C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


ghaggar tragedy
Death toll reaches five
Bodies of four more youths fished out, one still missing
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 25
Bodies of four youths out of five, who were feared drowned yesterday in Ghaggar, were fished out today, taking the toll to five. While Samvit's body was fished out from the Surat Manoli area of Banur, Ravinder's body was found near Sector 28 in Panchkula this morning.

Hitesh's body was recovered near Chowki village in the evening. Arjun's body was fished out by villagers late in the evening near Bahod in Dera Bassi.

Another youth, Pradeep, is still missing. Flash floods in the Ghaggar on Wednesday turned tragic for eight friends who had gone to celebrate the birthday of one of them in the Diwanwala area in Burj Kotian village, Panchkula.

While the birthday boy, Akshay, and one of his friends Deepansh were rescued, Shubham Bhalla drowned. The Army personnel and teams from Madhuban and Kurukshetra were assisted by workers of the Panchkula Municipal Corporation in the rescue operation this evening.

The only hope of Samvit being alive after his phone rang last evening got dashed when his father, CN Raina, identified his son's body by his 'kara', which he had gifted him.

Children playing on the banks of the river at Surat Manoli saw Samvit's body floating. The police was informed. The post-mortem was conducted at the Dera Bassi Civil Hospital.

The bodies were swollen and bore injury marks.

Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Dr SS Phulia said: "The rescue operation was suspended by the Army and the divers at 7 pm. We will resume the operation at 5 am on Friday." The post-mortem of Ravinder's body was conducted at Sector 6 General Hospital in Panchkula. Hitesh's body has been kept in the mortuary and the post-mortem would be conducted tomorrow. The deceased's families were inconsolable. Samvit was a resident of Sector 11, Panchkula, Ravinder of Sector 14 while Hitesh lived in Sector 15, Panchkula.



Disbelief turns into grief
Samvit was identified by the ‘kara’ his father had gifted
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 25
Disbelief turned into grief for the family of Samvit Raina when his body was not identified twice leaving them with a ray of hope that he was still alive. But the third time his father identified his son with the “kara” in his hand that he had gifted him.

Even the hardest of hearts would have melted seeing the condition of the devastated parents. The moment Samvit’s father shook his head to confirm that it was the body of his beloved son, the entire family gathered at the spot broke into tears.

“I wish he was not my son. How will I live without him now?” Samvit”s father was blabbering while crying bitterly.

Earlier, fearing to face the reality and with a hope that the dead youth was not his son, Samvit’s father CN Raina sent his relatives first to identify the same at the mortuary of Dera Bassi Civil Hospital. Raina heaved a sigh of relief when the relatives said that it was not Samvit.

Both the times when two bodies were fished out, the parents of the youths feared dead, hesitated to go ahead and identify the bodies.

In the morning when a body was fished out from the Banur area of Punjab, as it was swollen and in a bad state, the parents of the youths were told that it was the body of some elderly person. Still the Panchkula police took members of the families of the youths to identify them.

Inadequate number of divers

Finding inadequate number of divers in the district, as many as 110 sweepers and class IV employees of the Panchkula Municipal Corporation were called to join in the rescue operation on Thursday.

Two friends went to Burj Kotian to look for them

After Samvit’s phone became unreachable, his mother called up his two friends saying that she was getting worried and if the two, (Shekhar and Puran) could go and look for them.“When we got aunty’s call ( Samvit’s mother), she told us that Samvit’s phone was unreachable. We both then headed for Burj Kotian. There we found no one except their bikes, so we raised the alarm,” said Shekhar.

Ravinder got up at 5.30 on the fateful day

Ravinder who usually got up late in the morning, got up at 5.30 am on the day of the incident. Relatives said that he had fallen on the stairs twice and was asked not to go anywhere that day. “He had hurt himself yesterday. We had asked him not to go out. In a hurry, he even left his purse and mobile phone at home as he was excited to go for the party,” said Vinod Sharma, a relative of the family. His father Chanchal Kumar, who works in HSIIDC, was in an inconsolable state.

Other friends wait for the last glimpse

Friends of the youths were waiting to have a last glimpse of those with whom they would sit together after the tuition classes for some time before going home. “We all go for tuitions to Sector 15, Panchkula, and after the same would get over, we would sit together in a park and eat,” said Shekhar, one of their friends. He further added, “At least they should have told us. They would never conceal any such party plans with us but I don’t know why they did so this time.”

Rescued Deepansh is in a shock

Deepansh, the one who was rescued on Wednesday, was admitted to the hospital after he was rescued.“He is shaken. He is being sedated as he keeps thinking about yesterday’s incident,” said Vicky, a friend

Boys had tagged a friend on Facebook just an hour before the tragedy

Just an hour before the youths were washed away, Samvit and Hitesh had tagged one of their friends Micky on the social networking site. “They had tagged me in their photograph and I had even liked it. I didn’t know that it was going to be their last photograph with me,” said Micky.

Except Ravinder, all others were the only sons of their parents

All youths except Ravinder, were the only sons of their parents. CN Raina was blessed with Samvit 10 years after having two daughters. The others also have only sisters except for Ravinder who has a younger brother.

Some friends who did not accompany them consider themselves lucky

The eight friends who became a victim of Ghaggar’s fury on Wednesday had even asked three others to accompany them for the party. But luck was on their side and the three became busy with some work following which they couldn’t go.



Admn’s callous approach cost our children’s lives: Parents
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 25
“Callous approach of the local administration claimed the lives of our children, who became victims of the flash floods in Ghaggar yesterday”, alleged the devastated parents who lost their children in the tragic incident.

They said there was no signboard, not a single policeman and no danger alert was sounded at the site where the mishap took place yesterday.

“They were children. They did not know what was right and what was wrong. A tleast the administration could have put up a signboard or could have done some barricading in the area,” said Amit Kumar, a relative of Ravinder.

He further added, “They have not even bothered to put some barrier on the border of Panchkula and Punjab. At least the bodies would not have gone beyond this area.” It was alleged that despite the point being a picnic spot where at least 200 youths visited daily, not even a single policeman was asked to keep a check in the area.



Ravinder Singh was dummy purchaser in Solan land deal, CBI tells court
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Justice Nirmal Yadav (retd) Chandigarh, July 25
Asserting that the source, cause and opportunity for the payment of Rs 15 lakh to Justice Nirmal Yadav (retd) in August 2008 was a judgment of March 11, 2008, which she gave in favour of former Haryana Additional Advocate General Sanjiv Bansal and not the Solan land deal as projected by the defence, CBI special public prosecutor Anupam Gupta today said the Solan land deal was a complete smokescreen and a ‘red-herring’ across the track.

The CBI said it was accused Ravinder Singh’s namesake whose name featured in the documents of the land deal and the false alibi had been created to falsify the prosecution claim that Rs 15 lakh was a bribe given to Justice Yadav.

“Accused Ravinder Singh was projected as a dummy purchaser,” said Gupta.

The argument was raised in response to the defence counsel’s theory that Rs 15 lakh was paid by Ravinder Singh to Justice Yadav towards a land deal in Solan and the CBI was no one to question a piece of land purchased by a judge.

During the resumed hearing of the case today, the CBI told the court that the signatures of Ravinder Singh featuring on the Solan land documents were totally and recognisably different than his actual signatures.

“The signatures on Solan land deal are not his but of some other Ravinder Singh. Moreover, accused Ravinder Singh of Delhi has never claimed or shown the Panchkula address as his place of address and he has never resided in Panchkula while his address in the documents for land deal is shown in Panchkula,” said the CBI. The CBI also showed to the court documents containing real signatures of Ravinder Singh, including his passport and driving licence, as also the affidavit filed by him while seeking anticipatory bail from the High Court in September 2008.

“All signatures on the documents are a visible contrast to the signatures shown against his name in the Solan land deal,” said Anupam Gupta.

Cash-at-judge’s-door case

Order for prosecution sanction

Strongly refuting Justice Yadav’s claim that the sanction for prosecution accorded by the then Chief Justice of India on July 28, 2010, was a review of his predecessor’s order of refusal, Anupam Gupta said no pre-existing order of refusal of sanction was passed by the Chief Justice of India prior to July 2007. Gupta said neither the CBI nor the records of the Government of India show any such pre-existing order of refusal by the CJI before July, 2007.

“The then Chief Justice Kapadia’s order is the first and the only order passed by any CJI relating to the grant of sanction of prosecution,” he strongly asserted.

The case

Punjab and Haryana High Court was hit by the scam after a packet containing Rs 15 lakh was delivered on August 13, 2008, at the Sector 11 residence of High Court Judge Nirmaljit Kaur. She reported the matter to the police. It was alleged that the cash was actually meant for Justice Nirmal Yadav (now retired), an accused in the case for giving a judgment related to a property dispute case in Panchkula in 2007 in Bansal’s favour. The police later arrested the then Haryana additional advocate general, Sanjeev Bansal, a property dealer, Rajiv Gupta, and Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh Bhasin in connection with the case. Justice Nirmal Yadav went on leave after her name figured in the bribery scandal. She was later transferred to the Uttarakhand High Court.



CBI raid on two CTU workshops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Teams of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Indian Oil Corporation and UT Weights and Measures Department today conducted simultaneous raids on the workshops of the CTU.

The CBI had received complaints of pilferage of diesel from the workshops. Sources said employees of the CTU were allegedly selling diesel in the open market. The raiding teams reached the workshops at Industrial Area and Sector 25 this morning checked the records. “The teams also checked the quality and quantity of the fuel at the workshops,” said an official. Sources said the CBI officials also inquired about the procedure followed by the CTU to provide diesel to its buses.



road accident
SI suspended, SHO, inspector sent to lines
Tribune News Service

Ram Gopal Chandigarh, July 25
Taking a strong note of the ‘carelessness’ and ‘unprofessional’ attitude of police officials in handling the accident case in which three persons were killed, the UT Inspector General of Police (IGP) today suspended sub-inspector Kuldeep Singh and transferred SHO of the Sector 17 police station inspector Ram Gopal and in charge of the bus stand police post Harminderjit Singh to the police lines.

Senior police officials have also pulled up DSP (Central) Ashish Kapoor for his alleged failure to supervise the case.

The UT police had drawn flak after it booked the driver of the Tavera, who was killed in the accident. However, after recording the statements of the injured, the police registered another case against the owner of the Audi car.

Family members of the three deceased had raised a hue and cry and protested against the police after it lodged an FIR against the driver of the Tavera.

In his report, UT SSP Naunihal Singh had recommended action against the police officials, including the SHO. The IGP passed the orders against the three policemen today. A detailed inquiry had been marked to look into the reasons for the lapses.

“There was a lot of confusion due to the carelessness on the part of the officials handling the case. The complication of registering two separate cases could have been avoided. This reflects the unprofessional conduct of the officials,” states the SSP’s report. Moreover, the police has failed to make any arrest in the case to date. A special investigating team had been formed to probe the case.

Meanwhile, Dilsher Singh Chandel has been appointed the SHO of the Sector 17 police station.

The mishap took place at 12.36 am on July 23 when four students from Ghaziabad were returning from Dharampur in a taxi (Tavera) and had to catch a bus to Delhi.

The Tavera turned towards the road separating Sectors 17 and 18 from Madhya Marg and was on the Sector 18 side when the Audi car, coming from the opposite direction on the other side of the road, rammed into it after hitting the road divider.

Later, the owner of the Audi car, identified as Rajat, came to the Sector 17 police station along with his driver, Sukhpal, to make him surrender. The police said it would verify the facts as to who was driving the Audi when the accident took place before arresting anyone in the case.


dengue alert
City low on awareness, high on risk
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Despite several awareness camps being organised by the Health Department, the level of awareness on dengue prevention is quite low. Officials at the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBCP) unit said they received complaints regarding poor sanitation in residential areas, which meant residents were not aware of the real cause of the disease.

The residents fear that garbage and wild growth can expose them to the risk of dengue.

"A majority of them do not know that dengue is a waterborne disease. They feel that the mosquito breeds in garbage or wild grass," said an official.

Ten such calls are received on the helpline everyday.

"Low awareness has led to dengue scare among residents," an official said.

"Residents store water in buckets and fill flowerpots to the brim. This way they create favourable conditions for mosquitoes to breed," the health department officials said.

Breaking records of the previous five years, over 350 cases of dengue were reported in city hospitals last year. A total of 315 cases were reported last year, rising from 73 in 2011.

The number touched 221 in 2010. In 2009, 25 residents were affected by dengue, against 167 dengue cases in 2008. The deadly virus also claimed six lives across the tricity last year.

How dengue spreads

The dengue virus or 'day-biter' breeds in water stored in vessels, buckets and flowerpots. The mosquito can breed in 10-15ml of water. Dengue is caused by the bite of an infected mosquito--Aedes aegypti. When the mosquito bites a person infected with the virus, it carries the virus without being affected itself. On biting other persons, it transmits the virus


High fever, severe headache, severe pain behind eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash and mild bleeding

Preventive measures

  • Keep water tanks covered
  • Drain out water from desert coolers and scrub these dry once a week
  • In case of fever, get blood test done
  • Do not throw discarded containers, tyres, pitchers and pots on rooftops


The vaccine used for prevention costs Rs 250 and is available in various government hospitals


For registering any complaints, residents may contact the malaria wing on the helpine number 0172-2740408



Dept fears higher number of dengue cases this year
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Having found larvae in 1 out of every 10 desert coolers inspected at various households in and around the city, the Health Department fears higher number of dengue cases this year.

The survey of over 1,000 households, especially in the peripheral areas, found that not only was the level of seriousness in following preventive measures low among residents, awareness on dengue was also missing.

“Desert coolers may turn out to be the biggest breeding ground for mosquitoes this year, if residents fail to replace water for days together,” said an official of the city unit of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).

“The aedes mosquito breeds easily in stagnant water. At most of the residences, we found small amount of water in desert coolers. As coolers remain covered from three sides, water usually remains out of sight,” the official said.

“The dengue-causing mosquito survives in the form of an egg or a larva in water for 7-10 days. This is the most crucial time, when it can be destroyed,” said the official.



July sees 55% dip in rainfall this monsoon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The city has recorded 55 per cent lesser rainfall this season as compared to the normal average of around 280.4 mm in the month of July. A meteorological department report revealed that till today the city received 162 mm rainfall, which is the lowest in the past five years. The city received 68 mm rainfall today.

Due to weak monsoon, the area near the city airport received 155.5 mm rainfall this month, which is 60 per cent lesser than the normal average rain.

Records of the department revealed that the highest rainfall in the past five years was 406.5 mm in 2010. In 2012 the rainfall recorded was 275.1 mm, while in 2011 it was 214.4, in 2009 it was 202.2 mm and in 2008 it was 182.6 mm. The highest rainfall in the month of July was recorded in 1994, which was 602.1 mm.

The Indian Meteorological Department Director Surinder Paul Singh admitted that there was lesser rainfall this season as compared to the expected showers in the month of July. He said that in the coming weeks the situation might improve as heavy rainfall was expected in the city. He said that the city received feeble monsoon winds this year due to which the city received rainfall in patches in a few sectors and others were left dry.

As per the department, the maximum temperature recorded today was 34.6 degree Celsius, which is two notches below the normal, and minimum temperature of 27.7 degree Celsius, four notches below the normal temperature. As per the forecast, their will be generally cloudy sky with rain and thunder showers, with the maximum temperature of around 34 degree Celsius.



Mysterious letter rocks city Congress political circles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
A ‘mysterious’ letter highlighting alleged controversial past of leaders who are in race for the post of Chandigarh Congress president rocked the political circles of Chandigarh Congress today.

The mysterious letter, which was addressed to Indian Congress president Sonia Gandhi and local Member of Parliament (MP) Pawan Kumar Bansal, mentioned the controversial past of the Congress leaders, including two former Mayors, a former Deputy Mayor, a former councillor and a Congress general secretary.

The letter was signed by a sitting Congress councilor, but when he was contacted, he denied about forwarding any such letter to Sonia Gandhi.

He added that a leader, who is in the race for Congress presidentship, could have forwarded the letter. He was not in the race for the post and had just returned from the hospital after having an eye operation. He further added that he would bring this issue to the notice of Bansal when he would return to Chandigarh.

The race has hot up among senior Congress leaders, as BB Behl, president of the Chandigarh Congress, had recently been injured due to a fall and has stopped participating in the Congress functions. The post of the Chandigarh Congress president is also important because Parliament elections are scheduled to be held next year.

After the railgate scam involving the nephew of Pawan Kumar Bansal, differences among Congress leaders have surfaced on a number of occasions. Presently, there are no cordial relations among the Congress leaders and the councillors in the city.

After today’s letter, the Congress leaders are now doubting each other for sending the letter to Sonia Gandhi and other Congress leaders. Requesting anonymity, a senior Congress leader said that since there was no trust among the Congress leaders, anybody could forward such a letter to spoil the chances of other probable candidate for the post, he added.

Letter addressed to Cong chief Sonia Gandhi

The letter was addressed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and highlighted the controversial pasts of those local leaders who are in the race for the post of City Congress president. The councillor whose signature was there in the letter has denied forwarding any such letter.



security gates
Mohali MC in a tight spot
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 25
A Delhi-based company and another one from Chandigarh have evinced keen interest in running the security gate system in Mohali more effectively by installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and deploying an adequate number of guards besides generating revenue for the Municipal Corporation.

The offers have put the civic body in a tight spot as it was planning to once again hand over the project to the previous contractor after the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed it to settle the dispute with that contractor through negotiations. The civic body had scrapped the contract with Selvel Media Services on February 14 after complaints of unsatisfactory work were received from residents.

Sources said the Delhi-based company, Pioneer Outdoor Advertising, had objected to the move of the corporation of assigning the work to the previous contractor and pleaded that fresh tender for security work be floated. It also promised to bring in good revenues for the civic body.

Another company, Chandigarh-based Super Publicity, has claimed that it has 11 years of experience in advertising and was interested in the work related to security gates. It proposed to the corporation that it would deploy two guards at each security gate kept open at night and install CCTV cameras at the gates besides generating revenue for the corporation in lieu of advertisements displayed on the gates.

Sources said the corporation had written a letter to Selvel Media Services on June 20 laying down a condition that the civic body would hire security guards from reputed agencies. However, the guards would be paid by the contractor through the corporation. The contractor is reported to have agreed to accept this condition through a letter dated June 21.



Month on, family awaits consignment
1st Shivam Packers and Movers fails to deliver household goods to Hyderabad
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 25
A local family alleged harassment at the hands of a Zirankpur-based packers and movers firm hired by them to shift goods to Hyderabad following their transfer there. The victim, Ajay Kumar, alleged that he along with his wife and a three-year-old son has been living in Hyderabad without any household items for around one month.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune from Hyderabad, Ajay Kumar claimed that he had hired a Zirakpur-based company 1st Shivam Packers and Movers for shifting his household goods worth around Rs 95,000 to Hyderabad.

“The company officials told us that a truck, carrying our goods, had left the city on June 26. They had promised that the goods would reach Hyderabad within 5-6 days,” said Ajay, adding that around 25 days had passed since then.

Ajay alleged that the company officials were not giving any clear information about his goods.

“We are forced to live without any clothes and household goods in a new city,” said Ajay Kumar.

On the other hand, company owner Rajinder Singh claimed that the truck, carrying the goods, had broken down in Madhya Pradesh, leading to the delay.

“We have apprised them of everything. It is wrong to say that we have not informed them about their consignment,” said Rajinder Singh.

He said the firm had offered to bear the family’s hotel expenses if they were suffering without their household goods.



Apples come pouring down from HP
Threefold supply slashes prices by 15-30 per cent in city markets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
With bumper cultivation in Himachal Pradesh this year, city markets have been flooded with three times the apples than the previous year. Not only has the ‘delicious’ variety of apples hit the markets 15 days in advance, these cost 15 to 30 per cent lesser too.

A week ago imported varieties of apple, costing Rs 150 to 180 per kg, were mostly available in markets. The rare supply of ‘delicious’ and other similar varieties had also taken their retail price to Rs 140 to 150 per kg.

However, a rise in cultivation and subsequently threefold supply has reduced the retail price to Rs 100-120. The wholesale price of these apples has come down from Rs 80-100 per kg to Rs 50-60 per kg.

“The supply has increased from the upper Shimla region. Lesser hailstorms in the hills this year is the key reason for improved crops and early arrival of apples,” said Jaspal Singh, supervisor of the Sector 26 fruit market.

The sellers said that as the season would progress, costs were likely to come down further. We have not seen such a massive supply in the past few years, said a fruit vendor in the same market.

Last year, the supply was quite erratic while the demand usually remained high. The imported apples are always highly priced, so most of the residents prefer other varieties.

Apples are majorly supplied from Shimla, Mandi and Kullu regions, said Bhupinder Singh Negi, a Kalpa-based supplier.



PGI spreads awareness on hepatitis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
To mark the sixth World Hepatitis Day, the department of hepatology, PGI, has planned weeklong activities in the tricity. Academic activities to make general public aware about the viral hepatitis are being organised in different schools and other organisations.

Awareness is also being spread among the public through the print and electronic media. On July 28, when the day will be observed globally, a walkathon will be organised at the premier institute.

Faculty, residents, nursing staff and other staff members of the institute are likely to participate in the event to create awareness about the disease among the public.

Hepatitis, i.e. inflammation in the liver, commonly occurs due to different viruses, consumption of alcohol and drugs, obesity and auto-immunity (attack against self by body’s immune system).

Viral hepatitis can be either acute, which is usually a self-limiting disease remaining for few weeks, or it can be chronic, lasting for months or years.

Cases of acute hepatitis either occur sporadically or in the form of epidemics when a large population is affected, usually by a common contaminated source.

The diagnosis of acute viral hepatitis (AVH) is usually easy and is made with the help of typical clinical presentation and liver function tests, ultrasound of the abdomen and blood tests.



Party leaders bat for power workers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
To press for the demands of the UT Electricity Employees Union, an all- political parties rally was organised in Sector 17 today. The leaders of the parties raised their voice against the proposal of the Administration for privatising the Electricity Department and cancelling the tenders for the appointment of a consultant.

The leaders of the Electricity Employees Union also criticised the negative response of the administration towards the demands of the employees.

In the rally, heated words were also exchanged between the leaders of the Congress and BSP, when BSP leaders accused local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal of not solving the problems of the employees.



BPL scheme
Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana launched

Chandigarh, July 25
With an aim to provide social security to workers in the unorganised sector and BPL families residing in Chandigarh, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana was launched with the support of the UT Labour Department today. The inaugural camp was organised at Government Middle School, Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, Chandigarh.

UT Home-cum-Health Secretary Anil Kumar inaugurated the camp by handing over the card to beneficiaries. UT Finance-cum-Labour Secretary V K Singh was the guest of honour on this occasion. UT Deputy Commissioner M Shayin, briefed the dignitaries about the salient features of the scheme.

He revealed that a series of camps would be organised in the slum and rural areas of the city for the enrolment of the beneficiaries under this scheme. The beneficiaries will be provided indoor treatment amounting to Rs. 30,000 per annum in the empanelled hospitals throughout the country. — TNS



fee hike
Five-member panel formed
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The UT Education Department has formed a five-member committee to look into the feasibility of setting up a permanent regulatory mechanism to check hike in fee in private unaided schools in the UT. The committee has been asked to propose a system within a month.

The High Court in its judgement on April 9 had stated that there was currently no mechanism in place in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana to sort out whether the hike in fee by private schools in their jurisdiction was proper or not. Taking a cue from this, the court has directed these states and the UT to look into the feasibility of setting up of a permanent regulatory body, for which six month's time has been given to the authorities. The court has direct to submit the report regarding the issue to it.

"Acting on the court' directions, a panel having five senior officials of the department has been formed to propose to the local administration about the nature and powers of the body,"said officials.

The committee comprises Saroj Mittal, Deputy Director, School Education, Ram Kumar Sharma, District Education Officer, Assistant Account and Finance Controller, Sudhir Prashar and subject expert Anita Sharma.

"The committee has been asked to prepare the report within a month and suggest the department as to how the issue of annual hike in private schools should be checked every year," said a senior official of the Education Department. He asserted that the administration had at present very less check over the fee hike in private schools here.

"The purpose of the panel is to examine what kind of regulatory body is fit for the UT on regular basis and what sort of powers should be given to the body required to regulate the fee structure of private schools," he said

As per the information, the High Court has appointed a three-member committee not only to examine the issue of fee hike but also to check the hike only for the academic sessions 2012-13 and 2013-14.

The department has also formed a committee to propose another permanent regulatory body to check the use of books of private publishers in private schools. The committee includes Surinder Dhayia, Director, State Institute of Education, Ram Kumar Sharma, District Education, Assistant Director, Suman Sharma, Ravi Raj, Principal, GMSSS-37B.



HC directs UILS to prepare fresh merit list
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday directed the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) to prepare a fresh merit list by giving weightage to students seeking admission in BCom LLB course. Asking the institute to carryout recalculations, the court also quashed the provisional merit list of BCom LLB (Hons) five years integrated course prepared by the institute.

The directions came on a petition filed by eight students seeking quashing of eligibility criteria framed by the institute for BCom LLB (Hons.) five years integrated course in the university’s law department.

The petitioners contended that there were 60 seats of BCom LLB (Hons) as per the prospectus. But, while issuing the tentative merit list, the respondents did not grant additional four credits per subject. The students contended that they were entitled to maximum 16 credits, if they were get admission in the course as per the Panjab University prospectus and calendar. The petitioners raised the issue that the normalisation/ rationalisation formula was introduced by the university for admission to first year at the university as well as affiliated colleges. But, the same benefit was not given while granting admission to the BCom LLB course.

The petitioners referred to an earlier decision of the High Court where a student belonging to non-medical/economic stream was denied admission to BCom LLB (Hons) on the ground that he had a non-medical background whereas he was entitled to normal BCom degree course offered by the same university. The court held that the petitioner in that case was eligible for admission to the course, which was in consonance with the BCom degree. The petitioner referred to the eligibility criteria for BCom and had argued that there could not be two separate criteria for a normal BCom entrance and BCom LLB.



Schoolteachers decide to put agitation on hold till July 31
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
After meeting Education Secretary VK Singh today, the joint action committee of UT schoolteachers postponed its ongoing protest till next Wednesday (July 31) and agreed to join the senior department officials for the next session of the faculty development programme, scheduled to be held this Saturday.

VK Singh will participate in that session, along with the members of the joint action committees and other senior officials of the Education Department, to check the modalities of the ongoing programme and if required, to recommend changes in the programme to make it teachers friendly.

The protest by the joint action committee, along with school lecturers, over the faculty development programme had forced the Education Department to suspend four of its leaders besides filing FIR against them last week. Further, 100 school lecturers were issued show-cause notice for their failure to attend the programme.

While the committee began its agitation against the department action last Monday, several educationists in the city criticised the UT teachers for adopting a narrow-minded approach towards the innovative programme of the department. After today’s meeting, the issue is expected to be over in a few days. Senior officials Ajoy Sharma, Upkar Singh were also present at the meeting.

Education Secretary VK Singh said that the department was able to convince the delegation over the merits of the faculty development programme. “While the department would not discontinue the programme as it is for the welfare of teachers as well as students, we would certainly make changes in it, if required,” he said.

On the behalf of the joint action committee, Kushali Ram Sharma, one of the suspended teachers, said the Education Secretary had assured the delegation of all the possible support and agreed to give more time to the teachers, if they were not ready with their lecturers.

About the cancellation of their suspension and the FIR registered against them, he said their delegation would again meet Education Secretary VK Singh on Monday on the issue and would insist the department to revoke the suspension and take back the FIR against them.

Meanwhile, the JAC members gathered outside the district education office in Sector 19 after the meeting the officials and briefed the teachers about today's development

Ravinder Sharma, general secretary of the JAC, said they would closely monitor the development and were confident of having consensus over the issue. “In any case, if the issue is not solved, we would again start our agitation on Wednesday afternoon at the Masjid Ground,” he informed.

Meanwhile, a 21-member delegation of the Government Teachers' Union (GTU), headed by union president Dr Vinod Sharma, also met Education Secretary VK Singh. The have demanded immediate roll back of the show-cause notices served on 100 lecturers of various government schools. The delegation also appealed to review the suspension of four teachers. Vinod Sharma said the Education Secretary had assured the delegation to end the deadlock over the issue soon.



Students face inconvenience as PU postpones counselling for 5-yr courses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Over 400 candidates from different parts of the country faced inconvenience as counselling for admission to BA LLB and BCom LLB integrated courses, offered by PU at University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), Panjab University Regional Centre (PURC), Ludhiana, and PURC, Hoshiarpur, was postponed by it following a case challenging eligibility criteria for admission to the courses in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The counselling was scheduled to begin at 10 am, however, due to the hearing of the case today, the university decided to postpone the counselling till 2 pm. Later, the university decided to postpone the counselling till further orders and the next date for the counselling would be notified within a week.

Earlier, eight candidates had approached the court against the eligibility criteria. They argued before the court that the students who had passed Class XII in commerce stream were entitled to upto16 additional credits for admission to BCom LLB, but the weightage was not given to the candidates. Aditya Pratap Duggal, one of the applicants, said the court had asked the university to prepare a fresh merit list for the counselling.



Conference focuses on German language
Tribune News Service

Surinder Singh Maken Chandigarh, July 25
At KV Principals' Conference here in the city, Surinder Maken, director, Goethe-Zentrum/Goethe-Institute, Chandigarh, emphasised on the importance of language, which helps IN creating a bridge between two different cultures.

He said Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) Schools were teaching German as the third language as per the CBSE syllabus from classes VI to VIII in collaboration with Goethe-Institutes. In 2011, around 200 KV Schools started German and today, German is being taught in around 400 KV Schools. He also tried to make the gathering aware about the status of education in Germany.

He said the education was not an industry in Germany and it was a fundamental right of all citizens to get free education and healthcare.

"Most of the courses upto graduation are offered only in German, but masters courses are offered in English and in German for foreign students. There is no tuition fee at the university level even for foreign students," he said.



Homoeopathic college panel to approach UT Administration

Chandigarh, July 25
The adhoc committee formed after the eight members of the managing committee of Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Sector 26, resigned, has decided to approach the UT Administration and DAV management to take over the college, which is facing the financial crunch.

The members of the managing committee had resigned following the pressure mounted by the students over the notice served by Panjab University denying the college from holding fresh admissions due to its failure in appointing adequate number of faculty members.

BK Gupta, convener of the committee, said they would explore the possibility of the UT administration or DAV management taking over the charge of the college in a bid to ensure safe future of the college. “This is an unaided college and the strength of students is also very less due to which there is a shortage of funds to run the college," Gupta said.

Sources said the committee had also been asked to take suitable steps to eliminate the threat of disaffiliation of the college by PU due to certain deficiencies and non-compliance of directions by the previous executive committee.

Gupta said the senior members of the college society would also visit the university to meet the Vice-Chancellor (VC) and the Senate members regarding the PU’s decision to deny permission to hold fresh admissions in the college. “Efforts will be made to resolve the issue at the earliest, so that the college could continue with the fresh admissions soon," he added.

The elections for the new executive committee are going to be held on August 11, in which 13 executive members out of total 45 will be elected. — TNS



Students seek change in class timings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Members of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) staged a protest at PU's Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital against the class timings today.

PUSU leader Yadwinder Singh Dhaliwal said all dental institutes in the region had class timings from 8 am to 2 pm, but students at PU had to attend classes from 9 am to 5 pm. "It's a long and hectic schedule, the classes should be held on the pattern of other dental institutes," he said.

Ashish Jain, principal of the institute, said the Dental Council of India (DCI) governed dental institutes and the institute could not take any decision on their own. PUSU members also demanded that the suspension of the intern at the Institute, who was suspended for indiscipline today, be revoked.

Principal said the intern had entered the classroom without taking permission of the teacher and later when the head of department (HOD) tried to talk to him, the intern ignored him. "The intern was suspended for seven days, however, on the demand of the students, the intern student was suspended for five days only", the principal said.



500 students take part in workshop

Chandigarh, July 25
The sixth IJ Dewan Workshop on "Organs Talk" organised at the Zakir Hall, PGIMER, by the anatomy department concluded yesterday. About 500 students from various schools of the tricity attended the two-day workshop.

The students were practically shown how badly the human organs like lungs, liver and heart get damaged due to the ill-effects of smoking, alcohol and unhealthy food habits. Fractured skull and damaged brain were shown to stress upon the importance of wearing a helmet while driving. A participation certificate and a booklet on tips for healthy living were given to all the participants. Dr Arvind Goyal, a local biology expert, who is associated with the project as a co-sponsor for the past three years, said, "The school age is the best age at which healthy habits can be easily inculcated. This workshop, a brainchild of Dr Daisy Sahni, head of the anatomy department, PGI, is a novel way of teaching healthy lifestyle .” — TNS



School principals demand parity

Chandigarh, July 25
A meeting of the principals of government aided schools in Chandigarh was held at Sri Guru Gobind Singh Senior Secondary School, Sector 35B, Chandigarh, today.

The meeting was held to discuss their long pending demands regarding the grant of parity to the employees of government aided schools in Chandigarh on par with the employees working in government schools of Chandigarh.It was also decided that all the heads would meet the Governor of Punjab for his favourable intervention. — TNS





An inter-class GK quiz was conducted at Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sector 26 ,Chandigarh today. Students of Classes VII and VIII enthusiastically participated in the quiz, which was hosted by the students of Class XI. There were four rounds of questioning ,which ranged from audio- visual to logos and tag lines. The rapid fire round saw a tough competition. The whole atmosphere was charged up as the audience also got the chance to exercise their grey cells and win interesting prizes. The principal, Sr Nisha , lauded the efforts of the children and encouraged them to be well -versed with the happenings around the globe .

Science Park

A science park was inaugurated at St John's School, Sector 26, on Thursday. Vikas, an exceptional student of the school, inaugurated the park. Principal Kavita Das accompanied him. The principal was extremely delighted and she expressed her enthusiasm in the morning assembly and spoke about the utility of the Science Park.

Tree plantation

The Green Glory Eco-Club of GMSSS, Manimajra, carried out a tree plantation drive on school campus as part of the Vanamahotsava Week today. Saplings of different plants were planted by the students. Club in charge Monika motivated the students to reduce their organic and inorganic waste and respect the mother earth. — TNS



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