SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
D E L H I   A N D   N E I G H B O U R H O O D

Private schools demand scrapping of education policy 
Gurgaon, January 16
A number of associations of private schools located in Haryana and affiliated to various boards today urged the government to scrap its 2003 education policy. The associations held a meeting here under the aegis of the Federation of All Private Schools Associations, Haryana.

Extortion racket: One killed in turf war 
Gurgaon, January 16
Two unknown assailants shot dead another criminal near his residence at Krishna Colony last night. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Hanif Qureshi, informed that Sunil Malik, aged around 35, was near his residence when two assailants fired six rounds at close range at him last night.

HC notices on misuse of public money
CBI, Delhi Govt asked to reply within four weeks
New Delhi, January 16
The Delhi High Court today issued notices to the CBI, Delhi Government, MCD and the city Police Commissioner on a PIL alleging that about Rs 120 crore of public money was misappropriated by civic officials by floating fake tenders for works which were actually carried out by the Delhi Government between 2002 and 2005.


EARLIER STORIES
 

140 homeo hospitals to be set up in rural areas
Ghaziabad, January 16
The state government has decided to open 140 homeopathy hospitals in rural areas in the state out of which 10 hospitals will be set up in Ghaziabad. The Department of Medical Education has issued an administrative order for recruitment of doctors and other staff for the new homeopathy hospitals and the selection process is being set in motion, according to informed sources.

Cyber cafes under police scanner
Gurgaon, January 16
Working on the possibility of Pakistan-inspired terrorists creating mischief in view of the Republic Day, the Delhi and Gurgaon police, in a joint strategy, have decided to plug in all loopholes, including detection of the communications between them.

Teachers seek better service conditions
New Delhi, January 16
Reviewing the eligibility criterion for recruitment is not enough, faculty members in universities want the government to take proactive measures for improving the “service conditions” of teachers.

Three big HUDA projects on fast track in Gurgaon
Gurgaon, January 16
Three new big projects, an auditorium, a hospital and an aquarium, developed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority, are coming up fast in the city. HUDA administrator S. P. Gupta informed that the work of an auditorium-cum-convention centre in Sector 29 was at the final stage of construction.

Tickets for R-Day Parade on sale

New Delhi, January 16
Those desirous of witnessing the Republic Day Parade at Rajpath and the Beating Retreat Ceremony at Vijay Chowk may now purchase the tickets for the twin events. The sale of tickets began today at various outlets in the Capital and will continue till January 28.




Schoolchildren during their rehearsal for the Republic Day Parade at Rajpath in the Capital on Monday. — Tribune photograph

Schoolchildren during their rehearsal for the Republic Day Parade at Rajpath

2 minors raped in Faridabad
Faridabad, January 16
At least two incidents of rape, both of them against minors, have been reported in the district in the past two days. One of the victims is stated to be just one and a half years old.

Cloudy sky forecast even today 
New Delhi, January 16
For the second day today, Delhiites woke up to a cloudy sky. Clouds hanging over the skyline in the Capital resulted in a sharp rise in the mercury, with the minimum temperature jumping to 12 degree Celsius, which was five degree above normal, from 9.5 degree Celsius yesterday.

Change lifestyle to save liver!
New Delhi, January 16
Liver diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, cancer and those related to obesity have been identified as the risk factor for large-scale morbidity and mortality.

A foreign tourist enjoying the ride of his special cycle at Diplomatic Enclave in the Capital on Monday
A foreign tourist enjoying the ride of his special cycle at Diplomatic Enclave in the Capital on Monday. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi

Delhi schoolchildren participating in a rally to spread the message of ‘Save Oil’ at the inauguration of ‘Oil & Gas Conservation Fortnight, 2006’, organised by the Petroleum Ministry and the Petroleum Conservation Research Association at Talkatora Stadium in the Capital on Monday
Delhi schoolchildren participating in a rally to spread the message of ‘Save Oil’ at the inauguration of ‘Oil & Gas Conservation Fortnight, 2006’, organised by the Petroleum Ministry and the Petroleum Conservation Research Association at Talkatora Stadium in the Capital on Monday. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi

Nirankari Baba Hardev Singhji Maharaj addressing Bhakti Purv Samagam in the Capital
Nirankari Baba Hardev Singhji Maharaj addressing Bhakti Purv Samagam in the Capital.

Conference on geographic information technology
New Delhi, January 16
More than 1,200 academicians, information technology and management experts and scientists from India and abroad will attend this year’s ‘Map India’, the annual conference on geographic information technology, which begins in the Capital from January 30.

Meet on Kashmir after quake
New Delhi, January 16
In the wake of the massive destruction caused by the Kashmir earthquake on both sides of the Line of Control, the Jamia Millia Islamia University organized an extremely pertinent conference on: Kashmir After the Quake: Prospects for Peace and Reconstruction.

Oman’s envoy meets Sheila
New Delhi, January 16
Mr Mohd. Bin Yousuf Bin Dawood Shalwani, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman today called on Delhi Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit in her office.

‘Trifurcation won’t curb
corruption in MCD’

New Delhi, January 16
Sensing that the Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, was still trying to divide the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the People’s Action, an NGO said that trifurcation of civic body was not a remedy to curb corruption and inefficiency.

‘Make list of all illegal constructions on website’
New Delhi, January 16
The DPCC president, Mr Ram Babu Sharma, said that list of all unauthorised constructions after 1954 should be put up on the website of the civic body.

Hotel owner booked for
power theft

Faridabad, January 16
The local police have booked a case under the Electricity Act against the owner of a hotel in the NIT area here in connection with power theft.

Traders seek ordinance on shops in residential areas
New Delhi, January 16
The Confederation of All India Traders in a meeting here on Sunday demanded the Delhi Government to pass an ordinance to regularise business establishments in residential areas.

DUSU donates for quake victims
New Delhi, January 16
Delhi University Students’ Union today presented a draft of Rs 31,000 collected by them for the victims of the J&K earthquake to Ms Sonia Gandhi here today.
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Private schools demand scrapping of education policy 
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, January 16
A number of associations of private schools located in Haryana and affiliated to various boards today urged the government to scrap its 2003 education policy.
The associations held a meeting here under the aegis of the Federation of All Private Schools Associations, Haryana. The meeting was convened by the federation to take stock of the problems faced by a large number of private schools in Haryana on account of the tough parameters set out in the policy.

The participants formed a 21-member committee to spearhead the campaign for scrapping the policy.

The policy was framed and effected by the preceding INLD government in the state. It lay down strict mandatory guidelines for fulfilling the criteria to get recognition for schools that would be set up in the future and allowed grace period to those already functional to gear themselves and measure up to the norms of the new policy.

Many speakers expressed the view that in case the policy continued 70 per cent of the private schools affiliated to Haryana Board and 50 per cent of those related to other boards like the CBSE would have to forfeit their recognition. Also, the bid of a majority of them to get recognition would come a cropper.

When the policy was framed and announced by the government, it was justified against wide-ranging allegations that the private schools did not have the intention of imparting culture and education, but were operating as rank commercial entities. So much so, a section of them were alleged to have been resorting to crooked means in their alleged business ventures.

Also, the then government was credited with the view that many persons, especially the nouveau riche, used opening up of private schools as simply fronts. Such enterprises lacked any moral philosophy in their conduct. The general view, nonetheless, was that some genuine owners of schools were sucked in the stern measures of the government.

However, now the general feeling among the private school associations is that the policy has given a handle to a section of the officials of the Education Department to harass the proprietors of the schools.

The speakers at the meeting charged that the government, through the policy and other means, was trying to kill the concept of private schools in the state in order to promote its schools.

This was a most unsavoury development and was working against the larger interests of the state and the nation in this field of “global educated manpower” competition, they added.

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Extortion racket: One killed in turf war 
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, January 16
Two unknown assailants shot dead another criminal near his residence at Krishna Colony last night. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Hanif Qureshi, informed that Sunil Malik, aged around 35, was near his residence when two assailants fired six rounds at close range at him last night. Three bullets hit him and he succumbed to his injuries while being taken to a private hospital.

The criminals had come on foot after parking their motorcycle nearby in a lane, added the officer. They ran away on their motorcycle after committing the crime, said the SSP.

The SSP further informed that Sunil Malik, son of former Municipal Councillor Raj Bala, was involved in a murder in 2001. The local courts had given him the death penalty but he got a stay order from the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the order of the local court.

The official added that he did not have a clean record as he was involved in various suspicious property deals in the city. He had also opened a property dealer’s office and a gym in the city, said Mr Qureshi.

According to sources in the police department, Sunil Malik was also running an extortion racket and had made a couple of shopkeepers in the main Sadar Bazar toe his line. His rival gang, led by Mahesh, alias Attack, resident of Jharsa, was also active in the extortion racket in Sadar Bazar.

This gang might be behind the murder of Sunil Malik in a fight over supremacy in the bazar, informed the sources.

The victim had reportedly become the bete noire of a number of other criminals for running his illegal business of properties successfully, added the sources.

They might have eliminated him to take revenge, informed the sources.

The police had recently arrested six members of the Mahesh gang, who used to take money from the business community on his behalf. Mahesh was running his network from the Bhondsi jail, informed the SSP.

Mr Hanif Qureshi further informed that the police were drawing sketches of the two criminals with the help of eyewitnesses and passersby. He claimed that the police would soon identify the criminals and arrest them. However, the local shopkeepers have questioned the working of the police department as the police have still not done enough to check extortion from Sadar Bazar. The criminals roamed freely in the market and warned entrepreneurs to follow their diktats or face dire consequences, revealed the shopkeepers. 

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HC notices on misuse of public money
CBI, Delhi Govt asked to reply within four weeks
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 16
The Delhi High Court today issued notices to the CBI, Delhi Government, MCD and the city Police Commissioner on a PIL alleging that about Rs 120 crore of public money was misappropriated by civic officials by floating fake tenders for works which were actually carried out by the Delhi Government between 2002 and 2005.

The court asked the respondents to file the reply and affidavit within four weeks and posted the matter for hearing to April 5.

The petitioner, Ms Sadhna Sharma, representing Sant Nagar Ward, through her counsel Mr Manish Aggarwal, stated that the Irrigation and Flood Control Department had undertaken drainage, road and other flood relief works to the tune of Rs 120 crore between 2002 and 2005.

However, it was alleged that the MCD officials too invited tenders from its nominated contractors for the same work and released the amount after obtaining forged bills in connivance with contractors.

The petitioner submitted that though complaints were lodged with the government, MCD, CBI and the city Police Commissioner, no action had been taken against the accused.

The PIL urged the court to direct the government for conducting a detailed probe by an independent authority to unravel the racket and bring the guilty to book.

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140 homeo hospitals to be set up in rural areas
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, January 16
The state government has decided to open 140 homeopathy hospitals in rural areas in the state out of which 10 hospitals will be set up in Ghaziabad.
The Department of Medical Education has issued an administrative order for recruitment of doctors and other staff for the new homeopathy hospitals and the selection process is being set in motion, according to informed sources.

Sixteen hospitals will be opened in Sultanpur district while 10 will be in rural Ghaziabad.

There are 1,342 homeopathy dispensaries functioning in the state at present. Out of these, 89 are located in cities and towns and 1253 are in villages. With the formation of Uttaranchal Pradesh, 59 dispensaries had gone to the state.

To cover this loss, the Medical Education Department has, vide its order no 3249/71-4-2005-20b/2006) decided to open 140 new homeopathy hospitals in rural areas.

Each dispensary will have a doctor, a compounder and a class IV employee.

Mr Prashant Trevidi, Secretary, Medical Education Department, in his order has instructed that the process of recruitment and selection of doctors and staff should be set in motion by February 28, 2006.

The directorate will send a proposal to the government for recruitment of 140 doctors. After this, the state public service commission will be requested to take further action in the matter. For the recruitment of pharmacists, the directorate will set up a board on its own while the class IV staff will be recruited through the employment exchanges.

The number of new dispensaries districtwise will be: 16 in Sultanpur, 10 in Ghaziabad, seven in Hardoi, seven in Sitapur, six in Shahajhanpur, five in Hamirpur and seven in Gorakhpur.

Gram sabhas have been requested to make available buildings for these hospitals. Premises will be taken on rent in the community health centre complexes.

The government has been requested to release Rs 24.70 lakh immediately for opening these hospitals, it is learnt.

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Cyber cafes under police scanner
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, January 16
Working on the possibility of Pakistan-inspired terrorists creating mischief in view of the Republic Day, the Delhi and Gurgaon police, in a joint strategy, have decided to plug in all loopholes, including detection of the communications between them.

The Delhi and Gurgaon police, at a recent meeting, came to the conclusion that with the telephony communications between members of underworld getting decoded by the police at regular intervals, the terrorists could communicate with each other vide e-mails as part of their possible nefarious operations in Delhi and its thereabouts.

Hence, the police will keep a strict watch on the visitors at cyber cafes in their respective areas of jurisdiction According to the district police chief, Mr Hanif Qureshi, it is in this context that the police here will issue guidelines to the owners of cyber cafes and keep a strict a vigil in this area.

The guidelines will include taking details of the addresses and other particulars of the customers visiting the cyber cafes.

According to him, although there was no such rule to regulate the work of the cyber cafes the police will be issuing them mere guidelines.

He said the police had issued guidelines to the owners of BPO operators to ensure safety and security of their employees. Although there was no such rule to regulate the working of the BPOs, they had voluntarily accepted the guidelines laid by the police, he added.

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Teachers seek better service conditions
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 16
Reviewing the eligibility criterion for recruitment is not enough, faculty members in universities want the government to take proactive measures for improving the “service conditions” of teachers.

“If you fail to provide something as basic and essential as medical facilities, how do you expect a student to think of teaching as a profession,” said Prof. S S Rathi, a former president of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association.

Attracting bright students to teach has become a difficult proposition, claim teachers. “The starting salary of a lecturer compared to that of a person joining a private company is much lower. If a corporate is offering you good money, why would you join the teaching profession, unless you are deeply motivated,” questioned a Junior Research Fellow at the Delhi University.

The fact that the government’s investment in students pursuing Ph.D. is wasted when these students opt for emigration or even prefer private companies has also become a cause for concern.

“Some of our bright researchers do not even consider joining universities or even the IITs. Instead of coming up with a solution for that, the Government is keen on opening new universities and colleges,” said a Vice-Chancellor of a Central University.

“The UGC has no long-term vision for the teaching community. Barring a few universities like JNU, there are no provisions to provide accommodation to the staff. There are no research facilities, no provisions for the Internet,” rued Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy, a former president of the JNUTA.

The suggestion that teachers should undergo orientation programmes and refresher courses is

something they do not oppose, but at the same time, point out the urgent need to make teaching a lucrative profession. “The UGC has already made it mandatory for us to have orientation programmes.

The need is to nourish talent. And once you make it an imaginative, creative and an attractive profession, quality will automatically improve,” said Dr Rupamanjari Ghosh, president, JNUTA.

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Three big HUDA projects on fast track in Gurgaon
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, January 16
Three new big projects, an auditorium, a hospital and an aquarium, developed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), are coming up fast in the city.
HUDA administrator S. P. Gupta informed that the work of an auditorium-cum-convention centre in Sector 29 was at the final stage of construction.

The auditorium, costing Rs 14 crore, would have a seating capacity of 1200 persons (expandable to 1600 persons),the biggest in the state. The centre, spread over an area of 6.5 acres, is fully air-conditioned, comprising basement, ground floor and balcony. It will also have a conference hall with a capacity of 65 persons for holding meetings and small seminars, added the administrator.

The work for fire-fighting, lift and elevators, air-conditioning, stage lighting, acoustic, interiors and furniture would also soon start at the auditorium, added the officer.

Mr Gupta said another 125 bedded Civil Hospital was being constructed by HUDA.

The total construction cost of the hospital would be Rs 9.5 crore.

It would have a basement for post office, waiting hall, store, and ground floor for OPD facilities for various ailments, first floor for wards, ICU, operation theatres, waiting room, pantry, etc, second floor for wards, nurses station, pantry, washing rooms, cold room, grocery store, kitchen, operation theatres, etc and third floor for VIP wards, private rooms, stores, OTs, doctor lounges, etc, added the officer.

Besides the hospital, HUDA would also build 53 staff quarters for doctors and nurses in the complex itself, informed Mr Gupta.

Another big project, a big aquarium, first in northern India, is at the final stage of construction at Sector 29 here, said the HUDA administrator.

Mr Gupta informed that the construction cost of the aquarium, spread over one acre of land, would be Rs 60 lakh.

The Department of Fisheries is being consulted by Haryana Urban Development Authority for interior and other designs of the buildings, added the officer.

Besides the aquarium hall, the complex would have a laboratory, lecture room, library, feed store, lobby, office, etc, informed the officer.

Here, it may be recalled that sector 29, being developed by HUDA is hundred per cent commercial sector in the city, biggest in Asia. Besides hotels, office complexes, and shops, it has a big leisure park, spread over of 100 acre of land.

The park has a huge parking capacity of 2000 vehicles at one time.

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Tickets for R-Day Parade on sale
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 16
Those desirous of witnessing the Republic Day Parade at Rajpath and the Beating Retreat Ceremony at Vijay Chowk may now purchase the tickets for the twin events. The sale of tickets began today at various outlets in the Capital and will continue till January 28.

Tickets for the parade have been priced at Rs 300 and Rs 150 for reserved seats and Rs 50 and Rs 10 for unreserved seats. The tickets for the Full Dresss Rehearsal of the Beating Retreat Ceremony on January 28 will be made available in Rs 50 and Rs 20 categories and will not have reserved seats, said an official spokesman here.

Non-department sale counters have been set up for the sale of tickets at ITDC travel counters at Hotels Ashok and Janpath, DTDC counters at Coffee Home, Baba Kharag Singh Marg and Food and Crafts Bazar, Dilli Haat, opposite INA Market. These counters will be open on all working days.

The tickets will also be available at Shri Gandhi Ashram, Chandni Chowk and with the Mother Dairy outlets at M Block Market, Greater Kailash, Part I, Main Market (near Taxi Stand) Defence Colony, C-Block, Friends Colony (East), Community Shopping Complex, Sec-B, Pocket 10, Vasant Kunj, Malcha Marg Market, Chanakyapuri, Block 17-A (Opp. Park) Gurudwara Road, Karol Bagh, Community Shopping Complex, Pocket 4, Phase I Bus Stop, Mayur Vihar, Local Shopping Complex, C-Block, Vasant Vihar, Community Shopping Complex, Sector - 7, Dwarka, Near Block No. 21 Jor Bagh (near Lodhi Colony), Model

Town-II Market (Near Ram Lila Park) and opposite Ankur Apartments, Mother Dairy, Patparganj.

The tickets will also be sold from Departmental Sale Counters on all days from 10 am to 5.30 pm without lunch break.

These counters are located at North Block roundabout, South Block roundabout, Pragati Maidan (Gate No 4) Appu Ghar, Jantar Mantar (Main Gate), Krishi Bhawan bus stop, Red Fort (near police picket), India Gate Bus Stop (near Jamnagar House) and Parliament House (Reception Office).

The tickets at Parliament House Reception will be available from January 19 to 28 from 11 am to 4 pm. The tickets are also available at Government of India Tourist Office, 88, Janpath (Sunday closed).

The Sale Counters at Jantar Mantar, South Block roundabout, Krishi Bhawan Bus Stop and India Gate will function from 10 am to 7.30 pm from January 23 to 25, the spokesman said.

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2 minors raped in Faridabad
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 16
At least two incidents of rape, both of them against minors, have been reported in the district in the past two days. One of the victims is stated to be just one and a half years old.

Three to four cases of rape had been reported in the district each month during the last year.

According to the complaint lodged with the police, a youth identified as Jairam, belonging to Rajasthan, allegedly raped an 18-month-old girl, the child of a labourer residing in the Azad Nagar jhuggi colony here.

The victim’s mother had handed over the child to the accused for some time as she had gone to buy some items from a nearby market. It is learnt that the woman caught the youth raping her daughter when she came back. However, the accused managed to give the slip to her and fled from there before the neighbourers could rush for help.

The victim has been admitted to the local Civil Hospital for treatment.

The accused had come here to meet a relative of his residing in the neighborhood of the victim. The police has booked a case against the accused and launched a manhunt to arrest him. In another case, a 14-year-old girl was also raped by a youth at Mathepur villa ge of Hathin subdivision.

The accused forcibly entered the house of the victim when she was alone and fled after raping her.

The victim’s father has lodged a complaint with the police. No arrest has been made so far.

Meanwhile, the police have registered a case of attempt to murder and looting against some youths who tried to rob a chemist shop owner at gunpoint on Saturday night.

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Cloudy sky forecast even today 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 16
For the second day today, Delhiites woke up to a cloudy sky.
Clouds hanging over the skyline in the Capital resulted in a sharp rise in the mercury, with the minimum temperature jumping to 12 degree Celsius, which was five degree above normal, from 9.5 degree Celsius yesterday.

It is the fourth day in succession that the mercury has continued to climb. While, on Friday, the minimum temperature rose sharply to seven degree Celsius, from 4.8 degree the previous day. Saturday saw a further rise to eight degree Celsius. The mercury rose again yesterday, with the minimum temperature jumping to 9.5 degree Celsius.

Though yesterday and today were marked by ‘sunny intervals followed by a cloudy sky’, it was by and large pleasant weather for the people of Delhi.

Even while the Met office has predicted a cloudy sky tomorrow also, the warmth in the weather is expected to stay with the weathermen expecting the minimum temperature to remain steady at today’s level. They, however, have forecast a brief spell of rain or thundershowers in the next 24 hours.

The maximum temperature is also expected to rise in the coming days with the BBC forecasting as high as 29 degree Celsius on January 20 while the night temperatures would remain steady at 12 degree Celsius.

The warmth in the air could be attributed to the decrease in the influence of the North Westerly winds which had contributed to the chill in the air during the first week of January, with the mercury touching a 70 year low of 0.2 degree Celsius on January 8.

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Change lifestyle to save liver!
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 16
Liver diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, cancer and those related to obesity have been identified as the risk factor for large-scale morbidity and mortality. Today there are over 300 million patients with Hepatitis B related liver diseases in the world. Liver cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in the world and a million people die every year due to liver cancer.

Dr K K Aggarwal, president, Delhi Medical Association and Heart Care Foundation of India, said at a live public discussion here today that people with faulty lifestyle associated with obesity, abnormal lipid levels and diabetes

have more chances of developing liver disease. Over a period of time, the liver undergoes changes from fat deposition to liver failure.

People were advised to have regular check-up for presence of metabolic disorder, and if present, they should change their lifestyle to reduce weight and control blood sugar and high lipids.

Dr Aggarwal who is also Editor, IJPC Group of Publications, pointed out that apart from liver, incidence of the diseases of stomach and intestine has also been on the increase. The gastrointestinal disorders include gallstones, diarrhoea, stomach ulcer, tuberculosis,

inflammatory bowel disorders, jaundice, cancer, cirrhosis (shrinking of liver) and gastrointestinal manifestation of AIDS.

Persistent acidity, heartburn and peptic ulcers can also cause cancer. Patients with a long history of these afflictions should go in for a thorough medical examination and not ignore the malady.

But all heartburns are not due to acidity; it can also be a symptom of angina or heat attack. People are advised to go in for an ECG (electrocardiogram).

Dr Aggarwal does not favour self-medication, which is on the increase.

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Conference on geographic information technology
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 16
More than 1,200 academicians, information technology and management experts and scientists from India and abroad will attend this year’s ‘Map India’, the annual conference on geographic information technology, which begins in the Capital from January 30.

Latest uses of Geographical Information Services (GIS) and Geographical Positioning Systems (GPS) in the field of disaster management, defence, industrial planning, urban development, telecom, power, road transportation, mining, sales networking and tourism promotion will be discussed at the three-day conference, being jointly organised by the Survey of India and Centre for Spatial Database Management and Solutions (CSDMS).

According to Dr M P Narayanan, president, CSDMS, the theme of Map India 2006 is ‘Finding mainstream, High resolution imaging’ as India is passing through a phase of unprecedented economic boom not only in its traditional economic backbone of agriculture but also in many allied and tertiary sectors.

The new technologies are also being used for mapping areas for putting up hazardous industries and wastes, for locating mining areas, monitoring epidemic areas and vector-borne diseases like malaria, it was mentioned.

A major highlight of the conference would be an exhibition on mapping technologies.

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Meet on Kashmir after quake
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 16
In the wake of the massive destruction caused by the Kashmir earthquake on both sides of the Line of Control, the Jamia Millia Islamia University organized an extremely pertinent conference on: Kashmir After the Quake: Prospects for Peace and Reconstruction.

Two special guests attending this conference were the former Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Sardar Aseff Ali and current parliamentary leader from the Northern Legislative Council PLM(Q), Fida M. Nashad. The Human Resource Minister, Mr Arjun Singh, inaugurated the conference on Monday stressing that, “the conference may appear to be innocuous but it has great potential.”

The minister added that although India and Pakistan were born out of conflict, the people of these countries are not necessarily condemned to be enemies. He felt that Jamia should draw up an exchange programme for the students from Pakistan to come to India for higher education and other academic activities.

The first session of the conference focused on relief and rehabilitation measures undertaken by the two governments, India and Pakistan as well as by multilateral agencies and private bodies. This session was chaired by Prof. Saifuddin Soz, Member of Parliament. The majority of the speakers felt that the response to the October 8 earthquake was delayed and confused to begin with but picked up later.

However, they underlined the fact that on the whole there has been no dearth of relief materials. The second session focused on, ‘humanitarian cooperation for quake relief’ and ‘universities twining for academic/cultural reconstruction programmes’.

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Oman’s envoy meets Sheila
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 16
Mr Mohd. Bin Yousuf Bin Dawood Shalwani, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman today called on Delhi Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit in her office.
He has recently taken up his new assignment which will have a term of five years.

Mr Shalwani mentioned historical ties between India and Oman and expressed gratitude for India’s assistance in various economic projects in his country.

Ms Dikshit during her interaction with the Oman Ambassador mentioned about huge infrastructure being commissioned in Delhi keeping in view the Commonwealth Games 2010. She also gave an account of developm ental activities in Delhi which is a Union Territory as well as National Capital of the country.

She stated that her government is now concentrating on gas-based power generation in a big way.

Mr Shalwani said that it is matter of great satisfaction that pollution has been fully contained in Delhi because of world’s largest CNG public ransport fleet. He added that Delhi has changed a lot and would become a city of international standard very soon.

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‘Trifurcation won’t curb corruption in MCD’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 16
Sensing that the Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, was still trying to divide the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the People’s Action, an NGO said that trifurcation of civic body was not a remedy to curb corruption and inefficiency.

The group said in case the MCD was divided into smaller parts, administrative divisions should be created along the districts or zones or even constituencies which would allow for better control and greater accountability. The NGO doubted whether corruption would be curbed after dividing the corporation. Instead of dividing it, the Chief Minister should make efforts for strict administration to check the corrupt officials and make employees more efficient.

The NGO said that corruption in the civic body is a result of upbringing of lower-level politicians and political players. 

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‘Make list of all illegal constructions on website’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 16
The DPCC president, Mr Ram Babu Sharma, said that list of all unauthorised constructions after 1954 should be put up on the website of the civic body.
It will not be justifiable to make public the list of only 18,271 illegal buildings, he pointed out.

Mr Sharma also demanded that a Central technical committee be formed by tomorrow evening to review the building norms in Delhi and that a Congress Legislature Party meeting be called to discuss the issue of unauthorised constructions in the city.

Ms Dikshit had got the Centre’s backing on Saturday on her demand that the list of 18,000 illegal structures be made public, with Union Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy supporting the idea. However, the Chief Minister’s demand has been opposed by her own party’s councillors led by Mayor Satbir Singh, who say it would only create chaos.

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Hotel owner booked for power theft
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 16
The local police have booked a case under the Electricity Act against the owner of a hotel in the NIT area here in connection with power theft.
The power theft had been detected a few days ago by a team of the Vigilance Bureau officials of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vidyut Nigam.

The authorities had slapped a penalty of about Rs 1.11 crore on the accused and had given them 72 hours to deposit the required amount of penalty charges in order to avoid a criminal case being filed and get the power supply resumed.

But it is stated that since the accused did not turn up to pay the minimum charges of the penalty, the case was got booked against him. 

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Traders seek ordinance on shops in residential areas
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 16
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in a meeting here on Sunday demanded the Delhi Government to pass an ordinance to regularise business establishments in residential areas.

They gave reference of the Maharashtra Government which had approved unauthorised constructions in Ulhas Nagar. The demolition and sealing of shops in illegally constructed buildings have affected business in Delhi.

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DUSU donates for quake victims
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 16
Delhi University Students’ Union today presented a draft of Rs 31,000 collected by them for the victims of the J&K earthquake to Ms Sonia Gandhi here today.
Delhi University Students’ Union has donated Rs 11,000 from its own funds. Accepting the money, Ms Gandhi appreciated the concern and responsibility shown by the students to help the quake victims.

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