C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


She survived on rainwater for 7 days 
Shocked and shaken, flood survivor recounts tales of horror in Uttarakhand
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
Surviving on rainwater for seven days and witnessing cries and helplessness all around, 47-year-old Saroj Bala, who was stranded at Govind Ghat in Uttarakhand, is still struggling to overcome the tragedy.

While her family members find themselves fortunate to see her alive, the joy of being rescued does not appear on Saroj’s face. She appears to be in deep shock as she saw hundreds of people being washed away in flash floods within seconds.

She is being counselled at the GMSH-16. “She was brought here for check-up. Though she seems to be fine physically, the tragedy has affected her mental state,” said a doctor at the hospital.

“Many children were stranded at Govind Ghat. They were shivering in the cold as their clothes were wet. Women commandos in the rescue team offered them their own clothes. We all survived on rainwater and had nothing to eat for days,” she recalled. “The cries of helpless children are still haunting me. The elderly stayed at the gurdwara, while others, including two children, went to a parking area to rest in their car. A few minutes later, they were washed away in flash floods. I could see it all, but could not do anything,” Saroj lamented.

Saroj, a resident of Ramdarbar, was on a pilgrimage to Badrinath with her sister-in-law. 



There was devastation all around, says city couple 
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
“We had no food or water for three days,” said a couple recounting the tales of horror of the flood-ravaged Uttarakhand. Even as they managed to return home safe from Hemkunt Sahib on Saturday, the couple said they were still in a state of shock, seeing people being washed away in flash floods.

Bhupinder Kaur (57), a resident of Sector 44, said she saw children crying due to hunger. The pilgrims stranded at Gobind Ghat remained without food for more than 72 hours.

“I saw people sleeping in their cars being washed away at Govind Ghat. It took us three days to cover a distance of 18 km from Govind Ghat to Joshi Math,” said Bhupinder Kaur.

Her husband Jagtar Singh, a CTU employee, said local residents extended help and food to the stranded pilgrims, but some of them jacked up the prices of essential commodities. Water bottles were sold for Rs 50 and a packet of biscuit for Rs 60.

The couple had to face hardships to reach Chandigarh from Joshi Math. Jagtar said the local cab drivers charged three times the usual fare. An Army truck at a relief camp dropped them at Ambala on Saturday, he said. 



Slain inspector’s son seeks job of an ASI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
A fortnight after the brutal murder of UT police inspector Sucha Singh, his son 29-year-old Parminder Singh today filed an application with the police department seeking a job as an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) on compassionate grounds.

Still coming to terms with the tragedy after the murder of his father inspector Sucha Singh on June 8, Parminder said the incident does not deter him from joining the force.

Though employed in Canada for the past many years, family responsibilities will now take a priority for him. Parminder is keen to settle in India and join the police.

“My father wanted to see me in khaki and I am keen to fulfil his dream. My father always held his head high and enjoyed a good reputation. I wish to carry on the legacy and plan to settle here as my mother will not shift to Canada,” he said.

Inspector Sucha Singh was stabbed to death by suspended UT police constable Basant and his girlfriend Sarita after the inspector rounded them up for verification. Both Basant and Sarita have been arrested and are in judicial custody.

A senior police official said the application was being considered. “In the past, all the applicants seeking a job on compassionate grounds have been appointed constables. Since Parminder is a graduate, the department will looked into as to what post he will be given,” said a police official. 



Admn shoots off letter to Punjab, Haryana
Asks neighbouring states to prepare proposals for creating Sukhna zone 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
After submitting its proposal for creating an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the UT Administration has shot off a letter to the governments of Punjab and Haryana urging them to prepare proposals for creating the ESZ around the sanctuary.

In a communiqué to Punjab and Haryana, the Administration has mentioned: “As the ministry will declare the eco-sensitive zone around the sanctuary after considering the proposals of Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, proposals from the two states is important.”

The ministry had recently extended the deadline of submitting the proposal to July 15.

The UT Administration had proposed an area ranging from 2 km to 2.75 km as the eco-sensitive zone around the sanctuary. The Administration had proposed low-density and low-rise buildings in the area falling in the eco-sensitive zone.

The Administration has not touched the urban areas. However, three UT villages — Kaimbwala, Khuda Ali Sher and Kishangarh — and Lalit Hotel and the Parsvnath Pride Asia project in IT Park, will fall in the eco-sensitive zone proposed by the Administration.

The Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary catchment area is around 36 km, of which only 2 km falls under the jurisdiction of the Administration. The remaining area falls in Punjab and Haryana. 

Separate proposals

Contrary to the guidelines of the ministry, the UT Administration, Punjab and Haryana had last year decided to submit separate proposals of the ESZ around the sanctuary falling under their jurisdiction. The guidelines of the ministry stated that in cases where the boundary of a protected area abuts the boundary of another state or union territory where it does not form a part of any protected area, it would be an endeavour of both the state governments or the UT Administration to have a mutual consultation and decide upon the width of the ESZ around the protected area in question.

What is eco-sensitive zone

An eco-sensitive zone is a fragile ecosystem area where conservation or preservation of natural environment is sustained by state control and grants. In a bid to prevent ecological damage caused due to development activities around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has come out with new guidelines to create eco-sensitive zones that will work as shock absorbers for the protected areas. The aim is to regulate certain activities around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to minimise the negative impact of such activities on the fragile ecosystem. 



Software engineer dies in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
A 25-year-old youth died after his bike skidded on the road separating Sectors 43 and 44 last night.

The victim, Damanpreet Singh, worked as a software engineer with an IT firm and was a resident of Phase VII, Mohali.

The mishap took place when Damanpreet was on his way to Sector 22 on his motorcycle.

His bike skidded and he fell on the road. He suffered an injury on his head.

The police said Damanpreet was on his way to pick his friend up from Sector 22 around 11pm.

The police identified the victim on the basis of his driving licence. The victim had returned from Paonta Sahib yesterday.

The deceased’s father Harcharan Singh is a private contractor.

A passer-by, who was witness to the accident, informed the police. Damanpreet was rushed to a hospital where he was declared brought dead.

The post-mortem was conducted today and body was handed over to the family.

The deceased is survived by his parents and a younger sister.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.


700 stranded pilgrims return safely
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 24
Around 700 pilgrims, who were stranded in Uttarakhand, reached the Inter-State Bus Terminus at Sector 43, Chandigarh, today.

Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said eight buses carrying pilgrims reached here. Two buses, which were carrying pilgrims from Patiala, have also returned, he added.

"So far, a total number of 1,700 pilgrims have reached here in the last three days. After giving refreshment and medical assistant to the needy persons, these pilgrims are being sent to their respective hometowns," said Bhullar. He added the police was also coordinating with its counterpart in Uttarakhand to locate the missing persons.

"The people, who have no clue about their family members or relatives who had gone missing in Uttarakhand, can take help of our help line at the bus stand," said Bhullar.

Police helps migrants trace their kin

Not only the local people but migrants are also taking the help of the Mohali Police to trace their relatives who had gone missing in Uttatrakhand. Ram Vriksah Chauhan and Shiv Ram Chuheri, who are putting up in Burail village, approached the police with their relatives' photographs and requested them to trace their location in Uttarakhand.
Relatives of missing pilgrims show their photographs to officials at a police help centre at the ISBT-43, Chandigarh. tribune photo:
Relatives of missing pilgrims show their photographs to officials at a police help centre at the ISBT-43, Chandigarh. tribune photo 

"My parents, Ram Lauh and Sonjeera Devi, went on the Chaar Dhaam pilgrimage in Uttarakhand. I had talked to them on June 14 when they were near Gaurikund. After that I have no clue about them," said Shiv Ram while giving his parents' photographs and mobile number to the police.

Ram Vriksah said his brother Ram Darsh and his wife Raj Mani had gone missing at Gangotri. "They had left their home at Kanhiyla village in Uttar Pradesh to undertake the Kedarnath pilgrimage. They were last seen near Gangotri," said Ram Vriksah.

Mohali SP (Traffic) Sunita Devi, who was supervising the transit camp at the bus stand, said the police would try to find the location of their mobile phones. "We will also send their photographs to our counterpart in Uttarakhand," said the SP.

Rajinder Kaur 'Had seen worst face of humanity'

Jalandhar-based Rajinder Kaur, who had remained stranded at Gobind Dham for seven days, said she had the worst experience of her life. "We saw the worst face of humanity in those seven days. People were looting donation boxes of the gurdwara. Around 10,000 people were stranded there and there was nothing to eat. We had to walk continuously for over 24 hours and were forced to spend nights in jungles and on the river banks," she said. She added one of her group members died from scorpio bite.

Rajinder Kaur

Good Samaritan offers free ride to home

Avtar Singh Thekedar To help the pilgrims in his own way, a local resident reached the Sector 43 bus stand on his Innova car and offered the pilgrims a free ride in his car to their homes. Avtar Singh Thekedar, a local property dealer and resident of Khuda Ali Sher village, has left his car number and mobile number at the police help line counter and the gurdwara committee office (who hold a langar there) thinking it might be of some help to the pilgrims. "I was saddened by the news of fleecing of the pilgrims by some local people so I decided to help them by dropping them at their homes in my vehicle free of cost. I can drop any pilgrim at his home in a radius of 100 km," said Avtar Singh. The good Samaritan, however, could not get a chance to help pilgrims today. "I will continue to come here in the coming days also," said Avtar Singh. 

Avtar Singh Thekedar



U’khand disaster on MC agenda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
At the monthly House meeting of the Municipal Corporation scheduled for June 28, agenda to provide aid to Uttarakhand, which has been hit by floods, will coming up for discussion.

The agenda branch of the Municipal Corporation has included this agenda after receiving a letter from Congress councillor Gurbax Rawat in this regard.

Gurbax Rawat said she had urged the councillors and officials to discuss a plan of action for extending support to the flood-hit Uttarakhand in the coming House meeting. Though there is no special fund with the MC, but it can provide help for the flood-hit, he added.

Another councillor, Mukesh Bassi, said it was their duty to help the flood victims not only as councillors but as human beings as well.

Corporation staff donate one-day salary

Extending a helping hand to the victims of flash-floods caused by the incessant rain in Uttarakhand, the Municipal Corporation today decided to contribute one-day salary of its employees to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

The MC Commissioner, Vivek Pratap Singh, said all the senior officials and staff of the Municipal Corporation had agreed to donate their one-day salary for the flood-hit. A circular has been issued in this regard as well, he added.

The corporation has around 3,500 regular employees.



Punjabi University employees chip in
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 24
The teaching and non-teaching staff of Punjabi University here have decided to donate one day’s salary linked to their basic pay for the victims of Uttarakhand floods. The Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jaspal Singh, said the decision had been taken in the light of the meetings that the authorities had held with various bodies of the teaching and non-teaching employees.

Dr Jaspal Singh said the university would do its best to lend a helping hand to ameliorate the sufferings of the flood victims in every possible manner. A meeting with various student organisations and NGOs will be held to see to it what further can be done to help the survivors stranded in Uttarakhand, he added.

Staff of Punjab DC offices contribute ~50 lakh

Meanwhile, the employees of the DC's offices throughout the state have donated their one-day salary for the flood victims, which comes to be about Rs 50 lakh.



University teachers rise to occasion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
The Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) today decided that all its members would contribute their one-day salary to the Prime Minister Relief Fund for the welfare of the Uttarakhand flood vicitims.

A meeting of the PUTA executive was held on the issue of Uttarakhand disaster. The executive expressed its deep sense of sorrow and grief for all those who lost their lives in the flash floods.

The association also saluted the Jawans of the Armed Forces and appreciated their rescue and relief operations carried out in the flood-affected areas. 



Relief camp for flood victims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
The Kumaon Sabha (Chandigarh) on Monday opened another relief camp for the flood victims in Sector 7. Its president Bachan Singh said they would soon send food and other materials to Uttarakhand. 

Meanwhile, the Divine Life Society of Sector 29 sent emergency lights to their main ashram in Rishikesh, where many flood victims are getting treatment at Sivanand Hospital. 



No pension without Aadhaar number
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
The UT Social Welfare Department will not release pension to those beneficiaries who fail to produce Aadhaar cards from the next month. However, the department will disburse pension among those who have EID number issued by the Aadhaar authorities.

The records of the department revealed that the beneficiaries covered under this scheme include 10,456 old-age pensioners, 5,706 widows and destitute women, 3,047 disabled persons and 1,474 dependant children of widows who will get direct financial assistance.

The UT Social Welfare Department Director, Rajesh Jogpal, said this system would enable the department to disburse pension on a monthly basis instead of quarterly. He said after the introduction of the direct cash transfer scheme, there would be no need to fill in any slip or form.

Pension will be credited to their bank accounts. The banks will be in touch with the Sampark or Gram Sampark Centres across the UT through their business officials so that beneficiaries can withdraw their pension in a hassle-free manner.

Surjeet Kaur, a widow pensioner, said in the past, it had become a routine practice by the department to delay the release of pension by more than two months. But with the introduction of this new system, she is hopeful that there would be timely disbursal of pension. She had to approach the authorities concerned eight times in March to get the last instalment of her pension, she added.

Maninder (50), who is the lone earning member of her family, said the department did not keep a check whether pension had been released on time or not. There was a delay of eight or nine months in the release of the pension for the disabled persons and widows, she added. 



Admn directs CHB to draft proposal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
Ending the deadlock between the Chandigarh Administration and the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) employees’ union over the implementation of pension scheme, the Administration today decided that CHB would send a feasible proposal regarding the scheme. The housing board will examine the scheme being implemented by Panjab University and the one adopted by the Municipal Corporation for drafting the proposal.

In the meeting chaired by the UT Adviser and attended by senior officials of the Chandigarh Administration and the CHB employees’ union, the Finance Department was directed to ascertain the requirements for this scheme. The financial and legal provisions related to the EPF amounts transferred into the employees’ accounts and its transfer with any new scheme will need to be studied further, it was pointed out.

The union leaders said they were prepared to surrender their EPF amounts towards any pension fund as and when it was created. The UT Adviser directed the CHB Chairman to discuss the issue of medical benefits for the retired board employees and find an appropriate solution after sympathetic examination of the matter.

On the issue of pension, the CHB employees have been sitting on a dharna outside the CHB office for the past over two months.



Admn pulls down illegal structure
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
The enforcement staff of the UT Estate Office today demolished a steel structure that had been raised by the management of Pracheen Shiv Mandir on government land in Sector 10 here. The officials supervising the drive said despite instructions by the Estate Office, the temple management tried to extend the covered area of the temple by raising a steel shed.

A few days ago, the Estate Office had demolished the boundary wall raised on the land earmarked for judges' houses.



795 stray dogs vaccinated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
To make the city rabies free and to implement the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2001, the Municipal Corporation had organised free anti-rabies vaccination camps for stray dogs in collaboration with the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Chandigarh, over the past more than two months.

During the vaccination camps, 795 stray dogs were vaccinated from April 1 to June 15. Since January, 370 dogs have been sterilised. Dr BK Salwan, Medical Officer of Health, MC, said stray dogs suffering from skin diseases, wounds, etc., were given immediate treatment.



P’kula police pins hope on technical surveillance to crack theft case
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 24
The Panchkula police is pinning its hope on the technical surveillance to catch the thieves who struck at BJP leader Krishan Dhull’s house in Sector 12-A on Saturday night.

Two teams have been constituted by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) to crack the case.

“One team is being headed by the Station House Officer of the Sector 14 police station, and the other is that of the crime investigating agency. A cyber cell team will soon work on the case too,” said DCP Ashwin Shenvi.

Shenvi said the department was seeking the help of technical surveillance to nab the miscreants.

Thieves decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 25 lakh from Dhull’s house. He had recently made an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the Municipal Corporation.

The family was away to Rohtak when the incident took place. There was no power when the youths entered the house. When they were leaving with the loot, electricity supply resumed and the closed-circuit television cameras grabbed their images.

The footage is in the possession of the police.

According to the police, 35 tolas of gold jewellery, 75 grams of silver jewellery, silver idols, and Rs 4 lakh have been stolen. 



MC panel to decide on revised hourly parking rates today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
After giving its nod to hourly paid parking in Sector 17 during a recent Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) meeting, the Municipal Corporation will discuss the revised agenda of hourly parking rates at a meeting on June 25.

On May 21, the committee had decided to introduce an hourly parking fee at the paid parking area covered under fully automatic system: Empire Store parking and Sahib Singh parking.

It was decided that the new parking rates will be Rs 5 per entry for up to two hours, and subsequently Rs 10 per hour, for four-wheelers, including taxis. For two-wheelers, the rates were kept at Rs 2 per entry for up to two hours, and Rs 4 per hour subsequently.

Sector 17 traders, however, objected to the proposal. A meeting in this regard was also held between the office-bearers of trader associations of Sector 17, area Councillor Pardeep Chabbra and Mayor Subhash Chawla.

In the coming meeting, a new proposal will come up for discussion which stipulates Rs 5 as the parking fee for the first four hours, and the same amount to be charged for each subsequent hour.

Traders had raised concern that after shifting of the District Court Complex from Sector 17 to Sector 43 and opening of Elante Mall in Industrial Area, Phase I, shoppers were not visiting Sector 17 even during the peak hours. 



PGI authorities forced to close down swimming pools due to poor upkeep
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
Failing to ensure proper upkeep of its swimming pools, which have turned into a breeding ground for mosquitoes, the PGI has closed down the pools this year.

Due to the apathy of the engineering wing of the premier institute, the pools were in a deplorable condition since last year. Larvae flourished in the water, posing risk of dengue and malaria. Fungi could also be seen on the surface of the unfiltered water accumulated in the two pools.

All the in-built filters inside the two pools, one each for adults and children, had stopped working. The Chandigarh Tribune highlighted the problem last year, following which workers were deployed for manually clearing the water. The task, however, turned out to be a herculean one, following which the pools were finally closed.

The resident doctors at the institute are at the receiving end as an important source of recreation has been closed down. Although around 200 members had enrolled for swimming last year, they could not make use of the service due to ill maintenance.

Sources said the engineering wing had made efforts to outsource the repair work of the pool and tenders were also called. However, they failed to get any response.

The officials, on the other hand, claim that the pools are being upgraded. Official spokesperson of the PGI Manju Wadwalkar said, “The pools have been closed down as they are to be upgraded.”

There are a total of four batches of visitors to the pools, two each in the morning and evening.



Garbage dumped in the open an eyesore at Panjab varsity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
Bringing to the fore lackadaisical attitude of the Panjab University authorities towards hygiene and cleanliness, garbage can be seen strewn over various parts of the campus.

Heaps of garbage near the canteen on the rear side of University Business School and outside various other canteens on the PU campus is a common sight.

“It’s impossible for us to sit in such unhygienic conditions,” said a PU student.

The situation is similar near Boys’ Hostel No. 6, where garbage is piled up on the road just opposite the entry to the hostel. One of the hostel residents said the garbage lying on the roadside had turned into an eyesore. “The careless attitude adopted by sanitary workers leads to such a situation. The students are equally responsible, as they throw garbage in the open,” said a hostel resident.

Students said canteen contractors should be penalised by the university authorities for throwing garbage in the open.



Krishnakumar takes over as training school commander
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
Group Captain G Krishnakumar assumed charge as the Station Commander, No. 1 TETTRA School, at the Air Force High Grounds here today.

Prior to this, he was posted as an additional director at the Defence Research and Development Organisation for the promotion of research and development in aeronautics as well as project management of the Defence Avionics Research Establishment. He takes over from Group Captain Sanjeev Dargar who has been posted to the Directorate of Engineering, New Delhi.

Commissioned in September 1988, Krishnakumar is an MTech in microwave electronics from Delhi University and was trained on MiG-29 overhaul in Russia and Ukraine. He has a wide experience of working in fighter squadrons and base repair depots for setting up of MiG-29 overhaul facilities.

He has worked in the avionics modification unit, heading a number of detachments for carrying out various modifications on fighters, helicopters and transport aircrafts, and as the chief modification planning officer at the Kanpur-based unit. He has also headed the IT faculty at Air Force Technical College.



Women’s team flagged off for Mughal car rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
A two-member all-women team comprising of wives of army officers from Chandimandir will be participating in the 4th Mughal Car Rally-2013 that is taking place from 27 to 30 June in Jammu and Kashmir.

The team, comprising of Chander Suta Dogra and Rita Sekhon, will take part in the Enduro TSD format of the rally.

Both the women are experienced rallyists. Chander Suta has won the Coup de Dame Trophy in the Raid de Himalayas-2009.

Rita has been part of the service and backup team for her husband’s team who is also an accomplished rallyist.

The team was flagged-off from Chandiamndir today by the General Officer Commanding-in-C, Western Command, Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra.

The four-day event is being organised by the Himalayan Motor Sports Association, Shimla, and sponsored by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department. The event runs as two separate rallies, the Xtreme and the Enduro. The Xtreme is the fast-paced event with professional drivers. The route passes through the historic Mughal route leading to the Kashmir valley which has been opened for tourist traffic in the recent years.



Baldness affects 63.5% Indian men: Expert

Chandigarh: Male pattern baldness is prevalent among 63.5 per cent of the Indian male population.

Stress levels induced by crown balding may have adverse impact on the health and can induce heart attacks as well as diabetes. Patients who have had a hair transplant, however, live a healthier life after the procedure as their stress levels decrease.

These findings were recently presented by hair transplant surgeon Dr Tejinder Bhatti at the European FUE Hair Transplant Society Meeting in Berlin, Germany.

Dr Bhatti said hair transplant reduced the insulin requirement and risk of heart ailments. — TNS



Trycity scan


Rally held

A rally was organised at Sector- 22, Chandigarh, by all-resident welfare associations and market welfare associations of the sector where Pawan Kumar Bansal was the chief guest and BB Bahl, president, CTCC, Subhash Chawla, Mayor, Chandigarh, and GK Chatrath was the guest of honour.

In the beginning of the meeting, condolence was paid to victims of flashfloods and landslips in Uttarakhand.

While addressing the gathering, Bansal said he was committed to complete all those works that were still pending.

He had a view that local transport system should be strengthened and there was a need of another hospital in the third phase of the city for which he was in touch with the authorities.

He added that the trains that were already announced from Chandigarh to Shirdi, Sri Nandedgarh Sahib, Katra, Bihar and other destinations will definitely be on track soon.


The following have been elected office-bearers of the Sood Sabha, Chandigarh.

President - Surinder Sood, sr vice-president - Ashwani Doegar, vice- presidents - Kuldip Rai Sood, Rajinder Sood, PC Sood and Kapil Sood, general secretary - Shashi Sud, finance secretary- Umesh Sood.


Stir postponed

The Punjab state body of the DC Office Employees’ Union has decided to defer the ongoing strike due to national calamity at Uttarakhand and panchayat elections in Punjab. Om Parkash, president of the Mohali unit of the union, said following assurance by the state government and rescue operations being undertaken for victims in Uttarakhand, the ongoing strike has been deferred till July 10. If the state government did not heed to their demands, the strike would be resumed, he added.


Products launched

Insecticides (India) Ltd. (IIL), a BSE & NSE listed agro chemicals manufacturing company, on Sunday launched two new products XPLODE and LOGO in Punjab & Haryana. The IIL introduced XPLODE, a broad spectrum insecticide in an attractive packing, providing good control over bollworms in cotton, vegetables and pulses. This is a widely used insecticide that will be marketed by Pan India.


The following have been elected office-bearers of the ICAI -Chandigarh-Panchkula chapter. Vishal Walia - chairman, Mukesh Kumar Gupta vice-chairman, Rahul Garg - secretary, Hari Krishan Sharma - joint secretary, Sapna - finance secretary, Preet Mohinder Singh - chairman (Professional Development Committee), Krishna Kali Sinha - chairman (Coaching Committee), Naresh Kumar - chairman (Training and Placement Committee), Jasdeep Kaur - chairperson (Programmes Organising Committee).

Medical camp

Over 100 men and women were examined by doctors from Alchemist Hospital, Sector 21, Panchkula, in a free cardiac check-up camp, organised by the hospital in association with the Senior Citizens Club, Sector 25, Panchkula, on the club premises on Sunday.



Education Dept examines feasibility of permanent mechanism
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
Following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the UT Education Department has begun the process to examine the feasibility of a permanent mechanism to check the hike in fee in private schools in the UT.

The high court in its judgment on April 9 stated that there was currently no mechanism in place in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana to examine whether the hike in fees by private schools in their jurisdiction was proper or not.

Taking this cue from here, the court directed these states and the UT to set up a permanent regulatory body for which six months' time has been given to them.

Officials said acting on the court’s directions, a file has already been moved to higher officials proposing to form a panel having group of experts that will propose to the local administration about the nature and powers of the regulatory body.

An official of the Education Department asserted that the administration had currently less check over the fee issue of private schools here.

The purpose of that soon-to-be-formed panel was to examine what kind of regulatory body was fit for the UT on a regular basis and check whether schools were indulging into profiteering or not, he said.

He said appointing a permanent regulatory body for checking the reasonableness of fee hike in private schools every year could be a possibility but we would have to see what kind of powers it was required to regulate the fee structure.

“A body without the requisite powers will be as toothless as the present system of regulation,” said a senior official.

Meanwhile, the high court’s appointed three-member ad hoc committee for the UT has already started its proceedings to check the reasonableness of the fee charged by private schools for the 2012-13 academic session.

But the committee headed by Justice RS Mongia (retd) is facing challenges as it is finding it difficult to obtain the financial details of private schools, on the basis of which they have to conduct their inspection.

The private schools are given time till June 28 to respond to the committee.



Students protest reconduct of exams
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
Students of DAV College, Sector 10, today staged a protest against the Panjab University’s decision to reconduct some of the examinations in view of the confusion over the date sheets.

“As per details provided by the university on its official website, exams were scheduled to begin from May 21, 2013, to June 7, 2013. However, as per information received by colleges from the university in their official gazette, the date for exams was from May 22 to June 8,” said students.

“While all colleges conducted exam as per the official gazette, one college conducted the exams as per the dates provided on the university website.

Now after 15 days after conducting the exams, the university had suddenly decided to reconduct the three of the four exams,” added the students.

They also alleged that the university authorities have cancelled the previous exams suspecting paper leak.

The new date sheet that is published on the official website is from July 2, 2013, to July 8, 2013. They also alleged that they were not informed about the same.

“Some of the students had already applied for jobs and some had joined various courses for further studies due to which it is not possible for us to take the exams again. The university also assured us that they would look into the matter but till date nothing has been done,” the protesters added.

The ABVP has supported the protest.



26-day mathematics training programme concludes at varsity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
Mathematics Training and Talent Search (MT&TS) programme concluded today at the Department of Mathematics, Panjab University (PU).

The 26-day programme started from May 27 and was attended by 29 students, who were selected on an all-India basis. A national board sponsored the programme.

Five resource persons - Director of the programme Prof Kumerasan and four tutors - from various universities interacted with students.

The purpose of the programme was to help students gain clarity and confidence in using basic mathematics concepts and develop independent thinking.

At the valedictory function, Prof VC Nanda, retired professor of Department of Mathematics, delivered a talk on Ramanujan and some other eminent mathematicians.

Prof Nanda also talked about the 'Stolen Notebook' of Ramanujan.

Prof IBS Passi and Prof RJ Hans-Gill, both former DUI of PU, gave away the certificates to the participants.

Last date extended

PU has extended the last date for submission of BCom forms online to June 25. As many as 5,733 students have already submitted the applications forms.

The last date for submitting the hard copies of forms would continue to be June 26. The application forms can be submitted by post or by hand up to June 26 till 5pm at the University School of Open Learning, PU.

PU spokesman said the decision to extend the last date had been taken to facilitate the students, who were stuck in Uttarakhand.

Some students have approached PU stating that they could not submit the forms due to technical reasons and some of them had got held up in Uttarakhand due to the natural calamity.

There are 1,120 seats in co-education colleges, 770 seats in women colleges and 140 seats in a men's college in Chandigarh. Among colleges providing co-education, there are 210 BCom seats at DAV College, Sector 10, 70 seats at Department of Evening Studies, PU, 280 seats at GGSD College, Sector 32, 140 seats at Government College of Commerce and Business Administration, Sector 42, 140 seats at Postgraduate Government College, Sector 46, 280 seats at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26. Among women colleges, there are 140 seats at Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, 210 seats at MCMDAV College for Women, Sector 36, 140 seats at Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, 140 seats at Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, 140 seats at Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42.

Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11, is a men's college and 140 seats are available there.



12 help desks to be set at Panjab University
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
In an attempt to assist new students in the admission process to Panjab University Departments, 12 help desks have been allotted to representatives of different student organisations.

The help desks would be set up near the single window enquiry at the university. Forms would be available at the help desks.

The help desks represented by various student organisations, including Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU), Student Organisation of Punjab University (SOPU), Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and National Student Union of India (NSUI), would be set up from June 25 to July 3 near Aruna Ranjit Hall.

In view of the common practice over the past couple of years when students convert the help desks into campaigning sites by displaying huge banners and showing party strength, the authorities have directed them to follow instructions strictly.

“We have assured the authorities that no rules would be violated and at any given time not over six members would be stationed at one desk,” said SFI campus president Prabhpreet.

Last year, all help desks carried huge banners of different parties and were busy in showcasing their strength of supporters. The students also competed a lot for securing prominent locations for putting up their help desks.

The desks closer to the single window enquiry get maximum footfall and enjoy more visibility. Last year, the desks were allotted via draw of lots.



Education briefs

New courses

Desh Bhagat University is starting some new courses in the field of Food Technology from the current session. BTech in Food Technology is a four-year course and eligibility for this course is Class XII in medical or non-medical stream.

The university is also offering MTech (Food Technology) and PhD course in Food Technology.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the university Shalini Gupta said the food industry had good scope and job prospects in the country as well as abroad. The food technology had revolutionised the food habits of people across the world by offering cooked and securely packaged foods in attractive forms. As a result, the market for processed food was growing fast and there was no fear of unemployment or recession in this industry.

Dr SS Chahal, Vice-Chancellor, Desh Bhagat University, said the food technology professionals were qualified to man various positions of responsibility in public and private sectors like quality control officers, food packaging managers, R&D personnel, food scientists, production managers and food stylists in the food processing industry.

Olympiad 2013

Twentysix tricity school students were awarded at the International Olympiad 2013, organised by Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF) at New Delhi recently to felicitate the international winning students, teachers and principals of Olympiad exams for the academic year 2012-13.

Ishan Bagai of Class VI and Harshit Singh of Class III at Vivek High School, Chandigarh, secured the second international rank and got I-Pads as prizes. The tricity awardees who received medals and certificates were Mayush Kumar, Ishan Bagai, Manraj Singh Walia, Harshit Singh, Jairaj Singh Basur, Aditi Kaushik from Vivek High School, Chandigarh, Nikita from Delhi Public School, Chandigarh, Akshita, R Harini from Sacred Heart School, Chandigarh, Aman Samrat from Stepping Stones Sr Secondary School, Chandigarh, Pavit Singh and Ishaan Shrivastava from Strawberry Fields World School, Chandigarh.

Chetanya Mittla, Hitakshi, Daksh Walia from St Kabir Public School, Chandigarh, Toshali Pandey from Ryan International School, Chandigarh, Inesh Dheer and Abhinav Bahri, Nikhil Bery from Bhawan Vidyalaya Jr School, Chandigarh, Nimesh Goel from Mount Carmel School, Chandigarh, and Rehmat Singh Chawla from The Millennium School, Mohali, were among the other students awarded.

Justice RC Lahoti, former Chief Justice, was the chief guest.

Summer camp

Over 100 students from various schools participated in the grand finale of the summer camp held at Mind School Tree here at Kharar, Mohali.

The finale was held for students of the second batch whose camp started from June 17 and culminated on Monday with an evening show.

The finale saw foot-tapping dance performances by students that showed the little masters in nail-biting choreography and amazingly confident moves. Parents were handed over the certificates of participation and all art work done by their wards. The art exhibition was also mesmerising.



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