C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Three of family buried alive in sleep
2 sisters injured; victims were staying in shanty next to showroom boundary wall that gave way in Panchkula
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Relatives mourn the death of the victims.

Panchkula, June 18
Three persons, including a four-year-old girl, were killed while a nine-month-old baby girl and a 10-year-old girl were critically injured when a 15-foot-high boundary wall of a vacant showroom adjoining their shanty collapsed while they were sleeping at around 2.15 am at Sector 11 here today.

The deceased have been identified as Mohammad Rizvaan (36), his wife Khushbooda (30) and their four-year-old daughter Chandni. The couple’s other two daughters, Diljaan and Sabana (10), were injured.

All victims were taken to the General Hospital, Sector 6, by a PCR vehicle where three of them were declared brought dead, while the injured were referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

Doctors at the PGI said Diljaan was in a stable state, but Sabana’s condition was critical and she was in the ICU. Rizvaan, who hailed from Bihar, used to sell fruits on a rehri in Chandigarh.

Poor quality of the material and seepage is being blamed for the wall collapse. The wall was constructed seven years ago. As many as 60 people were staying in 11 shanties in a vacant plot adjoining the showroom that belongs to the owner of AKM Resorts in Zirakpur.

The owner, Anil Chhabra, who bought the showroom 10 years ago, said, “The wall is seven years old. Rain may have weakened it over a period of time. We had asked these people to move out from this place several times, but they did not pay heed.”

Two of the shanties, including that of Rizvaan, were right next to the wall that collapsed. Incidentally, the other shanty was vacant as the family had gone to its native village yesterday.

The local police, along with PCR teams, rushed to the spot to rescue the people who were buried under the debris and took them to the hospital. No one from the administration reached the spot at night.

“We all were sleeping when suddenly we heard a thud. After hearing some shrieks, we rushed outside and were shocked to see that the wall had collapsed and the family was buried under it,” said Mohammad Asghar, who was staying in a nearby shanty. It took about 20 minutes to remove the debris and take the injured out. The police called the fire brigade to the spot, but fire officials went back after they saw that there was no fire.

Dr Sunil Gambhir, forensic expert and Head of the Postmortem Department at the General Hospital, Sector 6, said, “Rizvaan had serious chest injuries while the other two had head injuries. Their faces were badly crushed.”

The police have registered a case under Sections 304 and 337 of the IPC against the firm that runs the showroom.

Guard had warned families staying in shanties

A guard hired by AKM Resorts, who was staying inside the showroom along with his family, had warned the families staying in shanties that cracks had appeared in the wall and it had tilted to one side.

Books, scooter found under debris

Books and water bottles were found under the debris. A scooter, belonging to another family that was out of town, was also buried under the debris.

Three-member panel to look into incident

Panchkula Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia has constituted a three-member committee, headed by Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Hema Sharma and comprising two executive engineers, to look into the incident. The Deputy Commissioner has asked them to find out the quality of material used in the wall. The report has to be submitted in two days.

Injured siblings unaware of parents’ death

The world has come crashing down for the two sisters admitted to the PGI. They are not even aware that their parents and sister are dead. Rizvaan had shifted to Panchkula a year ago to make a better living. Khushbooda had come along with her children one and a half months ago to take him back to Bihar. After the incident, Rizvaan’s sister, Ruksaana, who stays in Baltana, rushed to the spot.


2.15 am: Wall collapses, control room informed and message flashed on all helplines

2.20 am: PCR teams, including SHO Manish and ACP Adarshdeep, reach the spot and remove the debris to rescue those buried underneath

2.30 am: Fire brigade informed by the police

2.40 am: PCR team rushes the injured to the hospital

2.41 am: Fire brigade reaches, but leaves after learning that the victims have been taken to hospital and there is no fire at the spot

3.20 am: Police continue search operation using high beam torches



Quick reaction team nowhere to be seen
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 18
The quick reaction team of the disaster management wing of the Panchkula administration was not seen at the spot at night when the family got buried under the debris. The fire brigade was called by the police for help in removing the debris, but the team returned just five minutes later when it learnt that the injured had already been taken to the hospital.

SDM Hema Sharma reached the spot at 9.29 am (over seven hours after the incident). She stayed there for just three and a half minutes and left after talking to the SHO about the situation.

Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia reached the spot at 9.52 am. On learning of the DC’s visit, officials started pouring in at the spot five minutes before his arrival. Executive Officer of the Municipal Corporation OP Sihag started taking stock of the situation after he was told that the DC was on his way. At that time also, the officials were making arrangements to ensure that the DC did not face any problem. Estate Officer of HUDA Gurmeet Singh also reached the spot.

Ali, an occupant of a shanty, said, “When we were crying for help at night, these officials didn’t come. Now, when three lives have been lost, they have come to make enquiries. Had they reached on time or proper help had arrived, the victims could have survived.”

After the mishap, policemen launched the rescue operation all alone and there was no help from the administration that claims to be always ready with water, ambulances and other essentials in such cases.

Only the Tehsildar was seen at the mortuary of the General Hospital with kin of the deceased.

Assistant Sub-Inspector Sukhwinder Singh, who was at the spot, said, “We used torches to rescue the victims as there was no light. The fire brigade came and went away without doing anything.” A JCB machine was called by Sukhwinder by paying from his pocket.

At around 10.15 am, officials realised that a part of the wall was hanging precariously and could collapse. They then got it demolished using a JCB machine.

Meanwhile, the administration has said it will bear the expenses of treatment of the injured at the PGI.



Safety of building adjoining fire site in Sec 17
UT Engineering Dept refuses survey citing lack of expertise
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The UT Engineering Department has refused to carry out a survey of the site (SCOs 114-116) in Sector 17 from where the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) was operating, citing lack of expertise. Last week, after receiving reports from experts that the adjoining building (SCOs 117-118) was under an immediate threat, the UT Estate Office had written to the UT Chief Engineer seeking a report on the removal of debris from the site. The NIELIT building had collapsed on June 8 following a fire.

The Estate Office had also asked the Chief Engineer to inspect the adjoining building and give a report whether the building could be retrofitted or needed to be demolished. In case it needed to be demolished, the Estate Office wanted to know how it could be razed safely.

UT Chief Engineer SK Chadha said they did not have expertise in testing damaged buildings to ascertain whether these could be retrofitted or not. They had written back to the Estate Office, asking it to get a survey conducted from institutes such as Punjab Engineering College or the NITTTR, Chandigarh.

UT Assistant Estate Officer (AEO) Rahul Gupta said they had received a letter from the Engineering Department. Now, they would approach competent agencies to carry out a survey of these buildings to decide the future course of action, he said.

In the earlier reports, experts had pointed out that the adjoining building was under an immediate threat as the building that collapsed on June 8 was part of a cluster of buildings with every building connected to each other. Pillars, iron rods and other iron material of the adjoining building had been damaged. Besides, the concrete of the building had also fallen apart, the reports had pointed out.

Except for the adjoining building, the UT Administration has already revoked Section 144 of the CrPC imposed on the buildings located in the row where the NIELIT structure stood. However, the restriction will continue for the building adjoining the NIELIT.

Estate Office withdraws occupation certificate of adjoining building

On the recommendation of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, the UT Estate Office has withdrawn the occupation certificate (OC) of the adjoining building for safety reasons. UT Estate Office officials said as the building was under a serious threat, they had withdrawn the OC. The decision would be applicable till the time building owners submitted a report on its structural safety, the official added.

The MC’s recommendation came after it received a report from Dr IC Sayal, former head of the Punjab Engineering College’s structural engineering department and adviser of the MC’s engineering wing, that the adjoining building was under a serious threat.



Panjab University
Risk of fire at library looms large
Barring installation of fire equipment, no other changes made as per the fire norms
Tribune News Service

Work on a water pipeline is yet to be completed at AC Joshi Library at Panjab University. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, June 18
The Panjab University Library, officially known as the AC Joshi Library — recognised as one of the six national centres for data information and distribution as per UGC in the country — adhering to the fire safety guidelines to preserve rare books? However, the ground reality presents an altogether different picture.

Barring the installation of fire equipment, following a notice by the Municipal Corporation’s Fire Department three years ago, the authorities have not bothered to make any other modifications as per the fire norms.

The library houses 6.50 lakh books and 1.50 lakh periodicals, some of which include rare collections of the 19th century.

The library has a sitting capacity of about 500 readers in two main halls, including periodicals and special collection sections.

During a visit to the library, it was found that for each floor of the building, there is a common entry and exit point. This is a serious violation of the fire-safety norms.

As per the norms, there should be separate entry and exit points on every floor so that in case of a fire breakout, visitors can escape easily.

Records revealed that there are around 13,000 students registered with the library. However, the varsity authorities have not made any safe passage for their exit in the case of an emergency.

On the ground floor of the library, there is an office of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), from where there is a separate exit for the staff during the working hours.

One of the staff members revealed that in case of a fire breakout during the working hours, the exit point can also be used by visitors. However, the office is locked in the evening hours, leaving the students and faculty with only one exit point.

Sources said the proposal to give access to exit the library from the ICCSR office was mooted long ago but the same was rejected by the authorities.

It was also found that the work of installation of fire equipment is yet to be completed by the contractor concerned. Though the water pipeline in the building has been installed, it is yet to be connected to a water tank.

Discussing the issue, PU Librarian Dr Raj Kumar said, “The installation of fire equipment will be completed soon. Following that, the department will discuss with the authorities what arrangements need to be made in the building for having a separate exit and entry gate.”

Danger lurks

For each floor of the library, there is a common entry and exit point. This is a serious violation of the norms. As per rules, there should be separate entry and exit points on every floor of the library’s building.

Rare collection

The library houses over 7 lakh publications, including books, bound volumes of journals, theses/dissertations, rare books, reports, government documents, back files of newspapers and a prized collection of 1,490 manuscripts.

‘Installation will be completed soon’

The installation of fire equipment will be completed soon. Following that, the department will discuss with the authorities what arrangements need to be made in the building for having a separate exit and entry gate. — Dr Raj Kumar , Librarian at PU



Laptop thefts
UK-returned youth, MSc (IT) student held
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 18
The Mohali police today arrested two laptop thieves, one a UK-returned youth and the other an MSc (IT) student, from the Industrial Area here and recovered 38 laptops of various companies, worth around Rs 20 lakh, and a Zen car from their possession.

One of the accused, Pritpal Singh of Moga, told the police that he used to play kabaddi and basketball at the club level and had visited the UK last year with his wife in the hope of settling there. The other accused, Manpreet Singh, who is pursuing his MSc (IT) from Sikkim University, is a resident of Ludhiana.

Both accused reportedly confessed before the police that they stole laptops to earn a quick buck.

Giving details, Mohali SP (Detective) Gursharan Singh Grewal said the duo was arrested at a special naka, which was laid following a tip-off.

“Both accused were travelling in a silver Zen car (PB 13N 8000), which was stopped by the police.

Three laptops were found in the car. Their interrogation revealed that they had stolen the laptops from Sector 71 in the town,” said the SP.

The other laptops were recovered from the residences of the accused.

The accused told the police that they targeted houses that offered paying guest accommodation.

“They used to enter rooms of boys staying as paying guests. In case they found the room empty or the occupants sleeping, they used to steal laptops and other expensive things,” said Inspector Rajiv Kumar, SHO of the Phase I police station.

The police have registered a case under Sections 380 and 34 of the IPC at the Phase I police station.

Both accused were produced before a court, which remanded them in two-day police custody.



Now, Admn to consider Kirron’s views
Earlier, it had ignored the Member of Parliament and decided to hold AAC meeting in her absence
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
To end the row between the UT Administration and newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) Kirron Kher, senior officials of the UT Administration today decided to include Kher's suggestions pertaining to Master Plan 2031. The cold war between the UT Administration and Kirron Kher had started when without intimating Kirron Kher, the UT Administration had decided to hold the Administrator's Advisory Council (AAC) meeting on June 19.

The Administration had decided to discuss the Master Plan with the members of the advisory council before finalising the same.

After learning about the meeting date, Kirron Kher had requested the UT Administration to hold the AAC meeting after June 27, as she was busy with her film shooting in Mumbai.

But the Administration had turned down her request and decided not to change the date of the meeting.

Thereafter, the MP had shot off a letter to the Union Home Minister complaining about the decision of the UT Administration to hold the meeting on June 19.

She had already conveyed to the UT Administration that she had prior engagements till June 27, which she could not cancel.When contacted, UT adviser KK Sharma said Kirron Kher could submit her objections and suggestions pertaining to the Master Plan 2031 and the Administration would include those in the final master plan.

Not only Kher, if other members of the advisory council also wanted to submit their suggestions, the Administration would also include their suggestions, he said.

No meeting for the past 20 months

  • The last meeting of the AAC was held on November 30, 2012. The council has failed to serve the purpose for which it was formed. Only six meetings have been conducted since it came into being.
  • The AAC under Administrator Shivraj Patil was first constituted on April 1, 2010, for a period of two years. After its first term ended in 2012, Patil had directed the term of the council be extended by one year, which ended on March 31, 2013.
  • Thereafter, in November 2013, the UT Administration reconstituted the council.
  • At present, the AAC has 34 members. The previous council had 42 members.

Why Admn is in a hurry to hold meeting on June 19

A senior official of the UT Administration said that the matter pertaining to the Chandigarh Master Plan 2031 is pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The Administration had already got a number of extensions from the High Court for the completion of the master plan.

ACC meeting can be for 2-3 days

As the agenda of the meeting pertaining to the master plan is of around 800 pages, the Administration can also continue the AAC meeting the following day. Sources said if in the meantime, members would not be able to submit their suggestions; the meeting could be extended to the following day.



Low-water pressure
Civic body mulls amendment to water bylaws
To allow separate water connections for each floor in buildings
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
In a bid to fix the problem of low-water pressure faced by the residents of upper floors of building, the Municipal Corporation is mulling over to amend the water by-laws according to which only one water connection is allowed for one building. MC is planning to allow separate water connections for each floor to address the issue of low water pressure.

The MC commissioner VP Singh has asked the Superintending Engineer (SE) public health RC Diwan to conduct a feasibility study over the proposal. Diwan stated that a single connection for each building is one of the major reasons of low-water pressure on the upper floors as once the occupant of the ground floor opens the tap the pressure on the upper floors goes down. “During the summers when the consumption of water is more the residents face this problem”, he stated.

Diwan further added that by allowing separate water connections for each floor the problem can be solved upto great extent.Residents of Sectors 38, 39, 19, 20, 22, 40, 41, 45 have been complaining about the low water pressure.

Atul Verma a resident of Sector 39 stated that following the low water pressure he has to fill the water from the ground floor and carry the bucket to the top floor. “Steps to ensure there are no complaints regarding water pressure in the upper floors is the need of the hour”, he stated. Mukesh a resident of Sector 45 said that paucity of water following which the taps go silent by 8 am. “While there is problem of low water pressure the taps also go dry early adding to the woes”, he added.

Once the proposal is finalized the issue will be brought before the house for further discussion.



Mohali govt buildings lack fire safety
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 18
Most of the government buildings in Mohali are newly constructed and have satisfactory paraphernalia to deal with any incidence of fire, however, old buildings, which houses the Mohali District Administrative Complex and District Police Headquarter at Phase 1, are quite risky when it comes to safety norms and firefighting capabilities.

A view of the administrative complex at Phase I, Mohali and (right)
a narrow passage inside the building. Tribune photo: Vicky Gahru

The two-floor building, which houses the offices of DC, Mohali, ADC, SSP, SDM, DTO, SPs, DSPs, DPRO, RLA office, Fard Kendras and Suvidha Centre is quite incapable to bear any fire incident. The building is approximately 35-years-old and witnesses hundreds of visitors everyday. It has three staircases, all very narrow, on it’s front and rear side. Out of three at rear, two staircases had been locked. The building sans any advance firefighting system, such as fire alarms, smoke detectors or water sprinkler system. The safety of the building in case of fire, depends only on few fire extinguishers. Adding insult to injury, the corridors of the building had been obstructed by erecting wooden rooms.

A senior official of the administration admitted that fire safety in the building had been given two hoots. “But the entire complex will be shifted to a new building very soon,” said the official.

The newly constructed building of Mohali Municipal Corporation in Sector 69 has an advanced paraphernalia of fire safety which included smoke detectors, hauge pipes, water storage up to 20,000 litres and fire extinguishers in all blocks of four-story building. The shocking part is no official knows whether the fire fighting system works or not as it has reportedly been not checked for past few years.

According to sources, the annual maintenance of the system is quite costly. “Due to shortage of funds, the MC authorities could not continue the AMC (annual maintenance contract) of fire fighting system in the building, which has also no escape route, which is mandatory under norms for high rise buildings.

In the recent check by the Mohali Fire Department of the building of Punjab School Education Board, Phase 8, has found several shortcomings in the building. “Half of the building, in which DPI office is located, has not advance fire fighting system. Some naked wires were also found lying near the water tanks, meant for fire emergency. Besides that we found some more violations in the premises, which report was given to the PSEB authorities,” said a fire official on the condition of anonymity.

PSEB secretary GS Bath admitted that some shortcomings were pointed out by the fire authorities during their recent check. “We have plugged the loopholes in this direction,” said Bath.

According to Mann Singh, the fire officer of the board, there was a fire alarm system, sprinkler system, motors, generator and water storage of more than one lakh litre to deal with any fire accident,” claimed Mann Singh.

The authorities at PUDA Bhawan claimed that they have advance fire fighting system in place and they have sufficient arrangements to deal with the fire at an initial stage.

According to Jaljinder Singh, executive engineer, public health, PUDA, the building has latest sprinkler system, automatic pump house, water storage of more than two lakh litres, CO2 cylinders and a fire expert agency for consultancy. During the latest check by the administrative authorities including fire department, everything except one or two minor shortcomings were found in place at our building, claimed Jaljinder Singh.



Checking encroachments
Mohali MC to hire services of private agency
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 18
After failing to deal with the prevailing ‘tehbazari’ (encroachment of places by vendors in markets) and other encroachments due to its officials’ alleged hand-in-glove with encroachers, the Mohali Municipal Corporation authorities have decided to hire the services of a private agency to check the menace in the town.

Encroachment by vendors at Phase3B-2; and (right) adjoining the Deputy Commissioner's office at Phase I, Mohali, on Wednesday. Tribune photos: Vicky Gharu

Confirming the development, Mohali Municipal Corporation Commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta said talks were on with Global Securex Private Limited in this connection.

For the annual consideration of around Rs 55 lakh, the agency would provide three multi-utility vehicles (MUV) with a total staff of 12 officials, including three supervisors and an equal number of drivers, in one shift to the corporation. Their job would be divided into three shifts.

Officials of the private agency would roam around in the town and take photographs of all kinds of encroachments, particularly by small-time vendors, in the markets and submit their daily report to Uma Shankar Gupta.

“On the basis of these reports, immediate action will be initiated against the encroachers to discourage them from this illegal act,” said Gupta, adding that the MC would first sign a contract for six months on a trial basis.

The corporation has its own staff of 10 officials, including one inspector, to remove encroachments.

Uma Shankar Gupta admitted that his staff was not producing the desired results, following which the decision of hiring the services of a private agency was taken.

According to sources, the problem of tehbazari has been prevailing in the town under the patronage of certain MC officials. These officials use to take ‘hafta’ (extortion) from the vendors who encroach upon the places in front of shops in the markets.

Gupta said: “To deal with the menace effectively, we have decided to hire the private agency. We will provide them specific uniform, certain equipment, including cameras, walkie-talkies and whistles”.

Officials of the agency will also give a report of the status after action by the MC officials.

“As the private agency officials will be trained persons, we will also use them for helping the people in emergency situations,” said Gupta.

He said the MC had been trying to finalise the things in this connection as soon as possible.

“I hope that the services of the private agency will be started by next month”, said Gupta.



900 cases of cervical cancer diagnosed at PGI in 3 yrs: Expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
About 900 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed by the Cervical Biopsies Department at the PGIMER in the past three years. This was disclosed by Prof Arvind Rajwanshi, Head, Department of Cytology, today. While interacting with the media, he revealed that these cases were diagnosed between 2011 and 2013 in the department.

He said the new cases of breast cancer diagnosed by fine-needle aspiration cytology between 2011 and 2013 were about 950. While the average number of cervical precancerous lesions diagnosed by the Cervical Pap samples every year was approximately 150.

He revealed that a collaborative project, “evaluation of feasibility and appropriateness of Liquid Based Cytology (LBC) in cervical cancer screening in resource constricted settings”, with the IIT-Chennai and Malabar Cancer Centre, Thalassery, Kerala, was started on June 15, 2014. The main objectives of the project were to determine performance (sensitivity and specificity) of visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA), liquid based cytology (LBC) and conventional cytology (Pap) as primary screening tests for detection of pre-cancerous lesions of the uterine cervix with colposcopy and biopsy as the reference standard.

“In this project, screening of healthy women (at least 5,000) will be done free of cost to determine the sensitivity, specificity and cost-effectiveness of these tests in our set-up,” Arvind Rajwanshi said.

“Further, the IIT-Chennai will prepare a low-cost equipment or a software based on the material collected in this study for the automated screening of Pap, which will be cost-effective in low-resource setting like ours” he said.



Helpline to deal with drug-related cases launched
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 18
The Mohali Police today launched a special toll-free helpline to deal with drug-related cases, which also includes complaints against drug peddlers, in the district. Launching the helpline having toll-free number 846012345 at a drug awareness camp at Balongi village this evening, Mohali SSP Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti said any affected person could contact the helpline and seek help in any kind of drug-related case.

Artistes stage a play, "Annee Gli Da Moor", during a drug awareness campaign; and (below) Mohali SSP Indermohan Singh Bhatti and other officers launch toll-free helpline at Balongi village in Mohali on Wednesday. Tribune photos: Vicky Gharu

“In case of drug addiction, we will provide counseling and help the victim in his treatment at the drug de-addiction center. On this helpline, one can also give us information regarding drug peddlers or any such hazard in their respective areas. The identity of the callers will be kept secret,” said the SSP.

Notably, the Mohali Police had arrested 79 drug peddlers after registering a total of 80 cases during their special drive against drugs, which was started on May 21.

Under the drive, the police have recovered 2.55 quintal of poppy husk, 3.6 kg of opium, 5.5 kg of ganja, 361 gm of heroin, 78 gm of smack, 3.4 kg of sulfa, 9,200 tablets and 1,892 capsules from the possession of drug peddlers.

“All these drug peddlers are behind the bars”, said SSP Bhatti.

Earlier, a play highlighting the message “say no to drugs” was staged and a photo exhibition was also organised at the village during the awareness programme.



Auction of CH-01-AY series postponed
To be held on June 28 and 29

Chandigarh, June 18
The open auction of vanity numbers for CH-01-AY series which was earlier scheduled for June 21 and 22 has been postponed to June 28 and 29. Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) Kashish Mittal said due to some unavoidable reasons the auction had been postponed by a week. "The auction of first 100 numbers of the series will be conducted on June 28, while the auction of the remaining vanity numbers will be held on June 29", he stated.

The previous auction conducted in May for CH-01-AX series had witnessed huge response with the 0001 number auctioned for a whooping Rs 7 lakh. The first 100 numbers of AX series had fetched Rs 69.92 lakh, while all the numbers of the series fetched over Rs 98 lakh, which was the highest ever earned by the RLA through auctions. Mittal said they were expecting a good response and were hopeful it would break the previous records. — TNS



New water purifiers

Luminous water Technologies, a water purifier company, has now taken a challenge to purify any source of water and make it 100 per cent safe for drinking. Luminous Water Technologies’ two most innovative products Livpure Touch 2000+ and Livpure Envy+ are equipped with ‘RO2000 TDSMembrane, which not only removes dissolved impurities such as chemicals and salts from water, bacteria and viruses causing diseases to give safe and pure water.

New SIM card launched

Bharti Airtel Limited Bharti Airtel, today announced the launch of a first-of-its kind SIM – the Facebook ready SIM. Preloaded with a GSMA device friendly Facebook application, the new SIM will enable Airtel customers to active on the popular social networking portal 24X7 without connecting to mobile internet. Manu Sood, Hub CEO, Upper North, Bharti Airtel (India), said, for most Indian’s, the first experience of voice telephony was on a wireless device and this holds true even when it comes to internet. — TNS



Home Guards jawan thrashed

Panchkula, June 18
A Home Guards jawan was allegedly thrashed this evening after he tried to settle a brawl between two car occupants who fought after their cars banged into each other at the flyover near Sectors 4 and 12 here.

The victim, Anil, was near the accident spot when the incident took place. One of the cars involved in the mishap belonged to a lawyer. When the lawyer tried to strike a compromise, his driver came out of the vehicle and entered into a scuffle with the occupants of another car. When Anil tried to intervene, he was thrashed by the driver of the lawyer’s car. After the incident, Anil called his fellow jawans and the matter reached the Sector 21 police post. Both the parties later struck a compromise. — TNS



Health notes
Expert dwells on rheumatoid arthritis

Chandigarh, June 18
Dr Anil Abrol, consultant, Rheumatology, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, on Wednesday organised a talk on link between stressful conditions and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Dr Abrol said in today’s stressful world, certain conditions such as conflict at work, change of residence, change of workplace and increased responsibility at work are also associated with an increased risk of developing RA. He explained that long exposure to stress could cause alteration in the immune system, which causes increased vulnerability to the disease. Talking about rheumatoid arthritis, Dr Anil Abrol said: “It is a systemic autoimmune disease, which causes chronic inflammation in joints. This leads to swelling, pain, stiffness and redness in the joints. Inflammation can also occur in tissues around the joints, such as tendons, ligaments and muscles.” — TNS



Book on Pakistan draws attention towards country’s challenges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Pakistan’s ruling elite being aware of the country’s valuable geo-strategic position for powerful allies has made the country’s own position geo-strategic as well as resource and foreign-aid curse.

This was stated by Canadian McGill University professor TV Paul, while addressing a seminar on the contents of his new book, “The Warrior State Pakistan in the Contemporary World”, at the Institute for Development and Communication today.

Paul said, “Since the time it came into existence, Paksitan has been at the centre of major geo-political struggles and has been a recipient of massive amounts of aid.”

Professor of International Relations from the Department of Political Science, Paul further stated, “Pakistan’s ruling elite has not made any efforts for long-term investment in institutional building, land reforms and economic development for the country due to their own narrow interests.”

He claimed that despite having devoted considerable energy and resources to its national security over the past 65 years, Pakistan remains a hotbed of terrorism, religious extremism and nuclear proliferation.

Paul said Pakistan had 110 nuclear weapons and between 1960 to 2012, it received over $73.1 billion from bilateral and multi-lateral resources.

While comparing Pakistan with South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Turkey and Egypt, Paul said, “The other military-led regimes have seen economic growth and have evolved into democratic states but Pakistan has failed to learn from them.”

While congratulating the author on the launch of his book, Kanwar Sandhu, Executive Editor, The Tribune, said, “The book represents well-researched arguments. It highlights the point that how Pakistan has not been able to use its geo-strategic position for its own benefit.”

The key speakers included Former Governor of Manipur, Gurbachan Jagat, Director of Institute for Development and Communication, Pramod Kumar, and Chairperson of the Department of Defence and National Security Studies, Panjab University, Rakesh Datta.



PU hostel warden’s instructions take students by surprise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Eight days after a student of M.Sc (bio-physics) committed suicide by jumping from the sixth floor of Hostel No. 5 at Panjab University, a tussle brewing between the warden and hostel inmates has come to the fore.

A warden of Hostel No. 7 pasted an instruction on the hostel notice board that “all inmates are hereby informed that if you need to contact the warden on an urgent basis, kindly ask the reception to connect you to the warden”.

The notice, which was pasted in Girl’s Hostel No. 7, at Panjab University. A Tribune Photograph

The notice caught several hostel inmates by surprise as such instructions have been issued for the first time.

A few hostel inmates said, “Two days ago, we faced an outage in the hostel. We tried to contact the warden but she failed to answer our call.”

On the other hand, the warden, Suman Mor, stated, “I have recently joined as the warden. I don’t have the phone numbers of all the inmates. I issued these instructions so that I can take the calls of hostel inmates.”

She further clarified that she had asked her staff members to remove the notice as she wanted to add a few more instructions to it.

“I recently found a few inmates violating the hostel rules. This is the reason they are protesting,” added Mor.

Following media intervention, the notice was removed from the notice board.

PU Dean Student Welfare Navdeep Goyal said the decision had been taken to help students contact the warden.



Double-laning trial starts at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
To ease traffic congestion and for security purposes, Panjab University today commenced the pilot project of a double-lane system at Gate No. 1. The exercise lasted for more than two hours.

Two lanes have been earmarked at Gate No. 1 — one for the outsiders and the other for vehicles with special stickers –- on the campus.

The security staff deployed at the gate could be seen segregating the vehicles at the entry point as per the lanes earmarked for them.

The vehicles of outsiders were checked before allowing entry into the campus.

During a recent meeting chaired by the Dean Student Welfare, Navdeep Goyal, a decision was taken that at Gate Nos. 1 and 2, two lanes should be earmarked.

As many as 15 security personnel will be deployed on both the gates to inspect the vehicles.

The meeting had also decided to curb incidents of violence by outsiders on the campus.

PU Chief Security Officer Jatinder Grover said the trial run of the project will be conducted from 9:45 am to 12:50 pm till Friday. This is being done to acquaint visitors with the new system. From June 23, the timings for the project will be 8:30 am to noon at Gate No. 1.

“This year, the authorities plan to get 3,000 stickers printed — for two-wheelers and four-wheelers — in view of the demand of students for the academic session 2014-15,” he added.

Records show that at present, there are 3,000 sticker-holders on the campus.

TRIAL TIMINGS: The trial run of the project will be conducted from 9:45 am to 12:50 pm till Friday. This is being done to acquaint visitors with the new system. From June 23, the timings for the project will be 8:30 am to noon at Gate No. 1.



AIPMT Entrance Exam
CBSE asked to review six ambiguous questions within a week
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), to review and take a decision regarding six ambiguous questions in the biology section of the All-India Pre-Medical/ Pre-Dental Test (AIPMT) entrance exam and reply within a week.

The writ petition was filed by local academician Dr Arvind Goyal on June 11 after the board had failed to rectify the errors and upload them along with the revised answer keys on its official website.

Earlier, the court had directed CBSE to invite objections. Following the court’s directions, the board had invited objections for erroneous questions on May 17.

After inviting objections, the board had cancelled three questions — two from chemistry and one from the biology section — and allotted 12 grace marks. However, the other six erroneous questions of biology were not corrected, which accounted for the highest marks in the examination.

Several medical aspirants had demanded bonus marks for the incorrect questions and had filed objections to the board by submitting 
Rs 1,000 per question.

Meanwhile, the petitioner, Dr Arvind Goyal, said, “I had sent a representation to the CBSE with references of standard textbooks for each question, which was controversial much before the declaration of the results and before I filed the PIL. However, they did not take the issue of these ambiguous questions seriously.”

He further stated that he had also sent a representation to the MHRD, Health Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office but to no avail.

“As I got no response either from the board or the ministry, I approached the court.”

Goyal said, “Finally, the high court has come to the rescue of AIPMT aspirants by directing the CBSE to review these questions and act accordingly.”

Writ petition: The writ petition was filed by local academician Dr Arvind Goyal on June 11 after the board had failed to rectify the errors and upload them along with the revised answer keys on its official website.



Placement programme

Sunstone Eduversity has launched pay after placement MBA programme for the deserving candidates. As per the programme, the fee is sought only after the student is able to get a placement. This way, the college takes full responsibility of the student’s future. Rajul Garg, founder and director, Sunstone Eduversity said, “Our industry is creating jobs for young management graduates. It’s the skill gap that obstructs their career path. This fee arrangement makes career as the final outcome, rather than a paper degree.” The programme is currently available at Sunstone’s 4 campuses in Greater Noida and Ghaziabad.

Two students get into IIM

Two city youngsters Anmol Madan and Neharika Jindal have cracked the prestigious entrance test for the 5-year integrated MBA programme at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Indore. While Anmol did his Class XII in commerce from the Government Model School, Sector 16; Neharika did her schooling from Sacred Heart Convent School. Hirdesh Madan, North Head, Bulls Eye, congratulated the students on their achievement.

Campus cleaning drive

GGS College of Modern Technology (GGSCMT), Kharar, organised NSS activities on the college campus today. The activities included tree plantation and campus-cleaning programme. Dr NS Biradar, director, sensitised the students on the importance of trees. GGSCMT chairman Surinder Pal Singh Sachdeva said such activities helped inculcate a sense of social responsibility and leadership among students. — TNS



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