C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Students thrashed by warden
Hostellers upload video clip on YouTube; authorities of Indo Global Colleges sack accused
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 24
Three students of the Indo Global Colleges, located on the outskirts of Chandigarh at Abhipur village near Kurali, were mercilessly beaten up by a warden.

The incident came to light after a video clip was uploaded on YouTube by some students.

The warden has been booked and sacked by the college authorities.

The incident took place in the college hostel in the wee hours of April 20 but came to light today after its video was uploaded on YouTube by some students. The video showed one of the students being beaten up by the warden, Kulwant Singh

The students who were allegedly beaten up by the warden include Umang Choudhary, Kshitij Kaushik and Intekhab Ahmed. A video grab of the incident shows how Kulwant Singh, wearing a night suit, beat up the students using a stick, fists and kicks.

The fault of the students was that they were changing their faulty cooler with the cooler installed in another room. Following a complaint, the warden summoned the students in the lobby of the hostel and started beating them up.

When the college authorities came to know about the incident next morning, they not only called up the police and lodged a complaint against Kulwant Singh but also expelled him with immediate effect.

R Panicker, director general of the college, said: “The warden has been expelled and a complaint has been lodged against him with the police. The victims’ parents have been informed.”

Sarabjit Singh, in charge of the Majri police post, said the accused was arrested under preventive measures. He was later released on bail.

Sarabjit said the victims had bruises on their arms, thighs and back.

The video of Kulwant Singh beating up the students in the lobby of the hostel was shot by a hosteller on his cellphone.



CBI refuses to supply case diary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Denying the request of the complainant to provide him the case diary in the controversial theme park case, the CBI today informed the court that the request could not be catered to.

The complainant, Vivek Aditya, had sought a copy of the case diary and the statements of those named in the case recorded during investigations. In its reply, the CBI had stated that under no provisions the documents could be supplied to the complainant.

The court deferred the hearing on the closure report submitted by the CBI to May 4.

In its second closure report, the CBI had said there was no evidence against former bureaucrats of the UT Administration regarding the alleged corruption in the project. The court had rejected the closure report filed by the CBI last year.

The first closure report was rejected by the court on May 18, 2012. A fresh probe was ordered on August 30, 2012. The closure report submitted by the CBI stated that the agency had already written to the Ministry of

Home Affairs recommending action against the then UT Home Secretary, Krishna Mohan, and the then IT Director, Vivek Attray, for the alleged departmental lapses.

The names of former UT Adviser Lalit Sharma and Unitech Limited Managing Director Ajay Chandra also cropped up in the case. All four accused were booked on the charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, destruction of evidence and corruption.

As per the case, top UT bureaucrats, in connivance with Unitech Limited, indulged in a criminal conspiracy and awarded 73.65 acres in Sarangpur to a firm at a fixed annual licence fee of Rs 5.5 crore and 1.1 per cent revenue sharing.



Husband, in-laws confess to crime
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 24
In yet another case of honour killing, a 17-year-old girl was done to death by her husband and in-laws. The victim, Kusum, was killed on April 17.

The Panchkula police had booked her husband Naresh, brother-in-law Raju and mother-in-law Nirmala. The police said the three accused confessed to killing Kusum. They said Kusum stayed in touch with her male friends even after repeatedly being asked to shun their company.

“The accused revealed that Kusum was in constant touch with her male friends which was not acceptable to them. They killed Kusum in a fit of rage,” said Commissioner of Police Rajbir Deswal.

On April 17, Naresh and Kusum had a heated argument following which Naresh and his brother strangled her to death with the help of her dupatta.

The body kept lying in their house for about five hours. They then took the body to a hospital saying that she had hung herself from a ceiling fan. However, nothing went as per their plan and the accused were arrested.

Kusum hailed from Sector 56, Chandigarh, and had married 20-year-old Naresh of Rajiv Colony in Sector 16, Panchkula.

Kusum, a professional cricket player, was a student of Class X.

She had fallen in love with Naresh, was a Class XII student, of the same school.

The couple eloped and tied the knot following which they sought police protection from the Punjab and Haryana High Court.



Man held for pasting vulgar posters of girl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The UT police today booked a 37-year-old man, the father of two, for pasting vulgar posters of a girl at public places in the city.

The accused, Varinder, a Sector 30 resident, who runs a marriage bureau in Sector 22, had pasted vulgar posters of the girl, his former employee, on the walls of her PG accommodation in Sector 18 and a roundabout today.

The girl’s phone number was also mentioned on the posters.

Last month, he pasted the same posters on some milestones in the city.

Investigations revealed that the accused had employed the girl at his marriage bureau and had proposed to her.

The girl left the job and joined a popular slimming centre in Sector 34. Varinder attempted suicide last year and was booked on October 5 in an attempt to suicide case. He has also been convicted in the attempt to suicide case.

He continued to stalk the girl and as she resisted his advances, he started pasting her posters at public places. The harassed girl reported the matter to the police.

A case has been registered under Sections 294, 509 and 34 of the IPC at the Sector 34 police station.



In Tangle Part-III, Sectors 44 and 45
Getting jammed by wrongly parked cars a routine
It’s a bumper-to-bumper drive for parents and commuters outside schools in Sectors 44 and 45. In the third of the six-part series, The Tribune reporter Deepankar Sharda and chief photographer Manoj Mahajan spell out the traffic woes of the commuters.

St Stephen’s School

The problem lies here

To pick up and drop their children at the main gate of St. Stephen’s School in Sector 45 is probably the hardest task of the day for every parent here. The school that is situated right on the main road leading to the Sector 44-34 roundabout witnesses a heavy vehicular movement during both morning (8.30 to 9 am) and afternoon (1 to 2 pm) hours.

Due to non-availability of adequate parking space, the commuters and parents are inconvenienced, as they have to tackle the niggling-movement of traffic. Due to the heavy rush, the road gets choked for about 30 to 50 minutes leaving the regular traffic to suffer. The road is also a shortcut for the heavy motor vehicles (HMV) to enter the market of Burail village.

The situation gets worst when the parents park their four-wheelers on the main road itself and wait for the school to get over in the afternoon. The situation affects the rest of the traffic and the slow-movement turns into long-traffic jams within no time.

Two entries for the school
Sector 45 St Stephen’s School Peak hours of traffic 7.15 am to 8 am & 1pm to 2.20 pm
Every afternoon, the situation is chaotic outside St Stephen’s School.
Every afternoon, the situation is chaotic outside St Stephen’s School.
A VIP vehicle parked in the middle of the road outside St Stephen’s School.
A VIP vehicle parked in the middle of the road outside St Stephen’s School.

The children who travel by bus leave the premises from the back gate situated near the Burail’s scrap market while the others leave the school from the front gate situated on the main road adjoining the cycle track. The buses are parked inside the school while the parents coming to pick up or drop their children are left with no other option but to park or leave their vehicles on the main road. The occupants of flats located on the rear side of the school have been complaining about the haphazard parking of buses in front of their houses. Recently, the municipal corporation had to carry out a drive to uproot gates put up by residents to prevent the school buses from being parked in front of their houses.

Junior wing severely hit

The afternoon hours attract a majority of parents who start lining up outside the school to get their children. Since they do not want their very young children to wait, they prefer being there early. With so many vehicles coming in at one given point of time, it results in a hold up.

Two-wheelers a hit

Many parents, a majority of them being mothers, are seen driving two-wheelers in the area to pick up their children after school. In a situation like this, the two-wheelers are the best mode of transport as they can be manoeuvred easily through the heavy traffic.

It’s all about...

Inflow of vehicles

All these institutions cater to over 2,200 children and about 200 vehicles come everyday to pick up children.

Parents blame it on police and school authorities

The parents blame the traffic police and school authorities for the chaos and mismanagement outside schools. All the three schools, including St Xavier’s, St Stephen’s and St Joseph’s, do not have an earmarked place for parking of vehicles for parents. They are forced to park on the road which further leads to traffic snarls.

No traffic police to man the site

Traffic policemen are conspicuous by their absence at these busy traffic spots where the parents grapple with the situation everyday.

Parents too do not follow rules

The parents too are not disciplined and prefer parking wherever they find space. Notably, many VIP cars with red beacon atop are seen parked in the middle of the road, as parents or drivers go to the gate to pick up the children. No barricading or parking-plan has been made till date.

Initiative taken by schools

Teachers leave the premises 10 minutes after school closes

To avoid chaos, these schools have asked the staff members to leave the school premises 10-minutes after the schools get over. About 50 faculty members in each school use cars and and asking them to stay back helps the situation to some extent.

Solution to the problem

The school authorities can allow entry from both gates or can allow certain vehicles to be park inside the school premises on first-come-first-serve basis.

Why everything goes haywire

vehicles use the cycle track
Vehicles use the cycle track.

Parents park vehicles on the cycle track

Wrong parking of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) on the cycle-track makes the scenario in the area worse. In order to make a quick move, sometimes the parents park their vehicles on the other side of the road and even on paver blocks, which is an offence.

St Joseph’s and St Xavier’s doing it differently

Parents wait on the V-road curve outside St Joseph’s School
Parents wait on the V-road curve outside St Joseph’s School.
crossing the road becomes difficult during peak hours
Crossing the road becomes difficult during peak hours.

Teachers manage flow of traffic after school

Giving the problem of heavy traffic jams a skip, St Joseph’s school and St Xavier’s School in Sector 44, handle the traffic by deploying a teacher, who manages the traffic outside the school gates. St Xavier’s school has two entries (one for the bus students and the other for parents).

One of the entries of the school is situated right in front of the green belt that allows the parents to act swiftly during the afternoon hours. St Joseph’s school, on the other, is situated on a V- road and has the advantages of two parking lots (one owned by the school and the other belonging to the green belt park).

“We have been deployed here to manage student’s rush after school hours.It hardly takes 10 inutes to clear the passage,”said Peter, a faculty member of St Xavier’s School.

Parents’ take

It is a tough job bringing my child to school and taking him back every day. I am left with no option but to park my car on the road or near the school gate, as there is no parking space.

Gurjinder Singh, parent of ward, St Stephen’s School

Now, it has become a routine. I am always stranded. Either my car is stuck in a traffic jam or I am stuck between wrongly parked cars. There must be a solution to the problem.

Himmat Singh, parent of ward, St Stephen’s School

Had it been America, everyone here would have been handed a wrong-parking slip. The school authorities should open a gate or make a way for the students of the junior wing.

Menu Rana, parent of ward, St Stephen’s School

I am a regular sufferer. Everyday, it takes me almost 20 to 30 minutes extra to leave this place. The wrong parking of cars and heavy rush puts everything in jeopardy.

Monish, parent of ward, St Stephen’s School

It is a delight to see my children study in St Joseph School. They have enough parking space for everyone. The school has only one gate and staggered timings also help.

Jatiender Singh, parent of ward, St Joseph’s School

School principals’ views

Traffic chaos is a major problem here. The administration has asked us to shut down the rear gate of the school. We are afraid to let school buses ply from the front gate, as the situation will become worse. I have written to the authorities, but there is no solution. The parents should also take some initiative, as the school is doing whatever it can to avoid any mishap. Our main concern is to deal with this problem.

Harold Carver, Principal, St Stephen’s School

The school is handling the situation well. And the open-parking near the school helps the parents to avoid traffic jams.

Rupinder Pal Sigh Grewal, Principal, St Joseph’s School, Sector 44

There is a problem of space in front of the school. Earlier, we used to park our school buses near the open space, but the local authorities asked us to discontinue the use of the place. Now, we have appointed about 11 teachers to man the traffic flow and look into the safety of children when the school closes. I have written to the authorities a number of times, but there is no response.

Mervin West, Principal, St Xavier’s school, Sector 44

Official input

This is a genuine problem in every school. At a recent meeting with the Finance Secretary, the administration decided to provide traffic-marshals outside schools facing such problems. The marshals will look after the children after school hours and will help them in crossing the road. They will also help in handling the traffic along with other officials. On other hand, the parents should also take some initiative and act as responsible citizens. The school authorities should follow the High Court’s order and take care of children. With the joint efforts, the problem can be solved in a few days.

Maneesh Chaudhary, SP (Traffic), ut


mohali-resident’s death
Victim was poisoned: CFSL report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
A year after the mysterious death of a Mohali resident, a report of the Central Forensic Scientific Laboratory (CFSL) has given a new twist to the case and has stated that the man died due to poisoning.

Acting on the report, the Chandigarh police registered a case of murder under Section 302 of the IPC against two property dealers and a Punjab Government employee at the Sector 26 police station today.

The case was reported in February, 2012, when 32-year-old Ashok Kumar, a Mohali resident, died under mysterious circumstances. Police sources said the case of murder had been registered after the viscera report had confirmed that the victim was poisoned.

The police said Karamchand, a Punjab government employee, who was working in Sector 7, had approached a property dealer, Darshan Singh, for purchasing some property. Darshan Singh, along with Ashok Kumar and Balwinder, both property dealers, took Karamchand for land inspection at a village near Ambala on February 25, last year. In the evening, all the four returned and Balwinder was dropped at Banur.

As the three reached Chandigarh, Ashok told them that he was not feeling well, following which he was rushed to the GMCH-32, where doctors declared him brought dead.

Ashok's family had alleged murder and forwarded a complaint to the Patiala SSP. It was alleged that Darshan Singh of Mohali and others had murdered Ashok Kumar by giving him some poisonous substance.

The post-mortem of Ashok was conducted at a Banur hospital and his viscera was sent for examination.

In May, last year, the viscera report confirmed the presence of phosphorous organic pesticide in his body. The Patiala SSP had forwarded the report to the Chandigarh police. The Chandigarh police after taking a legal opinion, registered a case of murder and criminal conspiracy under Sections 302,120-B of the IPC against Darshan Singh, Balwinder and Karamchand.

DSP Vijay Kumar said they would investigate the matter. The police said the victim was given some poisonous substance.

Foul play

Karamchand, a Punjab government employee, had approached a property dealer, Darshan Singh, for purchasing some property. Darshan Singh, along with Ashok Kumar and Balwinder, both property dealers, took Karamchand for land inspection at a village near Ambala on February 25, last year. In the evening, all the four returned and Balwinder was dropped at Banur. As the three reached Chandigarh, Ashok told them that he was not feeling well, following which he was rushed to the GMCH-32, where doctors declared him brought dead.



MLA’s murderers involved in Panchkula robbery: Police
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 24
The accused, who murdered Moga MLA Malkeet Singh Keetu, were the ones who looted an i20 car and gold chain from a victim in Sector 9, Panchkula, on January 14, said the police.

One of the accused, Jaspreet, is the nephew of Keetu.

On January 14, 2013, Karan Singh, a resident of Dhakoli (Zirakpur), was robbed of an i20 car, a gold chain and other valuables at gunpoint. The miscreants threw him near Mubarkpur.

The accused, Kala and Jaspreet, alias Jassa, were arrested.

The mobile phone location of the accused was traced to Barnala. When the accused were stopped for checking during a naka on Monday, five youths opened fire at the Barnal police officers and fled. The Panchkula police, too, reached the spot and managed to arrest two of them.

Kala, who had suffered injuries during the firing, was taken to the GMCH-32, where he confessed to his crime.

"A few days ago, three of them suffered injuries when the i20 car in which they were travelling was hit by a vehicle. They were admitted to a local hospital in Mulana. When the hospital authorities informed the police and it reached the hospital to record their statements, they fled from the hospital," said a police officer.

He said, "When the number of the car was flashed, it came to light that the car belonged to one Karan Singh of Zirakpur. It was then that the police launched a hunt."

Singh had just got into his car near the Sector 9 market when the miscreants on the pretext of asking an address forcibly entered his car.

Took away car at gunpoint

On January 14, 2013, Karan Singh, a resident of Dhakoli (Zirakpur), was robbed of an i20 car, a gold chain and other valuables at gunpoint.



Community centre vacated
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 24
Residents of Sector 71 today heaved a sigh of relief when the area's community centre, which was occupied by a platoon of the Punjab Police, was vacated.

Rajinder Singh, a resident of the area, said, "About 80 police personnel had occupied the centre around 10 days ago," he said.

"The police personnel were deployed in the area to maintain law and order. It was a temporary arrangement. We have arranged accommodation for them," said SP Swarndeep Singh.

The centre was used as a police station till February 21. It was vacated by the police following directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.



Fire at CTU workshop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
A fire broke out in the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) workshop at Sector 25 this morning. Though no loss of life was reported in the fire, 125 old batteries worth Rs 2.5 lakh stored in the workshop, were destroyed.

Fire officials said they received information at 2.31 am. Two fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the fire was controlled in 15 minutes, he said.

The officials said the fire broke out due to a short-circuit.



Mosquito sting gets feeble
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The number of malaria cases in the city have come down in the past four years.

There has been a 50 per cent fall since 2009.

From 430 in 2009, the number of cases in the city came down to 225 in 2012. Till March 31 this year, no cases were reported in the city.

All villages and colonies in the city were declared malaria-prone zones after a number of cases surfaced there. The areas include Mauli Jagran, Colony No. 5, Dadu Majra and Hallo Majra.

The Deputy Commissioner had told the residents to drain out stagnant water. Those unheeding the orders will be penalised.

Defaulters will now be punished under Section 188 IPC (disobedience to order promulgated by public servant).

“Fumigation and regular drives conducted in the malaria-sensitive zones have helped us a lot in quelling malaria outbreak. However, checking dengue spread is relatively difficult since dengue virus breeds in clean water. Visiting each household in limited time is relatively a difficult task,” said an official from Chandigarh unit of National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).

The number of Malaria cases reported in 2010 came down to 351 from 430 in 2009. The number jumped to 582 in 2011 and then slid to 225 in 2012.


NVBDCP will take out an awareness rally at Sukhna Lake to mark World Malaria Day on Thursday (April 25).



High drama at Sector 19 temple
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
High drama was witnessed outside Kali Mata and Shani Dev Temple in Sector 19 today when the police asked hermits to leave the place following complaints that they puffed chillam.

Area councillor Mukesh Bassi said residents of the area, especially women and senior citizens, had approached him seeking action against the hermits. The police officers warned them against puffing chillam.



Mahavir Jayanti celebrated
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, April 24
To mark the of birthday celebrations of lord Mahavir Jain, a Bhajan sandhya was organised at the Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, by the Sri Digambar Jain Society Sector 27 Chandigarh.

A large number of dignitaries, including ex-MP Satyapal Jain, BJP Leader Sanjay Tandon and others were present on the occasion. The members of the Jain Societies of the Chandigarh and Panchkula were also present. The event was successfully coordinated by Prashant Jain, Jalbalpur.



shatabdi train
Passenger complains about security loop-holes
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Amarjit Singh Bhatia, a passenger of Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi (12012) has lodged a complaint with the railway authorities that six days ago while travelling on the train, which departed at 6:23 pm from Chandigarh, no baggage checking was conducted by the staff of railway protection force (RPF) deployed in the coach.

The complainant stated that when he enquired from the RPF staff about the reason for not conducting any checking of the luggage, they revealed that there was shortage of stickers with them, due to which they did not conduct any checking of baggage in the coaches. Even when other passengers insisted for checking the luggage, RPF personal stated that there was shortage of staff, due to which it was not be possible for them to conduct checking of every coach. This shows the level of security which the railway provides to the passengers during their journey.

Railway Senior Division Security Commissioner Mohinder Singh clarified that shatabdi in which RPF did not conduct checking actually came under the preview of the New Delhi security staff. He said that he had twice communicated in this regard that no checking of luggage was being done in the shatabdi, plying from Delhi.

Interestingly, the senior railway officials also complained about the security loop holes in the trains. One of the senior official on the basis of anonymity shared his experience that two days ago when he was travelling in the same train to New Delhi, RPF staff did not conduct luggage check. He said that he had also brought this matter to the notice of the higher officials in New Delhi.

Sources revealed that RPF personnel conduct luggage- checking only in the Shatabdi which plies from Chandigarh to New Delhi at 12 noon and not on the one that plies from Delhi to Chandigarh.



Artistes highlight environmental issues
Tribune News Service

Artistes from Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi perform in a play, ‘Paryawaran Ka Vinash’, at Progressive Enclave Society in Sector 50, Chandigarh, on Wednesday
Artistes from Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi perform in a play, ‘Paryawaran Ka Vinash’, at Progressive Enclave Society in Sector 50, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, April 24
Socially relevant plays were staged across the city on the first day of Sixth Annual Chandigarh Street Theatre Festival. Artistes presented four street plays at Progressive Enclave Society, Sector 50, Chandigarh, and PEC Society, Sector 49.

One of the plays, Paryawaran Ka Vinash, staged at Progressive Enclave Society, highlighted the environmental issues through a satire. Written and directed by Rajiv Mehta, it showed how people were destroying the environment.

The play advocated preventive measures to save the coming generations from natural disasters. Another play, Pani Pani Re, spread the message of water conservation.

Two short plays at PEC Society — Ye Kaisi Vidai, written and directed by Mukesh Sharma, and Hey Bhagwan, written and directed, by Vijay Machal — attracted resident’s attention towards grave problems faced by the society.

Kamal Tiwari, chairman of Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi, which is organising the festival, said the aim of staging plays at different places was to take the theatre to larger audiences.

Tomorrow two plays —Death of Humanity and Toaa — will be held at the Advocate Society, Sector 49; and another two plays — Hey Bhagwan and Samaj — will be staged at the SBI and Jeewan Adhar Society, Sector 48-A, between 5.30 pm and 7 pm. The festival will conclude on April 26.



school uniforms
Tender again fails to attract bidders
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Delay and confusion continues to mar the procurement of school uniforms for students of government schools in the city.

Several schools claimed they got a response from a Mumbai-based industrialist, following the third tender floated earlier this month. However, none of the government schools have yet procured uniforms.

A school head said despite repeated calls made to the Mumbai-based unit, no one had turned up for taking any specific order.

VB Khanna, member of the school purchasing committee, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19, said the school had refused to float another tender after a poor response on first two occasions. “We have a purchase committee meeting on Monday during which a further decision will be taken,” he said.

Many school officials criticised the UT Education Department for not framing favourable policy for the uniform procurement.

“The procurement process cannot be smoothened unless the department revised its policy,” said the president of school management committee of Government Middle School, Burail, Satpal Gupta.

The administration has to provide free school uniforms to over one lakh government school students under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act. The new academic session has already begun, but the department has yet not procured uniforms.

RTE activist Pankaj Chandgothia said it was a major violation under the RTE Act. Under the Act, all the children in the age group of 6 to 14 years are entitled to free textbooks and school uniforms. “The delay in providing these benefits to children is eroding the very purpose of the Act,” he said.



NASA’s moonbuggy race
Gharuan university students in race for top honours
Tribune News Service

A team of students from Chandigarh University, Gharuan, with the moonbuggy designed by them
A team of students from Chandigarh University, Gharuan, with the moonbuggy designed by them. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, April 24
The three-day 20th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race, which will kick off in the USA tomorrow, will also witness a local entry vying for the top spot.

The buggy designed by an eight-member team of students from Chandigarh University have been selected in the list of final 16 vehicles that would participate in the race, being organised by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at the US Space and Rocket Centre, Huntsville, Alabama.

Sahib Sood, a mechanical engineering student, is leading the team, comprising of Shubeg Singh, Harman Singh, Parul Kashyap, Palaash Plaha, Jayant Lamba, Tanvi (civil engineering) and Taniya Singh (electronics and communications engineering).

Sahib said the project Moonbuggy required designing a vehicle, addressing a number of engineering problems, similar to those faced by the original Moonbuggy team. “Each vehicle should be human-powered and carry two students over half a mile simulated lunar terrain course including craters, rocks, lava ridges, inclines and lunar soil,” he said.

The winners will get a cash prize of Rs 1.5 lakh, besides commendation certificates from NASA.

As many as 98 teams from various countries, including, the USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, Russia, India, the UAE and Romania, had competed to find a place in the final list.



Fearing action, homeopathic college takes steps to fill posts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Fearing action for not appointing faculty against all the sanctioned posts, Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital (HMCH), Sector 26, has advertised for filling the vacant posts and also sent a report to the Panjab University for consideration. The Panjab University Syndicate had to consider action against the college during its forthcoming meeting on Thursday. Now, the college might get relief.

As per the PU authorities, the college which presently had only 14 regular faculty members was given a notice to fulfill the minimum requirement of 37 regular teachers. The university, however, did not receive any compliance report, following which it was decided to table the issue before the Syndicate.

The inspection committee had recommended that affiliation for the coming academic session should be suspended till the college appointed teachers as per the Central Council of Homeopathy (CCH) norms.

College principal KK Dhiman said as per the revised rules the college was short of 10 faculty members and an advertisement for filling the posts of five readers and five lecturers had already been released. “The regulatory body has also given us time till May 15 to fulfill all the conditions, and we will be completing the selection process before the deadline,” the principal said.

He said the college had taken necessary steps after the inspection committee had raised objections. “We expect the university to show lenience, keeping in view steps taken by the college,” Dhiman said.



NIPER protest
Fasting students taken to hospital
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 24
As many as six students sitting on a fast at National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) had to be shifted to hospital here today.

Fellow students claimed that four girls and two boys sitting on the fast were feeling uneasy, following which they were taken to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

After administering first-aid, they were discharged from the hospital.

Today, the strike at NIPER entered tenth day. The students’ body Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) also extended their support to the protesting students.

Students have been demanding removal of the officiating director and appointment of a permanent director.

Recognition of the degree given by the institute and appointment of placement officers are other issues being raised by the protesting students.



Senate to decide on five-day working schedule for PU-affiliated colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The recent decision of introducing a five-day working schedule in all the Panjab University-affiliated colleges will be tabled at the special Senate meeting on April 27. A committee, comprising of college principals and teachers, constituted by the university last year had recently recommended replacement of the six-day schedule by a five-day schedule to encourage research at colleges.

A committee member said the five-day week would also address the problem of thin student turnout in colleges on the sixth day of the week.

Many Senate members, reportedly, are against the decision of reducing the working days.

One of the Senate members said the reduction in the number of working days in a week could not ensure better research; it will, rather, deteriorate the already declining standard of education. “Presently we witness thin attendance on the sixth day; however, after introducing a five-day week, colleges will have thin attendance on the fifth day,” the Senator said.

The committee has also worked out the modalities for fulfilling the minimum 180-day teaching criterion. The letter of Director Public Instructions, Punjab, that mentioned five hours a day or 40 hours a week teaching in colleges was also considered before taking the decision, said a committee member.

Presently, colleges have around 218 teaching days in an academic year.



Students get tips on waste management

Chandigarh: As a part of the Earth Day celebrations, students of St John’s High School, Sector 26, presented a short programme highlighting the plight of endangered species.

A Hindi skit on degradation of the environment due to non-biodegradable plastic, was enacted. The SWARM group, which is actively working for waste collection and segregation, installed colour-coded dustbins on the school premises and educated students about the importance of waste management. — TNS



from schools
Saving environment

Chandigarh: Bhawan Vidyalaya Junior, Sector 33, conducted a special assembly to celebrate Mahavir Jayanti and Earth Day. The programme commenced with a prayer. A short play, ‘Earth Day’, was staged by the environmental club ‘Vasundhara’ to apprise children of the importance of the day. Students also made collages, charts and models on keeping the earth clean and green.

Students shine at abacus meet

Tushaar Batheja and Jiya Batheja, students of St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, brought laurels for their school at the 22nd National Abacus BrainoBrain Competition held at New Delhi on April 21. Tushaar Batheja, a student of Class VI, cleared the seventh-level test in the 11-14 years category. Jiya Batheja of Class III cleared the first-level test in the 7-9 years category by doing quick mental arithmetic calculations. Over 4,500 students in the age group 5-14 years from different cities of India participated in the competition.

Orientation programme

St Anne’s Convent School, Sector 32, organised an orientation programme for parents. Father Anil Sequeira, director of Sparsh, a centre for counselling and healing, presided over the programme. Father Anil interacted with parents, giving them tips on good parenting.

Smart class inaugurated

A smart class was inaugurated at Guru Nanak Senior Secondary School, Sector 30, by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Regional Director RJ Khanderao. The managing committee and the principal of the school welcomed the chief guest. Khanderao advised the students to develop an interest in e-learning.

Red Day

DC Montessori (Smart) School, Mani Majra, celebrated Red Day. Students as well as teachers came dressed in red attires. Tiny tots of the pre-primary section took part in activities related to the red colour. They brought jam and ketchup sandwiches, following the theme of the day.

World Book Day

Panchkula: In order to highlight the importance of books, World Book Day was celebrated at Hansraj Public School. The programme commenced with an educative and inspiring talk by the Principal, Jaya Bhardwaj, during a special assembly. She stressed on the urgent need to inculcate reading habit among children.

Visit to library

Students of Smart Wonders School, Mohali, browse through books during their visit to British Library in Chandigarh on WednesdayMohali: To mark World Book Day, The Smart Wonders School, Sector 71, took students on a visit to British Library, Sector 9, Chandigarh. They were informed about various sections and activities of the library. Anu Mahajan, who accompanied the students, said every educational institution should promote reading as a fun activity and an important life skill. — TNS
Students of Smart Wonders School, Mohali, browse through books during their visit to British Library in Chandigarh on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph



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