C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


25 hurt as 3 HMT buses collide
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 25
Over 25 passengers, including several women, were injured in a road accident involving three HMT buses at Pinjore near Surajpur here this evening. The injured have been admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 6. One of them has been referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, in a critical condition.

Damaged buses after the mishap
Damaged buses after the mishap

The buses were on the way to drop HMT employees to their houses after the office hours. According to the police, the buses were moving in a line on the highway when the first bus suddenly stopped on its own due to a technical snag. The second bus rammed into it, while the third bus rammed into the second bus.

It took rescuers two hours to bring out a few injured passengers from the buses.

The injured who was referred to the PGI has been identified as Rajit Ram (50). He is under observation at the Advanced Trauma Centre. The other victims are mostly in the age group of 25 to 58. A 12-year-old boy, son of a driver, also suffered a fracture in his leg.

The mangled remains of the second bus had to be cut to take out the injured passengers. A crane was also pressed into service to pull out the vehicles involved in the mishap. Villagers of the Surajpur area also brought their tractor-trailers for the rescue operation.

A huge police force reached the spot. The accident led to a long traffic jam on the highway.

“The drivers failed to maintain the requisite distance between the buses, which led to the mishap. It appears the buses were moving at a high speed,” said a police official.



Teacher ends her life; in-laws booked
Tribune News Service

Lalru, March 25
A 31-year-old government schoolteacher, a resident of Sardarpura Colony, allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself last night.

The police have booked victim Rupinderjit Kaur’s husband Kulwinder Singh and her in-laws, including mother-in-law Sheela Kaur, brother-in-law Trilok Singh and sister-in-law Jasbir. A case under Section 304 B of the IPC has been registered against them at the Lalru police station.

The victim’s father, Dilavar Singh, a resident of Sector 78, Mohali, stated that his daughter was married to Kulwinder Singh, also a government teacher, in 2008. “Her in-laws had been harassing her for dowry. Rupinderjit called us at around 8.30 pm last night and told us that she was being ill-treated again for dowry. After around an hour, we got the news of her death,” alleged Dilavar Singh.

The police said they received a call from Kulwinder Singh that his wife had bolted the door of a room from inside and was not opening it. “However, nobody was at the place when the police reached there. We broke open the door of a room on the first floor of the house and found the victim’s body hanging there,” said Gurjit Singh, in charge of the Lalru police station. 



Savita Bhatti leaves Aam Aadmi Party
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
Savita Bhatti, wife of the late Jaspal Bhatti, has left the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Savita Bhatti, who was earlier declared the AAP candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, had opted out of the poll race over differences among local party activists.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Bhatti said she had left the AAP on March 13 after sending an email to the party high command. Her main aim was to preserve the legacy of her husband Jaspal Bhatti and she wanted to work in this field only, she said. This was the only reason why she had parted ways with the AAP. She had respect for AAP founder Arvind Kejriwal and his vision, but she was not cut out for politics, she said.

Asked if she would join any other political party, Bhatti said Jaspal Bhatti's legacy was more important for her than joining any political party. She ruled out the possibility of joining any other political party and said she, along with her family members, would continue to work for the welfare of the public through the field of art and entertainment.

Bhatti left the party of March 13, the day the AAP announced the name of Gul Panag as the Lok Sabha candidate for the Chandigarh seat.



Candidates trying everything to reach out to the voters
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
With the Lok Sabha elections just two weeks away, candidates of political parties have now changed their style of campaigning.
AAP’s Gul Panag
AAP’s Gul Panag and Congress candidate Pawan Bansal campaign in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan & Pradeep Tewari

While Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal is focusing more on padyatras, one-to-one interactions and public meetings, BJP candidate Kirron Kher, whose ticket was announced very late by the party, is focusing on roadshows, big meetings and social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to reach out to the voters. She has started taking questions of party workers on Twitter as well.

AAP candidate Gul Panag is trying to strike a balance in her style of campaigning. Be it roadshows, padyatras, nukkad meetings or use of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, Panag is using a bit of everything in her campaigning.

Kirron said as only a few days were left for the polling, they would focus more on roadshows instead of padyatras. Their main aim was to cover the entire city, which would not be possible with padyatras alone. She said they were holding public meetings and roadshows and were hopeful of covering the entire city.

Sources in the BJP said Kirron had asked party leaders to organise public meetings at places where more than 1,000 people were expected to turn up.
Congress candidate Pawan Bansal campaign in Chandigarh on Tuesday.

Congress candidate and sitting MP Bansal had the advantage of starting his election campaign early as the party high command announced his name for the city Lok Sabha seat. Bansal said they had already covered a majority of the colonies and villages through padyatras and got a chance to hold one-to-one meetings with residents. Now, they were focusing on urban areas, markets and different associations through padyatras and public meetings.

Gul Panag’s father, Lt Gen HS Panag (retd), said as there were few days left for the polling, they were trying to cover every part of the city using different modes of campaigning. They were holding roadshows in areas where their volunteers and Gul Panag had not been able to hold padyatras. They were organising big public meetings only in the evening, he said.



Minor’s Rape
Convict’s birth certificate comes under the scanner
 He is not a minor, doctors tell court
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 25
In the case pertaining to the rape of a 13-year-old girl, who got pregnant, the age proof of the convict, Saajan, came under the scanner when doctors at the General Hospital, who conducted his medical examination today, told the court that he was aged between 21 and 23 years, and was not a minor. Saajan had requested the court to give him punishment under the Juvenile Act claiming that he was a minor.

Police officials who were asked to verify the birth certificate produced by Saajan in the court said several irregularities had been found in the document during the investigations.

Surprisingly, the birth certificate was issued to the convict by the Bihar Government two months before he applied for it, said a police official.

When the quantum of punishment was to be announced, the rape convict had produced his birth certificate stating that he was 16-and-a-half years old at the time of the incident in 2012. Saajan has been convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl of Surajpur, who became pregnant. After the intervention of the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), the victim underwent an abortion.

“The date of registration for the birth certificate is September 30, 2013. Surprisingly, the application form was filled by the convict on November 2, 2013. It means that the certificate was issued before the convict applied for it,” said Manbir Rathi, defence counsel, who is also an advocate for the DLSA.

After the convict produced the birth certificate, the court asked the Panchkula police to go to Bihar and verify the document.

The police, in their investigation, found that the application form and the verification form were submitted on November 2. The certificate issued by the Department of Planning and Development, Bihar, mentioned that the accused was born on May 8, 1996.

The father of the accused had also confirmed to the court that his son was a juvenile. The court ordered Saajan to undergo a medical examination. 


Ambala votes 2014
Road show: AAP pins hopes on young voters
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 25
With an aim to give clean and corruption-free governance, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is reaching out every section of the society and a road show was organised as a part of the election campaign.

AAP candidate SP Singh, a retired banker, campaigned to woo voters in different sectors and villages of Panchkula.

He claimed that the AAP is receiving overwhelming response from people both in rural and urban areas. “The rampant corruption made the Indian democratic system stink,” he added.

Coming down heavily on different political parties, Singh accused them of forcing poor and needy to live in inhumane conditions.

While talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, SP Singh claimed that he will bring a university, inter-state bus terminus, adequate transport facility for students and some other facilities of the common man to the area.

Pinning hopes on young voters, the AAP candidate SP Singh said young will vote against the corruption.

When asked about the reasons forcing the AAP leaders and supporters to quit the party and joining rival groups, Singh clarified, “At present there are three types of people coming into party fold- dedicated, career builders and opportunists. While career builders and opportunists activists are unstable, it is the dedicated ones who have strengthened the AAP and virtually Arvind Kejriwal”, he claimed.



Admn makes arrangements for poll
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 25
The district election officer (DEO) claims to have made elaborated arrangement for the transportation of election material to the polling centers in Panchkula and Kalka segments of Ambala Parliamentary Constituency for conducting the election smoothly on April 10.

The Administration has pressed 92 buses (48 for Panchkula and 42 for Kalka) besides keeping certain vehicles reserved in case of any emergency or breakdown.

Chairing a meeting of officials deputed on the election duty, district education officer Dr SS Phulia told them to ensure safe and timely arrival of polling teams and polling material at the designated polling booths in both the segments.

Also, special vehicles have been arranged to conduct polling in Morni, Raipur Rani, Barwala and Pinjore.

The election officers were also told to paste charts mentioning polling party number and booth numbers on the buses carrying the election teams and material.

They have also been told to ensure that charts mentioning polling centre number must be pasted at the main gates of schools for the convenience of public.



Chautala to hold rally today
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 25
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhey Singh Chautala will address a public rally seeking votes for Indian National Lok Dal candidate Dr Kusum Bala Sherwal, here on Wednesday evening.

Abhey, younger son of former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, has been trying to keep the party's vote bank intact after his father and elder brother Ajay Chautala were put behind bars for their alleged involvement in the teachers recruitment scam.

Manoj Aggarwal, district president of the Indian National Lok Dal, said Abhey will address public highlighting the failure of Congress in Haryana and UPA in the Centre.

Meanwhile, the Indian National Lok Dal candidate for the Ambala Lok Sabha Constituency, Dr Kusum Bala Sherwal, today held public meetings in Budanpur, Nada and nearby villages besides Sector 25 here.

Blaming the Congress for price hike, corruption and step-motherly treatment to residents of the Shivalik belt, Dr Shewal promised better 
basic civil amenities in these areas.



Poll observer visits centres at Pinjore, Kalka

Panchkula, March 25
Taking a stock of the poll arrangements for the Lok Sabha elections, Surender Kumar Jaiswal, general election observer, along with Dr SS Phulia, the district election officer, visited various polling and counting centres located in Pinjore and Kalka areas today.

Jaiswal also visited the nakas erected on the Haryana-Himachal border and inquired about the security arrangements there. He later also visited the polling station number 8 set up in Jainendra Gurukul, Sector 1, along with the counting centres at Bel Colony and Government College for Girls, Sector 14, Panchkula. — TNS



poll code violation
Kataria’s wife to seek legal advice
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 25
Banto Kataria, wife of BJP candidate Rattan Lal Kataria, who came in controversy for addressing a public meeting in a temple in Kalka on Monday, claimed to be seeking legal advice before replying to a notice slapped on her by the district administration.

The District Electoral Officer (DEO) had issued a show cause notice to Banto Kataria for violation of the model code of conduct by addressing public in a temple at Kalka.

Deepak Manchanda, state convener, BJP legal cell, said the party will filed a proper reply within the stipulated time of four days.

Meanwhile, the BJP-HJC candidate Rattan Lal Kataria addressed nearly 12 public gatherings in Ambala city appealing people to vote for the BJP. He was in Nahan House, Durga Nagar, Nadi Mohalla, Rasoolpur, Gurnurpur and some other places in Ambala City.

He accused former Ambala MP Kumari Selja of enjoying power but doing nothing for the constituency and cautioned public from such paratroopers who befool them by making false promises.



Respect women: Soni to SAD leader
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 25
Congress senior national leader Ambika Soni today cautioned Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate professor Prem Singh Chandumajra against showing disrespect to her.

Soni, who reached the town today morning, said Chandumajra is like a younger brother to her but he should learn to respect women, particularly the elderly ones. “He should know that there are 47 per cent women voters in the constituency and if, they all unite with me, the SAD leaders will not even find a place to run,” said Soni, while reacting to Chandumajra’s comment during his Kharar election rally yesterday. He reportedly commented, “She (Soni) is a 72 saal di buddhi, jis da koi aadhar nahi hai ethe” (She is 72-year-old woman, who has no base here).

In politics, the passion and enthusiasm of a leader matter, not his/her age, added Soni.

Earlier, Soni was accorded a warm welcome by the senior Congress leaders of the area including Mohali MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu and Kharar MLA Jagmohan Singh Kang. A large number of Congress supporters gathered at the YPS Chowk, Phase VIII, here, to receive Soni.

Here to create a rapport with the locals, Ambika Soni claimed that she was not a paratrooper candidate. “I have my vote for Hoshiarpur and residence at Sector 9, Chandigarh, how could I be a paratrooper candidate?” said Soni, while adding that she did her schooling from Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, Chandigarh.

Soni said she was very instrumental in creating Anandpur Sahib Constituency as people here are very close to her heart. “Around seven meetings were held with Justice Kuldeep Singh to create this constituency in 2006. I had also asked for MP ticket in 2009, but the ticket was given to Ravneet Singh Bittu,” said Soni.

She clarified that there was no ill will between Bittu and her over her replacing Bittu. “Bittu is like my younger brother. He has been staying at my place for past two-three days in Delhi. It is a high command decision, so we have to adhere to it,” said Soni.

She added that Bittu would join her election campaign in a day or two.

“Ambika Soni would start meeting people, under her election campaign, from tomorrow,” said Mohali MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu.

“I would prefer to make separate manifestoes for each block of my constituency, as each block has different problems,” said Soni.



Class IV employees seek regularisation of services
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The Class IV Employees Union of Education Department held a protest at Sector 20 Majid Ground. They demanded regularisation of their jobs and said if their demands were not included in the manifestos of the contesting parties for the Lok Sabha elections, they would not cast their vote.

Protesters included mid-day meal workers, sweepers, security guards, peons and gatekeepers. Members alleged that there was a huge disparity in the wages, being given for the same job profiles. They accused the Education Department of giving them a ‘step motherly’ treatment.

A member of the union, Raj Kumar, said, “We are not given any salary during vacations, both during summer and winter. Security guards do not even get leaves.”

President of the UT Cadre Educational Employee Union Swarn Singh Kambhoj said the protesters were demanding that no employee should be shunted out from his/her service until they are regularised. “The government should increase the wages of the employees and should also provide the regular employees with medical facilities,” said the chief.



Zara to open at North Country Mall

International brand Zara is set to open its latest store at The North Country Mall, Mohali. B Anantharaman, managing director and CEO of Gumberg India, said, “The customer is at the heart of our business model and we are delighted to bring an iconic brand such as Zara into our retail offering. We look forward to extending our partnership with them for our future projects, PAN India.”

Wholesale stores rated as leading player

Best Price Modern Wholesale Stores, owned and operated by Walmart India Pvt Ltd, has been rated as the leading player in cash and carry format vis-a-vis competitors and traditional wholesalers. This was revealed through a perception survey conducted by a leading market research agency, IMRB International. According to the survey, Walmart India’s Best Price Modern Wholesale Stores have excelled in overall store experience and are considered superior in areas such as price, quality, availability, knowledge of store staff, navigation inside store, cleanliness, layout and visibility of price signage, among other parameters.

1,500 teachers undergo training

Satya Bharti Schools (SBS), a flagship programme of Bharti Foundation, has laid focus on the teachers training programmes on effective methodologies that encompass all spheres of teaching from pedagogy to life skills, and helps students become lifelong learners. The training interventions, involving about 1,500 teachers, aim at providing best and novel teaching practices to their students. — TNS



Chandigarh votes 2014
Nominees have a dig at each other
Open debate organised by industrialists in Sector 31 acquires political colour
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
With elections around the corner, candidates are leaving no stone unturned to target their rivals.

Candidates for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat flayed each other during the open debate organised by the Joint Forum of Industries Association of Chandigarh (IAC) and the Chamber of Chandigarh Industries (CCI) at Sector 31 here today.

Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal said he was aware of the problems of industrialists and he was committed to solve them. “Like other candidates, I will not give hollow promises but will sincerely work for the development of the industrial sector in the city,” he said. Bansal claimed that with his efforts, IT services have been allowed in the Industrial Area and after winning the election, he would take up other issues such as converting leasehold properties to freehold with the authorities concerned.

Taking a dig at BJP candidate Kirron Kher and AAP’s Gul Panag, BSP candidate Jannat Jahan said she was the real daughter of the city rather than the two bollywood actresses, who will ultimately settle in Mumbai. “After elections, residents will have to ask these actresses on phone, ‘Madam when will your shooting finish’,” she said. As a daughter of a city industrialist, she was aware of the problems being faced by them, Jannat said.

Gul Panag said she wanted to ask people, who were calling them outsiders, what did they do for the city despite being ‘insiders’. Gul Panag said her party had waged a war against corruption, which was why her bank accounts were almost empty now. She appealed to the industrialists to support the AAP in their own way so that she could take up their issues.

BJP’s Kirron Kher questioned the organisers why had they called the AAP candidate to the debate as AAP is ‘anti-businessmen party’. “While the BJP is a business friendly party, the AAP’s ideology is against the industrial sector,” she alleged, adding that Congress nominee Pawan Bansal lacked willingness to work for the party.

Patil will be transferred out if BJP wins: Tandon

During the debate, BJP city unit president Sanjay Tandon said city voters elected Kirron Kher and Narendra Modi became the prime minister, the first thing that they would do was to get the UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil transferred out. But after the debate, when Kirron Kher was asked for her views on this, she refrained from making any comment.

Fact file

* The open debate was organised by CCI president Sandeep Sahni and IAC president Arun Mahajan along with other Industrialists.

* Their key demands were conversion of leasehold industrial plots into freehold, implementation of the Micro, Small and Meduim Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act and repealing of the Estate Rules, which increased the building violation charges from ~10 to ~500 per square feet per month.



Political parties apprised of model code of conduct
Tribune News Service

Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin (centre) during a meeting with representatives of political parties in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin (centre) during a meeting with representatives of political parties in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, March 25
The political parties intending to carry out car or motorcycle rallies in the city will have to take permission from the District Magistrate-cum-Returning Officer (RO), Mohammed Shayin, and the permission would have to be displayed on the front of the vehicles.

The directions were issued by the RO during a meeting with representatives of the political parties held at the UT Guest House, Sector 6, today.

A single-window system had been put in place at the office of the RO for giving permissions for rallies, use of loudspeaker etc. The vehicle permits obtained from the RO's office are to be displayed on the front of the vehicles, including cars, motorbikes, scooters, mopeds, bicycles, rickshaws etc.

As some candidates demanded that they should be allowed to use stickers, flexes, banners on their vehicles, the RO categorically stated that necessary action would be taken against vehicles plying on the road without displaying the permission from the RO.

Further, he said while there was no restriction on the number of vehicles being used for campaigning, the number of vehicles in a cavalcade should be restricted to three.

Meanwhile, the Returning Officer also detailed various guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India regarding the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha Elections-2014.

The RO emphasised that the parties need to take prior approval for all the events, wherever necessary.

The guidelines relating to the day of polling were also explained to members of the political parties attending the meeting. They were told that any expenditure incurred on canvassing should be recorded in the accounts of the candidate. Further, the candidates shall make all payments above Rs 20,000 through cheque.



City Beautiful has 6.13 lakh voters
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
As many as 6,13,938 registered voters in the city will be able to exercise their right to franchise during the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

It is for the first time that over 6 lakh voters have been registered in Chandigarh.

The UT Election Department has registered 33,239 fresh voters. Of them, 23,000 are first-time voters. Close to 1,71,580 voters are in the age-group of 20 to 29 years.

The Election Department had carried out an intensive voter registration drive this month.

Earlier, there were 5,80,700 registered voters in the city.

UT Joint Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Tilak Raj said according to the final voter list, there were a total of 3,32,888 male voters (54.22 per cent) in the city and 2,81,050 female voters (45.77).

The Joint CEO said that with a large number of voters registered in the city, the turnout on the polling day was expected to be heavy.



Candidates chirp

Kirron Kher @KirronKherBJP

9.02 am: Good morning Chandigarh! Thanks for a great response to my interview on private news channel. We together need 2 work towards changing d destiny of our city.

Gul Panag @GulPanag

5.56 pm: Alternative mode of transportation in use today to campaign. Yes. Royalenfield.

7.41 pm: The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall: Che Guevara

City poll facts

Cong won the seat maximum times

* The Congress won the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat the maximum seven times.

* For the Congress, Pawan Kumar Bansal won the seat four times (1991,1999, 2004 and 2009), Jagan Nath Kaushal won it twice (1980 and 1984) and Amar Nath Vidyalankar in 1971.

* BJP’s candidate Satya Pal Jain won in 1996 and 1998. In 1989, Harmohan Dhawan won the seat on the Janata Dal ticket. 



Poll code: Plaint against civic body
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
A local lawyer and social activist, Ajay Jagga, has filed a complaint against the Municipal Corporation for violating model code of conduct.

In his complaint to the election observer for Chandigarh parliamentary constituency, Vishvas Mehta, Jagga stated that the official website of the civic body carried the picture of Mayor HC Kalyan, which was a violation of the poll code.

The Election Commission has instructed that all references on politicians and ministers on the official websites during elections to the Lok Sabha or state legislative assemblies should be removed.

“However, it has been observed that the instruction is not being followed in Chandigarh as the official website of the local Municipal Corporation still has photographs of the Mayor, who is a politician,” Jagga stated.

Jagga asked the Election Commission to take the violation seriously and get all the references photos removed from government websites immediately. 



Unaccounted cash seized
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The surveillance teams and flying squads of the Election Commission along with executive magistrates seized cash and weapons from four persons in separate seizures here today.

During the checking of vehicles at the Sector 53/54 roundabout, the flying squad headed by executive magistrate Parveen Mittal stopped a Toyota Fortuner (PB-08-0007) and recovered Rs 12.9 lakh from its occupant Har Devinder Singh, a resident of Muktsar. The money was found in a bag and Harvinder could not give a satisfactory reply when questioned about the source of money.

In another case, as many as 16 live cartridges were seized from a car. Ajay Pal Singh, a resident of Punjab, has been booked under the Arms Act.

Further, unaccounted cash to the tune of Rs 7.5 lakh was seized from the vehicle of Sahil Bajaj, a Sector 32-resident.

In yet another case, Rs 66,000 in cash was recovered from Harmanjit Singh Malhotra, who was coming from Amritsar.

The police and income tax departments are conducting verification following which action would be taken against the accused.



BLOs to distribute voter slips
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The Election Department has directed Booth Level Officers (BLOs) to distribute voter slips at voters' doorstep.

The BLO will be giving the voter slip either to the registered voter or to an adult member of the voter’s family who is a voter.

“The BLO shall obtain the signature or thumb impression of the person to whom the photo voter slip is delivered in a register, as an acknowledgement," UT Joint Chief Electoral Officer Tilak Raj stated.

The undistributed slips along with the voter list will also be kept at a facilitation desk outside each polling station on the day of the polling, which will be manned by the BLO concerned. 



Ensure equal distribution of educational projects among states
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
In the past five years, there has been a massive influx of students from satellite cities in the region, but no new educational project has come up in the city. This has resulted in local students migrating to other metro cities to meet their educational needs. Can the national political parties come up with a plan in their manifestos for equal distribution of educational projects to states so that metropolitan cities do not have to shoulder the burden of students from satellite towns?

Students of MCM DAV College for Women here believe that due to irregular setting up of educational projects in the region, students living in Chandigarh are at loss.

Kirti Sharma, a student, said during the past decade, there had been almost negligible increase in number of educational institutes in the city while the number of students coming from the city’s periphery had increased manifold. This affected the education system here. As a result, the city youth were left with no other option but to look for opportunities outside.

Another student Nidhi Bhawani wanted to know why ongoing projects were stalled every time the government changes and new projects were proposed for the same area. The development works should be a continuous process and all political parties should abstain from stopping works which were undertaken by their predecessors.

Harnoor Suri said the city should be developed as the education hub till the satellite cities, including Mohali and Panchkula, were in the process of developing their resources.

For Kezia Sharma, the political parties should come up with better connectivity plan for the city and the satellite towns so that more top multi-national companies get attracted to invest in the city and generate employment opportunities for youth.

Another student Ashimta Bansal said the satellite cities should be developed in such a way that rather than depending on the city for every small facility they should become self-sufficient.



Review syllabi of PU courses: Students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
Panjab University has to upgrade syllabus of all its courses which have not been reviewed for a decade. The Panjab University Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC) and the National Students’ Union of India NSUI today submitted a memorandum to Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover in which they have sought constitution of a special committee to review the syllabus of all courses.

“Why the syllabi of the PU are still the same as they were in the 80’s,” the PUCSC asked.

The academic committee of the PU and departments meet every year. Why nobody ever thought of changing the old syllabi, it said.

The council proposed that a committee under the chairmanship of Dean University Instruction should be constituted for upgrade of the curriculum whose other members should be the Dean of the faculty, department chairperson, emeritus scientists of the department, re-employed faculty of the department, newly appointed assistant professors and two research scholars.

PUCSC president Chandan Rana said the pattern and syllabus of the UGC-NET exam had been changed a number of times, but as the PU still have the old curriculum, the students here have to take extra coaching to appear in these exams. He said there was an urgent need on the part of university to upgrade the syllabus for the upcoming 2014-15 session.

It suggested that the experience of the senior faculty, who were re-employed, should be utilised to review it.

NSUI president Manoj Lubana said when the university was paying hefty travelling expenditure to the PU faculty for attending national and sometimes international seminars and conferences why the PU not utilising their expertise for getting benefit for the students.

Rana said the process of upgrading syllabus should not be a burden on the university. However, sincere efforts by the VC Office were required for it.



Degrees conferred on 260
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The Government College of Education, Sector 20, here, organised its 58th annual convocation at the college today. As many as 260 students (226 BEd, 30 MEd and four BEd-yoga students) were conferred upon degrees.

Sandeep Hans, Joint Secretary Finance-cum-director, higher education, UT Administration, was the chief guest.

College Principal Harsh Batra presented the annual report of the college and highlighted the achievements of the institution in various fields.

She praised the efforts of faculty, students and other staff members of the college in fulfilling the educational objectives of the college.

Hans, while delivering the convocation address, congratulated the graduates and postgraduates. He reiterated that the teaching profession was prestigious with ample scope for development of the inner self to become a true guide, mentor and most importantly a good human being. The 
society looks up to teachers for guidance.

The third annual issue of a research journal was also released on the occasion by the chief guest. The issue features articles on various educational themes related to teacher education and school education.

Students who secured various positions in the university examinations were also awarded. For MEd, Jaya Shree Deb got the fist prize. Shruti Pahwa and Sukhwinder Kaur bagged the second and third, respectively. For BEd, Pratibha Bedi, Babita and Sheenam Sharma were awarded first, second and third prizes, respectively.



Seminar discusses SAARC issues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
A two-day national seminar on South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) problems and prospects concluded today.

Former PU Vice-Chancellor MM Puri was the chief guest. He said SAARC had immense potential to serve diverse interests in South Asia.

Prof Baljeet Singh from Jammu University shared his thoughts on changing context in which India had to play a leading role in SAARC. Over 30 eminent experts and scholars in the field presented their papers in the seminar.

Professor Puri also released a book entitled 'SAARC in Contemporary World: Issues and Concerns, authored by Dr Emanual Nahar, associate professor and fellow, University School of Open Learning department, and Dr Sheveta Sehgal, assistant professor, Postgraduate Department of Political Science, AS College, Khanna.



Experts: Get newborns screened for congenital hypothyroidism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
A thyroid test of a mere Rs 100 in newborns could save them from the risk of mental retardation. But, testing congenital hypothyroidism was not mandatory as yet for health centres providing maternity care in the country, said experts while addressing mediapersons here today.

Experts from the PGIMER and Fortis Hospital, Mohali, said incidence of this disease was one in 1,172 babies and if undiagnosed for over six weeks, it could irreversibly hamper physical and mental growth. Worldwide congenital hypothyroidism affects one in 3,800 newborn babies.

As per an ICMR study, the figure was 1 in 1,172 in India, said Professor Anil Bhansali, Head, Department of Endocrinology, PGIMER.

“Most of the newborn with congenital hypothyroidism appear normal at birth, even if there was a complete lack of development of the thyroid gland, Dr Bhansali added.

What needs to be done?

Sensitise people, physicians, gynaecologists and pediatricians. Every neonate should have thyroid screening programme (Serum T4 and TSH on Day 4 of life). If suspected or found to have congenital hypothyroidism, it should be treated aggressively.



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