C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hunt on to track down realtor 
P’kula police alerts Airports Authority of India, Ministry of Home Affairs 
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 9
A day after learning that Panchkula-based realtor Vikram Dhiman, who was allegedly kidnapped, disposed of his property and cars a few days before he went missing, the Panchkula police has alerted the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to ensure that he does leave the country.

Apprehending that the realtor might have flown to the US or Australia, the police is approaching the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to track him down.

The realtor’s family lodged a kidnapping report after he went missing. But the investigating is moving in the opposite direction. The airports authority has been sounded, said a police official.

The circumstances under which Vikram went missing a few days after receiving payments of his palatial house in Sector 2, a Mercedes and a Range Rover, has raised suspicion.

The Chandigarh Police has also sent a team to Delhi to nab Vikram. The police has put the phone numbers of Vikram’s associates under surveillance.

Sources said before he went missing, Vikram had made repeated calls to officials of the Chandigarh Police. The call details of the past 15 days are being analysed. A former official of the Panchkula police, who also had invested money with Vikram, has been asked to keep a watch in the area.

While the realtor went missing a few days after selling his property, he shifted his family to a rented accommodation in the same sector. The SIM card being used by Vikram went off air 15 km away from the Delhi airport.

Sources said the realtor owed crores of rupees to businessmen and policemen. 



Two held for stealing vehicles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
The police arrested two persons, including a reader of a Panchkula-based advocate, on the charge of stealing vehicles. The accused have been identified as Aashu and Jatinder Singh, alias Golu, both residents of Gobindpura in Mani Majra. Jatinder works as a reader with an advocate, the police said.

The accused were nabbed when they were riding a stolen motorcycle with fake number plate. Jatinder is involved in five cases of snatching and vehicle thefts and had been arrested in the past, too. SHO, Mani Majra, Charanjeet Singh said the accused were remanded in police custody. The duo revealed that they were involved in a number of snatching and vehicle lifting cases in Chandigarh and Panchkula. They used to park the stolen two-wheelers at parking lots after using the same for a few days.

The police recovered five motorcycles, four scooters, four gold chains from their possession. The police claim to have solved 13 cases of snatching and vehicle thefts with the arrest of the duo. 



Police seeks production warrant against Mohali doc
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 9
The Mohali police, which had earlier given a clean chit to Dr Arjinder Singh Bains in the infamous kidney scam, today sought production warrant against him from a court.

The development follows a five-year sentence to Dr Bains awarded by the District and Sessions Court, Amritsar, yesterday in the Amritsar kidney scam. Dr Bains is the owner of Surya Kidney Care Centre, Sector 69, Mohali.

Mohali DSP (City II) Ajinder Singh said an application had been moved in the court. “We want to reinvestigate the case. The scam was unearthed by the Lucknow police in 2011,” said the DSP.

The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mohali, has already rejected the bail application of Dr Bains.

After the scam was unearthed, a special investigation team (SIT) was constituted under the then DSP, Darshan Singh Mann, to investigate the case. The Mohali police had also registered a case under Sections 419, 420, 468, 471, 474 and 120-B of IPC and 18, 19-A and 20 of Transplantation of Organs and Tissues Act, 1994, against Sachin Kumar, a technician at Surya Kidney Care Centre, Shakeel, Vikas Pandey, Amitabh Pandey and Manju Pandey at the Phase VIII police station. 



Encroachments removed from Shastri Market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
Following the Punjab and Haryana High Court rap, the enforcement wing of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation today carried out an anti-encroachment drive at the Sector 22 Shastri Market.

The High Court had recently criticised the UT Administration and the MC for their failure to remove encroachments from markets.

During the drive, workers of the MC removed iron rods used by shopkeepers to display their merchandise. The MC also removed hooks from the sidewalls in the market. Some shopkeepers had rented out the sidewalls outside their shops to vendors.

The anti-encroachment team comprised a superintendent, 12 sub-inspectors and 70 workers of the enforcement wing.

The drive started at 11.45 am and continued till 4 pm.

Kashmira Singh, superintendent, enforcement wing, said that they cut 300 iron rods and issued 20 challans.

Inspector Sunil Dutt said after some resistance, the traders themselves started removing encroachments.

However, vendors alleged that the MC team targeted them and took no action against the shopkeepers who had encroached upon the space outside SCOs and SCFs. 





Chandigarh Tribune invites feedback from its readers on issues of public concern relating to Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and the nearby areas. Readers can email their views to letters.ct@gmail.com They can also send their views to: Feedback, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh — 160029.

Letters sent by post must mention 'Feedback for Chandigarh Tribune' on the envelope and it should be signed and must contain the address and telephone number of the sender. It should not be more than 150 words.

Check stray dog menace
I would like to request the Chandigarh Administration as well as Municipal Corporation (MC) of Chandigarh to look into the menace caused by stray cattle and stray dog. The nuisance is largely becoming a headache for residents of City Beautiful with every passing day.

Despite there being discussions and assurances by the MC, there seems to be no solution to this deadly problem. One has to face the stray cattle menace every day while driving a car or a two-wheeler on the city roads. Many a times commuters even meet with accidents because of the growing nuisance. Such incidents often go unreported. Stray dogs also pose a great threat to people on city roads, parks, streets and markets. They run after the bikes, bite children and even frighten senior citizens. Many have already become a victim of dog bites and later they have to spend money on costly treatment. Most of the cases are not reported because of fear of harassment by the police. Will the administration and the MC ever give a time-bound assurance to the residents to get the city rid of stray cattle and stray dog nuisance?

RK KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Filthy Rock Garden, a shame!
Although I live abroad but I do own a property in Chandigarh. Therefore, I am proud of our city, its cleanliness and the fact that the pollution level here is extremely negligible. Among the many picturesque sites here, Nek Chand Rock Garden fascinates a lot of foreigners. I visited it with my foreigner friend two days back. While the fantastical figures continue to amaze me, I am sorry to say but the unhygienic condition was a matter of great shame for me. Pools around the waterfalls were polluted with plastic bottles and plastic wrappers. There was garbage accumulated in the water and the litter was spread out across many places.

In the new Phase III of the garden, both the spirit and the naturalistic bent of Mr Nek Chand were being insulted as the tea and chaat canteen was surrounded with litter. A foul smell emanated from the main open space. The stink was so unbearable that I had to rush my visitors off the place. Needless to say I was embarrassed and extremely upset by the lack of care and cleanliness in one of our top tourist attractions. I think it is time that that the authorities of the civic maintenance of our city take a notice of the sheer filthiness of Rock Garden and do something to clean it on a weekly basis.


For ‘aam aadmi’, Diwali was no fun
Hopes of a common man have already dashed this year and the increasing cost of gifts, jewellery and crackers have surely pinched deep in the heart. According to me, the entire extravaganza of this great festival was lost beforehand only as ‘aam aadmi’, instead of celebrating Diwali was seen striving for getting his basic demands meet.

The increasing cost has brought the entire joy to a standstill. One thing that is praiseworthy is that this time there were not many who celebrated Diwali with crackers but instead lighted diyas and lamps on the occasion.

Roles of different non-governmental organisation in making people aware of the dire consequences of bursting crackers cannot be sidelined as they have been successful so far. I do not understand why only the common man has to go through these harsh times, even during the festive season. Purchasing gold was still not a less of a dream for the common man. If one has managed to get his own basic demands fulfilled with the bonus he/she receives then I think that is more than enough. Leave aside all the relatives and friends, just think and concentrate on how to get your own demands fulfilled.



Elderly move court over parking chaos
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 9
In first-of-its-kind, four senior citizens have knocked the door of a local court over parking chaos in their locality in Sector 17 here. They were peeved at parking chaos due to the growing number of cars parked haphazardly in the locality.

The case has been filed in the Panchkula court of Civil Judge Diksha Das Ranga. The court has even ordered to send a notice to the Estate Officer of the Haryana Urban Development Authority.

In their plea before the court, they stated that there was traffic congestion in their locality due to a diet clinic that is being operated in the neighbourhood and a number of cars remain parked there.

Jagdish Inder Singh, 78, raised the issue after he met a medical emergency and the lane outside his house was blocked with cars. Other elderly petitioners are Vijay Sachdeva, Dharmender Kashyap and Dinesh Kapoor. They are above 60 years and are the affected lot.

Finding themselves helpless in getting help from the administration after making several complaints to the HUDA and the police, the residents were left with no other option but to move the court.

“HUDA officials were contacted but they did not come to our rescue despite repeated requests for reasons best known to them,” said another resident.

“School bus drivers refuse to bring buses to our street. So, children have to walk to the main road. Car owners argue and fight if asked to park their vehicles properly. Many a time, the police had to be called to solve brawls,” said Singh.

The elderly said they gave two police complaints and officials told them that they could call them whenever required. Over 100 residents signed a complaint against HUDA a few months ago, following which a functionary was sent. After taking stock of the situation, he never turned up and said that everything was fine.



‘0001’ goes for Rs 5.30 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
Roopinder Singh, a resident of Sector 16, was lucky to get the vanity number “0001” in the CH 01 AV series for Rs 5.30 lakh during an open auction conducted by the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) here today.

It was the second attempt to sell the number after the previous bidder, Taranjeet Singh, surrendered the number. He had purchased the number for Rs 7.01 lakh on October 19. Roopinder Singh, who runs a filling station in Delhi, has bought the number for his Mercedes car. Apart from the auction of leftover 51 numbers of CH 01 AV series, 12 numbers in CH 01 AU, CH 01 AT and CH 01 AS series were also auctioned.

Officials in the RLA said a revenue of Rs 12 lakh was earned during the auction.

In CH 01 AV series, the other numbers auctioned were ‘0003’, ‘0004’, ‘0092’, ‘0093’, ‘0212’, ‘0404’, ‘0444’, ‘0500’, ‘1616’ and ‘2323’. The maximum bid of Rs 45,000 was attracted for number ‘0009’.

For the second time, the RLA did not call any pre-bidding application for auction of fancy numbers and held open auction for the leftover numbers.



Illegal liquor vends dot Mohali, P’kula
Tribune Reporters

Mohali/Panchkula,November 9
While the Chandigarh administration has introduced a clause in the liquor policy and removed liquor vends illegally set up along the main roads, the Mohali District Administation is yet to wake up to the utter nuisance caused by these liquor vends.

About 20 liquor vends set up along the roads and green belt areas have been reportedly violating the norms and causing inconvenience to the commuters and residents of the area. “Customers park their vehicles on the roads while purchasing liquor, causing traffic block,” said a passerby.

Mohali’s former municipal councillor Kuljit Singh Bedi had filed a Public Interest Litigation in Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2011 in this regard, following which High Court had asked the authorities of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to remove the vends set up along main roads.

Some contractors had appealed in the apex court regarding the decision, after which the apex court had put a stay on High Court’s order.

Furthermore, vendors have also been found of breaching several other norms. As per the rules and regulations, vends (which have ‘ahataas’) are supposed to have toilets, which are missing in most of the cases. The rule of three metres distance between the road and vend is also being breached.

In most of vends, advertisement boards are also found, despite being directed by the authorities concerned to not to put any advertisement boards.

Unchecked liquor shops a headache for commuters

Panchkula: Despite the orders passed by the Punjab and Haryana High court against the running of illegal liquor vends along the road sides, many liquor vends continue to operate along the highways and the roads in Panchkula.

Many of them were witnessed being operated along the stretch of Sector 16, Budanpur, Majri chowk and near Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, Panchkula.

In the evenings, vends gives a tough time to the commuters as people gather around the area to purchase liquor, resulting in parking chaos around the area.

While the Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Madhubala, refused to comment on the matter saying that she is not authorised to do so, a senior official of the Excise and Taxation department said he will look into the matter.

President of Resident’s Welfare Association of MDC, Sector 4, Davinder Mahajan, said the administration should take strict action against the violators to ensure such incidents do not surface in future.



Police week celebrations from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
Chandigarh Police Week would be organised from November 11 to November 15.

The police week celebrations will see various events, including a darbar by UT IGP RP Upadhyaya for the police force. The policemen will be able to air their grievances in front of the police chief.

The highlight will be wives of officers and jawans coming face to face in a tug-of-war competition for the first time.

The police said the main objective of the police week was to build a close bonding with the members of the public and to form stronger partnerships between the police and the communities they serve.

The week is being organised to promote respect for law, build public interest in and support for the police, thus reducing the gap between the police and the public.

The Chandigarh Police was raised after the declaration of Chandigarh as Union Territory on November 1, 1966.

The police said during the Chandigarh Police Week, celebrations would definitely bring community, people, citizen forums, students closer to the police to build up the desired trust and rapport as required.

To mark this occasion, the Chandigarh Police will be organising various activities/functions for strengthening the image of the UT Police during the Police Week.

The schedule

November 11

  • At 11 AM, there will be public meeting with Market Association at Traffic Auditorium Sector 29, Chandigarh under the supervision of SSP/Chandigarh and all SDPOs.
  • At 11:30 AM, Painting Competition at Plaza Sector 17, Chandigarh. The Chief Guest of the function will be V. K. Singh, IAS, and Finance Secretary.
  • At 6 PM, musical evening for senior citizens and police families at Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, Chandigarh.

November 12

  • At 9 AM, a rally on women safety at Sukhna Lake.
  • At 12 PM, a rally for traffic awareness from Punjab University to Sectors 17, 9, 21, Chandigarh.
  • At 12:30 PM, a play on women safety/ women-related issues at the Sri Guru Gobind Singh College for Girls, Sector 26, Chandigarh.

November 13
At afternoon, “Bada Khana” and IGP Darbar (Sampark Sabha for Police Staff Function) at Police Lines, Sector 26, Chandigarh.

November 14
At 4 PM, “At home” at the residence of IGP Chandigarh on the occasion of the Raising Day of Chandigarh Police. Chief Guest UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil, Administrator of UT.

November 15
At forenoon, visit to police stations and other police units — control room/PCR van/PHQ, police stations in each subdivision (PS-17, 19, 31), Police Lines, RTC, mounted police, dog squad, Security and Traffic Lines.



700 visit ‘Know your Armed Forces’ exhibition
Tribune News Service

A girl peeps through the scope of a gun on display at the Army exhibition in Mohali.
A girl peeps through the scope of a gun on display at the Army exhibition in Mohali. Tribune Photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Mohali, November 9
An Army exhibition and a seminar titled ‘Know your Armed Forces’ was organised by Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces Preparatory Institute on its premises here today.

As many as 700 visitors visited the exhibition. Children, in particular, were the inquisitive lot, raising several questions about the displayed arms, which included LMGs, MMGs, rocket launchers, pistols and other equipments including Vijayanta tank and Mig 21 aircraft.

Director of the institute BS Grewal said the purpose of the exhibition was to apprise people of the Army. “The main motive of the seminar was to enhance the knowledge of cadets of AFPI and students of various schools of the tricity about the armed forces and to motivate them to join the armed forces as officers,” said Grewal.

Lt Gen RS Sujlana, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (retd), a former chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission was the chief guest on the occasion. Addressing the participants, he congratulated over 35 cadets of AFPI who had cleared the NDA entrance examination.

Director, AFPI, Maj Gen BS Grewal gave a presentation on the Indian Army. This was followed by presentations on the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force by Capt U Thakur and Wing Commander JS Jeji, respectively.



Victim's parents reach city, suspect foul play
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
Fearing a foul play in the death of a 22-year-old woman who died 12 hours after delivering a baby, the victim's parents today reached Chandigarh from Chhattisgarh. As they reached in late afternoon, the postmortem has been scheduled for tomorrow.

The statements of the victim’s father, her mother and her cousin were recorded by the police today. The postmortem would be conducted by a board of forensic experts at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

On November 7, Jiya died 12 hours after delivering a baby at the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16. While the family did not move any complaint with the hospital authorities, it requested for a postmortem after filing a complaint with the police, suspecting medical negligence. The woman was admitted to the hospital on November 4.

Jiya was residing with her in-laws at Mani Majra. She delivered her son and later collapsed leading to her death.



Two-day tech fest concludes 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 8
The two-day ‘Aryans Tech Fest’ organised by the Aryans Group of Colleges concluded today on a musical note with the startling performance by noted Bollywood singer Kamal Khan.

Dr Anshu Kataria, chairman, Aryans Group of Colleges, presided over the event.

Around 10,000 students, farmers, academicians, researchers and professionals participated in the two-day Techno Cultural Symposium.

Job Fest, Industrial Training Fest, Science Fest, Solar Fest, Robo Fest, Agro Fest, IT Fest were the main attractions.



No end in sight to controversy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
It seems that the controversy to finalise chief guest’s name for the Children’s Day function of the Municipal Corporation on November 14 will not end soon.

Two members, Rajesh Gupta and Saurabh Joshi, of the Art, Culture and Sports Committee today wrote to the committee chairperson Gurbax Rawat that an immediate meeting should be called to finalise the programme. Both the members are against proposing local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal’s name as the chief guest for the function.

The communication reads: “We both, Rajesh Gupta and Saurabh Joshi (committee members), want that the meeting of the committee should be called before finalising the Children’s Day programme on November 14. We have also noticed that the minutes of the meetings are not proper, which need some deliberations. In the interest of Chandigarh and the democracy, the meeting should be called immediately.”



LPG auto-rickshaw union plans protest

Chandigarh, November 9
Members of the Tricity Auto-Rickshaw Union (LPG) held a meeting at the Exhibition Ground, Sector 34, here, today. The meeting was called to plan a stir against the dual policies of the Chandigarh Administration towards LPG auto owners in the city.

The members also decided to stage a protest against diesel auto-rickshaws running illegally on city roads. The meeting was addressed by Surinder Bhardwaj, chairman of the Tricity Auto-Rickshaw Union (LPG). — TNS



Discussion on social, political issues witnessed on Day 2
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
The Day 2 of Chandigarh Literature Festival 2013 at hotel Taj was devoted to hardcore social and political issues and literary brainstorming. Punjabi author Desraj Kali engaged in an insightful conversation with critic Nirupama Dutt about the issues of marginal class of the society through his latest novel Shanti Parav.

The novel’s title is motivated by an episode from Mahabharta when Yudhister, after the end of the epic war, takes the assessment of the war and tries to justify it.

The novel, written in its present context, is an apt appraisal and assessment of political and social issues post independence and how it affected millions of marginalised voices. Desraj Kali, a prominent Dalit writer of Punjab, said the novel was not only voicing the concerns of marginal class from the context of Punjab but also confronting wider political and social issues and the role of the state in the post-independence era.

“This novel is also my attempt to confront the traditional philosophy, which often justifies the violence and oppression, he said.

Nirupama Dutt said the novel experimented with both the form and content, raising contemporary and social issues in a subtle manner.

According to her, Shanti Parv was more like history as fiction and comprised of an attempt to sum up the social status, economic condition and the place in administration of the marginalised class in Punjab.

“One part of the novel, ‘Bhaagmal Paagal ki budbud’ is focused on the affect of Green Revolution on Dalit and other marginalised class. Another part, ‘Comrade ki budbud’, takes a look at both the terrorism and state terror. A third part, ‘Retired Professor Jauhal ki budbud’ is about the bureaucracy that rules our lives,” she said.

Another session of the day had a discussion of the book ‘The Mirror of Beauty’ that recreates the era when it is the sunset of the Mughal Empire.

“We live in a time when we are running short of words. Here is a novel, which tells you words exist in abundance. The book has a tragic undertone that laments the loss of life, culture, a civilisation, whatever may be the circumstances,” said Vajpeyi while introducing the author of the book, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi.

Words and pictures come on one stage in Amruta Patil’s ‘Adi Parva: Churning of the Ocean’, the first book of the author’s Parva trilogy, a graphic retelling of the Mahabharata.

Evening session was devoted to talented and experimental filmmaker Raj Kumar Gupta’s recently quirky comedy Ghanchakkar.

After the screening of the movie, RK Gupta said, “I agree when a film doesn’t work it does impact the film makers but not to an extent that you start questioning yourself.

On the question of movie receiving mixed reviews from critics, Gupta said, “As a director you pick up challenges and in case of Ghanchakkar the story appealed to him even when I was aware it would not be universally accepted,” he said.

He said he was now working on a new project on Chetan Bhagat’s book, ‘Revolution 2020’. The novel is based on the ‘rampant corruption’ apparent in the Indian youth educational system.

Later, a performance by Chandigarh-based band ‘Just Ittefaaq’ enthralled the audience at the festival. 



Zubin Mehta’s play enthrals audience

Chandigarh, November 9
The senior wing of Vivek High School, Sector 70, Mohali, mesmerised the audience with their scintillating performance in the play "The Sound of Music" at Vivek High School, 
Sector 38.

Directed by Zubin Mehta, 120 students from Classes VI to X enraptured the audience with their performance. Beautifully woven, the story is centered on Maria, who loves the majestic landscape of the Alps and often forgets her religious duties.

Her mother Abbess, who allows Maria to act as a governess of exalted ex-military officer Captain Von Trapp's children.

The flawless and confident diction of the students impressed the audience with their subtle depiction of the romance between Captain Von Trapp and Maria and how a military officer chooses his love over duty. — TNS



Women’s body commodified to sell products, say expert

Dr Pankaj K Singh while making a speech at MCM DAV College, Sector 36, in Chandigarh on Saturday.
Dr Pankaj K Singh while making a speech at MCM DAV College, Sector 36, in Chandigarh on Saturday. A tribune photograph

Chandigarh, November 9
MCM DAV College, Sector 36, in collaboration with the Chetan Premani Memorial Trust organised a lecture on ‘Contesting Tradition and Modernity: In search of Her Voice and Space’ by Dr Pankaj K Singh a noted academician and Professor, Department of English, HP University. The lecture paid tribute to Chetan Premani, a scientist, visionary and social activist of great acclaim.

Dr Singh examined the role of Indian culture and traditions in influencing our values and social transactions. She sensitised the students to voice against atrocities on women and question the unacceptable conventions of the society to bring about a positive change.

Dr Singh stated that the social system of discrimination between men and women was done even before the two great epics, including the Ramayan and the Mahabharta and it is still continuing. “There is a huge disparity between both the men and women even today,” she lamented.

Citing examples of the famous love stories of Mirza-Sahiba and Heer-Ranjha, Dr Singh stated that at the end of the story, only the women have been blamed for the tragic end of the love stories. “There is a perception in the Indian society that if men make mistakes then its destiny, however, if women make mistakes then they is categorized irresponsible,” she stated. Further speaking about the commodification of women in the media, Dr Singh showed various advertisements to the students to explain how a woman’s body was commodified to sell a product that interestingly could attract consumers even without mentioning woman in an advertisement. — TNS



Schools forced to send buses to Gohana Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

School buses lined up at a petrol pump located in Industrial Area, Phase I, Panchkula, on Saturday.
School buses lined up at a petrol pump located in Industrial Area, Phase I, Panchkula, on Saturday. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, November 9
Panchkula schools have been forced to send their school buses for the Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s rally at Gohana tomorrow. Sources said it was the immense ‘political pressure’ which forced them to take this step.

The authorities were told that the local politicians will pay the bills of entire petrol and diesel for the trip along with other ‘special benefits’.

Around 100 school buses of private schools were also witnessed getting decked up this evening. Long queues were seen to get petrol filled from the petrol station at the Sector 12A, Panchkula.

Hooda is organising a rally at Gohana ahead of polls tomorrow. The buses will be making their start early morning.

Sources said the heavy weights from the Congress party from Panchkula have asked for the school buses to ferry the supporters for the rally. The principals of the private schools said they were helpless as they were under immense pressure.

“We got directions from the office of DEO and RTO to send all our schools buses to Gohana. We were told that the expenses of fuel would be met but we don’t know whether our school buses will return in the same condition or not,” said a principal of a rivate school.

She said, “We are helpless because we were told that if we don’t send our buses, we would not be cooperated at all by the administration.”

Another principal said, “I have sent all my school buses. I agree it is highly unfair but
we have to survive here and the administration can trouble us in anyway.”



Over 800 examined at medical camp
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 9
Over 800 persons, mainly poor rural folk, turned up for the free medical camp, organised by NGO Poly Clinic Trust at Boothgarh village, today.

In the camp, which was inaugurated by Mohali DC Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, ENT specialist, dentists, gynaecologists, speech therapists and homoeopathic doctors examined the patients. Hearing-aid machines and medicines were given to needy patients free of cost.

DC Sidhu said people should incur benefit from such medical camps. “The administration is ready to give all kind of help and assistance to organisers of these camps,” said Sidhu.

Chairman of trust MS Kandal, Major General (retd), said their trust organises such camps from time-to-time at various villages. 



When Sibal visited his alma mater
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
St John’s golden jubilee commemoration of its first batch threw an opportunity on his celebrated student, Union Law Minister, Kapil Sibal, and his fellow classmates to re-live the moments they spent together in the school back in 1963.

Kapil, along with his batch mates, went to his old classroom and sat there on the benches for sometime to refresh their old memories.

“During our days, we used to have circle-shaped sitting arrangement in our classroom. But had it been a vertical-shaped sitting arrangement, I would have definitely been the backbencher of my class, he said with a big laugh on his face.

When asked who was the most mischievous among all students in his class, he replied, “Who else, me! I was mischievous of all and many of times, I got the wrath of teachers too.”

The current Law Minister was foremost rule breaker too. Captain of the cricket team of his school, he said those days were full of fun. We didn’t know what we would do in future. Coming to ground in the evening and play cricket was the only thing on our minds all the time.

“But I think that this played a vital role in shaping our lives. One of the major contributions of this school was that it made us grow mentally as well as physically,” he said.

1963 batch of St John’ School, Sector 26, had total of seven students. While two students are no more, rest of the students gathered here from different parts of world especially for the golden batch commemoration, which was held on the day of senior sports meet of the school.

One of the batch mates, Charanjit Singh, who specially flew from Switzerland to be part of the precious moment, said today was among the best days of his life. He said: “I am happy that all our mates did well for themselves and no doubt school had a vast role in it. He, however, was concerned that these days, schools were not putting efforts to grow the children holistically. “We need a system that develops students mentally as well as physically,” he added.

Another batch mate Rajinder Singh, a retired IT professional who flew from the USA, said, “The school made us to leave a disciplined and fearless life. We had a strong comradeship among all the students.” Among the other batch mates were Sanjiv Krishan and Nripjit Chawla, who too shared a lot of good memories. The batch also remembered other two of the class mates-Anil Gandhi and Ravipal Singh who are no more now. Kapil said, “It was sad that two of our friends could not become the part of this coveted commemoration but their memories would always remain with us.”

Special cover released

The day also marked the release of a special cover, issued by the postal department to commemorate the 250 years of Br Edmund Rice, founder of the Christian Brothers worldwide. Kapil Sibal, also the Union Minister for Communication and Brother P Pinto, the superior general of the Christian Brother released the cover together.

‘Not a contender for Chandigarh seat’

Putting speculations to rest that he was one of the front-runners for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, Sibal said he would contest the next election from Chandani Chowk in Delhi.



‘India to have younger workforce than China by 2020’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
“Demography is both a threat and an opportunity, if balanced it will give out its dividend or otherwise it will turn out to be a ticking bomb,” said member of the National Knowledge Commission and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi Prof Jayati Ghosh at Panjab University (PU).

Prof Ghosh was addressing a prestigious public lecture of 79th annual meeting of the Indian Academy of Sciences on ‘Demographic Dividend or Ticking Time Bomb’.

Prof Ghosh said there had been much anticipatory celebrations about India’s demographic dividend about the advantage to be reaped by the fact that India’s population is predominantly young as the ratio of working age persons to population will rise.

Referring to the demographic indicators, she said in 2020, the average age of an Indian would be only 29 years, which would be much younger than that of 37 years in China and the USA, 45 in Europe and 48 in Japan. “This is assumed to deliver a large and growing labour force, falling dependency ratio, no labour shortages and growing youth workforce, which can be trained to acquire the skills required by the newer and technologically more dynamic industry,” she added.

She said the ability to take advantage of such a fall in dependency ratio depended on many things like the health conditions and degree of education and skill of the working age population, the availability of sufficient infrastructure, other enabling social and economic conditions for the productive use of these workers and most importantly, the economy’s ability to generate demand for such workers at the appropriate level given their aspirations.

Executive Director, National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute, Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr Rakesh Tuli today said that vested interests groups were behind the misconceptions about threats from Genetically Modified (GM) crops. “The rapidly expanding knowledge of genome sequences and their relationship with economically important traits have opened limitless opportunities for enhancing the value and utility of crop plants,” he said while addressing the symposium on "Food and Nutritional Security" during the 79th annual meeting of the Indian Academy of Science at IMTECH in Sector 39.

Prof Tulli said several impressive examples had demonstrated the development of plants with higher nutritional profiles, higher productivity and efficient utilisation of natural resources. He said the area is to remain same and there was no other technology available that could provide increase in crop productivity for ensuring food security to meet the increasing population. 



Literary events mark Day 2 of PECFest-2013
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
The second day of the PECFest-2013 started on a grand note, with a footfall of students from various colleges from the region who enthusiastically took part in a large variety of events and competitions organised throughout the day.

The fest had literary events like spell bee, scrabble, wordict, movie quiz, group discussion, eureka and ‘chakravyuh’. The students proved their musical prowess in the finale of ‘antakshari’, crotchet-solo singing competition as well as the rock, band competition. Shows like ‘nukkad natak’ and stand-up comedy acts entertained the masses while at the same time tried to pass criticism on the wrong doings in the society.

Rang De Punjab-an amalgamation of Punjabi skits, and folk dances added spice to the cultural festivities on the campus. The creatively inclined enjoyed the art events paint burst, color maze, and face and t-shirt painting. Movie and business quiz tickled the grey cells of the participants. The fun arena had an array of interesting events lined up with hip-hop hustle being the crowd's favourites.

The day ended on a high, with rock performances by various rock bands in and around the city. The college students were also delighted to meet their on screen idol, MTV's Raghu Ram who visited the campus and had a candid interaction with his fans. The rock nite saw the performance by the musical biggies ‘Parikrama’-a highly acclaimed rock band, which enthralled and enchanted the audience with their musical notes. Their energetic performance filled the atmosphere with vivaciousness and enthusiasm. The day came to an end with the screening of a late night movie at the college auditorium.

Beauty contest

A beauty contest ‘Walk of Fame’ organised during the PECFest-2013 in association with the Femina Miss India was won by Mansi Grewal, Khyati Raina, and Rupinder Kaur. All three Mansi Grewal, Khyati Raina, and Rupinder Kaur emerged winners after the defeating various contestants. Their victory has enabled their entry to Miss India contest at regional level. 



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