C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


All-woman probe team set up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Two days after a special investigating team (SIT) was formed to look into the minor’s rape by five UT police constables, the investigating team was reconstituted today following allegations by the victim’s family and BJP workers that some police officials in the team were soft on the case.

The SIT consists of all women officials, including two DSPs, two inspectors, a sub-inspector and an ASI.

Meanwhile, a fact-finding inquiry, to be conducted by SSP (Traffic) Manish Chaudhary, has been marked.

UT SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill today issued the orders for reconstitution of the SIT to ensure proper, timely and fair investigation of the case. The SIT will work under the supervision of the SSP.

The newly formed SIT comprises of DSPs Kamla Meena, Shweta Chauhan, inspectors Harjit Kaur, Kulbir Kaur, sub-inspector Arti Goyal and ASI Chandermukhi.

The victim’s family had alleged that DSP Ashish Kapoor, inspector Malkit Singh and SI Usha Rani, who were part of the earlier SIT, had not been fair in their approach following which the new SIT was formed today.

It was alleged that the statements of the girl was taken in the presence of the accused.

It was alleged that the inquiry officer commented that it was a case of love turned sour. The victim’s brother Vinod Yadav had yesterday sent a fax to the senior police officials that the minor girl would join the investigations only when their demands were met.

On December 20, five UT police constables, identified as Akshay, Sunil, Jagtar, Himmat Singh and Anil were arrested for the repeated rape of a 16-year-old girl student of Class X. The girl was raped by the accused and when she tried to scream, she was threatened at gunpoint. She was also taken by them in PCR vans to different locations where she was allegedly raped. 

Victim still inaccessible to police 

The police team again went to the residence of the victim at Khuda Lahora to record her statements and collect samples. The team, however, returned empty-handed as the victim refused to meet the police. The victim was also served a notice under Section 160 of the CrPC to appear before the police as part of investigations, but to no avail. The police said the girl was with the area councillor, Saurabh Joshi, who was not allowing them to meet the victim. The police also produced a written document by the girl’s father in the court stating that she was with Saurabh Joshi and thus they could not meet her. 

I have no faith in police: Victim

The victim on Monday said she had no faith in the police and had not met Saurabh Joshi since December 20. The victim said she stayed at her residence on December 20 night, but she felt harassed by residents of the area who kept dropping in for showing sympathy. She went to her family friend’s residence. “I am not running away from the SIT, but have no belief in the UT police,” she said.



Remand extended 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The five constables accused of raping a minor girl were produced in a court today where their police remand was extended by two days.

The police pleaded before the court that they have not been able to make the victim join investigations and the custody of the five accused constables was thus required for further investigations.

"Accused constable Akshay has admitted to having relations with the victim and that she had been coming to his room. All these places have to be identified and the car allegedly used in the crime is yet to be recovered. Thus the two day remand of the accused is sufficient to carry out the investigations," stated the court while extending the remand of the accused.

Earlier, while seeking a four-day remand of the accused, the public prosecutor pleaded before the court that those all places where the victim was raped are yet to be identified and that the complainant is not coming forward. It was also pleaded that after joining investigation, she may disclose some new facts regarding the crime or alleged vehicle for identifying scene of crime. "Therefore the scene has to be checked and verified from the accused persons," said the police.

The defence counsel strongly objected to the plea for further custody and stated that the accused are not required whether or not the victim joins investigations or not. "Custodial interrogation of the accused is not required and the police cannot be given a free hand to continue custody for the accused without any justified reason. The complainant is not joining investigation deliberately and her not joining of investigation cannot be a ground to linger on police custody of the accused persons," said the defence counsel.

Tight security

The five accused constables were brought to the district court under tight security amidst protest by ABVP members against the police. Four DSPs, including Jagbir Singh, Anil Joshi, Ashish Kapoor and Kamla Meena, came to the district courts when the accused were being produced.

Three more girls were victims?

The advocate for the complainant told the court that there were three more girls who were victims and were sexually exploited, the fact revealed in police investigations. However, the allegations are unsubstantiated.

Police spoiled the case: Complainant's advocate

Countering the police's claim that the victim was with BJP councillor Saurabh Joshi, who was not allowing her to meet the police and join investigations, the victim's advocate Gagan Aggarwal told the court that the police had uploaded the FIR of the rape case on its website only to withdraw it later and have disclosed her identity to the world. "The police have made her life hell. They have created a situation that forced her to shift place. They have made her life miserable," he said. The court then directed the advocate to bring the victim before the police as she was required to join investigations.



Ill-equipped Chandigarh airport
30 flights cancelled in 1 week putting passengers to inconvenience
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
For the past one week, the winter fog has led to the cancellation of nearly 30 flights at the Chandigarh domestic airport, putting hundreds of passengers to inconvenience.

It is not only the ill-equipped instrument landing system that is responsible for the cancellation of the flights, the domestic airport does not even have modern aviation meteorological system in place. The system can mechanically record visibility on the airport runway and give timely and accurate runway visual range to the airlines.

Currently, the Meteorological Department at the airport manually records the runway visibility, based on their judgment of the visibility landmark, erected at several points in the airfield.

Airlines staff said, the present conventional system was failed to give precise information about the runway visibility sometimes.

“Here at the local airport, the flights are not allowed to land if the runway visibility goes down below 1200 meters. On many occasions we feel that the visibility has come to permissible limit during the daytime, but the weather report that we get remains the same for several hours”, said an official of SpiceJet.

Another official said that their response system was also slow. If the visibility improved at a given time during the day, it took a lot of time to reach us. “We need precise and speedy information of runway visibility to avoid frequent cancellation of flights at the airport. But it is not possible with the present system,” he added.

The airlines have demanded the installation of the integrated airport meteorological instrument system (AMIS), along with instrument landing system at least at CAT-II level.

AMIS is operational at the Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Jaipur, Mumbai and New Delhi airports. This facilitates automatic acquisition, processing, dissemination and display in real time, of the meteorological parameters affecting landing and take-off operations.

An official at the airport said that the Indian Air Force, which managed the runway currently, should implement its ambitious modernisation of airfield infrastructure (MAFI) project at the earliest. Only this project will ensure that important upgrades like instrument landing system (ILS), runway visibility range (RVR) system and CAT2 (new airfield landing) will be installed, which will improve the air space management, helping both the IAF and the civilian flights.

“Since Mohali international airport is also under construction and it will use the same runway, the modernisation of the airfield must be over by that time”, said the official.

No flights cancelled on Monday

There was a sigh of relief among passengers on Monday as all flights operated at the Chandigarh domestic airport. There was some delay in the departure, but none of the 11 flights, which operated from the airport got cancelled.


Blast in central computer server at PGIMER
Affects registrations at New OPD, lab tests; second such incident in last one week
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
A tragedy was averted at the PGIMER today when a short circuit in the central computer system triggered a blast in the backup server at the New OPD Block at 8.45am. The blast led to a complete blackout in the entire building, halting the registration process of patients and diagnostics at the labs for nearly an hour.

Amid the patient rush at both units, a break of one hour put patients to inconvenience. The authorities, however, increased the operational hours of the registration counters to cope up with the problems caused to the patients due to the delay.

“Due to the short circuit in the computer system, the OPD registration process was disrupted for nearly one hour in the morning, but the authorities saw to it that all the patients who came to the OPD were registered .The total number of patients registered was 6223”, read an official statement issued by the PGIMER this evening.

Sources said that the short circuit caused due to overloading led to a minor fire resulting in a blast in the computer server.

This is the second incident of blast at the PGIMER within a week. Earlier, a blast triggered by a short circuit in an underground cable joint at a faculty parking in the PGIMER was reported on Wednesday. Two security guards sustained minor injuries in the blast while the rear windshield of a car was damaged.

The 120mm thick underground cable caught fire in a joint that was repaired allegedly by a private contractor, 15 days ago. The sources said, the high-power cable that ensured the supply to the entire Kairon Block should have been installed at least 2- feet deeper. A significant amount of water had flown into the cable joint during watering of plants rooted near the parking lot, which led to the short circuit in the cable.”



Illegal pharma unit sealed in Lalru
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
A team of the Mohali health department officials today raided a factory in Lalru and seized as many as 5,000 units of eye drops, 45,000 vials, 20 litres of arechis oil and few other pharma items. The items seized were found to be manufactured illegally.

According to the officials, the manufacturing licence of the owner of the Star Pharmaceuticals, Lalit Tara, had expired in 2011, but the items were found mentioning manufacturing dates of years 2012 and 2013.

Earlier, the factory was sealed on December 18 as unlabelled injections were found to be supplied by Lalit’s brother DN Tara’s ‘Tara Hospital’ in Ambala. Lalit was on the run ever since the factory was sealed. The factory is in Jaraut, Lalru.

The team headed by drug inspector Amit Lakhanpal, today, took Lalit along while inspecting the factory and found items manufactured illegally with wrong dates.

“A legal action is being initiated against the factory owner,” said the Mohali Chief Civil Surgeon, Dr Rajiv Bhalla.



Check hallmark before buying jewellery

Mohali, December 23
People should check the hallmark on jewellery, BIS mark (Bureau of Indian Standards) and the ISI on articles before making any purchases in order to ensure purity and quality. This was stated by Renuka B Salwan, deputy director, Public Relations, BIS, during a function organised by the Consumers Protection Federation, Mohali, in collaboration with the Bureau of Indian Standards. The function was organised on the occasion of the National Consumer Rights Day at Shaheed Kanshi Ram Memorial College, Bhago Majra, Kharar.

The deputy director (Gen), BIS, AK Saini, presided over the function.

HS Walia, member, Permanent Lok Adalat, said, “Consumers should get receipts for items purchased in order to support their claim.” — OC



AVJ Infrastructure Pvt Ltd logs highest bid
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 23
The highest bid for the mining auction went on till Rs 115 crores. The price of gold was left behind the price of sand and gravel in the auction which took place at Sector 4 in Panchkula.

There are three units in Panchkula where mining is allowed. As many as 54 firms turned up on the occasion, many political groups had also come to bid for the same in the auction.

The final bid of all the three units went over four times more than the reserve price. While the reserve price for the first unit was Rs 16.50 crore, the final bid for the same went on to Rs 52 crores, which was made by the Haryana Royalty Company.

The reserve price for the second unit was Rs 25.82 crores and the highest bid was made by the AVJ Infrastructure Private Limited of Rs 115 crores. The third unit went on for a price of Rs 43.66 crores against the reserve price of Rs 7.15 crores. It was made by the Yamuna Infra Developers.

The auction for mining in Ambala and Kuruskhetra was also held here which consisted three and one units respectively. The highest bid in Ambala was that of unit I which went to Rs 82 crores, against the reserve price of Rs 4.40 crores. The sole unit of Kurkshetra went on for Rs 14.01 crores against the reserve price of Rs 4.50 crores.

Additional Deputy Commissioner SP Arora said the auction was successful.



Santa visits kids at infirmary in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 23
The overpowering lull inside the children’s ward of the General Hospital in Panchkula broke into tender moments of delight and hope on Monday when ‘Santa Claus’ of The Gurukul School, Sector 20, Panchkula visited them.

Sporting a free-flowing white beard and red suit, he opened his arms to greet the ailing children who may not be home this Christmas. For some time, the hospitalised children forgot the pain and anxiety when Santa, accompanied by over a dozen students of the Gurukul, went around the ward distributing gifts and cheering them up.

Kids were delighted to receive pencil boxes, tiffin boxes, pens, Santa souvenirs and other goodies wrapped in glaze and glitter of colourful sheets as gifts. Doctors and nurses too joined in. The Santa delivered the message of hope; that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

An anxious mother, whose daughter was admitted to the emergency, hugged the Santa with a hope that his prayers and blessings would help in her daughter’s speedy recovery. She said since she couldn’t visit a church, Santa would help her prayers reach the Jesus.

School principal Harsimran Kaur said, “Santa greeting children in the hospital acted as a boost to their will-power.”



Online view of solar panels soon 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
City residents will soon be able to have an online view of the viability of installing solar panels on rooftops of their residences for meeting their electricity requirements.

The online tool housing, the precise database of rooftop of each household in city and parts of Mohali and Panchkula, will provide specifications of radiations received in different months at the roof, estimations of solar panel to be installed and energy efficiency of that particular system.

This online tool, developed for promotion of rooftop photovoltaic systems by The Energy Resource Institute (TERI) in collaboration with the UT Administration and Shakti Foundation, will be launched officially in January 2014.

A survey was conducted by the researchers at TERI to create the database of the buildings in city as Chandigarh was identified, in January this year, as the first city in country for launching the promotion project for solar photovoltaic systems.

“There is virtually no maintenance involved in solar panels. These usually come with 25 years of warranty. The inverters being used at households can play a significant role in supporting the power generation in solar panels. A complete pay back begins after 3-4 years of installation depending upon the size of the solar panels,” said Santosh Kumar, director (Science and Technology), UT, during a conference on
promoting rooftop solar photovoltaic systems organised by CII.

“Adoption of latest solar technologies, indigenous production of hi-tech solar photovoltaic panels and even more efficient solar equipment and most importantly, its acceptance by citizens, institutes and the industry by aggressive promotion campaigns is the key to make Chandigarh a model solar city,” said UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil.


* Go to the site www.regisindia.com and select the name of city

* Select details of residence and identify rooftop

* Take out the basic selections and contact the vendor of your choice for installation.

* 55 per cent subsidy on solar panels for city residents in 2014-15

* Cost estimate with inverter retro-fitting 



Jumbo performers to vanish from circus scene 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
After performances of wild animals like lion, tigers and chimpanzees were banned in Indian circus almost two decades ago, soon elephants are also going to be out of scene. While the public, especially children, still associates animal performances with circus, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has proposed to stop new registrations of elephants for circus.

The Board is also contemplating banning the performances of the elephants already registered with circus groups, said Sanjeev, the organiser of Great Bombay Circus, which is going at the Dasehra ground in Mohali.

“People come here to see animals more than human artistes. Right from the diet, recreation to good health of animals, we take care of everything in our camps. We tie up with the local veterinary doctors to ensure their wellness,” Sanjeev added.

The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) had made the proposal two months ago with the view of stopping “cruelty to the animals”. A People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) team carried out an investigation to see the acts of elephants in various circuses and arrived at the conclusion that elephants were being forced to perform unnatural acts. Constant chaining of animals, use of elderly or visually impaired elephants was also noted in some of the circuses by the investigators.

Endorsing the AWBI’s move, People for Animals’ (PFA) Founder Trustee Payal Sodhi said: “We cannot justify anything which is illegal. Subjecting animals to unnatural activities is purely illegal and governed by the law. It may yield bread and butter for a few persons (working in a circus) but it cannot be justified since it remains illegal.”

“Besides any animal, an elephant for instance, would never behave naturally the way it is being made to in a circus. It may follow the instructions but that would be due to its master's fear,” Sodhi added.

A total of nearly 10 circus companies are active in the country. A notification on banning wild animals in circus came in 1991 and was implemented in principle in 1998. The animals are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001. 



CHB declares Rs 9.65 cr pending tax 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has declared a pending service tax payment of Rs 9.65 crore under the Central Excise Customs and Service Tax Department’s Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme.

The scheme that was launched about six months ago allowed tax declaration and submission without interest to those declaring their taxes voluntarily. While CHB topped the chart in the entire north zone, it was followed by Rampur Hydro Electric Project, Shimla (Rs 3.45 crore), AP Badal, Bilaspur (Rs 3.29 crore), Nabha Power Limited, Rajpura (Rs 1.65 crore), and JBR Technologies, Ludhiana (Rs 1.28 crore).

In the Chandigarh zone, a total of 538 new applicants declared their service tax due amounting to Rs 67.38 crore. As per the scheme, all volunteers will have to pay 50 per cent of the tax latest by December 31, 2013, and the remaining by June 30, 2014. The taxpayers will be exempted from the rate of interest.

The scheme allows payment of the remaining 50 per cent tax by December 21, 2014, but the taxpayers will have to pay the interest as well, said PS Pruthi, Chief Commissioner, Central Excise Customs and Service Tax, Chandigarh Zone.



Six months on, still falling short of promises
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 23
Despite six months of the formation of Panchkula’s first ever Municipal Corporation, no specific difference have been seen in its condition.

Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia was elected as the first Mayor of Panchkula. All the councillors during their campaigning had promised the residents of bringing a difference within a month, but the promises fell flat.

Though the stray cattle menace has been curbed considerably, the other civic amenities bear the same fate as it was before. Not only this, MC doesn’t even have office of its own and is operating from a community centre in Sector 4, Panchkula.

The Mayor said they were making efforts and working on all the proposals. “The proposals take time for implementation. The process of all the proposals is on. Also, the tenders for roads have been finalised.”


* Cattle shed of about 1,200 capacity have been made. Around, 500 stray cattle removed from the streets and housed there.

* Beautification lights installed at various roundabouts in the city.

* Garbage collection and disposal managed considerably.


* Potholed roads in every sector still prevails.

* Stray dogs menace still rampant.

* Project of LED lights proposed has still not seen light of the day.

* Sanitation problem still prevalent in villages particularly of Kalka and Pinjore.

* Encroachments still exist in not just the streets but in markets as well.

Plans ahead

* Shrubs are to be planted on both sides of the main roads for beautification

* First dog shelter to be made in the city on the lines of cattle shed

* City to be made encroachment-free

* To make all the street lights functional

* MC to shift their office in Sector 14



UT Power Dept all set to prepare tariff petition 

Chandigarh, December 23
The UT Electricity Department has started the process to prepare the power tariff petition for the next financial year 2014-15. The department has hired a consultant, who will prepare the petition for the department.

The consultant will prepare the proposal for power tariff under different slabs for domestic and commercial categories for the next financial year.

UT’s Superintending Engineer (Electricity) MP Singh said the consultant will prepare its report and on the basis of the report the department will submit its annual revenue requirement (ARR) and a tariff petition before the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC). On the basis of the petition, the JERC will decide the power tariff for the city, he said.

Sources said the department would have to submit the annual revenue requirement (ARR) and a tariff petition for 2014-15 before the JERC by the end of January.

Earlier, the UT Administration had planned to file a Multi Year Tariff (MYT) petition for the next three financial years. But the JERC was yet to frame rules and regulations for the MYT therefore the administration dropped the idea to file the MYT petition and decided to file tariff petition for only one year. — TNS



  Feed back

Ban on smoking goes up in smoke

In 2007, Chandigarh was declared country’s first smoke-free city and it was indeed a proud moment for its residents. It was six years ago that a ban was imposed on smoking at public places. But the efforts seem to have gone down the drain, as we can see defaulters smoking openly at every nook and corner of the city. Also, the authorities tend to overlook the vendors selling tobacco products on the roadside, outside government and private offices and institutions, which is now a common sight. People, including the policemen and responsible citizens, have violated the rules and can be seen buying cigarettes from these outlets and smoking in prohibited areas. The administration should conduct a drive to challan the violators and should organise awareness camps to guide the shopkeepers and control the menace.

rahul, Zirakpur

Implementation of RTI touches a new low

Usually, during this time of the year stocks of yearly situations are maintained. If we take a stock of RTI implementation, then it can be seen that it has touched a new low in UT this year. So many strictures have never been passed in the past eight years by CIC against the officers at various levels of UT. In a few cases, heavy fines have been imposed and in many other cases imparting of training to employees and officers have been ordered. While indulging in a positive criticism, I feel every office from top most to the lowest level have tampered with rules this year. Also, a drastic overhaul and strict compliance of rules should be ensured if the administration feels like caring for the rules laid down.

RK Garg, Chandigarh



PU opens 9th hostel for girl students
Lodgings for as many as 360 students; Union Minister Preneet Kaur inaugurates the building
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The Panjab University gave a New Year gift to its girl students today with inauguration of the Amrita Pritam Girls Hostel. It is the ninth hostel for girls in the South campus of the university and will accommodate around 360 hostellers from the next year.

Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Preneet Kaur, inaugurated the hostel. Speaking on the occasion, Preneet Kaur said being a lady she understood the importance of a hostel for the women folk. She also referred to the role played by celebrated Punjabi author Amrita Pritam towards the empowerment of women in the country.

Dean, Students Welfare (women), Nandita Singh said from the first week of January, students will be accommodated in the Amrita Pritam Girls’ Hostel.

Referring to the women empowerment and the pending Women Reservation Bill in the Parliament, Preneet Kaur said while women have not been able to get 33 per cent reservation in the Parliament, it was a matter of pride that women were competing with men as equals in all spheres. She said at present, though hardly 10 per cent of the Parliamentarians were women, the day was not far when their number would be adequate just like in the local bodies and Zila Parishads.

Talking to mediapersons, the Union Minister said initially, there were just three girls hostel on the university campus and the number now grew to nine, which showed enhancement of women in the field of education.

Records of the university revealed that with the addition of 360 seats in the hostel, around 10 per cent students in the waiting list of hostellers, would be benefited. At present, there are eight girls’ hostels wherein around 3,260 students are accommodated and after the inauguration of the hostel today, the number of seats for girls would rise to 3,610. A university official stated that the students seeking seats in hostels touched around 600 to 700 students every year and there was a shortage of hostels in the university.

And if a single-room accommodation is allotted to students, the shortage of rooms will touch the figure of 1,000.

Dean, Students Welfare, Navdeep Goyal said after the shifting of a number of science departments to the South campus, the demand of the hostels would increase. He said the authorities were also coming up with an international hostel for NRIs consisting of 15 suites for foreign guests. He said it would reduce the hefty amount being spent on providing accommodation to foreign students. Besides, there would be 40 rooms to accommodate as many as 80 NRI students, he added.

Panjab University Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Arun Kumar Grover, former VC Prof RP Bambah, Prof KN Pathak, Registrar and Dean, University Instruction, Prof AK Bhandari, former DUI Prof Rajinder Jeet Hans-Gill, former Registrar Prof BN Goswami, Dean Student Welfare (DSW) Prof Navdeep Goyal, DSW Women Prof Nandita Singh, many PU fellows, deans, officers and faculty members were present on the occasion.

Know the new hostel

*y Amrita Pritam Girls Hostel has 180 furnished rooms, which will accommodate 360 girls.

* Seven-storied hostel has been constructed at a cost of Rs 12 crore.

* The project has been completed much before its deadline, March 2014.

Safety of Indian diplomat our top concern: Preneet

Talking to mediapersons about diplomat Devyani Khobragade in the US, the Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Preneet Kaur, said the safety and dignity of the diplomat was the government's top concern. Denying that India has retracted on the issue, she said talks were on with the US government and the results would come out soon. She added that India was firm on its stand that the cases against her should be withdrawn and there would be no compromise on it. "The government is working to ensure the safety of the diplomat and will also see to it that her dignity is not affected," Kaur said.



Safety lapses at hostel to limit the accessibility
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The Panjab University will not make the Amrita Pritam Girls Hostel No. 9 fully accessible to students after accommodating them till it will be fully equipped with security equipment. After the inauguration of the hostel today, the deans and the chief security officer took a round of the hostel premises and pointed out various security lapses.

During the supervision of the hostel premises, it was decided that the backyard of the hostel will not be made accessible to students till full security arrangements were made there. A security guard will be deployed in the backyard round the clock.

The team pointed out that the height of the backyard wall was very low, which was unsafe for teh girl hostellers. It was decided that the UT Administration should be requested to allow raising the height of the wall for security reason. To check intruders, the top of the boundary wall should be covered with broken glasses.

Dean, Students Welfare (women), Nandita Singh said she was also going to propose installation of a CCTV camera on the hostel premises. With regard to a long waiting list of students seeking hostel accommodation, there was a proposal to give preference to the first year students of every department as they will be new in the city.

Referring to the dental institution, she said as around 95 per cent girls have taken admission in the institute, majority of them would require hostel facilities this year.



Seminar dwells on solutions to issues concerning J&K

Chandigarh, December 23
A seminar related to the facts, problem and solutions of the issues arising in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was organised by the Chandigarh chapter of the Jammu and Kashmir Study Centre at the Panjab University today.

The keynote speaker, Dr Kuldip Chand Agnihorti, director of the centre, detailed about the history of the state. He stressed that the assimilation of J&K was already there and accession to India by the then Maharaja in October, 1947, was just a process where the state joined India under the Union Constitutional System, which was like any other state joining India at that time. He said there was a misconception created by the history and historians that J&K joining India under the Union Constitutional System was a merger of two separate entities. He said Article 370 was temporary as at that time the state was facing an armed aggression by Pakistan and was incorporated to tide over the emergent situation.

Dr Ashok Aima Kashmiri, a scholar, professor and Head of MBA (HRM and OB), Central University of Jammu, explained how some issues were posing challenges to the state government. Prof Dr Devinder Singh, president of the centre, hoped that the Central Government would make such policies that would benefit the people of Jammu and Kashmir. — TNS



Orientation session for parents
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 23
The Sky World School, Sector 21, Panchkula, held an orientation session for parents so as to communicate to them the current innovations in the learning systems and why these were important.

It was felt that parents still believed that reading and writing were the only ways to make a child learn things. They were apprised of the learning processes and systems being used in the school to prepare them for future education and life.



Students collect woollens for underprivileged
Tribune news Service

Panchkula, December 23
Students of Hansraj Public School, Sector 6, Panchkula, today pledged to extend a helping hand to the impoverished.

All the students donated a new pair of socks at various orphanages in the city. Also, cardigans and jackets were collected in a large number to be later donated to those who require them in the biting cold. Also, the students paid homage to Swami Shraddhanand, who stood up and sacrificed his life for righteous living and high moral values.

"Such endeavours promote charity, benevolence, compassion and empathy among the students. Their generosity will help the children of a lesser God to some extent. In this terribly cold weather, it was only too apt to come forward and donate warm clothing," said principal of Hansraj Public School Jaya Bhardwaj. The school principal appreciated the students for their benevolence.



Sporty, musical soirée at Strawberry Fields
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Five-year-olds holding aloft flags and taking a crisp salute in a true Army style; three-year-olds prancing playfully to a vintage number as they recreate the Disney magic in a setting that brings alive all the lovable Disney World characters; four-year-olds making geometrical formations as part of a pattern parade; and four and five-year-olds showing their smart and athletic moves in superstars and later as cheerleaders.

All 330 students of play class, nursery and lower KG taking part in races that go with interesting titles like Soaring Kites, Flag Bearers, Speedy Ladybirds and In Reverse Gear were at their creative and sporty best.

These were vignettes from the sporty musical soirée of the Strawberry Fields Kindergarten, Sector 24.

Celebrating sports and music, which are an integral part of kindergartens, there were numerous events with the annual sports meet being the most significant. The school grounds wore a festive look with bright flags of different colours.

The young ones, all in the age group of three to five years, were facilitated by their teachers as they took their cues with near perfect precision, regaling the audience with playful antics and manoeuvres. All strung to lively numbers and rhymes backed by a live band in attendance.

The hour-and-a-half show was well organised and each of the item was choreographed keeping in view the abilities of the little children.

Watching with bated breath, parents cheered up the participants in 11 races holding their props, be it long wooden spoons, bright paper kites, flags, baskets or skateboards.

While the grounds were abuzz with activity, Santa Claus drove in a grand old Morris car bringing gifts for all children.

Atul Khanna, director of the school and chairman of the Durga Das Foundation, said, "Working with this age group is challenging but most enjoyable and rewarding. Our emphasis is to let them be in their natural selves as they hone their abilities to listen, respond, absorb, see and assimilate different experiences that we expose them to at the school."



Two Mohali schools celebrate Christmas

Mohali, December 23
Ashmah International School organised Christmas celebrations in Sector 70 here. The school was decked up with the lights, festoons, balloons and ribbons. Students decorated a Christmas tree and wore bright and colourful dresses.

The highlight of the day was a play based on the birth and teachings of Jesus Christ. The celebrations began with a song by Class VI students. This was followed by the Nativity, a play.

An inter-house carol-singing competition was also held. Children in colourful costumes danced to the tunes of "We wish you a Merry Christmas" and Santa showered the audience with his bagful of goodies.

Students of Paragon Senior Secondary School, Sector 71, here organised various activities on the campus to mark Christmas. Children of kindergarten attired in beautiful dresses sang Christmas carols. Two students of Class IX dressed as Santa Claus and distributed sweets among students. — OC



Xmas at schools

Christmas celebrations

Chandigarh: Students of Tribune Model School, Sector 29, celebrated Christmas on Monday. Performing on stage, children enacted the birth of Jesus Christ. The students of pre-primary and primary classes sang Christmas carols. Santa Claus blessed the students and distributed gifts and spread the message of love, humbleness, honesty, forgiveness and respect for all.

Students of Tribune Model School celebrate Christmas on the school campus on Monday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan
 Students of Tribune Model School celebrate Christmas on the school campus on Monday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan 

The Nativity staged

Students of RIMT World School, Mani Majra, staged a play depicting the birth of Jesus. The young artistes presented a beautiful portrayal of the Nativity. It was followed by an inter-house carol-singing competition among members of the Courage, Endurance, Honour and Valour. The choir groups of the four houses presented various traditional Christmas carols creating an environment of joy and festivity. A candle decoration competition was also organised for students of Classes III and IV.

Fervour marks Xmas

Religious fervour market Christmas celebrations at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31, Chandigarh. Singing of Christmas carols and a talk on following the righteous path shown by Jesus Christ marked the celebrations. Children of primary classes were attired in red and white dress to look like Santa Claus. They went around the school and wished everyone Merry Christmas.

Special assembly

A special assembly was held in Saint Soldier International School, Sector 28, to mark Christmas. Students of Class V presented a play titled “Sabka Pyara Ishu Masih”. Later, the students of Class VI presented a play titled “A New Home for Christmas”. The students also presented a dance item.

Carols sung, play staged

A special assembly was held at Ryan International School wherein students sang Christmas carols with joy and fervour and presented ‘The Nativity’, a play. Some students of the school visited an old age home at Ratwara Saheb, in association with the Help Age India. They presented skits propagating moral values and distributed cards and sweets there.

Musical events

The atmosphere in the special training centre of the Government High School, Sector 19, turned musical with school principal, teachers and children singing Christmas carols during the pre-Christmas celebration in the school. Children were educated about the importance of the festival

Santa surprises students

Mohali: The lower primary wing of Gem Public Senior Secondary School celebrated Christmas on the school premises. Students decorated a huge Christmas tree with buntings, balloons, stars etc. Yuletide spirit and merriment marked the celebrations. There was a festive mood in the school with students sporting colours of red and white. Santa Claus went around the class and surprised the children with gifts he took out of his ‘magic bag’.

Children take to nobility

Students of Saupin’s School, Panchkula, visited the Institute for Blind, Sector 26, Chandigarh, the Nari Niketan, Sector 26, Chandigarh, and the Old Age Home, Sector 15, Chandigarh, as part of Christmas celebrations. Children donated various useful items. The students interacted with elderly people and visually impaired children.

Children enjoy the day with Santa Claus

Christmas was celebrated with lot of zest and fervour in Mount Litera Zee School, Panchkula. Carols sung by students in the praise of Jesus Christ reverberated in the school. Kids enjoyed with candy cones, cakes and gifts which Santa distributed among them spreading cheers all around. Enthusiastic students had come up with innovative ideas of decorating the school premises with beautiful Christmas trees glittering with Christmas gifts.

Short play

Students of Vijay Public Smart School, Sector 17, Panchkula, celebrated Christmas with great pomp and show. Tiny tots of the kindergarten section presented action songs and poems. Students of the senior section sung carols and songs. A beautifully decorated Christmas tree was the centre of attraction. Sweets and cakes were distributed among the students. A short play was also presented depicting the messages of spreading love and joy around and serving the humanity.

Yuletide spirit

With the air resounding with the Christmas carols, dances, songs, hymns and melodious music, it was a wonderful day dedicated to an eventful occasion of Christmas at DAV Senior Public School, Surajpur. A beautiful and decked-up stage with gifts-laden Christmas trees, steamers, etc was a sumptuous feast for eyes. The icing on the cake was brightly dressed-up children with rubicund faces performing on the stage with incredible zeal and unending enthusiasm. 

Computer teachers continue stir

Around 150 computer teachers from government schools gathered at Sector17 plaza today to lodge a peaceful protest against the Education Department. They conducted a signature campaign to mobilise public support for their pending issues. The campaign drew an impressive response from public who were positive about betterment of the teaching community in the city. Teachers held a candlelight march to show their resentment against the Administration.



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