C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No PU fee hike for now
New fee committee to submit a draft at the next Senate meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Panjab University will constitute a new fee committee that will review the proposed fee hike and submit a new draft for consideration at the next Senate meeting. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Senate held today under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor (VC) Arun Kumar Grover. Resultantly, there will be no fee hike in the next session till the next Senate decides on it.

After objection from a majority of senators to the fee hike and their suggestions for finding other resources for generation of funds, the decision was taken. The VC stated that the fee committee would place its recommendations at the next Senate meeting, the date of which was yet to be finalised.

Acknowledging seriousness of the fee-hike issue, over which student parties have been staging a dharna in front of the VC Office and creating chaos on the campus, the Senators took up the matter after the approval of the budget. A majority of the senators requested the VC to resolve the issue amicably as the students continued to protest outside the Senate building.

The PU Dean, Student Welfare, Navdeep Goyal, who was appointed as ex-officio member in the Senate, by Chancellor M Hamid Ansari, tabled two representations of student groups. In both the representations, the students have demanded a complete rollback of the fee hike proposed by the authorities. He stated if the university withdrew the hike in tuition fee, there would be no upgrade of facilities. He proposed there should be at least 2 or 3 per cent hike in the fee.

Interestingly, all those Senators who were recommending resources to increase revenue, as the deficit gap has been increasing every year, during the discussions on budget for the next fiscal, objected to the fee hike, which would have added about Rs 2.5 crore to the university kitty.

A Senator, Varinder Gill, objected to the lack of funds for sports activities in the university. He condemned the fee hike, stating that it will increase the burden on students.

A former Vice-Chancellor and Senator, Prof RP Bambah, suggested the agenda should be postponed and discussed at a special meeting of the fee committee.

Another Senator, Dalip Kumar, recommended having an inclusive consultation mechanism by involving all stake holders, including alumni and parents.

Politicians for postponing fee hike

Ignoring the financial loss to the PU by holding back the decision on the fee hike, which was proposed after six years, the representatives of all political parties in the Senate demanded its postponement given this being an election year. Former Member of Parliament Tarlochan Singh said a special committee should be constituted to review it. He said it was not the right time to implement it.

Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal stated that the university should demand more grant from the Centre rather than putting burden on students.



Students call off protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The ongoing students' protest against the fee hike ended on Saturday with the constitution of a special committee to review the matter. However, the students claimed it as partial victory as the proposals of hostel and examination fees were not discussed at the Senate meeting held on Saturday.

The students were informed about the development by Senator DPS Randhawa. With regards to FIRs against nine students, the Senator said the VC would meet as also write to the IG and the SSP with full support of the Senate.

All the student groups agreed that a united front should pursue the matter if it was not taken up by the VC and they would resume the protest if the FIRs were not quashed by the police.

After a unanimous decision by all the organisations, the hunger strike by Raminder Singh ended with DPS Randhawa offered him juice.

Arishdeep, president of SFS, said the credit went to the students of Panjab University who stood firmly for their rights.



Fee hike issue
PU failed to handle students’ stir, say Senators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The Panjab University authorities failed to handle the protest by students and chaos on the campus as there was a communication gap between the authorities and the students’ representatives. A majority of the Senators expressed this view in the Senate meeting chaired by PU Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover here today.

The committee members, who were called by the VC to negotiate with the students on the protest, today alleged that they had been misinformed by the officials of the university on the issue during the meeting.

The Senate demanded from the Vice-Chancellor that an FIR should be registered against the police officials who had brutally beaten up the students and also ask the Police Department to withdraw the FIR against the nine students.

The Vice-Chancellor informed the Senate that from day one, negotiations were on with the students but they were reluctant to discuss.

Prof AK Grover said he had written to the SSP requesting him to withdraw the FIR against the students. If required, he would meet the UT Adviser and the officer on special duty to the UT Administrator to resolve the issue.

He preferred to remain mum on the failure of the Security Department of the university.

Rajesh Gill, a Senator, said the university authorities informed them that the students were at fault for creating ruckus as the authorities were not going to roll back the fee under the pressure of the students.

Ajay Ranga, another Senator, who was the member of Committee, said the university authorities adopted insensitive attitude towards the students who were beaten up by the police.

Senator Prof Shelley Walia said not only the administration but also the security officials failed in managing the students who created chaos in the university. He levelled allegations that the students who staged the protest on the campus were outsiders and had no academic motive behind it.

Rupinder Tewari, another senator, complained that the students who got the classes vacated on the campus also misbehaved with faculty members.

The Senators demanded from the VC to get SHO Mallkit Singh transferred from the PU, who is the reason behind the ruckus on the campus.

Complaint filed against police officials

All nine students of the Students for Society (SFS) filed a complaint to the Senior Superintendent of Police against the police officials of the Sector 11 police station for custodial violence perpetrated against the students of Panjab University on March 18. The complainants demanded appropriate legal action and criminal proceedings against the accused. The offences under SC/ST Act, Section 295A, 332, 323 of the Indian Penal Code were pressed.



Panjab varsity not making optimum utilisation of funds
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The Panjab University authorities are not making the optimum utilisation of funds, which are in their kitty, due to which many projects and schemes are hanging fire for a long time. During the Senate meeting held today, a number of Senators pointed out that the funds, which were allotted for projects or schemes, were not utilised due to which most of the projects were being delayed.

A classic example of which is the travel fund of Rs 8 lakh allotted for five years but during the first year, the university has not spent even a single penny out of it. This was revealed by a Senator in the meeting.

Raghbir Dayal, another Senator, said the university was collecting Rs 60 annually from the students for the maintenance of the students’ holiday home in Dalhousie, but the amount had not been utilised by the university.

The construction of the multipurpose auditorium at the PU was held up for the past several years. Every year, its cost of construction is increasing manifold, but the funds in the kitty of the university for this project are yet to be utilised, he said.

The Vice-Chancellor accepted in the meeting that the PU authorities were not managing the donations properly. He proposed that a new post of dean would be created to work for raising the funds for the university.

He informed the Senate that the university had taken up the issue with the Central Government for the grant of more funds.

Prof Karamjeet Singh, another Senator, opined that a deadline should be fixed for the completion of the projects of the university. He suggested that a review should be done of the non-teaching posts of the university, which are not required in the present scenario, and the surplus staff should be utilised in some other departments.

Prof Rajesh Gill, a Senator, complained that step-motherly treatment was being meted out to the Arts stream while allocating the budget by the authorities. Referring to the Budget statement, she said minimal funds had been allotted for the repair work of the arts blocks, which is in a shambles.

A total of 17 items were discussed in the Senate meeting today, after which the PU Vice-Chancellor adjourned it.



Sonia, Modi, Mayawati’s rallies to send election temperature soaring
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The City Beautiful will witness three rallies by political bigwigs the next week. The BJP’s primeministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati will address rallies in the city. Sonia Gandhi will be the first one among the political heavyweights to visit the city. She will be visiting the city on March 27 to campaign for party candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal. She will address a rally on the Sector 25 rally ground here.

Thereafter, it will be Narendra Modi’s turn. He will visit Chandigarh on March 29. He will address a rally to support the BJP’s candidate Kirron Kher.

Finally, BSP supremo Mayawati will visit the city to address a rally for BSP candidate from Chandigarh Jannat Jahan on March 30.

The three national leaders will address rallies on the Sector 25 rally ground. Political parties are gearing up to put a great show of strength during their respective rallies. Leaders have started doing rounds of villages and colonies to ensure a huge presence of workers at their respective rallies. The BJP and the Congress today held meetings to review the arrangements for their rallies.

Leaders have been asked to bring as many workers as they can to the rally. A worker of a party said: “They have prepared a list of people who have been assigned the task of bringing a large number of people to the rally. Two days before the rally, they will review the arrangements”.

Security agencies to be on their toes

As these leaders are coming within four days from March 27 to March 30, the security agencies will be on their toes. The UT Police and other security forces have started preparations for their visits. The security agencies are in touch with leaders of the political parties.



Bansal hits back
Says BJP, AAP don’t trust local leaders
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Former Union Railway Minister and Congress candidate from Chandigarh Pawan Kumar Bansal, who has been under attack from the BJP and the AAP for the past many days, has hit out at his rivals, terming them as ‘outsider’ Bollywood stars. Addressing a rally at Sarangpur, Bansal targets BJP’s Kirron Kher and AAP’s Gul Panag, saying that both the parties had no faith in the local candidates as they had given tickets to ‘outsider’ Bollywood actors.

Bansal asked if the two candidates, who remained busy with their films and TV reality shows, would be able to keep in touch with the people of the city. If either of these Bollywood stars wins, then the residents will have to go to Mumbai to apprise her of their problems, he said.

Bansal said both the candidates were desperately trying to prove their local link but they didn’t have any idea about the residents’ problems.

Congress councillor Mukesh Bassi said voters were smart enough and they could tell locals from outsiders. Bansal is not a new face for the residents whereas the candidates of the BJP and the AAP have just landed in the city, he said.

Bansal listed various initiatives like the construction of roads, schools and better hospitals across the city during his tenure as MP. He vowed he would make the City Beautiful even better. The city had seen development in the past 10 years and more development would take place in the future. New community centres and facilities at e-Sampark centres are the examples of changing face of the city.

Kirron, Gul prove their local link BJP’s Kirron Kher and AAP’s Gul Panag, who have been targeting Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal in their media interactions, are also trying to prove their local link. While Kirron says her parental house is in Sector 8 and she studied in Panjab University, Gul talks of her education in city schools and Panjab University. They seek votes, saying that they are the city’s daughters.



Chandigarh votes 2014
Gul shows the ‘aam aadmi’ face
Travels by CTU bus from ISBT-43 to Sec 17, interacts with passengers, CTU employees
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Shedding her glamorous look to connect with the aam aadmi, model-turned-actor Gulkirat Kaur Panag, the Aam Admi Party (AAP) candidate, today travelled by a local bus from the ISBT, Sector 43, to the bus stand at Sector 17. Accompanied by some of her supporters, all wearing the trademark AAP cap, she reached the Sector-43 bus stand surprising passengers waiting for buses. She sought suggestions for improving the public transport.

Later, the 35-year-old met employees of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) and heard their problems. Interestingly, Gul spoke in the local dialect to connect with the employees. She shared with them the experiences she had while travelling by CTU buses during her school days. Gul told them that when she used to miss her bus, even if she was late by a minute or so, her elder sister chased the bus on scooter so that she (Gul) could catch it.

“When I was studying in Kendriya Vidyala at Sector 31, I used to take a CTU bus from Sector 10 every day. Then, CTU buses were known for their punctuality and good service. However, now CTU buses are falling apart forcing the aam aadmi to resort to more expensive means of transportation at the time when fuel prices are going through the roof,” she added.

Gul, along with her supporters, boarded a Sector 17-bound CTU bus. On the way, she interacted with the passengers.

The AAP candidate told TNS that new buses, better connectivity and safety of women in buses would be on her priority list. She said for the safety of women passengers, every bus should have CCTV cameras installed inside, which should be regularly monitored.



Youth voice
Poll manifestos must have plan for creation of more jobs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
City youngsters want political parties to include in their manifestos concrete plans for generation of employment opportunities, to win their support in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Chandigarh Tribune spoke to young voters at the Government College, Sector 11.

Nitin Verma, a student, said young voters would cast their votes in favour of the party that would work towards creation of more employment avenues.

Gagandeep Singh said youngsters don't want promises in party manifestos but clear plans that the political parties have to end unemployment. He said the parties need to focus more on the youth as they were the future of the nation.

Amritpal Kaur said they were yet to come across a party manifesto mentioning plans to create jobs for skilled workers.

Kamal, another student, said political parties had befooled people a number of times by promising creation of jobs, which were never realised. "It will be better if parties focus on implementing their schemes rather then letting them remain on paper," he added.

Archana said no political party had a serious plan to resolve the problems being faced by today's youth despite the fact that they were in the majority. "The drama of promises will continue for another few weeks. Later, leaders will forget the assurances they made before elections," she said.

However, Shailinder Gill, a college student, seemed optimistic. He said this time, there was a hope that some political parties would come up with some good proposals for the youth.

Hina Verma, a college student, said India was all set for another polls and the voters don't have much hope that the promises made by political parties would be kept.

City poll facts

  • Highest polling: 66.85 per cent in 1971
  • The voting percentage in Chandigarh has remained below 70 per cent.
  • The polling percentage in 2004 was 52.06. In 1998 and 1999, it was only 42.36 per cent and 46.99 per cent, respectively.
  • Breaking the record of 20 years, the city recorded the voting percentage of 65.51 in 2009.
  • This time, the UT Election Department is expecting a voter turnout of around 85 per cent.



Hooda to hold road show today, Abhay Chautala to address rally
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 22
Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda will hold a road show in Panchkula while Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Singh Chautala will address a rally at Kalka tomorrow to seek votes for their respective party candidates for the Ambala Lok Sabha constituency.

Giving impetus to the Congress candidate Raj Kumar Valmiki, Hooda’s road show will start from Panchkula and head for Yamunanagar via Ramgarh, Kot Billa, Barwala, Mauli, Kakkar Majra and Shahjadpur to woo voters on this belt.

Abhay Chautala, the INLD star campaigner and son of former Haryana CM Om Parkash Chautala, will address a rally at Kalka government college ground in favour of the party candidate Dr Kusum Bala Sherwal. Chautala will address another rally in Kalka on March 30.

The Kalka assembly constituency is represented by Pradeep Chaudhary of the INLD.

Sources said Hooda was to lead the road show till Kalka but changed the programme on learning about Chautala’s rally there.

Cong candidate files nomination papers

The Congress candidate, Raj Kumar Valmiki, filed his nomination papers in Ambala this morning. Party workers led by Panchkula MLA DK Bansal and other leaders accompanied Valmiki to Ambala for filing of nomination papers. Later, the Congress candidate addressed a meeting on the HUDA grounds in Ambala. Meanwhile, Bansal held meetings with the sarpanches of Barwala, Majri, Ramgarh and other villages seeking votes for Valmiki.

Kataria’s wife campaigns

Banto Kataria, the wife of Rattan Lal Kataria, the candidate of BJP-HJC for the Ambala Lok Sabha seat, mobilised womenfolk in Kalka today. Accompanied by representatives of different women wings of the party, she sought votes for her husband and assured residents that developments works will be carried out and problems in the area would be resolved at the earliest.

Kataria held public meetings in villages surrounding Barwala, claimed Shashi Sharma, president of HJC, Panchkula.



Ambala votes 2014
Videograph leaders arguing with cops at nakas, DEO tells police
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 22
District Electoral Officer (DEO) Dr SS Phulia today asked the police to videograph the incident in case leaders, workers and supporters of a political party enter into heated arguments with the police personnel deployed at various nakas or flying squads. He further advised the policemen and other enforcement teams not to lose their calm while searching suspects and their vehicles.

The police have also been asked to contact Income Tax officials for a proper investigation before making seizures, Phulia said.

To curb the inflow of cash, liquor, drugs and contraband, which could influence voters, the DEO has constituted six flying squads for Panchkula and Kalka assembly segments (three each) falling under the Ambala Lok Sabha constituency. Dr Phulia said the flying squads would not only act promptly but also videograph the entire incident to maintain transparency.

The DEO has also appointed three duty magistrates each for Panchkula and Kalka assembly segments.

Land acquisition officer MS Sangwan will be the duty magistrate for the police stations at Sector 20 and the MDC, Panchkula. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mamta Sauda has been attached with him as a flying squad leader. Similarly, Hardeep Singh will be the duty magistrate for the area under Chandimandir police station and ACP Jagtar Singh will assist him as a flying squad head. Suresh Kumar, Naib Tehsildar, Barwala, will be the duty magistrate for areas under the jurisdiction of police stations in sectors 5 and 14 and ACP Arshdeep Singh will be heading the flying squad.

For the Kalka segment, NK Verma, Darpan Kamboj and Kanwar Daman Singh will be the duty magistrates for Kalka and Pinjore, Morni and Raipur Rani areas, respectively. The flying squads will be headed by ACP Purnima Singh, Paramjit Singh, in-charge Morni police post, and Gurmej Singh, in-charge, Mauli police post, in their respective areas.



9 file nominations on last day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Nine candidates, including seven independent, filed their nomination papers on the last day today raising the number of contenders for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat to 20. Janata Dal candidate Surinder Bhardwaj, who filed his nomination papers today, was accompanied by members of the party’s youth brigade on two-wheelers and LPG autos. The caravan passed through the markets of sectors 7, 27, 19, 18, 20, 21 and 22 to reach the Returning Officer’s office in Sector 17.

Scrutiny of nomination papers is scheduled for March 24 while nominations can be withdrawn on March 26.

Ram Sumer Morya filed his nomination as the candidate of Bhujan Samaj Party. Besides, Jasmer Singh, Reena Sharma, Surender Kumar, Ramesh Chander, Pawan Kumar Sharma, Narinder Bansal and Shamsher Singh filed their nomination papers as independent candidates.



Kirron woos voters at Bapu Dham Colony

Chandigarh, March 22
BJP candidate Kirron Kher carried out a road show in Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, today. As the road show reached near Bapu Dham Colony’s mosque, Kher was welcomed by members of the muslim community led by the Minority Morcha president Haji Mohammad Khurshid Ali.

While expressing her gratitude to the community for supporting the BJP, Kher gave a patient hearing to their views and suggestions. “During the road show, I observed the enthusiasm among local residents. Nobody can challenge the BJP’s wave here and resentment against the Congress misrule was also evident. I will connect with every section of the society. My priority will be to know the problems being faced by city residents so that the right mechanism could be introduced to solve them,” Kirron Kher said.

She was accompanied by senior leaders of the BJP and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). — TNS



Anandpur sahib votes 2014
Single-window system for poll-related approvals in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 22
A single-window system has been established at the offices of Assistant Returning Officers (AROs) for political parties and their candidates for obtaining permission for rallies, election meetings and use of loudspeakers and vehicles besides other necessary approvals. The service will be provided on the first come, first served basis.

This was stated by District Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu while conducting a meeting regarding election expenses with representatives of various political parties, officials of the Police Department, and Department of Excise and Taxation, and nodal officers.

The meeting was held at the District Administrative Complex.

The District Electoral Officer appealed to the political parties to submit their applications well before the event so that timely approvals could be provided.

Sidhu said any complaint regarding the elections could be made on a toll-free number 1800-180-2099, which was available 24 hours.



Police take steps for peaceful polls

Chandigarh, March 22
In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, the Chandigarh Police have taken 195 persons into preventive custody, registered 93 cases under the Central Excise Act and 10 cases under the NDPS Act. The police had initiated a campaign on March 1 to ensure that elections in the city remain peaceful.

Police officials said 1,396 of 2,123 arms licence holders have deposited their weapons while the remaining, including guards at banks and owners of jewellery shops have been exempted.

An inter-district coordination meeting of the Police Department was held at the Police Headquarters to work out a strategy to ensure peaceful elections. UT SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill, Panchkula DCP Ashwin Shenvi, Baddi SP Arul Kumar and officials from the CIA, Mohali, attended the meeting. The police will be sharing the list of proclaimed offenders with their counterparts so that the fugitives could be arrested before polls. — TNS



RO advisory to BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The District Magistrate-cum-Returning Officer, Mohammad Shayin, today issued an advisory to the BJP to carry out its election campaign as per the model code of conduct guidelines. BB Bahl, the pesident of Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, had complained that the BJP was planning to carry out a slanderous and malicious campaign against the Congress candidate, Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Today, Shayin made it clear to the BJP to follow the guidelines for political parties under which it has been provided that criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programme, past record and work.



Draw of lots for liquor vends
Excise Dept nets Rs 117.70 crore
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 22
The Excise and Taxation Department netted Rs 117.70 crore during the draw of lots for the allotment of liquor vends in Mohali district here today. The department has been able to earn Rs 26.47 crore more than the last year when the revenue stood at Rs 91.23 crore.

This year, there were more applicants for the allotment of liquor vends as compared to the previous year.

As many as 10, 589 applications were received this year against 7,255 of the last year. Accordingly, the application fee rose from Rs 23.49 crore received last year to Rs 37.41 crore the current year.

Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, Deputy Commissioner, who acted as an observer, said the entire draw of lots for the liquor vends had been videographed. Even the slips for the draws were picked up by government officials keeping in line with the directions of the Election Commission.

The Deputy Commissioner said 21 groups were formed for allotment, 12 of which were for urban areas. There would be 365 liquor vends out of which 230 would be for country liquor and 135 for Indian-made foreign liquor.

He said the total quota of liquor for the district was 47,00,641 proof litres. Out of this, 25,77,113 proof litres were for country liquor and 21,23,528 proof litres for Indian-made foreign liquor. This year the quota of beer had also been fixed, which was 47,37,285 bulk litres.

As many as 10,589 applications were received for allotment and the department got over Rs 37.41 crore as application fee. The allotment fee was also collected after the draw of lots.



186 posts of TGT lying vacant in govt schools
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Due to the lackadaisical attitude of the UT Education Department, 186 posts of Trained Graduate Teacher (TGT) have been lying vacant in government schools across the city for the past one year. The future of students has been put at stake as a majority of the faculty is being overburdened with classes and subjects in which they do not have specialisations, due to which lack of interest in teachers and students has increased considerably.

What came as good news for 186 TGT teachers, who had been waiting for the promotions for over 22 years, last year has now turned into a struggle story for schools. After the promotions of teachers as lecturers, most of them were transferred to other schools and their posts were left vacant.

Rajinder Kaur, principal, Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 40-B, said: “Last year, our science TGT was promoted as a lecturer and transferred to another school. Since then, the post has been lying vacant.”

Kaur said other teachers were being asked to take classes till a new teacher was appointed.

“We are hoping that we will get a science TGT by this academic session,” she said.

Educationists said an entire academic session passed without the Education Department authorities making any efforts to fill the vacant posts.

The apathy of the authorities can be gauged from the fact that till date neither any advertisement has been carried out for recruitment drive nor any promotion has been done from the JBT level to the TGT level in order to fill the posts.

“Since posts of TGT have been lying vacant in our school, we are overburdened with work. Though we have informed the officials about the issue a number of times, no action has been taken yet,” said a teacher.

Education secretary Sarvjit Singh said: “We will carry out recruitment drive after the elections. All vacant posts will be filled.”



Need to channelise energy of youth: Former Lt-Guv
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The youth from the northern part of the country need to learn from their counterparts from down south, who, after attaining professional degrees from well-reputed institutes both national and internationally, are serving in the tribal and the rural areas. This was stated by Lt-Gen (retd) Bhopinder Singh, former Lieutenant Governor, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry.

Singh said: “When I was serving as the Governor down south, many youngsters, including doctors and engineers, approached me and said they wanted to serve in the tribal areas. They were really committed and dedicated towards serving society”.

“The northern youth lack motivation. Hence, they are not as involved in social services as their southern counterparts are. If some incentives are given to them, they might also indulge in social services,” said the former Lieutenant Governor.

Bhopinder Singh was invited as the chief guest at the annual convocation of Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11, here today.

When asked about the overseas brain drain in the country, he said: “Due to the lack of research and development opportunities, the talent from the country has been going abroad. Had we invested in our universities and provided ample opportunities to the youngsters, they would have definitely stayed back and served the nation.”

He said there was a need to channelise the energy of the youth.

"Cooling off" period

While making his stand clear on the much-debated "cooling off" period needed for bureaucrats and defence personnel looking to join politics soon after retirement or quitting service, Lt-Gen (retd) Bhopinder Singh said: “I agree that there is a need to have a defined ‘cooling off’ period before people, who have held important posts in government offices, join politics. Politics do need people who have administrative acumen. Hence, defence personnel and bureaucrats can make good leaders. But during their serving period in the government, they should not mix politics and profession for the larger interest of the nation.”



Octave 2014
Artistes from North-East mesmerise audience

Chandigarh, March 22
Artistes from the North-East mesmerised the audience with their scintillating renditions on the second day of the ongoing “Octave-2014” at Sector 17 here today. The festival is being organised by the North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC), Patiala, Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

HC Negi, Income Tax Commissioner, Chandigarh, was the chief guest on the occasion. He appreciated the efforts of the artists and the organisers.

Artistes from Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Assam and Sikkim not only won the thunderous applauses from the spectators but also their hearts. Bamboo dance remained the main attraction of the event. — TNS



Admissions to medical, dental colleges
Reconsider eligibility criteria, govt urged
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 22
The Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA), Mohali, has appealed to the Punjab Government to reconsider the latest eligibility criteria for admissions to state medical and dental colleges for the current year.

Dr Manohar Singh Pawar, general secretary, PCMSA, Mohali district, said a government notification dated March 7 had created tension and resentment among admission seekers and their parents. The new eligibility conditions set out by the government made it mandatory for students seeking admission to the state’s medical colleges to have passed both matriculation and Class XII examinations from Punjab only.

Dr Pawar said the government’s decision had become controversial as it had left a large number of medical aspirants ineligible in Punjab and in Chandigarh.

He appealed to the government to rescind the decision to end the confusion so that the time of students could be saved as the entrance test was going to be held in May.



PSPCL told to refund amount to complainant
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 22
The Permanent Lok Adalat (Public Utility Services), Mohali, headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal, came to the rescue of Kabal Singh and directed Punjab State Power Corporation Limited and the Assistant Executive Engineer, PSPCL, Mohali, to refund the excess amount recovered from him and pay him interest at 9 per cent per annum.

Reports about the testing of meters in his absence were not accepted.

The facts of the case are that Kabal had a power connection at his house in Balongi village.

On the receipt of a bill, he deposited Rs 18,870, but the respondents gave him credit twice for the same and wanted to recover the extra amount from him again. The electric meter was defective regarding which he made a complaint to the respondents upon which the meter was replaced. However, the replaced meter also was defective and on his complaint, it was again changed. Both meters were sent by the respondents to the ME Lab for testing.

According to the respondents, the first meter was found to be “OK” and the second one was reported to be “dead stop”. None of the meters was got tested in the presence of Kabal, alleging that he had given an affidavit that the meters be tested in his absence.

The lok adalat did not agree with the reports on the ground that the meters should have been got tested in his presence, as required under 54.7 of the Sales Manual. The bills issued by them were quashed and the respondents were directed to recover the average amount from the applicant by following the proper procedure. The respondents were, however, free to recover the extra amount and were directed to refund the excess amount charged from him with interest.



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