C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Day 2: 4,000 tenements razed, drive peaceful 
Tribune News Service

A GMADA security personnel deflates the tyre of a rehri of a migrant in Mohali on Thursday. (Left) and LAfter losing their house to the demolition drive, members of a family spend night on the roadside. There are a number of families who have been forced to spend cold nights in the open. Tribune photos

Chandigarh, November 21
Keeping up pressure for the second consecutive day on the squatters in Colony No. 5, the JCB machines engaged by the UT Administration today razed around 4,000 tenements, taking the total number of demolished structures to 11,000 in the last two days.

Officials supervising the operations said 80 acres of the total 108 acres of land had been freed from encroachments with least resistance from the evicted persons. Starting from B Block, the demolition teams moved towards A Block and by evening, 70 per cent of the structures in the city's biggest slum had been pulled down.

In a pro-active approach, the UT officials ensured that the residents start vacating their houses before the machines pulled them down. Anticipating that they would be given time to shift out, panic gripped the residents of Block A when the machines started razing their structures. In an effort to salvage their household goods, many could be seen dumping their belongings on the roadside. The residents could be seen begging before the officials for time to move out their stuff.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin, who remained at the site to oversee the demolition operations, said the drive would continue tomorrow.

Preventive arrests

To ensure that anti-social elements or troublemakers in the colony did not create trouble, more than 100 persons have been put under preventive arrest. Officials said though the police were put on alert, it was ensured that the demolition drive passed off smoothly.

Bansal’s take

On being cornered by the Opposition on the demolition issue at the MC meeting, former Union Minister and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal evaded the reply by saying that it was the Congress that had come up with the slum-rehabilitation scheme in Chandigarh.

Demolition on remaining 28 acres today

Of the total 108 acres, 80 acres has been freed from encroachments. On Friday, the structures on the remaining 28 acres would be pulled down. The traffic restrictions on the main roads around Colony No. 5 would continue during the demolition on Friday as well. 

A well-organised operation

While the police and UT officials coordinated the law and order situation, a large number of civil defence officials were engaged to ensure that there were no occupants in the jhuggis demolished on Thursday. Loudspeakers were used to communicate with different teams. Floodlights were installed to prevent squatters from returning to the cleared area under darkness. 

Maids on leave, residents face tough time

A number of maids putting up in the colony have not gone on work for the past two days, putting their employers to great inconvenience. Many of them were seen looking for alternative accommodation, as they were not among the lucky ones to get a house at the Dhanas rehabilitation complex. 



Man dies of heart attack, kin protest at GMCH
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
A 45-year-old man died early in the morning today allegedly after suffering a heart attack as his house in Colony Number 5 was demolished in the ongoing demolition drive at the colony. Denying post-mortem, his family staged a protest at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, in the morning. They alleged that the police forcibly took his body for a post-mortem examination.

Anil Kumar was sleeping in the open in Colony Number 5 along with his family after his house was demolished. He reportedly collapsed at around 5.30 am after severe coughing in the middle of the night due to cold. His wife Urmila Devi alleged that while the colony residents were mourning his death, a few policemen came there, picked up his body and took it to the mortuary of the GMCH-32.

The family and a few residents of the colony blocked the entrance to the Emergency unit at around 6.30 am. “We denied for a post-mortem examination of the body, as it was a natural death. But the police did not listen to us and even pushed back a number of men who tried to stop them from taking my father’s body,” said his elder son Akhilesh.

The Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sector 34 police station, Inspector Rajesh Shukla, said: “The residents were rather alleging that he died after being hit by a JCB machine during demolition. We felt that it was necessary to get the autopsy done to determine the exact cause of death.”

The post-mortem indicated heart attack as the cause of his death. The body was cremated late evening. 

Uprooted residents spend cold night in the open

A resident of Colony No.5 for the last 20 years, Anil Kumar (who died of heart attack) was among over 5,000 families who have been rendered homeless for want of proper documentation of residence proof. Many had tears, especially young children, on seeing their houses being pulled down. They were forced to spend cold nights on the road. Ironically, the UT Administration has made no arrangements to provide respite to such persons



Mohali wards off encroachers
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 21
Nearly 150 families of the demolished Colony No. 5 of Chandigarh have reached Jagatpura and Saidan villages for shelter. The district administration fears that the uprooted people are likely to encroach on areas around Mohali.

According to reports, the affected persons have come to the two villages to take shelter on a “temporary basis” and may go on to encroach on government land in the coming week or 10 days by setting up jhuggis for themselves.

The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is on high alert in this regard and has made full preparations not to allow any uprooted person to encroach on government land.

It is learnt that some employees of the security wing of GMADA have been stopping these persons from going to villages around Mohali. Some of them had reportedly deflated the tyres of rehris in which some uprooted persons were transporting their belongings.

The Deputy Commissioner has deployed teams around Mohali and the uprooted residents have been told that if they set up jhuggis on government land, these illegal structures would be demolished.



City needs to have headquarters of IT firms: Expert
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
For emerging as an IT hub as competent as the Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru, Chandigarh needs to develop registered headquarters of IT companies. For that, startup companies need to be strengthened so that they grow into giants while having their roots (headquarters) in the city, suggested the chairman of Mindtree Limited, Subroto Bagchi.

“Even if a big IT company sets up its branch office here, do you think it will make much of a difference when the the remote controls will still be with the units headquartered in bigger cities like Delhi, Mumbai or Bengaluru?” he said.

“Companies like Trident (started in Ludhiana), which is now worth Rs 1500 crore, will make a difference since they have originated or will originate from the tier II and III cities,” Subroto asserted.

As the discussion over the Chandigarh IT Park’s current and future status remained an area of interest, different experts presented their analysis, reasons for its failure to emerge as big as it was planned to be, over the two-day IT conclave that concluded at the CII headquarters here today.

On day 1 (Wednesday), Chandigarh Tribune highlighted that the Director-General of Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), Dr Omkar Rai, said: “Chandigarh can not be compared with Bengaluru as it falls in the tier II city category”.

On the contrary, in a Chandigarh Tricity Location Assessment report, the NASSCOM-Cushman & Wakefield representatives have stated that the lack of marketing of the infrastructure in the tricity, supposed to be the best, is to be blamed for fewer IT giants investing in the city.

Talking on the sidelines of Destination IT@North mailto:IT@North, Bagchi emphasised that given its natural beauty and creative youth, Chandigarh had the potential to grow as an entertainment hub.

It has cinematic capabilities offering beautiful landscapes and a mix of cultures and quality of life. Chandigarh is the best city with regards to infrastructure.

“Entertainment is the biggest need of all categories of people now and will be in the future while IT is the backbone. The purpose of a business is to generate employment and money. Why can’t entertainment do that for Chandigarh?” Bagchi asked.


Residents to move court
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 21
Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) will be soon acquiring the land in Hoshiarpur village.

Residents of the area have highly resented the move of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority as the authorities have fixed a low acquisition price for their land as compared to the compensation entitled to them under the recent Land Acquisition Act.

An estimate of around 80 to 90 families will be affected by the acquisition of land by the authority.

Villagers alleged that their land was being forcibly acquired by GMADA and that too at relatively low prices.

Villagers said if the development authority failed to provide adequate compensation, as per the provisions of the recently passed Land Acquisition Act, they would be compelled to go to court to seek justice.

“A private company, Omaxe, had purchased two acres of land in the village, about three years back, at a price of Rs 3 crore per acre,” said a resident, Jagtar Singh.

He said Greater Mohali Area Development Authority was allegedly planning to offer Rs 1.36 crore per acre and after adding up other allowances as well, the total acquisition price was coming up to Rs 1.82 crore per acre. This compensation amount was not at all acceptable to the land owners of Hoshirpur village, said a villager.

Giving as instance, Jagtar said some farmers had gone to court against the compensation given by the development authority after it acquired land at Mullanpur village.

“In that case, the district court had announced a compensation of Rs 2.32 crore per acre,” said Jagtar.

Jagtar Singh said Greater Mohali Area Development Authority was acquiring about 410 acres in the village. Out of this area, notices under Section 9 had been already issued for an area of 96 acres. For the remaining 314 acres, notices under Section 6 had been issued.

Another affected villager, Harminder Singh Atwal, said Greater Mohali Area Development Authority had still not completed the acquisition process for Ecocity-I but was showing undue haste in acquiring land for Ecocity-II.

This haste on the part of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority showed that it did not want to give compensation to farmers in accordance with the recently passed act of Central Government.

Atwal said notices under Section 9 of the relevant Act were issued by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority on November 19 and the hearing in this regard was also fixed for thesame day.

Such hurry in the matter was uncalled for, said Harminder Singh Atwal. The authority must concentrate on what it has started rather then piling up unnecessarily, said Atwal.



Literati-2013 to enliven City Beautiful
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Literati-2013, another two-day Lit Fest in Chandigarh, starting from November 23 at the Lake Club, Sector 3, Chandigarh, promises interesting literary discourse on a number of issues.

Authors, including Rahul Pandita, Ashwin Sanghi, Bhaskar Ghose, Ashok Vajpeyi, Kishwar Desai, Madhu Kishwar, Navtej Sarna, Gul Panag, Meghna Pant, Rajeev Dubey, Jerry Pinto, Jaspreet Singh, Mohyna Srinivasan and Nandita C Puri, have confirmed their participation in the festival, organised by the Chandigarh Literary Society (CLS).

Addressing mediapersons today at the festival venue, Sumita Misra, chairperson of the CLS, and director of the festival, said the event aimed at enlivening the city with a glittering literary and cultural array, bringing together writers of different genres and the local literati.

Vivek Atray, co-director of the Lit Fest, said this would no doubt stimulate the literary leanings and encourage creativity among budding writers of the region, especially the younger generation.

General Bhaskar Ghose, former Director, Doordarshan, would deliver the keynote address in the inaugural session on “In Search of the Authentic” in the main lawns of the Lake Club.

The who’s who of Indian literary circles would be engaged in conversation on diverse topics. Ashok Vajpeyi, Ashwin Sanghi, Kishwar Desai, Rahul Pandita, Madhu Kishwar, Pushpesh Pant and Navtej Sarna would be some of the names to look for. On the first day, Jerry Pinto would read his translation of Sachin Kunkalkar’s Cobalt Blue which has been shortlisted for the DSC South Asia Prize. Bhaskar Ghose would release Jaideep Bhoosreddy’s spy thriller “Dead Underground”, a young writer from Delhi whose thriller is being talked about in the literary circles already.

On Sunday, Rahul Pandita would release another academic work being published by the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, “Kashmir’s Narratives of Conflict” by Manisha Gangahar and festival director Sumita Misra would launch noted Urdu poet Kashmiri Lal Zakir’s “Lal Chowk”.

Some of the emerging poets like HS Rana, Chandra Shekhar Varma, Manish Shukla, Shashi Prabha Attri, Pam Handa and Anjelee Deodhar would recite their poems at the session “Nai Awazen”.

Some of the local authors/panelists participating in the festival include Neelam Man Singh, Madhav Kaushik, Vijai Vardhan, General VP Malik, Virender Mehndiratta, Ram Varma, Khushwant Gill, Aradhika Sharma, etc. 

November 23 schedule

* 10 am: Keynote address by Bhaskar Ghose

* 11.30 am to 12.30 pm: Religion and Politics - Oxygen or Poison

Speakers: Kishwar Desai, Madhu Kishwar, Ashok Vajpayee, and Ram Verma)

* 12.30 pm to 1.15 pm: Brewing thoughts beautifully

Speakers: Pushpesh Pant, Vijai Vardhan with Rajnish Wattas

* 2 pm to 3 pm: Dissent, Discourses and Diaspora

Speakers: Navtej Sarna, Madhu Kishwar, Rahul Pandita, Kishalay Bhattarcharjee with Roopinder Singh

* 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm: The Four letter words: All between Love and Hate

Speakers: Jerry Pinto, Mohyna Srinivasan, Mandita C Puri

* 4.45 pm to 5.45 pm: Exotica is New Erotica

Speakers: Gul Panag, Tishaa Khosla, Meghna Pant, V Sudarshan

* 6.30 pm: International Sufi performers Hari and Sukhmani to perform at the Tagore Theatre

November 24 schedule

* 11.30 am to 12.30 pm: Women and the Paradox of Modernity

Speakers: Kishwar Desai, Gul Panag, Tishaa Khosla, V Sudarshan, Sumita Mishra with Vivek Atray

* 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm: Reading between the lines

Speakers: Bhaskar Ghose, Vijai Vardhan, Sumita Mishra, Gen. VP Malik with Saguna Jain

* 2.15 pm to 3.45 pm: Narrative, Mind and Memory

Speakers: Rahul Pandita, Nirupama Dutt with Vandana Shukla

* 3.45 to 4 pm: Rahul Pandita to release academic work "Kashmir's Narratives of Conflict" by Manisha Gangahar

* 4.15 pm to 5.15 pm: The contemporary Chanakya

Speakers: Ashwin Sanghi with Aradhika Sharma



Junk dealers make business from debris
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
From amidst the ruins of demolished structures in Colony No.5 here, life is once again dangling out a future at least for the moment.

After the UT Administration’s machines mowed down the structures, junk dealers landed at the seen to buy mangled iron pieces and tin sheets from the affected slum dwellers salvaging their belongings from the ruins.

To make up for their loss, the evicted colony residents were busy negotiating the prices of their damaged household goods with the junk dealers who had positioned themselves, equipped with their weighing machines, in every corner of roads around the colony. Some had even brought pick-up vans and tempos for quick lifting of the material bought.

While iron prices or iron roads were selling for anything between Rs 15 per kg and Rs 18 per kg, the tin sheds were selling for around Rs 40 per sheet, depending upon its condition.

“I have lost everything. We can’t afford to take along the damaged household goods. So we are trying to sell these items so that we could get some money to survive for next few days,” said Ramesh, a daily wage labourer.

Not only the iron pieces, some of the enterprising persons dealing in construction material were seen negotiating for the debris that contained tin sheets, bricks, door, folding beds. Cops present at the site did not pay attention as they were busy in maintaining law and order.

As the evening set in, a number of destitute reached the site with hammers and other crude equipment to retrieve mangled iron from the demolished structures. 



Allotment letters: Residents cry foul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
For the second consecutive day, a number of slum dwellers from Colony No. 5 thronged Sector 42 camp-office of the estate office to try their luck to get the allotment letters of rehabilitation tenements built at Dhanas. A large number of people stated that they were ignored by the authorities deliberately.

Officials manning the camp said while 3,700 claims for rehabilitation had been approved, another 1,500 had been rejected as they did not have the name in the 2006 and 2013 voters’ list and did not posses the biometric survey slip.

The Sector 42 camp office at the stadium was set up by the estate office for checking confirmation of the houses allotted to residents under a rehabilitation scheme.

Officials had to make repeated announcements to the slum dwellers about the procedure. A majority of the claimants, who turned up at the camp office, stated the authorities had been harassing them by not issuing allotment letters.

Cases which are already approved but have not been given the allotment letters are asked to report at the CHB office to get a transit accommodation in Sector 52. 



Civic body clears merger of 13 villages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Ignoring the resentment of the opposition parties for the transfer of 13 villages to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation by UT administration, the general house today gave its consent in its favour and passed a resolution. A special general house meeting was convened by the mayor Subhash Chawla on the issue of the transfer of 13 villages to the MC.

The 12 gram panchayats which comprises of 13 villages includes Kishnagarh, Mauli Jagran, Daria, Raipur Kala, Makhan Majra, Behlana, Raipur Khurd, Dhanas, Sarangpur, Khuda Alisher, Kaimbwala, Lahora and Khuda Jassu.

All the ruling and nominated councillor unanimously raised their hands in the well of the house supporting the issue of transfer of the villages to MC, while all the opposition councillors opposed it. The mayor stated that the MC is imposing conditions on the basis of which they will allow the administration to transfer the villages. In case these were deferred by the administration then the corporation will not take over the villages, he said.

The opposition parties including BJP-SAD and BSP councillors opposed it on the ground that five villages which were transferred to the MC in 2006 were in a pitiable condition, then how the MC could manage these new villages. They also raised the issue that the extension of Lal dora in villages is hanging fire due to which the residents of villages don’t know whether they can avail the basic civic amenities of the MC or not.

Referring to the Deep Complex, BSP councillor Jannat Jahan ul-Haq said for the past two years she has been struggling to get the basic amenities for the residents, but the authorities have failed to take any decision on it so far.

Nominated councillor Surinder Bahga raised an issue that transfer of villages to the MC will be violation of draft the master plan. Meanwhile minor protest by few of the villagers was staged in front of the MC office against the transfer of the villages in MC. 

Proposed resolution of MC

* The Periphery Control Act has to be withdrawn on existing construction of villages.

* Entire assets and liabilities including ministerial and operational staff along with vacant posts of rural development and panchayats should be transferred to the MC.

* UT has to bear entire plan and non-plan expenditure of the villages for next five years.

* No house taxes to be imposed on commercial as well as residential property for the next five years.

* Number of wards for elected councillors should be increased.

* Representation in advisory committees to gram panchayats, zila parishad and panchayat samiti members.

* Special committee of the members of MC and officers of administration to be constituted for planning of villages.

* More administrative posts should be sanctioned to manage the workload.

* A site should be earmarked for the dairy farming, especially for villages transferred to MC first phase.



Conclave Destination IT North concludes 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The two day Destination IT North organised by Departments of IT, Chandigarh and Punjab, STPI Mohali and CII concluded here today with over 300 IT professionals, government officials, academicians, and students participating in it from across the country and the globe.

Two concurrent workshop sessions saw the participation of various professionals interacting with the experts.


Mr KK Sharma, Advisor, UT Administrator, said, “Entrepreneur Development Centre (EDC) facilities shall get fully occupied soon, and for startups there is no dearth of space as the Administration has lots of buildings which can be made available to them. He said Chandigarh Administration is also planning to set up a Chandigarh Innovation Council. “Incubation centre at Punjab Engineering College is already functional and has helped many startups, and with functional EDC, this would help the budding entrepreneurs,” he added.

An IT city spread in 1,700 acres in Mohali is planned besides Amritsar to promote as IT destinations for software exports said AR Talwar, Principal Secretary, Information Technology, Punjab.

Ms Prerna Puri, Secretary, Information Technology, said, “The IT ecosystem has improved considerably in the Tricity and conferences like this further helps in marketing Chandigarh and also we get to learn from experts from around the globe at one platform.

IT policy

Chandigarh and Punjab will have its own IT policies soon, said, KK Sharma, Advisor to UT Administrator and AR Talwar, Principal Secretary, IT, Punjab.

Nasscom report

Chandigarh is key Tier II city in a group of five. Travel time and cost within the Tricity is significantly lower compared to Tier I cities. Continued focus on enhancing employee skill set through training. A conducive and enabling environment exists for IT-BPM companies in the Tricity. Chandigarh surpasses India’s IT industry’s average growth by 3 times. Chandigarh has operation cost saving of 12 per cent compared to Tier 1 cities.

Chandigarh can be a leader in IT

Dr Omkar Rai, DG, STPI, said, “There are 128 companies operating in the Tricity with most of these based in Chandigarh and Mohali. UT can be a leader in Tier II cities with 20 per cent growth so far. If it continues to grow at this rate it would top the table in exports from India in IT sector by 2020.” “IT industry in the Tricity has provided employment to 35,000 people and with its three-times growth rate against national average, there are more expectations from IT companies and startups,” he added.

Mr Som Mittal, president, Nasscom, said Nasscom has launched its mission to have 10,000 new startups in next 10 years. Startups and small entrepreneurs are keys to the development in the country as they are the one who have innovative ideas.



Key accused still at large
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 21
The Panchkula police have not yet arrested Shailender, alias Sanju, involved in the murder case of Gurwinder Singh.

Sanju is the key accused in the murder case and has remained successful in dodging the local police so far.

The police have, however, reportedly rounded up another alleged accused Manish Chaudhary. A Bolero jeep used in the crime has been seized by the police.

The police claimed that raids were on at all the possible hideouts of Sanju to nab him at the earliest.

The police are not ruling out the possibility of a drug angle that might be involved in the crime. The post-mortem report is expected to reveal many significant details that would further clear certain doubts and help solving the case, said a police official.

According to police sources, a cut mark on the wrist of the victim indicated that he might have attempted suicide earlier.

A senior police officer said the drug angle was also being probed into as the victim and the accused used to allegedly consume drugs together. Sources claimed that Gurwinder Singh had also given his expensive mobile phone to the accused to pay off some debts.

They also had some sort of dispute on the drug issue and the matter was left to the discretion of the village panchayat.

Notably, Gurvinder Singh, who was dumped in a serious condition outside the General Hospital, Sector 6, on Tuesday, was declared brought dead at PGI, Chandigarh.



Respite to power consumers

Chandigarh, November 21
The Chandigarh Industrial Tenants Association has welcomed the decision of the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) on giving relaxation under regulation 6.10 (3) of the Electricity supply code 2010 under which the Advance Consumption Deposit was demanded from the consumers by the UT Electricity Department. The Chandigarh Industrial Area Tenants Association had filed a petition in the JERC for relaxation. The Chandigarh Industrial Area Tenants Association office-bearer, BS Saini , pleaded that the Chandigarh Electricity Department has no policy for installation of the prepaid electricity meters whereas the regulation 6.10 (10) of Electricity supply code provides “That if a person requires to take supply through a pre-paid meter the distribution licensee shall not take security deposit from that person.”

Installation of the prepaid meters will definitely reduce the list of defaulters list. The electricity department had published a list of defaulters on their website showing total default in payment of electricity bills till February 2013, Rs 11.50 crore, which includes Rs 5.30 crore defaulters of government offices, government and semi-government institutions and bodies whereas Rs 1.25 crore stands defaulted in the name of industry balance rest stands in the name of residential and commercial consumers. Sanjeev Sagar, president of the Chandigarh Industrial Area Tenants Association, BS Saini, Convener of Joint Action Committee, and Advocate Vijay Pal had represented the hearing of the commission recently.



Over 100 take part in CME on gastroenterology
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Gastroenterology and Liver forum (GLF), Chandigarh, organised an international CME on Liver diseases, here on Tuesday.

Dr Sandeep Dhavan, president of the forum informed that more than 100 delegates and experts in the field of hepatology and gastroenterology attended the meet.

Dr Sophie Lotersztajn from France enlightened the audience about the recent advances in the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Prof Virender Singh and Dr Ajay Duseja from PGI chaired the session.

Dr Richard Moreau, who is a consultant in the Liver Unit at Clichy, France, discussed acute on chronic liver failure. Prof YK Chwala, Prof Dhiman and Dr Sahni chaired the session and compared the Indian data with the western one.

The session ended with the talk by Dr Ashwani Singal, Assistant Professor, in the division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He discussed about the management of alcoholic hepatitis.

Prof Atul Sachdev, Prof DK Bhasin and Dr Mohinish chaired the session and also shared their concern regarding the rising incidence of alcoholism in this part of the country.



London College awards city prof

Chandigarh, November 21
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London, has awarded Dr Harpreet Kour Isher, Associate Professor, at Gian Sagar Medical College with the Vijaya Patil Prize Medal this year. She has been conferred with Membership of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG), London. 

The award is given to overseas candidate for topping the MRCOG examination. She would be awarded the prize medal at the convocation to be held in end November in London. — TNS



Music maestro enthralls audience
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 21
Hindustani classical music vocalist Madhup Mudgal left the audience spellbound at Gandharva Mahavidyalya in Sector 10 in Panchkula.

A disciple of Kumar Gandharva, Mudgal is known for his khayal and bhajan renditions. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri award from the Government of India in 2006

Mudgal began his performance with Raag Puriya Dhanashri and two compositions followed by Tarana.

Then he presented Raag Bhopali, and presented a composition in Madhya Laya and another composition in Drut Laya. He concluded his performance with Raag Kamod.

Several connoisseur of classical music attended the event.

The principal of the Gandharva Mahavidyalya, Anita Sharma, honoured Mudgal on the occasion.



Communal Harmony Week celebrated

Mohali , November 21
Communal Harmony Week celebrations began at Paragon Senior Secondary School here yesterday. The celebrations are aimed at showing solidarity with and respect for the brave soldiers of the Indian Army.

At the beginning of the week, OP Joshi, a retired sociology professor from Jaipur, apprised the students about the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

Kulwant Kaur Shergill, president, motivated the students to foster the spirit of communal harmony. — TNS



biz briefs

Airtel launches Mediphone

In one of the initiatives to bridge the growing distance, Airtel has launched Mediphone services. Mediphone is a unique 24x7 m-Health service that allows Airtel mobile customers to avail quality health advice through their mobile phones - anytime, from anywhere! Telemedicine is one such innovative technology, which if used effectively can double the utilisation of scarce human medical personnel. When in need, customers across the country can now call on 5-44-45 to reach out to a qualified doctor or nurse who will assess the clinical symptoms as told by the customers and offer the most appropriate medical advice. Besides offering medical advice, including self care, consultations and permissible medication, the service also provides information about nearest emergency facilities in case emergency conditions.

This facility also includes warm telephone transfers to the nearest ambulance or hospital for mobile callers. The service can also help customers get more information on various health providers such as hospitals, doctors, seeking appointments, information on medicines and diseases, etc. — TNS



DAV’s Dramatics Club excels at youth fest

Chandigarh, November 21
DAV College Dramatics Club “Aaghaaz” has set a new benchmark by winning the first position for one-act play and third position for its self-written skit at the North Zone Inter-University Youth Festival, 2013-14, held at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow.

The event was attended by 28 universities from across the country.

The team of DAV, Sector 10, represented Panjab University. The fest was organised by the association of Indian Universities.

The team showcased the one-act play namely “Maston Ka Tolla”, which was based on the play, “Gagan Damama Bajyo”, written by Piyush Mishra. At the inter-zonal level, the team won the first prize for one-act play and the individual best actor award.

The team will now take part in the All-India National Youth Fest, which will be held in Kurukshetra in February. The team will also participate in Mood Indigo Fest, Mumbai.

Armandeep Singh Sandhu, president of Aaghaaz, expressed gratitude towards their principal Dr BC Josan. — TNS



SSA teachers launch letter-posting campaign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Teachers Welfare Association (SSATWA), Chandigarh, launched a three-day letter-posting campaign to convince the UT authorities for their regularisation.

The association will dispatch 1,000 colourful letters written by SSA teachers over the next three days to Shivraj Patil, UT Administrator-cum-president of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Governing Council, UT, Chandigarh.

Today, more than 300 letters were dispatched to the Administrator, through which he was requested to intervene in the matter pertaining to the regularisation of 1,228 Junior Basic Teachers (JBTs) and Trained Graduate Teachers (TGTs) working in government schools in the city.

All the letters were handwritten by the SSA teachers and designed with multiple strata of colours. In many of the letters, the teachers have written poems, phrases and their concern due to delay in the regularisation.

Arvind Rana, president of the SSATWA, said: “Through colourful letters, SSA JBT and TGT teachers have appealed to Shivraj Patil to remove the administrative hurdles that are delaying the regularisation of 1,228 JBTs & TGTs. Patil has also been requested to call the long-pending meeting of the SSA Governing Council, UT, Chandigarh, and settle the issue of regularisation of the SSA teachers.”

Ajay Upmanyu, General Secretary of the association, said by writing these letters, the teachers have opened their heart and expressed the pain that they were bearing while working on contract.

“We have also requested Patil to instruct the Education Department to take specific and time-bound approval of 1,390 posts of JBTs and TGTs from the MHRD, New Delhi,” Ajay said.



Two hurt in clash at DAV College
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
A bloody clash took place at DAV College, Sector 10, here this morning when a former student was attacked with rods and batons by over a dozen persons just before principal’s office. All the assailants escaped right under the nose of the police and the college security with no arrests in the case made so far. The entire scene of crime is seen in the CCTV footage of the college and police is hopeful of making arrests soon.

The victims have been identified as Meet Jatana, former SOPU president, and Daljeet Singh. Both of them received critical injuries on head and are admitted to 
the GMSH-16.

A case has been registered at the Sector 3 police station. Sources said some political rivalry is the reason behind the attack and the accused are said to be members of HSA (Hindustan Student Association) party. The incident occurred at 11 am when Meet Jatana had come to the college to deposit his brother’s fee in the college. The police said the assailants, some of them outsiders and students, first dropped rods and batons inside the college from the rear gate in the playground. They then entered the college from the front gate, picked up the batons from the ground and attacked Meet Jatana near the office of the college principal. After hitting him and his accomplice Daljeet, the group fled from the college with the police nowhere in sight and the college security remaining mute spectators to the violent brawl.

The victims were rushed to the GMSH, Sector 16, where they are currently admitted. The police said the attack was pre-planned as the Meet Jatana had got into a fight with an HSA party members yesterday. 



Gharuan, Canada varsities ink MoU

Mohali, November 21
Chandigarh University, Gharuan, has signed an MoU with Royal Roads University, Canada, to encourage student and faculty exchange in the field of business management. Cindy McLeod, vice-president, signed the MoU on behalf of Royal Roads University along with Dr RS Bawa, Vice-Chancellor, Chandigarh University.

While giving details, Cindy McLeod said Chandigarh University undergraduate students (BBA) would be given preference in admission to the International Master’s programme in Business Management. Students from Chandigarh University would be given benefit under the Credit Transfer Policy, which would help them pursue the final year of their current undergraduate degree at Royal Roads University. — OC



Model-making contest for students tomorrow

Chandigarh, November 21
Taking inspiration from the world famous Rock Garden in the city, the Dr SS Bhatnagar University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (SSB UICET), Panjab University, is hosting a model-making competition for the undergraduates and school students of the tricity on November 23.

The PU spokesperson said the students would make models from the plastic waste. This event would help in generating awareness among the students about the efficient handling of the plastic waste. The competition was being organised by the student chapter of Indian Plastics Institute (IPI), which is part of the SSB UICET.

The event will be part of the technical event, ‘ELICIT- a solution to plastic waste’. The event is being held under the guidance of faculty in charge Dr Gaurav Verma. — TNS



Education Department sets up help desks

The Education Department has set up two help desks in Dhanas, to guide the parents, settling here, from Colony No 5, about the admissions of their children. The department is currently running a school in flats (from 1825 to1856), Dhanas, as a makeshift arrangement till a new school building has not been constructed there. Children above primary level will be enrolled in nearby government schools. 

The schools that were identified for admissions in higher classes include Government Model High School-Dhanas, GSSS-38 (West), Government High School-Sarangpur, GMSSS, Sarangpur, Government High School-38, Govt Model High School -38 and GSSS, Khuda Lahora, Government Senior Secondary School-Dhanas. — TNS



From schools

Awareness rally

The Integrity Club of Mount Carmel School, Sector 47-B, Chandigarh, organised a rally to spread awareness among children and public towards our duty for the welfare of minorities and the weaker sections of society. The rally was flagged off from the school by the principal. It culminated at the Sector 17 Plaza, Chandigarh. Around 100 students of Classes VI to IX and teachers participated in the rally. The students carried placards and posters with various slogans like strengthen minorities-strengthen nation, etc. They also shouted these slogans and spread the message of equality.

Lecture session

As part of the KL Munshi Ji Memorial Lectures, Bhavan’s Old Students Society (BOSS) organised its fourth lecture session on Thursday for students of classes XI and XII. The guest speaker for the occasion was Manisha Chopra, an HR professional from the corporate sector. She emphasised the importance of ensuring healthy communication between people, which is possible only when the participants of the interaction or conversation are in total synchronisation with one another.

Student brings laurels

Muskandeep, a student of St Xavier's High School, Mohali, made the school proud by winning the first position at the Mohali District Chess Championship-2013. The event was held at Gurukul World School, Sector 69, Mohali, where several students of the tricity schools participated. Muskandeep Kaur of Class V gave a tough time to her competitors and won all five rounds to emerge as winner in the U-11 category and clinched gold.

Annual function

Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Sector 69, held the annual function of senior students. The students entertained the audience by several performances. Musical presentation and regional dance were among the attractions of the function. Among the other items were a theatrical presentation of Shakespeare and a Punjabi play, “Murde da ration.” Chairman JS Bajwa honoured the meritorious students. — TNS



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