C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Govt schools a sinking ship
Enrolment dips in government institutions as parents prefer private schools
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The craze for private schools is growing in the city too. If the data provided by the UT Education Department is an indication, parents are shying away from admitting their wards to government schools. The data shows a negative trend of enrolment in primary classes (I-V) in UT government schools.

The UT Education Department’s Annual Work Plan for 2013-14 obtained under the Right to Information Act, reveals that the department recorded a –3.28 per cent dip in primary classes enrolment at government schools in the 2012-13 academic session. Private schools in the city registered a growth of 3.23 per cent in the corresponding period.

As many as 61,939 students were enrolled in primary classes in 104 government schools in 2012-13 against 64,038 students in primary classes in 2011-12, registering a negative growth.

As far as private schools are concerned, 30,739 students were enrolled in primary classes at 70 schools in 2012-13 in comparison to 29,777 in 2011-12. The government-aided schools too have witnessed an increase in enrolment at primary level from 1,261 in 2011-12 to 1,347 in 2012-13. Seats in nursery classes are still vacant in government schools in the current academic session.

A school head said: “Anybody having a reasonably good income prefers to admit his ward to a private school. Despite having good infrastructure and free education, government schools are not preferred by parents.”

The negative trend is more visible in urban areas as compared to schools on the city’s periphery, where the enrolment in both primary and upper-primary level is high due to migratory population.

Officials are of view that the enrolment in primary level classes would further dip because of the implementation of neighbourhood criteria in government schools under the Right to Education Act.

“The education department has strictly implemented neighbourhood criteria from this academic session under which schools cannot enrol students living beyond 3 km of the school’s radius. This will impact the enrolment in primary classes in government schools as government schools are not popular in the city,” said a school head.

On the other hand, the enrolment in upper primary level classes (VI-VIII) in government schools has registered a growth of 6.47 per cent. Officials of the department attribute this to high promotion rate in government schools on the city’s periphery.



Owner, staff of Barbeque Nation booked
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 29
The Mohali police has registered a case against the owner and staff of Barbeque Nation at Phase V on the charges of causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others (Section 337 of the IPC), professional misconduct (Section 338) and sale of noxious food and drink (Sections 272 and 273) at the Phase I police station.

The case has been registered on the complaint of Abhishek Tandon, who was celebrating his birthday at the restaurant and most of his guests were taken ill after eating food on September 26.

DSP Rajinder Singh Sohal said the police has also received written complaints from a couple of victims. “The case has been registered and more sections will be added if the report of food samples fail quality test,” said the DSP.

Twenty-two persons, including three women and five children, were taken ill after having dinner at the restaurant on Thursday night. AK Suri, administrative officer of Sohana Eye Hospital, said two patients, Devbhashi and Javed, were still admitted to the hospital while 20 persons had been discharged.

Deepak Verma, whose family also fell ill, claimed that the management of the restaurant came to meet him and said the incident took place due to gas leak. “If that was the case, why only customers fell ill,” said Verma.



In-laws held for harassing woman
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 29
The Mohali police has arrested father-in-law and sister-in-law of an NRI woman for allegedly harassing her for dowry. The complainant, Maninder Kaur, also alleged that her father-in-law tried to outrage her modesty when she was alone at his house at Phase VII. The accused have been identified as Kulbir Singh and Jasbir Kaur.

Inspector Navin Pal Singh Lehal, SHO, Mataur police station, said the USA green card holder Maninder Kaur got married to Kulbir Singh’s son Satbir Singh in 2010. “The complaint stated that after marriage, the couple shifted to the US and returned for treatment in February this year. In May, Satbir went back to USA. Maninder, who went to USA on September 8, was shocked when she found her husband missing. After failing to trace him for a week, she returned to India on September 15,” said the SHO.

Maninder alleged that her father-in-law and sister-in-law started harassing her for dowry.

Following her complaint, the police registered a case under Sections 323, 354, 294 and 498-A of the IPC against Kulbir Singh and Jasbir Kaur.



Drunk youths held for teasing salesgirl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The police has arrested three youths for allegedly teasing a salesgirl at a mall in Industrial Area, Phase I, on Saturday. The accused, identified as Daljit Singh, Gautam and Kamal Preet Singh, are in their early 20s and reside in a paying guest accommodation at Phase IV, Mohali.

The youths, in an inebriated state, created ruckus at the mall when two guards tried to overpower them. The security guards at the mall tried to intervene which led a scuffle between the guards and the accused.

The police reached the spot and arrested the youths. Medical reports of the accused confirmed that they had consumed alcohol.



Now, study tour for women councillors
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
They might have failed to do their bit for women in the city, but members of the Women Empowerment Committee are all set to head for Gujarat on a five-day study tour starting from October 14.

The study tour will cost the MC Rs 7 lakh. Women councillors, including SAD’s Harjinder Kaur, Congress’ Raj Bala Malik, Poonam Sharma and Sheela Devi, BJP’s Heera Negi, Asha Jaswal and Rainder Kaur Rattu, are members of the committee. Two MC officials will also accompany the councillors to Gujarat.

The MC has started the process to book air tickets for the members of the committee. They will be putting up at a five-star hotel in Gujarat. Some of the members of the committee, who had always opposed the study tours, have readily given their consent for this sojourn. Vice-chairman of the committee and BJP councillor Heera Negi said they would study the projects implemented by the Gujarat civic body for women empowerment. Former Mayor and Congress councillor Raj Bala Malik said she would not be able to accompany the committee members to Gujarat due to some important engagements.

Mahila Bhawan yet to be completed

The much-hyped Mahila Bhawan, projected to be a big step towards women empowerment, is yet to be constructed. Former Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni had laid its foundation stone on December 19, 2009.

Small groups

After facing a lot of criticism, the MC has decided to change the pattern of study tours. Now, the MC will send councillors in small groups. Earlier, a group of around 20 councillors and their family members used to be a part of the tour.

Foes turn friends

Once foes, the women members of the committee have now turned friends as they have given their consent to go on the tour. The women councillors had entered into a scuffle during the House meeting in May. They had even lodged police complaints against each other. They were not even allowed to speak with each other during the House meetings.



open house response
International flight service grounded

How can international flight service be held up? By extending watch hours, we can create job opportunities. The Ministry of Defence must make some room for private airlines. Security is above all, but then change is also a must.

Thakar Mejie, Chandigarh

Watch hours should be extended

The Ministry of Defence should help improve the economy. By extending the watch hours, it will be doing the region a favour.

Arvind Mahajan, Panchkula

Facility to prove beneficial

International flights will not only facilitate residents of Chandigarh, but will also come as a relief for J&K and Himachal Pradesh residents. At present, they have to go to Delhi to catch a flight.

B Madaan, Chandigarh

Night flight service should be okayed

The Chandigarh airport wears a deserted look after 8 pm. Trivial issues should be kept aside. The ministry should give a green signal to night flights. The airport should be made a happening place.

SC Luthra, MHC, Mani Majra

Strengthen infrastructure

The airport is used by the defence for supplying bread and butter to forces in Ladakh. Supporting the Army there is a costly affair. Udampur, Jammu and Pathankot should be used by the forces and the Chandigarh airport should be spared for commercial purposes. Cement and steel should be used in strengthening the infrastructure. China uses 60,000 tonne of steel per month whereas India uses only 10 per cent. There are 2 lakh cars in the city and the road length is just 200 km.

AK Goel, Panchkula

Things that never changed

I have been associated with the Chandigarh airport since 1980. At that time, there were only two domestic airlines, Indian Airlines and Vayudoot. Since I have worked with travel agencies and three domestic airlines, I am well aware of the changes that have taken place with the passage of time. Everything changed, but watch hours remained the same. The Indian Air Force still has the control over the runway and air traffic. The only relaxation is that earlier the flights were allowed to operate from 'dawn to dusk' whereas now the time has been extended to 8 pm. Since the runway belongs to the Indian Air Force, it's failure to grant permission for night landing is holding back the airport's plan to start the international flights. The Indian Air Force cites security as the reason behind its decision. The airport now has escalators, flight information display system, customs office, immigration office, aero bridges and a waiting lounge. The Airport Authorities of India has improved infrastructure at the airport. One thing which it lacks is an independent authority. Why can't we have better connectivity from the city?

Gurpreet S Malhotra, Chandigarh

Wait gets longer

It is strange that night flights are yet to start from the city. We have to go to Delhi to catch a flight for New York. The international flight service should be started soon as rushing to Delhi and then waiting for hours becomes taxing.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

City should have a new airport

The city needs a new airport as the population is growing. It must cater to domestic as well as international travellers. It should have the state-of-the-art facilities. It will boost the domestic sector. The airport will attract foreign airlines. The project may take time, but the planning can start.

Colonel RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt

Timings should be convenient

International flights seem to be a distant dream. The ministry should introduce or add flights. The timings of departures and arrivals should be set according to the convenience of travellers. Holding up the international flight service is not a wise decision. Night flights are the need of the hour. MP Pawan Kumar Bansal should take up the matter with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Airport Authorities of India.

Sachin Sharma, Chandigarh

An unending wait

Man Mohan Singh, chairman, Hotel and Restaurant Association of ChandigarhWhen will international flights start from the city? The question cannot be answered with certainty. It has been a long pending demand of residents but the wait seems to be unending. The international flights from the city will promote tourism. It will also prove beneficial for representatives of overseas business. The Ministry of Defence should rise to the occasion.

Man Mohan Singh, chairman, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Chandigarh

Ankit Gupta, Secretary, Chandigarh Hospitality AssociationIf the Goa airport can manage watch hours, why can't Chandigarh? Both come under the Ministry of Defence. The Indian Navy earns revenue from the Goa airport authorities on account of aircraft movement. If the cut-off time is 8 pm, an international traveller will have to catch a flight early which means he will end up wasting his day. Night flights are encouraged worldwide to bridge time gap.

Ankit Gupta, Secretary, Chandigarh Hospitality Association

Open house question

Patients visiting the PGI are often forced to buy medicines at exorbitant rates, courtesy high monthly rent charged by the PGI authorities. This forces chemists to pass the burden on to the patients. The PGI has now decided to auction shops on the basis of the highest discount offered instead of asking for higher rents. What can be done to unburden the patients?

Write your suggestions to [email protected]


PUDA, GMADA plan world-class mall for Mohali
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 29
Mohali will soon have a replica of The Dubai Mall. After paying a visit to Dubai recently, officials of the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) and Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) have decided to construct the mall over 80 acres at Phase VIII.

GMADA chief administrator AK Sinha said the mall's concept, facilities and advance infrastructure was quite impressive.

Sinha said the mall would have separate zones for shopping, kids, entertainment, fun and eatery.

Residential area has also been proposed on 30 per cent of the land.

"Company undertaking the project will be constructing the flats," said Sinha, adding that it would be the first mall to have such provision.

"The kids section will be having fancy dresses and sets of fire station, hospital and multinational company," said Sinha.

He said the officials have also mooted a fountain.

Sinha said they would be tabling the proposal soon.

When asked if they would take the company into consideration, Sinha said their aim was to construct the world-class mall and if the company would have better plans, they would include those in the proposal.

  • GMADA chief administrator AK Sinha said the mall's concept, facilities and advance infrastructure was quite impressive.
  • Residential area has also been proposed on 30 per cent of the land.



Welfare board without teeth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The Chandigarh Social Welfare Board is a dormant body, courtesy the slack approach of the UT Administration. As the Administration has failed to issue a notification, the board has not been able to launch even a single project for the past 11 months.

A number of projects have been awaiting the board's approval. These include five new crèches, revision of funds for nutrition and revision of honorariums. The Administration has been dilly dallying the issue.

After the tenure of the former chairperson of the board, Lalit Joshi, came to an end, no fresh panel for the board's chairperson was sent to the Central board. Chandigarh Social Welfare Board's chairperson Kamlesh said the Administration had assured them of doing the needful, but it has not done anything so far.

Sources said the board members had sent three reminders to the Administration for recommending the panel for the appointment of the chairperson, but the authorities did not respond.

Following which, the Central board appointed Kamlesh as the chairperson of the board.

As per norms, the chairperson of the board is to chair a meeting and four social workers, four ex-officio members, including directors of the social welfare department, public instructions, technical education and health, should be the members.

Projects hang fire

A number of projects have been awaiting the board's approval. These include five new crèches, revision of funds for nutrition and revision of honorariums. Sources said the board members had sent three reminders to the Administration for recommending a panel for the appointment of the chairperson



Country on a high
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
India is one of the fastest growing markets for alcohol in the world, state figures of the the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). During a CME at the PGIMER today, experts said official figures revealed that 50 per cent of alcohol consumed in the country during 2012 was country made.

Dr Rajoo Singh from Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, said presently, 6,700 millions litres of alcohol worth Rs 50,000 crore was consumed in the country and it was likely to triple by 2105.

"A startling figure of a metropolitan city revealed that 45 per cent of Class XII students had consumed one or the other forms of alcohol," he said.

Prof SK Sarin, director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Diseases, New Delhi, dwelt on the effect of alcohol on liver and how alcoholic liver disease was emerging as a major cause of chronic liver disease in India.

He shared his experience on the use of steroids and baclofen in the treatment of early states of alcoholic liver disease.

Prof A Saraya from AIIMS told delegates how alcohol damaged the pancreas.

Alcoholic pancreatitis is rapidly becoming a major health problem in the country with high mortality.

At the PGI, more than 60 per cent of the liver cirrhosis cases were caused due to alcohol addiction in patients, a preventable substance.

In a debate on effects of alcohol, Dr HK Bali, director, cardiology, Fortis Hospital, presented data showing that alcohol consumption reduced cardiovascular events and mortality.

Dr Ajay Duseja from the PGI said there was a risk of alcohol ingestion to other parts of the body like brain, pancreas and respiratory system.

Prof Vivek Benegal from NIMHANS, Bengaluru, who had done extensive research on alcohol-related problems, threw light on the economic impact of alcohol on family and society.

The government loses more money from alcohol-related industrial losses and costs of injuries. He showed data that India earned equivalent to USD 216 billion from excise and taxes but spent USD 244 billion on health costs, accidents and absenteeism.



Revision of poll rolls to be conducted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
On the directions of the Election Commission of India, the UT Election Department is conducting a special summary revision of electoral rolls in the city. This was announced following a meeting conducted by Home Secretary Anil Kumar.

As part of the exercise, claims and objections have been invited from the residents and they can do so from October 1 to October 31 at all the designated polling stations between 9 am to 5 pm.

For awareness of the residents, the Election Department, UT, Chandigarh, is organising a “Vote-athon” at Sukhna Lake on October 2, which will be followed by rendition of patriotic songs by singer Nitin Dawar.

The main focus of the Election Department is to encourage young residents to enroll themselves as electors of the Chandigarh Parliamentary Constituency.

Special camps for enrollment of young residents will be held in the universities, colleges and schools of Chandigarh. An NGO “Volunteer for Better India”, is helping the Election Department in conducting the campaign.

‘Vote-athon’ at Sukhna on October 2

For awareness of residents, the Election Department, UT, Chandigarh, is organising a “Vote-athon” at Sukhna Lake on October 2, which will be followed by rendition of patriotic songs by singer Nitin Dawar. The main focus of the Election Department is to encourage young residents to enroll themselves as electors of the Chandigarh Parliamentary Constituency.



wheat allergy
Gluten-free diet intake not easy for patients: Experts
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Dr Rajoo Singh Chandigarh, September 29
Inability to adhere to diet-free of gluten (a component of wheat causing allergy) is a major challenge for patients suffering from wheat allergy as they are prohibited to eat all forms of breads, which are most common food item in households, say experts.

Patients, who came to the PGIMER for dietary counseling today, shared their difficulty in avoiding breads and bakery products, which rule the markets and are the most popular snacks today.

“Patients diagnosed with wheat allergy are always prescribed to eat rice, jowar and shun wheat and barley products completely. Being in the habit of eating chapattis and bread before being diagnosed with the allergy, they face difficulty in switching over to gluten-free diet. We spend at least 40 minutes per new patient in dietary counselling to help them accept that they will have to follow a strict regimen to sustain good health - Dr BR Thapa, Professor, Department of Pediatric Gaestroenterology, PGIMER.

The deviations and lack of acceptance remains quite high among children, in particular. Aruna Malik, mother of a 12-year-old patient of celiac disease (wheat allergy), who came for the counselling said, “My son was diagnosed with the disease about four years ago. Children are very fond of eating cakes and all forms of bakery products, including biscuits and Maggi. It is very difficult to have one child eat everything and prohibit the other.”

“He has grown up now and understands the importance of gluten-free diet. He develops symptoms like vomiting and diarrhoea , when ever there is wheat intake, so he prefers not to eat wheat products”, she added.

The PGIMER had set up food stalls for the celiac disease patients today, offering some gluten-free snacks made of home-made besan (gram flour) and other products to motivate them. Over 100 patients attended the programme at the PGIMER.


While diarrhoea, poor growth and anaemia are the commonest symptoms, other features include short-stature, constipation, rickets, refractory anaemia and obesity.

Food prescribed

Patients diagnosed with wheat allergy are always prescribed to eat rice, jowar and shun wheat and barley products completely. Being in the habit of eating chapatis and bread before being diagnosed with the allergy, they face difficulty in switching over to gluten-free diet. “We spend at least 40 minutes per new patient in dietary counselling to help them accept that they will have to follow a strict regimen to sustain good health,” said Dr BR Thapa, Professor, Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology, PGIMER.



world tourism week
Penultimate day witnesses a plethora of activities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The colourful coffee cup-making contest marked the fourth day of World Tourism Week at Sukhna Lake. Organised by the Chandigarh Tourism department in association with CITCO and The Tribune, over 200 children from across various schools of Chandigarh participated in the competition.

Two winners were declared in each category. Deepak and Bhavnish of Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), Sector 15, bagged the first prize, followed by Japjeet and Deepakshi of Delhi Public School, Sector 40, on the second position and Jaspinder (GMSSS-28) and Suraj Singh (GMSSS-26) on the third spot.

The colourful coffee cups designed by the awardees were displayed in the coffee shops of Hotels Mountview and Shivalikview.

CITCO’s International Coffee Festival, being organised as a part of the tourism week, is garnering a good response from coffee lovers. The event is witnessing the participation of foreign countries besides fashion shows, piano performances and talks on the theme of coffee. A coffee quiz was also organised at Elante Mall today.

In the evening, international students presented various dance performances at Sukhna Lake, giving glimpses of their traditions and culture. A Punjabi musical night was also held at the Sector 42 lake.

The concluding ceremony will take place from 5.30 pm onwards at Sukhna Lake tomorrow. Folk dances and cultural songs will culminate the weeklong festivities. The UT Home Secretary will honour the winners of various competitions held during the week across the city.



Special pay allowance for sportspersons revised

Chandigarh, September 29
The special pay allowance for sportspersons posted in different Central Government offices has been revised, benefiting hundreds of them. The allowance had not been revised since 2006.

The previous allowance was Rs 50, 100 and 150 per month as per the pay scale, which has now been revised to Rs 210 to Rs 1,000 per month depending on the pay scale. The Special Pay allowance is given to the winning and the runnersup team in the Civil Services Tournament. Informing this, Tejinder Pal, team manager of the Punjab AG hockey team, said the allowance had been revised after they took up the issue with local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal who took up the matter with the Centre. — TNS



reporters’ diary
‘Jagtey raho, sote raho’

Farmers in a jubilant mood after hearing the news of increase in minimum support price of sugarcane outside the Haryana CM’s house, Sector 3, in Chandigarh on Sunday
Farmers in a jubilant mood after hearing the news of increase in minimum support price of sugarcane outside the Haryana CM’s house, Sector 3, in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Doctors and paramedical staff at the PGIMER have come up with a new definition of JRs and SRs, defining their responsibilities at the hospital. While JRs(junior residents) and SRs(senior residents) are those involved in direct monitoring of patients at the emergency and work for over 30 hours at a stretch, they define each others as “Jagtey raho (JR) and sote raho (SR)”, in terms of seniority. Since JRs are the junior most in the hierarchy of doctors, they are supposed to work for longer hours. Many often address one another with the 'self-defined designations'.

Fight over ‘free’ lunch

At the recent MC House meeting, heated arguments were exchanged between Mayor Subhash Chawla and Congress councillor Darshan Garg. The reason being Mayor Subhash Chawla had stopped Darshan Garg’s guests from coming to the lunch hosted by the MC, which was meant for sitting councillors, officials and mediapersons. Garg had questioned the presence of a former councillor, former Congress Deputy Mayor and others, (who were also not invited) at the lunch then why couldn’t his two guests do so. He also asked as to why the Mayor and the MC staff had not stopped others from having lunch. Later, Garg along with his guests left the room. It was later decided that in the next MC House meeting, lunch would be prepared only for sitting councillors, MC officials and mediapersons.

Time pass

For a few senior citizens, making enquiries at the railway reservation centre of the Chandigarh railway station, has become a time-pass activity. On a regular basis, a number of senior citizens come to the reservation centre in the morning and keep enquiring about various issues from the staff at the counters and return home without booking any train ticket. Interestingly, the staff has now come to know the names of these senior citizens, who adopt this practice once or twice in a week, and spend their time communicating with the staff at the railway station.

The other side

Recently, Panchkula residents witnessed the other side of the police. Policemen who are usually known for their harsh and crude behaviour were seen singing melodious songs and entertaining people at the inauguration of the Police Community Hub at the Sector 14 police station, Panchkula. Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) SN Vashisht had not arrived and as a filler, policemen sang songs and entertained the crowd that had gathered there. The audience was enthralled .

Gagging media

At a recent meeting, District Education Officer RK Sharma has directed all heads of the schools to keep away from mediapersons. He informed all school heads that it was DPI (S) Kamlesh Kumar’s strict instruction not to give any statement to media personnel. The department would issue whatever statement was required.

Contributed by: Ritika Jha Palial, Rajinder Nagarkoti, Aarti Kapur, Hina Rohtaki and Vivek Gupta



PU senate meeting
Over 70 items discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
Over 70 issues, mostly pertaining to teachers and the affiliation of colleges, were taken up for discussion during the Senate meeting of Panjab University today. Approving the appointment of a Director Public Relations (DPR) at PU, Senate member Tarlochan Singh said the DPR should be given the pay and perks on the lines of the Punjab Government.

Another House member said in order to strengthen the DPR office, an assistant should also be provided to the official.

After a heated debate, the Senate gave its nod to re-designating Shveta Mahendra, the stage craft teacher at the department of Indian theatre, as an assistant professor.

The Senate also agreed upon allowing the postgraduate students to complete their third and fourth semesters within five years of passing the second semester.

After over 30 minutes of heated arguments on the report of the expert committee constituted by the Vice-Chancellor to inspect the SGGS Khalsa College, Mahilpur, the Senate decided to table the report before the House once again after all the members went through it thoroughly.

Senator Ajay Ranga, on the behalf of the teachers of the University Institute of Legal Studies, demanded that the chairperson of the department should be appointed on a rotational basis. Ranga said despite a number of representations made to the Vice-Chancellor, the authorities had failed to introduce the rotational system.



Senators question harassment of research scholars at PU
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The Panjab University Senators today raised the issue of “sexual harassment” of PhD students by their guides during the zero hour at a meeting today. Senator Varinder Gill, the youngest member of the House, alleged that many research scholars, especially girls, were being harassed by their guides.

“There have been cases when research scholars have paid their guides to ensure their thesis is not left incomplete,” Gill said.

Gill said on the lines of notice boards put up across the campus to create awareness against ragging, the university should make research scholars aware about the sexual harassment committee by installing boards outside departments and hostels.

Echoing similar sentiments, Senator Jaspal Kaur Kaang, while addressing the House, said incidents of PhD students being snubbed by their guides were a major problem in the university.

“The girls have to face verbal abuse a number of times,” said Kaang.

Rajesh Gill, another Senate member, who is also a member of the sexual harassment committee, said the committee did not only address the complaints of sexual harassment, but also counselled the students and held seminars to inform them about its functioning.

Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) president Devinder Singh, who is also a Senate member, while defending the teachers, said on the basis of a few exceptions, everyone should not be blamed.

Student council president protests

Expressing resentment over the denial to speak at the Senate meeting, Panjab University Campus Student Council president Chandan Rana sat in the visitors’ gallery with a black cloth tied around his mouth. Rana said all the matters discussed by the Senators were indirectly related to the students. He said the elected student council president should have the right to participate and speak during the proceedings of the House. Before the meeting, Rana also submitted a charter of demands to the Senate members.



A ‘hurt’ Vice-Chancellor offers to quit
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Prof AK Grover Chandigarh, September 29
The Panjab University Vice-Chancellor, Arun Kumar Grover, today offered to resign after a Senate member accused him of criticising the Senators and Syndics on various platforms in the past few months.

While addressing the House, Senator Ashok Goyal said he had been informed through various channels that Grover had been accusing the Senate and Syndicate members of being a hindrance to the functioning of the university.

Goyal asked the VC to come clean on the issue. Hurt by the allegations, Grover offered to step down from his post.

“If I didn’t have confidence in the Senate and Syndicate, I wouldn’t have called this meeting,” the VC said.

On being asked whether he had written to the Chancellor of the university complaining about the House members, Grover said he was ready to give the details of all the communications held between him and the Chancellor, to clear the misunderstanding.

The VC, during the meeting, said if the House wanted a better Vice-Chancellor, he would not hesitate to quit.

Pacifying both the parties, local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, who is also a Senator, said the VC should always keep his doors open for the Senate and Syndicate members, to ensure better communication and coordination with them.



Academicians attend workshop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The University Institute of Engineering and Technology of Panjab University organised a two-day workshop on mathematical modelling and computational techniques at the department of mathematics.

The workshop provided a common platform to over 100 applied mathematicians, computer scientists, engineers and researchers from the academia and industry to share and discuss their ideas on a range of topics.

Twelve eminent speakers with expertise in diverse disciplines from IITs and reputed research and teaching institutes delivered expert talks.




Hindi Divas

Chandigarh: Prof Babu Lal from Kurukshetra will deliver a lecture during the Hindi Divas celebrations at the auditorium of the department of evening studies, Panjab University. The event, being organised by the Hindi department, will begin at 11 am on Monday.

Seminar on Dalit studies

The ICSSR North-Western Regional Centre is organising a two-day national seminar on the Dalit studies in the 21st Century. Prof Pramod Kumar will give the keynote address. The event will begin on October 1.


The department of political science has invited all qualified PhD candidates, who have submitted their application forms for admission, to appear for the interview at 11 am on Monday. — TNS




Animation camp

Chandigarh: Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, New Delhi, in association with Goethe Institut Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi, has launched an animation and youth camp at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31. Eighty students of KVS, Chandigarh Region, are participating in the camp. Experts from Mumbai will train the students in creative skills.

Hindi Pakhwara

Hindi Pakhwara ended at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 47, with a kavi sammelan. Both teachers and students participated in the event. In the past week, a number of competitions were organised for students to promote Hindu. These included poetry recitation, news reading and paper reading.

Potato Day

Potato Day was celebrated by the tiny tots of the lower kindergarten at Saupin's School, Sector 32. The children recited poems and sang rhymes based on potato. Children delivered short dialogues on the various characteristics of potato.

Martial art

Beer Kalgidhar Gatka Society, Faridkot, displayed Sikh martial art skills at Green Castle Public School, Sector 47. The event was attended by the schoolchildren and their parents. Prasad was distributed among the gathering at the end of the programme.

Students stage play

Mohali: Students of Vivek High School, Sector 70, staged a parody, ‘The Great Indian Cocktail’, at the Chandigarh campus. The play showcased the peculiarities and uniqueness of Indian states. Interspersed with anecdotes from Akbar and Birbal, the play showed the duo coming down from the heaven and their tryst with the modern people of India. The play ended with dance performances. — TNS



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