C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Academic session 2014-15
PU to hike fee by 5%
 Hostel accommodation fee also to go up by 10 per cent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Be ready to shell out more money for higher education from academic session 2014-15, as the Panjab University authorities have decided to hike the college and university fee by five per cent.

The Senate today unanimously decided that the fee of all undergraduate, postgraduate and self-financed courses would be increased by five per cent. While for the hostel accommodation, the hike will be of 10 per cent from new academic session. The charges include admission fee, tuition fee, library development funds and other miscellaneous funds.

Vice-Chancellor (VC) Arun Kumar Grover, who chaired the Senate meeting, approved the fee hike. The VC has already constituted a standing committee which will review the fee hike of colleges and university this year well in advance and table it in the last Senate meeting so it becomes a part of the next budget session 2015-16.

Estimate of the university revealed that about Rs. 1.5 crore would be collected after the fee hike, out of which Rs 75 to 80 lakh would be spent on scholarships and free education to poor students.

The Dean Student Welfare, Navdeep Goyal, informed the Senate that for the past seven years there had been no hike in the hostel fee. At present, there are nine girls and eight boys hostels on the Panjab University campus and there is accommodation for about 360 students in each hostel.

The Vice-Chancellor also agreed to review the holiday home fund charged from the college students.

He assured the Senate that if there was no development in the Dalhousie holiday home for which the fund was being charged by the authorities they would consider discontinuing it from next year.

Grover also asked officials to monitor the colleges which were charging retirement benefit funds from the students and look into it whether these were being utilised for the faculty or not.

Sidelights of the Panjab University Senate meeting

* The Senate approved the template for direct recruitment of associate professors and professors in university teaching departments and regional centres.

* After voting, the Senate decided to make amendments in certain regulations of the university.

* The PU Senate confirmed Controller of Examinations Dr Parvinder Singh in his post with effect from January 24, 2014.

* A committee constituted to review the system of appointment of guest faculty and part-time teachers against vacant posts.

* The Senate has given the power to the Dean University of Instructions to clear the cases of condonation of shortage of lectures.

* The PU will send a reminder to the Punjab Government to lift a ban on the recruitment of staff imposed in July 2005.

* The Department of Geography, PU, is discontinuing the MPhil course from session 2014-15.

* The PU is going to start one-year LLM course in the Department of Law from 2014-15. The candidate can take admission on a choice-based credit to the University Institute of Legal Studies and regional centre, Hoshiarpur.

* On the proposal of PU fellow Satya Pal Jain, the PU Senate congratulated Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi on the victory in the Lok Sabha elections and PU Alumni Sushma Swaraj, Kirron Kher and Rajiv Pratap Rudy on their election as Members of the Lok Sabha.

* Former Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal, who is the member of the Senate has not attended the meeting today.



PU affiliated colleges
Semester system from new session
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
From academic session 2014-15, the Panjab University affiliated colleges will have semester system for first-year undergraduate courses. This was decided at the Senate meeting held today under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Arun Kumar Grover.

The Senate unanimously approved the semester system for all the affiliated colleges of the PU. The VC informed the Senate that the authorities would provide all infrastructure and staff required to adopt the semester system from the new session. He said the University School of Open Learning (USOL) which was earlier exempted from the semester system will also adopt it from this session.

The Senators raised the point that since the colleges were facing problem conducting two kinds of examination — the semester system for the postgraduate and annual examinations for the graduates — due to paucity of space, so the PU authorities should adopt it from the current session.

Under the semester system, there will be online submission of revaluation forms for the first year students of undergraduate level of all affiliated colleges. The students will have to submit single form for each semester.

Under the semester system, a student could apply for the revaluation within 15 days on the basis of the result available on the Internet. The university has discontinued the practice of giving a golden chance to students and would allow them to give reappear examination with the routine semester session only.

The authorities will have an additional branch headed by Assistant Registrar for the semester system and 47 employees will help him manage the system proposed by the examination branch.



BJP wants MP Kirron Kher’s seat changed in MC House
  Wants her seated with BJP-SAD councillors instead where former Railway Minister Pawan Bansal used to sit
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
It seems that after defeating former Union Railways Minister and Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal with a record margin, the city unit of the BJP wants a fresh start for the newly elected BJP MP, Kirron Kher, in all matters related to the city.

After Kirron Kher’s ‘secret’ dinner with some UT officials, the city unit of the BJP has now requested the Municipal Commissioner and the Mayor of the Municipal Corporation (MC) to change the Member of Parliament’s seat in the MC House.

The BJP leaders have requested that instead of former MP Pawan Kumar Bansal’s seat, Kirron Kher’s sitting arrangements should be made with the BJP-SAD councillors.

For the last 15 years, when Pawan Kumar Bansal was the MP of the city, he used to sit in the first row of the block where the Congress and the BSP councillors were sitting.

At present, there are three blocks in the MC House - one, where the nominated councillors used to sit, second, where the Congress, the BSP and the Independent councillors used to sit and third where the BJP-SAD councillors were sitting.

When contacted, MC Commissioner Vivek Partap Singh said they had received a request from the BJP and since these were internal sitting arrangements, therefore there would be no problem in bringing about a change.

BJP’s Leader of Opposition Arun Sood said that since Bansal was a Congress MP, so he used to sit with the Congress councillors. But things had changed now and the MP who was also an ex-officio member of the MC was from the BJP-SAD alliance therefore they wanted her to sit with the BJP-SAD councillors, he said.

But taking a dig at the BJP, former Mayor and Congress Councillor Subhash Chawla, said, Kirron Kher was not only the BJP-SAD MP, but she also represented the City Beautiful. The MP should rise above petty issues such as sitting arrangements and sit where our former MP used to sit, he suggested.

But sources said that before 1999, when Satya Pal Jain was the MP from the BJP, he also used to sit with the BJP-SAD councillors.



3 roads in Mullanpur master plan
Proposal bone of contention between Punjab, UT
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Connecting three proposed roads in the Mullanpur master plan, with the adjoining areas in the North-West of Chandigarh, has become the bone of contention between Punjab and the UT.

Under the regional plan for Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana, Punjab’s Town and Country Planning Department has sought better inter-city connectivity by integrating the three roads with the nearest roads in Chandigarh.

The UT has not proposed linking of two of its busiest roads, Dakshin Marg and Vikas Marg, with the proposed roads of New Chandigarh.

While the Punjab has been pressing to connect the roads as a number of projects in its areas were coming along the roads and it would divide the load of traffic, UT officials maintain, the move was aimed to benefit the state’s own elite, who own properties there. Some of the realtors are coming up with projects alongside the roads.

Apart from the 200-foot wide road connecting Mullanpur-Siswan Road with UT’s Madhya Marg, Punjab has been seeking linking of one of its 200-foot wide road with a road behind Dhanas Rehabilitation Colony, second 200-foot wide with another road near Dadu Majra, Maloya and the third road with the road touchingSector 39.

Punjab Chief Town Planner Harnek Singh Dhillon said they were still waiting for the word from the UT after they filed their objections to the UT’s master plan on the issue. “We have been heard but the final outcome is awaited”, he said.

UT’s Chief Architect Sumit Kaur was not available for comment.

Recently, the Chandigarh Administration had stated in the Punjab and Haryana High Court that its neighbour was not cooperating with it in the development of a regional plan and one of the objections was that there were not enough “doors on the Mullanpur side”. During the meeting between the Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh officials on the integrated regional plan, the UT has been blaming Punjab for unplanned development in Nayagoan, Punjab on the other hand has been blaming the UT for planning slum rehabilitation colonies and garbage dumping site along the border with Mullanpur. In its draft master plan, the UT had observed that connecting of roads in the GMADA regional plan with the major roads in the city would increase the volume of traffic as it would provide shortest distance between the neighbouring towns of the city. 



Snatching cases on the rise in city
 In May, over dozen incidents reported
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
It has been two days since 60-year-old Vimla Gupta, a resident of Sector 19, was targeted by snatchers and her gold chain with a locket was pulled away. The woman, who had come home for lunch as she is employed with the Punjab Irrigation Office in Sector 17, is still to come out of the trauma. She fell from her Activa scooter and also sustained injuries as she tried to resist the attack.

They asked me to show the way to some Subhash clinic and diverted my attention. In no time, he pulled my chain with both hands and fled with his accomplice who was waiting for him on another bike, she says.

“Women need to be very careful”, she said.

This year, already 50 cases of snatchings have been reported so far. This month, over a dozen snatching cases have already been reported.

The police said easy disposal and good money led to chain snatching incidents. Also, most of the snatchers are drug addicts who take to the crime for lure of easy money.

The city had also witnessed three consecutive snatchings on May 6, 7 and 8 when the snatchers had targeted woman daily and fled with their chains.

Snatchings on the rise: Key issues

* A large number of snatchers who are arrested are repeat offenders.

* Courts easily grant bail to snatchers so they take to crime again. There are 22 snatchers who are in the repeat offenders’ list of the police.

* Fake sureties: Some of the snatchers get bail on fake sureties making it difficult to trace them if they jump bail. In 2011, the crime branch had also busted a racket in district courts in which accused got bail on fake sureties.

* Absence of any system to reform prisoners while they are in jail makes them take to crime again. 


NRI family celebrates parents’ 50th wedding anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
In a lesson for those who ignore their elderly parents, USA-based children of a city-based aged couple celebrated the latter’s 50th wedding anniversary at a function held recently.

The elderly couple, Satish Sarin and Rupa Sarin, from the Modern Housing Complex, Manimajra, was on cloud nine when their NRI son Sumit along with his family from California, landed in Chandigarh to celebrate the day with their relatives and a couple of senior citizens from Manimajra.

The elderly couple - Satish Sarin, a retired lecturer from Government College for Men, Sector 11, Chandigarh, and Rupa Sarin, a former member of the Chandigarh Social Welfare Advisory Board - performed the rituals that they performed 50 years ago during their marriage ceremony.



Society’s annual function celebrated
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 25
The Karuna Charitable Society, Panchkula, celebrated its 8th annual function at Aggarwal Bhavan in Sector-16 here today.

Rajan Gupta, Finance Secretary, Haryana, who was the chief guest, appreciated social and humanitarian works done by the society in the past. He promised support to the society and interacted with widows and student beneficiaries on the occasion.

SD Bhambri former Chief Secretary, Haryana, who is a patron of the society, was among those others present.

JD Gupta, president of the society, claimed that the society was helping widows and their families for the past few years. In 2013-14, about 50 widow beneficiaries were given help in the form of a stipend of Rs 700 per month.

The society has also helped about 40 brilliant students, who belong to poor families, by providing them scholarships up to Rs 10,000 monthly in 2013-14 period, he said.

CH Goel, general secretary of the society, read the annual report for 2013-14.



25 eminent personalities honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The Shivalik Vikas Manch, a social organisation of the region, honoured 25 prominent personalities for their contribution to society during a function at Amravati Enclave in Pinjore, near here, last night.

Mamta Sodha, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Panchkula, and the first woman from Haryana to scale the Mount Everest, felicitated personalities from different walks of life who trace their roots to the Shivalik region of Haryana, manch president Vijay Bansal said.

Prominent among those honoured were Sameer Pal Srow and HS Sudan, IAS officers; Dr Yash Paul Sharma and Dr Jagat Ram, both from PGI, Chandigarh; Atul Sharma and Harvinder Sharma, musicians; Rinku Kalia and Kumar Bandhus (Anoop and Hemant), singers; Dr MM Goel and Dr Harjit Singh, educationists; Sanjay Suri, Kulbhushan Goyal, Tejpal Gupta and Baldev Bansal, entrepreneurs; and Deepak Dhiman and Surender Dhiman, journalists.



National workshop at PGI from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
A national workshop on operational research: writing a research paper will be organised by the School of Public Health, PGI, from May 26 to May 31.

It will be attended by participants from across the country. The six-day workshop will enable the participants to identify research question, effectively write the methods and results and make relevant interpretations in tobacco control research.

This course will thus empower researchers in skills of scientific writing and develop confidence to write further scientific papers.

Dr Arun K Aggarwal, chairperson, and Dr Sonu Goel, organising secretary, said there was a lot of secondary data available with us which can provide answers to many policy related issues. However, the scientific fraternity lack capacity to write research paper from existing secondary data.



220 persons examined at medical camp
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 25
The Mohali Press Club, Phase IV, organised a medical camp here today. The camp, which was organised for its members and their families, was inaugurated by the recently elected MP Prem Singh Chandumajra.

It was held in asso-ciation with Cipla Pharmaceuticals.

President of the club Darshan Singh Sodhi said tests for lung and heart problems and diabetes were conducted.

As many as 220 persons were examined by a team, headed by Dr Pawan Kumar Kansal.



Auction of heritage furniture
Lawyer seeks CBI inquiry
  Writes to ministry, demands FIR registration against erring officials & cos
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
A city-based advocate has written to the Union Ministry of Culture for initiating an inquiry into the sale of heritage furniture items as scrap. He demanded that the matter should be investigated by an independent agency such as the CBI.

Advocate Ajay Jagga has written to Ravindra Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, and demanded that an FIR be registered against “unknown persons/ companies” under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act, for causing wrongful loss to the Chandigarh Administration and for failure to protect the national heritage.

In his letter, Jagga mentioned that items, such as manholes, sold as scrap at throwaway prices were sold by buyers at exorbitant prices in the international markets and hence this was a loss to the state exchequer.

Jagga termed it as the ‘heritage scam’ and said it was like the 2G Spectrum Scam, wherein (the CAG has reported that the Ministry of Telecom sold the spectrum at cheap/old rates and buyers sold the spectrum further at heavy prices, thus causing losses to the nation).

Similarly, in Chandigarh, the heritage items were sold as scrap and it was further sold at heavy prices in the international markets, and this had happened not once but many times over the years.



Unable to clear stock, liquor contractors offer heavy discounts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
With only a week left for the validity of licences for liquor vends — under the excise policy for 2013-2014 — to expire, liquor contractors are resorting to heavy discounts on different brands of liquor to exhaust their stocks.

A banner, announcing a discount on liquor brands, outside a shop in Attawa village in Sector 42, Chandigarh.
A banner, announcing a discount on liquor brands, outside a shop in Attawa village in Sector 42, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: parvesh chauhan

Banners and billboards have been put up across the city to offer popular Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) brands on discount of up to 40 per cent. The discount on brands of Indian Scotch is around 20 per cent.

Most contractors — who had extended the validity of their licences by a month —said they had not been able to dispose of their liquor stocks and are now being forced to exhaust the allocated quota of the previous year. “We have to offer discount, else we’ll pay excise duty against the allocated quota from our pocket,” said Sat Pal, a contractor based in Sector 42.

Officials of the UT Excise and Taxation Department are trying to recover the pending dues of the previous and the current year from the erring contractors. The annual quota of country-made liquor for the policy nearing completion is Rs 27 lakh proof litre (PL) and that of IMFL is Rs 2 crore PL. But the quota has been halved in new policy.



Another NGO roped in to sterilise stray dogs
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
To deal with the rising number of stray dogs in the city, the Municipal Corporation (MC), Chandigarh, has roped in another NGO for the sterilisation of stray dogs.

With two NGOs already operating in the city for the strerilisation of dogs, the figure will now increase to three.

Municipal Corporation Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta stated that a Panchkula-based NGO had started sterilisation of dogs, that would help in increasing the number of strays sterilised every month.

At present, the MC has divided the city into two zones.

The road separating Sectors 17 and 18 has been demarcated as the boundary for the areas of operations of both the NGOs. While the People for Animal (PFA) operates towards the West side of the city, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) works on the East side.

The Joint Commissioner said that the MC team would catch the stray dogs from the city and hand it over to the NGO for sterilisation.

In the last few months, the number of dog-bite cases have gone up, raising scare among residents of the city.

One of the city residents had recently filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the stray dog menace in the city.

As per the affidavit submitted by the Municipal Corporation in the court, 8,199 incidents of dog bites were reported at rabies vaccination clinic in Sector19 from January 2013 to April 2014.

Meanwhile, out of the total incidents, 1,823 cases pertained to bites by pet dogs, while remaining 6,376 incidents pertained to bites by stray dogs.



Light showers cool down city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Dust storm along with light rain lashed the city on Sunday evening, bringing respite to residents from the scorching heat. Met officials said the city would witness rainfall along with thunderstorm over the next two days.

This is bound to affect the day and night temperature.

As per the Met Department, the maximum temperature recorded on Sunday was 40.2 degrees Celsius, two notches below the normal, while the minimum was recorded at 25.8 degrees Celsius, three notches above the normal.

Met officials said as per the forecast, there will be a dust storm along with rain in the city.



Hushed whispers in the corridors of UT Secretariat

With the change of guard at the Centre, there is a sudden surge among authorities to move files towards decision making. This is in total contrast from the previous trend of delaying decision at different levels. The latest buzz in the corridors of power is to perform or get transferred.

Dinner more important than MP’s speech

During the ‘Thanksgiving ceremony’ organised by the local unit of the BJP, the newly elected MP, Kirron Kher, faced some awkward moments. When Kirron was giving her speech, a majority of people who had come to the function were busy having dinner rather than listening to her. While digging into the plate, a BJP volunteer said, “MP sahiba to yahan paanch saalon tak rahengi, par khana ek baar khatam ho gya toh dobara nahi milega,” .

Problem of plenty

While the PGIMER had launched the battery-operated golf carts, for ferrying patients within the campus, to add to the existing transport vehicles, the institute is now struggling to handle the mad rush of patients wanting to board the carts. While launching the four carts, the authorities did not know that these will become a rage among patients and the problem of plenty will arise. In a recent meeting of officials, one of the consultants raised the issue of overloading of these carts (much beyond the capacity) and showed a picture of an overloaded golf cart, that he had clicked on the campus.

When residents failed to meet MC officials

The residents of Sector 18 — who went to meet the Municipal Corporation (MC) officials regarding the stray dog menace in the city — on finding both the Commissioner and Joint Commissioner not present in the office, stated that the officials might have got to know that they were coming to meet them, following which they gave them a slip. A few residents even tried to confirm their claims by asking the peons outside the office as to when did the officials leave the office.

Results make govt school authorities fall silent

While private schools were in a run to claim success for their students’ performance in the board examinations, many government school heads preferred to maintain silence. Due to this, many meritorious students from government schools failed to get noticed for their hard work. Their success stories remained aloof just like their results. All that was discussed in the Education Department was about the failure of students and not success.

Punjabi hospitality

Punjabi’s are known for their hospitality but their own IPL team, Kings XI Punjab, will return hardly satisfied with the welcome one of its player received during the match with the Rajasthan Royals team at PCA stadium, Mohali, on Friday. Kings XI Punjab’s player Glenn Maxwell was targeted with a water bottle missile during the match by an unidentified spectator. At that time, Maxwell was near the boundary and was walking towards another player to offer water to him. Maxwell, however, showed restraint and simply placed the bottle aside before walking back to the pavilion without offering water to his teammate.

Chandigarh railway station cries for basic amenities

The Chandigarh Railway Station is in dire need of adding more sitting benches, particularly from the open exit side. There is only one escalator, which works for platform no. 2 and 3, but remains close. The other, on the outside, is yet to become functional. Work is currently under progress. The last date for completion is June 30.

Contributed by: Rajmeet Singh, Rajinder Nagarkoti, Ritika Jha Palial, Amit Sharma, Mehakdeep Grewal, Rajiv Bhatia and 
Sunil Minocha.



Cong leader’s murder
Police grill gunmen
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 25
The police have reportedly questioned the gunmen, who had at any point of time been on duty with Congress leader Rajwant Singh Shergill, whose body was found here on May 21.

As per reports, the police are investigating different aspects of the murder case.

The former gunmen of the Congress leader, as well as those linked to him at the time of the crime, are reported to have been quizzed by the police.

The special investigation team is trying to find out from the gunmen about all those people whom deceased Shergill had met in the past, besides his activities.

Shergill is reported to have withdrawn money from two ATMs at Kharar before a proposed trip to Delhi. The police tried to scrutinise the CCTV footage at the two ATM locations. From the footage, it seems that Shergill was alone when he withdrew money from the ATMs, said sources.

Reports said Shergill used to meet pandits and visited temples. The police are likely to question the pandits concerned.

The CIA staff had earlier rounded up two persons from Mansa and Patiala for questioning. Shergill’s body was found in an SUV abandoned along a footpath near a park in Sector 69 on May 21. He was a resident of Kharar. 



Job avenues for 57 differently-abled

Chandigarh, May 25
As many as 57 differently-abled candidates were shortlisted out of more than 200 differently-abled persons during a job fest ABILITY 2014 “Embracing Ability: Making It Happen” held here recently.

A total of 21 companies participated in the fair organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Northern Region, National Institute for Technical Teachers’ Training and Research (NITTR), Sarthak Educational Trust and VRC, Ludhiana.

The fest was organised at NITTTR, Sector 26, here.

The event was organised to bring differently-abled persons into the mainstream by opening new doors of employment.

More than 200 differently-abled candidates from Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh participated in the fest, of which 65 per cent were orthopaedically handicapped, including polio afflicted, 10 per cent hearing impaired and 25 per cent visually impaired. — TNS



Open House response
Residents want Kirron Kher to improve facilities in city

With the BJP getting a clear majority from the city, expectations of city residents from new Member of Parliament (MP) Kirron Kher regarding their long-pending demands have been raised. Chandigarh Tribune asked its readers about their expectations from the new MP

Get first-hand knowledge of problems in city

The newly elected MP should acquire the firsthand knowledge of the problems being faced by the city residents by interacting with the registered residents' welfare associations and then go the whole hog to resolve these in association with the UT Administration, Chandigarh Housing Board and Municipal Corporation.

SC Luthra, MHC, Mani Majra

Keep poll promises

She must endeavour to fulfill the promises she made while campaigning for Lok Sabha elections, particularly the roadmap for restoring the lost glory of the City Beautiful. She should come up with a comprehensive “vision paper” in this regard and show commitment to execute it in a time-bound manner.

Hemant Kumar, Ambala City

She should be accessible

It is very much desirable that Kirron Kher is available in the city and is conveniently accessible to residents for any genuine redressal of the problems faced by them. There are numerous other things that people expect her to do. For example, converting leasehold houses into freehold units, getting housing complexes regularised, allowing need-based changes on residential premises, opening of mini-libraries in each sector, maintenance of parks in each sector etc.

Ujagar Singh, Chandigarh

Open good schools, colleges

In my opinion, our MP should not be the one who fought an election only to earn fame. Instead, she should be the one who does not compromise on requirements of the youth by providing them better educational facilities. Opening of good schools and excellent colleges is what young residents of the city expect of Kirron Kher.

Nitika Srivsatava, Chandigarh

Pensioners expect better healthcare facility

Central government pensioners residing in and around Chandigarh have high hopes that Kirron Kher would ensure a considerable improvement in the healthcare facility available to them through the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS). The only CGHS dispensary in the city, now named as the Wellness Centre, Sector 45, has just five doctors, including the Chief Medical Officer (CMO). However, the number of patients that the dispensary caters to is more than 20,000.

Gurdip Singh Bhogal, Zirakpur

Ensure that city’s development continues

The new MP should carry forward the development agenda that her predecessor could not fulfill; whatever be the reason. Kirron Kher should hold high the torch of development, quality of life and spirit of the City Beautiful. Reducing crime, proper traffic management, better public transport and popularity among citizens should be on her priority list.

Sanjay Kapila, Chandigarh

Discourage slum culture

The city’s representative should work towards acquisition of land for development of new sectors. Of course, it should be done in consultation with the neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab. Slum rehabilitation plan should be framed and unauthorised slum culture should be discouraged.

Sanjay Srivastava, Chandigarh

Realise Metro rail project

The New MP should give top priority to get the Metro rail project implemented. This will ease traffic congestion and bring about a drastic reduction in the level of pollution. We are sure she will get full support in this regard from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is a man of action. Making the city slum free and prevent unauthorised constructions in violation of building bylaws should be on her agenda.

KC Rana, Chandigarh

Implement citizen’s charter in govt offices

We expect the new MP to implement the citizen’s charter in the departments that general public has to visit such as Food & Supply, Registering and Licensing Authority etc. Besides, the local transportation service needs to be made better by inducting new buses.

Shishu Paul, Chandigarh

First, she should prioritise long-pending issues

The people of Chandigarh have very high expectations from the new MP, Kirron Kher, as she claims to be less of a politician and more of a doer. At the outset, she has to prioritise the outstanding issues and problems in the tricity. Further, it is being watched how she ensures that Chandigarh lives up to its City Beautiful image?

Colonel RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt

Strengthen public transport

The enormous increase in the number of vehicles plying on the roads in the city and its periphery has become a major cause of worry. The intersection at Zirakpur sees traffic snarls throughout the day. The answer lies in strengthening the public transport. We hope the new MP ensures several proposals such as metro rail, monorail, subways and overbridges/flyovers at congested places see the light of day.

Dr Gurdev Singh, Mohali

Prevail on Centre to redress local issues

Though the former MP from the city had worked hard to fulfill the long-pending requirements of the city residents, there are a lot of things which the incumbent MP will have to take up. Being a part of the BJP, her demands raised before the union government will hold weight. She should approach the Centre to redress the long-pending issues in the city.

Ravinder Nath, Chandigarh

Secure more Central funds

The administration of the City Beautiful has been reeling under a huge funds crunch. The condition of roads, deteriorating cleanliness, power shortage, stinking public toilets etc, speak volumes about the financial condition of the civic body. We hope the MP manages to secure more funds from the Centre so as to address the civic issues in the city. Further, chaos at various busy intersections in the city should be removed by bringing in a quality public transport system. Constructing flyovers at the Housing Board — Mani Majra crossing and the Tribune Chowk is the need of the hour.

Sumeet Seth, Chandigarh

Make city corruption-free

The citizens of Chandigarh would like Member of Parliament Kirron Kher to work towards making the city corruption-free. The city should stick to the dream plan designed for it by Le Corbusier rather than switching to the Ludhiana city plan. Violations in residential areas, industrial belt, forest cover and market areas must stop. The Chandigarh Master Plan should be strictly adhered to.

Wg Cdr Jasbir Singh Minhas (retd), Mohali

Bridge the growing North-South divide

Chandigarh was conceived as a planned city. But today, there is a widening North-South divide. With a population of about 12 lakh and with a huge influx of migrants, the city's demographic composition is undergoing a rapid change. The southern part of the city is always at the receiving end when it comes to various public utility services.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Ensure good governance

The MP's first and immediate priority should be to ensure good governance. Further, she should work towards ensuring time-bound services listed on the citizen's charter, starting international flights, buying new buses, recruiting staff and improving the functional efficiency of the CTU, bringing metro rail transport, planning and getting major projects sanctioned for southern sectors to remove the disparity in development between North and South of the city.

Col BS Mathauuda (retd), Mohali

Come to traders’ rescue

We hope she stops sealing of commercial premises, waive penalties and allow internal changes in shops on temporary basis before discussing the matter with the departments and associations concerned and finalising a policy in this regard. On their part, the residents welfare associations and commercial welfare associations in the city should come forward to exhort people to keep the city clean and green. The residents' bodies should extend full cooperation to the administration in maintaining the City Beautiful.

Sukhpal Singh, Chandigarh

Bring in reforms, boost city’s economy

The city of modern times needs economic boost. The much awaited and needed Metro rail project is nowhere in sight. Traffic congestion on roads is increasing day by day. The newly elected MP should ensure, employment and sturdy economy driven by cutting-edge reforms, investment and innovation in city's infrastructure.

BM Dhawan, Chandigarh

Curb misuse of public funds

We expect her to ensure a corruption-free administration, check inflation and curb power theft through kundi connections. There should be a check on misuse of public funds by way of futile study tours and operational costs of government vehicles.

Sat Pal Kansal, Chandigarh

Improve public facilities

She has to make the administration honest, more responsive and sensitive to residents, especially women and elderly. Emphasis should be laid on safety of residents, improving public transport system, creating jobs in public sector, improving healthcare and opening e-Sampark centres, banks and post-office in undeveloped sectors. To redress issues related to the general public, she should organise monthly grievance committee meetings at the SDM, DC and Adviser levels.

Jai Parkash Goel, Chandigarh

Improve healthcare, create employment

The new Member of Parliament must work on priority to improve the quality of healthcare. On education front, special career-oriented courses should be started. Offer sops to renowned companies so that they open their office in the city. At present, there are not enough jobs for youths due to which they have to venture out to different cities to work in MNCs.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Ensure transparency

The city's representative in the Lok Sabha should make efforts to ensure transparent, accountable and responsive administration, seek amendments in outdated building by-laws, allow need-based changes in buildings, offer one-time settlement of pending building violation cases, open ultra-modern people-friendly parking system and revive the post of the chief commissioner in Chandigarh.

Jagdishpal Singh Kalra, Chandigarh

Connect to the common man

She needs to connect herself to the common man and get rid of the stigma of being an outsider, though she was born and brought up here. The demands of the residents are as old as the city, which, inter alia, include putting in place a rock-solid mechanism to check the ever-burgeoning crime against women, creating job portals for the youth and addressing the most nagging parking problem.

Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh

open house question

About 40 to 50 cases of dog bites are being reported from the city almost everyday. Even as the residents have been taking up the issue with officials of the Municipal Corporation (MC) regularly, the solution to the stray dog menace is still not in sight. What should be done to curb the problem? Write your suggestions along with a passport size photograph in JPG format to openhouse@tribunemail.com



Tricity students to wait for results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Putting an end to the speculations that CBSE Class XII results would be declared on May 26, CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi said: “Only Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram region’s result will be declared tomorrow, while the results of other regions will be declared later on”.

From Chandigarh, 9,872 boys and 7,843 girls had appeared for the Class XII board examination. This included 3,908 boys and 2,180 girls from private schools.

Last year, Aakriti, a non-medical stream student of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15, Panchkula, had topped the tricity by scoring 98.2 per cent marks.

The Panchkula region, comprising Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Jammu and Kashmir, had recorded an overall pass percentage of 82.48 per cent last year. 



1,900 appear for JEE Advanced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
In Paper I of JEE Advanced, which was held today, there was no negative marking. The examination was conducted in two slots, including Paper I and Paper II. Each paper contained physics, mathematics and chemistry questions of equal marks.

Approximately 1,900 students, who had qualified JEE Main-2014, appeared for JEE Advanced for getting admission to 16 Indian Institutes of Technology, today.

Savin Sindhu, a local IIT trainer, said the students complained that though the first paper had no negative marking, it was comparatively tougher and lengthier than the second paper.

Sindhu said in the physics section there were more questions based on mechanics. In the first paper, there was not a single question from modern physics.

It is to be noted that 1.5 lakh students were declared eligible to appear for JEE Advanced all over the country, including the reserved categories.

Kunal, an IIT alumni and JEE physics trainer in the city, said last year, 1,754 candidates had appeared for the IIT JEE Advanced, of which 349 finally made it to the common merit list of IITs by qualifying the JEE Advanced exam.

The results of JEE Advanced will be declared on June 19.



Private schools
Facilities sought for students
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 25
Delegates of a conference of associated and affiliated schools of Punjab held here today urged the state government to provide all facilities to students of private schools which were being given to their counterparts in government schools.

The state-level educational conference, which was held here under the guidance and patronage of the Punjab Private Schools Organisation (PPSO), was attended by a large number of delegates from various districts.

Prof James Tooley, Professor of Education Policy, Newcastle University, UK, who was the chief guest, was of the view that low-cost private schools provided better education than government schools and parents had a choice for the education of their children.

The PPSO appealed to the state government to provide electricity, water and LPG to these private schools at concessional rates. It also urged the state government that those private schools which charged, on an average, fees ranging between Rs 750 and Rs 1,000 per month per child should be exempted from the proposed Private School Fee Control Bill, 2014. PPSO secretary-general Tejpaul Singh said the examinations of Classes V and VIII should be conducted by the Education Department (Secondary) or the Director, SCERT, instead of the Punjab School Education Board.

Balwinder Singh, Charanjeet Singh and Santokh Singh, delegates, demanded from the Central Government that Sections 18 and 19 of the RTE Act, 2010, be scrapped.

They also demanded that the penalty clause should be done away with. Further, low-cost private schools should be motivated for their contribution to the education sector in the country.

Parshotam Gupta and Karnail Singh, also delegates, said the state government should legalise and make permanent the concept of associated schools.

Among other points put forward by participants were the grant of permission by the state government to private associated and affiliated schools to recruit voluntary teachers and exemption in the payment of road tax and special tax in the case of school buses.



From Schools
Blood donation camp

Chandigarh: St John’s High School organised a blood donation camp on the school premises. As many as 207 units of blood were collected during the camp. Parents, SJOBA members and staff of the school came forward for the noble cause. The camp was organised in association with SJOBA and the Blood Bank, Sector 37, Chandigarh.

Salad-making competition

Panchkula: The 5th day at ‘Sukriti’ workshop, being organised by DAV Senior Public School, Surajpur, witnessed a plethora of activities. A salad-making competition for students was held at health and nutrition camp. In the camp for personality development, Nishant Mahajan gave valuable tips to children. Similarly in the junior wing, children were taken to Herbal Park in Sector 26, Panchkula, where they were taught about the medicinal values of the herbal plants. Principal Anuja Sharma congratulated the staff for conducting the camp.

Singing, dancing activities

Mohali: Children of Tiny-Tots’ Foundation School had a lot of fun on Sunday at the school before going for holidays. The students came dressed in party outfits and carried tiffins for the celebration to the school. The day comprised of art and craft activities. Storytelling session was one of the major attractions among the children. “Stories are the best way to teach as well as to keep children busy,” said vice-principal, Sonia Singh. The celebrations concluded with children participating in singing and dancing activities.

Poetry recitation contest

Ashmah International School, Sector 70, organised a poetry recitation competition on its campus. Students were given themes for poetry recitation on environment, water, trees and animals. The participants were judged on the choice of the poem, voice modulation, pronunciation, actions and confidence. Principal Roopinder Kaur Ghuman congratulated the winners for their efforts and endeavour. Speaking on the occasion, she said poetry was just another way of expressing one’s thoughtfulness and desires and letting the rest of the world be aware of the same. There was overwhelming evidence that early learning of rhythmic poems, songs and chants significantly enhances early reading skills and phonemic awareness and is a strong predictor of a child’s reading success.

Workshop for faculty members

The teaching faculty of St Soldier attended three workshops comprising vital issues and problems being faced by them. In order to counter paucity of time efficiently and reduce the levels of stress, resource person Amrita Singh conducted a workshop for the teaching staff of St Soldier School. “Fostering self-esteem in students” was the subject matter for the second workshop, which was conducted by Vinender Tiwana, principal St Soldier School. Various dos and don’ts of a teacher’s behaviour were shown through a power-point presentation. The methods of inculcating positive ethos, providing ambience of motivation, avoiding sarcasm negativity and others were the highlights of the workshop. Manpreet conducted the last workshop was on “Teacher Etiquette”.

Splash party

To beat the heat, Doon International School organised a splash and bash party for the kindergarten wing. The tiny tots were taken for a dip in the splash pool. They were dressed up in vibrant coloured swimsuits. A puppet show was also organised in the school auditorium. The children were shown puppets dancing on the latest songs. Moral values were inculcated in them through short stories narrated by the puppets.

Birthday bash

The pre-primary wing of Saupin’s School, Mohali, celebrated the birthday of their “Doll Tina” with lot of pomp and show. Children of the playgroup and nursery classes came dressed in colourful attires and birthday caps. Birthday cake and muffins were baked in the school for the birthday party. A room was decorated with balloons and streamers all around. Soft music gave an extra flavour to the occasion. Mothers were also invited for Tina’s birthday party. — TNS



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