|Saturday, March 11, 2000,
walkout in Punjab House
running into losses: Maluka
councillors stage walkout
should pull out of NDA on urea price
invites Clinton to Golden Temple
|DGP defends move to empower police
PHILLAUR, March 10 Punjab Police chief, Mr Sarabjit Singh had strongly advocated the need to introduce the police commissioner system in the state on the lines of mega cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Baroda, Hyderabad and Delhi.
may tamper with contraband seal: HC
social side of BSF
in bad shape
darbars affect work
dealers start dharna
killed cattle to buy drugs
cases of power theft detected
financial powers for Medical College Principals
syllabus for MBBS exams
students observe strike
resent govt move
studies paper cancelled
Another walkout in Punjab House
CHANDIGARH, March 10 There was another walkout by the Opposition in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha today. The issue was hike in the price of fertiliser (urea) in the Union Budget proposals.
The issue was raised by Mr Ravi Inder Singh, during zero hour. He said the House must adopt a resolution to impress upon the Centre to rollback the fertiliser prices. The Speaker, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, repeatedly told Mr Ravi Inder Singh that a calling attention motion on the subject by Mr Satya Pal Saini had already been admitted on the subject. The motion had been scheduled for March 13.
Mr Ravi Inder Singh, persisted. Certain Opposition members joined in seeking a House resolution. Mr Inderjit Singh Zira (SAD) started a speech. The Speaker directed that the speech should not be recorded. The Leader of the House, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, intervened to say that along with other senior Akali leaders, he had met the Prime Minister recently in New Delhi and sent a detailed letter urging him that the fertiliser prices be rolled back. The Prime Minister had assured him to consider the request.
The Opposition, including members from to the Congress, CPI, BSP and the SAD (Amritsar) trooped out of the House shouting slogans, which were expunged by the Speaker.
Most of the issues raised by the members during zero hour were not allowed by the Speaker, who insisted that the members could raise the same during the discussion on the Governors Address or while speaking on the Budget. But the Leader of the Opposition, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, did not heed and went on to speak with major thrust on growing incidence of dacoity and snatching. Similarly, Mr Hardev Arshi (CPI) raised the issue of Jethuke village where farmers protesting against overcharging by private transporters were fired upon. Mr Ajit Inder Singh Moffar of the SAD, Mann, talked of an incident where a cop had acted in a brazen manner with a petrol pump owner and later taken shelter in a shop and falsely implicated him in a case.
Mr Avtar Singh Brar also raised the issue of fertiliser and diesel prices. The BSP member, Mr Shangara Ram Shangura, made a bid to refer to a rape case in Nawanshahr and how the police had acted indifferently.
Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal spoke about a fugitive, who had escaped from Haryana and was caught in Abohar on March 6 and from whom a letter of reference by a son of a Punjab minister had been found. He demanded a statement from the Chief Minister. He was quoting newspaper reports. He decried criminalisation of politics.
Nevertheless, the Speaker disallowed all issues raised during zero hour and called upon the SAD member, Mr Manpreet Singh Badal to move a resolution on discussion on the Governors Address. It was seconded by the BJP member, Mr Arunesh Kumar.
Rapprochement efforts on
AMRITSAR, March 10 The decision to convene sarbat Khalsa by a former Akal Takht Jathedar, Bhai Ranjit Singh, at Anandpur Sahib on Baisakhi seems to have compelled the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the SGPC to bring rapprochement between the SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, and Giani Puran Singh, Jathedar, Akal Takht. The Akali leadership feels if the stand-off continues, Bhai Ranjit Singh would steal the show at the concluding functions of the tercentenary of the birth of the Khalsa Panth.
As part of the hectic activities, Mr Avtar Singh Hit, President, SAD, New Delhi and Dr Puran Singh Jassi, former Director, Health Services, would meet Giani Puran Singh at the residence of the latter. Mr Hit, who is confident of bringing rapprochement, said the ongoing crisis would be resolved before the executive meeting of the SGPC to be held here on March 16.
Mr Hit said Giani Puran Singh would be persuaded to invite the five Sikh high priests to resolve the crisis. Bibi Jagir Kaur, in a letter to Jathedar Puran Singh has already admitted that she was ready to appear before the Sikh priests of the five Takhts. However, Bhai Mann Singh and Bhai Kulwant Singh, Jathedars of Takht Patna Sahib and Takht Hazoor Sahib, respectively, are unable to come before March 16 and hence this meeting could not be possible before the SGPC executive.
On the other hand, Giani Puran Singh is not ready to invite Prof Manjit Singh, Giani Mohan Singh, Giani Bhagwan Singh and Giani Charan Singh for the proposed meeting as they had rejected the hukamnama wherein Bibi Jagir Kaur was excommunicated from the Sikh Panth. The emissaries of Mr Badal would, however try to persuade Giani Puran Singh to allow the Jathedars of Takht Kesgarh Sahib, Takht Damdama Sahib and the Head Granthi, Golden Temple, to participate in the meeting to resolve the crisis. These high priests are readily available. On the other hand, Giani Bhagwan Singh, Head Granthi, Akal Takht, who had presented a siropa to Bibi Jagir Kaur had threatened to resign if Bibi Jagir Kaur were to appear at Akal Takht on the issue of the controversial hukamnama.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, is likely to visit the city in connection with a function of Hindu College. In case his visit materialises, he is likely, to hold informal meetings with some SGPC members.
Giani Puran Singh held a
meeting with the office-bearers of the Sant Samaj at his
residence. Talking to TNS he said hukamnama once issued
by the Akal Takht Jathedar could not be withdrawn. He
said Bibi Jagir Kaur could not hold meeting of the SGPC
executive on March 16 as she was restrained from
Kaura questions Puran
Singhs role in Kaunkes arrest
JALANDHAR March 10 Launching an attack on Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Puran Singh, a belligerent faction of the World Sikh Council headed by Mr Kulbir Singh Kaura has asked him to clarify his alleged role in the detention of former Akal Takht Jathedar Bhai Gurdev Singh Kaunke and others by the police.
Earlier, the Amritsar zone comprising Doaba, Majha and Jammu and Kashmir, headed by Mr Kaura, had refused to accept Giani Puran Singh as Jathedar of Akal Takht.
Mr Kaura, referring to Bullet for Bullet, a book written by Mr Julio Ribeiro, former Punjab Director General of Police, alleged that Giani
Puran Singh had played an important role in the detention of Bhai Kaunke, while the former was a granthi of Golden Temple. Mr Kaura, who heads the Amritsar zone of the council, which was dissolved by Giani Puran Singh, said the excerpts of the book published in a Punjabi magazine, made startling revelations about the role played by the Akal Takht Jathedar due to which he had no right to claim himself to be a Sikh. If the allegations were wrong, he should file a suit against Mr Ribeiro and should explain his position before the Sikhs, said Mr Kaura alleging that he had also presided over a meeting of the anti-Sikh Rashtriya Sikh Sangat at Amritsar.
Appealing to the
ex-communicated chief of the SGPC Bibi Jagir
Kaur to accept Bhai Ranjit Singh as Jathedar of Akal
Takht to bring out the Panth from the quagmire, Mr Kaura
said every Sikh should put in his might to make the
Sarbat Khalsa call of Bhai Ranjit Singh on Baisakhi, a
PSEB running into losses:
CHANDIGARH, March 10 The Punjab Vidhan Sabha was today informed by the Minister of Power, Mr Sikandar Singh Maluka, that the Punjab State Electricity Board was running into losses due to three chief reasons, namely, technical, power theft and subsidies.
The figures given out during question hour pertained to the last three years, beginning, 1997-98. Loss due to technical reasons was between 13 and 15 per cent. Though the same could be reduced by another 2 or 3 per cent. It was within reasonable limits.Theft, however, was a major cause of loss. Besides, theft also caused damage to equipment, like transformers and conductors resulting in further losses. Subsidy also led to losses and the agriculture sector was not the only sector but other consumers, domestic, commercial and industrial were also getting subsidies.
The minister went on to list the steps initiated to cut down on losses.
The question was put by the Congress member, Mr Amarjit Singh Samra.
On account of free power to agriculture, the PSEB suffered a loss of Rs 287 crore in1997-98; Rs 303 crore in 1998-99; and projected loss in the current year was Rs 320 crore. The commercial losses suffered during these three years were to the tune of Rs 979.343 crore; 1257.54 crore; and Rs 1339.06 crore is the projected loss, respectively.
There were three calling attention motions as well. These were moved by the CPI members, Mr Hardev Arshi and Mr Ajaib Singh Raunta. These pertained to a high voltage power line, 133 KV, passing over residential colonies in Bathinda, death of sheep due to polluted drinking water in Patiala district; and disconnection of power to village water works.
While the Minister of Power, Mr Sikandar Singh Maluka replied to these calling attentions assuring the members of appropriate steps, the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal replied to the calling attention on the death of sheep. In addition to compensation of Rs 43,800, by the factory involved, the Chief Minister announced a sum of Rs 25,000 to the owner. He also announced that the Punjab Pollution Control Board would be asked to map out all pockets where underground water was likely to get polluted. He also assured the house that necessary instructions would be issued not to disconnect power to rural water works in case of non-payment or delayed payment of electricity bills.
In a written reply to a question by Mr Ajaib Singh Raunta, the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal said a total of 21 girls were reported to have been raped in Punjab in 1997. They were all below 10 years of age. Likewise another 77 in the age group of 10-16 were raped. In the following year, 1998, the number of girls raped was 16 (below 10 years) and 91 (10-16 years) and in 1999 the reported rape cases were 30 and 106, respectively.
On the payment of
Shagun to girls belonging to scheduled caste
girls, in a written reply, the minister in charge, Mr
Sarwan Singh Phillasur, told Ms Laksmi Kanta Chawla, in
all 77,247 girls have been given Shagun
between April 1, 1997 and January 31, 2000.In this period
a total of 89,334 applications were received of which
57,209 were paid the money.
Cong councillors stage walkout
BATHINDA, March 10 As many as six municipal councillors belonging to the Congress party staged a walkout of a meeting of the local municipal council held here today.
On the other hand, a section of the ruling municipal councillors belonging to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), along with certain Independent municipal councillors, passed a resolution for privatising octroi posts despite the fact that the Punjab Government had already decided not to privatise octroi posts.
Mr Jagroop Singh Gill, former president of the Municipal Council, said the Congress councillors staged a walkout of the meeting in protest against the alleged neglect of development work in those wards which were represented by the Congress.
He alleged that the ruling municipal councillors were arranging liberal funds for the development of their respective wards while a meagre amount was being granted for the wards represented by the municipal councillors of the opposition parties.
Municipal councillors of the ruling party had passed the resolution for privatising the octroi posts under Rule 9 of the Municipal act, which was unethical, he alleged. He added that the matter of privatisation of octroi posts should have been on the agenda of todays meeting and the resolution should have been passed after necessary discussion and voting on it.
Mr Bhupinder Singh Bhuller, president, municipal council, alleged that the Congress municipal councillors were levelling baseless allegations. He claimed that the amount of funds spent in the wards represented by the Congress councillors was more than that spent in the wards of the councillors belonging to the ruling group. He added that it was on record and anybody could check it.
SAD should pull
out of NDA on urea price
SAMANA, March 10 A rally was held at Doger Bazar here yesterday by the Lok Bhilai Manchs local unit.
Addressing the rally, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, former Union Welfare Minister and President of the Lok Bhalai Manch demanded that the Shiromani Akali Dal should pull out of the National Democratic alliance government if it failed to persuade the Central Government to roll back the hike in the urea prices. He said the hike in urea prices was bound to hit the Punjab farmers the most since the state had a high rate of urea consumption. He alleged that the SAD had failed to protect interests of the Punjab farmers. If the Union Government did not withdraw the hike, the SAD should withdraw support to the Central Government.
He further alleged that
due to the indifferent attitude adopted by the state
government several projects, like the Raja Sansi
International Airport and the Bathinda refinery project,
were being shelved. He said the Badal Government had also
failed to avail of the Union Government grant of Rs 300
crore for the paddy loss during the previous season.
SGPC invites Clinton to Golden
AMRITSAR, March 10 The SGPC has formally invited the US President, Mr Bill Clinton, to visit the Golden Temple on his forthcoming visit to India.
The SGPC Secretary, Mr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, told newsmen today that a formal request to Mr Clinton was faxed on March 9.
The SGPC said the visit of Mr Clinton to Pakistan would be meaningless if he ignored Indian Punjab as Sikh gurdwaras had played a significant role for immigrants. If he wants to see true India he must visit Punjab, particularly the holy city, the SGPC added.
The SGPC told the President Punjab is the heart of the country and also known for its glorious heritage and distinction of being inhabited by the brave people who have earned a name and fame both in fields and battlefields. They have contributed not only for the development of India but have also contributed for the development of other countries on the globe to which the USA is not an exception.
The entire Sikh community, including Sikhs living western hemisphere, wishes you to visit the Golden Temple, their sanctum sanctorum. We hope you must be aware of its historical importance, peaceful, serene and spiritual atmosphere. We, therefore, on behalf of the entire Sikh community extend to you a cordial invitation to visit the Golden Temple, the SGPC requested.
DGP defends move to empower
PHILLAUR, March 10 Punjab Police chief, Mr Sarabjit Singh had strongly advocated the need to introduce the police commissioner system in the state on the lines of mega cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Baroda, Hyderabad and Delhi.
Mr Sarbjit Singh, talking to mediapersons in the Punjab Police Academy here today said there was a strong need to appoint police commissioners and assistant police commissioners in the state and to arm them with executive powers to ensure better law and order maintenance.
Reacting to the suggestion of some IAS officers that a multi-disciplinary vigilance commission should replace the state vigilance bureau, the DGP said that major changes in the existing structure of the Bureau were in the offing and work in this direction had already started after a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister about four months ago.
He denied having received any letter from the Chief Secretary regarding the implementation of the Police Rules 1861.
Earlier, in his valedictory address on the conclusion of a two-day workshop organised by the academy authorities, Mr Sarabjit Singh said there was a need to bring about a change in the perception parameters of the public as well as the police for eliciting more co-operation.
Mr A.A. Siddiqui, Director of the academy said the work of the police forces had turned more complex due to advances in technology and its use by criminals. Other causes were social unrest a spurt in population and political agitation.
Earlier, in his
inaugural address of workshop yesterday, Prof David
Bayley, of the School of Criminal Justice, USA,
highlighted the importance of community involvement in
the maintenance of law and order in every society.
Witness may tamper with contraband seal: HC
CHANDIGARH, March 10 (PTI) The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that a seal used by an officer to seize contraband may not necessarily be handed over to an independent witness or person who may become scarce or may not be available at the time of trial.
A Division Bench comprising Mr Justice Jawaharlal Gupta and Mr Mehtab Singh Gill said there was no such provision laying down such a requirement under the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.
An independent witness may be won over by the accused or he may tamper with the seal and even destroy it, it added.
The Benchs verdict came after a single judge referred to the case of a foreign national, Monica Christy Chikwa, after a Customs Inspector arrested her on April 2, 1995, for carrying 410 grams of heroin at Attari border in Amritsar district.
She was tried under NDPS and convicted for 10 years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
Christy filed two appeals against the order. When the matter came up before the single Judge, he contended that the conviction was vitiated as the seal used by the officer had not been handed over to an independent witness after the case property had been seized and sealed.
The social side of BSF
FEROZEPORE: Under the border population welfare programme, the Border Security Force in this sector organised various programmes in various villages, including Bareke, Hazarasinghwala and Rajoke between November last and February-end this year.
The purpose of these programmes was to increase the sense of security and fraternity with the border population and of looking after their welfare. Thousands of border inhabitants enthusiastically participated in the programmes.
The main events of the programme were rural sports and games, cultural programmes, free medical camps, a pulse-polio programme, and inter-village hygiene competitions.
Games and sports included individual events such as 10 km cycle race, 5 km mini marathon, 1 km race for veterans, long jump, shot-put, weightlifting, open wrestling, dog race and games like volleyball, tug-of-war and kabaddi.
BSF medical officers, specialists from various medical disciplines attended to 2,000 patients. In the pulse polio programme, vaccines were given to a large number of children, including 685 infants, at Rajoke village alone.
Local musical and dancing groups and BSF artistes gave a cultural twist to the programme and enthralled the audience with colourful dances and hilarious songs. Langars were also organised for teams and spectators.
Prizes were given to winners of various competitions. Besides, needy school-going children were given notebooks, pencils, sweaters and other items. Prizes of Rs 5,000 each were presented to panchayats of the four best hygienic border villages. Kalash, Hazarasinghwala and Rajoke villages were selected the best at the battalion-level.
Among others, the DIG (BSF), Mr Hemant Purohit, Deputy Commissioner Kulbir Singh Sidhu and Jagir Singh Bhullar, (Valtoha MLA) graced the functions and motivated the villagers, especially the youth to participate in extra-curricular activities for their overall development.
A BSF official, told this reporter that best sportspersons of border villages might be given preference at the time of BSF recruitment. Under the programme, about Rs 1.75 lakh had been spent across the sector.
Mr Ajit Singh (50), a
resident of Lakha Singh Wala Hithar village, said that
BSF was not there just to guard the border: it also
conducted welfare activities for border inhabitants. It
was for the first time in his life that he had seen such
a programme at Hazarasinghwala village. If the BSF
continues holding such programmes, border people,
especially the youth, will ultimately be motivated for
various careers, besides farming, he commented.
DC's transfer demanded
CHANDIGARH, March 10 The PCS Officers Association at an emergency meeting here today demanded that the Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar, be transferred immediately and never ever given charge of any district.
In a signed statement, the association president, Mr Jaswant Singh, said the demand emanated from the incident of demolition of some unauthorised structures by the administration involving the Ajnala Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Mr J.P. Singh, who has been placed under suspension. The association said this action had been taken due to "misreporting" and "misstatement" of facts by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Narinderjit Singh, to the Chief Minister.
If such was the treatment to be meted out to an officer no PCS officer would risk removing unauthorised encroachments and constructions in the future.
The action at Amritsar
had been taken on specific written instructions of the
Deputy Commissioner after a meeting on January 17. Even
the senior superintendent of police had been directed by
the Deputy Commissioner to provide police help during the
removal of the encroachment. Despite all this the Chief
Minister had been miseld leading to the suspension of Mr
Veteran journalist dead
PATIALA, March 10 Veteran journalist and Praja Mandal activist Bhushan Sirhindi died here this evening at a private nursing home after a prolonged illness.He was 83.
Mr Sirhindi started his journalistic career in the Parbhat daily at Lahore where he also wrote for Tej. Following that he was Provincial Secretary in the Praja Mandal movement and also accompanied Pt Jawaharlal Nehru and Giani Zail Singh in the Jaito Morcha. He, however refused to take pension as a freedom fighter.
Mr Sirhindi represented prominent news agencies and newspapers during his 65-year journalistic career, including Press Trust of India, All India Radio, Hindustan Times, The Times of India and the Hind Samachar Group . Presently he was working for The Hindustan Times, The Times of India and Hind Samachar Group.
The Punjab Chief
Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has expressed his grief
over the death. State Finance Minister Capt Kanwaljit
Singh, Public Relations Minister Natha Singh Dalam,
Deputy Commissioner Jasbir Singh Bir, former MP Gurcharan
Singh Dadhahoor and Journalistic Society president
Gurbhajan Singh Sanyasi have condoled the death of Mr
Dispensaries in bad shape
TARN TARAN, March 10 Government homoeopathic dispensaries in Amritsar district are in a bad shape. The staff is inadequate and they have no proper buildings.
There is only one dispensary at the district headquarters which enjoys full staff. The dispensaries of Lalpur and Jandiala Guru are locked up as the HMO of Lalpur is posted at some other district.
ABOHAR, March 10
Questioning the extra-constitutional authority exercised
by Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal son of the Punjab Chief
Minister in holding sangat darshan meetings, Mr Gurdas
Girdhar, a member of the Punjab Pradesh Congress
Committee today said that normal functioning of all
offices in Muktsar district had been paralysed as all
senior civil police officers were accompanying the former
union minister of state in their official vehicles for
the past three-four days.
Petrol dealers start dharna
MOGA, March 10 The local Petrol Pump Dealers Association today started an indefinite dharna in front of the offices of the SSP of police to press their demands for the payment of several lakhs of rupees which the police had failed to pay them against the supply of petrol and other petroleum products for the past several years.
Stating this general secretary of the Moga district Petrol Pump Dealers Association Mr Gurmeet Singh, said that they would continue dharna till their demands were accepted and added that the owners of the association also have decided not to supply petrol to the police till then.
Mr Gurmeet Singh further
said that although Punjab Finance Minister Kanwaljit
Singh had earlier assured a deputation of the Punjab
Petrol Pump Dealers Association that the government would
make all the outstanding payments to them but nothing had
so far been done in this connection.
FATEHGARH SAHIB, March 10 The computerised registration work in the office of the Sub Registrar Bassi Pathana was inaugurated today by Mr V.K. Janjua, Deputy Commissioner. With this offices of two Sub Registrars of the district have been computerised by NIC.
Mr V.K. Janjua said the
market values of all properties had been fed into the
computer to check the evasion of stamp duties by under
valuation of properties. The possibility of impersonation
during the process of registration had also been
He killed cattle to buy drugs
MUKTSAR, March 10 Jagtar Singh, a resident of Mahuana village of this district, allegedly killed seven head of cattle in the past few days to earn enough money to buy his daily dose of drugs.
Jagtar Singh, an addict of poppy husk, was allegedly hired by Des Raj of Malout town for killing the milch animals of other residents of Mahuana village. Des Raj used to pay Jagtar Singh Rs 400 per killing.
Mr Kultar Singh, SSP, said that the villagers were worried over the mysterious deaths of their cattle within a span of few days. The villagers were agitated with the veterinary staff, suspecting that their cattle were not being taken care of by the veterinary staff.
Somehow, the matter came to the notice of the police and a police party was pressed into service to find out the reasons for the deaths of the milch animals.
The police found that Jagtar Singh allegedly used to administer poison to the cattle during night. The next morning, Des Raj would come to the village and take the dead cattle with him. He would sell their hide and bones, thus earning handsome profit.
Mr Kultar Singh said that a few days ago, Jagtar Singh failed to administer the poison to a pre-decided cattle. However, next morning, Des Raj came to the village and enquired from the villagers the way to the place where a cattle had died. Des Raj was detained by the villagers when they came to know that he along with Jagtar Singh was killing their cattle.
270 cases of power theft
GURDASPUR, March 10 The PSEB authorities have detected 270 cases of power theft in the past three days in the Gurdaspur circle.
Raiding parties of the PSEB detected 82 cases of theft after checking 750 domestic connections in the Qadian subdivision alone. One case of power theft in the industrial sector was also detected in this subdivision.
As many as 188 cases of power theft were detected in addition in the rest of seven divisions in the circle. The total number of domestic connections checked by the raiding party were 1617.
Mr US Saroa, Superintending Engineer, talking to news here today said that the raiding party included 5 Executive Engineers, 10 Subdivision Engineers and 70 other staff members of the PSEB. The raids were initiated at 5.30 pm on Wednesday from Qadian.
A fine to the tune of Rs 5.50 lakh was imposed on the defaulters and their connections were cut.
More financial powers for Medical
PATIALA, March 10 In a major policy change the Punjab government has decided to decentralise power in the hands of Principals and Medical Superintendents of Medical and Dental Colleges of the state to enable them to effectively deal with urgent needs of their institutions.
Principals of medical institutions in the the state would now be able to make purchases of Rs 5 lakh per item . Earlier they had a purchasing limit of only Rs 5,000.
The decision has been undertaken as the medical institutions have not been able to take advantage of the the revenue generated through increase in hospitalisation charges for the benefit of the institutions in an effective manner . This is mainly because all expenditure is okayed by a high level committee which is a time consuming procedure taking nearly two to three months.
Even after the increase in charges , the medical institutions have to wait for a considerable time as all money goes to the government and then is sent back to the institutions. Due to this, urgent works , including repair of hospital machinery ,cannot be undertaken in time . Even in Rajindra hospital functioning in many departments has been marred as machines are not working for want of repairs .
Talking to TNS , Director , Medical Research and Medical Education, Dr S.S. Sidhu said Principals of Medical Colleges would now get the financial powers of Rs 5 lakh per item which till now had been vested with the Director . He said the Directorate hoped with this move the institutions would be able to utilise the money accumulated on its account with the Directorate in a more efficient manner . He said the institutions had been told to replace parts of faulty equipment on a priority basis in order to make to entire equipment in the hospitals in working order .
Dr Sidhu said the Directorate had also received proposals for renovating student hostels in all the medical institutions of the state . He said under this move the hostels would be provided LPG connections for their kitchens besides being provided water coolers and other facilities. He said it had also been decided to provide vehicles for Community Medicine Department and Ambulances for Outdoor Patient Departments.He said training procedures would also be improved, adding, all this would be done in the next three months .
The DRME said funds from Non Resident Indians (NRIs) would be used to improve emergency services in the hospitals . He said specialised services would be created in the emergency wings with a proposal having been finalised to appoint Case Medical Officers with varying specialities whose services would be provided with the Casualty Department itself.
Dr Sidhu also disclosed that the Directorate had decided to go in for interconnectivity of all Medical Institutions in the state under which direct reserved lines would be put up by PUNCOM.He said internet facilities would be provided under the scheme besides linking the colleges with the Directorate. He said the Rs 66 lakh scheme for which money had already been deposited with PUNCOM in September last year , would be started immediately with the contract being finalised with PUNCOM very soon .
He said with the
finalising of this scheme an earlier project involving
issuing of Smart Cards to patients besides
computerising hospital records had been put on the hold
and would be undertaken in the second phase only .When
asked why this had been done , he said the department had
not be able to raise Rs2 to 3 crore needed for the
Uniform syllabus for MBBS exams
CHANDIGARH, March 10 Baba Farid University for Health Sciences has all set to bring about uniformity in the syllabus of the medical colleges in Punjab. Next examination of the first Prof of MBBS in May-June will be held on the basis of uniform syllabus.
This was disclosed here today by Dr S.S. Sidhu, Director, Research and Medical Education, Punjab. Talking to TNS Dr Sidhu, who is a member of the academic and governing council of the University, said that he had submitted a report recommending uniformity in the syllabus of the first Prof of the MBBS course in all medical institutions in Punjab. Dr Sidhu was a head of the committee set up by the university in this connection.
He has also recommended many structural changes in the syllabus, including deletion of the outdated and irrelevant chapters from the various subjects taught in the MBBS course. For instance, he said there were number of chapters in the biochemistry which were being reviewed. An effort has also been made to update the syllabus, he added.
The university has been authorised to conduct the entrance test for admission in the MBBS course in various medical colleges in the State for the next academic session. The University will be assisted either by the Punjabi University or by Guru Nanak Dev University in this connection.
Dr Sidhu said the test for admission in post graduation courses in medical colleges would be conducted exclusively by the university. Besides, the university would start new courses like B.Sc (nursing), B.Sc (physiotherapy), B.Sc (anatomy), and B.Sc (biochemistry). The test for admission in these courses would also be conducted by the university according to Dr Sidhu.
As work load in the university has increased, a number of new posts including of two deputy Registrar and six executive assistants have been sanctioned by the Governing Council, Dr Sidhu added. The university would get all possible help from the state government, he asserted.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Medical Education authorities have decided to hand over the security of the government medical colleges in the State to the Punjab Ex-servicemen Corporation. Already an exercise and survey has been conducted by PESCO in this connection. It would cost Rs 40 lakh to the medical institutions.
Dr Sidhu said with the handing over the security to a professional agency, entry in these institutions and the hospitals attached to these would be regulated. There is a big problem at present in streamlining the entry in such institutions and hospitals attached to these at present.
The government medical colleges have generated funds to the tune of Rs 2.04 crore this year and already Rs 1.45 crore have been reallocated to these institutions for the improvement of the infrastructure, including hostels etc. Dr Sidhu said that the LPG system would be provided in all hostels in medical colleges.
Two ambulances would be
purchased for government medical colleges at Amritsar and
Faridkot and a bus would be purchased for Government
Medical College, Patiala for taking medical students to
rural areas as a part of Social Preventive Medicine (SPM)
REC students observe strike
JALANDHAR, March 10 Students of the local Regional Engineering College (REC) observed a strike today against overcharging of fees by the college authorities.
The students, said the strike would continue till the fee structure was brought at par with the other RECs in the region. They alleged that while the average annual fee in other RECs was about Rs 7000, the local REC authorities were charging Rs 33,730 as annual fee, which was four times more than the other RECs.
Teachers resent govt move
NAWANSHAHR, March 10 There is anger amongst teaching and non-teaching employees of privately managed government-aided schools at the government decision to deduct 5 per cent from their salaries given between April 98 to September 99.
This order runs contrary to an agreement with the union and a subsequent letter by the Special Secretary School Education in this regard on March 1.
In February 99, teachers of privately-managed govt-aided schools had observed a strike to protest the Punjab Government decision to give a 90 per cent salary grant to aided schools instead of 95 per cent as per the Delhi pattern.
After a long struggle the union succeeded in pressuring the government into withdrawing the decision.
Mr Hans Raj Sharma district president of the Privately Managed Government-Aided School Teachers and other Employees Union, told this correspondent that Mr Manohar Lal Chopra, state general secretary of the union had met Education Minister Tota Singh at Chandigarh in this regard, and he had immediately ordered the special secretary (school education) to resolve the matter. The special secretary (school education) in his letter (memo number 16.3.92-2E-3/4817 dated March 1, 2000 had instructed the DPI (private aided schools) to the release a 95 per cent salary grant and arrears. But due to lack of proper coordination between the Education Department and officials of the Finance Department, the instructions were not being followed, claimed Mr Sharma.
The union leader said teachers and other employees of the aided schools had not even been paid their salaries for the past three months.
He said if the issue of
5 per cent recovery from salary was not resolved soon the
grant of Rs 33 crore (approx.) released by the govt for
aided schools in the current financial year would lapse
further adding to the woes of the teachers who may have
to go without the salary for six months. For in that
situation salary grant for aided schools would be
released only after budget allocation in June, 2000.
Social studies paper cancelled
SAS NAGAR, March 10 The social studies paper of the middle standard examination of the Punjab School Education Board, held on March 9 at Government High School, Kala Afghana (Gurdaspur) has been cancelled following reports of mass copying there.
A spokesman for the board said the mass copying was detected by a flying squad headed by the District Education Officer. The entire supervisory staff along with the centre superintendent at the centre has been shifted.
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