C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT admn takes over Bal Niketan
Deploys its staff; pulls up NGO for letting complainants leave premises
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
The UT Social Welfare Department today took over the management of the Bal Niketan Society located in Sector 15 from the NGO by deploying its staff. To avoid any protest by the inmates, a team of counsellers along with the administrative staff was sent to the home of destitute children by the department.

Sources said that the officials of the NGO were asked to hand over all records and accounts of the society to the staff of the Social Welfare Department. Out of 40 inmates, 12 were left when it was taken over by the department. After the controversy arose, a majority of the parents had taken their children home.

An emotional farewell was given by the inmates to the Bal Niketan society team after they came to know that the UT Administration was taking over the charge of the home for destitute children.

The sources said that the Social Welfare Department staff raised an objection as to how the representatives of the Bal Niketan society had allowed the complainants to leave the home when they were instructed not to give permission to any of the 16 complainants to leave the Bal Niketan premises.

The sources further said that legal action would be taken against the society members who had allowed the complainants to leave the premises even after clear directions from the department.

Contrary to this, the honorary secretary of the Bal Niketan Society, Amar Kulwant Singh, said that last evening when she received the communication from the Social Welfare Department some of the complainants had already left the premises of Bal Niketan.

When contacted, the Director, UT Social Welfare Department, Rajesh Jogpal, confirmed that they had taken over Bal Niketan. He said that orders had been issued to install CCTV cameras on the premises in the next two days.



Bal Niketan Case
Child Helpline officials flouted norms
Probed inmates in school during class hours without informing principal
Mehakdeep Grewal/Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
There seems no end to controversies surrounding the investigations being carried out in the Bal Niketan molestation case. In yet another shocking revelation, the Child Helpline flouted the common guideline of education code and ethics set by the UT Education Department by conducting a preliminary inquiry from the complainants of Bal Niketan on the school premises without even taking any prior permission from the school or the Education Department.

Surprisingly, the principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 15-C, Amarjit Kaur, was clueless about any such visit by the helpline representatives in the first week of April after the helpline received the complaint of molestation against Bal Niketan supervisor Manish Arora.

Sources said that the representatives of the Bal Niketan also met the principal to complain about the incident after the inmates revealed that the helpline representatives had probed them on the school premises during class hours. The Director of Public Instructions (schools), Kamlesh Kumar, said, higher authorities were not informed regarding the matter. Ideally, the helpline authorities should have taken the principal into confidence and questioned the students in the principal’s office. Kumar further stated that entering the school without seeking permission amounts to trespassing and probing students in the school was a violation of children’s confidentiality. The principal confirmed the representatives had come to the school, but they did not inform them (the school authorities) about the purpose of their visit and did not seek any permission.

She said that the school management thought that the helpline representatives had come to conduct an awareness camp or lecture.

She further said that till date no complaint had been made to the higher authorities in the Education Department but she would apprise the authorities.


As per the common guidelines of the education code and ethics of the UT Education Department, if any visitor wants to meet a child in the school, an entry has to be made at the gate and permission should be taken from the day teacher. The principal and the teacher in the class should also be informed about any such visit.



Sessions Judge RK Sondhi conducts surprise check
Security lapses found at P’kula Bal Niketan
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 25
Security lapses were detected at the Bal Niketan, a home for destitute boys and girls in Sector 2, during a surprise check conducted by the District and Sessions Judge-cum-Chairman of the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), RK Sondhi, here today. The surprise check follows the recent incident of alleged child abuse at Bal Niketan in Chandigarh.

Sondhi was accompanied by Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM)-cum- Secretary of DLSA, Hemraj Mittal, and para-legal volunteers, including woman advocates.

Only one security guard was found on duty when the DALSA team reached there. Sondhi told the supervisor that on many occasions, whenever their team conducted a surprise check, the gate was found open at night.

He ordered that the gate should be locked at 8 pm and no outsider should be allowed to enter the premises after that.

"It is quite strange that only one CCTV camera is installed at the gate and there are no cameras in the corridors or anywhere on the premises. They take attendance of the children just once in the morning," said para-legal volunteer Manbir Singh Rathi.

Talking about the Chandigarh incident, Sondhi told the girls "You all know what happened at a similar home in Chandigarh. If anyone misbehaves with you here, you must let us know. I do not want any such untoward incident being repeated here." The District and Sessions Judge spoke about the security measures to be taken by girls. Sondhi allowed only female helps to enter the quarters of the girls and only female tutors would come to teach them. Sondhi instructed that the staff should accompany any outsider who entered the premises.

As many as 25 girls and 25 boys are living here in separate quarters. The DLSA team found that the surroundings were well maintained. Female para legal volunteers also interacted with the girls.



Pvt destitute homes avoid govt aid to escape interference
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
To avoid the UT Social Welfare Department’s intervention in running of affairs, the NGOs running private homes for destitutes in the city do not seek financial aid from government.

As per the records of the department, there are three homes for destitutes in the city which are run by private NGOs, including the Missionary of Charity in Sector 23, Guru Aasra Trust in Palsora and Bal Niketan Society in Sector 15. However, the former two do not take financial help from the government.

The reason is that if they do so, the Social Welfare Department will get the power to ensure adherence to the norms set under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme, which provides for qualification and salaries of the staff. Also, there are set infrastructural norms that have to be followed by homes for destitutes.

Resultantly, the UT Social Welfare Department could only monitor or inspect their premises every month and suggest them to follow the norms set under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, or issue advisories. Recently, during an inspection of three of these destitute homes, a team from the department found that these homes were not maintaining any data pertaining to inmates.

As per the norms, details of all the inmates should be uploaded on a portal.

On a number of occasions, the department had recommended installation of CCTV cameras on the premises of these homes, but they failed to do so.

Sources said in routine, the department officials use to inspect the area, ventilation and hygiene at these private destitute homes.

voices that matter

After the Bal Niketan incident, fresh advisories have been issued to all private homes for destitutes to strictly follow the norms. Inspections are being carried out at these homes, a report of which will be submitted by the next week. The department has power to cancel the registration of a home in case there is a major violation and children could be shifted in case of a serious complaint.

Rajesh Jogpal, director, UT social welfare department

We have started preparing data base of the inmates for the online portal. We did not receive any instruction for installation of CCTV cameras on the premises from the authorities or the team that visits after every three months to inspect the home.

Sister Priya, Mother Teresa mission of charity

So far, we have not received any direction for uploading details of residents on web portal or installing CCTV cameras on the premises.

Kanwar Singh Dhami, Chairman, Guru Aasra Trust, Palsora

Destitute homes in the city

Name Run by

Mother Teresa Mission of Charity, Sector 23 NGO

Guru Aasra Trust, Palsora NGO

Bal Niketan Society, Sector 15 NGO

Snehalaya, Sector 39 Govt

Fresh advisories to NGOs

  • Install CCTV cameras on the premises
  • Prohibit entry of boys
  • Only house mothers should have access to dormitory where girl inmates reside
  • Upload the details of all the inmates on website

About destitute homes

  • A destitute home in the city has to be registered with the UT Social Welfare Department.
  • A special committee has been constituted by the department, which inspects the premises of NGOs and monitors adherence to the norms.
  • An NGO fulfilling the criteria set under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, and the UT Child Protection Act can apply for such home.
  • After receiving a request from an NGO, the committee visits the premises to check whether norms are being followed.
  • In 2000, the government had asked all NGOs running destitute homes to register under the Juvenile Justice Act so as to keep a check on their activities and provide better facilities to the children staying there.
  • As per the guidelines, admission in a destitute home is given to orphans or wards of parents who want their kids to stay in a destitute home for care and protection.
  • Before granting admission, the NGO has to first register the child with the Social Welfare Department.
  • There are four destitute homes in the city and all are registered.
  • UT social welfare department director Rajesh Jogpal said until the committee approved the proposal, an NGO cannot set up a destitute home.



Bal niketan case
AAP seeks time-bound investigation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
A delegation of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today met UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar over the Bal Niketan issue and submitted a letter to him. AAP volunteer Gurjusjit Singh said they requested the Home Secretary that the entire episode should be investigated in a stipulated time and the functioning of the Bal Niketan Society and it's office-bearers should be looked into.

Paramjeet Latta, another AAP volunteer, said they requested the Home Secretary to take action against the secretary and other office-bearers of the Bal Niketan Society, specially the women attendent Meena and Manjeet, who knew about the misconduct but refused to take action.

The Home Secretary assured the delegation that all the girls would be counselled. He also called the SSP and told him to look into the matter personally. AAP volunteers were assured that a woman DSP would head the probe team.



Taps won’t go dry this summer
38 new tubewells to become operational by June
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Taps will not go dry this summer in Chandigarh, as 38 new tubewells will be operational by June, which will supply 7.5 million gallons per day (MGD) water to the city. The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) is hopeful that the new tubewells will help in meeting the demand of water during peak summers.

The installation of new tubewells in the city has been pending for the last two years.

MC officials said that with the tubewells being installed, the city would get more supply of water, which will help in tiding over the impending crisis. “By June, the tubewells will become functional and this will help in meeting excess demand of water during summers”, a senior MC official said.

At present, the city receives 87 MGD water. However, the demand during peek summers reaches up to 116 MGD water. With 38 more tubewells installed in the city, the water supply will go up to 94.5 MGD.

The city already has 207 tubewells that provides 20 MGD water and the rest 67 MGD water reaches city from Kajauli water works in Mohali after travelling around 27 kilometers.

The officials further stated since the MC would not be supplying 9 MGD canal water to Panchkula and Chandimandir from the Chandigarh’s share, there would be surplus water with Chandigarh this year.

Chandigarh was supposed to provide 6 MGD to Panchkula and 3 MGD to Chandimandir from this year, but since the machineries are yet to be installed it will not be possible for it to supply water by the year-end.



P’kula ACP awarded Padma Shri
Tribune News Service

Mamta SaudaPanchkula, April 25
Panchkula Assistant Commissioner of Police Mamta Sauda, will be awarded Padma Shri tomorrow.The Hayana police officer has scaled the highest peaks, which includes Mt. Everest.

In May 2010, she had hoisted the Indian flag on the highest peak of the world, a month later in June she climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. She was appointed as the DSP by the Haryana government in 2011. In 2012, she climbed the tallest European peak, Mount Elbrus.

Panchkula Commissioner of Police Ajay Singhal said, " We are proud that our ACP, I congratulate her”.



Pinki murder case
Charges framed against 4 accused
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
A local court today framed charges of murder against the four accused in the murder and rape case of 11-year-old girl Pinki, last year. The court framed charges against Anirudh, Rajkumar, Suneeta, alias Billa and Bhagat Singh, alias Manga, in the case.

The court framed charges under Sections 302, 376 of the IPC and various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). The case has now been adjourned to May 6 when the trial will begin in court.

The body of Pinky was found in a jute sack in the jungle area of Sector 52 on December 1, 2013. Eleven-year-old Pinky was a student of class VI and was strangulated to death, the police said. The victim, Pinki, a Pulsora resident, was missing for four days and her family had lodged a missing complaint with the police.

Pinki, who was a student of Government School, Sector 54, had left home on November 27 evening after taking a Rs 20 note from her mother and failed to return home. The police said Suneeta had a dispute with Pinki’s family and planned to kidnap Pinki for money and to take revenge. In the past, Suneeta had been her neighbour and Pinki used to visit her home often. Initially, the police had been groping in the dark and then on January 20 this year, they made a breakthrough in the case with the arrest of two drug addicts identified as Anirudh and Rajkumar. The two accused had disclosed in their interrogation that they were promised a sum of Rs 30,000 each by Bhagat Singh, alias Manga, who was allotted the task to kidnap Pinki by Suneeta.



Advanced neuro centre: PGI gets Ministry’s nod
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Thirty years after the proposal was mooted, PGIMER's 300-bedded advanced neuro-centre has finally received an approval from the Union Health Ministry. The centre, which is now awaiting approval for land by the UT Administration under the Master Plan, will bring respite to patients, who suffer as there are shortage of beds and ventilators at the premier institutes.

This will be the first such centre in the region, North of Delhi. At present, there are only 100 beds available for patients suffering from stroke or needing neuro-surgery. There are no separate ICUs available, forcing patients to wait despite emergency.

Confirming the development, Prof S Prabhakar, Head, Department of Neurology, PGIMER, said, “The centre will bring relief to the patients who face inconvenience due to shortage of beds and ICUs. There is no other health centre in the region that provides tertiary care in neurology so, the inflow of patients remains very high at the PGI.”

While land is yet to be formally earmarked for setting up the centre, it is proposed to be constructed near the Gol Market, behind the Advanced Cardiac Centre on the PGIMER campus. Over Rs 200 crore will be spent on the construction of the centre. The four- storeyed neuro-center will have different ICUs and separate stroke centre. In the absence of a stroke centre at the PGIMER, the patients are treated in the common facility and allotted beds as per availability. The centre will also run OPDs and diagnostic tests for neurology.

The number of patients rushing to the PGIMER for treatment of stroke has increased manifold in the past 10 years, say experts.

The PGIMER currently has Advanced Cardiac Centre, Advanced Pediatric Centre, Advanced Eye Centre and Advanced Trauma Centre running successfully in addition to the Nehru Hospital for other specialties. In the region, the only neuro-centre exists in the AIIMS, New Delhi.

A first in the region

This will be the first such centre in the region, North of Delhi. At present, there are only 100 beds available for patients suffering from stroke or needing neuro-surgery. There are no separate ICUs available, forcing patients to wait despite emergency.


UT traffic cops told to stop ‘targeting’ vehicles from other states
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
After receiving a number of complaints from residents of the neighbouring states, the UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar has directed the UT police to stop unnecessarily harassing drivers of vehicles with outstation registration numbers.

Sources said the UT Home Secretary had received several complaints that the traffic wing of the Chandigarh Police specifically ‘target’ vehicles bearing outstation registration numbers to ensure proper adherence to traffic rules.

UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar confirmed that during a meeting recently, he had issued verbal orders to senior officials of the UT police to stop unnecessarily harassing such people. In the coming days, he would issue written orders, he added.

The Home Secretary said, "Chandigarh is the capital of Punjab and Haryana and people of these states should feel proud while entering the City Beautiful. However, on seeing vehicles with outstation number plates, UT traffic cops unnecessarily stop them to check their documents. Action should be taken to check serious violations. For minor violations, the police should only give warning to the drivers of outstation vehicles."

"It is not that drivers of vehicles from Punjab and Haryana only are subjected to harassment. Situation is no different in case of vehicles from other states," he said.

Sidharth Chauhan, a resident of Shimla, said the traffic police unnecessarily harass visitors from the neighbouring states. "It always happens with me. Every time I visit Chandigarh, I am stopped at almost every other light point, which is humiliating, specially when my family members are with me," he lamented.

Welcoming the Home Secertary’s orders, Veena Koul, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir and resides in Panchkula, said they hope that following these directions, cops deployed at traffic light points would not stop them unnecessarily.

In March 2012, two traffic constables and a head constable were suspended for harassing drivers of outstation vehicles.

In February 2012, two traffic cops were suspended when an SP found them troubling a driver.

Sources said 30 to 40 per cent of the challans issued by the UT traffic police in a year were given to those who had come from other states.



GMSH-16 shuts evening dental OPD
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Six months after all other evening OPDs were discontinued at the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, the evening OPD being run by the Department of Dentistry has also been closed down.

The evening OPD of dentistry was the only evening OPD that sustained till now, a year after the evening OPDs in various specialties were introduced at the hospital and its allied centres with much fanfare.

While the concept made it convenient for the working class families to avail the services without compromising on working hours, officials in the hospital cited a variety of reasons for closing the OPDs.

“These OPDs were not government-approved OPDs. Also due to absence of any new posts sanctioned by the government after 1997, we had to put our existing doctors on duty which not only burdened them but we also found that the number of patients turning up for the evening OPDs was not significant,” said an official of GMSH-16.

The evening OPDs in the department of eye, medicine, gynaecology, surgery, ENT, dermatology, paediatrics and dentistry were introduced in March last year. However, gradually, all OPDs were discontinued except that of dentistry.

Evening OPDs not new

In 2002, on directions of the then Union Health Minister Shatrughan Sinha, a number of PGIMER specialties had started evening OPDs. However, soon, due to paucity of time left for research for doctors, a majority of OPDs were discontinued within few months. The evening OPDs, however, still continued in nearly 20 (out of total 125) departments at the PGIMER. These include various specialties such as pediatrics, cardiology, psychiatry, nephrology, ENT and few others.

residents speak

Such facilities are badly needed in our city for service class. Everyone at my home remains busy in first half of the day. It gets difficult for a person like me to leave work and go to hospital in morning hours.

Pawan Mahayana, shop owner

I run a shop and all other members of my family go for different jobs. To visit OPD, I am sometimes forced to close the shop in morning or restrict myself to a private doctor.

Rohit Bhutani, city resident

Children are forced to miss school to visit hospital as the OPD timings and school timings clash. Evening OPDs were a good option to handle this problem.

Indra, housewife



State panel sets aside order against Grover Hospital
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
The Chandigarh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has set aside orders of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum wherein Grover Eye Laser and ENT Hospital, Sector 35, was asked to pay a compensation of Rs 70,000 for alleged medical negligence in post-operative care.

In its judgment, the state commission observed, “Reportedly, there was no incidence of lens breakage during the surgery. It was a phenomenon, which occurred after the surgery and was unavoidable due to reasons such as old age and history of eye disease. In our considered view, the said incident, by any stretch of imagination, cannot be attributed to medical negligence on the part of the hospital authorities in the follow up treatment after the surgery, followed by recorded prescription wherein it was recorded “satisfactory cataract recovery”.

“Moreover, the surgery was performed by a team of expert surgeons and there was no reason to believe that there was medical negligence during the course of surgery," the commission observed.

The commission dismissed the appeal filed by the complainant, Avinash Kaur (76), who had sought enhancement of compensation in the case.

The complainant, a resident of Sector 37, had alleged that the surgeons implanted cataract lens before rectifying the problem in her retina. Later, she allegedly found that the lens was fitted without removing cataract, which resulted in swelling and infection in the eye forcing her to seek treatment in another hospital.

The hospital authorities contended that the major cause of poor vision in her left eye was vitreo- foveal traction (retina problem) apart from cataract. It was further stated that the complainant was aware of the problem as she told that she was informed so by an eye specialist at the PGI.

They further contended that they adopted the prescribed line of treatment and as per the laid-down guidelines.

In their written reply, the hospital authorities stated that when the complainant visited the hospital she was in possession of a permission letter from the CGHS Wellness Centre No. 1, Sector 45, mentioning diagnosis of cataract in the left eye and she was sent with permission for Phaco and PC IOL-left eye (cataract surgery).

It was further stated that as per the protocol, the CGHS issued the permission for a procedure on the basis of recommendation by a doctor of the PGI.

The hospital chose to perform the Phaco with PC IOL (cataract surgery) instead of first rectifying the retina problem through vitrectomy. Such a course was chosen keeping in mind the best of interests of the complainant since she was a poor prognosis case where likelihood of unfavourable outcome of the surgery was high, as it firmly established medical principle that cataract surgery should be performed prior to vitrectomy (retina treatment).

The opposite parties further stated that the dislocation of IOL had not occurred till February 19, 2012, and therefore, there was no question of any remedial measures to be adopted to manage the dislocated lens.



Traditional ways of campaigning fade into oblivion
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 25
With changing times, the traditional ways of canvassing, using rickshaws and auto-rickshaws playing patriotic songs and distributing pamphlets, have become a rare sight.

In the ongoing campaigning for the Anandpur Sahib parliamentary constituency, particularly in Mohali and surrounding villages, people are missing the traditional election cacophony, interesting slogans and old patriotic songs being played on tape recorders fitted on vehicles driven at slow speed.

"I am missing the high-pitch recorded slogans like 'mohar kithe launi hai.... and jitega bhai jitega...' played on rickshaws, rehris or three-wheelers from morning to night,” said Sudarshan Lal, a local resident.

He added that the amplifier-fitted vehicles created the election environment.

Expressing similar sentiments, Kulwant Singh of Phase VII said the traditional way of campaigning was very effective. "As these vehicles, which were hired by political parties for campaigning, used to roam around throughout the day, everybody came to know the candidates, their parties and election symbols,” he said.

Surinder Singh, a resident of Kumbhra, recalled how he and his friends used to run behind such vehicles to get flags, badges, stickers and pamphlets. "New ways of campaigning, including roadshows and messages on social networking sites, have phased out the traditional way of electioneering. The new methods fail to create the election tempo that used to be created around elections earlier,” said Surinder Singh.

Congress MLA Jagmohan Kang, who is one of the main campaigners for the party candidate Ambika Soni, said, “Most contestants are adopting new ways of electioneering as the Election Commission has become strict on election expenditure incurred by candidates and the new forms of campaigning are gaining popularity.”



Paramilitary personnel flay denial of exemption from property tax
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Members of the Paramilitary Forces Retired Officers’ Association have flayed the decision of the Punjab government and the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, against exempting paramilitary personnel from property tax.

The association’s chairman, SK Madan, said paramilitary personnel were denied this benefit in spite of the instructions of the Ministry of Home Affairs to all states and UTs that considering their sacrifices, paramilitary personnel should get benefits on a par with those given to the armed forces personnel.

During the association’s annual general body meeting here today, members said the strength of paramilitary forces was about 10 lakh and such discrimination would affect the morale of the personnel and their families.

They demanded that the Union Home Minister should immediately intervene and ensure that such discrimination against paramilitary personnel was removed.



MC issues challan to 96 for misuse of water
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
In 10 days of its drive against misuse of potable water, the Municipal Corporation (MC), Chandigarh, issued 96 challans and served 347 warning notices to violators. The MC has constituted around 16 teams that visit different parts of the city during the morning hours to catch people washing cars or courtyards, and watering lawns.

Due to increase in demand for water during summer, the MC decided to restrict use of water in the morning hours from April 15 to June 30.

Till April 25, the MC issued challans to 96 consumers and imposed fine for violations, which sums up to around Rs 1.92 lakh and would be added to their water bills.

Besides, the MC has served 347 notices for wastage of water due to overflowing overhead tanks or underground water tanks,and leakage from water meter chambers and water coolers.



Paid news: Panel recommends action in nine cases

Mohali, April 25
The Media Certification and Monitoring Committee set up in the Mohali district, in connection with the Lok Sabha elections, today recommended the issuance of notices in nine cases of suspected paid news.

The committee in its report named the candidates/parties concerned and four newspapers in which the items had appeared.

According to the report by the panel, the cost of the paid news items, as per DIPR/DAVP rates, ranged between Rs 5,972.40 and Rs 48,166.72 in the nine cases.

District Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said monitoring panel worked 24x7. The panel suspected that these were cases of paid news.

He said the Returning Officer (RO) for the Anandpur Sahib constituency, in which Mohali fell, was the Ropar Deputy Commissioner. The committee’s report would be looked into by the RO for action, if any. — OC



11 KV wire falls at house

Panchkula, April 25
A loose hanging 11 KV wire fell at a house in Sector 12 A causing a minor blast. No injuries have been reported. Notably, the same wire had damaged a few houses some time ago.

Residents have put the blame on the callousness of the officials of the Electricity Department, who had coiled the wire in a rough manner last time. “Just five minutes before the incident, our neighbour had gone inside. Had she been outside, she would have been electrocuted,” said Sanjeev Kumar, a resident of the area. He added, “We have complained a number of times about the loose hanging wires but to no avail.”

Last time, ceiling of a house had damaged. Residents in the locality gathered at the spot and immediately called officials of the Electricity Department who removed the wire. Local Municipal Councillor Lily Bawa also rushed to the spot. — TNS



Pensioners to hold rally today

Mohali, April 25
To expose anti-pensioner policies of the Punjab Government, members of the Punjab Government Pensioners Association will hold a rally on April 26 at 10.30 am. The rally will be held outside Rose Garden in Phase 3B-II here and will be followed by a protest march.

Mohan Singh, general secretary of the association, said there was resentment among Punjab pensioners as the government had not implemented the already accepted demands such as release of arrears of seven months (July 2013-January 2014), arrears of two blocks of travel concession, revision of pension on notional basis w.e.f January 1, 2006, among others. — TNS



Classes IX and XI
Institute for Blind gets CBSE affiliation
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
A ray of hope has filled the premises of the Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, here. After a-year-and-a-half of rigorous pursuance by the school authorities, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has finally given a green signal to the school for affiliation.

School principal JS Jayara said: “With the institute getting affiliation, job avenues will expand for the students as more subjects will be introduced.”

Earlier, the school was affiliated to the Punjab Education School Board. Now it has got approval for affiliation for Classes IX and XI from this academic session.

Jayara said in Class IX social studies subject would be replaced by social science. In Class XI, instead of double music subject, including instrumental and vocal, there would be only one music subject (optional vocal or instrumental), while history along with political science would be introduced in the curriculum of Class XI.

While highlighting the benefits after getting the approval, the principal said earlier the students had to travel either to Mohali or Kharar to appear for the board examinations. Now, they would be able to take the exams within the city itself.

“It was difficult for us to find helpers to write Punjabi for our students for the examination. Now, we will not have to search for any of them,” he said.

He said now it would become easier for the students to take admissions in other states as well.

Chairman of the institute Maj-Gen (retd) Rajendra Nath said: “We had recruited a former principal from a CBSE school six months ago to make relevant changes in the syllabus and prepare the school staff for the affiliation.”

When the chairman was asked whether the school would conduct any recruitment of teachers after introducing new subjects, he said: “We will consult the UT Education Department regarding the recruitment and, if needed, we will hire as we have adequate funds.”

The school authorities claimed that they have plans of introducing mathematics as well from the next academic session.



Visually impaired to enjoy nature’s bounty through quiz
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
In an effort to take the visually impaired students one step closer to nature and make them more aware of the sounds of wild and tamed animals, Nature Conservation Society, a Punjab-based NGO, will organise a quiz competition for the students of Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, here on Saturday.

What makes the quiz competition even more interesting is that the students will have to identify the sounds of animals and birds that will be played on the audio system.

Around 25 sounds, including that of an angry crow, Alexandrine parrots, brain-fever bird, common palm squirrels, cats, elephants and clucking of hen after laying eggs, would be played for the students.

President of the NGO Gurmit Singh (retd), Indian Forest Service (IFS), said: “We took this initiative because we want to sensitise the students to the environment and take them one step closer to nature. Nature is the greatest teacher of all”. “We will also conduct a seminar on various sounds produced by animals," he said.

School principal JS Jayara said: “The students are excited about the competition. Over 50 students will take part in the competition”.



NIIFT students present final diploma projects

Mohali, April 25
Fashion Marketing and Management (FMM) and Garment Manufacturing and Technology (GMT) students of the Northern India Institute of Fashion Technology (NIIFT), Mohali, presented their final diploma projects today.

The projects were presented before jury members comprising Karan Malhotra, senior manager, Paragon Apparels, Noida; Ashish Garg, vice-president, Pearl Global Limited; Pankaj Chimoli, head of Kapsons Krome Division; and AJ Singh, CEO, Tynor Orthotics Limited.

The students worked in conjunction with the known names of the industry for three months. During this period, they found out the areas of concern thereby giving suggestions, implementing and helping the units to resolve the problems being faced by the factory or management.

This year, the students made 11 presentations which focused on different areas like enhancing production, developing processes to meet deadlines, reducing the high labour cost, reducing delay due to unskilled labour, visual marketing, sales promotion, etc. Vishav Bandhu, director, NIIFT, said the students got an opportunity to do their projects with reputed export houses and retail industry. — OC



Senior secondary schools
PSEB detects fraud in sale of books

Mohali, April 25
The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has detected a fraud in the sale of books in senior secondary schools in the state. The board has asked the Mohali SSP to take legal action against a Ludhiana-based publishing firm in this connection.

The board has found that a fake letter dated April 10 was circulated by someone among the schools stating that certain books published by Kalyani Publishers, Ludhiana, had been cleared for inclusion in the supplementary list of books. The board found that an alleged representative of the publishing firm presented the fake letter in schools for the sale of five books meant for the students of the commerce stream.

Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal, chairperson of the PSEB, said here today that the publishing firm had also allegedly sold a book, "Business Economics and Quantitative Methods", for Class XII in 2013. However, she said, neither any approval from the board for printing this book was taken nor the board had issued any letter of approval in this regard.

The chairperson said the PSEB had decided to blacklist the publishing firm.

PSEB secretary Gurinder Pal Singh Batth said booksellers, school heads, teachers and students had been asked not to purchase any book of the aforesaid publishing firm, which had been brought out giving the relevant reference numbers of the PSEB.

The board has also set up a panel headed by BL Gupta, former Registrar, Panjab University, to probe the matter. — OC



Proposal approved

Chandigarh: Desh Bhagat Dental College & Research Centre, Sri Muktsar Sahib, has got the permission to admit students to the MDS course. The Dental Council of India and the Government of India (Ministry of Health & Family Welfare) have approved the proposal of Desh Bhagat Dental College for granting 3 seats in the Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) course to meet the higher education needs of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) graduates, said Dr Zora Singh, chairman, Desh Bhagat Group.

Investiture ceremony

An investiture ceremony was celebrated at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sector 25. The occasion was graced by Bikram Singh Rana, liasion officer, Education Department (UT) and the guest of honour Sister Preeti from the Brahmakumari Ashram. — TNS



Poster-making contest

Chandigarh: The eco-club of Tribune Model School celebrated Earth Day on its premises on Friday. An inter-school poster-making competition was conducted on the theme, "Tomorrow's Earth is today’s Responsibility and The Face of Climate Change” in association with the Lions Club, Chandigarh. Sushil Kapoor, president of the club, distributed prizes among the winners.

Anniversary celebrated

Ehsaas School celebrated its second anniversary at the Community Centre, Sector 47-C. A colourful programme featuring a group song, save environment, save water skit and giddha was presented.

World Heritage Day

World Heritage Day was celebrated at KV, Sector 31. Various activities were held to mark the event.

Prize-distribution function

A cultural programme marked the annual day and prize-distribution function of Kendriya Vidyalaya-1, Chandimandir. The programme began with the lighting of ceremonial lamp by chief guest Brig PS Negi.

Student brings laurels

Panchkula: Vinayak Bansal, a Class II student of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15, Panchkula, brought laurels to the school by bagging first position at the international level in International Olympiad of Mathematics (2013-14) by scoring 100 per cent marks. — TNS



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