|Tuesday, March 14, 2000,
to introduce welfare fund act
lakh embezzled by bank employee
air their grievances
report after panchayat poll
Railway surrenders posts, boosts earnings
|State of roads deplorable
KHANNA: Roads in Khanna sub-division are in a pitiable condition, resulting in an increase in accidents.
for priority to agro-based units
boy in big IT league
suraksha jagran yatra
appeal to Bains
charge for Verma
Another falls prey to dowry demon
to get arrears soon
on warpath with authorities
exams from March 18
Gosain, Sahni suspended
JALANDHAR, March 13 After dilly-dallying for months, the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has suspended two dissident party MLAs, Mr Jagdish Sahni and Mr Satpal Gosain from the primary membership of the party.
Announcing this here today, Mr Daya Singh Sodhi, president of the Punjab unit of the BJP, said the decision was taken at a meeting of the party office-bearers here today. The decision was supported by nine of the 14 office-bearers present at the meeting, claimed Mr Sodhi who said the decision had the approval of all other members who were not present at the meeting chaired by him. Both MLAs had been levelling allegations of corruption against Mr Sodhi and Mr Balramji Dass Tandon but no action except for serving a show cause notice had been taken against them during the past over two months.
Mr Sodhi said now the matter had been further referred to the five-member party disciplinary action committee (DAC) comprising Mr Narottam Ratti, Dr Balbir Chand, Mr Shakti Kumar Sharma, Mr Panna Lal Nayyar and Mr Satpal Saini for further action, if any, against the MLAs. The DAC would be taking a decision on the issue within a period of 15 days, said Mr Sodhi. He said the reply to show-cause notice served on both the MLAs was found to be unsatisfactory. We have taken the decision to suspend them with a heavy heart and after having tried our level best to effect a rapprochement with them. Mr Sodhi added.
He further announced
that party organisational elections, including that of
state president, would be held by May 15. He said there
had been tremendous increase in the membership of the
state unit which gone up from two to four lakh during the
recently concluded membership enrolment drive. We
have increased our base among all sections, including
weaker sections, women and minorities, claimed Mr
Punjab to introduce welfare
CHANDIGARH, March 13 The office of the Punjab Advocate-General is now housed in its own building in the precincts of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. It was inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, here today after shabad kirtan.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Badal assured the Advocate-General and law officers of full cooperation of the government in terms of furnishing and furniture required and also installation of computer system besides requisite ministerial staff.
At the same time, he also sought from the law officers a "commitment" to their profession and pursue the legal cases with personal interest. Most of the time stakes are high. Public interest demands speedy justice. Unfortunately, the same is delayed just because someone, somewhere puts in an application and obtains a stay order.
Mr Badal said he did not mean any contempt of court, but would certainly like an interaction with Chief Justice and others to request that in matters of vital public socio-economic and development works, the courts should play an enabling role. He said lawyers would do a great service if they took up 10 per cent of the cases "free".
Another suggestion he put forth, to which the Advocate-General, Mr Hardev Singh Mattewal, apparently agreed, was in respect of education, particularly in the border villages. Let all lawyers decide to keep apart some amount which can be used by their fraternity and association to construct schools in the villages.
The Chief Minister, who replied point by point to demands raised by Mr Mattewal, said his government would try and introduce the Punjab State Welfare Fund Act for giving social security to the lawyers during the current budget session. He also said that recommendations of the Advocates-General Conference would be implemented, as far as possible.
But the law officers and the A-G must interact regularly and periodically with the Chief Secretary and other administrative secretaries concerned to review the progress of the cases pending in the courts. Unless there was personal involvement of the secretaries, law officers, judges and politicians, situation would not change.
Mr Mattewal in his welcome address said there was involvement of the government in as many as one lakh cases in the high court alone besides another 50,000 odd cases in other courts and tribunals and the Supreme Court. He had a team of 50 law officers, who some time felt handicapped due to delay or incomplete information available from the departments concerned. He assured the Chief Minister that "commitment" would be shown.
The Advocate-General said the requisite sum of Rs 35 lakh may be released at the earliest for furnishing and furniture required.
The Chief Minister told
the select gathering how helpless the states were and how
hard it was at times to articulate peoples
aspirations in the absence of money. All financial powers
lay with the Centre. Like "beggars" one had to
approach New Delhi for money. Therefore, realising the
hardships of the system let the Advocate-Generals
office set an example of "team work".
MLAs air their grievances
CHANDIGARH, March 13 The Opposition members today in a guarded language expressed their sentiments to the Speaker, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, that but for in the Vidhan Sabha where else did he expect them to articulate their feelings being representatives of the people who elected them with hope.
Member after member, who rose to speak or who tried to have his word despite the Speaker repeatedly asking one or the other to resume seat, went on to vehemently tell the chair during "zero hour" that he at least allow them to speak even if, what they said, was to be eventually "not" to be recorded or was to be "disallowed".
Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Ms Lakshmi Kanta Chawla, Mr Hardev Arshi, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Mr Inderjit Singh Zira and others felt exasperated since there was no opportunity for them to say what they wished to say either inside or outside the House. For the latter Mr Ravi Inder Singh and Mr Hardev Arshi drew the attention of the chair to the manner in which the police and bureaucracy intervened, either of its own or on instructions from the powers that be, to "obstruct" MLAs/MPs from performing their lawful duties.
In fact Mr Ravi Inder Singh has sent in writing to the Speaker about the treatment meted out to three MLAs on March 3 and wanted the issue to be referred to the House Privilege Committee. The Speaker did not agree. At the same time, Mr Arshi drew the attention of the House to the manner in which member of Parliament from Bathinda, Mr Bhan Singh Bhura, was not allowed to function by Mansa district Deputy Commissioner, who did not release money from the MPs' quota for development works despite a public meeting of several panchayats having been organised.
At one stage Mr Arshi remarked that one felt so disgusted that one would prefer to sit on dharna in the well rather than speak on any other issue. Mr Dhanwant Singh Dhuri said the status of MLA was above that of the Chief Secretary. The reported circular issued by him (C.S) to the bureaucracy to treat MLAs at a par with secretaries etc was ridiculous. The same be withdrawn.
Several members reminded the Speaker that he, being the custodian of the House, it was expected of him by the MLAs that he would safeguard their "status, privileges and perks" both inside and outside the House. "It is the respect for the chair which inhibits us from resorting to unparliamentary protests", remarked Mr Arshi.
At least twice the leader of the House, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, rose in his seat to assure that MLAs would get all the respect due to them. He assured Mr Arshi as well Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal (who had raised the issue of Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner not releasing Rs 5 lakh out of MPs' funds for a village for the past over one year) that he would immediately talk to the Deputy Commissioner of Mansa and Ludhiana to get a necessary facts. The Speaker disallowed what Mr Grewal said.
In fact, the proceedings of the House during question hours were dominated today by a question put to Minister for Social Security, Mr Gobind Singh Kanjla regarding old age and widow pension and one paid to handicap persons. The Speaker, maintaining his patience had to repeat several times that the minister answer the specific questions in proper manner.
In fact, during the proceedings, when Mr Gurdev Singh Badal was replying to a calling attention motion moved by Mr Arshi on low price for potatoes growers and Mr Satyapal Saini's issue of urea price and hardships of the farmers, certain remarks by the minister, which the Speaker expunged, agitated Mr Zira, who left his seat to go to the Speaker's rostrum. He had climbed some stairs when the marshal stopped him and he returns to his seat.
Raja Narinder Singh, and Mr Madan Mohan Mittal both ministers raised this issue and wanted the House to condemn it. The Speaker remarked that respect and dignity of the House should be maintained and even members should protect their self respect.
Most of the issues raised by the members, including forcible ploughing of 65 acres of land of Scheduled Castes in Hoshiarpur by the police and other instances where a sarpanch was detained and his house partially demolished in Ferozepore at the behest of the personnel assistant to a minister, raised by Mr Shangara Ram. Mr Shangara Ram and Mr Zira, respectively, remained unresponded by the Treasury Benches.
The House resumed
discussion on the Governor's Address initiated on March
10. Among those who spoke was the Leader of Opposition,
Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Mr M.I.S. Grewal, Ms Lakshimi
Kanta Chawla and Mr Jatinder Singh Kariha.
Punjab minister grilled
CHANDIGARH, March 13 In the Punjab Vidhan Sabha during the question hour today the Minister for Social Security, Mr Gobind Singh Kanjla, was grilled by the members for not giving proper replies and even the Speaker had to repeat several times asking the minister to give specific answer to the question being put.
It all started with a question by Mr Ajaib Singh Raunta on payment of old age and widow pension besides pension to handicap persons. Statewide, it was said 581,198 persons were getting the benefit of old-age pension as on January 1, 1999. At the same time he said old-age pension beneficiaries found ineligible and whose pension had been stopped numbered 207,405.
While districtwise figures have been given against Nawanshahr where a by-election has just been held, the reply recorded is screening could not be started due to the staff deputed on election duty. In fact, because of poll the government assured all got pension!
The minister also said that pending cases were 50,889 (old age), 12,149 (widow pension) and 5,060 (handicap), but he could not give proper assurance that new applications would be entertained. Lack of money has resulted in a backlog. Mr Hardev Arshi wondered how come January pension was given and pension for the past three months still remained pending.
Mr Sukhwinder Singh Aulak was told in reply to a question that a total of 2,95,077 applications were pending for grant of tubewell connection. This was as on January 1. The Punjab State Electricity Board has now issued instructions for issuing demand notice to all applicants under general category up to March 31, 1990.
In the next financial year, 2000-01, the board proposed to release 25,000 tubewell connections.
In a written reply, Mr Parkash Singh Badal said only two ministers were living in their own houses, Capt Kanwaljit Singh (Finance) and Mr Tota Singh (Education), they were getting house rent of Rs 15,000 and Rs 30,000, respectively.
To a question, the Local
Bodies Minister in a written reply said the state had not
taken any decision to abolish transit tax (rahdari) in
the state from January 1, 2000. If it was abolished the
loss to nagar councils and corporations will be Rs
17,10,08,000 per year.
34 lakh embezzled by bank
JAITU (Faridkot), March 13 The amount of money involved in a fraud committed by Ramesh Kumar, a clerk with the local branch of State Bank of Patiala, has crossed Rs 30 lakh.
Official sources said so far fraud of Rs 34 lakh had been detected after computerisation of all bank accounts. Ramesh Kumar had reportedly fled after committing the fraud.
Sources added that Ramesh Kumar tampered with the account books, ledgers, credit vouchers and made bogus entries to generate enough money for buying lottery tickets to fulfil his dream of becoming rich overnight.
The sources said that as the accounts were being maintained manually in this branch, initially fraud of only Rs 10 lakh could be detected by the investigation team led by a Chief Manager, Mr O.P. Doda, last month. The bank authorities then decided to install computers to find out the exact amount of fraud.
A senior official of the bank said that Ramesh Kumar had issued cheques worth lakhs of rupees to various lottery stall owners in the town. The accused had also withdrawn a major sum from the amount of fraud as cash also.
The official added that about 15 cheques issued by accused to the lottery stall owners had been detected and the bank authorities were trying to recover that amount. The lottery stall owners fearing police action, had got their anticipatory bail.
Official sources said Ramesh Kumar had opened an account under a fictitious name Sham Lal.
Official sources said that the State Bank of Patiala authorities had made a formal request to the managements of those banks where the lottery stall owners were having their accounts regarding the non-release of balance of their respective accounts.
The local police was
also investigating the case following registration of
case under Sections 420, 465, 468, 409, 477 and 120-B
against the accused Ramesh Kumar on the complaint of the
State Bank of Patiala authorities.
BJP report after panchayat poll
FEROZEPORE, March 13 Stung by humiliating defeat suffered by the Haryana BJP during the Assembly elections the party has decided not to embarrass the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) any further by releasing the report of a committee formed to look into the poor performance of the party in elections in view of zila parishad and panchayat elections in the state.
That the BJP is in no mood to annoy its coalition partner the INLD, was indicated by the state party president, Mr Om Parkash Grover, at a press conference here last evening. In a significant announcement, Mr Grover said the committee formed to look into the reasons for defeat would now present its report after the panchayat and zila parishad elections.
There are indications that the BJP committees report may blame the INLD for the partys defeat. Mr Grover, however, said We do not want to open the pandoras box at this moment. As we cannot afford to strain our relations with the INLD, we would like the committee to look the matter after zila parishad and panchayat elections.
He said the much awaited report would be prepared and released only after the fresh parishad and panchayat elections. In reply to a question, Mr Grover said the BJP-INLD alliance and not the BJP alone was responsible for the defeat. Attributing the dismal performance of the BJP candidates to the rebellion within the INLD, he said, Their rebel candidates had affected the poll prospects of the BJP nominees.
Although he favoured the idea of the BJP going alone in Haryana to increase its influence, he said, the alliance was part of an understanding necessitated to survive in the state and Centre in the present coalition era.
Mr Grover, who was here to attend a family function, however, clarified that the logic to lend support to the INLD was not ill-conceived as the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had abolished octroi on the BJPs demand.
Referring to the controversial Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal issue, he said, The party strongly feels that Haryana should get its due. Adding that the surplus water of Sutlej river should be diverted to Haryana to resolve the matter once and for all. He said the Prime Minister had assured a delegation of the five BJP MPs from Haryana to call a meeting of the Chief Ministers of both the states to resolve the crisis. To substantiate his claim, he said, I too was part of the delegation.
He further demanded that the Chandigarh issue should also be resolved soon.
N. Railway surrenders posts,
FEROZEPORE, March 13 The Northern Railway General Manager, Mr S.P. Mehta, said here today since the Northern Railway had started surrendering posts like lampmen, its earnings had boost up. Mr Mehta was here to inaugurate the Inter-Divisional Northern Railway flower and vegetable show at the Railway Stadium, here.
Talking to mediapersons, Mr Mehta said the Railways wanted to enhance its productivity. With the surrender of posts earnings have risen by 40 per cent, he informed, adding that 700 posts were surrendered every year in the Ferozepore division alone. The local DRM, Mr N. K. Goel, was also present on the occasion.
To a question, Mr Mehta said the Northern Railways had nearly 2,500 unmanned level crossings. We have been gradually manning such crossings. A total of 161 such crossings had already been sanctioned and 60 more such crossings were also to be sanctioned during next financial year, he added.
He, however, said that due to paucity of funds, of the total sanctioned crossings, only 25 unmanned level crossings would be manned during next financial year. Each crossings initial cost comes to Rs 10 lakh, he added and said, every manned crossing cost Rs 2 lakh per annum to the Railways.
Mr Mehta said the Railways could not be held responsible for accidents which took place at the manned or unmanned railway crossings and none of the decease was compensated by the Railways for such accidents. He said, The whole responsibility lies on the road users. More such accidents happened in Punjab, UP and Haryana where there were more roads as compared to other states, he added.
He asked the MPs to come forward and release funds out of their discretionary quota for setting up manned railway crossings. To create awareness against the blind use of manned and unmanned railway crossings by road users, the Railways had launched a special campaign under which seminars and nukkar nataks were being arranged, he added.
Replying to a question, Mr Mehta said the Northern Railways total earnings would be about Rs 5,000 crore during current financial year against Rs 4,200 during 1998-99. He, however said that recent hike in the diesel price had hit Budget of the Railways. Besides, salaries had increased up to 10 per cent, he added.
He said it could not be ruled out that the Department of Railways was free from the corruption menace. I do not say that the Railways is a clean department. But, we have been making efforts to improve image of the Railways, he added and said, every year more than 100 railwaymen were punished on the charges of corruption.
Earlier, Mr Mehta
inaugurated flower and vegetable show. In his address, Mr
Mehta said this show was put up to promote garden
consciousness amongst railway employees for maintaining a
pollution free environment.
State of roads deplorable
KHANNA: Roads in Khanna sub-division are in a pitiable condition, resulting in an increase in accidents.
There are a number of roads, constructed many years ago which have not been repaired yet. These have several potholes and in the rainy season it is practically impossible to use them.
The Samrala-Khanna road, used by thousands of vehicles daily, is in a bad condition. Heavy rain last season worsened its condition. A stretch of it is particularly bad and no repair work has been done. The Khanna-Khumano road is also in similar condition with about a 4 km stretch of it needing immediate repair.
It is reported that due to bad roads a number of vehicles have been damaged.
Other roads in a bad condition include the Amloh-Khanna road, the Chandigarh-Khanna road and the Rahon-Khanna road. It is learnt that the PWD has made estimates for the repair of these roads but due to lack of funds, work has not started. Only the Malerkotla-Khanna road is undergoing repair at a cost of Rs 1.70 crore.
Although the Chief
Minister has assured the people during his recent visit
that the government would repair 40 km of roads and
construct 20 km of new roads in each assembly
constituency every year, repair work remains pending.
Governor for priority to
FEROZEPORE, March 13 On his first visit to a border district after assuming the office of Governor of Punjab, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, today said that the State Government should give priority to the agro-based industry in the interest of farming community.
Making it clear that being a constitutional authority he can only advise the government, Gen Jacob said that more agro-based processing industries should be established in the state to enhance agricultural production. Addressing a press conference at the PWD Rest House here, Gen Jacob said, we need more cold storages and more agro-based industries in Punjab.
Strongly recommending for fruit and vegetable production, he also emphasised setting up of a large number of cooperatives in Punjab. He, however, said that it was for the elected government to frame policies to this effect. Underlining the need for overall rural development, Gen Jacob said that both primary and middle level education were the areas of concern.
He sought to clarify that normalcy prevailed in Punjab. Appreciating the role of district administration in development of this neglected district, he assured to take up the grievances of local civilians with the government.
Earlier in the day,
Governor Jacob visited the Hussainiwala martyr memorial
and later attended a lunch with the jawans of the Patiala
Mountain on the border. Only senior police and
administrative officials accompanied the Governor
throughout the day. Political leaders were absent.
Patiala boy in big IT league
PATIALA, March 13 A Patiala boy who started on computers six years back in the Income Tax department here, has made a name for himself in information technology in the USA. Mr Harinder Singh Ahluwalia , who worked as a programmer in the Income Tax Department, has come a long way since going abroad in 1993. He is at present in the selection committee of Cap Gemini, America, for all of Europe and the USA.
Disclosing the details
of Harinder's rise in the IT field, his father, Mr S. S.
Ahluwalia, said Harinder first worked with Digital
Corporation as a programmer and then went on to Bankim
Trust and finally to Cap Gemini, in which he is at
present a Senior Consultant. He has also recently been
selected for higher executive training by the company.
Seema suraksha jagran
ABOHAR, March 13 A seema suraksha jagran yatra led by Mr Ramashish Rai, national president, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), entered Punjab from Rajasthan here today.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr Rai said Pakistan had intensified its subversive activities through the ISI not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in eastern states to destablise the economy and social structure. Narcotics and fake currency were being used as weapons by the enemys spying network which had been spread over the states bordering Pakistan. Unfortunately such ISI agents enjoyed protection and cooperation from certain persons whose loyalty was still vested with Pakistan even 52 years of creation of that country, he alleged.
He further said our governments had never bothered about the plight of thousands of Hindus left in Pakistan whereas our counterparts in Islamabad remained deeply concerned about the Muslims, who enjoyed all kind of freedom in India. Mr Rai called upon the youth to crush the evil designs of ISI.
Manns appeal to Bains
CHANDIGARH, March 13 The Secretary-General of the World Sikh Council, Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, today urged Mr Didar Singh Bains, a US-based richest Punjabi farmer, to pursuade the US President, Mr Bill Clinton, to visit Punjab during his visit to India next week.
Additional charge for Verma
Former MLA fails to repay loan,
MANSA, March 13 A former Congress MLA, Mr Surjan Singh Joga, is serving his sentence in the Central Jail, Bathinda, for the past few weeks for having defaulted in the repayment of house and car loans taken during his tenure in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
Official sources said that Mr Joga, who represented the Joga Assembly segment of this district between 1992 and 97 was arrested following arrest warrant issued for him by the district administration.
Mr Sanjay Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, said that the district administration was left with no option, but to arrest Mr Joga. He added that Mr Joga had been repeatedly asked to deposit the instalments for making repayment of his loan, but he did not bother. He said that the total loan amount outstand against Mr Joga was about Rs 7.5 lakh.
He said Mr Jogas wife had approached the district administration and offered to attach their piece of land in lieu of the loan amount. He added that he had asked the SDM to consider the offer.
Another falls prey to dowry
GIDDERBAHA (Muktsar), March 13 Sonia (25), who got married about six years ago, was killed allegedly by her husband, Ajaypal Singh and brothers-in-law Amandeep Singh and Gurpreet Singh on March 11 for not bringing sufficient dowry.
Sonia is the third bride in this subdivision who has fallen prey to the dowry demon in the past seven days.
According to the police, Sonia, mother of two children, was burnt to death allegedly by the brothers, at her house when she refused to bring more dowry. The three allegedly poured kerosene on Sonia and set her on fire. She died before she could be taken to hospital.
Mr Ashok Baath, DSP, when contacted said the police came to know about the incident when Mr Jagdish Lal, uncle of the deceased, informed them. A police party was sent immediately to the site of crime and took the body in possession.
He added that Mr Jagdish Lal alleged in his complaint that Sonia was being harassed continuously by her husband and two brothers-in-law for bringing insufficient dowry. He alleged that Sonia had made a call at her parental residence in Dabwali on March 10 and told about the harassment.
Teachers to get arrears soon
CHANDIGARH, March 13 A deputation of leaders of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Federation of Managements, Principals, Teachers and Non-teaching Employees led by Dr Ishwar Singh met Mr R.S. Mann, Chief Secretary, Punjab here today.
In a press release issued here today, they claimed that the Chief Secretary had assured them that salary grants for the third and fourth quarters of the current year would be released within ten days so that the salaries were paid.
The central grant of Rs 40 crore for payment of arrears of principals and teachers would also be released shortly. The pay revision notification based on the notification of the UGC would be extended to all affiliated colleges including unaided colleges in the next two three days.
The question of completion of notification incorporating all the provisions of the UGC like adjustment of previous service for placement in senior scale and selection grade, extension of time up to December 2000 for doing refresher courses, two increments for PhD holders, readers and professor designation also came up for discussion.
The Chief Secretary also gave an assurance on granting UGC pay scales of Rs 2220-Rs 4000 to the tutors in all the colleges from October 1992 and designation of lecturers to DPEs at par with their counterparts in government colleges.
Parents on warpath with
PATIALA, March 13 Patialas premier institution Yadvindra Public School (Y.P.S) is set to witness a confrontation between a newly formed Parents' Association and the school management with the former having decided to stringently oppose a recent hike in the fee as well as raising the necessity to stem the deteriorating school standards.
Parents of children studying in the school collected in the premises recently to discuss the hike in the fee structure. They decided to protest against the hike in fee, besides the need to curb growing indiscipline in the school premises. The parents also decided to form an association under the name and style of Y.P.S. Parents Association, Patiala . They are likely to put up their demands again formally before the School Principal tomorrow and are likely to start their protest action if the demands are not accepted in the meeting of the Board of Governors on March 26.
Representatives of the parents also held a meeting with school Principal A.S. Jawanda and apprised him of their demands. The Principal assured that he would take up the matter of hike in fee with the Board of Governors . Briefing TNS of their demands, Parents Association representative Baljit Singh said the hike in fee from Rs 1050 per month to Rs 1310 was very steep and not acceptable to the parents. He said there had also been an unprecedented hike of Rs 600 in the fee of boarding scholars, which did not stand the test of reason.
The parents are also demanding a stop to the entry of students driving their vehicles to the school besides carrying of cellular phones. They also feel that the teaching standard has deteriorated and that YPS is not attracting good teachers despite paying a handsome packet for their services. They have also demanded a representative of teachers in the Board of Governors so that their interests are also watched.
Meanwhile, the Principal
speaking about the fee of the school, said it was one of
the lowest when compared with other public schools . He
said presently the salaries of school teachers were also
lower than those paid by the government and the school
was still trying to match the aspirations of the
teachers. Speaking about vehicles and cellular phones ,
he said the school was helpless as students managed to
get licences for their vehicles and it was up to the
parents to discourage this trend.
AIDS mainly along sea routes,
PATIALA, March 13 The spread of Aids seems to be following a definite trend. It is concentrated either at places on major sea routes or next to national highways.
This analysis was discussed by Prof A. S. Sekhon, Head of the Department of Preventive Medicine of Government Medical College, at a workshop held to train district core teams under the aegis of the Punjab State Aids Control Society.
He said the worst hit states were Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra which were linked with ports and accounted for two-thirds of the aids infections. Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh were moderately hit, mainly due to the national highways cutting across them. He said only Manipur did not follow this trend as Aids there was mainly the result of drug addiction.
The Professor said it had also been deduced that men accounted for nearly 78 per cent of the disease and women about 22 per cent. This implied that the disease in women was located mainly in the high-risk groups besides those affected by their menfolk. He said cases of heterosexual sex being responsible for nearly 74 per cent of the spread of the disease increased the necessity of making truck drivers and other high risk groups aware of the risks they were taking by engaging in unprotected sex.
Dr Sekhon said around 90 per cent of those infected by the disease were aged between 15 and 45 which were the most productive years. He said besides this there were indications that the disease was spreading from urban to rural areas and high risk groups including sex workers and truckers to general groups.
He said there were around six million new infections every month with 95 per cent of the Aids infected people living in the developing countries. He said Sub-Saharan Africa had borne the main brunt of the epidemic where life expectancy had been reduced to 44 years from 59 due to the disease. In contrast, some South Asian countries like Thailand and the Philippines had reduced the HIV positive risk through strong preventive measures.
The Punjab State Aids
Control Society Assistant Director, Mr J. K. Bansal,
highlighted the efforts being made by the society to make
a core team in each district so that the disease could be
Practical exams from March 18
CHANDIGARH, March 13 Panjab University will be conducting practical examinations of various undergraduate classes for the annual examinations with effect from March 18.
In an official release, Mr Ashok Raj Bhandari, Joint Controller of Examinations, has stated that relevant examination material will be sent to respective affiliated colleges through university officials on March 15. The regular students will be duly informed about the exact practical examination schedule by the principals of respective colleges.
The private candidates
have also been informed separately through letters and
they are required to contact the principals of the
colleges concerned where the examination centres for the
practical examination have been set up for them. The
college principals will inform them about the exact date
and time for their practical examinations.
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