C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Land acquisition: Farmers reject meagre compensation
Hold protest outside GMADA office, threaten to move court 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 10
Sore over the inadequate compensation for the land acquired by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), residents of nine villages held a protest outside the office of the authority today.

The protesters raised slogans against the Punjab Government and GMADA and threatened to move court.

The protesters had come to the GMADA office to fill forms in connection with the awards announced by the authority for the acquired land. The awards announced last month by GMADA were accepted by the affected farmers under protest. They, however, refused to accept an additional 10 per cent amount which would have debarred them from moving the court challenging the awards.

The villages where the land has been acquired for a road project include, Togan, Teera, Bansepur, Sainimajra, Ghadouli, Ranimajra, Kansala, Kartarpur and Boothgarh .

President of the Mullanpur Master Plan Zimidara Union JS Dhaliwal said 132 acres had been acquired by GMADA in the nine villages for the construction of a 200-foot-wide road from Togan to Boothgarh. According to the master plan of Mohali, this road was to be a part of a road which was planned to connect Mohali with Anandpur Sahib.

Dhaliwal said GMADA had announced the awards for the land acquired on December 30 when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had come to Mullanpur to lay the foundation stone of a cancer hospital. Dhaliwal alleged that the awards were announced around 4.30 pm and that too in the absence of the affected farmers.

An award of about Rs 1.86 crore per acre was announced by GMADA, which included the solatium. However, an additional 10 per cent amount was refused by the farmers, which would have debarred them from going to court.

Private companies, he said, had earlier purchased land in the area in question for about Rs 3 crore per acre and a few others were now offering up to Rs 4.5 crore per acre. 



Five Degrees freezes 
HUDA seals restaurant; was running without an agreement 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 10
The controversial eating joint, Five Degrees Café, Bar and Grill, at Nirjhar Vatika, Sector 5, was today sealed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) for running the cafeteria without executing an agreement.

A team of HUDA official sealed the premises after the estate officer of the authority rejected the plea of the promoter who had appealed against the show-cause notice issued Hot Beans, the firm running Five Degrees.

The action came following a report published in these columns 'Cafe bar in for more trouble' recently.

The eating joint remained in news after Jaipal, a gunman attached to senior Punjab-cadre IAS officer KBS Sidhu, was injured while he was reportedly accompanying the bureaucrat’s son, Sehaj Sidhu. After the incident, the Punjab Police had also ordered a probe and withdrawn Sidhu’s security. A team of HUDA went with the force this afternoon and sealed the premises. They asked the staff of the restaurant to take out the belongings. The authorised signatory, Sandeep Chauhan, represented on behalf of Hot Beans and admitted that the cafeteria was being run without an agreement.

An order by estate officer Vandana Disodia stated: “The licensee clearly admits that he has violated the terms and conditions of the licence dated July 16, 2013, therefore under Section 18(3) of the HUDA Act, 1977, that licensee Hot Beans has committed violations on the premises of the restaurant, it is ordered that the premises be sealed till further orders.” HUDA had ordered an inquiry and constituted a three-member committee to probe as to how the cafeteria was being run without execution of an agreement. 

No permission to serve liquor

The promoter of the restaurant claimed to have obtained a licence to serve liquor. However, a communication by the Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner to HUDA belied his claim. The communiqué stated that the restaurant was never issued a liquor licence. Also, a public notice was served against serving liquor on the premises of the restaurant.

Bicker over liquor 

Following complaints by residents, MLA DK Bansal raided the premises and found that liquor was being served to customers. HUDA officials said they never allowed the restaurant to serve liquor as it was situated in a public park. Liquor bottles were replaced with soft drinks, claimed Bansal.



AAP replaces ‘I’ with ‘we’, clamours for change
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
From a rickshaw-puller to an NRI and an IT professional to a Merchant Navy officer, people from all walks of life are campaigning for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the city.

Thirty-two-year-old IT professional Kamal Kishore Sharma, who left his lucrative job and had gone to Delhi for campaigning, is busy spreading awareness about AAP in the city. He said they were organising cycle rallies and door-to-door campaigns to increase the party’s base in the city.

Kamal Kishore Sharma, who also observed fast with Anna Hazare at the Ramleela ground, Delhi, in August 2011, said he was with AAP because he doesn’t want to miss the chance to serve the nation.

Similarly, 42-year-old NRI Shree Krishan is campaigning door-to-door for the party in colonies of Sector 25 and Dadu Majra. He along with some young advocates, IT professionals, is mobilising residents to come into the party fold. Krishan said he was running a finance company in Melbourne. He has joined the party to see a change in the current system in India. He used to provide financial assistance to the party when he was in Australia.

Thirty-six-year-old rickshaw puller Prem Shankar is campaigning for AAP by sporting a cap of the party. Prem said he joined AAP as he wanted a corruption-free society. He has also put up a banner of the party outside in house in Nehru Colony, Sector 53.

Likewise, 39-year-old Merchant Navy officer Gurjusjit Singh, who is on a leave these days, said, “I always wished to replicate what all good I had seen around the world. I always hated the corrupt culture in Indian politics. I got a platform in the form of AAP to launch a crusade against corruption. I have been working since the inception of the party in Chandigarh and vow to bring change in the society.”

US returned businessman Harbir Singh Nain is also mobolisng residents to join AAP. 

First rally tomorrow

The Aam Aadmi Party will organise its first rally in Chandigarh on January 12 at the Sector 25 Rally Ground. The rally will be addressed by senior party leader Yogendra Yadav. 

Milkha Singh’s wife, daughter join AAP

Nirmal Kaur, wife of legendary athlete Milkha Singh, joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday. Nirmal Kaur said she filled in the online membership form of AAP. Her daughter Dr Mona Singh also filled in the form. Nirmal Kaur said she was impressed by the aims and objectives of the party. 


Amanjot replaces Harbhajan 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 10
Amanjot Kaur, daughter of SAD leader Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, was today appointed the chairperson of the Mohali District Planning Committee.

She has replaced Punjabi actor and singer Harbhajan Mann who had tendered his resignation on December 18 last year.

Amanjot Kaur said she had been working for the development of the town for the past two years. Appreciating her work, the government has appointed her the chairman.

When asked about her priorities, she said: "After assuming the charge on Monday, I will go through files and decide on the type of development work that needs to be carried out in the town."

Amanjot Kaur has been working as the general secretary of the Istri Akali Dal and had campaigned along with her father in the Mohali constituency during the last Assembly elections.

A difficult task awaits the new chairperson as Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had stated earlier that the government planned to develop Mohali as a world-class city.

Sources said Mann had resigned because he was not able to focus on the work of the planning committee. He was preoccupied with his singing and acting assignments, they stated. 



3 more drug stores to come up at GMCH-32
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
For purchasing medicines, patients will no longer have to shuttle between blocks at the GMCH-32. The hospital will soon have three more medical stores. At present, there are two stores in Block A.

The bidding for the chemist shop underneath the ramp leading to the Emergency completed today while the other two stores will come up near the CT Scan Centre and Block C.

Chandigarh Tribune had earlier highlighted the plight of patients, especially those visiting the Block C of the hospital. They had to face a tough time finding medicines.

The medical store in the Emergency Unit remained closed for more than six months.

The bidding was closed following the intervention of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today.

“As soon as the court orders are received, we will allot the shop to the bidder,” said Director-Principal of the GMCH Dr Atul Sachdev.

The other two shops will be set up in three months. Patients coming for surgeries and those staying in private rooms at Block C have to go through a harrowing time.

The patients have to go from one block to the other in search of medicines and surgical items.

A patient who has to undergo a surgery in the Operation Theatre Complex at Block C has to shuttle between Blocks A and C for purchasing bandages and medicines. 

Fact file

* The bidding for the chemist shop underneath the ramp leading to the Emergency completed today while the other two stores will come up near the CT Scan Centre and Block C.

* The medical store in the Emergency Unit remained closed for more than six months.



Clean admn my priority, says Singhal

Panchkula, January 10
I have observed the problems faced by a common man and now I would be on the other side of the line, managing things, said Ajay Singhal, who assumed the charge of Panchkula-Ambala Commissioner of Police today and convened a meeting of all the police officials.

Singhal said he got the field posting after eight years, so he had observed the kind of problems faced by a common man. Now, he has to improve the system.

The new top cop was in the Vigilance Bureau for six years and later, in the CID.

"Clean administration is my priority which I have conveyed to all the officers. During the meeting today, a clear-cut message was given to the officials that the system needs to be improved now. I have briefed the DCP that redressal of complaints lodged by public should be done speedily," said Singhal.

The top cop said he would try that in a crime involving women like snatching, a woman cop may be sent to the spot in a PCR vehicle.

Aiming to bring a positive change in the functioning of the police, the new Commissioner said, "We need the support of media and will take their criticism in our stride. After all, our aim is the satisfaction of general public," signed off Singhal. — TNS



Panchkula police post in-charge suspended
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 10
Sub-Inspector (SI) Atma Ram, the in-charge of the Sector 19 Police Post, has been placed under suspension.

Following a complaint by a woman wherein she alleged that she was harassed by the Sub-Inspector when she went to the Police Post along with her two daughters, aged 21 and 17 years, to lodge a complaint against a man who had been troubling her.

Police Commissioner Ajay Singhal had marked an inquiry into the allegation to an ACP level officer. After the inquiry, Ram was placed under suspension, but not on the charge levelled in the complaint. He was suspended because he made the women sit in the Police Post for a long time in the absence of a female police officer.

A release by the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner of Police stated, "A preliminary enquiry was conducted on a woman's complaint accusing SI Atma Ram of harassment. ACP Purnima Singh, who conducted the inquiry, found the charges of harassment were ill-founded." However, it came to notice that the woman and her daughters were called to the Police Post in connection with their complaint, at a time when there was no female police officer present in the Police Post.

This is in violation of instructions issued by the Police Headquarters from time to time prohibiting calling of females, juveniles and elderly to police stations for the purposes of enquiry or investigation and mandatory assistance of a female police official while dealing with a female complainant, said the release.

"SI Atma Ram has been placed under suspension for dereliction of duty and a departmental enquiry has been initiated against him," stated the release.



VB team raids sewage treatment plant

Mohali, January 10
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) today conducted a raid on a sewage treatment plant project, which is under construction at Kharar.

The raiding team, which was headed by SP Hargobind Singh, reportedly collected samples of various materials being used in the construction work, including cement, and seized records.

There were allegations that substandard materials had been used in construction of the plant. The project is being undertaken by a Delhi-based company, which was awarded the contract worth over Rs 8 crore. The project began in June 2012 and was to complete in June last year but did not. Vigilance officials said a report in this regard would be submitted to the higher authorities within three days for taking further action. — OC



Bansal gets bigger role in Cong
New responsibility may come in way of him getting ticket for Chandigarh seat 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Former Union Railways Minister and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, who resigned from the Railway Minister’s post due to the railgate scam, is now back with a larger role as he has been made the head of the screening committee for Gujarat, Rajasthan, Dadar Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

Bansal will now recommend names of Congress candidates for the upcoming Parliament elections from two states - Gujarat and Rajasthan, presently ruled by the BJP, and two Union Territories - Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, where the BJP candidates had won the last Parliament elections.

But the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had recently advised the Congress leaders, who are given the responsibilities in organisational setup not to contest the parliamentary elections. Therefore, this new responsibility can create hurdles for Pawan Kumar Bansal’s nomination from the Chandigarh Parliament seat.

A senior party leader said that Rahul Gandhi was quite clear that organisational work suffered when a person wanted to personally contest the elections. The issue was hotly debated even at the Jaipur Chintan Shivir, as a vast section within the Congress felt that an individual always chose his own election over party work when it came to dual responsibility, he added.But the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) president BB Behl said that there was no bar on giving ticket to leaders who were heading various committees. By giving the new responsibility, the senior party leadership had once again shown faith in Bansal, he added.

Railgate changed political scenario in city

Before May 2013 (railgate scam), the old warhorse of the Congress Pawan Kumar Bansal was a trusted bet of the party for the Chandigarh seat. But now, many Congress leaders are trying to get the ticket from the city. When Bansal was the railway minister and his political image was clean, the leaders supported him, but after his name cropped up in the scam, things have changed.



Tricity LPG auto-rickshaw owners hold chakka jam, condemn hike in LPG prices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The Tricity LPG Auto-rickshaw Union (affiliated with Janata Dal United ) observed a chakka jam in the city today. At the mass protest rally, an effigy of the UPA Government was also burned to show their anguish over the increase in LPG fuel price, which had crippled the auto-rickshaw owners.

The union chairman, Surinder Bhardwaj, while addressing the rally, condemned the UPA Government and said that it had put financial burden on them by increasing the prices of the LPG. He said that the recent hike in the LPG fuel prices by the Government of India had come as a big blow and a shock to the poor LPG auto-rickshaw owners who were already facing the apathy of the Chandigarh Administration. The Administration had not yet phased out the illegal diesel auto-rickshaws plying in the city.

He said that it was the decision of the Chandigarh Administration in 2009 to introduce the LPG version of auto rickshaws and phase out the diesel auto -rickshaws under the programme of Green Revolution on the pretext of clean environment and green city. But no proper measures had been taken by the Administration to keep the city pollution free, he said.The union demanded an immediate rollback of the enhanced prices of the LPG fuel with a suitable subsidy given to all the registered LPG auto-rickshaw owners in Chandigarh.

He further said that there should be an immediate ban on all unauthorised diesel auto-rickshaws plying in the city and the issuance of the tricity permit (Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali) should be brought under one roof.



Mercury to dip further
Trains delayed due to dense fog in the region
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The city received light rainfall in the evening, which resulted in further dropping of temperature.

As per the Met forecast there will be light rain tomorrow also which will further affect the maximum and minimum temperature. Adding to the woes of the people there will be fog during the night and in the morning in the city.

As per the Met department, the city recorded maximum temperature of 18.2 degree Celsius, which is two degrees below the normal and minimum temperature of 4.4 degree Celsius, which is one notch below the normal.Due to dense fog, four trains were delayed today by three to five hours. The Chandigarh-Lucknow train was delayed by more than five hours, Unchahar Express-Chandigarh by more than three hours, Paschim Express and Howrah-Kalka Express by more than two hours.

The passangers were inconvenienced at the railway station as many commuters had to miss their link trains. They were seen seeking information about their trains for the railway information counter.



AAP to come out with national agenda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The National Executive member of Aam Admi Party (AAP), Sanjay Singh, today said the party was coming out with its national agenda.

Singh, who had been called upon by former Punjab DGP Shashi Kant at his Sector 18 residence said that the screening committee of the party would go through all the application filed by candidates.

He said the party was getting good response as people from all walks of life were joining them.The national executive members were in the city to oversee the arrangement for the party meeting in the city on Sunday. The DGP stated that he was not joining AAP, but would support the party. 



Condemns Congress, BJP’s move

Chandigarh, January 10
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is ready to fight the Lok Sabha elections in Chandigarh, today, condemned the move of the BJP and the Congress, in which a probe was marked by the Municipal Corporation (MC).

In the incident, the BJP councillors had used bricks with BJP prime ministerial candidates Narendra Modi’s name engraved on them for laying the foundation stone of a community centre and later, the Congress had put up posters of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi at the community centre. The AAP condemned the move and said political parties should not be allowed to use public property to play politics. 



UT gets go ahead from Centre for UNESCO heritage status
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
On the issue of getting prestigious UNESCO heritage status for certain building designed by French architect Le Corbusier, the UT Administration has received a positive response following an inter-ministerial meeting between the representatives of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Culture.

“The UT has been given a go-ahead for preparing the dossier before September 2014, said UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar.

Against the previous failed attempt in 2006 to get a heritage status for the city, the UT will now be vying to get a heritage status for architectural masterpieces in the Capitol Complex.

The UT in consultation with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will now be filing serial nomination as part of trans-national dossier. It is called trans -national dossier when the heritage buildings of different countries are part of a dossier.

The UT will soon start the voluminous exercise of classifying and preparing detailed documents of the architectural masterpieces in the city before the case is put up before UNESCO.

Officials said depending upon the clearances from the Centre, the dossier could be taken up as part of nominations listed for 2015. The deadline for 2014 had already been missed.

In 2006, the Administration had prepared a dossier, but did not succeed as the case had not been routed through the Centre. Thereafter, the UT had been consistently working towards the goal.

Chandigarh's case was always believed to be fit for inclusion in the category of the modern heritage. Planned by French architect Le Corbusier, the city has several buildings designed by him and his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret.



Inspector suspended
Was late to report on accident spot 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The Chandigarh Police has suspended Inspector Tarsem Rana for not reaching on time at a spot during night duty.

Rana who has a controversial past was arrested by the Panchkula Police in 2012 for helping a fake IPS officer.

UT SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill stated that Rana was on night duty on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday when he was asked to reach at a spot, but he was late by more than 20 minutes. The police stated that DSP Satish Kumar, who was also on night duty reached at an accident spot in Sector 26, and Inspector Rana reached late.

The SSP stated that Rana had been suspended on the basis of the observations made by the DSP on night duty.

The Panchkula Police had arrested Rana for his alleged involvement in the fake IPS officer case. He was arrested for his links with Aman Kumar, who was arrested for duping people by posing as a fake IPS officer.

Following the incident, the Chandigarh Police had suspended Rana, but he was reinstated recently by the Chandigarh Police. He is again in trouble.



Encroachments removed 

Mohali, January 10
As many as 22 commercial premises, which had unauthorisedly come up on a land acquired by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), were demolished by the enforcement wing of the authority here today.

The commercial set-ups were allegedly functioning illegally on the road leading from Sohana to Landran. Each one of these had encroached on quite large areas. The establishments included saw mills, shops dealing in marble, shuttering material, etc. A team headed by SDO Satwinder Singh carried out the anti-encroachment drive despite some resentment among the affected persons. The security staff of GMADA accompanied the team.

The SDO said a week ago, the encroachers were ordered to vacate the area but they failed to do so. Today, they were again urging the authorities concerned to give them time to vacate, but the enforcement wing went ahead with the drive without causing much damage during the operations.He said the evicted persons had been given two days to remove their goods from the area. The road from Sohana to Landran would now be widened. —OC



Visitors seek tips on staying slim and fit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The right diet for staying slim and fit, this was the query on the mind of most patients and residents visiting the exhibition on Dietetics Day organised at the PGIMER today. Visitors aged between 25 and 60 sought tips on short-meals from dietitians.

The Department of Dietetics, PGIMER, celebrated Dietetics Day by organising an exhibition in the reception area of the Advanced Cardiac Centre for patients and general public titled “Heart Healthy Living - The Dietary Way”.“The focus of people is gradually shifting to staying fit and looking slim and younger. People from different age groups have been coming to us since morning with their queries on calorie components in food they like eating the most”, said one of the dieticians at the exhibition.Low-water intake and inadequate amount of exercise or morning walk was some practices found missing in the daily routines of a number of visitors.

They were guided to include at least 30 minutes of exercise in their everyday routine. At the dietetics department of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, 40 patients of diabetes, hypertension, obesity and heart problems gathered to brush up their knowledge on healthy diet.



High drama at Sec 18
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
High drama was witnessed at Sector 18 when a resident smashed the windowpane of the neighbour’s house and snatched the mobile phone of another. The accused managed to flee from the spot when the police arrived.

Lt Gen (Retd) BS Randhawa, a resident of House Number 1623 stated that when he was sitting in the veranda of his house, his neighbour Gobind Singh, a resident of house number 1613, walked in and started misbehaving with him. “Singh had a bottle of wine in his hands, he misbehaved with me and then took my mobile phone along”, Randhawa alleged.

PD Mahindra, a resident of House Number 1614, stated that Singh, who stayed next to his house, entered the lawn of his house and broke the windowpane by hitting it with the wine bottle. “He has been troubling all the residents of the area for the last many years and now its intolerable”, Mahindra stated.

All the residents of the area then called the police, and before they could catch the accused, he managed to flee.

A police official at the Sector 19 police station stated that they had taken the complaint and action would be taken against the accused. The accused has been causing a commotion on many occasion.



What’s on

A musical evening to be held at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16-B at 6:30 pm.

Seminar: A seminar on Introduction to Cloud Computing by Electro Photo Equipment Private Limited CEO Pawan Behl will by organised in the Seminar Room, Department of Physics, Panjab University, at 10:30 am.

APNI MANDI: Apni Mandi will be held at Mandi ground in Sector 43.

For "WHAT'S ON" please send email to whatson4ct@gmail.com



Draw of lots begins in city schools
15 candidates get lucky at Strawberry Fields, other institutes too get ready
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The last leg of the admission process in the city-based schools began today with the draw of lots at Strawberry Fields School, Sector 26.

A total of 15 applicants were selected through the draw of lots. Also, 59 seats were given to siblings of existing students and 61 were allocated to those studying in the playschool. Tomorrow, the school will conduct draw of lots to select students from economically weaker section (EWS). Over 120 students have applied for a total of 40 seats under the EWS category.

“The number of applicants, as always, far exceeds the number of seats available. As much as we would love to, we will be unable to accommodate all the children,” said Atul Khanna, director of the school.

Other schools, too, are all set to conduct their draw of lots. Over 4,000 students have applied for admission to the four Christian missionary schools: St. Anne's Convent School, Sector 32; Carmel Convent School, Sector 9; St. John's High School, Sector 26; and Sacred Heart School, Sector 26.

All these schools will conduct their draw of lots after 3 pm on January 15. Only one person per application will be allowed to attend the draw of lots. The list of students eligible for the process will be displayed on the websites of all these schools on January 14.

The draw of lots at Delhi Public School, Sector 40, will be held on January 16, while KBDAV School, Sector 7, will conduct the process on January 18 on the school premises.

Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior, meanwhile, has received the highest number of applications. As per the school officials, nearly 1,700 applications have been received against 75 seats.

Principal of Bhavan Vidyalaya (Senior School), Sector 27, Vineeta Arora said only one parent will be allowed to sit for the draw of lots. Nearly 50 seats are expected to be allotted to the general category, she said.

Vivek High School, Sector 38, which has followed the points-based system, will display its list of selected candidates on January 14. Saupin’s School, Sector 32, which has adopted the neighborhood criterion, will display its list on January 15 and the waiting list on January 25.



P’kula schools to open on Jan 15
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 10
Giving some respite to students from the prevailing cold weather, the Director of Secondary Education has extended the winter vacation at Panchkula-based schools till January 14.

A communication from the office of the Director of Secondary Education, received by all the local schools today, mentioned January 15 as the date of re-opening of schools.

Santosh Bhandari, principal of The Sky World School, Sector 21, confirmed that the official communication regarding the extension was received by the school authorities today.

Krit Serai, principal of Satluj Public School, Sector 4, said: “As in the past few years, the winter vacation has been extended. We generally open our school by January 15. Keeping this in mind, this time, we closed the school on December 29.”

The principal said the school had accordingly planned the schedule for the pre-board examinations that will be begin after students came back from the winter vacation.



Confusion prevails over joining AAP
PU teachers not sure if rules come in way of their joining any political party
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Confusion prevails among teachers at Panjab University over joining the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The interested teachers are busy leafing through the PU calendar to find if they are allowed to join any political party while retaining their jobs.

Sociology professor Manjeet Singh said there was a clause on page number 129 of volume III of the PU calendar that allowed the teaching staff, with the prior permission of the authorities, to join any political party. The PU calendar, however, barred the non-teaching staff from doing so, he said.

The professor said he was seeking assistance in this regard from the legal fraternity as a large number of faculty members wanted to join AAP but were hesitant due to the lack of clarity on the issue.

There are over 50 such faculty members of the university who are in touch with each other for joining the party. To avoid any controversy over the issue of campaigning for AAP, the teachers will be organising meetings in the residential area of the campus.

English and cultural studies professor Akshaya Kumar said after the winter break, faculty members were planning to organise a meeting for those who were interested to join the party. He said the meeting will preferably be held at the residence of any faculty member, rather than on any official premises on the PU campus.

PU chief security officer Anil Monga said they had not received any request from faculty members for campaigning for AAP on the campus. He said there were no provisions for joining and campaigning for any political party on the campus, but the final authority to decide on the issue rested with the Vice-Chancellor.



PU makes online submission mandatory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The postgraduate students appearing for exams at Panjab University will have to fill their forms online. To start with, forms of the second and fourth-semester examinations, to be held in May-June this year, will be submitted online.

PU Controller of Examination (CoE) Dr Parvinder Singh said the forms will neither be available at the sale counter of the university nor on the university website. The forms will not be accepted by the university in hard copy, he said.

In the second phase, all the undergraduate students of the PU and its 188 affiliated colleges and four constituent colleges would also be covered under the plan, said Dr Singh.

The CoE said as the online system received a good response this academic session (2013-14), PU had decided to make it mandatory from the next session. This year, the postgraduate students had both the options: fill the form online or submit a hard copy. Around 29,000 of about 44,000 students opted for the online mode.

All the candidates were issued roll numbers online, helping them in getting all the information regarding the exams easily.



Staff, students get health tips
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Ryan International School, Sector 49, organised a workshop on preventive health for women.

Dr Swapna Misra from Fortis Hospital addressed women health-related issues, wherein she highlighted the importance of preventive measures to be adopted for good health.

She provided information on various types of cancer. Dr Misra also suggested several preventive measures to keep breast, cervical and ovarian cancer at bay.

During the workshop, the doctor inspired the teachers to go for regular check-ups in order to prevent various diseases.



A play-ful affair at Tagore Theatre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Around 80 students participated in six short plays staged at Tagore Theatre this evening.

The plays were the result of a two-week-long theatre workshop for children that concluded today.

The workshop was organised by the Department of Cultural Affairs in collaboration with the Tagore Theatre Society.

Children in the age-group of six to 12 years were trained at the community centres in Sector 37 and Sector 47 besides Tagore Theatre. During the workshops, children were given basic training in acting skills, voice modulation and other aspects of acting.

They prepared small plays during the course of training, which were staged today at 6 pm. Through the six plays, children touched upon various issues including child labour and gender inequality.



From schools

Sports meet concludes

Chandigarh: The mega sports event of Sharda Sarvhitkari School, Sector 40, came to a ceremonial finish with a cultural programme. The programme commenced with the lighting of lamp. The chief guest, Rajya Sabha MP Avinash Rai Khanna, was introduced to the audience by the principal BS Kanwar. Students staged group as well as solo dance performances. In his speech, the chief guest appreciated the efforts of the participating teams and stressed on the importance of sportsmanship.

Students bring laurels

Mohali: Three students of Gian Jyoti School brought laurels to the school by winning medals at a tae kwon do championship held at the Sector 10 skating ring in Chandigarh. Kunjan from Class VIII got silver medal in tae kwon do pee-vee fight, while Class VII student Mahima Bajaj and Class VI student Yugalpreet bagged a bronze each in the under-13 category.

Spiritual interaction

Swami Vivekanand Ji from Gujarat-based Darshan Yog Maha Vidyalaya visited DAV School. Interacting with the students and staff, he explained the concept of God, his functions and the aim of human beings in this world. Explaining the theory of Karma, he motivated the students to follow the path of truth and non-violence. The spiritual guru also told the students to respect their teachers and parents. — TNS



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