C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT takes a ‘power’ nap
Fails to plug pilferage; city second in transmission and distribution losses
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
The UT Administration is planning to increase power tariff from the coming financial year, but it has failed to check transmission and distribution losses. In a recent report of the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC), Chandigarh stands second among the seven union territories in terms of transmission and distribution losses.

The inability of the UT Administration to check transmission and distribution losses results in poor power supply and also puts additional burden on the pocket of consumers.

The report reads: “The commission observed that the existing transmission and distribution losses for the 2013-14 fiscal of the UT Electricity Department were 15.5 per cent. The UT Electricity Department had given an undertaking that the losses would be reduced to 14 per cent by the 2016-17 fiscal.”

The UT Administration has also turned a blind eye to ‘kundi’ connections in the city, which results in the loss of Rs 7 crore every year.

Recently, a private contractor, who was supplying power to Colony Number 4 submitted a complaint to the electricity department and to the UT police about ‘kundi’ connections in the colony. The complaint even had the names of violators.

Change meters, JERC to UT

The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission had directed the UT Electricity Department to replace all non-functional and mechanical meters with electronic meters. The move is aimed at minimising losses. There are nearly 2 lakh consumers of different categories in the city of which 1.75 lakh are in the domestic bracket. In all, meters of around 10,000 consumers are not functional, while around 50,000 mechanical meters need to be replaced.



Number game: ‘0001’ goes for Rs 7 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
A whopping Rs 7 lakh could have made him a proud owner of a diesel-run sedan, but Gursewak Singh decided to buy ‘0001’ of the CH 01 AW series.

A Bathinda-based agriculturist, Gursewak, bought the vanity number in an open auction of vehicle registration numbers for Rs 7 lakh. He bought the number for his Toyota Fortuner.

On the first day of the two-day open auction, the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) was able to sell all vanity numbers, from ‘1 to 100’ for Rs 54 lakh. The remaining 170 numbers will be auctioned tomorrow.

RLA Kashish Mittal said being the first auction of the year and number of cars being bought in December 2013, today’s auction received a good response.

The second highest bid, Rs 3.5 lakh, was for ‘0009’. The RLA fetched Rs 2.30 lakh for ‘0007’ and Rs 2 lakh each for ‘0002’ and ‘0003’. This was for the third time that the RLA did not call any pre-bidding application for the auction of the vanity numbers.



Broom vroom, AAP to storm tricity
Party to hold its first public gathering at Sector 16, Panchkula, today
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 11
She did not have interest in politics, but when she saw Mr Change sweeping to power, she decided to support the Aam Aadmi Party. A resident of Rajiv Colony, Veera, a maid, said: “With the common man taking the reigns, people have started respecting the broom. Support has been pouring in from all quarters for the party, so even we decided to jump in.”

Not only the literate, but also the ones doing menial jobs are supporting the party. They were seen mobilising people at a camp in Panchkula.

The camp organised a day before the first public gathering of the party witnessed a huge turnout, with maids, sweepers and motor mechanics flocking to the place.

Chief spokesperson of the party Yogendra Yadav will address a gathering at Panchkula tomorrow.

Vijay Kumar Saini, a painter from Rajiv Colony, said: “Indira Colony and Rajiv Colony are named after former Prime Ministers, but still residents are deprived of facilities. I had even joined a political party in order to get our problems solved, but nothing happened.”

Seven counters will be set up at Aggarwal Bhawan, Sector 16, Panchkula, tomorrow for those who wish to join the party. Residents from Raipur Rani, Barwala and Morni Kalka, had also come to join the party.

Initially, only one floor was booked by the AAP workers for the rally, but seeing the willingness of thousands of residents, including sweepers, tailors and painters to join the party, all the three floors have been booked. The gathering is scheduled at 11.30 at Aggarwal Bhawan.

A number of retired Army personnel also came to the camp. CB Goel, MC councillor, who was suspended from the BJP, also joined AAP today. Colonel BS Rangi (retd), a resident of Amravati Enclave, said: “I joined the party to see a corruption-free society.” Anand Prakash, who fought for justice to Ruchika Girhotra, is also a volunteer of the party.



Supporters mobilisation camps
4,000 residents join AAP, 14,000 members registered till date
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
A day before the ‘Chandigarh Volunteer Convention’ of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Chandigarh, a large number of residents turned up at supporters-mobilisation camps organised by AAP volunteers in various parts of the city. AAP workers claimed that more than 4,000 residents joined AAP today. They said till date there were nearly 14,000 members who had registered from the city itself.

AAP is organising a ‘Chandigarh Volunteer Convention’ tomorrow (Sunday) at the Rally Ground in Sector 25. AAP leader and national executive member Prof Yogendra Yadav will be the main speaker at the convention.

To spread awareness about the rally and to continue their membership drive, AAP volunteers organised camps in Sectors 20, 22, 17, 40, 41 and Sector 25. Five volunteers led by Gurjusjit Singh, did campaign on cycles and distributed pamphlets to common man in Sectors 40, 41, 42 and 43.

Meanwhile, AAP is also planning to contest from Chandigarh Parliamentary seat. Already more than 200 people have applied for AAP’s ticket. AAP leaders said that the committee constituted by the party would take a decision regarding AAP’s candidate from the city. If AAP fields its candidate then there will be a triangular fight among AAP, the BJP and the Congress.

BJP and Cong keeping an eye on AAP

The BJP and the Congress, the two main political parties of the city, are keeping an eye on AAP’s activities. Even these parties have started their campaign at the booth level to counter AAP’s wave among voters.



Water supply to remain affected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Water supply to the city will remain affected for the next four weeks due to repairs at the Kajauli waterworks. There will be low water pressure during evening hours twice a week.

The MC will undertake the repair work of valves in the the Phase III pipeline.

“There are a total of five valves in the pipeline out of which one was repaired on January 9 and 10. Now, the remaining valves would be repaired in the coming four weeks,” said RC Diwan, MC Superintending Engineer.

Diwan said the process to separate the Phase I, II, II and IV pipelines of the Kajauli waterworks had been initiated and the city would not face shortage of water.

He said there would be low water pressure during evening hours on two selected days in a week.

It takes around 48 hours to repair a valve due to which water supply during evening hours will be affected,” said Diwan.



Front approaches Admn for release of Sikh detainees
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 11
Members of the Sikh Bandi Rehai Morcha have again started their activities towards seeking premature release of Sikhs in jails. In the first step in this direction, the members have moved an application to the Chandigarh Administration for premature release of three Sikh detainees, namely Lakhwinder Singh, Shamsher Singh and Gurmeet Singh. The trio, who has been on parole currently, is being lodged in the Burail Jail in connection with their involvement in former Chief Minister Beant Singh’s assassination case.

Talking to Tribune, Harpal Singh Cheema, a key member of the Morcha, said they were also going to move Supreme Court in this connection. “All the three detainees have spent almost 19 years in jail. They fulfill all the conditions for a premature release. We have sent the documents to the Chandigarh Administration and in this regard, we will also file a case in the apex court by the next week,” said Cheema.

The members of the front also held a meeting here, which was attended by several leaders of Sikh religious bodies, including Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa.

Khalsa, who hit the headlines by observing hunger strike for 41 days for the release of Sikh detainees last month, said the meeting was held to chalk out a new programme for the release of Sikh prisoners. Following his protest, the authorities had released Gurmeet Singh, Shamsher Singh, Lakhwinder Singh and another Sikh detainee Lal Singh on parole last month.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Sikh Bandi Rehai Morcha was formed during Khalsa's hunger strike.

“We have not left the issue. In fact, we are pursuing the case of the remaining two Sikh detainees - Wariyam Singh lodged at Pilibhit Jail (UP) and Gurdeep Singh Singh Khera at Gulbarga Jail (Karnataka) - to get them out on parole,” said Khalsa.

Fact file

  • Members of the Sikh Bandi Rehai Morcha have moved an application to the Chandigarh Administration for premature release of three Sikh detainees, namely Lakhwinder Singh, Shamsher Singh and Gurmeet Singh.
  • The trio, who has been on parole currently, is being lodged in the Burail Jail in connection with their involvement in former Chief Minister Beant Singh’s assassination case.



Emphasis on literature for children needed: Author
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Go back to your childhood if you want to write good stories, said Manorama Jafa, author and consultant, Children's Book Trust, New Delhi, who, among others, participated in the Chandigarh Sahitya Academy’s (CSA) literary function at the UT Guest House, here, today.

She felt the need for more work on children literature. She said special emphasis should be laid on the literature for children, as it was important for child's creativity and future.

She spoke at length on children’s literature and said it should not be restricted to just moral learning. The stories need to be told in an exciting manner to creatively involve the students.

She said the literature for children should also be recognised as a distinct discipline in India.

Manorama Jafa has contributed the most to the field of children’s literature in India. She is the author of nearly 100 children’s books and over 600 stories, articles and research papers on the children’s literature. Some of her books have also been published in Japan, Singapore, Holland and Italy.

“If you wish to write good stories for children, you need to go back to your childhood,” she advised budding writers. The others speakers of the day were documentary maker and writer Sagari Chhabra, poet Sonnet Mandal from Kolkata, Vinod Bhalla from Jalandhar, and SL Dhawan from Chandigarh.

After she read excerpts from her published works, Sagari Chhabra screened her latest documentary “Asli Azadi”, which comprised interviews with women who were involved in the freedom struggle. The screening was followed by an animated discussion with the audience.

Further, Sonnet Mandal read some of his poems and spoke of the inspiration behind his work. Dhawan Kamal regaled the audience with his shayari.

CSA chairperson Manju Jaidka said the academy would organise its fourth Festival of Letters from February 8 to February 10. Information about the programme will be posted on the CSA blog and Facebook.



HUDA official’s role under scanner
Probe panel to trace officer who gave go ahead to work of Rs 18 lakh when only Rs 4 lakh was permissible
Tribune News Service

Five Degrees restaurant wears a deserted look in Sector 5, Panchkula, on Saturday. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, January 11
After the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) sealed Five Degrees Café Bar and Grill following a shooting incident that took place on the New Year’s night, now, it is the turn of the HUDA official to face the heat.

The HUDA three-member committee that was constituted for probing violations, are now probing the role of their official who gave the go-ahead to their contractor to do the renovation work of Rs 18 lakh when the permissible limit was just 4 lakh.

Yesterday, a team of HUDA officials sealed the premises when the authorised signatory of the firm M/S Hot beans running the eating joint deposed before the HUDA Estate Officer and the officials found that the reply was not satisfactory. It was also told that the signatory admitted the said violations.

“As the place was lying dry and vacant for last many years, a renovation of 4 lakh was allowed. But we failed to understand how come the contractor did the renovation work of 18 lakhs,” said a HUDA official.

He further added, “If any official is found guilty, action would be taken against him.”

HUDA in its orders yesterday had stated that” As the licensee has violated the terms and condition of the license dated July 16, 2013, therefore, under Section 18(3) of the HUDA Act, 1977, licensee Ms Hot Beans has committed and continues to commit violations on the premises - Cafeteria Nirjhar Vatika, it is ordered that the said premises may be sealed till further orders.”

The case

The eating joint came into the limlight after Jaipal, a gunman, attached to senior Punjab-cadre IAS officer KBS Sidhu, was critically injured by a gunshot 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.

Gunman still unconscious

After 10 days, gunman Jaipal is still unconscious. A senior doctor at the PGI said that though they had removed the ventilator, yet he was unconscious. The police officials are waiting for the doctors to declare him fit to give his statement.

Nirjhar Vatika wears a deserted look

After the café bar and grill was sealed recently, the area near Nirjhar Vatika wore a deserted look.



Policy on screening of research papers sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
The Union Government should formulate a policy to screen all research papers presented by fellows and implement those which are in the benefit of the public. This suggestion was given by the city NSUI representatives in the Congress youth manifesto feedback meeting chaired by Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi in Bangalore today.

During the meeting, Punjab University Campus Student Council president Chandan Rana raised the issue that the Congress should include in its manifesto that all the research works conducted in various universities should be screened and implemented, if beneficial for the public.

He said a majority of the research papers were shelved in libraries and nobody considered them worthwhile. These papers should be implemented if they are beneficial for the public.

Reacting to it, Rahul Gandhi assured that the issue would be considered for inclusion in the manifesto and suggested that views will also be sought from the UGC on this issue.

In another session chaired by Union Minister Sachin Pilot, NSUI representatives suggested that the party should focus on the campus elections of all universities.

There was no motivation to join any political party after taking admission to the college or the university, NSUI representative said.

During the meeting NSUI leader Manoj Lubana pointed out that a majority of the private educational institutes had made education a business, due to which there was a steep hike in fees. He suggested that the government should frame a policy to control the fee hike in government and private institutes and make education cheaper for students.

During the meeting with Union Minister Manish Tewari on job and entrepreneur, Panjab University NSUI chairman Bhupinder Singh said the party should frame policies to streamline the problems faced by the professionals. He also suggested that the party should come up with the policy, which increases the scholarship for research fellows in order to attract students for quality research.

Students from around 140 countries attended this feedback meeting, which was divided into three sessions.



Inflation stares in the face of banking sector
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Challenges faced by the Indian banking industry were deliberated upon during a seminar ‘Indian Banking Industry-Challenges and Opportunities’ at the Chandigarh Judicial Academy in Sector 43. The event was organised by the Progressive Lawyers’ Forum. Experts stated that the risk management system had yet not embedded in the Indian banking sector.

KK Taneja, general manager, Central Bank of India, said: “The non-performance assets (NPA) of banks operating in India touched more than Rs 1.30 lakh crore in the last financial year, besides the amount of fraudulent activities in banks reached Rs 8,646 crore. Inflation, slow economy, downfall in foreign exchange rates, regulatory and monetary policies are the risk triggers.”

“We need to develop the risk management system to confront the issues of NPAs,” he said

Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul of the Punjab and Haryana High Court was the chief guest.

He said the banks needed a customer centric core-banking environment.

Justice Surya Kant of the Punjab and Haryana High Court said to gain an edge over their competitors and to address customer demands effectively, banks needed to do a balancing act by replacing old systems with new platforms without giving up on existing core banking modules.

Jasbir Singh, executive director, Reserve Bank of India, and Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) lit the ceremonial lamp. Among others present at the seminar included Anupam Gupta, senior advocate, Devinder Arora, general manager, Canara Bank, Iqbal Singh Bhatia, general manager, Punjab and Sind Bank, and JK Gupta, general manger, Punjab National Bank.

JK Gupta, GM, Punjab National Bank, said for banks, financial inclusion was still a major challenge. About 54 per cent of the Indian population was still without banking facilities.

Devinder Arora, general manager, Canara Bank, the banks were putting in efforts, still cyber losses were taking place.

Iqbal Singh Bhatia, GM, Punjab and Sind Bank, talked about the opportunities, saying only 9 per cent of the population used the Internet banking.



Experts deliver lecture on cloud computing

Chandigarh, January 11
The Society for Promotion of Science and Technology today organised its monthly lecture on cloud computing and its future. Chandra Shekhar of Dell Computers and Pawan Behl, CEO, Electro Photo Equipment Private Limited, were the speakers.

Giving comprehensive overview of the cloud computing, the speakers apprised the audience of the concept of “cloud” and its potential in the world of computers and its potential.

Cloud computing, which is closely linked to virtualiasation, aims at optimising CPU usage and allows the use of many operating systems on the same hardware - the cloud.

With the advent of cloud computing, the burden of data storage would shift from the desktop or laptop to servers and data can be accessed from anytime and anywhere. Thus, the clouding computing leads to economy of using ICT services resulting in lower costs.

The lecture also presented interesting facts such as all server farms in the US consume 2 per cent of the total energy used in that country. The main concerns in the area seem to be security and privacy of data and all public domain net servers, including Twitter, Facebook and Google, are paying special attention to these issues.

Another debate brewing in the subject is who owns the data. Despite all these concerns, the cloud service is becoming popular and it is the technology of the future. It has enormous potential for employment for which educational institutions should gear up and provide training to youth in this field. A lively discussion ensued after the presentations. — TNS



Red tape, graft discourage foreign investment: Trade body chief
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 11
Red tape, corruption and safety are some of the issues that NRI industrialists wishing to set up businesses here are dread of, stated Naval Bajaj, president of Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC), at Mohali Industries Association’s (MIA) Bhawan here today.

Bajaj along with other members of the body was in the town to participate in an interactive session with local industrialists. However, Bajaj said he was very happy to see the vibrant Mohali, which he earlier remembered only for cricket matches played at the PCA. “I must mention that there is a lot of progress here, specifically in Mohali, which is better for the industry,” said Bajaj. He added, “Our delegation is here on a trade mission, which focused mainly on five sectors - agriculture, agri food, education, infrastructure and energy.”

The ICCC delegation also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the MIA to improve trade between the two countries. “Under the MoU, both the associations will work towards exchange of information about products required by each country, exchange of information related to buyers and sellers, plan trade delegations for business networking and trade promotion, plan joint exhibition for products and services in both the countries and expand and develop bilateral relations and cooperation in the fields of trade, industry, investments and other economic fields,” said MIA president Gurkirpal Singh.

The other noted foreign delegates included Rajeshwar Rao Verka, Abu Baker, Sohail Saeed, director, Economic Development, City of Brampton, and Raymond C Chan, investment attraction manager, Government of Sasketchewan.



Housing society residents miffed at builder

Mohali, January 11
A dispute over spending the maintenance fund of a private colony came on road when agitated residents tried to block traffic on the National Highway-21 this morning.

According to sources, residents of the Shimla Homes, a colony at village Desumajra, were miffed at the builder, Radhey Soni, who allegedly suspended the water supply and the security personnel yesterday. The residents tried to block the traffic on the highway to lodge a protest against Soni. However, following intervention by the police, both the parties reportedly reached a compromise in the evening.

Earlier, the residents claimed that each family in the society used to give Rs 500 as maintenance charges to the builder but he did not use the fund properly. "When we refused to give him the fund, he suspended our water supply and security and also threatened certain residents," alleged some residents.

The residents of the colony also filed a complaint at Kharar Police Station following which DSP RS Mrar summoned both the parties.

Soni claimed that there was some misunderstanding between him and certain residents. "We went to the local police station where the matter was resolved," said Soni.

The police confirmed that both the parties have reached a compromise. — TNS



Passengers made to suffer

Things are yet to fall in place at Zirakpur. The bus stand is under construction and passengers are made to wait in the middle of Service Road. The need of the hour is a bus queue shelter. It is strange that a number of mishaps have failed to move the ruling government. On the one hand, it is organising functions for the NRIs while on the other it is unheeding the pleas of residents. A foot overbridge should also be constructed. The problems are soaring while the authorities are snoring. The government should either shift the site of the bus stand or construct a bus queue shelter. Risking their lives, the passengers are seen waiting in the middle of the road.

Alkesh Rana, Baltana

PGI in need of attention

The news report ‘Sanitation a casualty’ was an eyeopener. It is sad that the premier healthcare institute, PGIMER, lacks spic-and-span canteens. The hospital has failed to follow norms set by the apex body as far as maintenance of eating joints is concerned. It is shocking that the dishes are done in toilets. The litter remains unattended for hours. The hospital authorities do not care much about the cleanliness. The contractor sells unpacked fruits and juices, but nobody stops him. Action should be taken against him. Instead of proposing more flavours from the other countries, the authorities must tide over the problem. They should not let the contractor play with the lives of people. Delay in tackling the imbroglio may prove disastrous.

RAMESH K. DHIMAN, Chandigarh



Sitarist enthrals music lovers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Music lovers of the City Beautiful were treated to a scintillating sitar recital by Dr Lovely Sharma on the occasion of the 195th Monthly Baithak Programme organised by the Pracheen Kala Kendra in Sector 35, here, today.

Dr Lovely had love for music since childhood and she started learning the technique of playing sitar under the tutelage of Pt Brij Bhushan Kavra. Under his guidance, she honed her musical skills and developed an individual inimitable style of her own.

Dr Lovely is from Meihar Gharana. She happens to be the first lady sitarist securing the prestigious DLitt degree in India. She began recital with raga ‘Shivkalyan’. This was followed by ‘jod-alap’ and ‘jod-jhala’, which were a variant of the usual sitar playing.

Dr Lovely was at her best while executing the ‘drut’ composition in ‘teen taal’. Her touch, strokes, glides and subsequent production of tonal and microtonal effects left the audience spellbound.

She concluded recital with a crisp ‘thumri’ in raga Bhairavi. She was well accompanied by young and Avirbhav Verma on tabla.



UT violating CVC’s direction, says lawyer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
The Chandigarh Administration is not adhering to directions of the Central Vigilance Commission to check corruption. In a complaint to the Union Home Minister and UT Administrator, Ajay Jagga, a local lawyer, has stated that most of the departments of the Chandigarh Administration were violating the instructions issued in October 2009 by the Central Vigilance Commission, regarding displaying instructions on their notice board against bribes in a specified format.

It appears that the departments are not bothered to display the instructions despite the fact that the UT had issued a press note on October 7, 2009.

The Chandigarh Administration has only declared on its website the telephone numbers 2740154 and 2740012 to inform regarding corruption, he said.

The two landline numbers are of the office of the Adviser, since he is the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Administration and the SP (vigilance). But there is no awareness or publicity of the dedicated phone numbers for reporting corruption and even there is no call centre to handle or manage the complaints, he has stated.



Rape accused marries victim, acquitted

Mohali, January 11
In an interesting turn of events, a rape victim paved the way of acquittal of the accused after marrying him. The victim turned hostile in the court and claimed that her marriage with the accused has taken place following which the local court acquitted him here on Friday.

The accused, Manpreet Singh, and the victim are residents of Mirpur village in Dera Bassi. In her complaint, the victim had alleged that Manpreet had developed physical relations with her after making a false promise of marriage. The police had registered a case against the accused under Sections 420, 366 and 376 of the IPC. The victim had alleged that Manpreet violated her in a hotel at Lalru in September last year. Later, the accused ditched her following which the victim appraoched the police.

The trial was on in the court of Mohali Additional District and Sessions Judge. However, the victim changed her stand and told the court that she had got married to the accused. She also submitted the related documents in the court, following which the court acquitted Manpreet Singh. — TNS



Rusted bomb shell found in Sec 45
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
The Chandigarh Police today recovered a defused bomb shell weighing nearly five kilograms from the road separating Sectors 45 and 46 this afternoon. The labourers were digging alongside the road to lay sewer pipes when they found the bomb shell. The police was informed and they reached the spot and cordoned the area.

Rajesh Shukla, SHO, Sector 34 police station, stated that labourers were digging the road to lay sewer pipes alongside the road in Sector 45. They found the bomb shell after digging 10-feet deep.

“The police team immediately reached the spot and found that it was just a rusted bomb shell”, said the SHO.

The shell was around eight inch long and weighed less then five kilograms. Army officials were informed about the recovery of the shell.



PU students give ray of hope to underprivileged women
Organise workshop to impart training in phulkari art
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
With an aim to transform lives and provide sustainable business solution to 30 underprivileged women, a workshop to impart training in phulkari art by the students of Panjab University commenced at Mani Majra today. A team of 40 students of the Enactus Dr SS Bhatnagar University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Panjab University, headed by Saurabh Mittal and faculty advisor Dr Seema Kapoor, has come up with a project called ‘phulkari’.

Under this project, the women will be given the training of phulkari for the next three months. The training was inaugurated by Tapan Singh, project manager, PGI project IPHA CTIP.

Representatives of the Enactus Dr SS Bhatnagar UICET said they had adopted this cause in order to provide these women with their due by directly linking them to the market and eliminating the role of the middlemen. In order to promote phulkari, the Enactus team was providing training to the socially and economically weaker sections of society. The Enactus representatives have received orders from 17 shopkeepers of the city for phulkari products.

Recently, the team has started its training venture with the help of the Jan Shiksha Sansthan (JSS) with the women of Indra Colony so that they can earn a living out of it. The JSS provided the team with the mentor who will teach the art of phulkari to these women.



From schools
Death anniversary observed

The death anniversary of late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri was observed at Shastri Model School, Mohali. Balbir Singh Sidhu, MLA, Mohali, was the special guest on the occasion. He, along with other distinguished guests like Umakant Tiwari, Baldev Raj Sharma, S Rajwant Singh, staff members and students of the school, paid rich tributes to the former Prime Minister. They also participated in a havan held on his memory. Lal Bahadur Shastri’s contribution to the 1965 Pakistan-India War was discussed. Speakers said without his bold leadership, the outcome of the war would have been different. “We should follow the discipline and the dedication shown by him,” said R Bala, principal of the school.

School lifts trophy

Ryan International School, Chandigarh, lifted the Shishu Niketan football trophy for the third consecutive year. It defeated Shishu Niketan School, Sector 43. In the first half of the match, players of Ryan School were able to take the lead, but the students of Shishu Niketan levelled the score in the second half. In the penalty shoot out, the players of Ryan School defeated them by 2-1. Officials of the school congratulated the winning team. — TNS



40 EWS students get lucky
Seats allocated during draw of lots at Strawberry Fields
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Strawberry Fields World School, Sector 26, held its draw of lots for 40 seats reserved for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) students this afternoon. The school received 103 applications for 40 seats.

“We are very pleased that our programme of integrating EWS students and complying with the RTE Act has been running successfully for several years,” said Atul Khanna, director of the school. "The students selected today belong to poor background. They will be provided equal platform to grow at the school,” he said.

The draw of lots of all prominent schools will begin from next week. The list of the selected students of Vivek High School, Sector 38, and Saupin’s School, Sector 32, will be displayed on January 14. A majority of the parents are waiting for the draw of lots of missionary schools, scheduled on January 15, and Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior School, on January 18.



Students get cash prizes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Top five students each from Classes V to VIII and top 10 students each from Classes IX to XI were awarded with cash prizes worth Rs 10,000 each during an award ceremony of Allen Career Institute at the Tagore Theatre in Sector 18, here, today. Those awarded were the winners of the institute’s recent talent search examination.

VK Singh, Education Secretary, Chandigarh Administration, was the chief guest. More than 9,000 students from Chandigarh (tricity), Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir participated in the talent encouragement exam held on December 22. The students won amazing prizes based on their result.

Top 200 students will also participate in the institute’s power session. National-level experts will take the session on career guidance.



University director honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Ex-Governor of Sikkim and former Agriculture Minister Choudhry Randhir Singh honoured Dr Surjeet Patheja, Director, Desh Bhagat University School of Education, with the National Jewel Award and Indian Award for Excellence in Education and Social Service in New Delhi.

Dr Patheja was honoured during a seminar on the theme “Economic Growth and National Unity” organised by the Friendship Forum of India in New Delhi.

While congratulating Dr Patheja, Desh Bhagat University Chancellor Dr Zora Singh and Pro-Chancellor Tejinder Kaur said she was performing her duty excellently and also serving the needy people. University Pro-Vice-Chancellor Dr Shalini Gupta also felicitated her on this achievement.



Teachers hold rally

Mohali, January 11
Seeking regularisation of their services, members of the 7654 Joint Front Teachers’ Union staged a dharna and held a rally on the Kharar-Ludhiana highway near Khanpur village this afternoon.

Movement of traffic on the busy highway was affected as agitators marched towards Kharar bus stand after staging the dharna. The protesting teachers also made an attempt to stage a sit-in on the main road but the police thwarted their move.

The main demand of the protesters was regularisation of their services.

“Every promise made by the government turned out to be false. The government is not paying any heed to our demand,” said president of the union Navdeep Samana.

The protesters put off their protest after the area DSP assured them of arranging a meeting between a delegation of the union and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. — TNS



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