Teachers on exam duty flouting rules
Bathinda, March 30
Sources said during the middle standard exams there were only two holidays for the students and the staff appointed on the exam duty also ‘enjoyed’ these undeclared holidays. They said according to the rules the staff on the exam duty was required to attend their schools when they were not performing exam duty on specific days. These ‘off duty’ days included dates when there were no exams in those centres and days when some specific teachers were given ‘rest’ on the exams days in subjects they taught.
The sources said when it was found that the teachers had been flouting the rules with impunity and were enjoying virtual holidays for nearly two months (February to March), the DPI-S shot off a letter to all district education officers (DEOs) in the state specifically directing that all teachers who were ‘off-duty’ from the examination centres should report to their schools for duty.
The DPI-S also directed that the superintendents of the examination centres would mention the specific days and dates on the reliving slips issued to the examination staff after the exams were over and the same would not be issued in a sweeping manner as was being done now.
The sources in the district education office said the letter from the DPI-S had been received and the copies of the same had been sent to all schools of the district for compliance. They admitted that despite the written orders from the DPI-S not many teachers had been reporting to their schools while ‘off from the exam duty’.
The sources said the letter issued by the DPI-S had its effect only on those teachers who did not want any unnecessary trouble with their school authorities and were reporting to their respective principals on ‘off-duty’ days.
However, a large section of teachers in connivance with the superintendents of the examination centres are not reporting to their schools.
The sources said a section of superintendents had promised to the teachers that despite the orders of the DPI-S the reliving slips issued to them would mention only the starting and ending dates of the exams and no specific date sheet would be mentioned on the reliving slips.
The modus operandi adopted by some other superintendents is to give relieving slips to all teachers on exam duty mentioning all exams dates.
The sources also pointed out that in some subjects only a few students appeared at some centres and not all the staff was on exam duty at that centre. As this was known only to the centre superintendent or the controller of exams, the school authorities could not know if their teacher had actually performed the exam duty or not.
They said if the relieving slips of the exam staff was got signed by the centre superintendent and the controller of exams no loophole would remained in the process and all staff would have to perform their duty honestly.
Alternatively, the copy of the attendance chart of the exam staff, which is send to the Punjab School Education Board at Mohali, could be attached to the reliving slip of the teachers, the sources said.
Several school principals contacted by The Tribune admitted that they had received the orders of the DPI-S and also that not all of their staff members had been reporting on duty on ‘off exam duty’ days.
DEO-S Surinder Kaur Kataria said she had given strict instructions to the superintendents of examination centres that they should give the date wise details of the teachers who were on exam duty.
She said so far she had not found any such case where any superintendent had given a relieving slip to any teacher by mentioning all dates of exams of any class. She said if any centre superintendent was found flouting the instructions, action would be taken against him or her.
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, March 30
Besides, the “shady” allotment of four petrol pump sites to the “favourites” of former local bodies minister Jagjit Singh by the Improvement Trust authorities had also raked up a controversy.
The Vigilance Bureau sleuths, sources revealed, started collecting files and other records of the Improvement Trust on Tuesday.
These records had further been rushed directly to the office of the Chief Minister as Badal was said to be keen to learn about the alleged bungling in the Trust and its ramifications, particularly as the then Trust chief Tejinder Bittu was said to be “too close” to Jagjit Singh and Capt Amarinder Singh, who had been booked by the government along with Capt Amarinder Singh.
“The records of the Improvement Trust have been summoned following the direct instructions of the Chief Minister in this regard. The matter was being examined minutely,” said a Chandigarh-based senior government functionary, who is also close to the Chief Minister.
The action was being taken by the Chief Minister’s office following a story about the controversial allotment of land to a Trust was broken by The Tribune in its columns on Monday.
Interestingly, On December 15, 2006, SAD working president Sukhbir Badal had asserted during the run up to the Assembly elections that he had come across ”big scandals” in the Improvement Trust and had promised that he would “lay everything threadbare within three days”. But those three days “got prolonged later on”. Holding Bittu responsible for a number of ‘scandals’. Sukhbir had also alleged that Bittu had also indulged in “wrongdoings” in setting up of colonies. Sukhbir had alleged that Bittu had allotted five petrol pump sites in the Trust colonies and that one of the beneficiaries of these allotments was a daughter of a DGP.
On the other hand, local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia had already made it clear on Monday that his department was reviewing all deals and allotments made by the Improvement Trust during the Congress regime and all of such deals would be examined thoroughly.
Earlier, during his visit to Jalandhar on Tuesday the Chief Minister was apprised by his party colleagues about an “array of scandals”, which allegedly took place at the Improvement Trust during the Congress regime. Badal had assured them that pressure and lobbying would not work and stern action would be taken against those found guilty in the case.
About 3.5 acres was given on a 99-year lease to the Dashmesh Educational Trust by the Improvement Trust for a meager monthly lease of Rs 1,14,783. The “favour” for the allotment of land was allegedly “accorded by Bittu to seek a congress ticket”. Shiv Dyal Chugh, president of the BJP’s Jalandhar unit, said his party would do everything to get the matter examined at different levels.
Apart from the leasing out the land and allotment of petrol pump sites, the Chief Minister’s office and the investigation agencies were also zeroing in on certain other allotments, particularly of some flats under various Improvement Trust schemes through “back door methods”.
The sources said some plots of ‘defaulters’ (genuine allottees who failed to pay their instalments on time) were routed directly to certain ‘favourites’ without following the path and procedure of auction. Some Jalandhar-based journalists also allegedly figured in the list of beneficiaries of the ‘benevolence’ of the trust, sources in the trust pointed out.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that a group of influential persons from Jalandhar had initiated a fire-fighting exercise.
False cases against Akalis may go
Chandigarh, March 30
This was stated today by acting president of the Shiromani Akali Dal Sukhbir Singh Badal, whose elevation to the rank of acting president was endorsed by the working committee, district presidents and the general council of the party. All senior leaders of the SAD were present.
“ All cases registered against Akali leaders will be re-investigated in various districts”, he said responding to a question in this regard. “ Obviously, if found false, the cases will be dropped”, he added. Certain former Akali ministers and other leaders were booked in various criminal cases, mainly those related to corruption, by the Amarinder government.
Making another important statement, he said the Rajiv- Longowal accord was no more relevant. The accord was rejected by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal when it was signed. He said the SAD was supreme and its goal, which was decided today, was to stay in power continuously for the next 25 years. “ We will expand the base of the party in the state”, he said, adding all communities would be given adequate representation in the party.
Asked how his party’s government would fulfil the promise of giving employment to 20 lakh youth, Sukhbir Badal said that it was the job of the government to do so.
Asked wherefrom the money would come to give jobs when already the state government had made a commitment to give free power worth Rs 2,200 crore to farmers, the SCs and the poor among the backward classes besides promising atta and dal at low prices by spending Rs 800 core, Sukhbir Badal said the SAD-BJP government would undertake economic planning. However, he had no clear answer with regard to details of the economic planning. “ The government is being run independently of the party and it will come out with such planning”, he said.
However, he later said that if steel baron L.N. Mittal could revive and run sick mills, the SAD-BJP government would revive and run an economically sick state. When told that finance minister Manpreet Singh had indicated the taking of hard decisions to put Punjab on a higher growth trajectory, Sukhbir Badal said his duty was to get all promises of the party fulfilled.
The union government was discriminating against Punjab by banning private companies from entering the state’s markets to purchase wheat. “ We will not allow the centre to do so”, he said. Asked what course would be adopted by his party if the ban continued on private companies, he said a decision in this regard would be taken by the political affairs committee of the party. Whereas debt-ridden farmers of other states had been given relief, Punjab’s farmers had been ignored by the union government, he said. He criticised the Congress and the Gandhi family (Sonia Gandhi) for setting up a separate gurdwara parbandhak committee in Haryana.“By doing so, the Congress is trying to divide Sikhs in the country”, he said.
SGPC passes Rs 330-cr budget
Amritsar, March 30
Agitated over the resolution opposing the move to carve out a separate gurdwara committee for Haryana, the six members of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (HSGPC), led by Jagdish Singh Jhunda, raised a ‘banner of revolt’ and staged a boycott of the budget session.
Amid commotion that followed the boycott, the HSGPC (ad hoc) members announced that they would give a ‘befitting reply’ to any morcha (agitation), proposed to be launched by the SGPC after the end of 15-day ultimatum served by the Sikh conclave from Kurukshetra against the formation of the separate gurdwara committee in Haryana.
General secretary of HSGPC Didar Singh Nalvi, an architect of the separate gurdwara committee, told The Tribune that Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was committed to forming a separate gurdwara committee as promised in the election manifesto of the Congress. He disclosed that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had given a patient hearing to a deputation of the HSGPC regarding the demand for a separate gurdwara committee. Nalvi said it was the constitutional right of the Haryana Sikhs to demand a separate gurdwara committee. The HSGPC chief alleged that the SGPC had failed to come up to the expectations of the Sikhs living in Haryana. He described the annual budget of the SGPC as a ‘bundle of lies’ in which ‘wrong facts’ on the project, initiated by it were given.
Interestingly, in his budget speech, general secretary, SGPC, Sukhdev Singh Bhaur said the demands like carving out a separate gurdwara committee were never raised when Gurcharan Singh Tohra was SGPC chief.
The SGPC members in the opposition, including Manjit Singh Calcutta, Karnail Singh Panjoli, Onkar Singh Sharifpura, Harcharn Singh Burjhari and G.S. Shampura, also walked out raising objections to the Budget. Calcutta alleged that the SGPC was not serious about the information of Guru Granth Sahib university since adequate funds were not being earmarked.
Another SGPC member Shampura alleged that the SGPC chief had been ‘misguiding’ the general house by stating that he had launched a drive against ‘corruption’ while the fact remained that he had not taken any action against the woman principal of a SGPC-run school, near Batala, despite the fact that she was indicted by the secretary of the SGPC for ‘‘embezzling’ school funds.
Veteran Akali leader and former SGPC chief Jagdev Singh Talwandi, in an emotional speech asked the SGPC members to rise above party lines for launching ‘dharm parchar’. Talwandi said he himself had been a member of the SGPC for more than four decades and had learnt from his experience that most of the members would join the SGPC with a view to entering active politics. The Sikh clery and SGPC presidents in the past had failed to give a proper direction to the Panth resulting in ‘anti-religion’ activities.
66 law officers appointed
Chandigarh, March 30
The number is in sharp contrast to the large number of law officers that were appointed during the previous Congress government, which had once appointed 127 such officers. Neighbouring Haryana, which has less than 50 per cent cases, has 119 law officers.
Another important change that is visible in the new list is that no lawyer with less than five years of practice finds a place. Under the previous regime, many lawyers, most of them kin of the high and mighty and fresh out of law colleges, had managed to become law officers.
It is learnt that about 20 more law officers, most of them recommended by the BJP leadership, will be appointed in the first week of April.
Those appointed today will be asked to join duty on Sunday as the term of the current team expires on March 31. Sources said the Badal government had decided not to oust the law officers appointed by the previous regime as it would have resulted in an unnecessary burden on the state exchequer as each advocate would have received one month’s salary in lieu of the notice period.
Those appointed today include Sukhdeep Singh Bhinder, H.S. Sidhu, P.S. Thiara, Gurveen Singh, R.S. Riar, A.S. Virk, Suvir Sehgal, Lekh Raj Sharma, Gurminder Singh, Reeta Kohli, Rupinder Khosla, N.S. Pawar, Amol Rattan Singh, Manohar Lal, Amarjit Singh Jatana, Nishinder Deep Singh Maan, A.S. Grewal and Nawab Singh Virk (all additional advocates-general).
Those appointed senior deputy advocates-general are M.C. Berry, A.G. Masih, Satish Bhanot, U.S. Dhaliwal, Jagbir Singh Brar, I.P.S. Sidhu, Ravinder Kaur Nihalsinghwala and J.S. Puri, while the deputy advocates-general are Inderjit Singh Ghuman, Vishal Munjal, Rajesh Bhardwaj, Rajni, Manjri Nehru, Madhu Dyal, Dinesh Kumar Mittal, K.D. Sachdeva, H.S. Gill, Karminder Singh Sodhi, Tajinder Singh Salana, Gazi Mohammad Umair, Sonu Chahal, Chamkaur Singh Brar, Daljit Singh Brar, Baljinder Singh Sra, Mohinder Paul Goswami, Kamaldeep Singh Sidhu, Narinder Singh Gill, Harpreet Singh Brar and Sohan Singh Bhullar.
The new assistant advocates-general are P.S. Bajwa, K.S. Pannu, Bhupinder Singh, Sandeep Godara, Sukhvir Singh Sahu, Bal Bahadur Singh Teji, Ruby Singh, Sudipti Sharma, Monica Chhibber Sharma, B.S. Chahal, Amandeep Singh, Balwinder Singh Dhillon, Jaspreet Singh Sandhu, Gaurav Garg Dhuriwala and Parmeet Grewal.
Incidentally, the post of senior additional advocate-general has been done away with. At present, there are three senior additional advocates-general.
Talking to The Tribune, advocate-general Mattewal said the government had decided to keep the list within manageable limits — the sanctioned strength of law officers is 89.
PPCC chief after UP poll, says Oscar
Ludhiana, March 30
Talking to reporters here today during the convocation of the Christian Medical College and Hospital, Fernandes sought to avoid comments about the functioning of the party and the electoral outcome in the state. He said since he was not involved with the state politics in any way, he had not much information. Hence he was not in a position to comment.
However, he observed although the Congress government performed exceptionally well during the past five years in the state, the people seemed to expect more.
Fernandes said a bill was also being proposed to be brought in Parliament to safeguard the rights of the unorganised labour, which constitutes 90 per cent of the total labour force in the country.
Councillors’ tussle to affect development
Moga, March 30
Both the Akalis and Congress councillors are at loggerheads and are struggling to claim supremacy in the civic body. Sources in the MC stated that some of the important development projects that were to be passed by the MC had now taken a back seat. Though the Congress councillors hold the majority, with the power changing hands at the state level the Akali councillors had started exerting pressure to claim supremacy in the civic body.
The sources informed that several projects, including the re-carpeting of the roads, streetlighting and the renovation of some government buildings, were in the pipeline. However, after the controversy over the locking up of Joginder Pal Jain and his wife Swarn Lata Jain, who is the president of the MC, inside the MC building allegedly by some Akali councillors, all these projects had been put aside for the time being.
Meanwhile, the police has initiated an inquiry to verify the charges levelled by Joginder Pal Jain against the Akalis. SSP Davinder Singh Garcha told The Tribune that the DSP (Detective) had been asked to conduct the inquiry and submit the report.
However, Jain lamented that it was a pre-planned move of the government to harass Congressmen. He also condemned the statement of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in the state Assembly regarding the whole incident. He said he would be holding a meeting with other Congress legislators of the area and would plan the next course of action soon.
Govt fails to give job to kin of martyr
Pathankot, March 30
The state government in June 2005 had recommended the next of kin of 46 war heroes from Punjab for the grant of employment in class I, II and III of the civil services. The recommendations were made in a high-power committee chaired by the chief secretary on June 14.
Residents of Abroal Nagar, Pathankot, Capt Janmej Singh and his wife have hope of some good news from the government. They have written to the Chief Minister seeking the appointment of their daughter Jyotsna Singh in the state civil services.
Talking to The Tribune, Capt Janmej Singh said the family received a copy of the recommendation from the director, sainik welfare, Punjab, for the appointment of his daughter to the civil services. The recommendation was even approved by the high-powered committee and later interviews were conducted in this regard on June 13, 2005.
Jayotsna did not get a job as nothing had been done in this regard.
Father of the highest peacetime gallantry awardee, Capt Janmej Singh lamented that more than 38 months had passed since the demise of his son and nothing had been done till date. The file of Jyotsna’s appointment was gathering dust. Visually impaired in the right eye after the death of his only son, Capt Janmej Singh and his wife, a heart patient, want their daughter, an MCA, to get a job in the civil services.
Jyotsna recalled that she had given her option for the posts of sub divisional magistrate, Pathankot, and excise and taxation officer, Pathankot, to the director, Sainik Welfare, Chandigarh, so as to be in a position to look after her old parents.
‘Stop caste division for better governance’
Bathinda, March 30
Expressing these views while talking to TNS here today, Harbans Singh Sidhu, state president, General Categories Welfare Federation, said the classification of people on caste, creed or religion basis was non-scientific.
Welcoming the latest decision of the Supreme Court, staying the proposed 27 per cent reservations for the OBCs for the current academic session, he said using the 1931 census as a database for increasing the caste-based reservations was a retrograde step.
He also demanded that Union HRD minister Arjun Singh should resign as he had misled the country and tried to cripple the quality of human resources permanently by introducing caste-based reservations into IITs and IIMs.
Pushpesh Kumar, district press secretary, alleged that the elected representatives from the general categories were just mute spectators in Parliament and legislative assemblies and they never opposed reservations.
1.26 crore children rehabilitated
Amritsar, March 30 The Government of India is committed to checking child labour in the country, said Jyoti Setia, vice-chairperson, Central Advisory Board. Setia, who was on her first visit to Punjab, said the control and rehabilitation scheme of child labour was presently being implemented in 250 districts of 21 states in the country. She said more than 1 crore, 26 lakh children have been rehabilitated as part of this scheme.
Amritsar, March 30
The Government of India is committed to checking child labour in the country, said Jyoti Setia, vice-chairperson, Central Advisory Board.
Setia, who was on her first visit to Punjab, said the control and rehabilitation scheme of child labour was presently being implemented in 250 districts of 21 states in the country.
She said more than 1 crore, 26 lakh children have been rehabilitated as part of this scheme.
Clarification on holidays
Chandigarh, March 30 The government decided to grant three months’ extension for the submission of “C” forms. A government spokesman said that the deadline was extended in response to a demand raised by the trade and industrial sectors. Dealers could now submit their “C” forms for the financial year 2005-06 on June 30, he added.
Chandigarh, March 30
The government decided to grant three months’ extension for the submission of “C” forms. A government spokesman said that the deadline was extended in response to a demand raised by the trade and industrial sectors. Dealers could now submit their “C” forms for the financial year 2005-06 on June 30, he added.
Book on Punjabi culture released
Patiala, March 30
The book, “Phulkari”, is authored by Kulmeet. Girja Shankar, a TV artist and better known as the Dhritrashtra of Mahabharata, was also present. He said in the today’s world books like that could prove helpful for the younger generation to get attached to their roots.
Dr Harjinder Walia, head of the department, welcomed the guests. Prof Kulwant Grewal, recited his poems.
Tehsildar among 15 booked in fraud case
Tarn Taran, March 30 Police sources said the other accused included Johan Agastine ,Yakub Santokh Sagar, Amrik Masih, Sanjeev Kumar, Samuel ,Gurmej Singh, Vimal Kumar, Vishal Bhardwaj ,Rakesh Ahuja, Devinder Kumar , lambardar Manjit Singh, Karaj Singh and the registry clerk in the office of the tehsildar. The king-pin of the gang Tabir-Ul-Haq is the same person against whom three such cases of fraud for selling the land belonging to the church have already been registered at the Batala and Ajnala police stations. Sources said Haq had sold the land belonging to the ADTA for a 99-year-agreement (Patta) to six persons for Rs 16 lakh which was a less price and claimed himself to be the bishop. Sadrik Sohan Lal, secretary, ADTA, and Daniel B Das, office-bearer of the trust in a written complaint to the SSP alleged that Haq having his connivance with others made fake documents and a false agreement to sell the land which belonged to the church. SSP Pavan Kumar Rai got the matter investigated by Manmohan Singh SP (Headquarters) who found prima facie in the case and ordered to register a case. The accused are said to be absconding.
Tarn Taran, March 30
Police sources said the other accused included Johan Agastine ,Yakub Santokh Sagar, Amrik Masih, Sanjeev Kumar, Samuel ,Gurmej Singh, Vimal Kumar, Vishal Bhardwaj ,Rakesh Ahuja, Devinder Kumar , lambardar Manjit Singh, Karaj Singh and the registry clerk in the office of the tehsildar.
The king-pin of the gang Tabir-Ul-Haq is the same person against whom three such cases of fraud for selling the land belonging to the church have already been registered at the Batala and Ajnala police stations.
Sources said Haq had sold the land belonging to the ADTA for a 99-year-agreement (Patta) to six persons for Rs 16 lakh which was a less price and claimed himself to be the bishop.
Sadrik Sohan Lal, secretary, ADTA, and Daniel B Das, office-bearer of the trust in a written complaint to the SSP alleged that Haq having his connivance with others made fake documents and a false agreement to sell the land which belonged to the church.
SSP Pavan Kumar Rai got the matter investigated by Manmohan Singh SP (Headquarters) who found prima facie in the case and ordered to register a case.
The accused are said to be absconding.
Labourer killed for eve-teasing
Phillaur, March 30
According to sources, both friends took drinks and watched a DVD film at the tubewell of Amrit Singh in the village, and soon after Ghooran started eve-teasing the wife of Jagdish, which was not tolerated and in a fit of anger, Jagdish attacked upon Ghooran , who died on the spot. The police has arrested Jagdish.
2 die in mishaps
Granthi Bhajan Singh was killed when the motorcycle he was driving was hit by a speeding Tata Sumo at the Banga road last night. He died on the spot. In another road accident, Satnam
Singh (46) was killed when his cycle was hit by a speeding Innova car near Rurrka Kalan village last night.
Granthi Bhajan Singh was killed when the motorcycle he was driving was hit by a speeding Tata Sumo at the Banga road last night. He died on the spot.
In another road accident, Satnam Singh (46) was killed when his cycle was hit by a speeding Innova car near Rurrka Kalan village last night.
Students from Punjab colleges to get 15 pc extra marks in PMET
Patiala March 30
Students of Christian Medical and Dental College, Ludhiana, have, however, been exempted from the special privilege extended to students from other state colleges.
However, the decision of the government has drawn flak from the doctors who belong to the state, but have acquired MBBS degrees from other states. Talking to The Tribune they alleged that all states give favour to its residents. However, in Punjab the degree from state colleges has been made the criterion for giving extra marks instead of the domicile status.
Giving extra marks to the students of state colleges will affect merit. The merit in post-graduate medical classes is decided on points. If some students are given 15 per cent extra marks, it will leave no scope for students who have acquired degrees from other states.
Instead, if the state government wanted to favour the state residents it should reserve seats for domicile holders of the state rather than giving extra marks, they alleged.
Vice-chancellor of medical university Ravinder Singh, when contacted, said the decision to give extra marks to students who acquired degrees from state colleges had been taken by the government.
Giving the basis of the new criterion inducted in the entrance test, VC said earlier Central quota in Punjab colleges used to be 15 per cent. However, now the quota for students coming from the Central quota had increased to 50 per cent. Minority institutions like CMC, Ludhiana, and SGPC colleges also preferred students from specific communities.
The other states had also reserved the seats of their students. The students from medical colleges were the worst sufferers in this milieu.
Due to this, the state government had decided to give advantage to its own students, the VC said.
PTU CET on May 26
Jalandhar, March 30
A decision in this regard was taken in the Board of Governors (BOG) meeting chaired by the chief secretary in Chandigarh yesterday.
The members approved that the counselling would start on June 25. While the vice-chancellor of the university was away to Delhi, dean (academics) R.P. Singh today confirmed the decision to The Tribune. Singh said it was decided that 50 per cent seats in the first batch of PTU’s Caparao School of Manufacturing and Material Technology, on the Jalandhar-Kapurthala road, be filled on the basis of merit in CET while the remaining seats be filled on the basis of performance in AIEEE.
He said a total of 40 seats would be filled in each of the three courses, including B.Tech in electronics engineering with specialisation in manufacturing electronics, B.Tech in mechanical engineering with specialisation in manufacturing technology and B.Tech in information technology with specialisation in process planning and control.