|Sunday, April 9, 2000,
Higher education becomes costlier
on cricket satta
takes up recruitment issue
on Bhagat Singh released
house for mentally retarded
courses on cards
health day observed
by govt, held for cheating
legal aid for accused
Singh Sandhu dies in road accident
held in Rs 18 lakh robbery case
alleges harassment by cop
main violators of human rights
employee booked for duping people
dealers sore over pending dues
squads formed to help farmers
Higher education becomes
PATIALA, April 8 Higher education in Punjab is all set to become dearer in the academic session 2000-2001.
As per the decision, the tuition fee would be increased from Rs 25 to 125 while the admission fee would be Rs 250. The notification in this regard would be released shortly.
A decision to this regard has been taken at a high-level meeting of vice-chancellors, pro-vice chancellors and registrars of the three universities in the state, DPI Colleges and secretaries Higher Education under the chairmanship of Mr Mohan Lal, Minister for Higher Education, Punjab, in Chandigarh yesterday.
According to highly placed sources, the meeting also took another important decision of making vocational education a compulsory subject in under-graduate classes from the next academic session. Students of B.A. will have to choose a vocational course in the mandatory three elective subjects, apart from the compulsory languages of Punjabi and English. Earlier, three elective subjects and two compulsory subjects existed in the curriculum.
Sources also revealed that the issue of unemployment, disillusionment among qualified youth and lack of proper facilities of higher education in the rural areas was discussed in depth at the meeting. The issue of government teachers shying from rural postings was taken note of.
Confirming the hike in higher education fee, Mr Mohan Lal, when contacted here, today said the meeting has decided in principle to increase the tuition and admission fees to colleges and universities in the session commencing in July or August this year. Defending the hike, the minister said the government had no choice other than to hike the fee structure. Due to a rise in prices of all things, and salaries of the teachers, the state government requires an additional revenue generation of a whooping Rs 130 crore per year. He said the fee hike would bring an income of Rs 20 crore. The large gap between need and income would still remain to be bridged.
The minister said a committee of the three vice-chancellors of GND University, Amritsar, PAU, Ludhiana, and Punjabi University, Patiala, has been formed to find out better job avenues for the educated youth. The committee has been directed to submit its report in a month. It would also suggest how to mean the youth away from the attraction of government jobs, which considering the financial situation of the state, were not available in plenty.
He said vocationalisation of education was one of the keys to the problem. It would make youths self-dependent and make them eligible for jobs in private enterprises as well.
Another significant decision taken by the meeting was to make it mandatory for government teachers posted in the urban areas to spend two days per week in a rural college. The minister said it was found that there was general reluctance among the teachers to work in rural areas. Even if the government posted them there, the teachers were not regular in going there. Mandatory teaching for two days would be monitored by the vice-chancellor of the university in whose jurisdiction the rural areas falls.
He said the vice-chancellors have also been directed to make a compulsory tour of a rural college(s) every fortnight to ascertain the problems as well as development aimed at by the government.
The meeting also decided
to rationalise posts of teacher in the universities and
colleges. He said several subjects and courses had lost
significance in the modern academic world. The government
could not afford to spend on department and teachers of
subjects not in demand by the students. He said teachers
of such subjects would be adjusted in other courses.
Crackdown on cricket
BATHINDA: A den of cricket satta or speculative business being run in one of the markets of this town was busted in September 1998. The police seized cash, mobile phones, TV sets, a computer and several registers from the players.
Last year in May, a youth of Rampura Phul town of this district committed suicide when he lost a large amount on a bet laid on various cricket matches during the World Cup. The police booked three persons under Section 306 and 34 IPC for the death of that youth.
Bathinda was famous for its satta market in the pre-partition days as satta was full time occupation of many people. Decades later, satta disappeared from this city.
However, the satta resurfaced with renewed vigour about 10 years ago but not in the shape of business. At present satta has re-emerged in the shape of betting on various competitive sports, particularly cricket.
On March 17 this year, the city police booked Sandeep Kumar, Hitesh Kumar and Ghansham Dass for allegedly indulging in satta. The police recovered three mobile phones, four telephones, and a computer from them. They were allegedly indulging in satta in other countries also and most of the deals were carried on mobile phones.
Some people used to act as agents and bring two others to bet on the outcome of any uncertain competitive sports activity.
However, in the past two years, the complexion of betting in cricket and other sports has changed entirely as the bets and bookies have now started using cell phones for their activities.
Some bookies even used to roam the town and indulge in betting on mobile phones. They clear their financial outstandings immediately after the end of the match. The use of mobile phones and their mobility has reduced the risk of police action.
Even some of the master bookies from Mumbai and Delhi have been running their satta business through sub-bookies. The bet layers and the bookies remain in constant touch with each other by mobile phone.
Satta has been gaining popularity in the town that even teenagers and school-going children were indulging in bets to get rick quick. A bank employee is said to have committed a fraud of more than Rs 40 lakhs with the branch where he was working to clear his financial liabilities, which he incurred by gambling in lotteries and satta.
Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, district police chief, said whenever the police received any information regarding satta, it acted swiftly and apprehended the accused with all the equipment, including cell phones and computers.
Moreover the anti-goonda
staff was also deployed to check satta in the district. A
number of cases had been registered under the Gambling
Act up to February. This number was more than the cases
registered in the corresponding period last year.
Union takes up recruitment
CHANDIGARH, April 8 Markfed has introduced voluntary retirement scheme. It has recruited eight district managers and has taken a few officials on deputation besides appointing five retired IAS officers , one PCS officer and one retired Assistant Law Officer on contract.
This has been stated in a representation submitted by the Punjab State Cooperative Markfed Employees Union,which is a registered body, to the Chief Secretary, Mr R.S. Mann seeking time from him for discussion on the functioning of Markfed, Asia s biggest cooperative organisation.
The union said today that one retired chief manager,who has completed 60 years, has been recruited on contractual basis. He has been given all financial powers. Retired managers have also been appointed on contractual basis, many Markfed officials sit idle.
Markfed has a fleet of cars. It introduced a conveyance allowance scheme in 1989 to cut down expenditure on the maintenance of the fleet. Under this scheme Markfed covered about 60 employees. Markfed pays Rs 3000 to each employee under this scheme in addition to interest rebate of 7 per cent. However, the number of vehicles at the disposal of Markfed did not decrease,while the expenditure on both sides has gone up considerably.
The Punjab Government has given sales tax exemption to private vanspati plants. A recent case of such exemption is that of the Budhewal vanspati plant. Sales tax exemption was approved for the Markfed plant at Khanna was approved, but it has not been implemented yet . The plant is in the red.
The Unions President, Mr Ranjit Goyal, has urged the Chief Secretary to fix responsibility in case of Markfeds plants at Khanna,Gidderbaha and Kapurthala for incurring a losses to the tune of Rs 6 crore. Because of wrong policies of a former Managing Director these plants have incurred such a huge loss, Mr Goyal alleges.
The general body meeting of Markfed has not been called for the past five years. As per rules the general body should be held every year in which allocation of profit and approval of balance sheet is to be made and working of Markfed is reviewed. Thus Markfed has become a bureaucratic organisation and not a cooperative institution.
Markfed has transferred about Rs 60 crore to the State Government. This is against the rules and byelaws of the Federation whereas Markfed employees have not been given the pension scheme. On the other side the State Government has already given pension benefit to Mandi Board, Education Board and the Punjab State Land Mortgage Bank.
The Punjab Government has already put a ban on the foreign visits. However, Markfed is allowing foreign visits of its officials regularly. The union has urged for reviewing all foreign visits to determine whether Markfed has benefited due to such visits.About 50 per cent of the space of Markfed office building has been occupied by the officers who are only 10 per cent of the establishment while remaining 50 percent space is only available to 90 per cent staff. Most of the senior officers of the Markfed have been provided with air conditioners and even ministers and the Registrar office have been provided with ACs by Markfed but the main building of Markfed has not yet been air conditioned though there was a proposal .
Markfed has a
full-fledged accounts department headed by a Chief
Accounts Officer and assisted by Deputy Chief Accounts
Officers, Senior Accounts Officers and one Chief Internal
Auditor, internal auditors and senior accounts officer
audit. Besides this, Markfed also gets its accounts
audited from auditors of the cooperative department. In
spite of all this accounts consultants and auditors are
engaged on contract every year.
Badal expresses grief over
CHANDIGARH, April 8 The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal has expressed grief over the sudden demise of Mr Jasdev Singh Sandhu, Chairman of the Punjab Subordinate Services Board. Mr Sandhu died in a road accident last night.
Describing Mr Sandhu as a seasoned politician and able administrator and a dedicated Akali leader, Mr Badal said that Mr Sandhu was an honest gentleman to the core. Mr Badal rushed to Patiala this morning on hearing the news regarding Mr Sandhus death and shared grief with the family members.
The Shiromani Akali
Dals Secretary, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, said
today that the party had lost a versatile and intelligent
politician in Mr Sandhu s death. He was a well read
person and the history of Akali party was on his finger
tips. It was big loss to the party,he added. Mr Natha
Singh Dalam and Capt Kanwaljit Singh, both ministers,
said that Mr Sandhu was a grassroots level politician and
he always stood for the cause of downtrodden.
Book on Bhagat Singh released
CHANDIGARH, April 8 The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal has called upon the writers, intellectuals and journalists to use their mighty pens for fulfilling the sacred mission of stalwarts of freedom movement like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, and help in eradication of poverty, unemployment and economic backwardness of millions of countrymen.
Addressing a distinguished gathering after releasing of a prestigious book entitled The Martyr Bhagat Singh and Experiments in Revolution written by eminent writer and journalist, Mr Kuldip Nayyar, here this afternoon, the Chief Minister said that the patriots and martyrs had visualised a prosperous and progressive India but it was unfortunate that their dreams remained unfulfilled even after 50 years of Independence.
He said that 80 per cent of the total sacrifices for the freedom movement were made by the Punjabis and in successive wars and in the recent Kargil conflict, it were the Punjabis who struggled hard and made supreme sacrifices for defending the unity and integrity of the country. It is the high time that Punjab must get its due in view of its resounding role in different fields, he added.
The Chief Minister said the book on Shaheed Bhagat Singh would be translated and sent to all the libraries of the State for giving inspiration to the youth.
Mr Nayyar, said that he
got the inspiration to write the book during his visit to
Lahore and after exploring the various aspects through
research work. He has complied it to show the way to the
present and future generations for serving the
motherland. He said that the book was being translated in
six languages. He announced for giving a share of royalty
from the sale of the books for purpose of promoting
education in Punjab.
Boarding house for mentally
JALANDHAR, April 8 The District Red Cross Society has decided to set up a boarding house for mentally retarded children in the local Deaf and Dumb School.
Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Som Parkash, Deputy Commissioner, said the school building would be ready by the end of the current year. In the first phase, about 50 children would be admitted. However, the strength would gradually be increased to 100. He said the objective of the school was to help mentally retarded children and their parents to cope with the disability.
For the construction of
the building a number of social organisations have been
involved who have offered to extend monetary help for the
purpose. The response of people has been so good
that we have already collected about 21 lakh donated by
prominent citizens and social welfare
organisations, said Mr Som Parkash while appealing
to the residents to extend more help so that the project
could be completed at the earliest.
Job-oriented courses on
PATIALA, April 8 The state government is in the process of drafting a policy of higher education to provide more job-oriented education to the youths.
Stating this here today while addressing participants at a seminar on How higher education can be made job-oriented organised by the Punjab Sahitya Sabha, Mr Mohan Lal, minister for Higher Education, said opinion of educationists and the needs of common man would be put to a high-level committee of educationists and government representatives shortly to suggest way and means of improving the standard of education in the state. He said effort were in introduce vocational courses in colleges and universities to create more job-oriented courses.
He said with the implementation of the new education policy, graduate would find jobs easily and the unemployment figure would scale down.
World health day observed
PATIALA, April 8 World Health Day was observed in Diesel Component Works, Railway Hospital, here yesterday.
An exhibition on Safe blood starts with me and AIDS was held. Volunteers of the National Volunteers Group put up posters. The exhibition was inaugurated by Mr D.C. Beri, Chief Mechanical Engineer (P), DCW.
Rewarded by govt, held for
AMRITSAR, April 8 The Vigilance Bureau, Jalandhar range, has registered cases of cheating under Section 420, IPC, against five persons for drawing rewards of Rs 25,000 each from the Punjab Government for implicating officials of the Punjab State Electricity Board and the Revenue Department in corruption cases.
The SP (Vigilance), Mr R.K. Sharda, stating this in a press note issued here today said that five persons Mukhtiar Singh of Patti, Gurmesh Singh of Majitha, Jagtar Singh of Valtoha, Balwinder Singh of Gurdaspur and Ranjit Singh of Boparai village in Gurdaspur district, who had been arrested, had complained, against these officials. But they later hostile turned witnesses and denied the corruption charges while the cases against the guilty officials was going on in the Vigilance Bureau court at Jalandhar.
Meanwhile, the Vigilance Bureau has arrested Harjinder Kumar, a clerk in the DTO office, Gurdaspur, for allegedly taking bribe of Rs 800.
Free legal aid for accused
PATIALA, April 8 You are under arrest. Anything you say can be used against you . You have the right to a lawyer. Words from any average hollywood scheme . True, but these are going to be spoken regularly in Patiala by the police while making any arrest.
The force, in another innovative step, will also allow the accused access to a free legal aid counsel at the police station itself. The counsel will be allowed to meet the accused in the waiting hall of the police station. Free legal aid forms will also be filled up under the scheme by police personnel before presenting the accused in court. A panel of lawyers will provide free legal aid to deserving persons, with the District Bar Association committed to undertaking pro bono work which is absolutely free.
The scheme, called Sahayata, is aimed at revolutionising access to legal aid through the police and envisages coordinated action by the police force , legal counsels and the judiciary. It was formally launched at the Guru Tegh Bahadur Auditorium in Punjabi University here today by the Punjab Director-General of Police. Speaking at the launch of the scheme, the DGP, Mr Sarabjit Singh, said the scheme would be introduced in other districts of the state after gauging its success in Patiala district.
Introducing the scheme, the District Police Chief, Mr Harpreet Singh Sidhu, said he hoped to make a success of it in two months. He said the police force had been sensitised about the scheme and trained about the procedure which was to be conducted in this regard. He added that once an accused was arrested, the Investigating Officer would make a case diary entry about the intimation to the legal aid counsel. He said the counsel, on his arrival, would be allowed a meeting in the waiting hall with the accused.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Justice H.S. Bedi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, said the success of the scheme would depend on the field staff of the police as well as advocates. Justice J.S. Sekhon, a member of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, said the commission would ensure that adequate arrangements were made by the police for seating people visiting police stations.
The Patiala District and Sessions Judge, Mr K.S. Garewal, said new scientific methods should be used by the police to detect crime and said DNA testing laboratories could be established at all districts in the state. He said special investigation cells needed to be set up to check urban crime. He also urged that attention should be paid to the rights of the complainants and they should be given adequate protection besides some compensation to ensure they got a fair deal.
Others who spoke on the
occasion included the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Jasbir
Singh Bir, and the Patiala Bar Association President, Mr
K.S. Nagra. The Inspector-General of Police, Mr R.S. Gill
and Deputy Inspector-General, Mr Sanjeev Gupta, besides
senior district officials and members of the Bar,
municipal corporators, panches and sarpanches, also
attended the function.
Jasdev Singh Sandhu dies in road accident
PATIALA, April 8 Jasdev Singh Sandhu (71), Chairman, Punjab State Subordinate Services Selection Board and a noted writer, educationist and a senior Akali leader, died last night in a car accident near Rajpura. He was cremated with full state honours here today.
Sandhu is survived by a son and two daughters.
The accident occurred at about 8.20 p.m. Sandhu, along with his gunman, was coming to Patiala in his private car when it had a head-on- collision with a truck coming from the opposite direction. While the gunman died on the spot, Sandhu breathed his last at the PGI, Chandigarh, at about 2 a.m.
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, and a large number of Akali ministers, including Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, and Mr Natha Singh Dalam visited Sandhus family at his residence at Adalat Bazaar here and expressed their grief.
Shops in the Adalat Bazaar and adjoining markets were closed as a mark of respect to the departed soul.
2 held in Rs 18 lakh
LUDHIANA, April 8 The police today claimed to have achieved a major breakthrough in the sensational Rs 18 lakh robbery case which occurred on March 27 with the arrest of two persons who had earlier robbed the complainant of cash and demand drafts worth Rs 3 lakh.
The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh, said Satvir Singh and Ranvir Kumar Sharma, along with three other accomplices, had robbed Mr Bachan Lal Singla. The accomplices have been identified as Kikkar Singh, Prem Pal and Balwinder Singh. The gang had posed as members of a CBI raiding party and decamped with cash and drafts amounting to Rs 3 lakh on September 27, 1999.
Incidentally, Mr Singla
makes his living by getting his clients demand
drafts encashed from various banks on commission. It is
learnt that since Mr Singla was often getting huge
amounts of money encashed, he was considered an easy prey
by the accused. The SSP informed that with the arrest of
these two persons, they have also succeeded in solving
several other robbery cases, including a Rs 5 lakh
robbery incident at Jalalabad in Ferozepur district.
Woman alleges harassment by
SAS NAGAR, April 8 A Ludhiana-based woman has alleged that a Sub-Inspector of Punjab Police, Joginder Singh, ruined her life by arranging a fake marriage with her and was implicating her in false cases. The victim, Neelam, at a press conference here, said the SI, presently posted at CIA, Ludhiana, was eyeing her property and had extracted a large amount of money from her on one pretext or the other.
She claimed following continued harassment by the SI she had come to the house of an acquaintance in Phase 10 here, Mr HPS Aulakh, an advocate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. She alleged that the cop was threatening her to grab her property and told his henchmen to occupy her house in Kartar Colony, Salem Tabri, Ludhiana. She said she would meet the Chief Minister, Punjab late in the evening in this regard.
The Senior Superintendent of Police, Ludhiana Mr Kuldeep Singh, when contacted on phone said SI Joginder Singh had moved court against the woman allegedly for producing a false marriage certificate. The court had directed the police register a case against the woman if the marriage certificate case was found to be false following which a case was registered against her but no arrest had been made.
Regarding the allegation
levelled against the SI, he said the IG (Zonal) was
conducting an inquiry but presently he had gone abroad.
The SSP said the woman had never approached him with her
violators of human rights
PHAGWARA, April 8 Punjab Human Rights Commission Chairman Justice V.K. Khanna today said that complaints about violation of human rights were on the rise and 60 per cent of the complaints were against the police.
Talking to mediapersons at the nearby Palahi village Justice Khanna said 97 complaints were received in 1997, the year the commission was established. Over 2200 were received last year and this year the number could go beyond 3000.
We are sensitising both the authorities and the people about human rights, said Mr Khanna.
Sixty per cent of the complaints had been disposed off and departmental action initiated against the erring officials and compensation given to victims, claimed Justice Khanna.
It was time that the judiciary, the press and the police did introspection to tide over the crisis of character, he said. The press, he said, should report fairly and fearlessly on cases of human rights violations. The commission would take suo motu cognisance of such reports, he said.
Justice Khanna said judges, litigants and advocates should be vigilant. When asked about the position of Punjab on the human rights front, Justice Khanna replied: The states record on this count is much better than that of UP and Bihar.
Addressing village panches, sarpanches and NGOs, he emphasised on the need for the right kind of education, particularly in case of a girlchild and flayed female foeticide and infanticide.
Mr A.P. Bhatnagar, Additional DGP Punjab, Mr Iqbal Singh, SSP, Kapurthala, Mr Jarnail Singh Wahad, PSSSB member, Mr Gurmit Singh Palahi, college principal and Mr Jatinderpal Singh Palahi, also spoke.
MALERKOTLA, April 8 Meena Bansal (30), wife of Alkesh Bansal of the local Mahavir Shastri Nagar, was murdered with sharp-edged weapon by certain persons in her house.
The incident occurred at 4.30 a.m. yesterday. The body was found on the ground in front of the house.
She is survived by his 5-year-old son Abhishek.
According to information
available, she was working in her house when two persons
entered her house forcibly and murdered her.
Interestingly, nothing was stolen from the house. The
body has been sent for a post-mortem examination and a
case under Section 302, IPC, has been registered.
MC employee booked for
LUDHIANA, April 8 The police has booked a beldar of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, Bikkar Singh, for taking money from several people after promising them jobs in the municipal corporation.
A case has been registered under Sections 420 and 406 of the IPC on the complaint of Sukhwinder Singh, who had alleged that the suspect had taken Rs 25,000 from him and had promised to get him a job in the MC. Police sources said the suspect had allegedly taken money from more than 50 persons, in amounts varying from Rs 25,000 to 60,000 each.
The suspect used to dupe people by claiming to be a right-hand man of a senior MC official and an aide of a Bhartiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj leader and would claim to use their influence in helping them get jobs. He used to hire job aspirants as labourers for constructing his own buildings and promise to pay their salaries after a few months.
Petroleum dealers sore over
AMRITSAR, April 8 Oil tankers will not transport any petroleum product after April 4, in case the oil companies failed to finalise the new tender, which has been kept in abeyance since January 8, 2000, this was stated by president of the Punjab Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) J.P. Khanna.
The working committee of the association expressed dismay and resentment on the pending public tender called by the oil industry for the transportation of petrol and diesel as the previous contract had expired on September 30, 1999.
The supply and transportation of petrol/diesel to the petrol stations is the responsibility of the oil companies and for this purpose dealer tankers are being utilised by the oil companies instead of their own transport. The high cost of truck, chassis, tyre tubes, spare parts and diesel have made the transportation very costly and it has become uneconomical to ply oil tankers at the old rate contract.
The association alleged that the new tenders had been invited but these were pending even after three months leading to resentment among the dealers.
In an other resolution, the executive committee of the association expressed concern over the payments to the tune of Rs 16 crore owed by the Punjab Police and the state government. They alleged that the police had been harassing petrol dealers by taking supply on credit.
The executive committee expressed resentment and condemned the attitude of the police and asked them to stop the forcible withdrawal of petrol/diesel from the dealers, till the earlier payments were made.
It was decided that the
supply of petrol/diesel would be stopped immediately to
the district police chiefs who have not paid the arrears.
They also threatened to close petrol pumps in protest in
case of harassment by the police on this account.
Flying squads formed to help
FAZILKA, April 8 Mr Mall Singh Ghuman, Chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board, while addressing a gathering here today said flying squads had been constituted in the state to tackle the problems of farmers in wheat procurement. These squads would redress farmers grievances on the spot. Mr Ghuman was inaugurating the office block of the market committee here constructed at a cost of Rs 45 lakh. The 15-room new office block is spread over an area of 9100 sq ft.
The mandi board Chairman said the board had realised market fees worth Rs 232 crore during the financial year ended on March 3, 2000, against Rs 175 crore during 1997-98 and 1998-99.
Highlighting the development schemes launched for providing better facilities to farmers, Mr Ghuman said of the total 169 grain markets in Punjab 60 are kutcha. Out of these 35 purchasing centres would be made puccka by the end of June. Rs 350 lakh would be spent for this purpose and construction work had started on a war-footing. Besides Rs 5 crore would be spent on constructing a puccka grain market at Mamdot and Mallanwala in Ferozepur district during this financial year.
He said during the financial year ended on March 31, 2000, Rs 10.28 crore had been spent on the renovation and repair of grain markets of the state. Out of this Rs 3 crore had been spent on raising additional sheds, laying sewerage and constructing roads in the Fazilka grain market.
Speaking on the problems of farmers, Mr Ghuman urged farmers to diversify from growing traditional crops. He advised farmers to grow more flowers, fruits and vegetables which could enhance their income. He also demanded prompt lifting of paddy worth Rs 1,900 crore from Punjab godowns.
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