|Sunday, January 30, 2000,
unlikely to bend
Will SGPC defy hukamnama?
Ramoowalia to file petition before
SGPC proposes public disposes
Rail fares may go up: minister
Folklore relevant today: expert
School closed for three days
Patiala all set to have
Badal mismanaging economy: Channi
Sports lovers up in arms over MC
Scholars to give shape to Sikh
CM stresses need to protect
PMs statement condemned
PSEB losses blamed on populist
4 dists chosen for dairy scheme
Law for lawyers welfare soon
ISI agents in touch with bank
Factory making fake LPG unearthed
Seats increased at CMs
Jathedar unlikely to bend
AMRITSAR, Jan 29 The Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Puran Singh is unlikely to tone down his stand on the 'hukamnama' issued by him ex-communicating SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur and directing the SGPC executive to appear before Akal Takht on February 2 for violating his hukamnama issued in November, on staying operation of the "Nanakshahi" calendar.
Giani Puran Singh is a "hard nut to crack" is the impression reportedly carried back by special emissaries despatched by Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. After a prolonged meeting with the Jathedar at Takht Shri Hazoor Sahib yesterday.
The president of the Sikh Students Federation, Mr Rajinder Singh Mehta and his general secretary Mr Amarjit Singh Chawla were instructed by Mr Badal to airdash to Nanded, where Giani Puran Singh had gone for the installation ceremony of the new Jathedar of Hazoor Sahib.
The emissaries were asked to negotiate a compromise to defuse the crisis arising out of ex-communication of Bibi Jagir Kaur.
Mr Mehta, who returned early today, talking to TNS from Jalandhar on the phone was nevertheless hopeful that an amicable solution would be found to resolve the crisis.
The Jathedar is reported to have snubbed an offer of a chartered plane to return to Amritsar. During the meeting, he insisted that Bibi Jagir Kaur would have to appear before Akal Takht along with the executive members on February 2 and give her explanation in person.
According to political circles here, in such an unsettled situation Mr Badal can ill afford to lend support to Bibi Jagir Kaur against Akal Takht. That when it comes to choosing between Akal Takht and Bibi Jagir Kaur, Mr Badal, like it or not would obey the Takht directive.
Will SGPC defy hukamnama?
AMRITSAR, Jan 29 Three executive members owing allegiance to the Gurcharan Singh Tohra and Simranjit Singh Mann groups today decided to present themselves before the Akal Takht Jathedar on February 2 in accordance with his hukamnama.
The Jathedar had summoned the SGPC executive at the Akal Takht on February 2.
A Tohra loyalist and SGPC executive members, Mr Harbans Singh Manjpur today sought the resignation of Bibi Jagir Kaur in the light of the hukamnama.
Addressing a press conference at Guru Hargobind Nivas in the Golden Temple complex , Mr Manjpur said that developments in the wake of the Nanakshahi calendar had created a serious crisis in the panth.
He said all Sikhs bowed before Akal Takht and any edict issued by it had to be respected.
He said religious matter should be discussed behind closed doors and settled amicably. Instead the SGPC chief had made a laughing stock of the entire community.
In a significant development, the senior vice-president of the SGPC, Mr Balbir Singh Pannu today affirmed that although he respected the supreme authority of Akal Takht, and respects its maryada and hukamnamas, including the present one, the decision to present the SGPC executive before the Takht on February 2 had not been taken at this point.
He said a meeting of the SGPC executive and senior functionaries of the Akali Dal to be held under Mr Badal before February 2 will decide on its next course of action.
The general secretary of the SGPC, Mr Hardalbir Singh Shah, had earlier said that the SGPC executive would present itself before the Jathedar on February 2, in deference to the hukamnama. While, various Sikh organisations and intellectuals have expressed divergent views on the hukamnama they all concede that the Nanakshahi controversy has further divided the Sikh community and lowered the esteem of Akal Takht.
Meanwhile, SGPC Secretary Mr Gurbachan Singh Bachan told this correspondent that Mr Badal had now taken charge and would defuse the situation by bringing about rapprochement between the two warring factions.
Mr Bachan added that he would personally apprise Giani Puran Singh of these developments immediately after his arrival from Gurdwara Hazur Sahib.
According to SGPC
sources, Giani Puran Singh had left Nanded by road
yesterday after installing Bhai Kulwant Singh as the new
head granthi of Takht Hazur Sahib and is expected to
reach the city tomorrow morning.
Ramoowalia to file petition before
BARGARI (Faridkot), Jan 29 Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, president, Lok Bhalai party, said today that he would file a petition before the Election Commission (EC) asking it to make the necessary amendments in the election laws to curtail the misuse of money and muscle power during elections.
Mr Ramoowalia, who was here to address a party conference said in Punjab some politicians had made a mockery of democracy by denying the right to vote to those living below the poverty line.
He said in the petition the Election Commission would be urged to allow the carrying of cash not more than Rs 20,000 during the four days before the day of polling and fix seven-year punishment for defaulters.
Criticising the ruling Akali Dal and the Congress, Mr Ramoowalia alleged that both parties had brought the culture of nepotism into politics.
He pointed out that Punjab was facing a financial crisis as the ruling SAD-BJP government had no economic programme. Moreover, it was not demanding anything from the Centre though SAD was a coalition partner in the central government.
He alleged that the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, was undermining the authority of Akal Takht for political gains. He added that Mr Badal was running the religious affairs according to his convenience.
Mr Ramoowalia said his
party would not field its candidate for the coming
byelections of Nawanshahar Assembly segment. But it would
launch a campaign against the use of money power by the
ruling Akalis and the Congress in the elections.
SGPC proposes public disposes
MUKTSAR, Jan 29 The SGPCs endorsement of the Nanakshahi calendar notwithstanding, devotees continue to buy "Bikrami Samvat jantris" from various book shops in this holy city.
Jantris traditionally list the phases of the moons, lunar festivals and the dates of religious occasions. Among popular jantris available here are those compiled by astrologers Partap Singh, Pandit Devi Dayal and Pandit Indu Shekhar.
A quick survey of buyers threw up the fact that despite the SGPCs decision to switch to the new calendar the general public is still far from ready to accept the change. This is at least as much due to lack of awareness of the changeover as it is a reflection of force of habit and regard for the old, trusted jantris.
"People take time to accept change. For years they have been consulting these jantris and have still not demanded from us the Nanakshahi calendar", Mr Baldev Singh - the owner of Resham Book Depot told TNS. "This is mainly due to loyalty to the trusted publications that market the jantris", he says.
Jagdish, the owner of a kirpan store, said gurdwara priests and rural customers continue to purchase the traditional jantris and he has not observed any significant shift in preference.
Mr Surinder Singh Chugty, a bookseller at Gandhi Chowk, said villagers in particular prefer the conventional jantris. "Our family is into this business since 1930 and I have not observed any change in my customers (preferences). This is primarily because of the practice having been imbibed from elders", he said.
Priests at some of the historical gurdwaras openly admitted that the jantris were still being used by devotees, for observance of various rituals indicating a preference for the Bikrami Samvat.
Mr Jatiram Lachman Dass, whose family has been selling jantris in the city for more than 50 years said the traditional jantris popularity may also be attributed to lack of awareness about the Nanakshahi calendar.
Keeping in view confusion on the competing calendars an enterprising Amritsar based firm, Bhai Chattar Singh Jeevan Singh publications, has come up with an ingenuous solution combine both the Bikrami and Nanakshahi calendar in one jantri to cater to both segments.
Mr Prabhjit Singh of the
publication told TNS from Amritsar,"As we do not
want to be a party to the controversy, we now publish
both dates in our jantris". He said, the old jantris
are still popular and the general public prefers to
observe even private rituals in accordance with the
Bikrami Samvat calendar.
Rail fares may go up:
BATHINDA, Jan 29 To tide over the severe financial crises, the Railway Ministry may hike passenger fares in the next Budget.
An indication to this effect was given here today by the Minister of State for Railways, Mr Bangaru Laxman, who visited families of those who lost their beloved ones in the train-van collision near Gidderbaha yesterday. Mr Laxman visited the families in three villages of Malout sub-division.
Admitting that the Railways was passing through bad times Mr Laxman said number of other schemes had been launched to generate additional income for carrying out all the development plans well in time.
He added that schemes like Built Operate Lease Transfer (BOLT) and Own Your Wagon (OYW) were being made more attractive to fetch more customers on the one hand, on the other private business establishments were being encouraged to invest in raising the infrastructure for providing more convenience to the passengers.
He disclosed that recently a memorandum of understanding (MOU) had been signed by the Railways with the HUDCO in order to make use of Railways vacant land commercially. He added the Railway authorities might also sell its properties to generate much needed funds.
The minister said that private investment had been invited for conversion of metre-gauge lines to broad-gauge lines, renewal of 11000-km-long rail track, laying of new rail lines and constructing of railway overbridges.
He pointed out that to convert the existing 24000 unmanned railway level crossing in the country to manned crossing, about Rs 2200 crore were required.
He added that for meeting this target, guidelines of the Local Area Development Fund (LADF) meant for each Member Parliament (MP) had been amended. Now every MP could allocate necessary funds for manning unmanned crossings in his constituency. He added that if any MP gave funds for one such crossing the Railway authorities would provide funds for another crossing.
When asked that when the Ludhiana-Chandigarh rail link would become operational, he said that it all depended on the availability of funds. So far Rs 10 crore had been allocated for this project and survey from Ludhiana to Morinda section had been completed. Some land for executing this project was yet to be acquired.
He disclosed that Railway authorities required huge money for meeting the recommendation of the Khanna Commission regarding the operational safety. He added that for meeting the extra burden put on the Railways due to the implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission, the union Government had been urged to increase its budgetary support to it. He said an all-party meeting held on December 22, 1999, also advocated for more funds to the Railways.
The minister said that for constructing a railway over-bridge in the city for connecting trans-railway colonies with the main town would be taken up in the year 2000-2001. He pointed out that the Punjab Government had given clearance for this project.
Folklore relevant today: expert
PATIALA, Jan 29 On the second day of the three-day international conference on "Folklore and culture studies in the twentyfirst century" at Punjabi University, a number of Indian and foreign scholars discussed various issues and problems relating to folklore and culture.
Margit Koves from Hungary in her paper on "Empire and celebration" said colonial empires in the second half of the 19th century availed of a collection of archaic and modern elements passed on by written and oral traditions which served to stabilise and strengthen their rule. She said the imperial assemblage in 1877, the occasion of the coronation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India, was a formalisation of colonial hierarchy, imperial power, and expressions of temporary political consensus.
In his paper on "anthropological structures versus cosmological structures," Dr Harjeet Singh Gill, Professor Emeritus of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, said one of the most fundamental problems of any culture was the opposition between anthropological structures and cosmological structures.
Ms Rosy Singh of the Centre for German Studies, Delhi University, in her paper on "Lamentations of love in some legends of the Occident," said that those who were shunned by their lovers wrote lamentations and through this creative act transcend their object of love and enter the realm of the sublime and spiritual.
Dr Anil Kumar Boro of Gauhati University said folklore instead of being an antiquarian study had its relevance in the contemporary world and was related closely to issues like ethnic identity and nationalism. The verbal as well as non-verbal forms of folklore, being the assets of a group or community or race, help reinforce the sense of identity.
The others who presented
their papers today included Dr Mahbub-ul-Haque from
Chittagong University, Bangladesh; Dr Paramjit Singh from
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar; Dr Harinder K. Sohi
of Khalsa College, Patiala; Dr Sangata Bhaduri of Jamia
Millia Islamia, New Delhi; Dr Kishore Bhattacharejee of
Gauhati University; and Mr Gurinder Singh Randhawa of
Punjabi University, Patiala.
School closed for three days
MALOUT, Jan 29 Life seems to have come to a standstill in the three villages of the area Theri, Fakasar and Tharajwala to which the six school children who were killed in yesterdays accident on the Gidderbaha-Malout rail section belonged.
These villagers are in deep shock and nobody went to the fields today. Even food was not cooked in a number of houses after the tragedy.
The cries of the parents and relatives of those killed rent the air. Even the male members of the bereaved families are finding it difficult to come to terms with the tragedy.
People from surrounding areas are thronging the houses of the bereaved families in large numbers.
Father Jacob, Principal, Sacred Heart Convent School, where the deceased were studying, told TNS that the school had been closed for three days. He added that a prayer meeting would be held for the peace of the departed souls on Monday.
He added that teachers from various convent schools situated in Faridkot, Muktsar, Fazilka, Abohar and Ferozepore towns of Punjab and Sriganganagar and Sikar in Rajasthan had visited the bereaved families.
Meanwhile, Gurpreet Singh, who succumbed to his injuries in DMC Hospital, Ludhiana, last evening, was cremated at Tharajwala village today. A large number of people attended his funeral.
Residents of the villages demanded that the railway authorities set up a manned level crossing at the site of the accident.
NEW DELHI, Jan 29 (UNI)
The accident involving the 1543
Bathinda-Sriganganagar train yesterday at an unmanned
level crossing near Bathinda was due to negligence on the
part of the driver of the van carrying schoolchildren,
Minister of State for Railways Bangaru Laxman has
concluded. The minister, who made a spot enquiry, was
informed by the local people that despite clear
visibility, the van driver tried to cross the track while
the train was fast approaching. The minister also
announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5,000 to the next of kin of
those killed and Rs 2,500 to those seriously injured.
Patiala all set to have
PATIALA, Jan 29 In a unique development Patiala is set to have a childrens helpline which will monitor and come to the rescue of victims of child abuse.
This was a direct development of the Indo-British project on Child rights and Child protection which was held at the Modern School here and attended by NGOs, police officials, educationists and sarpanches .
District police chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu made an offer to start a helpline for children while taking part in the project proceedings. Mr Sidhu said trained staff would monitor the helpline which would be established at all women police stations in the city. He said while the helpline number would be advertised, children facing child abuse could directly ring up 100 and ask for a connection to the helpline.
The SSP said while a helpline could be established in the city, teachers in rural schools needed to be trained to help in tackling the problem of child abuse. He said there should be an upgradation in the instructional skill of rural teachers so that modern tools of education were used to teach children and antiquated method of using the rod was given a go-by.
The theme of child abuse in villages was taken up during participative sessions of the project also. There was a general consensus that child abuse in villages was swept under the rug with no one willing to accept it took place. Participants said special attention needed to be given to villages where children needed to be taught about their rights and need to report child abuse.
The action plan evolved by various groups which participated in the project included institution of a social agency which could coordinate with the government, welfare organisations and the children to attend to sufferers, special training to police personnel to deal with child abuse cases and creation of special wings in the Police Department consisting of women to deal with such cases.
The children of four different schools of the city underwent participative sessions both in the classroom and in the field during the project workshop. Ms Kamal Singh from the British Council which alongwith the Punjab State Human Rights Commission and the Punjab Police were partners in the workshop, said an attempt was being made to take schoolchildren from all strata in the workshop. She said children were taught positive rights which were reinforced through participative sessions in the classroom and also on the playground through relay and other games like blind mans bluff.
Project lead trainer
D.J. Singh, while speaking to TNS said the project would
be run in 12 districts of the state in the first phase
and that 36 district trainers had been imparted training
at the Phillaur Police School. He said the stress was on
teaching participants about child abuse through
participative techniques. Additional Director-General of
Police A.P. Bhatnagar, who is the coordinator of the
project in the state, also participated in the
Badal mismanaging economy:
NAWANSHAHR, Jan 29 The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President, Capt. Amarinder Singh, talking to media persons here today at the residence of Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, MP said the Nawanshahr byelection would be a referendum on the performance of the Badal government. He accused the Badal government of mismanagement of the States economy. All the sectors, be it agriculture or industry, were a shambles due to the wrong policies of the Badal government, he alleged.
If the farmers had been committing suicides due to the burden of debt, the industrial units like steel, rice mills, textile and hosiery etc. had been facing closure due to the faulty power tariff and sales tax structures, added PPCC President.
Besides, corruption, unemployment and debt burden had touched new heights during the SAD-BJP government, he further alleged, adding that the financial crisis had become so much grave that the government had pledged all the bus stands of the State and had started auctioning government land.
When asked how the Congress would manage the affairs of the State to take it out of such a grave situation.
Capt Amarinder Singh said a 15-member committee of experts belonging to different fields had been constituted under the chairmanship of Mr R.R. Bhardwaj, a retired senior bureaucrat. The report of the Bhardwaj committee would be submitted to Dr Man Mohan Singh.
Regarding resentment in the Congress over the demand raised by him, of imposing financial emergency in the State, the PPCC President said certain leaders had misconception about financial emergency. He said he had raised this demand after taking advice from constitutional experts.
How far schemes like free power and water, shagun and housing scheme for Dalits, pensions for old etc were responsible for the financial crisis? Answering this question, Mr Amarinder Singh said the beneficiary schemes launched by the SAD-BJP government were just an eye-wash. Even farmers have been opposing free power facility as they needed regular power. Moreover, it had hiked bills in the urban sector. This facility was against the principle of socio-economic justice, he added.
Apart from factors against the Badal government, the Congress would also dwell on positive factors during its election campaign, revealed the PPCC President. Elaborating the positive points of his election campaign, he said as the land holding were small and it had become increasingly difficult for the Doaba youth to go abroad they need to be gainfully employed for that industrialisation would be the top priority of the Congress.
Reacting to the sops being given by the Chief Minister to the residents of the Nawanshahr constituency, Capt Amarinder Singh said money would not be a criterion in this election.
Admitting that the BSP candidate would cause harm to the Congress here, Capt Amarinder Singh claimed that the Dalits had started shifting towards the Congress as Mr Kanshi Ram had failed miserably to give any concrete programme to Dalits.
Sports lovers up in arms over
PATIALA, Jan 29 The decision of the local Municipal Corporation (MC) to construct 20 double-storeyed showrooms along one of the oldest playgrounds of the city the Polo Grounds has irked sport-lovers of the city. Even former international players and Olympians, including hockey Olympian Balkishen Singh and Senior Vice-President of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) Prof Gursewak Singh, are up in arms against decision of the MC.
Although the construction of the showrooms, auctioned last month, will pose no immediate danger to the historical grounds, the axe may, sooner or later, fall on the grounds. Located in the heart of the city, training in more than 15 disciplines is imparted an the premises of the grounds. As former Olympians point out, this activity comes to a halt whenever non- sporting activities are held in the polo grounds.
Whenever the showrooms come up, filth and rubbish will be thrown on the ground, fear sport-lovers. Sportspersons practising at the grounds feel that foul smell will be emanated, which will make them prone to several diseases in the rainy season.
Balkishen Singh opines that with the construction of the showrooms, the road in front of these will be narrowed and will become accident-prone. He adds that the same place can be used for parking.
Prof Gursewak Singh says
the district administration should earmark a special
venue for holding melas and circuses instead of
using play grounds like the polo grounds. He has also
criticised the manner in which playgrounds of the city
have slowly been vanishing under the banner of
Scholars to give shape to Sikh
CHANDIGARH, Jan 29 The prestigious Khalsa Heritage complex at Anandpur Sahib will acquire shape soon.
A core group of scholars and historians has been set up for finalising the concept and content of the museum.
Accordingly, major thrust areas of the concept and content have been identified by a panel of scholars. These areas are Sikh art gallery, Sikh library, traditional museum, Guru Granth and gurdwara institution, kirtan maryada and Sikh tradition in history.
The core group has approved that "Gurdwara" will be given prominent representation while projecting Sikh tradition. The group has approved 13 ideas for a meaningful representation in the heritage complex in broad chronological phases of Sikh history of 500 years. These ideas include universality of the message given by gurus without and distinction of colour, creed, race, region, gender; equality of universal brotherhood; the institution of "Gurdwara, Langar and Sangat" and freedom of conscience involving respect for the beliefs of others.
In the main museum 18
separate sections have been identified where events and
episodes have to be represented conforming to the ideas
contained in the concept paper, according to a press note
of the Anandpur Sahib Foundation issued today.
CM stresses need to protect
JALANDHAR, Jan 29 Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Punjab Chief Minister and the president of the Shiromani Akali Dal has stressed the need to preserve the Sikh identity.
Mr Badal, who was addressing a seminar on, "The role of Congress towards Punjab", organised by the Sikh Students Federation (SSF) at Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall, said preservation of Sikh identity was the need of the hour.
Mr Badal said organisations like the SSF could do a lot in this direction and it should set-up political, economic and religious wings in villages and involve people in the task of "dharam prachar".
PMs statement condemned
ROPAR, Jan 29 Mr Debabratta Biswas, general secretary of the All-India Forward Bloc, and a member of the Netaji Probe and Research Foundation, yesterday submitted a protest letter to Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpyee, regarding his statement about bringing the ashes of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose from Japan to India provided there was consensus on the issue.
Disclosing this here Mr V.P. Saini, Public Relations and Publicity Secretary of the Netaji Probe and Research Foundation, said the foundation had been deeply shocked by the statement of the Prime Minister.
It asked the Prime Minister to withdraw his statement as it amounted to contempt of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the BJP-led government and confused the nation about the real motives of the government.
Scholars must review
CHANDIGARH, Jan 29 Bhai Ashok Singh Bagrian, renowned Sikh scholar, has urged Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to ask the scholars of Guru Nanak Dev University (GND), Amritsar, to go into the details of the controversial Nanakshahi calendar and then submit it to the SGPC for final implementation.
The scholar in a statement said the calendar was essential as it was a step towards assertion of the Sikh identity. Mr Bagrian, however, added that calendar should have been studied properly by experts including those from the fields of mathematics and astrophysics as it was a "purely mathematical exercise".
Bhai Bagrian said the
controversy over the calendar should not be made a
political issue as it could only cause harm to the
interest of the Panth. He also warned that non-Sikhs
should keep out of this "internal matter of the Sikh
TARN TARAN, Jan 28
Havildar Sampooran Singh, who was killed in the
Poonch sector at the Surankote post on Wednesday, was
cremated yesterday with state honour at his native
village Jauneke, falling under Harike police station. He
was serving with Rashtrya Rifle 17 Sikh Regiment. The
Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar, Mr Narinderjit Singh,
the SDM, Dr Gurinder Pal Singh Sahota, and the Unit
Commandant, along with a large number of people of the
area, were present at the cremation.
PSEB losses blamed on
PATIALA, Jan 29 The PSEB Engineers Association has termed as "unjustified" the statement of Finance Minister Kanwaljit Singh that restructuring and privatisation was the only way to make the PSEB financially viable.
In a statement issued here yesterday, association president, M. S. Bajwa said that populist policies and gross violation of the Electricity (Supply) Act by the government were primary causes of poor financial health of the PSEB and the solution lay not in restructuring of the board but in changing the governments attitude towards the power sector.
Mr Bajwa said it was distressing that the state government which was starved of funds due to its populist policies like free power to the agriculture sector was now talking about the boards financial viability.
The PSEB engineers said the government had been violating section 59 of the Electricity Supply Act, 1948, which made it mandatory for the PSEB to earn a minimum 3 per cent surplus. When any government comes to power it takes an oath to abide by the constitution and law of Parliament whereas in this case, the Act of Parliament had been flouted wilfully by the government which is now seeking a remedy by way of "restructuring", he added.
Mr Bajwa said in Punjab during 1995 the agricultural tariff was reduced from Rs 65 to Rs 50 per BHP causing a revenue reduction of Rs 24 crore per year and in 1997 the tariff was made zero, causing a further revenue loss of Rs 250 crore per year. However, the actual loss to the PSEB was to be assessed by the cost of supply multiplied by units given free or subsidised. As per latest data of the Planning Commission, the loss due to subsidised supply which was Rs 687.1 cr in 1992-93 shot up to Rs 828.5 cr in 1995-96 and to Rs 1553.2 cr in 1998-99. He said a survey of the "net internal resources" of the PSEB also proved that finances had nose-dived due to the subsidised power supply in the past two years only.
He said had the PSEB
been allowed to operate at even zero per cent rate of
return the board would have got Rs 1611.7 cr extra
revenue in 1998-99 alone. To achieve this target, an
average increase of just 94 paise per unit was required.
4 dists chosen for dairy
NEW DELHI, Jan 29 Four districts in Punjab - Ropar, Hoshiarpur, Bathinda and Jalandhar have been selected by the National Dairy Development Board for its womens dairy cooperative programme to improve the quality and quantity of milk procured at the village level, senior officials told TNS.
Punjab and Haryana are one of the largest milk producing states in the country and have a substantial quantum of milk availability per person.
The per capita availability of milk in the country has increased from 180 gm per day in 1991-92 to 212 gm per day in 1998-99. In Punjab, the per capita availability is over 750 gm per day and in Haryana the figure is 650 gm per day.
According to the Indian Council for Medical Research, the minimum per capita milk requirement is around 250 gm per day.
"Rural women carry out most of the work to produce milk and they are the real users of the services of a dairy cooperative and they should be its members and the leaders," the officials said at Krishi Expo-2000.
Stating the reason for women-oriented programme, the officials said: "Participation of women has been less than their role in milk production. So a special effort is necessary to raise the level of their involvement as members and as leaders of dairy co-operatives, unions and federations."
The NDDB carried out pilot project in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, where it turned out to be a success. "The milk procurement in the cooperative increased and its quality also improved," the officials said.
Milk production in the country has witnessed a significant growth of 4.5 per cent per annum to reach the level of 74.4 million tonnes during 1998-99, making India the largest producer of milk in the world. The cooperative movement has been credited with carrying out this white revolution.
The Ninth Plan has set the milk production target at 96.49 million tonnes, envisaging an annual growth rate of 7.06 per cent. Some of the critical areas that need to be improved to achieve this target include artificial insemination services, upgradation of animal healthcare services and strengthening of training and research facilities.
The NDDB officials said the programme to involve greater participation of women is aimed at strengthening the milk sector to face competition.
"The milk procured
at present at the co-operatives do not meet the
international standards. However, any improvement of its
quality depends on the participation of womenfolk in
villages where the milk is produced," the officials
said, emphasising the importance of the programme.
Stay away from media, , NFL
NANGAL, Jan 29 Employees of the NFL, Naya Nangal, have been directed not to go to the media, including the Press. In a circular issued to employees of the NFL, the General Manager, Mr B.M. Ritolia, has stated: "It has been observed that certain employees are approaching the media, including the Press for giving statements and passing on information regarding the company affairs, which they are not authorised to communicate". The employees have also been warned that disciplinary action would be taken against those officials who fail to comply with these orders.
This action by the NFL
management has been taken after a urea bag
scam and the irregularities in awarding cable
tenders were reported in The Tribune and various other
newspapers. Various employees unions and some high
managerial authorities had provided information about
these issues to local newsmen.
Law for lawyers
AMRITSAR, Jan 29 The Punjab Government has agreed in principle to make a law for the welfare of 30,000 lawyers in the state, the Punjab Advocate-General, Mr H.S. Mattewal, stated here today.
Addressing members of the Bar Association, Mr Mattewal, who is also the chairman of the state Bar council, said all presidents of district Bar associations would henceforth be ex-officio members of the district panels constituted for the removal of grievances.
The Deputy Commissioner,
Mr Narinderjit Singh, assured the association that all
help and cooperation would be extended to the association
and announced a grant of Rs 2.50 lakh for the Bar
library. He stated that PUDA was being approached to
construct a new administrative complex here to house all
offices of the district heads as well as the judiciary.
Dr S.S. Khaira
PATIALA, Jan 29
Punjabi University has appointed Dr S.S. Khaira of the
Department of Punjabi Language Development as Project
Director to develop Dr Balbir Singh Literary Centre at
Dehra Dun into an institute of advanced studies in
comparative religion. This was stated in a press note
issued by the university here today.
ISI agents in touch with bank officials
BATALA, Jan 29 (UNI) Pakistan-based terrorist leaders and certain ISI agents have established contacts with certain bank officials in big cities of India for exchange of fake Indian currency with the genuine one.
SSP Lok Nath Angra said. This revelation was made by Babbar Khalsa terrorists Balbir Singh Bagicha and Kabul Singh Kanta, who were arrested on January 24.
These terrorists disclosed that they had seen heaps of fake Indian currency with their controllers in Pakistan and learnt about its exchange in connivance with officials of Indian banks. But they said they did not know either the names of banks or the cities.
The SSP said Indian currency totalling Rs 5,000 seized from them was, however, found to be genuine.
Mr Angra said while one consignment of arms and ammunition brought by the accused from Pakistan had been seized, the second was yet to be traced. The seizure comprised two AK-47 rifles, one Mauser of .30mm calibre, three packets of pencil bombs, one wireless set, 5 kg of RDX, 5 kg of PETN, besides ammunition.
The SSP said the accused were helped by ISI agent Niaju in crossing the border in the Samba sector of Jammu provision and had met Babbar Khalsa Lahore-based chief Wadhawa Singh.
He said Niaju, who was
an expert in border crossing and charged Rs 20,000 to Rs
25,000 for each crossing, also used to smuggle in heroin
along with arms and ammunition. When Bagicha was sent in
through the Samba sector early this month, 40 kg of
heroine was smuggled in.
Factory making fake LPG
BATHINDA, Jan 29 The local police has unearthed a factory producing fake LPG allegedly being run by Bhushan Kumar Garg in his house for the past three years.
Mr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, said three instruments for filling the gas cylinders had also been seized by the police. He added that Garg was taking out some gas from each cylinder before selling it in the open market at a premium.
Seats increased at CMs
PATIALA, Jan 29 The controversy surrounding the affiliation given to the Khalsa Dental College,Nangal Kalan by a committee constituted by Punjabi University ,including a former Dean , Colleges Dr Amarjit Singh Dhillon, has taken a new turn with Dr Dhillon today claiming that the number of seats in the Dental College had been increased to 100 from 60 at the instance of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
In a statement here on behalf of the Forum for Educational Action and Reform (fear) Dr Dhillon said this fact was present in the university records. He claimed that earlier Mr Harcharan Singh Brar had recommended the increase of seats in the college when he was Chief Minister but the case had been rejected by the university on the basis of a report of an inspection committee including himself and Dr IJS Bansal, Dr I S Ahluwalia , Dr J L Shaha and Dr A P S Narang.
Dr Dhillon, claimed, however the university seemed to have yielded to the pressure of the Punjab Government after his retirement in December 1997 and allowed the Dental College to increase its seats besides making it an exclusive girls college.
The former Dean said a special meeting of fear had condemned university Vice Chancellor Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia for writing letters against him to the DGP , Vigilance and the district police chief , Mansa. He said the forum felt there was no need for the Vice Chancellor to write these letters as he was not remotely connected with them and had neither been directed by the Syndicate of the university to do so.
Dr Dhillon today threw a challenge to the Vice Chancellor to let the CBI or any other intelligence agency investigate both their pasts and urged the Vice Chancellor to accept the challenge to probe both his past and his present activities. He said the investigating authority should also make its report public so that the people could know the full truth.
The former Dean said the
forum had also constituted its own fact finding committee
to probe the activities of the Vice Chancellor. The fact
finding committee would investigate the role played by
the Vice Chancellor in his past appointments ,including
Chairman , Punjab School Education Board. He urged
socially aware people to come to the fore to help the
forum in this noble cause .
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