C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


BCom student overpowers snatcher
Tribune News Service

Paramjit Syan, the victimChandigarh, July 17
Alertness on the part of a BCom student of the Khalsa college in Sector 26 helped nab a snatcher minutes after he snatched a purse belonging to a woman in Sector 42 last night. High drama was witnessed when the student, Sachit Khanna, bashed up the snatcher.

Soon, a crowd gathered there and called the police. The police arrested the snatcher, Parkash. A case has been registered against him at the Sector 36 police station.

The incident occurred at 9 pm last night when 56-year-old Paramjit Syan, a resident of Sector 42, was returning home from a temple in Sector 43. As she reached a narrow lane near her residence, a person accosted her and snatched her purse. The woman raised the alarm. The youth pushed her to the ground, ran over her chest and fled away with the purse.

The student, Sachit, who was at his home in Sector 42-B, rushed outside on hearing the woman's screams and asked her what had happened. Paramjit told him that a youth had snatched her purse. Sachit then ran in the direction narrated by the woman and soon saw the snatcher running in Sector 43.

Sachit chased the snatcher and nabbed him. He then bashed him up following which a huge crowd gathered there. Paramjit also reached the spot and identified the snatcher. The police was called, which took the accused to the police station.

The police said the accused, Parkash, hailed from Uttarakhand and was unemployed. The accused created high drama when he was nabbed and attempted to smash his head with a huge stone before the police reached the spot.

Inspector Bhupinder Singh, SHO of the Sector 36 police station, said they had recommended a reward for the student as his alertness and bravery helped nab the snatcher.



He was drunk, says Sachit
Tribune News Service

Sachit Khanna, who nabbed the snatcher Chandigarh, July 17
“I was relaxing at home when my mother heard a woman screaming outside. The screams grew louder and louder. My mother called me and asked me to see what had happened. I rushed outside and saw the woman lying on the ground trying to get up,” said Sachit, a BCom second-year student of the Khalsa college.

“The woman told me how the youth snatched her purse and pushed her to the ground and fled. She said the youth stepped on her chest while fleeing so that she could not scream. I rushed in the direction narrated by her and soon spotted a youth with a white T-shirt running near the ground in Sector 43,” he said.

"I chased him and soon caught hold of the snatcher, who was drunk. I hit him hard with my knee and asked him where the purse was. He tried to hit me but I caught hold of his wrist. Soon, a crowd gathered there and he told me that the purse had been dumped in nearby bushes. The purse was soon recovered from there,” he said.

“Fearing that he would be arrested, the snatcher took a huge stone and tried to kill himself. I, along with another person, tightly held his hand and waited for the police, which arrived after 10 minutes,” he said.



Mohali taxi driver murdered, body dumped in canal
Kulwinder Sangha

Ram Shiromani Pal, the victimMohali, July 17
A local taxi driver was allegedly murdered by two persons who had hired the vehicle after which his body was thrown into a canal near Ludhiana. The deceased has been identified as Ram Shiromani Pal, alias Guddu, who worked as a driver at a Phase III taxi stand here.

Although the police today denied the arrest of the two suspects, sources said Simarjeet Singh and Raghbir Singh had been taken into custody.

According to reports, the two suspects had hired an Innova car from the taxi stand on the night of July 10. They claimed that they wanted to go to Ludhiana. On the way, they allegedly murdered Guddu and later threw his body into the Bhakra canal. The body was recovered by the Ludhiana police from near Dehlon. The Ludhiana police treated the body as unclaimed and cremated it after waiting for two days.

The matter came to the notice of the Mohali police after the taxi stand owner, Paramjit Singh, lodged a complaint with the Matour police here that he was unable to contact his driver or the two passengers who had hired the vehicle. The mobile phones of the three persons were in the switched off mode, he told the police.

Paramjit Singh is reported to have received a phone call on July 13 from the Meerut police in UP that his Innova car had been found abandoned.

It is learnt that on the basis of the mobile phone location, the Mohali police arrested the two suspects from Madanpur village in Phase II here.

Swarndeep Singh, SP (City), however, said a local police party had gone to Ludhiana in connection with the matter but a case of murder would only be registered after a report to that effect was received from that team. At present a case under Section 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) of the IPC had been registered. He denied that any arrests had been made so far. He said the motive behind the crime probably was to deprive the taxi driver of the vehicle.



City children in the grip of fever
There is no need to panic, say doctors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
With city hospitals being flooded with cases of children suffering from fever, some of them as young as one year old, doctors have advised parents not to panic and take their children immediately for consultation instead of self-medication.

More than 50 per cent of the cases reaching the paediatric OPDs at city hospitals are those of fever. Experts say the fever is being caused by a variety of infections and it is crucial to seek consultation.

Hot flushes and dizziness are common symptoms of high fever in children, the experts say, adding that if the fever shoots up, paracetamol is the only medicine that should be given to children.

“Paracetamol is a safe medicine even for newborns. But, the parents must not wait for long if the fever does not go down and must consult a doctor,” said Dr Ashok Saini, Senior Paediatrician at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16.

“There are a variety of causes of fever in children in this season and medication has to be given accordingly. It can be due to a viral infection or a bacterial infection. It is better to reach a hospital in time,” Dr Saini says.

Children should be given fluids, especially in this season, the experts add. Dr Neeraj Kumar, Senior Paediatrician at Chaitanya Hospital, Sector 44, says, “Over the past two weeks, we have received several cases of fever in children. Incidentally, a majority of these cases pertained to viral infection. In such cases, the fever lasts five to seven days, but there is no reason to panic.”

If the fever mounts to 101 degrees, sponging should be done to bring it down. Children are also developing mouth ulcers due to the fever these days. The parents must consult an expert in case the fever does not go down after a paracetamol dose.

What experts suggest

  • Parents must take note of lethargy in children
  • In case of fever, only paracetamol should be given
  • Consulting a doctor is a must if the fever does not go down after giving paracetamol
  • Fever usually stays for five to seven days; there is no need to panic

General precautions

  • Children must carry water from home
  • Outdoor games should be avoided during the rains
  • Warm liquids should be given to children regularly



Veggie prices shoot up, courtesy rain
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Due to a shortage in the supply of vegetables owing to heavy rainfall in the region, vegetable prices have shot up by about 50 per cent in past one week. The prices of vegetables have been affected primarily due to a shortage of stock.

The prices of tomato, beans, lemon, ginger and onion have shot up. Supervisor of the wholesale market Balwinder Singh said, "Our local stock has almost finished and vegetables from neighbouring states (Punjab and Himachal) are in short supply as crops get damaged due to rain."

The per kg cost of tomato, for instance, has gone up to Rs 40 from Rs 20 two weeks ago. Similar is the case with other vegetables, which have witnessed a hike of Rs 10 to 15 per kg.

Among fruits, the price of bananas has gone up to Rs 60 per dozen from Rs 40 two weeks ago.



Police uses water cannons on Haryana youths
Were protesting against TV serial 'Jodha Akbar'
Tribune News Service

A policeman looks at the broken window glasses of a police vehicle after the protest by Haryana youths in Dera Bassi on Wednesday
A policeman looks at the broken window glasses of a police vehicle after the protest by Haryana youths in Dera Bassi on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Chandigarh, July 17
A recently launched TV serial, "Jodha Akbar", led to a spate of protests in the city today, which ended after water cannons were used by the police on the protesters, leaving five youths injured.

Nearly 20 youths, claiming to be members of a community, demonstrated against the contents of the show at the rally ground in Sector 25. They alleged that the show had portrayed their community in poor light.

The protesters raised slogans against the director of the show and demanded a ban on the telecast of the show.

"Nobody has the right to depict our community in bad light. It appears to be a deliberate attempt by the director of the show to malign the image of the community," said one of the protesters.

These youths, belonging to Haryana, later created a ruckus at the Dera Bassi bus stand. They tried to block traffic and pelted vehicles with stones. Following the protest in Chandigarh, they were arrested by the Chandigarh police.

While they were being taken back to Haryana in a police vehicle that stopped at the Dera Bassi red lights, the youths got down and started pelting vehicles with stones on the national highway.

The Dera Bassi police reached the spot and controlled the situation. Meanwhile, the police tried to arrest them, but they fled from the spot. The protesters alleged that the serial depicted a sixteenth century love story of a "political marriage of convenience" between Mughal emperor Akbar and an "imaginary" Rajput princess Jodha, as shown in a film directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar earlier. They also claimed that Abul Fazal's "Ain-e-Akbari" and "Akbarnama" did not have any connection with Jodha Bai. They claimed that the facts had been twisted in the serial.Similar protests were staged against Ashutosh Gowarikar's movie, "Jodhaa Akbar", in 2008.



Noble cause: Employees chip in to marry off Nari Niketan inmate
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
“A new world has opened up for me,” said 20-year-old Geeta, an inmate of the Nari Niketan, after getting married to Dera Bassi-based businessman Rajesh Kumar at an old-age home in Sector 43 here today.

Geeta wants to complete her studies, which she had to discontinue eight years ago due to family problems. Geeta said she would appear for the Class X board examinations next year, for which she had already submitted her application.

Geeta, who hails from Himachal Pradesh, does not want to recall her past and how she lost her family. She said she was looking forward to making her future safe and secure with her partner.

She said she had lost her family, but senior citizens at the old-age home made her feel at home and took care of her wedding ceremony.

It was a festive occasion not only for the 20 inmates of the Nari Niketan, but also for senior citizens residing in the old-age home, who attended the wedding ceremony and gave their blessings to the couple.

The Social Welfare Department did not spend a single penny from the government coffers to organise the wedding ceremony. Instead, all employees of the Social Welfare Department, the Chandigarh Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and Minorities Financial and Development Corporation and the Chandigarh Child and Women Development Corporation contributed to the good cause, said UT Social Welfare Director Rajesh Jogpal. Local NGOs also chipped in with gifts for the bride.

He said to ensure a safe future for the inmates, the department had constituted a committee to select bridegrooms for them after placing advertisements in matrimonial columns of various newspapers. The prospective bridegrooms were interviewed by members of the committee to find a suitable choice.

The selected bridegroom had to undergo a blood test followed by police verification. A pre-marital counselling session for both the girl and the boy was organised by the department, in which the girl was acquainted about her rights after the wedding.

The Social Welfare Department has arranged such marriages earlier as well. Usha and Vanita, whose weddings were solemnised earlier, also attended the wedding with their families.


School buses give safety norms the go-by
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Schoolchildren continue to travel in unsafe school buses and auto-rickshaws in the city. This despite the State Transport Authority, Chandigarh, issuing 217 challans to school bus operators for violating the safety norms set by the Supreme Court.

Besides, 103 auto-rickshaws carrying school children were fined for overloading. A few days ago, the city traffic police impounded an overloaded auto-rickshaw and a PCR vehicle dropped the students back home.

School buses on the other hand has its own issues. The maximum number of challans issued between January 1 and June 20 was for operating buses without first-aid box. While 23 buses were found overloaded, 18 buses did not have fire extinguishers. Twentythree buses were found plying without speed governors, which keeps the speed of a bus under the permissible limit of 50 kmph. Three buses were found without conductor during an inspection carried out by the STA officials

The lack of coordination between various agencies and schools is affecting the supervision over the bus operators. More than 800 buses owned by private contractors ferry more that 4,000 students every day, but the number of violations is not coming down. Last year also, 270 challans were issued to school bus operators for flouting various norms.

A parent, Bhavneet said the overloading of school buses was a major issue, which should be taken up on priority.

Madhav Kaushik, Secretary, STA, said while the agency maintained proper enforcement, it would not be effective without parents' active participation. They are the one who should come forward and raise their voice against the overloading problem.

"We, at the STA, don't issue licences to bus operators without his agreement with the school concerned. Therefore, schools are equally responsible if private bus operators are not following the rules, he said

A parent Manish Kumar said unless the government made violations a non-bailable offence and permanently cancel licences of drivers and bus operators, violations would continue.

The STA had impounded 21 vehicles in the last six months but its officials said not many vehicles could be impounded because it would then become a big problem for schoolchildren and their parents.

Total challans 217 (Jan 1-30) in Chandigarh

  • For overloading 23
  • No first-aid box 42
  • Speed governor 23
  • Fire extinguisher 18
  • Sans conductor 3



Injured boys’ condition critical
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The condition of the two boys, who sustained grievous injuries in an accident in Kharar on Tuesday morning, continues to be critical. While 10-year-old Amanpreet's condition has slightly deteriorated, Iqbalpreet (13) continues to be on a ventilator.

Both the boys were rushed to the PGI at around 9 am after being critically injured in an accident. Both are students of Indus Public School, Kharar.

Another boy Harpreet Singh (13), Amanpreet’s brother, died at the PGI on Tuesday afternoon. The boys have suffered major injuries and continue to be in a comma.



P'kula Admn shuts eyes to violations
Hina Rohtki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 17
Most school buses sans safety grills and ply packed to their capacity, putting lives of schoolchildren to a grave risk in Panchkula. The authorities concerned have shut their eyes to these violations.

A reality check done by a Chandigarh Tribune team showed how bus owners continued to flout the norms despite several accidents where schoolchildren had lost their lives.

Commissioner of Police Rajbir Deswal said: “We keep checking school buses from time to time. There are certain directions which are incumbent on the school authorities as well. I will soon convene a meeting of the school authorities.”

It may be termed as a failure of the Police Department as well because despite issuing several challans to bus drivers of different schools and impounding many buses, they continue to flout the norms.

Anjali Marya, Principal of Chaman Lal DAV Public School, Sector 11, a bus of which was found without safety grills and the cover of the fuel tank inlet, said: “I will have to check up with my transport manager. The contractors must have added some vans to the fleet. I will definitely check with them.”

“We have repeatedly told the drivers to get safety grills installed on their buses and carry fewer children but they don’t listen to us,” said a parent of the school.



Mohali vehicles sans safety grills, proper first aid kits
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 17
Guidelines and directions given by courts as well as the Punjab Government norms on the plying of school buses are being flouted here, compromising children's safety. A team of Chandigarh Tribune found today that buses at different schools were not adhering to the norms.

The violations ranged from the lack of trained conductors proper first-aid boxes to the failure of the bus owners to display the name and the contact number of the schools concerned. In many cases, the bus drivers and the conductors were not wearing uniforms bearing their name tags.

Young drivers had no answer when the team wanted to know how many of them had at least five years' experience and a valid heavy vehicle licence. Most school managements claimed that the vehicles had been fitted with speed governors. The team did not see any overloading of buses.

St Soldier International Convent School, Phase VII, had hired 12 buses. No name of the school was mentioned on two buses, which also did not have safety grills on the windows. Certain items in the first-aid kits of a few buses had expired.

Vinender Tiwana, Principal of St Soldier School, said the drivers and conductors had been told that student safety was their primary concern. Shortcomings would be brought to the notice of the bus contractor and removed at the earliest.

Swami Ram Tirtha Senior Secondary Smart School in Phase IV had hired three buses. The team found that none of the drivers and conductors wore uniforms and the first-aid kits contained certain expired medicines.

When Sujata Sharma, school Director, was asked whether the drivers, who appeared to be in their early 20s, were adequately experienced, she said they had failed to show their heavy vehicle licences to the school authorities.

Of four school buses seen parked outside Gem Public School in Phase 3B2, one did not have the name or the contact number of the institution painted on it.

HS Midha, school Director, said he was not aware whether the buses hired by the institution had speed governors. He would ask the contractor to keep fresh medicines in the first-aid kits and remove other shortcomings.

Certain shortcomings were also noticed in buses being used by Smart Wonders School and Sant Isher Singh Public School.

Gurpreet Singh Bhllar, SSP, said a drive was earlier carried out along with the District Transport Officer to check school buses. The traffic officials concerned were asked yesterday to check whether the norms were being flouted by school buses.



19,040 children in P’kula govt schools found anaemic
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 17
In a survey conducted by the Panchkula Health Department, about 55 per cent children from all government schools in Panchkula were found to be anaemic. Hemoglobin test of all the students in Panchkula from classes 6 to 12 were conducted which revealed that as many as 19,040 out of the 34,424 students were anaemic, mostly girls.

Dr VK Bansal, Chief Medical officer (CMO), said now the department has decided to treat all the children and provide them iron treatment. For the purpose, he has deployed five health teams that will go in each government school and give iron tablets after the mid-day meal.

“Children have a poor diet. They prefer skipping their morning meals and take a burger over chapatti or the usual meals,” said Bansal.

He said, “Now our team will be going to each school and one iron tablet will be given to them every week after the mid-day meal.”

Dr Saroj Aggarwal, Deputy Chief Medical officer said, “The biggest mistake children do is that they skip morning meals. They are actually not aware that the basic metabolic rate comes down since the stomach remains empty the whole night. The brain needs some energy to start the day. If they don’t take morning meals, it will be like running a machine without fuel and subsequently the efficiency becomes zero.”

Most of the anaemic children were girls. According to the doctors, though in this age group, girls have menstrual loss but because of lack of proper diet, the blood loss is more.

“In majority of the schools, I found children having samosas or junk food after their school and then they skip their lunch even. It will actually make them obese and they will yield no results,” said the doctor.

The department will start a campaign, “Weekly Iron Folic Acid Supplementation”, from July 22.



Close shave for students as bus stop shed collapses in P'kula
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 17
Schoolchildren had a narrow escape when a bus stop shed on the road separating Sectors 9 and 16 collapsed today morning. Though no casualty was reported, it has exposed the state of affair in maintenance by the authorities.

After the incident, the contention given by the officials of the Municipal Corporation was that the sheds were constructed 25 years ago by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and have become old now, which led to the collapse.

Hundreds of children are picked and dropped by school buses from this shed.

OP Sihag, executive officer of the Municipal Corporation, said: “These sheds are quite old. We will reconstruct all sheds as per the new designs now.”

He said: “Water must have percolated in the same, because of which the incident took place. Thankfully, no one got injured.”

Vidya Sharma, a resident of Sector 9, said: “My son boards the school bus daily from this bus stop. Have the authorities shut their eyes?”

“If any building is 25-year-old that means it is obvious that it will collapse. It has pointed out the quality of material that has been used and also the maintenance done by the authorities,” said Rajesh Ahuja, a resident of Sector 15 Panchkula. All bus stop sheds in the district are in a sorry state of affairs. No efforts are being made to maintain them.



Monsoon weak in city so far
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The city received 68 mm less rainfall in the first fortnight of the current month as against the normal rainfall of 143 mm during this period near the airport. As per the met officials record, area near the Chandigarh Airport received 75 mm rainfall in the first fortnight of July. Due to weak monsoon in the region in the last fortnight, the city received rainfall in patches rather than all over the area.

Metrological Department director Surinder Pal Singh said in the past fortnight, the region received feeble monsoon winds due to which the city received rainfall in patches in a few sectors and others were left dry.

He said there was no indication of improvement of weather in the next 48 hours. The monsoon showers would improve after July 19 and the region would receive heavy rainfall after that.

As per the met record, due to drizzling in the city, the maximum temperature decreased by one notch, which was 34.8 degrees Celsius today, and the minimum temperature recorded was 26.4 degrees Celsius.

As per the Met Department forecast, there would be generally cloudy sky with thunder showers tomorrow and the maximum temperature would be 34 degrees Celsius.

Met officials said the city received less rain as the south-west monsoon had turned weak over the region becoming active again. The officials said the monsoon would be in an active mode from July 19 in the region and there should be a few more spells of rain.



GMADA to launch e-bidding for booth sites
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 17
For the first time in Mohali, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has decided to sell booth sites in developed sectors through e-bidding. The process to implement the decision has started and it will take about a month before the scheme is opened to the public.

Around 250 vacant booth sites in Sectors 53, 56, 59 , 61 , 64 and 68 are likely to be put to auction. The reserve price of the booth sites is being worked out by the GMADA authorities.

Meanwhile, the authority is also planning to extend the date of receiving payments in connection with the built-up booths sold in different sectors.

As many as 279 built-up booths were sold by GMADA and 75 per cent of the payment had to be deposited by the allottees by June 21.



Programme on ‘attitudinal change’ for UT cops ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
A three-day programme on attitudinal change for the Chandigarh Police personnel concluded today. Shashi Bhushan Sharma, Head-Operations, Vigilant India 247, who was the guest speaker, briefed about the contents of the programme.

During the programme, the lecture remain focused about establishing the aims, objectives and a certain psychological points about to be taken care of during the professional as well as personal life. An art of communication and the changes to be imbibed by the police force have been taught.

The main motive to conduct this programme was for inculcating a sense of discipline, integrity and responsibility towards policing activities of the police force. The police personnel were briefed about the attitudinal development and the ways to improve upon about the same.



Odissi dance performance leaves audience spellbound

Chandigarh, July 17
A performance of Odissi dance by Gurgaon-based dancer Vani Madhav at the Bhaskar Rao Auditorium in the Pracheen Kala Kendra, Sector 35, left the audience spellbound.

Organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations in collaboration with the Pracheen Kala Kendra, Vani began her performance with Panchvati highlighting the importance of five elements of nature - Fire, Air, Sky, Water, Earth - on our lives and how man-made crisis is creating the whole problem.

The last sequence of the performance ended with the worship of Lord Shiva. According to him, unlike other dance forms, silver ornaments are used during the Odissi performance. The costume is also inspired by the local Odissi custom.

“Torso and Tribhangi movements are mostly in this classical dance,” said the artiste, who has accomplished degree in Nrutya Visharad in first class from Akhila Bhartiya Gandharava Mahavidyalaya, Mandal, Bombay, and has over 25 years of experience in dancing. — TNS



BSNL contractual staff resent delay in salary disbursal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Around 100 contractual employees of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) are doing round of offices to get their salaries even after the delay of about 15 days. According to the norms of the department, all the contractors, who have hired employees for various BSNL services, are bound to disburse monthly salary by the 7th of every month.

The contractual employees' representatives today met the BSNL general manager for Chandigarh, JS Sahota, and apprised him of their problem. They told Sahota that even after the orders of the BSNL in November last year to pay salaries to the contractual employees through cheque or deposit it in their bank accounts, these orders had not been implemented. Neither provident fund of the contractual employees has been deducted nor their ESI cards made by the contractor.

The representatives stated that the BSNL had to issue them identity cards for field jobs but till date no action had been taken by the department in this direction.

Sahota stated a special meeting of all the contractors, who had not disbursed salaries so far, was being convened and the issue would be resolved amicably in the next two days.



Mismatched blood liver transplants successful

Chandigarh, July 17
Lack of a donor with the matching blood group no longer remains a barrier to liver transplant. A team of Medanta Liver Institute has successfully conducted blood group mismatched transplants in India (called ABO-incompatible transplant).

Three-year-old Zuana, 18-month-old Karthikey and 43-year-old Khushwinder (Punjab) are now enjoying normal lives after transplant with mismatched blood group donors. All of them had blood group O.

Dr AS Soin, Chief Liver Surgeon and chairman of the institute, said: “Normally, patients have antibodies (that can destroy the transplanted organ) against all other blood groups except their own. These antibodies can rapidly reject the transplanted liver. In order to make the patient accept such a liver (of a different blood group), these antibodies must be removed by a three-pronged strategy, which starts one month prior to transplant.” — TNS



Secretary visits GMCH

Chandigarh, July 17
Anil Kumar, Secretary, Medical Education and Research, along with Director-Principal, GMCH, and the representatives of the Urban Planning and Engineering Department, Chandigarh Administration, visited the Block-E of the GMCH, the Regional Institute of Mentally Handicapped, Sector 31, the residential area of the GMCH in Sector 48 and the site of Regional Trauma Centre, Sector 53, Chandigarh, here today.

The secretary urged everybody to hasten the progress of the construction and get the Block E functional at the earliest. It was also decided that the Regional Institute of Allied Health Sciences should not come up on the GMCH complex in Sector 32. The area behind the Block E should be developed as a sports-cum-recreational complex with some provision for car parking. — TNS



Alert couple foils robbery at P'kula

Panchkula, July 17
A robbery at an elderly couple's house in Sector 8 here was foiled early this morning after the couple raised an alarm. Three masked men had just removed the grill when owner of the house Inderjit Bhatia heard some noise.

According to the Sector 5 police station SHO Mukesh Kumar, three PCRs and the in charge of the Sector 7 police post immediately reached the house but the robbers managed to escape.

“The three robbers had removed the grill and were trying to open the bolt since the room was locked from inside. Bhatia heard them whispering,” said Kumar. He said: “He cried for help and even called the police control room. Fearing the police, they fled the scene.”

The police rounded up three youngsters.



Fee Hike issue
40 schools yet to furnish complete details
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Despite repeated reminders, nearly 40 local private unaided schools have yet not furnished their complete information regarding their academic and financial details to the three-member committee appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, probing the issue of fee hike for UT.

The committee headed by Justice (retd) RS Mongia first sent the questionnaire on May 16 followed by second reminder on June 6 and another reminder on July 2, whose last date was over today. Despite repeated attempts, the information sent by several private schools to the committee lacked crucial details, making it difficult for the committee to start its timely proceedings on the job entrusted to it by the court.

The committee has been appointed to probe the rationality in the fee hiked by private schools for the sessions 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Justice (retd) RS Mongia said so far, approximately 30 private schools submitted their details as asked by the committee and 40 schools lacked several crucial details in their reply. The information asked by the committee was crucial as it would form the base for their probe in this matter. The committee was against sending letters to the remaining schools for the information they missed in their previous replies and was expecting them to reply within next two weeks.

“In case, the schools don’t provide the information as asked by the committee, it will then have no other option but to place the status report of these schools before the High Court for further action, including recommendation for initiating contempt of court proceedings against them,” he said.

As per information, the committee has begun scrutinising the details of schools with complete information. Three-member committee, comprising two other members, including retired deputy director of UT education Pritpal Kaur and charted accountant Puneet Kansal, held a series of meetings last week and scanned the information received from various other schools. The committee members said they would positively visit each private school at least once and thoroughly probe the justification behind their overall expenditure.

Justice RS Monga said although no specific time had been fixed by the High Court to finish this probe, if the schools lend their cooperation, the committee would submit its report to the court within six months.

“Their response is not proper despite the court has clearly mentioned in its judgement on April 9 that the schools would render their full cooperation to the committee by submitting the accounts and other necessary information as demanded by the committee,” he said.

Justice Mongia said several schools had objections that the committee was charging a hefty fee from the schools. The committee was not charging anything for the meeting within its members and their paid hearing would be counted the day they would start visiting the schools for inspection or further schools ask for hearing on some matter.

“For 10 hearings of the committee, every school has not paid more than Rs 8,000 each,” he said.

As per the information, the details that the committee had asked from the schools included their sanctioned strength for each class, admission fee/registration fee, monthly tuition fee and other funds, besides their income and expenditure and sanctioned staff strength for academic sessions 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14.

The members clarified that the committee would probe reasonableness of fee for the sessions 2012-13 and 2013-14, but information for the session 2011-12 was required to form a base of their fee hike.



Scramble for hostel seats at city colleges
First-year students prefer hostels over paying guest accommodations

Chandigarh, July 17
Apprehending the safety of their wards in paying guest (PG) accommodations, given the fact that merely five of them are registered with the Administration, parents of first-year students have flooded the hostels of the city colleges pleading for seats.

While government colleges in the city are yet to start the allocation of hostel seats, a majority of the private colleges are witnessing a mad scramble for seats, seeing long waiting lists.

“We find parents of so many students requesting for hostel accommodation everyday. Parents of first-year students are being extremely apprehensive about sending their wards to PG accommodations. But we have our own limitations in allotting the seats,” said Gagandeep Sharma, chief warden at GGDSD College-32. The waiting list at hostels, especially those for girls, is on a consistent rise. Despite offering 900 hostel seats, for instance, MCM DAV College has over 500 students in waiting list. At GGDSD College, there are 150 students in waiting list, while there are 325 seats in girls’ hostel. The situation is similar at DAV College, Sector 10, where more than 100 students are in waiting list for about 413 seats in girls’ hostels.

“We have heard that while the PG culture is quite popular in Chandigarh, not many of them follow the rules and often portray the students as their tenants to escape the vigil of officials. They even ask the students not to reveal about their stay as PGs to anyone. Hostels at least do not have such misleading practices and ensure discipline and save cost,” said Kartar Singh, father of a first-year student at MCM DAV College, from Ludhiana.

According to coordinators at DAV College, Sector 10, the demand for hostels is going to multiply in the next few days as the counselling for some of the courses is still under process. — TNS



PU to adopt zero-tolerance policy against ragging
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Panjab University has decided to adopt a zero-tolerance policy against ragging in the current session. It has declared that any sort of ragging will be a cognisable offence and all forms of it have been banned inside and outside the campus.

The university has also declared helpline numbers for reporting any incident of ragging. The victim should immediately inform the concerned chairperson or warden, as the case may be. Besides, the students can also complain to the Dean Student Welfare, Dean Student Welfare (W), Deputy Registrar (DSW), chief security officer or security officers.

Mobile numbers of officers have also been published in the handbook of information and displayed on the PU website.

PU spokesperson said abetment to ragging, criminal conspiracy to rag, unlawful assembly and rioting while ragging, public nuisance created during ragging, violation of decency and morals through ragging, injury to body, causing hurt or grievous hurt, wrong restraint, wrongful confinement, use of criminal force, assault as well as sexual offences or unnatural offences, extortion, criminal trespass, offences against property, criminal intimidation, attempts to commit any or all of the above mentioned offences against the victim(s), physical or psychological humiliation and all such offences would be considered as ragging.

Ragging could be punished with cancellation of admission, suspension from attending classes and academic privileges, withholding/withdrawing scholarship/fellowship and other benefits, debarring from appearing in any test/ examination or other evaluation process.

The defaulters can be punished by withholding results, debarring from representing the institution in any regional, national or international meet, tournament, youth festival, suspension/expulsion from the hostel, rustication from the institution for period ranging from first to fourth semesters, expulsion from the institution and consequent debarring from admission to any other institution for a specified period, fine ranging between Rs 25,000 and Rs 1 lakh and rigorous imprisonment up to 3 years.

When the person committing or abetting the crime of ragging is not identified, the respective institution will resort to collective punishment.

Dean Students Welfare Prof AS Ahluwalia said in 2012-13, no incident of ragging occurred in the campus and credit for this goes to the students, faculty and staff members of the university. “We look forward to complete harmony in future also,” he said.



10 get Amrita Sher-Gil Samman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
As many as 10 personalities of Chandigarh were today honoured with the Amrita Sher-Gil Samman at the Government Art Gallery and Museum, Sector 10, here. Conferred by the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, the award was given to them in recognition of their distinguished contribution to the field of art.

Shivraj V Patil, Governor of Punjab, and Administrator, UT, Chandigarh, was the chief guest, who honoured the artists.

The personalities who got the Amrita Sher-Gil Samman by the akademi were Nek Chand, the creator of Rock Garden, BN Goswamy, scholar, Indian art, Dr DC Bhattacharya, art historian, Jodh Singh, painter, Shiv Singh, sculptor, painter, designer and teacher, Malkit Singh, artist, Balvinder, artist and former principal of Government College, Sector 11, Satwant Singh, artist, S Raj Kumar, artist, and Nirupama Dutt, known for art criticism, cultural writing, Punjabi poetry and short fiction. Those honoured were awarded with a citation, a shawl and cash award.

Governor Shivraj Patil emphasised the need for the art in society and ensured full support to the academy.




Tentative merit list

Panjab University has declared the tentative merit list for admission to BA/BCom LLB (Hons) five-year integrated courses at the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), Chandigarh, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana. The tentative list has been uploaded on the website http://uglaw.puchd.ac.in for filing of objections, if any. Candidates can email their objections at uglaw@pu.ac.in mailto: uglaw@pu.ac.in before 10 AM on July 19. Merit marks have been calculated taking 50 per cent of the class XII percentage, including weightage (if any) and 50 per cent of the UG entrance test score. The tentative merit list for the sports category will be uploaded after getting the grading from the Sports Department.

Provision for scholarships

Any individual, institution or trust can start monthly or annual scholarship, lectures, medals or cash prizes by donating some fixed amount for the benefit of Panjab University (PU) students. The university has made this provision for individual, institution or trust to start annual incentives in memory of someone near and dear as part of the Special Endowment Fund. The meritorious, needy and deserving students are paid annual scholarship/ medals/cash prize by the income generated through interest on the donated amount. These incentives and scholarships are published in the PU handbook of information and are also posted on the PU website so that the students could be motivated and benefited. For instituting annual or monthly scholarships, one needs to donate Rs 4 lakh or $10,000 or £6,500. So far, 64 monthly or annual scholarships in different categories are being given to the meritorious and deserving PU students of various courses and colleges. These scholarships range from Rs 100 to Rs 800 per month and Rs 1,000 per annum to Rs 30,000 per annum.

Counselling schedule

Panjab University has declared the counselling/ interview schedule for admission to the Biochemistry Department at the university. The first counselling for admission to MSc (HS) in the Department of Biochemistry will be held on July 19 at 2.30 PM in the Department of Biochemistry, PU, for all categories. Attendance of applicants at the time of the counselling is must. The candidates have been asked to bring original certificates/documents at the time of the interview/counselling.

Revised schedule

Panjab University has announced the revised counselling schedule for admission to BEd in various colleges of Chandigarh. Counselling for the Scheduled Caste category in the UT pool will be conducted at 9 AM on July 19 at Law Auditorium on PU campus. Counselling for the physically handicapped, freedom fighters and defence category in the general pool will be conducted at 9.30 AM on July 19, freedom fighter of the UT pool at 10.30 AM, defence category of the UT pool at 12 noon, sports category of the UT and general pool at 1 PM on July 19. The students have been asked to regularly update themselves by referring BEd admission website http://www.bedadmissions.puchd.ac.in

Induction programme

For the newcomer students of BSc (Hospitality) and BSc (Tourism), the University Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism today started a five-day induction programme. The programme was inaugurated by the Dean (Research), Panjab University, Chandigarh, Prof Lalit K. Bansal, and would conclude on July 22. In this programme, the new entrants will be exposed to the requirements of the hospitality industry. Besides management games, students will be put to soft skills training. On the last day of the programme, these newcomers will visits hotels and different sight-seeing places in Chandigarh. — TNS




Vanamahotsava celebrated

Vanamahotsava was celebrated with great enthusiasm by NSS Volunteers of DAV Model School, Sector 15-A. The pre-primary students of DAV-15 were apprised of the importance of trees for the existence and survival of mankind. The teacher trainees presented a song and dance programme to highlight the value of plants to increase the awareness of the tiny tots about tree plantation. A tree plantation drive was also organised and various fruit and ornamental trees were planted in and around the school by the students. Principal Dr Rakesh Sachdeva motivated the students to spread the message of “Each One Plant One” far and wide.

Career-oriented workshop

Youths take part in a career-oriented workshop held at Saupin's-32
Youths take part in a career-oriented workshop held at Saupin's-32. A Tribune photograph

Saupin's-32 had the privilege to host a career-oriented workshop for Class X students on the school premises. The workshop was conducted by Wing Commander Jaideep Singh Jaijee and his team to inspire children to enroll themselves in the armed forces. He was accompanied by the Air Squadron NCC to motivate children to join the Army as it is the need of the hour. Their brief talk on how defence services can offer a lucrative career was indeed an eye opener for the young aspirants. Principal ABS Sidhu thanked the guest for their lecture. Pamphlets were distributed among the children to add more information to their queries. Vice-principal Surita Sharma appreciated the effort made by the distinguished personalities to raise career awareness.

Environment week

Environment week was celebrated at Government Model High School, Sector 39-C. Poems and speeches were delivered on environment in the morning assembly.

St Anee’s School, Mohali

World Environment Day was celebrated at St Anee’s School, Mohali, to raise global awareness among students. Various competitions such as drawing, poetry, slogan-writing, debate and essay-writing were held in the school. Students of the pre-primary wing planted saplings on the occasion. Principal Harpreet Grewal addressed the students and stressed upon the need to conserve and protect the environment.

Fire-fighting drill

Keeping in mind the increasing probability of natural and man-made disasters, a fire-fighting drill was organised at Saint Soldier International School, Sector 28, Chandigarh, for the students of Classes X to XII. Lt. Col. Dharmendar Thakur conducted this drill by informing the students about the causes of fire breakout and the usage of various types of fire extinguishers. The students asked questions and participated enthusiastically. The students were given a hands-on experience through practical demonstration of using fire extinguishers.

‘Fun in math’

Teachers of Banyan Tree School organised ‘fun in math’ activity to generate the interest of students for this subject. Pre-primary teachers used number cards to teach sequencing of numbers and arranging them in ascending-descending order. Each child was given a chance to arrange the numbers in the order mentioned by the teachers. Singing number rhymes while standing on the stairs was another bonanza for the students.

Best out of waste competition

Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali, organized a “Best out of Waste” competition in which students of Classes V to X participated. They made beautiful models of different things, thereby giving the message of recycling and reusing the waste things at home. Models like wall hanging using magazine, Taj Mahal using empty injection bottles, a beautiful ship using 5 paisa coins and pen holder with crushed paper were displayed by the students. The students showed unique, creative and innovative ideas of their own.

St Xavier’s

Various activities were organised for students of St Xavier’s, Mohali. Seniors participated in Twin Quin Turdle where they showcased their talent in the field of acting, singing and advertisement jingles. Students of the middle wing honed their speaking skills with Hindi declamation and also tested their vocabulary by participating in crossword. The tiny tots also had a nice time solving puzzles and splashing colours on their drawing sheets. — TNS



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