C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rs 16 lakh looted in P’kula
5 armed robbers strike at Amravati Enclave petrol pump
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 3
In a broad-daylight incident, five-armed robbers looted Rs 16 lakh from two employees of a petrol pump in Amravati Enclave, Panchkula, when they were on their way to deposit the money (collected from the pump) at a nearby branch of the State bank of India (SBI).

One of the armed robbers fired in the air when the petrol pump employees, Harish and Kamaljit Singh, tried to chase them. They had come in a white Etios car.

Ashwin Shenvi, Panchkula Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), said, “Victims told us that the miscreants fired in the air. We have the CCTV footage and are investigating the matter. A case has been registered”

The employees said, they were going on their motorcycle to deposit the money when the incident took place. The footage of the miscreants has been captured on the CCTV cameras installed there.

One of the employees, Harish is the supervisor of the pump and was sitting on the rear seat of the vehicle with the bag of money while Kamaljit was driving.

“Some cash was in the carrier of the mobike and Kamaljit was taking it out. I was just waiting with the bag in my hand when all of a sudden the two youths appeared and one of them pointed a gun at me.

The other snatched the bag from me,” said Harish.

Kamaljit added, “I saw that there were three more accomplices who were sitting in a white Etios car parked at a distance. When we ran behind the robbers who had snatched our bag, one of them took out a pistol and fired in the air while fleeing.”

The victims said, after the alleged firing, some of the bystanders ran inside the bank and some hid themselves behind the vehicles in the parking area.

The eyewitnesses and the police said that the security guard deployed at the bank was not there at the time of the incident.

The police has also sought the footage of Chandimandir toll plaza. Sources said that the footage showed youths passing by in the Etios car. 

At a glance

February 24, 2012: Two employees of a private transport company robbed of Rs 6 lakh at gunpoint in Sector 14, Panchkula

May 17, 2012: An employee, Brij Mohan, was shot at and robbed of Rs 4.4 lakhs at Sector 12-A Panchkula.

October 31, 2012: Rs 13.17 lakh were robbed from employees of a security agency near Vishal Mega Mart, Sector 5, Panchkula.

November 24, 2009: A bag with ~18 lakh cash looted at gunpoint from Anil Kumar, an employee of the Electricity Department.

January 18, 2008: Two employees of Berkeley Automobiles robbed of Rs 5.16 lakh in Industrial Area at gunpoint.

March 7, 2008:Two employees of Vishal Mega Mart, robbed of Rs 45,000 in Sector 10, Panchkula.

January 21, 2013: An employee of a cash collection company Ritanesh Tripathi was shot at and robbed of Rs 17.58 lakh in a similar way.

Handiwork of Zen Gang

This is not the first incident where employees have been attacked. In the last six years, similar strikes have been carried out by youths in a Zen car where employees carrying the money have been targeted. In earlier incidents, the robbers used a white Zen car, but in the last two strikes, they are reported to have used a white Etios car.

Last incident

It was on January 21 this year when four masked youths in a white Etios car attacked an employee of a cash collection company on the road dividing Sectors 11 and 14 and robbed them of ~17.58 lakh. The victim, Ritanesh Tripathi (30), was also shot at when he resisted.



Chandigarh comes to a grinding halt
An hour-long downpour in the evening inundates the northern sectors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
An hour of downpour during the office closing hours brought the city to a grinding halt as traffic jams clogged the entire city.

The worst affected were the office goers who on their journey back home moved bumper-to-bumper at most of the traffic junctions leading to Mohali and Panchkula, giving the traffic police a hard time to manage the chaos.

The spell of rain, recorded at 24 mm, is the highest in October in the last eight years. The power supply was snapped in some of the northern sectors. The water logging at the Chandigarh Railway Station saw visitors stuck on the premises for over an hour.

Poor drainage coupled with no power at the city’s main traffic intersections worsened the situation. Serpentine queues of cars were seen stranded on the Madhya Marg, Udyog Path as well as the Dakshin Marg and towards the southern sectors. The worst hit was the Matka roundabout, the Press light point and the road leading to Transport Chowk till the Railway light point. The entire stretch from the Sector 16 stadium roundabout to the road dividing Sectors 17 and 22 leading to the dividing road of Sectors 18 and 21 all the way to Industrial Area remained clogged for over two hours in the evening due to the heavy traffic, leaving the commuters harassed. The Airport Road leading to the Tribune roundabout too witnessed a traffic jam after the rain as vehicles were stuck there for hours. Traffic snarls were seen in Sectors 8, 9, 17, 22, 19, 18, 20 and 46. The internal road connecting Sectors 27, 19, 18 and 17 was clogged and Madhya Marg experienced heavy traffic.

Breaks Oct month’s record

The city received 24 mm rainfall in two hours on Thursday and broke the record of the last eight years of highest showers in the month of October. The record of Met Dept depicted that the highest rainfall received in the city in October was 17.2 mm in 2008. Director Surinder Pal Singh said light rain was expected due to western disturbances and low pressure in Central India. 

More rain expected today

As per the forecast, on Friday there will be generally cloudy sky with thunder showers, with the maximum temperature of 33 degree Celsius and minimum temperature 22 degree Celsius. 

MC claims fall flat

The downpour also exposed the ineffectiveness of the campaign of the Municipal Corporation regarding cleaning of road gullies, as a majority of roads in the city were waterlogged. The condition of waterlogging in the northern sectors was worse, especially in Sectors 7,8,9,10,11,15,16,17, 18,19, 20, 22, 23, 28,29,30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 etc. 

Power cuts

Residents also faced power cuts in many sectors of the city due to rainfall. Due to some snag, there were power cuts in the northern sectors in the evening hours. In Sectors 8, 19, 20 and 28, there was no power for one hour due to some fault in the power supply lines.

Since there was heavy rain, there was waterlogging problem for just around one hour. Later, the water had drained out and residents did not face any inconvenience
— Vivek Partap Singh, MC Commissioner, ut

I started from my Sector 8 office at 5.30 pm and it took me three hours to reach my residence in Panchkula. The traffic was simply not moving and it was terrible
—Ankur Tandon, resident, MDC, Panchkula

We did experience a major traffic jam in the evening and the problem arose due to poor drainage. Over 100 policemen were deployed to take stock of the situation. We need a better drainage system as such a problem often arises after rains
— Maneesh Chaudhery, SP (traffic)



City linked to Hazoor Sahib, residents happy
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
After a decade, Chandigarh has found a place among the prominent cities in the country to have a direct rail connectivity link with places of tourist and religious interest. The maiden journey of Nangal Dam-Hazoor Sahib-Nanded Super Fast Express that links Chandigarh to Hazoor Sahib was welcomed by former Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal today.

The city has already got rail connectivity with Uttarakhand, Himachal Pardesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa. Besides this, rail connectivity with Jammu, Indore, Patna and Bangalore and another train from Chandigarh to Amritsar will also be soon on the track as it was approved in the railway Budget.

Bansal said that another train which was being mooted by the Railway Ministry is from Ganganagar to Rishikesh is plying from Chandigarh to Haridwar. He stated that communication was going on with the Union Railway Minister to start all the approved trains for the city by the end of this year but it would depend on the availability of coaches and engines. Mohali residents rejoiced when the Hazoor Sahib Superfast Express touched at the local railway station in Phase 11 this evening. Over 2,500 persons gathered at the station to welcome the train, which reached here exactly at 6.30 pm here amidst loud religious slogans. The residents were seen greeting each other while the passengers in the train were offered packed ‘langar’ and ‘prasad’. The Anandpur Sahib constituency’s Member of Parliament Ravneet Bittu also came in the train. “The train is a very big gift to the people of the area”, said the localites.

The Hazoor Saheb Nanded Express weekly train via Chandigarh (number 22458) commenced from Nangal Dam at 4.20 pm and halted at Chandigarh at 7:08 pm and will reach Nanded at 11:45 pm the next day. The train will ply on every Friday from Nagal Dam and its return journey will be on every Saturday from Nanded. In the return journey, the train (number 22457) will start at 11 am from Nanded and halt at Chandigarh at 6 am next day and reach Nagal Dam at 8:25 pm. The city is connected with Uttrakhand, Jammu, Madhya Pardesh, Himachal Pardesh, Punjab, Karnataka and Goa. Municipal Corporation Mayor Subhash Chawla and other councillors of the Congress failed to reach the railway station to welcome of the train due to traffic jam in the city after heavy showers.



Setback for Admn
2 IAS officers transferred to Mizoram
Tribune News Service

IAS 0fficer Tanvi Garg
IAS 0fficer Tanvi Garg

Chandigarh, October 3
The UT Administration, which is already facing a shortage of officials, suffered a setback when the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued transfer orders of two UT cadre IAS officers - Tanvi Garg and Rodney L Ralte. The MHA has transferred both the officials to Mizoram.

Tanvi Garg, a 2009 batch UT cadre IAS officer, is presently holding the charge of Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), SDM (Central), Director (Tourism) and Managing Director (CITCO). Whereas, Ralte is holding the charge of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB).

UT Advisor KK Sharma said that these transfers were routine transfers and they were hopeful that the Administration would get replacement of these officials very soon.Last week, the MHA had issued transfer letter of CHB Chairman Satya Gopal to Arunachal Pradesh. 

Popular contenders for the post of Finance Secy

The Punjab Government has sent three names for the post of Finance Secretary to the Chandigarh Administration. Those whose names have been sent include Anurag Aggarwal, Sarvjit Singh and Hussan Lal. The UT Administration had recently sought a panel of Punjab-cadre IAS officers from the Punjab Government for the post of UT Finance Secretary. The three-year deputation period of VK Singh is coming to an end on January 14, 2014.


Snarl-up foils kidnapping bid
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 3
A traffic jam proved to be the saviour for two Mohali youths who were allegedly kidnapped in their own car this evening.

The kidnapping bid was foiled as the police caught up with the accused after the victim’s Audi car, being used for committing the crime, got stuck in a snarl-up at Sector 45 in Chandigarh.

Inspector Navin Pal Singh Lehal, station house officer of the Mataur police station, said the kidnappers, who were at least four in number, managed to flee from the scene.

“We have booked Yogesh Mahajan, Gagan Deep Singh Vicky, Inderpal Singh and Gurwinder Singh Mahi and other unidentified miscreants on the charges of kidnapping Jagdish Singh and Ravinder Singh, both residents of Sector 70,” said the SHO.

The SHO said the accused first confined one of the victims’ friends, Amrik Singh, who was staying at their place. At that time, the victims and another housemate had gone to Chandigarh to watch a movie. The kidnappers allegedly asked Amrik Singh to call them.

“When they returned, the kidnappers took along Jagdish and Ravinder in their Audi car,” said the SHO.

The victims alleged the kidnappers took away some cash from the dashboard of the car and also made them sign the transfer papers of the vehicle.

“They were asking us to pay a ransom of Rs 10 lakh,” alleged the victims.

Raids were being conducted to nab the culprits, said the police.



P’kula moves closer to becoming cattle-free
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 3
Taking the town a step closer to becoming cattle-free, the first phase of a cow shed, with the capacity to hold 1,200 heads of cattle, has been completed at Mata Mansa Devi Mandir Complex.

The shed will also have a mini veterinary hospital with specialised doctors on duty round the clock.

The cow shed will be inaugurated by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on October 5. The guests of honour will include the Principal Secretary to Hooda, Dr KK Khandelwal, and Principal Secretary, Urban Local Bodies, 
P Raghavendra Rao.

The Panchkula Municipal Corporation has been finding it difficult to find a place for the stray cattle seized from streets. According to a survey conducted by the authorities, around 450 heads of stray cattle are present in the district.

Around 12-acre land has been earmarked for keeping the stray cattle. Of this, six acres have been given on a trial basis to the Panchkula Gaushala Trust to run a cow shed.

“In all there will be six sheds with a capacity to hold 200 heads of cattle each. Two sheds are already ready and the third one is nearing completion. The remaining will be completed by the end of this year,” said the general secretary of the trust, Dr Naresh Mittal.

At present, the trust has spent Rs 1.25 crore on the construction of the cow shed. A multi-purpose hall has also been set up for conducting religious ceremonies. A gobar gas plant is also in the pipeline.

“We have been told by the MC officials that by October 20, stray cattle will be moved to the shed,” said president Kulbushan Goyal.

The trust authorities said the cattle will be returned to the owners only after receiving a release order from the Deputy Commissioner.



Cattle catchers strike work
Demand action against residents who attacked staff
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, October 3
The Municipal Corporation staff responsible for catching stray animals have been on strike for the past four days against the failure of the police to take action against persons who allegedly attacked an employee while on duty.

Sources said no animal had been caught by the team since Sunday, after an employee was beaten up the previous night. A complaint was filed at the Matour police station in this regard, but no action was taken, said the sources.

The MC Joint Commissioner reportedly wrote to the station house officers of the Phase VIII and Matour police stations on August 27, and again to the former on September 19, seeking the registration of a case under Section 289 of the IPC against the persons who had allegedly threatened and attacked employees while on duty.

In the second letter, the Joint Commissioner had named 12 persons who often left their animals to graze in the town. He alleged some of them kept a watch outside the Corporation office and when the cattle catcher van moved out, they informed other offenders about it on the phone, following which the latter came on motorcycles and chased away the cattle.

Sources said the police had also been informed about another incident on the night of August 25, when some residents of Matour village, armed with lathis and metal rods, tried to obstruct the drive going on near the Sector 70 petrol station. The MC staff was also allegedly attacked by the residents of Kumbra village on the night of August 24 at Sector 68.

Additional Commissioner (Technical) BD Singla said the employees had informed him that they stopped work after a colleague was beaten up. He asked them to submit a written complaint, so that he could bring the matter to the Deputy Commissioner and the Senior Superintendent of Police’s notice.

Singla said when he talked to the SHO concerned, he alleged that the police had received complaints from some residents that their cattle were caught from sheds by the MC employees. 



Fraud case: Bank officials under police radar

Mohali, October 3
In the case of fraud involving crores of rupees, in which a local industrialist, Sushil Sharma, and his kin were booked recently, the police today carried out the investigations at the Mani Majra branch of Punjab and Sind Bank.

The complainant in the case, Navneet Saxena, has alleged that a bank official is also involved in the fraud.

The police visited the bank to procure certain documents related to the case. However, as the branch manager was not available, the team returned empty handed, said inspector Dharampal Singh.

Sharma’s bank limit was allegedly increased from Rs 5 crore to Rs 22 crore by certain bank employees using fake records. The then bank manager had been transferred, said the police. — TNS



Region cheers Railways’ largesse
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Amarjeet Singh, a resident of Kharar

Kurali resident Niranjan Singh

Kashmir Singh,
(above to blow): ; Amarjeet Singh, a resident of Kharar, Kurali resident Niranjan Singh and Kashmir Singh, a resident of Mohali, welcome the new Hazoor Sahib Superfast Express at the Mohali railway station. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan 

Mohali, October 3
Amid cheers, the Hazoor Sahib Superfast Express halted at the Mohali railway station for 10 minutes this evening.

The train arrived at 6.30 pm and left at 6.40 pm. Over 2,500 residents, area MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu and religious leaders turned up at the station.

Meals, arranged by Gurdwara Singh Shaheedan, Gurdwara Bibi Bhani and Gurdwara Sachcha Dhan, were served to gurdwaras. 

Eighteen passengers boarded the train from Mohali. Fatehgarh Sahib-based Khushal Singh said it would be a special journey.

Kurali resident Niranjan Singh said, "Thousands of devotees visited the gurdwara every year. The move has cheered the residents."

Echoing similar sentiments, Kharar-residents Amarjit, his wife Karnail Kaur and Mohali residents Kashmir Singh and his wife Amrik Kaur said there was a mad scramble for tickets and the train would attract a large number of passengers in the coming days.

The train should run thrice a week," said Kashmir Singh. Congress MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu said the residents were happy with the move.

Station master MC Gupta said the train would reach Mohali at 6.38 pm every Thursday and leave for Hazoor Sahib at 6.40 pm.

On its return journey, the train would reach the town at 6.12 pm every Sunday, he said.



Foundation stone laid

Chandigarh, October 3
The Adviser to the UT Administrator, KK Sharma, today laid the foundation stone of a tourist information centre near the Capitol Complex in Sector 1.

The centre has been designed by the first chief architect of the city and a close associate of Le Corbusier, MN Sharma.

UT officials said the information centre aimed at easing the process of getting permission for visiting the complex. At present, tourists have to visit the Tourism Department office at Sector 9 or Le Corbusier Centre at Sector 19 or the Sector 17 office to seek the permission. — TNS



Electricity dept gets down to work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The UT electricity department has started the process of implementing multi-year tariff (MYT).

For the framework, the department has decided to hire a consultant who will help it prepare a petition, which will be filed in the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC).

The JERC had directed the department to propose a multi-year tariff regime effective from 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17.

UT superintending engineer (electricity) MP Singh said the National Tariff Policy notified by the Central Ministry of Power on January 6, 2006, had directed the Electricity Regulatory Commissions of all states to implement the multi-year tariff model. "Many states have implemented the system," he said. In the last public hearing session on the proposed hike in power tariff, JERC chairman VK Garg had stated that the multi-year tariff model would be implemented for three years, adding that it might be extended up to five years.

Under the new system, the electricity department will submit a three-year trajectory of the expected revenue, expenditure and losses on the basis of which the JERC will determine the power tariff tentatively for the next three years at one go.

How will the model work?

The multi-year tariff framework will divide all costs into two broad categories, controllable and

non-controllable. Controllable is the cost which is endogenous to Discoms whereas non-controllable is external to the utilities over which they have no control. Discom will be responsible for any increase in the controllable expenditure beyond the stipulated level and excess expenditure will not be allowed.

Multi-year tariff model

The multi-year tariff model has been proposed under the Electricity Act, 2003, to give an element of certainty to all stakeholders. With this, tariffs will not fluctuate beyond a certain bandwidth, unless there are unforeseeable conditions. The consumer will have a fair idea of what to expect in the next three to five years and the distribution company (Discom) will also be able to plan its business having known the likely retail tariff for the control period.



Rain leaves Ramlila grounds slushy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
Sudden showers left Ramlila organisers disappointed today. Water got accumulated on grounds and damaged stage curtains, hoardings and costumes.

Ramlila is to be staged at 49 places in the city. The showers left the grounds uneven and the organisers had to put off the event.

Bhagwan Singh, president, Garhwal Ramlila and Sanskrit Mandal, Sector 22, said they suffered losses to the tune of Rs 40,000.

President of the Sector 7 Navyug Ramlila said the rain damaged hoardings and stage lighting, causing a loss of Rs 80,0000.

BS Dotiyal, president of the Ramlila Society, Sector 30, said they had erected a waterproof stage tent but the showers washed it away.

The organisers had a tough time draining out water.

Mukesh Sharma, director, Garhwal Ramlila Sabha, Sector 28, said the inclement weather played a spoilsport.

Vikram Bisht, president, Chandigarh Kendriya Ramlila Mahasabha, said, "It will be difficult for us to make up for the losses."

Manu Mehra, secretary, National AD Clubs, Mani Majra, said they would have to reschedule everything.

The organisers have kept their fingers crossed. "If it rains in the coming days, things will go from bad to worse," said Ashok Chaudhary from Azad Dramatic Club, Sector 20.

Last year, incessant rains had dampened the spirits of the organisers.

The Met department has predicted rainfall on Friday. Surinder Pal, regional Met officer, said the change in weather was due to the western disturbance.



Beautification drive: Mohali set to wear a new look

Mohali, October 3
The main roundabouts in the town are set to be beautified besides the development of a green belt at the entry point to Chandigarh near Phase III-A here.

Stating this, Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said developmental works had been initiated to spruce up the town. All the entry points to Chandigarh will be cleaned and primped . The green belt to come up near Phase III-A will have fountains, lights and flowers.

Sidhu said the Verka chowk would get a facelift on the pattern of the YPS chowk at a cost of around Rs 35 lakh.

The DC said proper power arrangements would be made for the Diplast chowk. Premix work on the internal roads was also being undertaken, said Sidhu. — OC



100-yr journey of Indian cinema showcased
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
A unique exhibition on 100-year-long journey of Indian cinema that began today at the PU’s Fine Arts Museum recalled those black and white days when movie-making was a passion as well as a great challenge.

Organised by the Film Division of India as part of the PU’s Experimental Film Festival, the exhibition threw an opportunity to understand the evaluation of motion picture vis-à-vis development of the Hindi as well as the regional cinema.

It had a pictorial display depicting the history of the Indian cinema right from the days of Dada Sahib Phalke, who was known as the father of Indian cinema and the first filmmaker to make a Swadeshi Silent Film “Raja Harishchandra” in 1913.

But, he was not the only pioneer of the silent era. The exhibition had panels showing the contribution of filmmakers of that era, including Dwarka Das Sampat, RP Chaudhary, Diren Ganguly and Fatima Begum (first female director of this country).

The exhibition was structured in broadly three parts - the first being dedicated to the silent era followed by the era of Indian talkies and the third section was about simultaneous evolution of regional cinema in India in places like Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, etc.

Various antique movie cameras, lenses and other equipment were also on display at the exhibition, showing the technical equipment used in the early days of film-making.

VS Kundu, Director-General of the Film Division of India, said the idea behind this exhibition was to give a sense of understanding to the audience about the history of film-making in India and how it evolved over the years.

Earlier the day, the festival began with a lot of excitement at the Law Auditorium. Over 10 movies, including short films, documentary, were shown today on different themes. The festival will continue till October 6, while the exhibition will end on October 7 at the Fine Arts Museum.



Mansa Devi Temple all decked up
Tribune News Service

The illuminated temple ahead of Navratras.
The illuminated temple ahead of Navratras. A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, October 3
Mansa Devi Temple is all decked up ahead of Navratras. The nine-day fest will commence on October 5 and will be inaugurated by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia will visit the temple on October 7.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) SP Arora said all arrangements had been made. For the elderly and differently abled, a golf cart has been pressed into service.

Pavers have been laid at entry points. Arora said, "Two ambulances will remain stationed outside the temple. A special bus service has been started."

He stated, "An information centre has been set up to enquire about missing persons."

The design of invitation cards has also been changed. 



Surprise checks at onion traders’ shops

Chandigarh, October 3
Officials of the UT Administration today conducted surprise checks at shops of onion traders in the Sector 26 vegetable market.

Led by SDM (East) Danish Ashraf and SDM (South) Kashish Mittal, the officials tallied the stock register of all wholesalers to check any hoarding of the commodity. Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin said the Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Department of Consumer Affairs, had stated that the onion prices were going through the roof and that it was adversely impacting consumers. The Administration had been asked to take necessary steps to ensure the availability of onion in the market.

The officials did not found any anomaly. — TNS



RLA moots new system
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) has proposed a new plan for the allotment of vanity numbers.

Under the proposed system, the bidding will be open to anyone on the day of the auction. Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin said the proposed system would attract more bidders.

One of the main reasons cited for changing the rules was that the bidders used to form cartel to deliberately bring reduce the bid amount of the auctioned numbers.

Sources in the RLA said the bidders would be asked to deposit the participation money on the day of the auction.



Panjab varsity celebrates global ranking
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
A sense of euphoria was witnessed on the Panjab University campus a day after the university emerged as the nation’s highest ranked educational institution in the Times Higher Education World’s Top-400 University Rankings for 2013-14 released yesterday. Students, faculty and campus staff members were found lauding the PU’s global status on the campus today. However, the news came as a bolt from the blue for a few others.

“The credit definitely goes to all those who are continuously putting hard work both on the academic and non-academic front,” said BS Ghuman, one of the senior professors at the PU.

According to him, the perception that the university lacks a good faculty, who is unable to compete at the global level, stands factually wrong after this recognition today.

“Many of the faculty members have their research papers getting published at journals of the global repute,” he said.

Members of student unions also celebrated this achievement by distributing sweets at the students’ centre.

Chandan Rana, president of the Panjab University Student Council, said the entire student community was extremely proud seeing the university touching new heights.

“This renewed status has raised a lot of hopes. We will work hard to come up to that expectation,” he said.

There were many who expressed surprise over PU getting a global ranking ahead of the IITs.

A professor, on the condition of anonymity, said: “This looks complete farce. The question is that how many Indian universities had applied for this global survey. Media reports say that only 19 institutions from India applied for this survey, and this list does not have Delhi University and Jawahar Lal Nehru University where academic atmosphere is much better than this university.”

An alumnus and now an assistant professor said: “While facilities provided on the campus were good and the faculty of most of the departments is talented, too, where is the quality of students? The campus is full of brats who know nothing than driving their swanky cars, sporting their mustache and playing dirty student politics.”

Last year, the academic atmosphere of the campus was under a lot of pressure due to protests by students.

Akshay Kumar, Prof of the English Department, said: “The global status is the byproduct of years of hard work but we should not go overboard. Our primary mandate is to give higher education for which we need a lot of funds and adequate manpower. Since we have proved our credentials global, we should be funded by the Central Government as lavishly as central universities”.

PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover, while congratulating students and faculty members, said the PU has all ingredients and potential to grow higher in the ranking. “If Beijing can have two universities in the top 50 of the world, we should be at least in the top 100,” he said. The VC, however, cautioned the faculty members that the competition was going to be stiffer next year as the gap between various universities is not much.



Training courses for teachers must: Expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The Regional Institute of English (RIE), Sector 32, Chandigarh, organised the valedictory function of the 1999 batch of Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching English (PGCTE). The event was a part of RIE’s 50 years’ celebration.

Prof Sunaina Singh, Vice-Chancellor, English and Foreign Languages University (Eflu), Hyderabad, was the chief guest.

While addressing the trainees, she said teacher training courses were important in order to encourage intellectual and professional growth of teachers.

Kamlesh Kumar, Director Public Instruction (School), Chandigarh Administration, laid stress on teaching the English language to in-service teachers and the students to make them truly global citizens. He lauded the RIE’s efforts in promoting teaching of English in the region.

Some of the trainees also shared their thoughts and experiences at the RIE. They were optimistic about various possibilities of the pedagogy they were exposed to while doing the course. They expressed their gratitude for the multi-pronged exposure they received and promised to take the training further and apply it in their respective institutions.

Dr Sharda Kaushik, director of the institute, said their motive was to make our schoolteachers true brand ambassadors of the English language.



Iranian film fest begins today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The local audience will get a chance to see some of the best Iranian movies through the Iranian Film Festival starting tomorrow at the Tagore Theatre in Sector 18, Chandigarh.

Organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi and the Chandigarh Film Society, the festival will screen two feature-length movies everyday from October 4 to October 6.

Tomorrow, two movies - “Beloved Sky” and “The Colour of Paradise” - will be screened. “Beloved Sky”, an 80-minutes movie, is the winner of the Best Director’s Award at the 2011 Fajr Film Festival.

Directed by Dariush Mehrjui, it is about a doctor who is seemingly doomed by a brain tumour and wishes to end his life but his unscheduled sojourn in a village changes his destiny.

Another movie, “The Colour of Paradise”, is an acclaimed movie by famous Iranian director Majid Majidi. Nominated for the American Academy Award, 2000, it is about a story of a blind boy and his relationship with his father.

On October 5, two more movies - “Here Without Me” by Bahram Tavakoli and “Child & Angel” by Director M Nqash, will be screened. The festival will conclude on October 6 with two movies - “So Far So Close” by Reza Mirkarimi and “As Simple As That” by Director Seyyed Reza. All the movies will be screened from 6 pm onwards. The entry to the festival is free.



Mahatma Gandhi remembered

Chandigarh, October 3
NSS volunteers of DAV Model School, Sector 15-A, celebrated Gandhi Jayanti with enthusiasm. A tribute to former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri was also paid.

The occasion was celebrated by the recital of bhajans. Some of the students were dressed up like Mahatma Gandhi. Tiny tots of the school also attended the programme and drew inspiration from their seniors. — TNS



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