Friday, April 13, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Mann awaiting Tohra’s return
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 12
Formation of a third front in view of the next Assembly elections in Punjab is in progress. All modalities, including projection of a Chief Minister, will be chalked out after the return of Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, president of the SHSAD, from America on April 20.

This was stated by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), while talking to mediapersons here today.

Mr Mann said all political parties opposing the Congress, the SAD and the BJP would be approached for induction into the proposed third front.

He said this front would contest all 117 Assembly seats in Punjab. However, he did not disclose his party’s share in the tickets allotted.

Mr Mann also said a common minimum programme would be chalked out to the satisfaction of all constituents after the formation of the front.

He said leaders of various political parties, including Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode, Jathedar Kuldip Singh Wadala, Mr Ravi Inder Singh and others would address a political conference at Talwandi Sabo tomorrow. He said he along with the SHSAD leaders would also address the public from this stage.

Reacting to the statement of Mr Harkishan Singh Surjit, general secretary of the CPM, that communal parties like the SAD (A) and the SHSAD would not be included in the national-level third front, Mr Mann said Mr Surjit wanted the Congress and the BJP to benefit by keeping these parties out of the third front. He also criticised Mr Surjit for issuing such a statement.

Mr Mann also demanded the DNA and forensic tests on decomposed bodies-found from the Sutlej near Ferozepore. He claimed the skeletons were of those Sikhs who had been murdered by the Army and the police since Operation Blue Star.

Regarding the arrest of Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, chief of the Khalistan Commando Force (KCF), Mr Mann claimed that he had surrendered before the police after having talks with Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

He demanded talks held between Zaffarwal and Mr Badal be made public.


Rally over Tehelka expose on April 16
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, April 12
Accusing the Prime Minister of shielding corrupt ministers, bureaucrats and leaders of the NDA government after Tehelka expose, the president of the All-India Youth Congress, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, announced that the Youth Congress would organise a “national security rally” in Delhi on April 16 to seek resignation of the Vajpayee government in Delhi on April 16.

Talking to mediapersons at Congress Bhavan here today, Mr Surjewala, alleged that Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee should resign on moral grounds since his son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya, National Security Adviser, Brijesh Mishra and N.K. Singh of Prime Minister’s Office were allegedly involved in corrupt practices in defence deals.

The inquiry commission set up by the BJP government to probe the role of politicians, bureaucrats and ministers in defence deals, was mere an eyewash since the Prime Minister had already declared that his ministers and officials in PMO were not involved in negotiations of any defence deal. Mr Vajpayee had also given a clean chit to the former Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes by retaining him as the convener of the NDA, said Mr Surjewala.

“National security rally will be an effort to expose the true face of the BJP among the countrymen. The rally will be addressed by all senior Congress leaders, Congress Working Committee members and MPs”, he added.


Sangrur has new Dy Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
The Punjab Government today posted two new Deputy Commissioners while ordering the transfer of five IAS and eight PCS officers.

Mr Sarvjit Singh, Additional Excise and Taxation, Commissioner, Patiala, has been posted as Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, in place of Mr Anirudh Tiwari, who has been shifted to the Punjab State Electricity Board, Patiala, as Member ( Finance and Accounts), relieving Mr Vijay Kain, who had additional charge of this post.

Mr Vikas Pratap Singh , Additional Deputy Commissioner, Patiala, has been posted as Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, against a vacant post. Mr Gagandeep Singh, has been posted as Additional Deputy Commissioner, Patiala.

Mr Ashok Kumar Goel has been posted as Special Secretary, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Department. Mr V.K. Meena has been posted as Additional Secretary, Finance, against a vacant post.

Mrs Gayatari Jain, a PCS officer, has been posted as Additional Secretary, Local Bodies Department, in place of Mr Inder Yash Bhatti, who has been transferred to Khadoor Sahib as Subdivisional Magistrate. Mr Amrit Lal Garg has been shifted to the Department of Public Health as Joint Secretary.

Mr Manvesh Singh Sidhu has been transferred to Patiala as Additional Deputy Commissioner ( Development) and Mr Ravinder Singh has been posted as Estate Officer, PUDA, SAS Nagar. Mr Gurdev Singh Ghuman, has been shifted to Jalandhar as Secretary, Regional Transport Authority, in place of Mr Harmel Singh, who has been shifted to Patiala as Secretary, Regional Transport Authority.


Govt’s way of thanking martyrs
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 12
Mrs Tej Kaur, a war widow was allotted 10 acres in Malout when her husband Dhana Singh died in the 1962 Sino-India war. But the officials concerned first delayed the giving of the possession of land to Mrs Tej Kaur, and only after repeated efforts she was given 4 acres.

The land allotted was barren so she sold it and started living at Jawaharke in Mansa district. Because of poverty she could not provide education to her son and two daughters. All that she gets now is Rs 1,800 per month which is not sufficient to run the family.

Mrs Tej Kaur is not the only woman who feels neglected by the authorities. There were about 70 war widows, who came here for attending he Veer Naris Meet organised by the Chetak Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) held at the local military station today.

The condition of Mrs Sukhdev Kaur, whose husband Karm Singh had died in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war is even worse. Telling her story of woes she said merely after two-and-a-half years after their marriage her husband made the sacrifice for the motherland. She never married again considering that it was the will of the Almighty that she should spend her life alone. She had no children.

She was given 10 acres at Bambiha village in Bathinda district. But it did not help her in any way. The neighbours thinking that she was alone and helpless grabbed the land. She is not even aware of how to get legal aid.

The story of Mrs Surjit Kaur, who lost her husband Gurdev Singh in the 1962 Sino-India war and whose only son was working as a labourer at Jatana Kalan village of Mansa district is no different The pension of Rs 1,900 per month could not fill the gap that was created after the loss of the bread earner of the family. She was given 10 acres in Malout region but it was of no use as it was barren.

Harbhajan Singh lost his life in 1995 while facing the militants in Jammu and Kashmir and the government ordered a pension of Rs 4,200 per month to his wife Jaswinder Kaur, who lives in a joint family at Mandhali village in Mansa district. She said although the monetary help by the government was not sufficient but her condition was better than the others.

There were a number of widows, who told the same story to the correspondent. They were not satisfied with the aid the government gave them. But those, whose husbands had died in the “1962, 1965 and 1971 wars were facing more problems. They alleged that the land given to them, if any was barren and was just an eyewash.

They urged the government that free education should be provided to their children and the land given to them should be near the villages where they were residing.

The widows were given gifts by the chief guest.


‘PUDA constructing illegal structures’
Our Correspondent

Patiala, April 12
Residents of Karheri village, falling under Patiala tehsil, have alleged that the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) authorities were building illegal colonies on the outskirts of the city.

A complaint to this effect was forwarded by Mr Harbhajan Singh Virk, sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat, Karheri, to the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), Mr Vikas Pratap during a sangat darshan held in front of the office of Deputy Commissioner here today.

The complainant said the colonisers wanted to establish unauthorised colonies in the vicinity of the Karheri village. Mr Virk claimed that no action had been taken by the PUDA, despite the fact that more than a year had passed since the illegal structures started coming up. The open spaces left in order to attract customers were being sold with the connivance of revenue staff and officials of the sub-registrar’s office. He alleged that even the proposed streets have been blocked so that these might not be used by the public.

Mr Virk further alleged that the PUDA administration had also blocked the passage of Khasra number 13, measuring 4B-8B, which had been in existence for the past hundred years. The plea of the PUDA administration is that they have blocked the passage in order to safeguard the interests of the villagers, which the villagers refuse to accept.

The ADC has asked the PUDA Estate Officer to stop the unauthorised establishment of colonies in the village and submit the report within 15 days.

The ADC has appealed to the people to bring their cases first under the notice of the authorities at the block level or the subdivisional level. He added that the people should bring their cases under the notice of sangat darshan only if they were not resolved at the lower levels as this would save their time as well as money.


Govt schools closed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
The Punjab Government today announced the closure of all government primary, middle and secondary schools from April 13 to 22 in the state. A spokesman of the Education Department said this had been done in view of harvesting of wheat.


BSM not to attend Talwandi Sabo rally
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, April 12
The Bahujan Samaj Morcha (BSM) will not participate in the political conference at Talwandi Sabo on April 13. This was announced by the morcha’s national president Satnam Singh Kainth while talking to mediapersons here today.

He said the morcha would organise a “chetna rally” on April 14 at the Red Cross Bhavan, Jalandhar, in which employees, besides intellectuals related to the morcha would also participate.

He alleged that all political parties worked only to politicise Dalit issues for their selfish motives instead of safeguarding the interests of the Dalits. He said a state-level campaign to attain more political power for the morcha would soon be started in the state.


Salomajra heads SAD unit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
Mr Pritam Singh Salomajra has been unanimously elected president of the Ropar district unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal, according to a press note issued here today by Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, secretary of the party.

Mr Pritam Singh has been authorised by the party high command to appoint the office-bearers of the unit within 15 days.


Historical richness of Talwandi Sabo
Tribune News Service

Talwandi Sabo, April 12
Known as “Guru ki Kashi” (seat of learning), Talwandi Sabo was the last point of departure of Guru Gobind Singh from Punjab. After leaving Talwandi Sabo, he never came back to Punjab.

Due to its historical and religious importance, Talwandi Sabo was recognised as the fifth Takht of the Sikhs and known as Takht Damdama Sahib. It also houses the head quarters of the 96 Crori Baba Budha Dal sect led by Baba Santa Singh.

Every year on April 13, a Baisakhi mela is organised here. Lakhs of people throng this place to pay their obeisance at various historical gurdwaras and to take a dip in the sarovar of Takht Damdama Sahib.

According to historical facts, for the first time in 1515 AD, Guru Nanak Dev stopped here on way from Sirsa to Sultanpur. During his brief stay here, he predicted that this place would become an important religious place. Guru Teg Bahadur visited it after 159 years of Guru Nanak Dev’s visit in 1674 AD. After 31 years, Guru Gobind Singh blessed this land when he visited it in the later part of 1705 AD.

Hundreds of years ago, the Saraswati used to flow here, and the Sutlej used to flow near Bathinda (Vikramgarh) town. These rivers changed their course with the passage of time and the land became barren.

In the Sikh religious history, only two Talwandis are famous. One is Talwandi Rai Bhoa now known as Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev was born and second is Talwandi Sabo where Guru Gobind Singh completed “damdami beer”.

Guru Gobind Singh also prepared four copies of “damdami beer” here and these were sent to other Takhts. The quills which were used by Bhai Mani Singh and Baba Deep Singh for writing them were immersed in the sarovar after the work was over.

The place where the “damdami beer” was written is known as Likhansar and later the Guru Gobind Singh called it “Guiru ki Kashi”.

According to an English historian, more than 20,000 people were administered “amrit” at Anandpur Sahib on the occasion of the first Baisakhi.

On Baisakhi, several people from various places, including foreign countries, come here to have a glimpse of weapons and other articles belonging to Guru Gobind Singh.


High hopes from CM’s visit
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, April 12
The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, will visit Dhar Kalan on April 14, said the Minister of Higher Education, Mr Mohan Lal, today. He will inaugurate the newly constructed Sailli road.

Residents of Dhar Kalan expect the CM to announce a grant of a package for the development of the semi-hilly area and solve their problems of scarcity of teachers in primary schools, drought-like condition in the area, lack of pucca roads, drinking water, primary health centre, veterinary dispensary and primary education centres. The subdivision comprises 27 villages with agriculture as the main avocation and the people are more backward than ruralites.

Government employees posted in this sub-division are also a harassed lot. They find it difficult to reach offices in time in the absence of regular transport facilities. They have to walk on foot for miles.


Decision on liquor vends
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 12
The Punjab Government Cabinet is likely to meet on April 15 to decide on reauction of the liquor vends in the district. The liquor vends of the district could not be auctioned despite two attempts by the state Excise and Taxation Department to hold the auction.

Mr D.S. Kalha, Excise and Taxation Commissioner, has been negotiating with liquor contractors for the past two days. He sought to know the losses they had suffered during the past one year and during new bids for the year 2001-2001.


Plea to charge power bills by meter
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 12
The decision of the state government to charge electricity bills on a flat-rate basis is very unfortunate and would lead to huge losses to the industrial units of the stated.” This was stated by Mr Bhagwan Bansal, president of the Consumer Welfare Council, Muktsar, in a statement issued here today.

He said the quantitative restrictions had been lifted from April 1 and this would lead to massive import of consumer and other goods, thereby the local industry would have to face increased competition. Coupled with this, the decision of state government to charge electricity bills on a flat-rate basis would prove disastrous for the small industrial units. Mr Bansal said the state government had recently installed electronic meters in the industrial units on which it had spent crores of rupees. All that money would be a waste if the meters were not put to effective use.


Bank denial
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 12
The authorities of State Bank of Patiala today clarified that no case to loot a branch of the bank was reported on Tuesday night as was reported in a section of the press. The branch belonged to the State Bank of India and not to the State Bank of Patiala, as mentioned in some reports, they said.


Tubewell connections for SCs
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 12
The Punjab State Electricity Board authorities have started to give power connection for tubewell motors on priority basis to Scheduled Caste land owners. In a press note issued here yesterday the Board authorities pointed out that under this scheme any member of the Scheduled Caste having one or more than one acre agriculture land could get power connection.


Ambedkar jayanti celebrations by BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
The Punjab unit of the BJP has decided to celebrate Ambedkar jayanti in a big way on April 14.

In a statement issued here today, Mr Avinash Jaiswal, general secretary of the BJP, said functions would be held at 24 different places in the state.

The party had issued a list of senior leaders who would preside over the functions. 


3 Central projects for dairy sector
Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 12
The state government has initiated various steps to counter the impact of the WTO pact, especially on small-scale sector such as production of milk products. The Centre has sanctioned three major projects for the state, which will help prepare farmers to compete in the field of milk and milk products. Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala, Minister for Animal Husbandry, said this while talking to The Tribune at Bagh Sikander village where he had come to inaugurate an animal dispensary today.

He said until we have the basic facilities, we could not compete with other milk producing countries. He said with the Central aid, a regional diagnostic laboratory was being set up at Jalandhar, costing Rs 19 crore. Milch animals would be diagnosed. The laboratory would also cater to the needs of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

Similarly, another laboratory to test the efficacy of vaccination on animals was being set up at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, at a cost of Rs 65 crore. He said the Centre had also sanctioned a health project worth Rs 50 crore pertaining to 100 per cent artificial insemination of animals. He said the government had also floated tenders globally to get disease-free animal semen.

He said these steps were being taken to counter the effects of the WTO pact. He revealed that at present the milk produced in the country was not fit for human consumption. According to a report, bacterial contents in our milk were 2 million, whereas in the milk produced all over the world, particularly Europe and the USA, it was 50,000 only. He said it was so because they had disease-free animals.

Mr B.S. Sudan, Deputy Commissioner, highlighted various schemes and projects initiated in the district to provide better health facilities to humans and animals.


Sowing of cotton hybrid seeds emphasised
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 12
To increase the yield of cotton in Punjab the state government should motivate the farmers to sow hybrid seeds. This was stated by Dr D.B. Desai, Managing Director (MD) Navbharat Seeds, a private limited company of Gujarat, which has specialised in producing high yield hybrid cotton seeds.

Mr Desai, who was in the city in connection with a seminar was talking to The Tribune yesterday said the main reason behind the decline in the area under cotton cultivation was that the farmers here were not getting good seeds. He said the cost of production of hybrid seed was more in Punjab than in Gujarat.

The MD said labour was cheap in other states than Punjab, thus the production was less costly there. He added that they had started the production of seeds in northern states on an experimental basis about three years ago.

He said they had established a centre at Surat where they were doing research regarding different varieties of cotton. He further said H-6 and H-8 varieties were developed by their scientists at the centre. He stated that they were developing special hybrids for Punjab and Haryana.

Mr Desai said hybrid seeds being used in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, etc., but the northern states were not using these seeds. He said the per acre yield in Punjab and Haryana was going down in the past few years. He added that the farmers were not happy due to the decreasing profit in the cultivation of the crop. The MD added that the Government of India had also started a project to promote the use of hybrid seeds. He said Nagpur was the main centre for research on cotton.

He further said the work for the improvement of the seed had reached various stages in different states. He said a meeting of scientists of various private and government institutions would be held in Hisar in Haryana, where progress achieved by them would be discussed.

Mr Desai said for Punjab seeds, which grow in a short period, would be successful so that these could be planted in time after the cultivation of cotton.


Dry spell in Dhar areas
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, April 12
Residents of Dhar Subdivision in this district are a distressed lot in view of continuous dry spell in the area.

The MLA of the area who is a Cabinet minister has so far failed to secure any economic aid for the residents of the area.

Mr Balbir Singh, former Chairman of the Dhar Block Samiti, today said the Chief Minister might announce some relief for the drought-hit people of the area when he would preside over a “Sangat Darshan” programme, in the area on 14 Saturday.

According to revenue officials, half of the total cultivable land remained uncultivated during this year due to the absence of rain as there were no irrigation facilities in the area.

Mr B. Vikram, Deputy Commissioner said there was a provision to compensate crop damage.

However, land which had remained uncultivated did not come under its purview. He said he would recommend to the government to consider compensation in this regard.

Out of half of the cultivated land in the area, 70 per cent of the crop had been damaged, Mr Vikram said, adding that fresh girdawaris of the land had been done and its verification completed. Exact figures needed for compensation would be calculated with in three days and sent to the government for sanctions, he said.


Beautification drive in Faridkot
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, April 12
Under the beautification drive of this town launched by the local Nagar Council, Mr A.Venu Prasad, Deputy Commissioner, laid the foundation stone of a roundabout outside Kamiana Gate here yesterday. The project will cost over Rs 12 lakh and will have a 20-foot road around it to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. Under the same budget, the road leading to Tara Palace will also be renovated.

Addressing the gathering, the Deputy Commissioner said the district administration would spend Rs 2 lakh on developing a green belt along the Circular Road.Mr Gurtej Singh Gill, President of the Nagar Council, said an amount of Rs 30 lakh would be spent on installing streetlights on the road. He said the Bazigar Basti, Sanjay Nagar and Jail roads would also be repaired. A plan had also been finalised for the pavement of slum areas in the town. Traffic signboards would also be set up on all strategic points.

The work on all projects would start within a few days, Mr Gill said, adding that 14 solar lights would be set up in different areas in the town. He disclosed that the council had earmarked a sum of Rs 2 crore for the development purpose during the current financial year.


Shame-faced father kills himself
Our Correspondent

Garhshankar, April 12
A drunk father who allegedly tried to molest his daughter last night committed suicide by sprinkling kerosene and burning himself to death.

The daughter, who managed to escape from her father, reported the incident to her mother, Santosh, when she came home in the morning.

The daughter and the mother reported the matter to the Sarpanch of Mehatpur village under Garhshankar police station.

On hearing that the episode had been reported to the Sarpanch, Joga Singh set himself and the house on fire. The half burnt body of Joga Singh was recovered by the police and sent for a postmortem, after which it was handed over to his wife.


Woman dies of poisoning
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, April 12
Mrs Santosh Rani a resident of Gujjar Lari, died allegedly on April, 9 after consuming poison. She was married four years age.

Mr Shiv Dayal, a cousin of the deceased, yesterday alleged that after the birth of a son her in-law’s, including her husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law, tortured her to bring a scooter.

The deceased had moved an application with Ashi, an association for settling marriage disputes. The case continued with this voluntary organisation for two years but without any result.

Mr Shiv Dayal said about eight month’s age relatives of the deceased and her husband intervened and a settlement was arrived at between the couple who started living together at the residence of the husband of the deceased, but it did not work.


School teacher found murdered
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, April 12
Shashi Bala (33), a teacher of the local S.S. Jain Model School, was murdered with a sharp-edged weapon in her house here last night.

According to information, Shashi Bala, wife of Dharampal Garg, was sleeping when some unidentified persons entered the house and murdered her.

Nothing has been stolen from the house. The body has been sent for a postmortem examination and a case under Section 302, IPC, registered.


Held for making fake certificates
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, April 12
The local police today arrested Bimal Kumar, a Class IV employee of the nagar council, under Sections 420, 471, IPC, for making fake certificates of birth and death.Bimal Kumar was arrested while taking a bribe of Rs 1,250 from an applicant, who had informed the police.

It was stated that a death certificate was issued in the name of Rakesh Kumar, who was stated to be alive. The second fake certificate was a birth certificate issued to Mangat Ram of Santokhpura Mohalla on January 4, 1985. The person who had tipped-off the police had made a deal with Bimal for Rs 1,500 and had given Rs 1,250 out of it.


Future of 74 students in jeopardy
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, April 12
The Controversy, which erupted between Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) and Dayanand Medical College (DMC), Ludhiana managements, about five weeks ago in connection with the holding of a competitive test for various postgraduate medical courses and subsequent admissions in the same seems to have jeopardised the future of more than 70 students.

As many as 74 students, who have become eligible for taking admissions in MD/MS and diploma courses in the DMC after clearing counselling held by the BFUHS authorities, have been running from pillar to post to join the courses of their choice, but without success.

Sources said the DMC management, which had filed a writ petition against the notification of the Punjab Government on admission to various medical postgraduate courses for different medical colleges in the state, had not allowed these students to join their respective courses on the basis that they would wait for the court decision as the next date of hearing was fixed on April 16.

On the other hand, the students were worried over the fact that the BFUHS authorities had fixed April 16 as deadline for them to deposit their tuition fee in the DMC.

Official sources said the DMC management had written a letter to the BFUHS authorities to extend the last date for joining medical courses in the DMC as it would be convenient for the students. But the BFUHS authorities, while declining the request of the DMC management, had asked them to allow the students to join their respective courses as the Punjab and Haryana High Court had not granted any stay regarding the notification of the state government.

Dr J.S. Gujral, Vice-Chancellor, BFUHS, when contacted, said when the DMC management had failed to get any stay against the operation of the notification of the state government than why it had not been allowing the eligible students to join their respective courses.

He added that earlier no representative of the DMC management participated in the counselling, which was done as per the notification of the state government. He said all instructions of the state government were binding on the BFUHS and competitive test was also held according to the notification.

However, the students, who have failed to get admission in the DMC, alleged that they were being made to suffer because of the dispute. They added that both authorities had been giving a cold response to their grievances. They said they had even been failed to know the fee structure of the DMC management.

The students also pointed out that when they were interviewed they were assured by the BFUHS authorities that they would get admissions in the DMC, but now the same authorities had been expressing their helplessness and advising them to approach the court for the redress of their grievances.

Dr Gujral said the fee structure of any institution could not violate the directions issued in that connection by the state government and the Supreme Court. He added that the DMC management should not obstruct the implementation of the notification and should allow the students to join their respective courses.


Funds not given to revive varsity Chairs
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 12
Guru Nanak Dev University has not got any financial help from the government for the restoration of four Chairs in the university named after Dalit saints and eminent figures.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal had announced in the birth anniversary function of Guru Ravidas here on February 8 that funds would be provided to the university for the revival of Chairs named after Bhagat Namdev, Guru Ravidas, Bhagat Kabir and Dr B.R. Ambedkar after the Majitha byelection. But that promise is yet to be fulfilled.

Due to lack of funds and following a November 15, 2000, Syndicate decision, the Chairs were suspended. The university had also repatriated all the four chairmen and subordinate staff to their respective parent departments, leading to a halt in the research work.

Bhagat Ravidas Chair had been set up on February 26, 1997, by the then Congress government and Dr Jasbir Singh Sabar was appointed its Chairman. Two books — “Bhagat Ravidas Sarot Pustak” and “Paawan Gatha Guru Ravidas” — had been published by the Chair during 1997-98.

The decision to suspend the chairs would deprive the people of state, especially the younger generation, of an opportunity to know about the teachings and objectives of the saints, said Dr Sabar. The research work in the Bhagat Namdev Chair, instituted on July 2, 1997, had got stuck after retirement of Dr Iqbal Kaur Sondh, who was heading the Chair, in April 1999. No new appointment was made to fill the vacancy, the sources said. Dr Iqbal Kaur had reportedly admitted that initially research work had been initiated for translation of the Marathi version of “Baani” of Bhagat Namdev into “Gurmukhi” and some work had been done in the form of “Namdev Sandharbh Kosh”. But it was left midway for lack of money. “I had to spend money for purchasing books from my pocket and no research fellow was provided to me,” she had said.

Similarly, Sant Kabir Chair, instituted on February 26, 1997, had published four books. Likewise, Dr B.R. Ambedkar Chair had been set up in March 1997, under Dr Harish Puri.


Ranjit Singh Chair not set up
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 12
Punjabi University, which has taken the lead in celebrating the bicentenary coronation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, has not yet established a Chair in his name in the Department of Defence Studies as directed by the government in February, 1999.

According to a government letter, the university was asked to make arrangements for the creation of the Chair in its budget for the year 1999-2000 and that a report be sent to the government in this regard.

At present though the university has been assigned the task of holding seminars on Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Delhi and Patiala and translating Persian books pertaining to that era as also the Lahore Darbar papers, and Maharaja Ranjit Singh Chair is being established in Guru Nanak Dev University.

The Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA) in a statement today said it was surprising that the Chair was being established in Guru Nanak Dev University when it had been sanctioned for Punjabi University. The PUTA president, Dr B.S. Khaira, and the secretary, Dr Balwinder Singh, said the Chair was shifted due to the ‘’negligence, carelessness and autocratic’’ functioning of Punjabi University authorities. Accusing the Vice-Chancellor of being busy in non-academic activities, the association appealed to him and the government to ensure the Chair came up in Punjabi University only.

The university Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, said he was not aware of the earlier government decision to establish the Chair in Punjabi University. He said he wished that the Chair could be established in Patiala, but did not wish to compete with a sister university in this regard.

He said if the government, however, gave money for the establishment of the Chair in Patiala, the university would take prompt action in the matter.

The university teachers’ association, meanwhile, according to a press note took serious note of the cutting of trees and removal of green patches in the centre of the university. It said this not only disturbed the master plan of the university but was also against the policy to conserve natural resources.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad at a meeting presided over by its Punjab Secretary Subhash Sharma today accused the university authorities of victimising the former campus unit president of the party by delaying the release of his fifth semester law examination result. Mr Sharma said in case the victimisation was not set right immediately, the ABVP would initiate a state-level dharna on the issue.

He also urged the state Chief Minister to hold elections to the Students Council in the university to end exploitation of students by the authorities.


Glaring errors in B.Com English paper
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 12
Thousands of students who had appeared in the B.Com III, English paper, conducted by Punjabi University, Patiala, were taken by surprise when they found that the paper had several glaring mistakes.

Thousands of students belonging to Bathinda, Mansa, Patiala, Faridkot, Sangrur and Ropar, who appeared in the examination this evening, expressed concern over the increasing frequency of such mistakes in university papers.

Students said it was not the first time that the question paper was out of syllabus or it had mistakes. A few days ago, the question paper of B.Com (I) was also reported to be out of syllabus and Mr S. Marriya, Principal DAV College, had written to the university authorities in this connection.

“They keep experimenting with the syllabus, style, marks distribution and marking pattern just for fun. The syllabus issued by the university should be treated as binding on paper setters, but it is not the case. The instructions of the syllabus are violated openly,” Anu (name changed) alleged.

The students said in question number 3 (a) part (iv), “answer” was spelt “anwer” and in question 3 (b) part (i) it was ‘the’ instead of ‘they’, question 3 (b) part (vii) it was ‘he’ instead of ‘it’.

Interestingly, there was confusion on the number of questions in the exam also. Due to a printing mistake, there was no question number 4 in the question paper, and some of the students attempted it by ‘mistake’ while some others supposed that the question number 3 (a) onwards was actually question number 4 onwards.

In a part of the question paper, it was mentioned that ‘the point of question is underlined’, but no where in the question any part was underlined.

In question number 5 (b) part (i) relating to completion of proverbs, the statement read as ‘blood in thicker’ instead of ‘blood is thicker’.


Ban vulgar songs, urge scholars
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 12
Distinguished Punjabi scholars have appealed to the Centre and state governments to impose a ban on the vulgar, obscene and unethical presentation of the Punjabi culture under the guise of pop singing. They made these observations on the concluding day of the two-day seminar on the study of folklore and culture organised by the School of Punjabi Studies of Guru Nanak Dev University yesterday.

They also suggested that a censor board on the pattern of Film Censor Board may be constituted.

More than 35 research papers were presented by different eminent scholars on various aspects of folklore and culture. They included Dr Paramjit Singh Sidhu, Dr Nahar Singh, Dr Sohinder Bir, Dr Karmjit Singh, Dr Sukhdev Singh Sekhon, Dr Iqbal Kaur Sondh, Dr Lakhbir Singh, Dr Harjit Singh, Jasbir Singh Jas, Jaspal Singh, Varinderpal Kaur, Inderjit Bhagat, Sarghi, Jobabjit Kaur, Devinder Kaur Boparai, Barinder Kaur, Dr Satinder Aulakh, Kuldip, Jagjit Kaur, Tarlochan Singh Randhawa , Sunita Sharma, Sukhdev Singh, Sohal, Dr Dharam Singh, Dr Jatinderpal Singh Jolly, Dr Gurmit Singh, Dr Harjit Kaur, and Dr Kulwinder Kaur.


MBA, MBE and MFC results
Our Correspondent

Patiala, April 12
The results of the joint entrance test for the admission of master of business administration (MBA), University Campus and Talwandi Sabo, master of business economics (MBE) and master of finance and control (MFC) conducted on March 11 has been announced and is available with the Heads of the respective departments.

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