C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


ATM card cloning cases cracked, 2 held
Couple from Ludhiana main suspects; 21 cloned ATM cards, magnetic card reader, cellphones seized
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The cyber crime cell of the UT police claimed to have cracked the ATM fraud cases that rocked the city in the recent past. The police has arrested a couple, who were adept at ATM card cloning through a magnetic ATM reading machine. They committed a series of frauds by cloning cards across the city.

The police arrested Mukul Garg, a commerce graduate, and his female accomplice Ramandeep Kaur in a case of cheating. They were arrested on Wednesday when they landed at the Chandigarh airport. They boarded the plane from Mumbai. The accused are residents of Ludhiana and used to travel frequently by air to different cities across the country.

The police has recovered 21 debit and credit cards, five cellphones, a laptop and a magnetic card reader/writer from the accused.

The police said Ramandeep Kaur had purchased the ATM reading machine from Singapore. The police claimed to have solved four cases of ATM card cloning with their arrest.

DSP (Cyber Crime Cell) Rajesh Kalia said the arrest was the tip of the iceberg and more accused were likely to be arrested soon. The role of some employees at filling stations is also under scanner for assisting the couple in cloning ATM cards. “It is advised not to get a credit or an ATM card swiped in the owner’s absence during shopping as there is always a risk of the card getting cloned,” said a police official.

Six petrol pumps under scanner

Investigations into the ATM card cloning case have put three petrol pumps in Chandigarh and three petrol pumps in Panchkula under scanner. The accused couple developed links with some employees of the petrol pumps in Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and provided them debit card swipe machines. They also prepared a database of the used debit/credit cards in their laptop. The ATM cards that were given for payment at petrol pumps were swiped in the magnetic card reader to copy the data.

CCTV footage vital

Police investigations revealed that the same girl was seen shopping with cloned cards in the CCTV camera grabs. She used different identities while using cloned credit cards. On April 2, Parwinder Kaur Monga, a resident of Sector 38-A, Chandigarh, reported to the police that illegal transactions amounting to Rs 75,954 were made by someone using her debit card of Axis Bank at Ludhiana at a time when the card was in her possession. The debit card of the complainant was used at different shopping centres in Ludhiana. A Samsung Galaxy Note-II and some other items were purchased by submitting a copy of the driving licence in the name of Shweta Goel, a Ludhiana resident, as an identity proof. The police conducted raids to nab Shweta Goel, but the address was found to be fake.

During investigations, it came to light that the accused used the cloned debit/credit cards in the name of lnderjit Kaur, alias Pushpinder, alias Ramandeep Kaur, and police found that the accused was frequently travelling between Ludhiana, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. During investigations, Kapil Dev, a resident of Sector 41-A, Chandigarh, made a similar complaint on April 25 regarding the misuse of his debit card by someone in Delhi. During inquiry, it came to light that the accused purchased a Samsung Galaxy Note-II by using the complainant’s debit card. She gave a voter ID card as proof which was in the name of Seema.

The police obtained the CCTV camera footage and other data from the shops at different places. The accused was identified as Ramandeep Kaur. She used different names such as Seema, Harpreet, Shweta Goyal, Gurpreet Goyal, Inderjit Kaur, Puspinder and Manjit while using cloned debit cards. Police investigations revealed that Ramandeep was committing frauds in connivance with Mukul Garg, who used different identities such as Rajiv Kumar, Jyoti Dyal and Sajan Singh.


The police recovered 10 ATM/credit cards containing four blank cards with magnetic strips, one magnetic reader/writer machine (ATM cloning machine) and two mobile phones from Ramandeep Kaur’s possession. A total of 11 ATM/credit cards containing two blank cards with magnetic strips, three mobile phones and a laptop were recovered from Mukul Garg.

High drama at airport

High drama was witnessed at the city airport when the accused were arrested. As soon as they alighted from the Mumabi-Chandigarh flight, the officials at the airport started checking boarding passes of passengers. A passenger, who was travelling with them, said they were reluctant to show their boarding passes. Soon after the checking was over, the accused rushed towards the baggage collecting area. However, when they reached near the gate, the police officials, one of them who was in civvies, rounded them up.

Were into crimes since 2012

The accused, Ramandeep Kaur, told the police that she came in contact with Mukul last year while he was employed at her uncle’s shop in Ludhiana. He lured her into the world of crime by promising her easy and quick money through card cloning. The duo committed frauds worth lakhs in different cities. She has also revealed the name of one of her accomplices, Ravi. The accused have been sent to four-day police custody.

Modus operandi

By swiping the card in a magnetic reader, the employees at petrol pumps transferred the data saved on the card electronically to the blank or fake ATM cards of Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Standard Charted Bank, HDFC, PNB and City Bank via magnetic strips affixed on it. After preparing cloned cards, the duo used them for purchasing mobile phones and costly accessories.



2 robbed of Rs 4 lakh, scooter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Assailants in a Maruti car looted Rs 4 lakh and robbed two persons of their scooter in broad daylight today. The incident took place on the road separating Sectors 46 and 47 when Vinod and his colleague Ashok were on their scooter.

The two work for a liquor contractor and were returning from Mani Majra after collecting cash. They were on their way to deposit cash in a bank. The assailants hit Vinod on his head and fled with the scooter.

Vinod, who was injured in the attack, said at 12.15 pm when he and Ashok were on their way to deposit cash at a bank in Sector 46 on their scooter (PB11-AM-6416) and was going towards a bank in Sector 46 to deposit the payment, four persons alighted from a Maruti car and attacked them.

They fled with cash and scooter.

A case has been registered at the Sector 31 police station.



A test of stamina at GMCH-32
Attendants shuttle between blocks to purchase medicines
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Patients at GMCH-32 are a harried lot in the absence of a medical store in Block C of the hospital. The authorities have closed down the only medical store at the emergency unit, giving a tough time to patients and their attendants. The patients have to shuttle between the emergency unit and other blocks for medicines and surgical equipment.

A patient, who has to undergo a surgery in the operation theatre complex in Block C, has to shuttle between Block A and Block C for purchasing bandages and medicines. The two blocks are located at the extremes ends of the hospital building.

Similar is the ordeal of patients at the emergency unit. Vinay Nagpal (name changed), an attendant of an accident victim, said: “Earlier, there used to be a medical store in front of the elevators. It is very difficult for an attendant to go to another block to purchase medicines.”

Patients in the private rooms, also located in Block C, are also at the receiving end.

Sources revealed that the medical store in the emergency unit was closed down due to high bid during auction.

The hospital authorities say that fresh bids have been invited. “The tender has been sent for publication. The medical store will be made operational soon,” said Director-Principal, GMCH, Dr Atul Sachdev.

There are three medical stores on the hospital premises and all are in Block A.



Counter Attack
Now, Bassi to visit Mayor’s ward
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Mukesh Bassi
Mukesh Bassi

Subhash Chawla
Subhash Chawla

Chandigarh, June 27
Sore at the ‘interference’ in his ward by Mayor Subash Chawla, Congress councillor Mukesh Bassi has now decided to visit the former’s ward to highlight the problems being faced by residents.

Without naming the Mayor, a release issued by Bassi stated: “Following numerous complaints by the residents, councillor Mukesh Bassi will visit Ward Number 5. The residents often complain of poor sanitation, broken roads and lack of basic amenities in the area. Sensing the gravity of the situation, I will visit the problematic areas of the ward, including Sector 25 and Dhanas, in a day or two.”

Bassi on Wednesday had accused Mayor Subhash Chawla of interfering in his ward. He had accused Chawla of forming a group in each ward against MP Pawan Kumar Bansal.

When contacted, Mukesh Bassi said he would visit Ward No. 5 as a councillor and a citizen of the city. It is my duty to redress the grievances of city residents.” he said.

To a query, Bassi said it was not about any ward. “I will visit every ward in the city from where I get complaints,” he said.

Mayor Subhash Chawla said any citizen of the city could visit his ward. He also gave an open invitation to all councillors to visit his ward.


Twelve-day ordeal comes to an end
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
A group of five pilgrims from Chandigarh returned home today, after 12 days of struggle for survival in the flood-ravaged Uttarakhand. Distressed and disheveled, the survivors, who had gone to Badrinath, said the flash floods were the worst possible disaster and caused havoc at the holy shrine and neighbouring areas.

A group member, Charan Singh, said their timely decision of trekking to a higher level saved their lives. “Otherwise, there was no chance of survival in the havoc caused by flash floods,” he said.

The group left the city on June 11, and after paying obeisance at Hemkund Sahib, proceeded to Badrinath on June 15. The massive destruction over the next two days resulted in hundreds of pilgrims including them being stranded at the holy shrine for several days.

Another group member, Harjinder Singh, said they remained stranded near Badrinath for eight days, an ordeal for them.

“We took shelter in an ashram, but we got no help from the administration in form of food and medical facility. Moreover, we kept waiting for several days to be evacuated,” he said.

Tired of staying at the ashram, the group decided to move on. They walked for over 18 kms through jungles and narrow terrains before being rescued by the Army.

The personnel helped them in reaching Joshi Math by the next day. From there, they were transported to Rishikesh, and finally reached Chandigarh in bus arranged by the Panjab government.

“We had a brush with death,” said another member, Major Singh. Pointing to skin infections on his body, he said it would take days to recover.

Residents of Kajehri village near Sector 52, the survivors said their families back home were extremely worried as they had no contact with them for a week.

“I did not want to die there, as I am the bread-earner for my whole family. I thank the Almighty to rescue us,” said one of the members.

450 pilgrims return safe

Over 450 pilgrims, mostly rescued from Hemkund Sahib, arrived at the ISBT-43 from Rishikesh on Thursday. Mohali Deputy Superintendent of Police Rajinder Singh Sohal, who is the camp co-ordinator at the bus terminus, said around 400 survivors were brought on the Punjab Police buses, and the rest on PRTC buses. “The number of survivors reaching Chandigarh has decreased in the past few days, as most of the rescued pilgrims, especially from Punjab, have already been brought back from Uttarakhand. However, we will continue with the camp and transportation facility till all the pilgrims return safely,” said Sohal. Around 4,000 victims are still stranded in flood-affected parts of Uttarakhand, said an official at the ISBT.



They survived biggest disaster of their life
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Families of soccer player Navjeet Singh Pallia (22) and local basketball coach Manjit Singh returned home after witnessing “the biggest disaster of their life”. Both the families, who left for Hemkund Sahib on June 13 and 14 respectively, returned with stories of their battle for survival.

Navjeet, who is known as Dutt among his teammates, said he had never experienced such tense moments in his life. He had gone to Hemkund Sahib with his parents, two aunts and a cousin.

After the disaster, the Air Force helicopters lifted his family members; however, due to the paucity of space, Navjeet and his cousin, the two “young legs”, were asked to trek to the base camp at Gobind Ghat.

“It was very risky, but holding a long stick we following the instructions given by the deployed personnel. There were no mobile network, and it was only when we reached high altitude, we managed to call our parents,” he said.

“The situation worsened when a bridge near Karan Paryas suddenly collapsed. It took hours to rebuild the bridge. I finally met my family after a day and a half, following which we returned to Chandigarh,” said Navjeet.

Navjeet’s grandfather, Gurcharan Singh Pallia, who was alone waiting for the family, said: “I was just praying for their homecoming. I have visited the Hemkund Sahib many a times, but never came across such a disaster.”

Manjit Singh, a basketball coach with the UT Sports Department, too, shared his ordeal on returning home. He was accompanied by his wife, children and other family members to Hemkund Sahib. The cab in which they were travelling is still parked in some remote area of Uttarakhand.

“All the three parking lots of the gurdwara were completely washed out. It was very difficult to survive there,” he said.

“The Army personnel, before crossing any hill, used explosives to make a path. A parantha that was priced at Rs 40 in the morning was available for Rs 80 during the night hours,” said Manjit Singh.

During his return, Manjit Singh came across a family that had lost all its children in the flash floods. He thanked the Almighty for bringing him and his family back home safely.



Not a happy homecoming for this survivor
Tribune News Service

Honey Singh Chandigarh, June 27
While relief and happiness could be seen on the faces of people returning safely to the Sector 43 ISBT from flood-ravaged Uttarakhand, those emotions were absent from the face of an Amritsar-based pilgrim who reached here today.

Thirty-year-old Honey Singh, who left for Hemkund Sahib with his two friends on June 13, was distressed as he had no information about their whereabouts.

“We safely reached Govind Ghat, but as we began our journey to Hemkund Sahib, we got separated,” he said. Honey Singh waited for his friends at Rishikesh, but could not trace them.

“I am distressed about returning home without them,” he said. He had got their names registered at the Rishikesh relief camp and hoped to hear from them soon.

Other survivors, who returned today, too, shared their horrendous experience. A survivor from Kartarpur near Jalandhar, Nandlal, said the gurdwara at Govind Ghat had been destroyed, and those stranded there had tough time looking for food and water. “Our life was always at risk, but our belief in God motivated us fight for survival,” he said.

Another survivor, Gurpreet Singh from Abohar, said the kind of devastation that took place in Uttarakhand could not be set right for many years. He said people would think twice before visiting religious shrines.



Golf Club chips in with Rs 10 lakh for relief work
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, June 27
Chandigarh Golf Club today handed over a cheque of Rs 10 Lakh to The Tribune Trust, as part of its donation to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for Uttarakhand.

Two senior management committee members of the club—vice-president Virendra Sharma and club captain Sandeep Sandhu—met The Tribune Editor-in-Chief Raj Chengappa, and donated the money for the relief operation in the flood-ravaged Uttarakhand.

Terming the flash floods a national disaster, Sharma said that in this hour of crisis, it was very important for everyone to unite and contribute their bit towards the relief work.

“The Rs 10 lakh donation was a result of the contribution made by 1,800 club members. On our appeal made to them, all the members came forward and contributed Rs 250 per head for the relief operation. The remaining amount was donated by the club management,” he said.

Sandhu said he hoped the contribution would inspire other institutions to come forward and help those who lost their loved ones and homes in the calamity.

Meanwhile, help is pouring in from city residents. Chandigarh Crockery and Bartan Dealers’ Association today donated 250 blankets to Kumaon Sabha, Chandigarh, at their relief camp for Uttarakhand victims in Sector 32. Kumaon Sabha has collected three truckloads of relief material including medicines, blankets, milk powder and water bottles, and will flag off these trucks soon.

The ongoing campaign of the Tribune Trust for collecting funds from readers for the relief operation is also getting a tremendous response in form of monetary help.

Educational institute contributes Rs 1 lakh

Fatehgarh Sahib: The Continental Group of Institutes, Fatehgarh Sahib, donated Rs 1 lakh to the Prime Minister Relief Fund. Chief managing director Col BS Sandhu handed over the draft to ADC, Fatehgarh Sahib, Malwinder Singh Jaggi.

Ex-servicemen to give one-day’s pension

Patiala: A gathering of Ex-Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen Association here decided to contribute their one day’s pension towards the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. The members paid homage to the rescue workers killed in a helicopter crash. They resolved to request the Government of India to declare them as martyrs, and give liberal pension to their dependents.



Oppn braces for MC meeting
To target Mayor on non-performance, tubewell issues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The monthly House meeting of the Municipal Corporation to be held on Friday is going to be a stormy affair as the Opposition councillors today decided to target city Mayor Subhash Chawla for his non-performance as Mayor in the last six months.

Besides, the Opposition councillors will also oppose the decision of installing 45 new tube-wells in the city without consulting the Central Ground Water Board.

A decision to this effect was taken at a pre-House meeting of the BJP-SAD councillors held here today.

The BJP councillor, Rajesh Gupta Bittu, said when Chawla became the Mayor, he had announced that during his tenure, house tax would not be imposed on the residents. Besides, he had also promised to make the city a malba-free area, but nothing had been done in this regard, he added. Bittu accused the Mayor of creating obstacles in the passing of many councillors' proposals.

Councillor Arun Sood, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the MC House, said a rift in the Congress had proved that the Mayor was not interested in the development of the City Beautiful and was only playing politics.

On the issue of sinking more tubewells, Sood said some study should be carried out before deciding on the installation of 45 new tubewells in the city. The Mayor never consulted the officials concerned about the water table in the city. The MC should first focus on stopping leakages in the water supply lines, he added.

BJP seeks Mayor’s resignation

President of the BJP Sanjay Tandon today demanded city Mayor Subhash Chawla's resignation, alleging that the Mayor has failed to solve the problems of the residents of not only his own ward but also the other city areas.

Tandon questioned that how a Mayor could claim to have developed a city when he had miserably failed to solve the problems of the residents of his own ward.

The district secretary of the party, Sanjeev Verma, said the residents of Ward No. 5 (Dhanas village and Sector 25) were facing the problems of non-lifted garbage, potholed roads, ill-maintained parks, etc, but the Mayor, who was also the Congress councillor from the same ward, was not interested in solving these problems.

Meanwhile, Chawla said he didn’t want to comment on the issue raised by BJP president Sanjay Tandon and other BJP leaders.



New device helps cancer patients speak normally
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
In perhaps for the first time in the region a user friendly instrument has been fitted in the neck of a patient who has been diagnosed with voice box cancer. It enables him to speak normally without the windpipe.

Undergoing laryngectomy (complete removal of larynx), the Phagwara-based patient does not have the compulsion to cover the opening on the neck with his finger, as required in the regular treatment.

For 39-year-old Raghuvir Rana, his ability to speak normally, without the handicap of covering the opening in his neck with a finger, has boosted his self-confidence.

"I had suffered from pain and had been facing speech difficulty for several months. I lost my job due to my inability to speak normally as the cancer has caused a lot of damage. When I reached here, I was told that the cancer had reached an advanced stage and removing the voice box is the only solution," Rana said.

"The doctors and speech therapists had demonstrated the common speech techniques to me. But, I opted for this new technique," he added.

"It is very important for people to consult the experts as early as they suspect voice disorders. Mostly, patients reach us with advanced stage cancers and removing the larynx remains the only solution before us, coupled with the risk of losing speech," said Dr Surinder Singhal, Associate Professor, Department of ENT, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32.

"Our speech therapists need to train patients judiciously to help them learn the techniques of using the equipment. Prior to this user friendly device, patients were trained to speak with voice prognosis. When one breathes out while covering the stoma with a thumb or finger, air from the lungs passes through the valve and vibrates oesophagus to produce a voice," Dr Singhal added.

"Each patient usually takes about a month to learn the speech techniques," said a speech therapist, Dr Ravi Kapoor.

How the device works

Instead of using a finger for manual occlusion, the valve closes automatically on exhalation and allows air from the lungs to pass through the voice prosthesis into the esophagus where the voice sound is originated. Since the patient does not need the use of one hand for speaking anymore with an automatic speaking valve, the handicap is less noticeable to others. Both hands are free during speaking. Users experience fewer problems with coughing and mucus production. This improves sleep and the quality of life. The device costs Rs 75,000 to 80,000. Nearly 20 patients have been benefited with the device in India so far.



GMCH-32 to have its own CT scan centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32 would start its own CT scan service within the next three months. The cost for the services at the new centre would be at par with those of the PGI, said the officials.

A patient would have to shell out Rs 300 for a plain CT scan (head) and Rs 1,125 for a contrast CT scan (abdomen) at the new centre. The centre would be set up in the Department of Radiology. It would replace the private centre located in the hospital.

"The supply order has already been sent for procuring the equipment. We hope to start it within three months," said the Director-Principal, Dr Atul Sachdev.

Though the hospital first called tenders for starting its own CT scan centre in 1999, four years after it was inaugurated, it had failed to ever complete the process.

In 2004, the hospital outsourced the service to a private company without charging any rent. The centre, which is managed by a private company, courted controversies ranging from the fleecing of patients to violating the terms of the agreement pertaining to poor patient funds.

In December last year, the authorities closed the private CT scan centre for three days owing to a dispute over the rates. The centre was learnt to have refused to reduce the rates bringing them at par with those charged at the Government Multi Speciality Hospital, Sector 16.

Later, a consensus was reached and the centre was reopened. The private firm agreed to decrease the rates by 3-10 per cent for various CT scans.



Brain tumour removed through nose
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
An endoscopic surgery was conducted on 31-year-old patient to remove a tumour in his brain. Anil Pinaker underwent minimally invasive Endonasal Endoscopic Trans-Sphenoidal Surgery at Max Hospital, Mohali. The tumour was removed through the nose.

This novel technique eliminates the need to open the skull to remove brain tumours, which means fewer risks of neurological injuries. A team of doctors, led by Dr Ashish Gupta, Senior Consultant, Neurosurgery, performed this successful surgery, which is the first of its kind in the Mohali region.

The patient complained of coarse facial features in the form of widening of jaw and thickening of his hands and feet. He was severely sweating and his voice was becoming hoarse.



Visitors jostle for parking space at GMCH-32
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
While the number of visitors to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, has been on the rise, the limited parking space at the institute continues to inconvenience patients.

The parking lots are not only congested but also ill-maintained. The parking lot opposite the emergency unit, which is the most frequented public parking at the institute, sees visitors struggling to find space every day.

The parking lot, which appears to be no less than a temporary arrangement, has also developed potholes.

The public parking lot adjacent to C Block is equally ill-maintained. This parking area mostly remains full of mud and accumulated rainwater, leaving a majority of the parking area unutilised.

Besides, the tall growth of wild grass near the boundary wall has occupied a large amount of space inside the parking lot, leading to congestion. “While thousands of patients and their attendants visit the hospital everyday, the poor shape of the parking lots reflects the lack of proper planning,” said an official at the hospital.

“But, the high number of attendants per patient is also a prominent reason for the increased vehicle density here. Patients need to be educated against bringing more than one attendant,” the official added.

“We have written to the UT Department of Architecture to upgrade our existing parking lots and create more space by levelling the parking areas. We have also proposed a multi-level parking, for which an area is to be earmarked,” said the Director-Principal,GMCH, Dr Atul Sachdev.

More than 2,000 patients visit the GMCH OPDs everyday and there are nearly 600 indoor patients at any given time admitted to different departments at the hospital.



Anupama Case: PGI moves national commission over compensation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The PGI has filed an appeal in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission against the State Commission’s (UT) order directing it to pay a sum of Rs 7 lakh as compensation for medical negligence in the Anupama death case.

The National Commission has stayed the operation of the orders of the State Commission subject to the condition that the PGI should be depositing Rs 3.5 lakh with the Commission by June 3.

The PGI today produced the receipt of deposit of a demand draft of Rs 3.5 lakh dated May 30, 2013.

The PGI has also paid a sum of Rs 8,000 as expenses to Amit Sarkar, Anupama’s father, as directed by the National Commission. On June 7, the UT State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission had issued notices to the PGI Director and its three doctors in the case, asking them to explain why the orders regarding compensation were not complied with.

The UT Commission, on April 1, had directed the PGI to pay a sum of Rs 7 lakh to Anupama’s parents as compensation for medical negligence caused to them due to her death.

Anupama (15) died at the PGI on July 24 last year. Her left leg was crushed under the rear tyre of a CTU bus and she was admitted to the PGI. In August last year, her parents had filed a complaint against the PGI and the CTU alleging negligence on the part of the two parties.

Anupama was rushed to the PGI on July 18 last year. She underwent hip disarticulation due to the spread of gas gangrene in her entire leg and died after a few three days. The parents alleged that this happened due to the delay in surgery.

Counsel for Anupama’s parents Pankaj Chadgothia had also filed an appeal in the National Commission for the enhancement of the compensation amount.



300 donate blood in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 27
Over 300 persons donated blood during a camp organised in connection with the third death anniversary of a prominent sportsperson, Prabhsimran Singh Sidhu, here today.

Deputy Commissioner, Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, said while addressing those who attended the camp at Gurdwara Sacha Dhan Sahib that efforts needed to be made to encourage more people to donate blood as such blood was a ray of hope for those who might be struggling between life and death.

The camp was organised by the Prabhsimran Singh Sidhu (Nannu) Memorial Trust with the help of the Emerging India Welfare Association, the Punjabi Culture and Welfare Society and the Sukhdev Singh Gill Memorial Welfare Club.

Prabhsimran’s father, Sher Singh Sidhu, a retired PCS officer, said a blood donation camp is organised every four months and this was the seventh one.



msc Students’ protest
Varsity refuses to give in to demands
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
MSc students continued their protest outside the Vice-Chancellor’s officc for the fourth day today. The students are protesting against the university’s decision to re-conduct paper I, II and III of MSc (chemistry) Semester IV exam which were held in one of the colleges prior to the date sheet.

The indefinite hunger strike by three students entered the second day today.

However, the PU authorities have refused to bow down to the demands made by the students.

The students have been demanding that the re-exam, to be held in July, should not be held.

The examinations as per the new schedule will be conducted on July 2, July 5 and July 8.

Though the university has decided to re-conduct the exams, the committee formed to investigate the matter is yet to give its report.

PU officials, however, have clarified that there was no provision under which re-examination of three papers of MSc (Chemistry) IV semester can be avoided, when the papers had become available one day in advance on three occasions, due to repeated mistakes at one of the examination centres.

“This has already been conveyed to the students in a meeting with the representatives of students who are sitting on the protest,” the officials said.

The meeting had been convened to discuss the issues of these students. Vice-Chancellor, Dean University Instructions (DUI) and Dean Students Welfare (DSW) had participated in the meeting.



Training programme for traffic marshals
To be deployed in front of 10 schools in first phase
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The UT Education Department has begun the training programme for traffic marshals to who will be deployed in front of government schools from July 1 to ensure the safety of schoolchildren during morning and afternoon hours.

As many as 10 government schools have been selected in the first phase of the project.

Officials said they would regulate the traffic and also monitor issues like eve-teasing in front of schools after the training programme.

Nodal officer of the project Gurnam Singh said among the traffic marshals appointed, three were retired police inspectors who would be of a great help during the programme.

"These marshals have been trained at the children traffic park in Sector 23 where they are being taught how to stop buses and regulate traffic in front of schools, besides general alertness during opening and closing hours of schools,” he said. He said GSSS-Dhanas, GGSSS-20, GSSS-Manimajra, GMSSS-21, GSSS-27, GSSS-Raipur Khurd, GGMSSS-18, GMSH-25, GMSH-43 and GMSH-41D were the schools where they would be appointed from July 1. He said it was a pilot project and after its assessment this facility would be made available to the rest of the government schools in Chandigarh.

"To begin with, we will have one marshal per school but their number can be increased in case of requirement," said officials.

They will be paid an honorarium of Rs 3,000 from the respective schools for their services.



ett course
Students oppose higher qualification criteria
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Several students raised objections against the higher qualification criteria fixed for admission to elementary teachers’ training (ETT) course at the State Institute of Education, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

On May 28, applications were invited by the State Institute of Education for Diploma in Elementary Education (DEl Ed) wherein the qualification fixed for admission was graduation.

However, some persons said the qualification fixed was against the norms of the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), which has fixed Class XII qualification for admission to (DElEd) course.

City-based Manu Moudgil, who submitted the official representation against these norms with the Education Department and the NCTE in Delhi, said Under the RTE Act the Ministry of Human Resource Development had authorised the NCTE as an academic authority. So its rules for qualification of teachers for admission to the course and appointment as teacher should be binding on State/UTs.

However, the institute had fixed higher qualification for admission, which was in violation of the NCTE norms. Till date the Education Department had also failed to stop this practice, he said.

An aspiring student, Arvind, said there were many students who could not apply for admission to this course in the past many years due to higher eligibility criteria fixed by the institute and more students were likely to miss the course this year also. The qualification criteria must be fixed as per the existing guidelines.

A senior official from the said the higher qualification was fixed for the course so that the institute would able to enrol mature and knowledgeable candidates since they were the one who would have to teach students in schools. As far as the NCTE norms are concerned, there was no violations, he added.



selection of teachers at panjab university
Revised criteria to be tabled tomorrow

Chandigarh, June 27
The revised criteria for the selection of teachers at Panjab University and its affiliated colleges will be tabled before the syndicate in its forthcoming meeting to be held on June 29.

One of the syndicate members said two separate revised templates for university teachers and college teachers would be discussed in the House.

Sources said the revised templates were brought to the syndicate so that fresh recruitments in the university could be made at the earliest.

As per the revised criteria for the selection of teachers in colleges, total 10 marks weightage for NET and PhD will be given and five marks each for any of the two qualification. The candidates will also be given marks for achievements in extra-curricular activities, including sports, participation in the NSS and NCC camps, awards in youth fests, and total weightage given to such achievements will be five marks. The marks for research publications have been revised to 10 from 15.



CBSE holds training programme for teachers
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The CBSE in collaboration with the Oracle Academy conducted a teachers' training programme at Gurukul Global school to sharpen their proficiency in Information Technology and enhance their programming skills.

Teachers were given practical hands-on experience in Alice, Greenfoot and Eclipse with the understanding of programming fundamentals. Greenfoot helps beginners’ transition from drag-and-drop environments like Alice into pure Java, which later eases their transition into more advanced Java tools like BlueJ, NetBeans and Eclipse. Greenfoot and Alice can be used by the teachers for more effective classroom teaching along with other conventional teaching methods and tools. Teachers who have been trained by resource persons of the academy have found the guidance effective, meaningful and enriching. An amalgamation of corporate training and school teaching is the most challenging teaching method.

RJ Khanderao, Regional Officer, CBSE, Panchkula, appreciated the efforts of the academy and said: “Teachers, particularly in the subject of computer science have gathered from Punjab, Haryana and HP to attend this in-class training programme on JAVA fundamentals. Teachers will get benefit from the project. The CBSE is also planning to organise such programmes across the country.”

Praveen Setya, Managing Director, Gurukul Global School, also applauded the efforts of the teachers and the global initiative taken by the academy.



aggarsen senior secondary school
Future of 350 students at stake
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 27
Future of as many as 350 students of Classes X and XII of Aggarsen Senior Secondary School in Raipurrani, Panchkula, is at stake. The school had kept the students in dark about its ineligibility of the science stream for Class XII.

The students were reportedly tricked into taking admission and were not even aware that the school did not have recognition for the stream following which the Haryana Board has now withheld the results of both the classes of the school.

“We were not informed that they don’t have recognition for the stream. It was after we took exams and our results did not come with other school students we came to know about the school authorities’ fault,” said a student.

Another student said, “What is our fault? We are not even getting further admissions because of this.”

Principal of the school SK Singhal said, “I know there were certain admission problems in the science stream but the results should have not been withheld for classes X and XII. What do the science stream admissions have to do with the class X students?”

He said, “I agree that the students have to suffer because of this reason but we are trying hard to get the results out.”

The case is now under the observation of the District Education Officer Nalini Mimani.

Mimani said, “I visited the school yesterday for inspection and the case is under observation. We still have to inspect as to whether they are eligible to have the science stream or not.” The members of the Haryana Board also visited the school premises recently.



Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), Department of Science and Technology (DST), GoI, New Delhi, has nominated Prof SK Mehta, Chairman, Department of Chemistry, Panjab University (PU), as member of the Subject Expert Committee on Chemical Sciences for “Funds for Improvement of S&T Infrastructure in Universities and Higher Educational Institutions” (FIST) Programme.

The programme was initiated by the government during 2000-2001 to facilitate support towards augmenting higher education and research largely at the university and academic sectors by augmenting basic infrastructural facilities for teaching as well as conducting research in basic or applied science areas.



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