C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Kidnapped 9-year-old raped
Was dumped by the accused outside Ashiana flats in Madanpur area of Panchkula
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 8
The nine-year-old girl who was kidnapped last night from the Chandimandir area in Panchkula was raped and reportedly dumped outside Ashiana Flats of the Madanpur area at 2 am by the kidnapper.

The child alleged that the accused parked the car at an isolated place in Ramgarh, forcibly gave her two tablets, and raped her. The accused, identified as Gaurav(25), a driver by profession, who had got passengers from Gurgaon, was arrested by the police this evening.

Yesterday, a nine-year-old girl, a resident of Madanpur of the Chandimandir area was allegedly kidnapped by a man who came in an Innova car asking her father to help him locate a liquor vend. After the father, who owns an egg rehri, was closing for the day with his daughter, he was approached by the accused who asked for the way to a liquor vend and offered to drop them to their residence. While the father got down to get liquor for the accused, the latter allegedly fled with his daughter.

A medical examination of the victim was conducted at the Panchkula General Hospital in Sector 6 and rape was confirmed after the medical reports were out this evening. The medical examination of Gaurav was also conducted and samples were taken. Gaurav hails from Uttar Pradesh.

Talking to The Tribune the victim said, “When I realised that he was forcibly taking me, I started crying and he slapped me twice. Then he took the car to Ramgarh and stopped near a temple and forced me to eat two tablets,” said the victim.

She further added, “The kidnapper then physically abused me. He also threatened me and told me to keep quiet and not tell about the incident to anyone. When he saw that a naka was laid ahead, He then turned his car and dumped me outside the flats.”

She further said that she made many attempts to attract the attention of passersby, by waving her hand out of the window and screaming, but all in vain. The victim kept pleading before the accused, who she addressed as ‘uncle’ but the latter did not listen, she said.

She added, “When I began crying, he threatened me and wrote a phone number on a paper and said that whenever I needed Rs 200 to Rs 400, I could contact him on that number.” The victim provided the police with the phone number and then he was traced.

"We have added Sections 376 of the IPC to the FIR” said Inspector Arvind Kumar, Station House Officer of the Chandimandir police station.

Cops not vigilant enough

The accused kept roaming with the child in the car late in the night and the police that claimed they were out on the streets looking for the child and had laid nakas, did not notice him. Had the police noticed the accused timely, the child could have been saved the ordeal.

Had taken intoxicants

The police during their probe said that the youth was under the influence of intoxicants while committing the crime.

Phone number given to victim did him in

The accused threatened the victim and told her not to tell anyone about the incident. He then wrote a phone number on a paper and gave it to the girl and told her to call him whenever she needed Rs 200 to Rs 400. The victim had provided the number to the police and that’s how the accused was traced. 



Mohali to have paid parkings
To be introduced in Phases III B2, V, VII, IX and XI
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, January 8
The Mohali Municipal Corporation has decided to go in for paid parking to curb chaos, maximise the utilisation of space and tackle the menace of encroachment in the parking areas of markets.

The terms and conditions for giving the job on contract are now being finalised and tenders are likely to be floated by January 13. The bids will be invited through the e-tender method.

To begin with, the paid parking system will be introduced only in five areas. These are the markets of Phases III B2, V, VII, IX, and XI.

At present, there is chaos in the parking lots of the markets, as vehicles are parked in a haphazard manner everywhere. Some parts of the markets have blatantly been encroached upon by small-time vendors, leading to shrinking of the available space.

Welcoming the corporation decision, Gurjeet Singh, a resident of Phase IV, said it had come as a big relief for residents. He said some people did not have “any parking sense at all”.

He further said that once he had to undergo an agonising half-hour wait to drive out his car from a parking lot because someone had parked his vehicle right behind his (Gurjeet Singh) car.

Corporation Commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta said the contractor assigned the work would be told to demarcate areas clearly for the parking of four-wheelers and two-wheelers. He would charge Rs 5 for a car and Rs 2 for a scooter. Passes, however, would be issued to the shopkeepers of the market in question for parking their vehicles.

He said that to start with, the paid-parking work would be given on contract for a year. Since it was a new system for Mohali, it would have to be seen how it actually worked out. The parking space available in the market areas was not being utilised properly. In an area where 100 cars could be parked, only 60 were being parked at present because no proper system was in place.

Heated exchanges often took place in the parking areas because of chaotic parking. People who had encroached on the parking areas would also be told to vacate these by the contractor concerned, added Gupta.



PPCC fined Rs 3.2 lakh for displaying illegal hoardings
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) today imposed a fine of nearly Rs 3.20 lakh on the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) under the Advertisement Control Act for displaying hoardings without permission in the city.

Members of the Punjab Congress reportedly installed the hoardings to welcome the Punjab Congress president during a function in Chandigarh. The hoardings were displayed on Madhya Marg near the Sector 16 roundabout and the PGI roundabout. The MC on January 6, after getting the information about the hoardings, removed them, however, by then the programme had already concluded.

MC officials stated that displaying the hoardings was a violation of the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order (CACO), 1954.

MC Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta confirming the development stated that a fine of nearly Rs 3.20 lakh had been imposed on the PPCC for displaying 18 hoardings in the city without permission. The MC Joint Commissioner further said that the fine had been calculated as per the 10X8 square feet hoarding size.

The MC had recently decided to crackdown on those illegally displaying hoardings and penalise them at the rate of Rs 100 per sq ft per day.



Low water pressure today and tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
The water supply in the city during evening hours will be affected for two days due to repair work at the Kajauli Water Works. The water pressure will be low in some parts of the city on January 9 and 10.

Officials of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation said the water supply would remain affected due to urgent repair work of the sluice valve on 1200 mm dia, PSC pipeline of Phase III near RD-6800, Marauli village. “There will be no pumping of raw water from Phase III and IV of the Kajauli Water Works to Sector 39 Water Works, Chandigarh,” the officials stated.

RC Diwan, MC Superintending Engineer (Public Health), said that on the two days, there would be normal water supply between 4 am and 8.30 am. During the evening, there will be low pressure water supply between 6 pm and 8 pm. “We will try that the repair work is completed even before 48 hours”, he stated.


2 Jan Aushadhi stores closed down
Centres at GMCH-32 and GMSH-16 have been shut for want of adequate number of medicines
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service
The Jan Aushadhi centre at Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh, lying closed since January 1
The Jan Aushadhi centre at Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh, lying closed since January 1. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, January 8
In a jolt to patients, the two Jan Aushadhi centres launched three years ago to provide drugs at cheaper rates have been shut down.

Opened with much fanfare at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, and Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, the centres failed completely in meeting their running expenses in the absence of regular medicine stocks and hence, never gained popularity among patients.

Officials said the stores had been closed temporarily with a plan to revive them with a better stock of medicines, but it is uncertain as to when will the stores be re-opened.

UT Red Cross coordinator Ashish Ahuja said, “We closed the centres on December 31 last year as the contracts of all the employees ended. We were being unable to meet the running expenses like salaries of the operators, though power tariff was waived by the UT Administration. We are planning to stock more medicines and re-open the centres soon.”

At the two centres in GMCH-32 and GMSH-16, only 49 of the 319 medicines designated by the Ministry of Health were available. The remaining medicines were never supplied to the stores.

The condition of the centre at the PGIMER is equally poor.

During a surprise check, the Estate Committee of the hospital found the operators having stocked expired medicines.

It may be mentioned that the centres were opened at the PGIMER, GMCH-32 and GMSH-16 in November 2009, August 2011 and February 2011, respectively.

About Jan Aushadhi centres

  • The centres were opened nationwide to sell generic drugs (salt name) to allow availability of drugs at cheaper rates.
  • Following the launch of these stores, the Health Ministry had directed all government hospital doctors to start prescribing generic names of drugs instead of brands.
  • The lack of adherence to these guidelines as well as no availability of surgical items and erratic medicine supply contributed heavily to the failure of these centres.



MC officials remove bricks
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
After creating a buzz in the city by placing the bricks with the name of a BJP leader during the foundation-laying ceremony of a community centre in the city, these have been removed by MC officials.

Saurabh Joshi, BJP councillor from ward No. 2, during the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the community centre at Sector 15, here, held on January 7, had brought bricks with BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s name engraved on them. Residents of the ward, who were the chief guest, participated in the ‘pooja’ and then placed the bricks in a pit for the construction.

Sources said the MC officials removed the bricks from the foundations today.

They said the Mayor, HC Kalyan, based on the media reports, also sent a letter to MC Commissioner VP Singh asking him to seek a reply from the MC officials concerned about the incident.

Congress councillor and party spokesperson Pardeep Chhabra said the projects of the MC, which are regarding development in the city, should be kept aside of politics.

“The move by the BJP councillor to place bricks with party leader’s name on it was only to please the bosses, nothing else,” Chhabra said.

Saurabh Joshi said the place where the bricks were kept had to be covered with the Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC), following which the bricks were removed.

About 50 bricks were especially brought from a brick kiln in Ludhiana with the name ‘Modi’ engraved on them.

Youth Cong stages protest

The Chandigarh Youth Congress today protested against the BJP move to install the bricks with Modi’s name engraved on them. Youth Congress vice-president Harmel Kesari, along with other activists, pasted posters of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi on the walls of different community centres in the city to show their protest against the BJP.

Kesari said if the BJP would not stop their dirty politics then they would continue their protest.



Free entry for ex-leaders in BJP
Five leaders welcomed back within the party fold
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Keeping in mind the upcoming Parliament elections, now it is a free entry in the BJP for all those leaders who were earlier expelled by the city unit of the party.

To start with, Aarti Mehra, national secretary and in charge of the city BJP, today welcomed back five party leaders - former BJP mayor Kewal Krishan Aadiwal, former party spokesperson BK Kapoor, former ward president Narinder Sharma, former state secretary Satpal Gupta and Naushad Ali.

While addressing a press conference at the BJP office in Sector 33, Mehra said several party workers who were not happy with the party or due to some disappointment had left the party were now welcomed in the organisation. With the support of all party workers, the BJP will unitedly fight and will ensure victory in Chandigarh, she said. On the resignation of BJP councillor Rajinder Kaur Rattu, who was party’s mayor candidate in the recent elections, Mehra said there were some differences and she personally talked to Rattu and the matter had been resolved.

Later, Rattu also joined the press conference.

The BJP also formed a state election committee comprising city BJP president Sanjay Tandon, Ex-MP Satyapal Jain, senior BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan, Prem Kaushik, Chander Shekhar, Arun Sood, Jairam Joshi, Yash Pal Mahajan, Kamla Sharma. The committee would also have the ex-officio members Aarti Mehra, Ajay Jamwal and Sunita Dhawan. Raghubir Lal Arora was appointed as Chandigarh parliamentary seat palak (Guardian) and Arun Sood and Ramvir Bhatti as parliamentary conveners. A disciplinary committee under the presidentship of Desraj Tandon with Om Prakash Goyal, Satinder Singh, Parveen Goyal and Mukesh Kaushik as members was announced.

Anil Dubey reappointed

The in charge of the city BJP also re-appointed party’s senior leader and former BJP municipal councillor Anil Dubey, as party’s colony cell convener. Recently, Dubey was thrown out of the post of the party’s colony cell convener. Dubey said he did not believe BJP president Sanjay Tandon. He was removed from the post as he was working for the welfare of colony residents, who knows a few days later, Tandon will again removed from the post.

Industrialists meet Mehra

Industries Association, Chandigarh, president Arun Mahajan along with member Pankaj Khanna, met Aarti Mehra, in charge of the city unit of the BJP. She assured them that the party was concerned about their long-pending demands and was taking up the issue at various levels, not only in Chandigarh but in Delhi as well.



Respect our feelings, say BJP councillors
Possibility of changing Leader of Opposition in the MC ruled out
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
While BJP’s national secretary and in charge of the Chandigarh unit of the BJP Aarti Mehra ruled out any possibility of changing the Leader of Opposition in the MC, the six BJP councillors who had demanded the change told her to respect their feelings otherwise they were forced to use other measures as well.

After attending a press conference, Mehra met six BJP councillors - Rajesh Gupta Bittu, Deshraj Gupta, Satinder Singh, Saurabh Joshi, Devesh Moudgil and Rajinder Kaur Rattu and heard their grievances.

The councillors, along with two SAD councillors, Harjinder Kaur and Malkiat Singh, had written a letter to senior BJP leaders in which it was demanded that fresh faces should be given chance for the posts of Leader of Opposition and Deputy Leader of Opposition.

At present, BJP councillor Arun Sood is the Leader of Opposition while Senior Deputy Mayor Heera Negi is the Deputy Leader of Opposition.

Sources said in the meeting Mehra told them that the party was not thinking about changing the leadership in the MC House. On this, these councillors said the party should understand their feelings. They have used decent language in the letter. If the party would not listen to their suggestions then there were other methods as well, sources added.

In the letter, they had mentioned that when the posts of Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor could be changed after every year then why not the party could give chance to new faces every year for these posts of the Leader of Opposition and the Deputy Leader of Opposition. Later, Mehra told them that she would again meet them and hear their grievances.

Sources said after the meeting, the party was now mulling over to give the deputy leader’s post to Rajinder Kaur Rattu, who was BJP’s Mayor candidate in the recent mayoral elections.

But regarding the post of the Leader of Opposition, the party will decide in the coming days. Till then, Sood will remain the Leader of Opposition, they added.

The Demand

The six BJP councillors had demanded that fresh faces should be given a chance for the posts of Leader of Opposition and Deputy Leader of Opposition.



Brave woman constables, student rewarded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Two woman constables of the UT traffic police, who were hit by a car occupied by drunk youths on the New Year’s Eve and still managed to apprehend the accused, were today rewarded Rs 5,000 each for their act of bravery.

UT Inspector General of Police RP Upadhyaya gave away the rewards and class -1 commendation certificates to the brave cops.

Constables Sonia Dhankar and Poonam Kumari of the Chandigarh Traffic Police had apprehended Inderjeet Singh and Navdeep Singh at Mani Majra in the wee hours of January 1. Due to swift and brave action of the duo, one of the accused was arrested on the spot while the other was apprehended later, said the police. The two Constables were hit, dragged onto the bonnet of a Zen car and then slapped.

The incident took place at 2.15 am when Constable Sonia Dhankar was returning home along with her colleague Poonam after discharging their duties. Constable Sonia had just dropped Poonam when her scooter was hit from behind. Constable Sonia lost the balance of the scooter while the car driver tried to flee. Sonia then came onto the road in an attempt to block the car’s way and prevent the accused from fleeing. Navdeep, who was in the driver’s seat, accelerated the speed which resulted in Sonia falling onto the bonnet of the car. She was dragged to a distance of 200 metres. However, she held on to the wipers of the car even though the driver kept applying brakes in between so that she should fall on the road. But Sonia held the wipers firm.

Inderjeet, who was sitting next to Navdeep, then pulled Sonia and pushed her to the ground. He also slapped her. Sonia caught hold of him and Poonam rushed to help her. While they caught hold of Inderjeet, Navdeep fled with the car. He was, however, arrested later.

“The incident still gives me jitters as I had a narrow escape then and could have been seriously hurt. It feels good to be rewarded as it is a huge motivation,” said Constable Sonia, who broke down while recalling the incident today.

UT IGP RP Upadhyaya also gave a cash reward of Rs 10,000 to Gagandeep Singh Dhanoa, an MBA student and a Mohali resident who had apprehended a snatcher on March 25 last year. The incident took place near Hotel Sunbeam in Sector 22 when the snatcher targeted an 80-year-old man, who was carrying a bag containing Rs 3.5 lakhs in cash. Gagandeep chased the accused and managed to nab him after a scuffle.

“Gagandeep Singh has shown an exemplary courage, bravery and contributed in catching a dangerous criminal. The Chandigarh Police recognise his effort and as a token of appreciation, present him a reward of Rs 10, 000 and a commendation certificate class-1 as an encouragement,” said the IGP.



Singhal replaces Deswal as top cop

Ajay Singhal
Ajay Singhal

Panchkula, January 8
Ajay Singhal, IPS, has replaced Rajbir Deswal as the Panchkula-Ambala Commissioner of Police. As per the transfer list released this evening, Deswal has been posted out as IGP, Telecom.

Singhal, a 1992-batch IPS officer, was the IGP, CID, before the new positing. — TNS



Construction firms to face probe
GMADA recommends inquiry for shoddy work at 7 sports complexes
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 8
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority’s (GMADA) additional chief administrator Navjot Kaur has recommended an inquiry against the two firms that constructed seven sports complexes at the cost of around Rs 56 crore in various sectors of the town.

In her report, Kaur mentioned that several defects have been found in all the newly built complexes. Thus, an inquiry should be conducted against the two firms - Kalsi Construction Company and Chiranji Lal Gupta. “We are also going to stop their due payments,” said Navjot Kaur.

Notably, the poor conditions of newly built infrastructure at these complexes was highlighted in these columns under the heading ‘Rs 26 cr spent, but stadia not fit to hold events’ on December 26.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the additional chief administrator Navjot Kaur confirmed that she had recommended the inquiry against the two firms.

“I have visited all the stadiums and found several defects in the infrastructure. Poor workmanship is evident and apparently, substandard material was used,” said Kaur . Shockingly, most of these complexes built at Sectors 59, 61, 63, 65, 69, 71 and 78, were inaugurated around two months ago and are yet to be opened for public.Shortsightedness of the contractors as well as that of the GMADA officials concerned was also evident as badminton courts, swimming pools, table tennis rooms etc as they are not constructed according to the requirements of the games and sportspersons.

Even Punjab Olympic Association president SS Dhindsa had pointed out a shortcoming after seeing the newly built swimming pool at Phase IX. “The swimming pool is very good but where would spectators sit when some event would be held here,” Dhindsa had asked.

Similarly, the floor of the badminton courts was polished with ordinary polish instead of melamine and has ordinary lighting system while the courts needed special lighting system. Besides, cracks in walls, depression in the floor of complex, seepage in walls, leakage in swimming pool, broken tiles and doors, stains in granite stones used in flooring spoke volumes about the state of affairs at these sports complexes.

For want of quality construction, none of these complexes is fit to organise even a state-level sports competition. Kaur said the role of the GMADA officials, who were responsible to check the work before releasing the payment to the firms, would also be examined.



PUTIA appoints new convener

Mohali, January 8
The Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association (PUTIA) has appointed Dr Anshu Kataria as the convener (headquarter) in a meeting held under the chairmanship of Dr JS Dhaliwal, president, PUTIA, here today.

Dr Dhaliwal said they were planning a joint effort of more than 400 colleges to make Punjab an education hub. Dr Kataria, chairman of Aryans Group of Colleges, has served in different capacities in Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association for the last seven years. Kataria has also represented PUTIA in many national and international conferences. — TNS



Mahindra Holidays launches new ID

The Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Ltd, recently unveiled a fresh new brand identity. The brand identity has been launched for its flagship brand, Club Mahindra, inspired by the thought ‘make every moment magical’.

Inspired by Buddhist mandalas, the new symbol is a reflection of a brand that represents the Indian business and culture on the world stage.

Club Mahindra’s new brand identity features a symbol made up of four hearts coming together. Inspired by the ‘colours of holidays’, the hearts are in shades of blue, yellow, orange and green.— TNS



Shaheed Udham Singh remembered
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 8
A function was organised to mark the birth anniversary of Shaheed Udham Singh, here today. The function was organised by Shaheed Udham Singh Education and Charitable Trust.

Anil Joshi, Punjab Minister for Local Government addressed the gathering at Shaheed Udham Singh Bhawan. “Due to corruption and inflation, the general public is suffering the most in the country,” said Joshi. BJP president (Punjab unit) Kamal and former Union Minister BS Ramoowalia also addressed the gathering on the occasion.



Open manholes: Timely action a must

This refers to a news report, “Open manholes a threat”, published in these columns on December 26, 2013. Though the report has highlighted open manholes in Panchkula only, we can easily cite scores of such examples where security and safety of the people are being jeopardised owing to negligent acts of the powers that may be. Consequently, many lives have already been lost due to the same. The authorities swing into action only after such unfortunate incidents take place and then make announcements, giving compensation in monetary terms, constitute probe, transfer/suspend some officials and forget that such incidents can occur again. At present, a number of unmanned open manholes, obsolete and broken electricity wires, choked drains, unsafe buildings and bridges are seen in the open posing a serious threat to people. Instead of playing with their lives, the administration should awake from its slumber and plug the loopholes wherever required before any tragic incident happens.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Policemen should be awarded

We appreciate the Chandigarh traffic police for detecting 2,68,420 traffic violations and collecting a whopping amount of Rs 9,30,35,650 towards fine in 2013. The initiative helps promote public safety. We suggest to the Chandigarh Administration that they should award the traffic police for achievements in apprehending an unprecedented large number of traffic violators and collecting the highest amount of fine. This helps promote efficiency and honesty in the Police Department. The current law has failed to check rash and drunk drivers who kill citizens on roads. They continue to pose a danger to society. The Law Commission's recommendations to the Central Government - raising the maximum jail term for death caused by drunk or rash drivers from two years to 10 years, awarding negative points to the driver and if cancelling of licences repeated - need to be implemented. The Law Commission said stringent punishment is the only way to discipline the drivers and ensure public safety.

Ajit Singh, Canada



Good news for women PhD students
Panjab University to come up with hostel for women research scholars by next year
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Panjab University will have its first hostel for women research scholars by next year. The proposal for the hostel will be tabled in the coming meeting of the Board of Finance for approval.

As per the proposal, the university is planning to set up a hostel, especially for women scholars, whose number is around 600 out of the total 1,000 scholars on the campus.

The authorities have proposed that out of hostel numbers 11 and 12, which are in the pipeline, one hostel will be earmarked for women research scholars.

As per the plan, the hostel will be constructed in about 80,000 sq ft area in the southern campus of the university. The hostel will have 300 rooms of two categories for the scholars. For senior scholars, the rooms will be cubical with attached washrooms, while for juniors there will be sharing accommodation on the premises.

Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover, who had proposed the plan, has directed the officials to give the estimate of the funds required for the purpose.

Sources said the university had mooted the proposal as more than 50 per cent of the research scholars were women and they had demanded accommodation in the university.

Dean Student Welfare Navdeep Goyal said the proposal had been sent to the XEN office for finalising the estimate by the end of this month in order to table it in the meeting of the Board of Finance.

Records of the university revealed that at present there are nine girls’ hostels in which around 3,610 seats are available for the students.

An official said the waiting list of the students seeking seats in the hostels touched around 600 to 700 every year due to the shortage of hostel accommodation in the university.



Computer teachers call off protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Computer teachers of the UT government schools called off their protest after DPI (S) Kamlesh Kumar assured them of taking up all their major demands, including regularisation of services, with the authorities concerned, here today.

The Education Department is also going to increase their salary by 25 per cent. There will also be no deduction of salary during any vacation and the contract will continue without any gap.

The teachers were protesting for the past two weeks. Today, they staged a massive protest at Sector 20, here, in which more than 200 teachers and data entry operators participated. Members of the UT Subordinate Services Federation, Safai Karamchari Union and the UT Cadre Education Employees Union also took part in the protest.

During the course of the rally, a panel of the teachers was called to meet the DPI (S), Kamlesh Kumar, at his office in Sector 9, here.

Swarn Singh Kamboj, president of the UT Cadre Education Employees Union, and office-bearers of other unions were also present.

Kamlesh Kumar said the teachers had three main demands - renewal of contract, hike in salary and regularisation.

“The department has considered all the three demands positively. While the process for the renewal of contract and hike in salary has been initiated, their demand for regularisation will also be taken up positively. A hike of 25 per cent in their salary is already been proposed and the file has sent to the Finance Department for the approval,” he said.

The teachers said they had called off their protest today with the hope that the department would initiate the process for regularisation.



Honour for Panjab varsity professor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Panjab University honorary Professor Rajesh Kochhar has been selected for the prestigious Indira Gandhi Prize for Popularisation of Science.

The Indira Gandhi Prize for Popularisation of Science is a national-level award given by the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) for outstanding work by an individual for the popularisation of science in any Indian language, including English.

Professor Kochhar would be conferred the prestigious award, along with Professor Hari Om Vats of PRL, Ahmedabad, for their outstanding contributions in popularising science through mass media, especially print media, in English on a wide range of science subjects.

Professor Kochhar would get a medal, an honorarium of Rs 25,000 and a citation, which will be presented to him at the time of delivery of the award lecture. The recipient of the award delivers an award lecture on a subject of his choice during 2014 under the aegis of a nearby local chapter.



Poor skill development affects placement at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
The gap in skills imparted by Panjab University to its students and the industry requirement is affecting the placement of students every year.

A classic example of this is that recently when a company visited the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) department to select the pass out students, a company representative commented that earlier they had visited one of the private institutes and they found that the talent of the students there was much better than that of the students of the university.

If one looks into the record of the central placement cell of the university, he finds that the placement figures have declined in 2011 and 2012. As per the central placement cell records, there were 70 students who got campus placement in 2012, while its number was 115 in 2011 from University Business School. In the University Institute of Fashion Technology and Vocational Development, five students got campus placement in 2012, while its figure was 11 in 2011.

In another professional department, the campus placement declined rather than going up in the past two years. In the University Institute of Engineering and Technology, campus placement was recorded at 195 in 2012, whereas it was 396 in 2011. Similarly in the Department of Computer Sciences and Application, 32 students got campus placement in 2012, whereas the number in 2011 was 85.

Dr RK Singla, placement coordinator of the computer science, said the major reason for the decline in the recruitment was the lesser availability of students in the department.

He said a majority of the students, who opt for courses, usually go for the UGC or IAS exams rather than the IT industry as the craze for government jobs was much higher among students these days.

Records of the central placement cell reveal that out of nine clusters of departments, only two clusters - management and engineering - are active. Representatives of these two clusters keep on organising interactions or workshops for grooming the students. In the past two years, the rest of the clusters have not organised any workshop or industry interaction for the students.

Central placement cell director SK Chadha said due to missing links with the industry and the student interaction, the gap in demand and supply was increasing every year.

He said the students, along with teachers, should regularly visit the industries to update themselves about their future requirements.

Records of the central placement cell reveal that out of nine clusters of departments, only two clusters — management and engineering — are active. Representatives of these two clusters keep on organising interactions or workshops for grooming the students. In the past two years, the rest of the clusters have not organised any workshop or industry interaction for the students.



Bansal sanctions Rs 25 lakh grant for Panjab University

Chandigarh, January 8
Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal today sanctioned Rs 25 lakh for Panjab University for the construction of a reading hall in the girls’ hostel and an additional stall near the student centre.

Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) president and DSW office today received a sanction letter of Rs 20 lakh for the reading room and Rs 5 lakh for the construction of one additional stall near the existing ones at the student centre.

The PUCSC recently made a request to Pawan Bansal to sanction some money from the MPLAD fund to construct a library-cum-reading hall on the girls’ hostel premises so that the students do not have to go to the library.

PUCSC president Chandan Rana thanked Bansal for sanctioning the said amount and said: “This will solve the long-pending problem of girls. We will negotiate with the XEN office and the VC office to start the work as early as possible”.

NSUI president Manoj Lubana said mentioned this feat as one of the biggest achievements of the recent times. This would help about 3,000 residents of the girls’ hostel.



Oakridge students showcase creativity at puppet show
Our Correspondent

Students of Oakridge International School perform during an inter-house human puppet show
Students of Oakridge International School perform during an inter-house human puppet show. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, January 8
Oakridge International School organised an inter-house human puppet show, which gave a chance to students to showcase their creativity.

The performance was spellbinding as the children were in a “complete puppet mood”. The attire, songs, hand movements and blank expressions illustrated the thorough research done by the students on how a puppet was different from a living and breathing being.

Mozart House claimed the first award for an amazing use of stage and costume. The second position was awarded to Picasso House, which remained completely in sync with each other, while the third place went to Shakespeare House for being innovative in their approach towards the puppet dance.

Principal Prangilla Dass said puppetry had played an important part in entertainment in most parts of the world. Puppetry imbibed elements of various art forms such as literature, painting, sculpture, music, dance, drama and enabled students to develop their creative abilities.



from schools
Teachers attend workshop

Around 75 teachers of the British School, Panchkula, participated in a workshop, which was based on life skills and value system. These are the abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.

The teachers were told how to use these life skills for/in education by stating that education should be directed towards the development of the child’s fullest potential. Life skills-based education is now recognised as a methodology to address a variety of issues of child and youth development. They were explained the need to inculcate good values in the students. Story sessions, audiovisual activities and educational games should be used to imbibe superior ethics like courtesy and respect to elders, generosity, gratitude, self dependence and punctuality. — TNS



Role of youth in focus

Mohali, January 8
The Indo Global College of Engineering organised “The Big Debate” on the topic “Youth for Progress” in which students from engineering, MBA and architecture took part. The youth-centric theme attracted many speakers. Devinderjeet Singh, final-year mechanical engineering student, spoke on the huge impact that youth had on all policy decisions irrespective of whether these were for advertisements of various products or for political mileage or setting a new trend in any activity as more than 60 per cent of the country’s population comprised youth.

Prateek of the Civil Engineering Department spoke on youth as the main driving force today. Earlier, the youth was looked upon as the driving force of tomorrow but now the scenario had changed. The youth was now looked upon as the agents of change today as they had become aware and responsible and came forward to express their views and participate at all levels.

Sahil Sehgal, final-year computer engineering student, said the youth felt that they had a major responsibility for the country. He said they should learn from yesterday and live with hope for a better tomorrow. — OC



Students exhorted to donate blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Desh Bhagat University organised a blood donation camp in association with a bank at Desh Bhagat University. Members of the staff, students of different university schools and volunteers donated 61 units of blood.

In a press statement issued by the university’s corporate office in Chandigarh, Desh Bhagat University Vice-Chancellor Dr SS Chahal was the chief guest on the occasion. While inaugurating the camp, he said donating blood means saving precious lives and the students should come forward in large numbers for this service of mankind.

Desh Bhagat University Chancellor Dr Zora Singh said donating blood was donating life and students should set an example for others by becoming regular blood donors and donating maximum units of blood.

University Pro-Chancellor Tejinder Kaur said Desh Bhagat University had been organising such blood donation camps on a regular basis.

The camp was successful and the enthusiasm shown by the students was exemplary. The blood collection team distributed certificates, refreshment and badges among the blood donors.



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