C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


71.7% voter turnout in P’kula district
Kalka sets a 4-decade record; all eyes now on October 19 when counting takes place
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Ragpickers carry away BJP flags they collected from a counter in Sector 20, Panchkula, on Wednesday
Poll hues: Ragpickers carry away BJP flags they collected from a counter in Sector 20, Panchkula, on Wednesday
Shanti Devi Gupta (99) and her son show the indelible ink mark on their fingers after casting vote in Sector 6
Shanti Devi Gupta (99) and her son show the indelible ink mark on their fingers after casting vote in Sector 6
Candidates, who were to appear for a Hindi exam to be conducted by the National Institute of Open Schooling at DC Model School in Sector 7, Panchkula, check the new date as the exam was postponed due to the Assembly elections
Candidates, who were to appear for a Hindi exam to be conducted by the National Institute of Open Schooling at DC Model School in Sector 7, Panchkula, check the new date as the exam was postponed due to the Assembly elections. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula/Kalka, October 15
Panchkula district saw a huge voter turnout of 71.7 per cent with over 2.52 lakh voters exercising their franchise in a slow and peaceful manner in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha elections today.

While the Panchkula constituency recorded 65.7 polling (9 per cent more than the last Assembly elections), Kalka saw the highest voter turnout of 79.3 per cent in four decades.

The fate of 29 candidates (17 from Panchkula and 12 from Kalka) lies sealed in EVMs. All eyes are now on October 19, the day of counting. The counting will be held at two centres — Bell Colony and the Government College for Girls, Sector 14.

As many as 380 booths (185 in Panchkula and 195 in Kalka) were set up for the polling. Around 1,300 police personnel were deployed for security.

According to the Election Department, 2,53,121 voters of the total 3,52,895 exercised their franchise today to elect their representatives.

While 1,28,750 voters of the total 1,95,974 cast their vote in Panchkula, in Kalka, 1,24,371 of the total 1,56,921 turned up to seal their choice. The candidates reached early in the day to cast their vote.

An EVM developed snag at a polling booth in Sector 19 and had to be replaced after the intervention of senior officers. Minor scuffles were reported from some booths.

The patrolling parties were being tracked by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Rahul Sharma through GPS. Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia visited a few polling booths to ensure smooth elections.

Disability, old age fail to deter voters
Krishna (88) is all smiles as she shows the ink mark on her finger
Krishna (88) is all smiles as she shows the ink mark on her finger. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Disability and old age failed to dampen the spirits of several voters. Physically challenged voters and the elderly, some of the above 100 years of age, thronged the polling booths.

Shanti Devi (100), accompanied by a family member, cast her vote at the Sector 6 polling booth.

Krishan Chand Sharma (104), a resident of Barwala, also turned up to cast his vote at the nearest polling booth.

Three-tier security for EVMs

The fate of 29 candidates lies sealed in EVMs. Three-tier security arrangements have been made to guard the EVMs. DCP Rahul Sharma said the Central Industrial Security Force had been entrusted with the inner security, while the IRB and the district police would take care of the middle and outer security cordons, respectively.

SVEEP programme bears fruit

The Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme bore fruit with Panchkula showing an increase of 9 per cent in the voter turnout as compared to the last Assembly elections when 57.45 per cent voters had turned up to cast their ballot. Similarly in Kalka, this year the voter was 79.3 percent while in the last Vidhan Sabha elections, the voter turnout was 77 per cent.

Voter turnout: Panchkula district among bottom 4

Haryana recorded a voter turnout of 75.9%. Among all districts in the state, Panchkula appeared among the bottom four, recording a voter turnout of 71.7 per cent.

The bottom four

  • Panchkula: 71.7%
  • Jhajjar: 71.7%
  • Gurgaon: 68.5%
  • Faridabad: 62.0%



In P’kula, turnout low in urban areas
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 15
The Panchkula constituency might have shown a considerable increase in turnout (around 9 per cent) but a few urban sectors recorded quite less voter turnout this Vidhan Sabha elections.
Counters of polling agents of different parties wear a deserted look outside a polling booth in Sector 6, Panchkula
Counters of polling agents of different parties wear a deserted look outside a polling booth in Sector 6, Panchkula. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

The Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 4, where a number of VIPs reside, registered a voter turnout of only 49.21 per cent. Out of 1,989, only 1,008 persons exercised their right to franchise. While in one booth, 704 voters (out of 1,306) reached the polling station to cast vote, only 304 out of 683 turned up at the other booth.

Sector 6, another VIP sector, recorded a turnout of 56.59 per cent. Of 2,434 registered voters in the sector, 1,375 turned up at the polling stations. While in one booth, 665 of 1,141 voters cast their vote, 710 of the total 1,293 voted at the other booth set up in the sector. The MDC, Sector 5, recorded a turnout of 56.62 per cent.

Termed as defence sector, Sector 2, recorded 57.24 per cent voter turnout. Similarly, Sector 8 saw 57 per cent of the registered voters reaching polling station.

Sector 20 saw a turnout of 58.21 per cent. Out of 9,575 voters, 5,541 cast their vote.

Sector 7 recorded a better voter turnout of 61.46 per cent. Of 3,791, 3147 voters exercised their right to franchise. In Sector 6, 56.59 per cent voters cast their vote.

As expected, voter turnout was high in villages and colonies.

A booth in Toka village recorded the maximum 95.36 per cent voting while Jaswantgarh recorded a turnout of 94.21 per cent. A booth in Sukhdarshanpur village saw a turnout of 90.77 per cent.

Poll percentage

  • 49.21 per cent (Maximum): MDC, Sector 4
  • 95.36 per cent (Minimum): Toka village



Posing as customers, thieves steal clothes worth lakhs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Ladies garments worth several lakhs were stolen by five persons who visited a boutique in Sector 9 posing as customers today. The accused reportedly stole the garments after hiding them under their clothes.
The suspected thieves (encircled)
The suspected thieves (encircled). Tribune photos: S Chandan

Sources said three women and two men visited the boutique, Furniture Mart, soon after it was opened. The women, on the pretext of trying the suits and saris, stole the garments by hiding them under the clothes they were wearing.

The members of the group blocked the view of the worker present at the boutique while the women were stealing the garments.

The owners and staff of the boutique came to know about the theft at around 12.30 pm when one of the customers came to pick her garment which was found missing from the boutique.

On checking the CCTV footage of the boutique, the owners realised that garments had been stolen. “The entire act had been recorded in the CCTV camera,” said police sources.

The thieves appeared to be middle-aged, who had come in a Maruti van bearing a registration number of Delhi. They left the boutique claiming that they would visit it again along with their daughter, who was to get married soon.

The police have recovered the CCTV footage and started an investigation into the case.

Similar incidents reported earlier

Similar incidents of women duping city-based jewellers have been reported in the past with the police failing to make any headway in a majority of the cases.



Implement 4th Delhi finance panel’s recommendations, Patil tells Mayor
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil today directed Mayor Harphool Kalyan to fully implement the Fourth Delhi Finance Commission recommendations.

In its report submitted to the UT Administrator, the commission had recommended imposition of congestion tax and increasing water tariff and house tax rates.

Mayor Harphool Kalyan, along with MC officials, had gone to the Punjab Raj Bhawan to invite Patil as the chief guest for the inauguration of Japanese Garden in Sector 31.

Confirming the development, the Mayor said he was not the only authority to increase house tax and water tariff, and other recommendations. “If the MC House passes a resolution to increase the rates, only then can I implement these recommendations. The MC House is the supreme democratic body in the city,” Kalyan said.

A senior UT official said Patil told the Mayor that the report of the Fourth Delhi Commission had been submitted. As the UT was committed to implementing the recommendations, the MC should also implement its recommendations, Patil told the Mayor.

Last week, Patil had pulled up a delegation of councillors and the Mayor on various issues. They had gone to him informing him about a resolution passed by the House on providing a job to the wife of the late SAD councillor, Malkiat Singh, who died at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, on October 7.

MC had rejected water tariff hike proposal

Last month, the MC House had rejected the water tariff hike proposal. With residents using more water in the city, the MC had felt the need to revise the water tariff to ensure there was no wastage of water, following which the public health wing of the MC prepared a revised tariff plan that was to affect residents using above 60 kilolitres (KL) of water.

MC not revising house tax rates

Last year, the MC had approved Rs 1 per sq yard as the house tax. Thereafter, the UT had notified the imposition of house tax in the city. Houses having an area of less than 125 sq yards in the EWS or LIG category and in villages falling within the MC limits were exempt from paying the tax. Since then, the UT Administration had issued a number of reminders to the MC to increase the house tax, but to no avail. The Finance Commission had also recommended an increase in the house tax.



Berkeley owners get 3-yr jail in fraud case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
A local court today convicted the co-owners of Berkeley Automobiles for fraud.

The court convicted Sanjay Dahuja and Ranjeev Dahuja and sentenced them to three-year imprisonment under Sections 420 and 468 of the IPC. A fine of Rs 25,000 each was imposed on the two.

The court acted on a complaint of a Chandigarh resident, Barinder Singh, who was the owner of Chadha Travels in Sector 22.

In his complaint filed in August 2012, Barinder Singh alleged that he was provided a fake temporary number by Berkeley Automobiles in 2003 towards the purchase of chassis. The agency, at that time, had no authority to issue temporary numbers as its case was pending with the DTO, Ropar. However, it issued a fake number to Barinder Singh following which he was arrested and had to spend some time in prison. On January 18, 2004, Berkeley was authorised to sell temporary number plates, but the agency owners had already started selling vehicles even before they were authorised, it was alleged.

Barinder Singh was acquitted by the court following which he filed a criminal complaint in the court against the owners of Berkeley Automobiles.



Habitual thief sentenced to two years in jail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Setting a deterrent for repeat offenders, the court of District and Sessions Judge SK Aggarwal today awarded two-year imprisonment to a habitual thief.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 on the convict, Nizamuddin (32), a resident of Milk Colony, Dhanas.

He has been convicted under Section 413 (habitually dealing in stolen property) of the Indian Penal Code. The convict is a drug addict.

According to the prosecution case, the convict was arrested on a complaint of Satpal Singh, a resident of Mohali, who had come for shopping in Sector 22. His motorcycle was stolen from the market and the police had then arrested Nizammuddin.

He was arrested for the motorcycle theft on April 25.

He had earlier been convicted and awarded seven-year jail for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The police records revealed that there were 11 cases registered against him.

He has already been convicted in eight cases after he admitted to his guilt. He was awarded the same punishment in a similar case on September 16 while on September 9 he was sentenced to one-year imprisonment in another theft case.

Courts set deterrent for repeat offenders

In July this year too, the court of ADJ Shalini Nagpal had passed a similar order and sentenced a cycle thief to three-year imprisonment. The accused has been arrested six times in the past for various thefts in the city and has been convicted too.

On July 15, the court had sentenced Ranjit Singh to three years in jail and also imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on him.

The case was registered in April this year when the convict, Ranjt Singh, who hails from Sultanpur district in UP, was caught lifting a cycle of Om Parkash from the parking at the District Courts in Sector 43.


VAT Advisory committee meeting
More banks authorised to collect tax in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
For collection of payments of value added tax (VAT), four more banks are being authorised to collect the tax. This was announced by the Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mohammed Shayin, while chairing a meeting of the VAT Advisory Committee today.

Earlier, the tax fee was being accepted in the selected branches of State Bank of India. But now, the same facility is being extended to State Bank of Patiala, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab National bank and Bank of Baroda. It was also announced that all vat assessment cases where there was a turnover of less than Rs 1 crore annually and there was no interstate transaction would be deemed to be assessed and no notices of assessment would be issued.The Commissioner said the compulsory audit limit would be increased from Rs 50 lakh annual turnover to Rs 1 crore annual turnover in the pattern of income tax.

Prices of diesel to come down from Nov 1

The price of diesel in the city will come on a par with Punjab with effect from November 1. After approval from the Administrator, the Excise Department after completing all the formalities has sent the notification for printing and a 15-day public notice will be given before the VAT is reduced from 12.5 per cent to 9.78 per cent.



Four dry fruit shops raided in Sector 22
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Four shops selling dry fruits in Sector 22 were raided today and four samples of kaju, badam, walnut and kismis, one each, were seized by a team of the UT Health Department. While no on-site violations were found in form of insects or mould of fungus, the team examined the packed gift boxes of dry fruits after opening them.

The team also raided 12 wholesale shops in the Sector 26 grain market. Later, four shops selling namkeen were also inspected.



tribune impact
Doctors’ appointment via e-Sampark centres
To improve facility, IT Director, stakeholders hold meeting
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Three days after Chandigarh Tribune highlighted ineffectiveness of the service of advance appointment with doctors in GMCH-32 and GMSH-16 through e-sampark centres, on basis of investigations, IT Director Upkar Singh called a meeting with stakeholders to sensitise them over the matter.

In a classic example of putting the cart before the horse, the UT Administration launched the module at its 12 e-Sampark Centres and 13 Gram Sampark centres without paying much heed to the fact whether the hospitals had deviced any mechanism to give approval for appointments or atleast receive intimation on appointments issued at the e-Sampark Centres.

This correspondent posed as a patient’s attendant and sought appointment at two different e-Sampark centres on different occasions in the past two weeks. The investigations revealed that the system of communication between the e-Sampark Centres and the hospitals was just one sided.

While the service was launched with much fanfare a few years ago, not only to bring down abrupt patient load in OPDs at the two hospitals but also save patients from the tedious process of standing in long queues at the registration counters and then outside the OPDs. “We had recently convened a meeting with representatives from both hospitals and National Informatics Centre sensitising them to take care of requests of visitors and further sensitise doctors and peons,” said Upkar Singh.

Appointment module for GMSH-16 & GMCH-32 (as per the Administration website)On the lines of other services at e-Jan Sampark Centres, now patients can get appointments for the two hospitals at the e-Jan Sampark and Gram Sampark centres of Chandigarh.



Dr Savita set to be Dean of PGI

Chandigarh, October 15
Dr Savita Malhotra, head, Department of Psychiatry, PGIMER, was today selected for the post of Dean of the institute. The decision came during a meeting of the institution’s governing body chaired by Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi today.

Dr Subhash Verma, head, Department of Internal Medicine, PGIMER, has been chosen as the Sub-dean of the institute. Dr Savita will succeed Dr Amod Gupta, the present Dean of the institute.

In a breather to nearly 50 faculty members of the Institute, the government body also cleared their long-pending promotions. The promotion of these faculty members were cleared by the Staff Selection Committee earlier. However, the approval of the governing body was awaited. — TNS



keeping city neat and clean
Shivraj Patil launches signature campaign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Shivraj V Patil, today signed on a banner to launch a signature campaign in the city.The campaign was launched to keep the city neat and clean.

Patil asked the Municipal Commissioner to implement the campaign effectively to get desired results. He also asked him to purchase the latest sweeping machinery of different sizes to ensure cleanliness at a low cost. He also asked the officer concerned that these banners should be pasted at educational institutions, offices and at public places to create more awareness among the general public regarding the cleanliness campaign.

“The municipal corporation should make every possible effort to make Chandigarh a clean and green city. Those throwing garbage in parks and streets should be discouraged”

Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion were Harphool Chander Kalyan, Mayor of Chandigarh, MP Singh, Principal Secretary to the Governor, VP Singh, Commissioner, Rajiv Gupta, Joint Commissioner and Mukesh Anand, Chief Engineer, municipal corporation.



Stone of road projects laid
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 15
Former Union Minister and halqa in charge of the SAD Balwant Singh Ramoowalia and chairperson of the Mohali District Planning Committee Amanjot Kaur Ramoowlia laid the foundation stone of road projects at Balongi village today.

Balwant Singh said village panchayats should execute development works without indulging in groupism and ensure the efficient utilisation of government grants.

He said the state government had approved a grant of Rs 90 lakh to help carry out development works in the village.

Amanjot Kaur said various development works would be executed in Balongi, including the renovation of internal roads and the provision of sewerage and drinking water facility. The works would be completed within the stipulated time.

She said Rs 52.31 lakh would be spent on providing an approach road from Gurdwara Sahib to the main road and over Rs 29 lakh on internal approach roads.



Tough competition among cabbies as third service launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Following the launch of two hi-tech cab services in the city in the past six months that make use of mobile apps for booking, a third such service was today launched here, bringing hopes of competitive tariff for travel for residents in the city.

Meru Cabs today launched a mobile app, which has features like one touch booking, tracking cab, confirmed booking up to seven days in advance and concept of cab-wallet for payment. The cab-wallet feature can be used by registering and loading money into the app via credit card, debit card or through net banking. This amount can be used at a click of a button from the app to make payments for their journey.

Siddhartha Pahwa, CEO, Meru Cabs, said, “we have options of app buzzer available for the commuter that sends alerts of emergency to two trusted numbers (provided) by the commuter in case the commuter clicks the buzzer. The alerts provide exact location of the cab on these numbers.”

Merugenie and Meruflexi will provide point-to-point service to commuters Rs 10 per km. Earlier, two more cab services — Uber and Olacabs — were launched in the city, elevating the competition with the existing radio cab service. While Uber has a base fare of Rs 40, in addition to Rs12 per km tariff and Rs 1 per minute of travel, for Olacabs the tariff is Rs 18 per km. All these services run by consolidating individual cab drivers for local and outstation travel, bringing them on one platform.

The service that operates via a mobile app connects the traveller to the nearest cab tracing pickup location automatically and asks for a drop location and sends the cab driver to the pickup location directly. The lower tariffs offered by the new cab service providers, however, have invited criticism from the operators of radiotaxies. Colonel VS Dhillon, MD, Tricity Tour and Travels, who has been running the services at Rs 23 per km, said “ It may be possible that the prices by these new operators have been lowered to capture the market. But running the cab service here at such low tariffs cannot fetch any profits.”

Meru Cabs launches Mobile app

Meru Cabs on Wednesday launched a mobile app, which has features like one touch booking, tracking cab, confirmed booking up to seven days in advance and concept of cab-wallet for payment.



Anonymous donor leaves new vehicle in gurdwara

Mohali, October 15
An anonymous devotee donated a new air-conditioned Mahindra Xylo vehicle to Gurdwara Singh Shaheedan in Sohana.

The vehicle, worth over Rs 9.36 lakh, was found parked at the gurdwara this morning, according to a gurdwara managing committee spokesman.

The vehicle, which had a temporary registration number, was found open with its keys inside. The sale letter and the insurance cover of the vehicle were in the name of the gurdwara. A handwritten letter by the donor was also found in it.

The donor did not wish to be identified and wrote that the vehicle was being donated for the service of the gurdwara. The donor specifically mentioned that the vehicle should be used exclusively for the transport (sewa) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. — OC



Punjab Election Commission commits faux pas
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 15
For the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Punjab, today was the polling day for the General Election and not the Assembly elections in Haryana.

In a faux pass, an official correspondence by the office of the CEO to the Principal Secretary to Government of Punjab regarding grant of paid holiday to the employees residing/voters of Haryana stated that the polls taking place on October 15 in Haryana were ‘General Elections to the Lok Sabha, 2014’.

The communiqué, dated October 14, has been signed by the Electoral Officer, Punjab. The ‘mistake’ has been occurred in the subject matter of the communiqué.

Having a dig at the error, a senior official of the Punjab government said it seemed that the State Election Commission, Punjab, was yet to come out of the Lok Sabha election mode.

Through the communiqué, the election office issued directions that under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and the directions of the Election Commission of India, the voters of Haryana working in Punjab might be allowed paid holiday on October 15 so that they could cast their votes.



Russian folklore, short songs enthral audience
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs, Chandigarh, organised Russian folk cultural presentation by Cossack Folk Group “Stanitsa” at Tagore Theatre here today.

The musical genre of Russian folklore, short songs performed at a rapid tempo, romantic ballads and frenetic dancing gave the audience a perfect slice of Russian culture.

The singer came in pairs of the perfect European genes, dashing men and tall, ethereal women who looked comfortable and elegant doing the robust dance steps and singing.

The musicians complemented the performance with the accordion and balalaika. They seemed like a cheery lot, which reflected in their energetic culture renditions.

The highlight of the event remained the complicated dance moves and footwork involving lots of clapping, stomping, squatting and other energetic high tempo moves of both male and female dancers.

The renditions had a flair for mingling various styles and influences with elements of ancient folk festivities, which left the audience spellbound.

Though the artistes gave all performances in their native Russian language, they struck an instant chord with the local audience as they won hearts of all present.

The dancers along with the singers dressed in their traditional colourful attires earned thunderous applauses from the audience with their spectacle performances.



Milkfed sweets

Milkfed Punjab has started production of its sweets and packaged Gulab Jamun will be the new launch in the category this year. An official from Milkfed Punjab said peda, milk cake, kaju panjiri, soan panjiri, dhodha, maah daal pinni and kaju burfi would be produced and available at all retail stores, Verka booths and cooperative societies in addition to Milkfed office in Sector 34.

Central store launched

Central, the fashion store housing over 500 brands of apparels, has launched its first store in Mohali. The store is located inside North Country Mall in Mohali. “We are pleased to launch our first store in Mohali and 26th store in India,” said Vishnu Prasad, CEO, Central. — TNS



All set for transfer of 155 teachers
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
In order to rationalise the teacher-student ratio, the Education Department has finally decided to transfer 155 teachers. Officials from the department said they had already prepared the list of transfers.

Sources said as per the detailed exercise carried out by the department, it was examined that they were many schools which had surplus teachers.

It was revealed that while government schools located within the city had a higher number of teachers than the required average, periphery schools had a huge paucity of teachers, though the number of students was much higher.

Also, the report mentioned that there was no major shortage of teachers in the schools.

With the department planning for a major exercise of transfers, many educationalists will face the axe. The officials claimed that after this phase of transfer, another phase would be carried out where over 200 more teachers would be transferred.

According to the list, 77 teachers of JBT/NTT will be transferred, along with 30 mathematics/science medical and non-medical, 17 Hindi, three Punjabi and 28 Geography/English and SST.

The sources said the transfer of teachers teaching only till Class X was being carried out.

The transfer policy of the education department states that the principles/ headmasters/headmistresses should be transferred after five years of completion of stay. Lecturers/masters/mistresses C&V, teachers and JBT teachers may be transferred after 10 years of stay.

However, in the last academic session not a single transfer was carried out. This year, the department has already started transfers of educationalists. Earlier, nine principals were transferred.

Education Secretary Sarvjit Singh said: “During the exercise carried out by the department, it was seen that some schools have more than the required number of teachers due to which other schools were suffering. In order to ensure that there is no skewed distribution of student-teacher ratio, the department has cleared the list of transfers of the teachers on a rational basis in the primary sections.”



Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Panjab University
Confusion over venue a blessing in disguise for students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Confusion over the venue for the visit by Chairperson of the Indian Youth Congress and National Students Union of India Rahul Gandhi proved a blessing in disguise for students of the Panjab University campus.
Employees clean the area near Student Centre at Panjab University on Wednesday
Employees clean the area near Student Centre at Panjab University on Wednesday. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

The Engineering Department of the campus, to whom a number of requests were made in the past for the removal of grass from the adjoining building and pathways near the Student Centre, today deployed special staff for undertaking this task.

During a visit to the Student Centre this morning, the staff that was deployed here for removing and cutting the grass, was informed that Rahul Gandhi will visit the centre to interact with the students.

To take stock of the security arrangements at the new venue - Law Auditorium, the security team, along with PU officials, visited the site.

Sources said due to security reasons, the venue for Rahul’s visit was changed at the last minute by security agencies. Earlier, he was scheduled to visit the student council office and the coffee house at the Student Centre.

As per the changed schedule, Rahul will visit the Gandhi Bhawan and address 1,500 NSUI workers at the Law Auditorium of the campus.

The students who will participate in this interaction will get an invite. They will have to come along with ID cards of their respective departments.



PU’s contribution to science, research appreciated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
US-based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has proved that the pioneer of wireless radio communication was Prof Jagdish Chandra Bose and not G Marconi.

This was stated by noted scientist and DAE Homi Bhabha Chair Professor, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai, Professor Srikumar Banerjee, who was at Panjab University here today.

Prof Banerjee was here to deliver the third PU Foundation Day Public Lecture on the topic “Innovations in University Environments”.

Describing Sir JC Bose as the scientist engineer, Prof Banerjee referred National Radio Astronomy Observatory, NSF, USA, and said Prof Bose demonstrated remote signalling by wireless some two years before Marconi’s famous Salisbury plain demonstration.

“Prof Bose discovered the phenomena in India and gave lectures and demonstrations in Europe. It is said that Marconi was one of the audience and we lost an invention,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Banerjee also appreciated the contribution of the PU to science and research and its participation in a number of international projects. He also referred to the linkage of Sir JC Bose with Prof Ruchi Ram Sahni.

He said unprecedented rise in the number of students, interconnected network of knowledge, integration of world economy, social cultural and economic plurality of students and emergence of new problems like energy, environment and sustainable growth were the new challenges in the university system.

The Chancellor of the Central University of Kashmir, Prof Banerjee, stressed for innovation in teaching and research programme in Indian universities to counter the challenges.

Former Chief of Army Staff General VP Malik (retd), who chaired the session, said there should be free information and knowledge flow from university to community and melding of knowledge with practice.

PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover and several other dignitaries, PU fellows, alumni, teachers, researchers and a large number of students attend the event.



PGI lecturer honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Dr Sukhpal Kaur, lecturer at the National Institute of Nursing Education (NINE), PGIMER, Chandigarh, was awarded gold medal at GERICON 2014 (XII Annual National Conference of the Indian Academy of Geriatrics) held in Bengaluru from October 9 to 11.

She was awarded for presenting a paper entitled “Adopting a Health Promotion Nursing Approach for Geriatric Care to solve the problems of elderly at home- Some examples from Chandigarh”.

This study was initially funded by the ICMR and is being carried forward at NINE, PGIMER Chandigarh.



58 students get degrees

Chandigarh, October 15
The University School of Open Learning (USOL), Panjab University, organised its first convocation today. As many as 58 students, including undergraduates and postgraduates, from various streams received their degrees from Padam Sri awardee and former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Prof Srikumar Banerjee.

Prof Banerjee delivered the convocation address. He underscored the expanding role of distance learning and education in the contemporary times. He said education no longer remained confined to the four walls of the university. He said the education should not be considered merely as an instrument of survival. Rather, it should be taken as a mechanism for the betterment of the needy and disadvantaged.

PU Vice-Chancellor Prof AK Grover said the USOL was a medium through which education in the areas of engineering, sciences, performing arts and other professional courses could be made available in a distant mode to the outside word and these lectures would be delivered by the PU faculty. — TNS



Students present ‘thank you’ cards to hospital staff
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 15
Students of The Millennium School, here, today concluded their ‘Joy of Giving’ month by celebrating Thanksgiving Day with the staff at Fortis Hospital, Mohali. The students presented ‘thank you’ cards and roses to the working staff of the hospital.

Komal Singh, principal, The Millennium School, Mohali, said: “It is important for students to recognise and appreciate the efforts of this part of society and learn from their everyday hardships. It is amazing how nurses and other staff greet everyone with a smile even after a long working day. It is a perfect example for students to learn as how to balance work and family responsibilities”.

The students also had an interactive session with the staff to understand their duties and how they manage it on a day-to-day basis.



From Schools
Anniversary celebrations

Students of Shishu Niketan Public School, Sector 43 (SN-43), Chandigarh, celebrated 10 years of their school foundation at the Government College for Girls auditorium in Sector 42. It was attended by Sanjay Tandon, BJP president, Chandigarh, Commandant IRB RN Meena, IPS and Madhukar Anand, Regional Manager, RBO, State Bank of India. “JASHN-2014” was presented by 500 students from Class IV to XII on the theme “around the world”. The students presented dances from different parts of the world. The school also launched a free self-defence programme for women of all age groups in the school.

World Handwashing Day

A special assembly session was conducted at Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 33D, Chandigarh, on “World Handwashing Day” to sensitise the students of the school to hand hygiene. School principal Indra Beniwal addressed the students and highlighted the importance of keeping hands germ-free and washing them by using the right technique. She also urged them to wash their hands before eating anything in markets.

Green Castle Public School

World Handwashing Day was celebrated by kindergarten students of Green Castle Public School, Sector 47C, Chandigarh. To mark the celebrations, teachers explained the students about the importance of hygiene in day-to-day life. The students were told to wash their hands before and after every meal.

Fancy dress competition

As part of Diwali celebrations, a fancy dress competition was organised for tiny tots of St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh. Prizes were distributed among the winners.

Library Month concludes

Bhavan School Library, Sector 27, Chandigarh, held month-long activities for students as part of the Library Month celebrations, which concluded on Wednesday. During the celebrations, various competitions were organised for students and teachers ranging from paperweight making, bookmark making, file-folder making to writing captions and poetry. The students used their wit and humour to write humorous captions for the caption-writing contest.

Students contribute to J&K relief fund

To empathise with the Jammu and Kashmir victims reeling under the aftermath of the floods, students of the Philanthropy Club of St Joseph’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44-D, Chandigarh, took the initiative to lend a helping hand. They contributed generously toward the Prime Minister National Relief Fund for the flood-hit. Chairman of the school Rupinder Singh appreciated the efforts of the Philanthropy Club.

Clean, green Diwali

A session was organised on Wednesday at Tiny-Tots’ Foundation School to encourage children to celebrate clean and green Diwali. “Play safe and healthy” was the motive of the session. The focus of the session was on burning less crackers as well as keeping the surroundings clean. During the session, teachers told the students about the accidents and burns that occur due to crackers. They were also told how level of pollution in air increases due to the smoke of crackers.

Grandparents’ Day

Holy Child School, Panchkula, celebrated Grandparents’ Day here today. A short entertainment programme comprising rhymes, songs and a short skit based on values unfolded the love of the little ones for their grandparents. As a token of gratitude, children recited poems for their grandparents. — TNS



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