Saturday, March 10, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

P U N J A B    S T O R I E S




Normalcy a bliss for Panjwar family
Varinder Walia and Gurbax Puri

Panjwar (Tarn Taran), March 9
The restoration of normalcy has not only come as a bliss to people but has marked the beginning of a ‘new’ life for the families of the surviving militants who have taken shelter in Pakistan.

A visit to the ancestral house of Parmjit Singh Panjwar, chief of the Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) who is still operating from Pakistan, shows signs of life after a long gap. Earlier, during the hey-days of militancy, the house had become a police picket and it wore a deserted look till recently. However, the family members, who had run away, have returned home. TNS team noticed heavy construction work going on in the house. The joint property of four brothers is being given a face-lift.

Panjwar is the ancestral village of two chiefs of the KCF. Sukhdev Singh, alias Sukha Sipahi, alias General Labh Singh, was the first ever chief of the KCF. He was responsible for attack on the then Director General Police, Mr J.F. Reibero, in which the latter had a miraculous escape. After the killing of Sukha Sipahi, Kanwaljit Singh Sultanwind took command of the banned militant outfit for a brief period. However, the command of the KCF was handed over to Parmjit Singh after the killing of Sultanwind in a police encounter.

Panjwar village first came into limelight when Mr Gurdial Singh Dhillon became the first Sikh Speaker of Parliament.

The family members of the KCF chief are fighting a legal battle with the police these days. Mr Arjun Singh (88), father of the KCF chief showed his arm and leg which got fractured during ‘police torture’. The mother of Panjwar, Bibi Mohinder Kaur (75) was allegedly kidnapped by the police on November 18, 1992, along with her son Amarjit Singh. The brother of Panjwar, Amarjit Singh, a clerk in a cooperative bank, alleged that his mother was liquidated by the police in custody. He further alleged that his younger brother Rajwinder Singh, an employee of the Punjab State Electricity Board had also ‘disappeared’ after being ‘kidnapped’ by the police.

The father and three brothers of the KCF chief said they were now living a ‘peaceful’ life these days. The Panjwar family, however, evaded all questions about the whereabouts of Parmjit Singh. They claimed that they had lost contact with him since long. However, they believed that Panjwar must be in ‘high spirits’ wherever he was. The family came to know about the activities of Panjwar through media only.

However, they claimed that Parmjit Singh, who was an employee of cooperative bank, Thathisohal (Amritsar), had to flee when a police party raided the house after a bank dacoity at Ludhiana in which more than Rs 5 crore were looted. Since then, he had not come home, they claimed.

Sarbjit Singh, brother of Parmjit said though the family was supporter of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Mann) yet it did not participate in any political activity.
(To be concluded)


Staff shortage hits storage operations
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 9
Even as the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation (PSWC) has increased its storage capacity manifold, the acute shortage of staff to handle foodgrain has been hampering storage operations.

Sources said the PSWC had sufficient staff for storing 17 lakh tonnes of foodgrain in various covered godowns and open plinths owned and hired by it. Over the years, its capacity had been increased to about 50 lakh tonnes while the staff position had remained the same.

The staff shortage became a major problem for storing operations when the PSWC started procurement of rice and wheat though the department was created in the sixties for storing foodgrain only. In the past many years, about 15 per cent staff have retired.

Sources said due to inadequate staff strength, the PSWC had been facing many problems. The incident of theft of foodgrains from godowns and open plinths was common.

The sources said the PSWC could increase its capacity 34 lakh tonnes by constructing its own godowns and hiring the same from private parties in the past 25 years. However, in the past few months, it had to cater to 20 lakh tonnes more.

A section of employees, talking to TNS on the condition of anonymity, said the main problem was relating to security of stored foodgrain in different godowns and plinths in the state. They said in case of theft, cases were rarely registered by the police and departmental authorities recovered the losses from the employees concerned. This was not “justified”.

The employees pointed out that at present, in most cases, big godowns and open plinths were being guarded by a single man round the clock. The man deployed for guarding the foodgrain stock was not able to offer any resistance in case of dacoity or theft.

After 1988, no technical assistant has been recruited by the department. Mr Arun Goyal, Managing Director, PSWC, when contacted at Chandigarh, said the Punjab Government had been asked to create more posts. The department was awaiting the government nod in this connection.

He said the department was trying to recruit employees according to norms.

The employees pointed out that apart from theft, the quality of foodgrain stored in various godowns and open plinths could not be maintained. The department had suffered losses running into crores due to damage to the wheat stored in Fazilka a few years back.

They said the staff shortage in the department had provided an opportunity to rice mill owners to indulge in ‘unauthorised milling’ of paddy belonging to the PSWC and stored in their mills.

The employees pointed out that due to want of repair, a number of godowns owned by the PSWC had developed cracks and were in a bad shape. 


Industrial units lack facilities
Bharat Bhushan Dogra

Mr R.C. Chopra and Mr Rakesh Gupta, President and General Secretary respectively, of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Pathankot, have appealed to the Punjab Government to provide facilities to industrial units of Pathankot subdivision to make them viable.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Gupta said more than 200 big, medium and small industrial units were facing a financial crunch. Most of them were on the verge of closure. He said the government should give concessions and tax exemptions to such units so that they could stand on their feet again.

The owners of these units were unable even to pay salaries to their workers. He demanded complete exemption from income tax and central sales tax for the first five years, subsidy on freight charges 100 per cent exemption from toll tax and 100 per cent subsidy on the purchase of laboratory equipments and generators so that the industry in this subdivision could flourish.

Mr Rakesh Gupta demanded grant of facilities at par with those being given to entrepreneurs by the J&K and Himachal governments. He said only government assistance could save the industry of Pathankot which was on the death knell. He said the government should explore the possibilities of establishing food processing units in Pathankot following heavy yield of kinnow and lemon species.

* * *

Residents of Garden Colony have urged the Punjab Local Bodies Minister, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, to take measures for the cleanliness of the colony. According to them heaps of garbage and carcasses of animals had been noticed in several places of the colony. Overflowing and choked sewer line had become the breeding ground for flies and mosquitoes. The President of the colony, Mr Baljit Singh, said nothing has been done by the Municipal Council in spite of many reminders to the executive officer, Mr Vijay Kumar Sharma, and the President of the council.

* * *

Rahul Sharma is a multifarious personality in sports, cultural music dance and karate. He has won several trophies and medals which decorate his living room. He not only learnt the techniques of karate but won a gold medal also and was awarded the black strap, pink belt, advance pink belt, brown belt and advance brown belt by the federation in different competitions.

He has the potential even to pull a car with his teeth and can have a rod broken on his arm besides breaking pairs of tiles with one blow. He is employed in Hindu Urban Cooperative Bank. He imparts training in karate to aspirants who want to learn karate to defend themselves in the hour of need.

* * *

To check fire incidents the annual emergency fire drill was conducted in the local depot of the Indian Oil Corporation. The drill was organised jointly by fire tenders of the Army, the Air Force and the civic council.

A spokesman of the corporation told The Tribune that the stockyard of the corporation houses approximately 30,000 kilolitres of oil following which the officials of the corporation have to be extra careful in the matters of fire incidents since the oil products are highly inflammable.

Mr B. Vikram, Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, and Mr K.K. Garg, SDM, Pathankot, also witnessed the drill.

* * *

Mr Surinder Mahajan, President of the Local Senior Citizens Club, appealed to the administration to remove the encroachments. The menace of the encroachments continues with shopkeepers having reportedly made encroachments in front of their shops. Even the roads and footpaths have not been spared. The shopkeepers have not only encroached on the roadsides but have rented out the portions in front of their shops to rehriwallas.


Puran Singh unlikely to attend meeting
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 9
Despite Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, making a last- ditch effort to resolve the impasse on ‘Maryada’ (Sikh code of conduct), Giani Puran Singh, Head Granthi, Golden Temple, is unlikely to attend the joint meeting of Sikh High Priests and the SGPC executive proposed to be held on March 13 at Akal Takht.

Jathedar Vedanti and other High Priests are embroiled in a fresh controversy following their meeting at Akal Takht on February 27 in the absence of Giani Puran Singh. Sikh circles are of the view since the High Priests had held a meeting in the absence of Giani Puran Singh, now they did not have the moral right to put pressure on him to attend the same. Moreover, the SGPC executive, headed by Jathedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi, had already excused Giani Puran Singh from attending such meetings.

Sources close to Giani Puran Singh said he was determined not to share forum with Prof Manjit Singh, Giani Kewal Singh, Jathedars of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib and Damdama Sahib, respectively, and Giani Bhagwan Singh, Head Granthi, Akal Takht, who had been excommunicated from the Panth through a controversial ‘hukamnama’ issued by him (Giani Puran Singh) when he was Jathedar, Akal Takht.


Canadian Sikh rejoins Panth
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 9
A Canada-based Sikh, Giani Rattan Singh Girn, who was excommunicated from the Sikh Panth by the then Akal Takht Jathedar, Bhai Ranjit Singh, for violating the hukamnama (edict) on the “langar” (community kitchen) issue, rejoined the Sikh fold yesterday with Giani Bhagwan Singh, Head Granthi, Akal Takht, performing “ardas”.

As per the “tankhah” (punishment for religious misconduct) Giani Girn was directed by the Sikh high priests to clean utensils of Sikh sangat, dust their shoes and listen to the gurbani for a week in a gurdwara and offer “karah parsad” for Rs 500 each at the Golden Temple and Akal Takht. After completing the “tankhah” he appeared before Akal Takht yesterday.

Giani Girn was atoned by the Sikh High Priests on February 27. He is the first Canada-based Sikh who had applied for rejoining the Sikh Panth. 


Holi spirit: cops act as spoilsport
From Jaswinder Paul Singh & Pushpesh Kumar

Bathinda, March 9
Plans of youngsters to celebrate the festival of colours were foiled by the district police today and the youngsters were found looking for safer places to celebrate Holi with friends and peers.

The plans of the youngsters were foiled by the police who kept extra vigil on the “gheri routes” of the city and other important chowks. Officers of the police and that of the Anti-Goonda Staff (AGS) patrolled in the city to prevent any ‘untoward’ incident.

All important picnic spots of the city which could have turned into “sensitive” places were constantly under police observation, as was the case on Valentine’s Day. Colour vendors of the city were also kept under observation. AGS officers kept patrolling in plain clothes on private vehicles to evade the eyes of the younger people. They could be spotted even in the far-flung areas, mohallas and bylanes of the city.

The youngsters had to take shelter in some religious places of the city. Although police personnel were also deployed near them. At places the youngsters could be seen pleading before police officers that they might be allowed for triple-riding, to save fuel or to outcome shortage of vehicles. The police did not oblige. Some of the youngsters assured the police that they would not make any nuisance.

Police personnel could be seen chasing youngsters in the streets on impounded’ scooters and motorcycles of youngsters who were running as if they were offenders of law. They tried to take different routes to avoid meeting the police. The police authorities had set up temporary ‘nakas’ in every nook and corner of the city.

The youngsters alleged that the police thrashed and manhandled them, “We were stopped on the pretext of checking our documents and credentials, and we were abused,” alleged one youngster. “Had we done any mischief or played foul, we could have be punished but the police had no right to interfere in our private lives,” lamented one of his friends.

It was sort of a celebration before the annual examinations. Groups of girls could be seen in various colonies on their private vehicles. Some of them were very disappointed with the alleged highhandedness of the police. Boys alleged that girls were not put to any check like them.

After the news of police vigilance spread, the youngsters changed their strategy and called their friends on the telephones. Some of them celebrated Holi in parks adjacent to their houses in various colonies. Children celebrated the day in the narrow lanes of the city.

A senior officials of the AGS said that they kept extra vigil and patrolling in the city as they had received some complaints of eve-teasing from various parts of the city. The youngsters were neither abused nor manhandled, he claimed.


Pak’s assurance on free passage to Sikh devotees
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 9
The International Bhai Mardana Yaadgari Kirtan Darbar Society in a statement has said the Pakistan authorities are ready to coordinate with its Indian counterpart to provide facilities to Sikh devotees to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara on the Indo-Pak border. The gurdwara is nearly 2 km inside the Pakistan territory.

During religious celebrations last year, the Pakistan authorities had assured a free passage to devotees to pay obeisance at the historic gurdwara without any official or visa documents.

The society president, Mr Harpal Singh Bhuller, said the Wakf Board of Pakistan had spent Rs 2 crore on the maintenance and beautification of the gurdwara, while another Rs 2 crore was spent by Sikh sangat residing in England. He said the passage to the gurdwara which was deeply connected to the life of Guru Nanak Dev was 2 km in length and 50 feet wide.


Poster war by Dal Khalsa
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 9
In an attempt to counter the propaganda of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat (RSS), the radical Sikh organisation Dal Khalsa has launched a “poster war”.

The Dal Khalsa is distributing pamphlets and posters in the state against the RSS. In a poster, the Dal Khalsa has posed 12 questions to the RSS and the ruling SAD regarding the “anti-panthic” steps.

In its first question, the Dal Khalsa has asked the Sikhs to study the reasons as to why the Sikhs were being described as “kesdhari Hindus” time and again. The second question relates to the flow of “illicit liqour” in Punjab during the regime of Mr Parkash Singh Badal. It has also posed a question as to why nothing could be achieved during the Tercentenary of the birth of the Khalsa Panth?

The posters also criticised the ongoing dead-lock among the Sikh high priests. The Dal Khalsa asked, “who is responsible for repeated violations of maryada?”

Mr Kanwarpal Singh, spokesman of the Dal Khalsa, said the posters were being despatched to representatives of various Sikh organisations for creating awareness among the masses on the issues relating to the Panth. 


High Court
Conduct poll to civic body posts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 9
Directing the authorities to take steps to ensure free and peaceful conduct of elections to the posts of president and vice-president of the Samana Municipal Council, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court also asked them to provide security to candidates and voters. The elections are scheduled for March 12.

In their petition taken up by Mr Justice Amar Bir Singh Gill and Mr Justice V.S. Aggarwal today Municipal Councillor Sewa Singh and nine others had earlier sought directions to the state of Punjab and three other respondents to hold the elections and notify results.

They had alleged that a meeting was held and nominations for the elections accepted, but it was adjourned indefinitely on the pretext of law and order problem ostensibly to help the opposite group.

Going into the background, the petitioners had stated that most of the councillors were loyal to the President of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal — Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra. The MC President elected by them was removed by the group loyal to the ruling Akali Dal Badal, they had added.

Counsel for the petitioners added that another petition before the High Court was disposed of as infructuous after an undertaking was given that elections would be held on March 5. They had added that the holding of elections were, however, adjourned.

Arguing before the Bench, counsel for the petitioners stated that the elections had now been fixed for March 12. The Deputy Advocate-General, representing the state, also gave the undertaking that the elections would be held peacefully and fairly. He added that necessary steps for security would also be taken.


MLA slams move on Anandgarh
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 9
Mr Ravi Inder Singh, former Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and present MLA from Morinda, today criticised the issuance of notices under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act to 29 villages which would fall in the proposed Anandgarh township and declared that he would oppose the move by all means.

He said the matter was still subjudice as the Punjab and Haryana High Court had reserved its verdict on the petitions for quashing the notification for building the township.

Mr Ravi Inder Singh said he would spare no effort to oppose the creation of the township and would not allow the uprooting of thousands of residents of the villages.


Book released
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 9
A book The Rise of the East and the Sikh Ideology, written by Dr Swaraj Singh, was released by Dr Ajmer Singh, a surgeon, at a function held here today.

Dr Swaraj Singh is a cardiovascular surgeon by profession, however, his writing instincts made him to write this book in which essays regarding the culture as related to Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat is the main thrust. The function was attended by a large number of persons and intellectuals.



Substations to remain closed on March 14
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 9
The 132 KV sub-station, Abohar, 33 KV sub-station, Abohar, 33 KV sub-station, Amarpura, 33 KV sub-station, Seeto-Guno village, 33 KV sub-station, Khuian Sarvar, and 33 KV sub-station, Khui-Khera village, will remain closed on March 14, 2001, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. due to some construction work on the Muktsar-Abohar line.

This was stated in a press note issued here yesterday by the Superintending Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Muktsar.


Water, sewerage charges up
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 9
Residents of the city would have to pay more for drinking water and sewerage facilities as the municipal council (MC) has decided to increase the rates of these facilities in the proposals of its annual Budget which was passed on Wednesday.

Cable operators will have to pay Rs 10,000 per annum to the MC. There is a provision in the Budget that the income earned from the sale of liquor would be spent on the construction of a railway overbridge on the “khooni phatak”.

Mr Bhupinder Singh Bhullar, President of the MC presenting the Budget, said the rates of drinking water and sewerage had not been increased for quite some time.

According the provisions of the Budget, residents would have to pay Rs 35 per connection per month instead of the present Rs 30 for drinking water and Rs 15 per month for sewerage connection instead of Rs 10. 


Punjab steps to promote farming
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, March 9
The Punjab Government in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Delhi has launched a special programme to promote farming among unemployed youth in four Krishi Vigyan Kendras in Faridkot, Bathinda, Patiala, and Langdowa (Nawanshahr). Under the scheme a three-month integrated course from February to April on various allied agriculture courses like crop production, bee-keeping, mushroom cultivation, dairy and poultry farming and maintenance of agriculture machinery have been introduced in the institutes. As many as 20 youths in each kendra have been taken to monitor the plan.

This was stated by Dr J.S. Brar, Deputy Director, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Faridkot while talking to this reporter here today. He said the entire training would be imparted through programmes. After the completion of the training, the trainees would be able to avail loans from all nationalised banks to start the work. Subsidy would also be given to them said Mr Brar. No age limit or qualification has been fixed for trainees. 


N. Railway clarifies

Referring to the report ‘‘Railway staff hold dharna’’ published on February 17, the Public Relations Officer, Northern Railway, has issued the following clarification:

“There was no commitment from the General Manager or the Chief Personnel Officer for a meeting with the Sirhind branch of the union. At an unscheduled halt during the General Manager’s inspection when he disembarked from the train, certain union members insisted on presenting a memorandum of grievances to him. The General Manager agreed, then the union pressed for discussion of each of the grievances in the memorandum. The General Manager, agreed even to that, but the union once again insisted on a discussion by going to the Station Superintendent’s chamber, which given the paucity of time, was simply not possible.

“It may be mentioned that as per practice a detailed discussion with the Divisional Union representatives at Ambala was already on the agenda where the Sirhind branch would also be represented and no detailed discussions are held with various branches unless specifically scheduled for in the programme. This is done as such meetings inconvenience the public at smaller stations, where trains may get held up.

‘‘It is a misrepresentation of facts that the General Manager had agreed to hold discussions with the union branch at Dhuri or Sirhind. Action against railway employees is also taken after due investigation by the authorities concerned, particularly when the circumstances are against the public interest’’.


6 held in flesh trade racket
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 9
A sex worker was rounded up by the police on Wednesday. She looks just like any teenager, only that she wears a little more make-up carries a mobile phone and sports jeans and T-shirt.

She is the daughter of a wealthy family in Delhi, owning two textile shops and was residing in the plush Model Town area.

After a “live-in” arrangement with a jeweller from Delhi failed, she came in contact with Sunita who took her to a pimp in Amritsar called “Mona Darling”, alias Monica. Monica escaped when the police raided her residential premises at Mohalla Bhadarkali.

She had also “deployed” her daughter to keep a vigil.

Talking to the media, the SP City, Mr Amit Prasad, said six persons, including three women, had been arrested.

The police also seized 500 gm of smack. The accused have been booked under the prevention of immoral traffic Act and the NDPS Act.


6 held in rape, murder case
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 9
A case of rape and murder of Baljit Kaur that happened on December 20, 1997, at Fatehpur village was solved with the arrest of six persons.

Those arrested were the deceased person’s neighbours — Surjit Singh and Daljit Singh (brothers), Baldev Singh, Ranjit Singh alias Maka, Satnam Singh, alias Sattu, and Sukhwinder Singh. All six according to the SP, City, Mr Amit Prasad, are anti-socials.

The motive of the rape was to teach a lesson to Baljit Kaur, who, they alleged, used to fight with them over petty issues. The murder was committed to cover the tracks.

Baljit’s body was discovered three days later in a gunny bag at her house by the police after the matter was reported.

Baljit lived alone as she had lost all her relatives. All six were booked under Section 302, IPC.


Undertrial escapes, 2 cops held
Tribune News Service

Jaitu (Faridkot), March 9
Charanjit Singh alias Charna, known as ‘mini Natwar Lal’ in this area, who has been in the Central Jail in Bathinda city for the past few months in connection with trail of criminal cases, escaped from police custody here on March 7.

The police sources said Charna, who had been facing nearly five criminal cases, was taken from the Central Jail by two constables of Sangrur district, Harpal Singh and Mohinder Singh, to Malerkotla in connection with hearing of a court case on March 7.

After hearing of the case was over, all three started for the Central Jail. On the way, Charna asked the two constables that he wanted to go to Joga-Ralla for some personal work. Then he said he wanted to go to Jaitu for arranging some money for marriage of a close kin.

The constable brought him to the town and opened his handcuffs following which Charna went to meet an advocate. After coming out of house of the advocate, Charna told the policemen that he wanted to meet an other person. He was again allowed to meet that person by the policemen following which Charna managed to escape.

Both Harpal Singh and Mohinder Kumar had been arrested by the police. A case under Section 223 and 224 of the IPC had been registered against them.

Official sources said Central Jail authorities, had written a special teleprinter message to the Sangrur district police authorities that Charna was an escapee and special guards should be provided for his custody while he would be taken to Malerkotla for hearing in the court.

Charna had earlier escaped from police custody from government Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, but was arrested after few days.

The Station House Officer, local police station, on being contacted, said the suspected hideouts of Charna were being raided. He added that Central Jail authorities at Bathinda had been informed about the matter and an alert had been sounded in the area.


Self-appraisal scheme goes
From Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 9
Punjabi University has started the process of implementing a scheme envisaging evaluation of teachers by students even though it is only an optional recommendation of the University Grants Commission (UGC). It has decided not to continue with the self appraisal scheme for teachers started during the tenure of the previous Vice Chancellor despite the fact that the UGC has made it a mandatory part of the Career Advancement Scheme (CAS).

The university has started the implementation of the teacher evaluation scheme by writing letters to the Heads of Department along with specimen copies of the evaluation form and directing that the forms be distributed to the students.

However, the scheme envisaging self appraisal of teachers which the UGC, according to documents available with TNS , has said should be implemented to ensure accountability in the Career Advancement Scheme, is lying suspended.

The self-appraisal scheme for teachers, in which they were to disclose work done by them in the academic session, was started by previous Vice Chancellor, Dr J.S. Puar, in 1993. The scheme drew a flak from a section of teachers who started a campaign to ensure Dr Puar did not get an extension and even submitted blank self appraisal reports.

The scheme was apparently discontinued under the new dispensation with Self Appraisal reports of the year 1999 and 2000 not having been got filled till now. The form for the year 1999 was to be filled in the first quarter of the year 2000 and that for the year 2000 in the first few months of this year. Neither forms have been filled.

University Registrar Dr B.S. Bhatia when contacted said the forms had ‘’ perhaps not been filled after the tenure of Dr Puar came to an end’’ . He said if this had not been done it was probably because the issue was not in the notice of the Vice Chancellor.

He said there had also been no demand from the teachers in this regard. When asked why the self appraisal reports of 1997 and 1998 had not been printed, he said a resolution had been passed in this regard on the plea that it was an expensive proposition and that the handwritten reports should be kept in the record for perusal if needed.

However, a section of teachers as well as the Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA) has claimed that the University is not taking interest in the self appraisal scheme for teachers as these reports can not be used to pressurise them. PUTA president Dr Bhupinder Singh Khaira said it was strange that the university was not publishing the reports of the scheme as promised by the previous dispensation.

Dr Khaira alleged an appraisal of teachers by students, however, suited the university administration as it could pressurise the teachers through the scheme. Other senior teachers said when the university was facing difficulty in publishing the self-appraisal reports of teachers how would it regularly publish thousands of appraisal reports submitted by students twice a year as per the scheme.

The PUTA president alleged that the university authorities had issued a vague circular to the department heads to implement the scheme even as the Vice Chancellor had himself assured that no decision would be taken on the issue without taking PUTA into confidence.

He said PUTA was in the process of writing a letter to the authorities regarding the breach of faith with the organisation.

The Registrar, however, said forms had been distributed among the coordinators of various entrance tests and if this constituted the implementation of the scheme then it had been implemented.

He said according to his understanding the issue was to be kept pending till it was discussed in detail with PUTA and that the scheme would be fully implemented once the forms were distributed among the students.


Siddharath, youngest national debater

It is not easy to come out with flying colours or to add feathers to your cap with regularity in this highly competitive world. However, young Siddharath Sharma proved that things can go one’s way if one has the will power to do so. He has won four times in a row the first position in debate at the North-Zone Inter-University Youth Festival from 1997 to 2000. He has been winning laurels in academic, cultural, social at the state, national and international levels.

Recently, Siddharath was in news when he won the first prize for debate at the National Youth Festival and also won the elocution competition out of 246 universities that were competiting in the festival held at Benaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He brought laurels by winning competitions in elocution held at various youth festivals.

Apart, from this he has attained, for the past four years, first position in the South Asian International Youth Festival (2000), the International Youth Festival (2000), the National Youth Festival held at Calicut (1999) and the National Youth Festival held in Chandigarh (1998) where he became the youngest national champion in debate.

It made a three in a row when he stood first in elocution at the North Zone Inter-University Youth Festival from 1998 to 2000. He has also been the university champion in debate for three years in a row adding the largest number of medals to his credit.

He made his debut on the stage in 1992 as a student of Our Lady of Fatima Convent School. As a student, he stood first in a state-Level Debate in 1994 and even participated in the 3rd and 4th National Baal Seminars. In 1995, when he joined college, he became the youngest national debater. He has been declared the best RYLA Awardee at the Rotary Youth Leadership Award Camp held in 1997-98 comprising districts of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Siddharath has been working with a number of social welfare organisations like the Rotary Club, the Red Cross and the Rotaract Club, raising funds for HelpAge India, flood victims and the under privileged. In view of his honour, he has been awarded with Roll of Honour twice at Government Mohindra College. He has to his credit the seven university colours.

He is conferred upon a number of honours from the International Amity, the Association of Indian Universities, the Indian Council of World Affairs, the National School of Education (Roorkee), the National Society for Child Artists, the United Schools, the International Association for Social Health in India, the North Zone Cultural Centre, the Rotary Club, the Red Cross Society and Punjabi University. Besides, he has participated in various national youth programmes and has won prizes in sports, writing contests, quiz contests, poetry recitation competitions and numerous plays.

Siddharath’s father, Mr S.C.Sharma, Professor of the Department of English, Government Mohindra College, feels proud for his son to have come out with flying colours at an early age adding that Siddharath has been able to make his own stand in this unique world. — Anita Tayal


Misuse of Chair funds alleged
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 9
The Chairs established in the name of Dalit saints and scholars like Sant Ravi Das, Bhagat Kabir, Bhagat Namdev and Dr B. R. Ambedkar have come under severe criticism by Dalit organisations.

The Ambedkar Yaadgaar Committee has alleged colossal misuse of funds allotted to the Chairs at Guru Nanak Dev University in a letter to the Governor, Punjab.

In a statement, committee president Sohan Lal Amrohi said: “These Chairs became a victim of official apathy and intrigue from the day of their conception as persons appointed on these Chairs were not selected on the basis of academic excellence, but on the sole consideration of accommodating persons in the university system. Hence, persons belonging to other disciplines headed these Chairs.”

He alleged that no substantial research was consequently undertaken, whereas services of some teachers were utilised for administrative purposes.

Mr Sohan Lal pointed out that ironically all appointees to the Chairs were non-Dalits. He alleged that complete misuse of funds took place in the name of research on the works of these scholars and saints.

Meanwhile, Mr Raj Kumar, general secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress, has objected to the scrapping of these Chairs by the university. He said the late Beant Singh had laid the foundation of these Chairs for in-depth research on Dalit personalities.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |