C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Dengue stings tricity
 Sector 15 resident tests positive, first case of virus this year 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
A 62-year-old resident of Sector 15 has tested positive for dengue. The patient is admitted to the PGIMER and his condition is stated to be critical. This is the first dengue case reported in the tricity this year, with the Health Department officials fearing the number to multiply alarmingly.

The aedes mosquito causing dengue begins to breed towards the end of monsoon. More than 350 cases of dengue were reported at city hospitals last year, breaking records of the past five years.

Finding larvae in 10 out of every 100 coolers inspected in households in and around the city, the UT Health Department has expressed fears of higher number of cases this year.

The survey of more than 1,000 houses, especially on the city’s periphery, revealed that residents were not aware of dengue.

“Coolers are the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes,” said an official from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), Chandigarh unit.

“The aedes mosquito breeds easily in fresh water. As the coolers remain covered from three sides, the water usually remains out of sight,” the official added.

“The dengue-causing mosquito is known as aedes mosquito. It is in water in the form of egg or larvae for seven to 10 days. This is the most crucial time where we can stop its breeding,” the official added. 



Police books rape accused after girl confides in teacher
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
A Class X student of a prominent private school in the city, who was allegedly being raped by her neighbour, narrated her plight to her schoolteacher, who further called up at the women helpline number and got a case registered against the accused.

The police booked the 19-year-old youth in a case of rape and criminal intimidation under Sections 376 and 506 of the IPC and various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act at the Sector 36 police station.

The accused, identified as Anand, who hails from Uttar Pradesh is a resident of Kajheri. He is at large and a police party has been dispatched to nab him. Some of his relatives were rounded up for interrogation.

The police said the victim was raped by the accused repeatedly over a period of time. The girl was scared of narrating the incident to her parents.

She finally mustered courage to confide in her schoolteacher, who called the women helpline number. A police team headed by a female officer interacted with the victim and motivated her to come forward against the accused.

In her statement to the police, the victim said she was scared to narrate the incident to her parents as they would beat her up.

The girl’s medical examination confirmed that she was raped. Her parents were taken into confidence by the police.

Only yesterday, the police had arrested a Sector 44-based tutor, Dalip Malhotra, for molesting a 14-year-old female student at his house. He was produced in court today and sent to judicial custody.

In another case, the local police arrested a Mansa resident for passing lewd remarks at and making obscene gestures to a girl. The accused has been identified as Jagpreet Singh. The incident took place near Sector 36. A case under Section 294 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 36 police station. The accused was later bailed out.



City receives highest rainfall in a day, breaks 9-yr record 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The city recorded 102.8 mm of rainfall in a day, breaking the nine-year record. The mercury dipped to 28.2 degree Celsius, five notches below normal. The minimum temperature also dropped to 24 degree Celsius.

Reports of the Met department revealed that the city had recorded 75 mm of rainfall on August 16, 2011. In 2012, the city recorded the highest rainfall of 56.2 mm in a day, while it was 39.6 mm in 2010. The maximum temperature recorded during August in the past nine years varied between 36 and 37 degrees. The minimum temperature was between 19 and 23 degree Celsius. Met department director Surinder Pal Singh said the monsoon would be more active in the next week.

The Met office has predicted thunderstorms and rain in next 36 hours. The southwest monsoon has been active over the Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Himachal. 



Rs 30,000 spent, Syndicate meeting postponed
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The Panjab University authorities postponed the Syndicate meeting today on account of Eid-ul-Fitr, ignoring the fact that each meeting costs the university Rs 30,000.

Members of the Syndicate said the decision should have been taken a day before to save time and money. The meeting was called to discuss the remaining agenda items of the Syndicate meeting held on July 27. The decision was taken when the meeting was about to start and all arrangements were in place.

The meeting is attended by 20 members, including 15 Syndicate members, the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and Controller of Examination.

The local Syndicate members have the right to claim travel allowance (TA), while the outstation members can claim the travel allowance as well as dearness allowance.

Dinesh Talwar, a Syndicate member, said during the last meeting held on July 27, he had mentioned that Eid was on August 9. But the authorities scheduled it for today.

Calling it wastage of money, a senior Senate member said: “The university should have taken the decision earlier and if the members had come for the meeting, it should have been convened. The university will have pay the travel and dearness allowances to the members and spend on lunch and refreshments again at the next meeting.”

The meeting will now be held on August 13.

PU Registrar AK Bhandari said the members passed the proposal to postpone the meeting. “Moreover, there is not much expense involved in holding the meeting. 


Sec 16 housing society
Order stayed to appoint Naib Tehsildar as administrator
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The Secretary Cooperation-cum-Home Secretary, Anil Kumar, has stayed the order of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Mohammed Shayin, to appoint Naib Tehsildar, Inder Pal as Administrator of the Chandigarh Sector 16 House Building First Society Ltd, Sector 50, till the next date of hearing on August 30.

The Administrator had been appointed in the ongoing case of alleged anomalies in the functioning of the society.

The orders have been stayed after the management of the society moved an appeal before the Secretary (cooperation) stating that no opportunity had been given to them before the registrar appointed the Administrator. It was further contended that in the impugned order, it was nowhere mentioned that registrar had formed the opinion that managing committee was making persistent default or was negligent in performing the duties imposed by the Act.

The registrar while appointing the administrator had been pointed out that the society had been making persistent willful default and negligence in performing its duties as per the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act, 1961.Regarding the pending dues with the Chandigarh Housing Board, it has been stated that the society has not received full amount from the members, so the outstanding dues on account of the CHB cannot be deposited. As regard the defaulting amount, there is only Rs 75 lakh as principal amount due. 



Duckling rescuer’s trying experience
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Seeking help from 'ill-prepared' officials of the UT Forest and Wildlife Department in rescuing eight ducklings left a bad taste in a Sector 38 resident's mouth. A teacher at Panjab University, Dr Gulshan Kumar, saw eight mallard ducklings at his doorstep on Thursday morning.
Ram Pal Yadav, a contractual employee at Sukhna Lake, takes the ducklings to the island in the lake.
Ram Pal Yadav, a contractual employee at Sukhna Lake, takes the ducklings to the island in the lake. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari 

Terrified as two of them had already been devoured by stray dogs, the ducklings, too frail to fly to a safer place, took shelter outside Kumar's house which is located next to a thickly forested area.

All this while, the mother duck kept hovering protectively around the ducklings.

Kumar managed to get through to the forest officials for help as he found it difficult to look after the avian creatures. The moment two employees of the forest department landed at his residence to handle the ducklings, Kumar's ordeal began.

Instead of laying a trap to bring the mother duck close to the ducklings, the employees kept waiting for the mother to come on its own, which upset Kumar.

He said in the evening, they advised him to catch the mother duck and inform them thereafter.

Range Officer Karan Singh said they wanted to rescue the ducklings along with their mother as chances of the survival of the little ones were always more when the mother was around.

"The two employees were not only rude but kept discouraging me," said Kumar.

"Why did you rescue the ducklings and who will take the responsibility if they die were some of the questions that the employees asked me to put me off," said Kumar. "They told me that I should not have sheltered the babies," he said.

It was yet another frantic call made to the Range Officer, Karan Singh, on Friday morning that forced the employees to come to Kumar's place and rescue the duckling.

On visiting the SPCA animal shelter home, the employees were told to release the ducklings into Sukhna Lake as the water body is home to different species of ducks.

But the indifference of the wildlife officials did not end there.

The ducklings were left to fend for themselves. Within minutes, crows and other birds could be seen around the ducklings, but labourers working at the lake rescued the ducklings.

It was inhuman as the department officials did not even take the little ones to the lake.

One Ram Pal Yadav, a contractual employee at Sukhna Lake, took the pain of releasing them into the lake. There is an island for ducks there.

"The ducklings will be safe here," said the worker.



124 docs get appointment letters 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 9
Health and Family Welfare Minister of Punjab Madan Mohan Mittal gave appointment letters to 124 regular ayurvedic medical officers at the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare in Phase VI.

Mittal said the department of ayurveda had for the first time made such a big number of appointments after 1954. With the appointment of 124 ayurvedic doctors, people in rural areas will get better health services at ayurvedic dispensaries. He said the Punjab Government was committed to strengthening the traditional Indian system of medicine and was making efforts in this direction.

The minister said ayurveda provided solution to many ailments despite major advancement in other sciences of medicine. "The department will soon fill the remaining posts of ayurvedic medical officers as well as posts in the homoeopathy department," Mittal said. He urged the doctors to serve society selflessly.Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Punjab, welcomed the doctors. She exhorted them to serve people with utmost dedication and sincerity. She stated that the Punjab Government was determined to strengthening AYUSH services in the state as a part of which the recruitment of ayurvedic medical officers on a regular basis as well as under the NRHM (from 2008 to 2013) was under way. Hussan Lal, secretary-cum-commissioner, AYUSH and MD-NRHM, said the ayurvedic doctor were recruited on a merit basis.

They took the written test and were also interviewed. He stated that a three-day induction training would also be imparted to the newly appointed doctors. 



Recounting Russian Revolution 
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
"Mother, we are socialists." These words pierced the heart of Pavel's mother who transformed into a revolutionary and became a soul-stirring figure of Maxim Gorky's The Mother, which was staged on the concluding day of Roopak Kala welfare society's three-day feminine theatre festival.

Adapted by Kewal Dhaliwal in Punjabi, the play took the audience back to pre-revolutionary days of Russia and focused on the role that women played in the struggle of the Russian Working Class Revolution in 1905.

At the outset of the play, a 45-year-old woman was shown in a miserable condition, living with her son Pavel. He joined the factory near home and there he realised the collective power of workers who were often subjected to harassment and oppression. That led to his closeness with like-minded socialist workers, which initially bemused his mother but later she herself joined the revolution for the sake of her son. Her house became a centre of revolutionary activities. Then came the crucial May Day demonstration in which Pavel was arrested along with the other comrades. The criminal proceedings began against him and he along with his comrade worker was exiled to Siberia. There came news that he was shot dead and that shattered his mother. However, she did not step back rather she stepped into the shoes of her son and fought against disparity and injustice in society.

The highlight of the play was the fact that the local audience got the opportunity to see a Punjabi adaptation of a novel which is considered a turning point in the history of Russian Revolution and influenced the generation of writers in Russia Sangeeta Gupta, who directed the play along with Jagdish Tiwari, played the main role of Pavel's mother and was able to catch the audience's attention. Music was the backbone of the play that helped in unleashing the energy of the text.



law & order MEETING
Constant vigil a must: Shivraj Patil

Chandigarh, August 9
The police force has onerous and important responsibility of maintaining law and order and protecting the life, liberty and property of our people. These views were expressed by the UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil, during the monthly law and order review meeting on Thursday with UT police officials.

Patil emphasised the need to keep constant vigil to avoid any untoward incident during Independence Day, 2013. He also reviewed the law and order arrangements being made by the Chandigarh Police to deal with various rallies, demonstrations, religious procession, cultural events etc. He instructed that all such events should be dealt with in a firm and legal way.The Administrator said that possibility of video recording of the scene of crime and statement of witnesses may be examined within the given legal frame work. He also emphasised the need of strengthening of the cyber crime cell by imparting training to police personnel. 



Sewayian, biryani mark Eid celebrations
Tribune News Service

Muslims gather near the Sector 20 mosque to celebrate Id-ul-Fitr in Chandigarh on Friday.
Muslims gather near the Sector 20 mosque to celebrate Id-ul-Fitr in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan 

Chandigarh, August 9
The festival fervour gripped the tricity as hundreds of Muslims offered special prayers at mosques on the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr.

They exchanged warm embraces and also took part in sumptuous feats with family and friends. Eid al-Fitr, also called the sweet festival is important as it marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. People wished one another "Eid Mubarak", and exchanged gifts and enjoyed special dishes, particularly “sewayian” made of vermicelli, “phirni” and different varieties of biryani and kebabs. Mosques in the city were well lit up and were overflowing with devotees since morning. People visited their relatives and also gave alms to the needy.



Women revel in Teej flavour, compete with one another 
Tribune News Service

Students and staff of Mata Sahib Kaur College of Nursing celebrate at Balongi village, Mohali, on Friday.
Students and staff of Mata Sahib Kaur College of Nursing celebrate at Balongi village, Mohali, on Friday. Tribune photo Vicky Gharu

Chandigarh, August 9
The Chandigarh Social Welfare Board today organised a teej programme at the Community Centre in Ram Darbar. MP Pawan Kumar Bansal’s wife Madhu Bansal was the chief guest on the occasion. During her address to the women on the occasion, she spoke on various measures being taken by the government for the security and welfare of women.

The chairperson of the board, Kamlesh, welcomed the chief guest and outlined the activities of the board and the purpose of teej celebration. The winners of the five competitions, including mehndi, traditional dress show, cookery and kite flying were declared.





jnnrum  scheme
Extension of time schedule relief for UT 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The announcement of extending the time schedule for the release of subsidy under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNRUM) by the Union Government has provided a big relief to the UT Administration as none of the project funded under thescheme has been completed so far. The Central Government has decided to extend the time schedule of the schemes funded under JNNRUM till March 31, 2014.

Records of the Administration revealed that the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India , had sanctioned the augmentation of the water supply scheme of Phase V and VI for Chandigarh under the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The total cost of the project earmarked at Rs 171 crore was released by the Centre under JNNURM. But the work is yet to be completed due to the denial by the Punjab government to release water under Phase V and VI of the water supply scheme.

Similarly, the Chandigarh Housing board had received a grant of Rs 177 crore for the implementation of the small-flat schemes. A senior official of the administration stated that the extension of the deadline will prove a boon for completion of these mega projects.



use of  expletive
There is no provision for action under MC Act: Mayor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
A day after BSP Councillor Jannat Jahan Ul Haq used an expletive in the MC House meeting, city Mayor Subhash Chawla said that there was no provision to take action against any councillor in the MC Act for using abusive language in the House meeting.

The Mayor said that councillors should restrain themselves for using such kinds of words in the House. When contacted, Haq said that she was not bothered about small-time Congress leaders who had condemned her beahviour. The Congress has created such an atmosphere in the House and in the city that developmental activities had come to a standstill, she added.She further added that she never raised question on MC’s functioning in the last one-and-a-half year, but she finally raised an issue because residents of her ward (Deep Complex) were suffering. She said she was angry and used an adjective in the House but it was not against any individual. She will continue to work for her voters, who had elected her, she added.

On the use of unparliamentary language in the House, the Chairman of BJP’s National Committee on Legal Affairs and former city MP Satya Pal Jain, said that members be it of the MC, Panchayat or Parliament, should use decent language. Use of derogatory word is alien to parliamentary democracy. More than the legal issue it was an issue of behaviour, he added.

He further added that it was also for the ruling party to see why the member of the House was so angry. What led to her outburst? he added. 



Mayor should not comment on particular community: BSP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The local unit of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) today targeted Mayor Subhash Chawla for commenting on a particular community in yesterday’s MC House meeting.

Hafiz Anwar Ul Haq, convener (BSP), Chandigarh, in a press statement, said that the Mayor should not play politics by giving statement on a particular community in the House meetings.

When contacted, Haq said that the Mayor was the first resident of the city and he should not be commenting on a particular community. The public will teach the Congress a lesson in the coming parliamentary elections, he added.

Haq also added that Cong-led municipal corporation had created obstacles for BSP councillor Jannat Jahan Ul Haq to work for the public. He said the BSP councillor was committed to work for her ward despite of the problems created by the Mayor and other Congress leaders, he added. 



No trained staff to catch stray cattle: MC Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The municipal corporation does not have trained staff to catch stray cattle during night hours in the city. Former Senior Deputy Mayor and Congress c5ouncillor Darshan Garg had raised the issue of stray cattle at yesterday’s House meeting. He had pointed out that instead of catching one or two stray cows, why couldn’t the MC staff catch the whole lot of them that roamed in his ward at night.

To his question, MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh had replied that there was limited staff with the MC and they were not trained to catch the stray cattle.

He also replied that in a number of cases, the MC did not get timely support of the police which also delayed their stray cattle catching operation. The MC is very much serious about catching stray cattle that not only damage MC properties but pose risk to human life, he added.

Recently, after the death of a resident of Sector 45 in an accident involving stray cattle, the MC had taken a tough stand to deal with the stray cattle menace.

Few days ago some villagers had gheroad the MC office for impounding the cattle of poor village residents. 



Waterlogging plagues city dispensaries 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The health department claims to have kept a tab on larvae breeding and released gambusia fish into stagnant water, but it has failed to find out the real cause for the spread of vector-borne diseases.

Every time it rains, water gets accumulated outside dispensaries in the city. This can result in a malaria outbreak.

The accumulated water can also lead to the spread of dengue.

Waterlogging is a common problem outside the Civil Dispensary in Sector 22.

Rainwater gets accumulated in front of the dispensary's gate. The problem persists in low-lying areas.

Stagnant water exposes the claims of the officials.

The problem was highlighted in these columns. The officials had blamed residents for the problem. They said it was the responsibility of the residents to bring such problems to the notice of the authorities.

While the road in front of the Sector 22 dispensary lacks a road gully, the entry point to the Sector 26 dispensary has potholes. The department cannot quell the spread of the vector-borne diseases, until it gets to the root of the problem. Such conditions are favourable for mosquito breeding. 



  tricity SCAN

Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated

Former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal today celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr at mosques in Sector 20, Sector 56 and Madrasa, Mani Majra. Bansal was accompanied by Pardeep Chhabra, Chanchal Chitranjan and Mahipal Sharma.

Blood donation camp

A blood donation camp was held at Kharar campus of the Doaba Group of Colleges. The camp was organised by the blood bank division of the GMSH-16, Chandigarh. More than 100 units of blood were collected. Students who donated blood were given appreciation certificates and free refreshments.

Orientation programme

The management, faculty and staff of Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, welcomed newcomers. The institute held an orientation programme. — TNS 



transfer POLICY
School heads overstay their welcome
Continue to serve at same government school even after completion of five-year tenure
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Pointing to the influence wielded by school heads in the UT government schools, the information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that heads of five schools have been serving at their respective institutes for over five years.

As per the transfer policy of the UT Education Department, however, a principal or headmaster/headmistress cannot stay at a particular school for more than five years.

Among these school heads, Indra Beniwal, principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), Sector 10, tops the chart. She has been serving as the head of her school for over nine years now, and has never been transferred during her tenure as a principal.

Surendra Singh, meanwhile, has stayed at GMSSS-33 in his present capacity as the principal since November 12, 2007. Prem Joshi, principal of GMSSS-44, completed her five-year tenure on February 14 this year, while Sadhu Ram, headmaster of Government High School (GHS), Hallo Majra, and Surinder Kaur, headmistress of Government Model High School (GMHS), Sector 39, completed their five-year stay last month (see box).

There are eight other heads of government schools whose five-year tenure is set to get over this year. The heads of GMHS-20D, GHS-Karsan and GMHS- 43, for example, will complete their five-year tenure at these schools next month on September 11, September 16 and September 25 respectively.

The five-year stay of the headmaster of GMHS-38D will be over on November 18 this year, and the principal of GMSSS-47D will also complete her five-year stay on November 20.

Besides them, heads of GMHS-25, GHS-40 and GHS-11 will be eligible for transfer on December 4, 2013.

A school head requesting anonymity said, “Despite Chandigarh being a small city, everyone wants to work close to their home. Those who have contacts with influential people manage to stay at their preferred schools for longer period.”

The Tribune in its earlier report in these columns highlighted that how over 500 government teachers have been working at the same school for over 10 years, flouting the transfer policy norms.

Talking to this correspondent, UT Education Secretary VK Singh said the transfer policy would be implemented as per the rules.



PGGCG-11 students made aware of traffic rules
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Traffic Awareness and Road Safety Society of the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, held an orientation programme for the freshers.

First-year students from humanities, commerce, medical and non-medical streams participated in the orientation function. The function started with an address by programme coordinator Dr Cheena Gambhir. She highlighted various traffic and road safety related issues.

Dr Gambhir motivated the students to come forward and generate awareness among fellow students and the masses about making the city accident free. A documentary was also shown to students to make them aware of traffic rules. Literature related to traffic rules was also distributed to the volunteers by the Chandigarh Traffic Police. 



New students welcomed at Desh Bhagat varsity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The Desh Bhagat University School of Management and Computer Sciences held an induction programme for all the first-year students of various streams.

The programme acquainted the students with the academic and training facilities available at the university. Vice-Chancellor Dr SS Chahal inaugurated the programme.

All the students and members of the staff attended the programme.

Director of the School of Management and Computer Sciences Nidhi Gupta advised the students to inculcate the values of hard work, commitment and dedication.



panjab university
Getting hostel seat an uphill task for girls
 700 students still on waiting list, DSW says process will be completed by September 15
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Getting a hostel seat is an uphill task for girl students at Panjab University this year, as over 700 girls are still in the waiting list for the hostel admission.

With only 30 candidates left without a hostel seat, the waiting list for boys’ hostels is not as long as the one for girls’ hostels at Panjab University.
With only 30 candidates left without a hostel seat, the waiting list for boys’ hostels is not as long as the one for girls’ hostels at Panjab University. A File photo

There are around 3,300 hostel seats in eight girls’ hostels on the campus. With girls comprising the majority of student strength, the problem of inadequate number of hostel seats keeps escalating every year.

While there were 500 girl students on the waiting list in 2012, the number has gone up to 700 this year. The first waiting list will be released by the middle of this month.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) Navdeep Goyal said around 350 girls would get adjusted in the existing hostels.

“We are trying to open Girls’ Hostel No. 9 by November, so that another 350 students can get an accommodation,” Goyal said.

The waiting list for boys’ hostels is not as long as the one for girls’ hostels. There are only 30 boys on the waiting list.

The DSW said the authorities were speeding up the process of allocation of hostel seats, and were hopeful of completing it by September 15.

“I don’t want students to keep waiting for hostel rooms till October. The waiting list for boys’ hostel will be cleared by this weekend,” said Goyal.

PU officials said the delay in allocating hostel seats by departments also left many students stranded. The DSW office has asked the departments to allocate the seats to students by August 14.

If the departments fail to do so, the seats will be transferred to other departments on the campus.

The DSW office has also written to the University Institute of Engineering and Technology, asking the department to send its request regarding additional hostel seats, keeping in view the strength of students studying there.



No clarity on who will crack the whip on firm
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Controversies and confusion surrounding the purchase of school uniforms for government schoolchildren fail to die down.

Mumbai-based Alok Industries was supposed to deliver school uniforms in the last academic session.
Mumbai-based Alok Industries was supposed to deliver school uniforms in the last academic session. A File photo

There is no clarity on as to who will crack the whip on Alok Industries, the company that delayed the delivery of uniforms to schools. The uniforms were supposed to be supplied in the last academic session.

The officials of the Education Department say since schools directly entered into an agreement with the company through tenders, they should issue the penalty notice to the Mumbai-based firm.

On the other hand, schools say the issue is too technical and complex for them to handle on their own. Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, Anujit Kaur told this correspondent that the local officials of the company had even stopped responding to their calls.

“We don’t know what to do about it,” says the principal.

A school head seeking anonymity said the Education Department should have alerted the schools about the poor reputation of Alok Industries, before they signed a contract with the firm.

“The firm was fined Rs 10.60 lakh for the delay in delivery of uniforms to the department during the centralised purchase in the 2010-11 academic session. Neither the department informed the schools about this, nor the firm disclosed it in the affidavit submitted by it,” says the school head.

Headmaster of Government Model High School, Sector 34, Vinod Sharma said utter confusion surrounded the issue. He said the firm should have delivered the uniforms before July 31.

“The department should intervene as Alok Industries is not responding to the reminders,” says Sharma.

Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Mani Majra, Kund Bala says the supplier had not delivered the complete order.



PGGC-11 fails to weed out wild growth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Students at Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11, are having a tough time due to the wild growth in the park adjoining the hostels. It has restricted the movement of students and hostel residents. The college authorities have turned a blind eye to the wild growth even as grass has grown up to the height of benches installed in the park.
Students have a tough time walking through the wild growth on their way to the hostels; and (below) grass grows up to the height of benches installed in a park at Post Graduate Government College in Sector 11, Chandigarh
Students have a tough time walking through the wild growth on their way to the hostels; and (below) grass grows up to the height of benches installed in a park at Post Graduate Government College in Sector 11, Chandigarh. Tribune photos: S chandan

A college student said the authorities should ensure that the surroundings were cleaned regularly and the wild growth was cut so that the students could utilise the space.

Hostel residents also use the path that cuts through the ground to reach the two hostels on the campus.

Students said during monsoons, there is the risk of being bitten by snakes that can not be seen in the wild growth.

“It is risky to sit on the benches in the monsoon season,” said the student.

College Principal JS Raghu, however, told this correspondent that the grass was being cut regularly on the campus. He said it was due to the monsoons that the grass got wet and could not be cut.

"Students have not approached me with this particular problem," said the principal.



Take charge of your digital life, experts tell students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Spending time on social networking websites can be fun, but it also carries the risk of our personal data getting in the wrong hands. Informing students of this risk and asking them to take charge of their ‘digital life’ was the aim of a session on cyber security conducted at DAV School, Sector 8.

A cyber security expert interacts with students at DAV School, Sector 8, in Chandigarh.
A cyber security expert interacts with students at DAV School, Sector 8, in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

The resource persons, Panchkula-based cyber security experts Upasna Saluja and Samridh Saluja, gave tips to students on how to become responsible ‘online citizens’ and take utmost precautions while using various social networking sites.

Upasna, who works with Thomson Reuters in the field of information security, said it was important for students to protect their data on Facebook and other websites with strong passwords, which should be long and contain upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

“Use different passwords for different accounts and don’t share the password with anyone,” she told the students. She shared an example of a Bengaluru-based girl whose Facebook account was misused by her classmate after he managed to access her password.

She also told the students to be aware of the cyber legal issues in India and conscious of what was legal and illegal, since wrong conduct could push them on the wrong side of law.

“If your identity is stolen or you are a victim of some form of cyber crime, it is your duty to immediately inform parents, teachers and file a police complaint if the matter is serious,” said Upasna.

Samridh informed the students about social engineering techniques that intend to trick people into divulging private information through calls, emails, websites, text messages, interviews, etc. He said students should be wary of those callers who try to rush them into some activity that involves providing them with personal or confidential information.

“Never give your password or any other confidential information over the phone or by e-mail as it is legally banned too,” he told the students.

Both the speakers asked the students to maintain a good online reputation, since it could affect their future prospects during job interviews.



ETT teachers hold protest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 9
Teachers of the Elementary Teachers Training (ETT) running under the Panchayati raj and the Nagar councils staged a protest outside the office of the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats at Phase-VIII today. The teachers opposed the foundation of a separate directorate for the Panchayati raj teachers.

Teachers Union (ETT) president Jagsir Singh Sahota said, “Over the past six years, as many as 13,000 teachers have been demanding that they should be covered under the Education Department. The government had earlier agreed to accept the demand but they have not yet fulfilled the promise.”

The protesters said if their demand against the formation of the separate directorate was not accepted by August 17, they would be compelled to gherao the residence of the Rural Development and Panchayat Minister, Surjit Singh Rakhra, on 18 of this month.



GMCH should consider percentile: Panel
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Taking note of the Chandigarh Tribune report highlighting how discrepancies in the selection criteria for MBBS seats at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, axed the eligibility of two disabled candidates, the National Commission for Disabled Persons today said that if the Medical council of India’s (MCI) guidelines were applicable then candidates must be considered for admission only on the basis of percentile.

“The MCI’s guidelines are applicable to GMCH and those guidelines provide for percentile as the basis, then candidates with disabilities must be considered for admission only on the basis of percentile,” said, , TD Dhariyal, Deputy Commissioner for Disabled Persons, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

He even pointed out that if the criteria of percentage were working to the disadvantage of the candidates with disabilities the authorities concerned could also consider relaxing the standard if the candidates with disabilities with the prescribed standard (percentile) were not available to fill all the seats reserved for them.

“Given the information in the news item, I will also suggest that the candidates concerned should request the court for an urgent hearing and decision in the matter if the issue in question is pending in the court," he added.

Chandigarh Tribune had, three days ago, reported that while in compliance with the guidelines of the Medical Council of India, both the disabled students had percentile in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) above 45 - the minimum eligibility score - they were declared ineligible as GMCH decided merit on the basis of “percentage” and not “percentile”.

The two seats reserved for disabled candidates were allotted to general category students. As per the certificate issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the NEET score of Savitri, one of the six physically handicapped candidates who applied, was 82.97, much above the 45 level. Yet, she was declared ineligible since the institute considered her percentage score for the admission that happened to be below 45 percentile.

Similarly, the other candidate Anu Narwal, who scored 134 marks, the second highest, was also considered ineligible as her percentage was taken into consideration, while her marks were much above the minimum required marks 89 for eligibility in the physically handicapped category. 



Hired CCTV cameras to keep a close watch on PU campus
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Panjab University, on the basis of inputs provided by the Chandigarh Police, has identified sensitive locations on the campus where closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras will be installed for a month.

With student council elections round the corner, around 40 such hired cameras will keep vigil at strategic locations that include the Department of Laws, University Institute of Engineering and Technology and outside Girls Hostel No. 5.

The university authorities took the decision of installing hired cameras at various locations during a recent meeting.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) Navdeep Goyal said there were several locations on the Sector 14 campus and South Campus in Sector 25 that needed strict vigil.

“Around 40 cameras have been hired especially for the student elections. These would be installed in the coming week,” said the DSW. The DSW said although police personnel would also be deployed at the strategic locations, the university was installing the cameras to record the activities.

“The CCTV cameras will also be installed at all the entry gates in Sectors 14 and 25. The high-resolution cameras will even capture the image of the driver and the registration number of the vehicles moving in and out of the campus,” said Goyal.

Officials said the university had also purchased seven high-resolution cameras. The authorities had been planning to install the high-resolution cameras for the past two years. Against the demand of 75 cameras, PU decided to purchase 45, for which a tender was floated; however, the cameras were not purchased. 



Festive fervour

Chandigarh: There was an air of festivity at Shishu Niketan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22-D, as students celebrated the Teej festival. The junior wing students came dressed in fancy attires. A mehandi competition was held for the senior wing. Preetika bagged the first prize, followed by Prabhleen on the second position. Pallavi and Ayushi shared the third prize.
Student celebrated Teej at Ajit Karam Singh International Public School in Mohali.
Student celebrated Teej at Ajit Karam Singh International Public School in Mohali. A Tribune photogarh

Teej celebrations

GN Holy Heart Public School, Mauli Jagran, celebrated Teej on the school premises. Mehandi design and giddha competition marked the festivities. Mamta of Class VIII won the first prize, while Ramandeep of Class VI was declared the runner-up.

Children celebrate Eid

Students of Green Castle Public School, Sector 47, celebrated Eid. The headmistress told the students importance of the festival. Students of the primary wing made beautiful cards for their teachers.

Plantation drive

A plantation drive was organised by the National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers and Eco Club of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 20-D, in collaboration with the Residents’ Welfare Association of the sector. Principal Nirmal Singh welcomed the guests and motivated them to plant and take care of trees.

Prakash Utsav

Prakash Utsav of Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahibji was celebrated with religious fervor at Sri Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary Public School, Sector 40-C. Students took part in ‘shabad kirtan’ and welcome the dignitaries.

Vanamahotsava Week

Marigold Eco Club of Government Model High School, Sector 43, organised various activities during Vanamahotsava Week. During Eco-Club Day and Herbal Day, students participated in essay writing, poetry, and wall paper competitions. Headmistress Parminder Kaur Grewal and the school management committee joined the staff and students for a plantation drive saplings.

Children stage play

The nursery class students of Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 41, staged an informative play during the morning assembly. They apprised the gathering of the reasons behind the drop in rainfall and enumerated ways to prevent it. After the play, they danced on foot-tapping songs.

Students bring laurels

Panchkula: St Xavier’s High School, Sector 20, won ‘Quest-International festival of Biotechnology’, hosted by City Montessori School, Lucknow. The school team competed with 68 other teams from India and abroad in five events. Dolsy Narang bagged the first position in Transom, the PowerPoint presentation. Other events were e-painting, just-a-minute, collage making and creative writing.

Festivities abound

Eid and Teej were celebrated at New India High School, Pinjore. A special morning assembly was at which students of Classes VIII-X delivered a speech on Teej. Students of Class VII presented a Rajasthani group dance. Principal Vijay Lohri apprised the students of the importance of the two festivals.

Colourful celebrations

The pre-primary section of Shishu Niketan Public School, Sector 5, Mansa Devi Complex, celebrated Teej on the school premises. Students came to the school in traditional dresses such as salwar-suits, lehanga-choli and wore colourful accessories. Girls applied mehandi on their hands — TNS



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