C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Metro not feasible for city: MP
Kirron Kher says instead monorail could be an option with funding under JNNURM
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) Kirron Kher is against the Metro project for the city. According to her, the proposal is not feasible for the city.

During the Administrator’s Advisory Council (AAC) meeting, which was chaired by UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil, Kirron submitted her viewpoint on the Metro project. She said though traffic congestion and parking problems needed to be addressed, the proposal for a Metro project for a city like Chandigarh was not commercially feasible since a minimum population of two to four million was required for the viability of Metro rail.

Kirron suggested that monorail could be feasible, with funding under the JNNURM. She said the proposal for improvement of public transport and the BRTS should be taken forward in a time-bound manner. Traffic passing through Chandigarh should be “discouraged” and, perhaps, a ring road on the border with Punjab and Haryana should be examined. As proposed, underground parking/multi-level parking should be arranged in a time-bound manner, Kirron said.

The MP said some land should be reserved in the Industrial Area, as proposed, for institutional purposes, including for service-oriented employment institutions such as ITES, KPO/BPO, physiotherapy, nursing and geriatrics. A general education college should be opened only in Mohali or Panchkula, she said.

Present status of Metro project

Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh will soon sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) related to the Metro rail project. Recently, all three stakeholders had agreed upon the terms and conditions of the MoU and its approval was conveyed to the Government of India. Earlier, the UT Administration had altered the MoU circulated by the Ministry of Urban Development. The changes were made with a view to making all three stakeholders reach a consensus on the execution of the project. The Administration had done away with the public-private partnership mode and it was decided that all three stakeholders would have 25 per cent stake in the project while the remaining 25 per cent would be financed by the Government of India.

UT should push for IIT, IIM and AIIMS: MP

Kirron said as promised in the BJP manifesto, the Centre proposed to set up one IIT, IIM and AIIMS in every state. The UT Administration should push for the allocation of at least two of the three for Chandigarh (the PGI could easily be upgraded to AIIMS and PEC deemed university could be upgraded to an IIT, but in case additional land was needed for such an institution, the requirement could be met from the “reserved” area.

Kirron has a dig at Deputy Commissioner

While submitting her suggestions, Kirron said while resettlement of all eligible persons needed to be expedited, the Administration must ensure that there were no fresh encroachments on government land. On the sealing and demolition drive, Kirron said, “Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin carries out demolition drives and seals buildings. His phone is busy all the time,” she said.

Patil rejects demand for conversion of leasehold units

During the meeting, the demand raised by members to allow conversion of leasehold industrial units to freehold was rejected by UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil.



Civic body declares June 25 meeting invalid
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
After the controversy over two MC House meetings held on June 25 and 26, the Municipal Corporation has now decided to declare the June 25 meeting, chaired by Senior Deputy Mayor Hira Negi of the BJP after “hijacking” the Mayor’s chair, as invalid.

Following the stand taken by Mayor Harphool Kalyan, in which he had termed the June 25 meeting invalid, the MC has also decided to declare the meeting invalid.

A senior official of the MC said they would now send the minutes of only the June 26 meeting to the UT Local Bodies Department for approval. In the minutes, the MC would mention that in the absence of the Mayor, BJP-SAD councillors had held a meeting on June 25, but since there were no officials and Congress councillors in that meeting, the Mayor had declared it invalid. The UT Administration would give the final approval to the minutes of the meeting, the official said.

The Mayor said the June 25 meeting was invalid as the Mayor, Commissioner, Secretary, MC officials and Congress councillors were not present. Kalyan said, “How can the BJP-SAD alliance expect to declare such a meeting valid?”

On June 25, the BJP-SAD alliance had held a House meeting after the Mayor failed to come on time. They passed eight agenda items in the absence of the Mayor and officials.

Not accepting the BJP-SAD councillors’ meeting, the Mayor had called another meeting on June 26, but as the deadlock continued between Congress and BJP-SAD councillors over the status of the June 25 meeting, the Mayor adjourned the House meeting to next month.

What triggered the deadlock

BJP-SAD councillors were claiming that the June 25 meeting was legal and hence, the agenda items passed in it should not be discussed again. However, the Mayor and Congress councillors maintained that the meeting was illegal and all items should be discussed afresh.

‘Credit’ war between parties

The two MC House meetings held on June 25 and 26 have exposed how both Congress and BJP-SAD councillors want to take “credit” for passing agenda items related to the development of the city. The BJP-SAD alliance wanted to continue with the meeting only if the Mayor approved the items passed in his absence by its councillors.



Jyoti murder case
CFSL reports bring relief for Doon MLA Chaudhary
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Ram Kumar Chaudhary
Ram Kumar Chaudhary, the main accused

Panchkula, June 30
In a major twist to the Jyoti murder case, the reports of the samples sent for re-examination to Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Chandigarh, have brought relief for Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary as all these have come in his favour. The samples were sent to the CFSL for re-examination after it was suspected that these may have been tampered with by kin of the accused at the Karnal laboratory.

The reports were submitted by the prosecution in the court before the Duty Magistrate in Panchkula. These would be sent to the respective court tomorrow where the case is being heard.

The report of the DVR of the CCTV footage of the Chandigarh-based nursing home, where the records got automatically deleted, revealed that the retrieved data was not in playable format. The Karnal laboratory had given a similar opinion. According to the prosecution, Jyoti had gone to the nursing home with the MLA to get her abortion done. The report on the seat covers of the car where Jyoti was reportedly strangled by all accused stated that the covers showed no signs of the incident.

The hair samples of the second key accused, Paramjit, also did not match with those seized from Jyoti’s clothes. The reports have already stated that the MLA’s hair strands did not match with those found on Jyoti’s clothes.

The report regarding the alleged presence of semen on Jyoti’s clothes was negative. No semen was found.

Crucial evidence

The MLA’s handwriting samples taken to match with those on Jyoti’s form for the medical termination of pregnancy are crucial as a few letters have matched. The police claimed that after Chaudhary signed the form, he went back to the nursing home and requested for a change in his name to conceal his identity and converted “Ram Kumar” to “Ramesh Kumar”.

The report of ashes sent to Shriram Forensic Laboratory in Delhi, which stated that these belonged to a heavy motor vehicle, has already been submitted during the last hearing.

A photograph of Chaudhary and his wife recovered from Jyoti’s mobile phone.

Buti Ram, father of the victim, and sister Ishu’s evidence before the court.

Truck mystery

The police had submitted the CCTV footage of a truck passing through the toll plaza that was allegedly used to crush Jyoti. However, the owner claimed that the truck was with him on the night of the incident.

The case
Doon MLA and four others have been accused of killing Jyoti, who hailed from Bhunga village in Hoshiarpur. The victim, who was found murdered on a road in Sector 21, Panchkula, on November 22, 2012, was reportedly coming in the way of Chaudhary’s political career, according to the chargesheet.



Middlemen behind onion price hike?
For Nashik variety, consumers paying twice the wholesale price
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Amid speculations about onion prices soaring in the coming weeks across the country, the price of onion supplied from Nashik has increased to Rs 40 per kg. This is double the price in the wholesale market for the same variety of onion, indicating malpractice and speculation by middlemen.

According to vendors in the grain and vegetable market in Sector 26, the cost of Nashik onion in the wholesale market is Rs 21 per kg. However, in the retail market, it has shot up to Rs 40 per kg. “The supply is reducing and is likely to go down further. In our market, the demand for Nashik onion is higher,” said Ravinder Rana, a vendor in the Sector 15 market here.

The cost is similar in markets in Sectors 23, 46 and 8, and in movable stalls (rehris) across the city.

In apni mandis, the cost varies between Rs 25 and Rs 30 per kg. Sources in the Grain Market Committee said this was a common practice in the rainy season, when middilemen and small vendors try to make profits by increasing the prices amid panic caused due to rain.

As speculations about price rise, especially in the case of onion, become common in the rainy season, residents are being mentally prepared for the hike. “Middlemen may be taking advantage of this. The Administration must keep a check on it,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

The cost of the other variety of onion, which comes from Rajasthan, meanwhile, has a difference of Rs 11 in the wholesale and retail markets. It is available at Rs 19 a kg in wholesale, while in retail, this variety of onion (characterised with a darker shade), is being sold at Rs 30 per kg.


administrator’s Advisory council meeting
Ready master plan in 8 days: Patil to UT officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil has directed the UT officials to complete the draft Master Plan 2031 within eight days. Patil issued the directions after hearing the suggestions and objections of the members of the Administrator’s Advisory Council (AAC).

Patil, who chaired the AAC meeting today, said after completing the Master Plan, it would be further send to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

The matter pertaining to completion of the Master Plan is pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The case will come up for hearing on August 4.

Today’s AAC meeting was also attended by newly elected MP Kirron Kher, who gave various suggestions and touched upon issues pertaining to the future developments vis-a-vis the preservation of the character of the city.

Former MP Satyapal Jain said there is a need to provide more land to schools and colleges in the city.

City unit BJP president Sanjay Tandon raised issues related to traders, industrialists and villagers. Tandon also demanded an elevated road from Mani Majra to PGI. He also suggested developing Mani Majra in a sectoral grid.

Charanjiv Singh, president, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM), requested the Administration to grant permission of display and sale of goods on the upper floors of commercial buildings without any restriction, to scrap misuse penalty of Rs 500 and for earmarking space for at least 15 private hospitals in the city to enhance medical care in the city.

FOSWAC chairman Baljinder Singh Bittu demanded that there should be a time-frame for completion of underpasses. CPI leader Devi Dyal demanded revival of the Chief Commissioner’s post. He demanded extension of lal dora and need-based changes in CHB houses.

UT forms committee on MSMED Act

The UT Administration has constituted a committee, under the chairmanship of UT Adviser KK Sharma, to deliberate upon implementation of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006. The converted plot owners are against the implementation of the Act whereas the industrialists are urging the Administration to implement it. Recently, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had also issued directions to the UT Administration to implement the MSMED Act.



Faster trains to run on Delhi-Chandigarh route
Girja Shankar Kaura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
Delhi-Chandigarh is one of the three keys routes on which the Indian Railways is planning to run high-speed trains as part of its focus on increasing the speed of trains on the existing tracks.

The other two routes which would initially see the faster trains are the Delhi-Agra and Delhi-Kanpur.

At present, the railways is preparing for trial runs with senior officials visiting Kanpur and Chandigarh, following which services would be launched on a regular basis.

Currently, the fastest train on the Indian Railway network is Bhopal-Shatabdi Express which runs at an average commercial speed of 90 km/hr and touches about 140 km/hr around Delhi-Agra route. The average speed for most Express trains is about 70-80 km/hr.

Officials said the key issues with the runs at a higher speed are safety and duration, as the average speed falls at about 110-130 km/hr. They point out that the tracks also need to be changed to be able to bear the speed. They say although the present tracks can run the trains at 160-170 km/hr, some key preparations need to be made to ensure that these trains run without any disturbance.

Fencing needs to be done around the tracks. It also means that all unmanned level crossings on these routes need to be removed. Besides, the railways have to take care of the existing curves and turns on the route.

The new Narendra Modi government plans to create a diamond quadrilateral, at the cost of Rs 12 lakh crore, connecting top four cities of India through high speed.



SCOs adjoining NIELIT building safe, says expert
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The four-storey building in Sector 17, adjoining the building of the NIELIT that collapsed recently, has been declared safe by an expert.

The building can be occupied after repairing the damaged portions, stated a former PEC professor, Dr IC Syal, in his report submitted to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) today. The report states that after a through examination, it has been found that no major structural damage has been caused to the building and it could be occupied for use after carrying out repairs.

After the UT’s engineering department expressed its inability to structurally access the building, the tenants in the building had requested the DC to ask some other agency to inspect the building. Accordingly, Dr Syal was given special permission to inspect the building.

Earlier, experts had apprehended that the adjoining building (SCOs 117-118) could be under an immediate serious threat and the Estate Office had written to the UT Chief Engineer to inspect the building and give report on whether it can be retrofitted or need to be demolished. The EO also sought to know the ways in which it could be razed safely.

On the other hand, the tenants had been demanding that the building be retained and an inquiry conducted by a central agency to ascertain the health of the building.

Debris can be removed

Dr Syal has recommended that debris of the collapsed building could be removed after adopting certain precautions. The UT was awaiting the report of experts before removing the debris.



Admn for lower collector rates
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 30
The district administration has recommended a 15 to 20 per cent decrease in the collector rates for certain parts of the town.

According to reports, the recommendations have been made by Puneet Goyal, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mohali. These have been sent to the Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Punjab, for approval. The rates recommended are for the year 2014-15.

It is learnt that the earlier collector rates for residential property in Sectors 85 to 92 onwards was Rs 18,000 per sq yd. The new proposed rate now is Rs 16,000 per sq yd.

The earlier collector rate for commercial property in Sectors 56 to 63 was Rs 1.25 lakh per sq yd while the new recommended rate is Rs 1 lakh. The collector rate for commercial property in Sector 71 onwards has been cut from Rs 1.25 lakh to Rs 90,000. Similarly, the collector rate for the Sector 65 bulk material market has been reduced to Rs 40,000 from the earlier rate of Rs 55,000.

In the industrial sector the collector rate recommended for plots measuring up to 1,000 sq yd has been slashed from Rs 16,500 to Rs 13,000. For plots measuring more than 1,000 sq yd the recommended rate is Rs 10,000, down from the earlier rate of Rs 13,500.

Welcoming the recommended reduction in the collector rates, Shalinder Anand, Chairman, Mohali Property Consultants Association, said it was positive step on the part of the government because the property rates were already low. He demanded that the rate of stamp duty should also be reduced as at present it was on the higher side.



Dr Gagneja joins as UT DHS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Dr VK Gagneja, a Punjab-cadre officer, today took charge of the UT Director Health Services (DHS). Nearly two years after the post was being handled by officials on acting charges, a regular DHS has joined the services.

Dr Gagneja’s name was finalised in a late-evening meeting held on Thursday and he will serve a tenure of two years. Putting an end to the war of claim for the post (DHS) between the UT Administration and the Punjab Government, has been finally appointed as the UT DHS. Dr Gagneja was earlier posted as the Director, National Health Mission, Punjab, and was relieved of his duty today after which he joined as the UT DHS late morning today.

During an interview with the Chandigarh Tribune, last week, he had said strengthening health services in periphery and upscaling emergency services in all centres would be his top priority after joining. “I have a long association with Chandigarh. We have world-class facilities here, only some improvements and area-wise division of patient load is required. We have a hospital in Manimajra. Now upgrade of Sector 45 dispensary and some developments in the Dhanas area will take the patient load away from the GMSH-16 and the PGIMER,” he said.



Demolition: Gandhi Colony residents hold protest
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 30
A day after the demolition drive in Gandhi Colony left five persons, including four cops, injured due to stone pelting, colony inmates today staged a protest behind the HAFED building in Sector 5 here. The protest continued till the filing of the report.

As many as 100 residents went to meet officers of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to talk on the issue that they may not be vacated. But since the effort proved futile, they sat on protest.

The residents also met local MLA DK Bansal, who assured them that he would speak to the higher authorities. He said, “Why are colony residents on the electoral roll if they have to face such problems? They will be rendered homeless if driven out. Over 1.5 lakh people live in colonies which are a part of municipal wards in Panchkula.”

As far as provision of Ashiana flats to the colony residents is concerned, the Administration is holding a survey for the purpose.

About 30 acre of land has been encroached upon in the entire district. For the last five days, the HUDA had been asking the colony residents to vacate the land.

Yesterday, when the anti-encroachment drive began, a mob pelted stones on the enforcement team. The drive was stopped mid way after politicians intervened.



Community centre in Sec 19 being renovated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, has started extension and renovation work of the community centre in Sector 19.

Area councillor Mukesh Bassi today formally started the work, which is likely to be completed by the end of 2015.

Bassi said the MC was spending Rs 1.86 crore on the extension and renovation of the centre. The ground floor consisting of entrance foyer, multi-purpose hall, pantry, toilet blocks, gymnasium, meeting room, office and lounge, library, bridal room etc. and open terrace facilitates would be available to the residents, he said.

An MC official said the total built-up area of the centre would be extended to 7,415 sq ft from the existing 2,194 sq ft. within 18 months. Later, space for sports activities would also be provided inside the centre with a provision of tennis and badminton courts, the official said.

Bassi said earlier, the centre had a single hall which could accommodate only 50 people. Once extended, it would accommodate around 300 people, he said.



anti-encroachment drive
98 issued challans in Sec 48 motor market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The enforcement wing of Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, today carried out an early morning anti-encroachment drive at the motor market in Sector 48 C here and issued challans to 98 violators.

Sunil Dutt, inspector in the MC enforcement wing, said the drive was started at 5.30 am and continued till 10.15 am. During the drive, the MC team removed and impounded 78 vehicles illegally parked on the municipal land. The vehicles were lifted with the help of cranes and hydraulic machines. Besides, mechanic toolboxes, pulleys, oxygen cylinders, hydraulic jacks used in repairing vehicles etc were seized.

The drive was carried peacefully and no untoward incident took place, Dutt said.

The drive was carried out under the directions of Joint Commissioner Sarita Malik and under supervision of the enforcement inspector and sub-inspectors of the MC’s enforcement wing.



Ailing man lying on roadside for two days
Police, NGOs fail to take note
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
A man in his late fifties is lying in semi-conscious state outside Panjab University (PU) since yesterday, but the Chandigarh Police are yet to take a note of it.

It is learnt that the man has been lying near a heap of garbage outside the PU Gate No. 1, merely 50 metres away from the PGIMER, the region’s premier healthcare institute.

While a number of NGOs operate in the city, with a couple of them active in the PGIMER, none took note of the ailing old man. Narain Dass, who visited the PGIMER, said, “I informed an NGO in the hospital that an old man in the need of medical aid is lying outside. But nobody seems concerned.”

Repeated attempts made to contact Sector 11 police station SHO Malkit Singh proved futile.

This is the second case seen in the area in the past one week. Last week, a middle-aged man was found lying in the area. When the police and social workers ignored him for two days, a group of PU students took him to the GMSH in Sector 16. He was diagnosed with three fractures in his right arm. He is currently recuperating in the infirmary.



Robber injures woman in Kurali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 30
An elderly woman was attacked and injured in a gruesome manner while she was alone at her house in Kurali and robbed of cash and ornaments today. Surinder Kaur, a widow, lived in a well-populated colony near Gurdwara Guru Hargobindgarh Sahib.

Someone entered her house around 4 pm and repeatedly attacked her with a knife, inflicting serious wounds on her neck, stomach and head.

There was blood stains in a bedroom and the drawing room of the house.

The robber deprived the elderly woman of the gold chain and earrings she was wearing and about Rs 65,000 in cash. The attacker locked the door of the house from outside while escaping.

When Surinder Kaur regained consciousness after the attack in her house, she rang up her sister, who in turn informed the former’s neighbours. She was taken to a hospital by neighbours. She was referred to the PGI for treatment.

The police have started investigations.



Badmajra residents demand basic amenities, hold protest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 30
Residents of the Badmajra colony here staged a protest outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner in support of their demand for basic facilities.

The protest was organised by the Parvasi Bhalai Sangathan.

The protesters raised slogans against the Punjab Government. They said residents of the colony had been living there for the past 30 years but had not been provided with the facilities of potable water and toilets.

The lack of toilets created problems for women in particular. The protesters said the authorities concerned should ensure the provision of potable water and the toilet facility. 



Roadside vendors express resentment
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 30
Members of the Rehri- Phari Workers Society today staged a protest against the decision of the Municipal Corporation to give tehbazari-related work on contract.

The protesters said members of the society feared that the private contractor assigned the work might harass them. They said they provided various services to the residents of the town. Licences should be issued to them to carry on their work and they should not be prevented from earning their livelihood.



BSNL to improve connectivity in Morni
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 30
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is finding it hard to install Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) towers to improve mobile network connectivity in Morni Hills and surrounding areas with hardly anyone coming forward for the job.

The BSNL authorities had sought applications twice in the past for installing BTS towers in Tikkar and Mandhana areas but there were no applicants for the job, claimed BSNL officials at General Manager Telecom District (GMTD), Ambala.

Providing the information, sought by Vijay Bansal, president of Shivalik Vikas Manch under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the GMTD also disclosed that to improve the internet facility, five more 3G equipments are being installed in Kalka apart from the existing ones.

A new BTS tower is also being installed at Kiratpur which would help to address the signal problem in Khera Basola area while Badgodam, Kherawali and Paploha areas would be taken up in the next expansion plan, he informed.

Bansal had sought the information claiming that residents and traders of Kalka, Pinjore, Chandimandir and surrounding areas were facing inconveniences due to poor network connectivity.



Sufi renditions mesmerise audience
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
High sufi notes and folk renditions elevated the atmosphere of the Punjab Kala Bhawan as Surinder Sagar and his troupe took to centrestage here today.

The musical evening was organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations in collaboration with the Punjab Arts Council. The pathos of Bulle Shah and folklores echoed in all corners of the auditorium.

The Sufi and folk singer left the audience spellbound with his performances.

The evening gained momentum when the singer was joined by his team dancers on the stage.

The singer through his renditions of ‘boliyan’ and folk ballads reminded the spectators of the age-old dying traditional activities.

The dhol beats added pulse to the performances. The pinnacle of the evening was when the artiste sang Shiv Kumar Batalvi’s compositions.



Cops clueless in cash box robbery case

Chandigarh, June 30
Three days after seven robbers looted a cash box containing Rs 5 lakh from a van of the State Bank of Patiala in Khuda Ali Sher, the UT police is clueless in the case.

Various police teams are scrutinising the CCTV footage and matching it with that of notorious criminals, who have been released on bail, to find a lead.

On June 27, robbers had targeted the cash van as it reached the bank. After a scuffle with the guards, they fled with the cash box.

A team of the UT police’s Operations Cell and the Crime Branch is investigating the case. — TNS



Minor fire at High Court

Chandigarh, June 30
A minor fire broke out at the AC plant in the Punjab and Haryana High Court here this afternoon.

According to officials of the Fire Department, they had received information that a fire broke out outside a court in an AC plant. One fire tender was sent to the spot and the fire was brought under control.

No casualty was reported due to the fire, said a Fire Department official. — TNS



Increase in MBBS seats at GMCH-32
Another inspection by MCI likely
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
For a final nod to increase the seats from 50 to 100 for admission to MBBS course, the GMCH-32 is likely to undergo another inspection by the Medical Council of India (MCI), according to officials in the GMCH Administration.

After the GMCH Director-Principal Dr Atul Sachdev’s visit to the Union Health Ministry last week, where he submitted a compliance report on shortcomings pointed out by the MCI following the previous inspection, the undergraduate committee of the MCI was directed to review the matter.

Sources in the GMCH Administration today said there were hopes for the MCI accepting the compliance report since it was sent via the Ministry. “But a final inspection for verifying the facts mentioned in the compliance report is also likely. Under most circumstances, it will be a surprise inspection and will not consume much time as only problem areas will be inspected,” said a senior faculty member.

On June 23 during the counselling for MBBS seats, parents and aspirants protested the last-minute clarification on the MCI’s disapproval for increasing the MBBS seats from 50 to 100 at the GMCH-32.

The counselling for only 50 seats was conducted on the day. The next day, different department heads were asked to look into the shortcomings pointed out by the MCI, on the basis of which the request for increasing seats from 50 to 100 was turned down and told to prepare compliance report.

Shortcomings pointed out by the MCI

No common room
Inadequate toilets
No demonstration room
No gymnasium
No lockers

The GMCH director said all these shortcomings had been removed.



UT Admn yet to finalise stance
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Six days after the issue of reservation of one of the six NRI seats for a Scheduled Caste (SC) candidate in the GMCH-32 MBBS admission process came to the fore, exposing the increase in SC reservation beyond the constitutional limit, the UT Administration is yet to finalise its stance.

Following the directions of the UT Health Secretary, Anil Kumar, the GMCH-32 has increased the reservation for SC candidates in the UT pool to 17 per cent against the Central Government’s specified maximum limit of 15 per cent. On June 20, the corrigendum issued by the GMCH-32 stated: “One (out of six) seats reserved for NRI candidates is now reserved for Scheduled Caste-NRI candidates, failing which the seat would revert to the Scheduled Caste-UT pool and not the NRI pool.”

In case of the seat reverting to the Scheduled Caste-UT Pool, a total of 13 seats will be reserved under the SC category, that turns out to be 17 per cent of the total number of UT pool seats-77 (see box).

Last week, Chandigarh Tribune had highlighted how the GMCH-32 has created a sub-category in the NRI quota by further reserving one of the six seats reserved for NRI candidates for Scheduled Caste candidates, merely on the basis of an official note sent from the UT Home Secretary, Anil Kumar, that cited representations received by him requesting for the NRI Scheduled Caste seats.

Also, the fact that neither the UT Administrator nor the Ministry concerned had approved of any such move posed a serious question mark on the orders passed by the UT Home Secretary.

GMCH-32 Director-Principal Dr Atul Sachdev today said: “We are still discussing the issue.” He had earlier stated that the reservations cannot be made beyond the constitutional limits and the Central Government’s limit of 15 per cent reservation for SCs needs to be complied with. Hence, the institute will discuss and finalise a modality to bring back the reservation to 15 per cent.



Admission to Class XI in govt schools
Science stream may see higher cut-off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The cut-off percentage for admission to Class XI in government schools in the science stream is expected to rise this year as over 1,500 students between CGPA 10 and CGPA 9 have applied for this stream.

Out of 305 students with a perfect 10 CGPA, 250 students have opted for science stream, while 46 have opted for commerce and only nine students have opted for humanities stream.

Among the vocational stream, the most preferred with highest CGPA 9.4 remained X-Ray Techniques.

Last year, the cut-off in the science stream in the top five government schools was between 9.8 CGPA and 8.6 CGPA, while in the commerce stream it was between 9.0 CGPA and 8.0 CGPA, in Humanities it was between 7.6 CGPA and 6.2 CGPA.

According to information uploaded on the Education Department’s website, 1,658 students between 9.8 CGPA and 8.6 CGPA; 1,635 students between 9.0 CGPA and 8.0 CGPA; and 4,198 students between 7.6 CGPA and 6.2 CGPA have applied for admission to Class XI in government schools.

Officials from the department said this year the cut-off list for the science stream was expected to rise again as it remained the most preferred and competitive stream.

Educationalists said due to lesser fee structure and more subject options available in government schools in Class XI, a huge chunk of students apply for admission there.

There are 6,000 seats for humanities, 3,000 for science and 1,800 for commerce and vocational streams in government schools.

Around 1,077 students, who have applied for admission to government schools, have secured 5.2 CGPA.

Applicants between 10 CGPA and 4.2 CGPA have applied for science and commerce streams, while students between 10 CGPA and 3.8 CGPA have applied for humanities.

The allotment list of school and stream will be uploaded on July 1 at 11 am on the official website of the department.



three-Year LLB
PU to re-conduct law entrance test
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Panjab University has decided to re-conduct the entrance test for three-year LLB. The entrance test for admission to LLB three-year course on the PU campus, Chandigarh, PU Regional Centres of Muktsar, Ludhiana and Hoshiarpur will be conducted in Chandigarh on July 12.

PU spokesperson said the decision had been taken due to administrative reasons. The entrance test was earlier conducted on June 9, 2014.

He said the roll numbers and centres of the examination would remain same. The students are advised to download the admit card again from the PU website, http://pglaw.puchd.ac.in/.

E-admit cards would be available on the website from July 9 onwards. There will be no physical communication for this purpose, said the spokesperson. The admission for LLB would be based on the PU-LLB (three-year) 2014 entrance test and the marks in the qualifying examination.

The qualifying examination and PU-LLB (three-year) 2014 entrance test would each carry 50 percent weightage.

NSUI former president Manoj Lubana had raised an objection on June 9 that the LLB paper was leaked last night among the candidates. The candidate who appeared for the entrance exam were discussing about it among themselves after finishing their examination. After that, a committee was constituted to take the decision on this issue.



Panjab varsity declares counselling schedule
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Panjab University has declared the schedule for counselling for admissions to various departments. A PU spokesperson said July 2 was the last date for applying for various undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

PU spokesperson said for the BA Hons (Education) BEd semester I, the test would be held on July 8 and the list of qualified candidates would be displayed on the same day. The final list of the selected candidates would be displayed on July 12.

The admission aptitude test and interview for the MA semester I in Gandhian and Peace Studies would be conducted on July 8 and the interview would be conducted on the same day.

The admission aptitude test for the BSc semester I in the University Institute of Fashion Technology and Vocational Development (UIFT&VD) would be conducted on July 8 and the admission aptitude test for MSc UIFT&VD would be conducted on July 10.

The spokesperson said the provisional merit list and objections of the MA semester I Public Administration would be displayed on July 8 in the department. The list of selected candidates would be displayed on July 12. The provisional merit list of MA semester I History would be displayed on July 8. The final list of the selected candidates would be displayed on July 10 in the department.

The admission test in the MA Geography first semester would be conducted on July 7 and final list of the selected candidates would be displayed on July 12.

The admission test for the Masters in Disaster Management semester I would be conducted on July 7. The final list of the selected candidates would be displayed on July 12. The test for the admission to the Masters in Remote Sensing & GIS semester I would be conducted on July 7 and the list of selected candidates would be displayed on July 12.

The counselling of the MA Semester I Centre for Police Administration for in service and nominated police personnel would be held on July 8. The written test for general and other reserved seats at the department level would be conducted on July 9. The group discussion and personal interview would be conducted on July 9 and the result would be displayed on July 10. The merit list of selected candidates would be displayed on July 11 in the department.

The department-level entrance test for MA Human Rights and Duties would be conducted on July 10. The entrance test results would be displayed on July 11 and the provisional merit list would be displayed on July 12.

The department-level entrance test for the Masters in Social Work would be conducted on July 8. The entrance test results would be displayed on July 9 and provisional merit list would be displayed on July 11. The merit list of the MA in Department of Sociology would be displayed on July 9.

The merit list of MA in department of Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology would be displayed on July 8. The merit list of BA (Hons) in Department of Economics would be displayed on July 7.

The PU also declared the schedule of counselling for centralised admissions to the BCom I in Chandigarh colleges and the PU Department of Evening Studies. The counselling would be conducted from July 3 to 7.

The first 150 ranks of the general category of the UT pool would be conducted on July 3.

The counselling for general category candidates of the UT pool at Chandigarh colleges would be conducted on July 3 to 6. For the reserved categories of the UT pool, the counselling would be conducted on July 6. The counselling for general and all reserved categories of the PU Department of Evening Studies would be conducted on July 7.



Students’ assn submits memo to PU VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The Ambedkar Students’ Association today submitted a memorandum to Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover highlighting the grievances of blind students.

The association demanded exemption of fee (which includes examination fee, re-evaluation fee, re-checking fee, entrance fee) for the blind students at Panjab University and other institutions affiliated to it. The representatives said the blind students had to face problems for arranging a writer and to pay a huge amount to them. Therefore, they had to bear double burden of fee (of all kinds as mentioned earlier) and payment of writers also.

They said the fees of those blind students should be refunded who had already paid it in the current admission and examination process.



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