C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Flights rescheduled 
Airlines brace for foggy days ahead; Jet cancels 2 flights till Jan 31
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Anticipating foggy days ahead, the airlines operating from the Chandigarh domestic airport have temporarily cancelled some of their flights and rescheduled the timings of some others to avoid hassle during extreme winter conditions. Last year, the flight operation remained disturbed for over three weeks due to inclement weather.

Sources at the airport told Chandigarh Tribune that Jet Airways, which operates the maximum number of flights from the city, had cancelled its Chandigarh-Delhi flight, scheduled for 8.10 am, from today till January 31.

Jet Airways has also decided to cancel its Chandigarh-Jaipur-Ahmedabad flight, scheduled for 6.10 pm, from December 23 till January 31.

An official of the airline said, “We are approaching extreme weather conditions. Since the Chandigarh airport is not fully equipped to handle weather uncertainties during the winter season, it is better to ground some of the flights for some time rather than cause inconvenience to passengers, who suffer a lot when flights get cancelled due to bad weather.”

“The local airport hardly operates during the mornings and evenings in bad weather conditions in winter. Therefore, we have called off both our morning and evening flights," the official said.

Other airlines, too, have rescheduled their flights. For instance, SpiceJet has rescheduled the departure of its Chanidgarh-Delhi flight from 8.30 am to 10.25 am with immediate effect.

With no Jet Airways flight in the morning, the 10.25 am SpiceJet flight will be the first flight to take off from the city airport. The departure of its evening Chandigarh-Delhi at 7.20 pm has been preponed to 5.20 pm.

GoAir has preponed the departure of its evening Chandigarh-Mumbai flight from 7 pm to 5.45 pm. IndiGo, on the other hand, has already grounded its evening 6.35 pm Chandigarh-Mumbai flight from November. Currently, it is operating two flights, both to Mumbai, at 12.20 pm and 2.40 pm. “The timings of these rescheduled flights will remain applicable till January 31. The airlines may change their flight schedule, accordingly, thereafter," said an official of the Chandigarh airport.

There is no change in the timings of Air India's only flight from the city (Chandigarh-Delhi), which leaves at 11.25 am.



Fog in Delhi delays flights from city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Fog in Delhi today led to a delay in the departure of several flights from the Chandigarh domestic airport. The departure of Jet Airways' Chandigarh-Delhi flight at 11.40 am got delayed by over two hours. It took off at 2.20 pm.

Jet Airways’ Chandigarh-Delhi-Bangaluru flight, which was scheduled for 5.40 pm, also ran behind schedule and took off at 7.20 pm.

The departure of Air India and SpiceJet flights also got affected due to the fog in Delhi. SpiceJet’s Chandigarh-Delhi flight, scheduled for 10.25 am, took off at 12.10 pm. The departure of Air India’s Chandigarh-Delhi flight also got delayed by one and a half hours. Scheduled for 11.25 am, it took off at 12.50 pm.

Officials at the Chandigarh airport said the delay took place because several flights did not take off on time from the Delhi airport and ran behind schedule when they landed at the Chandigarh airport. As a result, the depature of several flights got affected due to it. The Chandigarh-Mumbai route, however, was not affected since the flights from Mumbai landed on time at the city airport. 



Fear of Vigilance probe gets MC moving on road repair work
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Fearing a Vigilance probe into the use of substandard material in road repair in Sector 19, the municipal corporation today once again recarpeted the entire road of the Sector 19-C market.

Following complaints from shopkeepers regarding the use of poor-quality material in the recarpeting of the road, area councillor Mukesh Bassi had submitted a complaint to the UT Adviser-cum-Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) demanding a Vigilance inquiry into the matter. The issue was highlighted in these columns recently.

Bassi said he had raised the problems faced by shopkeepers in his ward. After the fresh recarpeting, shopkeepers were satisfied with the work, he said. In the coming days, he would discuss the issue in detail with the MC Commissioner so that such incidents do not take place in future, he said.

This morning, MC officials and staff reached the Sector 19-C market with machinery. They started recarpeting areas where the shopkeepers and the area councillor had pointed out shortcomings.

Following the demand for a Vigilance probe, Mayor Subhash Chawla had ordered fresh recarpeting of the road. However, the next day, the MC staff only recarpeted a small portion of the road. The shopkeepers again complained to the area councillor and they decided that a delegation of the shopkeepers will meet the UT Adviser to press for their demand for a Vigilance probe. Finally, the MC today recarpeted the entire road in the market.

No action against officials, contractor

Though the MC has recarpeted the road in Sector 19, it has not initiated any action against the contractor and the officials concerned. Besides Sector 19, during the past one week, the MC received complaints of use of poor-quality material in road repair from Sector 34, Butrela village and Khuda Lahora. So far, the MC has only recarpeted the road in Khuda Lahora and Sector 19. It is yet to start fresh road repair work in Butrela village and Sector 34.



2 decades on, GMCH ill-equipped 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Even as the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, is planning to run super-specialities like neurology and cardiology two decades after its establishment, the hospital authorities have miserably failed to ensure the availability and accountability of resident doctors.

While resident doctors (postgraduate junior residents) are perceived as the backbone of any multi-speciality and super-speciality hospital, the GMCH has so far failed to introduce the MD (Doctor of Medicine) course in two of its three main specialities (general medicine, gynaecology and surgery). It has failed to ensure the availability of resident doctors for quality patient care.

The hospital does not have an MD course either in general medicine or general surgery, though two seats were introduced for the MS (Master of Surgery) course this year.

The hospital has been recruiting resident doctors for three-year tenures over the past couple of years. However, many of them desert the departments without prior notice. A senior faculty member of the hospital said, “When a resident doctor is enrolled in a course, he or she has accountability and purpose to continue working in a hospital. A resident doctor has a compulsion of sticking around at least till he attains his degree. Besides, the responsibilities of non-MD residents can never be fixed. If there is a medico-legal case involving a non-MD resident doctor, he has an edge to drop out of service the next day”. Sources said the hospital had sent a request for introducing the course in both departments. The MCI had turned down the request, raising objections over the experience of the then heads of the two departments. One of the heads has now become the Director of the hospital. 

What the Director says

We have already started the MS course in the general surgery department. We have also applied for starting the MD course. The MCI is likely to conduct an inspection in this regard soon. Requests were sent earlier also but some discrepancies were pointed out. We will also start the DNB course in medicine from next year. We keep recruiting resident doctors.
— Dr Atul Sachdev, Director-Principal, GMCH-32 


Year 2013 ender
Boost for school infrastructure
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Computer teachers hold a protest in DPI’s office.
Computer teachers hold a protest in DPI’s office. A file photograph

Chandigarh, December 16
For the first time in several years, three new government schools came up in Chandigarh this year, strengthening the school infrastructure in the city. However, it was the strained relationship between teachers and the Education Department that hogged the limelight in 2012.

The most infamous episode happened on July 20 when on the recommendation of the UT Education Department, the police registered an FIR against four government schoolteachers for obstructing the faculty development programme of the department. The department also issued a show-cause notice to 100 school lecturers for their failure to attend this programme. This episode that led to a protest continuing for several weeks, following which the Joint Action Committee of the UT teachers and the Education Department reached a consensus.

Teachers' protests

The year saw the continuous protests by guest teachers, computer teachers as well as SSA teachers over the issue of their regularisation. The SSA Teachers Association held several campaigns and meetings to press for their demand for their regularisation but nothing has happened so far. The guest teachers were affected the most as more than 200 of them had to leave the department after regular government teachers were promoted lecturers. Many of those whose services were terminated were reinstated later.

For the last one week, the computer teachers are on protest, pressing the department for the resolution of their pending issues.

Mid-day meal problem

Dead flies and mosquitoes were found in the mid-day meal served to the students of Government High School, Colony No. 4, on August 22. Perturbed at the unhygienic food being served to students, residents of the colony gathered on the school premises and raised slogans against the administration. Later on the department streamlined the scheme, closed one of the central kitchens, which was unhygienic.

Focus on infrastructure

The year saw the department putting focus on infrastructure development. Three new schools had come up during the school. These are Government Smart School in Sector 50 (April), Government High School in Sector 54 (May) and Government Middle School at Mani Majra (September). Besides, a building at the Government High School, Hallo Majra, was inaugurated

The department also put focus on sports infrastructure. Two lawn tennis courts each were constructed at the GMSSS 16, GMSSS 23, GMSSS 33 and the GMHS 41.

High points

  • Opening of Government Smart School in Sector 50 (April), Government High School in Sector 54 (May) and Government Middle School at Mani Majra (September)
  • Two lawn tennis courts each were constructed at GMSSS 16, GMSSS 23, GMSSS 33 and GMHS 41
  • Streamlining of the Mid-day Meal scheme in Chandigarh and closing down of the central kitchen in Sector 47 following several complaints about unhygienic conditions there
  • Promotion of 186 TGTs as lecturers, which happened after 22 years
  • Rate for per child reimbursement finalised
  • Private-public schools partnership to improve quality teaching in government schools
  • Free admission forms on private schools' websites in ongoing admission process 

Low points

  • Four teachers charge-sheeted and more than 100 issued notices after teachers refused to participate in the faculty development programme of the department in August
  • Continuous protest of guest teachers, computer teachers as well as SSA teachers over the issue of their regularisation
  • Dead mosquitoes and flies found in mid-day meal at government high school in Colony No. 4
  • Penalty imposed on former DPI (S) Upkar Singh for not furnishing information under the RTI Act
  • A government school principal was suspended due to her misconduct and reinstated later
  • Delay in recognition to private schools

Looking forward

  • 10 government schools under construction at Mani Majra, Dhanas and other areas
  • Construction of proposed 20 basketball courts and 20 volleyball courts in different government schools
  • Sanction expected from the Ministry of Human Resource Development for the appointment of teachers, principals and directorate staff
  • Timely and better reimbursement to private schools under the RTE Act



panchayat poll
Counting of votes today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
The electoral fate of candidates, who contested the post of sarpanch or panch, in the UT Gram Panchayat elections will be decided tomorrow when counting of ballots takes place.

The counting of votes will begin at 8 am at four centres, namely Government College of Education, Sector 20, Home Science College, Sector 10, Post-Graduate Government College, Sector 11, and Chandigarh College of Engineering & Technology, Sector 26.

UT Election Commission OSD Tarsem Lal said they had made all arrangements for the counting of votes. There would be tight security arrangements around the counting centres, he added.

It may be mentioned here that there are 12 posts of sarpanch and 132 of panch. Out of these, one sarpanch and 28 panches have already been elected unopposed. Subsequently, a total of 299 candidates were left in the fray; 44 for the posts of sarpanch and the remaining for the posts of panch.

Meanwhile, some Congress leaders have written to the party president, Sonia Gandhi, about poor preparations made for the panchayat elections by the party’s city unit. In the letter, it was mentioned that there was no planning on the part of the party’s city unit about how to win these elections.



Mindsets delay treatment in India, finds PGI study
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
"Whatever happens just let it be," commented Mr Singh (name changed), looking a bit tired and confused, when we first met him in October 2009, just ahead of his hip and knee replacement surgery. One must be thinking this is the beginning of a story. But, this is almost the end of a long struggle of a person diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at a very young age. To understand the impact of a chronic disease on the life of an average Indian, we need to go 40 years back peeping into Mr Singh's life, noted the PGIMER researchers who conducted a case study on a 58-year-old patient who had kept putting off his treatment for a variety of reasons over these years.

The study analyses and portrays the mindset of an average Indian who, due to the lack of awareness, financial reasons (saving money for children's education, raising a house), often keeps on delaying treatment till the health problem reaches an irreversible or extremely critical stage.

Mr Singh was aged below 25 when he was diagnosed with the disease and was told by his doctor that it was a lifelong problem having no cure. Resultantly, he had ignored allopathic treatment for three years. After finding a job in the PGIMER, he was suggested to take dose of pain killers for six months, which resulted in peptic ulcer pain, mounting the expenses on his treatment.

His condition deteriorated after another eight years and he gradually shunned all his extra activities like drawing, book binding. All his major joints of upper and lower limbs started deforming.

As he became more and more dependent on his family for even the basic daily tasks, he began to hate himself and withdrew from social gatherings. As he was finally advised to undergo knee-replacement and hip-replacement surgery, his first reaction was "abhi to chal raha hoon, operation ke baad agar chal bhi nahin paya to (what if I am unable to even walk after the surgery?"

He finally underwent a surgery in 2009 after being diagnosed with RA in 1977 when his daughter-in-law motivated him.

This study conducted by Professor Amarjeet Singh, Dr Aditi Chaudhary, School of Public Health, PGIMER, published in a book titled "Health promotion: public health activism", released three months ago, also identified financial, psychological factors and health belief models responsible for the delay in treatment.

"What we saw in this case study was that our older generation was trained in such a manner that they rarely thought on spending even a penny on their own health," said Dr Amarjeet. 

Factors responsible for this behaviour

  • Focus on saving money for buying house, children's education
  • Responsibility of two children
  • Surrendering to one doctor's advice
  • Myths about operation



Difficult to run circus nowadays, says owner
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 16
The Great Bombay Circus, one of India’s oldest circuses, has got going at the Dasehra ground in Phase VIII here.

Indian and foreign artistes are giving performances to entertain the audience under the big top. A number of animals, including elephants, horses, camels, dogs and birds, are part of the circus.

Sanjiv Kumar, one of the proprietors, said it was very difficult to run a circus these days after the government imposed a ban on the use of certain animals and child performers for events. However, they had to keep the circus running as it was their third generation into this business of entertainment even though the profits were low.

He said this circus was set up in 1920 in Sindh, now in Pakistan. It was the oldest form of entertainment which could be enjoyed by the entire family and would go on till children and others keep liking the live performances of artistes. “At present, there are only eight to 10 circuses of repute in the country,” he added.

Artistes from Africa and China had also to be roped in after the government imposed a ban on child performers. No one below the age of 18 years could be made to perform in a circus and there were no training centres also. There were 60 to 70 artistes attached to his circus, and only 30 to 40 of them were Indians, added Sanjiv Kumar.

He further said his circus had three elephants, five camels, four horses, 15 dogs and 20 birds.



Dept heads told to file monthly report

Chandigarh, December 16
All the heads of department (HODs) in different offices of the Chandigarh Administration have been asked to generate a monthly report indicating the number of officials rotated or transferred in their respective offices.

Seeking strict compliance of the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the Vigilance Cell of the Chandigarh Administration has asked the HODs to follow the policy on rotation of officials working on sensitive posts.

It has been pointed out that rotational transfers are not effected in many organisations and officials continue to remain in the same posts for long periods, resulting in scope for indulging in corrupt practices and developing vested interests.

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has told the administration not to post back official before three years. — TNS



Contempt notice to MD

Chandigarh, December 16
Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued contempt notice for February 22 to Satish Sharma, MD of Haryana State Cooperative Agricultural and Rural Development Bank Ltd.

The notice came on a contempt petition filed by Vijay Kumar, Assistant Manager. Alleging non-compliance of order dated May 29 issued by the HC on his civil writ petition, he contended that as per the HC order his case for re-fixation of seniority, and for promoting him as manager from the date scheduled caste candidates junior to him were promoted, was to be finally decided within four months. But, despite re-fixation of his seniority above the SC candidates, his case for promotion was deliberately not put up by the MD before the meeting of Board of Directors on November 22. — TNS



Office-bearers assume charge

The office-bearers of the PGI Residential Complex Welfare Society assumed charge on Monday. The elections to various posts were held last week. Subhash Chandra was elected president, Rajwinder Singh senior vice-president, Prem Chand vice-president, Bal Krishan general secretary, Dinesh Sharma additional general secretary, Umesh Verma secretary, Ranbir Rana joint secretary, Prem Kalyan organising secretary and Chanan Singh treasurer.

Award for PGI Professor

Dr BR Mittal, Professor and Head, Department Nuclear Medicine and PET Centre, PGIMER, was conferred the Homi Bhabha Memorial Oration Award during the 45th Annual Conference of Society of Nuclear Medicine, India, held in Mumbai from December 12 to 15. This is one of the most prestigious awards instituted by the society in 1970 in the memory of Homi Jehangir Bhabha, a noted Indian scientist credited with the development of the Indian atomic energy programme and is considered to be the father of India's nuclear programme. — TNS



LPG consumers cry foul
Say they are getting less subsidy in their accounts on pretext of VAT
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 16
Buyers of LPG, who have linked their Aadhaar card numbers and gas consumer numbers under the direct benefit transfer scheme, are getting costlier gas as the subsidy amount transferred to their bank accounts is short by Rs 27.62 per cylinder.

Under the Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG (DBTL) scheme, the consumer will get his cylinder at the full market price and the subsidy, which is the differential between the subsidised price and the full market price, will be transferred directly to the consumer’s bank account.

President of the Consumers Protection Federation PSVirdi said here today that LPG consumers were paying Rs 1,067 per cylinder to the gas agency concerned on receiving the supply, but the subsidy amount received by the consumer in his bank account was only Rs 609.88. He said the subsidy amount received should have been Rs 637.50 per cylinder, which meant that the consumer was suffering a loss of Rs 27.62.

He said he enquired about the reason for this from his gas agency and learnt that the difference in the refund related to the VAT on the cylinder paid to the state government. Virdi said however, there was no indication about the VAT on the cylinder receipt issued by gas agencies.

Virdi further said it was surprising that LPG was being supplied at Rs 429.50 per cylinder to consumers, who had not linked their Aadhaar card numbers and LPG consumer numbers so far.

“This is injustice to those who have done such linkage, as they were bearing a loss of Rs 27.62 per cylinder,” he said. The federation president said the consumer was entitled to the full subsidy (Rs 637.50 per cylinder). If there was an issue of VAT, the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas should resolve it with the state government.



Martyrs remembered on Vijay Diwas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Commemorating Vijay Diwas to mark the 42nd anniversary of "India's Finest Hour", rich tributes were paid to the martyrs at a solemn ceremony at the Chandimandir Military Station today.

Floral tributes were paid at the Veer Smriti War Memorial by the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt-Gen Philip Campose, and several retired senior officers and gallantry award recipients. A ceremonial guard reversed arms as a mark of respect to the fallen soldiers while buglers sounded the last post followed by the rouse. A large number of officers and other ranks were present on the occasion.

Among the retired officers who attended the ceremony were General VP Malik, former Army Chief, Lt Gen SR Gosh, Lt Gen TK Sapru, Lt Gen HRS Mann, Lt Gen PN Hoon, Lt Gen AN Aul, Brig NS Sandhu and Brig KS Chandpuri, both of whom were decorated with the Maha Vir Chakra for gallantry. This day is observed every year to commemorate the spectacular victory achieved by the Indian armed forces over Pakistani forces on both the eastern as well as the western fronts in 1971, which resulted in the birth of Bangladesh as a sovereign nation. The war, fought from December 3 to 16, culminated in Pakistani forces laying down arms before the Indian troops and 93,000 Pakistani troops being taken prisoners of war.

A candle lighting ceremony was also held at the war memorial in the evening. Close to 500 officers, other ranks and their family members residing at Chandimandir participated in the event.



Delhi gang rape victim remembered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Members of the Peace Club of students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 46-D, Chandigarh, today paid homage to Damini, the Delhi gang-rape victim, on the completion of one year of this barbarous act.

The girl students took out a rally in the streets of Chandigarh in collaboration with an NGO, Sai Tara.



Forest cover to rise to 15% in Punjab, says minister

Mohali, December 16
To encourage agro-forestry and industrial units based on wood, six modern timber markets will be set up in Punjab, stated Forest and Wildlife and Labour Minister Chunni Lal Bhagat, who was in the town today in connection with the taking over of Vijay Sampla as the chairman of the Punjab State Forest Development Coropration at Forest Bhavan.

 Bhagat said the forest cover would be increased to 15 per cent in the state. Nearly 4.50 crore saplings would be planted every year in open spaces and along roads, he added. — TNS



Missing youth returns home

Panchkula, December 16
Two days after he went missing, a 21-year-old youth surfaced here today. The victim, identified as Joginder, called up his mother this evening informing her that his “kidnappers” have set him free.

Earlier in the day, his mother had received a call seeking ransom of Rs 1 lakh to set Joginder free, failing which her son would be killed. He reached home late in the evening.

The police said Joginder had left his home in Indra Colony on December 14 to accompany his friend to Chhatbir Zoo but did not return home. — TNS



Parks paint a filthy picture in Milk Colony

The Chandigarh Administration has turned a blind eye to the problems of the residents of Milk Colony, the so-called Sector 14 West, Chandigarh. The residents of the colony are living in inhumane conditions. There are around 10 parks in the area. However, most parks are covered with piles of dung, making them unhygienic. In the recent past, repeated complaints made to the Administration by the residents of the area have gone unheard. Will anyone act?
Bhaarat, Chandigarh

Power cuts at Zirakpur

Residents of Zirakpur are reeling under unscheduled and extended power cuts. And the situation is turning worse with every passing day. However, officials of the electricity department, including SDO, claim to be unaware of the situation and hence, are not in a position to “redress” the issue. Ironically, power cuts have an impact on water supply too. So, it is a double trouble for Zirakpur residents.
Meena Rani, Zirakpur

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PU mulls research centre at Sarangpur
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
If all goes as expected, Panjab University campus extension at Sarangpur will have an international research centre, along with hostel facility, especially for outdoor scholars. This will be the first-of-its-kind centre here as there are a number of research institutes that have failed to attract foreign scholars due to the lack of temporary residential accommodation for them.

Sources in the administration revealed that in a recent meeting with UT adviser KK Sharma, the university authorities mooted the proposal of 180 acres for the expansion of Panjab University and demanded that it should be earmarked in the master plan. While rejecting the demand, the administration asked the university authorities to redraft the proposal of around 63 acres, which is available with the authorities for handing it over to the university.

The sources said the university was going to moot the proposal of setting up an international science centre on around 10 acres, along with a hostel. As per the university proposal, the Chandigarh region innovative knowledge cluster will be spread over 8 acres.

Besides, the authorities are also in the process of shifting all business-related departments to this extension campus so that they come under one umbrella. The proposed land of the university business school is also around 8 acres. For social sciences also, the university is mooting a proposal of around 5 acres from the administration.

The sources in the university revealed that a number of meetings had been convened to redraft the plan and list out the priorities of the university after the reduction in the allocation of land by the administration. The sources said the draft of the plan, which the university plans to submit, had not been finalised yet by the authorities.

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Arun Grover, had submitted a proposal before the Board of Inquiry constituted by the UT Administration on the draft master plan 2031 that PU requires 180 acres for its expansion and demanded to earmark it in the master plan. It was submitted that the present campuses in Sector 14 and 25, spread over 550 acres, are packed to capacity with students, as newer courses and departments keep on adding every year.

Projects proposed in PU extension

  • International science centre
  • Research hostel
  • Chandigarh region innovative knowledge cluster
  • Social science centre
  • University of business schools



From Schools
Sports fest concludes

Sports fest of Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21-C, Chandigarh, concluded on Monday. Students participated in the finals demonstrating their sporting skills with lots of energy and enthusiasm. The students of Nursery to Class X were awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals.

Inter-house debate

An inter-house debate was organised in the senior wing of BMD Public School, Sector 63, Chandigarh. Students of Classes VI and VII took active part in the contest. Enthusiastic participants displayed exemplary, literary and oratory skills. Tagore house was declared the winner.

Annual sports day

Students of Government High School, Sector 46-C, Chandigarh, celebrated their annual sports day. Sudesh Raghav, principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 46, Chandigarh, graced the occasion as the chief guest. Fun games like matka race, three legged race, lemon race, 200m race and balloon busting race were conducted among students of Pre-Nursery to Class X.

Auditorium inaugurated

A newly-built Maharishi Dayanand Auditorium was inaugurated at DAV Public School, Phase X, Mohali. Chief guest Poonam Suri, president of the DAV College Managing Committee, along with other dignitaries, raised the curtain of the auditorium. A bhajan sandhya was also organised where 
parents, guests and visitors enjoyed themselves with the melodious voices of Shastri Dau Dayal Sharma.

Annual day

St Soldier’s, Sector 16, Panchkula, celebrated "Pratham Prayas" annual day for the Kindergarten section. The cultural programme started with a shabad from Guru Bani presented by UKG students, which was followed by thrilling and power-packed performances on Hindi songs by nursery students. Students of the junior wing read out the annual report.

Educational trip

Jainendra Public School, Panchkula, conducted a two-day educational trip to New Delhi. Students of Classes IX and X visited several places, including the India Gate and the Qutab Minar. The students returned home cherishing the memories of their thoroughly enjoyable trip.

Annual function

KPS World School, Mohali, celebrated its 10th annual function at the Tagore Theatre in Sector 18, Chandigarh. The programme commenced with “Guru Aarti”, followed by dance performance by nursery students. Hindi play “Ek Jadu Hone Wala Hai” showcased the importance of a mother in one’s life. Primary class students presented “Lilli Put” dance. To make the gala evening multicultural, students of Classes V and VI presented “Kambelia” dance of Rajasthan. - TNS



College teachers meet Punjab Education Minister
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Office-bearers of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) today met Punjab Education Minister S Sikander Singh Maluka.

The minister instructed the Education Department to clear the pending grants by December 31, 2013.

Professor Iqbal Preet Kaur, convener, PCCTU, lauded the decision of the minister to set-up a committee under the DPI to re-look into the execution of the API scheme, which will result in the total stagnation in the careers of the teachers working in the universities and the colleges of Punjab.

She also said the minister had asked the Education Department to speed up the process of granting exemption in refresher and orientation courses to the teachers working in aided colleges up to December 31, 2013, as allowed by the UGC.

He also agreed to take up matter of increasing the retirement age of aided college teachers to 62 years with the Punjab Chief minister.

Dr PS Gill, president, PCCTU, said the government was ready to lift ban on recruitments. He also said a committee had been formed today to review the number of posts in the government aided colleges of Punjab since the number of students in the colleges had increased four times since 1981 but the number of posts of aided teachers had remained the same.

He said the minister had formed a committee to look for a scheme to grant pension to the aided college teachers.

Dr Kuldip Singh, General Secretary, PCCTU, said the minster had asked the Education Department to immediately start the process for the inclusion of unaided teachers under the umbrella of the Punjab Affiliated Colleges Security of Service Act, 1974.

He had given the department a fortnight to accomplish this task and put an end to this injustice once and for all.

The minister has asked the Education Department to speed up the process of granting exemption in refresher and orientation courses to the teachers working in aided colleges up to December 31, 2013, as allowed by the UGC.
—Professor Iqbal Preet Kaur, convener, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union 



From PU & colleges
Birth Mahotsava inaugurated

The four-day 163rd Birth Mahotsava of Bhagwan Dev Atma was inaugurated at Dev Samaj Bhavan, Sector 36, on Monday. The inaugural session comprised of colourful presentations by school and college students. Students of the Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45-B, Chandigarh, presented Indian orchestra. Students of the Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, sang the welcome song. A bhajan sandhya by school students was held late in the evening.

Chinese delegation visits Panjab University

The Henan Province of China has evinced interest in having an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Panjab University. This was conveyed by a Chinese delegation, led by Deputy Director-General, Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs office of Henan Provincial People’s Government, Hao Lijun, which was on a visit to PU on Monday. The Chinese delegation had a meeting with PU officials. Speaking on the occasion, Hao Lijun said this time they had come to the university to lookout the best suitable universities of India, with which the Henan Province could have collaboration and mutual academic cooperation, including teacher and students exchange programme. He said on going back, he would communicate to the concerned department and the universities so that the two sides could have mutual exchanges. — TNS



Annual day celebrations conclude at DPS

Chandigarh, December 16
Three-day spectacular dance drama “Anubhuti” presented by DPS, Chandigarh, in the school as part of the annual day celebrations concluded today. It also marked the joyous completion of 10 years of the school.

The celebrations began with a melodious rendition by the school choir. The brochure and the school journal were released by the guests to commemorate the special occasion. The school annual report, presented in a movie, made everyone travel through the lanes and bylanes of DPS, Chandigarh.

Ashok Chandra, chairman, DPS Society, who was the chief guest today, said: “Delhi Public Schools ensure wholesome and holistic development of children becoming mentors for others in the field of education”.

Principal Reema Dewan said: “It is our vision to build upon the natural curiosity of children. Our purpose is to nurture the spark into a fire and the drop into a fountain. We tell them how to learn and not how much to learn. We teach them how to think and not what to think. We respect human variation and believe in mass participation because for us every child is important”. — TNS



Surtaal Utsav begins today

Chandigarh, December 16
The Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi is organising a five-day “Surtaal Utsav” at Punjab Kala Bhawan in Sector 16-B, Chandigarh.

Lopokee brothers will present Sufiana Gayan on the opening day tomorrow at 6.15 pm.

On December 18, Anil Sagar will present ghazal singing. On December 19, Ustaad Mohsin Khan and Ustad Vinod Pawar will present classical music evening. On December 20, Suchitra Mittra will perform classical dance.

The festival will conclude on December 21 with vocal recital by Ramneek Singh and flute recital by Ravinder Singh. All events will start at 6.15 pm everyday at Randhawa Auditorium at Punjab Kala Bhawan. — TNS



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