Thursday, February 17, 2000,
Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Female education key to check population
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — A majority of health and population experts in the city are of the opinion that it is sheer lack of political will and soft policies of successive governments which haVE led to an alarming rise in population growth.

They unanimously voiced the need to address this as a national problem so as to achieve the desired target of population stabilisation by 2045. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune they gave varied suggestions to tackle the population boom and provide basic amenities to the people at the lower rung.

According to Prof B.K. Sharma, a former PGI Director, there is a direct relation between population versus ignorance and poverty. The growth of population in the world has exponentially accelerated during the past century and a half with a billion people being added almost every 20-25 years. He said that the situation in India was alarming as the government had not been able to achieve the national target of birth rate of 21 per thousand. The present birth rate is 27 per thousand, while the death rate is 13 per thousand.

Highlighting the magnitude of the problem, Dr Sharma pointed out that while some of the southern states like Kerala (17), Tamil Nadu ( 19) and Karnataka (18) have been able to bring down their birth rates, the problem was on account of the central Hindi speaking states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, which topped the population and birth rate figures, with a birth rate of above 32 per thousand. The national statistics also revealed that these states added almost 25 million people every year. A majority of these people living below the poverty line did not have access to proper sanitation facilities, clean drinking water, healthcare facilities and sufficient food and energy, he added

The remedy of this population explosion lies in female education and their economic independence, besides general economic growth of the country.

However, for short-term benefits all political parties must react and enact certain measures to curb population growth. For instance they should declare that persons with more than two children will not be given jobs and admissions for children in schools, etc. Rajasthan had initiated some of these and the other states should follow suit, he added.

Similarly, Prof I.C. Pathak, also a former PGI Director, attributes the enormous increase in population to the failure on the part of government and political parties to raise it as an election issue for the past 50 years. The problem was more severe in States like UP due to poverty, ignorance and female illiteracy. ''The need of the hour is that all political parties should collectively grapple with the problem by addressing these issues on priority and also take the help of THE private sector in doing so,'' said Prof Pathak. The proposed rewards for couples below the poverty line who married after the legal age of marriage, had their first child after the mother was 21 years, accepted the small family norm and adopted sterilisation after the second child was born would also help check the rate of growth and poverty, he said.

The magnitude of the population problem was serious and should be priority issue before the nation. The time which was being wasted on issues like Constitutional review should be productively used to tackle this problem, said Dr Pam Rajput, Director, Centre for Women Studies, Panjab University. According to her, motivation and nationwide mass campaign to educate the common masses, both men and women, about the dangers population explosion posed, the problem could be contained in the times to come. Dr Rajput was of the view that if such campaigns could help eradicate polio, remove illiteracy, it would also check the rapid population growth rate. She emphasised on the need to make them more aware of the methods to be adopted and clear their misplaced notions.

Mrs Satinder Dhawan, one of the municipal councillors, lamented that the population explosion was the root cause of poverty and unemployment and also responsible for schemes going haywire.

She pointed out that the government, which had not been able to solve this problem through rewards and incentives, should now address the problem more seriously through disincentives to the government employees and poor people so as to implement family planning.

Prof A.K. Nanda, Reader in Population Research Centre, Centre for Rural Research and Industrial Development (CRRID), advocated a disaggregated approach for different states as nearly 40 per cent of the total Indian population was residing in the four central states, which accounted for an overall higher birth rate. He also emphasised on the need to create more avenues for empowering women through free compulsory education at least up to matriculation level, more employment opportunities so as to curb people's preference for a male child as desire for a son often made people produce more children. Back


Trials on Feb 22, 23
By Our Sports Reporter

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — Sports Authority of India, Sports Training centre, sector 18, will hold selection trials in athletics, hockey and volleyball in the age group of 14 to 19 years on February 22 and 23.

According to Ms Ritu A. Pathik, Assistant Director of SAI, selected sportspersons will be entitled to free boarding, lodging, sport kit, training, competition exposure, medical expenses and accident insurance. "The centre has produced many international hockey players," said Ms Pathik.

Cricket tourney: The Chandigarh Cricket Association will hold the Kelvinator Cup Cricket Tournament in the memory of M.M. Lal Jain, a former general secretary of the Haryana Cricket Association, in the last week of February. It will be conducted at Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 19, on knock-out basis. The final will be held at Cricket Stadium, Sector 16. Entries close with Mr Kamal Mehra at SCO 48, Sector 17-E, on February 19.Back


Garden inauguration on February 25
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — The Sector 23 Bulbous Garden will be inaugurated on the opening day of the three-day Festival of Gardens to be held here from February 25 to 27.

According to a press note of the Chandigarh Administration, the Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), will inaugurate the festival at Sector 16 Zakir Rose Garden at 10 a.m. on February 25. Other highlights of the opening day will be flower competitions, stall displays, band competition and folk performances by various troupes.

At noon, the Sector 23 Bulbous Garden will be inaugurated. The folk dance competition will be held at 3 p.m. on the first day.

The Chandigarh Administration and the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation will sponsor the evening cultural programme of the opening day to be held at Sector 10 Leisure Valley.

The Rose Prince and Rose Princess contests will be held on February 26 at Rose Garden where Adviser to the Administrator, Mrs Vineeta Rai, will be the chief guest. A photography contest will be held at Sector 16 Shanti Kunj at midday. In the afternoon, “Antakshri” competition will be held at Rose Garden.

A seminar on landscaping and floriculture will be held on February 26 at 3 p.m. in the Government Museum and Art Gallery. There will be a cultural programme in the evening also.

On-the-spot painting competition will be the main attraction on the final day of the festival at Rose Garden where Mayor, Mrs Shanta Abhilashi, will be the chief guest. Rose Quiz will be held at 2 p.m. and the prize distribution at 3.30 p.m.

Mrs Vineeta Rai will give away the prizes. The festival will close with a cultural programme in the evening of February 27.Back


Half day holiday in Punjab offices
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — The Punjab Government has declared a public holiday on February 17 for the second half in its offices, boards, corporations and educational institutions in Chandigarh to enable the employees to participate in the nagar kirtan on account of the birth anniversary of Guru Ravi Dass.Back


Administrator’s Advisory Council constituted
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — A 60-member Administrator’s Advisory Council has been constituted for the Union Territory of Chandigarh for a period of two years.

The council, to be headed by the Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), will have the Adviser to the Administrator, Mrs Vineeta Rai, as its Vice-Chairperson, and 10 other ex-officio members.

The ex-officio members are the four Administrative Secretaries (Home Secretary, Finance Secretary, Secretary, Urban Planning and ex-officio Secretary, Medical Education and Research), Inspector-General and Senior Superintendent of Police; Deputy Commissioner; Presidents of both Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti.

Besides, the council will have 48 non-official members. They are Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP; Mr Jagan Nath Kaushal, Mr Harmohan Dhawan and Mr Satya pal Jain — all former MPs; Mrs Shanta Abhilashi (Mayor), Mr Dharam Pal Gupta (President, BJP); Mr Kulbhushan Gupta (President, Congress); Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar (President, Shiromani Akali Dal) and Mr Mata Ram Dhiman (President, Bahujan Samaj Party).

Mr Inder Lal Batra (President, Beopar Mandal); Mr Yash Pal Mahajan (President, Federation of Small Scale Industries); Mr I.S. Paul (CII); Mr Gian Chand Gupta (former Mayor); Mr Subash Chawla (President, Transporters’ Association); Mr Manmohan Singh Kohli (Restaurants and Hotels Association); Mrs Swaroop Krishan (Blood Bank Society); Dr S. Prabhakar (President, IMA); Director of PGI; Mrs Daya Chaudhary (President, Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association); Mr N.K. Nanda (President, District Bar Association); Mr Devi Dyal Sharma (General Secretary, AITUC); Mr Inderjit Singh Grewal (President, CITU); Mr Jagdish Bajaj (Chairman, Bharat Mazdoor Sabha); Mr Ram Pal Sharma (President, INTUC); Mr K. Waris Masih (Chairman, Patroate Committee of CNI Church); Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal (former Mayor); Dr Mohammed Khalid (Fellow, Panjab University); Mrs Kamla Sharma (ex-Mayor and Chairperson, Chandigarh Social Welfare Advisory Board); Ms Ranjana Shahi and Mrs Satinder Dhawan and Mrs Harjinder Kaur (Women Councillors); Mr Hari Shanker Mishra (President, Labour Colonies Cell); Lieut-Gen Bhupinder Singh (retd); Brig Sant Singh (retd);Mr Milkha Singh and Wg Cdr Satish Bhatia (international sportsmen); Ms Neelam Man Singh and Prof B.N. Goswami (Theatre and Art); Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University; Mr Gurdyal Singh, Mr B.D. Kapoor, Mr P.C. Khanna; Mr B.S. Ojha and Mr P.H. Vaishnav (former Chief Secretaries of Haryana and Punjab); Mr R.K. Saboo (Rotary International), Justice GC Mittal (former Chief Justice); Mr J.S. Bawa (ex-Director, CBI); and Mr Darshan Singh (Sarpanch, Behlana). Back

Mayor criticises panel recast
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — The Mayor,Ms Shanta Abhilashi, today criticised the reconstitution of the Administrator's Advisory Council.

In a statement, she said that in the wake of the already elected body of the city, the Administrator's Advisory Council was redundant, adding that such a council was needed when there was no elected body of the people. The reconstituted Administrator's Advisory Council should have given proper representation to social institutions and voluntary organisations.Back

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