Saturday, April 8, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Residence of UT Home Secretary raided
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 7 — Central Bureau of Investigation teams conducted raids at four places in the city, including the official residence of the Union Territory Home Secretary, Mr N.K. Jain, here this morning.

The raids followed registration of case under Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and various sub- sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against the Home Secretary, Mr N.K. Jain, and the suspended Office Superintendent, Mr K.B. Goel.

Besides the official residences of Mr N.K. Jain and Mr K.B. Goel, the CBI team also raided two houses of a businessman, known to be a close friend of Mr N.K. Jain .

When the CBI team arrived at the Sector 7 official residence of Mr N.K. Jain, it was locked. Except for security staff, a couple of servants no one was around.

The CBI team members waited for some hours before deciding to seal all the entry points of the house in the presence of independent witnesses. They did not break open the locks.

From the house of the businessman, the CBI investigators probably got access to some computerised information besides finding some cash and other items. The CBI team also took in possession certain documents and other items from the house of K.B. Goel.

While the CBI team left the house of Mr N.K. Jain shortly after mid-day, the search work at other three places continued until late in the evening.

It is for the first time that the Central Bureau of Investigation has conducted a raid at the official residence of a senior functionary of the rank of Secretary to the UT Administration here. It may be recalled here that Office Superintendent K.B. Goel in a confession made before Subdivisional Magistrate on March 14 had admitted of having acted as a conduit between employees and the Home Secretary.

On March 21, the Home Secretary had proceeded on a long leave. The Administration had given the additional charge of the Home Secretary to the Commissioner of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Mr M.P. Singh.Back


SHO asked to conduct probe
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 7 — A city court has directed the Station House Officer of police station Central to conduct a discreet enquiry into a local resident’s allegations against three members of the State Bank of India Staff Association that they connived to mislead a civil court by attaching fake postal receipts of 657 articles. The court has directed the SHO to submit his report on May 20.

The application requesting the court to direct the police for registration of a forgery case against the accused was filed by Makan Singh who, at the time of commission of the alleged offence, was acting as unit secretary of the Treasury Branch of the SBI Staff Association.

The applicant had earlier filed a civil suit against Mr Narinder Paliwal, a Kanpur resident and also chief secretary of the Association, Mr K.K. Bandlish, general secretary and Mr Raju Dhar, member. Makan Singh sought the court to restrain the said defendants from holding the triennial meeting of the general council of the SBI Staff Association on account that a proper notice under the required rules was not issued to him for the said meeting.

The defendants, however, in their written reply, stated that they had sent the said notice under postal certificates to all units of the circle through the general secretary. The postal receipts were also attached along with the written reply.

The applicant however alleged that he wrote to the Chief Post Master General requesting him to determine the authenticity of the said receipts and from the communication it was found that the articles in question had not been tendered at the proper authorised counters. It was alleged that the defendants attached false affidavits to mislead the civil court. He also added that the police took no action on his complaint in this regard.Back


Advani tells doctors to be committed and more patient-friendly
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 7 — India cannot prosper without greater focus on health and education Union Home Minister L.K Advani told a distinguished gathering of doctors and prominent citizens who had gathered at the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital here this evening for the foundation-stone-laying ceremony of the hospital's E-Block.

Lauding the GMCH facilities and activities undertaken by the institution, Advani said that "although there is no dearth of talent and expertise of people working in these hospitals, they need to be more dedicated and committed to compete with the private hospitals, which always take a lead in terms of equipment."

"The general impression of people is that nothing can be good about government hospitals or educational institutions and that private ones are certainly better."

Appreciating the authorities' patient-friendly attitude, he called upon doctors to be more committed and to dedicate their services to mankind. He expressed hope that when completed, the medical college would be a model for the country.

Referring to Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen's economic theories, Advani discounted economic statistics as the sole criterion for evaluating a country's progress, "rather, health and education are equally important gauges of a nation's development," he said. "Since 1947 India has followed a strategy of planned economic growth and yet compared to some other countries India's development has not proceeded fast enough," he admitted. He lamented that government's over-interference in various sectors had hampered development "even when we had the best of natural resources" and bluntly said "it was a mistake to copy Russia's model of development".

Expressing his confidence in the past decade's process of liberalisation, Advani declared that opening the economy to the private sector in 1991 marked a new chapter in India's economic growth. "We need to analyse the country's economic progress over the past decade and compare it with that in the last 40 years,: he said.

Earlier, presiding over the function, Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Lt Gen ( retd) J.F.R. Jacob spoke of the high quality health care services provided to residents of the city and surrounding areas. He highlighted that GMCH is the biggest project of the Administration with a total outlay of Rs 223.46 crore. He pointed out that the cost of modern treatment, even in state-run-services is beyond the paying capacity of poor patients. "Devise ways to reduce equipment costs to more realistic levels," he urged.

Speaking on the occasion, GMCH Director-Principal Prof V.K Kak told the minister of the project and various activities that have been planned for the block and the progress of the hospital's construction

Dr Kak said that the hospital's entire working would be computerised within the next three years and each department and faculty member is to get internet connectivity. A digital health sciences library is also on the anvil.

A proposal has been submitted to the Ministry of Information an Technology for computer-linking all primary health centres/dispensaries, urban health centres and the general hospital with the GMCH. "This project will benefit patients and doctors as it will provide continuity in care and all previous records including reports of various investigations, treatment, history and drugs prescribed will be known to the doctors treating at various levels," Dr Kak said.

The new block once completed will primarily house the teaching departments of Physiology, Anatomy, Bio chemistry, Pathology, Haematology, Forensic Medicine, Pharmacology, Microbiology and Community Medicine, which are presently located in the adjacent serai building and prayaas building of Sector 38. By shifting these departments, the serai will become available to patients' attendants. Level - I of the block will have a workshop for quick, low-cost repair and maintenance of hospital equipment.

Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were:Mayor Shanta Hit Abhilashi; Adviser to the Administrator Vineeta Rai and Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP. Back

‘English is important but don’t forget mother tongue’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 7 —No nation progresses until it upholds with pride its separate identity, said Union Minister for Home Affairs L.K.Advani, at the annual convocation of the local MCM DAV College here today.

Describing India's identity as "distinct, old, complex with magnificent as the main component," Advani asserted that "Only nations that are proud of themselves have the potential for development. This is my argument to counter the widely circulated notion that globalisation would lessen the value of international borders."

Advani agreed that it would be fair to accept that English has become as important as other languages of the country but he also stressed the need to ensure that the mother tongue and other regional languages are equally promoted. "It was wrong ' to say that English speakers and writers are better developed than others in any faculty," he contended.

Advani said that he did not agree with he popular view that the younger generation is distancing from concepts of swadeshi and national pride. Events like the recent Kargil war showed that the nation stood united in patriotic sentiment.

He regretted that "problems of the country have become the image of the country". He insisted that the media and the young need to understand that the problems are for us to solve and not for others to see.

He asked girls to have a closer look at national concerns to which they could devote their talent and energy after they left the college. A UNO study of development placed India was placed 138th on the list. More than 40 per cent population continued to be illiterate.

Advani lauded the role of Mehr Chand Mahajan in national development and also praised the vision of Swami Dayanand.

DAV College Management Committee president Padamshri G.P.Chopr welcomed the minister.

MCM DAV principal Sneh Mahajan read the college report. The pass out percentage of B Com II , B Com III and BA was cent per cent. The rest result was well above 95 per cent in all categories.

Babita Sharma and Dhanwant topped Panjab University in BA III and B Sc III (non medical) computers applications courses, respectively. Gurmeet topped B Sc (non-medical). Vaishali was placed second in B Sc III (non medical).

Payal Sehgal secured the fourth position in B Com III. Samriti, Ramandeep and Shilpy topped the university in Sociology, History and Hindi, respectively.Abhijita Kulshrestha and Kamaljeet were second in Economics and Political Science, respectively, Mahajan said.

Mahajan also read out a list of winners in the sports category. The list also figures winners in other extra- curricular activities.Back


Advani, Jacob discuss various UT issues
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 7 — The Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, today reportedly held a meeting with the Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), over various issues pertaining to the Chandigarh Administration.

Among the important issues reportedly discussed included the raids at the residence of the Home Secretary of Chandigarh after registration of case under Prevention of Corruption Act by the Central Bureau of Investigation against him last night.

What transpired at the meeting could not be ascertained immediately.

Meanwhile, a number of deputations met the Home Minister and submitted to him copies of their memoranda. Accompanied by Additional Home Secretary, Dr Shennoy, and General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata party, Mr Narinder Modi, the Home Minister listened to the issues raised by the local unit of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) led by its President, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar.

The delegation put to Home Minister 14 demands, including transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab, introduction of Punjabi in official and grant of due status to the language in the UT; allotment of plots to those evicted during building of this joint capital; amendment to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation Act and upgradation of Chandigarh Railway station as a junction.

The delegation also demanded a judicial enquiry into the Chitti Singhpora massacre and a compensation of Rs 15 lakh to the next of kin of each of the 35 Kashmiri Sikhs killed in the March 20 carnage.

Mrs Kamlesh, a Councillor, in a separate memorandum submitted to Mr Advani demanded constitution of committees by including elected sarpanches, panches and others who should hold meetings every fortnight and work for communal harmony and amity. She also wanted that Chandigarh Traffic Police instead of challaning people should educate road users and regulate traffic.She also wanted that last date for rehabilitating slum dwellers should be the date from which the rehabilitation process starts and not any earlier date.

A deputation of the other faction of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) also met the Home Minister to demand protection for minorities in Jammu and Kashmir and scrapping of Article 370.

The Coordination Committee of Government and MC Employees and Workers also submitted a memorandum to the Union Home Minister.Back


Fire destroys foam unit
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 7 — A factory in Phase II of the Industrial Area was gutted in a fire that broke out here this evening.

According to eyewitnesses, the fire broke out at about 7. 20 p.m. p.m. in Aagosh Polyfoam, a unit which manufactures foam items. Some factory workers passing by noticed smoke billowing out from one of the ventilation shafts and raised the alarm.

Subsequently someone informed police and the fire brigade was summoned. It took more than 10 fire tenders, summoned from SAS Nagar and the Air Force, about two hours to bring the flames under control. The DSP, South, Mr B.D. Bector, the Sector 31 police station SHO, Mr K.P. Singh, and the Chief Fire Officer, Mr G.S. Bajwa, could be seen overseeing operations.

Smoke was so dense that it could be seen from more than a kilometre away. Fire-fighters had a hard time finding ways and positions to douse the flames. Finally, fire tenders were stationed adjoining neighbouring buildings in case the fire spread. Some goods in a factory next door were damaged.

The family of the owner, Surinder Kumar, could be seen running frantically crying for more fire tenders to save their premises which reportedly had goods worth lakhs. His daughter could be seen pleading with an officer to summon the bouser which had reportedly been used to douse the fire previously.

Police sources said this factory had been gutted about six months ago. Further investigations are on. Back


Report lists bigwig encroachers
Court gets photographic evidence of violations committed by Ministers, Judges, DGP and other prominent citizens
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 7 — According to a report submitted by Mr Rupinder Khosla, appointed Local Commissioner by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a case pertaining to encroachments, encroachers in the township include Mr SPS Rathore, Director General of Police, retired Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr SS Sandhawalia, the Advocate-General of Haryana, Mr ML Sareen, and former Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Bhajan Lal.

Others mentioned as encroachers include former OSD to Chief Minister, Mr Pannu, former IAS Officer, Mr Tarsem Lal, among others. The photographs of the encroachments “by bigwigs” were enclosed along with the report. Also included was a list of residents putting up in Sector 6 to 10 of the township. The inspection was carried out by the Local Commissioner, accompanied by HUDA officers and Mr Rakesh Aggarwal, advocate.

A special division bench, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice M.S. Gill, after receiving the report, directed the respondents to submit the compliance report by May 9. Mr Khosla made special mention of efforts made by HUDA in removing encroachments during the last four months on public land while adding that a lot remained to be done.

The report added that the HUDA officers observed that encroachments in the rest of the township had not been removed since notices had not been issued in these sectors. However, in a random check, Mr Khosla informed that the “revelations were startling’’. Most houses had encroached upon public land and three feet high fences were seen at many places while some houses had hedges up to six feet high.

In smaller houses the biggest encroachments pertained to projection of grills outside the boundaries for the parking of cars. Also, various ornamental trees along, with trees by HUDA and electricity poles, block the flow of traffic.

Further, the report stated that at the time of inspection it was felt by the Local Commissioner and HUDA officers that in case the encroachments on such a “large scale are not removed, the very concept of Panchkula being a modern city would be lost and in the days to come, with increasing pressure of population, it would be difficult for men as well as vehicles to pass through’’.

The HUDA Administrator, Mr Abhilaksh Likhi, was present in the court during the submission of the report.Back

Violations detected
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 7 — Based on a field inspection carried out in Sector 2 as part of the sectorwise inspection of the urban estate by the Haryana Urban Development Authority, violations have been detected in five houses.

These primarily include residences being used for running STD/PCOs, beauty parlours, clinics, coaching centres and advocate chambers. Resumption notices have been given to the owners of these under Section 17 of the HUDA Act.

In all, 32 commercial-site allottees have been found defaulters in making payments of dues, for which, notices have been issued. Besides, notices are being issued for unauthorised occupation of commercial premises, penalty and other dues. Also, all this information will be stored in computer for follow-up on a daily basis.

A special drive for checking water leakage repair, patchwork on roads, cleaning of berms and streetlights was carried out in the one week marked for the sector.

The Administrator, Mr Abhilaksh Likhi, said the cleaning of Sector 4 would be taken up next under the programme after the Navratra Mela.Back


Students move court against Principal
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 7 — In a significant development, three Class XI students of Vivek High School here moved court against the school Principal, Mrs P.K. Singh, and the class teacher, Mushtaq Ahmad, alleging that the latter were trying to detain them in Class XI despite the fact that they fulfilled the CBSE condition of attaining 33 per cent pass marks. The students sought the court to direct the defendants against detaining them in violation of the CBSE guidelines.

On a civil suit filed in this regard by the plaintiffs, the court of UT Civil Judge (junior division) Mrs Jitender Walia issued notice to the two defendants for tomorrow. The plaintiffs have requested the court to direct the defendants to promote them to Class XII on the basis of marks attained by them in the exams conducted by the defendants.

It was mentioned that their promotion would be in consonance with the CBSE instructions.

The plaintiffs stated that they had secured percentage almost nearing 50, whereas the CBSE’s requisite pass percentage for promotion to the next class was 33. It was added that they had been active in co-curricular activities also.

Further, the plaintiffs alleged that the remarks made in their progress reports by the defendants were “palpably prejudiced”. They added that the remarks were made on account of some dislike they nurtured against the students. The said remarks, they said, were “vague”.

The case will now come up tomorrow for filing of reply by the defendants.Back


More dry throats but not one extra drop of water
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, April 7 — No prizes for predicting that summer is going to be very hot and very dry. It's the same every year. Also no prizes for predicting drastically restricted water supply. That's an annual feature too ... for all the talk of better days ahead thanks to the long-awaited Kajauli IV augmentation scheme.

The fact is that for the past few years, the civic body has been unable to undertake any major augmentation work. The Central Government has refused to approve the revised augmentation plan -- the much-discussed Kajauli Phase IV. This scheme, if implemented, would bring an additional 60 MGDs to the city. What the Centre has approved is a much attenuated project that will provide a mere 20 MGDs extra. This too will be drawn from the Bhakra Mainline. The project is to be completed by 2003. In other words, don't expect the taps to gush with plentiful water this summer.

Another downer is that even when the city manages to get a bit more water from the Bhakra Mainline, given the steady increase in population, per capita water supply is slowly declining. The real pinch comes between April and July and most pinched of all are the folks living on upper floors.

While the city gets around 60 million gallons per day (MGDs) of water, the demand shoots up to more than 90 MGDs in the summer. Of the 60 MGDs, the Kajauli Waterworks supplies about 45 MGDs and the balance is pumped out of more than local 100 tubewells.

The Public Health Department sources fingered water-coolers as the one single item to blame for the summer water shortage. The exact number of coolers in the city is not known but estimates put the figure at well over 1 lakh. Each cooler needs about 40 litres of water per day. The burden on water supply is obvious.

Then, the evening bath is a well-entrenched tradition. Even very poor people want to rinse off after sundown. That means more water down the drain. Plants too cry for water and the people of this garden-loving city are loathe to deny them. Since Chandigarh has vast open spaces, green belts, parks and gardens, the existing water supply system is under major strain. The summer ban on lawn-watering is observed more in breach if experiences of past years are any indication.

Upper storey residents have started their early morning bucket-filling drill. "Up until about two weeks back, water pressure, was normal. Now it starts decreasing by 7 a.m. and the evening supply is also irregular," complained Ms Sharma, a first floor resident of Sector 35. The problem is particularly acute in the southern sectors. "I see the ground floor residents watering their lawns and my tap isn't giving even a trickle," frowned a very blue Rosy, residing in a second floor flat in Sector 44. She expects the situation to go from bad to worse in short order.Back


Mobike recovered
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 7 — The police has recovered a stolen motor cycle which had been abandoned in Sector 20.

According to the police sources, Mr Devinder Singh, a resident of Sector 27, had reported that two motorcycles (CH-01-X-1844 and CH-01-L-5281) had been stolen a couple of days ago. The first one was abandoned and found by someone.

Car stolen: Mr Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Mani Majra, reported that Vishav Nath, a resident of Mauli Jagran, had taken his car, CH-01-V-2834, some days ago, but, had not returned it.


Vehicle thefts: At least two cases of vehicle theft and a case of burglary were reported in the town in the past 48 hours. According to the information available, one scooter was stolen from Phase VII and the second one from Phase V. In both cases, FIRs have been registered.Back


Police standing orders yet to be enforced in totality
By Gautam Dheer

PANCHKULA, April 7 — Police rules and the Criminal Procedure Code provide for a fool-proof system against malpractices and dishonest dealings within the police system. However, policing from the very beginning has been allegedly apocryphal.

Laxity on the part of the ‘gazetted police officers’ supervising and controlling the enforcement of stipulated guidelines has today led to delay in justice.

The Director General of Police, Haryana, had issued certain Standing Orders in 1987, in regard to citizens safeguards and common malpractices entertained by the police . In an exclusive talk here today with Chandigarh Tribune, the former Director General of Police, Mr Hans Raj Swan, highlighted small area where malpractices on part of the police could take place, thereby retarding the process of justice and could possibly be violative of the guidelines of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The Standing Orders which have reportedly yet to be enforced in totality, put-forth common underhand illegal practices by the police, which are grave enough to throttle the overall legal and police system. The former DGP observes that if an evil persists within the police system, it is primarily due to the inefficiency of the gazetted police officer in enforcing the stipulated rules.

Tampering with an First Information Report (FIR) was the foremost malpractice in the Standing Orders, entertained by the police. This includes delays and faulty recording of the FIR, inclusion of false witnesses or accused and tampering with the original form of the FIR. The orders highlighted the checks required by gazetted police officers under 25.17 of the Police Rules.

Both Police Rules and the Cr P C, provide for citizens’ safeguard against this malpractice, highlighted in the Standing Orders. Section 154 of the Cr P C, reveals that every information by the informant has to be read over to him and signed by him in token of its correctness. A copy of the FIR has to be given to the complainant under Police Rules (24.5).

Corrupt practices by the police during various stages of investigation have been revealed in the Standing Orders with an aim to stress upon safeguards. These practices include fabrication of evidence, foisting of property on accused, delay in inspections of scenes of crime (medical and post- mortem examination), scaring away defence witnesses, use of third degree methods on suspects and accused persons, suppression of documentation which can be utilised as evidence against the accused and illegal detention of persons in the police station.

Safeguards in this regard provide for submission of ‘special reports’ by the gazetted officer to a higher level, under the Police Rules (24.14, 24.15 and 24.17).

The Standing Orders observe the common malpractices of torturing the suspects by the police in order to extort confession is being entertained by the police. Safeguards in it highlight that any voluntary hurt or grievous hurt to a person for purposes of extorting confession is punishable under Section 330 and 331 of the IPC. ‘’ It is no secret that corrupt officers resort to dubious methods to extort untrue confessions’’, the Standing Orders say.

Another significant misuse observed in the Standing Orders focus on the interference of the police in private disputes. The SO reveals that by virtue of the provisions contained in Police Rule (24.3) and Section 155 of the Cr P C, a police officer is not competent to interfere in private disputes and non-cognisable offences and can only be made a party only under the orders of the magistrate.

Improper use of discretionary powers by the police is yet another malpractice. The discretion not to take up investigation of cases is in practice, not permitted to be used by the Station House Officer (SHO) which needs effective monitoring by the gazetted officer.

The Standing Orders observe that the presence of ‘touts’ in and around the police stations is most obnoxious and damaging for growth of Police-Public relations. These self-styled helpers act as middlemen to encourage underhand practices for certain unscrupulous police officials, which needs to be curtailed, especially by the Gazetted Officer, the SO reveals. Legal remedies are available against such class of persons under Section 162, 163 of the IPC.

Misuse at the time of arrests, searches and recoveries has also been inducted as a common malpractice. Any malpractice in this regard can be brought to the notice of the magistrate at the time he produced before him. Information regarding searches etc has to be sent to the Illaqa Magistrate.

Provisions of safeguard in this regard have been incorporated in Police Rule, 25.23, 25.53, and Section 100, 165 and 166 of the Cr P C. Any arrest without a warrant by the SHO within his limits of the police station, whether a person has to be admitted to bail or otherwise, has to be reported to the specified officers as laid down in Section 58 Cr PC and incorporated in the Police Rules, 26.8.

These standing instructions among all highlight the role of gazetted officers in enforcing an already existing fool-proof system, which otherwise would let things go haywire. Back


EWS applicants given plots
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 7 — Over 300 applicants of the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) were allotted plots of 1.5 marlas to three marlas at a draw of lots organised by the Haryana Urban Development Authority at its office in Sector 6 here today.

While the office received 447 applications against 44 plots measuring 1.5marla and situated in Sector 25, it received 560 applications for three-marla houses in the same sector. Besides, a total of 177 plots of 1.5 marla were allotted to people from amongst the 1964 applications received in Sector 27 and 28.

The department received 1031 applications against 74 plots of two marlas available in the two sectors. Each of these was priced at Rs 300 per square yard.Back


PEC rides post recession high
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 7 — Probably as a consequence of positive developments after a recession in the national industrial sector, the local Punjab Engineering College, this year, has shown a commendable number placement for pass-outs.

The college, this year, has recorded far greater placements in various industries compared to the past. The college boasts of 169 students getting jobs in at least 49 leading companies at the national level. The process has not ended yet.

The institution has four companies on its list which will visit the campus shortly. At least 15 more have been shortlisted. "Every student dreams of getting a job as soon as the course is finished. The subject requires greater attention throughout the course. Placement results only attract greater devotion from the following batches," a lucky student said.

Prof P.S. Satsangi, head of the Placement Cell of the college, said companies were still visiting only those campuses which promised better results. Public sector companies were usually late entrants for campus interviews. They begin to arrive in May or June.

The training and placement cell continues to strive for inviting international leaders like Microsoft and Infosys. Leading among the current entrants include Price Waterhouse Coopers (an overseas placement avenue), Hughes Software Systems, WIPRO, HCL and Mahindras, besides others.

Healthy and competitive environment on the campus is seen as one of the major reasons for good results. Stress is also laid on sport and extra-curricular activities. Visiting lecturers from the industry also contributed to good results, Professor Satsangi said.

The college has seen visits by at least 16 software companies so far. The software industry surely leads the list of visitors. There have been 29 visitors from the engineering sector, four from applications, and one from fast-moving-consumer-goods sector.

A chart showed that the interviews and placements had begun as early as August, past year. Prominent among the industrial houses which visited the campus this time included WIPRO, NIIT, Maruti, Whirlpool, Voltas, Eicher, Usha, Hero Honda, TELCO, Vardhman, Dabur and Hero Cycles, among others.

The placements have also assured respectable pay packets for students. A C-DOT seat achiever gets Rs 2.52 lakh annually. Hughes Software promises Rs 2.4 lakh, Maruti Udyog Rs 2.04 lakh and Motorola Rs 2.7 lakh annually. Those who pay comparatively smaller salaries are Engineers India with Rs 96,000, India Seamless Metal Tubes Rs 84,000, and Hero Cycles Rs 84,000 annually.Back


Computers lose a ‘micro chip’
By A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, April 7 — All those who had been anticipated reduction in the cost of computers and had delayed purchasing these feel that they have waited in vain. Prices have been slashed only by 3 to 5 per cent.

The HCL 500 MHz Pentium III with 64 MB RAM, 8 GB hard disk and 40 X CD drive along with speakers had a pre-Budget cost of Rs 51,000, but, now is priced at Rs 48,990, only 4 per cent less. A local HCL dealer, Mr I.P. Singh said, “I was not expecting much reduction. I knew that prices were going to be reduced and I had estimated the exact rate”.Back


Separate policy for farmers on the anvil
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 7—The former Chief Minister of Delhi and presently a member of the Parliament, Mr Sahib Singh Verma, said that a Protection of plant variety and Farmers’ Rights Bill, 1999, would be presented in Parliament on May 17. He was speaking at a press conference organised in Sector 12 A, here today.

He said that the members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee comprising 20 members from the Lok Sabha and 10 of the Rajya Sabha were involved in documentation of the existing and new plant varieties. Collection of these at the gene bank and the complete report along with a separate chapter on the rights of the farmers would be completed by May.

Mr Verma stated that the report on farmers’ rights being prepared by the committee constituted last year had based its findings on intensive field visits conducted in various states of the country to identify problems peculiar to each state.

Reflecting on the progress made by India since Independence, Mr Verma was of the opinion that though the country had made considerable strides in all fields, it had failed to make an impact in the international arena in any particular field. However, self-sufficiency had come in a big way.

He, however, rued the fact that no policy for the farmers had been separately framed so far.``Though it is a state subject, we are trying to frame a policy at the central level which will provide guidelines to the states and protect the rights and lives of the farmers,’’ he added.

Besides, he stressed the need of having alternatives like floriculture, herbal farming and the like to ensure crop failure did not force farmers to take their lives for want of finances and repayment of debt.

Advocating privatisation in all fields, Mr Verma admitted that these improved the working and efficiency of the departments.``Disinvestment in undertakings is being taken up in all sectors since the youth, attracted to big money, is not keen on entering the public sector where pay packets are small. Also, anybody does stray into the public sector, he, too, is caught in the trap of laxity and is wasted,’’ he opined.Back


‘Government should leave IT alone’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 7 — The development and advancement of the information technology sector in the country has been successful because the government has kept out of it. Mr Rajan Kashyap, Principal Secretary of Punjab for Science and Technology, said this in his inaugural address at the National Conference on Data Communication. He added that the telecom sector was in a poor shape as the government interfered in it greatly.

The two-day conference is being organised by the Chandigarh Chapter of the Computer Society of India at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation Complex here.

Mr Kashyap said the government should keep out of the way and create the right conditions to allow private agencies to exploit their potential.

He said information technology (IT) was the engine for the overall economic growth, but, the industry had failed to realise this and has instead restricted itself to software. He added that the industry was not utilising IT as it should because of industrial policies.

Information technology, he said, would not lead to unemployment as is being feared, but, generate more employment if properly used. "In this country, there is a mismatch between the speed of data communication, the physical aspects, related technologies and services," he added.

He said IT was different from other industries as it did not follow the laws of economics. Mr Kashyap said it was also different from the other forms of technologies. He said this was because the IT did not evolve, but, could progress in different directions simultaneously, enabling people to leapfrog. "The IT can also evoke strong passions and generate positive reactions from end users as it helps in labour saving and brings in market friendliness," he said.

Mr Kashyap, however, said over dependence on the IT would lead to social disparity and dehumanising. "It also holds the seeds of destruction in the hands which do not follow the ethics," he said.

In his keynote address, Director of the Punjab Technical Education Board, Mr N.S. Kalsi, gave an overview of the IT scenario worldwide. He highlighted the achievements of Punjab in the IT sector and talked about the future plans in this area. Earlier, the CSIO Director, Dr R.P. Bajpai, released a souvenir to mark the occasion.

Three technical sessions were also held today. In the first session on data communications, chaired by Mr Kalsi, the performance of data communication over wireless, digital signal processing and related developments, and faster generation of algebraic were among the other technical aspects which were discussed.

The second session on computer networks was chaired by Mr S.K. Verma, Additional Director General of Police. It included a talk on emerging techno-legal developments in e-commerce. Research papers presented in this session included those on communication demands, network requirement and the ATM, real-time transaction execution, mobile communication and behaviour of multistage interconnection networks.

The session on Internet technology was chaired by Mr N. Baruah, Joint Commissioner of Income Tax. It included a talk by Mr Jatinder Kumar, Senior Director of the Ministry of Information Technology. Aspects discussed in this session focussed on web and network security, besides a student's experience of launching a website.

Three more technical sessions will be held before the conference concludes with a panel discussion tomorrow.Back


‘OCF output up by 3 times’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 7 — Various aspects regarding the functioning of ordnance factories, including production, work coordination, employee welfare and future projects and developments, were discussed at the 15th meeting of the Ordnance Factory Board's Joint Consultative Machinery here today.

The meeting is being hosted by the Ordnance Cable Factory (OCF) here. An internal review of 39 factories under the Ordnance Factory Board was held yesterday.

The proceedings were chaired by the Director-General Ordnance Factories, Mr D. Rajagopal. About 15 members of the board and an equivalent number of employee representatives attended the meeting.

Later, talking to TNS, the General Manager of the OCF, Mr D. K. Bhagat, said that in the wake of the Kargil conflict, the OCF had increased its output three times over. Following demands from the Army, the OCF had increased its output to 1 lakh kilometres of cable from the normal output of 30,000 kilometres.

The OCF manufactures 20 different types of communication and conduction cable for the armed forces, in addition to spring steel wire ranging from 1 mm to 5 mm and carrying out development in specified areas.

Further, the production capacity and variety of cables produced here are to be expanded and upgraded to cope with future needs. Also, the output of different types of fibre optic cables which began here some time back, is to be increased.

Mr Bhagat said that in this direction, the OCF had been given a layout of Rs 83 crore in the Ninth and Tenth Plans. He added that besides supplying equipment to the armed forces, the OCF is also carrying out civil trade with the Railways, Telecom Department and some organisations under the Ministry of Home Affairs.Back

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