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Saturday, April 17, 1999
Chandigarh Tribune
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Government should go, say some; No, opine others
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 16 — This is the third time in a row that the country has been gripped by uncertainty at the Centre, with the present government again being threatened. TNS spoke to a cross-section of people today to find out whether they felt that this government would last, and whether they favoured mid-term elections.

Predictably enough, most of them were against mid-term elections. Persons who spoke against this government said that they were not in favour of mid-term elections. They added that they did not see any alternative in sight, and no single party was either capable of or would be able to come to power on its own strength.

“The present situation at the centre is unfortunate, since the reasons given by the politicians to withdraw support not only seem to be frivolous, but also spell out their political motives and interests.

“Out of this situation, no issues are emerging, but only vested interests. There seems to be no alternative to this situation, because if some other party comes to power at the centre, it will be like the present ‘khichdi’. Each such ‘khichdi’ will sit on some sort of ‘Jaya bomb’. I feel that this government will go, but it should not go”, said Mr Satjit Singh, a banker.

Mr Amarnath, a driver, who also believed that this government would eventually fall, said, “I want this government to go, because the policies of this government do not seem right. With the new budget, peons have come in the bracket of tax-payers, which is not fair. I am not in favour of elections at this time, because it will add to the woes of the common man”.

Mr Pappu, a cobbler in Sector 17, said, “These things at the centre do not interest me, because it does not matter which government runs the show. I am just concerned about earning my daily bread. But if mid-term elections take place then I will vote for the Congress, because that is the only party that I have known for years. Otherwise what can one say about the ‘sarkars’? They all mean the same to me.”

A supporter of the Vajpayee government and his policy of “extending a hand of friendship to Pakistan”, Mr B.M. Oberoi, a vendor of magazines, who sits in a corridor in Sector 17, said, “If mid-term elections take place again, it will affect the poor and the middle class people. The prices of commodities like vegetables will also increase. But as far as Vajpayeeji is concerned, I think his government will run. In my days, the governments used to run for years and we only knew about elections coming after every five years, but now this seems to have become an annual affair.”

Agreeing to this view, Mr S.S. Kapoor, a shopkeeper, said, “The present government will go on, and I do not want it to fall. And God forbid, if mid-term elections occur again, it will hit the economy hard. Vajpayee is such a straight and honest man, and has been the best possible Prime Minister till date, with no involvement in any scandals.”

Persons like Ms Manjit Sandhu and Ms Harjit Kaur, however, opined, “This government has shown itself to be communal, and we need a secular government at the centre.”

“This is the right time for the BJP to go, because it seems to have no right to stay at the centre. But I also think that the Congress will not like to step in to this situation, as everybody is ready only to support from outside. I am not in favour of mid-term elections, but I think there is no alternative. I also think that right now what is required is some third front of secular forces,unlike the BJP, and which has different values than the Congress”, said Ms Sandhu, Vice-president of the District Bar Association.

Ms Harjit, an advocate at the Chandigarh district courts, said, “People had voted for the BJP just because they needed a change. And now is the time for the Congress to lead the country into the next millennium. I also favour mid-term elections, because till the time this coalition government is in power, this thing will happen every year”.

Hitesh, a 17-year-old student, said, “Politics has become a very dirty game, and I do not favour mid-term elections. A lot of time, energy and money is being wasted in these inconsequential turmoils at the centre. Now again a coalition government will come into the picture, and again this scenario will be repeated. These politicians do not look after the people or their interests at all.”

Sulekha, a house-wife, provided an interesting over-view of the situation. She said “This kind of tamasha is also affecting the weather. The gods also seem to say that if you are bent upon creating such a mess down here, let me punish you by not providing you with enough water and let me make these summers unbearable for you.”Back


Minors stay away from mobikes
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 16 — Very few minors, probably due to awareness generated by the police, were found to be driving vehicles during the drive begun today.

Police officials said the number of challans was negligible. In the past one week or so the police had generated awareness through media and written to school principals to ensure that the age mentioned on the driving licences of children matched with that in the school records.

A big contingent of the police was out on the roads to implement the drive today.Back


Bark peeled to dry trees in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 16 — If you want to get rid of a tree, just peel off its bark and it will dry up. This technique has been used by some residents of Sector 7 on portions of the trunks of at least three trees yesterday.

When this was being done, the officials of the horticulture wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) were nowhere to be seen.These fully-grown trees had been grown on open spaces in front of houses.

A woman occupant said that the bark had been peeled off as some disease had afflicted the trees. Similar incidents have been reported in the past.

Moreover, as per the HUDA Act, cutting or pruning of trees grown on HUDA land is a punishable offence. But the Act is hardly implemented by the horticulture department.Back


YPS relief for quake victims
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, April 16 — It was a moving experience today to see the young spare a thought for and act the good Samaritan to victims of the Chamoli quake.

Students of the local Yadavindra Public School have collected Rs 85,000, clothes and rations for the quake-hit and were all set to leave for the area. While others played, many of them went from door to door along with teachers to collect the relief after school hours from April 2 to 8.

A class XII student and school captain, Paramjit Singh, said they went around SAS Nagar and Chandigarh.

Nav Bharadwaj of class X said when no conveyance was available, the students went on bicycles.

To cover up the loss of study time, they used to sit up after dinner to catch up with the class work, they added.

They said they were inspired to undertake the mission by the Principal, Dr Harish Dhillon.

Among the residents of the boarding house who sacrificed their playtime to help those in distress were Amanreet Bains, Varun Kalra, Hakim Muzzamil and Rishab Jain. Boarders also contributed their pocket money to the relief fund.

Mr Harish Mohan Sharma, a housemaster who accompanied the boarders, said that around 40 houses were covered daily.

Mr Darshan Singh Bhullar, another housemaster, said some people were nice and helpful while there were others who were indifferent.

A number of day boarders of the school also put in a lot of effort collecting the relief. The items being taken to the quake-hit area were neatly packed by students and teachers. These included 38 quintals of rice, 1 quintal of sugar, 2 quintals of pulses, 7.85 quintals of flour, 300 blankets, salt and clothes.

A truck full of relief material will leave the school premises tomorrow morning with two teachers, Mr Harsh Mohan and Mr Bhupinder Mann and six boarders.

A touching gesture by the young and time for grown-ups to re-learn from their children the great values of life which they may have forgotten.Back


Steps to boost technical education
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 16 — The Directorate of Technical Education has initiated various measures to monitor the supply and utilisation of engineering and technical manpower so as to ensure planned development of technical education.

The UT Home Secretary, Mrs Anuradha Gupta, who is also Secretary Technical Education, has stressed the need to revamp technical education to provide relevant polytechnic education catering to the middle-level technician education and craftsman training in ITI’s. According to her, technical education should be dynamic and responsive to meet the requirements of the changing scenario in socio-economic industrial and technological areas.

Listing various steps which have been recently taken by the Directorate, Prof S.K. Aggarwal, Director, Technical Education, said an employment promotion cell has been launched in the Directorate. He along with other members of technical education and training sub committee of CII (Northern Region), which has members drawn from various industries and state directorates, undertook study missions to few industries such as Larsen and Toubro; Godrej and Boyce, Crompton Greaves in Bombay; Punjab Tractors Limited and Fujitsu India Telecom at Mohali and Auro Spinning Mills at Baddi for the purposes of ensuring employment.

According to Mr Aggarwal, the mission also provided an exposure to the latest training methods and facilities being provided by these establishments to upgrade skills of workers, technicians and teachers at various levels in the institution. Besides, the promotion of industry-institute interface right at the start will help in promoting employment, as many students will be absorbed in the course of their training only.

The Directorate has also identified thrust areas of technical education for the purposes of augmenting physical facilities by way of laboratory equipment, faculty and support staff. In the diversification process, unwanted courses are being dispensed with and new courses, mostly in the area of information technology, will be introduced particularly at the ITI level. For instance, computer graphics has been introduced instead of the draughtsman course.

Few other steps include modernisation and removal of obsolete items to meet the needs of technical advances and curriculum changes; strengthening crucial areas of technology by way of providing lab equipment, faculty and staff training.

Of late, the number of computers have been increased in polytechnics and ITIs to strengthen the study of cybernautics. Steps have also been taken for the dissemination of information through community polytechnics to the door step of villages.

Emphasis is being laid on the mandatory training of the faculty in computers by making them utilise their spare time during summer and winter vacations for modular courses in various disciplines.

Efforts are also being made to upgrade the skills and knowledge of technical personnel and the recent upgradation of the Sector 28 ITI will facilitate this. The sole objective behind the upgradation is to provide students latest skills to meet the requirements and expectations of the modern day industry.

A major project was undertaken with the World Bank assistance to upgrade technician education system by improving their capacity, quality and efficiency.

The concept of conference management has also been implemented by way of arranging seminars/workshops in the Government Polytechnic for Women, Sector 10, Central Craft Institute, Sector 11, and ITI, Sector 28.

The Directorate is also contemplating the concept of setting up mobile workshops to inculcate in the students the concept of entrepreneurship. The idea behind this will be to impress upon them the need to provide employment instead of seeking employment.

Dr Aggarwal maintained that the aim of the Directorate was to make Institutes teaching factories where we do production for learning in contrast to companies which do production for earning.Back

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