C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Three waste bins for Rs 28,125
Purchase of equipment for mammography van by GMCH-32 raises questions 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The purchase of equipment by the GMCH-32 for the mobile mammography van at an exorbitant price has raised many eyebrows.

The Rs 1.24 crore mobile mammography van, for instance, has three biomedical waste bins that have been purchased for Rs 28,125 as per the supply order sent to a Delhi-based company last year (a copy of which is with Chandigarh Tribune).

“A comparison of the cost of the biomedical waste bins with those available in the market revealed that the cost of a bin would not exceed Rs 2,000. However, the hospital paid around Rs 9,000 per unit,” said a GMCH official.

While the purchase of the van has already courted controversy following complaints of “pooling of tender”, the supply order available with the procurement branch of the hospital revealed that the hospital had spent Rs 2,81,250 on a computer and a laser printer for the van.

Documents procured under the RTI Act revealed that the tender document to purchase the mammography machine was accepted despite two firms quoting the same price for the same model and same make.

The rules stipulate that the tenders should have been immediately rejected in view of the pooling of tenders and fresh bids should have been invited. However, the authorities chose to keep mum despite an official pointing out the violation before the opening of the tender. 

Tender document

* Annexure I, 3(a) of the tender document states: “Only manufacturers or their sole authorised distributors/sole agents are entitled to submit the pro forma invoice.” However, both the companies submitted affidavits claiming to be its sole agent

* The CBI on July 30, 2012, had sought details of documents pertaining to the purchase of the mammography machine. Later, the CBI forwarded the case to the UT Central Vigilance Officer on November 29, 2012. 

"We need to review the purchase documents to find out the actual cost of the equipment purchased for the mobile mammography van."
— Dr Atul Sachdev, Director-Principal, GMCH-32



Residents bid adieu to telegram 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
One of India’s oldest communication services — the telegram — will become history on July 15. But for 66-year-old Col Jatinder Singh (retd), who sent 25 telegrams today to his near and dear ones, it was the best mode of communication.

Col Jatinder Singh, Anshul Garg and Napinder Brar send their last telegram to their family members before the discontinuance of services by BSNL on Sunday at Sector 17, Chandigarh.
Col Jatinder Singh, Anshul Garg and Napinder Brar send their last telegram to their family members before the discontinuance of services by BSNL on Sunday at Sector 17, Chandigarh. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan 

‘Chak de phatte’ is the content of his last telegram to his son. Disappointed with the decision of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to wind up the telegraphic service, Jatinder Singh said: “The government should not discontinue the service and retain it for the generations to come.

The telegram served as an authentic document for the judiciary and the defence forces for sending urgent official messages.”

Napinder Brar (28), a resident of Faridkot, also sent a telegram to his family today.

He said he would keep it as a record, for it would be his last telegram. He urged the BSNL authorities to revoke the decision.

Old-timers in the Central Telegram Service Department are also upset with the BSNL’s decision. 



Cheating case registered 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The police has registered a cheating case against an institute for not issuing degree after the completion of a course.

Devinder Mohan Jakhmi of Amritsar alleged that Kuldeep Singh, organiser of India Education, SCO 445-446, first floor, Sector 35-A, duped his daughter.

His daughter did her M.Phil through Kuldeep’s centre, but was not issued the degree after the completion of course.

The police has registered a case of cheating under Section 420 of the IPC. 



Theft at weddings: Nine of family held
 Used to steal bags containing ‘shagun’ envelopes at functions 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The UT police claim to have busted a gang of thieves with the arrest of nine persons of a family. The accused, three women, two men and four children, used to commit thefts at wedding functions. The children used to throw sauce on the clothes of a person holding the bag of 'shagun' envelopes at the weddings to divert his attention. Later, they used to run away with the bag, the police said. The gang is said to be involved in more than 10 cases of theft in the tricity, said the police.

The accused have been identified as Anand, his wife Sarika, Narendra and his wife Preeti. The two couples, accompanied by their relative, 48-year-old Rekha, used to deploy three children aged 10, 12 and 14 at weddings to steal bags containing 'shagun' envelopes and jewellery. The gang was busted by the personnel of the Industrial Area police station.

The other members of the gang include Rekha (48) and three minor children who used to play a vital role in stealing the bag containing 'shagun'.

All the accused hail from Rajgarh in Madhya Pradesh. The minor accused have been sent to the juvenile home. The gang was arrested on Saturday night after Balwinder Singh of Sector 29 reported that his bag containing Rs 1.5 lakh, gold jewellery and a cellphone was stolen during a wedding at the Sector 29 Community Centre. A mobile phone was kept in the bag. The police immediately put the phone under surveillance and tracked the accused. They were arrested from Mani Majra where they were staying at a guesthouse.

The police said many cases of thefts during weddings in the city were likely to be solved with their arrest. The three children were trained to commit thefts during weddings. The three women used to conduct a recce were the wedding was scheduled. 

Modus operandi

Describing the modus operandi of the accused, the police said the children used to carefully keep an eye on the bag containing 'shagun' envelopes at the wedding. They used to throw 'chutney' on the clothes of a person holding the bag. As the person used to keep the bag aside to look at the stain, the children used to quickly disappear with the bag. Last year, the city witnessed over 30 such incidents of thefts during weddings. 



Over 1,000 telephone lines snapped 
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Careless digging by workers of the municipal corporation in Sectors 15 and 16 has left the residents fuming. Over 1,000 telephones lines of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) have been disconnected for the past seven days.

A BSNL employee repairs cables in Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
A BSNL employee repairs cables in Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari 

V Bhatnagar, a resident of house number 33, Sector 16, said the telephone lines were snapped due to the unmindful digging work. “The authorities concerned have been apprised of the problem, but to no avail, he said.

Dr Pankaj Kapoor, a resident of house no 62, Sector 16, said: “The broadband services have been affected. I am not able to pay my bills online,” he said. The BSNL authorities have failed to repair the damaged cables even after numerous complaints, he added.

Sheenu Dania, a resident of house number 145 of the same sector said: “We hope the problem is fixed at the earliest.”

BSNL official Anil Sarin said: “The cables have been damaged at various points and will be repaired soon.” 


Files dumped in corridors
At P’kula Mini-Secretariat, files of departments are lying unnoticed
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 14
Important records of various departments are lying outside in the corridors and getting destroyed at the Mini-Secretariat in Sector 1, Panchkula. Files of various departments concerned have been dumped in the corridors.

Not only this, most of them have been damaged due to leakage in the roofs of the secretariat building during rains. The records near the office of the Excise Taxation Department, Complaint Centre of Deputy Commissioner, Additional Deputy Commissioner, and District Public Relations Department have all been damaged.

When contacted, the Panchkula Additional Deputy Commissioner SP Arora, said, “I will definitely look into the matter if the records and files are lying unattended to outside in the corridors. They should have been kept in a room of the department concerned.”

Panchkula City Magistrate Vandana Disodia said, “When every department has its own record room, then why are the records lying outside in the open? Even if the files are to be dispose of and are not needed after a particular period of time, there is a policy of the government, even for that.”

During rains, when the roof leaks, it damages the files. They have become damp.

“The administration keeps preaching to shopkeepers that they should not encroach upon the corridors and what about the departments they have also blocked the way with the files,” said Vibhor Sharda, a visitor to the secretariat.

“There is no place to walk on the second floor. This is happening under the nose of the officials,” said Srishti Vidhu, another visitor.



No regular mechanism to lift garbage from city roads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
In the absence of a regular mechanism for lifting and dumping of garbage in a timely manner from different city areas, clearing of roads by thousands of Municipal Corporation (MC) workers appears to be a futile exercise.

Grass lying alongside the road dividing Sector 14 and 15, which was removed by the MC staff, a few days ago
Grass lying alongside the road dividing Sector 14 and 15, which was removed by the MC staff, a few days ago. 

Over 2,100 workers are currently engaged in cleaning the city and they leave the garbage accumulated alongside the roads, for other staff to pick up. However, in most of the city areas, the garbage flows back alongside the roads, as the MC fails to monitor the progress.

Chandigarh Tribune had earlier highlighted the futility of cleaning of road gullies as the workers were leaving the “malba” alongside the road, which would flow back to the gullies.

In the present rainy season, the garbage and “mallba”, which is removed by the workers from alongside the roads remains unattended for days together and then flows back into the gullies once it rains.

The rules prescribe that the workers should lift the garbage and “malba” within 24 hours of removal from the gullies, but the workers fail to act in time. Alongside the road dividing Panjab University (PU) and Sector 15 and the road that connects Sector 17 to Sector 27 and 28, piles of garbage have been lying accumulated for many days, now.

The situation remains similar in several other areas. “Shortage of staff is one of the key reasons for the delayed response in picking up of the garbage. We have requested the officers several times to monitor the contractual workers and also increase the staff strength,” said HC Kalyan, MC Councillor and Chairman of the MC Sanitation Committee.Often dry leaves add to the volume of the garbage around the gullies and elevate the problem of waterlogging. The southern parts of city remain widely affected with the waterlogging problem and improper drainage every year.



Now, race for Panchkula Deputy Mayor's post hots up
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 13
Councillors who couldn’t make it to the Mayor’s post and those had voted during the Mayor’s election on condition are now eyeing for the post of Deputy Mayor.

Panchkula has already got its first woman Mayor in Upinder Ahluwalia. It was Congress Vs Congress in the Mayoral polls with Ahluwalia (who owes allegiance to Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda) defeating Krishan Lal Lamba (who owes allegiance to Kumari Selja).

Omwati Punia, from Ward 15, is the strongest contender for the post of Deputy Mayor, as she owes allegiance to the Chief Minister. This time too, Hooda will be taking a call on the post.Panchkula MLA DK Bansal said, “This time too, the Deputy Mayor and the Senior Mayor, both, will be from the Congress only.”

“The Congress-backed councillors, who were not fielded for the post of Mayor are against their own Congress councillors and are trying their best not to support their representative,” said a Cong-backed councillor requesting anonymity.

Sources said even the BJP and INLD councillors had lent their support to the Mayor on a condition that they would vote only if the post of either the Deputy Mayor or Senior Mayor was given to their representatives. Those who are in the fray for the post of Deputy Mayor are CB Goel, a BJP councillor and Satinder Tony, NLD councillor.



Fire at Mani Majra wine shop
No loss of life reported; inverters, power cables destroyed
Tribune News Service

A fire broke out at a wine shop in Mani Majra on Sunday.
A fire broke out at a wine shop in Mani Majra on Sunday. 
A Tribune photograph 

Chandigarh, July 14
A fire broke out at a wine shop in Mani Majra late in the afternoon today. Inverters, few batteries and electricity cables were destroyed. No loss of life was reported.

Fire Department officials said, a call was received at the Fire Station in Mani Majra at around 4.40 pm and three fire tenders, one each from Sector 17, Mani Majra and Industrial Area Phase II, were sent to the spot.

“A preliminary inspection of the sight indicated that the fire took place due to a short circuit inside the electricity meter of the shop. The shop was closed today, but the owner of the neighboring shop called up the fire station,” said an official at the Mani Majra fire station. The officials would conduct another inspection to determine the violations and the estimated loss.



Beautification of P’kula
P’kula Mayor to seek ideas from her Chandigarh counterpart
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 14
Panchkula Mayor Upinder Ahluwalia will be seeking ideas from the Chandigarh Mayor to develop Panchkula on the lines of the City Beautiful (Chandigarh).

Getting beautification lights installed at the roundabouts in Panchkula as it is in Chandigarh is on the cards for the city. Panchkula will also see the same garbage disposal system as in Chandigarh.

“I want people to call Panchkula another “City Beautiful”. I will be writing to the authorities concerned to get the beautification lights installed at the main roundabouts in Panchkula as in Chandigarh,” said Ahluwalia.

She said: “Here, we will have bins at various points in the sector and will have a garbage collection vehicle that will collect the same from these bins and dispose it of at the plant.”

A lot needs to be done is Ahluwalia’s say when it comes to development in the city. “Since Panchkula has always been lagging behind despite being known for its open spaces and less congestion, I will make sure that a system prevails here," said Ahluwalia.

“I have observed that the streetlights are of very low watt. I will ensure that whatever is put up in the city is of the best quality,” said the Mayor.

Ahluwalia took charge on July 11 at the office of the Municipal Corporation, Sector 4, Panchkula.



Telegram still holds relevance for defence forces
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Ironic it may seem but it is a fact that most medical representatives and more than 50 per cent employees of the defence forces of the country used telegram services, but the Union government is allowing this service to discontinue from July 15 on the plea of financial losses to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).

The BSNL Employees Union, which is regularly protesting against the decision of the authorities, had a number of meetings with the management, but no positive conclusion emerged from it. All-India Assistant General Secretary, BSNL Employees Union, New Delhi, RL Moudgil said the management was misguiding the government that they had to bear financial loss due to the telegram services. No extra infrastructure had been developed by the department for this service.

BSNL, which is running this service since 1990, found it commercially unviable and decided to discontinue it in the next two days.

BSNL’s own departmental report stated that the employees of defence services like the Army, the Air Force and the Navy send a large number of telegrams all over the country regarding tenders and leave of defence personnel. Most of the routine work of the medical representatives is based on telegram throughout the country.

Many other departments like FCI, banks and state governments are also using the telegram services as a mode of communication. The report further stated that a majority of the official communication is through telegram till date. Telegram is the only legal document accepted in court of law as valid documentary proof. E-mail, fax, SMS or any other means of communication are not accepted as valid proof.

BSNL gave the plea to shutdown the services as it was suffering a financial loss of around Rs 135 crore annually by continuing the telegram services with 968 employees on its roll working at 75 Central telegraph offices.

The first telegram was transmitted from Kolkata to Diamond Harbour in 1854. Telegram services discontinued worldwide

* In March 2011, Australia discontinued the telegram services.

* In December 2000, Germany discontinued the telegram services.

* In July 2002, Ireland discontinued the telegram services.

* In January 2009, Nepal discontinued the telegram services.

* In 1999, New Zealand discontinued the service but later restarted it in 2003 for the use of business customers and primary debt collection. 



Brawl with traffic police
Inquiry initiated into allegations against cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Two days after high drama was witnessed at a barrier meant to check the menace of drunken driving in Sector 28, a DSP-level probe was initiated into the matter and the two lawyers involved got themselves medically examined in the presence of the police today.

Haryana Additional Advocate General (AAG) Hitesh Mlik and his friend advocate Ajay Chauhan were medically examined at GMSH-16. The medical examination of the two was conducted in the presence of SI Dalip Singh and Inspector Kewal Krishan.The AAG and his friend had accused Inspector Malkiat and two others of misbehaving and threatening them at a drunken-drive naka in late night hours on July 12.

A senior police official said blood and urine samples of both will be sent for further examination to CFSL, Sector 36, he added.The AAG and his friend were coming in their car when traffic policemen asked them to go through an alchosensor test. Both refused to take the test resulting in a heated argument. On July 13, the two lodged a complaint against traffic policemen, including an Inspector and two policemen, and DIG Alok Kumar marked a fact-finding probe in the matter. In the complaint, the two had alleged that the police staff at the naka misbehaved with them and tried to challan them for drunken driving even though they were not drunk.



Open House Response
New system not well thought out

Matter of frustration

Giving weightage to Class XII board exams was long awaited, but I strongly feel that whatever system is to be followed in admission for the 2013 session should have been announced in 2011 so that students should be preparing in the right and the well-oriented direction from day one. How can we just change the pattern at our own will and at any time? While preparing for entrance exam to professional colleges, students have followed the earlier announced system and at the time of admission, everything changes and their efforts come to zero. It will be a matter of frustration for students as well as parents. While giving 40 per cent weightage for board exams, normalisation should have been done for absolute percentile of the board exams and not percentile equivalent of the board marks in the JEE (Mains).

Neelam Malhotra, Chandigarh

System should be reassessed

This process has undoubtedly benefited students of state boards at the cost of CBSE students. Obviously, the system was evolved in a hurry without taking cognisance of all aspects. However, I strongly feel that the students who have been under stress and mental pressure for the past 2 years to prepare for boards, IIT, BITS, JEE (Mains) and at least 4-5 other entrance exams should not be subjected to more stress and suspense by opening this Pandora’s box, which might lead to nowhere except in arguments/counter arguments resulting in delay in admission process and continued suspense for students. The already announced results should not be disturbed in any way. For the subsequent years at least, the system should be reassessed in totality so that the wrong done to this year's students is not repeated in future.

Vikas Bansal, Chandigarh

Inherent message

Guidelines of the MHRD, which have seemingly been taken as the basis of evolving its criteria to fix up the cut-off percentage by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) formed by the UT Administration, are in place for the past several years. It has an inherent message for all those students and their parents whose focus for preparedness of Class XII gets diluted while preparing for JEE (Mains). The weightage in JEE (Mains) performance for the overall computation for admission to an engineering college is decidedly more than the result of performance at the Class XII level and for that, the MHRD in its wisdom has chosen to fix 60:40 ratio. Therefore, if a student is not able to score even 15 per cent marks in JEE (Mains) irrespective of his excellent performance at the Class XII level, he has to lose ground to the one who scores better later on.

SC Luthra, Manimajra

Unnecessary hue and cry

Under the new system, weightage to marks secured in board exams has been given, which is a good thing. Also, the lower limit of getting at least 15 per cent marks in JEE (Mains) is there for taking admission to government engineering colleges in the city, which is genuine and prevalent for the past several years. Some parents are unnecessarily making hue and cry. The method of preparing merit list is for the whole country, so anybody should not have any problem with this.

IPS Anand, Manimajra

New system not acceptable

It is not understood as to why the authorities concerned change the system for admission to engineering colleges almost every year. The marks obtained in the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) should be the only criteria for admission. The new system of considering 60 per cent marks obtained in the JEE and 40 per cent from the Class XII board exams, known as the “normalisation procedure”, is quite funny and embarrassing. Students burn midnight oil to prepare for JEE for ensuring their admission to engineering colleges of repute, but the awkward system of 60:40 ratio is simply not acceptable.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Explain “normalisation” criteria

To end this complication of “normalisation” criteria used by the CBSE, the board should explain this term to the students as well as to all professors or teachers concerned with the higher education of different schools or colleges. Calculating the weightage of 40 per cent of Class XII exams for deciding the ranks in JEE exams to get admission to NITs and other engineering colleges, for students, particularly, is obviously not clear. If there is any formula, then it should be made public by the board so that stakeholders and experts can also give their own verdict or opinion regarding this new uncertified method. Besides this, if the CBSE is applying this method this year, then the brighter students of other education boards, who cannot take advantage of this weight age of 40 per cent, will suffer.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

“Normalisation criteria” arbitrary

The “normalisation criteria” for admission to NITs and other engineering colleges is arbitrary as it will be disadvantageous for grade 10 students who have performed exceptionally well and are competing with them. The only criteria to determine the final rank for admission to the programme should be the merit in the entrance test. If a student does not perform as highly in either the board examination or the entrance test, he or she still has the opportunity to be admitted to the programme as admission is based on the combined achievement.

Ajit Singh, Canada

Cumbersome procedure

The normalisation process worked out for admission to NITs and other Central government technical educational institutions is turning out to be more complicated and cumbersome than what the HRD Ministry and the CBSE had thought. I feel that we as a group should support and write the matter to Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, who is an educated minister in the Ministry of human Resource and Development, that this decision is in the favour of students. But equal weightage should be given to the Central Board of Secondary Education with the Joint Entrance Examination. And this process should not be made more complicated.

Anshu Chawla, Chandigarh


Open house question

The safety of commuters using the buses being run by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) has come under scrutiny with the incidents of engine of the buses catching fire. The ageing fleet of the CTU also needs replacement. What needs to be done to provide uninterrupted and safe commuting. Write your suggestions to openhouse@tribunemail.com



Tricity Scan

Snatching incidents

The Welfare Association MIG-I Houses, Sector 40-C, has expressed concern over the unprecedented spurt in chain snatching incidents in the southern sectors, especially in Sector 40, that has become a hub of chain snatching incidents and falls under police station, Sector 39. The latest snatching incident took place early morning on July 11 in Sector 40-A. Saroj Bala, a resident of this sector, had walked barely a few meters away from her house when two youths riding a black motorcycle snatched her gold chain. On June 20, two youths riding a motorcycle snatched earrings and a part of gold chain from Shakambri Rawat from outside her house in Sector 40. It is not possible to quote daily incidents of snatching as in-between several incidents took place. Besides snatching, some miscreants, who were in a car, attempted to kidnap a 13-year-old boy. Many incidents remain unreported. These incidents have instilled fear and insecurity among the residents. It has been observed by the residents that the culprits after committing such crimes ran towards the nearby jungle areas. President Dilbagh Singh and general secretary SK Khosla of the Welfare Association MIG-I Houses, Sector 40-C, have sought an increase in police patrolling and nakas at vulnerable points in the area to ensure that no such incidents take place.

Training programme

A six-day training programme organised by Pungrain (Department of Food and Supplies) on quality control operations concluded in Mohali today. The programme was inaugurated jointly by DS Grewal, secretary, Food and Supplies, and SS Johal, commissioner, Food and Civil Supplies. Training was provided to trainers representing each district through this programme. “The trainers were given knowledge about how to preserve wheat. These trainers after getting basic training will impart training to field offices in their respective districts,” officials said.


Lion Sushil Kapoor was unanimously elected president of the 36-year-old Lions Club Chandigarh Greater, an affiliate of Lions International. Lions Club Chandigarh Greater is doing social service in the City Beautiful for the past 36 years through its vocational training centre at Karsan (Ram Darbar) where free sewing and stitching classes, free general health check-up, including free medicines and free dental consultation, is undertaken. The club also has a vocational training centre at Sector 30, where it is running a computer training centre and a Usha sewing centre. The club also holds blood donation camps and eye operation camps every year.

D. Pradeep Naik (third from left), regional manager, Chandigarh region of Vijaya Bank, launches the Rupay branded debit card at Sector 9 in Chandigarh.
D. Pradeep Naik (third from left), regional manager, Chandigarh region of Vijaya Bank, launches the Rupay branded debit card at Sector 9 in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Branded debit cards

Vijaya Bank has enabled its merchant terminals for the usage of Rupay branded debit cards through a function held at their head office on Sunday. Simultaneously, merchant terminals enabling function for the usage of Rupay branded debit cards was held at RO, Chandigarh, on the same day. Speaking at the launching ceremony, D. Pradeep Naik, regional manager, Chandigarh region of Vijaya Bank, said with the enabling of bank’s all ATMs and POS terminals for Rupay brand, Vijaya Bank also joined the major league of banks whose payment and settlement systems for domestic card transactions are settled within the country.


DS Malhotra was installed as the president of the Rotary Club of Chandigarh Central at the installation ceremony held in Chandigarh. The Rotary Club Chandigarh Central is one of the esteemed clubs of not only the tricity but also of the Rotary District 3080. While addressing the meeting, he emphasised on the need of Rotarians getting involved in social activities and looking at projects that could help society at large. He explained how the Rotary Immunisation Project, TB patients treatment and rehabilitation centre at the GMCH-32 has changed the lives of the people. He also confirmed that the Rotary Club Chandigarh Central would donate new EEG machines to pediatrics ward of the GMCH.


BPCL launched a specially formulated premium lubricant, which is a semi-synthetic premium diesel engine oil for diesel passenger cars, MUVs and SUVs. The product has been launched by state coordinator VN Tandon at BP-21 COCO, Chandigarh.


The Sant Nirankari Charitable Foundation is making efforts for the rescue and relief of the flood-hit people in Uttarakhand. CL Gulati, secretary of the foundation, has already appealed to all followers of the Mission to contribute towards its Uttarakhand Relief Fund liberally for which they would be entitled to Income Tax rebate under the Section 80(G)5(vi) of the Income Tax Act. One truck containing 15 crates of mineral water, medicines and eatables was sent at the rescue centre of the Mussoorrie Vikas Pradhikaran.

Career counselling

The Aryans Group of Colleges, Chandigarh, organised a career counselling camp on the Aryans campus situated at the Chandigarh-Patiala Highway, near Chandigarh. Hundreds of students turned up with their parents at the venue where the Aryans team of experts answered various queries of students through one-to-one counselling. Dr Anshu Kataria, chairman, Aryans Group of Colleges, welcomed parents and students. — TNS



Strawberry Fields students win Social Innovation Relay
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
A team of three students of Strawberry Fields World School, Chandigarh, won this year’s Social Innovation Relay, a global online competition. The competition was organised in collaboration with Hewlett-Packard (HP). Secondary school students from around the world participate in the contest and develop an innovative business concept that addresses a social need.

The team, including Bisman Deu, Ekambir Singh and Rayvin Thingnam, won the competition for their revolutionary building material, made out of rice husk boards. They used rice husk to create the building material called “Green Wood”. This year, nearly 1,600 teams form around the world registered for the relay.

The runners-up in the competition was Cyan from Malaysia, who proposed a solution to battle mosquito-based diseases, and Hospitaleiros from Brazil.

“During a trip to my farm house I observed the burning of rice waste, which was causing pollution. It inspired me to come up with an idea that solves this problem,” shared Bisman Deu, a a Class X student of the school.

She said the whole team was overwhelmed with the victory. “With the fact that it was a long competition and students from around the globe were part of the competition, we are immensely delighted after winning the competition,” she said.

The competition had multiple levels and went over for three months. The final round required the selected teams to show their power point presentation through videoconferencing.

School director Atul Khanna said it was a moment of pride for all of them. "Their representation was no doubt poised for a social change," he said

Venkat Matoory, CEO, HP, will felicitate the team at the school on Wednesday. Later, the team will attend JA-YE Europe 10th Alumni Conference in Tallinn, Estonia, in August 2013

The Social Innovation Relay was first held in 2010, and over the past three years more than 67,000 students have participated in it. 



JEE (Mains) normalisation criteria: All eyes set on Andhra HC's verdict
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Even as hundreds of engineering aspirants from the region have begun applying for the counselling in different engineering colleges based on their final ranking in the JEE (Mains) exam, all eyes are set on the Andhra Pradesh High Court's judgement on the controversial "normalisation" criteria, flayed by students and experts across the country. The verdict is expected to be out by Wednesday.

A city-based student, Divyansh Kaushik, said this year's JEE ranking had put their future in jeopardy and the procedure had benefit only top 3 per cent of Class XII exam while the rest of the students were made to suffer because of the faulty procedure. "We strongly need the intervention of the judiciary into the matter and eagerly awaiting the AP High Court's judgement," he said

Rajan Kapoor, father of Lakhan Kapoor, a student, who is one of the parties in the petition filed against the normalisation criteria in the Supreme Court, said more than 30,000 students were feared to suffer because of extreme anomalies in the criteria adopted for the calculation of JEE (Mains) final ranking.

Final raking is calculated by adding 60 per cent of the JEE (Mains) entrance exam and 40 per cent of Class XII board exam. "The problem is that the CBSE, which conducts the exam, correlated both the board as well as entrance exam's marks in deciding the final rank," he said. "While court's judgement will be of paramount importance, the issue will ultimately come to the SC," he said.

The Students, however, are not expecting an immediate relief in the matter because during the recent hearings at the apex court, the petitioners have failed to get stay order on admission process under JEE (Mains). The admission counselling has already begun for more than 20,000 seats in NITs and other deemed engineering universities.

Angag Singh, a student, said, "At present the admission process under the JEE (Mains) is taking place at various institutes. Even If the court delivers the judgement in students' favour, the CBSE will definitely move the SC and by that time, we fear, the admission process would already be over.

Meanwhile, the first round of the joint admission counse'ling for PEC ,Chandigarh, UIET, Chandigarh, Chandigarh College of Architecture and CCET will take place after July 17. Other colleges in the region will also begin their the admission process soon.

Meanwhile, More than 7,500 students have supported the petition uploaded on the Internet by Kshitij Garg, a student from Mumabi, in which he has appealed to the CBSE Chairman to scrap the erroneous normalisation criteria for JEE (Mains). 



PU to relaunch online fee submission facility today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
After failing to get good response for the online fee submission, which was launched for the first time in 2009, Panjab University is going to relaunch the scheme from Monday.

The scheme was launched by former Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti. It received lukewarm response with not more than one per cent students using the facility in the past four years.

With the joint efforts of the PU Administration and PU branch of State Bank of India, the facility has been made available to the students who are to pay their tuition fee for the third semester onwards for 2013-14 academic session.

As a roll number is mandatory for the service, new student will be able to avail the facility from the second semester onwards only.

Students from 57 departments of PU campus will be able to avail the facility. To avail the benefit, students do not need to have their bank accounts. Parents, relatives and friends can also pay the fee on a student's behalf by filling the particulars of the student on the website.

To pay the fee, only an ATM-cum-debit or credit card of any bank, including SBI and its associate banks, is required. 



Panjab University prohibits four-wheelers on hostel premises 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The authorities at Panjab University have decided that the students who reside in the hostels on the PU campus will only be allowed to stay in the hostels, if they leave their four-wheelers at home and submit an affidavit that they will not bring their four-wheelers to the hostels again. The gates to stop the vehicles from entering the hostels have also been installed.

The university authorities took the decision at a meeting held recently. The students will have to give an affidavit stating that they won't bring their four-wheelers to PU, which should be counter signed by their parents," said a hostel warden.

The officials said the students who fail to abide by the new rule might loose their hostel seat. “The security at the hostels will ensure that the students don’t bring the vehicles to the hostels," an official said.

The university has also started closing down the parking available for four-wheelers in the hostels by installing gates at the entry of the hostels. “The gates will be installed in all the hostels so that the students could not park their vehicles inside the hostels," officials stated.

“We are spreading awareness about the new decision among the students in the hostels. Meanwhile, a clause has also been mentioned on the hostel admission form in this regard," the officials said. 



Class Xi admissions
Second phase of counselling to begin tomorrow 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The second round of counselling for admission to Class XI in UT government schools will begin on Tuesday. The candidates who applied for admission during the first round of counselling, but failed to get admission, can also apply for the second counselling.

Besides, the candidates who have already taken admission in one of the government schools in UT and want to change their schools or streams are also eligible for the second round. The forms will be available on the Education Department's website www.chdeducation.gov.in. The forms are also available at GMSSS, Sector 10, GMSSS, Sector 28, GMSSS, Sector 37-D, GGMSSS, Sector-20B, GMSSS, Sector 46, and GMSSS, Modern Complex.

The forms can be submitted from July 16 to July 18. The list indicating the allotment of schools and streams will be displayed on July 24 and after that two days will be given to deposit the fee. 



Environment Week observed at Saint Soldier International School

Chandigarh, July 14
Saint Soldier International School, Sector 28B, observed the Environment Week. A tree plantation drive was also organised on the school premises. Members of the eco-club along with the NSS wing planted a variety of saplings in school campus . During the whole week, various competitions and events were organised with an aim to enhance environmental awareness among the students. A poster-making competition was also organised on the theme, "For Life on Earth, Save our Trees".

During the competition, the first position was bagged by Vishal of Class X while the second position was won by Ekta of Class VI. The third position went to Tanya of Class VI. —TNS 



Man caught defacing PU property

Chandigarh, July 14
The Panjab University (PU) security today caught a man while pasting posters on the university campus. Shiv Lal Yadav, PU security incharge, stated that the man was pasting the posters of a coaching institute on the campus.

 "He was defacing the PU property by pasting the posters on an electricity box," he added. The university security let the man go after issuing a warning to him.—TNS 



From Schools


An exhibition was organised at Sharda Sarvhitari Model School, Sector 40D, on the home-work given during the summer vacations. The students were asked to exhibit their creative talent and a majority of them participated in the exhibition whole-heartedly. Charts, models, pottery, pictures, glass paintings were on display during the exhibition. Parents were specially invited to witness the hard work of their children. The students’ creativity was a treat to the eyes.

Special assembly

Students of Class V at Banyan Tree School, Chandigarh, conducted a special assembly today. News, thoughts & all other activities were presented in chaste Hindi language. One of the students narrated a beautiful story on the importance of time. The students also presented play "Yaksha Prashan". It was based on the folklore from Mahabharata, preaching the values of truth and sacrifice. All the participants enacted their roles confidently, impressively and wore very colourful costumes.

Green Day celebrated

Pre -primary section of BTS, Chandigarh, celebrated the Green Day with a great enthusiasm. All the children wore clothes and brought with them green and healthy snacks. With cotton swabs, the little ones painted the trees and frog masks green. The teachers took them on a nature walk to show them the different shades of the green.

Splash pool party

Around 100 children of nursery and KG classes enjoyed the splash pool party at CRB Public School, Sector 7B, Chandigarh. The children came in colourful swim suits. Some of the children had a great fun splashing in the water. The school had also arranged special refreshment for the tiny-tots.

300 students participate in Spellathon

Panchkula: To improve the language skills of the students, the Spellathon was organised at Chamanlal DAV Senior Public School, Sector-11, Panchkula. About 300 students from Class V to VIII participated in the nerve-raking exercise. The thrust areas of the exercise were compound words, anagrams, similes and collective nouns.


A maths quiz was organised by the maths faculty of St Xavier’s High School, Sector 20, Panchkula. There were four teams - Euclid, Augustin, Thales and Taylor- formed for the event. The team, which bagged the first prize was Thales. Mehak Arora, Udita Bagai, and Shruti of Thales showed their extraordinary intellect during the competition. Such competitions inspire the children to be competitive and sharpen their mathematical ability. 



Population day 

Chandigarh, July 14
Gurukul World School, Sector 69, observed the World Population Day recently. Environment and culture club of the school held an interactive session on the occasion and apprised the students of the reasons behind the high population. The students also gave suggestions to control the population. —TNS



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