C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


ghaggar tragedy
Body of sixth youth recovered
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 26
In a joint operation, the Army and divers recovered the body of 20-year-old Pradeep, who was feared drowned in the Ghaggar two days ago, taking the toll to six.

Pradeep’s body was recovered from the river near Sector 28 in Panchkula this afternoon. Pradeep was residing here with his aunt in Sector 20. He is survived by his mother and a sister, who live in Hisar.

The bodies of other youths, Shubham Bhalla, Samvit Raina, Ravinder, Hitesh Kapoor and Arjun Bisht, have already been recovered from the river.

Pradeep’s body was swollen and decomposed. His cousin Rakesh broke into tears when he came to know about Pradeep’s death.

Meanwhile, the district administration decided to put up warning boards on the banks of the river. Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Dr SS Phulia said the administration would be putting up signboards to stop people from entering into the river.

While Samvit's body was recovered from the Surat Manoli area of Banur, Ravinder's body was found near Sector 28 in Panchkula yesterday morning. Hitesh's body was recovered near Chowki village in the evening. Arjun's body was taken out by villagers late on Thursday evening near Bahod in Dera Bassi.

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.



Pradeep was their only hope
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Pradeep, whose body was fished out today, used to carry a water bottle with him.

After his father died, his mother and sister counted on him. He was staying with his aunt in Panchkula.

His mother and sister, who reside in Hisar, reached Panchkula last night.

"We told his mother that Pradeep had gone missing. She does not know about his death. It will be a setback for her," said the deceased's cousin Rakesh.

"When we learnt that the divers had recovered the bottle that Pradeep used to carry, our hopes dashed to the ground," said Rakesh.

Rakesh said Akshay told him how they were swept away in the strong currents of the Ghaggar. Akshay does not talk to anyone and avoid stepping out of his house.

Pradeep was Akshay's neighbour in Sector 20.

Villagers and policemen to be honoured

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashwin Shenvi said they had would honour those policemen and villagers who had risked their lives to save the youths. The villagers had rescued eight children. The Panchkula fire brigade department was of a little help on the first day.



Justice Yadav declines connection with case
Had written a two-page letter to the then Law Minister: CBI tells court
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Three months after the then Chief Justice of India granted prosecution sanction in the judge bribery case, accused Justice Nirmal Yadav (retd) had written a two-page letter on November 6, 2010, to the then Law Minister, Veerappa Moily, disavowing all connections with the amount of Rs 15 lakh, allegedly given to her as a bribe.

The contents of the letter are completely in contradiction to the stand of the two co-accused — Ravinder Singh and Sanjiv Bansal — who have stated that Rs 15 lakh was given to Yadav towards a land deal in Solan, CBI special public prosecutor Anupam Gupta told court today.

The letter, a copy of which is in the files of the Government of India relating to prosecution sanction, was made public for the first time today as Anupam Gupta read out the excerpts from the letter in the CBI court during the course of arguments on the framing of charges.

“Justice Yadav wrote in the letter that, I categorically state that the said amount of Rs 15 lakh was not for me,” Gupta told court.

“By necessary inference, Justice Yadav denies that she ever received Rs 15 lakh. The letter in itself negates the stand of both accused, Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh and former Haryana additional advocate general Sanjeev Bansal, who have repeatedly been telling the court that Rs 15 lakh was given to Justice Yadav towards a land deal in Solan,” he said.

Yadav had sent a copy of this letter to the then Chief Justice of India. Moreover, the reference made towards the Solan land deal by Justice Yadav in that letter also negates what Delhi-based hotelier and co-accused Ravinder Singh had been telling the court in his defence, said the CBI.

Citing the letter, Gupta stated that Nirmal Yadav had written in that letter that there were 18 purchasers for the land in Solan and each purchaser paid an equal amount. The total amount of land was Rs 5.52 lakhs and each purchaser paid Rs 30,666, Justice Yadav had stated.

“This totally contradicts what Ravinder Singh had said that an amount of Rs 15 lakh was given towards Solan Land deal. On the other hand, Justice Yadav has stated that each purchaser’s share was Rs 30,666 and not Rs 15 lakhs,” said Gupta.

The arguments on framing of charges will continue in the court tomorrow.

The 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.

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.

Police later arrested 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 NirmalYadav went on leave after her name figured in the bribery scandal. She was later transferred to the Uttarakhand High Court.

PMO’s summary for President

The CBI today highlighted the exceptionally comprehensive and penetrating summary of the judge bribery case prepared by the Prime Minister’s Office on February 3, 2011, for the consideration of grant of sanction by the then President of India, Prathiba Patil. Signed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the summary runs into eight pages. “In the history of the Government of India, there would be a few precedents, if any for such a comprehensive and independent application of mind at such a high level while granting the prosecution sanction. From para to para every aspect of the case has been taken into consideration. If this sanction order is bad in law, no sanction will ever be valid and in that event Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act which requires sanction would need to be deleted,” said Gupta.



Driver of Audi, 4 others arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The Chandigarh Police today arrested five persons in the accident case involving an Audi and a Tavera that left three dead.

The police arrested owner of the Audi car Rajat Kapoor after establishing that he was driving the vehicle when the accident took place. Rajat was arrested under Sections 279 (rash driving), 304-A (causing death by negligence) and 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC.

Police also arrested Rajat’s brother-in-law Trivikram Singh and his friend Gurpreet Singh under Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) of the IPC.

Both have been booked for removing beer bottles from the car. The police also booked two other youths, identified as Harsimran Singh and Prabhjit Singh, under Section 212 (harbouring the offender) of the IPC. They helped Rajat and Gurpreet flee from the accident spot.

The accused were later released on bail.

Sources said Rajat, who was accompanied by his friend, walked down to Sector 17 after the accident from where they boarded another vehicle.

They were on their way Sector 10 from Sector 21. The police found the photocopy of Rajat’s passport in the car. “Rajat and his wife were scheduled to visit Belgium this weekend, said sources.

The accident took place 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 accident took place on the road separating Sectors 18 and 17 when the speeding Audi car coming from the opposite direction on the other side of the road rammed into the Tavera after hitting the road divider. Rajat fled from the spot and later he come to the Sector 17 police station along with his driver, Sukhpal, to make him surrender, claiming that Sukhpal was driving the vehicle.


  • Rajat Kapoor (Owner of Audi): Reckless driving resulting in death of three
  • Gurpreet Singh and Trivikram Singh: Removing beer bottles from the car
  • Harsimran Singh and Prabhjit Singh: Harbouring the offender

Cellphone tower location

The cellphone tower location of Rajat and his driver Sukhpal helped the police establish that Sukhpal was not present at the spot at the time of the accident.



39% schoolchildren malnourished in city, reveals school health report
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
In a city that boasts of modern structure and high per capita income, thousands of government schoolchildren are malnourished.

As per the UT School Health Programme report, assessed for the session 2011-12, as many as 1,44,298 students underwent medical examination in schools located in urban and rural areas and 39.17 per cent of them were found malnourished.

Session 2012-13 was no different as out of 1,06,143 students, 38.17 per cent were found malnourished.

Surprisingly, there was no major difference in the under nutrition tendencies in both the urban and rural schools despite having different socio-economical background.

Check this: In 2011-12, 40.13 per cent students of rural schools had nutritional deficiencies as compared to 38.22 per cent of students in urban schools. In 2012-13, 39.47 per cent students of rural schools had such tendencies as compared to 36.87 per cent students of urban schools.

Dr Ashok Saini, head of the paediatric department, Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, said malnourishment was high among students living in rural and slum areas. Besides, with frequent diseases, they too face loss of nutrition and weight. The prevalence of junk food culture among students living in urban areas was one of the reasons for malnourishment, he said

A government school head said they often tried to make children aware of the benefits of a proper diet in the morning assembly, but for many parents, especially labourers or daily wage earners, a balanced diet for their children was not a priority. Urban school students, on the other hand, had their issues despite better economical background, he said.

Dr Kajal Chawla, a city-based paediatrician, said: “Children are either malnourished or are fighting with obesity.”

She said even in somewhat financially good families, children are not taking right quantity and quality of food and focus is more on carbohydrates and junk food. The problem is, however, different in slums and rural areas as cleanliness and lack of proper diet is a big issue with them.

“Weekly iron and folic acid supplements are strongly recommended to fight under nutrition and anaemic tendencies among students in Chandigarh,” said acting Director Health Dr Rajiv Vadhera.

Of late, the programme to provide iron and folic acid supplements to students is getting a negative publicity as some students in Haryana complained of nausea and diarrhoea after taking the iron tablets. Iron tablets are worldwide accepted to fight malnutrition.



Only 234 PU students pay fee online
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Only 234 students of Panjab University have paid their fee online this academic session. The facility that got a lukewarm response when it was launched in 2009 was revived for students already studying in 57 departments on the campus.

Only 10 students had availed of the online fee submission facility when it was first launched in 2009.

After the university along with the SBI branch on the campus floated the scheme again this year, a fee of around Rs 39 lakh was received online. The PU officials said they expected an increase in the amount next semester with students getting aware of the scheme.

Among the students who paid their fee online, around 61 are from the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) and around 80 from science departments.

To avail of the benefit, students do not need to open a bank account. Parents, relatives and friends can also pay the fee by filling the student’s particulars on the website.

As a roll number is mandatory to pay online, students who have taken admission to the varsity this year will be able to avail of the facility from the second semester.


mysterious letter
Councillor submits complaint to police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
A day after the mysterious letter highlighting the controversial past of Congress leaders was forwarded to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi, a Congress councillor, whose fake signatures were on the letter, submitted a complaint to the UT police.

The councillor mentioned that someone had used his name to malign the image of senior Congress leaders. He demanded a through probe and immediate arrest of the culprit.

He alleged that the letter was also delivered through speed post at another sitting Congress councillor's residence. When contacted, the councillor said that he would also file a defamation case.

On July 25, the letter, which was addressed to Sonia Gandhi and MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, mentioned the controversial past of Congress leaders, including two former Mayors, a former Deputy Mayor, a former councillor and a Congress general secretary.



accident due to stray cattle
Councillors extend financial help to victim’s family
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The SAD-BJP councillors today met the family of Harpreet Singh Sodhi, a resident of Sector 45-C, who had died in a road accident involving stray cattle.

The councillors today provided their one-month honorarium Rs 90,000 to the vicitim's family.

BJP councillor Arun Sood, leader of Opposition, MC, said instead of giving cash or cheque, the councillors decided to give an insurance cover to the family. This way, the family will not only receive money on a yearly basis but will also be benefited at the time of the maturity of the plan.

Sood stated that he had spoken to Congress councillor Mukesh Bassi and he would also extend financial help to the family.

Congress councillor Mukesh Bassi, who had asked all councillors to donate their one-month salary to the victim's family, said he had taken up the proposal with Arun Sood. He said he would discuss the same with all councillors. Harpreet Singh Sodhi (33), a resident of Sector 45-C, died in a road accident on April 6. He was with his eight-year-old son on a motorcycle when a cow came in front of him on the road separating Sectors 49 and 45 and he rammed into the animal.



GMADA hikes plot rates
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 26
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has hiked the rates of plots falling in Sectors 76 to 80 here.

Sources said a decision to this effect was taken at a meeting presided over by the Chief Administrator of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority. Letters giving information about the enhanced rates are yet to be issued to the allottees.

The sources further said the allottees, owning plots measuring between 100 sq yd and 200 sq yd, would have to pay Rs 750 per sq yd as the enhanced amount while those owning plots measuring between 200 sq yd and 500 sq yd would be charged an additional Rs 850 per sq yd.

Those having plots measuring above 500 sq yd would have to pay Rs 950 per sq yd as the enhanced amount.

Shalinder Anand, chairman (coordination) of the Mohali Property Consultants Association, said that Greater Mohali Area Development Authority had hiked the rates of plots when the "market was already low". Such a step was likely to create panic among the allottees, he added.



Restaurant accused of selling beef burgers

Chandigarh, July 26
High drama was witnessed at Elante Mall in Industrial Area today when activists of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) staged a protest against a recently opened restaurant.

They alleged that the restaurant was serving beef burger to customers. The representatives of the food chain clarified that they were not using buffalo meat in the burgers, which was legal.

A police official said the case comes under the jurisdiction of the Health Department. The UT Health Department has collected the samples for testing. — TNS



Medieval Orissa comes to life in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Acclaimed theatre director Ravi Taneja today staged one of his popular plays, Konark, at Tagore Theatre. Written by famous playwright Jagdish Chandra Mathur, Konark took the audience to the famous ancient temple city, showing them glimpses of the political milieu that became the cause of rise and fall of the temple.

Set in medieval Orissa, the play was staged in a pure classical style showcasing Odissi dance performances.

The play unveiled the mystery behind the ruins of Konark Temple. The temple was destroyed by the very hands which created it. A young man Dharmpad took over the task of constructing the temple from the chief craftsman Vishu.

Dharmpad was a highly skilled craftsman but turned rebel as he was saddened on seeing the plight of artisans tortured by the chief of the royal army. It became the cause of the fall of the temple.



New DRM assumes charge

Chandigarh, July 26
Anil Kumar Kathpal today assumed the charge of Ambala Divisional Railway Manager (DRM).

He has worked as the chief rolling stock engineer in North East Frontier Railway, Guwahati. He has served as assistant mechanical engineer, senior divisional mechanical engineer in divisions of Lucknow, Izzatnagar and Mysore. — TNS



A tribute to Kargil War heroes
Tribune News Service

Remembering real heroes
Residents light candles at the War Memorial in Sector 3 to pay tributes to Kargil martyrs on Friday
Residents light candles at the War Memorial in Sector 3 to pay tributes to Kargil martyrs on Friday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, July 26
To mark Kargil Vijay Diwas today, a lecture on higher defence management was delivered at Chandimandir Military Station for serving and retired officers, who are the members of Delhi-based United Service Institution of India (USI) as a part of its outreach programme.

The talk was on 'Restructuring and Integration of the Ministry of Defence with the Three Service Headquarters', which was delivered by Lt Gen Satish Nambiar (retd), former Deputy Chief of Army Staff, Force Commander and head of mission of the UNPKF in erstwhile Yugoslavia.

Integration of the service headquarters with the ministry and the appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff as a single-point adviser to the government of military matters were among the several recommendations of the Kargil Review Committee headed by the late defence analyst K Subrahmanyam to review defence preparedness in the aftermath of the 1999 border conflict with Pakistan. While some of the recommendations have been accepted and implemented, several matters continue to remain pending.
Children light candles to mark Kargil Vijay Diwas at the Chandigarh War Memorial in Sector 3 on Friday
Children light candles to mark Kargil Vijay Diwas at the Chandigarh War Memorial in Sector 3 on Friday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

General Nambiar discussed the need and importance of the restructuring and integration in view of the present and foreseeable security situation, the progress achieved so far, the issues of contentions and the way ahead. The session was presided over by Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi (retd), former Vice-Chief of Army Staff, while Lt Gen Philip Campose, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Command, delivered the keynote address. The event was attended by 150 serving and retired military officers.

A candle-lighting ceremony was organised at the Chandigarh War Memorial in Sector 3 in the evening to pay homage to the martyrs. As many as 527 officers and men were killed in the two-month long conflict, which officially ended on this day 14 years ago.

Residents from all walks of life assembled at the memorial to remember the fallen soldiers and express solidarity with members of their families.



Homage paid to Kargil martyrs
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 26
Homage was paid to the Kargil martyrs at Gian Jyoti Institute of Management & Technology (GJIMT) here on the occasion of the 14th anniversary of the Kargil war.

Many Indian soldiers were killed in the Kargil conflict of 1999 when heavily armed intruders crossed the Line of Control in the Kargil, Drass, Batalik and Turtok sectors to cut-off the strategic Srinagar-Leh National Highway. The Indian forces achieved a glorious victory over the Pakistani army.

The function began with "Salami Shastra" (saluting the martyrs) followed by "Shoka Shastra". A two-minute silence was observed.

JS Bedi, Chairman, GJIMT, said July 26, 1999, would be remembered as mark of triumph in history.



Soon, your psychiatrist will be a click away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The psychiatry department of the PGI is in the process of developing a software which will enable patients to get counselling online.

Head of the psychiatry department Dr Savita Malhotra stated this after reviewing telepsychiatry services started three years ago in Himachal Pardesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.

She said there were only a few professional psychiatrists in India and a majority of them were based in urban areas.

"To meet the needs of the rural population, it has become necessary to develop such a software."

The department is mulling over setting up a helpline which would help a patient consult a specialist.

She said 6.5 per cent of the population was suffering from mental disorders in the country.

On the telepsychiatry services, she said the software had yielded good results and the PGI was thinking of introducing the services in other parts of the country as well.

The PGI will collect data from three telepsychiatry services centres, Regional Hospital, Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh), Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Base Hospital, Srinagar (Uttarakhand) and Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir), to develop a software for the primary-level medication.

When asked about the speed of the broadband connection at the centres for exchanging patients' data, she said at the Jammu and Kashmir centre, the PGI was facing some technical glitches, but the authorities had discussed the issue with the company officials who had assured them of doing the needful.


The PGI will collect data from three telepsychiatry services centres, Regional Hospital, Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh), Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Base Hospital, Srinagar (Uttarakhand) and Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir), to develop a software



Transport Dept earns Rs 19.4 lakh through auction
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 26
The office of the District Transport Authority earned a revenue of Rs 19.41 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 2.19 lakh during an auction of the remaining registration numbers in the PB 65-V series.

Karan Singh, District Transport Officer, said the number that attracted the maximum bid amount of Rs 1, 22, 500 was PB 65 V-0009 against the reserve price of Rs 10,000. It was purchased by Uma Devi.

Registration numbers PB 65 V-0010 was sold for Rs 80,500, PB 65 V-0035 for Rs 70,000, PB 65 V-0100 for Rs 71,000, PB 65 V-0022 for Rs 62,000, PB 65 V-0036 for Rs 50,000 and PB 65 V-0099 was sold for Rs 61,000. The reserve price for these numbers was Rs 3,000.

Similarly, PB 65 V-1313 was sold for Rs 1.05 lakh, PB 65 V-1111 fetched Rs 51,000, PB 65 V-0900 was sold for Rs 46,000, PB 65 V-7777 for Rs 43,000 and PB 65 V-4444 for Rs 32,000. The reserve price for these numbers was Rs 1,000.



Encroachments removed
Tribune News Service

Labourers remove temporary structurers after they were demolished by the Estate Office at Mauli Jagran in Chandigarh on Friday
Labourers remove temporary structurers after they were demolished by the Estate Office at Mauli Jagran in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, July 26
Officials of the UT Estate Office got vacated 5 acres of land at Mauli Jagran today.

Twenty-five scrap dealers had encroached upon the land.

The drive was carried out under the supervision of SDM Balbir Singh Dhol and land acquisition officer Tilak Raj along with two enforcement inspectors Anil Sharma and Parveen Mittal.

The land was vacated following the directions of the UT Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin. Two earthmoving machines were pressed into service.



Zumba dance workshops organised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Young Indians (Yi), an integral part of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), organised Zumba Fitness Dance Workshops at various schools, including The Millennium, Vivek High School, Shri Guru Har Krishan School and Gurukul Global School. Rhythm, high-energy, beat and spirit were the essence of the zumba workshops conducted at these schools. Around 300 students tapped their feet to music today.

A certified zumba fitness trainer of Chandigarh, Manoj Malhotra, is conducting the workshops. Discussing various benefits of zumba, he said, “Zumba blends upbeat world rhythms with easy-to-follow choreography and fitness variations, to bring about a total-body workout that feels like a celebration.

He added, “Children usually love to dance as they have a great deal of energy and like to express their personalities. Zumba incorporates exercise into their daily life and this promotes healthy lifestyle. It is a kind of dance workout that also enhances better body coordination. This activity gives children more coordination and lets them be confident with their bodies.



hostel facility
PU plans change in rules
Only students admitted to vertical courses to get accommodation
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
In a move to keep a check on students who take admission to various courses at Panjab University in order to avail of the hostel facility, the varsity is planning to allot accommodation to only those students who seek admission to vertical courses.

According to the existing rules, the university denies hostel seats to students who have completed postgraduation in one subject from any university and are seeking admission to an MA course in another subject. Now, the authorities plan to add another clause, as per which only those students who take admission to vertical courses will be entitled for the hostel accommodation.

“For example, a student after completing BSc can seek hostel facility on taking admission to MSc, MPhil, or beyond that to Phd. Similarly, a student after completing LLB will get a hostel seat only on pursuing LLM, and then Phd,” said PU officials.

A hostel warden said there were many students who were preparing for the UPSC exams and just to avail of the hostel facility they took dummy admissions to various departments. “Paying guests have to pay huge rents in the city, due to which the UPSC aspirants and even those who are employed in the city take admission to one or the other course in the university”, said the warden.

These students mostly take admission to courses under the Faculty of Arts or Faculty of Languages, sources said.

The proposal for revising the hostel admission rules will be tabled in the forthcoming meeting of the Syndicate besides the proposal for a hike in hostel fines.

There are 17 boys’ and girls’ hostels on the PU campus with a capacity to accommodate around 6,500 students. With the rising number of students on the campus, the number of hostel seats has become inadequate.



faculty development
Two teachers’ delegations to attend second session today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
After the joint action committee of the UT schoolteachers postponed its protest, the second session of the faculty development programme will be held tomorrow at Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 16.

Four sessions on economics, Hindi, sociology and physics will be held in the presence of senior officials of the Education Department including Education Secretary VK Singh and Director Public Instructions (S) Upkar Singh.

Two separate delegations of the joint action committee and Government Teachers’ Union (GTU) will also attend these sessions.

The protest by the joint action committee along with school lecturers against the inaugural session of the faculty development programme on Saturday last week led to the suspension of four schoolteachers. The Education Department also issued show-cause notices to 100 school lecturers.

After days of protest by the joint action committee, the issue is expected to settle during tomorrow’s session. Senior officials of the department said they would monitor the modalities of this programme in the presence of teachers’ delegations and try to make it more teacher-friendly.

GTU president Vinod Sharma said the deadlock over the issue should now be over as the protest evoked a lot of criticism from different quarters of the society.

Sharma said the union would organise a conference to debate on the issues of quality education, extension of school timings, faculty development program, continuous comprehensive evaluation and grading system. The event will take place at the Moti Ram School auditorium, Sector 27, on August 22.



techno minds
15 schools take part in competition

Mohali, July 26
Shemrock Senior Secondary School organised ‘Techno Minds’, an annual inter-school competition for Classes VIII-X.

Around 15 schools from the tricity participated in the event. The students were judged on the basis of content and presentation skills. In Group C (Class VIII), Jasmeet Chauhan and Simrat Boparai of St Anne's School won the first prize. In Group B (Class IX), Shubham and Harjot Singh were victorious. In Group A (Class X), Karanbir and Gagandeep of Shemrock School bagged the first prize. The running trophy was won by Shishu Niketan Public School. — OC



BJF headstart
53 EWS students felicitated on completing 7-week training
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Bhai Jaita Foundation (BJF) today felicitated the first batch of 53 students that completed the initial seven-week training for entrance to the Indian Institutes of Technology and medical colleges under the BJF Headstart 2015 programme.

BJF Headstart 2015 is a free seven-month-long programme with five sessions spread over 2013, 2014 and 2015. It provides academic training to Class XI students belonging to the economically weaker section (EWS) of the society, who are studying at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) across Punjab. These students are being prepared for the engineering and medical entrance examinations.

Addressing the gathering at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sector 25, managing trustee of BJF Harpal Singh said the programme was the result of a collective effort of JNVs and some renowned teachers who came forward to lend their academic support. These teachers have an outstanding track record of sending students to the Indian Institutes of Technology and various medical colleges.

“We also have the encouragement and support of Patna-based Anand Kumar of Super 30,” said Harpal Singh. For the past three years, BJF has been partnering with Anand Kumar for training EWS students for the IIT entrance examination. Till now, four students have been selected for Super 30 coaching and all of them got admitted to the IITs.

“With the launch of BJF Headstart, we expect a substantial increase in this number,” said the managing trustee. The foundation will also be arranging sessions on career counselling and guidance, motivation, communication skills and value-based personality development by outside experts.

BJF Trustee Dr BNS Walia, former Director, the PGI, and teachers RN Arora (mathematics), Manoj Srivastava (physics) and Sukhbir Singh (chemistry) were also present at the function.



from schools
A visually impaired student waters a sapling during a plantation drive at the Institute for Blinds in Sector 26, Chandigarh; and (right) children from Small Wonders School spread awareness on environment conservation at Phase VII in Mohali on Friday
A visually impaired student waters a sapling during a plantation drive at the Institute for Blinds in Sector 26, Chandigarh; and (right) children from Small Wonders School spread awareness on environment conservation at Phase VII in Mohali on Friday. Tribune Photos: S Chandan and Vicky Gharu
A visually impaired student waters a sapling during a plantation drive at the Institute for Blinds in Sector 26, Chandigarh; and (right) children from Small Wonders School spread awareness on environment conservation at Phase VII in Mohali on Friday

Chandigarh: Vanamahotsava was celebrated at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 28-D, by the staff and students under the guidance of headmaster DP Sharma. NV Sharma, wife of Adviser to the Administrator KK Sharma, was the chief guest. The programme was presided over by DPI Upkar Singh, Santokh Sharma (IFS) and area councillor Satinder Singh. Around 100 saplings were planted. The students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 56, also celebrated vanmahotsav with great enthusiasm and fervour. MC councillor Darshan Garg inaugurated the function by planting saplings. Marigold Eco-Club of the school held an interactive session, motivating students to grow more trees and make the environment pollution-free. Students made various posters, placards and raised slogans on the subject.

Principals’ conference

A three-day principals’ conference of the Chandigarh region of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan was convened under the aegis of MP Mahajan, commissioner, Chandigarh Region. Mahajan, in his keynote address, talked about the future course of action and shared his vision for the betterment of academic, sports and co-curricular activities.

Plantation drive

Panchkula: Over 500 students of CLDAV School, Sector 11, took out a rally to persuade the public to care for and conserve nature. Myriad activities were organised by the volunteers of Eco Club. Thoughtful and motivating speeches and beautiful rendition of a song on Mother Earth were followed by planting of 50 saplings in the school herbal garden. The students of the school reaffirmed their commitment to protect the rich biodiversity of the region.

Go Green

A fortnight-long ‘Go Green’ drive organised by the students of Hansraj Public School, Sector 6, culminated on Friday. Punam Suri, president, DAV College Managing Committee, New Delhi, planted a sapling of gulmohar on the school premises. She emphasised on the need to take care of the planted saplings. School principal Jaya Bhardwaj said the students and staff of the school took the responsibility of spreading the message of environment conservation in the surrounding areas. Various competitions focussing on environment conservation were also held during the fortnight.

Environment conservation

Mohali: Over 100 Students of Small Wonders School took part in the rally held to instil sensitivity towards energy conservation among the masses. Dressed in green, the students raised slogans, and carried posters, banners and placards with paintings depicting various ways of conserving the environment. Students walked through various sectors of the town, distributing paper bags.

Club installation

Week-long celebrations of vanmahotsav at St Paul’s Smart School, Phase VI, culminated with the installation of an Interact Club under the aegis of Rotary Club, Mohali. The president of the club, Poonam Gandhoke, visited the school with other Rotarians and appreciated the efforts of the school principal in inculcating the concern for environment among the students.

Ronald Mcdonald tells students to save water

Chandigarh: World-renowned cartoon character Ronald McDonald visited PML SD Public School, Sector 32, to convey the message of ‘Save Water’. Dressed in his red and yellow costume, he mingled with the children, engaging them in fun-filled, but meaningful, activities. The purpose was to create awareness about the importance of water conservation.




Students take part in poetry competition

Chandigarh, July 26
An English poetry recitation competition was organised for the students of kindergarten and Class I at Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior, Sector 33. The selected students recited poems with enthusiasm. All the participants were applauded for their efforts. The ‘Superstar of the School’ competition was also organised.

Painting competition

The students of Gem Public Senior Secondary School, Phase III-B2, brought laurels to the school at an inter-school painting competition. Jasmeet Singh bagged the first position, Vidhi Sharma stood second. — TNS



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