C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Manpreet’s son involved in brawl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
In yet another case of highhandedness of the kin of VIPs in the city, Arjun Badal, the 19-year-old son of the Manpreet Badal, president of the People’s Party of Punjab, allegedly attacked a 25-year-old youth in Hotel Sunbeam at Sector 22 last night.

Harivansh Singh, a Sector 9 resident, who was injured in the attack, has filed a formal complaint against Arjun Badal and two others at the Sector 22 police post. A daily diary report has been lodged.

DSP Ashish Kapoor confirmed that they had received a complaint against Arjun Badal. “We have summoned both the parties to the police station tomorrow,” he said.

Arjun Badal along with his friends and police guards attacked one Harivansh Singh at Hotel Sunbeam. “Arjun, who was under the influence of liquor, threatened to throw Harivansh off the roof of the Hotel. Harivansh was accompanied by two girls. Following a verbal altercation, Arjun and his friends, Fateh Singh and Ahsas Bhullar, who claimed to be the son of a Punjab Police officer, left the hotel only to return with four security guards. The armed Punjab Police personnel along with Arjun and his friends thrashed me and threatened to kill me,” alleged Harivansh Singh.

Harivansh’s shirt was also torn and he received injuries on his head. The assailants also manhandled his female companions, alleged Harivansh.

Badal and his friends fled the scene with their hired goons when the girls raised a hue and cry. Harivansh underwent a medical test at the Sector 16 General Hospital and filed a complaint with the police. 

Not aware, says Manpreet

Expressing ignorance about any such brawl involving his son, Manpreet Badal said he and his son Arjun were at their native village in Badal. “We are at our village. How could such an incident occur,” he said while talking to Chandigarh Tribune. 



65-yr-old woman done to death
Assailants hold family hostage; decamp with gold, cash 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
Unidentified assailants killed a 65-year-old woman at her residence near a tubewell at Dhanas and decamped with cash and jewellery after taking her family members, including four children, hostage late last night.

The woman, Bhagwati Devi, was attacked with a sharp-edged weapon on her head and face. She was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared her brought dead. The accused are still at large.

Before committing the crime, the assailants, five in number, barged in another house in Milk Colony at Dhanas and robbed a one Gore Lal of Rs 10,000 after beating him up.

Bhagwati Devi used to live in a government accommodation on the premises of the tubewell number 31 at Dhanas with her son, daughter-in-law and four grandsons. Her son, Mohan Chand, works as a tubewell operator. He was sleeping in one room, while Bhagwati and her four grandchildren were sleeping in the other room when the robbers entered the house. Her daughter-in-law had gone to her village.

The incident took place around 2.30 am when five persons with their faces covered entered the house after scaling the rear wall. The assailants attacked Bhagwati when she tried to stop them. The assailants then threatened the children not to come out of their bed. The four grandchildren included 22-year-old Tara Chand and three minor children.

The assailants ransacked the house and decamped with 40 grams of gold jewellery and Rs 20,000. Mohan Chand rushed to the room and saw his mother lying in a pool of blood.

DSP Ashish Kapoor said investigations were on and a case of murder against had has been registered at the Sector 11 police station. 



Stampede-like situation at Shiv temple in Saketri 
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 10
It was a stampede-like situation in Saketri as a large number of devotees thronged the Shiv temple on the occasion of Shivratri.
Slippers of devotees in a narrow lane leading to the Shiv temple.
Slippers of devotees in a narrow lane leading to the Shiv temple. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal

Though the devotees escaped unhurt, most of them had to leave behind their belongings to save their lives.

Since morning the temple witnessed serpentine queue of devotes with as many as 2.5 lakh devotees visiting the temple at Mahadev village near Saketri village.

To avoid the rush, some devotees found an alternative route to the temple. As the lane was too narrow, it led to a stampede-like situation, with devotees pushing each other to move ahead.

“Most of the devotees took the narrow lane to reach the temple,” said Ram Singh, one of the devotees.

He added: “Since there was no one to manage the rush, a stampede-like situation prevailed.”

The alternative route was later closed by the authorities.

President of the temple managing committee Madan Lal said: “The situation was brought under control. That alternative route was closed and devotees were asked to come through the proper route.” 



Bouncers double up as guards at temple
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 10
The management of the Shiv temple deployed 45 bouncers from the discotheques in Chandigarh. The bouncers were seen managing the rush at the temple.

“Even the police fails to manage the rush of devotees during Shivratri.,” So we deputed bouncers this year,” said Madan Lal, president of the managing committee of the temple.

Three bouncers were deployed at the parking lot, one at the VVIP entrance, one towards the Kishangarh side and others around the temple and on the main routes. Some had formed a chain at the entrance.

“They have been deployed for 26 hours. Every bouncer is being paid Rs 1,300,” said Madan Lal.

Women get raw deal

In the absence of the lady police, the women visiting the temple were given a raw deal by the bouncers at the temple. Not only this, the bouncers were also seen manhandling women devotees.

“The bouncers were asking us to move back. They were pushing the women,” said Vinita, a devotee and a resident of Sector 2, Panchkula.

However, Madan Lal, president of the temple committee, denied the allegations. The bouncers were there to help the devotees. 



Two killed, three hurt in accident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 10
The Shivratri celebrations turned sour for a Shimla family when two persons were killed and three suffered injuries after the car they were travelling in rammed into a tree near Maddawala on NH 73 this morning.

The family was on its way to Haridwar. The victims were rushed to the Sector 6 General Hospital where Dyal Singh (42) and Sunehri Devi (55) were declared brought dead, while Lajjo Devi, Dharam Datt and Khemraj were referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

Dyal Singh, who was driving the Maruti car, lost control over the vehicle and it rammed into a tree. The victims were taken out of the car with great difficulty, said the police. 



6-year-old boy goes missing
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 10
A six-year-old boy, a resident of Sector 12, Panchkula, went missing from Shiv Temple at Saketri during the Shivratri fair on Sunday. The victim, Ajay, went missing in the morning. The police has registered a case under Section 365 (kidnapping) of the IPC. 



Convocation of disorder at Panjab University
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
The 62nd annual convocation of Panjab University was marked by confusion and disorder with degrees of the students getting mixed.

Many PhD students, who came on the stage after their name was announced, had to face embarrassment as their degrees could not be traced.

Union Minister for Human Resource and Development Dr M Magapati Pallam Raju, who presided over the function, also had to face embarrassment as he had to wait to hand over the degrees to students.

The students, who were asked to come down from the stage after their degrees could not be traced, were called again to collect the degree.

As if it was not enough, some students also failed to get the degree from the minister. “I had come for the rehearsal on Saturday and my name was also announced on the stage. But today, the authorities failed to trace my degree,” said a student, who was enquiring about his degree from the authorities after the function was over.

“The excitement to receive the degree from the minister during the convocation was over when the authorities could not find my degree. I waited for sometime on the state and then I was given someone else’s degree which I had to return later,” he said.

PU Registrar AK Bhandari said the bundles of degrees of the PhD students got mixed. “The students who didn’t get degrees during the convocation might not have come for the rehearsal,” Bhandari said.

The Vice-Chancellor also apologised to the students for the inconvenience caused to them. 




Of the total 704 students who got certificates and medals, 527 were girls

Professor Romila Thapar, a renowned historian, Prof Ashoke Sen, a theoretical physicist, and Prof MS Raghunathana, a well-known mathematician, were honoured with DLitt/DSc Honoris Causa during the convocation

Seven teachers from DAV College, Sector 10, got the PhD degree during the convocation


Co-founder of Vivek Nursery passes away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
Sharda Dutt, one of the co-founder members of Vivek Nursery and Preparatory School, passed away at her residence in Sector 19 yesterday. It was the first preparatory school of the city established in 1966.

Sharda, who devoted her entire life to education, did her Teachers Training Course (TTC) from St. Bede’s College in Shimla, after which she taught at St. Edward School in Shimla only.

Joyshri Lobo, Sharda’a daughter, said her mother loved teaching children and she was among the very first students. “When we were in Shimla, my mother started teaching me and my sister at home. It was in 1950s,” she said.

Lobo said later they came to Chandigarh and her mother, along with four other of her friends, decided to start a preparatory school, which was run from a house at Sector 9.

The school continued till mid-90s and produced many students who have excelled in different professions.

Sharda, who was fond of reading, also contributed to newspapers through puzzles, including Sudoku and crosswords.

After teaching, the next thing Sharda loved was sweets, which she even had on the day she breathed her last.

“She was very happy as from the past few days she was taking lots of sweets. On Saturday also, she had “ras malai” and went to sleep. She passed away within a few minutes of waking up,” said Lobo, who was sitting next to her mother during the last moments.

Sharda used to worship Lord Shiva and she was cremated on the auspicious day of Shivratri today.



Mad scramble for railway tickets
Train to Haridwar chugs off; chaos becomes order of the day; over 300 tickets sold on Day I
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
In the absence of a reservation facility for the special one-day train introduced from Chandigarh to Haridwar, chaos prevailed at the ticket counters of the railway station on Sunday.

The special train has been introduced to tackle the heavy rush of devotees travelling to Haridwar in the wake of Kumbh Mela.

Many residents had to return empty-handed as they could not reach the railway station on time.

"In the absence of the reservation policy, the purpose of introducing the direct trains gets defeated. I kept waiting for 30 minutes, but could not get a ticket and the train chugged off," said Rajesh Sharma, a resident of Sector 50.

The residents, who were able to get the tickets, felt that the reservation facility would have made it convenient for them to travel. "We had come here with our bags packed but there was no certainty whether we would get tickets," said Sonia, a resident of Sector 38 (West), who was heading for Haridwar with her family. Over 300 tickets were sold today. Some of the coaches in the train, however, remained unoccupied, as many could not purchase the tickets. The special train number 04504 departed at 12.50 pm from the city and reached Haridwar at 6.10 pm and on Monday the train number 04503 will start from Haridwar at 12.20 pm and reach the city station at 4.55 pm.

There were eight coaches in the train. The response to the train has been good. "Tickets for the coaches that remained unoccupied will be sold at other stations like Jagadhari, Saharapur or Ambala," said Chandigarh station superintendent Praveen Kumar.



World Glaucoma Week: An effort to light up the dark
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
A countrywide walk across 36 cities, including Chandigarh, was organised today to mark the beginning of World Glaucoma Week.
The walk started from Rock Garden at 8 am and culminated at Sukhna Lake.

There has been an increase in the number of glaucoma patients at the PGIMER's eye department in the past five years. Glaucoma, an irreversible eye disease which leads to blindness, has been affecting a large number of people aged above 40.

The number of glaucoma patients registered with the PGIMER's Advanced Eye Centre has increased from about 8,000 in 2007 to nearly 25,000 in 2012.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that causes progressive damage to the optic nerve which is responsible for conveying image to the brain. If left undetected and untreated, it can lead to irreversible blindness. Glaucoma is commonly known as 'Kala Motia'. It cannot be cured but blindness due to glaucoma can be prevented by timely diagnosis and treatment.

Which is the risk group?

Glaucoma can occur at any age but it affects people above 40 years of age and the risk increases as the age increases. People over 60 years of age are six times more at risk.

What are the symptoms/preventive measures?

The peripheral vision fades off and the eye can only see the central object. Glaucoma cannot be prevented, but visual impairment and blindness can be prevented by early detection and treatment.

What study says

A study conducted on the families of 100 glaucoma patients at the PGIMER between 2008 and 2009 found that the family members these patients felt burdened, being only caregivers. 



Old age home for ex-servicemen to come up in P’kula
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
The Army is setting up old age homes for ex-servicemen and widows who do not have any support in the twilight of their lives. A pilot project is being launched to set up the first such home in Panchkula.

Stating this while addressing the Triennial Convention-cum-Reunion of the War Decorated India, an association of Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra and Vir Chakra yesterday, Chief of the Army Staff, Gen Bikram Singh said the project would later be expanded to cover other cities across India.

The next home after Panchkula is scheduled to come up at Lucknow. Panchkula was chosen for the pilot project due to its proximity to the Headquarters, Western Command, and also being easily accessible from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, the states which have a large ex-servicemen's population.

While inmates of the home will have to pay for their stay, it will be managed and operated by the Army. It is expected to be ready by next year and will have the capacity to accommodate 36 officers and 24 other ranks.

Officers said there were instances where soldiers had to live alone after retirement. Such homes would provide the elderly veterans security, support and dignity of living that are essential in old age," they said. 



Take care as weather is changing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
"The stark variation in temperature across the day has been causing problems such as indigestion and even diarrhoea," said the experts.
"Though the overall rise in the temperature will gradually bring down cases of viral infections, the variation in the night and day temperatures is likely to affect food items," said Dr Gopal Bhardwaj, head, department of medicine, Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16.

"This can result in poor digestion and diarrhoea. Reheating of food items should be avoided and residents should also avoid eating street food and cut fruits," said the experts.

Cases of allergy have also been pouring in the hospital. Problems such as body ache and headache are also common.

"One must avoid direct exposure to cold even while sleeping and should wear full-sleeved shirts before venturing outdoors to avoid body ache," said the experts. 



Aadhaar cards benefit 2,500 slum dwellers
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
Queueing up for Aadhaar cards yielded good results for as many as 2,500 slum dwellers who were allotted tenements by the Chandigarh Housing Board under the rehabilitation scheme.

Sources in the CHB said before starting the allotment process, the authorities asked the claimants of the colonies to submit their Aadhaar letters.

The applications were scanned on the basis of Aadhaar letters.

A senior official said a number of false claimants had submitted the applications.

The sources said after authentication, 430 slum dwellers in Sector 38, 810 in Sector 49, 500 in Sector 56 and 760 in Ram Darbar were allotted tenements.

The CHB had mooted the use of Aadhaar cards while allotting tenements.

In the past, while allotting tenements under the scheme, the department had come across a number of false claimants.

Deputy Director General, Unique Identification Authority of India, Keshni Anand Arora said the UT social welfare department was under the process of utilising the letters for the transfer of cash into Aadhaar-based bank accounts of pensioners in the city.

Sources said tenders for the Aadhaar-based bank accounts had already been floated. 



Bus mess: Admn wants to buy chassis
Rajmeet Singh/TNS

Chandigarh, March 10
Concerned over the delay in buying new vehicles for the CTU fleet, the Chandigarh Administration is considering purchasing bus chassis and getting fabricated bodies on them.This would enable the UT to save time and cost.

The local transport service is short of around 200 buses.

UT special secretary (transport) Ajoy Sharma refused to comment while director (transport) TPS Phoolka could not be contacted.

Sources said the CTU has to utilise the earmarked Rs 45 crore for buying 98 buses by March 31. Beyond the deadline, the amount would lapse. Since a Volvo bus costs around Rs 89 lakh, the amount given to the CTU for buying 98 buses is inadequate. That could be the reason why the single tender for Volvo buses has been delayed.

"The matter has been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for advice. This would mean further delay?, said an official in the transport department.

Sources said quotations for the purchase of around 80 bus chassis could be called within few weeks after getting the approval from senior officials in the Administration. Against the price tag of Rs 89 lakh for Volvo low floor buses and around Rs 40 lakh for the low floor pre-fabricated buses, the entire cost in purchase of a bus, including the cost of chassis and fabrication comes to around Rs 25 lakh. This means more buses could run on city roads in the sanctioned budget of Rs 45 crore.



Verify credentials of PGs to check nuisance

The recent incident of a lawyer being killed by occupants of a paying guest (PG) accommodation in Mohali has once again highlighted problems created by the thriving unregulated business of PG accommodations. Tricity residents share their views on the issue.

Number of accommodations has increased manifold

I have returned from Dubai after four years, and in this period the number of paying guest accommodations has increased manifold. With this increase in the number of PG accommodations, incidents of ruckus created by people staying in these PGs have also increased. The administration should take some strict measures to provide relief to the public from the nuisance created by the unauthorised PG accommodations running in the residential areas.

Jatesh Bassi, engineering student

Make hostels for students, working men and women

The Chandigarh Administration’s failure to control the mushrooming of the paying guest accommodations is gradually becoming a pain in the neck of the common man. The alarming rise in the number of PG accommodations in the tricity has become a hazard. Advocate Amarpreet Sethi’s death is a classic example of the same. If the UT Administration is serious about controlling the number of PG accommodations, then hostels should be made for students and employed men and women. The growing incidents of violence and eve-teasing are a pointer to the failure of the administration in this direction. No concrete steps are being taken to stop the nuisance created by paying guest accommodations, especially when they exist in houses smaller than the permissible limit of 7.5 marlas in Chandigarh. The UT Administration should immediately take necessary steps to curb this menace.

Sunil Chopra, president, residents’ welfare association, Sector 18

Frame rules to maintain peace

Stopping house owners from letting out their houses to youngsters is not justified, since it is a sign of growth. The administration, however, has to regulate the inflow of outsiders in terms of verification of their records. This will ensure that mischievous elements do not create law and order problems for residents. Certain bylaws can be framed for maintaining peace in the tricity.

BB Singhal, resident, Sector 10, Panchkula

Youths create nuisance in neighbourhood

Everyday, there are incidents of people staying at PGs creating nuisance. The administration has to strictly control this menace. There should be separate registered private hostels to check the menace of the paying guest accommodations. These should provide facilities to students and unmarried working men and women. Nuisance is also created by mischievous youths who frequently visit areas where PG accommodations for girls exist. They blow horns, play loud music and park vehicles in front of the gates. They are always eager to enter into a fight.

Dr Vikas Sharma, National Skin Hospital, MDC, Sector 5, Panchkula

Miscreants find safe haven in tricity

Unregistered PGs are creating nuisance in Panchkula as residents do not have proper records. Moreover, boys and girls staying in these PGs are disturbing the neighbours. Without registration, bad elements can find a safe haven in the tricity.

Vishnu Goyal, resident, Sector 12, Panchkula

Regular checking must

Regularisation of PGs is very important. House owners should get details of the youths verified from their colleges. In fact, at times miscreants put up in rented accommodations in the garb of students. Regular checking of the PGs is very important, or else it will prove to be a threat for all residents.

Manbir Singh Rathi, resident, Sector 4, Panchkula

Rowdy youths throng markets

Time has come for the authorities concerned to check the paying guest nuisance sternly. Most of these boys and girls have no fear of law. These days it is very difficult to go to any market in the tricity as these are visited by groups of rowdy youths who stay as PGs in the nighbourhood.

Jasmine Dhariwal, a teacher

There should be no further delay in framing rules

The Chandigarh Administration should not delay the finalising of rules and regulations for the paying guest accommodations. Involvement of PGs in various crimes cannot be ignored.

Dalip Singh, resident, Sector 41, Chandigarh

PG accommodations flouting norms

The growing menace of paying guest accommodations needs to be controlled. The paying guest accomodations should only be allowed in specific zones and not in every nook and corner of the city. The illegal paying guest accommodations are also evading service tax. They also use domestic power and water supply for commercial purposes, which is illegal and should not be allowed.

Pushpinder Duggal, a chartered accountant

Chandigarh an educational hub

Chandigarh is an educational hub of this region and students from neighbouring states come here for pursuing higher education in city colleges and universities. Paying guest accommodations are required for accommodating this ever-increasing influx of the student community into the city.

Jai Prakash, from Himachal Pradesh

PGs needed for outstation students

I feel that until the UT administration comes up with enough hostels in the city for outstation students, the paying guest accommodations should not be shut down. Without them, students will be left with no place to go.

Ravi Chaubey, from Uttar Pradesh

PGs provide extra income to residents

The administration should look for other ways to regularise the paying guest accommodations. It’s not just the outstation students and working employees who will be benefited by it, but the house owners too will be able to get some extra income.

Subhay Kumar Prashad, from Bihar



Poor response to first women’s walkathon at Sukhna Lake
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
The much-hyped first women’s walkathon at Sukhna Lake received a poor response here this morning. “Walk for her” was organised with the aim to sensitise people about the importance of making the City Beautiful a safe and secure place for women.

The event was scheduled to begin at 7 am but it could only start around 8.10 am. The prize distribution ceremony that was scheduled for 11.30 am was held an hour in advance.

“A very few people were aware of this event. The organisers should have started the event on time to keep participants interested in it,” said a participating couple.

The organisers blamed the chief guests for this confusion. “The Deputy Mayor, who was the chief guest, was scheduled to come around 7 am. Due to a one-hour delay in his arrival, participants left on their own,” said one of the organisers.

“The Punjabi singer, who was supposed to give away prizes, wanted to leave early. So, the ceremony was organised around 10.30 am,” he said.

After a delayed start, however, a total of 120 enthusiasts participated in the event, he said.



Inadequate parking space plagues Mohali
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 10
The state government is keen to develop Mohali as a 'model city' but the parking of vehicles at several public places has become the biggest hindrance to it.
In the absence of adequate parking space at various important sites, including government offices, people are forced to park their vehicles on roads, blocking traffic and creating problems for the residents.

Vehicles parked on the road opposite District Courts at Phase 3B1 ; and (right) vehicles parked on the road opposite the office of the Punjab School Eductaion Board, Phase VIII, in Mohali.
Vehicles parked on the road opposite District Courts at Phase 3B1 ; and (right) vehicles parked on the road opposite the office of the Punjab School Eductaion Board, Phase VIII, in Mohali. Tribune photos: parvesh chauhan

During a random survey by a Tribune team, the situation at the District Court Complex (Phase 3B1), DC Office (Phase I), Punjab School Education Board and the road separating Fortis Hospital and GMADA office ((Phase VIII), and parking lots of Phase V and Phase VI markets was found to be the worst.

For people living near the community centre of Phase 3B1, whose premises are being used to run the district courts, parking of vehicles in front of their houses has become a headache. "In the absence of any parking place, people who visit the disctrict courts park their vehicles in front of our houses. No space is left for us to park our vehicles. Fights between residents and people parking their vehicles have become routine," said Bhupinder Kaur, a resident of the area.

Vehicles parked on the road opposite the Deputy Commisioner’s office at Phase I in Mohali. 
Vehicles parked on the road opposite Fortis Hospital at Phase VIII in Mohali. 

Varun Nagpal, who is a judge, is also among the sufferers. He lives adjacent to the District Courts Complex. One of his family member said, "People park their vehicles in front of their house. Two schools and a gurdwara are also located alongside the road which adds to the chaos in front of their house. So, we don't allow our child to go out of the house."

The story is no different at the District Administrative Complex in Phase I. The place houses offices of Deputy Commissioner, Senior Superintendent of Police, District Transport Officer, local tehsildar and other officials of the administration.

Though the authorities have earmarked a site in front of the complex for parking but it is inadequate. "Nobody manages it, so if you park your vehicle there, chances are high that you Will get stuck in the place as people park their vehicles at its entrance when it gets full," said Mohan Singh, a local resident.

Similarly, in the absence of any check on the part of the Mohali police or the district administration, chaos of vehicles on the road in front of Fortis Hospital continues unabated.

Three important sites, PUDA Bhawan, Vikas Bhawan and Fortis Hospital, are located alongside the road. The visitors at these organisations park their vehicles on roads, which results in total chaos. Many a time, the users of the road, particularly four-wheelers, cannot even pass through the road due to congestion.

"It's a long persisting problem and the authorities concerned seemed to have no interest in addressing it. In absence of any earmarked parking place and check, visitors park their vehicles on the road, which leads to inconvenience for others. Why don't the authorities concerned initiate any step to check the problem?" asked Davinder Singh, a resident of Phase IX.

Expressing similar sentiments, Rajinder Sodhi of Phase VI said the hospital and offices in question should come up with a plan to check the problem and the traffic police should be deployed at the spot for the purpose.

The road in front of the office of the Punjab School Education Board, Phase VII (in front of Chawla Nursing Home) and Phase V witness similar problems due to inadequate parking spaces.

"Now the time has come to think about the problem seriously, otherwise it will become one of the biggest nuisances in the coming days," said Kuljit Singh Bedi, former municipal councillor. 



Chandigarh Scan
Seminar on Indian culture

The Patanjali Yog Samiti and the Bharat Swabhiman Trust (regd), Chandigarh, organised a seminar titled "Vichar" on Indian Culture and Heritage at Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, Sector 27, Chandigarh. Devinder Sharma, an author and an activist, was the chief guest on the occasion. Vijay Saihgal, former Editor, Dainik Tribune, was the keynote speaker. Justice MM Aggarwal (retd) and Justice SN Aggarwal (retd) also addressed the gathering.


PK Sarkar, convener, United Forum of Bank Unions, addresses the gathering during the sixth triennial conference of the Union Bank Officers’ Association in Chandigarh on Sunday.
PK Sarkar, convener, United Forum of Bank Unions, addresses the gathering during the sixth triennial conference of the Union Bank Officers’ Association in Chandigarh on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

The sixth triennial conference of the Union Bank Officers’ Association was held today at Hotel Park Inn, Sector 35, Chandigarh. It was inaugurated by SP Goyal, general manager, Union Bank of India. Over 250 officers hailing from various branches of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh attended the conference. PK Sarkar, convener, United Forum of Bank Unions, urged the government to conclude wage negotiations at the earliest, which was due since November 1, 2012.

Mega draw

A mega draw event of the campaign “HPCL se tel bharao, bhar-bhar ke inaam pao” was conducted by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited at their petrol pump today. G. Chiranjeevi, general manager, north zone, declared the lucky winners of a Maruti Alto car and a Bajaj Platina bike. Naitik of Chandigarh won the car, while Abbad Khan won the bike.

Milk booth demanded

The Sector 40 Residents Welfare Association has demanded a booth for selling milk. In a representation to the MC, the residents have demanded that a “pucca” booth should be constructed in the area at the earliest.

Medical camp

The Chandigarh Senior Citizens' Association organised a socio-medical camp today at Government Middle School, Maloya Colony. This was the second camp in the series of such camps that are held to commemorate the memory of PH Vaishnav, former president of the association.

Patients examined

As many 1,000 patients were examined at a medical check-up camp organised by the Dukh Bhanjan Charitable Trust at Rada Krishan Mandir in Phase 2 here. Dr Jaswant Singh, along with a team of doctors, conducted the medical examination of patients. The patients requiring surgery were operated upon at the Phase 6 Civil Hospital, said Lt-Col RS Sehgal (retd), chairman of the trust.

Aadhaar card camp

For the facilitation of residents, the House Owners Welfare Association (HOWA) is organising an Aadhaar card camp at the Jang Ghar, Sector 10, from March 11 onwards. The camp will be held from 9 AM to 5 PM daily. Bharat Hiteshi, general secretary of HOWA, said the association had also distributed Aadhaar card awareness handbills in the sector. — TNS



Visual impairment no barrier for them
Awarded degrees at 62nd annual convocation of Panjab University
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
The phrase “where there’s a will there’s a way" proved true for two Panjab University students who despite being visually impaired managed to get degrees in higher education. While one successfully completed her PhD, another one bagged the gold medal in MA, Music.


Fighting the odds

Another student who braving all odds got the PhD degree in science at the convocation was Sandeep. He is suffering from brain tumour. Due to his ill health, a PU official had to help him to get on to the stage.

Kiran, an assistant professor at Punjabi University, Patiala, battling all odds, completed her PhD in sociology on the topic, “Perception of Visually Impaired on Social Support System”.

Speaking about her challenges, Kiran said visually impaired did not have much of the literature available to study, which was the major challenge in front of her.

“I had to take the help of readers during my research as enough study material was not available on the Internet,” Kiran said, who did her post graduation (PG) in sociology from the University Open School of Learning.

Kiran attributes her success to her husband, Rajinder Singh, and her research guide, Madhurima Verma.

“My family and guide motivated me to pursue research,” Kiran said.

Kiran wants to write books for visually impaired students so that they don’t face the hurdles during studies that she had faced.

Showcasing another example of dedication and willpower, Kirty (23) bagged the gold medal in Post Graduation in Music Vocals.

Kirty, who hails from Hoshiarpur, pursued her PG course while staying at the girls’ hostel on the PU campus.

Kirty, who is presently pursing M.Phil, wants to be a teacher in future and work for visually impaired students. She was once the student of Dr Kiran at the Institute for Blinds, Sector 26.

Students in a jubilant mood after receiving their degrees at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Students in a jubilant mood after receiving their degrees at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan



Foreign students, too, get degrees at PU
Tribune News Service

Sirijitti Pan Nger and Rachroat Punyaboon, students from Thailand, in a happy mood after receiving their degrees at the 62nd convocation of Panjab University in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Sirijitti Pan Nger and Rachroat Punyaboon, students from Thailand, in a happy mood after receiving their degrees at the 62nd convocation of Panjab University in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, March 10
Those getting degrees at the 62nd annual convocation of Panjab University (PU) also included a few foreign students. They had come to the university to pursue research.

Sirijitti Pan Nger, a student from Thailand, said it felt great to get the PhD degree from PU.

Nger, who is a teacher in Thailand, said people in Chandigarh were cordial and her research guide was very helpful to her.

Nger pursued her PhD in philosophy and now has decided to send her daughter to PU for higher education.

“I will send my daughter for graduation to PU and will love if she pursues her post graduation and PhD here only,” she said.

Rachroat Punyaboon, another student hailing from Thailand who also got the PhD degree in philosophy, said he had a scholarship for pursuing research and he could have chosen any university for research. "I had heard a lot about this university and the hospitality of the city residents. That’s why I decided to pursue my research at PU,” he said.

There are over 120 students mainly from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Ethiopia, Bhutan, Tibet, Thailand and the US studying at PU.



Gold medals lose shine at university
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
At PU convocation, gold medals lost their shine for students as their names and other details had been engraved in a shabby manner. It appeared that the names had been engraved at the last moment.

One of the students said it seemed that someone had written the names in a hurry just for the sake of formality.

“PU is a university of repute. That doesn’t reflect well on its reputation,” said a student.

A parent of the student said if the university could not ensure a good quality medal, then the authorities could charge money from students as it’s a prized possession for lifetime.



Centre to introduce Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan soon: Minister
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
With an aim to reforming the higher education system in states, the Central Government is soon going to introduce the Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA). Under it, the states coming up with education reforms will get additional funds from the Centre.

Union Minister for Human Resource and Development Dr M. Mangapati Pallam Raju, who presided over the 62nd annual convocation conducted by Panjab University (PU), said the government was focusing on improving the standard of the higher education system in states.

“The state governments will be provided financial assistance under RUSA to enable them in improving the quality of higher educational institutions,” the minister said.

There is a provision of Rs 25,000 in the 12th Five-Year Plan for RUSA, which would be utilised for improving the higher education in the country.

The minister said the states in a bid to avail special grant under RUSA would have to ensure that the educational institutions recruit quality teachers and get themselves accredited by various agencies.

The state governments will be submitting their reports after fulfilling various minimum requirements, following which they would get the grant.

Speaking over the retirement age of teachers in universities, the minister said the government had already increased the retirement age for teachers to 65 years. If a teacher was really good, making him teach till 70 years of age could also be considered.

The minister said the Academic Performance Index (API) had not been scrapped. “We want to bring quality teachers in the education sector for which API is must as its scores indicate the performance of a teacher,” he said.

During his address at the convocation, he extolled the traditions of the university, which encompass studies in a vast range of disciplines and subjects.

The minister underlined the role of youth in the process of nation building and the importance of educational institutions in channelising their energies and knowledge in a creative and constructive manner in the field they choose to work in.

“The younger generation can contribute in a big way towards human upliftment through the use of technology,” he added.



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