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CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

$ 200 m WB loan for agro development
New Delhi, April 19
The World Bank today approved two credit loans for a total of $ 200 million for the National Agricultural Innovation Project in India, which would enable this significant sector to grow at 4 per cent per annum and usher in the second green revolution.

PM may set up panel to monitor rehabilitation
New Delhi, April 19
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to set up a three-member committee to oversee and monitor the rehabilitation work being undertaken by the Madhya Pradesh Government for those who have lost their homes and land because of the construction on the Narmada dam.

Court of inquiry against BSF Commander
Killing of Chakma in Mizoram
New Delhi, April 19
Taking serious note of the incident in which a Chakma was killed and four were injured in a firing by BSF jawans at Bhulanchuri village in Lunglei district of Mizoram on April 15, the BSF has instituted a staff court of inquiry against the accused, including the Company Commander U. S. Mehta.


EARLIER STORIES

 


Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar and other activists demonstrate in front of the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister’s residence demanding land and compensation for dam oustees in the Narmada Valley, in Bhopal on Wednesday.
Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar and other activists demonstrate in front of the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister’s residence demanding land and compensation for dam oustees in the Narmada Valley, in Bhopal on Wednesday. — PTI

“My Lord” colonial, Bar favours “Your Honour”
New Delhi, April 19
After the Supreme Court had rejected a petition to stop the practice of addressing judges as "My Lord" and "Your Lordship" during the court proceedings, the Bar Council of India, the apex governing body for lawyers in the country, has amended the rule to do away with the colonial legacy and provided that advocates should use the expression "Your Honour, Hon'ble Court or Sir".

Exclusive weather portal launched
New Delhi, April 19
Henceforth you do not have to depend upon newspapers or TV channels to know what the day's weather is going to be like. Just log on www.indiaweatherwatch.org to find out the latest customised weather information for 200 locations and five-day weather forecasts for different cities in the country.

Nathu La dry run tomorrow
Gangtok, April 19
A dry run to monitor the level of preparedness and plug loopholes , if any, before the reopening of the historic Nathu La trade route between India and China will take place on April 21.

UGC to train women for managerial posts
New Delhi, April 19
An abysmally low number of women, who have made it to the coveted post of Vice-Chancellor, show that women academicians in the universities’ managerial positions remain under-represented.

Sachar panel report in June
New Delhi, April 19
The Rajinder Sachar Committee, set up to go into the social and economic status of the Muslim community, will submit its report to the government by the first week of June this year. There have been no initial findings given to the government.

“Cong being blamed for violence”
Bangalore, April 19
The Congress today claimed that the ruling Janata Dal (Secular) — BJP Government was trying to hold its workers responsible for the violence which broke out in the city following the death of Kannada film industry super star Rajkumar last week.

Zaheera appears before special court
Mumbai, April 19
Zaheera Sheikh who is serving a one-year term for perjury, appeared before a special court, along with her brother Nasibulla, here today.

Murder accused gunned down
Mumbai, April 19
Firdaus, a north India-based gangster wanted in the killing of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai of Uttar Pradesh was gunned down in an operation conducted jointly by police teams from Mumbai and UP. The police said here today that members of the Special Task Force (STF) of Uttar Pradesh police and local detectives pursued several leads to track down Firdaus in the suburb of Malad this morning. The police said Firdaus was asked to surrender, but he did not do so and fired at the police. He was killed in retaliatory fire. TNS

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$ 200 m WB loan for agro development
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
The World Bank today approved two credit loans for a total of $ 200 million for the National Agricultural Innovation Project in India, which would enable this significant sector to grow at 4 per cent per annum and usher in the second green revolution.

It is designed to assist the Indian Government so as to transform the agriculture sector from being primarily focused on food self-sufficiency to a more market-oriented approach in support of poverty alleviation and income generation, the World Bank said.

In the last 10 years the Indian agriculture sector has undergone considerable changes. National food self-sufficiency has been achieved and the market demand for products such as fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, fish, milk, sugar and edible oils has increased and is encouraging diversification of production.

While the agricultural development has long been supply oriented, in future it will be more market driven.

At the same time, analyses show that with the limited scope for area expansion, enhanced productivity, profitability, and competitiveness will be the main sources of future agricultural growth. The challenge before the Indian agriculture is now to increase profitability, competitiveness and income earning capacity in a market-driven system.

“Over 200 million poor people in rural India depend upon agriculture for their livelihoods,” Mr Michael Carter, World Bank’s Country Director for India said in a statement.

“In order to generate additional income and employment for these rural poor, market-driven agricultural development is critical. It will help increase producer’s incomes, employment opportunities and wages, and ultimately reduce poverty.”

The project will support the development and implementation of agricultural innovations through collaboration among farmers, private sector, civil society, and public sector organisations. The project responds to the goals addressed in India’s National Policy on Agriculture (NPA) and the Tenth Five-Year Plan, which places high priority on raising agricultural productivity as a means to achieve agricultural growth and reduce rural poverty.

The project is designed around the following four components: ICAR as the catalysing agent for management of change in the Indian National Agricultural Research System (NARS): ICAR has to provide leadership and empower the NARS and the expanding group of other research providers to adapt to emerging challenges.

Research on production to consumption systems: The specific objective of this component is to establish market-oriented collaborative research alliances for sustainable improvement of selected agricultural production to consumption systems, in recognition of the growing importance of the market.

Research on sustainable rural livelihood security: The core objective of this component is the sustained improvement in the incomes and well-being of farm families which have been left behind in development, in recognition of the persisting poverty in parts of the country and in recognition of natural resource management problems.

Basic and strategic research in the frontier areas of agricultural science: The objective is to strengthen the competence of the Indian NARS in the forefront of science, in recognition of the need to develop capacity for solving the problems of tomorrow and the need to be a global leader in the field of agricultural research.

The credits from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary arm, have 40 years to maturity with a 10-year grace period. One of the credits (for $140 million) carries a 3 per cent annual interest rate; the other (for $60 million) carries a service charge of 0.75 per cent per annum.

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PM may set up panel to monitor rehabilitation
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to set up a three-member committee to oversee and monitor the rehabilitation work being undertaken by the Madhya Pradesh Government for those who have lost their homes and land because of the construction on the Narmada dam.

An announcement on the constitution of a panel, comprising eminent citizens, may be made before the Prime Minister leaves for Germany on Saturday, it is learnt.

This committee may susbequently be converted into a permanent rehabilitation commission, which will be mandated to look into the requirements of all those displaced because of development projects or natural calamities. The National Advisory committee, which was earlier headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, has written to the UPA Government suggesting that such a permanent mechanism be put in place.

The decision to set up the panel for the Narmada oustees comes in the wake of the assurance given by the Centre to the Supreme Court earlier this week that it will establish a mechanism to review the rehabilitation work being done by the Madhya Pradesh Government.

The Centre had informed the apex court that the Madhya Pradesh government was responsible for the rehabilitation of thousands of affected families in 177 villages but sought three months time till August,when the monsoon is expected to submerge the areas, for the completion of the rehabilitation work. A three-member ministeral panel, set up by the government, has stated that the the rehabilitation work has been tardy but its report has been refuted by the Madhya Pradesh government which maintains that it has rehbalitated all the oustees.

While hearing the case on the Narmada issue, the Supreme Court had refused to suspend work on the construction on the dam but it also made it clear that there should be no “compromise on rehabilitation” of the oustees.The government has to inform the court about its decision on May 1.

Although the UPA Government has come in for a lot of flak for its mismanagement of this issue, there is some relief that this issue has been resolved well before next month’s Parliament session. UPA sources said the opposition would have been quick to put the government in the dock had this controversy dragged on.

As it is, the UPA government, particularly the Congress and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh found themselves cornered when this controversy snowballed following Medha Patkar’s indefinite hunger strike. Given its avowed commitment to the interests of the “aam admi”, the government was hard put to ignore the fact that the oustees, largely poor tribals, were yet to be rehabilitated. On the other hand, it was under intense pressure from the Gujarat Congress unit and the BJP, who both joined hands, to insist that construction on the dam should not be suspended. Once Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi rased the pitch and used this emotive issue to project the UPA Government as “anti-development and anti-Gujarat”, the Centre’s choices were limited.

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Court of inquiry against BSF Commander
Killing of Chakma in Mizoram
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
Taking serious note of the incident in which a Chakma was killed and four were injured in a firing by BSF jawans at Bhulanchuri village in Lunglei district of Mizoram on April 15, the BSF has instituted a staff court of inquiry against the accused, including the Company Commander U. S. Mehta.

“The Company Commander and about eight-10 jawans have been placed under suspension and a staff court of inquiry has been ordered, the report of which will be received in a month’s time,” Mr Shivaji Singh, IGP (Operations) at the BSF Headquarters here, told The Tribune today.

“We are ceased of the matter. As per the preliminary reports, the Company Commander and others appear to have crossed limits... Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken after the inquiry is completed,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today approached the NHRC and sought its intervention against the “arbitrary killing” by the BSF personnel.

The ACHR urged the NHRC to direct the Ministry of Home Affairs and the state government to order a judicial probe into the incident, provide free treatment to the injured and give a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 1 lakh each to the injured and take stern action against the culprits.

In a memorandum to the commission, the ACHR claimed that on the evening of April 15, a Chakma Buddhist monk was going to deliver “mangala sutra”, a religious sermon of the Buddhists. Company Commander Mehta and his driver were travelling in a jeep and intercepted the monk. They reportedly manhandled him and asked questions like whether he was a Bangladeshi citizen and whether he ate beef. They also tried to tear his robes, the ACHR claimed and added that as the monk shouted for help, many Chakmas came to his rescue and gheraoed the jeep. They prevented the BSF personnel from leaving until the village president arrived.

However, a group of BSF personnel from Khojoichuri camp came there and began firing.

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“My Lord” colonial, Bar favours “Your Honour”
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, April 19
After the Supreme Court had rejected a petition to stop the practice of addressing judges as "My Lord" and "Your Lordship" during the court proceedings, the Bar Council of India (BCI), the apex governing body for lawyers in the country, has amended the rule to do away with the colonial legacy and provided that advocates should use the expression "Your Honour, Hon'ble Court or Sir".

The resolution to this effect passed by the BCI recently said the words "My Lord" and "Your Lordship" were relics of the colonial past and it was proposed to incorporate in the rule that advocates should use "Your Honour or Hon'ble Court" in the Supreme Court and High Courts and "Sir" or any equivalent word in regional languages in the subordinate courts and tribunals.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Y.K. Sabharwal welcomed the BCI move saying that the judges should have no objection to it. "We are happy... we look forward to its implementation," Justice Sabharwal said, when asked by the media for his comments on the issue at a function here.

He said the old lawyers might face some problem to shift to the proposed address system suggested by the BCI but it should not be of any difficulty for the new and upcoming advocates.

However, Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj refused to comment on the issue, saying "I don't want to comment on a matter."

The amended Rule under Section 49(1(j) of the BCI Act to facilitate the change in addressing the Judges, had been sent to Union Government for publication in the Official Gazette, the resolution said.

The amended rule "shall come into the force from the date of publication in the Official Gazette," the BCI said.

The BCI further clarified that the resolution had been forwarded to the Registrar-General of the Supreme Court, Registrars of all the High Courts, the Supreme Court Bar Association and state bar councils for circulation to all the bar associations under their respective jurisdictions.

The change was in "consistent with the obligation of the bar to show a respectful attitude towards the court and bearing in mind the dignity of Judicial Office… the (new) form of address to be adopted whether in the Supreme Court, High Courts or subordinate courts," the resolution said.

The apex court had rejected a public interest litigation (PIL) in February on the issue holding that it was a matter to be decided by the BCI as how the Judges should be addressed and had advised the Progressive and Vigilant Lawyers Forum, a body of young advocates in apex court had filed the petition to take up the matter with the council.

After the forum approached the BCI, it passed the resolution in a meeting held on April 8 after an extensive debate.

Earlier in 1993, the BCI had adopted a draft rule on the issue and sent to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) for approval. But in a full court meeting of the apex court at that time it was decided that the approval of the CJI for amending the rule in the matter was not required.

At the same time the full court was of the view that it was for the BCI to decide which mode of address it should adopt in addressing the Judges in court, reflecting a respectful attitude towards judiciary with the dignity it deserved as an institution.

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Exclusive weather portal launched
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
Henceforth you do not have to depend upon newspapers or TV channels to know what the day's weather is going to be like. Just log on www.indiaweatherwatch.org to find out the latest customised weather information for 200 locations and five-day weather forecasts for different cities in the country.

The user-friendly interactive portal, which was launched by Union Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibal today, has been developed as a result of the public-private partnership between the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), the Indian Institute for Tropical Meteorology and the FICCI.

The five-day forecasts will initially include 20 cities, Delhi, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Dehra Dun, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Goa, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Trivandrum, Srinagar, Pune and Patna.

A portal for farmers of the country also, as the website will provide application-oriented and visually appealing agro-advisories for different agro-climatic zones and specific guidance on farm operations, keeping in view impending weather for the week.

The website will also give the exact timing on the sighting of the moon for festivals and the astronomy information like sunrise and sunset and moonrise and moonset. The exact timing of "Id-ul-Fitr" and "Karva Chauth" moon will also now be a click of the mouse away.

Also next time you want to find out the meaning of technical jargon like "scattered rainfall", "El Nino, "La Nina" or "precipitation", experts at the interactive website will give you the answer. Weather jargons are broken down into simple words for the layman in a 1000-word glossary on the website, which is a prelude to the IMD's 24-hour 'Mausam' weather channel before 2010 Commonwealth Games, said Mr Sibal.

The portal, to be administered by the FICCI, gives temperature, humidity, rainfall details as well as weather news. Weather alerts will appear beforehand if there is a storm or cyclone.

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Nathu La dry run tomorrow

Gangtok, April 19
A dry run to monitor the level of preparedness and plug loopholes , if any, before the reopening of the historic Nathu La trade route between India and China will take place on April 21.

A decision in this regard was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by the Union Commerce Ministry's Additional Secretary, Mr C. Fernandes, at New Delhi on April 13 last.

The Sikkim Commerce and Industries' Principal Secretary, Mr Karma Gyasto, who attended the meeting, said a team of officials from Commerce, Home Affairs, Customs and Central Excise departments from Delhi, is arriving here on April 20 to oversee the exercise and suggest corrective measures, if any.

The main objective of the dry run is to monitor the level of preparedness and the functioning of various departments of state and central government and to initiate steps to overcome the loopholes before the trade route reopens.

Mr Gyasto said the meeting also discussed and almost agreed upon the list of items to be traded.

He, however, denied to specify any date for the opening of the route saying it would be decided by the Centre.

Mr Gyasto said the Sikkim Government was fully prepared for the reopening of the trade route and had developed necessary infrastructure for the purpose.

All the state and Central government organisations had been allotted space to run their offices at the trade mart at Sherathang and the officials were also taught the kind of service they would have to deliver. He said the state government had already received a list of officials from the Centre to be posted at Nathu La to conduct the trade.

As per the list, as many as 41 ITBP personnel and 38 from various other departments would join their work at Nathu La to ensure the smooth conduct of the trade.

Before the reopening of the trade route, an orientation programme would be launched sometime in May to sensitise the interested people about the nitty gritty of the trade.

Experts from various Central Government departments as well as from private organisations would be roped in to impart training and educate the people about the finer aspects of the border trade, he said. — UNI

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UGC to train women for managerial posts
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
An abysmally low number of women, who have made it to the coveted post of Vice-Chancellor, show that women academicians in the universities’ managerial positions remain under-represented.

Concerned by the conspicuous absence of women at the top, the University Grants Commission (UGC) is contemplating a continuous exercise in capacity building for women managers in affiliated Universities and institutions across the country.

The commission has decided to support and sponsor a scheme on ‘Capacity building of women managers in higher education’.

The scheme, which was initially proposed by Prof Armaity Desai and later taken up as a workshop by the then Director of NAAC, Prof Rajasekharan Pillai, is being aimed at elevating women to positions of power in universities and colleges.

Referring to the urgent need for implementing the programme a source said, “There are hundreds of universities in the country of which not even a dozen can boast of women Vice-Chancellors. For women to become even Deans and Registrars is no less than breaking through a glass ceiling”.

To meet this challenge, the commission has proposed to train women to participate in policy and decision making to ensure a better balance.

The programme will be open to women academicians, willing and able to take up managerial posts. “The attitude of male colleagues towards a woman at a senior position is not very co-operative. When I became the in charge of the commerce department in the eighties some colleagues chose to address me as Mrs Rathore instead of Dr Rathore...this just goes to show that men are still not able to accept women in positions,” said Dr Shirin Rathore, Dean, Students’ Welfare, University of Delhi.

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Sachar panel report in June
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
The Rajinder Sachar Committee, set up to go into the social and economic status of the Muslim community, will submit its report to the government by the first week of June this year. There have been no initial findings given to the government.

The former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court said in a statement that a few media reports that the committee had come to some certain initial findings were without any basis.

“The committee has not come to any initial findings, nor is it giving any interim report. The committee, at present, is analysing and collating all information that it has received and will be receiving from public at large, NGOs or other governmental sources. It is to submit its report by the first week of June, 2006,” Justice Sachhar said in his statement.

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“Cong being blamed for violence”
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, April 19
The Congress today claimed that the ruling Janata Dal (Secular) — BJP Government was trying to hold its workers responsible for the violence which broke out in the city following the death of Kannada film industry super star Rajkumar last week.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress president Mallikarjuna Kharge here, said Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy had revealed his biased mind immediately after the incidents of violence. “The Chief Minister claimed he knew who was behind the acts of violence without even waiting for the result of any probe into the incidents”, Mr Kharge said. This, he said, indicated that the JD(S) — BJP Government wanted to blame the Congress for the acts of violence and escape responsibility for failing to control the situation effectively.

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Zaheera appears before special court
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, April 19
Zaheera Sheikh who is serving a one-year term for perjury, appeared before a special court, along with her brother Nasibulla, here today.

Both of them, along with mother Sahrunissa and sister Shahira, had been issued notices to appear before the courts on perjury charges.

Though Sahrunissa and Shahira did not appear before the court, they were represented by their counsel.

However, Judge Abhay Thipsay, who heard the case, deferred the matter till April 21.

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