C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘foreign tour’
2 MC officials to pay Rs 4 lakh
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Two officials of the municipal corporation — SS Bida, Chief Engineer, and Mukesh Anand, Superintending Engineer, Buildings and Roads — will have to pay Rs 4 lakh spent on their "foreign tour, which ended before it could start in May".

Following an objection by the Audit Department, the UT Administration has now told the MC to recover the money from the officials. The Administration has also sought a reply in this regard.

The officials were all set to leave on a seven-day tour to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand on the night of May 22, but returned from the Delhi airport as the authorities organising the tour did not get permission to visit the buildings, which the officials were supposed to visit. The MC had paid Rs 4 lakh to the study tour organisers.

MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said they would submit their reply as soon as they received the letter from the Administration.

Sources said the MC had already approached the Engineers Development Council, a New Delhi-based autonomous body of engineers, that had organised the trip, to request it to refund the money.

Councillors had opposed the tour citing financial constraints. A councillor said an engineer's job was to execute the policies framed by the government. There were various places in the country where good infrastructure could be studied. In the future, the authorities should think before deciding on such tours, he said.

Officials had to return from Delhi airport
The officials were all set to leave on a seven-day tour to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand on the night of May 22, but returned from the Delhi airport as the authorities organising the tour did not get permission to visit the buildings, which the officials were supposed to visit. The MC had paid ~4 lakh to the study tour organisers.

Earlier 'controversial' study tours
A report by a six-member committee of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute based in Nagpur about garbage treatment and disposal in the City Beautiful has been gathering dust since October last year. The report was prepared during the tenure of former Mayor Raj Bala Malik

Congress councillors had raised questions over the tour of a five-member committee, headed by Mayor Subhash Chawla, which visited Mumbai this month to study the installation of a biogas plant for processing waste

MC officials mum on purpose of tours

Municipal corporation officials chose to remain mum when asked what purpose the study tours undertaken by councillors from 2004 to 2011 had served. Lakhs of rupees have been spent on the tours. The fact came to light in reply to a query put up by BJP councillor Satinder Singh, in which the MC authorities had stated that they had no information about the purpose of the tours and the projects.



Chargesheet filed against I-T officer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The CBI today filed a chargesheet against income tax officer Rakesh Jain, who was arrested on February 6 this year on a charge of taking a bribe of Rs 50,000 from a real estate agent. Accepting the chargesheet, the CBI court today issued summons to Jain’s mother Kanta Jain and made her an accused in the case as the money was recovered from her undergarments. The next date of hearing is October 9.

Jain was arrested while allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 50,000 from Ashok Arora, a real estate businessman, inside his house in Sector 22 on February 6. Jain had demanded the bribe to settle an issue pertaining to the income tax notices issued to him. Two gold bricks and Rs 24 lakh were also recovered from his residence.

Later, a scrutiny of his bank lockers had revealed another haul of gold as two more gold bricks were recovered from these. Jain had initially demanded Rs 3.5 lakh as bribe, but the deal was finally settled for Rs 2.5 lakh. Arora had paid him the first instalment of Rs 50,000 when the CBI laid a trap and arrested the accused. The bribe amount of Rs 50,000 was recovered from the undergarments of Jain’s mother, Kanta Jain.



Food joint case: Condition of two patients critical
Doctors rule out food poisoning, suspect it to be a case of asphyxia; food samples sent to lab
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, September 27
The condition of two of the 22 persons who were taken ill while having food at Barbeque Nation in Phase V here last evening was reported to be critical today. Doctors said it did not appear to be a case of food poisoning.

In the absence of the required laboratory test reports, doctors were still not clear about the exact reason for the victims suddenly having taken ill at the restaurant.

They said most of the patients had complained of headache, nausea and restlessness. The doctors suspected it to be a case of asphyxia, but ruled out food poisoning.

Dr Tarunjot Kaur, who attended to the patients at the Civil Hospital here last evening, said eight had come to the hospital of which five were discharged after about two hours. The condition of the remaining three was not stable. The three patients were made to go through "a stomach wash" and samples of the vomit were sent for a chemical examination. She said the blood samples of these patients showed “electrolyte imbalance”.

One of the three patients was referred to the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh, but he preferred to go to the Sohana hospital. The others were later discharged.

The Medical Superintendent of SGHS Superspeciality Hospitals, Sohana, Dr Gurpreet Singh, said 14 patients had reported at the hospital last night. Two persons had been discharged and 10 were likely to be discharged tomorrow. The condition of two of them was critical but stable and they were in the ICU. They were likely to be shifted to their hospital rooms tomorrow.

Dr Gurpreet Singh said most of the patients had a severe headache and drowsiness, but their metabolic parameters were normal. They might be suffering from “inhalation injury”. He also ruled out the possibility of food poisoning.

Dr Rajiv Bhalla, Civil Surgeon, said samples of the food taken by the victims were sent to the food laboratory in Chandigarh. In routine, reports from the laboratory were received in about a month’s time. However, Hussan Lal, Managing Director, Punjab Health Systems Corporation, had directed the laboratory to give a report at the earliest and it was expected in two or three days. He said the exact cause of what had happened could be determined only after getting the required medical reports.

What the management says
Sandeep Kumar Pandey, in charge of the Barbeque cluster in Chandigarh, Mohali, Lucknow and Jaipur, said that it was strange that persons sitting in one row in the hall fell ill, but the others had no complaints. Asked whether coal was used for cooking purposes at the eating joint, he said hexacoal, which was superior in quality to charcoal, was used at each table for grilling purposes. This was purchased at a higher price keeping in mind the safety of the customers. The exact cause of their condition was yet to be ascertained, he said.



City youth don’t care much about health: Study
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
A cross-sectional study conducted on 200 college students from Chandigarh, aimed at determining the level of health-promoting lifestyle, has found that less than 50 per cent students use the Internet for searching health-related articles, while a mere 26 per cent go for routine health checkups.

The study found that health promotion was not a major agenda for most of these youth as 30 per cent of them skipped meals two to three times a week while more than 25 per cent regularly ate “unhealthy” processed food like pizza and burger.

Besides, of these 200 students chosen randomly from four colleges in the city, 100 boys and 100 girls each, a mere 13.5 per cent practised yoga.

The authors of the study said skipping meals was a matter of concern as it was a sign of bad health of students, who needed sufficient energy and nutritional diet since they lived an active life.

As many as 35 per cent students had sleep problems, stated the study, published in a book “Health Promotion, Need for Public Health Activism”, released by the School of Public Health, PGI, recently.

The study was conducted by Dr Amarjeet Singh, Professor, School of Public Health, PGI, and Dr Suraj Singh Senjam, Assistant Professor, AIIMS (earlier Senior Resident at the PGI, School of Public Health), in 2007-2008.

Non-communicable diseases like obesity, diabetes, blood pressure, cancer and stroke were on the rise. Increasing use of computer, TV or mobile and “fast life” had aggravated the situation, the authors said. There are six components for a healthy lifestyle —exercise, healthy diet, yoga, spiritual orientation, transcendental meditation and philanthropic activities.

Often skip meals
The study found that 30 per cent of the youth skipped meals two to three times a week while more than 25 per cent regularly ate “unhealthy” processed food like pizza and burger.


peace fest
Foreign delegates converge on city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Over 100 international delegates reached here today for the five-day-long 8th International Youth Peace Fest (IYPF-2013) of city-based NGO Yuvsatta.

During the daytime, foreign delegates visited the world famous Rock Garden. They were delighted to meet its creator Padma Shri Nek Chand.

The delegation comprised 15-member Chinese delegation, besides youngsters from Nepal, Egypt, USA, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Kazakhistan, Kenya, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand, Bhutan, Iran, Brazil and Venezuela.

Sharing her concerns, Tanzila Khan, a young youth trainer associated with the Art of Living, Pakistan, said youngsters in Pakistan had a special love and concern for friendship with Indian youth.

Iqbal Shergill, director, Paragon School, and president, Friends of China Society, said: “If we add China also, strong relations between the trio China, India and Pakistan will mean total peace and overall growth in Asia.”

Later in the evening, a welcome cultural evening was held at KB DAV Senior Secondary Public School, Sector 7.

Tomorrow, the IYPF will be formally inaugurated at Government Post Graduate College, Sector 11, Chandigarh. The programme is supported by the State Cell NSS, Oxfam India, Post Graduate Government College, Friends of China Society, Chandigarh, Jurists & Associates International (JAI), Chandigarh, etc.



PGI uses ‘drama therapy’ for cancer patients
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
While chemotherapy is a must for cancer patients to fight the disease, patients who gathered at the PGIMER today for motivating each other shared the effectiveness of drama therapy in handling the emotional distress of cancer patients.

Bringing out their sufferings and apprehensions at home as well as work place after being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) - a type of blood cancer - in the form of a short play, over 700 cancer patients inspired each other today to fight the “enemy (cancer) and not get pacified with its effects on the body and mind.”

“Drama therapy is fast emerging as a new tool for motivation and platform for emotional outburst for cancer patients, especially those suffering from leukemia. Involving patients into art, including drama and music, helps them build up their confidence as well as anonymously portray their own emotions by enacting the character in a drama,” said Viji Venkatesh, Nation Head, The Max Foundation, which jointly organised the programme with the PGIMER here today.

The characters in the play, comprising both cancer patients as well as a few survivors, portrayed the situation of a man in his early 50s, who after living hail and hearty for many years suddenly suffered weakness. Upon being taken to a doctor in the PGIMER (the character of Dr Pankaj Malhotra, Additional professor, PGIMER), he was diagnosed with CML.

His inhibitions regarding his employer’s reaction upon knowing of the disease were portrayed in the play that left everyone overwhelmed.

“Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a type of blood cancer that is now considered curable in a majority of the patients, if detected in an early stage. The cure of this cancer is possible with the help of medicine called as “magic bullet” or imatinib mesylate,” said Dr Pankaj Malhotra, Additional Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, PGIMER.

The average life of patient with this type of cancer was only 2-3 years before the advent of this medicine. This cancer is now considered as chronic disease like diabetes and hypertension.

Since 2001, the PGIMER, Chandigarh, in association with The Max Foundation is providing this medicine free of cost to poor patients. The number of patients living with this type of cancer and in good state of health has increased tremendously signifying the magic of this medicine.

To create public awareness about cure of this cancer, September 22 is celebrated as “World CML Day”. Following the motto “all united, all unique”, World CML Day reminds us that a close collaboration between scientists, clinicians and patient organisations is a key to improve the outcomes for patients with CML around the world, Dr Malhotra said.



Suman case
Commission summons GMSH-16 medical superintendent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission today summoned medical superintendent of the GMSH, Sector 16, Dr Rajiv Vadehra, also the acting Director Health Services (DHS), for explaining “why Suman has not been paid the full amount as per its orders and show cause why he should not be sentenced to imprisonment for defying the orders.”

The contempt case regarding the “non-payment” of compensation amount to Suman by the GMSH 16, Chandigarh, came up for hearing today before the UT State Consumer Commission.

District Attorney Jatinder Singh prayed for more time to make the payment of over Rs 4.50 lakh as the administration was yet to approve the payment. He produced a letter written by the DHS to the Secretary Health in this regard.

Pankaj Chandgothia, counsel for Suman, pointed out that the said letter was not for approval but for seeking legal opinion. In the absence of the payment, Suman's family was suffering and finding it difficult to make both ends meet, he contended.

Dr Rajiv Wadhera had earlier filed an affidavit before the State Consumer Commission admitting that the full payment had not been made to Suman by the GMSH because it had no means to recover the amount from the three “guilty” doctors, as they were no longer on its rolls.

He also admitted that no appeal had been filed against the compensation orders, but it had paid one-fourth amount as it was only one of the four parties.

The State Commission headed by Justice (retd) Sham Sunder rejected the contention of the hospital and passed orders dated August 19, 2013, holding that it was liable to pay the full decretal amount.

Time was granted till today to make the payment. Upon failure to pay, the Commission today issued summons against Dr Rajiv Vadehra, DHS, to appear personally on October 14.

The Case History
In December 2009, in a case of mistaken identity, two women by the same name in a similar state of pregnancy were admitted to the GMSH, Sector 16. Suman was administered wrong blood units. A unit of B-positive blood that was meant for the other woman was administered to Suman. Due to this, the foetus died and Suman’s kidneys were severely affected and she was admitted to the PGIMER for tertiary care.



City shines on literacy front
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Chandigarh is the most literate Union Territory in the north India with 86 per cent literacy rate, as per the record of Directorate of Census Operations, GoI.

According to Census, 90 per cent males and 81.2 per cent females are literate in the city.

Census Operations, Chandigarh, Director, TN Bindhyeshwari, said this while presiding over the data dissemination workshop that held today on Census 2011.

Bindhyeshwari primarily highlighted the main features of the Primary Census Abstract (PCA).

It gives information about the population up to the district level by sex and rural-urban residence.

It also includes administrative divisions, decadal change during the decennial census, sex ratio, child population in the age group of 0-6 years, child gender ratio, literates, scheduled caste population, and total workers in broad categories of cultivators, agricultural labour and household industry workers.

Referring to the data collected in Chandigarh, he said the city was one of the most urbanised UT in the north India with 97.3 per cent urban population. It had an area of 114 sq km and a density of 9,258 per sq km, the second highest in the country after Delhi.

The total number of workers in the city is 4,04,136 that include 3,28,159 males and 75,977 females.

The overall work participation rate is 38.3 per cent. The work participation rate among males is 56.5 per cent and among females 16 per cent. This shows increasing trends in number of workers.

TN Bindhyeshwari said with the collection of this data the authorities got an indication that there was an increase in all parameters of the Primary Census Abstract from 2001 to 2011. The total Scheduled Caste population is 18.9 per cent, which include 18.3 per cent male and 19.5 per cent females.



UT Adviser holds meeting on Food Bill

Chandigarh, September 27
UT Adviser KK Sharma held a meeting of UT officials on the progress of the implementation of the National Food Security Bill, 2013. UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil had recently directed the officials to make necessary arrangements before the Bill was introduced in the city.

As per the official record, there are 10,000 below poverty line cardholders and 82,000 above poverty line cardholders in the city. The Bill that was approved by the Parliament earlier this month, gives right to subsidised food grain to over 65 per cent population. — TNS



Zirakpur to be IT hub, says Dy CM
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, September 27
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, today announced that Zirakpur would be developed as next IT Hub of the country and a separate Electronic Industrial Cluster would also be created here. He said this at the inauguration of Sewerage Treatment Plant and 66 kV sub-station at Singhpura and Seikhpur Kalan in Dera Bassi built with a cost of Rs 52 crore. Badal said Mohali would be developed as one of the model district in the state, where IT and Electronics hubs would be set up. He said a total 600 acres land has been identified, where IT Hub would be established. He said that these initiatives of Punjab Government would fetch new investments in future besides securing employability for youth.

He said after setting up of IT hub at Zirakpur more than 1.5 lakh job opportunities would be created. Addressing the gathering, deputy chief minister said State has fixed a target to bring investments worth Rs 10 lakh crore in coming years. He said a delegation would leave for Bengaluru to organise a road show, where hundreds of industrial giants will participate.

He criticised congress led UPA Government and said time has come to wipe out most corrupt congress led UPA Government, which is lead by a weak Prime Minister. He said UPA has failed on all fronts, which should be thrown out of power in the interests of country. He asked the electorates to elect Narendra Modi to save the country from corruption and scams.



Licence of PVR Cinemas restored
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Two days after suspending the licence of PVR Cinemas at the Centra and Elante malls for two days, the Deputy Commissioner restored the licence of the company. A team led by the Duty Magistrate opened the seal of the projector rooms this morning.

The teams of the enforcement teams led by the Tehsildar, DS Baloria, descended on the malls to open the seal.

DC Mohammed Shayin said the management had tendered a written apology for ignoring the notice. Accompanied by the police, the enforcement teams first went to Elante and then the Centra mall to open the projector rooms.

Commercial building sealed

Teams of the UT estate office today sealed a commercial building in Sector 35 here this morning. A number of offices, including a crockery shop, were running from the resumed building. A senior UT estate official said despite being resumed, the premises was being used to run business. The building was resumed on the orders of the SDM (south) under the Public Premises Act.



‘Language great medium to win hearts’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The Chandigarh division of the LIC organised the Hindi Fortnight Closing Ceremony today at the Divisional Office, Sector 17-B, Chandigarh.

Madhav Kaushik, Secretary, Chandigarh Sahitya Academy, was the chief guest. LC Meena, Senior Divisional Manager, Chandigarh division, presided over the function. A large number of officers and employees of the LIC were among those present.

While addressing the gathering, Kaushik said language was a great medium to win hearts and the LIC was such an institution that had been familiar with the common masses through the Hindi language and serving the citizens of the country.

He said over 2,000 words like ‘Kar Seva’, ‘Langar’ and ‘Ghalugharaa’ from Indian languages had been incorporated in the encyclopedia.

He added that around 50 Punjabi words were being used in the Dutch language and this shows that every language was exchanging its words for the convenience of its users.



world tourism week
Kavita Krishnamurthy mesmerises audience
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Famous Bollywood playback singer, Kavita Krishnamurthy enthralled the audience at Sector 17 Plaza, as part of the Chandigarh Tourism and CITCO’s World Tourism Week. The Tribune is the media sponsor for this four-day festival.

The singer started the Bollywood Musical Evening with her famous song ‘Om Namah Shivaye’, followed by her other famous bollywood numbers.

The day was dedicated to so many activites. It began with ‘Su-Prabhat’, a classical music function, at the Sukhna Lake in, Chandigarh.

Vocalist Piyousha Mitra recited raga ‘Ahir Bhairav’, well supported by percussionist Debashish Dhar on tabla.

Besides, acclaimed music composer and flute maestro Ravinder Singh also enthralled the audience with his classical recital. He opened up the recital gradually unfolding the melody of raga ‘Nat-bhairav’ through short ‘alaap’ and a ‘chhota khyal’ in the fast-paced ‘Drut’. Another artiste Sitarist Parth Sen also presented melodic raga bhairav.

After the classical recital, local residents got the chance to see the city’s fine architecture through the heritage walks.

Interesting functions are lined up tomorrow. In the morning at 8, a tourism walk will begin from the Chandigarh College of Architecture to the Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, via War Memorial - Bougainvillea Garden and Leisure Valley.

A Photography Exhibition on the theme ‘Chandigarh Timeline’ is scheduled from September 28 to 30. A ludo game, made on the map of the city, will also be held in Sector 17. A large ludo exhibit of sectors and tourism spots shall be depicted at the ground level where public can participate and play.

KK Sharma, Adviser to the UT Administrator inaugurated the International Coffee Festival here at Hotel Mountview. Tanvi Garg, MD, CITCO, and Director, Tourism, Chandigarh, was also present. A theme-based fashion show on coffee was the highlight of the evening in addition to the participation by five foreign countries namely Ethiopia, Turkey, Kenya, Indonesia and Bolivia.



Folk band enthrals audience
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Folk band “Just Ittefaaq” featuring Jasleen Aulakh (lead vocalist) Nitin Parashar on bass, Rohit on lead guitar and Naaz performed at the Tagore Theatre. Organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi, the band presented its famous songs, including “Paisa paisa” and “Supna” (a song written in honour of the girl child in India).

The people enjoyed the music that showed the realities of life. Inspired mostly by folk and Sufi music, the band presented melodies that appealed all listeners.



Laws related to hospitals discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
A CME-cum-workshop on “laws applicable to hospitals, issues, challenges and possible solutions” was conducted by the Department of Hospital Administration, PGIMER, on September 26 and 27.

This was the fifth CME of the popular series conducted by the department in which some of the important laws related to hospitals are discussed and debated.

Around 120 senior hospital administrators with varied experience and from different parts of the country attended the CME. It was also graced by Dr PS Prasad, Director-General, Railway Health Services.

On the concluding day of the CME, the PC-PNDT Act, CLA (Abolition & Regulation) Act and the RTI Act were discussed.

Prof AK Gupta in his presentation on the Contract Labour Act said this law had been rightly enacted to prevent the exploitation of contract labourers.

He stressed that every hospital administrator should be aware of the intricacies of this Act as outsourcing in current times was unavoidable.

Dr RK Sharma and Dr Navneet Dhaliwal, Assistant Professors, Department of Hospital Administration, spoke on the RTI and the PC-PNDT Act, respectively.

This was followed by a panel discussion and a workshop in which practical day-to-day challenges vis-à-vis these Acts encountered by hospital administrators were discussed and debated.



Police harassing Cong workers: MLA
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 27
Congress MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu alleged here today that his party workers were being harassed by the police.

In letters written to the Punjab Governor, the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister, Sidhu said on September 25 the vehicle of Congress worker Sohan Lal, a resident of Machhlikalan, was parked at Landran village. It was impounded by a police party from Kharar. The police allegedly harassed the Congress worker till midnight and when nothing was found, the vehicle was released.

The MLA said Landran village did not come under the jurisdiction of the Kharar police station, but under Mohali. He said earlier Congress worker Baljit Singh of Thaska village was also harassed, and after a demonstration, he was released by the police. Sidhu sought action against the guilty police officials.



Former PU professor dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Dr S Bhatnagar, former Director of the Institute of Distance Education, Panjab University, and author of several books, breathed his last here today.

A widely travelled personality, Dr Bhatnagar, who was the founder of the Kangra Welfare Association that helps poor children and widows, got job in the evening college as assistant professor of political science at the PU. He went abroad for a diploma in public administration at the Institute of Social Studies.



Panel begins inspection of pvt schools
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
A three-member committee looking into the fee hike issue in private schools in the city has begun the inspection.

The committee visited Ankur School in Sector 14 today and checked its financial details and other facilities thoroughly.

The inspection is the part of the probe that the committee is undertaking under the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Through its judgment dated April 9, the high court appointed this committee to find out whether the hike in fee in private schools in Chandigarh for the session 2012-13 and 2013-14 was justified and reasonable.

Even as the committee began its probe on the issue soon after the high court’s directions, the inspection in schools did not begin until now since it faced a lot of problems in getting initial financial and academic details from these institutions.

Majority of the schools delayed furnishing their details to the committee in response to its pro forma, which the committee sent to them many a times.

In between, city’s minority schools raised the issue that the court judgment was not applicable on them and they were not under the purview of the committee’s probe due to their minority status. It got clarity after the high court recently ordered that its judgment on the issue was applicable on all schools irrespective of their minority status.

A member of the committee said all these issues took a lot of time and that was the reason why its overall probe got delayed.

“Nevertheless, things have come on track now, and with inspection getting started in schools, the probe will soon lead to final conclusion,” he said.

Head of the committee Justice RS Mongia (retd) told Chandigarh Tribune that the panel was expected to finish inspection in all private schools by the year-end and then another one month to compile its final report.

“We are hopeful that since there are no major issues left now, the committee will complete its task entrusted by the court within four to five months,” he said.

He said today’s inspection in Ankur School in Sector 14 was satisfactory. There was some little information required, which the school will sent to the committee within two-three days.

As per the information, the committee has planned inspection in four schools within the next two weeks. It will visit Aurbindo Public School in Sector 27 on September 30 followed by DAV School, Sector 8, and Sri Gobind Singh Collegiate Public School, Sector 26, on October 5 and October 9, respectively.

Soon another round of inspection would be mooted for which the schools concerned would be duly informed in advance, said a member, adding that all schools, including the minority schools, would be thoroughly probed.



Government Middle School inaugurated in Mani Majra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The infrastructure development in city’s government schools got a boost with the opening of Government Middle School in Mani Majra, here, today.

Adviser to the UT Administrator KK Sharma inaugurated the school in the presence of UT Education Secretary VK Singh and DPI (S) Kamlesh Kumar.

A cultural programme staged by students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Mani Majra, and Sector 16, marked the inauguration ceremony.

Addressing the gathering, the Education Secretary said three more schools in Mani Majra were under construction and one of them would open within two months and the others in the next session.

He said within a year, the Education Department was hopeful of adding 15 more schools, mostly in periphery areas, having huge strength of students.

“We are also trying to introduce smart school facilities in our upcoming schools, he said.

VK Singh said plan of six more schools was also under consideration, besides the recruitment process of teachers and administrative staff. “We are hopeful of recruiting at least 1,500 teaching staff in the next session, he said.

KK Sharma congratulated the department and said it was a matter of pride that it was timely building new schools with the help of the Engineering Department.

He urged the department concerned to timely expedite other projects that were under construction to give children best education in the city.

Kamlesh Kumar presented the vote of thanks. Kumar said the department would start another school in Mani Majra before November end, which would help a lot in easing the pressure on the existing infrastructure.

The new school comprised 17 rooms and would accommodate nearly 700 students. 

‘New college for Mani Majra soon’
Adviser to the UT Administrator KK Sharma said the city administration has given the in-principle approval for constructing a new college in the Mani Majra area. The Municipal Corporation has already given the land for the project and soon the construction work will begin. The college will impart vocational education, besides traditional courses



Re-designation of teacher raises eyebrows
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The issue of re-designating the Stage Craft Teacher at Department of Indian Theatre as the assistant professor, which is scheduled for discussion in the upcoming Senate meeting, has raised many eyebrows as the teacher only posseses a degree of BA and BEd apart from a diploma in the Indian Theatre.

Interestingly, the university is considering re-designating Shveta Mahendra as assistant professor when she is not even postgraduate.

As per the UGC guidelines, candidates should have passed MA and must have cleared NET conducted by UGC or the candidate should be a professional artist with first class degree or diploma from National School of Drama or any other such approved institution in the country and abroad, five years of regular acclaimed performance in regional, national, international stage.

On the representation made by Shveta Mahendra for designating her as assistant professor in a department, a committee was formed by the university, which held a meeting in August 2012. During the meeting, it was resolved that Shveta does not fulfil the qualifications as prescribed by the UGC for the post of the assistant professor.

The VC, after considering the recommendations of the above mentioned committee did not accede to the request made by the teacher stating she does not fulfill the qualification for the post of assistant professor as per UGC.

A committee then examined Shveta’s case again and the issue was taken-up in the Syndicate, which after discussion resolved that she should be re-designated as the assistant professor. Surprisingly, the syndicate has also stated that the teacher should be re-designated as the assistant professor from the date of her joining. 



Syndics told to attend today’s meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Fearing that Syndicate members may boycott its meeting scheduled on September 28, Panjab University (PU) Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover today requested them to attend the meeting.

In an email addressed to the Syndicate members, Professor Grover said the action-taken report with regard to a case of sexual harassment at GTB Khalsa College, Dasuya, would be put forward for discussion in the meeting immediately after the consideration of new appointments.

“Members are requested to attend the meeting in the larger interests of the university,” he said.

On behalf of various university offices, he expressed the regret for the delay in filling updates to the Syndicate and the Senate.

The members had staged a walkout on September 21 after the action-taken report was not brought to the meeting for discussion. The meeting was then rescheduled for September 28, however, the members demanded that the meeting should be further postponed to October.



A lifetime experience for Strawberry school students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
An empty classroom devoid of the customary chairs and desks. In their place, cotton rugs and dhurries with bolsters and cushions neatly arranged. Traditional lamp in a corner and fresh marigold fragrance. Boys and girls enter in solemn silence.

Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, eminent artiste and the Grammy award winner, enters, smiles indulgently at the students, who spontaneously smile back and stand, clapping in his honour. He settles in, adjusts his mohan veena (slide guitar) and embarks on his musical presentation, interspersed with informal dialogue with the students. The ensuing sixty minutes is a mesmerising experience.

For those, familiar with the Spic Macay movement, would know that certain schools across the country have promoted Indian classical music amongst young people, by bringing world-famous artistes, on the school premises. The Strawberry Fields World School has begun this initiative and Pandit Bhatt has been the second eminent musician to be invited for a show in the school, the first being last month.

'What is the mohan veena?'; 'Is it good to have fusion music?', 'How did you feel receiving a Grammy?" 'How can the Indian classical music find a firm foothold in the western world?' were some of the many questions that were fielded to Panditji.

Atul Khanna, Director of the School expressed satisfaction at the way the music series have taken off at school. He said, "Frankly, I was not sure how students would respond. Sitting in an auditorium is one thing, participating and enjoying it another. Given young people's music preferences today and the fact that they are more comfortable with their technology devices, attending a lec-dem was something I was not sure how they would respond to. I am so glad that their attention did not waver."

Afsana Roy, a student of Class XII, had this to say, "We must be in touch with our roots. When we visit foreign countries, we cannot fail but notice how people there talk so passionately about their history, artistes and culture. Its time, we young people, took greater interest in our music, art and other forms of excellence.

"As artistes, we need to be able to relate to young people and answer their questions, in ways that satisfy them. And for that, we need to do our homework too. They are the future of the country, and indeed, we should be more than happy to work with them to nurture our traditions.", added Pandit Bhatt.



Freshers have a gala time

Mohali, September 27
Manvinder Singh and Nimarjot Kaur were adjudged Mr and Ms Fresher during a freshers’ party, AGHAAZ-2013, organised at Chandigarh University, Gharuan.

Suhani Arora and Rasik Priya were adjudged the Best Walk in a keen competition, while Aastha won the Beautiful Smile Contest and Sarbeshwar walked away with the Best Looks Award during the talent hunt contest.

Bollywood and Punjabi actor Arya Babbar, along with Miss World Punjaban-2008 Mohitinder Bawa, gave away the titles to the winners. On a demand of the students, Ammy Virk, an upcoming youth Punjabi singer, enthralled the audience with his numbers.

The university campus witnessed a musical extravaganza during the day. Rashpal Singh Dhaliwal, president, Chandigarh Group of Colleges, was the guest of honour. — OC



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