C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


2 students, driver killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 16
Three persons, including two school students, were killed while two other students sustained serious injuries in an accident between a school bus and a private transport bus on the Kharar-Ludhiana highway near Mamupur village this morning.

Mehakpreet (16), a student of Class X at Indus Public School in Nawanshahr Badala village, and the bus driver, Harinder Singh (45), died on the spot while Harpreet Singh (13), a student of Class VII, succumbed to his injuries at the PGI.

The injured students are Amanpreet Singh (11), Harpreet Singh's younger brother, and Iqbalpreet Singh. Doctors attending on the duo at the PGI said their condition was critical.

According to Kharar DSP RS Mrar, the accident occurred at around 7.15 am when Harinder Singh was approaching the highway from a link road in Mamupur village after picking up Mehakpreet from the spot.

"He (Harinder Singh) was taking a right turn towards Kharar to approach the highway when a private transport bus (PB 13T 3837) of the Libra company, coming from the Kharar side, hit the bus. The impact was so strong that the school bus overturned while the Libra bus went off the road and hit a tree on the other side of the highway," said DSP Mrar.

Around 35 passengers were travelling on the bus while there were only five students on the school bus. Four passengers on the private transport bus sustained minor injuries.

The DSP said the school bus had strarted from Hasanpur village, from where it had picked up four students. Later, it went to Mamupur village to pick up Mehakpreet, said Mrar.

One of the students, Inderveer Singh, of Hasanpur village, escaped with minor injuries in the accident.

Earlier, several residents of Mamupur village reached the spot after hearing the sound of the collision and shifted the injured to the Civil Hospital, Kharar.

Doctors at the Kharar hospital referred Iqbalpreet Singh, Amanpreet Singh and Harpreet Singh to the PGI.

The police has arrested Rachpal Singh, driver of the private transport bus, and registered a case against him under Section 304 of the IPC at the Kharar police station.



Mehakpreet’s father wanted to gift him a mobike on his birthday
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mehakpreet, who died in the mishap
Mehakpreet, who died in the mishap

Kharar, July 16
It was just like any other day for Dilbagh Singh and his wife Ramandeep Kaur, residents of Mamupur village, when their elder son Mehakpreet Singh left the house to catch his school bus this morning. However, fate had something else in store for them. Mehakpreet died in an accident between his school bus and a private transport bus on the Kharar-Ludhiana highway.

“My son had just boarded the bus when the accident occurred,” said Mehakpreet's father Dilbagh Singh at the Civil Hospital, Kharar, where he came to receive his son's body after the postmortem.

“We were planning to buy a motorcycle for Mehakpreet on his birthday, which falls on September 9. He loved motorcycles,” Dilbagh Singh, an agriculturist and milk seller.

He said today the school bus had arrived five minutes before the scheduled time. “Had the bus come on time, my son would have been alive,” said Dilbagh Singh. Mehakpreet's mother Ramandeep Kaur was inconsolable.



Harpreet, brother were reluctant to go to school 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Amanpreet, who was injured in the accident, under treatment at the PGI, Chandigarh.
Amanpreet, who was injured in the accident, under treatment at the PGI, Chandigarh.

Chandigarh, July 16
The father of Harpreet (13), who succumbed to his injuries after being injured in a school bus accident, will never be able to forgive himself. He forced both his sons, Harpreet and 10-year-old Amanpreet (who is battling for life at the PGI), to go to school while they were reluctant to do so. The father is now blaming himself for their fate.

Both brothers, along with 13-year-old Iqbalpreet, all students of Indus Public School in Kharar, were taken to the PGI at around 9 am after being critically injured in the accident while they were on board their school bus.

“His father has been crying ever since he heard about the accident. Both brothers did not want to go to school today. They were feeling lazy in the morning and wanted to stay at home. However, he insisted that they should not miss their classes,” said Harpreet’s maternal uncle Gurjinder.

The father kept shuttling between their beds inside the trauma unit, pressing the ambu bags with the hope that they may revive and breathe normally.

Harpreet died at around 3 pm at the PGI.

The other two, meanwhile, slipped into a coma. Iqbalpreet was shifted to the Trauma ICU in the evening and is on a ventilator.

Amanpreet, meanwhile, is still inside the Trauma Emergency and is under observation. “The injuries are too deep. All three had head injuries. It seems their heads banged into some object inside the bus with a sudden jerk,” said a police official deputed at the Trauma Centre to supervise the case.



Taverns raided, found overcharging
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
A joint team of the UT Excise and Taxation Department and the Legal Metrology Department today raided taverns attached to liquor vends in the city.

While the Excise Department inspected the premises to check whether the operators were adhering to the safety and hygiene norms, legal metrology officials challaned operators found charging more than the MRP of products.

It was the second time in the past four days that the Legal Metrology Department raided taverns in the city. Charging more than the MRP is a criminal offence under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.

The teams raided taverns in Sectors 17 and 22. The teams found that visitors were being charged much more than the MRP of soda bottles and soft drinks. “A bottle of soft drink, priced at Rs 27, was being sold for Rs 40, while at another place, the same bottle was being sold for Rs 35. Similarly, a 600 ml soda bottle, priced at Rs 15, was being sold for anything between Rs 20 and Rs 30,” said officials.

The condition of taverns, including the eating place and the kitchen, was not found up to the mark. According to the excise policy, each tavern attached to an L-2 vend should have a minimum of eight tables with a seating capacity of 40. It should have a temperature-control system on the premises, cutlery and crockery of a good standard and clean and modern toilets. 

Application money for tenders increased

To discourage bidders from multiple bidding with the purpose of blocking other bidders from applying in a particular pocket, the Excise Department has increased the tender amount to ~35 lakh from the earlier ~10 and 13 lakh.



Punjab to draw 40 MGD of water from Kajauli for Mohali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The Punjab Government today said it would draw 40 MGD of water exclusively from phase five and six of the Kajauli waterworks to meet the requirements of Mohali. It has also agreed to lay a pipeline with a larger diameter.

In an affidavit, the Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, said the government had agreed to lay a pipeline with a larger diameter for carrying 80 MGD of water. This was being done at the instance of Chandigarh and also keeping in view the technical feasibility, obviating in the process the need for a separate pipeline and land acquisition.

The Punjab Government also told the court that work for the completion of phase five and six would be over by August 2014. The work for laying a pipeline to carry 80 MGD of water had already started.

A single main pipeline of 40 MGD capacity under phase five and six was to be laid from Kajauli to Mohali by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority for exclusive use by Punjab. Chandigarh was to lay a pipeline for phase seven and eight for 40 MGD after acquisition of land.

Now, Chandigarh will have to bear 50 per cent of the cost of the pipeline and 100 per cent of the cost of a new head works on the Bhakra Main Line as the existing head works has a capacity of 120 MGD only.

Punjab also claimed that Chandigarh could not seek directions to Punjab and Haryana to release water to the UT. For this, the UT would have to approach to the Supreme Court under Article 131 of the Constitution.

Moreover, a dispute relating to the water could not be made the subject matter of a petition either in the High Court or in the Supreme Court because inter-state water disputes were covered under the Inter-State Water Disputes Act-1956, which barred the jurisdiction of the court. Such disputes were to be settled through a tribunal.

It was also stated that Punjab had agreed to release 60 per cent of its share of 40 MGD of water to Chandigarh, provided Haryana agreed to release its 40 per cent share of water and gave consent to Chandigarh for the construction of a new head works on the Bhakra Main Line.

The sharing pattern would be as per the 1983 agreement. It was also clarified that 40 MGD of water to be used exclusively by Punjab would be adjusted against the share of Punjab on the Bhakra Main Line.

With this, the hearing on a petition filed by Mohali councillor Kuljeet Singh Bedi before the Punjab and Haryana High Court has come to an end. He was seeking directions to expedite the completion of phase five and six of the Kajauli waterworks, which would bring an additional 40 million gallons of water every day for Mohali.

Counsel for the petitioner Ranjivan Singh said the purpose of filing the PIL had been achieved as Punjab had agreed to fulfil the demand of 40 MGD of water for Mohali.


It is an uphill task to get pension here
Many old women go without pension due to poor arrangements made by Social Walfare Dept
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Despite having their ID proofs with them, Shanti Devi and Maya Kaur were not able to get their pension.
Despite having their ID proofs with them, Shanti Devi and Maya Kaur were not able to get their pension.

Chandigarh, July 16
An 80-year-old heart patient, Shanti Devi, who had to commute on an auto-rickshaw from Dhanas to the camp office of the Social Welfare Department at Bal Bhawan in Sector 23, today, to get her widow pension (pending for the past four months), had to return disappointed, as her details were not found on the department list.

Earlier too, when she had approached the e-sampark of her area, then officials there had given a plea that her thumb impressions were not matching so she would have to go to the camp office to claim her widow pension.

Phool Mati of Darua (65), another victim of callousness of the Social Welfare Department, had to ask her son to take her back home from the camp office where she was waiting in queue for more than an hour to get her old-age pension but could not bear the pain due to her medical condition. She went back home without her pension as her turn was yet to come.

Phool Mati could not wait for long and went back without receiving her pension.
Phool Mati could not wait for long and went back without receiving her pension.

Sixty-years-old Leela Vati of Sector 26 was running from pillar to post to find out on which counter the widow pension would be given. No help desk was set up outside the camp office nor was any information displayed on the three counters set up by the department to disburse the pension to the beneficiary from their colonies or villages.

It was not just that these three old women had a harrowing time getting their pension today at the camp office under various government schemes but there were hundreds of other senior citizens, physically challanged children and old widows who faced a similar problem to get their own money from the administration.

During a visit to the camp office it was found that three counters were set up by the department for the disbursement of the old age, widow and handicapped pension, but no information was displayed on the counters about which category of pensioners would be entertained on which counter. Even the hall in which the counters had been set up by the authorities was leaking due to rain.

In May, UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil had launched a scheme that pension be credited to the bank account of the beneficiaries and the banks were directed to reach at Sampark or Gram-Sampark centres across the UT through their business correspondents so that beneficiaries could withdraw their pension without any hassle. 

Pensioners’ record

Records of the Social Welfare Department revealed that all types of pensioners were covered under various schemes which include 10,456 old-age pensioners, 5,706 widows and destitute women, 3,047 disabled persons and 1,474 dependent children of widows.

Those pensioners who have not submitted their UID (Aadhaar letter) to the Social Welfare Department are facing problem getting their monthly pension. But to avoid any delay in disbursement, the authorities had set up a camp office from where they could get cash in hand against their pension. The department had also installed best-figure detection machine at the camp office for those whose thumb impression was not matching with their earlier data.
— Rajesh Jogpal, Director, Social welfare, UT



Anomalies under CVO's scanner
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The anomalies pointed out in the purchase of a mobile mammography van of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, are now under the scanner of the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO).

Following the purchase of the van last year, an RTI activist filed a complaint with the UT Administrator which led the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking details of the tenders to look into the alleged 'pooling of tenders'. The case was then transferred to the UT Adviser, KK Sharma, who happens to be the CVO.

The Chandigarh Tribune had recently highlighted that a perusal of the tender documents and sequence of purchase events, including the pre-bid meeting, obtained under the RTI Act, revealed that the tender for purchase of the mammography machine was accepted despite the two companies bidding for the machinery having quoted the rates of the same model of the equipment manufactured by the same firm.

The rules stipulate that the tenders should have been immediately rejected in view of pooling of tenders. Fresh bids should have been invited. However, the authorities seemingly chose to turn a blind eye despite one of the clerks pointing out the violation ahead of the opening of the price bid.

CVO KK Sharma said, "The matter is being looked into. Details cannot be given at this stage."

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

The Rs 1.24 crore mobile mammography van had several defects during its launch on April 12 this year.


August 7, 2010: Committee constituted to specify requirements of the mammography unit

February 11 2011: Tender for the purchase was opened.

February 14, 2011: A dealing assistant pointed out that affidavit regarding genuineness of the authorisation is missing.

March 3, 2011: Technical committee formed to look into specifications.

March 4, 2011: Price bid opened

February 2, 2012: Supply order sent in the name of Fuji Film Pvt Limited

March 6, 2012: Company (Fuji Film) sought advance payment.

March 13, 2012: The GMCH sought approval from the Health Secretary for advance payment

April 19, 2012: A cheque for Rs 1,24, 34, 250 was sent in the name of Fuji Film Pvt Ltd. Signed by the GMCH treasury branch.

April 12, 2013: UT Administrator inaugurated the van.



Acquitted man didn’t undergo narco test 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Vishrut Malik, a resident of Sector 38 (West), who was acquitted last week in a drug peddling case, was not involved in the Neha murder case of 2010. The police had not taken him to the Forensic Science Laboratory at Gandhinagar in Gujarat for a brain mapping test.

Vishrut was arrested by the UT police in October 2010 on the charge of drug peddling. He was also a suspect in the Neha murder case. However, the court had acquitted him of all charges last week.

The police had conducted a narco test of his two accomplices, but nothing came out. The Neha murder case continues to remain unsolved. It was earlier inadvertently reported that Vishrut was taken to Gujarat for a narco test for brain mapping.



Rainwater enters shops
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 16
Rain brought misery for residents of Phase III-B2 and shopkeepers at Sohana village as water entered houses and shops last night.

Ravinder Bansal, a resident of Phase III B 2, said it started raining at 11 pm and went on till 1 am. As the water drainage system proved to be ineffective, water entered 200 houses in the area.

Officials of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation visited the area and met the affected people.

He said the civic body had laid a pipeline at a cost of Rs 2.85 crore, but it had failed to mitigate the problem as it was unable to carry adequate discharge.

He lamented that both GMADA as well as the Municipal Corporation had failed to provide relief to residents who had suffered over the years. GMADA was now constructing water holding points in the area to give some relief to residents living in the affected pocket. A cloth merchant, who has his shop in Sohana Anil Kumar, said whenever there was a heavy rain, water entered shops as the level of roads was higher. Moreover, there were less road gullies and rainwater could not be drained out immediately. He said there were 40 shops in the area. Despite bringing the problem to the notice of the GMADA authorities last year, nothing has been done. 



Demolition drive called off as senior officials fail to turn up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
A demolition drive that was to be conducted in Kaimbwala village was called off today, thanks to senior officials of the Chandigarh Administration who did not turn up to supervise the drive.

The end result was that despite a strong posse of police and demolition staff, the demolition drive was called off as Tanvi Garg, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), who was the designated duty magistrate and the Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) failed to turn up at the site where the drive was to be conducted.

After waiting for over two hours, the demolition staff and the police were sent back. Sources reveal that while the ADC was busy attending meetings, the LAC was out of the city.

The demolition drive had been fixed in advance and the duties had been assigned well in advance. A total of 19 illegal structures were to be demolished in Kaimbwala and Khuda Ali Sher villages, as they have come up in the catchment area of Sukhna Lake.

As the officials on the spot kept on calling their seniors, the residents also blocked the roads with tractor trailers and barricades. Congress leaders joined the villagers in opposing the drive.



Chaudhary’s wife fails to give voice samples
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 16
Nidhi Chaudhary, wife of Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary, an accused in the Jyoti murder case, has failed to give voice samples to the court. The court had given four days’ time to the defense counsel.

The police had sought Nidhi’s voice samples for forensic examination.

It wanted to match the samples with a recorded conversation between Nidhi and her maternal uncle.

In the last hearing, the court had stated that the police could not force anyone to give the voice samples and gave time to the defense counsel. 



Encroachments to be removed from Patiala Ki Rao
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Encroachments on seasonal river Patiala Ki Rao may soon be a thing of the past. The Punjab Government has issued a notification giving details of land around the seasonal river and has directed violators to remove encroachments.

Information to this effect was given to the Punjab and Haryana High Court today.

The development is significant as it will affect owners of land on the bank of Patiala Ki Rao in Nayagaon, Karoran and Kharar in Mohali district. The government, in an earlier report, had referred to about 450 encroachments done by diverting the water flow or reducing the width of the river. Following directions by the High Court, the government issued the notification mentioning khasra numbers while directing the encroachers to remove encroachments. The notification empowers executive engineer, water management investigation division, Ropar, to remove all such encroachments.

The directions came on a petition by Gurbax Ram. He had claimed that the Forest Department in August 2010 de-listed its land on a condition that it would not be used for commercial purposes. Rather, it would be used only for agricultural purposes.

But, some influential persons carved out an illegal colony by levelling Shivalik hills.

They also encroached upon seasonal rivulet Patiala chi Rao for carving out the illegal colony. On May 28, last year, the High Court Bench issued a notice to the respondent authorities and stayed construction on the land. The Bench also directed the authorities concerned to file a status report on the existing construction and steps taken.

Gurbax Ram again approached the High Court, stating that the officials, including Chief Secretary, Deputy Commissioner, GMADA Chief Administrator and others failed to take action to stop the construction, which was still going on.

Dubbing it as wilful negligence of the High Court orders, Gurbax Ram prayed for the initiation of contempt of court proceedings against the authorities.



Bansal’s ‘loyalists’ set to part ways
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
It is learnt that the 'loyalists' of former Union Railway Minister and Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal have decided to part ways with the leader.

While Bansal was celebrating his 66th birthday at his residence today, three Congress leaders, including a former mayor and a senior leader, who played an important role in the election of present mayor, are ready to join the group of another Congress politician, who is presently active in a neighbouring state, but is eyeing Lok Sabha candidature from the city.

When Bansal was the railway minister and his political image was clean, the leaders supported him, but after his name cropped up in the railgate, things changed.

After the scam, the leaders were eyeing ticket from the Chandigarh seat and they were hopeful of the nailing Bansal in the chargesheet. But the CBI did not include Bansal's name on the list of the accused. As Bansal was aware of the activities of these leaders, they decided to join the group of another Congress leader.

The local Congress leaders have already held a number of meetings with the leader and have told him that they would soon start making it public that they were no longer with Bansal.

A senior Congress leader said Bansal was the only Congress candidate from Chandigarh, but after the railgate, not only Bansal, the other senior Congress leaders active in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi were also eyeing ticket from the city. "The local Congress leaders are also vying for the ticket from Chandigarh," he added.



UT Adviser pulls up officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
UT Adviser KK Sharma today held a review meeting with the heads of various departments at the UT Guesthouse.

The Adviser pulled up a few officials for delaying the execution of policies of the Administration. Sources said the Adviser asked officials of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), Health Department, Engineering Department, Architect Department, Estate Office and the CTU to expedite development work. 



Uttarakhand victim gets ransom call
Miscreants demand `5 lakh to release her missing daughter
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 16
For local resident Shashi Devi, whose husband, son and a daughter had gone to Uttarakhand and are missing since last month, had a shock of her life when she got a ransom call from an unidentified person. The caller claimed that her daughter was with them.

“The caller asked us to deposit Rs 5 lakh in his bank account," said Deepak Shastri, a family friend of the victim. Later, a complaint was lodged in this regard at the Mataur police station. During the investigation, the police found that the call was made from Bhopal and identified two persons responsible for the call from their call and bank account details. A case under Sections 386, 387, 365 of the IPC and 66A and 67 of the IT Act has been registered against Brajesh Kumar and Subro Gorai, both resident of Bhopal, at the Mataur police station. Mohali Superintendent of Police (city) Swarndeep Singh said, “We have sent teams to Bhopal.”

Shashi Devi, along with her husband Sham Lal, a priest at Phase 3B1 temple, son Nitin Kumar (10) and daughter Swati (12) had gone to Kedarnath on June 9. The family was at Kedarnath when the natural calamity struck



Ramdev accuses Sibal of framing Bansal in railgate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Yoga guru Ramdev today accused Union Minister Kapil Sibal of framing former railway minister and MP Pawan Kumar Bansal in the infamous railgate.

Ramdev said it was none other than Kapil Sibal who allegedly framed Bansal.

Ramdev said as Sibal wanted to contest from Chandigarh, he helped the CBI arrest Bansal’s nephew Vijay Singla. He stated that Sibal knew that he would not be able to win from Chandni Chowk in Delhi.



Expelled BJP councillors level allegations against district party chief
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 16
The three newly elected Bharatiya Janta Party councillors who were reportedly expelled from the party alleged that just half-an-hour before the Mayoral elections, the district chief forcibly tried to take them to an INLD leader's house.

The three councillors CB Goel, Sunil Talwar and Ravi Kant Swami today held a press conference.

However, district chief Vishal Seth refuted the allegations. He said the councillors were expelled as they voted in favour of a Congress candidate.

"Seth asked me to sit in his car. He said he would also pick up Talwar and Goel as he wanted to talk to us," said Swami.

Goel said, "When I asked him where we were heading, Seth answered that we were going to INLD leader Pradeep Chaudhary's house to discuss something. When I refused to go to his place, he told us to vote for SS Nanda and dropped us at the Deputy Commissioner’s office where polling was under way."

"As he is our chief, we had to listen to him. We all had to vote in favour of Nanda. But then we learnt that Nanda was not a contestant," said Goel.



Fungus in glucose: Six acquitted

Panchkula, July 16
Six persons were acquitted in an infamous fungus in glucose case by a local court today. It was found that the manufacturer had supplied the right quality of glucose. But the same was not kept in the right temperature which led to the growth of fungus. In 2001, in a raid at the General Hospital was conducted and it was found that the glucose which was being administered to the patients had fungus in it.

Four booked

Office-bearers of HEWO Society, MDC, Sector 6, clashed with some youths last night. Both the groups attacked each other with liquor bottles. The police has booked four youths. — TNS



Wholesaler loses Rs 2.5 lakh in Sec 26
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh July 16
Theft amounting to Rs 2.5 lakh was reported in Grain market, Sector 26, here today.

Yashpal Mahajan, who is a wholesaler in the market, reported to the police that he had received a payment of the last three days and had kept the money in a piece of cloth and tied it. He then went home and when he returned to the Grain market he found the bag missing from the place, where he had kept it.



Science students desert allotted seats 
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The UT Education Department's recent move to roll back the time relaxation given to science students of senior secondary classes in government schools has resulted in several students deserting their allotted class XI seats.

During the first round of the counselling, nearly 3,000 seats of the science streams were allotted to the candidates of general and reserved categories on the basis of merit.

Surprisingly, 966 seats belonging to general and reserved categories were found vacant in the school-wise vacant seats list released by the Education Department at the beginning of the second round of counselling. The final school and stream-wise merit list for the second round will be released on July 24.

As per information, seats for the science stream are available in double digits in almost all top government schools that saw their cut-off score going through the roof during the first round of counselling.

GMSSS-16, which had cut-off of 9.4 CGPA in the first round, has 38 vacant seats for the general category and 23 for the reserved categories. About 27 seats are vacant in the general category and 34 in the reserved category at GMSSS-19. As many as 40 general category seats and 61 reserved category seats are vacant at GMSSS, Sector 33.

The heads of the schools said in the previous years, very less seats used to remain vacant in the science stream during the second round of counselling, but this year the number of vacant seats was surprising. "It has happened as several students did not take admission due to revision in the closing time for the science stream students from 12.30 pm to 2 pm," said a school head.

For the past many years, Class XI and Class XII science stream students were being freed one-and-a-half early than the students of other streams but the practice was revised last month due to the objections raised by a local teachers' union.

Usha Jindal, a parent, said the increase in timings for the science stream disturbed the whole schedule of the students. "Many students are now looking for alternative options because competitive exams after Class XII are difficult to crack without proper time management and private tuitions. Spending six hours in school is not feasible in that case. The department should think over taking the decision back," she said.

Anujit Kaur, head, GMSSS-16, said several bright students from her school were leaving their seats and trying to get admission in private schools due the revision in timings. This has disturbed their schedule for entrance exam coaching.

In all, as many as 396 science stream seats are vacant in the general category. About 170 seats in Scheduled Castes category are vacant. As many as 57 seats under sports quota, 105 seats under physically handicap quota and 238 seats in other categories, including defence personnel, freedom fighter children and Kashmiri migrants are vacant.

In comparison to this, only 357 (159 seats for general category and rest for the reserved categories) seats are available in the commerce stream during the the second round of counselling. As far as arts stream is concerned, seats are available in all the government schools. In comparison to rural schools, urban schools have less seats.

Meanwhile, 4,300 seats are up for grab in the second round of counselling, out of which nearly 3,600 seats are in science, commerce and arts streams. Rest of the seats belong to the vocational courses. 

Rollback in  time relaxation

During the first round of the counselling, nearly 3,000 seats of the science streams were allotted to the candidates of general and reserved categories. Surprisingly, 966 seats belonging to general and reserved categories were found vacant in the school-wise vacant seats list released by the Education Department at the beginning of the second round of counselling. 



GMCH-32 defers counselling for MBBS, BDS courses 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, postponed its counselling for MBBS and BDS courses for a few days as the institute is waiting for the Union Government's response to its recent proposal of increasing the MBBS seats in the institute. The institute's centralised admission process was scheduled to start from tomorrow, but it has been deferred till further notice.

Dr Atul Sachdeva, director-principal, GMCH-32, said the decision was taken due to their recent proposal, submitted to the Union Ministry of Health and Environment for one time increase in the MBBS seats.

"The institute has yet not received any official response regarding the proposal, but we hope to see an increase in the number of seats," said Dr Atul. The Central Government has recently approved a proposal to increase 50 MBBS seats in all public and private medical colleges for the current session and has asked the medical institutes to submit their proposal to the ministry concerned.

The decision has been taken to bring the doctor-patient ratio down in the country. The current ration stand at 1: 2000. The proposal of the GMCH-32, if gets approval, will be a boon for the local students as it is the only medical college in the city. Dr Atul Sachdeva said the move would certainly bring in more talent if seats increase this year. Dr Atul said the next date of the counselling was yet to be decided, but it was likely to be held this month.



PU announces admission schedule for language courses 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, has declared counselling and interview schedule for admission to certificate, diploma and advanced diploma courses in various departments. The counselling for admission to certificate, diploma and advanced diploma in German will be held on July 29 and 30 from 11 am to 1 pm in the Department of German, PU. The counselling for admission at the Department of 
Russian will be held on July 26 from 10 am to 5 pm. The counselling for admission to the certificate course in the Department of French and Francophone studies, PU, will be held on July 29 to 31 while counselling for diploma and advanced diploma will be held on August 1 at the department. The candidates have been asked to bring all the original certificates at the time of interview/counselling.

Coaching for UGC-NET at Panjab University

The Department of Life Long Learning and Extension, Panjab University, will organise free UGC-NET coaching classes for students belonging to SCs/STs/OBCs and minority communities in the third and fourth week of July. The enrolment forms are available at the university website. The forms are also available at the department. The University Grant Commission has sponsored the programme. The coaching will be provided for paper I of the UGC-NET exam. Highly-qualified faculty from various departments of the university campus and colleges has been roped in for providing coaching. Fifteen students of previous batches has already qualified the exam. Interested students can contact the department for classes on 0172-2541359, 2534335 and 2534336.



from schools
Children learn traffic rules

Students of Classes I and II at Kids 'R' Kids School, Sector 42, visited the Traffic Park to know about road safety rules today. The children recited rhymes and learnt about the the basic traffic rules through an animation movie.

A visit to circus

Students of Satluj Public School went to see the Apollo Circus at Sector 5, Panchkula, today. A special show was organised for them. The visit taught them how to face challenges bravely. Principal Krit Serai said," The art of performing circus is the traditional form of entertainment in India and is alive due the encouraging response from students."

Vanamahotsava celebrated

Vanamahotsava was celebrated with fervour at Scared Heart Senior Secondary School, Sector 26, Chandigarh. Saplings were demanded on the occasion. The students were apprised of the importance of planting trees and afforestation. The students organised various activities , spreading the message of tree conservation. — TNS



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