C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PO formally in UT police net
Was accused in Dimpy murder case of 2006; Sent to judicial custody
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
After remaining absconding from the court for more than a year, proclaimed offender (PO) in the eight-year-old Dimpy murder case, Jaswinder Singh, alias Rocky, finally made an appearance in the court today where he was formally arrested by the UT police.

A team of the Punjab Police, upon intimation by the UT police, brought the accused on production warrants from Fazilka.

Rocky was produced in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Shalini Nagpal where he was sent to judicial custody. The hearing of the case is at the final stage in the court and was set for orders in 2012 when the accused had jumped bail and was then declared a PO.

Last year, pictures of Rocky appeared with Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, the Chandigarh Police had ordered that search for the accused be intensified. However, the accused had surrendered before the Punjab Police in November 2013.

Rocky was also on the wanted list of the Fazilka police for an attempt to murder case.

In 2012, a Chandigarh court had issued non-bailable warrants against Jaswinder Singh, after he failed to appear in the court. Rocky was out on bail and failed to appear in the court in more than five hearings and was then declared a proclaimed offender in December 2012.

Rocky was arrested on July 28, 2008, for allegedly being a part of the conspiracy to eliminate Dimpy and a .45 bore US (army)-made pistol was also recovered from his possession.

Long list of cases

Jaswinder Singh, alias Rocky, was wanted for conspiring the sensational Dimpy murder case of 2006. Rocky faces a total of 17 cases with the Punjab Police ranging from murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, extortion, criminal conspiracy, illegal confinement and violation of the Arms Act. On January 24, 2012, he was booked in an attempt to murder case filed by a BJP activist in Fazilka.

The murder

Prabhjinder Singh Dimpy was shot dead near the Lake Club on July 7, 2006, as he was in his car along with friend Harneev, who had sustained injuries. A total of five bullets were pumped into Dimpy by two assailants who were on a motorcycle. The police had said a gang war rivalry of Dimpy with a UP-based MLA was the reason behind the murder. Rocky was then arrested on July 28, 2008, for allegedly being a part of the conspiracy to eliminate Dimpy and a .45 bore US (army)-made pistol was also recovered from his possession. The handgun was used for killing Dimpy on July 7, 2006, near Sukhna Lake.

Supporters throng court

A large number of Rocky’s supporters accompanied him as he was brought to the court on Monday. Rocky is known to have close political links in the state and had also contested elections.



UT set to sell solar power
CREST, power dept agree; JERC to decide rate on Jan 21
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
The UT Administration is all set to sell power generated from solar plants installed on government buildings. On the petition filed by the Chandigarh Renewable Energy Science and Technology Promotion Society (CREST) before the Joint Energy Regulatory Commission (JERC) to seek permission to sell the power produced to the UT Electricity Department, both departments — the UT Electricity Department and the Department of Science and Technology, UT Administration — today gave their consent before the commission.

Now, the JERC on January 21 will decide the rate at which CREST will sell power to the Electricity Department.

Santosh Kumar, CEO of CREST and Director of Science and Technology Department, said both the departments had agreed on the terms and conditions. Presently, they were generating around 1,500 units daily from the solar plants, which were recently installed on the rooftop of the government buildings. In the coming days, they would generate more power as many projects were in final stages, he added.

The petition was filed under Sections 61, 62, 86 and 181 of the Electricity Act, 2003, read with the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission for Goa and Union Territories (procurement of renewable energy) Regulations, 2010, for seeking determination of preferential tariff under net metering for the Rooftop Solar Photovolatic Power project of CREST and for the sale of such power to the Electricity Department of Chandigarh.

The solar power plants were installed recently on several buildings in the city. These included Model Central Burail Jail in Sector 45, Paryawaran Bhawan in Sector 19, Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 46 and Government College of Commerce and Business Administration in Sector 42. While the plant on the jail premises had a capacity of 100 KWp, the others were of 50 KWp each.

The aim of these plants was to produce electricity that could be put to use in the buildings, thus cutting down on the power bills. The excess electricity produced is meant to be sold. On weekends, when offices are closed, the electricity that is produced can be sold to the Electricity Department. The life of a solar power plant is expected to be 30 years.

JERC word final: Depts

Earlier, the Chandigarh Renewable Energy Science and Technology (CREST) had quoted Rs 8,75 per unit as the price to sell power, but the Electricity Department had some objections to it. Now, both the departments have submitted before the JERC that whatever rate JERC will finalise, they will accept it.



Weather woes: Fog hits air, rail traffic once again
Four flights, seven trains cancelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
A thick blanket of fog today again disrupted the air and rail traffic in the region. As many as four flights were cancelled and seven trains were delayed due to fog. The Met department has no good news for residents, as their forecast says that there will be fog and mist in the morning and light rain is expected during the night in the city. A Met official said that in the next 48 hours the minimum temperature would.

Four flights were cancelled and several others delayed after the morning fog plummeted the runway visibility, leading to cancellations and delays of flights at the Chandigarh Domestic Airport, today.

The Chandigarh-Delhi route was affected the most. SpiceJet Chandigarh-Delhi flight scheduled for 10.25 am, Air India Chandigarh-Delhi-Mumbai flight for 11.25 am and Jet Airways Chandigarh-Delhi for 11.40 am was cancelled. This put hundreds of passengers to inconvenience. An official of Jet Airways said that the weather was bad both at Chanidgarh and at the Delhi airport, which led to the cancellation of flights on the Chandigarh-Delhi route. The Air India Chandigarh-Delhi flight was also cancelled, since the dense fog did not allow the flight to take off from Delhi.

The visibility at the airport improved after 1 pm following which the operation at the airport resumed.

There were several flights that ran behind schedule today.

For instance, Go Air’s Chandigarh-Mumbai flight at 11.15 took off two hours late at 1.15 pm. Jet Airways Chandigarh-Mumbai flight at 12.40 pm and both the indigo’s Chandigarh-Mumbai flight at 12.20 pm and 2.40 pm also ran late by a few hours.

In the evening, all flights took off on schedule except for Jet Airways Chandigarh-Delhi-Banglore (5.40 pm) which was cancelled due to technical reasons.

Many passengers were stranded at the railway station. Not only the Shatabdi Express, but almost all long-route trains are running late by several hours.

The Unchahar Express was delayed by seven hours while the Howrah- Kalka Mail was delayed by more than three hours and the Chandigarh Patliputra train delayed by more than two hours.

The morning Shatabdi reached Chandigarh three hours late from its scheduled time.

Max temp recorded 17.6 degree Celsius

Met department said the maximum temperature recorded on Monday was 17.6 degree Celsius which is two notches below the normal and minimum temperature was 4.7 degree Celsius.

Mercury to dip

The Met department forecast says that there will be fog and mist in the morning and light rain is expected during the night in the city. In the next 48 hours, the minimum temperature will drop further.



Dhanas residents seek action against Mohali Asst Sub-Inspector
Policeman had implicated the senior citizens in a false case
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Victim Sita Ram SharmaMohali, January 6
Two elderly persons, who claimed to have been victimised at the hands of a Mohali Police ASI, demanded action against the policeman. Dhanas resident Sita Ram Sharma (71), and Kamer Chand (65), another resident of the same colony in Chandigarh have sent their complaint to SSP Mohali Inder Mohan Singh, asking him to take action against Assistant Sub Inspector Kanwar Jaswinder Pal Singh for mentally and physically harassing them after implicating them in a false case.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, both the elderly persons alleged that the ASI had registered a false FIR against them and their family members after ‘misleading’ a Mohali court and then harassed them. The victims also alleged that the cop had taken over Rs 25,000 from them on some pretext or the other.

Giving details, Sharma alleged that he had purchased a house at Dhanas Colony from Jatinder Pal Singh for Rs 24 lakh in November 2005. “Even after getting the full payment, Jatinder Pal Singh did not vacate the upper portion of the house, which he had taken possession forcibly after selling it”, alleged Sharma.

“While we had registered an FIR against Jatinder Pal Singh in this connection, he (Jatinder) too had submitted an application, alleging fraud against us, in the Mohali court. As the court had sought report in this matter from the Mohali Police, the ASI misled the court by giving false report in the case. He then implicated us in a false case and registered an FIR against me, my son Vipin Sharma, my daughter-in-law Deepa Sharma, our mediator Kamer Chand and his son Ashok Kumar”, alleged Sharma. Later, the FIR was cancelled last year after recommendation of the Mohali Superintendent of Police (detective) in his report.When contacted, SSP Inder Mohan Singh said, “I have not yet sent the complaint. I will look into it and if required, action will be taken against the ASI”, said the SSP. Notably, the ASI was arrested by the Vigilance Bureau for taking a bribe of Rs 10,000, recently. Currently, he has been reinstated.



Notice to ‘5 Degree’ restaurant owner
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 6
Finally, initiating proceedings against the Five Degree Café Bar and Lounge at Nirjhar Vatika at Sector 5, the Estate Officer of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) issued a show-cause notice to the restaurant’s owner here, today.

The notice has been issued under Section 4 of the Public Premises Eviction of the Unauthorised Occupants Act, 1971.

HUDA officials pasted the copies of the notice in question on the entry gate and walls of the cafeteria. The notice has been issued for illegal occupation and carrying out unauthorised construction in the cafeteria.

The letter of rental/license was issued on July 16, last year. The owner had carried out some construction and modification in the cafeteria without taking permission of the authorities concerned, which was mandatory for such an act. False ceiling, POP work, glasswork and boundary wall were constructed in violation of the terms and conditions of the agreement.

Talking to mediapersons, the HUDA estate officer, Vandana Dasodia, said that several terms and conditions of the renting out agreement were found violated during checking. “So we issued them (the owners) the show-cause notice. They have been asked to appear in person or through representative on January 13, failing which, we will initiate ex parte proceedings”, said Dasodia.

Notably, the restaurant came into limelight when a gunman, Jaipal, accompanying Sehaj Sidhu, son of Punjab cadre IAS officer KBS Sidhu, had suffered a gunshot on New Year -eve party. The police till now has not been able to establish what had happened that night.



Sanitation a casualty at PGIMER canteens, visitors suffer
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
While PGIMER is eyeing an international food court on its campus, it has miserably failed to look into the deplorable condition of existing eating joints. Right from washing utensils inside toilets, in front of food counters and the eating area, to leaving the litter unattended on tables throughout the day, canteen contractors continue to keep sanitation at bay at the PGIMER.

The condition of the Red Cross Canteen (on the rear side of the Department of Oral Health Sciences) is the worst. The canteen owner has not only encroached upon a major portion of the verandas by installing tables and chairs, but has also been failing to maintain hygiene there. A visit to the canteen today revealed that the workers there wash the dishes and other utensils (in which food is cooked and served) in the toilets. These public toilets are used by visitors as well as the shop owners of the area. The visitors in the area said that washing of utensils there was a regular feature.

The fact that the toilet where these dishes are washed is located right opposite the eating area poses a big question mark over the vigilance of the PGIMER authorities.

“Poor patients are compelled to eat at such eating joints as they are affordable, these canteens do not follow any rules and regulations as they are hand in glove with some PGIMER officials”, said sources.

In the absence of regular inspections by the Estate Committee Commercial, food vendors in the canteen at the PGI’s New OPD Block also have a free run selling unpacked beverages, including fruit juices and shakes. Sanitation is a big concern at the canteens, as the workers of the canteens rarely clear the litter on the floor and on the tables. The sources said that the contractor did not hire workers for cleaning the tables and the floor to save expenses. The PGI officials shun the responsibility of cleaning the area, attributing the responsibility to the canteen contractor.

Canteens inspected regularly: Official

We keep conducting inspections to keep a check on violations

— Manju Wadwalkar, PGIMER official spokesperson

Sources said since there was a plan to demolish all the complexes, the PGI authorities had virtually stopped taking note of all mal-practices in the area


14 turn up at Patil’s darbar for justice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
Acting on a complaint of a Sector 16 resident, who was sexually harassed by her senior at regional employment exchange in Panjab University, UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil today directed the UT Finance Secretary, VK Singh, to bring the official to book.

The directions were issued during Patil’s public hearing session at the UT Secretariat in Sector 9. Patil said the senior assistant could be placed under suspension till the time the inquiry was on.

The husband of the victim, who appeared before the Administrator, stated that senior assistant Gurcharan Singh had sexually harassed his wife and that the sexual harassment committee had established that the allegation was true. The accused was arrested and later released on bail.

Fourteen applicants turned up at the hearing. Avtar Singh from the Transport Association, along with the others, submitted that their trucks hired by the Municipal Corporation for shifting stray cattle from the city to gaushalas in Barsana (UP) were damaged and burnt near Gurgaon.

The association sought relief from the Administrator. Patil told the association members that insurance companies would pay the claim. He directed the MC Commissioner to examine if compensation could be given to the members.

Satnam Singh, a resident of Burail village, said his jhuggi was demolished in 2009, but to date he was not provided accommodation by the Administration.

The Deputy Commissioner clarified that his name was considered, but his application had to be turned down as he did not qualify the requirement for the rehabilitation.

Patil questions motive of RTI activists

City-based RTI activist RK Garg alleged that when it was his turn, Patil started asking the UT officials to ascertain the motive behind seeking information under the RTI Act. RK Garg, who had approached the Administrator to take up issues related to the general public, alleged that his pleas went unheard and the Administrator told the officials to find out the motive of the RTI activists. “It took me three months to get through to the Administrator. I wanted to take up six issues with him, but the way he dealt with applicants was shocking,” said Garg.

AAP demands inquiry

Activists of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) met Shivraj V Patil and demanded a CBI inquiry into the ‘road re-carpeting scam’. Following this, Patil directed the MC Commissioner to look into the matter. The activists appealed to residents to go and meet the UT Administrator at his next public hearing session. They were told to air their problems regarding the infrastructure.

His ordeal

Om Prakash, a resident of Hallo Majra, reached the Secretariat to meet UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil, but the police did not allow him to meet Patil. He said he had applied for an industrial loan in 1997 under a government scheme, but no bank was ready to give him money. He had been attending public hearing sessions, but failed to get any help.



CHB told to upload details of pending cases on its website
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
The Chief Information Commissioner has directed the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) to upload details of transfer and the other cases which have been pending since 2005 on its official website by June.

The orders were issued after the CPIO of the CHB denied information to one Gurdev Singh, who had sought information from the CHB under the Right to information Act. The CPIO of the CHB stated that it was not specific in nature and was not available in the compiled form.

Not satisfied with the reply, the information seeker approached the CIC.

Deepak Sandhu, Chief Information Commissioner, after hearing their arguments, said the appellant pleaded for disclosure of the information in the larger public interest as he had alleged that the policy benefits were extended in a most arbitrary fashion through pick-and-choose action and that those who were left out were not given any reasons for having been denied the benefits that were extended to the other applicants who had applied along with them, thereby putting them unfairly to great disadvantage.

The orders stated: “The lack of transparency is contrary to the letter and spirit of the RTI Act and breeds corruption. The commission shares the view that transparency is an essential ingredient for good governance.”

Decisions of the public authorities are required to be taken in the larger public interest and must be uniformly administered in a transparent manner.

The present case defies these principles and is couched in the dark shade of secrecy. Therefore, as per the provisions of Section 8(2) of the Act, the commission determines that in this case, the disclosure of information outweighs all arguments made in favour of disproportionate diversion of the scarce resources of the public authority and under the provisions of Section 19(8)(a)(iii) requires the public authority through the chairman, Chandigarh Housing Board, to establish adequate infrastructure in terms of computers and manpower. “The commission has been given adequate time for completing the exercise as we accept the contention of the respondents that the information sought is maintained in many files and will have to be compiled and collated,” the orders stated.



Self-certification gains entry into UT offices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
Taking a day off from work to get an affidavit prepared or getting it attested from a gazetted officer may soon become a thing of the past in the city. The UT Administration is all set to introduce self-certification in its offices and departments.

In a meeting of senior officials of the Administration held under the chairmanship of Adviser to the UT Administrator, KK Sharma, the arrangements to adopt self-certification for availing public services were deliberated upon. The provision for self-certification is resident-friendly and obtaining either an attested copy or affidavit, besides expenditure, demands significant time during working hours.

During the meeting, KK Sharma said government procedures should be simplified. “Self-certification will save time, effort and money,” Sharma said. A comprehensive exercise will be undertaken by various departments of the UT Administration, especially the Deputy Commissioner’s office, Estate Office and education department. The departments will identify all services under their control in which affidavits or signatures of gazetted officers are required. Upon approval at the competent authority’s level, existing formalities will be phased out and replaced by self-certification, except those services where there is a statutory requirement.

The Second Administrative Reforms Commission set up by the Government of India has recommended adoption of self-certification for simplifying procedures.

The new provision will allow residents to self-certify their documents like identity proof, marksheet and birth certificate at the time of applying for various government services.



Extension of ‘lal dora’ debated

The extension of ‘lal dora’ of villages in the UT is yet to see light of the day. The increasing demand for housing is resulting in haphazard and unauthorised construction outside the ‘lal dora’. The UT Administration after deciding to regularise the construction outside the ‘lal dora’ had taken a U-turn, resulting in unending misery to those residing outside the ‘lal dora’. The Chandigarh Tribune tries to ascertain whether the UT Administration should extend the ‘lal dora’.

Earlier, the enforcement agencies failed to stop the construction work outside the ‘lal dora’ of villages. As people have constructed houses outside the ‘lal dora’ with their hard-earned money, the UT Administration should regularise the structures. The common man should not be harassed.

Harmohan Dhawan, former Union minister and senior BJP leader

Lal dora was conceptualised in 1887, but now things have changed. The UT Administration has to take into account the population growth. Presently, the constructions outside the ‘lal dora’ are almost three times as compared to those within the limits. The authorities should regularise these constructions.

Mukesh Bassi, Congress councillor

The UT Administration had acquired residents’ land to develop the city, but now the UT Administration is turning a blind eye to their demands. When the Administration can give flats to slum dwellers, why can’t it extend the ‘lal dora’.

Malkiat Singh, SAD councillor

If the UT Administration is so concerned about the constructions outside the ‘lal dora’, their officials should have had stopped the work. Now, people have spent lakhs and their families are residing outside the ‘lal dora’. The structures should not be demolished.

Jannat Jahan-Ul-Haq, BSP councillor

A number of families have been residing outside the ‘lal dora’ for the past many years. These people have facilities like water and power connections, ration and voter cards. The Administration should consider the genuine demands of the village residents and should regularise the constructions.

Surinder Mehta, a resident of Khuda Ali Sher

As per the December 1992 notification, the UT Administration should extend the ‘lal dora’. Even in 2006, the Administration had submitted before the High Court that they would regularise the constructions, but later they backtracked.

BS Rawat, general secretary, Deep Complex Welfare Association



RWAs to monitor security agencies
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 6
The Municipal Corporation has once again decided to make the security gate system functional in the town by involving residents’ welfare associations. This time the welfare associations will monitor the work of the security agency which will be hired by the civic body.

The payments to the contractor concerned will also be made only after these are cleared by representatives of the welfare associations. The security agencies will be answerable to the welfare associations.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held today by Commissioner of the civic body Uma Shankar Gupta with representatives of various residents’ welfare associations. Representatives suggested that the work of providing security to the residents should be separated from advertisement work. An agency having experience in the field of security should be engaged to guard the security gates while the work of displaying advertisements on the gates should be given to another agency. Earlier, only one contractor was handling both kinds of work and, according to residents, he was allegedly more interested in collecting revenue through advertisements. The work of providing security was only an additional task and that is why the system failed.

The Commissioner said the police will be asked to chalk out a proper plan in connection with the security gates and the suggestions given by them would be incorporated in the terms and conditions set for the agency to be hired by the corporation. He said the police is a professional organisation and are more aware about the security aspects as compared to officials of the civic body.

Residents had also suggested that a sector-wise plan should be got prepared from an agency which had adequate experience in security work.



20 hoardings removed by MC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
The Municipal Corporation today removed as many as 20 hoardings displayed on the main road from Sector 16 roundabout to PGI. The hoardings had been allegedly installed by members of the Punjab Congress to welcome the Punjab Congress president during a function in Chandigarh.

An MC official said, “We have removed the hoardings but, however, we do not possess the power to impose fine on the persons who had installed them.” Moreover, there is less manpower with the MC to deal with such violations, said the MC official.

According to the sources, the hoardings were installed last night for a function at the Punjab Congress Bhawan, Sector 15, today. The hoardings, however, came into light of the MC officials today evening, but by then the programme had already concluded.




AAP governance model needed in Chandigarh

After the spectacular performance of common man’s movement-turned- political outfit viz. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in recent Delhi assembly elections, I desire that all those at the helm of affairs in Chandigarh administration must learn a lesson from the same. The administration should immediately reorient the colonial-style “babudom” culture with a governance model focused on common man. Owing to absence of a legislative assembly coupled with lack of powers and resources available to those elected to Municipal Corporation and Panchayats, ultimately it is the top bureaucracy which continues to rule the roost in Chandigarh. Of late, not only the general public but even local elected representatives have been ruing the apathetic attitude of officials. I wish this attitude of officials changes. An ordinary citizen of Chandigarh must have constructive and hassle-free access to all those calling the shots in Chandigarh including the Administrator. There must be a time-bound mechanism for redressal of grievances. Even Right to timely delivery of Services Act as in force in Punjab must be extended to Chandigarh. The model for Chandigarh should be Administration for Aam Public (AAP).

Hemant Kumar
Ambala city

Cheap medicines at PGI

It is a New Year gift for the patients of PGI that they will be getting a discount of 57.7% on the branded medicines at the PGI chemist shop. Such a hefty discount is indicative of the fact that the MRP fixed by the pharmaceutical companies is abnormally high and that there is a huge margin of profit on such medicines.

It appears that these companies are having an unbridled liberty to fix the prices at will. Thus, the companies are exploiting and looting the poor patients. This practice should be curbed in public interest. The government agency responsible for controlling the prices should be provided more teeth under the law so that it can effectively control the prices of drugs.

GMCH-32 Chandigarh, Multi-specialty Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh, General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, and General Hospital, Mohali, should take a cue from it and set up chemist shops on premises. This will not only benefit the patients visiting these hospitals, but also create a healthy competition and bring down medicine prices.

DP Piplani



Fewer enrolments at PU placement cell
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
It seems that pass outs of Panjab University are not keen to get employment immediately after completing their respective courses. Figure this out: Out of 3,500 final-year students of Panjab University, 810 have been enrolled in the placement drive that will be organised for various departments by the placement cell on the campus.

Since October 2013, the PU placement cell has been inviting students from all departments to get them registered after extending last date thrice and sending five reminders to all departments, a handful of enrolments were made with the placement cell.

The records of the placement cell showed that on their call for the registration of placement, only 400 students got themselves enrolled in the placement cell from October 15 to November 15, 2013. But as the number of registered students was very low, the last date was extended to December 15. As the cell did not get good response from the students, the date was again extended up to January 15, 2014.

Sharing the reason for low enrolment, coordinators of various departments of the placement cell said a new trend had emerged among the students. They opt for higher studies, enrol themselves in PhD or appear for the UGC to get office jobs with higher perks and less working time. The another reason was that in a few professional departments, there was a lack of infrastructure for students to pursue their career due to which they lose interest in their respective courses with the passage of time.

Dr Prashant K Gautam, one of the placement coordinators of social sciences behavioural cluster, said the students did not respond to the placement cell communications.

Sharing his own department’s experience, he said till date not even a single student had enquired or registered himself with the placement cell for the forthcoming placement drive. In fact, when the department organises any interaction with the head of the hotel industry, a majority of the students did not turn up for the same.

Dr Naveent Kaur, another placement coordinator of the Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, said a majority of the students enrolled in the department preferred to go for higher studies like PhD. Besides, the in-house placement cell of the department assisted the students to get recruited in companies.

Students of various professional courses, including the University Institute of Engineering and Technology, University Institute of Applied Management Sciences, University Institute of Fashion Technology and Vocational Development and University Institute of Legal Studies, complained that due to the lack of infrastructure in the department they failed to prepare themselves for the competitive market.

Panjab University Campus Students Council president Chandan Rana said for the past two months the representatives of the council had been visiting various departments to sensitise the students to register themselves with the placement cell. But, the students were not taking any interest in it and preferred to go for higher studies.

(To be continued)



Students get toilets constructed for villagers
Tiddha village, near Mullanpur, had no toilet, compelling people to defecate in the open
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
Two students - Shreya Bali and Mrinalini Singha - of Strawberry Field World School, Sector 26, here, have constructed four toilets in Tiddha village, near Mullanpur, with the help of villagers as part of their "clean India movement".

The village, with a population of 100, had no toilet, compelling people to defecate in the open.

Taking cues from the research conducted by the DRDO, the girls have set up four bio-toilets in the village.

Shreya Bali, a Class IX student, said: “These toilets use special bacterial inoculum for degrading and decomposing the fecal material and converting it into biogas. These special toilets require minimal maintenance and minimal water for functioning”.

She said the village sarpanch was actively involved in the project.

These toilets were set up with the help of funds raised by Shreya and Mrinalini from philanthropic organisations and friends, besides help from the city-based NGO, Heart Foundation, headed by Dr HK Bali.

Mrinalini said: “We considered this effort to be just a beginning and intend to set up many more similar toilets in other villages, too”.

“We have already identified a village in Balachaur for the next venture where we have planned to set up four toilets. We will plan to organise a number of charity programmes to raise funds for this purpose,” she said.

Shreya said several articles on open defecation inspired them to do something on this perennial problem.

Mrinalini said around 626 million Indians were denied the privilege of toilets and had to go for open defecation.

“Open defecation is a social problem and it also reflects poverty. It is a major cause of waterborne diseases like cholera, typhoid, dysentery and hepatitis. In states like Bihar, open defecation is also associated with the cases of sexual harassment and rape wherein women have to go for defecating in the open exposing them to anti-social elements,” she said.

They felt that “open defecation is a serious blot on collective conscious and we must eradicate it from our social fabric at the earliest”.

“We intend to involve other students in this work,” said Shreya.

“Educating villagers is also the most important component of this movement,” said Mrinalini.



Gurukul celebrates launch of GSAT-14
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
Students of the Department of Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering and staff of Gurukul Vidyapeeth today celebrated the successful launch of GSAT-14 by ISRO and organised a cake-cutting ceremony at its head office in Sector 20.

The patriotic fervour was evidence as the students celebrated the moment with great pomp and splendour.

“I am proud to be an Indian,” said Dr Manmohan Kumar Garg, chairman and CEO of Gurukul Vidyapeeth.

“Our nation has finally joined the big league of space powers when ISRO launched a heavy duty rocket with indigenous cryogenic booster yesterday,” he said.

According to him, this is indeed a feather in the cap of Independent India.

“We can happily say that we are in a powerful position to command respect from the rest of the world. To put it succinctly, this is a red-letter day in the annals of the Indian history,” said Dr Manmohan Kumar Garg.

Ramanjeet Singh, Additional Director of Administration and Personnel, was ecstatic and said: “We have finally arrived and we can now boldly command our own terms and conditions at the world conferences and we will be heard and regarded as one of the most powerful nations.”



Teachers’ protest enters 14th day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
The protest by the computer teachers entered the 14th day today. Nearly, 70 computer teachers and data entry operators gathered at the Masjid Ground, Sector 20, here to protest against the Education Department.

As many as five computer teachers and data entry operators also observed the hunger strike from 9 am to 5 pm.

Ten computer teachers and data entry operators also went to attend a meeting organised by the UT Subordinate Service Federation at Sector 17.

The teachers said the federation assured full support to the teachers’ “Sangharsh” rally scheduled on January 8.

“Till our demand of regularisation is not met, we will continue to protest,” said the teachers.



Internship camp ends at DAV College

Chandigarh, January 6
The five-day-long Inspire internship camp concluded at DAV College, Sector 10, here today. Professor Dr RK Kohli, Vice-Chancellor, DAV University, Jalandhar, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Dr BC Josan, principal of the college, said during the five-day event eminent academicians, scientists and researchers gave full opportunity to interact with the mentors.

Dr Manju Dewan, organising secretary of the event, said more than 300 students from 39 schools of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh participated in the camp. She said free boarding, lodging and food were provided to the participants. In addition, the students were provided with free scientific kits. Apart from a series of lectures, evening workshops and quiz were also organised for the students. The students also learnt to set up their own websites. — TNS



MoU signed

Punjab Technical University (PTU) has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with University of California, Santa Cruz, (UCSC) today for setting up an Institute of Excellence (IOE) at Chandigarh.

The MoU was signed by Dr Rajneesh Arora, vice-chancellor, PTU and Dr George R Blumenthal, chancellor, UCSC. Dr George R Blumenthal said academic ideas should have no boundaries. The objective is to create a world class technical education institution to support advancement of aspirations of people of Punjab and India. Chairman, Board of Governors (BoG), PTU, Sunil Kant Munjal, said India is a great opportunity for foreign universities as we have the largest number of students - 54 per cent of country’s 1.3 billion population is below 25 and 30 per cent is below 15 years of age. — TNS



NSS camps

A special seven-day NSS camp was organised at Banyan Tree School, Chandigarh, during the winter vacation. As many as 50 NSS volunteers from classes XI and XII participated in the camp. During the camp, various visits and lectures from resource persons were arranged for the students.

The purpose of the camp was to make the students socially aware, sensitive towards the pains of others and learn about self-management, their rights and how they can help society. Prabhjot from the Social Welfare Department explained about gender sensitisation and respect for the opposite sex. Anamika, another resource person, told about various homes in Chandigarh for the help of poor children and women in trouble. Des Raj and Uma visited the school to explain about traffic and road safety rules, traffic signs and importance of wearing helmets. On the last day, volleyball and badminton matches and races were held for the NSS volunteers. Overall, these seven days were interesting for the students.


The NSS special camp at KBDAV-7 ended on a high note recently with the NSS volunteers pledging to support the causes of the community and guarding their thought process. The valedictory function commenced with the felicitation of the chief guest, Bikram Singh Rana, State Liaison Officer, Chandigarh. Bikram Singh Rana addressed the NSS volunteers and insisted on individual rectification and transformation. He felt that this was mandatory to bring about a change in the system. He spoke to the volunteers and urged them to monitor their habits for they are a reflection of one’s character. He reiterated that the youth of today would be at the helm of affairs tomorrow.

Storytelling contest

Students of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Panchkula, exhibited their talent in a storytelling competition. The students of LKG participated in the competition. The judges for this event were the parent mothers of the LKG class. The students were judged on their presentation, pronunciation, props and expression. All students spoke confidently. The mothers, too, felt honoured to be part of the competition and appreciated the efforts put up by the little performers. Dhwani Gulati was adjusted first for her unmatched confidence and expression.

Sports meet

DC Montessori School, Mani Majra, organised its second sports meet. Director Bharat B Gupta declared the meet open and the students took the school sports oath to abide by its rules and regulations and to subscribe to the true spirit of sportsmanship. The sports meet took place in the spacious DC Model grounds. The students from Classes I to X participated with much energy and gusto in a variety of races ranging from frog race, sack race, three-legged race to the exhilarating relay race by the senior students of Classes IX and X.

Special assembly

A special assembly was conducted at Century Public School, Naya Gaon, before the start of winter vacation. In this assembly, the students were made aware of dos and don’ts for winter season. They were guided about the food that they must take during winters. They were asked to take healthy and nutritious food, fruits and green vegetables. — TNS



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