Monday, November 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Drive to modernise BSF on, says Jagat
New Delhi, November 25
To meet the threat of large-scale infiltration by Afghan mercenaries into Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the wake of the changed situation in Afghanistan, the Border Security Force has embarked on a major modernisation, recruitment and training programme to face the new challenge.

Representative of Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan Ms Samina Kabeer, representative of the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), having a word with Brinda Karat, who is here to participate in the Sixth National Conference (AIDWA) in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. — PTI

Laloo to surrender today
Patna, November 25
RJD supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav today left for Ranchi to surrender before the designated CBI court at Ranchi in connection with the multi-crore-rupee-fodder scam case.

Laloo Prasad Yadav, who is facing corruption charges, leaves for Ranchi where he will surrender before the state police on Monday.
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EARLIER STORIES

 
Gladrags Mrs India
Gladrags Mrs India contest winner Mrs Jasmine D'souza (centre), first runner up Mrs Rashmi Mathur (left) and second runner up Mrs Tanaaz Currim (Right). Gladrags Mrs India contest held in Mumbai on Saturday night. — PTI

Ex-Admiral moves HC against govt
New Delhi, November 25
Rear admiral S. V. Purohit retired has approached the Delhi High Court saying despite court orders the government has shied away from letting him inspect documents concerning his promotion.

TN transport strike called off
Chennai, November 25
The Joint Struggle Committee (JSC) formed by various unions on the bonus issue today unilaterally called off its 17-day-old transport strike, even as the government refused to concede to their demand for 20 per cent bonus.

Pinning hopes on small, private schools
JAGESHWAR (UTTARANCHAL): Residents of Naini were angry. The primary school in their impoverished village in Kumaon division of Uttaranchal had just two teachers for more than 110 children. Their children spent most of the time studying on their own. 

PT leader Krishnasamy arrested
Coimbatore, November 25
The Puthiya Thamizhagam (PT) founder leader, Dr K. Krishnasamy, was arrested here this morning on murder charges.

VIDEOS
Hyderabadis get to witness an exquisite collection of their very own Nizam's jewellery.
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Eighth Puri Beach Festival enthrals tourists with its cultural shows, handicraft, music and cuisine.
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INS Vikrant, a decommissioned Indian aircraft carrier, is being converted into a naval museum in Mumbai.
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Drive to modernise BSF on, says Jagat
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 25
To meet the threat of large-scale infiltration by Afghan mercenaries into Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the wake of the changed situation in Afghanistan, the Border Security Force (BSF) has embarked on a major modernisation, recruitment and training programme to face the new challenge.

“In the wake of apprehensions of increased infiltration by Afghan mercenaries, especially during the peak winter season, we are taking all precautions and equipping our jawans to thwart any nefarious design,” BSF Director-General Gurbachan Jagat told a press conference here today.

The BSF has already started inducting state-of-the-art night vision equipment and installation of sensors in sensitive borders, installation of thermal sensors and providing jawans with superior assault rifles and guns, Mr Jagat said.

“We have drawn a five-year modernisation plan under with all latest counter-militancy equipment would be provided to all our sensitive and border outposts,” he said.

Under the modernisation plan, the BSF is also procuring a 100-seater Boeing, two 40-seater Turbo Prop aircraft and a few Mi-18 Helicopters. “These will be procured by the same time next year,” Mr Jagat said.

To augment the force strength, the BSF has also recruited 102 companies of jawans and would put them under rigorous training beginning January, 2002.

“The additional manpower would help ease the burden on our existing jawans,” the BSF chief said.

On the border-fencing in the Indo-Pak borders in Jammu sector, the BSF Director-General said despite firing from across the border to disrupt erection of fencing, the work was on.

To a specific question whether there was any attempt by infiltrators to dug tunnel to enter the Indian territories where fencing has already been erected, Mr Jagat said “there has been no such case in the Jammu region, but three such incidents were noticed on Punjab border last year.”

The analysis of the infiltration patterns indicated that 25 per cent of the infiltrators were mercenaries from Afghanistan, some from Pakistan and a small number from Sudan, he said.

In a bid to curb trans-border crimes, the BSF has also proposed to establish floating border outposts for deployment in the creek areas of Gujarat, Assam and south Bengal frontiers to improve surveillance of the riverine/creek areas.

To cater for additional inputs on counter-insurgency operations, the duration of the basic recruit training for constables has been extended from 36 to 40 weeks and young direct entry officers, after completion of their foundation training, are sent on attachment with infantry units of the Indian Army for a duration of four months, he said.

Bomb disposal course and Sub-Inspector (direct entry) Integrated Course have also been introduced, he said.

Asked about the new responsibility of guarding the Indo-Bhutan border, Mr Jagat said the BSF had requested the Home Ministry to sanction the raising of 12 additional battalions exclusively for deployment there.

To a question on the reported immigration of Hindu Bangladeshis into India, Mr Jagat said apprehending attacks, a number of women and children had migrated to India, “but now they are going back”, he observed.Top

 

Laloo to surrender today

RJD chief Laloo Prasad with his wife
RJD chief Laloo Prasad with his wife and Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi at the Chief Minister's residence in Patna on Sunday. — PTI photo

Patna, November 25
RJD supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav today left for Ranchi to surrender before the designated CBI court at Ranchi in connection with the multi-crore-rupee-fodder scam case.

Before his departure, Mr Yadav said he was suspicious about various matters, including the nature of treatment he would receive in Jharkhand. However, the leader said he was ‘sure of conspiracies’ hatched against him by his political opponents.

“My political opponents are behaving like enemies,” Mr Yadav said. He said he did not forget that he was a political leader “first” and an accused in the fodder scam “later”.

The RJD supremo would surrender before the special CBI court in Ranchi tomorrow in connection with a ‘conspiracy angle case’ of the fodder scam.

Meanwhile, official sources said here that Mr Yadav’s cavalcade was greeted by a large number of RJD supporters on the Patna-Ranchi road. The former Bihar Chief Minister addressed a roadside gathering. UNITop

 

Ex-Admiral moves HC against govt

New Delhi, November 25
Rear admiral S. V. Purohit retired has approached the Delhi High Court saying despite court orders the government has shied away from letting him inspect documents concerning his promotion.

In an application before Mr Justice M.K. Sharma, Admiral Purohit said the court in its October 10 order had allowed his request to inspect 27 official documents, which allegedly formed the basis of denial of a promotion to him.

The petitioner, through his counsel Meet Malhotra, complained that he was allowed to examine only one document, which was a published article.

The rest of the documents were kept away on the grounds of ‘secrecy’, even though they did not contain any information that would effect national interests nor was any immunity taken on them earlier, the petitioner claimed alleging that the official procedure for getting a document marked ‘secret’ had not been followed in the case. UNITop

 

TN transport strike called off

Chennai, November 25
The Joint Struggle Committee (JSC) formed by various unions on the bonus issue today unilaterally called off its 17-day-old transport strike, even as the government refused to concede to their demand for 20 per cent bonus.

Stating that the strike was a ‘’big success,’’ Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) general secretary T. Rangarajan claimed that the government had agreed to pay 20 per cent bonus, with an initial payment of Rs 2,500 (being 8.33 per cent) and the remaining Rs 3,500 (11.67 per cent) before April 14, 2002.

Transport Minister Nainar Nagenthiran had earlier denied having agreed to pay Rs 3,500 and said ‘’at no point of time was an agreement reached between the government and unions in this regard.’’

The government had only stated that it would give an incentive to the employees as and when the financial position of the transport corporations became comfortable, he had said.

Mr Rangarajan, however, insisted that the government had agreed to pay Rs 3500 before April 14 but had not made it open fearing that other government departments would also demand for higher bonus.

Labour Progressive Front President C. Kuppusamy said the workers would reorganise themselves and strike work again if the government failed to concede to their demand later on.

“We are calling off the strike without prejudice to our demands,” he said, adding that the committee also did not want any embarrassment to be caused to the trade union movement.

He said the workers would resume work immediately. Those who have been arrested would also report to duty after their release. However, there was no word from the government regarding the immediate release of the arrested workers, he added.

The transport workers went on a strike from November 9 demanding 20 per cent bonus as against the offer of 8.33 per cent by the government. UNI
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Pinning hopes on small, private schools
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

JAGESHWAR (UTTARANCHAL): Residents of Naini were angry. The primary school in their impoverished village in Kumaon division of Uttaranchal had just two teachers for more than 110 children. Their children spent most of the time studying on their own. 

With so many students per teacher, and each teacher taking all five classes, the father of two boys, farmer Diwan Singh Rawat, asked: “How is the teacher going to teach?” Mr Rawat, who supplements his agricultural income by running a small shop dealing in biscuits, candies and cigarettes, says: “Even if children go for six months to the government school, they don’t learn anything.”

So four years ago, Naini’s prominent residents travelled by bus to the district headquarters, more than two hours’ drive down a winding mountain road, to plead for an additional teacher. Nothing happened. Discontented parents, along with the village pradhan, Mr Jagat Singh Kani (72), took matters into their own hands. They appealed to Mr Umesh Chand Pandey (26), a graduate from a provincial college, to teach their children. Although Mr Pandey was one among a handful of educated persons for kilometres around, he had few prospects for employment. Parents said they would pay him themselves from their meagre earnings. Mr Pandey agreed, and Naini’s Shishu Mandir was born.

Today, the private primary school has four teachers and 60 students, whose parents pay a monthly tuition fee of up to Rs 150 plus book and uniform fees. Classes are held in a spartan community building, devoid of teaching aids except blackboards. Yet with more teachers and fewer students, the school is seen as an improvement. “The standard of reading is better than at the government school,” says Mr Rawat, whose boys attend the school. “Students are learning”. Parents are pleased that children at Shishu Mandir learn the English alphabet in kindergarten; it’s not taught till Class VI at government schools. “If the kids go to the government school, they won’t even learn the Hindi alphabet,” says village chief Kani.

The story of Naini is not unusual in the northern Indian states. Government-run schools are in a shambles, crippled by the lack of resources and poor management. Although well paid with a minimum of Rs 6,000 per month, teachers have a heavy workload and commute over long distances. So many villages are pinning their hopes on small, new private schools. Although the teachers are often ill-trained and poorly paid — about one-quarter of the salary of a public school teacher — they have fewer students and are more responsive. And while many barely speak English, they nonetheless offer a few lessons.

While no precise figures are available on the number of private schools, a recent study estimates that 36 per cent of the school children in Uttaranchal attend them. The number of parents willing to pay the tuition fee “completely disproves anyone who argues that these ignorant rural folk are not interested in education.”

Shishu Mandir teacher Prema Rawat (22), a graduate, reads English nursery rhymes to her students but can’t tell them in Hindi what the rhymes mean. So the children repeat the strange sounds without understanding themTop

 

PT leader Krishnasamy arrested

Coimbatore, November 25
The Puthiya Thamizhagam (PT) founder leader, Dr K. Krishnasamy, was arrested here this morning on murder charges.

Police sources said the PT leader was picked up from his nursing home-cum-residence in Kuniyamuthur on the city outskirts for his alleged involvement in two murder cases in 1997 and 1998.

He was charged with killing an estate employee at Naraikinar in Tuticorin district and BBTC estate supervisor at Manjolai in Tirunelveli district, sources added.

Later, he was shifted to Kovilpatti Central Prison after presenting him before the RDO here.

Dr Krishnasamy told reporters before being taken to Kovilpatti that the charges against him were “framed up” by the police.

The PT leader said he was innocent and murder charges were framed against him at the instance of AIADMK leadership as he was championing the cause of the downtrodden in the southern districts.

Dr Krishnasamy has been spearheading a workers’ strike demanding 20 per cent bonus for the plantation workers in the district since November 13. PTITop

 
NATIONAL BRIEFS
Dancers rehearse a sequence

Dancers rehearse a sequence from a piece entitled "Indian Erotica" in Kolkata on Saturday. The Kolkata-based dance group Sapphir Creation will stage "Indian Erotica" in New Delhi as part of a United Nation's World AIDS Day programme on December 1
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6 CRIMINALS SHOT IN ENCOUNTER
BHAGALPUR (BIHAR):
At least six criminals were killed in an encounter near Tulsipur Jamunia village in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district on Saturday , the police said. DIG (Bhagalpur Range) P.N. Rai said here that the police, acting on a tip-off, raided the village and chased the criminals. He said the criminals later resorted to firing which was retaliated by the security forces. Six criminals died on the spot. UNI

FILM-MAKER N.C. SIPPY DEAD
MUMBAI:
Well-known film-maker N.C. Sippy died early on Sunday at a private hospital here after a protracted illness, family sources said. Sippy, 75, is survived by sons Raj Sippy and Ramu Sippy and a daughter. Raj is a director while Ramu has turned producer. He produced several films and many of them were great hits such as “Khubsoorat”, “Guddi”, “Anand”, “Aashirwad”, “Padosan”, “Sadhu Aur Shaitan” and “Bombay to Goa”. PTI

GANG OF IDOL THIEVES BUSTED
JAIPUR:
The Rajasthan police has busted an inter-state gang of ancient idol thieves with the arrest of 10 persons and recovered idols worth Rs 4 crore from them. Deputy Inspector-General of Police Ajit Singh said on Sunday that the 10 persons, who were nabbed at different places in the state capital and parts of Rajasthan, had confessed to their involvement in six major theft cases. PTI

‘VIKRANT’ OPEN FOR PUBLIC FROM DEC 1
MUMBAI:
Pending her full-fledged conversion into a maritime museum by the Maharashtra Government, the first of its kind in Asia, decommissioned aircraft carrier “Vikrant”, which participated in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, will be open for public viewing for eight days from December 1 as part of the Navy Week celebrations. The exhibition on board the aircraft carrier, often referred to as the “grand old lady of Indian Navy”, will have an old aircraft, an array of weaponry systems, including missiles and naval artefacts. UNI

JOURNALIST SARAN DAS SETH DEAD
VARANASI:
Senior journalist and renowned social worker Saran Das Seth died here on Saturday after a prolonged illness, family sources said. Seth (78) is survived by five sons and three daughters. He had been a close associate of renowned journalist Gardeji, Khadilkar and a veteran Congress leader, the late Kamalapati Tripathi. A large number of people, including journalists, social workers and leaders, visited his residence to pay respects to the departed soul. PTI

TELUGU WRITER TO GET AWARD
HYDERABAD:
Eminent Telugu Writer Dasarathi Rangacharya has been selected for the “Telugu University Visista Puraskaram”, for his contribution to Telugu literature. The award, carrying a cash amount of Rs 50,000, a memento and a citation, would be presented here at the 16th foundation day of Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University. Dr Rangacharya had several novels to his credit. UNI

RAJ BHAVAN OPEN FOR PUBLIC
NAINITAL:
Uttaranchal Governor SS Barnala on Sunday declared the historic Raj Bhavan here open for general public. Mr Barnala said: “This is a landmark day in the history of Nainital as well as the country as it will enable everyone to see the historic and one of the most beautiful buildings in the country. “The Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam will take the tourists on a 45-minute tour of Raj Bhavan,” said Kumaon Commissioner Rakesh Sharma. UNI
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