unit a non-performing asset and wrote off the entire Rs 28-crore loan. It was found that the property which the owner had mortgaged as security with the bank, had been overvalued. Its actual worth was only Rs 4 crore. However, the court did not find any material evidence to frame charges and discharged all accused today.

CBI to move higher court

Shocked at the way the court discharged all accused in the case even before the framing of charges, a CBI official said they would move the higher court as the case was foolproof and the CBI had in its possession forged documents to prove the same. “Moreover, the bank suffered a loss of Rs 28 crore, which has still not been recovered; it is surprising that the court failed to take notice of the glaring discrepancies,” said the official.

The case

The case dates back to 2008 when the CBI had booked six PNB officials and a businessman for allegedly embezzling ~28 crore. The money was disbursed as a loan to set up a captive power plant, which was never set up.



Mother strangles 2 kids to death, ends her life
Had a quarrel with her spouse over Rs 100; husband, his brother arrested, let off
Our Correspondent

People gather outside the house where the crime took place at Matour village in Mohali on Wednesday
People gather outside the house where the crime took place at Matour village in Mohali on Wednesday

Mohali, March 6
After a quarrel with her husband last night over a mere Rs 100, a woman allegedly strangled her two children to death and hanged herself in her house in Matour village here today.

The children's bodies were found on a bed while the woman's body was lying on the floor when the police arrived. There were marks on the the children's necks, which indicated that they may have been strangled.

The deceased were identified by the police as Bindu (23), Radhika (6) and Rachit (4). While Radhika was a student of Class I in a private school, her brother studied in KG in the same institution.

The family hailed from Uttar Pradesh. Bindu's husband Uttam Kumar works as a daily wage labourer and lives in a rented accommodation in the village. The couple had got married about eight years ago.

Word of the deaths spread like wildfire in the village and a large number of persons gathered at the scene.

The police arrested the husband, and his brother in connection with the deaths on suspicion and later released them.

According to reports, Uttam Kumar had asked for Rs 100 from his wife last night, which she refused to give and he allegedly slapped her.

DSP Rajinder Singh Sohal said investigations had shown that the woman had hanged herself from a wire affixed to the metal door of the room in which the family lived after strangling her little children. She had threatened her husband that he would not see them again.

The DSP said her husband was not at home when the extreme step was taken. He had gone out of the house around 9 am and when he

came back after less than an hour, he found the door bolted from inside. When he managed to enter the room, he saw the frail body of his wife hanging behind the door from a metal wire. The body was brought down by the husband and others. The bodies were sent to the Civil Hospital for a postmortem examination, which will be conducted tomorrow.

The police has initiated proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPc in this regard.

Family hailed from UP

The deceased have been identified as Bindu (23), Radhika (6) and Rachit (4). While Radhika was a student of Class I in a private school, her brother studied in KG in the same institution. The family hailed from Uttar Pradesh



Nigerian held with cocaine worth Rs 1 crore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The Industrial Area police today arrested a 48-year-old Nigerian, identified as Cyril Archipang, and seized 43 gm of cocaine from his possession. The accused had earlier been sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment by a court in 1998 and was released in 2009 after he managed to get bail from the High Court.

The police said he again took to drugs after getting released from jail. The accused was on the way to deliver the consignment to someone in Delhi when he was arrested. Investigations were on to verify the source, the police said.

The value of the drug recovered from his possession is about 1 crore in the international market. The police has registered a case under Section 21 of the NDPS Act. The accused was arrested after the police laid a trap near the railway station. SHO of the Industrial Area police station Narinder Patial said the accused had earlier been arrested in 1998 with 2.5 kg of cocaine by the UT police. After spending over 10 years in prison, the accused was out on bail, he said, adding that the police was trying to verify whether the accused was staying in the country on an expired passport.

Earlier cases involving foreign nationals

  • On October 2, 2012, the UT police had arrested 37-year-old Daniel Ebera, a Nigerian, with 19 gm of wcocaine at the ISBT in Sector 17
  • On December 12, 2012, the police had arrested a Nigerian, Godwin Ulo Awa (42), with 30 gm of cocaine



UT RLA goofs, issues RC bearing Panchkula number
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
As if the delay in providing registration certificates and driver's licences was not enough, here comes a goof-up by the UT Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA). The authority has provided a car owner with an RC bearing the registration number of Panchkula.

Gulab Singh, a resident of Colony No. 4 and owner of a Maruti car, applied for transferring the number of his car from Panchkula to Chandigarh and was shocked to see the same number (HR-03B-2684) on his RC today.

“I had applied for the transfer of the number of my second-hand Maruti car in December. After waiting for over two months, I have been provided the same number,” said Gulab Singh.

Interestingly, officials have now asked him to write an application for changing the RC. “It's disgusting. Why should I be made to suffer for a silly mistake on the part of the officials concerned. When I asked for help, they just laughed and told me to follow the entire process again,” said Gulab Singh.

“I am not aware about the incident. If it has happened, it is a mistake on our part. It will be rectified and strict action will be taken against the officer concerned,” said Mahavir Kaushik, in charge of the RLA office.



6 girls rescued from house in isolated area
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 6
In what can emerge as another Apna Ghar case, six girls in the age group of 10 to 12, who were kept in a house in an isolated area in Sector 26, Panchkula, in the garb of keeping them in a children’s home, were rescued by the Panchkula police late this evening.

The police suspects foul play behind keeping these six girls in an isolated area.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashwin Shenvi reached the spot. The children were rescued and taken to Bal Sadan in Sector 12-A, Panchkula, late this evening.

The police raided the premises on a complaint of the Child Protection Officer.

“We received a complaint that six girls have been kept in a house in Sector 26, Panchkula, in the garb of providing them shelter in a children’s home," said a police official. He said, "We came to know that some immoral activity is taking place there and conducted a raid."

The children were being questioned at the time of the filing of this report. The police is likely to conduct a medical examination of the children.


Expired Vitamin-A vaccine found in store
Supply to dispensaries withheld; parents return without getting children immunised
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
Waking up from a deep slumber, the UT Health Department has withheld the supply of Vitamin-A vaccine (for measles) to all the civil dispensaries after finding that the stock available has expired.

A visit to the civil dispensary in Sector 45 on Tuesday, which has the highest number of patients among all the 21 dispensaries, revealed that no supply of Vitamin-A vaccine was made after October, 2012 and the dispensary ran out of stock two months ago. The patients had to return empty handed.

The demand for the vaccine, which is to be administered to children aged below five regularly, remains high in all the dispensaries. While some of these dispensaries ran out of stock in January, the officials have now directed others also not to use the stock available (which expired on February 28) and wait for the new stock.

When contacted, Dr Rajiv Vadera, Director, Health Services, said, “The supply of the Vitamin-A vaccine had to be put on hold as the stock was found to have expired last week. We have already ordered for immediate supply of the vaccine at the Sector 45 dispensary, while for others, the stock will be available by next week.”

In the absence of Vitamin-A vaccine at Sector 45 dispensary, while some parents had to rush to other dispensaries for immunisation, others preferred to wait.

Pushpa Devi, a resident of Burail, took her 3-year-old son to the dispensary, where she was asked to come after a few days. “During the birth of my daughter, the doctor had asked me not to delay the immunisation cycle. We are already running late by a month. I will have to wait for another few days, now,” she said.

The last supply of the vaccine was made in October last year. The vaccine stock available at the Sector 19 dispensary also expired in January this year and there was no supply made after April, last year.



Fixing of high security number plates
Fancy mobike owners have a harrowing time at RLA
Design of plates not meant for imported two-wheelers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
Guradarsh Maan, who owns a Honda CB 1005 cc motorcycle, had a harrowing time getting the high security number plate fixed on his vehicle at the Registration Licensing Authority in Sector 17 here. The reason being the security plates have not been designed for imported bikes. All sports or fancy bike owners are facing the same problem.

At the three centres set up by the RLA for the fixation of the security plates, motorcycle owners were seen waiting as there was a problem in the design of the front side of these fancy motorcycles. There is no proper gap where these security plates can be fixed and neither the authority nor the vendors deployed to affix the numbers knew what to do with them.

After a long wait of more than two hours the RLA officials asked the vehicle owners to get the provision made either by the vendors or by the company at their own end.

As per the directions, under rule 50, the vendors have to fix the front number plate in such a way that it is clearly seen on the front side of the two-wheeler. But in all fancy bikes the vendors are facing problem while fixing the plates as there is no proper gap on the front side of the mobike to fix them.

As per the records of the RLA, as many as 127 applications including two and four-wheelers, were received by the vendors at the three centres set up for the purpose. But only 91 vehicle owners turned up to get the security plates fixed at the centres.



Master plan body wants inter-state panel set up
Feels it will help achieve balanced, sustainable and integrated development of tricity
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The Master Plan Committee has stressed the need to set up the inter-state regional committee for the overall development of the tricity.

In the draft master plan, the committee has recommended, “the committee has to be constituted to achieve balanced and sustainable integrated development, which should focus on connectivity, transport linkages between towns in the region, rational land use policies, carrying capacity, environmental conservation, disaster management and financial and institutional framework.”

The Master Plan Committee has also proposed that there should be regulated development in the 50-km radius of the city in order to lessen the infrastructural load on the city, which is already bursting at its seams.

In the 50-km radius, areas like Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Kharar, Banur, Landran, Ramgarh, Kalka and Pinjore would also be covered. The Master Plan Committee has proposed for better connectivity between these towns through more road links and better public transport system.

The committee has further recommended that major projects like international sports stadium, solid waste management plant, amusement park, big hospital etc that would come up in tricity should be discussed in the inter-state regional committee. The key issues taken up are:

More road links

Recently, the Haryana government had taken up the issue of link roads from Panchkula to Chandigarh. At present, residents mostly use the road from the Sector 26 light point to the Housing Board Chowk, often resulting in a traffic jam. The alternative link to Panchkula from Hallo Majra has been completed between NH-21 and the Industrial Area, Panchkula, but it has not given the expected relief to commuters due to the existing level-crossing near Mauli Jagran. The construction of a railway overbridge (ROB) over level-crossing linking Chandigarh to Panchkula to facilitate the movement of traffic, has started but it is yet to be completed.

Public transport system

There is a need to improve the public transport system in the tricity. For mass rapid transport system (MRTS), bus rapid transit system (BRTS) and light rail systems in the tricity, consent of Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana is a must.

Slum rehabilitation

Punjab has been repeatedly blaming the UT for rehabilitating slum dwellers on the city’s border with Mohali. Punjab’s Housing and Urban Development Department through GMADA has been taking up the issue with the UT.

Kajauli waterworks

The UT has been demanding additional supply of 40 million gallon of raw water per day from the Bhakra main canal, Kajauli. But Punjab has been denying it the share in the Phase 5 and Phase 6 of the Kajauli water works.

Haphazard growth on the periphery

In the absence of any check over the construction of buildings, there has been haphazard growth on the city’s periphery. The inter-state regional committee will ensure stringent enforcement of the Punjab New Capital Periphery Control Act, 1952, to check the haphazard growth. If all stakeholders cooperate, the development will take place according to the approved master plan.



Fresh case of swine flu reported
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
A 35-year-old woman from the industrial area tested positive for swine flu on today. This brings the tally to 36 in the city this winter season. These also include five deaths from the tricity.

The number of cases of swine flu has shown a decline this year, when compared with those reported in the previous four years.



3 overloaded school buses impounded
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 6
The school buses, one each, of Swami Ram Tirath Euro Kids, Yadavindra Public School and Ashiana Public School, Sector 46, Chandigarh, were impounded by the district transport authorities for overloading.

The local administration has begun to tighten the screws of the school managements following the Nakodar accident on March 4 in which school children lost their lives.

The authorities even imposed challans on other school buses for not possessing vehicle documents as required under the law.



Residents bear the brunt as UT fails to come up with mobile tower policy
Tribune News Service

A mobile tower located in a residential area, Sector 10, Chandigarh
A mobile tower located in a residential area, Sector 10, Chandigarh. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, March 6
The much awaited mobile tower policy of the UT Administration is still shelved. No action has been initiated by the authorities on those telecom companies whose mobile towers were creating problems in the residential areas of the city.

In a similar case, a resident of Sector 10, Brig Narjeet Singh, had lodged a complaint with the UT Deputy Commissioner office about six months ago that a mobile tower generator installed by the company adjoining to his house was creating sound pollution in his house. He made a request to the authorities to direct the telecom company to make some arrangement so that it does not create any disturbance on his premises. But till date neither he has received any communication from the DC office nor any action has been taken by the company.

Brig Singh said that he had visited DC office twice in the past six months, after submitting his complaint, but no officer took any interest in hearing his complaint.

He revealed that six years ago also he had made a similar complaint to the DC office after which the Additional deputy commissioner directed the company to look into it and the matter was resolved. He said that in the month of September last year similar problem erupted but the authorities have taken on action on it so far.



Fifty boxes of electronic cigarettes seized
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 6
As many as 50 boxes of electronic cigarettes have been seized from outside a hotel in Sector 10, Panchkula, today evening by the Panchkula Drugs Department.

An electronic cigarette contains nicotine equivalent to 20 cigarettes. It is not lit by a matchstick but is charged by a charger.

The drugs department had received a tip-off that a vendor was selling it by saying that it is nicotine free. A trap was laid where one official acted as a customer and asked for the cigarette.

“The vendor doesn’t even give a bill for the cigarette which created more suspicion and the boxes were seized,” said an official.



Gender-specific knee implants introduced

Mohali, March 6
Dr Harsimran, Additional Director, Department of Joint Replacement, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, today introduced gender-specific knee implants, specially tailored to fit the anatomy of women thereby increasing mobility and minimising pain after the knee replacement operation.

Dr Harsimran, while addressing the audience, said this Women’s Day the hospital would come up with gender-specific implants.

Dr Harsimran said till now there were common implants for both men and women. However, the anatomy of women was different from that of men. Historically, the implants used for knee replacement had been designed based upon an average between the sizes of male and female knees. This meant that the implants used to be larger than the bone for most female patients. This led to overstuffing of the joint, which used to cause pain and decreased mobility after surgery. Hence, the need of the hour was a separate design of knee implant for female patients. —OC



30 women honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
Haryana Excise and Taxation Minister Kiran Choudhry, while giving away International Women’s Day Awards 2013, today said that women were doing exemplary work in every field.

The award ceremony was organised by Gurukul Vidyapeeth and the Shri Shanti Sarup Sharma Memorial Educational and Charitable Trust (S-4 Trust). Choudhry also honoured 30 prominent women from different fields with the International Women’s Day Awards-2013 for their outstanding contribution to the society.

Those honoured included Rani Balbir Kaur, theatre artiste; Usha R Sharma, administrator-poet; Namita Singh, eminent architect; Aruna Goel, MC councillor; Jaswant Kaur, blood donor; Neel Kamal Puri, English writer; Manjit Indra, Punjabi writer; Ratnika Tiwari, singer; Rama Rattan, social activist; Reene Singh, therapist; and RJ Meenakshi.



Theatre festival from March 8

Chandigarh, March 6
The Samvaad Theatre Group, Chandigarh, is organising a five-day theatre festival at the Tagore Theatre from March 8.

In this festival, teams from Punjab and Haryana are also participating other than Chandigarh. Several issues like eye donation, blood donation, importance of vote and social evils like female foeticide, dowry system and side effects of drugs will be highlighted through these plays.—TNS



Professional courses
PU struggles to get students placed
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The key departments of Panjab University (PU) are struggling to get their students placed.

While the academic session is about to get over, the prestigious departments like the University Business School (UBS) has been able to place only 65 students out of total 145. The situation is similar in the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) where around 190 students and 36 students in the University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (UICET) are still looking for job.

The lukewarm response from the employers witnessed by various departments of PU has made the professional departments dependent on 'Avsar', an annual joint placement fest, to be organised by the university.

As per the data available at the PU Central Placement Cell, the UBS department has managed to place only 65 students till date. Out of as many as 400 students studying in the UIET only 210 have managed to secure jobs for themselves and out of around 80 students only 44 have bagged jobs in the UICET.

Manu Sharma, training-cum-placement officer (TPO) of the UIET, stated recession behind the placement scenario in their department.

The situation in the University Institute of Applied Management and Sciences (UIAMS) is even worse with only 15 out of total 100 students securing jobs till date.

Amandeep Marwaha, training-cum-placement officer at the UIAMS, said: "There are multiple reasons behind the slump in the market. The public sector bankS that usually used to visit our department for placements have not visited this year due to litigations over the bankS hiring students through campus placements and also holding their own entrance tests for students out of the campus."

Marwaha said the uncertainty among the employers whether the market will pick-up or not has also restricted them from making fresh recruitments.

Coordinator Central Placement Cell Prof SK Chadha said, "We are hopeful of placing our students through the upcoming placement drive Avsar."

The University Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism (UIHMT) also has over 40 students who are yet to get placed.



Panjab University all set to host Avsar-2013
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
Panjab University (PU) is all set to host Avsar-2013, the annual fest for the students of the university. Special training sessions for the university students, who lack communication skills, will also be held to prepare them for interviews.

Preparations for Avsar-2013 started today by bringing forth a website dedicated to students' placements. The website will be loaded with up-to-date information on the proceedings and developments of the drive, which will act as an interactive portal between the employers and the employable.

VC Arun Kumar Grover, while addressing mediapersons, said: “Students of the university lack communication skills for which special care will be taken to prepare them for interviews by organising special training sessions by industry experts”.

The university will organise an exclusive one-day interactive workshop wherein HR (Human Resource) heads of some leading organisations will be invited to channelise the students.

The event has been planned according to specific job types catering to explicit academic clusters of the University Teaching Departments.

“The systemised user-friendly web portal will not only help the employers and the students register themselves, but also it will assist the students in preparing for interviews,” PU officials said.

The drive will not only provide a platform for linking the companies with the potential employees, but also special care will be taken to prepare the students for interviews by organising special training sessions by industry experts.

Around 10 companies have already shown their interest in the placement drive, out of which five companies have confirmed their visit.

Schedule of Avsar-2013

  • March 12- Deadline for online registration by students.
  • March 16- Company registration closes.
  • March 17- Pre-placement Day.
  • March 20 to 22- Companies will visit campus for placements.



PEC gives iPods at camp to encourage blood donors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
Encouraging the students to come forward and donate blood, the PEC University of Technology distributed iPods at a blood donation camp held today to ensure participation from the students.

The NSS Unit of PEC in collaboration with the PGIMER and PECOSA (PEC Old Students Association) organised the camp.

There were four lucky draws for the students during the day rewarding iPods for encouraging blood donors.

“Selflessness is a virtue, which is hard to find in this competitive world. I salute the blood donors and urge them to continue this selfless act,” said Dr Manoj Datta, director of PEC.

The chief guest, YK Chawla, Director, PGI, felicitated 25 star donors, students, faculty and staff who have donated blood for at least 5 times.

Faculty member Loveleen Taneja and staff members Jaswinder Singh and Surjit Singh were honoured for donating blood over 25 times.

A total of 319 units of blood was collected on the occasion. Posters were displayed throughout the college for encouraging the students.



Education Dept to notify State Advisory Council soon
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The UT Education Department will soon notify the State Advisory Council under Section 34 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), 2009.

Even as Chandigarh Administrator Shivraj Patil approved the list of 15 members for the council last year in September, it could not be notified due to the confusion over its statutory notifying authority.

Soon after the approval of its members, the Education Department referred the case to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for its notification, which sent the case back to the department clarifying that the counsel was to be notified at the level of the Chandigarh Administration only.

“It was due to this correspondence between the MHRD and the department that took a lot of time in notifying the council,” said an official.

“There has been clarity over the issue now. The file for the council has been referred to the UT Law Department for vetting and after their approval, which is expected soon, the council will be notified and subsequently be issued in the UT Gazette notification,” said the official.

As per information, the council consists of seven ex-officio members, including Adviser to the Chandigarh Administrator, Education Secretary, Director of State Institute of Education, DPI (Schools), Director, Higher Education, District Education Officer and chairman of the Right to Education Protection Authority.

Among persons nominated from the field of education include Rakesh Sachdeva, principal of DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, Amarjit Kaur, principal of GSSS, Sector 15, Sartul Singh, retired JBT teacher, Father Sebestian Jose, president of NGO Don Bosco and Nav Jeevan Society, Vandana Singh, special officiating officer at Government Institute of Mentally Retired Children, Sector 32.

Other members include JS Jayara, head, Institute of Blind, Sector 26, Chandigarh, Sudha Katyal, lecturer of Home Science College, Sector 10, and Pritpal Kaur, retired deputy director, Adult Education Department.

Officials said all required terms and conditions prescribed under the Act had been followed while constituting the council. For instance, the council had one-third women members, besides people representing SC/ST and minorities. Vandana Singh and JS Jayara are appointed as members for their experience in educating children with special needs. Likewise, Rakesh Sachdeva, Sudha Katyal and Pritpal Kaur, along with other members, had been taken in for their experience in elementary education and child development.

The major function of the council would be to advise the state government on effective implementation of the Act. The council had been constituted keeping in account the required provision of the RTE Act, said the officials.

Meanwhile, the department has started the process of constituting the Right of Education Protection Authority (REPA), for which the budget of Rs 1 crore has also been earmarked.



Teachers want their services regularised

Chandigarh, March 6
Members of the UT Cadre Educational Employees Union met DPI (S) Upkar Singh on the issue of the regularisation of contractual teachers. The delegation also had several contractual teachers who demanded from the DPI (S) to speed up the process of regularisation, which has been pending for the past several years.

Swarn Singh Kamboj, president of the union, said most of the contractual teachers were working here for more than 10 years and due to their age bar, they were ineligible for government services.

“Since they are already under pressure due to the fear of termination as they are working against the sanctioned posts, the department must speed up their case for the regularisation,” he said.

The delegation members said the DPI (S) assured them of timely action on their demands. — TNS



BCom final-year students given warm send-off
Tribune News Service

Students of the Commerce Department of the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, during a farewell party in Chandigarh on Wednesday
Students of the Commerce Department of the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, during a farewell party in Chandigarh on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, March 6
Students of the Commerce Department of the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, bade farewell to the outgoing students of B.Com final-year today.

The auditorium presented an elegant look, which was highly appreciated by the audience. The students presented a number of events ranging from songs, dances, medleys, choreography, modelling and mimicry.

B.Com final-year students also displayed innovative skills by dedicating their regards for the teachers of the Commerce Department in the form of PPT presentations.

Dances performed on a medley of foot-tapping numbers had the audience in raptures. The fashion-cum-modelling showcased by B.Com final-year students enthralled everyone present on the occasion.



Akademi remembers former vice-chairman

Chandigarh, March 6
The Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi organised a memorial meeting to pay tributes to Professor Jagmohan Chopra, former principal, Government College of Art, Chandigarh, Director, Government Museum, Chandigarh, president and chairman, All-India Fine Arts and Crafts Society, Delhi, and former vice-chairman and secretary, Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi.

The meeting was held today at the conference hall of the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, Sector 34-A.

BN Goswamy, an eminent art historian, Diwan Manna, chairman, Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, and Professor SS Bhatti, former principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, spoke on the occasion. Diwan Manna remembered him as a pioneer print maker, able art administrator and a visionary who brought Chandigarh on the national art map.

He also mentioned the fact that Chandigarh did not give him his due. Professor Chopra breathed his last on March 3 in Delhi after prolonged illness. — TNS



‘Italy India's fourth largest trade partner’

Mohali, March 6
Italy is today India's fourth largest trade partner and there are lots of openings for professionals in the fields of tourism, industry, designing and clothes.

This was stated by Dr Nina Saxena, Head, Language Training, Italian Embassy Cultural Centre, here today. Dr Saxena was speaking at Quizitalia, an event organised by the Italian Embassy for creating more interest among students about Italian cuisine, lifestyle and industry, at the Chandigarh Group of Colleges.

Quizitalia was the fourth of the six quiz contests being organised across the country. For the event, Italian companies Fiat and Lavazza were the sponsors, whereas CGC was the venue partner for northern India. More than 30 teams from various colleges across Chandigarh and Punjab took part in the quiz.— OC



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