C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Charges framed against Deshraj
Trial will begin on November 27, court also summons complainant Anokh Singh 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
A year after he was arrested, the CBI court today framed charges of corruption against suspended UT Superintendent of Police Deshraj Singh.

The court framed charges under Sections 7, 13 (1d), 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Deshraj. The trial will begin on November 27.

The court has also issued summons to inspector Anokh Singh, SHO of the Sector 26 police station, the complainant in the case. He will appear in the court on the next date of hearing.

On October 18, 2012, the CBI had arrested UT Superintendent of Police (City) Deshraj Singh while allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs 1 lakh at his Sector 23 residence. A 2008-batch IPS officer, Deshraj was allegedly accepting the bribe from inspector Anokh Singh for giving him a clean chit in two departmental inquiries pending against him.

The complainant had alleged that the SP had demanded Rs 5 lakh from him to give him a clean chit in the two inquiries, but the deal was struck at Rs 2 lakh. The SHO came to deliver the first instalment of Rs 1 lakh to the SP when the CBI had laid a trap and arrested him.

In the chargesheet filed in July this year, the CBI attached the recorded conversation of the accused and the complainant in which the demand for the bribe was made by the SP. The recording was been done during when Deshraj allegedly demanded the bribe.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court granted bail to Deshraj in December 2012.

The CBI received a nod for prosecution sanction from the Ministry of Home Affairs in the first week of July, a copy of which is attached to the chargesheet. 

What is in store?

If convicted under the relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Deshraj faces a maximum of seven years in prison. 

The tenth witness

Deshraj Singh was the tenth witness in the departmental inquiry against Anokh Singh and only his statements were to be recorded when he allegedly demanded the bribe. In the recorded conversation, Deshraj is heard telling Anokh that the report by an IPS officer never goes waste and the inquiry officer, SP Shivcharan, met him that morning. The inquiries against Anokh Singh were initiated for wilful disobedience and insubordination as he failed to inform the SP (City), Deshraj, about a theft at an MLA’s residence on September 28, 2012. 


October 12, 2012: Inspector Anokh Singh records conversation with SP (City) Deshraj Singh when the former demands Rs 5 lakh. The deal is struck at Rs 2 lakh

October 15: Inspector Anokh Singh submits written complaint to the CBI

October 18: CBI lays a trap. Records conversation in which Deshraj tells Anokh Singh that all arrangements have been made and he should visit his residence alone. CBI arrests Deshraj red-handed at his residence

December 17: High Court grants bail to Deshraj

July 8, 2013: CBI receives prosecution sanction from the Ministry of Home Affairs

July 12: CBI files a chargesheet

October 14: After hearing arguments, the court frames charges against the accused 



Fuel station loot: Cops get leads
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 14
The Panchkula police has got some vital clues from a CCTV camera footage of the alleged members of the Zen gang who looted Rs 16.08 lakh from employees of a petrol pump after firing into the air at Amravati Enclave on October 3.

The video grab of a toll plaza on Himalayan Expressway shows an elderly Sikh man dressed in white driving the car. The footage shows that the miscreants pulled down the sun shades of the car at the toll plaza to avoid the CCTV camera. The man sitting on the co-driver’s seat also pulled out a handkerchief from the dash board to cover his face.
A CCTV camera grab of a white Etios car at a toll plaza on Himalayan Expressway.
A CCTV camera grab of a white Etios car at a toll plaza on Himalayan Expressway. 

The police said the registration number of the car had been allotted to a Jind resident, indicating that the miscreants used a fake number plate on their car to commit the crime.

After groping in the dark for six years, the Panchkula police got some leads from the video grabs about the Zen gang, active in the area since 2008.

Though the CCTV camera footage of the State Bank of India at Amravati Enclave don’t show clear image of the miscreants, the police managed to get some clues of the gang members from the cameras installed at the toll plaza.

The video grab shows that the car was parked outside the bank and three miscreants snatched the bag containing Rs 16.08 lakh from the petrol pump employees.

“They were aware of the timing when the employees would be reaching the bank from the petrol pump,” said a police official.

The gang members generally use white Zen car. But they used a white Etios car in the previous two strikes.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashwin Shenvi said they were making efforts to nab the members of the gang.



Telecom towers radiate trouble for children
Cellphone company fails to shift towers from two crèches, rehabilitation centre 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
For want of study and research, cellphone towers in and around inhabited areas in the city continue to face flak, with residents demanding their shifting to sparsely populated areas.

This issue has been hanging fire in the city for the past one year. Promila Bhateja, a social worker who has been vocal on the issue, said: “Cellphone towers are a potential health hazard. Why expose children to radiation.”

The long-drawn controversy assumes new dimensions following reports of the harmful effects of these towers. There are indications to suggest that exposure to the radiation may be even cause brain tumour. Among those who suspect that the towers may be behind their neurological ailment is a city resident, Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta, former Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court (See page 2).

However, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is dragging its feet in shifting cellphone towers from two crèches in Sectors 15 and 20 and Prayaas premises in the city. This is despite missives by the UT Social Welfare Department more than a year ago.

BSNL general manager, Chandigarh circle, JS Sahota said they were waiting for a policy of the UT Administration on the issue.

As reported in the media earlier, a survey by members of the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) of the UT Social Welfare Department mentioned that the cellphone towers installed by the BSNL on the premises of crèches were affecting the immune system of toddlers. The survey recommended that these be immediately removed.

Director of the UT Social Welfare Department Rajesh Jogpal said the department had been sending regular reminders to the BSNL authorities to shift the towers, but to no avail. The cellular operators also reject the charge that the towers were harmful for the residents (see box).

At least 60 toddlers are registered with two crèches in Sectors 15 and 20 where they spend almost half of their day. A cellphone tower on the premises of Prayaas rehabilitation centre in Sector 38 is also posing a risk to 30 students who come to the centre for training.

Sahota admitted that they had received these communications from the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW). He said they would be testing the level of radiation and would refer the case to the higher authorities. He referred to the Union Government's policy on cellphone towers and said the BSNL had been following the norms, besides monitoring the radiation level in the city.

The survey was conducted after objections were raised in the executive committee meeting of the Indian Council for Child Welfare on the possible side effects of radiation on children. Sources revealed that the UT Administration had given permission to install the towers in the newly constructed crèches in Sectors 15 and 20 and Prayaas rehabilitation centre for handicapped children.

But after the survey in November 2012, the ICCW members said why action was not initiated against the BSNL for not removing the cellphone towers from the premises of crèches and the rehabilitation centre. The members also advocated for legal action against the BSNL. 

No harmful effects, claim operators

The director general of the Cellular Operators’ Association of India, Rajan S Mathews, dismissed the allegations that there were any harmful effects of cellphone towers on residents. “All operators are following norms set by the Union Government. The companies are providing services to customers and they are not involving themselves in research and study. However, if the government finds any harmful effects of cellphone towers, it should conduct a survey for the medical security of residents,” he said. 



Telecom towers a silent killer, says Justice Gupta
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
“Installing telecom towers in close proximity of inhabited areas should be banned by the Union Government since they could be acting as “silent killers”, said Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta, former Chief Justice of Kerala High Court.

Justice Gupta, who is undergoing treatment for brain tumour, claims that he himself is a victim of radiation of such towers.

He feels that the government was not taking any initiative to carry independent studies on the ill-effects of radiation from telecom towers, despite a large number of residents claiming that they were suffering due to the same. Gupta suggests that a special agency be constituted by the Centre to investigate its effects on human beings.

Revealing about his own experience, he said when he had detected a brain tumour, the homeopathic doctor who was treating him expressed that telecom towers in residential areas could be one of the reasons for his serious health ailment. Since then he was also been instructed to avoid using mobile phones.



Decks cleared for multi-level parking
Patil to lay foundation stone today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
After the gap of four years, the UT Administration will lay the foundation stone of the city’s first multi-level parking project in Sector 17 tomorrow.

UT Administrator Shivraj Patil will lay the foundation stone.

The three-storeyed parking lot will accommodate 950 vehicles. The project, which will come up in front of Gurdev Studio in Sector 17, was cleared by the Ministry of Environment and Forests recently.

The Administration has also axed 134 trees at the site after getting permission from the ministry.

Mayor Subhash Chawla said around Rs 40 crore would be spent on the construction of the multi-level parking lot. 


Better Chandigarh
MC needs will to find a way out of parking chaos
The paid parking lots in the city are crying for attention. A lot needs to be done to fix the problem. In the Part II of the series, The Tribune reporter Rajinder Nagarkoti lists the solutions that can go a long way in checking the mess 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
A rock solid will on the part of the Municipal Corporation coupled with proper infrastructure and effective means to troubleshoot any problem will go a long way in checking the chaos at the various paid parking lots in the city.

Strict action against the violators and contractors can help the enforcement agencies in addressing the problem. This has been suggested to the MC time and again by different quarters of the society as a means to make the paid parking system commuter friendly.

The civic body has sufficient funds and an adequate manpower. Still, it has failed to improve the infrastructure of the lots. The MC can take lessons from countries such as the USA to introduce a computerised system at the parking lots. With high literacy levels, the city can easily adapt to it.

Not only the officials, the councillors too are least bothered about the chaos in the lots. Concerned only with the problems in their respective wards, none is seriously thinking about the city, which is daily facing the problem of chaos at paid parking lots.

What needs to be done

* Not only at the entry and exit points, the contractors should also deploy the staff inside the parking lots to help the visitors find space to park vehicles

* Parking lot attendants should not misbehave with the vehicle owners. Instead of arguing, they should provide assistance to them

* CCTV cameras should be installed to check thefts and misbehaviour on the part of attendants as well as vehicle owners

* Proper spaces should be earmarked for cars, two-wheelers, cycles, rickshaws, vehicles driven by differently abled and heavy vehicles

* On the lines of Western countries, attempt should be made to manage the parking through a computerised system

* Complaint boxes should be installed at every paid parking lot for the residents to air their grievances against the contractor

* The MC should display the mobile number of the official concerned at every parking lot for commuters to directly lodge a complaint

* The parking attendants should wear a proper uniform with a nameplate to identify them

* The MC should conduct a police verification of not only the contractors, but the attendants as well

* Proper lanes should be demarcated as fire zones with yellow lines drawn to ensure the fire tenders get a smooth passage within the parking lot

* The MC should promote underground parking at Sectors 8 and 17. Presently, hardly any commuter uses these lots

* Heavy penalties should be imposed on contractors who violate the terms and conditions of the contract

* The entry and exit points should be wide enough for the smooth passage of vehicles besides being well maintained

* Proper signboards should be installed to guide the commuters parking their vehicles

* The traffic police should issue challans for haphazard parking inside the lots

The parking lots in the city need to be redesigned with minor modifications. Proper spaces should be demarcated for different kinds of vehicles. A computerised system should be put in place besides the installation of CCTV cameras. Underground parking lots can also be built at all the four entry points to a sector — Surinder Bahga, nominated councillor, architect

The increasing congestion in the parking lots is primarily due to the tendency of the contractors to increase their revenue by letting more cars in than the available space. The traffic police can be contacted on the helpline number, but it remains the contractor’s responsibility to regulate the parking by deploying staff inside the lot — Maneesh Chaudhary, SP (Traffic)

The contractors have always resisted strict compliance with the terms of contract, even opting out in a few cases. To address the problem, the public too must be made aware about their responsibility. They must not park their vehicles haphazardly. The MC should not look at the parking lots as a source of income — RK Garg, RTI Activist

As the MC has miserably failed to handle the paid parking lots, these should be handed over to the market associations. With this, the associations can make proper arrangements to facilitate the general public without any intention to earn a profit. The Sector 22-B association has already submitted a proposal to the MC in this regard — Subash Narang, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal

One of the most planned cities of India is facing the parking problem due to the lack of proper planning and will on the part of the civic body. It is adversely affecting the business. Parking lots should be handed over to reputed corporate firms with permission to display their advertisements on the lines of roundabouts.

— JPS Kalra, general secy, Chandigarh Business Council

The root cause of chaos in the parking lots is the lack of will to improve on the part of the MC. Parking lots of new shopping malls are much more organised. Space should be reserved for the differently abled at the paid lots, as it is a legal requirement, not just a courtesy — Harman Sidhu, chairman, Arrive Safe

The traffic police should fine the parking contractors for letting more vehicles in than the space available. Residents should also follow rules and not park vehicles haphazardly. The MC should start levying parking fee on an hourly basis to stop people from using the parking lots as a place to while away their time— Manish Verma, lawyer 



Not happy with present paid parking system, says Mayor
MC Commissioner talks of automated lots at Sector 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
In a conversation with this correspondent, Mayor Subhash Chawla and MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh answered some important questions regarding the problems plaguing the paid parking system.

Q: In 2008, the Municipal Corporation formed a committee of councillors to check the violations in the paid parking lots. Why was no such team formed?

Mayor: I am not aware of any such committee. If it was formed in 2008, I assure you I will definitely reconstitute it in the coming days.

MC Commissioner: Instead of a committee, the MC has deployed an SDO-level officer especially to look after these paid parking lots.

Q: Residents are paying the parking fee, but get no service in return. Why has the MC turned a blind eye to various violations done by the contractors?

Mayor: I am also not personally satisfied with the present paid parking system. While reserve price of paid parking lots is very high, residents are paying only Rs 2 for two-wheelers and Rs 5 for four-wheelers. Due to this mismatch, contractors cannot provide all the facilities.

MC Commissioner: Our teams regularly impose fine on contractors who violate the terms and conditions. I will seek a report from the department concerned regarding the existing violations.

Q: Why did the MC remove the clause regarding the cancellation of the contract if the contractors failed to provide a good service?

Mayor: Presently, contractors are not coming forward to bid for the paid parking lots. This clause was removed to build their confidence. However, the MC does impose a heavy fine on the contractors for violations.

MC Commissioner: Though there is no such clause, under special circumstances, the MC can cancel the contract by issuing a notice.

Q: The MC is generating Rs 4 crore annually from these 24 paid parking lots, but it hardly spends any amount to improve the infrastructure of the lots.

Mayor: The MC spends a good amount of money on the recarpeting of roads and installation of lights in these parking lots.

MC Commissioner: Two lots are being converted to automated parking lots at Sector 17. In these lots, no vehicles will be allowed to enter after these become full. If successful, this project will be implemented in other parking lots.



Civic body should take tips from Sectors 22-D, 19-C markets 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Back in 1999, when there were no paid parking lots in the city, the market welfare association of Sector 22-D decided to manage the parking area in front of the shops. Arvind Jain, who initiated this project, is the current president of the association.

Jain says the idea behind the project was to provide a hassle-free parking facility to the visitors. The members deposit a fixed monthly amount in the bank account of the association, with which the expenses are taken care of. Presently six guards have been deployed to manage the parking lots during the day and four guards provide security at night. The association has also hired a sweeper and a worker to clean the iron railings in the parking lot.

Moreover, closed-circuit television cameras that can cover the area up to the main road keep vigil round the clock.

The guards also help the vehicle owners in parking. Designated slots for two-wheelers help in accommodating more vehicles.

Like the Sector 22-D market, the market committee of Sector 19-C too started managing the parking lot in front of the shops in 2009. Ramji Manchanda, president of the committee, says only cars are allowed to enter the parking area, while two-wheelers have a designated parking space on the outer side.

Presently, the market has four guards, but for the festive season an additional guard will be deployed. 



Jagatpura: Temporary bridge to serve as alternative route 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 14
After sealing the entry points to the damaged bridge by the authorities to prevent a possible mishap in Mohali, a temporary bridge was built near Jagatpura village yesterday to serve as an alternative route to the passersby.

Connectivity to more than 20 villages was cut-off after a damaged bridge was closed to traffic by the authorities recently.

The temporary bridge near Phase XI here, which was meant for use by pedestrians, gave way to loaded rehris and other vehicles as well. Two children reportedly fell into the water last evening, but were saved.

Villagers said the closed bridge was built during the tenure of a former Chief Minister, Giani Zail Singh, but over the years it turned into a poor shape as the authorities allegedly failed to undertake necessary measures.

“There used to be a heavy traffic over the now-closed bridge every day, even after its dilapidated condition. Its pillars were badly damaged, posing a danger to traffic, hence it had to be sealed,” said a resident of the area.



Potholes dot road in P’kula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 14
A bumpy ride welcomes commuters outside the Army flats in Mansa Devi Complex (MDC), Sector 4, Panchkula.

Constructed in 2005, the cemented road gave in just after a year of its construction, raising several questions on the authenticity.

Till now, no efforts have been put in by the Municipal Corporation (MC) to recarpet the damaged road, alleged the residents.

Politicians contending for the Panchkula Municipal Corporation elections had made many promises to do the needed, but even after four months nothing has been done yet, a resident alleged.

We get the same reply from the authorities, that the tenders have been floated and the repair work will be soon commenced, said another resident of the locality.

The local councillor of the area, Kuljeet Waraich, said, “Tenders for this road had been pushed to October 10. An amount of Rs 9 lakhs will be spent on this stretch. Repair work will start soon.”

Since 2004, the MC has just been getting patch work done on this stretch. “This road was built cemented and not the usual bitumen way, only because we were informed that its durability is long. And just after one year of its construction, it developed potholes which clearly indicates low quality material was used,” said the president of the Residents Welfare association of MDC, Sector 4, Davinder Mahajan.

Even after the passing of the ‘said’ tenders, the repair work has not been started yet.

Another resident, Brig RP Singh said, “We can’t even avoid this patch as there is no other alternative route to the area. It has caused great damage to our vehicles as well.”

“In this election, every candidate promised us that the road will be repaired soon and now even after we have elected our councillor, no one is touching upon the issue,” said Vishal, another resident.

Waraich said he would get the work completed in October itself.



MC to crack whip on violators
To give seven-day deadline to traders for removing hoardings
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
The MC has decided to crack a whip on traders and city residents who are violating the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order, 1954, by illegally installing hoardings and advertisement boards outside their shops and houses.

MC Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta said they had decided to give seven days’ deadline to the traders and residents to remove their hoardings, otherwise they would impose hefty fine on the violators.

They were also going to issue a public notice to aware the residents in this regard, he said. Gupta added that if they would found illegal boards after the due period, the MC would assume that the same was displayed by the violator for the past six months and accordingly heavy fine would be imposed.

Sources said violators would have to pay around Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000 in case they fail to remove their illegal hoardings. The violation of the advertisement Act in the city market is on rampant as it can be seen in almost all markets of the city.

Last year in a fire incident occurred in a market in Sector 34, firemen had to struggle a lot while dousing the flames inside the building due to haphazardly installation of sign boards and hoardings.

Charanjiv Singh, president, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM), said while launching its drive, the MC should only penalise violators and not those shopkeepers who have got permission to display such boards.



Three sweetmeat shops raided, 70-kg milk products destroyed 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
With the festive season setting in, the UT Health Department has tightened its noose around sweetmeat shops in the city. In the first raid this season conducted today, officials destroyed 70 kg of milk products and sweets exposed to dust and flies at two shops.

In addition, food samples of khoya and khoya-made sweets were seized from three shops, including these two where sweets were destroyed.

In a random raid conducted today evening, department officials visited Guru Nanak Sweets in Sector 37, Singh Sweets in Khuda Jassu and Sindhi Sweets in Sector 8.

While samples of khoya and some of the sweets were taken from all three shops, the officials destroyed a total of 70 kg of sweets and khoya each at Guru Nanak Sweets and Singh Sweets.

“As the demand for the sweets and its ingredients multiplies during the festive season, the malpractices, including adulteration and usage of inferior quality ingredients also goes up. In the act of improving their profit margins, some of the sellers get on to the malpractices without considering the effect of the poor quality sweets on the health of consumers. We are going to crack a whip on other sweet shops in the coming days and ensure strict action against defaulters,” said Dr G Dewan, Deputy Medical Superintendent, GMSH-16, and official spokesperson.
The Director, Health Services, Dr Sunil Kumar Bhalla, directed all food business operators to maintain proper hygiene in their premises while preparing and selling sweetmeats.



Samples collected

Mohali, October 14
Samples of food items were collected from a confectionery shop in Phase V here today by the district health authorities despite resistance by its owners.

District Health Officer Gursharan Singh said the samples taken from the shop, Amrit Confectioners, were sealed and would be sent for testing to the food lab. He said when a team of health officials went to the shop, the owner tried to show initial resistance to the collecting of samples.

He said the SSP was then requested to provide police help after which the SHO of the Phase I police station reached the Phase V shop.

Gursharan Singh said earlier in another case, samples of petha were collected from a sweetmeat shop in Dera Bassi.

He said the district administration had also issued a closure notice to a workshop manufacturing sweets in Jagatpura village about a week ago.

The owner of the workshop was a major supplier of sweets to various shops in Chandigarh, but the quality of the products being supplied by him was allegedly not satisfactory.

Gursharan added that in the case of food samples collected from Barbeque Nation in Phase V here where 22 persons took ill on September 26, a case would be filed soon. — OC



CITCO officials in quandary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Officials of the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation (CITCO) are in a quandary over regularisation of services of its employees who have joined back the service one month after retiring.

There are at least three such cases wherein employees have joined back after the Punjab and Haryana High Court stayed the decision of the CITCO not to grant extension in service to employees retiring at 58.

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 over 1,300 CITCO employees.

In the board meeting of CITCO held on August 20, the board of directors had decided not to grant extension to its retiring employees after studying the profitability of the corporation.

The board members turned down a proposal to give one-year extension to its retiring employees. Every month, around four employees of the corporation retire. Faced with competition from private players in the hospitality sector and increasing salary bills of the employees, the corporation had taken the firm decision, it had been stated.

But after the court stayed CITCO’s decision, the employees who had been retired in August are joining back. Faced with the problem of regulraising the service period of one month, the corporation has referred the matter to the Chandigarh Administration.

It is learnt that the top brass in the UT while also rejecting decision of not giving extension to the retiring officials had asked the CITCO officials to work hard to improve the earnings from its establishments. The salary bill of regular employees was running into around Rs 2.50 crore. Even the revenue from Hotel Mountview and Hotel Shivalik View has shown a fall. According to the sale figures, Hotel Mountview has registered around 40 per cent fall in its turnover. Similar is the situation of Shivalik View.



15 per cent suffer from osteoarthritis: Expert 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 14
Arthritis is fast gripping youngsters during their most productive years. Contrary to the misconception that arthritis only affects the elderly, this disorder is being increasingly found in the age group of 40-45 years as well.

This was stated by Dr Manuj Wadhwa, director and head, Max Elite Institute of Orthopedics and Joint Replacement, on the occasion of a week-long Arthritis awareness programme organised by Max Superspeciality Hospital. Dr Wadhwa said in Punjab alone there were as many as 30 lakh arthritis patients and the number was increasing. “There are more than 5 lakh patients with advanced stages of arthritis, of which 50,000 are in dire need of surgeries. Obesity coupled with an increasing sedentary lifestyle has made Punjabis all the more vulnerable to arthritis,” said Dr Wadhwa.

He laid emphasis on adopting a physically active lifestyle early in life. Dr Wadhwa said, “The key to arthritis management was finding a balance between activity and rest.”

Osteoarthritis affects over 15 per cent Indians, a figure that is higher than in the case of many better-known diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer and HIV in India, said the director.



Girl Child Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Girl Child Day was celebrated in collaboration with an NGO, Hara Punjab Khara Samaj, and Max Hospital, Mohali, on Friday.

"The main aim was to raise awareness about life-hindering obstacles and breakdown of those obstacles, locally and globally," said Dr Zora Singh, chancellor, Desh Bhagat University.

Tajinder Kaur, chancellor, Desh Bhagat University, and CED, Hara Punjab Khara Samaj, said girls are being neglected, marginalised, and discriminated in families and society. Most of the girls are ignorant of their rights, said the chancellor.



City scan

Interactive session

Law Students' Association (LSA), a registered non-profit student body, organised 'LLB and Beyond'-an interactive session between legal experts and students who have just graduated with law degrees from colleges in the region. Gurkirpal Singh Gill, president, of the LSA, said, "Studying and practicing law has modernised manifolds in the past few years, be it introduction of new subjects like competition law, consumer law, IPR, company law, environmental law, or moot court culture and law conferences etc.


Kamaljit Singh Panchhi has been appointed as chairman of Chandigarh Business Council (regd) Apex Traders Body. He is also president of the Traders Association, Sector 17, and advisor of Federation of Sector Welfare Associations (FOSWAC).

Free cataract surgeries performed

Max Super Speciality Hospital (MSSH), Mohali, have performed free cataract surgeries on eight patients, belonging to economically weaker sections. — TNS 



Parivartan-2k13 kicks off at CGC
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 14
Parivartan-2k13 opened with a display of spectacular talent on the campus of the Chandigarh Group of Colleges (CGC), Landran, today.

The two-day ninth State-Level Techno-Cultural Symposium, Parivartan-2k13 began with the inauguration ceremony by Madan Moahan Mittal, Industries and Commerce and Technical Education Minister, Punjab.

More than 30,000 students from various schools and colleges of Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pardesh and Rajasthan will participate in technical, non-technical and cultural events during the state-level youth fest.

Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, Deputy Commissioner, Mohali, Dr B Purushartha, Director, Technical Education, Raminder Singh, Additional Chief Electoral Officer, and Mohanbir Singh, Additional Director, Technical Education, were the guests of honour.

Organised with the theme of “Empower Youth, Empower India,” Parivartan-2k13 emphasised the importance of voting during the 2014 general elections.

Teams from the IIT, Ropar, the NIT, Jalandhar, the UIET, Chandigarh, Panjab University, Kurukshetra University, DAV University, Central University of Punjab and other institutions participated in technical events like robo wars, air show and live projects. Displaying their mettle in the technical arena, the team of Chandigarh University, Gharuan, won the Innovative and live project event while CGC College of Engineering, Landran, won the technical skit competition.

The team of UIET, Chandigarh, won the robo war, while CEC, Landran, won the first prize in the dirt race event. The aero-modelling show was won by the UIET, Chandigarh, while Rayat & Bahara, Kharar, won the second spot in the competition.

In the non-technical competition, Abhijeet Singh, DIET, Kharar, won the Picasso event while the team from DIET, Kharar, won the minute to win contest. Sarabjeet Kaur from MHK-DAV, Jalandhar, won the poster making event while Charandeep Singh from CGC, Landran, won the turban-tying competition. 



Collaborative research: PU dept signs MoU with centre for computing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), Panjab University (PU), and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Mohali, have decided to collaborate for promoting the Research and Development (R&D) in the field of engineering and other emerging areas related to engineering and sciences.

PU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Arun Kumar Grover, and CDAC Executive Director, JS Bhatia, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of PU and C-DAC, respectively.

As per the MoU, a nucleus for promoting R&D and creation of human capital in the fields of engineering and other allied areas would be created by exploiting the unique expertise, intellectual and infrastructural capabilities of both the premier organisations of the region.

This MoU will contribute in enhancing the ongoing research, human resources and provide a wider exposure to faculty and students at both the Institutions.

It will help in exploring and exchanging the various documents, research findings and facilities for higher education and research.

CDAC, primarily an R&D institution, involved in the design, development and deployment of world class electronic and IT solutions for economic and human advancements, has joined hands with the UIET, Panjab University to add impetus to the ongoing research and development in the allied thrust areas. C-DAC, Mohali, is a Scientific Society of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India. 



School notes

Dasehra celebrations

AKSIPS, Sector 45, celebrated Dasehra. Students demonstrated the importance of values such as loving and respecting, keeping promises, protecting the weak etc through their speeches, poems and skits. A dance drama performance showcased “Ramlila”.

Sharda Sarvhitkari School, Sector 40

Students of Sharda Sarhvitkari School celebrated Dasehra. Prabha Tripathi, a student, spoke about the importance of “navratre” and explained the meaning behind celebrating this festival. The students were acquainted with the importance of the day.

Kids ‘R’ Kids School, Sector 42

Students of Kids ‘R’ Kids School, Sector 42, Chandigarh, made their own rockets and launched them on the school premises. The rockets were prepared from empty plastic bottles and clay, with water filled under pressure.

St Soldier School, Dhakoli

Dasehra, the festival of victory over evil, was celebrated St Soldier School, Dhakoli, with full fervor and gaiety. On the occasion, a special assembly was organized where in special prayers and importance of the festivals was highlighted. A small play was staged by the students. The students took keen interest in the mask and card-making competition that was organised on the occasion.

Stepping Stones School, Sector 37

Stepping Stones, Chandigarh, played host to the sixth inter-school scrabble competition. The scrabble contest, an annual event hosted by the school for the last six years, saw about 110 students from over thirty schools across Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula and neighbouring places taking part in the globally popular word challenge.

Moti Ram Arya School, Sector 27

Moti Ram Arya School, Sector 27, celebrated Grand Parents Day. The school organised special activities in which the children and grandparents together took part in it.

Wildlife Week

Saint Soldier International School, Sector 28, celebrated Wildlife Week in which various activities were organised throughout the week and the students very enthusiastically participated in these activities. Parminder Kaur gave a talk on the topic “Save Forests to Save World” and highlighted the importance of trees and forests. A debate was also organised for the students of Classes XI to XII on the topic “Wild Animals Should be Used for Entertainment”

Girl Child Day

Students and staff of Government High School, Mauli Colony, observed the Girl Child Day. A puppet show was staged. Creative exhibits and the material prepared by students were displayed in the school hall. — TNS



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