THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H I M A C H A L   P R A D E S H

English to be taught from class I in primary schools
Dharamsala, December 6
The Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education in its Academic Committee’s meeting here yesterday decided to introduce English from class first in all primary schools of the state from the next academic year.

Council urges Governor to decide VC’s fate
Shimla, December 6
The Executive Council of Himachal Pradesh University has expressed concern over the continuing absence of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.D. Sharma, and appealed to the Governor, Mr V.S. Kokje, to decide his fate immediately to end the stalemate on the campus.

Setback temporary, says Virbhadra
Dharamsala, December 6
The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, yesterday admitted that the defeat of Congress in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh was a cause for worry but reiterated that the setback was temporary and the party would emerge stronger in future.

Kumarhatti-Barog bypass inaugurated
Solan, December 6
The Ambala-Chandigarh-Shimla national highway will be four-laned. With the Centre having given its approval for the Rs 400 to 500 crore centre work on this project, covering about 85 km stretch, would begin soon.

Monastery CD nominated for Grammy
Dharamsala, December 6
An audio CD prepared by Sherabling Buddhist Monastery near Baijnath, about 60 km from here, has been nominated for the 46th Grammy Awards, to be presented in February, 2004, in Los Angeles in the Best Traditional World Music Album category. The album was released in January this year.




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EARLIER STORIES

 

Shops raided, 3 held with porno films
Dharamsala, December 6
The police today raided shops of some dealers in audio and video cassettes, and seized a large number of duplicate CDs, video cassettes and pornographic cassettes.

Student consumes poison
Solan, December 6
A class XI student of Government Senior Secondary School, Chail consumed poison yesterday morning after being reprimanded by the Principal for imitating a history teacher. Schoolteachers said the child, who was directed to call his parents to school following a complaint by the teacher concerned, took poison as a panic reaction.

Dr Ambedkar remembered
Shimla, December 6
Himachal Pradesh Governor V.S. Kokje today paid floral tributes to Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar on his death anniversary by garlanding his statue.

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English to be taught from class I in primary schools

Dharamsala, December 6
The Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education in its Academic Committee’s meeting here yesterday decided to introduce English from class first in all primary schools of the state from the next academic year.

Board Chairman B.R. Rahi, who presided over the meeting, said the introduction of English from class first in the state’s schools would inspire confidence among the poor and rural people of the state who could not afford convent education for their children. This would bring about revolutionary changes in the education sector in the state, he added.

He said the board had decided to introduce Bhoti language from class first from the next academic session in the Spiti educational block of Lahaul and Spiti district, while it would be introduced in rest of the classes in a phased manner in the same block.

By another decision, the board also decided to introduce new text books prepared by the DPEP for class III from next year, Mr Rahi said.

Mr Rahi said in the first phase of introducing NCERT curriculum in schools, the school board also okayed new NCERT curriculum for science streams only on plus one and plus two from the next academic session.

He, however, added that in the subject of mathematics which was common for all streams would also have new NCERT syllabus from the next academic year.

He informed that the academic committee approved coaching classes for the PMT, PET and NDA competitive examinations to be conducted by the board from next year, which would be held in Kangra, Hamirpur, Chamba, Una, Bilaspur, Shimla and Mandi districts.

Mr Rahi said there would be at least 100 seats at each coaching centre, adding that aspirants would be charged reasonable fee for undergoing such coaching. However, the Chairman said aspirants would be admitted on merit basis.

The Chairman said students would have to pass the practical examination only once, adding they would not be required to pass it against if they had already passed the practical examination.

They could, however, improve score in practical examination, he added. — UNI

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Council urges Governor to decide VC’s fate
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 6
The Executive Council of Himachal Pradesh University has expressed concern over the continuing absence of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.D. Sharma, and appealed to the Governor, Mr V.S. Kokje, to decide his fate immediately to end the stalemate on the campus.

The council, which met under the chairmanship of Dr L.R. Verma, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, here today, observed that the prevailing uncertainty was affecting the normal functioning of the university and its continuation was not in the interest of the institution. Dr Sharma had not been attending office as a result of which important matters like confirmation of the minutes of the Academic Council meeting were pending. It urged the Governor to authorise the Pro-Vice-Chancellor to dispose of such urgent matters.

The council directed the heads of departments concerned to initiate appropriate action on all matters pointed out in the reports of the two inquiries instituted by the Governor into financial and administrative irregularities, including appointments, following the due process of law. It also decided to confirm the factual position regarding certain appointments, which escaped scrutiny by the Kaul Committee. In case irregularities were revealed similar action would be initiated in all such cases. The appointees would be given an opportunity to explain their position during the inquiry.

In cases of financial irregularities, criminal action would be initiated wherever necessary. The heads of departments were asked to report back to the council the action taken in the matter.

The council confirmed the appointments of the Registrar and the Finance Officer and also directed the legal adviser of the university to prepare a draft proposal for prescribing the procedure for making such appointments on deputation in accordance with the provisions of the ordinance promulgated by the government in this regard.

It authorised the Pro-Vice-Chancellor to draft a proposal for the restructuring of the Institute of Integrated Himalayan Studies in accordance with the guidelines of the University Grants Commission.
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Setback temporary, says Virbhadra
Our Correspondent

Dharamsala, December 6
The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, yesterday admitted that the defeat of Congress in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh was a cause for worry but reiterated that the setback was temporary and the party would emerge stronger in future.

He also declared that the Congress in Himachal was ready for snap Lok Sabha poll. The Chief Minister said party workers were sure of victory in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh this made them complacent while BJP went for no-holds-barred campaign. He reminded people of the recent statements of the Prime Minister in which he had said that the elections in four states were neither a reflection on the working of the Vajpayee Government nor a semi-final.

The Chief Minister said the winter sojourn of his government in Kangra will begin as scheduled from January. This gave an opportunity to the government to have an interaction with people of Kangra, Chamba, Hamirpur and Una and provided an opportunity to redress their grievances and review the ongoing development works. The Chief Minister also agreed that the time was ripe for a cabinet expansion and said reshuffling of portfolios could not be ruled out.

The Chief Minister claimed that his government had done remarkably well in health, education and road construction during the last eight months. Mr Virbhadra Singh said he was not against private educational institutions but opposed setting up of teaching shops.
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Kumarhatti-Barog bypass inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Solan, December 6
The Ambala-Chandigarh-Shimla national highway will be four-laned. With the Centre having given its approval for the Rs 400 to 500 crore centre work on this project, covering about 85 km stretch, would begin soon.

This was announced by the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Major Gen B.C. Khanduri (retd) on the occasion of the inauguration of Kumarhatti-Barog bypass here today. Expressing concern the over the escalation of expenditure on the bypass from 2.5 crore to 18.5 crore, he said better coordination between the state government and the people could have averted this undue expenditure. He said it was lamentable that the funds issued by the Union Government to the states for road development lapsed for lack of utility and he urged the officials to make appropriate use of such grants.

He said there had been a remarkable progress in road development under the leadership of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee surpassing all past achievements. The length of national highways had increased from 456 km in 1997 to 1188 km in Himachal. He said more funds had been released for new projects like the Kalka bypass road and the Hamirpur bypass.

Earlier Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh drew the attention of the Union Minister towards fund allocation for widening of three bridges in the state. With presence of leaders from three political parties each speaker tried to outshine others. While former Chief Minister P.K. Dhumal praised the liberal financial support of the Prime Minister in strengthening the road network in Himachal, Mr Virbhadra Singh reacted by lauding the efforts of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi in the development of the state. While the Union Minister who was the last one to speak concluded by saying that after King Sher Shah Suri it was the Prime Minister who had brought about a road revolution in India. Member of Parliament D.R. Shandil representing the Himachal Vikas Party tried to strike a balance by describing it as a coordinated effort.

The Union Ministry of Surface Transport and Highways is actively considering handing over he maintenance end upgradation works of all existing national highways to private sector in the near future.

Talking the mediapersons the minister here today said the government had already given the construction work of certain national highways to private parties in which an investment of Rs 6,000 crore had already been made. The government, in addition to providing required funds for the construction of national highways, was also paying 9 per cent additional money as agency charges to the state government, he added.
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Monastery CD nominated for Grammy
Our Correspondent

Dharamsala, December 6
An audio CD prepared by Sherabling Buddhist Monastery near Baijnath, about 60 km from here, has been nominated for the 46th Grammy Awards, to be presented in February, 2004, in Los Angeles in the Best Traditional World Music Album category. The album was released in January this year.

Sherabling is the seat of Tai Situ Rinpoche, a renowned Buddhist monk of Karma Kagyu sect. He was responsible for the selection of the 17th Karmapa who fled Tibet and is residing near here at present.

According to sources , the audio CD contains sacred Tibetan chants, meditation prayers and rituals observed at the beginning and end of the day at the monastery.

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Shops raided, 3 held with porno films
Our Correspondent

Dharamsala, December 6
The police today raided shops of some dealers in audio and video cassettes, and seized a large number of duplicate CDs, video cassettes and pornographic cassettes. Three persons have been arrested in this connection and cases registered against them at the Shahpur police station.

According to the SP, Kangra, Gulshan Singh, a resident of Kaudian who runs a shop at Manei, has been arrested and 247 duplicate CDs and 79 duplicate video cassettes, including two of pornographic films, were seized from his shop. In another raid, the police seized 240 duplicate video cassettes, including seven of pornographic cassettes, and arrested Jitendra Kumar who runs a shop at Har Chakkian. In another raid at Gaggal under the Kangra police station, 12 pornographic CDs were seized from the shop of Ravinder Kumar.
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Student consumes poison
Our Correspondent

Solan, December 6
A class XI student of Government Senior Secondary School, Chail consumed poison yesterday morning after being reprimanded by the Principal for imitating a history teacher. Schoolteachers said the child, who was directed to call his parents to school following a complaint by the teacher concerned, took poison as a panic reaction.

While the principal maintained that the student, hailing from the nearby Serpur village, did not come to school yesterday, doctors at the local Civil Hospital, where he was later admitted, said he was wearing school uniform.

The Principal admitted that the child had been reprimanded for his errant behaviour and had been asked to call his parents yesterday. He reportedly, collapsed during the morning assembly after which he was rushed to the Civil Hospital by a teacher and some students. The child is being treated at the hospital.
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Dr Ambedkar remembered

Shimla, December 6
Himachal Pradesh Governor V.S. Kokje today paid floral tributes to Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar on his death anniversary by garlanding his statue.

Others who also paid tributes to Dr Ambedkar included Mr Sohal Lal, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Shimla, Commissioner and Councillors of Municipal Corporation and the Deputy commissioner.

The Municipal Corporation, also organised ‘bhajan-kirtan’ on the occasion in which people from all walks of life and schoolchildren participated.
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Termination of bus services resented
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, December 6
The Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) yesterday ordered the stoppage of its bus services on the Jassur-Dhiala, Jassur-Kuther, Jassur-Badukhar and Jassur-Rey routes in Nurpur district. The commuters said that these services were started over two decades ago. There is a demand to restore these bus services.
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Raids on hotels, guest houses
Our Correspondent

Mandi, December 6
The Kulu police, headed by Mr Kaushal Sharma, DSP, Kulu today raided hotels and guest houses located at Sundernagar, Balh, Nangwain, Aut, Pandoh, Nerchowk and Mandi in connection with a pornographic CD racket.

Earlier this week, the Kulu police had seized pornographic CDs from video parlours at Kulu, Manali and Bhuntar, which were allegedly shot in the rooms of some hotels which the police was trying to identify. The police inspected rooms and the surroundings of hotels.
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5 shops gutted in Naina Devi

Bilaspur, December 6
Five shops were gutted when a fire broke out at the Naina Devi temple in the district last night.

According to SDM Baldev Thakur, the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained. An immediate relief of Rs 1,000 each was given to owners of the five shops. Industries Minister Ram Lal Thakur, who represents the Bilaspur constituency, has expressed his sympathies with those who lost their properties in the accident. He has directed the administration to provide them all possible help and assistance to re-establish their business. Deputy Commissioner Subhashis Panda has assured the victims of all possible help. — UNI
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Block Medical Office raided
Our Correspondent

Nahan, December 6
A police team today raided the office of the Block Medical Officer, Sangrah, and seized records in connection with an FIR lodged under Section 409 of the IPC by the Sirmour police regarding misappropriation of government funds.

Police sources said the CMO’s report confirmed embezzlement to the tune of over Rs 3 lakh.

Mr S.R. Sharma, SP, Sirmour, said an Inspector had been assigned the inquiry into the case.
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Man gets 10 years in jail
Our Correspondent

Mandi, December 6
Mr V.K. Ahuja, District and Sessions Judge, today convicted Karam Singh of Ghunar village under the Banjar police station and sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for 10 years along with a fine of Rs 1 lakh under Section 20 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. In default of payment of the fine, the convict will have to undergo rigorous imprisonment for another four years.

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