Saturday, December 1, 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

Ukraine offers to upgrade tanks
New Delhi
The Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau of Ukraine has offered to modernise the 2000-strong fleet of the T-72s tanks with the Indian Army at ‘onefourth’ of the cost incurred by India in the purchase of 310 T-90 tanks from Russia in December, 2000.

USA to gain foothold in region
New Delhi, November 30
With the war against the Taliban reaching a decisive stage, political circles feel concerned about the possibilities of the main players of the war widening the scope of the operation to new targets and pursuing their own long-term game plans for the region, well-placed political sources said here today.

SAD leaders greet PM
New Delhi, November 30
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today hoped that terrorism, which had brought the world to a critical juncture, would end soon.

Sikhs celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
(28k, 56k)
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee addressing the Sikh community  on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, at his residence in New Delhi on Friday. — PTI photo





EARLIER STORIES

 

Reorient education system: Vajpayee
New Delhi, November 30
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today sought reorientation of the education system in the country saying that mere acquisition of degrees would not be enough to compete internationally in this era of globalisation.



Preview of the movie "Moksha", starring Arjun Rampal and Manisha Koirala in lead roles.
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In a landmark order Uttaranchal Government permits forest guards to shoot at poachers.
(28k, 56k)



"Kalidas Samaroah" in Ujjain seeks to make the poet and his works popular among the younger generation.

(28k, 56k)

India extends pact with Nepal
New Delhi, November 30
The Prime Minister Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, telephoned his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba early today to convey his government’s decision to extend Indo-Nepal Treaty in its present form for another three months after December 5. This is being done in view of the difficult circumstances being by Nepal, official sources said.

Voter cards don’t attract Barnalas
Dehra Dun, November 30
The recently created state of Uttaranchal lacks the presence of its “First Lady”. Mrs Surjit Kaur, wife of Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor of Uttaranchal, has decided not to register herself as a voter in the state. Mr Barnala has also been asked by the Chief Electoral Officer, Mr N.Ravishankar, to deposit his previous voter I-card made in his home town Barnala in order to obtain a new voter I-card in Uttaranchal as the first citizen of the state.

Umbrella Act for workers mooted
New Delhi, November 30
An ambitious project to bring roughly 92 per cent of the country’s unorganised workforce under one umbrella legislation with a view to providing every worker with a registration number, identity card and a passbook has been suggested by the study group which was set up by the National Commission on Labour.

Bihar Govt harassing my family: DGP
Ranchi, November 30
Jharkhand DGP T.P. Sinha has sent a letter to Chief Minister Babulal Marandi, accusing the Bihar Government of using the police for harassing his Patna-based family soon after RJD chief Laloo Yadav was remanded to jail, highly placed official sources said here today.

Sonia visits Malegaon
Malegaon, November 30
Congress President Sonia Gandhi today visited this powerloom town which witnessed large-scale violence in October in which 13 persons were killed, even as shops and other commercial establishments remained closed in response to a call for “Malegaon bandh” by the Shiv Sena-BJP to protest against her visit.

‘India, China should work closely’
New Delhi, November 30
India and China should work closely on multilateral issues, including WTO, and there should be greater cooperation among business communities of two the countries, Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Murasoli Maran said here today.
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Ukraine offers to upgrade tanks
Srinand Jha

New Delhi
The Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau (KMDB) of Ukraine has offered to modernise the 2000-strong fleet of the T-72s tanks with the Indian Army at ‘onefourth’ of the cost incurred by India in the purchase of 310 T-90 tanks from Russia in December, 2000.

The Ukraine company’s offer follows Government of India’s approval in June of a $ 500 million plan to upgrade 300 of the T-72 tanks.

In a presentation made in October in India, a Ukranian defence engineering team is understood to have offered to upgrade, to start with, 300 of the T-72 tanks over a period of five years (at the rate of 60 tanks per year) to bring about the following improvements: upgrade 125 mm guns; engine improvements to increase horsepower from 850 to 1000 and even up to 1200; better land navigation systems; nuclear, biological and chemical protection equipment; laser warning systems; thermal imaging systems; night-vision devices and frequency-hopping radios.

The company’s claims for the Indian contract rests on these claims: That the T-90s would have been even more identical to the T-72s, had the designers not substantially adopted some of the advanced features of the T-80 series of tanks (designed and developed by the KMDB). These features are said to relate to the areas of defensive aid systems and the firecontrol and explosive reactive armour systems.

An unspecified number of the T-72s are also to be equipped with “Arena’, a state-of-the-art Russian defensive aid suite that mounts a multi-directional millimetre wave radar system on the tank’s turret to detect incoming missiles.

An official of the KMDB claimed that the modernisation package offered by Ukraine would match all the important features of the Russian T-90 tanks. The KMDB — builders of the T-34 tanks of the Second World War Vintage — have also designed and built the T-54/55 and the T-59/69 besides the T-64 tanks, the immediate predecessor of the T-72 tanks. The latest main battle tank (MBT) developed by the company is the T-84, which was accepted for service by the Ukrainian Army in 1999.

For paucity of funds, the T-72 upgrade programme has been hanging fire since 1991, when the Indian Army first sought it. The upgradation has acquired an urgency following the acquisition of 320 T-80 UDs by Pakistan between 1997 and 1999. Latest reports are that Pakistan’s indigenously built ‘Al Khalid’ MBTs is also set to enter series production.

India has nearly 2000 T-72s — 1,500 of which had been purchased from the erstwhile Soviet Union between 1970 and 1985. The remainder were built under licence in India.

The improvements in the T-72s have been conceived to provide a new life to them, allowing the Indian Army to phase out the less capable ‘Vijayanta’ and the T-55 tanks by 2010, said a senior services official.

Within the Indian Army, there is even a view that the T-72 upgrade plan ought to have taken precedence over the T-90 purchase deal, since the former would have been such a cost-effective option.
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USA to gain foothold in region
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 30
With the war against the Taliban reaching a decisive stage, political circles feel concerned about the possibilities of the main players of the war widening the scope of the operation to new targets and pursuing their own long-term game plans for the region, well-placed political sources said here today.

There are enough indications that the USA is bent on utilising the present global mood to expand its presence in the region irrespective of the responses from other world powers. The USA has already established what is described as a bridgehead in Uzbekistan after President Karimov allowed the USA a military base in its territory. Both countries have entered into a deal to make the facility a permanent arrangement.

Under the long-term deal, the USA will provide foreign investments, financial aid and special export concessions to Uzbekistan. However, within and outside the country, there is considerable opposition to Mr Karimov’s decision. They fear that such assistance will be illusory as had happened in the case of Turkey after it had extended support for Operation Desert Storm.

For the USA, apart from occupying the much-needed post-Soviet era space in the region, it will help it counteract Iran, China and India who have traditional interests, including trade, in the region. This will also enable the USA to compete with the European Union and exploitation of the Central Asian country’s rich natural resources.

Institutions like Woodrow Wilson Centre and Harward have produced several studies suggesting domineering US presence in the region to exploit its abundant oil reserves. They have proposed laying of pipelines avoiding Iran and Russia and mostly through the more pliable Central Asian states. This will help the USA break the ‘OPEC tentacles’.

A strong US presence in the region is bound to change its security structure and upset the geopolitical balance of forces and interests in an area comprising Turkey, Iran, India and Pakistan. The NATO has already formed a special group within to analyse the situation in Central Asia. All this will have implications for countries of the region.

The other aspect of the US gameplan relates to the expansion of the Afghan operation to all those who are presumed to “abet or aid” Islamic terrorism. Hawks among the US President’s advisers have been for some time clamouring for using the present global sentiment to settle score with Mr Saddam Hussein of Iraq. Now Mr George Bush himself has made such hints, first in an interview to “Newsweek” and then in a public statement.
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SAD leaders greet PM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 30
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today hoped that terrorism, which had brought the world to a critical juncture, would end soon.

“Terrorism has brought the world to a critical juncture but I firmly believe that the menace will be defeated and people will get back their rights,” Mr Vajpayee told a gathering of Sikhs at his residence here on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti.

The Prime Minister, who sat through the rendering of “shabad kirtan’ along with BJP leader Madan Lal Khurana, Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State in the PMO Vijay Goel, in his inimitable style said his official residence, where the ‘samagam’ (gathering) was being held, “is like a serai (resting place)”.

Earlier, a seven-member Sikh delegation led by Mr Onkar Singh Thapar, General Secretary, SAD met Mr Vajpayee and thanked him for the Rs 1,500 crore financial package for the development of Punjab. They also greeted him on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti and presented a “siropa” and a “kirpan”.

Functions were organised in the Capital and several persons including Mr Didar Singh Bains, president of the World Sikh Council, was honoured in Delhi on the occasion of Gurpurab.
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Reorient education system: Vajpayee

New Delhi, November 30
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today sought reorientation of the education system in the country saying that mere acquisition of degrees would not be enough to compete internationally in this era of globalisation.

“The world is getting competitive. Stiff competition is on among people, among societies and among countries. And there is no place for those who get the second position. You have to top and that is a difficult task,” Mr Vajpayee said at the platinum jubilee celebrations of Sriram College of Commerce here.

Stating that if the education system was not up to the mark, politics would also suffer, he said “It is absolutely necessary that politics is clean, it is used for the benefit of the people and to serve them”.

The Prime Minister expressed concern that the number of students taking to the science stream was coming down and said the government would have to pay more stress on science in the age of information technology.

He said Indian science had reached a peak with its scientists achieving the capability of launching satellites. PTI
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India extends pact with Nepal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 30
The Prime Minister Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, telephoned his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba early today to convey his government’s decision to extend Indo-Nepal Treaty in its present form for another three months after December 5.

This is being done in view of the difficult circumstances being by Nepal, official sources said.

Mr Vajpayee told Mr Deuba that there was need for all pending issues relating to the treaty to be resolved to the mutual satisfaction in view of concern within the Indian industry about the operation of some provisions of the treaty.

The Prime Minister also assured Mr Deuba that India would continue to assist that country in whatever manner possible and reiterated support for the recent action taken there to eradicate insurgency and restore political order.

Mr Vajpayee suggested that negotiators of the two countries should work sincerely in this direction during the three months of extension after December 5

The two leaders agreed that solutions should be found, and can be found, which would promote Nepal’s industrial development while at the same time protecting the interests of the Indian industry.
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Voter cards don’t attract Barnalas
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, November 30
The recently created state of Uttaranchal lacks the presence of its “First Lady”. Mrs Surjit Kaur, wife of Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor of Uttaranchal, has decided not to register herself as a voter in the state.

Mr Barnala has also been asked by the Chief Electoral Officer, Mr N.Ravishankar, to deposit his previous voter I-card made in his home town Barnala in order to obtain a new voter I-card in Uttaranchal as the first citizen of the state.

Mr Ravishankar visited the Governor’s house yesterday, along with officials, to include Mr Barnala’s name in the voter list from the Garhi Cantonment area of Dehra Dun as the first citizen of the state.

Mr Ravishankar asked Mr Barnala to deposit his previous I-card with the election office. Talking to TNS, he said, “The new I-card will be issued only after Mr Barnala deposits the previous I-card with the election office along with and NOC from the authorities in Barnala”.

Mrs Surjit Kaur, who was supposed to reach here yesterday, did not turn up to get the voter I-card.

Asked why the First Lady was not interested in getting a voter I-card in Uttaranchal, Mr Barnala said she was already having a voter I-card in Barnala and it did not matter if she was not a voter in Uttaranchal.
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Umbrella Act for workers mooted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 30
An ambitious project to bring roughly 92 per cent of the country’s unorganised workforce under one umbrella legislation with a view to providing every worker with a registration number, identity card and a passbook has been suggested by the study group which was set up by the National Commission on Labour.

Briefing newspersons about the recommendations contained in the 170-page report submitted by the study group on umbrella legislation for workers in the unorganised sector to the commission, Chairman of the group D. Bandopadhyay said, “We have tried to give an exhaustive definition of the unorganised worker”.

The group has suggested that a 12-digit registration number should be provided to every worker which would go a long way to create a framework for providing them with the kind of protection and welfare available today to the workers of the organised sector, Mr Bandopa-dhyay said.

The group has suggested setting up of unorganised sector workers’ board with substantial powers which would be enacted through an Act of Parliament. The board should have three-tier structure consisting of Union, state and district-level boards.

At the lowest level, the group has suggested setting up of worker facilitation centres which would work in panchayats and other areas of worker concentration. One-third membership to all boards and centres should be reserved for women, the group said.

The state boards shall declare vocation-specific minimum wages every two years following the necessary procedural norms. The criterion for the industry and agriculture shall be the same while fixing minimum wages and minimum prices, the recommendations said.
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Bihar Govt harassing my family: DGP

Ranchi, November 30
Jharkhand DGP T.P. Sinha has sent a letter to Chief Minister Babulal Marandi, accusing the Bihar Government of using the police for harassing his Patna-based family soon after RJD chief Laloo Yadav was remanded to jail, highly placed official sources said here today.

Mr Sinha alleged in his letter that soon after the court of designated CBI Judge H.C. Mishra rejected the bail plea of Mr Laloo Yadav on November 26, Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi reportedly rang him up and accused him of “being involved in the conspiracy that landed her husband in jail”.

The DGP claimed that about 11.00 p.m. the same night, cops barged into his Kadam Kuan residence in Patna on the pretext of carrying out a security check and allegedly misbehaved and intimidated his family members, the sources said.

The Bihar Chief Minister has also allegedly threatened the DGP of “consequences” after his retirement in a month’s time when he returns to Patna, the sources said.

When contacted, Mr Sinha neither confirmed nor denied it.

Chief Secretary V.S. Dubey confirmed that he had received information about the incident. “But I can comment on it only after I have had a look at the contents of the DGP’s letter to the Chief Minister,” he said.

Meanwhile, Intelligence Department sources here said the department had conducted an inquiry on the basis of the DGP’s allegations and found them to be true. A report on this had been sent to the Union Home Ministry, the sources added. PTI
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Sonia visits Malegaon

Malegaon, November 30
Congress President Sonia Gandhi today visited this powerloom town which witnessed large-scale violence in October in which 13 persons were killed, even as shops and other commercial establishments remained closed in response to a call for “Malegaon bandh” by the Shiv Sena-BJP to protest against her visit.

Mrs Gandhi, also Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, was accompanied by Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, MPCC chief Govindrao Adik and senior Congress leader Motilal Vora.

Thirteen persons were killed and several others injured in police firing and stabbing incidents after large-scale violence erupted in the township and nearby areas when the police prevented groups from distributing pamphlets protesting the US raids on Afghanistan.

Mrs Gandhi visited Nav Kiran Sizing Mill, which was reduced to ashes in arson incidents and met and condoled members of the families of Bismilla Bano (53) and Bapu Bachhav, a Shiv Sena activist, both killed in police firing at different localities in the city.

The Congress President, who camped for a while at the government rest house, also gave away cheques of bank loans and insurance amounts five persons whose properties were damaged in the riots. PTI
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India, China should work closely’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 30
India and China should work closely on multilateral issues, including WTO, and there should be greater cooperation among business communities of two the countries, Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Murasoli Maran said here today.

At a meeting with a Chinese delegation led by Prof Li Yining, Vice President of Chinese Association for International Understanding, Mr Maran said there was a need to institutionalise the bilateral cooperation to exploit the huge potential for trade between both the countries.
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NATIONAL BRIEFS

MAN HANGS WIFE, POISONS 3 KIDS
MUZAFFARNAGAR:
In a bizarre incident, a man killed his wife and three children after a quarrel over a small quantity of ghee at Nayagaon village. According to the police, the accused, Inderpal had a tiff with his wife Minati over giving some ghee to his brother-in-law on Tuesday. He, thereafter, allegedly hanged his wife and gave poisoned milk to his children, including a two-year-old girl. Later, he burnt the victims bodies in a nearby field. The police has registered cases against 14 and arrested three persons in this connection. UNI

SADHANA ULFAT OF “NANHI DUNIYA” DEAD
DEHRA DUN:
Sadhana Ulfat, a renowned social worker, educationist and chief promoter of the Nanhi Duniya movement, a children’s literacy campaign in the Doon valley since the pre-Independence era, died here recently after a year of illness. Sadhana Ulfat and her late husband, Prof Lekhraj Ulfat, a native of Lahore, had been running various welfare centres for children besides the Nanhi Duniya movement in the valley since 1946. Breaking all barriers of the traditional instructive education, their movement aimed at imparting knowledge to children, especially those with disabilitiesm, in an informal manner. UNI

UDP BREAKAWAY GROUP RECOGNISED
SHILONG:
Meghalaya Speaker E.D. Marak has recognised the Meghalaya United Democratic Party (MUDP), a break-away group of the United Democratic Party (UDP). Eight legislators of the UDP had recently broke away from the party and formed a new wing MUDP led by former Finance Minister A.H. Scott Lyngdoh. MUDP is now an ally of the Peoples Forum of Meghalaya, formed to oust Chief Minister E.K. Mawlong from power. Mr Mawlong is the president of the UDP. Mr Marak on Thursday said he had considered all constitutional norms before recognising the MUDP. UNI

8 OF BANWARIYA GANG KILLED
LUCKNOW:
Eight persons, allegedly belonging to the dreaded Banwariya gang, were shot dead in an encounter by the special task force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh Police at Jaunpur on Friday. STF SSP Rajiv Malhotra said on a tip-off, the police raided the hide-out of the criminals near Tikri village and recovered a huge quantity of arms and ammunition. UNI

VETERAN CPM LEADER RAO DEAD
HYDERABAD:
Veteran CPM leader Nanduri Prasada Rao died of kidney failure and heart problem at a city hospital here on Thursday. He was 89. He had been a member of the Rajya Sabha and the AP Legislative Council. The veteran leader who was drawn to freedom struggle at a young age joined the Communist Party in 1934. UNI

3 LAKH TAKE DIP IN GANGA
HARDWAR:
Over three lakh devotees thronged the ghats of Ganga here on Friday to take a holy dip on the occasion of Kartik Purnima. Pujas and prayers marked the end to the month-long religious festivities. Langars were also arranged here on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti which coincided with Kartik Purnima. PTI
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