C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Accident cuts short two young lives
Teenagers belonging to Shimla were killed after an Army truck hit their car in Old Panchkula 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 30
Two teenagers were killed when an Army truck hit the Alto car they were travelling in at Old Panchkula this morning. A passer-by chased the truck and noted down its number. The victims were returning to Shimla after enquiring about the health of their friend's sister who was admitted to a hospital at Mohali.

Grief stricken family members of Satyam in Panchkula on Monday.
Grief stricken family members of Satyam in Panchkula on Monday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal 

The deceased were identified as Neeraj Sharma and Satyam, both 18-year-old and residents of Shimla. They had come to Mohali on September 28.

Neeraj’s father is in transport business in Shimla and the victim had got his father’s taxi. While Neeraj had passed his Class X and was doing a professional course, Satyam was a Class XII dropout. His father runs a tea stall in Shimla

They left the hospital around 9.30 pm on Sunday and stayed at a relatives place. They started for Shimla this morning.

“Neeraj was behind the wheel and when he was crossing a light point at Old Panchkula, the Army truck jumped the red signal and rammed into the car,” said a police official.

The impact was so intense that the car overturned twice. The victims were stuck in the car. The driver of the truck managed to flee, said the police.

The victims were rushed to the Sector 6 General Hospital where they were declared brought dead.

The police officers, however, expressed their inability to arrest the driver of the truck. “We have to intimate the defence authorities before arresting an Army man. Army officers approached the police in the afternoon.

Neeraj, who had an elder sister, was the only son of his parents. Satyam had a 10-year-old brother who is differently abled.

The police informed the victims’ families in the afternoon.

In-charge of the Sector 7 police station ASI Gurmail Singh said they had informed the Army officers and the accused would be arrested soon. 



End of world for victims’ parents
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 30
It is end of the world for the parents of Neeraj and Satyam, who were killed in a road accident at Old Panchkula this morning. The high hopes of Satyam's father, who is physically challenged and runs a tea stall in Shimla, were dashed after he learnt that his son was killed in the accident.
Satyam's father outside the Sector 6 General Hospital in Panchkula.
Satyam's father outside the Sector 6 General Hospital in Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

“Satyam was his only hope as his youngest son is mentally ill,” said Raj Kumar, a relative.

The victim’s parents, who reached Panchkula this afternoon, were inconsolable.

“They had come to see our daughter who is admitted to a hospital. On September 28, they spent the night at the hospital. Around 9.30 pm yesterday, Neeraj and Satyam said they had to return,” said Veena Sharma, a relative of their friend.

“I forced them to stay with us, but they had to leave,” she added.

Neeraj’s father Kamlesh Sharma, who is in transport business, stood mum outside the mortuary of the General Hospital. He broke down into tears after a relative tried to console him. “I have lost everything. He was my only son,” he said.

“Neeraj and I share same birth date, December 20. It’s like losing a brother,” said Neeraj’s friend Deepak.



Breather for 1,300 CITCO employees 
 High Court stays retirement of staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
Just over a month after CITCO decided not to grant extension in service to employees retiring on attaining the age of superannuation at 58, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed the decision.

The direction came during the hearing of a petition filed by the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation Limited Workers’ Union through president Kashmir Chand and other petitioners.

The issue affects more than 1,300 CITCO employees. In the petition filed through counsel DR Sharma against the UT Administration, the Home Secretary-cum-Secretary Tourism and CITCO, the petitioners sought the quashing of the decision dated August 20 against granting extension in service.

Directions have also been sought to the respondents to grant extension in service to the employees in terms of earlier decisions of granting extension in service to the employees of boards and corporations, including CITCO, and to bring them on a par with other UT employees.

Sharma added the operation of impugned decision might be stayed, “in the interest of justice” and the employees enjoying benefit of extension in service, who were to retire on August 31 and later, be allowed to continue in service.

Describing CITCO’s decision of not granting the extension in service to its employees as “arbitrary and illegal”, he said it deserved to be quashed. Elaborating, he said the Chandigarh Administration, vide order dated March 28, decided to extend the operation of an earlier order dated December 7, 2012, to the employees of CITCO, along with other corporations and boards.

As an interim measure, the Chandigarh Administration, vide the December 2012 order, had decided to allow willing Group A, B, C and D employees to continue in service for six months. The same was further extended twice for a total period of six months.

He said the boards and corporations were facing shortage of employees. Under these circumstances, the impugned decision was unjustified and unsustainable. 



UT suffered loss of Rs 1.32 crore: CAG
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pointed out that the UT Administration suffered a loss of Rs 1.32 crore due to delay in allotment of over 300 booths by the UT Estate Office.

Some of the booths have not been allotted for the past over 20 years.

In its report submitted to the UT Finance Secretary and the UT Estate Office, CAG has pointed out that of the 3,413 booths in markets, 297 were lying vacant since February 1993.

The booths are located in Sectors 8, 9, 11, 15, 20, 22, 23, 27, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43 and 46. The booths that have not been allotted were constructed at a cost of Rs 2.79 crore. The Estate Office made no effort to lease out the commercial property, causing a loss of revenue and depreciation of assets.

The report mentioned that in 1991, the UT Administration launched a scheme ‘allotment/transfer of built-up booths on lease/hire purchase basis in Chandigarh Rules, 1991 to rehabilitate hawkers having valid licence and registered Kashmiri migrants.

The Estate Office stated that booths could not be allotted as the recommendations of the screening committee were awaited. 



Two college girls hurt after being hit by SUV 

Chandigarh, September 30
Two girls of DAV College, Sector 10, were critically injured when an Endeavour SUV hit them on the Sector 15/11 road here today. The girls were going on an Activa scooter when the car hit them from the rear.

The injured have been identified as Meenu, a student of BA final year and Ramanpreet, a student of BA first year. They were rushed to the PGI. The police has impounded the Endeavour which was abandoned in Sector 15. A case has been registered.

Owner of the SUV Sudhir of Kurukshetra, was summoned, who said he was not driving the vehicle. — TNS


Self-assessment scheme launched
  MC gives two months to residents to deposit house tax or face penalty
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation today launched the self-assessment scheme for house tax on the residential property for the assessment year 2013-14. The MC has given two months time (from October 14 to December 13) to residents to opt for the scheme and deposit the tax.

If a person liable to pay the tax does not deposit it within the specified time, the tax will be recovered along with a penalty of 25 per cent and 12 per cent interest per annum. The amount will be added to the water bill of the consumer.

The order issued by MC Commissioner Vivek Partap Singh reads: “For the benefit of tax payers, a self assessment scheme has been introduced. A person who does not pay the tax within the prescribed period of two months at the prescribed rate, he/she will have to pay 25 per cent extra over and above the prescribed rate of Rs 1 per square yard along with interest @ 12% per annum or as amended from time to time from October 14. The rate of interest will be applicable and payable till the end of the month in which the payment is made. It is, therefore, in the interest of taxpayers to opt for the scheme in the prescribed pro forma available in the tax branch free of cost. The form can also be downloaded from the MC website”.

City residents can also pay tax at e-Sampark centres where they will have to pay nominal transaction charges over and above the tax at rates determined by Sampark centres from time to time per transaction for rendering such services.

The MC Commissioner said the residents would have to declare the area of their houses in the house tax declaration form and would have to pay the tax at the head office of the MC or at such other places like e-Sampark centres as may be specified by the MC.

Who will be affected

As per the earlier notification, the number of houses which was to be affected were around 81,609, including 20,265 five marla and above as well as kanal houses, 7,979 houses in co-operative societies, 5,597 MIG houses, 10,675 HIG houses, 15,053 houses under the Administration and 22,040 under the Central scheme.

Revised rates

Though the MC initiated the process to collect house tax on Monday, it has already proposed to increase the existing house tax rates on residential houses by 20 per cent. UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar had directed MC Commissioner Vivek Partap Singh to revise the rate of ~1 per square yard within three months as the decided amount was not viable. 



Darkness reigns at the foot of the lighthouse
  MC councillors skip seminar organised by social welfare department on women empowerment
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
Councillors of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation are always willing to go on study tours to other states, but when they have to study projects in the city and that too without spending a single penny, they seem least concerned.

Sample this: The UT social welfare department today organised an orientation programme on gender, child rights and social sensitisation for MC councillors, but in an apparent reflection of their casual approach, only 13 out of the 35 councillors attend the programme.

The speakers dwelt on women empowerment and criminal law related to women during the programme. A majority of women councillors, who have given their consent to go on a study tour to Gujarat for women empowerment, did not turn up for the programme today.

BJP councillor Satinder Singh, who attended the programme, said less participation by councillors proves that they proceed on study tour only for leisure. If they were so serious about the city’s development, they should have attended the programme. The Mayor and councillors should think twice before wasting public money on study tours, he added.

Rajesh Jogpal, UT Director, Social Welfare Department, said the programme was specifically for MC councillors. They had send invitation card to the MC and even at the residences of the councillors. Councillors are public representatives and they should understand their responsibility, he added.

Jogpal also made a presentation on women laws and SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989, crime against women and women centric laws, sexual harassment of women at workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.

Futile study tours

The MC has spent Rs 90.53 lakh on futile study tours in the past 10 years. However, the civic body does not have any record of the projects implemented in the city on the basis of study tours



Dy Mayor, street vendors complain against SHO

Chandigarh, September 30
The Deputy Mayor of Chandigarh and a group of roadside vendors from the Industrial Area met the Inspector General of Police (IGP) RP Upadhyaya on Monday complaining against the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Industrial Area, Phase1 Police Station.

A written complaint was given by Deputy Mayor Satish Kainth and Congress councillor Darshan Garg against SHO Yash Pal for allegedly asking for bribe from the vendors. They alleged in the complaint that the SHO had been demanding money from all street vendors to run their stalls in the area.

“A written complaint against Inspector Yashpal has been given by the Deputy Mayor and a group of vendors and an inquiry has been marked to the DSP Headquarters, KK Sharma, for further investigation into the matter,” confirmed the IGP.

Meanwhile, SHO Yash Pal has denied all allegations. He stated that according the High Court orders, no encroachment is allowed in the Industrial Area, as it creates traffic chaos at peak hours. Besides, some other illegal works are also being done in the evening and the allegations of the vendors are baseless. — TNS



Burail jail to get female ward, gymnasium
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
Moving a step ahead in modernisation, the Model Jail, Burail, is all set to get a separate female ward and a gymnasium. The UT Adviser laid the foundation stone of the ward on the jail premises today.

The jail authorities have received an administrative approval of Rs 2,22,31,451 (Rs two crore twenty two lakh thirty one thousand four hundred fifty one) for the construction of the female ward and a gymnasium hall at the Model Jail.

A jail official said the female ward and the gymnasium hall will be built in an existing area of the Jail Department. It will consist of six dormitories, five cells, vocational shed, examine room, doctor room, kitchen, washing store with six toilets and bathrooms.

In addition, the children’s play area, space for drinking water and a passage will also be constructed in the ward.

All the dormitories, cells, vocational shed for the circulation area will have kota

stone flooring. Moreover, all will be finished with anti-skid ceramic tiles flooring with glazed tiles. A stainless steel wash basin will be provided in the kitchen.

The UT Adviser also released the News Letter Volume 7 which contains write ups of the jail inmates and activities of the Model Jail, Chandigarh.

This is in continuation of earlier projects such as the prisons management system, visitor management system, prisoners account management system, canteen management system, video conferencing facility, STD facility for the inmates, Installation of tyre buster and boom barrier.

The female ward is being constructed as per the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court of India.



aadhaar card
Confusion prevails among city residents
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
There is confusion among residents on whether the linking of their Aadhaar card to their bank accounts and LPG consumer number has become mandatory from October 1, 2013, to receive cash subsidies through direct benefit transfer for LPG (DBTL), or not.

On one side, all local gas agencies are informing their customers that it is their wish whether they want to submit the Aadhaar card for gas subsidy, as it has not yet become mandatory to avail it. On the other side, the oil industry helpline customer toll free number are informing the residents that they should immediately submit their Aadhaar card or else they would not be entitled for LPG subsidy after the expiry of the grace period of three months from tomorrow.

On September 4, instructions were issued that from October 1, those city residents who had not linked their Aadhaar card to their bank accounts and LPG consumer number would not be able to receive any cash subsidy through direct benefit transfer for LPG (DBTL), as the Union Government had extended the DBTL scheme in 235 more districts in which Chandigarh had also been included.

During a visit to various gas agency offices today, the staff of the gas agencies said that it was not mandatory for any customer to submit their aadhaar card to avail the LPG subsidy. It was their wish whether they wanted to do so. Denying that, the government has made the Aadhaar card mandatory, the staff said that no such instructions had been received by them for the same.

Contrary to this, when an enquiry was made on the toll free number of the oil industry helpline 18002333555, the attendant stated that it was mandatory for all customers of Indane, HP and Bharat Petroleum to submit their Aadhaar card to the gas agency and link it with the bank to avail the DBTL. The attendant further informed that as per orders, it was being implemented in the city from tomorrow and if any customer had not linked their Aadhaar card for the balance entitlement in the next 90 days, they would not be eligible for the government subsidy on LPG.

On asking whether after the Supreme Court ruling that the Aadhaar card was not mandatory to avail any cash subsidy through direct benefit transfer for LPG (DBTL) the attendant said that they did not have any information about it.

The Unique Identification Authority of India, Additional Director General Amit Singal said that it was the decision of the oil companies to attach the Aadhaar card with the DBLT but no fresh orders had been issued on it by the headquarters.

Meanwhile the direct benefit transfer for LPG (DBTL) has already been launched in 54 districts of the country covering 21.9 million LPG consumers and Rs 222 crore subsidy has been transferred through 5.3 million transactions into the bank accounts of the LPG consumers so far. 



Bal Sadan kitchen in a mess
  Panchkula District and Sessions Judge directs staff to clean surroundings
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 30
Panchkula District and Sessions Judge RK Sondhi conducted a surprise inspection at Bal Sadan, Sector 12-A, Panchkula, along with the newly-posted secretary of the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), Sunil Chauhan, this afternoon. The kitchen was found to be in a sorry state of affairs, following which the staff was asked to clean the surroundings at the earliest.

As many as 50 children reside in the sadan. Rest of the things, including ration, was found to be adequate and the condition was found to be satisfactory. But unhygienic condition of the kitchen was a matter of concern for the officials.

The District and Sessions judge also enquired about the well-being of the children and asked the staff if they were taken out for their routine outing. Sondhi personally spoke to every child and asked the children if they were facing any kind of difficulty.

The judge also asked the staff to mention phone numbers of the Chief Medical officer and some other important phone numbers, which may be used at times of emergency.

The previous month Sondhi inspected the Children home at Sector 15, Panchkula, and found that the children were living in seedy conditions. Walls were found damp. He 
had immediately directed the staff to get a whitewash done.



Sagging live wires pose danger
  Despite two mishaps in P’kula, Electricity Department fails to check the menace
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 30
Putting lives in danger, live wires are hanging loose at various points in the city. The Electricity Department has failed to address the problem even after two incidents in which live wires fell, damaging a roof in one case and landing a Sector 4 resident in hospital, after getting an electric shock, in the other.

These wires can be seen hanging loose at various points in Sectors 4, 10, 11, 15, 19 and 21 besides near the road dividing Sectors 14 and 15.

Executive engineer of the department DS Dhanda said, “There might be some areas where loosely hanging live wires went unnoticed by the officials. I will definitely get these areas checked.”

“A loosely hanging wire on the road separating Sectors 11 and 15 is very risky as children from our locality queue up there while waiting for their school buses. A mishap can take place anytime,” said Vasudha Sharma, a resident of Sector 11.

Madan Gupta Spatu, a resident of Sector 10, Panchkula, said: “A live wire is hanging loose just outside my house. I have to be careful when my grandchildren play there”

“We have asked the officials a number of times to repair these wires, but to no avail,” said Tanya Rishi, a resident of Sector 14.

It was some time back that a Harmahinder Singh of Sector 4 suffered an electric shock after a live wire fell on his car outside his residence. He was admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh. Ten days after this incident, two blasts took place at Sector 12 after a live wire fell in the backyard of a house. Though no injury or casualty was reported, the roof of the house got damaged.



Tributes paid to Lt Col Bikramjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
People from different walks of life attended the bhog ceremony of Lt Col Bikramjit Singh at the Sector 8 gurdwara today.

Among those present at the ceremony were Brig RS Mann from the Western Command, local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, BJP leaders Satya Pal Jain and Sanjay Tandon, former Punjab Education MInister Tota Singh, MP from Hoshiarpur Avanish Rai Khanna, Mayor Subash Chawla and Savita Bhatti.

Lt Col Bikramjit Singh died of injuries sustained in a counter-terrorist action at Samba.



Training chief visits Air Force High Grounds
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
Air Marshal Paramjit Singh Gill, who is the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command, today visited No. 1 Technical Type Training School at Air Force High Grounds.

The officer was received by the station commander, Gp Capt G Krishnakumar. He was briefed about the training being conducted at the High Grounds for the IAF pilots and maintenance staff besides for pilots and technicians from friendly foreign countries.

The Air Marshal was also briefed on various innovations and training aids developed in-house by the training school.

He inaugurated the new avionics laboratory and visited the MiG-29 upgrade and MiG-27 training complex. He urged the instructors to strive for excellence and also interacted with the personnel of the station, motivating them to work towards achieving the organisational goal.

Air Marshal Gill appreciated the positive changes brought about in the work culture of the station.



World Tourism Week 
Celebrations end on a high note
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
Celebrations of World Tourism Week, organised by the Chandigarh Tourism in association with CITCO and The Tribune, concluded this evening amidst lots of festivities.
Artistes perform on the concluding day of the World Tourism Week at Sukhna Lake on Monday.
Artistes perform on the concluding day of the World Tourism Week at Sukhna Lake on Monday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

The prize distribution ceremony was presided over by KK Sharma, Adviser to the UT Administrator, at the Sukhna Lake, here, today.

The evening saw thunderous performances by folk artists from Punjab, including special performances on folk saaz, jindiya, loomni, bhangra and folk songs.

During the World Tourism Week, a number of contests were organised to promote tourism along with the entertainment quotient with participation from various segments of society. Even citizens of Chandigarh were seen participating with zeal and enthusiasm in the tourism and coffee festival-related events like sculpture-making, photography competition, paryatan bhawan, coffee quiz, coffee cup-making contest and coffee slogan writing.

KK Sharma felicitated all winners of tourism contests. In the paryatan bhawan drawing competition, Tennyson and the group of College of Architecture won the first prize of Rs 12,500. The team of Niyati Jain bagged the second prize of Rs 7,500 whereas the third position with prize money of Rs 5,000 went to Surjyatapa Ray and team.

The photography competition got a tremendous response from photography lovers who captured the moods of the City Beautiful in their cameras. The winners of this category were Shivjeet Singh, who got the first position, followed by Garima Chandok and Permod Kumar, second and third, respectively.

The event had an array of activities in the last four days, including 3D art installation, heritage walks, photography competition and Bollywood musical night.



Dept challenges minority status of 2 schools
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
In a significant move, the UT Education Department challenged the grant of the minority status certificate to Saupin’s School, Sector 32, and New Public School, Sector 18, through a review petition, filed last week in the National Commission for Minority Education Institutions (NCMEI), New Delhi.

Both schools were awarded the minority status by the NCMEI on January 10 and February 14, respectively, this year.

The Education Department argued that it was not heard properly before granting the minority status to these schools.

It stated in its petition that the department was in the process of filing the reply before the NCMEI when these schools were granted the minority status.

About Saupin’s School-32, the department stated that on the screening of the Memorandum of the Association (MoA) of the school, it did not anywhere emerge that the trust of the school was set up by members belonging to the Christian community.

Also, it was not mentioned in the MoA that the institute was established for the benefit of the Christian minority community.

It further stated that the claim of Saupin’s School regarding admission to 5.9 per cent of the total strength of the school enrolment to children of the Christian community was also wrong and not supported by any document.

The department also raised similar apprehensions against New Public School. It stated that it did not anywhere emerge that the trust of the school was set up by members belonging to the Sikh community. It was also not mentioned in its MoA that the trust would promote any particular community in the school. Also, no document was attached with the application of the school given to the NCMEI showing the preference given to the children of the Sikh community for admission in the school.

It further stated that exemption from the applicability of the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, might be the contention of both these schools behind getting the minority status.

The review petition, it is learnt, will soon come up for hearing before the NCMEI and the department is hopeful that the commission would accept its petition.

Sources in the department said the decision to file the review petition was taken after discussion with the senior standing counsel of the UT.

“Senior officials of the department were surprised that these schools were granted minority status without hearing the department,” said a senior official.

Principal of Saupin’s School, Amarbir Singh Sidhu, however, said: “We were given the minority status by the NCMEI based on our genuine credentials. They thoroughly examined documents, after which we were given the status. We are really surprised by the stand of the Education Department.”

The petition of Vivek High School in Sector 38 and St Kabir School in Sector 26, seeking minority status on similar grounds, has been deferred in the NCMEI till March 24 next year. Their case came for hearing on September 18 following which the court of the NCMEI deferred the matter till March next year.



Interactive session on God particle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
The Department of Physics, MCM DAV College for Women, organised a lecture and an interactive session with Prof Manjit Kaur, Chairperson, Department of Physics, Punjab University.

She talked about particle physics in contemporary times - ‘Universe with God Particle.’ God particle and its discovery has become a major landmark and it promises to change the course of history of physics.

Dr Manjit, a member of the team that discovered the God particle, provided students with a first-hand insight into the subject.

The lecture was then followed by an interactive session with the expert. In another event, the Department of Microbial and Food technology held an interactive session with Dr Dapinder Bakshi, Principal Scientific Officer, Biotechnology Division, Punjab State Council for Science and Technology.



Research paper presentation contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
As part of its 50th year celebrations, the Regional Institute of English (RIE), Chandigarh, organised an Inter-College Research Paper Presentation Competition on the topic ‘From Word to Frame: Popular Adaptations of Classic Novels in Cinema’ for college students of the region.

The competition was judged by Ninette Vas Sharma, wife of the Adviser, Chandigarh Administration, who also happened to be the chief guest at the event, Pallavi VK Singh, wife of Finance Secretary, Chandigarh Administration, and Dr Sharda Kaushik, Director, RIE.

The winners were given cash prizes on the occasion. The efforts of the RIE were lauded by students as something that would give them an exposure and explore cinema as a new area in academics.

The chief guest congratulated the RIE for organising the event and stressed upon the importance of cinema as an emerging domain in academics.



Regularisation of teachers discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
The provision of the Right To Education Act, 2009, was discussed in length at the teachers' conference of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Teachers' Welfare Association (SSATWA), held today.

It appreciated the efforts of the UT Education Department over constructions of new schools, classrooms, toilets and appointments of over 800 JBTs and TGTs in 2012 and 2013. At the same time, concerns were raised over crowded classrooms, disproportional teacher-pupil ratio in several periphery pockets of the city. The issue of regularisation of the SSA teachers was also discussed.

Arvind Rana, president, SSATWA, said teachers present today unanimously decided that all SSA teachers would write a request letter to the UT Administrator Shivraj Patil to personally intervene in their pending issue of regularisation of 1228 JBTs and TGTs in the UT.

He added that "the Education Department should implement the minutes of the public hearing session held with representatives of the association on May 21, 2012, wherein the administrator ha issued instructions for speedy regularisation of the SSA teachers without any delay."



PU fest to showcase award-winning movies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
Three-day-long experimental film festival of Panjab University (PU), starting on October 3 at its Law Auditorium, will showcase the best of award-winning movies and experimental cinema. It will showcase 14 documentaries, seven animated films, 11 fiction and three feature length movies and three short films. All of them are award-winning movies.

There are documentaries like Nero’s Guest (October 4) made on the theme of farmers’ suicide in Andhra Pradesh.

A documentary, ‘Chandigarh’, to be shown on the opening day will trace back the city to 1969 when it was under construction. Two short films- ‘Ok Brother and Shit’ (October 4) will show the problem of public defecation in Mumbai. A documentary, ‘Continuous Journey’ (October 3), will trace the episode of ‘Komagate Maru’. Another documentary ‘Tales from the Margin’ will show the infamous protest of women in the North-Eastern states.

‘Little Terrorist’ (October 3) is a poignant tale of a boy in terrorist-hit Kashmir.

NS Sastry’s, ‘I Am Twenty’ (October 3, is structured around interviews with young people who were born in 1947 when India attained her freedom.

A foreign animated film ‘Father and Daughter’ (October 5) has won 27 awards worldwide.

The issues of many other movies range from everyday life, humour, and social concerns.

These films, said the officials, would increase the engagement of audience with the cinema - which was not only an occasion for entertainment but also of social, political and cultural participation.

Besides, there were three feature films - ‘Pratindwandi’, a film by Satyajit Ray on October 3, ‘Mirch Masala’, a film by Ketan Mehta on October 4 and recently released ‘Ship of Theseus’ by Anand Gandhi on October 5.

Exhibition on 100 years of Indian cinema

An exhibition on the 100 years of Indian cinema at Fine Arts Museum is another highlight. Cine buffs will get the opportunity to see the progress of Indian cinema from the first Indian movie made by Dada Saheb Phalke in 1913 till now. The Film Division of India is also making a national film museum in Mumbai, which will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on November 14.



Efforts on to promote quality cinema among students
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
To develop a taste and understanding for meaningful cinema, the Film Division of India (FDI), a branch of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, has opened up its latest ‘fdzone chapter’ on the PU campus which will work to promote cinema as a powerful medium among city students as well as residents of the city.

Prof Arun Grover (right), VC, Panjab University, releases the poster of the film festival at his office on Monday.
Prof Arun Grover (right), VC, Panjab University, releases the poster of the film festival at his office on Monday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari 

The unique feature of this chapter is that it will screen good quality films by independent filmmakers every fortnight, followed by a discussion and workshops among the audience on various issues concerning film-making, themes of movies and other concerning issues.

Open for all, the chapter will be launched formally on the first day of the PU experimental film festival, ‘Cine Manthan’, starting from October 3 on its campus.

Organised by the FDI in association with the university, the festival will pave the way for the fdzone chapter, the basic motive of which is to expose the young audience to real predicaments of life through gamut of human stories, projected in a subtle manner by passionate filmmakers.

VS Kundu, Director-General, FDI, said even as a lot of film content was available on the Internet and multiplexes but everything was lopsided in favour of popular culture.

“Serious artistic efforts are not reaching people and this is where the FDI wants to bridge the gap. Through our little efforts, we want students and youths exposed to quality cinema,” he said.

“The fdzone is one of our innovative projects that help creating interactive film screening space for showcasing independent films. We have already seven such chapters in cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Thissur and all of them have audience increasing every week. It will be our eighth such centre on PU campus, he said.

On the question of sustainability of this chapter, he said there would not be much problem since the PU authorities were actively involved in the project. As far as movies were concerned, we would be supplying all content to the centre. Students were being roped into promote the centre in city colleges and cine buffs of the city.

Jayant Pedkar, Chairman of the Department of Mass Communication, PU, has been designated as the nodal officer of the fdzone.



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