C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Illegal constructions on 254 acres
Draft Chandigarh Master Plan-2031 raises concern over violations outside lal dora
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Unauthorised constructions have come up on 254 acres outside the lal dora in villages in Chandigarh.

The draft Chandigarh Master Plan-2031 has raised concern over the unauthorised constructions outside the lal dora. In several cases, constructions outside the lal dora are almost three times as compared to those within the lal dora.

A report of the master plan committee states, "All villages have varying extent of unauthorised constructions even outside the extended abadi area. According to the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats, the area under unauthorised development beyond the abadi areas is nearly three times the abadi area in some villages. Of the total 6,334 acres in Khudda Ali Sher, Khudda Jassu, Khudda Lahora, Sarangpur, Dhanas, Behlana, Raipur Khurd, Daria, Mauli Jagran, Kaimbwala and Raipur Kalan villages, 125 acres fall under abadi deh and 104 acres under extended abadi. Unauthorised constructions have come up on 254 acres outside the lal dora."

Citing the example of Daria village, the report states, “Daria village, which has 4 acres under abadi deh, has unauthorised construction on 102 acres around it. Due to proximity to the railway station, a large number of godowns/commercial establishments have come up in and around the village in violation of the Periphery Control Act, 1952”.

Pressure to increase further

The master plan committee states that villages have recorded a high rate of growth in the past decade. Earlier, during the 1991-2001 decade, the rate of population growth in the rural areas of Chandigarh was almost four times that of the city as these villages met the demand for cheaper housing. These rural areas are likely to be subjected to further pressure due to lack of space in the sectoral grid. The construction/extension of major roads, along which these villages fall, will further add to the pressure.



Cashew nuts meant for Hooda had insects: Report
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 15
The Food Analyst, Haryana, has found 10 living and eight dead insects in the samples of cashew nuts collected from Anupam Sweets in Sector 11. The cashew nuts were to be served to Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda during a function on June 26.

After receiving a report from the Food Analyst, the Panchkula administration has served a notice on the owner of Anupam Sweets stating that action would be taken in the matter.
Officials collect samples of nuts and sweets from Anupam Sweets, Sector 11, Panchkula. A file photo
Officials collect samples of nuts and sweets from Anupam Sweets, Sector 11, Panchkula. A file photo

Manager of Anupam Sweets Praveen Kumar said, “We do not grow cashew nuts. What can I say? It all happened due to the rainy season.”

At a function for the physically challenged in Sector 12-A on June 26, the Health Department had found the cashew nuts meant for Hooda covered with cobwebs. The cashew nuts had been purchased from Anupam Sweets. A team, headed by Panchkula Subdivisional Magistrate RK Singh, had raided the shop and taken samples of the nuts.

The report prepared by the Haryana Food Analyst at a Karnal laboratory states, “The samples had 10 living and eight dead insects. The cashew nuts were substandard and unsafe."

The report states, “The samples consisted of 40 per cent 'discoloured units' against the normal 2 per cent. The samples did not conform to the prescribed standards as laid down for nuts and raisins under Regulation 2.3.47(5) of Chapter 2 of the FSS Regulation Act-2011.”

According to District Food and Supply Officer Subash Chander, “The samples were found unfit for human consumption. We have served a notice on the sweets shop. It can go in for an appeal with the Chief Medical Officer. After that, a case will be filed against the owner in a court.”



Patients sweat at PGI’s New OPD Block
No provision for fans in corridors on any floor; request for 74 fans sent: PGI 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Waiting outside OPDs for their turn, patients at the PGI have to brave the heat for several hours since there is no provision for fans in the corridors on any of the floors. Besides, a number of fans in the already overcrowded patient waiting areas do not work.

While some patients frequenting the OPDs have started carrying hand fans, there are others who surrender to the ordeal and keep sweating in the humid and overcrowded corridors.

“This is the third time I have come here this summer. The last time I came, I had to wait for about three hours outside the OPD since I reached late for registration and could not even find a chair to sit on. I was not even carrying water. That was a lesson for me and I immediately rushed to the market in the evening to get a hand fan. Now, I have come prepared,” said Amarjeet Singh, a 70-year-old patient who was waiting outside a special clinic on the third floor.

The authorities are yet to install centralised air-conditioners in the building.

A visit to the New OPD Block today revealed that patients in special clinics and the dermatology OPD were the worst affected as these were highly overcrowded.

Though ceiling and wall fans are available in a limited area around OPD rooms, most of the patients are forced to sit in the corridors on the floor. Many of them could be seen wiping their faces and using their OPD cards as hand fans.

A regular visitor to the New OPD Block said on condition of anonymity, “The PGI Director also sits in this building to examine his patients in OPDs. Yet, he seems unaware of our ordeal.”

Another patient’s attendant at a special clinic, Gurdeep Walia, said, “There are so many NGOs in the city that keep donating equipment to the three government hospitals and also take the needy for consultation. Why don’t they donate a few fans to the PGI in case nothing is moving at the hospital end?”

More than 8,000 patients visit the PGI OPDs everyday and the number often reaches 10,000 on Monday when a majority of specialists are available at the OPDs. 



Illegal mining continues unabated in Mohali dist
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 15
Illegal mining of soil continues unabated in Mohali district. The fact came to light during a visit by Chandigarh Tribune team to Roorkan village, located alongside a 200-foot under-construction road leading to the new airport.

The team found an earth-moving machine in operation in broad daylight. The machine was filling tippers with soil at the site.

Showing an 8-foot-deep pit near the existing mining site, a resident of the village said on condition of anonymity that the pit had been created due to illegal mining by some villagers.

“There are many more such deep pits around the area which are a result of illegal mining. As some pits have come up near the approach road to the village, these become dangerous during the monsoon,” said the resident. He said the illegal mining had been continuing for quite some time.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tajinder Pal Singh Sidhu said he would send staff to the site to take stock of the situation.

“I have to ascertain whether they (persons involved in mining) have permission from the Mining Department or not. However, if the pits are so deep, it appears that illegal activity is under way there,” said the Deputy Commissioner.



Employees have a hectic day clearing telegram rush
400 messages sent on last day of operations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
It was a hectic day for employees of the local telegraph office as a "record" 400 telegrams, sent by people yesterday, the last day for sending telegrams, had to be cleared by them today. The rush of telegrams was witnessed yesterday as people wanted to use the telegram services one last time.

During the past one year, on an average, around 90 to 100 telegrams used to be sent from the local BSNL office in a day. However, it was for the first time that such a large number of telegrams was sent from the city in one day.

An official of the BSNL said the authorities had directed officials not to entertain any person wanting to send a telegram today as the telegram services had been discontinued by the Union Government. However, the staff had to work till 4 pm today to clear the pending telegrams.

The official said the department had one booking and two transmission terminals at the Sector 17 BSNL customer care centre for telegrams. All three terminals were utilised for transmission today with clear instructions to the employees that there should not be any pending work for tomorrow.

According to a circular issued by the New Delhi-based corporate office of the BSNL, Senior General Manager (Telegraph Services) Shameem Akhtar had issued instructions that the telegraph services would be discontinued from July 15. All telegraph offices under the management of the BSNL would stop booking telegrams from July 15. The BSNL had withdrawn telegram services for overseas communication two months ago.

The plea of the BSNL for discontinuing the telegram services was that it was causing a financial loss of around Rs 135 crore annually to the nigam. There are 968 employees on its rolls working in 75 central telegraph offices.


City Beautiful’s heart bruised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
As the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation have turned a blind eye towards Sector 17, the heart of the City Beautiful, it is now slowly turning into a picture of neglect.

Those visiting Sector 17 can easily witness heaps of garbage, broken tiles, stray dogs and encroachments in front of the showrooms. The existing fountain in Sector 17, especially its tank, remains filled with used disposable glasses and plates.

Chander Mehta, a resident of Sector 22, said Sector 17 is the most popular place for not only the local residents but also those coming from other stations. Still, the MC did not make any effort to maintain the area, he added.

Echoing similar views, Rakhi Sharma of Sector 16, said the authorities should repair the broken tiles at the earliest as it left a bad impression on tourists.



Objections to city master plan to be decided soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Chandigarh Administration today told the Punjab and Haryana High Court that objections to the recently notified master plan of the city would be decided as early as possible. The Administration, at the same time, asserted that the exact time for finalising the master plan could not be specified at the current stage.

Appearing before the Bench, UT senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal also submitted a copy of the notification issued on July 11 by the Administration on the city master plan.

Taking on record the copy of the notification, the Bench asked the counsel to specify how much time the Administration would take for the final decision. In response, Kaushal said the Administration had invited objections from the general public to the master plan. A special committee has been constituted for the disposal of these objections.

"It will not be possible to inform about the exact time for a final decision on the master plan at this juncture but the Administration will made all its efforts to dispose of all the objections to the master plan received from the public," the counsel said.

He added a committee, headed by the Adviser to the Chandigarh Administrator, has also been constituted for the preparation of a regional plan. The case will now come up for further hearing on August 26.

The High Court has already been informed that the UT Administration is planning to make Chandigarh a solar city. Slums, too, would be a thing of the past and the Administration is in the process of preparing a report on Chandigarh's architectural heritage. The report was being forwarded to the Centre and subsequent to its approval, the enlisted heritage of Chandigarh would be notified.

The facts were underscored by the UT Administration in an affidavit filed in the High Court. The affidavit included the tram scheme in the list of proposals yet to be finalised. 



Staff crunch not Postal Dept’s concern
More than 50 postmen required in Chandigarh post offices
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Ignoring inconvenience to the public due to a delay in postal delivery, the Postal Department is the least bothered to recruit staff to fill the vacant posts. The records of the department revealed that there is a shortage of more than 50 postmen in the local post offices.

Last month, the Sector 47 post office received around 3,000 electricity bills on June 29, which were to be delivered before July 4, as the last date for making the bill payment was July 5. In the six working days, 10 postmen of the post office distributed these bills along with around 13,000 routine mails besides parcels. Owing to the shortage of staff, a number of residents received their bills after the due date and had to pay penalty.

The branch postmaster, Gurnam Singh, said the delay was due to the shortage of staff. However, all the postmen did over time to deliver the bills in the area. He said a number of requests had been made to the higher authorities to recruit eight postmen against the sanctioned posts. The approval for the same is still awaited, he added.

Sources in the department said the postmen deployed in the southern sectors were facing a lot of problem in delivering mails on time. Though the area has expanded, the number of employees and branches are the same as earlier.

The other post offices in the city are also grappling with staff crunch. According to the records, there is a severe shortage of staff at the Mani Majra post office.

The sources said the issue of recruiting more staff had been taken up with the authorities many a time.

Adding to the residents' woes, the Postal Department has failed to reopen old post offices. The local residents have been demanding the reopening of the Sector 40 post office for the past six years. Neither the UT Administration, nor the department has taken up their plea till date.

A sub-post office had been functional at a rented house of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) since 1989. Owing to confrontation between the department and the CHB, the house was got vacated and the sub-post office was closed by the postal authorities in 2006. A number of representations were made to the department, seeking the reopening of the sub-post office, but in vain.

On January 4, 2007, former administrator SF Rodrigues, while inaugurating an e-Sampark centre at Sector 40, had assured the local residents that the post office would be reopened shortly.

There is no post office in Sector 37, 38, 38 (West), 39, 40 and villages and colonies. 



Only 5 turn up at Patil's public darbar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Union Territory Administrator Shivraj V Patil's public darbar once again evoked a poor response today. Only five complainants attended the public hearing session.

The first complainant, Parvesh Rani sought the transfer of the lease of a shop to the legal heirs of the deceased allottee. The officer concerned told Patil that during verification, it was found that the shop was sublet to another party, which is against the provisions of the Lease Act. Consequently, the lease was cancelled and the case is now pending in the High Court. To this, Patil said the rules might be examined as also the status of the case pending in the High Court checked.

Another complainant, nominated councillor Surinder Bahga, also Chairman of the Publication Board Indian Institute of Architects, came with the representation that the process for obtaining approvals for building plans is cumbersome and that something might be done about the same. The official concerned said they had two committees (upper and lower) for the purpose. Also, the law states that any case not responded to in 60 days may be deemed sanctioned. However, in the last few years, they had not seen a single case of "deemed sanctioned".

The third complainant, Rajinder Singh, general secretary, UT Class IV Employees Union, asked for the adjustment of Class IV employees as clerks, senior laboratory attendants, librarians, restorers and library attendants. Patil was apprised that till 2012, some posts had been filled in a similar manner. However, now there have been some changes in the rules. The case is being pursued and soon the said promotions will be carried out according to the guidelines. To this, Patil said those who had been working with us must be taken care of.



Accused should be booked for making false statements: CBI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Elaborating on the falsity of the plea taken by three of the accused in the Judge bribery case, special public prosecutor Anupam Gupta, while arguing during the framing of charges in the CBI court, today pleaded that accused Sanjeev Bansal, Rajeev Gupta and Nirmal Singh should be booked for making false statements under sections 192, 193, 196, 199 and 200 of the IPC.

All the three accused took false alibi at the time of their arrest that cash amounting to Rs 15 lakh was actually meant for a commission agent Nirmal Singh in a property deal, said Gupta.

While producing documentary evidence before the court to establish the same, Gupta asserted that former Haryana Additional Advocate General Sanjeev Bansal, property dealer Rajiv Gupta and a commission agent, Nirmal Singh, all three of whom are accused in the case, told the police that Rs 15 lakh alleged to be wrongly delivered at the residence of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur on August 13, 2008, was actually meant for Nirmal Singh as it was the earnest money for the sale of a plot in Panchkula. Even accused Sanjeev Bansal had told the police on August 13 in writing that the money was meant for Nirmal Singh.

However, in complete contradiction to his statements, Nirmal Singh, while recording his statements before the Magistrate under section 164, CrPc, had said that Rajiv Gupta had approached him and begged him to give the statement to the police that the money was actually meant for him (Nirmal Singh). He admitted before the Magistrate that he had lied to the police on Rajiv Gupta's request. He had stated in his statements before the Magistrate that he did not know any Ravinder Singh.

Another prosecution witness Surinder Sood, a common friend of Nirmal Singh and Rajiv Gupta, deposed before the police that Nirmal Singh was also offered a sum of Rs 1.5 lakh for giving a false version to the police and had also received Rs 50,000, which was paid by Gupta to him. Out of this money, an amount of Rs 7,000 was spent by his wife and the CBI had recovered Rs 43,000 from Nirmal Singh's residence.

"All this oral and documentary evidence make out a caste-iron case against the three accused for cooking a false alibi and producing fake documents to establish their stand," Gupta told the court.

In addition, Anupam Gupta also read out the statements of all those who were in touch with accused Sanjeev Bansal and Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh, who had absconded after the registration of the case in August 2008. Sanjeev Bansal had absconded for seven days while Ravinder Singh was arrested over a month after the case was first registered by UT police and then later handed over to the CBI.

It was also emphasised that the Gokhale Committee report and the CBI investigations are totally independent of each other.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court was hit by the scam after a packet containing Rs15 lakh in cash was delivered on August 13, 2008, at the Sector 11 residence of High Court Judge Nirmaljit Kaur. She complained to the police. It was allege that the cash was actually meant for Justice Nirmal Yadav (now retired), an accused in the case.

Justice Nirmal Yadav went on leave after her name figured in the bribery scandal. She was later transferred to the Uttarakhand High Court.

The case is now adjourned for next hearing tomorrow.



Three BJP councillors expelled 
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 15
The three newly elected BJP councillors were expelled from the party after it was learnt that they had voted in favour of a Congress candidate.

CB Goel from ward number 9, Sunil Talwar from ward number 12 and Ravi Kant Swami from ward number 13 voted for a Congress candidate in the Mayoral elections.

Panchkula district chief of the party Vishal Seth said, "The trio went against the party." He said, "We had decided not to vote against the Congress candidates as the party has majority in the house."

Seth said despite being a BJP councillor, Goel honoured Mayor Upinder Ahluwalia yesterday which fulled the fire. However, the three councillors levelled cross-allegations saying initially they were told not to cast vote, but in the end they were taken by Seth to an INLD leader and told to vote against SS Nanda. During the polling, they came to know that Nanda was not a contestant, following which they voted in favour of the Congress candidate.

In the Panchkula Municipal Corporation elections, conducted for the first time, the BJP got all three unexpected seats that too in the urban area. Other than Sunil Talwar defeated Ravinder Rawal from ward number 12, CB Goel defeated Congress candidate Tarsem Garg from ward number 9. All elite sectors fall in the area. Ravi Kant Swami won against INLD candidate Subash Nishad from ward number 13. Sources said due to differences within the BJP party, the situation had become even worse as anybody could cash in on the rift. 



Residents’ body felicitates new Mayor
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 15
The Residents' Welfare Association of Sector 10 honoured the new Mayor of Panchkula, Upinder Ahluwalia.

The sector's Consumers Association, Market Welfare Association, Bhartiya Gramin Mahila Sangh and Sanatan Dharam Mandir Sankirtan Mandli were also present at the felicitation function.

Omwati Punia, councillor, ward number 15, graced the occasion.

Ahluwalia inaugurated a cleanliness drive which would be carried out by 20 workers of the Municipal Corporation.



2 shops raided in Panchkula 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 15
Officials of the Food and Supplies Department today raided two shops at Sector 25 in Panchkula. The officials collected samples of milk, cheese, 'gulab jamun' and 'barfi' from Grocery Supermarket and Goel Ji Sweets. 

District Food and Supplies Officer Subash Chander raids would be conducted at various food courts and sweets shops in the town. Recently, samples of cashew nuts collected from Anupam Sweets, Sector 11, failed test. Insects were found in the samples. The cashew nuts were to be served during a function where Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was the chief guest. 



Phulia takes over as P’kula DC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 15
The new Deputy Commissioner of Panchkula, Dr SS Phulia, assumed charge today.

He replaced Ashima Brar, who was relieved of her duties today.Brar was given a farewell party at the Mini- Secretariat. Phulia was welcomed by the officials of the administration.

Additional Deputy Commissioner SP Arora and City Magistrate Vandana Disodia were also present.Brar served the city for three years. Before his posting, Phulia was the Deputy Commissioner of Ambala.He said he would work for the development of the city and ensure that all policies of the Haryana Government were implemented.



Private schools found charging fees from EWS students 
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Several private schools in the city were found charging fees and other funds, even though a nominal amount, from the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) students admitted under the Right to Education (RTE) Act for the academic session 2010-11.

This came in to light when the UT Education Department began collecting the data of the EWS students admitted in the private schools for the session 2010-11 and 2011-12 for the purpose of reimbursement under the RTE Act.

Officials of the Education Department said charging any kind of fund from the EWS students was in gross violation since the RTE Act ensured free and compulsory education to the EWS and disadvantage group students.

The department is planning to write to the Ministry of Human Resource Development for seeking their opinion on the issue.

Officials said, "Many schools too have charge fee from the EWS students for the session 2011-12, the data of which is being compiled at present." The schools, which charged from EWS in 2010-11 sessions, included Aanchal International School, Sector 41, which submitted to the Education Department that they were charging Rs 250 per month from the students admitted under the EWS category. Principal of the school Manju Sood said the school did nothing wrong as it moved as per the guidelines issued by the department. The department officials duly inspected their school too on the EWS issue. "We will take steps accordingly if the department has some reservation about it," she said.

Besides this school, Ashiana Public School, Sector 46, was charging Rs 200 per month from the EWS students. Ashiana's head Lalita Parkash said the Education Department was confusing the RTE Act with the EWS admission. As per the Chandigarh administration's own notification, the schools were allowed to charge nominal amount from those admitted under the EWS category and the school was strictly following the same guidelines Among other schools, DC Montessori School, Manimajra, did not disclose the figure but submitted that they were charging nominal amount from the EWS students. Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, charged Rs 500 per annum as annual charges from the students admitted under the EWS category. GNPS head Gurnam Kaur said this amount was charged only one time in 2010-11 due to wide confusion over the RTE Act at that time. "Otherwise, despite being a minority school, we are giving free education to the EWS as well as disadvantage group students," she said

MDAV Mandir School, Sector 22, was on the other hand, charging Rs 1,400 as annual charges and Rs 70 as monthly fee. St Mary School in Sector 46 submitted that they were charging Rs 320 per month from the students under the EWS category. School heads of both these schools could not be contacted. Officials said it was because of this issue that the reimbursement of the private schools under the RTE Act was delayed.

DEO RK Sharma said the department has taken the cognizance of the matter and as advised by senior officials. The department would seek the opinion of the MHRD on this issue. 



BCom admissions: UT pool seats filled 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
All seats in the UT pool for admission to BCom have been filled following the first counselling conducted on Sunday. The counselling for reserved seats was held today.

Until two days ago, only 167 BCom seats in the general quota of UT pool (85 per cent) were vacant in three city colleges. The seats were available at Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45; Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26; and Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26.

Officials said the physical presence of applicants at the time of counselling was must for admissions. Applicants were asked to pay the fee on the spot.

Counselling for admissions to 85 pr cent seats of BCom reserved for the city students in 11 city colleges commenced last week, with GGDSD College, Sector 32, and DAV College, Sector 10, remaining the top-choice for students aspiring for the commerce stream.

Seats under the general category at GGDSD College, DAV College, MCM College, Sector 36, and Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, were filled on the first day of counselling.

Not even a single student opted for admission under the general category to the Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, while only one student in general category opted for the course at SGGS College, Sector 26, against the 171 available seats.

Similarly, against the 87 available seats in general category, GGS College for Women, Sector 26, attracted only one student. The PG Government College, Sector 46, too saw only three students opting for the course under general category against 87 available seats, and nine students showed interest against the same number of seats in the PG Government College for Girls, Sector 42.

The PU officials said second round of counselling would be held to fill the remaining seats. The date is yet to be finalised. 



Teachers to present lectures before colleagues 
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The UT Education Department has put government schoolteachers to a litmus test by asking them to prepare lectures from the academic syllabus and then present the same before their fellow colleagues in the upcoming faculty development programme.

The faculty development programme will start from July 20. It is being organised for the basic academic training of school lecturers. Under the programme, subject-wise three teams have been formed with one experienced lecturer in each team and one who has recently been promoted.

Every team will prepare three chapters from the syllabus of Class XII and demonstrate these infront of the other lecturers.

It is, however, not as easy as it sounds. While each team will be given three chapters well in advance to prepare, but the chapter to be demonstrated by a team will be done on the spot. Senior officials of the department will also be present during these sessions to evaluate teachers’ performance.

Officials said, “There is a surprise element in the programme. The programme will be interactive and raise the inquisitiveness of the lecturers, both experienced and newly promoted.”

The programme will be held on weekly basis. For instance, On July 20, three teams each for political science and history will give their demonstration at the GMSSS, Sector 8, in the presence of all the lecturers. Similarly, three teams each for Math and Chemistry will address the teachers of their respective subjects at GMSSS-19 on July 27.

The session of each subject will be of three hours and each team will get one hour to demonstrate their chapter, to be announced at the spot only by the programme coordinator.

A senior official said, “When the lecturers will perform in front of their peers; the learning will be more interactive. It will definitely be a challenging job for each team to face their peers and that is the reason the department has paired one experienced lecturer and one new lecturer in a single team, who can help each other during their presentation.”

He said, “The idea behind the programme is to learn from each other and raise questions and suggestions during the demonstration.”

As per the information, every week three teams of different subjects will perform at different venues and all the lecturers have strictly been informed to attend their respective session.

The faculty development programme will be held from July 20 till August 31 and as many as 15 sessions of different subjects will be held during this time period. The entire schedule for the programme has already been sent to all the lecturers by the District Education Office. 



Teachers oppose move to extend school hours 

Chandigarh, July 15
State executive committee of the Government Teachers Union (GTU) unanimously opposed the move of extending school hours without providing appropriate infrastructure and facilities.

The members appealed to the teachers to wait for a call against extended timings and not get mislead by some self-styled individuals or platform in the name of self-made committees.

The committee members said demands of teachers such as fixation of notional pay wef 1-1-86 on Punjab Pattern, Grade Pay of Rs 4,200 for nursery teachers, centre pay scale for work experience cadre and lab attendants, regularisation of the SSA teachers, promotion of JBT be fulfilled within 15 days. —TNS



Psychology a favourite with students this year 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Psychology has emerged as the most popular subject among a majority of students seeking admission in Bachelors of Arts (BA) this year in city colleges. This time, the number of applicants for the subject has almost doubled in most of the colleges compared to last year.

In GGDSD College, Sector 32, for instance, against a total of 146 students seeking admission in BA (Psychology), last year, this time, the number has touched 312. "The admissions are still going on and the number is likely to grow," said the admission coordinator at the college.

The trend prevailed in MCM DAV College, Sector 36, as well. This year, the college has received as many as 437 applications for Psychology in BA and admitted 180 of them. The number of applicants, meanwhile, was 290 last year.

"Increased curiosity about the subject steered by its growing importance in organizations as well as institutions is one the key reasons for its increasing popularity," said educationists.

"Earlier, the society was being looked at as a whole and the emphasis, in general, was on common mindsets. But now emphasis is being laid on understanding an individual's psychology everywhere. A management looks at the psychology of its employees a teacher looks at the psychology of his or her students. So, as such it is a very healthy sign that students are showing inclination towards this subject. It has good job prospects also nowadays," said Principal of MCM DAV College, Puneet Bedi.

In the Post Graduate Government College for Girls (PGGCG), Sector 11, for a total of 40 seats almost double the number of applications was received this year for Psychology. The number of applicants, meanwhile, was close to 45, last year, for the subject.

In fact, most of the students who were seen opting for BA (Psychology) were found to be with Commerce Background, in a move to keep their prospects high for post-graduation possibility in different streams.

In GGDSD College, for instance, a number of students with Commerce background opted for BA (Psychology) with a subject combination of Economics, Advertising and Sales Management pitching in for MBA, Mass Communication, as well as Phd in Psychology.



Parents made to wait for four hours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Parents of students seeking admission to BSc (non-medical) at Post Graduate Government College (PGGC), Sector 11, alleged that they were forced to wait for over four hours for counselling today but to no avail.

As per the schedule of admissions issued by the college, the students and guardians were supposed to reach for counselling today for the course. However, owing to a technical glitch in the system, the parents were asked to wait. However, till about 1 pm, the snag could not be resolved and the parents were asked to re-visit on July 19.

Principal of the college, JS Raghu said: "Our operators encountered some technical problem in the logs. Some discrepancies were found in the number of seats available. Before clearing those, we could not determine the exact number of seats available."



From Schools

‘Healthy Tiffin’ competition held

Children take part in a "Healthy Tiffin" competition at St Joseph's Senior Secondary School, Sector 44-D, Chandigarh. A Tribune Photograph Chandigarh: St Joseph’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44D, Chandigarh, organised a “Healthy Tiffin” competition. The children participated with full zeal as their lunch boxes contained healthy food in various forms like fruit salad, vegetables and sprouted grains. Winners were adjudged on the basis of the nutritional value of the meal and presentation. The dishes were tagged beautifully carrying the ingredients and nutrients included in them. The teachers explained the difference between junk food and healthy food to the children on the occasion.
hildren take part in a "Healthy Tiffin" competition at St Joseph's Senior Secondary School, Sector 44-D, Chandigarh. A Tribune Photograph 

Field trip

The students of Kids ‘R’ Kids School, Sector 42, Chandigarh, went for an outing to the ‘New Lake’. Children enjoyed watching colourful fishes and ducks. They collected different types of twigs and leaves for their project work and played games like ‘chase and run’, ‘catch and throw’ and ‘hide and seek’. They all had a great time.

Fruit party

Students of the pre-primary wing of MDAV, Sector 22A, Chandigarh, participated in a “Fruit Party”. Students brought different fruits to the school. The importance of fruits for the health was demonstrated by teachers through various activities. Principal Neelam Sharma also shared her views with the tiny-tots.

Puzzle competition

Banyan Tree School, Chandigarh, organised an inter-house Sudoku and Mathdoku puzzle competition for classes V to X. It focused on mental and logical thinking of the students. First price went to Prerna house followed by Prarthna house. In Class VI, Arjun was the winner. Sukhsimar and Komal Singh were winners from Class IX and Class X, respectively.

Wellness day

A health wellness day’ was observed at AKSIPS Smart School, Sector 41. Students of Class III-A conducted a special assembly on “Health is Wealth” emphasising on the importance of good health, eating habits and dental care. A healthy tiffin activity was also conducted for classes I and II. The students brought different kinds of nutritious food items. Students were motivated to eat good, fresh and healthy food to remain fit and healthy.

Workshop for teachers

St Soldier International School, Chandigarh, conducted the CBSE training programme for teachers by organising a one-day capacity building programme. Over 50 teachers participated in the programme designed to give a detailed insight into the motives, functioning and objectives of the CCE (Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation) system implemented by the CBSE. Puneet Pasricha, a certified trainer, conducted the programme. She stressed on the importance of life skills and suggested innovative methods to evaluate the students on inculcation of the skills.

English paper-reading competition

Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 33, organised an English paper-reading competition for students of Classes IV and V. The topics “Why Good Manners are important” and “My most embarrassing Moment” were given to the students. The students were shortlisted through a preliminary round. The selected students competed in the final round by reading a pre-written content of about 3 minutes. The winners were judged on the basis of their fluency, stress, intonation and quality of content. Aryaman Mohan of Class V B, Akhilesh Mehra of Class IV B, Divyansh Yadav of Class V C, Himanshi Garg of Class IV C were declared the winners of the competition

Slogan-writing competition

Mohali: GGSVM School, Ratwara Sahib, Mohali, held various competitions. Students from classes I to X participated in the competition. At primary level, the students made holders by using waste material. At secondary level, the students wrote slogans on different topics. Collage making activity was held at senior secondary level. One best item was chosen from each section and prizes were given by the principal.

World Population Day observed

Gurukul World School, Sector 69, observed World Population Day to spread awareness among the students and society. Environment and culture club of the school held an interactive session with students apprising them the reasons for high population and students gave their suggestions to control the population. Students and teachers held a rally to spread awareness among the society. Young minds made placards and raised slogans. —TNS



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