|Saturday, July 15, 2000,
Big hike in school board fees
SAD for consensus on autonomy
Rs 1 cr tax evasion scam detected
University decides against filling
Change or perish, says PSEB chief
2 Hepatitis-B deaths reported
4 Excise, ST Inspectors suspended
Leaders pay tributes to Bhagwan
New DC assumes charge
Protest against graft cases
Rs 207 crore for IT sector
Big hike in school board
SAS NAGAR, July 14 In a move aimed at generating an additional revenue of Rs 3.5 crore, the Punjab School Education Board has substantially hiked the fee under various heads. While the hike in the examination fee will be effective from the next academic session, the other types of fee increases have come into effect immediately.
The hike in the existing fees, already on the higher side as compared to those charged by the education boards of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana and the UT Education Department, ranges between 11 per cent and 150 per cent.
Sources in the board said the issue of fee hike was first taken up by the Finance Committee of the board which, after studying the fee structures of the education boards in the neighbouring states, submitted its recommendations at a recent meeting of board members.
The board has been incurring an annual expenditure of Rs 4 crore on running eight model schools which should otherwise have been borne by the Punjab Government.
Students appearing in the middle class examination of the board will be hit the most by the fee hike.
The sources said the examination fee of the regular candidates of the middle class had been increased to Rs 160 from the existing Rs 150. In the case of private candidates the fee had been increased from Rs 180 to Rs 200. The fee for candidates from other states and that fixed for additional subjects has been hiked by 100 per cent each. Middle class students seeking corrections in their examination forms would have to pay Rs 50 instead of the existing fee of Rs 20.
In the case of middle class candidates applying for corrections in their names and date of birth after the declaration of the examination results, the hike was 100 per cent. The registration fee had jumped by 50 per cent.
Regular and private candidates appearing in the matriculation examination would have to pay Rs 230 and Rs 280, respectively. Earlier the candidates had to pay Rs 200 and Rs 250, respectively. The fee for practical tests had been increased by 100 per cent.
The sources said candidates for the senior secondary examination had been let off with a relatively low fee hike. While regular candidates would have to pay Rs 250, the fee for private candidates had been fixed at Rs 200. The examination fee for candidates of open schools had been increased from the existing Rs 600 to Rs 700.
However, the increase in
other types of fee ranged from 100 per cent to 400 per
cent. The fee for a change in the examination centre 30
days, 20 days and 10 days before the start of an
examination had been increased to Rs 200, Rs 400 and Rs
1,000, respectively. Those seeking confidential results
would have to shell out Rs 100. Earlier the fee for
confidential results was Rs 50. Similarly, the fee in the
cases of the rechecking of answer sheets, the merit
certificate, the date of birth certificate and change of
name had increased by at least 100 per cent each.
SAD for consensus on
FATEHGARH SAHIB, July 14 The Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, has said that there is no need to bring the autonomy issue to the state assembly as it cannot do anything in this regard.
The Akali Dal is making all-out efforts to evolve a consensus on this issue, he said while talking to media persons here today. He said Punjab could not link its demand with Jammu and Kashmir as the latter enjoyed special powers under Article 370, which had separate provisions in the Constitution, whereas the Akali Dal had advocated review of the Centre-State relations.
Lashing out at the previous Congress government, he alleged that unfortunately a single party ruled the nation for the maximum period and distorted the Constitution. Without making any amendment to the Constitution, it had disturbed the State List, got maximum powers and centralised all fiscal and planning powers, resulting in total chaos in the country, he alleged.
He said at present the development funds were allotted to the states in a 70:30 ratio. Out of the total amount collected by the state, 70 per cent was given back as loan on 12 per cent interest and 30 per cent as grant, due to which the state continued to fall in a debt trap.
The 11th Finance Commission had recommended 33 per cent share of the collection to the states, but the Akali Dal was not satisfied and had demanded 50 per cent share.
He said there was no move to withdraw the hike in electricity rates as the rates were increased after consulting the representatives of trade and industry.
Later, the Minister
addressed Akali workers and had a closed-door meeting
with newly elected Municipal Councillors of Amloh. Nine
out of 11 councillors were present. He recommended a name
for the council presidentship.
Rs 1 cr tax evasion scam
CHANDIGARH, July 14 The Punjab Excise and Taxation Department has detected evasion of sales tax worth Rs 1 crore following a raid conducted by a team of senior officers working under the supervision of the Additional Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr Sarvjit Singh.
Mr D.S. Kalha, Punjab Excise and Taxation Commissioner, in a press note issued here today said that this was one of the biggest cases of tax evasion in the state ever detected by the department. He said that following the raid conducted jointly by Mr K.V.S. Sidhu, Excise and Taxation Officer and Mr Parmod Singh, Taxation Inspector, a large number of documents, ledgers, loose papers, diaries, parallel bill books showing unaccounted sales were seized from the premises of a dealer at Gobindgarh.
Mr Kalha said the modus operandi of the dealer was to show the sales of re-rolling scrap in form heavy plates brought from ship wrecking companies in Bhavnagar (Gujarat) to furnaces as light melting scrap. But actually sale of it was made to re-rolling mills. However, the sale was shown on the name of furnaces as these get excise duty refund under CENVAT scheme on the inputs on which duty had been already been paid.
The actual users
(re-rolling mills) of this raw material processed it for
their unaccounted production. On one hand sales tax was
evaded and on the other hand bogus excise refunds were
being claimed from the Central Excise Department by
resorting to such illegal activity.
University decides against filling
PATIALA, July 14 The present adhocism which has gripped the Punjabi University is likely to continue with the varsity deciding not to appoint a regular Registrar for another four months or so.
Presently all important posts in the university have been filled for one year or till further orders. These include the posts of Dean, Academics, Dean, Colleges, Dean, Students and Director of the Audio Visual Research Centre (AVRC).
The post of Registrar was filled three to four months back by bringing in Mrs Gursharan Kaur Jaggi, Principal of the local Government Girls College, on deputation from the Punjab government. Mrs Jaggi, however, resigned within a fortnight of being appointed claiming her academic interests were suffering. Following this the post is being occupied on a dual charge. Presently Dr B.S. Bhatia, who is Dean, Research, is acting as the Officiating Registrar.
There was hope that a permanent Registrar would be appointed by the university with the start of the new academic session. However, this hope has been belied. University Vice-Chancellor Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia when contacted said there would be no change in the post for at least four months .
He said this was being done as the accreditation process of the University Grants Commission (UGC) was presently on in the university. He said as all future grants would depend on the accreditation and the Registrar had a major role to play in this process no change would be affected till the process was completed. He said the UGC was checking whether its schemes were being properly implemented or not besides monitoring the functioning of the academic centres.
However, protagonists of the Vice-Chancellor feel that this is another excuse to continue the ad hoc arrangement. They said the accreditation process was a normal exercise and was being conducted in all universities and that a permanent Registrar could be appointed during the process. They feel in fact the process could be completed in a more efficient manner if there was a permanent Registrar as the person could devote all his energies to the task.
The other posts filled on till further orders basis include Dean Academics, held by Dr Kuldeep Singh Dhir, Dean, Colleges, held by Dr Janak Raj Gupta, Dean Students, by Dr D.S. Dhillon and Director, AVRC by Dr S.S. Joshi. In fact a game of musical chairs seems to be going on between the senior faculty which is holding various posts by turns. For instance the post of Director, AVRC was first held by Dr S.S. Joshi, then by Mr S.S. Khaira and then given as an additional charge to Director, Planning and Monitoring, Dr G.S. Arshi. Presently the charge has again been given to Dr S.S. Joshi.
There have been other
frequent changes also like that of the post of Dean,
Colleges which has been held by various persons for short
intervals. The last occupant, Dr Jodh Singh, held the
post for a few months before he resigned and
Dr Janak Raj Gupta was appointed in his place. The
Vice-Chancellor said Dr Jodh Singh had resigned as he was
to go abroad for one month. Another recent
resignation has been that of Dr Chandan
Singh, Professor and Head, Department of Computer Science
and Engineering, whose charge has been given to Dr S.P.S.
Virdi, Head, Physics Department.
Change or perish, says PSEB chief
PATIALA, July 14 Punjab State Electricity Board ( PSEB ) Chairman G S Sohal has said all state electricity boards in the country would have to change or face non existence.
Speaking at a seminar on Re-engineering , PSEB Managers for the New Millennium conducted at the head office from July 11 to 13, Mr Sohal exhorted all heads of departments of the Board to think beyond boundaries or precisely have an out of box thinking . He said countries , people and organisations who do not change ultimately perish.
Earlier, Mr V S Kapoor, Chief Engineer, Research and Development, while welcoming the delegates and visiting faculty, said management was a science and art, both of which took birth with human race . He appreciated the Punjab Government for giving a professional leadership to the PSEB by appointing Mr Sohal as its Chairman who had given a new style of management to the Board, whereby decisions were not imposed from top but evolved after discussions .
Mr Kapoor said to face the 21st century PSEB managers would have to train themselves in modern management techniques like Business re-engineering , total quality management, enterprise resource planning and online computer applications .
The workshop was also addressed by member , generation, Mr Suresh Gupta , member , transmission, Mr A K Kundra, and member, operation, Mr Kirpal Singh, who said if privatisation of the Board was to be avoided, the PSEB engineers, financial experts and administrative officers would have to work like private sector managers and become role models for the workers of the PSEB.
The seminar saw leading
management experts, including former Director, Personnel,
NTPC, Mr Pran Nath , IIM , Calcutta, HRD expert Mrs
Santwana Chaudhari and organisational consultant Piali
Gupta exposing the Heads of departments to various latest
2 Hepatitis-B deaths
FAZILKA, July 14 Two deaths caused by Hepatitis-B were reported in Fazilka subdivision on Wednesday.
Gurdip Singh (22) and Surjit Kaur (32), both residents of Jhuge Lal Singh village, died of this disease in the DMC, Ludhiana, and Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, respectively.
Both the patients suffered from fever for a few days following which they reportedly took brief treatment at a private clinic at Ladhuka and Fazilka, respectively.
These deaths have again caused panic amongst the villagers as over a month ago six persons in different villages had died of Hepatitis-B.
Dr Parshotam Mohan Kakkar, Senior Medical Officer, Primary Health Centres of Dabwala Kalan and Jandwala Bhimeshah, while confirming these deaths said that the Health Department had taken serious note of the disease and had organised 12 vaccination camps in 25 villages. As many as 5000 persons had been vaccinated against the disease, he claimed. Dr Kakkar said that 419 blood samples of persons suspected to be suffering from the disease had been taken during past one month. Of these, 10 persons had been found to be carriers of Hepatitis-B.
Dr Kakkar said none of the carriers were clinically suffering from the disease at present but their blood samples had shown infection of Australia Antigen B positive. Since there is a risk of these patients developing the disease, the health authorities are keeping a vigil over them and two medical teams have been constituted for this purpose.
These persons had been strictly advised to adopt preventive measures like not reusing used syringes and not donating blood. These cases had been detected in Ladhuka Mandi, Jhuge Lal Singh, Trobri, Fatehgarh, Bhamba Wattu, and Khalchian.
Dr Kakkar said
incubation period of the disease caused by the reuse of
syringes ranged from 15 days to 6 months. Five more
vaccination camps were being organised in affected
villages, he added.
4 Excise, ST Inspectors
BATHINDA, July 14 The Punjab Government has placed Excise and Sales Tax (ST) Inspectors Ramesh Kumar Excise Inspector, Bhagta Bhaika, Ramesh Mehra and Lohiri Mal under suspension.
Official sources said all these inspectors had claimed that they had done their graduate courses from Bodhgaya University in Bihar. On the basis of these courses, they got promotion from the rank of clerk to that of inspector in 1994.
However, it was found out that they had completed only two years of their graduation course. After that they were only admitted to the degree course but not awarded degrees by the university.
Sources said at the time of promotion, they got themselves declared as graduates on the basis of the examination which they claimed to have passed from the university.
A senior official of the Excise and Taxation Department on condition of in anonymity, said the department authorities had so far not examined the documents of academic qualification of these employees.
The official said if the
claims of these employees were found false, they would be
dismissed from service.
Leaders pay tributes to Bhagwan
SUNAM, July 14 Besides thousands of persons, leaders belonging to the Congress, the BJP, the SAD, the SAD (A), the CPI and the CPM, attended the antim ardas and bhog ceremony of Bhagwan Dass Arora, Congress MLA from Sunam who allegedly committed suicide on July 3, at the new grain market here today.
Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Congress President, also sent a condolence message to the bereaved family through Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, a former Punjab Chief Minister. She read the message while paying tributes to the deceased.
Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, general secretary of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, also sent his condolence message.
Tributes were also paid by Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Sports, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal and Mr Mohan Lal, both ministers, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, president of the All-India Youth Congress, Capt Amarinder Singh, president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, leader of the opposition in the Punjab Assembly, Mr Jagmit Singh Brar, Congress MP, Mr Joginder Dyal, state secretary of the Punjab unit of the CPI, and Mr Chand Singh Chopra, a former CPM MLA.
Congress MLAs from Punjab, former Congress MLAs, MPs and ministers from Ludhiana, Patiala and Chandigarh and two Punjab ministers Mr Gobind Singh Longowal and Mr Ranjit Singh Balian were also present on the occasion.
Mr Rajinder Deepa, elder
son-in-law of Bhagwan Dass Arora, claimed that there was
neither any dispute over property nor any tension in the
Staff urged to oppose economic
CHANDIGARH, July 14 The Punjab Subordinate Services Federation headed by Mr Sukhdev Singh Bari has given a call to government employees to oppose the economic polices pursued by the Centre and the state as these policies would snatch away benefits from all sections of employees.
He said all employees
should start a united campaign against these policies. He
said certain forces were trying to divide the employees
to weaken their voice against the Punjab Government.
Employees should frustrate the efforts of such elements,
13-yr-old boy dies in roof
JALANDHAR, July 14 A 13-year-old boy was killed in a roof collapse incident in Ramdaspura locality of Nakodar township early this morning.
Kamaljit, who was
sleeping in the verandah of his house, was killed on the
spot when a portion of the structure collapsed and one of
the girders hit his head. He was taken to a hospital but
was declared brought dead, the police said.
Kamaljits father is working in the UAE.
Traders flay police
AMRITSAR, July 14 The Fruit and Vegetable Merchants Union has decried the high-handedness of the local police for allegedly stopping trolleys and trucks carrying fruits and vegetables from plying in the city.
Mr Harish Taneja,
president of the union, has urged the administration to
allow fruit and vegetable-laden trucks to pass through
the city since these items are perishable and cannot
stand long hours in the heat. He alleged that drivers
were forced to bribe police personnel to gain entry into
New DC assumes charge
JALANDHAR, July 14
Mr Keshwa Prasad, a 1993 Punjab cadre IAS officer,
assumed charge as Deputy Commissioner here today. He has
replaced Mr Som Parkash, who has been posted as Managing
Director of the Punjab Financial Corporation.
Protest against graft cases
PHILLAUR, July 14 Doctors, nurses and class III and class IV employees of Phillaur Civil Hospital observed a strike on the second day today in protest against the registration of a case by the police against SMO Virinder Paul Singh and medical officer R.P. Verma for taking bribes yesterday. The doctors on strike were demanding immediate withdrawal of the cases.
The strike began on Thursday when the police took in the custody the medical officer after calling him to police station on some pretext, but was told about his detention in a case registered against him and the SMO.
The police said that one Makhan Singh of Kangraian village submitted some affidavits levelling corruption charges against the two doctors.
The hospital staff along with some residents sat on dharna demanding the release of the doctor, who was released late last night after the intervention of DSP Sajjan Singh Cheema.
Makhan Singh and Bir
Singh of Kangraian had alleged in their complaint that
both doctors had been bribed to write an MLR of Onkar
Singh and Daljit Singh, both sons of Bir Singh.
Rs 207 crore for IT sector
PATIALA, July 14 The Punjab Government is making all-out efforts to raise the level of education in schools and colleges even a sum of Rs 207.86 crore has been earmarked this year for the information technology sector.
This was disclosed by Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Minister for Local Bodies and Employment, while presiding over a function organised by the Sikh Education Society at Rajpura, near here, yesterday. He said with the changing times, it had become imperative to change the outdated education system as prevalent in the country at present. He said that the government had decided to introduce computer education in all schools of the state, keeping in view the fact that computerisation was becoming a common phenomenon in the world. He exhorted the teaching community to inculcate a sense of discipline among the students as these students were to lead the country in various fields in the coming years. Mr Tandon also praised those private institutions who had come forward to help the society by creating educational institutions at various levels.
He announced a grant of
Rs 1 lakh for Khalsa Senior Secondary School and said
that he would take up the issue of providing more land to
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