C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


2 jailed for raping minor 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
The court of District and Sessions Judge SK Aggarwal today sentenced two youths to 10-year rigorous imprisonment for raping a five-year-old girl. The girl had to be operated upon after the gruesome incident.

The court sentenced 20-year-old Sunil Kumar and 26-year-old Maneesh, hailing from Uttar Pradesh and residents of Colony Number 4, Chandigarh. The court has also imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on each on them. The duo has been convicted under Sections 376 (2g), 363, 366 and 325 of the IPC. The incident took place in September 2012.

While pronouncing the verdict, the court held that the two had raped a five-year-old girl in a most heinous and cruel manner. “The victim belongs to the poor strata of society and the act is most shameful, cruel and heinous, so the accused deserve no leniency,” the court held.

As per the prosecution, the duo, Sunil and Maneesh, were known to the girl’s father. They used to have drinks with him in his shanty in Colony Number 4.

The girl’s mother found her missing at 1 am on September 27, 2012. The parents informed the police.

The police traced the girl to railway tracks at 2.30 am. The victim, who was in a helpless state, said two ‘uncles’ who used to come to their house took her with them. Her father identified the accused.

The girl was found naked and she was bleeding profusely. Her rectum and anus were torn apart. Her mouth and eyes were covered with mud when she was found crying near the railway tracks. The girl’s head and neck were soaked in mud indicating that her tormentors showed no mercy while she kept on crying for help. They also gagged her while committing the crime. 

Vital evidence

The CFSL report confirmed that the samples found on the victim’s clothes and undergarments matched with the semen samples of the accused. The CFSL report was a vital evidence which led to the conviction. 



Merger of villages 
Admn throws ball in MC’s court
  Mayor calls special meeting on Nov 21, SAD-BJP to oppose proposal 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
The UT Administration has written to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation seeking its views on the merger of 13 villages with the civic body.

Mayor Subhash Chawla has called a special General House meeting on November 21 to take the views of elected and nominated councillors on the merger. The Mayor said he was in favour of the merger of villages. This would help the MC to plan development works on the city’s periphery as all the villages would come under the MC’s jurisdiction, he said.

However, the BJP-SAD councillors have decided to oppose the merger of villages. Leader of the opposition and BJP councillor Arun Sood said they would oppose the proposal as villagers were against it. “Residents of nine villages that were merged with the MC in 1995 and 2006 are still crying for development,” he said.

SAD councillor Malkiat Singh said that instead of the merger, the UT Administration should increase the powers of panchayats. The village bodies should also be allocated more funds for development. “The Congress was playing politics as MP Pawan Kumar Bansal failed to fulfil his promise to these villagers,” he added.

Chairman of the panchayat samiti Shingara Singh said they were also against the move, as it would end the Panchayati Raj system.

Uncertainty looms over panchayats elections

As the UT Administration and the MC have failed to reach a conclusion, there is uncertainty over the panchayat elections, which are scheduled to be held in December. An official said the election process would start on November 29, but they were waiting for the final decision on the merger of villages. 

The 13 villages

The 13 villages to be merged with the MC include Bahlana, Rairpur Khurd, Rairpur Kalan, Makhan Majra, Daria, Mauli Jagran, Kishangarh , Kaimbwala, Khuda Ali Sher, Khuda Jassu, Khuda Lahora, Sarangpur and Dhanas. These villages are located within an 8-km radius of Chandigarh and have a population of 50,135. 



Foetus turns out to be infant
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 15
It was not a foetus but an infant, said the police, terming it female foeticide. Last night, the police had found something wrapped in a blanket at the forest area in Thapli village, Morni.

Thinking that it was a foetus, the officers took it to the General Hospital in Sector 6, where an autopsy was conducted and it was found that it was a girl child.

Dr Sunil Gambhir, head of the post-mortem department, said, “It is not a foetus. The maggot-ridden body of the newborn is two days old."

The doctors have taken the DNA samples. Panel advocate of the District Legal Service Authority (DLSA) Manbir Singh Rathi said, “If the post-mortem report has stated that it is an infant, then a case under Section 302 (murder) should be registered.”

The police had registered a case under Section 318 (concealment of birth by secret disposal of body).

Inspector Arvind Kumar, station house officer of the Chandimandir police station, said, “We will go for a second opinion, once we get the post-mortem report from the hospital.”



Neha murder case 
CFSL report may give police leads 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
Failing to get any lead in the Neha Ahlawat murder case even three years, the UT police has seen a ray of hope in the case from the CFSL report. The report suggested that Neha, an MBA student, was raped and samples of semen were found in her undergarments. The case made headlines in 2010.
The deceased, Neha Ahlawat
The deceased, Neha Ahlawat

The police has now sent the samples of the suspects to the CFSL. The police is hopeful of getting leads in the case if the semen samples of the accused matches with the samples found on Neha’s clothes.

Earlier, police had conducted brain mapping and narco analysis of five suspects in the case, but it failed to get any clue.

The five suspects include Neha’s boyfriend Bhitesh, his brother-in-law Sachin, Neha’s two friends Sagar and Sanesh, alias Jittu, and his brother Mitu.

Neha, a 22-year-old MBA student was found murdered near the taxi stand in Sector 38 West on the intervening night of July 30 and 31, 2010. Her semi-nude body was detected by her family members in a secluded area in Sector 38 West. Neha had gone for her tuition classes in Sector 15 but did not return home that day. 



Home-based treatment 
Hope comes at doorstep for mentally ill
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
Family members of mentally ill patients often give up on their resistance to see a doctor, labelling it a hopeless or an exceptional case. But a team of mental heath professionals from the GMCH-32 has overcome this limitation by offering home-based treatment to such patients.

The team has helped 25 patients with psychological problems emerging out of relationship conflicts, neglect or family history of mental illness causing erratic behaviour. In the past seven months, the team has managed to attach 52 per cent patients to the OPDs and the others have shown improvement.

“We observed that even a brief intervention by the hospital team was effective in putting the patients to treatment,” said Dr BS Chavan, head, department of psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, who conceptualised the idea of home-based treatment.

The number of visits per patient ranged between one and 14 from April 2013 to October 2013. The average number of visits was two during the assessment period. “It is important for families or caregivers of such patients not to give up hope when they are unable to handle the erratic behaviour of patients. There is a solution to such problems,” Dr Chavan added.

The types of stress or problems seen in these patients include relationship conflicts (76%), fights or violence (40%), neglect (24%), lack of social support (32%) and non-compliance (52%).

The service is provided free of cost to all patients.


Impaired self-care (36%), threat to hurt others (20%), non-compliance (16%), erratic behaviour (4%) and no follow-up (24%). 


* Gross personal neglect due to mental illness.

* A patient is violent and there is constant risk that he can harm himself or others

* Elderly patients with mental illness who are bedridden and are unable to come to the hospital for treatment


* Mental health cell helpline: 9888876632 


* The request for home-based treatment can be made by family members, relatives, friend or any resident of Chandigarh by writing an application to the head of department, psychiatry, GMCH-32.

* The application should mention the details of a patient, indication for home-based treatment and consent for the treatment.

* After receiving the application, the team will visit the patient at the earliest to make a brief assessment.

* After the assessment, the team will decide whether to initiate home-based treatment or to make an arrangement for a brief hospitalisation. 


new advisory council
UT Admn’s decision hailed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) today welcomed the decision of the UT Administrator, Shivraj V Patil, for giving due representation to traders of the city in Administrator’s new advisory council.

The Administration has once again included the chairman of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, Charanjiv Singh, in the advisory council. The decision was announced on November 14.

Chairman, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, Satpal Gupta said a request for regular meetings of the advisory body has already been forwarded, as in the absence of any political set up, it is all the more significant for the advisory to have a liaison between citizens and administration.

Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Jagir Singh wrote to the UT Administration expressing his resentment over the decision.

The president of the BSP, Jagir Singh, has requested the UT Administration to give due representation to the Bahujan Samaj Party in Advisory Council and in all other committees as well.



Shortage of water plagues Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 15
Residents of Phases IX to XI have been facing water shortage for five days. SS Barnala, a former councillor, said the the supply remained suspended today. He said the department of water supplies and sanitation had been supplying water for an hour everyday.

The time of the supply was not fixed, he added.

Executive engineer of the department RP Gupta said the Chandigarh Administration had gone in for a 36-hour shutdown to carry out some maintenance work, which had led to the shortage. However, Sectors 70 and 71 were supplied water as usual from the Sector 57 waterworks. The SDO in charges of Phases IX to XI did not bring the matter to the notice of the other SDOs. Gupta said the supply would improve by tomorrow. 



Industrialist awarded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
Mohali-based industrialist Harpal Singh was conferred Sikh Businessman of The Year Award-2013 during the fourth Annual World Sikh Awards at Hotel Hilton, London. The awards recognise the contribution made by the Sikh community across a range of fields.

He is the only India-based entrepreneur to receive the award. Harpal Singh, chairman of Synergy Thrislington, Mohali, revolutionised the construction industry by erecting a 10-storeyed building in 48 hours at Mohali. The building also entered into the Limca Book of Records.

The components of the building were manufactured in a factory, pre-fitted with floors, water supply, wirings, sanitation and air conditioning ducts. These were then shifted in the state-of-the-art transporting vehicles to the the site.



One-way traffic around Elante Mall
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
The UT Transport Secretary, under Section 115 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, has restricted the movement of vehicles around Elante Mall, Industrial Area, Phase I. As per the orders, the one-way system for all vehicles in an anti-clockwise manner has been introduced which means that the vehicular movement around the mall would be in an anti-clockwise manner.

Now, one will have to enter the mall from the rear and make an exit from the road in front of the mall. 



Chandigarh-Amritsar Express flagged off
Patil, Bansal share same platform
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
The maiden journey of the Chandigarh-Amritsar Expresshas not only connected the city with a religious place, but has also brought two leaders, including Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Shivraj V Patil with former Railway Minister and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, together on the same platform.

There have been reports of their “not enjoying a very cordial relationship”, but the duo were seen exchanging pleasantries and greeting each other warmly at the flag-off ceremony. They even went to the extent of praising each other publicly.

Interestingly, Patil while flagging off the train, stated in his opening remarks that the train would not only unite the cities, but also the hearts of the people. Both the prominent personalities had been at loggerheads for a long time and had not been sharing the same platform in the city. Today, they did not miss the opportunity to praise each other for the contribution they had made in the interest of the city.

Patil said that the city had become well connected with major destinations in the country due to the efforts of Bansal. He said that the Union Government had chalked out a plan to connect all the religious places by the railway network in the country. He said that Amritsar, Nanded and Anandpur Sahib had already been linked through train services.

Bansal also appreciated the presence of Patil at the flagging-off ceremony. In the last three months, five trains have been flagged off from the station, but

The UT Administrator was never invited or called to flag them off.

Sources said that since the Lok Sabha elections were round the corner, both the Congress dignitaries had come forward for the event and shared the same platform on the directions of the party high command.

As per the schedule, the train number 12411 will depart daily from

Chandigarhn at at 6:55 am and will reach Amritsar at 11:25 am. The train will halt at SAS Nagar, Mohali, New Morinda, Ludhiana, Jalandhar city and Beas stations. On its return journey from Amritsar, the train number 12412 will depart daily from Amritsar at 5:30 pm and reach Chandigarh at 9:55 pm. The train will have 10 coaches, which include one AC chair car coach, eight second-class sitting coaches and an SLR coach.



Warm welcome at Mohali too
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 15
Hundreds of people gathered at the Mohali railway station to welcome the Chandigar-Amritsar Intercity (Darbar Sahib Express),that was flagged off from the Chandigarh railway station this morning.
Passengers board the train at the Mohali railway station on Friday. T
Passengers board the train at the Mohali railway station on Friday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

The train, decorated with marigold flowers, reached Mohali station at 8 am amidst cheers and religious chants. Hundreds of people led by Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, Mohali MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu and Kharar MLA Jagmohan Singh Kang reached the station. Bittu had boarded the train from Chandigarh. At the Mohali station, a special ardaas was performed before the green signal was given for the train to leave.

Both Bittu and Sidhu have sponsored over 400 senior Citizens’ trip to Golden Temple. The train was about 70 per cent full on its maiden journey. The first three coaches were booked for the senior citizens' jatha. Terming the decision of taking 100 senior citizens to the Golden Temple every month a nice gesture on the part of the Congress leaders, HS Dhillon, an elderly person from Mohali, said that he was very happy to visit the Golden Temple as a part of the special 'jatha. "I will tell all my friends to make a visit to the Golden Temple, now ", said Dhillon. Another elderly couple, Gurjit Singh and his wife from Mohali, said it had now become easy to return home after paying obeisance at Darbar Sahib. The Northern Railway Additional Divisional Railway Manager, SK Sinha, who was also present at the Mohali railway station, said that the coaches of the train would be increased if the demand went up in the coming days.



UT assures MC a grant of Rs 89 crore

Chandigarh, November 15
In the coordination meeting between the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation, the UT Advisor has assured the Mayor that a grant of Rs 89 crore would be released to the civic body.

Recently, the UT Administration had stopped the grant as the MC had failed to submit the compliance certificate for the earlier grants issued to it by the Administration. In the absence of funds, the MC was planning to use the money from their fixed deposits as work on many important projects like construction of multi-level parking, construction of dispensaries in southern sectors etc, is going on.

Mayor Subhash Chawla said the Advisor had assured him that soon, the grant would be released. — TNS



Plan approval committee set up
 To look at ‘need-based’ changes in dwelling units of CHB
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
As a prelude to the impending notification on amended “need-based” changes in the dwelling units of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), the Chandigarh Administration has constituted a Plan Approval Committee (PAC), Lower, for passing the plans.

So far, applications of 400 allottee, seeking approval under the need-based changes, are pending with the CHB.

The orders to set up the PAC (Lower) were issued by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CHB yesterday. While the Secretary of the CHB, Mandeep Kaur, has been made the chairperson, the Architect, Executive Engineer, SDO (enforcement), SDO (building) of the UT Estate Office and representatives of the Pollution and Fire Department are members of the committee.

The development is significant as at least 90 per cent of the 48,000 CHB properties across the city have building violations.

Since the case of notifying some additional need-based changes (in addition to the 40 changes allowed by the CHB) is pending with the Chandigarh Administration, the PAC would work once the fresh list of need-based changes and proposed design of the structures were notified by the Administration.

UT Finance Secretary, VK Singh, said the matter of need-based changes was being discussed and the decision would be taken soon.

Sources said that last year the Administration had the paved way for the implementation of 40 "need-based" changes in the dwelling units of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), notified three years ago.

The allottees were given six months to submit their revised building plans along with the violations. But since the CHB was not ready with the approved drawings, the applications of the allottees were kept pending.

Reacting to the formation of the PAC, Rajat Malhotra from the CHB Allottee Federation, said the proposed need-based changes would solve only 10 per cent of the problem. In the wake of the nature of violations, the relief was nothing. "We have been demanding the regularisation of the structures within the boundary line and within the skyline and giving ownership right to the occupants of the EWS houses," said Nirmal Datt, chairman of the federation.

Presently, the CHB dwelling units are in Sectors 38 (West), 40, 41, 43, 44, 46, 47, Modern Housing Complex (Phase-III) besides duplex dwelling units in Sector 29, 40, 41 and 47. 



Price of tomatoes comes down

Chandigarh, November 15
Residents are in for relief as the cost of tomatoes have come down significantly, 10 days after it touched Rs 100 a kg in the retail market. The cost has gone down both in the mandi and the retail market and now scaled at Rs 60 and Rs 75 per kg, respectively.

The supply of the tomatoes has been restored in the city, balancing out the cost. There is no major change in the cost of other basic vegetables like onion and potatoes. While onion is available for Rs 65-70 a kg in the mandi and Rs 80-90 in the retail market, potatoes are priced at Rs 30 a kg in the mandi and Rs 45-50 in the retail market. As the supply of seasonal vegetables has also improved, the cost of peas has come down. Until November 1, the per kg cost of peas was between Rs 100 and 120, while it has come down to Rs 50 in the mandi now. — TNS



City bus service in Mohali likely
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, November 15
The town is set to start its city bus service, with the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority agreeing to provide land for the new project.

A meeting was held today under the chairmanship of GMADA Chief Administrator AK Sinha. Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation Uma Shankar Gupta, Additional Commissioner (technical) of the civic body BD Singla, officials of the Chandigarh Administration and a consultant on the Government of India Panel attended the meeting. Gupta said there was a proposal to start the service, which would link Mohali with Kharar, Zirakpur, Landran and the Sector 43 bus stand in Chandigarh. He said GMADA would provide land for a workshop. He said a meeting with the Secretary, Local Government, would be arranged by GMADA Chief Administrator before November 30.



Soon, UT officials to use digital signatures 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
In the coming days, UT officials will have to use digital signatures in their official communication to increase departmental efficiency and effectiveness. This was stated by Vivek Verma, Senior Technical Director of the National Informatic Centre (NIC), Chandigarh, during a workshop on digital signature certificates. The workshop was organised at the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) today as a run up to the IT conclave, Destination IT@North.

Verma also said that very soon 25 out of 64 citizen-centric services would be launched relating to elections, food and civil supplies, engineering, etc, where the use of digital signatures would become essential. Within the Administration, the initiatives involve launch of internal applications like e-office and a composite financial system for budgeting and financial transactions which would make it mandatory for all the departments to use digital signatures in their operations, to increase departmental efficiency and effectiveness.

Dr Balaji Rajendra from the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Bengaluru, said that CCA had authorised seven organisations like NIC to issue digital certificates, and advised that the individuals owning the private key must keep it secure. Vikas Chaurasia from the Controller of Certifying Authorities informed that the digital signatures were legally acceptable identity of any individual under the Income Tax Act 2000, and nearly 6 million licences had been issued so far. 



Principal fined for delaying information
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
The Central Information Commission (CIC), New Delhi, has slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on the principal of Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11, for unnecessarily delaying information.

A faculty member had sought a photocopy of his annual confidential report (ACR) under the Right to Information Act. Dr Rajiv Bhandari from the department of physics approached the CIC after he was not given the copy of the ACR.

Principal JS Raghu, who is the Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the college, received the RTI application dated August 17, 2012, on August 23. Subsequently, he wrote to the appellant vide letter dated September 10, 2012, asking him to establish his identity. The appellant who is the professor in the same college responded to the queries vide letter dated September 18, 2012.

The CPIO then wrote to the Director, Higher Education, to seek clarification regarding the disclosure of the requested information and informed the appellant vide letter dated October 12, 2012, that he should deposit the prescribed fee of Rs 80 for receiving the requested information. The appellant stated that since he was asked to deposit the amount 30 days after the filing of the RTI application, he did not deposit it and that finally after receiving the commission's order, the ACRs of the appellant were provided to him on October 7, 2013.

The order of the CIC stated that the CPIO knew the appellant who was working in the same college where the respondent CPIO was the principal. He failed to provide the photocopy of the appellant's ACR to him and referred the matter to the higher authorities.

The order read that the commission could not accept the CPIO's plea that he was ignorant of the provisions of the RTI Act.



Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti is new Mohali SSP 

Mohali, November 15
The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Ropar, Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti, has been appointed as the new SSP of Mohali. Bhatti will reportedly replace Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, who has been transferred to Bhatinda as SSP. SSP Ravcharan Singh Brar, who was holding the position in Bathinda will take charge as the new SSP, Ropar. SSP Bhatti, however, said he has not received transfer orders so far. A similar statement was issued by SSP Bhullar.

Besides inspector Gurcharan Singh, in charge, CIA Cell, too has been transferred to Bathinda. According to sources, the officers will assume their duties from Monday. — OC



Kathak Festival: Ballet marks inauguration 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
Mesmerising performance by Delhi-based ballet dancer Deepti Gupta marked the inaugural day of the three-day Kathak Festival organised by Pracheen Kala Kendra, here today, at MS Randhawa Auditorium, Punjab Kala Bhawan.

The programme got off to a majestic start with Deepti presenting various swarups of Lord Krishna. After this she moved on to present shudha nritya (pure dance) set to teen taal vilambit, madhya and drut.

The programme concluded with a guru bhajan in her devotion and respect for a ‘Guru’. Dheerendra Tiwari provided accompaniment on padhant and Yogesh Gangani on tabla while Sumi Ullah Khan on vocal and Aayub Khan on sarangi.

The second performer of the inaugural evening, Vishal Krishna (grandson of Pandit Shukdeo Maharaj, who is the founder of Banaras Gharana) captivated the city audience with his Kathak presentation.

He concluded the recital with a special presentation titled ‘Nritya on Thaal’, that is a pramparik speciality of Banaras gharana.

Pt Mohan Krishna was on padant, Kushal Krishna on tabla, Brijesh Mishra on vocal and Partha Sen on sitar.

Smitha Srinivasan of Lucknow gharana and Swati Wangnoo Tiwari of Jaipur gharana will perform tomorrow.



Lecture-cum-workshop on psychology

Chandigarh, November 15
An extension lecture-cum-workshop on learning theories was organised for MEd students at the Government College of Education, Sector 20, here today.

Nidhi, director, SNM IAS Institute, Chandigarh, was the chief guest. She elaborated on Hull’s and Tolaman’s contribution in the field of psychology and explained their theories in detail. She explained hypothetico- deductive theory given by Hull along with various postulates. — TNS



Unreasonable rules

While formulating rules, the Estate Office and Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, throw logic to the winds; for example, Para 11 of the house tax forms referring to the joint-ownership of property under the general information. If there are two owners of a house, why should only one owner fill the form for both, after deciding the amount jointly among them? At the same time, if the other owner wants to sell his share, then the Estate Office allows him without asking the other property owner giving the reason that every shareholder can sell his share without asking the other. If every owner can sell his share without asking the other, then why shouldn’t every owner fill house tax form for his share? What a mockery of rules? Reasonably speaking, every shareholder should fill a separate form for his portion.


Let motor vehicles also have ‘offs’

Over the years, the tricity roads have become too messy due to the irresponsible driving habits of the residents.

Egoism has so bitten the residents that a vast majority keeps on venturing in lavish cars without reasoning whether there is a need or not. At any point of time in a day, one would find over 90 per cent cars being used by owners single handedly. I wonder why a single individual has to utilise a car and not a two-wheeler or public transport to commute. ‘Status’ may be an instant reply but what is this status which eats up the fast perishing petroleum source, pollutes the environment and congest the city unreasonably?

I feel the genuine status is behavioural reasoning and if the residents still fail on it, there is a need to ban such movements. In many developed nations, there are weekly off days for private vehicles, rationing of petroleum products, etc. If the tricity residents do not realise the fact on their own, we can have administrative bindings on them.

MPS Chadha, Mohali



Cultural extravaganza at dental institute
Tribune News Service

Students perform on the second day of the inter-college cultural event 'Ignition Reloaded–2013' on the Panjab University campus in Chandigarh on Friday
Students perform on the second day of the inter-college cultural event 'Ignition Reloaded–2013' on the Panjab University campus in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, November 15
Face painting, rangoli making and mehndi application competitions marked the second day of the three-day inter-college cultural event "Ignition Reloaded–2013" at Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital on the Panjab University campus.

In the afternoon, cultural events commenced at the Law Auditorium with the presidential address by Prof Ashish Jain, principal of the dental institute.

The college magazine "Emerge" was also released on the occasion.

The students who excelled in academics were honoured with merit certificates and medals.

The fun-filled cultural extravaganza in the evening saw dance performances, both Western and classical, and solo performances besides parodies.

The Swastik band won over the audience's hearts with a captivating performance. The highlight of the day was a fashion show consisting of three interesting rounds: bridal, Halloween and Bollywood.

The day saw an overwhelming participation of students from various colleges of the city and vicinity.



pu-affiliated college
A curious case of selection
 After giving nod to candidate, committee members raise objection
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
Raising questions over the selection of teachers in the colleges affiliated to Panjab University (PU), three out of six members of a selection committee that conducted interviews at Ludhiana-based Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management have complained to the Vice-Chancellor against the selection of a candidate.

The trio, after selecting the candidate, accused the college management of “stressing” on conducting the interview for the selection of a particular candidate.

The complainants—Senate member Kuldeep Singh (VC nominee), Prof Sanjay Kaushik and Assistant Prof Navdeep Kaur, both subject experts from the University Business School (UBS)—had gone to the college as a part of the committee in May this year.

The trio, in their complaint to the VC, stated that the college provided them with a list of 92 candidates, while the list of candidates provided by the university mentioned only 77 applicants for four posts in the commerce department.

PU Senator and committee member Kuldeep Singh said, as per the rule, candidates must submit the application form to the college, while a copy has to be submitted to the Dean College Development Council (DCDC) at the university.

“There were several candidates who had not applied to the university, to which we raised an objection,” said the committee member.

The committee members, in their complaint, stated that the college management wanted the committee to conduct interviews of 10 such candidates, who were not in the list provided by the university. The complaint further mentions that the management was “adamant” on the selection of Priyansha Mahajan, who was among these 10 candidates.

The chairman and secretary of the managing committee and the college principal were also a part of the selection committee. SP Oswal, chairman of the Vardhman Group, is the chairman of the managing committee.

College principal RL Behl told this correspondent that if the committee members were not satisfied with the selection, they should not have signed the selection proceedings.

“The committee members who have complained did not raise any objection at the time of selection. Raising the issue after selection is not justified,” the principal said. 



book fair
Teacher must arouse child’s inquisitive mind: Expert
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
How many teachers who shaped our academic life can we recall? Many at the Chandigarh Book Fair failed to name beyond two to three teachers in response to this question.

Senior resource person from the National Book Trust Dr Shekhar Sarkar, who held a session on storytelling with children on the third day of the fair, said the response was low because most of the teachers failed to influence us during our learning years.

“Teachers often try to impose knowledge on students. The need of the hour is to go beyond passive teaching. Teachers must act like facilitators and try to engage children beyond textbooks,” said Sarkar, also an author of many children books.

Sarkar conducted the “Spin-a-Tale” workshop where he encouraged children to weave stories on their own. Through it, he apprised them of language building, Indian culture and creative writing. He also conducted a “Treasure Hunt” activity in which students were given interesting clues to identify various writers. Another activity, “NBT Express”, tested their general awareness.

“I see a decline in the interest on the part of students because teachers are not arousing their inquisitive mind. The CBSE did introduce the CCE system, but it failed to yield good results,” he said.

The quality of teachers, he said, is also a big question. Gandhiji once said that a teacher cannot teach children to speak truth if he himself is a liar, said Sarkar. We need dedicated teachers, he said.

The present pedagogy, said Sarkar, needed a change. We are not focusing on the emotional quotient of students, as all focus is on enhancing the intelligence quotient. As a result, while one student is extraordinarily vocal, the other yields no response in classroom, he said.

Today's schedule

11 am to 1 pm

Workshop on enactment of a story/dance-drama

3 pm to 4 pm

Book release, Author Talk Col Gursewak Singh (retd)

5 pm to 6 pm Author Talk with Ravi Subramaniam



Punjabi literature a big hit at fair
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
Punjabi literature is finding many takers at the ongoing Chandigarh Book Fair. The availability of books of different genres is the major attraction.
Punjabi poet Surjit Pattar
Punjabi poet Surjit Pattar

Books on Punjabi Sufi poetry by Gulam Farid, Warish Shah and Bulle Shah besides books of contemporary Punjabi poets, including Sant Ram Udasi and Paash, are selling like hot cakes. The Punjabi translation of Alex Haley’s “Roots” is also getting a good response. Sumit Gulati of the Chetna Prakashan, Ludhiana, said the overwhelming response to Punjabi literature was unexpected.

The fact that Punjabi literature is so rich in both prose and poetry forces people to come back to it, he said. Moreover, with the modern lifestyle creating a void in our lives, these books are regaining importance, said Gulati.

A bookstall set up by Amritsar-based Warish Shah Foundation has a good collection of books on Punjabi folklore and old legendary love tales. A visitor, Mahinderpal Singh, said these books are now the only medium connecting us to our past, with the urban settings taking us away from our roots.

Another interesting trend seen at the fair is the popularity of Russian literature, with its Punjabi translation available in abundance. “Mera Dagestan” based on Rasul Magomedov’s book and “Asli Insaan Di Kahani” based on Boris Polevoy’s work are some of the books doing well.

The Punjabi version of Abraham T Kovoor’s “Begone Godmen” (Te Dev Purush Haar Gaye) is also being purchased in good numbers at the stall set up by Barnala-based Tarak Bharati Publication.



PU students flay fee hike

Chandigarh, November 15
Students today raised their voice against the fee hike at Panjab University. Raising slogans outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office, protestors opposed the 10 per cent increase in the fee of various courses besides the 20 per cent hike in the fee of self-financed courses. The university had taken the decision in June this year.

A student, Babalpreet Singh, said there had been a hike of Rs 14,000 at the UIET, Rs 24,000 at the chemical engineering department and the MBA (dual degree), and around Rs 8,000 at the University Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism.

“We came to know about the decision when we were asked to pay the semester fee,” he said.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) Navdeep Goyal arrived to pacify the students. He said a meeting has been called on Monday to discuss the issue. It will be chaired by the Dean University Instructions.

While the PUSU supporters decided to defer the protest, the Student for Society continued with the agitation. — TNS



Schools not too keen on draw of lots
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
All the city schools will not be following the draw-of-lot system for admissions to the entry-level classes in the next academic session. Following a meeting of the Independent School Association, Chandigarh, this evening, many private schools seemed inclined to switching to the point system and giving preference to the neighborhood students.

Vivek High School, Sector 38, and Saupin's School, Sector 32, have already deciced to opt for the point system.

HS Mamik, president of the Independent School Association, said schools were not too keen on the draw of lots because it was becoming difficult to manage students who lived at farther distances. Since traffic has increased manifold, commuting and safety of students has become a big issue, he said.

"The point system will help us in selecting students from neighbourhood. Also, the RTE Act promotes this concept," he said.

Mamik said this year the admission process would be transparent, with all schools uploading the admission criteria, number of seats and other details on their websites as well as putting these on the notice board before November 25, the date when the process begins.

The schools are also mulling on giving preference to siblings of students as well as wards of staff members.

Last year, too, preferences and reservations dominated admissions to local private schools. Very few seats were left for the general category, leading to a tough competition. A worried parent, Manish Sharma, looking for a good school for his son this year, said parents are at the receiving end every time admissions begin in the city.

"There is hardly any transparency. Private schools must maintain a balance between seats allotted to various preferential categories and the general category," he said.

Another parent, Bhupesh Singla, said the system needed uniformity.

"We have no problem with the neighbourhood admissions, but it must be applied uniformly throught the city. Influential people end up getting their wards admitted to the preferred schools," he said.

Parents also accused the Chandigarh Administration of having a weak and unclear policy in the matter.

Director Public Instructions (Schools) Kamlesh Kumar said the Education Department would ensure that schools follow a transparent admission process and inform parents in advance about the selection criteria. 

many favour point system for admissions

Following a meeting of the Independent School Association, Chandigarh, on Friday evening, many private schools seemed inclined to switching over to the point system and giving preference to students living in the neighborhood. 



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