C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Don’t look to Centre for grants: Patil
Tells UT officials to think out of the box to find city-specific solutions
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil today advised UT officials to think out of the box to find city-specific solutions for different pressing issues rather than always looking towards the Centre for solutions.

He advised the officials to work out city-specific self-financing solutions rather than waiting for grants to come from the Union Government.

Inspecting solar projects at Chandigarh Energy Park, Patil asked the officials what they were doing to improve the efficiency of solar projects. The officials said research was being done at the central level. Patil said the Union Government gave a one-time grant to carry out projects and it was their duty to be self-sufficient so that the Administration required less support from the Centre to carry out city-specific projects.

Patil also had some suggestion to make on the design of some solar panels. He was in favour of a compact design where the solar panel, the battery and light could be placed together. UT Chief Conservator of Forests Santosh Kumar said they had installed such compact-design panels at Paryavaran Bhawan in Sector 19 and at the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association ground in Sector 10.

While inspecting a building model having solar energy panels, he suggested that instead of installing a solar panel in the balcony, it should be installed on the rooftop. It would not only provide more space in the balcony, but would also increase the efficiency of solar energy, Patil said.

Recently, the Planning Commission of India had also asked the UT Administration to raise resources from all possible sources to fund its plan.

Self-financing solutions
He advised UT officials to work out city-specific self-financing solutions rather than waiting for grants to come from the Union Government. Recently, the Planning Commission of India had also asked the UT Administration to raise funds from all possible sources to fund its plan



Soon, rent a bicycle to reach your destination
MC to introduce 'park & ride' facility
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
In an attempt to decongest the city from the traffic chaos and to promote cycling, the Chandigarh Administration and the municipal corporation will soon offer city residents a facility to rent bicycles from parking lots to reach various points and markets in the city. It will be called the "park and ride" facility.

Besides, residents can pedal to a place where the public transport facility is available and take a bus or train from there. The UT and the MC will provide the cycle parking facility at these places.

Confirming this, city Mayor Subhash Chawla said the issue was recently discussed with officials of the UT Administration. The municipal corporation was ready to carry out this project, he said.

Issues such as the rent amount for a cycle and how to collect it; whether to issue a monthly card or adopt a daily payment mode, were yet to be finalised. Initially they would provide these facilities in the Sector 17 and 43 bus stands and various busy markets such as Sectors 22 and 35, he said.

The master plan committee is also in favour of promoting cycling in the city. The committee had recommended that while improving road connectivity in the city, the focus should not be on motorists alone. The Administration should keep in mind cyclists and pedestrians before widening any road and starting any project. The master plan had laid stress on providing the "park and ride" facility around bus stands, bus stops and the proposed Metro stations. The master plan committee had recommended that the Administration should improve cycle tracks in the city.

System a hit in European cities
The system is used in many European cities. In the long run, officials intend to have 15 to 20 bicycle rental points in the city from where people can pedal to the next point where public transport is available.

The plan
According to UT officials, at a meeting, it was discussed that while taking cycles on rent, commuters would have to get their name and address registered at the cycle rental point. Thereafter, the parking operator concerned would issue an integrated permit to the commuter after which he would be at liberty to park and pick his cycle from any of these places. 



Girl was kidnapped to avenge slap; 3 held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
It was a kidnapping to avenge a slap by a girl to "shoo away" four youths who tried to molest her. The youths could not stomach the "insult" and decided to get back at the girl by kidnapping her on March 16.

The Chandigarh Police, which claimed to have solved the case, said a 25-year-old girl had slapped one of them in the Sector 47 market when they tried to make some advances at her. Three of the accused had been arrested by the police while a hunt was on to nab the fourth one.

The girl, a resident of Sector 47, was kidnapped by four car-borne youths from near her residence on March 16 and dropped near Sector 26 almost 30 minutes after the kidnapping.

The police said on March 20, Jaspal Singh, SHO of the Sector 31 police station, received a tip-off that the suspects involved in the kidnapping case were roaming in the Sector 47 area. "A police team reached Sector 47 and arrested the accused, who were identified by the complainant," the police said.

The arrested accused have been identified as Abhay Pathak (31), a resident of Sector 47 D, and Vinod Kumar Mehra (36) and Baljit Singh (22), both residents of Sector 47 D. The fourth accused, Monu, is at large.

The SHO said Monu went to the extent of stealing a Maruti car from Sector 47 and they forcibly pulled the girl inside the car around 8.15 pm while she was returning home from the Sector 47 market.

"During interrogation, the accused disclosed that since they were "insulted" at a public place, they wanted to teach the girl a lesson. They panicked after seeing a PCR Gypsy near the Sector 19/27 light point and dropped the girl in Sector 26," the SHO said.

The accused then dropped the car back from where they had stolen it so that nobody could detect the theft.

During preliminary investigation, it came to light that accused Abhay Pathak and Vinod Kumar, who were earlier involved in robbery, snatching and theft cases, had met Monu in Model Jail, Chandigarh. After their release in August 2012, all of them were in touch with each other.

"Abhay has six cases registered against him in different police stations, while Vinod and Baljit have one case each against them," the SHO said.

The accused were produced in a court, which remanded them in one-day police custody.

How arrests took place
While the police had a different story to tell behind the arrests, sources said Abhay Pathak tried to rob a resident of Sector 47 on Thursday. Residents and passers-by raised the alarm following which the police caught him after a hot chase. It then came to light that Abhay was one of the accused in the kidnapping case. The complainant identified him. The police arrested the other two accused following information provided by him.



Medico booked on charge of harassing fiancee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
A 31-year old MD student of a medical college was booked today for allegedly harassing and threatening his junior in the college, to whom he is engaged to, by sending objectionable messages to her and her relatives.

The accused has been identified as Rakesh Jain. The Crime Against Women Cell of the Chandigarh Police is investigating the matter. The complainant told the police that Jain started harassing her and sending objectionable messages. She said Jain also started sending

messages to his would-be in-laws.

A case has been registered at the Sector 34 police station.

In another incident, a 28-year-old model, Gurwinder Singh, of Mohali was arrested for allegedly molesting a girl student today.

Police officials said the victim and the accused met each other at a function, and exchanged their phone numbers.

Later, the accused started threatening her following which the girl's parents lodged a complaint against him. Gurwinder Singh has been released on bail and an inquiry has been initiated.



Property Transfer
CHB mulls doing away with NOC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
After the Estate Office, it is now the turn of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) to provide relief to owners of freehold property.

On the pattern of the Estate Office, which has allowed the transfer of property without seeking a non-objection certificate (NOC), the CHB is contemplating extending this relief to its allottees.

Affecting hundreds of owners of freehold property, once approved, it will enable the transfer of freehold property without seeking an NOC.

The benefit will come with a rider. The buyer and the seller will have to furnish an affidavit that they will be responsible for any violation.

In January, the Supreme Court had upheld a decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding quashing the mandatory NOC required for selling or getting a property registered in the city. “The board wants to ensure that there is no discrepancy in the transaction,” said an official.


Draft climate change plan ready
Governor inaugurates Chandigarh Energy Park to mark World Forestry Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
On the occasion of World Forestry Day, UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil today inaugurated the Chandigarh Energy Park at the Botanical Garden, Sarangpur, here.

On this occasion, he also released the ‘Greening Chandigarh Action Plan 2013-14’ for the coming plantation season as well as a brochure on the Chandigarh Botanical Garden.

Patil exhorted the city residents as well as NGOs, RWAs and eco-clubs to actively take part in the implementation of the Greening Chandigarh Action Plan.

Adviser KK Sharma said the administration had prepared a draft climate change action plan, which would guide the city planners and residents for the next 30 years.

The Secretary (Forests, Environment and Science & Technology), DK Tiwari, said the aim of establishing the energy park was to create awareness among people on the importance of energy conservation.

Director, Science and Technology, Santosh Kumar said the energy park showcased the principles of conservation and conversion of energy from one form to another. The state -level energy park has different demonstration units, which run on renewable energy and are based on the theme, conservation of energy. Solar poser-run video games, battery-operated cars, SPV streetlights, parabolic heat concentrator, water-pumping wind mill, biogas generation unit, etc, are the highlights of the park.

Employees of the UT Administration gave a demonstration on the use of solar cooker and other equipment. They cooked rice and prepared chapattis on solar cookers.



Rs 6-cr bid for bus queue shelters
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
As many as 60 ultramodern bus queue shelters, constructed at a cost of lakhs of rupees by the UT Engineering Department, have finally found takers.

The UT Transport Department has received the highest bid of Rs 6 crore (annual) for the maintenance of the bus queue shelters. In lieu of the bid money, the firm would sell marketing space at the shelters. The contract would be for a period of three years.

“If the bids are approved by the Chandigarh Administration, the department can earn Rs 18 crore as revenue from the bus queue shelters,” said officials in the Transport Department.

For the past one year, the issue of maintaining these shelters on a Run-Operate-Maintenance basis was tossing between the Engineering Department and the Transport Department. Apart from the revenue, the firm would employ persons to guard the property from being vandalised.

Officials in the Transport Department pointed out that the UT Engineering Department and the MC had utterly failed in maintaining about 200 bus queue shelters. Most of the shelters were in a bad shape.

Going by the past experiences, UT officials were reluctant to allow advertisements at the bus queue shelters. There was a problem in maintaining these shelters, as there was no clear-cut policy on advertisements. But now, the issue has been sorted out.

Engineering Department seeks Rs 75 lakh

After months of deliberations over the maintenance of dilapidated bus queue shelters, the UT Engineering Department has finally asked the UT Transport Department to foot the bill of Rs 75 lakh for repairing the same.

The decision was taken in a recent meeting between the officials of the Chandigarh Administration and the Transport Department. Out of the total 200 old bus queue shelters, the Transport Department had sought the repair of 44 shelters.

Of the total 64 shelters, the Transport Department has stated that 20 shelters were redundant, as they did not fall on the presently running routes of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking.



golf club brawl
Panel to submit report soon
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The three-member committee, which has been constituted to probe the brawl at the Chandigarh Golf Club, is expected to submit its report till Monday. The report will be presented to the office-bearers of the club for further action.

Milkha Singh, along with three others, including Congress MLA from Punjab Randeep Singh Nabha, former captain of the Golf Club SS Laihal and former Punjab Chief Secretary RS Mann had engaged in a scuffle with Lieut-Col Vijay Singh Sandhu (retired) at club on February 16.

“The committee is over with all its inquiry. We have recorded the statements of both the parties, including caddies and other members. We have considered the CCTV camera footage and after a brief follow-up we will be ready to submit the report,” a source said. “The committee has taken over one month going through all the aspects. We have conducted a crystal-clear inquiry, but the nature of punishment cannot be revealed,” added the source.

When asked whether the members involved in the brawl can cast their vote in the upcoming Golf Club elections, the source said: “It’s up to the decision-making authority to allow them to cast their vote. We have been assigned the work of probing the matter and we are over with it,” he said.

The committee is chaired by Lieut-Gen KS Mann and has two members, SMS Sandhu and JS Rathi. The committee recorded the statements of Milkha Singh, former captain of the Golf Club SS Laihal and Congress MLA from Punjab Randeep Singh Nabha.

After the brawl, both the parties had filed police complaints against each other. The police has registered a case against Randeep Singh, SS Laihal, Milkha Singh and RS Mann for allegedly beating and threatening Sandhu under Sections 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC. Randeep Singh Nabha had filed a counter complaint against Col Sandhu under sections 323 and 506 of the IPC. 



Help desk launched at District Courts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
A help desk was launched at the District Courts Complex in Sector 43 today for providing assistance to visitors. The counter will cater to all kinds of visitors' queries and will remain open from 9 am to 5 pm everyday. The counter was created in view of the increasing number of litigants visiting the courts complex and difficulty being faced by visitors in locating courtrooms.

The previous court complex was relatively smaller in area and finding courtrooms was easier there. The present complex, inaugurated last month, has a greater area and more buildings. Though a board displaying the location of each of the 20 courtrooms had been installed near the entrance of the court building, visitors had been facing difficulty in reaching their respective courtrooms.

There are a total of five courts of Additional District and Sessions Judges and one court of District Sessions Judge. Besides, there are 14 courtrooms of magistrates in the complex.



Child welfare staff to intensify stir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The protest of the employees of the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) against the UT Social Welfare Department entered its ninth day today. The president of the employees union, Rekha Sharma, stated that a massive rally would be held tomorrow as the department had not taken any action towards implementing their long-pending demands.

She said 13 posts of teacher were lying vacant in creches due to which two creches were being looked after by one teacher. The drop out rate at these 26 creches, which are managed by only 13 teachers, has gone up to 25 to 30 per cent in the past one year. Similarly, 15-odd posts of helper have been lying vacant for the past one year, because of which the department has to hire the services of daily wage earners. The records of the department reveal no recruitment has been made in the department to improve its functioning since 2009.

Making a mockery of their own decision, the authorities have not even implemented the decision on disbursing addition DA to the teachers of the ICCW. The class IV employees have demanded that their retirement age should be revised from 58 to 60 years. 



Improved infrastructure in Industrial Area sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
A delegation of industrialists today met with UT police IG RP Upadhaya and submitted a memorandum to him.

The delegation included Mukesh Bassi, industrialist and MC councillor, Sandeep Sahni, president of the Chamber of Chandigarh Industries, Arun Mahajan, president of the Industries Association of Chandigarh, Vinod Mittal, president of the Chandigarh Roller Flour Mills Association. They discussed with him issues related to law and order and challenges in the industrial sector.

The industrialists highlighted the increasing incidence of theft in the Industrial Area. They demanded that the police beat system should be improved. They said the beat boxes were mostly unmanned. The industrialists also demanded that patrolling needed to be stepped up and CCTV cameras should be installed at various locations.

Industrialists informed Upadhaya that traffic was expected to increase manifold in the Industrial Area, Phase I, after the opening of malls, especially the Elante Mall in Phase I. More than 10,000 cars are expected to visit that mall alone, which shall lead to total traffic chaos in the area. 



RTI queries baffle GMADA staff
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 21
Plenty of curious queries under the Right To Information (RTI) Act keep Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) officials on their toes.

According to a senior official of the department, the office used to receive on an average 400 applications every month.

“The shocking fact is that several applications are being made just to harass the officials,” claimed the official.

Citing examples, he said in one such application, the applicant had asked to provide the record of all constructions in the GMADA’s area since the department came into existence.

“We don’t know what the applicant wishes to do after getting the entire record,” said the official.

He said they were bound under law to give the information, but such non-serious queries make them overburdened. These queries were never been used for any fruitful purpose.

Sources in the department claimed that last year they had to provide the information to over 6,000 applicants.

“In fact, several officials concerned in various wings of the office used to consume three-four hours daily to prepare the replies on time. Certainly, the work suffers in the process,” said another official.

“This is surely a peculiar problem, which we are facing everyday,” said the officials.



Sitar maestro, kuchipudi dancers enthral audience
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
Sitar maestro Manu Seen and Kuchipudi dancers, Jayarama and Vanshree Rao, enthralled the crowd with their scintillating performances on the second day of the 43rd Pracheen Kala Kendra Nritya and Sangeet Sammelan at Tagore theatre.

Sitar maestro Manu Seen of Punjab ghrana kicked off the programme with a popular raga kalyan. He presented a composition in madhya laya.

The audience was thrilled to relish the recital as he doled out Ati drut faster composition. He concluded the recital with a captivating composition in raga bhairavi based on a popular Sufi lyric of Baba Bulleh Shah.

The gurus of the Kuchipudi dance, Padamshri Jayarama and Vanshree Rao, with their troupe took the centre stage to present a series of dances. They opened up with theme, “Rasna Vibhov”, a compostion of Maharaja Swati Tirunal. 



Civic body to widen road on PGI campus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The PGIMER has sought the Municipal Corporation’s assistance in maintaining projects related to widening and re-carpeting of roads, drainage, sewerage and parks for the residential area of the campus. The request, which was submitted a year ago by Dr YK Chawla, Director, PGI, was accepted and approved by the civic body.

Area councillor Saurabh Joshi met the PGI Director today. Several points were discussed during the meeting in which Joshi submitted a charter of demands to the Director and the Deputy Director of the PGI.

Among other issues discussed, the highlight was Joshi’s recommendation that the PGI has a budget to ensure that an effective drainage system was put in place to improve the existing poor living conditions of the residents and improve the longevity of roads in the residential complex. Joshi offered help to expedite the project of making road gullies, which would facilitate effective drainage. 



Villagers sensitised on cleanliness

Chandigarh, March 21
A sanitation campaign was organised by the sanitation and pest control wing of the Municipal Corporation at Burail village today.

The safai karamcharis of the wing held a rally to spread awareness among residents on maintaining cleanliness. The MC officials distributed pamphlets among the residents. They said such cleanliness drives were organised by the MC to change residents' mindset, particularly with regard to public behaviour in keeping their premises and surroundings clean. Additional safai karamcharis were engaged in the cleaning of the village streets. — TNS



60 signboards removed

Chandigarh, March 21
The enforcement wing of the MC, today removed 60 signboards from the market of Sector 36. These signboards were displayed by shopkeepers in violation of section 5 of the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order 1954.

Kashmira Singh, Superintendent of the wing, said the MC had issued notices to the shopkeepers.

Five Inspectors were deployed in the market during the drive and five trucks used to transport the signboards. — TNS



HIV-TB co-infection on the rise in city
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
HIV and tuberculosis (TB) co-infection has emerged as a common problem over the past couple of years and its average incidence has gone up to 2 per cent of the total number of notified TB patients in Chandigarh. The co-infection not only increases mortality rate but also poses risk of multi-drug resistance.

“Patients suffering from HIV/AIDS are highly susceptible to acquire tuberculosis as the T-cells, which fight TB, are destroyed by HIV increasing the risk of TB,” said Dr SK Jindal, Head, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, PGIMER.

“While at the national level, the average incidence of HIV-TB co-infection is 5 per cent, in Chandigarh the average rate has been found to be 2 per cent at any given time,” said state TB officer Dr Anil Garg.

“We have been monitoring the incidence more effectively since April 2010 by sending all our TB patients to ART centres for testing HIV. Here, we have attained 99 per cent success in ensuring HIV testing of our TB patients so far,” added Dr Garg. The co-infection, if undetected for long, affects the lifespan of an HIV patient severely.

“The lifespan of a patient having HIV-TB co-infection can come down to merely 10 per cent. Early diagnosis of the co-infection is crucial,” said Dr Jindal.

Chest clinics in India provide Co-trimoxazole Preventive Therapy (CPT) to HIV-infected TB patients as a measure against common opportunistic infections.

According to official figures, about 2,500 new TB patients are notified every year in the city. These constitute only those patients who avail treatment at government institutions. The actual number of patients affected with TB is supposed to be much higher.

Multi-drug resistant TB makes a patient resistant to INH and Rifampicin - the two most powerful first line anti-TB drugs. This increases the challenge of treating patients with special drugs, which not only cost above Rs 1 lakh per patient but are also toxic in nature, leading to side effects.



Kundi Connection
Tent house fined Rs 35,880

Mohali, March 21
In a case of alleged power theft for a public function by a resident welfare association, Punjab Power Corporation Ltd imposed a fine of Rs 35,880 on a tent house.

SDO Paramjit Singh said a notice regarding the imposition of fine had been served on Kamal Tent House, Phase 9, for power theft through 'kundi' connection. The function was organised by the Residents Welfare Association of Sector 67 on March 15 at the local market.

Electricity to play music system, public address system and lighting by the tent house was taken through a ‘kundi’ connection from a nearby pole. Akali leader Balwant Singh Ramoowalia was invited at the function.

Kamal, owner of the tent house, said he was told to take the connection by the president of the association. “I was told by the president of the association that nothing would happen. I have told them to get a generator set on rent for the purpose, but they did not listen to me. The fine should be imposed on the association,” said Kamal.

Mehma Singh, president of the association, said the owner of the tent house was making false statement.

“It was his responsibility to bring generator set. I never asked anyone to go for any illegal work,” said Mehma Singh. — TNS



Chandigarh Scan

The Department of Life Long Learning & Extension organised the 2nd Major Jiwan Tewari Memorial Lecture in the memory of Prof Jiwan Tewari who had been Director, Correspondence Courses, and founder of the Centre for Adult Continuing, Education and Extension, Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Professor Arun Kumar Grover, Vice Chancellor of the university, was the chief guest on the occasion. Prof Poonam Dhawan, Director, Department of Life Long Learning and Extension, Jammu University, in her keynote address, said adult education in the today's scenario was more relevant and needed to be integrated with other departments of the university. Prof RP Bambah, former Vice Chancellor, Panjab University, and class fellow of Major Tewari, described him as a leader, a decision-maker and intellectual.

A clarification

In the news item, "Inspector in CBI net for graft", it has been inadvertently mentioned that the inspector, Jagjit Kumar, was from the Estate Office. He was attached with the UT Engineering Department.

Problems discussed

A delegation, led by Harphool Chander Kalyan, councillor of Ward No. 13, met M Shayin, Deputy Commissioner, Chandigarh, and discussed various problems regarding the development of Sector 49, 50, and 51. The delegation, including Mohinder Chaudhary, senior Congress leader, Kamal Gupta, president of the Residents Welfare Association of Sector 50, also discussed various problems regarding Colony No. 5.

Training programme

In order to enhance transparency, accountability and to ensure a hassle-free delivery of services through the effective use of the ICT, the Department of Information Technology, Chandigarh Administration, is organising advanced training on e-Governance for officers of different departments. The Department of Information Technology, through its Society for Promotion of the IT in Chandigarh (SPIC), has imparted basic-level training on e-Governance to more than 100 employees of the Chandigarh Administration. Prerna Puri, Secretary, IT, said the Department of Information Technology had designed the advanced training programme on e-Governance jointly with National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT), Chandigarh.

Hi-tech lab set up

To promote research in academics, Chandigarh University has entered into an academic alliance with Wipro under which the company has set up a hi-tech research and development lab, Mission10X Technology Learning Centre (MTLC). The lab was inaugurated by Hemachandra Bhat, Head Unique Technology Learning Platform (UTLP) Initiative, Wipro, at the complex on Thursday.


The Punjab Chapter of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) on Thursday announced that for the 3rd consecutive term, Anil Chopra, CMD, St. Soldier Group, Jalandhar, Kulwant Singh, Janta Group, and Amardeep Singh Hira, Shiwalik Group, have been unanimously elected chairman, president and general secretary, respectively, for 2013-15. All the six chapter associations of Punjab participated in the elections, which were held at Hotel Shivalik View, Chandigarh.

Mohali Scan
Strike called off

The Punjab State DC office employees union has called off pen down strike throughout the state. The strike has been called off on the second day of the protest after getting assurance from the state government regarding the implementation of their demands. The president of the Mohali unit of the union, Om Parkash, said a number of posts in the office of the DC, SDM and tehsil were lying vacant.

New medical procedure

Radio frequency ablation is the answer to complicated liver cancer in patients with multiple health problems, ageing and medical condition where conducting a surgery can be risky. A breakthrough in treating liver cancer, the procedure is not only minimally invasive but has shown excellent results among patients who have gone through it, said the Director of Centre for Liver Transplant and Hepatobiliary Sciences (CLTBS), Dr Subba Rao V Kanchustambam, at Fortis Hospital, Mohali. He was addressing media persons on Thursday.

Singer regales students

Famous actress and singer Miss Pooja regaled students of Desh Bhagat University with her old and latest songs. She had come to the university along with her team for the promotion of her latest film "Pooja Kiven Aa". Vice-Chancellor SS Chahal and Dr Shalini Gupta, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Desh Bhagat University welcomed Miss Pooja and other artistes.

Milestone achieved

A student of International Business at Taaleem College of International Studies (TCIS), Mohali, Ishwarj Singh, has won laurels. He has been selected through a rigorous entry process to participate in the 59th Session of Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN -2013).


The Bureau of Indian Standards organised a seminar on standardisation of pallets on Thursday. The seminar was attended by more than 40 participants from various stake holders, including manufacturers, dealers, traders and government agencies. Scientist PC Joshi explained the basic concepts of standardisation and development of standards for pallets.

Panchkula Scan

The Haryana health department is organising the first of its kind minimally invasive surgery conference, 'Lapcon Haryana 2013', at the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula. After the success of the surgery package programme in the state, the department has decided to lay special stress on minimal invasive surgery. This two-day conference will definitely improve surgeons' surgical skills. — TNS



Board denies certification to PEC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The PEC University of Technology has been denied accreditation from the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) citing some shortcomings for the postgraduate courses being run by the college.

The NBA has raised objections over the Interim Board of Governors not as per the UGC, poor research and development as some of the reasons.

A meeting was held today at PEC to discuss the issue.

The institute had applied for accreditation of its postgraduate courses in 2012. The expert committee visited the institute in September last year and submitted a report stating that the Institute has serious shortcoming which are to be overcome before such accreditation is given.

Director of the Institute Dr Manoj Datta called a meeting of the Heads of Departments to inform them about the result of not being successful in the process and to decide the further course of action.

Sources said that poor governess including the interim nature of the Board of Governor which is not as per the UGC, poor research and development statistics are some of the reasons behind the denial of accreditation by NBA.

Incidentally, the accreditation was a pre-condition for the project, TEQIP-II, for which the institute was supposed to receive grant of around Rs 12.5 crore out of which the college had already received a grant of Rs 2 crore.

A senior faculty member of the institute said the committee that visited the campus had given its report which was to be assessed by another higher committee which raised some objections.

"The college is now planning to file an appeal against the decision of the committee or re-apply for the accreditation," said a faulty member.

A senior faculty member said, "Project TEQIP - II has been allotted to the college for three years and the college will have to ensure that they get the NBA accreditation failing which the funds will have to be surrendered."

The departments that had applied for the accreditation include mechanical, civil, computer science, electrical and production.

PEC Director said all the departments have been asked to meet the shortcomings so that a re-appeal for the accreditation could be filed.



Teachers oppose survey duty
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The loose planning of the Education Department has once again come under scanner after government teachers were told to carry out the child mapping survey at a time when they were busy in conducting the examinations and preparing results.

The Education Department’s fresh child mapping survey, which began today, will cover children up to the age of 18 years. Earlier, child mapping surveys were done for the children up to age of the age of 14 years.

Officials said the age limit has been increased in this new survey to check the trend of drop-outs as well as the education status of the students above Class VIII.

However, several questioned the timing of the survey. The schools on the periphery are most affected due to large population in slums and colonies.

A teacher said the teaching staff was already under pressure of preparing results and other related activities but this survey has further burdened them. “This job could have been done by engaging resource staff or under graduates of colleges or university,” said one of the teachers.

“Keeping in view the exams days and preparation of results this exercise should have begun in April first week,” said Vinod Sharma, president of the government teachers union.

He said it has burdened the school heads, who are already busy in buying school uniforms and other financial matter ahead of the closing of the financial year.

Members of the UT cadre teachers’ welfare association said the teacher community must be left alone for teaching purposes and the jobs such as child mapping surveys, census and voter lists surveys should be done by external agencies. Meanwhile, the instructions of the department to the government schools said the survey must be conducted on priority basis within 3 days starting from today and compiled by the end of this month.

This exercise of child mapping is done every year to maintain the records of children residing within the city for the purpose of the Right to Education Act. It also checks their eligibility for admission under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, especially for those in the EWS and disadvantage categories.

Last year, teachers surveyed more than 1.4 lakh students in the UT. “The overall work will take a bit of longer time because age limit has been increased, he said.



pilot project
Traffic marshals to be deployed outside government schools
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The UT Education Department will deploy traffic marshals in front of the government schools to ensure the safety of school children during morning and afternoon hours.

They will regulate the traffic. Officials are of view that these marshals will also monitor issues like eve-teasing in front of schools.

The project is all set to begin in 10 government schools on pilot basis and after its assessment this facility will later be made available for rest of the schools in Chandigarh.

GSSS-Dhanas, GGSSS-20, GSSS-Manimajra, GMSSS-21, GSSS-27, GSSS-Raipur Khurd, GGMSSS-18, GMSH-25, GMSH-43 and GMSH-41D are among schools selected for having traffic marshals during first phase.

According to officials, each school will have one marshal who will be asked to arrive one hour before beginning of the school and at least one hour before its closing time in the afternoon. The schools, which are running on double shift, will have separate marshals. The number of marshals can be increased as per the requirement, said officials. As per the information, the department has already finalised the appointment of traffic marshal Gurnam Singh as the nodal officer who will monitor the working of the marshals in front of schools and trained them, if required.

While the traffic department has been told to recommend the names of traffic marshals for the pilot project, the department is also expected to issue advertisement to invite retired citizens to work as marshals. They will be paid an honorarium of Rs 3000 from the respective schools for the services.



600 students take part in job fest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 21
The Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology organised a mega job fair in which more than 600 students from various institutions participated.

The institutions that took part included those of Panjab University, Kurukshetra University, Punjab Agricultural University and the CGC Group. Students from diverse streams were offered jobs based on a written test, group discussion and personal interview as per the criteria of the companies. More than 16 prominent brands participated in the event. As many as 78 students were selected by the companies with salary packages ranging from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 3.75 lakh per annum.



job fest
PU students keen on taking up teaching as profession
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
Teaching profession seems to have gained popularity among the students of Panjab University (PU).

This can be gauged with the fact that large number of students from the professional departments of the university, including University Business School (UBS), Pharmacy, University Institute of Applied Management and Sciences (UIAMS) and University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), appeared for the interviews for the teaching posts offered by the private universities and education institutes during the ongoing placement fest, 'Avsar', organised by PU.

Coordinator Central Placement Cell SK Chadha said the students from professional departments have preferred the teaching profession over different kind of jobs offered by the private and corporate firms during the placements.

PU official said that as many as 10 students from the UBS, 75 from the UIAMS, 70 engineering students of ME and MTech and few PhD students from the pharmacy department have appeared for the interviews for teaching jobs.

Chadha said, "PhD students from the pharmacy department have been offered monthly package of Rs 55,000. Phd students, who have done MTech, got an offer of Rs 80,000.

One of the private universities has offered the MA English students a monthly package of Rs 25,000 and Rs 35, 000," he said.

A UBS student who appeared for the interview and got selected said that good pay package and a peaceful life encouraged him to go for this profession. "I feel teaching the students and getting paid well is a better job then working for any corporate firm," said the student.

Officials said, "As many as 23 students have been recruited by the Lovely Professional University while Rayat and Bahra has short listed around 50 students. Around 40 more students from various streams have been shot listed by different educational institutes."

In first two days of 'Avsar', a total 70 students have got the offer letters from different companies, while around 250 have been short listed for which the final results are awaited.



school notes
Annual day

Gurukul Global School, Manimajra, wore a festive look. A cultural function of melody and ballet was orgainsed to mark the annual day celebrations of school, "Accolades 2013". Dr VN Pathak, deputy general manager, Central Bank of India, was the chief guest on the occasion. Principal Aruna Bhardwaj and Managing Director Praveen Setya along with other members of the staff welcomed the guests. The function started with the traditional lighting of the lamp of knowledge followed by a prayer song and the release of Gurukul Global's newsletter. A welcome dance on 'Namastey India' by the students of Class V was the main attraction during the annual day

Awareness on forests

As many as 200 students of The British School, Panchkula, become a part of world wide campaign to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests. The students had an engaging discussion on how all sectors of society have to commit to the reduction of deforestation, preventing forest degradation, reducing poverty and promoting sustainable livelihoods for all forest-dependant people.

Director of the school Geetika Sethi applauded the effort of the staff and the students and said, "International Day of Forests is a tremendous opportunity to celebrate our unique relationship with forests."

Graduation day

The Millennium School students today celebrated their graduation day with great fervour and enthusiasm. The ceremony saw the school children dressed up in waist long coats receiving their merit certificates. "It is a great moment of pride for the school as the batch had joined when the school just started four years back," said Komal Singh, principal, The Millennium School . "The school has seen them grow from shy and hesitant infants to confident and well spoken children, which in itself is intriguing," she said. —TNS



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