C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Water Tariff
Defaulters owe Rs 13 crore to MC
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Water supply to be hit today
The MC, along with the Punjab Government, will carry out repair work on the Kajauli Waterworks, Phase III. As a result, there will low pressure water supply from 6 pm to 9 pm on April 5 in the city. 

What the Mayor says
Officials have been asked to act against defaulters who have no dispute with the MC over the pending amount. The MC will also initiate action against individual defaulters who have a pending amount of more than Rs 50,000
— Mayor Subhash Chawla

Chandigarh, April 4
While the municipal corporation is all set to increase the water tariff in the city, it is yet to collect Rs 13 crore from defaulters.

Of the Rs 13 crore, around Rs 6.5 crore is to be collected from government departments of Punjab, Haryana and the UT Administration. The Police Department, the Electricity Department, the Horticulture Department, the CTU and even the municipal corporation are yet to clear their bills.

JW Marriott, Sector 35, and Hotel Mountview, Sector 10, are also on the defaulters' list.

City Mayor Subhash Chawla had recently held a meeting on the issue in which directions were issued to the officials concerned to initiate steps to collect the amount from the defaulters.

Among the defaulters, the UT Horticulture Department is yet to pay Rs 1.5 crore, the Punjab Civil Secretariat: Rs 13 lakh and the UT Police Department: Rs 10 lakh. Interestingly, an amount of Rs 53,260 is pending against the MC building in Sector 17.

Harpal Singh, owner of JW Marriott, said, “The bill is disputed and it was not received on time. We have requested for reconciliation. We are in constant touch with the authorities to resolve the issue. Moreover, a bill was generated for a borewell when it was not even functional."

MP Singh, Superintendent Engineer (Electricity), UT, said the Electricity Department had a dispute with the MC over the pending amount and talks were being held with civic body officials on this issue.

Religious bodies on defaulters' list

Among the defaulters, the Gorakh Nath temple, Sector 19, is to pay Rs 2,92,484 whereas a gurdwara in Faida village is to pay Rs 1,78,904.

Colonies not behind

The MC is yet to collect Rs 50 lakh as water tariff from various colonies in the city. It has to recover Rs 6,25,034 from the Gwala Colony, Rs 8,88,313 from the Bapu Dham Colony, Rs 4,47,936 from the Mauli Jagran Colony, Rs 5,72,584 from the Maloya Colony, Rs 1,56,108 from Dadu Majra and Rs 23,19,246 from Ram Darbar, Phase I.

Challan drive from April 15

The civic body is all set to act tough against those found wasting water for watering their lawns and washing their cars from April 15. The MC has decided to impose a fine of Rs 2,000 instead of the earlier Rs 500 on the violators this time.



For parents, sending kids to school no child’s play
Pay through the nose for books, uniform, stationery, fee
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Parents purchase books at a shop in Chandigarh.
Parents purchase books at a shop in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, April 4
Getting a child admitted to one of the reputed schools in the city for the new session was not only a Herculean task for most parents, but it also left them spending anything between Rs 40,000 and Rs 1 lakh. For children already studying in schools, the amount varied from Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000. The amount includes money spent on the admission fee, books, uniforms, stationery, tiffins, water bottles and other paraphernalia.

A cross section of parents Chandigarh Tribune spoke to said the overall admission process shook their budget this year, as they had to shell out between Rs 25,000 and Rs 35,000 on the admission fee alone. Some of them even ended up spending around Rs 1 lakh due to the hefty admission fee in some top schools in the city.

It was not an easy ride even for those whose children were already studying in schools. Parents said they had to spend anything between Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000 just on the re-admission fee of their children to the next class. Add to this the other expenses, the admission process turned out to be a costly affair. “It is unfair on the part of schools to charge such a hefty amount for admitting students to the next class,” said a parent, Atul Grover.

Another city resident, Arvind Goyal, said compared to last year, the admission fee had increased by 10 to 15 per cent. “Missionary schools are less expensive, but not everyone is lucky to get a seat there,” he said.

The prices of school uniforms, school bags, lunch boxes and even water bottles have gone up.

“A branded school bag is available for over Rs 2,000 and the problem is that children always want the best,” said a government employee, Shiv Dev Singh, who lives in Kharar.

Mona, a housewife, said for even buying a pencil box, one had to shell out around Rs 150. Another parent, Niti Latawa, said there should be a check on schools charging hefty amounts.

As far as increasing the monthly school fee for the new session is concerned, private schools have so far not taken any decision due to a litigation pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. They, however, want an increase of 10 to 15 per cent. The private schools have filed a fresh appeal in the HC in this regard.

HS Mamik, president of the Independent Schools Association, said schools had been compelled to increase their tuition fee due to a massive increase in the administrative expensive.



PGI fails to provide life-saving injection dopamine to patients free of cost
Asks them to buy it from chemist shop; displays notice in Emergency
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
While the PGI boasts of providing various life-saving drugs, including injection dopamine, free of cost within the first 24 hours of a patient’s admission, a note displayed at the Emergency is a contradiction.

“Kindly stop using inj (injection) dopamine which comes in the hospital supply as per Dr Bhalla get the inj (injection) issued from chemist shop when required,” reads the note placed right behind the counter used by doctors/nurses inside the Emergency Medical OPD.

Regular visits to the Emergency Unit over the past one month, ever since the note was put up, revealed that patients were being prescribed injection dopamine and many of them were found buying it from a chemist shop inside the Emergency.

The note raises a question mark over the claims of the institution regarding providing the drug free of cost to the patients.

What the PGI says

PGI spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar said, “The instruction to nurses and senior residents was not to use dopamine at all, for certain reasons which experts know the best.”

“There is no authenticity of this document since it has not been undersigned by any of the doctors. How can anyone rely on a piece of paper which is not even signed?” she said.

Unanswered questions

If the original message, which was conveyed by the doctor concerned, was to completely stop using injection dopamine, why does the note say “get the inj (injection dopamine) issued from a chemist shop when required”?
If the document is not authentic, why has it been placed at the centre of the wall at the back of the doctors/nurses’ counter amid other important notes?
If the document is not authentic, why has it not been removed for the past one month. If senior doctors take regular rounds of the area and monitor the activities, why have they not objected to the note? This also raises doubts over effective supervision by senior doctors.

Some hard facts

All senior PGI officials, including the Director and the Medical Superintendent, conduct regular rounds of the Emergency, including the area where the note has been displayed, and is visible both at the entry and exit points.

More than 300 patients visit the PGI Emergency everyday, including indoor patients. The wall where the note has been put up, among other important notes, is visible to patients as well as attendants every time they stand at the counter to speak to doctors or nurses.

The note has been put up inside the Emergency Medical OPD, which is the first area where a critical patient is taken to for assistance.

Why is dopamine used?

It is a drug that is crucial for maintaining the blood pressure of a patient.

How much does it cost?

One unit of dopamine is available for nearly Rs 25.



e-Sampark kiosks to be set up in markets
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The UT Administration will open e-Sampark kiosks in various markets of the city to provide facilities on the residents' doorstep. All facilities available at e-Sampark centres will be provided in these kiosks.

One such e-Sampark kiosk will be made functional in the Sector 35 C market next week. Later, the IT Department will open such kiosks in Sectors 27 and 38, and Sarangpur village.

In these kiosks, residents will be able to pay their water bills, electricity bills and telephone bills, but not in cash as of now. They will have to issue a cheque or a demand draft. Later, the Administration will start accepting cash also.

Tanvi Garg, Director, IT, UT, said they had decided to open these kiosks in markets for the convenience of residents, who could easily pay their bills while going for shopping. The department would open these kiosks in only those sectors where the facility of e-Sampark centre was not available, she said.

These kiosks would be functional between 9 am and 6 pm from Monday to Saturday.

Residents can avail of a number of services at the kiosks without any harassment. These kiosks will also enable the residents to submit their grievances.

The Income Tax Department will also start delivering registration certificates (RCs) at e-Sampark centres.

Besides, the Administration is also in the process of introducing the facility of railway ticket booking at e-Sampark centres. There are 12 e-Sampark centres in the city.


13 interviewed for GMCH top post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
All the 13 doctors from the city, who had applied for the post of Director-Principal (DP) of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, appeared for the interview before the Union Public Service Commission in New Delhi today.

This is the first interview conducted ever since Dr Raj Bahadur, the incumbent DP, was selected for the post in 2007. He has got several extensions after the completion of his three-year deputation in 2010.

In August last year, five in-house doctors of the GMCH had moved the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), challenging the eligibility criteria for the selection for the post of Director-Principal.

The interviews were conducted following the direction of the CAT to the Chandigarh Administration to issue a notification for the appointment to the post of GMCH DP in January this year.

A total of 11 in-house doctors and two doctors from the PGIMER appeared for the interview. From the GMCH, the applicants included Dr Jagdish Chander (microbiology), Dr AK Attri (surgery), Dr Atul Sachdev (medicine), Dr Anju Huria (gynaecology), Dr Satinder (anaesthesia), Dr Suman Kochar (radiology), Dr GP Thami (dermatology), Dr Sudhir Garg (orthopaedics), Dr Arjun Dass (ENT), Dr BS Chavan (psychology), Dr AK Janmeja (pulmonary medicine). From the PGIMER, Dr SK Singh (urology) and Dr Rakesh Sehgal (parasitology) appeared for the interview.

The result will be declared within a week, sources said.

Dr Raj Bahadur, who is from the department of orthopaedics, PGI, was earlier on a five-year deputation till November 30, 2012. 



Astronomy has relevance for the common man, says expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Speaking on the Amazing World of Astronomy on the first day on the National Space Conference here at Tagore Theatre, Dr Jayant V. Narlikar, an acclaimed astrophysicist, said it was mislead notion that astronomy being a study of remote objects like stars and galaxies was irrelevant to the needs of the common man on the Earth.

A Padma Vibhushan recipient, Dr Narlikar described a dramatic situation and explained how the knowledge of astronomy comes as a saver of human civilisation.

“Space science can prevent the collision by causing a nuclear explosion near the comet,” he said while addressing the gathering of students who came from different parts of the country.

Dr Narlikar also spoke about a huge project, which will use space technology to tap solar energy to satisfy human hunger for more and more energy.

Dr Narlikar said this energy would be capable of lighting up entire cities and towns and would be better than the solar energy being garnered today, as this was only able to light up small establishments.

Dr Narlikar’s talk on “A search for Microlife in the Earth’s Atmosphere” was an eye opener. Dr Narlikar said biological studies of the samples collected in 2001 and 2005 led to the findings of live cells and bacteria, thus opening out the intriguing possibility that the Earth was being bombarded by microorganisms, some of which might have seeded life itself here.

Many other space luminaries also addressed the audience. Prof HP Singh of Delhi University gave a talk on “Getting the measure of the Universe”, Prof Sandeep Sahijpal of Punjab University spoke on “Evolution of Stars and the Milky way galaxy”, while Prof Ranjan Gupta of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, shared know-how on ‘Large Telescopes’.

More than 30 schools and colleges sent students for the conference.

“The objective of the conference is to give exposure to space enthusiasts, particularly students, regarding various facets of space technologies,” said Mitul Dikshit, president, International Space Society, which is organising this conference.

The Day 2 of the conference tomorrow will see a quiz on astronomy, career opportunities in astronomy among other interesting presentations.



Golf Club brawl case
Panel members submit separate reports
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Politics at play in view of the Golf Club elections scheduled for April 21 seems to have affected the suggestions of the three-member committee probing the recent brawl that took place in the Chandigarh Golf Club here.

Earlier, the committee was expected to submit a common report, but now all its members are submitting their reports separately. Interestingly, the committee members had started the enquiry together and even recorded the statements of the eye-witnesses together, but now they have reportedly submitted the report individually.

The committee members include chairman Lt-Gen KS Mann, SMS Sandhu and JS Rathi. "I have received the reports submitted by Mann and Sandhu. The third member of the committee (Rathi) will submit the report as per his convenience. As soon as the executive committee receives the report, the decision will be made within two days. And the decision will be highlighted on the club's website," said club president GS Sandhu. On the other hand, JS Rathi added, "I am not aware about other members, but I have yet to submit my report. I am still probing the case and will submit the report soon."

A source added that till the commencement of the election, nothing can be said. A decision now can affect the fate of the members in the election. And this is believed to be the main reason behind the delay, he said.

On February 16, a high drama was witnessed when former athlete Milkha Singh, along with former Punjab Chief Secretary RS Mann, Congress MLA from Punjab Randeep Singh Nabha and former captain of the Golf Club SS Laihal, indulged in a violent scuffle with Lieut-Col Vijay Singh Sandhu (retd), who allegedly attacked them with golf clubs and also uttered abuses.

Later, acting on the complaint of Colonel Sandhu, the police registered a case against Randeep Singh, SS Laihal, Milkha Singh and RS Mann for allegedly beating and threatening him under Sections 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC.



Structures razed at Raipur Kalan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The enforcement staff of the Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) today carried out a demolition drive at Raipur Kalan village here. At least four structures, which had come up on the land acquired for the phase III of the Industrial Area, were pulled down by the demolition squad.

Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) Tilak Raj said while the administration acquired 80 acres at Raipur Kalan village and 69 acres at Mauli Jagran village, around four kanals couldn't be acquired, as the occupants of the land had moved court against the acquisition. After a prolonged litigation, the stay on the land was vacated. "We have taken possession of the land after pulling down the structures," said the LAO.



Admissions have hit family budget: Parents

Harish and Sarita with their children at Sector 45 in Chandigarh.
Harish and Sarita with their children at Sector 45 in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh: For Chandigarh-based Grover family, March remained one of the costliest months. Harish Grover, father of two children, said the expenditure on admission fee, books, stationery and other related items had literally disturbed their overall budget.

“We had several plans scheduled for April. But, it is not possible now to incur additional expenditure even for the next two-three months since a lot of money has been spent on children’s school expenses for the next session,” said Harish.

His elder son, Aarush, has been promoted to class III and young daughter to LKG class. The family spent Rs 10,000 each on their readmission to the next class, another Rs 6,000 on their books and stationery, nearly Rs 3,000 on uniform and Rs 1,800 on schoolbags.

Sarita Grover said inflation was already squeezing the kitchen budget and hefty expenditure on admission process had further put a lot of burden on them.

“Parents don’t mind paying for new entrants, but it is unfair on the part of schools to charge hefty amount for the readmission, too, when children are already studying in the school,” she said.

“There must be some check on the way schools fix their admission charges for parents,” she said.

“Schools are yet to give fresh details of monthly school fee. But, I am sure that the school fee will definitely go up,” said Harish.

Sleepless nights

Sonia with her daughters at Sector 8 in Panchkula.
Sonia with her daughters at Sector 8 in Panchkula. Tribune photo: nitin Mittal

Panchkula: Sonia Sharma and her husband Sanjeev Sharma, residents of Sector 8 Panchkula, had to shell out around Rs 40,000 for buying school items for her two children. Her daughter, Ishika, has been promoted to class VIII, while her another daughter, Tanishka, has moved to class I.

“I have paid Rs 14,000 as transportation fee and school fee, whereas I have spent Rs 4,000 each on schoolbooks. I had to shell out Rs 3,000 each for buying school uniforms of my daughters, while the expenditure on schoolbags was Rs 2,500,” said Sharma.

She said: “I have spent Rs 3,000 on the purchase of other items like water bottles, pencil boxes and tiffin boxes for our children.”

“My husband is in service and is the lone bread earner of the house. April is giving us sleepless nights as to how we will be able to meet our both ends meet,” said Sonia.

Heat of inflation

Sameer Bansal comes out of a school with his children at Phase VI in Mohali.
Sameer Bansal comes out of a school with his children at Phase VI in Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali: Every family having school-going children is facing the heat of inflation as the new academic session has begun.

The families, whose children study in private schools, are more sufferers as they have to spend minimum Rs 20,000 on one child to meet their school expenses for the next session.

Sameer Bansal, a small businessman in the area, said he and his wife Rupali had to shell out Rs 45,000 on the school expenses of his two children. “My son, Abhishek Bansal, is promoted to class VIII, while my daughter, Kritika Bansal, is a student of class V in a public school. I have paid Rs 12,000 each as admission fee and school fee for the new session. I have to spend Rs 4,000 each on books, whereas the expenditure on uniforms is Rs 3,000 each. I had already spent Rs 1,500 each on other requirements, including tiffin boxes and water bottles,” said Sameer.

"I am bit lucky as my house is located near the school. So, there is no expenses on school transport. There is an extra expenditure of minimum Rs 800 per child if one uses the school transport," he said.

“This month is crucial for families that strive hard to make both ends meet as far as financial scenario is concerned. I hardly earn between Rs 25,000 and Rs 30,000 so one can easily guess how difficult is for me to manage extra expenses,” said Bansal.



Tribune impact
Destitute woman shifted to Nari Niketan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
A destitute woman, in her mid-forties, who had taken shelter at a neighbourhood park in Sector 39 for the past three months, was taken to Nari Niketan following the Sub-Division Magistrate's directions.

While she had been behaving abnormally, not letting anyone enter the park or even look at her from a distance, her cries and loud abuses had been causing a lot of nuisance to the local residents.

Chandigarh Tribune highlighted the issue on Thursday. Taking cognisance of the report, the area police called a woman sub-inspector from another police station (since they did not have any at Sector 39 police station) and took the woman to Nari Niketan early morning today.

Nari Niketan, which is based in Sector 26, is a home for destitute women and rape victims. It is being run by the UT Social Welfare Department.

“We received a direction from the SDM today. Soon, an attendant will be appointed at Nari Niketan to assist her,” a police official said.

“She often enters our gate and starts bathing beneath the tap in the verandah taking off all her clothes. Every time we stepped out to stop her, she would abuse us and frown at us. This is a big embarrassment for all of us,” said one of the residents.



City-Ludhiana rail link inspection from April 13
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The Chandigarh-Ludhiana 55 km rail link will be inspected by the Chief Commissioner of Rail Safety (CCRS) from April 13 to 15. The inspection team will be led by the Northern circle CCRS, RK Kardam. As per the norms, till the team of the CCRS monitors the track, the railway authorities cannot ply the trains on it.

Divisional Railway Manager, PK Sangi, said the department has received the confirmation dates for the inspection by the CCRS. He said the departmental trials on this track have already been successfully undertaken during the past three months.

Sources said the team of the CCRS will inspect the works related to mechanical, civil, electrical, bridges, signal engineering service and over head electrical wires. The team will also issue the safety certificate for the track. Official said that the stations which will come under the trail are Khanmanu, Samrala and LallanKala.

After inspecting the rail link, a report will be prepared on the basis of which the permission to ply the trains will be given to the authorities.

The officials said if any fault is found by the team, they will ask the concerned officials to rectify them before granting the approval for the rail link. The official added that after the rail link is approved the time table for the trains which will be finalised.

Records of the railway authorities revealed that the first trial run of the engine on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail was conducted on January 15, 2013. On February 28, the trial of the first freight train was conducted on this link by the railway authority to monitor the loop holes. Last week, on March 20, first electrical engine trial was successfully conducted on the track. The railway officials revealed that in the past 12 years, five deadlines to make this track operational have been missed by the authorities. The total track is of 110 km out of which 55 km is yet to be become functional.

The project has been divided into three phases. The 45-km first phase, from Chandigarh to New Morinda, was completed in 2006. The 14-km third phase, from Sahnewal to Ludhiana, has also been completed. But the 51-km second phase, between New Morinda and Sahnewal.



Philips employees’ strike enters eighth day
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 4
The employees of Philips India Company at Phase IX, Industrial Area, held a protest rally, here today afternoon.

Carrying red flags, the employees raised anti-management and anti-government slogans.

“Our strike today entered the eighth day. But the management is doing nothing positive. Instead, it has been indulging in the anti-labour practices including breaking the union,” said Mamchand, the president of Philips Employees Union while addressing the gathering.heir main demands included the due revision in their pay scales.



Classical vocalist holds audience spellbound
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Bangalore-based classical vocalist Surmani Dattatreya L. Velankar left the audience spellbound with his recital at Bhaskar Rao Indoor Auditorium of the Pracheen Kala Kendra, Sector 35, here.

Well versed with classical music aspects, Dattatreya Velankar opened his recital with a brief alaap of popular raga Yaman before presenting the Bada Khayal in Vilambat laya set to Ek Taal. He rendered his favourite traditional composition “mera mann baandh leena…”

The classical vocalist was impressive in establishing a rapport with the audience in the next “Sham bajaye aaj bansuriya” in the fast paced (Drut) laya and Teen Taal. The maestro resorted to taankari, sargams to embellish the performance.

He rendered another melodious raga “Tilak Kamod” and presented one of its popular bandish “mann mein Mohan biraaje…”

Rakesh Kumar ably supported him on harmoinum and Mehmood Khan on tabla. Dr Shobha Koser, registrar of the kendra, honoured the artistes.



Panjab varsity to outsource civic work
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, today gave its consent to provide civic services to Panjab University (PU) on a job work basis. The decision came after PU Vice-Chancellor Arun Grover met Chandigarh Mayor Subhash Chawla earlier this week to seek the services of the MC for many of its civic problems. The university has failed to address these issues due to staff crunch.

According to the information, garbage collection, developing neglected parks and maintenance of the roads and streetlights on the university campus are a few of the main civic works, which the university is planning to outsource to the MC.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Arun Grover said the university had been preparing a detailed report of civic works and after the in-house approval, the report will be sent to the MC for its perusal.

The Mayor said the MC would start the work soon after it received a representation from the PU.



IGP visits exhibition

Chandigarh, April 4
The UT IGP, RP Upadhyaya today, along with DIG Alok Kumar, visited the All-India Women Artists Contemporary Art Exhibition 2013 at the Museum of Fine Arts, the PU.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Manish Tewari, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, on March 25. Works of women artists from across the country have been exhibited at the exhibition, which will remain on till 5 April. — TNS



Encroachments removed

Chandigarh, April 4
During a special anti-encroachment drive, the enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation today removed encroachments from markets here and issued challans to 170 violators.

Kashmira Singh, Superintendent, Enforcement Wing, said they removed encroachments in the markets of Sector 8, 9, 10, 11, PGI, Sector 12, Sukhna Lake, Sector 17, 22 and Mani Majra. — TNS



Teenaged girl commits suicide

Chandigarh, April 4
A 15-year-old girl allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself at her residence in colony number 5 here today.

The deceased was identified as Sunaina. She was found hanging by her mother in the afternoon. She was rushed to a sector 16 hospital where doctors declared her brought dead. — TNS



PU-affiliated colleges to have five-day working schedule
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
In a major decision, Panjab University has decided to replace the six-day-a-week teaching schedule, currently adopted by all affiliated colleges of PU, with five-day working schedule.

The committee that took the decision believes that with only five-day schedule, similar to the university, teachers will be able to devote more time to research. It will provide a day more for students to revise the syllabus taught throughout the week.

The resolution to introduce five-day-a-week schedule was made around a year back after which a committee comprising the college principals and college teachers was constituted to work out the modalities.

Dinesh Talwar, a fellow and member of the committee, that took the decision said the University Grant Commission recommends that there should be minimum 180 teaching days in colleges during an academic year and colleges had around 218 teaching days as per the six-day schedule. “Even after introducing five-day schedule, the total number of teaching days will be more than 180 days,” Talwar said.

PU officials said the issue would be taken up for the final approval of the Senate during its next meeting on May 27.

“Once the Senate gives its approval, all colleges will be asked to shift to the five-day schedule,” said an official.

Dalip Kumar, a fellow and another committee member, said the decision would not hamper the teaching schedule as the timetable would be designed in a way that the three-hour per day teaching is adjusted in the five-day schedule.

“It will also lessen the burden of PU to design separate academic calendar for the university and colleges. The same academic calendar can be followed in colleges,” said Kumar.



Increase in working hours
Education Department postpones decision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Succumbing to the pressure of the continuous protests by UT government teachers, the Education Department today postponed its decision to enhance their working hours.

Last week, the department increased their working hours by 40 minutes everyday in compliance with the Right To Education (RTE) Act. The idea was to involve them in academic activities during the extra time.

But, the decision led to massive protests by the teachers here, which entered its fourth day today. DPI(s) Upkar Singh said the decision had been postponed for the further perusal of the matter. “For now, the order has been taken back,” he said.

UT teachers are feeling relieved because of this decision. Vinod Sharma, president of the Government Teachers Union, said it was the wrong decision of the department to enforce the order without any consultation with the teachers.

“We will not allow them to increase working hours unless there is a proper implementation of the RTE Act in the city,” he said.

UT Cadre Education Employees Union members also welcomed the decision.

President Swarn Singh Kamboj said: “The decision of the Education Department to increase the working hours of teachers was contradictory to its own position on the RTE Act. There are many more issues such as better teacher student, new schools and EWS quotes, which need their attention”.

“We will not allow them to enhance the working hours unless the RTE Act is fully implemented in Chandigarh,” he said.

Earlier in the day, more than 800 teachers gathered near Shivalik View Hotel and raised slogan against the Education Department. Later in the evening, a delegation of the teachers met Upkar Singh, following which they were told about the decision to postpone the order.



PU cancels environment & road safety exam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The Panjab University today cancelled the examination of Environment and Road Safety Education after the exam was held in the evening shift.

Over 20,000 second-year students from various streams appeared in the exam at the different examination centres in Chandigarh and Punjab. Now, the university will conduct the examination on May 22.

Environment and Road Safety Education is the exam which every student, pursuing graduation from the PU affiliated colleges, has to clear once in during the three years of graduation.

Second year students from various streams including BA, BCom, BBA and BSc who couldn’t clear the exam in the first-year, had appeared in the exam.

Sources said the exam of the same subject was held in the morning for the first-year students. However, by mistake the question paper for second year students was opened at one of the examination centres, following which the university decided to cancel the exam.

The PU Controller of Examination (COE), Parvinder Singh, when contacted, stated that the examination has been cancelled due to some administrative reasons.

The goof-up has put the students at the receiving end, who will now again have to take the exam.



2 Chandigarh students get Bal Shree Awards
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Two city-based students have been selected for this year’s Bal Shree Awards to be presented by President Pranab Mukherjee soon.

13-year-old Daksh Walia, a student of St Kabir-Sector 26, has been selected for the award in creative writing and 15-year-old Deepkiran, a student of Stephens School-Sector 45, has been selected for the performance in creative arts.

They are among the 60 students selected from across the country for this top honour. This award is conferred to children in the age of 9-16 years in four areas of creativity - creative performance, creative art, creative writing and creative scientific innovations.

I can become a creative writer: Daksh

Daksh Walia
Daksh Walia

Daksh, a student of class VI, said he was fond of reading and writing since the beginning but this award had made him believe that he could become a creative writer. “The overall experience of participating in the competition was interesting. During the final in Delhi, we were given several time-bound difficult situations. For instance, we were told to construct the incomplete poem and a lot of creative ideation in other exercise,” he said.

Daksh has been performing well in several Olympiads. Last year, he stood first in the creative Olympiad. Students from across the country participated in this Olympiad. He has been performing well at science and maths Olympiad at the state level. He also has an interest in chess and football.

Planning to become an engineer along with creative writer, in his message to the fellow youngsters said schoolbooks don’t win the Olympiads for them. They need to read a lot of other books for nurturing creative skills.

It brought out the best in me: Deepkiran


Deepkiran, a student of class X, said team coordination and learning about other cultures were the major outcome for her during the Bal Shree competition. “The tasks were difficult as we were told to make 3D clay modelling out of the waste material but the overall experience opened my mind. As I competed with students from other regions, I learnt their culture and way of approach to the art,” she said.

She has done well in other competitions. She stood first in the ICSE international school tournament. She is also doing well in academics.

“Arts is my hobby, but I think science is going to be my profession,” she said.

In her message to fellow youngsters, she said they had to climb the rock from the very beginning and keep motivating themselves.

“It was my mother who inspired me for the competition,” she said.

How the selection is done
The selection of creative children in the four areas is done at three levels; local, zonal and national. The national level round was held at the National Bal Bhawan, New Delhi, in October last where children from all zones of the country assembled for the final. 



NSUI submits open letter to PU VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Members of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) today submitted an open letter to the Vice-Chancellor highlighting anomalies in the research work at Panjab University.

Mentioning certain flaws in the present system, the members said: “The foremost problem is the harassment being faced by research scholars by their guides. Such incidents are common in the university. The authorities need to form a commission to inquire into the matter”.

“These scholars have to go through a lot of other things, which are not a part of their research. Moreover, there are numerous examples where students left their research in the middle because of the exploitation by their guides/supervisors,” said NSUI members in their official representation.

They said even after the years of rigorous training, scholars were forced to vacate hostel rooms on the day they submit their research, without taking in view the time they need to publish their work.

“A committee compromising one teacher and two students, who have completed their PhD, along with the Students’ Council president should be formed as a task force. ,said the members.



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