C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UBS head, prof in dock
Booked for outraging modesty of assistant professor; not arrested so far 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The chairperson and a professor of University Business School (UBS), Panjab University (PU), have been booked by the Chandigarh Police for outraging the modesty of an assistant professor.

Chairperson Prof AK Vashisht and Prof Dinesh Kumar Gupta have been booked under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC at the Sector 11 police station. No arrest has been made so far.

The assistant professor had filed a complaint with the PU authorities on April 15, the day she was suspended from the Board of Control of the institute. Later, she filed another complaint at the public window of the Chandigarh Police Headquarters in Sector 9.

Sources in the UBS said differences between the complainant and the accused started on April 11 when the selection process of the candidates seeking admission to the department began.

The assistant professor alleged that she was asked to favour Senate member Karamjeet Singh’s son, who was appearing in the interview. Karamjeet is also a faculty member at the UBS. “I had refused give more marks to the candidate following which I was threatened by both the professors,” alleged the assistant professor.

The complainant alleged that after the group discussion and personal interview, Prof Gupta caught hold of her arm in Prof Vashisht’s presence.

On April 12, when the assistant professor reached the department to join the panel of the selection committee, the door of the hall where group discussion was to be held, was bolted from inside.

While the UBS officials claimed that the assistant professor arrived late for the group discussion, the latter claimed that she was on time. The assistant professor then went to Prof Vashisht’s room where she reportedly had an altercation with him.

She was suspended from the Board of Control by the chairperson on April 15 and in protest the entire Board of Control of the department, including the chairperson, decided to boycott and stall the group discussion. The issue was resolved after the Vice Chancellor’s intervention.

SHO Gurmukh Singh said no arrest had been made in the case so far. He said an inquiry had been initiated to probe the allegations levelled by the complainant. 

Allegations baseless: Karamjeet

Refuting the allegations, Karamjeet Singh claimed that his son had 98.89 percentile CAT score which was the highest among the candidates who had applied for the admission to the UBS. He said the group discussion and interview carried only 15 per cent marks. “Even if my son got zero in group discussion and interview, he would got through with his good score in CAT,” said Singh, whose son was on the top of the final selection list.

Not for the first time

Prof Gupta was in trouble in 2011, too, when he was the chairperson of the UBS after girl students alleged that he used derogatory language against them.

PU probe

The sexual harassment committee of Panjab University is also investigating the case. The complainant’s statement has been recorded. 



Power cut: Work comes to standstill at RLA office, MC; applicants suffer 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Work came to a standstill at the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) and the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation offices in Sector 17 for two hours following an unscheduled power cut.

In the absence of power backup, the computers remained shut at these offices. The applicants had no other option but to wait for the power supply to be restored.

At least 100 applicants at the RLA office had to wait in queues even after the power supply was restored as no additional counters were made operational to clear the rush.

Registration and Licensing Authority Mahavir Kausik was not available for comments despite repeated attempts.

A number of applicants were also seen waiting at the Municipal Corporation office. Satish Verma, who came to book the community centre in Sector 19, had to wait for one hour as the booking dates were not available on the online system due to power cut.

Interestingly, neither the RLA authorities nor the MC had made any alternative arrangements for power backup, especially at the counters dealing with public.

Sarita Sharma, a city resident, lamented that it was strange that the UT Administration had failed to install power backup system in these offices.

“I have been waiting to get a learner’s licence for past two hours. I don’t know what to do as there is no electricity and they don’t even have power backup,” said Harsha, a student. 

The two-hour wait

Hari Sharan, a city resident, had to run from pillar to post for more than two hours to submit an RTI application at the RLA office on Tuesday as the staff denied entertaining his application. Sharan said he was seeking information from the RLA authorities as to why they do not have any separate counter for senior citizens. 



Getting blood a Herculean task at PGIMER
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Getting a unit of blood from the blood bank at the PGI is a daunting task if experiences of patients and their attendants are an indication.

The norms make it mandatory for the blood bank to issue blood to patients within six hours of receiving the request form, but a number of patients are often turned away on the first visit and are forced to frequent the blood bank several times.

Consider this: An attendant of a severely anaemic patient, whose haemoglobin (HB) level had slipped below five, visited the blood bank last week at 10 am for availing three units of B+ blood. He was asked to come after two hours. An attendant at the hospital placed the form in the ‘on demand’ basket. As a senior resident remained absent from the blood bank throughout the day, the hospital attendant kept turning the patient’s attendant away several times. Finally, at around 7 pm, the patient’s attendant lost his cool and threatened the hospital attendant of reporting the matter to the appellate authority. He was then issued blood within two hours (around 9 pm).

“I donate blood every year at the blood donation camp organised by the Thalassaemia Society at the PGI. But look at the irony. When my patient needs blood, I am being harassed,” said Ashish Sinha (name changed), an anaemic patient’s attendant.

The struggle for many other patients does not end here. Another attendant, who sought blood for her one-year-old child suffering from sepsis, was given the unit a day after sending the request. The child was in the emergency ward when doctor issued a slip demanding blood.

“There are a number of persons who donate blood every month. But it is not available readily at the PGI, even in case of an emergency,” lamented the child’s mother Anusha Pandit (name changed).

A Tribune team visited the blood bank at the PGI several times in a day for the past one week and found that rules were not being followed in issuing blood to patients.

As per the rules, it is mandatory for the blood bank to provide blood within 45 minutes to a patient in case of an emergency and within six hours to a patient with less urgency.

The practice goes unchecked as patients’ attendants had never filed a complaint with the appellate authority.

“We have never received any complaint from the attendants. Besides, components of blood need to be arranged as per the requirement. The experts need to invest time in separating the components and also check the availability,” PGI spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar said. 



Now, pay more to park your vehicles at Sector 17 Plaza
MC to charge on an hourly basis; traders oppose decision
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

A parking lot at Sector 17, Chandigarh.
A parking lot at Sector 17, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan 

Chandigarh, May 21
In yet another setback to the traders at the Sector 17 Plaza, who have already been facing losses following the relocation of the ISBT and the District Courts Complex from Sector 17 to Sector 43, the MC today gave its nod to hike the parking rates at the two major parking lots in the sector.

The Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) of the MC okayed the proposal of charging parking fee on an hourly basis for the paid parking area covered under the fully automatic system in the Empire Store parking and the Sahib Singh parking.

The new parking rates will be Rs 5 per entry up to two hours and subsequently Rs 10 per hour for four-wheelers, including taxis. It will be Rs 2 per entry up to two hours and subsequently Rs 4 per hour for two-wheelers. Rs 50 will be charged for multiple entries valid for a day for four-wheelers, including taxis and Rs 20 for multiple entries valid for a day for two-wheelers.

Office-bearers of the Sector 17 Market Association said the market was witnessing less customers after the relocation of the District Courts Complex and the ISBT to Sector 43 and the opening of Elante Mall in Industrial Area.

The committee’s decision has led to resentment among the traders. “The decision will discourage the customers from visiting the Sector 17 market,” said said JPS Kalra, general secretary of the Sector 17 Market Association.

“We have increased the parking fee to avoid rush at the parking lots. Moreover, it will discourage the traders to part their vehicles at the parking lot for long,” said F&CC member Mukesh Bassi.

The F&CC also okayed the sale of Chinese food at the Night Food Street in Sector 14.


All is well at Panchkula Mini-Secretariat
As candidates go to into the building to file their nomination papers on the last day 
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 21
A day after Chandigarh Tribune highlighted in its columns about 200 supporters storming into the Mini Secretariat and dancing to the beats of dhols inside the office, while candidates filed their nomination papers, the police force was deployed in the morning itself today. The situation was under control on the last day of the filing of nomination papers, despite the fact that 110 candidates filed nomination forms today.

Yesterday, 200 supporters stormed into the Mini Secretariat with dholis and bands and the visitors were left jostling for space to move in. Women supporters were found dancing to the beats of dhols inside the building. It was after the police intervention in the afternoon that the situation was brought under control.

Barricading was done outside the District Courts and the supporters with the particular candidates were allowed only till the main entry of the building. Unlike yesterday, No major arguments took place today between the police and the supporters.

Thankfully, the police did not allow the supporters beyond the entry gate of the building,” said Rakhi Nanda, a visitor.

RK Singh, Panchkula Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) said that as many as 110 candidates (including covering candidates) filed their nomination papers for the Municipal Corporation elections as it was the last day. A total of 220 candidates have submitted their forms.

The scrutiny will be done tomorrow at 11 am at the Mini Secretariat, sector 1. The Municipal Corporation Elections are scheduled for June 2. This time the voting time has been increased by one hour that is from 8 to 5 pm.



City reels under heat wave
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The city today continued to reel under heat wave conditions for the second day with the mercury still hovering around 42.6 degree Celsius. The minimum temperature recorded in the city was 22.2 degree Celsius, which is the highest in the past nine years.

In the coming week, weathermen have forecast that the temperature in the city will hover between 44 degree Celsius and 45 degree Celsius.

Hot winds blew throughout the day making the situation worse for residents, as they were forced to stay indoors taking recourse to air conditioners. It is predicted that it will continue to sizzle in the next two days.

Met officials predicted that there would be mainly clear sky with dust raising winds and heat wave condition will continue. The maximum temperature in the city is likely to be 45 degree Celsius tomorrow.

In fact, the last two days witnessed the mercury touching a new high in May. Monday saw the mercury recording 43 degree Celsius, which was 42 degree Celsius in the corresponding period last year. The highest temperature in May was recorded at 47.2 degree Celsius on May 29, 1944.

Weathermen stated that the unusually high temperature in city at this time of the year was due to the absence of Western disturbances, which could bring showers to the city.The Met officials revealed that last year, a series of Western disturbances brought showers in May, thus keeping the mercury as low as 39 degree Celsius.“Since no such thing has happened this year, so the temperature has risen to above 44 degree Celsius,” the weather office said.



Chautala’s bail a boost to INLD
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 21
With the Indian National Lok Dal’s Chief Om Prakash Chautala getting bail in the teachers recruitment scam case, the position of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in the MC elections has been strengthened now.

Recently, the INLD had claimed that they would fight the Municipal Corporation elections on the party symbol and there would be no impact on the elections even if Om PrakashChautala was behind bars. According to them the conviction had united them further.

And now, with him out of jail, their position has further strengthened. Political parties in Panchkula were of the notion that INLD would not contest the elections on the party symbol due to fear of losing after their leader was jailed. Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and his MLA son Ajay Chautala were convicted by the CBI court in the teachers’ recrutimnet scam in January this year.



Statements of four board employees recorded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
On the third day of the hearing of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) and Parsvnath Developers Limited, the arbitrators recorded the statements of four board employees.

Sources said that the hearing would continue till tomorrow as the statements of the witnesses were yet to be completed by the arbitrators.

Sources said that the statement of the Kanango, Patwari, Chief Financial Adviser and XEN was recorded during which a number of issues came to light. The major fault which was pointed out by the CHB officials was that Parsvnath Developers Ltd had delayed submitting project plans. The company officials were well aware that it should have been deposited in the CHB Office, yet the plans were initially submitted by them in the Estate Office and the Engineering Department which did not have any thing to do in it.

Another issue which was raised by the CHB officials was that the company officials had not submitted proper plans to the board even though they were well aware about the norms.

Sources in the CHB alleged that the company had manipulated the authorities in appointing three architects especially to clear their plan for the project and the files of these three were missing from the records of the board. Officials pointed out that as there was a slump in the property market the company was not interested in starting the project and gave new excuses to the board to delay it.

The project was jinxed since October 6, 2006, when the project agreement between the CHB and Parsvnath was signed. Parsvnath had only paid Rs 517 crore as the first installment. It has been defaulting on the remaining amount on the plea that the CHB had failed to provide encumbrance-free land and delayed approval of the project's building plans.

To settle outstanding issues between themselves Parsvnath and CHB had earlier appointed Justices DP Wadhawa and Amar Dutt as arbitratorsLater, a third neutral arbitrator, Justice SC Aggarwal, was appointed.



Thrust for tourism growth must come from private sector: Patil

Chandigarh, May 21
The government will play a catalytic role in promotion of tourism, but the thrust for better and more amenities for the tourists must come from the private sector.

UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil made this observation while addressing delegates of hospitality and tourism industry at a one-day conference on integrated tourism development in North India. Delegates from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Uttrakhand participated in the conference. — TNS



Play by visually impaired students on May 24

Chandigarh, May 21
Visually impaired students of the Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, will stage Kabir, adapted from Shekhar Sen's one-act play, at Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, at 10.45am on May 24.

The show is the result of hard work put in by enthusiastic home makers Indira Chhibber, Manju Suri, Reva Gandhi and Alka Gupta, who helped the students prepare for it. — TNS



MCom students in a fix
Semester exam clashes with CS entrance on June 3
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Second-year postgraduate students of commerce at Panjab University are in a fix as their semester exam on June 3 is clashing with the Company Secretary (CS) entrance exam, in which many students are to appear.

The affected students have requested the university authorities to re-schedule the semester exam, so that they could take the entrance exam. There are nearly 600 students pursuing MCom from PU and its affiliated colleges. Of these many students have applied for the CS exam.

One of the MCom students said the university should change the semester exam date, so that students who have applied for the CS exam did not suffer.

The CS exam is held twice a year. The students who fail to appear in the upcoming exam will get the next opportunity in December. “If the semester exam is not re-scheduled, then we will be left with no option but to wait till December,” said a student.

Controller of Examination (COE) Parvinder Singh said he had forwarded the representation made by the students to the examination branch concerned, which is exploring the possibility for changing the exam date. “The decision will be taken keeping in view the number of students appearing for the CS exam and the availability of alternative dates,” said Singh.

Earlier too, the PU authorities had to change the date of the law entrance examination from June 9 to June 23, as the date was clashing with the law entrance exam to be conducted by Delhi University.



from schools
Environment Week concludes

Chandigarh: Environment Week concluded at Stepping Stones Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, on Tuesday. During the week, students were sensitised about the need to preserve the environment through a number of activities.

Students’ projects exhibited

Projects made by students were exhibited during the parent-teacher meeting of the primary wing at St Soldier’s School. The models, charts and craft work related to mathematics, English, Hindi and EVS, most of which were prepared using waste material, were appreciated by parents.

Children make models on grammatical themes

With the aim to develop cognitive skills and inculcate interest in the English language, Class XII students at Sharda Sarvhitkari School, Sector 41, were encouraged to make models based on various grammatical themes in English. Beautifully designed models on prepositions, nouns and adjectives were displayed on the school premises. These showcased the innovativeness and talent of the children.

Abhishek, Rudhir shine in Hindi recitation

The Literary Week celebrations began on a patriotic note at Bhawan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, with an inter-class Hindi recitation competition for students of Classes VIII and IX. The competition was based on the theme ‘Desh Prem’. All participants stirred patriotic emotions among the audience with their passionate elocution. Abhishek of VIII-D and Rudhir of VIII-C stood first. Hrithik of VIII-B and Aayushi of IX-A bagged the second prize. The third spot went to Jayesh of VIII-B and Aanchal of IX-D. The consolation prize was won by Aayush of VIII-D.

Poster-making competition

The Health Club of MDAV School organized a poster-making competition on Anti Tobacco Day. Around 30 students from Class VII to X participated in the event. Teachers delivered lectures during the morning assembly. Students who got top-three positions in the competition were given prizes by principal Neelam Sharma.

Teacher training

Gurukul Global School, Mani Majra, hosted a certified two-day workshop on continuous and comprehensive teacher training programme for teachers. The programme aimed at making teachers aware of the new assessment pattern under the continuous and comprehensive evaluation introduced by the Central Board of Secondary Education. Resource person for the workshop Suman Chawla apprised the attendees of necessary skills and expertise to implement the latest assessment tools in their classrooms.

Investiture ceremony

Mohali: Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, organised an investiture and oath-taking ceremony with a view to make students more responsible and disciplined towards their duties. The programme was organised in the playground after the morning assembly. The students were divided into three houses: Mars, Venus and Jupiter.

Cooking activity

Panchkula: DC Model School, Sector 7, organised a ‘Cooking without Fire’ activity for Class VII to stress upon the importance of saving fuel. It also aimed at inculcating the habit of cooking among among children. It was divided into four groups: Salads, desserts, sandwiches and mocktails. Enthusiastic students showcased their creativity and talent by presenting colourful mocktails, mouth-watering desserts, refreshing salads and tempting sandwiches.

Electronics workshop

A workshop on electronics was conducted at MRA Modern Public School, Sector 7. During the two-hour workshop, the resource person, Mukul Chaudhary, taught the Class IX students techniques to make small electronic devices. — TNS

Rhymes Day celebrated

Tiny tots of Bhawan Vidyalaya Junior, Sector 33-D, celebrated Rhymes Day. Children came dressed according to the theme and recited poems holding different aids, such as placards and soft toys. The activity aimed at building students’ confidence and helping them in developing leadership qualities. Children participated with great zeal and enthusiasm.



Edu Dept to do away with subject teachers up to Class V
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The UT Education Department has adopted the single teacher policy for all the primary classes. The policy, which was already in place for Classes I and II at government schools, will do away with the practice of having subject-wise teachers up to Class V.

Now, a single teacher will take care of studies and related activities of students in a classroom. Department officials said the decision was taken in compliance with the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act norms. Moreover, it was an extension to the education policy of the department as a single teacher was already heading Classes I and II, they said.

“The decision to extend the policy till Class V was taken because activity-based learning has been made mandatory, especially in primary classes, under the RTE Act. A single teacher can adapt better to these changing academic patterns,” said an official.

The decision, however, has not gone down well with the local teaching fraternity. A school head said the subject-wise teachers were needed as the practice broke the monotony in a classroom and students learnt better through pedagogy of different teachers. “The single teacher policy is fine for the lower classes, but beyond that it may lead to practical issues,” he said.

Another school official said the system would falter when teachers go on leave. “Then, it will become very difficult to depute someone else for a whole day,” she said.

Swarn Singh Kamboj, president of UT Cadre Education Employees’ Union, said private schools in the city were maintaining higher standards of education by adopting the practice of subject-wise teachers. The practice should not be abolished in the government schools, he said.

Dept officials, teaching fraternity at loggerheads

The decision to extend the policy till Class V was taken because activity-based learning has been made mandatory, especially in primary classes, under the RTE Act. A single teacher can adapt better to these changing academic patterns

Official, education department, chandigarh

Private schools in the city are maintaining higher standards of education by adopting the practice of subject-wise teachers. The practice should not be abolished in the government schools.
—Swarn Singh Kamboj, President, UT Cadre Education Employees’ Union



Devashish tops MD/MS entrance

Chandigarh: Devashish Sahoo has topped the MD/MS entrance exam conducted by the PGI on Sunday. In the results declared on Monday, Sahoo secured 99.991 percentile among 9,000 candidates.

Pawar Satyajit Jalindhar came second with 99.975 percentile, followed by Ramesh Pal (99.959 percentile). The selected candidates will be called for counselling after a few weeks, followed by interviews. — TNS



CET: PU extends date for form submission

Chandigarh, May 21
The students appearing for the Common Entrance Test (CET) at Panjab University who deposited their fee on time but failed to complete the online form submission have been given a chance to complete their forms by May 23.

PU officials said those candidates who had deposited their fee for PU-CET (UG)-2013 entrance test but could not complete their online forms may contact the assistant registrar (CET cell) at PU.

The students can approach the official concerned up to 4 pm on May 23 in order to complete their forms and download their admit cards, said Controller of Examination (COE) Parvinder Singh. — TNS



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