C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Pay for misuse of water
Beginning today, MC teams to crack down on defaulters, impose fine of Rs 2,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
From tomorrow onwards, city residents who are caught wasting potable water by watering lawns, washing cars and courtyards during the morning hours will be challaned and fined Rs 2,000 by the municipal corporation (MC). Repeated violations will invite strict action and the water connection of such violators will be disconnected.

Due to an increase in the demand for water during the summer, the MC has decided to impose this restriction on the use of water from April 15 to June 30 during the morning hours.

An MC official said teams had been constituted to keep a check on washing of cars and watering of lawns. “The teams will visit different sectors to check wastage of water, if any. Those found violating the orders will be fined Rs 2,000,” the official said.

The penalty amount will be added to the water bill of the resident concerned. The official said the MC would also confiscate the booster pumps or hosepipes used by defaulters.

Besides, wastage of water due to overflowing overhead tanks or from underground water tanks and leakages in water meter chambers and water coolers will also attract a fine. “The house owner will be issued a notice by the MC for rectifying the problem within two days, failing which a fine of Rs 2,000 will be slapped,” the MC official said. Repeated violation of the order once the challan is issued will lead to the disconnection of the water supply. “No separate notice will be issued to the violator before the disconnection,” the official said.

Complaint numbers

Residents can register complaints regarding water misuse on 9872511246 (BK Dhawan, SDE, Public Health, and on 0172-5034179.

Water demand in summer

Chandigarh receives 87 mgd of water daily. However, during the summer, the demand goes up to 116 mgd.

MC teams to visit sectors
MC teams to visit different sectors to check violations, if any
A fine of Rs 2,000 to be imposed for each violation
Water supply to be disconnected in case of repeated violations



Man arrested for attempt to rape 5-year-old girl
Tribune News Service

The accused in police custody.
The accused in police custody. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, April 14
The police have arrested a 30-year-old man for attempting to rape a five-year-old girl by taking her under a parked Bolero jeep in Badheri in Sector 41. The accused, Nizammudin, a resident of Maloya, is a drug addict and was not in his senses when he was nabbed.

The incident occurred yesterday at 10 pm when the five-year-old girl was on her way to a market to buy curd, which her mother had asked her to bring.

The accused saw the girl and abducted her and forcibly took her under a parked Bolero car. He then attempted to rape her and threatened to kill her if she raised the alarm.

The minor girl started crying loudly when some youths in the vicinity heard her screams. They rescued her and informed the police.

SI Sarabjit Kaur, investigating officer, said the accused was found under the influence of drugs and was immediately arrested.

A case of attempt to rape and under various Sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) has been registered against the accused. Nizamuddin is a labourer.

The victim's medical examination revealed that accused had assaulted her and an attempt was made to rape her.

No police check on paedophiles

A blot on the City Beautiful tag, cases of rape and sexual assault on minors are on the rise with the UT police failing to keep a check on paedophiles. While the city witnessed the sensational Pinky murder case last year when the 11-year-old girl was raped, the UT police do not maintain any record of the accused who commit these crimes. If acquitted or once released from prison, the police do not have any database to check if the accused has changed his address and is a threat to children in his locality.

A police officer said they maintained a record of the address of the parent village of the accused and did not have any system to keep a track on the accused after being released from jail. Cases of rape and sexual assault on minors account for more than 50 per cent of all rape cases registered in the city.



hit-and-run case
Accused BTech student held; probe raises eyebrows
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
After a lapse of over 48 hours, the UT police finally arrested the accused, Satyajot Singh, a BTech student, in the hit-and-run case which snuffed out the life of a young IAS aspirant, Sujata Sharma, in Sector 49 on Friday night. Serious question marks are being raised over the "shoddy police investigation" as it wasted crucial time in arresting the accused.

Eyewitnesses said the accused was heavily drunk and racing to overtake another car when he hit the girl. With the delay in his arrest, the police have failed to gather evidence whether he was drunk at the time of the mishap due to considerable delay in getting his medical examination done.

The accused, 23-year-old Satyajot Singh, was hiding in Anandpur Sahib all these days. He is a student of Indo Global College in Mohali and his father is a retired government employee.

A resident of SBI Society in Sector 49, who was among the first one to reach the accident spot after the mishap, told Chandigarh Tribune on condition of anonymity that a washerman saw the accused throw a beer bottle outside the car after the mishap and then fled with his three accomplices. “All of us saw the beer bottle lying near the car at the accident spot and told the police that it belonged to the accused, but the police turned a deaf ear to us. The police approach was casual throughout. The car was racing with another car at a speed of 100 km per hour, according to people present at the accident spot. However, their statements were not recorded,” said the resident.

“The police did not care to pick up the beer bottle and no effort was made to search nearby societies where the accused hid after the mishap occurred. The washerman told the police that he saw the accused enter Pink Rose Society, but even then the police paid no heed. All this resulted in wastage of crucial time,” said the resident.

What police officers say

“The police conducted a thorough investigation into the case, but as the accused fled the spot after the crime and was arrested after two days, it cannot be established whether he was drunk,” said DSP Surjit Malik.

“We are not aware of any bottle of beer having been found at the spot. The accused fled after the mishap and we managed to arrest him on Monday,” said Inspector Rajesh Shukla, SHO, Sector 34 police station.

23-year-old victim was returning home

Sujata Sharma (23), a resident of Mohali, Phase X, was returning home from her coaching classes when the accident occurred late on Friday night. The accused driver of the car, who fled from the spot leaving the vehicle behind, was later identified as Satyajot Singh, a resident of Sector 70, Mohali. Sujata’s father, Pawan Kumar, is a peon with the Sector 17 branch of the SBI. The scooter was completely damaged and the victim was lying in a pool of blood when eyewitnesses reached there after hearing a loud noise. Sources said the accused was accompanied by some youths who were allegedly drunk and all four fled the spot after the mishap.

crucial time wasted
The police wasted crucial time in arresting the accused due to which it cannot be established now if he was drunk when the mishap occurred
The police failed to collect circumstantial evidence from the spot
The police failed to seal or search nearby societies immediately after the mishap due to which the accused managed to flee easily
There was also a delay in rushing the victim to the hospital



75-year-old woman’s gold chain snatched
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 14
A gold chain of a 75-year-old woman was snatched this morning by two unidentified snatchers, leaving the woman badly injured. The victim, Bimla, a resident of Sector 4, was walking with her friend Vinod Ahuja (70) when the incident took place. Elderly women have been a target of snatchers in Panchkula for a long time.

The victim fell while resisting the snatchers and suffered injuries on her knees. Bimla was taken to the General Hospital, where she was treated and later discharged.

Ahuja told the police that the youths were on a black motorbike and were not wearing helmets. They came from the rear and snatched Bimla's gold chain.

“The youths appeared to be in the 20-25 age group,” said Ahuja.

Balwant Singh, Additional SHO of the Sector 5 police station, said, “The youths were not wearing helmets. We will take the help of the victim to get their sketches prepared.”

A case under Sections 356 and 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Elderly women unsafe in Panchkula
March 8, 2014: A 70-year-old NRI woman was robbed of gold jewellery while she was going home in Sector 9

February 27: An elderly woman was robbed of her gold chain worth over ~1 lakh in the Chandimandir area

January 5: Two bike-borne miscreants snatched the purse of an elderly woman in Sector 11

October 30, 2013: Youths snatched the purse and mobile phone of a 60-year-old woman in Sector 21



Pet owners don’t have a dog’s chance at this hostel
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 14
It’s already a houseful at the dog hostel in the government pet clinic in Sector 3 here even though summer is yet to arrive. People headed for foreign countries have left their pets here. There are many others in the waiting list for the holiday season.

Dr MR Singla, in charge of the clinic, said, “We have 24 kennels in the hostel and all are packed to capacity. There are hundreds in the waiting list; we have currently stopped advance bookings.”

He said, “We have requested for more space as people are pouring in large numbers with their pets.”

The staff are busy maintaining the diet charts provided by the owners to doctors for their respective pets.

The per day cost of keeping a pet of a small breed is Rs 150, of a medium breed Rs 200 and of a large breed Rs 250.

Besides, for other services such as "shampoo washing, morning and evening walks, health check-up, pedicure and nail cutting", extra charges have to be paid. The centre provides services such as 24-hour OPD, surgery, ultrasound and radiography.

“I have to go to Thailand in the first week of May, but they don't have any space for my pet here. I thought contacting them two months in advance would be fine, but it wasn't,” said Binny, a resident of Sector 9, Panchkula.


Competitive bidding for smart cards
To tide over shortage, Registration & Licensing Authority takes steps to meet supply
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
To tide over the shortage of smart cards, used in printing of vehicle registration certificates (RC) and driving licence (DL), the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA), Chandigarh, will now procure them through competitive bidding.

Presently, the RLA relies on the Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC) to procure the smart cards. But for the last few years, the society has not been able to meet the supply, resulting in huge backlog of the RCs and DLs.

This not only puts the applicants to inconvenience, but it also affects the functioning of the department. Presently, the pendency of documents at the RLA has crossed the mark of 10,000.

With the smart cards running out of stock, residents are forced to visit the RLA office repeatedly to collect their documents.

Sachin, a resident Mauli Jagran, who had submitted a form for driving licence on January 16, is yet to get the licence. “It has been almost three months and I am yet to get my DL. Visiting the RLA office in Sector 17 again and again is very inconvenient”, Sachin said who has been now asked to come to the office on April 22.

The UT Administration has not learned any lessons from the past incidents as similar situation was witnessed in 2013 when the delivery dates of RCs and DLs were stretched to several months leading to inconvenience to city residents.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin said the order for the cards had been placed and soon the backlog would be cleared.

SPIC had come under the scanner in the past
In 2012, SPIC had come under the scanner of the Principal Accountant General (Audit) according to which by awarding the contract to SPIC at high rates, instead of inviting open tenders at competitive rates, an amount of Rs 1.76 crore was paid to the society during 2011-12. By doing so, SPIC was paid extra money that could have been saved. Not only this, SPIC was paid an excess amount of Rs 7.13 lakh as no record of the smart cards was being maintained by the RLA.

Where the problem lies
SPIC always invites a single tender for procuring the smart cards and for taking the approval of the same from the UT top brass. So the process further gets delayed. Interestingly, in 2012, SPIC had come under the scanner of the Chief Accountant General.



Increments of 5 officials of Estate Office stopped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The UT Estate Officer, Mohammed Shayin, has stopped five increments of five officials of the UT Estate Office after they were found involved in a 10 year-old case of issuing a no objection certificate(NOC) for transfer of a property in Sector 21 here.

The Estate Officer while stopping the increments of Rajinder Sehgal, Senior Assistant, Atul Soni, Senior Assistant, Namrata Khanna, Senior Assistant, Vineet Syal, Junior Assistant and Dharamendra, Junior assistant, all posted in the Estate Office, has pointed out all the officials acted in connivance with then Assistant Estate Officer, Ashwani Kumar, in issuing the NOC.

Giving details of the case, officials said the property was allotted to Budh Singh on January 6, 1953. He sold the said site to Kulbir Singh Sara. The site was resumed because of non-construction but the allottee after availing the statutory remedies of appeal and revision applied for NOC.

During the pendency of the writ petition before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Kulbir Singh Sara applied for the issuance of the NOC for the sale of site in question to Madhvi Kataria, a Punjab-cadre PCS officer then on deputation with the UT Administration and Varinder Kataria. Despite of the writ petition being filed before the High Court the NOC was issued.

An affidavit was submitted along with the application for the grant of NOC stating therein that there was no litigation pending in any court of law and the property was free from all sorts of encumbrances. Though every body was aware about the pendency of the case, still wrong reporting was made on both the aforesaid occasions while issuing the NOC that the site was not resumed.

The Estate Office has observed that five officials along with the Assistant Estate Officer acted in active connivance of one another in issuing the NOC on the basis of false reporting, relying upon the false documents despite of the record speaking to the contrary.



Firefighters give tips on safety measures
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The Fire Department of Chandigarh observed Fire Safety day today by moving across the city to spread awareness among the people about the ways to prevent fire and take safety measures.

Fire tenders visited various city markets to spread awareness among the common mass. Officials said that Fire Safety Week would continue till April 21.

Officials stated that the motive behind observing Fire Safety Week was to encourage shopkeepers and office personnel to implement all fire regulations.

Training to operate fire equipment will also be given to the staff at the commercial establishments during the week.



Cardiology workshop concludes
Live demonstrations on complex angioplasty procedures
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
A two-day Live Workshop and Symposium on Interventional Cardiology and Third Heart Failure Summit concluded here today. More than 500 delegates participated in the event, which also had challenging case competition where young cardiologists from all over India presented their complex cases that panel of judges adjudged.

Dr HK Bali, course director, and his team gave live demonstrations on complex angioplasty procedures. Around six live sessions were conducted for the cardiologists. Experts and delegates interacted with Bali during the live sessions and discussed finer technical issues.

Detailing mediapersons about the conference Bali said, radial angioplasty gave best results for patients undergoing primary angioplasty for heart attack. His observations were based on his experience of conducting radial angioplasty on 270 patients of heart attack in the last four years. He urged the cardiologists to use it in patients who have suffered heart attack for best results and to prevent complications.

Bali emphasised that primary angioplasty was the best option. “The time factor is very important and effort should be made to treat patients within 90 minutes of the heart attack for best results.” 



world voice day
Otolaryngologists to spread awareness among masses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
World Voice Day - an international celebration of the human voice established to help raise public and professional awareness on voice disorders - falls on April 16 of every year.

Otolaryngologists, head and neck surgeons and speech language pathologists join hands together to create awareness among the general public to assess their vocal health and to maintain good voice habits.

Around 46 countries have come together to create awareness among the general public. Four zonal representatives have been selected from India to observe World Voice Day in the country. Under the guidance of Dr Naresh Panda, professor and head, department of otolaryngology, PGIMER, Dr N Banumathy, lecturer (speech and hearing) and Dr Anurag Ramavat, assistant professor otolaryngology, will coordinate on World Voice Day, which will be observed on April 16, 2014, for the second time, by setting up a free-voice assessment clinic, for the general public at the speech and hearing unit of the PGI.



Anandpur sahib votes 2014
Candidates shift focus to urban areas
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 14
With the setting in of the harvesting season, Lok Sabha candidates have shifted their focus from rural areas to urban parts here. Congress candidate Ambika Soni and Shiromani Akali Dal candidate Professor Prem Singh Chandumajra from the Anandpur Sahib constituency are trying hard to finish their election campaigning in the rural areas in a day or two.

The reason: the rural folk are now busy in harvesting the crop at their fields and are not available for election meetings and rallies.

Ambika Soni, whose election campaign has entered the second round, said she wanted to cover all the villages in the constituency before Baisakhi.

“We have almost completed our target and now we are going to focus on towns and cities,” said Soni, while talking to Chandigarh Tribune.

Now, she has started holding meetings at various points in Mohali town.

Similarly, Simran Chandumajra, son of Professor Prem Singh Chandumajra, said out of a total of 1,800 villages in the constituency, they have covered around 1,725 villages.

“A few villages have been left. They will be covered in a day or two. Then, our teams will shift their focus on the urban areas. In fact, my father (Chandumajra) has already started his campaigning in cities, particularly in Mohali town,” said Simran Chandumajra.

He said the time had come to intensify the campaigning in the urban sector.

“All parties and their supporters know that after Baisakhi no one will be available in villages but we will continue to go to the rural areas till the campaigning ends,” said Ajit Singh Bhambra, Mohali district president of the Aam Aadmi Party.



Sector 79 residents extend support to Chandumajra
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 14
Residents of Sector 79 here have decided to extend their support to Prem Singh Chandumajra, who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the Anandpur Sahib constituency as the SAD-BJP candidate.

A meeting of the residents was held at the residence of Lt Commander Gurdev Singh Deol where discussions regarding the shortcomings were held. In the meeting, the residents said only the SAD-BJP combine in the state could look into their problems.

The residents brought the problems of the sector to the notice of Balwinder Kaur, wife of Chandumajra, who attended the meeting called by the residents.

She assured the residents that most of the problems would be sorted out soon after the elections. She said additional development works would be carried out for making the life of the people more comfortable.



Micro observers to be deployed at polling booths
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 14
Micro observers will be deployed at polling booths during the Lok Sabha elections to be held on April 30. Videography of the polling booths and live webcasting will be done under the close watch of the Election Department.

Section officers put on election duty were today given information about electronic voting machines (EVMs) under the supervision of Lakhmir Singh and Sukhjit Pal Singh, SDMs-cum-assistant returning officers for the Mohali and Kharar segments, respectively.

The information was provided to them so that they do not face any problem on the polling day.

The second rehearsal of the staff on election duty for the Dera Bassi segment will be held on April 17 at Palam Resort, near Zirakpur. The second rehearsal for the Mohali and Kharar segments will be held at Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, and Royal Palace, Landran Road, respectively, on April 18.



Parties violated rules on polling day, alleges Aam Aadmi Party
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 14
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today alleged that most of the rules were violated by other parties on the polling day (April 10), but no action has been taken against them.

The AAP said it kept calling the helpline to check the violations, but to no avail. The party also released the pictures of all violations.

“It was seen that some political parties had put up a massive show of strength with a large number of chairs and multiple booths outside the polling booths. They had also put up multiple banners with the photos of the candidates and other leaders,” said AAP leader Shalini.

She said: “Despite repeated complaints, these banners were seen throughout the day. The AAP said supporters of the Congress and the BJP were heard raising slogans and calling voters on their booths and asking them to vote in their favour. Such incidents were repeated several times.”

The rules stated that no booth will be set up within a distance of 200m from the polling station. Only one table and two chairs will be provided at each booth with an umbrella or a piece of tarpaulin or a cloth for the protection of two occupants sitting on the chairs. The rules also stated that crowd will not be allowed to collect at such booths in any circumstances. Any person who has cast his ballot at the polling station will not be allowed to come to the booth.

However, the pictures with the AAP showed the violation of the rules. The party said it would submit a complaint, along with the photographs, to the Election Commission on Tuesday.

What the rules say
The rules stated that no booth will be set up within a distance of 200m from the polling station. Only one table and two chairs will be provided at each booth with an umbrella or a piece of tarpaulin or a cloth for the protection of two occupants sitting on the chairs.



voter turnout data
Panchkula admn in damage-control mode
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

The changed data on the official website.
The changed data on the official website. A Tribune photo

Panchkula, April 14
In order to correct its goof in haste this morning, the Panchkula Administration messed up the voter turnout data. Without realising that the data of more booths has to be changed, officials initially updated the data of just three booths.

After Chandigarh Tribune contacted senior officials in the evening, the records were again changed by its staff this evening. Not only the records of those sectors whose data was found wrong were changed, but also data of other sectors was updated.

On Monday, Chandigarh Tribune reported how the administration uploaded wrong and misleading facts on the website about Sectors 6 and 7, which actually faired well. The actual records on the Form 17(c) showed that the turnout in Sector 6 was 63 per cent, but the same was mentioned as 5 per cent. In Sector 7, the website mentioned just 6.8 per cent turnout, but it was around 67 per cent.

The officials made a change in the morning and came out with a voter turnout of 62.9 per cent in the Panchkula constituency at 11 am. They changed the voter turnout of three booths in Sector 7, but forgot to change the same in other booths and those in Sector 6 as well.

At 7.20 pm, the data of 90 per cent booths was changed. The officials kept updating the data till 8.15 pm. The turnout of the city then came out to be 66.3 per cent.

“Now, we don’t know on which data we should rely upon. We actually don’t know whether this is the right data,” said Aakriti Soni, a resident of Sector 7, Panchkula.

The residents of Sectors 6 and 7 said: “We voted in large numbers this time, but we had to feel embarrassed due to the wrong details given on the website of the Chief Electoral Officer, Haryana”.

Leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party said they would ask the administration as to how could they make such a blunder? “They have actually lowered the morale of people in these sectors,” said AAP leader Anand Prakash.



Actor Rahul Bose denies allegation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Rendering a clarification to advocate Mandeep Kaur, actor Rahul Bose has issued a written statement that what he said has been misinterpreted and he is patriotic in every sense of the word.

In a reply received by advocate Mandeep Kaur, who filed a petition against him, Bose has stated that he laid emphasis that he was ‘earlier’ ashamed of being an Indian as he grew up in the country in the 80s when the privileged were told to study abroad as the country had little to offer.

“What has not been reported in the media is my saying that how quickly have things changed and suddenly India is booming. My love for the country is unending and unconditional. He said that he is proud to be an Indian,” he has stated.

A local court had last month issued notice to actor Rahul Bose on a petition accusing him of hurting patriotic sentiments. The petition was filed by advocate Mandeep Kaur seeking direction by the court to order Bose to render "unqualified apology" for his certain remark that "hurt the national and patriotic feelings of the plaintiff. "

The petition was filed following an article published in a newspaper in which Rahul Bose had stated that he was "ashamed of being an Indian".



Appointment announced

Chandigarh: Bharti Airtel on Monday announced the appointment of Anand Chandrasekaran as its chief product officer for its India operations. Anand will lead product conceptualisation, design and development across the B2C segment of the company and will report to Srini Gopalan, director, consumer business. Announcing the appointment, Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, Bharti Airtel (India and South Asia), said, Airtel had always attracted top global talent.

Stylam Industries Limited launches compact grade laminates

City-based Stylam Industries Limited has launched its compact grade laminates for exterior cladding and interior use for the Indian market in various thicknesses, decors and textures. The latest sophisticated moulds of various finishes from Italy and Germany have been used in the production to make sure the development of the laminates. Stylam interior grade compact laminates are ideal for interiors, walls, ceiling, table tops, kitchen counters, kindergartens, wash basins and urinal partitions.The latest sophisticated moulds of various finishes from Italy and Germany have been used in the production to ensure the value for the money spend by the customers.

3 BHK family homes

Mohali: WWICS Estates on Monday launched 3 BHK family homes at Imperial Heights, a group housing project in Sector 115, Greater Mohali. Lt-Col BKN Chhibber (retd), former Governor of Punjab, was the chief guest on the occasion. He said Imperial Heights was the one-stop solution to those who want to own a luxurious place in the vicinity of Chandigarh and is pocket-friendly. Good aesthetics, close attention to detail, exemplary use of space, matchless quality of finish and most importantly, strategic location on the Kharar-Landran Highway, are some of the attractive features of the project. The project aims to cater to the needs of the upper-middle class and professionals. — TNS




Ban goes up in smoke

At the city bus stand in Kharar, a tea vendor sells cigarettes, “beedi”, “paan”, etc. This shop is adjacent to the rickshaw stand behind the bus stand, which is a public place. Smoking is prohibited in public places. However, people continue to smoke here openly. They can be seen openly violating the ban on smoking. For the past two years, I have been dropping my wife at the bus stand between 6am and 6:30am. I ask people to smoke away from this place, but to no avail. The administration should make it sure that the place should be declared a “no-smoking zone”.

Gurjot Singh,

Parking woes

I got this message on Facebook. It says, “A young girl parked her SUV in our parking space while she was visiting someone for 3-4 hours. When she came to take her car accompanied by a friend, we questioned her about the parking and blocking two car spots. She seemed shocked at being questioned as she was unaccustomed to such behaviour. And that since she was a lawyer, she would file a report against us and call the police! My question is I lost my parking for a couple of hours, I spent 20 minutes looking for an alternative spot and then this girl, instead of being apologetic, threatened me that she would bring a lawyer and a policeman! That’s not all...my husband and I moved our car and drove off since we had to pick up food from a nearby joint. When we returned, we saw that the friend accompanying the girl had parked his car in the same manner to prove a point further! We walked in and subsequently found our parking after a couple of hours.” Is this the new India we are fighting for? Can the media help?

Brig Pradeep Sharma (retd), Manimajra

Readers can send their feedback at letters.ct@gmail.com



violation of high court orders
Teachers on non-academic duty?
Have been assigned work of mid-day meal, RMSA and funds
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
In a violation of the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, government schools across the UT continue to depute their teaching staff on non-teaching activities, thereby hampering academic work.

As per information, teachers are being deployed for various activities, including the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), mid-day meals and even school funds during their teaching hours.

The District Education Officer had on March 26 issued orders to the heads of all government schools in UT, wherein it was stated that no teaching faculty of government schools would be deployed to carry out any other work except duties assigned under Section 27 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act-2009.

As per Section 27, no teacher shall be deployed for any non-educational purpose other than the decennial population census, disaster relief duties or duties relating to elections of the local authority or the state legislatures or Parliament as the case may be.

However, the heads of government schools across the city deputed teachers on non-academic activities stating “It has not been clearly mentioned which duties can be assigned to teachers and which can’t be.”

A school head on the condition of anonymity said, “It’s a matter of interpretation of the orders. Due to the lack of staff, the teachers are being used for various activities.”

However, the teachers alleged that they were being assigned duties at the cost of their teaching hours, thereby affecting the studies of students.

What the law says
As per Section 27 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act-2009, no teacher shall be deployed for any non-educational purpose other than the decennial population census, disaster relief duties or duties relating to elections of the local authority or the state legislatures or Parliament as the case may be.



pseb examS
Cheating cases decline by 50 per cent
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 14
Stern measures initiated by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) during the board examinations of Classes X and XII have yielded results as the number of cheating cases have reduced by around 50 per cent compared to the figures of 2013.

As many as 575 cheating cases were reported this year compared to the last year’s figure of 1,200.

Giving details, Dr Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal, chairperson, PSEB, said, “Last year, 800 cheating cases involving Class X students and 400 cases involving Class XII students were reported from across the state. This year, the number of cases has come down. We’ve received 300 cheating cases involving Class X students, while 275 are of Class XII students.”

Dr Dhaliwal said the decision to have separate examination centres for open school students was one of the main reasons for the decrease in the number of cheating cases.

“This year, we had set up 259 separate examination centres for the students of open schools. A strict watch was kept on the students to check the practice,” said Dr Dhaliwal.

“Besides the inclusion of principals and school heads in the flying squads, co-operation by deputy commissioners and senior superintendents of police in every district, special flying teams of senior PSEB officials, anti-cheating rallies by students and special seminars for school teachers and students were some of the measures that we took for the purpose,” she added.

Dr Dhaliwal said the anti-cheating campaign would continue in the future too.



Seminar on educational structure
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
A two-day national seminar on continuous and comprehensive evaluation was organised at the Desh Bhagat University Faculty of Education today. Eminent educationists, scholars, policy-makers, teachers and a large number of students from across the country took part in the event.

Desh Bhagat University Chancellor Dr Zora Singh inaugurated the seminar.

Speaking on the occasion, he said, “There is need to introduce changes in the present education system of our country. This will enable students to develop their capabilities.”

Dr Anuradha Sindhwani from KM College of Education, Bhiwani, was the keynote speaker.

“We need to simplify our educational structure,” she added.

As many as 20 lectures were delivered by renowned scholars and policy makers during the seminar.

More than 35 poster presentations were made by the research scholars, teachers and students hailing from different parts of the country.



945 awarded degrees at MCM convocation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
As many as 945 students received degrees in various post-graduate and graduate streams at the 42nd annual convocation of MCM DAV College for Women today. More than 30 special prizes for outstanding achievements in the PU annual examinations were also give to the students.

Panjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Arun K Grover was the chief guest.

Guneet Kaur Khanna was the recipient of the Roll of Honour for securing the first position in Panjab University in MA Sociology.

She also bagged the prestigious Mehr Chand Mahajan Award, which is the highest award of the college in the field of academics.

The other prize winners included Neha Garg, who stood second in PU in MA Sociology, Manika Ahuja, Aanchal Bhalaik, Swati Verma, Chinar Thakur, Pooja Bansal and Anupama Mannon for securing top positions in the Honours exams in the subjects of English, psychology, economics, political science, public administration, and sociology, respectively.

The alumnae of the college were specially honoured at the event. Among these were Payal Goel (PCS Allied) posted as the Excise and Taxation Officer, Mohali; Dr Brahmjyot Kaur, MD pathology at INSCOL and Bharat Vikas Parishad; Sadhavi Dalal, banker; Ankita Batish, Associate Financial Advisory Services of the Indian Subsidiary of Deliottee Touche, US.

roll of honour
Guneet Kaur Khanna was the recipient of the Roll of Honour for securing the first position in Panjab University in MA Sociology. She also bagged the prestigious Mehr Chand Mahajan Award, which is the highest award of the college in the field of academics.



Collarbone can determine age and sex: Expert
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
In an important breakthrough in forensic science, the clavicles (collarbones) and sternums (breastbone) of a skeleton can help investigators determine the sex and age of an unidentified body.

At present, forensic anthropologists and pathologists depend on the skull or pelvic bones to determine the age and sex of a decomposed body, which is usually damaged in the advanced stage.

A study conducted by Dr JS Sehrawat, assistant professor, Panjab University, Department of Anthropology, on the clavicles and sternums of 343 unidentified bodies — 252 males and 91 females in the age group of 18-94 years — revealed that these two bones can determine the exact sex and age of an unidentified body.

“The aim of the study is to help forensic experts determine the sex and age of bodies, whose skeletal remains are recovered from sites of homicidal activities such as man-made or natural disasters, including tsunami, train or plane accidents, earthquake and floods,” he added.

Recalling his experience as an anthropologist at the Department of Forensic Science and Criminology of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Dr Sehrawat said, “During my tenure, I came across nine such cases where the recovery of well-preserved skeletons or sex-specific bones such as pelvis or skull was not possible. Due to this, forensic anthropologists have to rely upon other post-cranial skeletal elements to identify the victims of individualised forensic cases.”

“The clavicle and sternum bones resist taphonomic for longer duration and have ample post-mortem longevity. These act as valuable adjuncts in identifying an individual in forensic situations where other indicative bones are missing,” he added.

During his study, Dr Sehrawat examined the adult cadavers collected from the post-mortem examinations from the Department of Forensic Medicine, PGIMER.

Dr Sehrawat conducted his study under the supervision of Prof RK Pathak, Department of Anthropology, PU and co-supervision of Prof Dalbir Singh, head, Department of Forensic Medicine, PGIMER.

Future Proposal
Dr Sehrawat said he had submitted two projects to the UGC for research to identify an individual from the clavicular and sternal measurements taken on his or her radiographs, MRI and CT scans and report any significant differences in accuracy levels attained from skeletal and radiographic measurements.



Edulight launches office in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Edulight Careers, an NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation) partner, launched its corporate office in Chandigarh today. Edulight Careers Vision director Ajay Sachdeva, said, “Edulight Careers is expanding its footprint in Punjab by introducing training centres in Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar.”

He said the institute intended to deliver skill enhancement solutions through active engagement with customers in a congenial work environment. “We need to create around 1 to 1.5 crore jobs every year in the next decade to provide gainful employment to India’s young population,” he added.



273 students get placed at recruitment drive

Chandigarh, April 14
As many as 273 engineers -- passing-out students of the 2014 batch of the Chandigarh University, Gharuan and Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Landran -- were placed in three top IT companies during campus recruitment today.

The companies included Wipro Technologies, Capgemini and Cognizant Technology. The passing-out students were from all branches of engineering, including computer science, IT, mechanical, electronics & communication, electrical and MCA.

Students with 60 per cent throughout their academic record were eligible to participate in the campus recruitment process.

Wipro Technologies selected 109 students, Cognizant Technology 93 and Capgemini chose 71 students. — TNS



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