C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


1 killed, 41 hurt in accidents 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 21
A 70-year-old woman was killed and 40 others were injured in separate road accidents due to overloading of vehicles in Kalka and Pinjore today.

In the first incident, an auto-rickshaw carrying 12 persons, including four children, overturned near Maddawala village of Pinjore. In another incident, 29 persons were injured when a pick-up van overturned near Paploa village in Kalka.

Both the vehicles were carrying passengers from the Kalka railway station to Nawanagar where a ‘satsang’ was to be held. The passengers hail from Delhi and Panipat and had come by a train to the Kalka railway station to attend the ‘satsang’.

The deceased was identified as Munni. She was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, where she breathed her last.

A total of 17 persons were referred to the GMCH-32, three to the PGI and six to the Sector 6 General Hospital in Panchkula. Passengers with minor injuries are undergoing treatment at the Kalka Civil Hospital.

Station house officer of the Pinjore police station inspector Raj Kumar said both the vehicles lost balance due to overloading and turned turtle. “The vehicles were also being driven at a high speed,” said the SHO.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashwin Shenvi said: “Special drives are carried out to check overloading of vehicles. Violators will be taken to the task.”



HC breather for residents
Says action cannot be taken on the basis of old policy 
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
In a significant order expected to benefit 50,000 residents of the city, who have been blamed for carrying out “need-based changes” in the flats of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), the Punjab and Haryana High Court said the action could be initiated against them only under the yet-to-be-notified new policy.

The directions came on a bunch of petitions filed by Sukhjit Singh and other petitioners. In one of the petitions filed through counsel Ashok Sharma Nabhewala, the petitioners had contended that the allottees and occupants had been approaching the CHB and the UT Administration for permitting them to carry out need-based additions and alterations in the dwelling units due to increase in population and requirements.

The respondents identified and allowed 40 types of need-based changes. In October 2008, the UT Administration issued notification permitting need-based changes, superseding the previous notification of May 2001.

Following the UT Administration’s notification, the CHB passed an order on March 23, 2010, specifying October 27, 2009, as the cut-off date “in respect to additions/alterations permitted to be regularised”. The time prescribed in the order was up to March 23, 2011. The allottees and occupants were also required to inform the board within 30 days.

Some residents came to know about the developments and informed the authorities concerned, but a large number of residents were not aware and could not inform the functionaries.

Consequently, they were issued notices. After giving them an opportunity to demolish the alteration, the respondent board started the process of pulling down the alterations and construction. Opportunity was not given to them to seek permission for the regularisation of need-based alterations before the expiry of the time prescribed in the order (March 23, 2011).

Nabhewala said: “The board acted arbitrarily and demolished the constructions.”

In the petitions, directions were sought to stop the demolition of dwelling units constructed by the CHB till the decision of the writ petition. Directions were further sought to the respondents to fix the responsibility of the officials who had carried out the demolition before the expiry of time prescribed in the order, especially when the alteration/ changes had been permitted to be compounded.

Taking up the matter, the Bench of Justice SK Mittal and Justice MS Chauhan directed that action would not be taken on the basis of the old policy stemming from the orders dated October 23, 2010. 

Need-based changes in CHB flats

The directions came on a bunch of petitions filed by Sukhjit Singh and other petitioners. In one of the petitions filed through counsel Ashok Sharma Nabhewala, the petitioners had contended that the allottees and occupants had been approaching the CHB and the UT Administration for permitting them to carry out need-based additions and alterations in the dwelling units due to increase in population and requirements. 



Man stabbed to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
The police has booked three persons for allegedly killing a man at Hallo Majra this evening. The victim, Vinod, was stabbed multiple times in the head and chest and his throat was slit. The police has arrested Rajkumar and his wife Archana, while the third accused, Sonu, is on the run.

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

The police said Rajkumar’s wife Archana developed relations with her colleague Vinod at a factory in Ram Darbar. Vinod also used to visit her residence.

When Rajkumar got to know about their affair, he along with his cousin Sonu planned to kill Vinod. The police said the accused invited Vinod at their residence this evening. Rajkumar then took Vinod to a room where he and Sonu attacked him with a sharp-edged weapon multiple times.

Neighbours heard the screams and called the police. The victim was rushed to a hospital where he was declared brought dead.

The police arrested Rajkumar and his wife Archana, as she was also aware of the conspiracy. 



Twin road mishaps on Madhya Marg 
Priest run over by PCR Gypsy; Home Guards volunteer injured 
Tribune News Service

The head constable being taken to a hospital in an auto-rickshaw in Chandigarh on Sunday.
The head constable being taken to a hospital in an auto-rickshaw in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari 

Chandigarh, July 21
A speeding Gypsy of the Chandigarh Police Control Room (PCR) that was late in reaching an accident spot mowed down a 70-year-old man on the road separating Sectors 8 and 18 on Madhya Marg this afternoon.

The PCR Gypsy was chasing an auto-rickshaw ferrying an injured police head constable when it hit a pedestrian in the middle of the road. The victim, Babu Ram Pathak, was a priest at Sheetla Mata Mandir in Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26. He succumbed to his injuries at the PGI.

The police has arrested the driver of the Gypsy, Home Guards volunteer Ashok Kumar, in a case of causing death due to negligence under Section 304-A of the IPC. He has been placed under suspension. A regular departmental inquiry has also been marked against him. The damaged PCR Gypsy has been impounded.

The first mishap took place around 1.45 pm at the Sector 7/8 roundabout when a UT police head constable, identified as Prince, was hit by an unidentified car. Two women constables on duty at the roundabout flashed numerous messages on the wireless for a PCR van to be rushed to the spot for ferrying the injured policeman to the hospital. The injured head constable lay in a pool of blood and was shifted on the green belt alongside the road. As no PCR vehicle arrived, the policewomen hired an auto-rickshaw to ferry the injured to the Sector 16 hospital.

A PCR Gypsy (CH-1-GA-6112) reached the accident spot. When the PCR men were told that the injured was being ferried in an auto-rickshaw. The PCR men spotted the auto-rickshaw and asked the driver to follow it. When the Gypsy was following the auto, it hit a temple priest who was crossing the road.

The priest was rushed to the PGI in the same vehicle where he succumbed to his injuries. Meanwhile, the condition of the head constable is critical. The priest reportedly came in front of the Gypsy all of a sudden.


The incident exposes the lapses in the working of the PCR as the Gypsy not only arrived late at the accident spot, but was chasing the auto-rickshaw which was already ferrying the injured. It was this reckless chase that claimed the life of the temple priest. 


No stopping overloading of vehicles
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 21
Fatal mishaps due to overloading have failed to move the authorities. Schools buses, pick-up vans, mini-buses and auto-rickshaws continue to violate rules.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashwin Shenvi said, "Nakas are being laid to check overloading.Violators will be challaned."

On May 3 this year, five persons were killed while nine others suffered injuries after a truck collided head-on with a cab which was overloaded with passengers.

There were 14 persons in the cab. In charge of the Panchkula traffic wing Tejinder Singh said, "Nakas will be laid on the Panchkula-Baddi road. Traffic policemen will be deployed in Pinjore and Kalka."

He stated, "We have issued so many challans but still the violators don't mend their ways. Passengers should think twice before sitting in an overloaded auto." A few days ago, three children had suffered injuries after they fell off an overloaded bus. "Overloading can only be stopped if the police starts dealing with violators sternly," said Gunjan Sharma, a resident of Sector 4, Panchkula. 



Residents oppose demolition in CHB flats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
The CHB Residents Federation today took out a rally in protest against the demolition notices being issued by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB).

Members expressed concern over an the board's decision to carry out a demolition drive in the CHB flats.

They said the Administration was not regularising need-based changes on the lines of Delhi, Haryana, and Punjab.

The members said the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding the demolition had stopped the Chandigarh Housing Board from going ahead with the vast destruction of costly need-based structures built in almost all 48,000 houses.

The members decided to start a new phase of their ongoing campaign 'Aasin Yaad Rakhange'. "To protest against the demolition, office-bearers who have already formed action committees in all CHB sectors will gather at the place where a demolition drive is being carried out," they said.

They said the campaign had started and a large number of residents will oppose the drive.

It was also decided that the federation would take out a rally and march towards the UT Administrator’s house.

They demanded that the transfer of ownership, freehold and sale of a dwelling unit should be allowed.

All sound structures in the CHB and Rehabilitation Colonies that are within the plot-area and within the story-line should be regularised, power of attorney holders in Rehabilitation Colonies should be given ownership rights and any additional construction in small houses should be regularised by charging reasonable compounding fee, they added.



Stagnant water at Sector 49 worries residents 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
Fearing a malaria outbreak, residents of Goodwill Enclave, Sector 49, approached the civic body officials asking them to drain out stagnant water from the area, but to no avail.

The officials have made no effort to get the area cleaned.

The stagnant water has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

If timely action is not taken, the residents can become a victim of dengue, malaria or a snake bite.

Dirty water accumulated in the society, spread over 2-3 acres, needs to be drained out at the earliest.

Residents have been repeatedly writing to the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation (MC) for over three years, but the authorities have failed to act. Harbans Singh, a resident of Goodwill Enclave, said the area was flooded with water.

The area is next to the Safari Park. "We approached officials of the engineering department and they constructed a bridge on the V5 road in 2003. But still water accumulates in the area," he said. The residents said the drainage system remained choked. "It is difficult to live in such unhygienic conditions. There is always a fear of an outbreak,"they said. 



Open House Response
Replace old CTU buses: Residents 

The old fleet of CTU buses that has outlived its life continue to ply on the roads. The safety and convenience of commuters has been ignored the CTU bosses. Frequent breakdowns and midway engine failures have failed to move the CTU bosses. These old buses do not have legible destination display boards. Due to this problem, commuters, particularly senior citizens, miss their bus frequently besides facing from other troubles. In a city like Chandigarh where central grants are not a problem, such old buses must be periodically checked. The condemned ones be consigned to the junkyard.

S C Luthra, Manimajra

Administration should go for mini buses

The safety of passengers in the mini buses, having a length of 10 metres, and the medium buses, having a length of 7.5 metres , is much more than the long low-floor buses. The expenditure on running the small buses is less as compared to other buses.While the seating capacity of the medium buses, as approved by the Centre was 42 seats, the long low-floor buses had a capacity of 42 seats, same as the mini buses. Besides the seating and safety aspect, the low-floor buses incur an expenditure of Rs 27 per km on diesel whereas they earn Rs 25 per km. The low-floor buses cost anything between Rs 60 lakh to Rs70 lakh and a medium bus costs around Rs 28 lakh.

Bhupinder Singh, President CTU Workers’ Union

Open house question

Hazardous chemical calcium carbide is being extensively used in the city markets for artificial ripening of fruits, especially mangoes, right under the nose of the health authorities. The irony is that everyone is aware of the matter yet nobody reports. In fact, there is no mechanism available for common man to test the use of the chemical in fruits he buys. The effects of the chemically-ripened fruits are life threatening. In such a situation, what should be done to curb the use of such a chemical. Write your suggestions to openhouse@tribunemail.com

Send ageing fleet to junkyard

The old buses running for the last 30-40 years must be discarded and must be given to junk dealers through auctions. These buses are playing a havoc with the lives of people. Even, the new low-floor buses have not proved to be commuter friendly. Because of their long size, they are difficult to move on the city roads and the roads are small. Even the drivers find it difficult in handling these buses due to their extra length. The CTU drivers do not worry about the traffic rules and drive rashly. The recent killing of a lady, while riding a two-wheeler at the Sector 10 road is an example of this. The CTU authorities should go for standard-sized buses and all buses should be air-conditioned besides charging normal fares.

R K Kapoor. Chandigarh

Proper maintenance needed

To make CTU buses safe, proper maintenance should be carried out. The old buses should be replaced with the new ones. Some busdrivers talk on mobile phones while driving, which is not safe. Registration number of buses and helpline should be displayed inside bus cabins, which can be useful in case of an emergency. The seats meant for senior citizens are generally occupied by women and others though there are some seats marked for women. Nobody is there to check it.

IPS Anand, Manimajra

Modernisation of buses

A few months ago, the CTU had taken a step for its modernisation with the installation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) in its buses, providing people a facility to check the arrival time of the buses through mobile. The decision was taken to keep a tab on the mileage of buses besides other things. A facility will be provided, wherein passengers will be able to know the location and the arrival time of the buses mobile. Electronic ticketing machines will also be introduced under the proposal. A variety of data will also be collected and analysed to increase the efficiency of the bus service. This will include data about the number of passengers travelling on particular routes. This will help in identifying the more popular routes where more buses could be plied on later. The ways and means of improving the mileage will be taught to the bus drivers, whose buses are giving low mileage. Besides, the CTU workshops will also be computerised.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

No action plan for passengers’ safety

The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) has learnt no lesson from the three incidents of fire in the low-floor buses in the last six months. Surprisingly, a fortnight ago, an enquiry was ordered through a technical committee to find the reasons behind the incidents but the findings have not been made public so far. The CTU has failed to propose any action plan for passengers' safety. The CTU need to improve the bus service. The CTU has ignored the need to replace more than 100 low-floor buses, which were purchased in 2004 and have major technical glitches. Moreover, about 100 old buses, which were condemned in 2012 are still running on different routes.

Puran Kant, Chandigarh

Need customer alerts

The CTU should provide the best bus service at the best possible price and should be committed to ensure commuters safety. It should prevent any damage to its property. The old fleet of buses needs immediate replacement. The bus conductor should be polite and helpful. The aged and infirm need to be properly cared of while boarding and alighting a bus. The CTU need to have bus trackers that use GPS devices to report bus location data. Customer alerts should be there throughout the week. There should be a control room to tell people about the the service available during particular hours in the day or night.

Ajit Singh, Canada

Train technical staff

The poor maintenance of the CTU buses has led to frequent fire outbreaks in the buses in the past few days. The UT Administration has been accused of a foul play in the purchase of low-floor buses. There is a shortage of staff and the Chandigarh Administration has failed to procure new buses. Due to these reasons, the safety of passengers is being comprised. To ensure the safety of commuters, the technical staff deployed at the CTU workshops should be trained for the purpose. The fire in the buses is due to diesel leakage. The bus engine is at the rear side where sometimes driver is not able to notice the leakage. Such technical defects must be corrected.The buses must be equipped with fire extinguishers.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

No need of long buses

Going by the length of the roads in the tricity, the Chandigarh Administration should not go for long buses as they cause accidents and pose a threat to the life of passengers. The long low-floor buses with entry door in the middle pose threat to passengers. Besides causing accidents, more funds are required to run these buses. To provide better services to commuters, the CTU should fill the vacant posts of drivers, conductors and maintenance staff.

Devi Dyal Sharma Member, UT Advisory Council 



Sudhir Pandey captivates audience
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
The concluding day of HIFA cultural bonanza saw acclaimed table player Sudhir Pandey taking the centre stage with his splendid performance at Punjab Kala Bhawan today.

Pandey, who rendered compositions in Dadra Tal, Teen Tal and Kaharwa Tal, has shared the stage with legends such as Vilayat Khan, Pandit Jasraj, Amjad Ali Khan, and Girija Devi.

“Not many in this country are keen to take to percussion as it’s a dying art. We, however, will never stop trying to keep it alive,” said Pandey during his performance. Pandey has also been awarded a national fellowship by the Indian government for improving the cultural heritage of the country.

Today’s function commenced with the felicitation of state-based artistes. Kumari Shelja, Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, gave away the prizes to budding and young artistes, including Priyanka Batra, Amarjeet, Pardeep Kumar, Yeg Kishore Bangar, Rishi Raj Tomer, Pavanendra Kumar Tiwari and Anchal Wadhwa.

Emphasising on the preservation of our culture and art, the minister mooted a Lalit Kala Academy and a Sangeet Natak Academy for Haryana. The concluding day of the cultural bonanza was attended by dignitaries such as Lalit Kala Akademi chairman KK Chakravarty; Vice Chancellor of Kurukshetra University Major General DDS Sandhu (retd), and chairman, Lalit Kala Akademi, Chandigarh, Diwan Manna.



Another student dies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
Ten-year-old Amanpreet, who had suffered serious injuries in an accident between a school bus and a private transport bus on the Kharar-Ludhiana highway near Mamupur village, succumbed to his injuries at the PGIMER today. Mehakpreet (16), a student of Class X at Indus Public School in Nawanshahr Badala village, and the bus driver, Harinder Singh (45), had died on the spot while Harpreet Singh (13), a student of Class VII, had died at the PGI.

Another 13-year-old boy, Iqbal preet, is battling for life at the PGIMER. The accident took place at 7 am on Tuesday.

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. 



Govt’s bid to ease congestion

Mohali, July 21
The Punjab Government will be spending Rs 800 crore on the construction of 200-ft wide Mohali-Zirakpur-Peer Muchhalla road.

This was stated by NK Sharma, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Industries and Commerce. Sharma said, “The project will ease congestion at Zirakpur, Peer Muchhalla and Chandigarh." He said work on the Mohali-Zirakpur-Ambala road would also be completed by December.An amount of Rs 450 crore will be spent on the 20-km road connecting Chandigarh-Ambala road to Mohali and Kharar via Chhat village. “Once the work is completed, people coming from Ambala and those going to Delhi from Kharar need not enter Chandigarh," said Sharma.— TNS



Jaitley roars in Bansal’s den
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
Senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition (Rajya Sabha) Arun Jaitley today launched a scathing attack on former Union Railway Minister Pawan Bansal.

He said Bansal's nephew's involvement in a corruption case had tarnished the image of the city.

Jaitley was addressing members of the Bharatiya Janata Party State Executive at Sector 37.

Jaitley said the Congress was indulging in 'Crony Capitalism'.

“The Congress has been misusing the CBI to save its ministers and the others. For the survival of the party, the CBI goes soft on the SP and the BSP leaders under investigation. They have even attacked the IB for vote-bank politics. The party should remember one thing that it is not the CBI, but the people who vote for its leaders."

On the economic front, he said even Indian businessmen were not willing to invest in the country.

"With the current account deficit having become unmanageable, instead of working to improve the economy, the Congress wants to open its coffers to buy votes," he said. 



Pamper your pets this monsoon
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

A dog undergoes treatment at Government Petcare Centre, Panchkula.
A dog undergoes treatment at Government Petcare Centre, Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal 

Panchkula, July 21
With the advent of monsoon, it’s the time to pamper your pets with special a body spa and pedicure. The Government Petcare Centre in Sector 3, Panchkula, has introduced a special monsoon package of medicated baths, pedicure and spa at their canine beauty parlour. Dr MR Singla, in charge of the centre, said the whole process was of 45 minutes. “Initially, after a massage with a herbal cream, medicated bath is given. It is given using anti-fungal body wash. After that conditioning, drying and grooming is done,” said Singla.

This ranges between Rs 150-300. He further added, “For those pets that have weak legs due to partial paralysis, a hydrotherapy using an anti-septic lotion is given for about 15-20 minutes. Lukewarm water is used as per the outside temperature.” It includes eye cleaning of dogs. The purpose for pedicure is to save pets from fungal infections due to rains. In the months of July and August, when dogs walk on wet grass, there is a possibility of developing fungal infections. Cracks develop in the inter-spaces of paws so we do their pedicure using an anti-fungal cream and shampoo," he said. 



Encroachments galore, no check on vendors in Mohali 
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 21
In absence of any check by the authorities concerned, encroachments by small time vendors in the main markets of the town continues unabated.

These vendors set up stalls everyday, particularly during the evening, on the pavements in front the shops in the main markets, creating trouble not only for the shopkeepers but also for people.

Several members of the market associations in the town accused the Mohali Municipal Corporation of being hand in glove with these vendors.

“They (the MC officials) take hafta (weekly extortion) from every stall owner," alleged several shopkeepers.

Talking on the issue, Sarabjit Singh, president of the Fashion Market Welfare Association, Phase 7, said they had given several representations to the authorities concerned in this connection, but nobody bothered to check the nuisance.

“You just take a round of our market in the evening hours, you would find at least 75 stalls on the pavement. We are fed up with these unauthorised shopkeepers as they are affecting our business,” said Sarabjit Singh, a jeweller.

"The main market of the area has started giving a look of a farhi market," said Taranjit Singh, another shopkeeper, who runs a cloth shop in the market.

"Some vendors are using stoves and gas cylinders for preparing eatables. Who would be responsible if something bad happens due to these dangerous items," added Taranjit Singh. 



Mohali to get a facelift 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 21
The Mohali administration is spending Rs 4.47 crore on fixing paver blocks and other development works at various places in the town. The work is expected to be completed in three months.

This was stated by Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu. He said an amount of Rs 16.94 lakh would be spent on fixing swings and rides in amusement parks. Over Rs 8.96 crore was being spent on repair, maintenance and premix work on internal roads of the town. Work on some of the internal roads had been completed, he said.

Sidhu said Rs 19.82 lakh would be spent on the development of the parking area near Bassi Theatre.

More than Rs 3.37 crore would be spent on fixing paver blocks at various places, he said. Besides, Rs 16.43 lakh would be spent on making the footpath from Hotel Franco to the market complex in Phase I.

He said a modern garbage collection centre would be constructed in the town at a cost of Rs 46.22 lakh. He added that Rs 14 lakh would be spent on cleaning of the sewage in the Phase IX of Industrial Area.

"A sum of Rs 60.59 lakh will be spent on development works near a gaushala in Phase I, Industrial Area.

Sidhu said Rs 71.85 lakh would be spent on the fixing of paver blocks in ward number 27 of Phase III-B2. "More than Rs 1.11 crore will be spent on the fixing of paver blocks in ward number 17 of Phase XI and Rs 53.60 lakh will be spent on ward number 23 of Phase VII," said the Deputy Commissioner, adding that Rs 16.03 lakh would be spent on the fixing of paver blocks in Sector 48.

Rs 46.22 lakh for modern garbage collection centre

Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said a modern garbage collection centre would be constructed in the town at a cost of ~46.22 lakh. He said ~14 lakh would be spent on cleaning of the sewage in Phase IX of Industrial Area.



180 CU students get job offers
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 21
As many as 180 students pursuing their Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University School of Business at Chandigarh University, Gharuan, have received offer letters from various renowned multi-national companies.

“The top achiever, Shriya Sinha, who has been recruited by International Travel and Tourism Company with a pay package of Rs 7.31 lakh, has managed to get as many as three offers.

With seven students getting over three offer letters and as many as 26 getting placed in more than two companies, the average pay package received by the students is Rs 2.75 lakh,” said the Vice-Chancellor of Chandigarh University, Dr RS Bawa.

The Vice-Chancellor said reputed multinational companies such as IBM, CITI Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, HDFC Bank, ITC Ltd, ICICI, TATA, Naukari.com, Asian Paints, Ambuja Cements, Satguru Travels, Indiabulls, Just Dial and Extra Marks have selected the students to work 
for them.



Chandigarh  scan

Executive Members of the ICAI (Chandigarh chapter) met Dr Sudha Sharma, chairperson, Central Board of Direct Taxes, on Sunday. He was in the city for the very first time after assuming the charge in June, 2013. A delegation of chartered accountants led by Krishan Joshi, chairman, ICAI, had a meeting with her. They also met Jaspal Singh, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax Department, Chandigarh, and other officers of the department. The ICAI honoured Dr Sudha Sharma and submitted a memorandum, wherein they gave their suggestions on the simplification of tax procedures and e-filing portal of the Income tax Department.

Saplings planted

Members of the Lions Club, Chandigarh Greater, visited Government Middle School, Sector 46, and planted 60 saplings with the children of the school. Sushil Kapoor, president of the club, CP Vohra alongwith zone chairperson SK Rana addressed the schoolchildren and exhorted them to take care of the environment so that their future was secure and the tragedies like Uttarakhand were not repeated again. Lion Sushil Kapoor praised the school authorities for having an eco-friendly 
environment on the school premises.

Talk on ‘Haiku and Healing’

The First Friday Forum organised a talk on “Haiku and Healing” today.Dr Angelee Deodhar, eye surgeon-poet-artist at the Punjab Kala Bhawan presented the talk. She said the Haiku writing was a form of meditation, starting with an intensification of noticing what was going on in the everyday world.

Multimedia hall

A PTU sponsored multimedia state-of-the-art digital lecture hall for postgraduate classes in engineering was inaugurated at Doaba Group of Colleges, Mohali campus, by SS Sangha, managing vice-chairman, and Manjit Singh, executive vice-chairman, Doaba Group. Earlier, the group had become the first technical education group in the region to introduce the super smart lecture halls with the state-of-the-art education technology platform Fracton BlueBook for its undergraduate 
engineering programmes at all the three DGC engineering colleges. They added that the move would greatly improve the education delivery mechanism, enhance the learning efficiency of students, enable anytime-anywhere learning, address the inherent problems of education process and ensure comprehensive evaluation via a range of inbuilt tools and applications. —TNS 



Teachers’ protest criticised
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
Several educationists in the city have criticised yesterday’s protest by school lecturers against the faculty development programme of the education department. Rakesh Sachdeva, principal, DAV School, Sector 15, and CBSE counsellor, said there was no point opposing such an innovative programme of the department.

“Education is all about sharing ideas and knowledge. Teachers, who are supposed to be the custodians of civil society, should be open enough to lap up every opportunity to update their skills and knowledge,” she said.

Disapproving the teachers’ action, former deputy director, school education, Haryana, S Kumar said the way teachers behaved was wrong.

“When I was an English teacher for Class X, I specially used to invite experts to my class to know about my weak areas. I fail to understand why the UT teachers opposed to taking lectures in front of their fellow teachers or department officials. Such an action shows that we need a major transformation in our education system,” he said.

Another city-based educationist, SS Kaushal, former director, primary education, Haryana, said these days teachers were not too keen to learn.

“They do not even come to the class fully prepared for the lecturers. It seems the fear of getting exposed has made the UT teachers oppose the faculty development programme,” said Kaushal.

He said when he was a school principal, he used to maintain a supervision diary to record the daily performance of teachers. “Such practices are not followed these days, allowing the teachers to take the classroom teaching for granted,” he said.

“The Secretary of Education in the USA recently said that we don’t have good schools because we don’t have good teachers and heads. The teachers must understand their responsibility. A person who is not open to learn new things can’t become a good teacher,” said a government school head.

The convener of Youth Innovative Society, Sachine Sharma, also condemned the incident and said the society required to introspect as to why teachers had become so close-minded these days.

Answering those who condemned the departmental action against the teachers, Director Public Instructions (School) Upkar Singh reiterated his stand on the issue. He said the move was meant to improve the delivery and teaching skills of teachers.

“While the incident was unfortunate, we would continue to make efforts to improve the quality education in the department. Teachers are requested to be receptive of new ideas,” said Upkar Singh.

faculty development programme

A day after four of its leaders were suspended and an FIR was registered against them, the Joint Action Committee of Government Teachers on Sunday gave a call to observe a non-teaching day in the schools on Monday. They also appealed to the teaching community to reach Masjid Ground, Sector 20, to show solidarity towards the expelled leaders. A senior official of the UT Education Department, however, said strict action would be taken against those trying to disturb the academic atmosphere of the schools.



Old girls have a gala time
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
Alumni of Carmel Convent School who passed out in 2010 organised a reunion party at The Blue Blazer today. The event witnessed girls in their best of attires dancing to the tunes of Bollywood songs.

The event was organised by Garima Seth and Rupal Singh, girls from the same batch. Despite pursuing diverse careers, the girls decided to come together once every year. The girls also discussed about their career choices. Niharika Sharma, a self-made businesswoman, said she cancelled all other engagements to be a part of the event.

Before leaving, all the girls excitedly discussed about the next reunion.



Student challenges merit list in HC
Says his rank fell by 20,000 due to faulty answer key, ambiguous question
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
A city-based student has challenged the final merit list of the JEE (Mains) in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The student has alleged that the list was prepared on the basis of wrong answer keys.

The normalisation criteria adopted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for the JEE (Mains), whose final merit list was announced on July 2, is already under the scanner of various courts in India, including the Supreme Court.

The petition, filed on July 18, seeks a revision of the petitioner’s rank and a stay on the admission process till the anomaly was rectified. Hearing the petition, the High Court issued a notice to the CBSE, asking the board to file its reply before the next hearing scheduled on July 24.

The petitioner argued in his application that the answers of at least two of the questions as contained in the answer key of the JEE (Mains) were wrong, and one of the questions was ambiguous, in view of the answers to those questions published by reputed institutes.

The petitioner said he had contacted professors and academies in the city, who acknowledged that the answer keys prepared by the CBSE were incorrect, and the petitioner was being made to suffer as he had been assigned 15 marks lesser than what he deserved. The petitioner said his all-India rank fell by 20,000, thereby causing him a lot of problem in getting admission to a good engineering college.

The candidate has appealed to the court to direct the CBSE to allot him extra 15 marks, and consequently revise his all-India rank. He also asked the court to direct the CBSE to stay the counselling in colleges considering JEE (Mains) marks. He said a committee of experts should be formed to examine the answer keys and formulate correct answers of the three questions, on the basis of which a new merit list should be released. 



PGGC-11: Parents allege lack of transparency in admissions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
Amid the ongoing counselling at the Post Graduate Government College (PGGC), Sector 11, parents of students seeking admission to BSc-I (non-medical) have alleged that the college has adopted a non-transparent system that has left many students in the lurch.

The second round of counselling for the remaining seats in the UT Pool was held on July 19, wherein a number of parents alleged that the seats belonging to the general category were given to the reserved category students.

The college principal, JS Raghu, however, rubbished the allegations, stating that the counselling was conducted as per the norms while taking into consideration the merit of students.

“Never in the history of colleges has it happened that general seats have been given to the reserved category students. Rather, it is the other way around when the reserved seats remain vacant for long,” he said.

Earlier, the parents had also alleged that they were made to wait for several hours on July 15 for the counseling, as it was originally scheduled for that day. As the technical glitch that caused the delay could bot be resolved, parents were asked to revisit on July 19.



NSUI opposes ban on cars in PU hostels

Chandigarh, July 21
The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) has submitted a memorandum to the Panjab University Vice-Chancellor apprising him of various problems being faced by students.

The student party also opposed the “unjustified” decisions taken by the university authorities. They demanded the revocation of the decision disallowing allocation of hostel seats to those owning cars.

They also sought an opportunity to reappear in exams for all the students and not only the final-year students.

The NSUI also demanded a rollback of hike in reappear fee for physics and electronics departments.

“Why are the authorities not forcing this decision on the teaching and non-teaching staff residing of the campus?” said one of the members. — TNS



Interviews 0on July 26

Chandigarh, July 21
The interviews for admission to the LLM course in Panjab University will be held on July 26. The university will be displaying the provisional merit list on the notice board of the Department of Laws on July 25 at 5.00 pm.

All the students will be attending the interviews from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm the next day. All the eligible candidates must carry all the original certificates and documents. — TNS



from schools
Students' campaign

Students of Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, spread awareness on environment conservation at Rose Garden in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Students of Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, spread awareness on environment conservation at Rose Garden in Chandigarh on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh: Students from Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, Chandigarh, participated in the ‘Nine is Mine’ campaign, which seeks to recognise children as equal and active citizens today. The campaign also sought quality education and basic health care for all children. As a part of this campaign, children assembled at Rose Garden to emphasise on the importance of conserving nature. Children raised awareness about the fragile ecosystem and how small steps could go a long way in preserving it.

Camp for children with special needs

An assessment camp for the children with special needs was organised at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Chandigarh. The camp was held in collaboration with Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO) and Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16. Over 100 children with special needs studying in various government schools in the city or pursuing home-based education were assessed by the team from ALIMCO and GMSH. The main aim of the assessment camp was to provide appliances to the needy children, with 91 being prescribed supportive aids.

A visit to museum

Panchkula: Students of SMD Little Champs School, Sector 2, visited Government Museum and Art Gallery at Sector 10, Chandigarh. The students saw a replica of a dinosaur for the first time besides fossils. Later, they went to Child Art Gallery, where they saw paintings made by students of other schools.

Poetry recitation

Students from Classes I to V participated in a poetry recitation competition at the junior wing of DAV Senior Public School, Surajpur. The theme was nature.

Lemonade party

the Nursery class students of St Soldier's School, Sector 16, had a gala time during a lemonade party in the school. Teachers explained to them the recipe for making lemonade. All students were given a glass each of chilled lemonade. — TNS



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