Tuesday, June 4, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Hunt for terrorist suspects in Air Force station
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 3
The Delhi Police, in cooperation with various civil and defence intelligence agencies, have launched a massive hunt to trace the four or five armed persons who were reportedly seen entering the Indian Air Force station in Aya Nagar in South Delhi late last night and then disappeared mysteriously.

The men, suspected to be terrorists and allegedly carrying arms, could not be found in the station complex and areas around it even as personnel of Delhi Police and the Indian Air Force (IAF) Police conducted extensive combing operations for at least nine hours, senior police officers claimed today.

However, the police said that given the security scenario in the country and the increased threat perception they were not taking any chances and the hunt was continuing. As the area surrounding the station is covered with thick forests, the combing was taking a longer time. The combing operation will continue till the time their presence in the area can be completely ruled out, the police said.

A telephone call to the police last night had claimed that some terrorists had sneaked into the high security Air Force Station on Mehrauli-Gurgaon road. A large contingent of police was immediately rushed to the spot and a massive combing operation was launched under the supervision of Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) P Kamaraj.

The police said that since the telephone call emanated from within the station and as “there was some truth in the information,” nothing was being left to chance. Air Force sources said one person inside the station complex had seen some unidentified persons entering the area. He immediately informed the guards who in turn informed the higher authorities.

The Aya Nagar Air Force station, spread over an area of approximately three km on the Delhi-Gurgaon Road near Mehrauli, serves as a vital communication centre and has some sophisticated radar and communication equipment.

Meanwhile, police sources said that the men, reportedly all in whites, were spotted by a labourer who was working on a construction site within the complex. He , in turn, informed some of the air force officials on sentry duty. Headmen of the villages around the complex have also been asked to remain alert and inform the authorities of all suspicious movements.

Senior police officials said that a close liaison was being maintained with defence personnel and the intelligence agencies. Security around vital installations, which was upgraded after the attack on Parliament in December last year and again after the attack on the Kaluchak camp near Jammu last month, was being reviewed. Patrolling around vital installations was also being intensified.



BJP to take up issue of farmers’ stir with PM
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 3
The Haryana BJP has decided to apprise the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, and the Union Home Minister, Mr L K Advani, of the situation prevailing in the state on account of the farmers’ agitation in Jind and some other places, police firing on the farmers and the ‘rigid’ attitude adopted by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, towards them.

Giving this information, Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, MP and vice-president of the Haryana BJP told mediapersons here today that a joint deputation of the Haryana BJP and the BKU leaders would call on both the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister and demand a CBI probe into the police firing at Kandela and other places on the innocent farmers.

He criticised Mr Chautala for his ‘arrogant’ attitude towards the farmers’ demands and advised him to start immediate negotiations with the farmers to normalise the situation arising out of their agitation. He condemned the police firing on the farmers and said it reminded of British rule when any genuine demand by the Indians were suppressed by resorting to the lathi-charge and firing on them.

Mr Sangwan alleged that Mr Chautala had violated all the democratic norms for dealing with such situation in the state. He said that Mr Chautala had promised during the assembly elections that free power and water would be supplied to the farmers and the people living in the Harijan bastis but it was strange that Mr Chautala had backed out of his promises and started penalising the farmers by imposing heavy penalties as well as taking punitive action against them.

He said that on account of bad weather in the past, the farmers had suffered heavy financial loss and were not in a position to pay off the arrears of the electricity bills. Mr Sangwan demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for the families of each victim.

Mr Azad Singh Nehra, district president of Human Right Cell of the HPCC and Mr Ved Parkash Vidrohi, President of Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U) also condemned the police firing on the farmers and the reign of terror let loose on them by the Chautala Government and demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of the victims of the police firing.


INLD to counter BKU stir politically
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, June 3
In a belated response, the ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has drawn plans to counter the BKU-led farmers’ agitation politically.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) had launched the stir a fortnight ago alleging that Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala has gone back on his electoral promise to provide free electricity and water and reneged on the agreement reached with the BKU on January 31 last.

It has dawned on the party functionaries that over-dependence on the bureaucracy in countering the agitation has eroded the credibility of the party and the government. The inept handling of the agitation, which is presently confined to parts of the Jat dominated districts of Rohtak, Jind, Hisar and Kaithal, has damaged the party the most.

The INLD has a large following among the farmers in these districts and the BKU leaders had always sided with it during the elections. But over-centralization of power in the family and the arrogant attitude of the powers that be appear to have alienated the workers.

Although the BKU claims to be a non-political organisation, its leaders appear to be nursing political ambitions. The former, it seems, are now fighting a battle for political supremacy with their mentors in the jat heartland of Haryana. Will they succeed in achieving their goal? This is a million dollar question being discussed in the political circles.

The BKU leaders know that the INLD has a solid following in the belt where it has launched the agitation. The dithering of the government on the various surcharge waiver schemes has provided an excuse to the BKU to launch the agitation and embarrass the INLD. The mishandling of the situation by the district administration has aggravated the problem for the government and the INLD.

Besides constituting a four-member committee under Finance Minister Sampat Singh for holding negotiations with the agitating farmers, the INLD has also asked its workers to fan out in the villages to counter the BKU propaganda.

Key INLD functionaries feel that had the government announced the 75 per cent rebate in power dues earlier, the majority of the defaulting farmers would have paid the bills. The BKU leaders would then have automatically run out of steam, they feel.

The police crackdown on the farmers and the worsening law and order situation has put the party workers on the defensive. The workers fear that the damage control exercise initiated by the government may not yield sure results.



‘No stocks’ – the stock reply at pumps
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, June 3
For thousands of vehicle owners in the Capital a trip to the petrol station on Monday turned out to be a exasperating experience. Signboards reading, “No stock,” greeted them, a prelude to the hike in the fuel charges.

While the harried motorists drove from one filling station to another, the smug owners seemed to be biding their time, waiting for the hike to be announced. They were apparently in a mood to make a killing and had put up the ``No stock’’ signs with some alacrity following the announcement that prices of petrol and diesel would be hiked from Monday night.

While the hike means bad news for the commuters, it spells windfall for the fuel vendors. If estimates are to be believed, the petrol pumps owners can earn around Rs 30,000 by holding the supply for a day and selling the old stock at the new prices.

Said a distressed commuter: “It is a pity that we cannot do anything. We know that fuel is available and yet these unscrupulous people are not selling it. We cannot force them to sell the petrol. Some one should complain to the authorities”.

The government, on its part, says that the pumps are required to display their stock position at all times and strict action would be take against the erring pumps.



BJP troika threatens to move Lokayukta 
on DVB deal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 3
Closing their ranks and taking on the Congress-ruled Government of NCT of Delhi for inking an agreement to hand over distribution of electricity to private companies, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s troika of Madan Lal Khurana, Jagdish Mukhi and Mange Ram Garg on Monday accused Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit of indulging in “corrupt practices” and threatened to approach the Lokayukta against the decision.

In a joint news conference, BJP’s Member of Parliament and former Delhi chief minister Madan Lal Khurana alleged prescribed norms were given a go-by by the Congress Government to benefit the “ineligible” companies in bidding for a majority stake in the privatisation of Delhi Vidyut Board’s (DVB’s) distribution. Mr Khurana said the party was seriously contemplating approaching the Lokayukta against the privatisation and a final decision in this regard would be taken in the coming days.

Reiterating that Ms Dikshit had stated in the Assembly on April 11 that the bids by Bombay Suburban Electric Supply (BSES) and Tata Power Company were not acceptable in their proposed shape and that no negotiation could be held with those companies, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Jagdish Mukhi said instead of awarding the bids to those two companies, the government should have invited fresh bids. Smelling a scam of the magnitude of several thousand crores of rupees, he said a conditional offer automatically stands rejected and therefore the bids should not have been considered or discussed. “Entering into an agreement with Tata and BSES reeks of corruption,” Mr Mukhi and President of BJP’s Delhi unit Mange Ram Garg said.

The Government of NCT of Delhi had on Friday last signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the BSES and Tata Power Company to privatise power supply in the Capital with effect from July 1. Under the MoU, two of the three distribution companies have been given to BSES and one to Tata Power. While BSES was given the distribution company covering Central, East, South and West Delhi, Tata Power would be responsible for distributing power in North and North-West Delhi.

The Mumbai-based companies have bought 51 per cent share in each of these distribution companies while the Government of NCT of Delhi will retain the remaining 49 per cent.



Double murder in Vasant Kunj
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 3
Kishan Lal Khurana, 60, father of the owner of a farm house, Eros Garden, in Vasant Kunj, and an employee, Santosh, 25, were found stabbed to death outside the servant quarters of the sprawling farm house this morning.

The owner, Sanjeev Khurana, is away in the US. He has been informed. His father, a resident of Gujranwalan Town in North Delhi, had apparently moved in there a few days ago. The servant, Santosh was hired only a week ago. Another son of the deceased, R. B. Khurana, is a special police officer and lives nearby in Vasant Kunj with his family. Sanjeev owns a travel agency which he runs from the farm house as well.

Both of them had multiple stab wounds and the police believe that they may have been attacked in the early hours of the morning. The bodies have been sent for a post-mortem examination.

The police said that cases of murder had been registered and investigations were continuing to trace the killers. The investigators were concentrating on the former employees as the Khuranas were known to have hired a number of them and then fired them. It could be the handiwork of a former disgruntled employee. What is intriguing the police is the fact that even while the house was ransacked and some electronics equipment damaged, nothing valuable had been taken away. The gold chain, ring and wristwatch worn by the victims were found intact. So were some jewellery items kept inside the house.

The two German shepherds kept to guard the farm house were found tied to a post in the corner of the grounds. Normally, they were let loose in the night to guard the place. The father of the owner and the servant were alone in the farm house. The police believe that the culprits may have struck in the morning after the two dogs were tethered for the day. Preliminary inquiries have revealed that the suspects may have been known to the victims as there were no signs of forced entry. The lock with its key was found near the main entrance, indicating that it must have been opened in the morning after the father of the owner and the servant woke up.

The police said that cases of murder had been registered and investigations were on to zero in on the killers.

According to the police, the double murder was discovered by the gardener and some other employees who came to the farm house in the morning. Not getting any response, they went inside and found the blood-soaked bodies near the servant quarters. They are being questioned.



Log in to the virtual classroom
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, June 3
A virtual classroom, which will answer the needs of students across the country, was launched today by the Sikkim-Manipal University.

The launch of this virtual classroom for students of Information Technology is aimed at forging a bridge between teachers and students. “It’ll be like any classroom in which students and teacher can interact,’’ said Prof. P A Kulkarni, Vice Chancellor of the Gangtok-based Sikkim-Manipal University (SMU) of Health, Medical and Technological Sciences.

Highlighting the features of the virtual classroom, Prof. Kulkarni said: “Anything a student at one centre or teacher says will be seen and heard by everyone attending the class”.

The session for this class will begin on July 1, the official said. Set up as a long distance learning centre under a 1995 Sikkim Assembly Act and recognised by the University Grants Commission, SMU is tapping VSAT technology to reach out to 35,000 students who huddle at more than 250 Study Centres across India.

SMU is currently offering a one-year IT diploma as well as graduate and postgraduate degree courses.

Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University Maj. Gen. A C Sharma said twenty “industry-relevant” courses in environmental sciences, paramedical sciences and management and information technology will be made operational by July.

These include courses in bio-informatics, graphics and animation, medical transcription, electronic commerce, wireless applications, besides traditional areas such as business administration, Mr Sharma added. SMU’s Senior Vice President Janardhan Jha, formerly of Indira Gandhi National Open University, said the technology has been used at a couple of centres in Mumbai and Calicut, but not on such scale.

Another advantage that this classroom offers the students is that even if a student misses a particular lesson, he or she can receive a copy or record of the period and go over the contents at convenience.

It was also announced that the IT courses were employment-oriented and that a large number of diploma students had already found employment. Each study centre is equipped by SMU with a VSAT unit to link it

to the main office, and can bring to mainstream some of the remotest corners of the country. There are 63 such centres in the Capital alone, informed the VC.



Power dues waiver scheme off target
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 3
Despite extending the time period for submitting the power dues under the special waiver scheme for another 15 days in May, the total recovery has been well below the expectations. The Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) has been able to collect only 38 per cent of the targeted amount under the scheme, which came to an end on May 31.

According to the official figures, 10,303 consumers from rural areas came forward to avail of the benefits under the scheme. They deposited an amount of Rs 3,55,89,000 up to May end and got Rs 10.68 crore waived. But the hard fact is that the total pending amount in the rural areas at the start of the scheme had been about Rs 36.22 crore. The DHBVN authorities had targeted to recover about Rs 9.05 crore, after waiving about three-fourth of the total outstanding dues of over Rs 27 crore in the district.

However, the campaign failed to really take off in the first week due to the half-hearted preparations and only Rs 1.15 crore could be recovered in the first 15 days of May, which was the initial period of the scheme. As expected, the state government extended the scheme up to May 31 and this helped the Power Department to improve the recovery rate to an extent. But it could not get close to the target still. The total recovery by May 31 was only Rs 3.55 crore.

It is reported that about 17,000 defaulters in the villages still owe about Rs 5.5 crore. That is after deducting the 75 per cent amount that would have been waived if they had used the waiver scheme.

While some officials believed that the state government might extend the scheme for some more days, the higher authorities were unable to readjust the strategy, thanks to the intensified agitation of the farmers led by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU). A section of the top authorities in the government seems to be in favour of keeping the power dues waiver scheme in suspension for sometime till an agreement or final solution is reached with the BKU and other agitating farmers.

The Power Department’s other scheme of waiving the surcharge on pending bills of urban and rural consumers since March 2001 has also evoked a mixed response. According to UHBVN officials, about 1,193 consumers have deposited their bills amounting to Rs 57.48 lakh while they have got Rs 84.13 lakh waived. In rural parts, 1,887 consumers have paid their bills by depositing Rs 43.83 lakh and got Rs 9.55 lakh of surcharge waived during the period.

While the power authorities may be enthusiastic about its achievements in the recovery of dues in some parts, the BKU agitation seems to have hit the recovery process.



‘All lines in this route are busy...’
Surendar Vyas

Narnaul, June 3
What ails the electronic telephone exchange in Narnaul? While telephone connections are too many, the service lines available with the exchange are too few. The result is that it has become really hard for any caller to get any line. The stock reply is ‘all lines in this route are busy, try after sometime’ when one dials any STD line.

Observers say things have come to such a pass because of the government policy to provide telephones to every village without augmenting the capacity of the exchanges. It has been observed that whenever one dials the enquiry number 197, it will connect at the Rewari exchange and the receiver never replies immediately. When he does, he further directs the caller to dial 198.

The number of subscribers with the Narnaul exchange has risen to over 2,000. Besides, there are around 100 PCOs being served by the exchange. Of the total telephone connections, over 1,200 are at Ateli Mandi, 600 at Goad Balaha, Bhungarka and Nangal Chaudhry. There are over 400 phone subscribers in the rural areas. Villages like Koriawas have more than 50 phone connections. There has been a marked increase in the number of PCOs in Neerpur, Goad, Nangal Chaudhry, Sinma, Bhankri and Bachaud now, thereby adding to the number of telephone users here. However, the authorities have not bothered to increase the number of lines in proportion to the rise in the number of subscribers and users.

Till December last year, there were only 198 PCOs under the Narnaul exchange. By April this year, the number touched 282. However, the business of PCOs has dwindled over the months. Mr Sanjai Gandhi, secretary of the PCO Union, says it used to be a prospective business. Not anymore. After the STD charges were slashed, the income of the PCOs has come down, he says. Besides the low rates, what hits their business the most is the lack of adequate lines. Everyday, the STD lines would not connect for hours together.

The cyber cafes opened in the area are also drawing a blank now as the modems don’t get connected and the customer walks out disappointed without paying anything. Three such centres were closed recently.

In the age of communication revolution, the Narnaul exchange has only eight PCMs. It is pertinent to mention that only 30 circuits (channels) could work in one PCM. This means that there are only 240 channels available at any given time to route the STD and ISD calls. Of these, several lines have been reserved as hotlines for VIPs. And there is no plan to add more PCMs at present, inquiries revealed.

Narnaul telecom district falls under Rewari. In case there is any discrepancy in the telephone bills, one has to travel over 50 kilometres spending around Rs 50 to Rewari to file a complaint. Surprisingly, the Manager of Narnaul telecom district has his office in Rewari.

Mr Ishwer Singh Yadav, SDO (phones) posted at Narnaul, admit that after the reduction of STD rates from January 14, the problem at the exchange also has increased. During peak hours, it is very hard to meet the demand. He says that the exchange has asked for three more PCMs to tide over the crisis. They are expected to be activated within a week, he says. The Telecom District Manager, Mr Ravi Goyal, Rewari was not available for comments. Subscribers and PCO owners, meanwhile, has demanded that more lines must be laid and more machines installed at the exchange to meet the rising demand.



For instant justice, visit Lok Adalats
R.D. Sapra

Sonepat, June 3
The 76th Lok Adalat was held in the judicial courts complex here on Saturday. Held amidst heavy downpour, the two-hour session earned a distinction by settling more than 2,200 cases of all categories: civil, matrimonial, service matters and Motor Vehicles Act violations. A sum of Rs 30 lakh was awarded as compensation to the litigants in 16 cases.

Braving the heavy showers, the litigants from far off places were saved from the cumbersome procedure, which would have delayed the settlement of such cases in the normal course. A frustrated resident of Bhaghpat (UP), who had been challaned under the Motor Vehicles Act for not wearing a helmet, told the Lok Adalat that he had visited the court in connection with this case at least 10 times but failed to get clearance from it. At last, the Lok Adalat had come to his rescue, where his case was settled.

Some other litigants also hailed the setting up of the Lok Adalat and said that such courts had proved very useful for them as they would not have to visit courts frequently for the settlement of such cases.

Mr S. K Sardana, District and Sessions Judge, maintained that 10 different courts were held on the premises of the judicial courts to dispose of all categories of cases. He said that as many as eight cases under the Hindu Marriage Act, 50 cases of Factories Act and Shops and Establishment Act were settled in the Lok Adalat. A sum of Rs 3.50 lakh was recovered as composite fee from the traffic challans.

He also disclosed that as many as 27,854 cases had been settled in the Lok Adalats held in the district so far and a sum of Rs 30.55 crore had been awarded as compensation to the victims of road accidents. He further said that a sum of Rs 37.75 lakh had been realised as fine from the violators of traffic rules.

Later Mr Sardana, who is also the chairman of the district Legal Services Authority, said that the Lok Adalats had proved to be an effective measure of providing justice to the downtrodden and weaker sections of the society.

These adalats had virtually become the forum for reaching an agreement between the rival parties. The Lok Adalats, he said, put their seal of approval after the consent of both the parties on their agreements. While arriving at an agreement, no pressure was put on the parties either by the judges or by any outside agency and all the agreements between the rival parties had proved long-lasting and effective.

He said that free legal aid as per rules was being provided to all the litigants whose annual income is less than Rs 25,000 and those belonging to the SC, ST, OBC, handicapped persons and industrial workers. If any person coming under the above-mentioned categories was not in a position to engage a counsel, the authority would provide him with a lawyer at its own cost, he said.

Mr Sardana also stressed the need to implement the provisions of the Legal Services Authorities Act and by doing so, the workload in the courts would be reduced. The district and police authorities were extending their support to the Lok Adalats in the speedy disposal of the cases, he added.

He claimed that the cases in the Lok Adalats took lesser time than the regular judicial courts, where the trial proceedings took a long time, sometimes defeating the very purpose of justice. Listing the achievements of the Lok Adalats, Mr Sardana said steps had also been taken to provide legal aid to those in the jails, he added.



IYC for judicial probe into police firing 
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, June 3
The president of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC), Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, has demanded the setting up of a judicial commission to enquire into the police firing on agitating farmers at some places in Jind and Rohtak districts.

Talking to mediapersons after visiting the victims of police firing admitted to the PGIMS here, Mr Surejewala said today that a sitting high court judge should head the commission to conduct an impartial probe into the police firing in which eight persons had been killed and several others injured. He also demanded the registration of a case under Section 307 of the IPC against the police officials responsible for the firing on the peacefully agitating innocent villagers.

Lambasting Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, the IYC chief alleged that Mr Chautala and his two sons, Mr Ajay Singh and Mr Abhey Singh, were responsible for the police firing as the “trio” were inimical to the farmers, especially those belonging to Rohtak, Sonepat and Jind districts.

Hailing Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s decision to start an indefinite dharna at Jind from today, Mr Surjewala said that the Youth Congress fully supported the dharna and called upon the party activists from across the state to reach Jind to participate in the dharna. He also announced that the Youth Congress led by the state unit president, Mr Satwinder Singh, would stage a massive demonstration at Jind next week in support of the farmers’ demands.

The former Union Agricultural Minister and senior Congress leader, Dr Balram Jakhar, also visited the PGIMS to enquire about the condition of the victims of the police firing. Later talking to newsmen, Dr Jakhar emphasised the need for a dialogue with the agitating farmers.

Taking strong exception to the use of “repressive” measures on the agitating farmers, the former Lok Sabha Speaker said that Mr Chautala should apologise to the farmers in order to provide a healing touch to the injured.

Advising the Chief Minister to invite the agitating farmer leaders for talks for a negotiated settlement of the issue, Dr Jakhar said that the state government should not make it a prestige issue. 



‘Right subject is more important than college’ 
Tarun Gill

A non-conformist, who is trying to bring about the much needed changes in Delhi University, Dr Hema Raghavan, Dean, Students’ Welfare, DU, has come a long way from being a lecturer in Kamla Nehru College. Who would have thought that this little girl, born and brought up in Chennai, would one day make a name for herself and prove all her critics wrong. A penchant for the English language inspired her to do her bachelors in English and later masters from Anna Malai University.

But destiny had something else in store for her. She got married and had to shift to Delhi, which completely changed her perspective towards life. She did her PhD in English from Delhi University and that proved to be a blessing in disguise.

One day, while glancing through a newspaper, she chanced upon an advertisement for filling a vacancy in Kamla Nehru College for an English lecturer. She applied and finally got selected in 1966. With a supportive husband in the Civil Services, who always motivated her to be action-oriented, there was no looking back for her. Now she is not only Principal of the prestigious Gargi College for Women but also the Dean, Student Welfare, Delhi University. NCR Tribune correspondent talks to Dr Hema Raghavan

What is your educational background?

I belong to a very middle class family in Chennai. I was always academically very bright. And I was always inclined to do something in the English language. That is precisely why I chose to graduate with honours in English. After graduation I almost fell in love with this language. That motivated me to take up masters in English. Soon after I got married and shifted base to Delhi as my husband was in the Civil Services. And that did the trick for me. I did my PhD in English. Finding the right job is quite a task. But I guess I was lucky. One fine day, while scanning a newspaper I saw an advertisement regarding a vacancy for a lecturer in Kamla Nehru College. I pounced on that opportunity and managed to get a job there in 1966. When I was awarded the British Council scholarship in 1973 I got the chance to see England. In 1988, I had to quit the job due to some reasons and landed up as a Reader in Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). But at that point of time IGNOU only offered distant learning programmes and there was no interaction with the students.

I am a very student interactive person. That prompted me to revert to my old job in Kamla Nehru College in 1990. In 1996, I was selected for a course in Carnegie Mellon University, USA, for training in leadership. With my hard work and perseverance I became Additional Dean, Student Welfare, Delhi University. I also got the Millennium Award for Environment Awareness Programme.

How will the admissions in Delhi University be different compared to last year?

Last year our website wasn’t that effective due to some technical problems but this year we have ensured it works smoothly. We have also organised a counselling session for students applying for admission through the SC/ST quota. This will not only help them in filling in their application forms but also guide them in choosing the right college. Extra precautions have been taken to minimise the problems faced by the physically challenged with the university planning to set up a central nodal centre specifically for the purpose. The centre will operate from the Office of the Dean, Student Welfare. Physically challenged students henceforth will not be required to travel from one college to another to submit forms. They can instead complete the process through a single window at this centre.

What is your advice to all prospective students of Delhi University?

Just don’t panic. Students have a tendency of applying for 50 different colleges. They should choose the college, which fits their requirement. We are providing all possible information regarding the admission procedure of Delhi University in our prospectus, which costs Rs 10 for students applying through general category.

They should keep a few things in mind. First, see the previous year’s cutoff list, which we provide in our information bulletin, and then go about applying for admission to different colleges. They should not specifically concentrate on North Campus alone. It is often seen that if students’ fellow mates are in a particular college then to give him/her company they end up joining the same college. Secondly, they should choose the right subjects because that will decide their career ultimately. My advice is don’t get swayed by emotions. Thirdly, get rid of the quacks who promise to get admission to the desired college.

As admission is solely given on students’ performance no one can guarantee admission. Fourthly, the admission process takes time, so don’t let any frustration creep in. One can always study through correspondence.

It is quite interesting that the College of Correspondence Studies takes almost one third of the applicants who apply to Delhi University. Last but not the least, choose the college which is in close proximity to where you are putting up to avoid precious time in commuting from one place to a farther place.

Which are the most preferred courses among applicants this year?

Economics is definitely the flavour of the season. Its scope is booming with each passing year. A subject like economics may not assure a job after graduation but it can definitely help students in pursuing a career in business administration. English honours is also coming up really well. English is also not lagging behind. Graduation in English not only polishes a person’s skills in the language but also opens up job avenues in the television industry and journalism. We also invited students from 20 colleges to attend a workshop on science, which was attended by Mr Raja Raman and other distinguished guests, to motivate students to take up science for their bachelors.

This workshop not only discussed the avenues open for students after finishing their graduation but also cleared all doubts of students, which they had in mind. And now, a subject like microbiology is also being favoured.

Last year the cut off for microbiology went up till 90 per cent. Surprisingly, for subjects like political science and history, there are few takers this year. Students prefer taking up such a course which can immediately fetch them a job after graduation. That is where a subject like psychology comes into the picture. It opens avenues in human resource development, clinical sector et al. That is precisely the reason why it is gaining favour among students.

You are also the Principal of Gargi College besides being the Dean of Students’ Welfare. So how do you manage to devote time to your family?

It is quite a tough task but somehow one has to strike a balance. I admire my husband who is not only cooperative but also very loving and understanding. And he has supported me all the way. He has never let my morale go down. From 9am till about three in the afternoon I am in the college. Around 3.30 I reach Delhi University. I have a responsibility towards this university which has provided me with so many things. So I reach home about eight in the evening. Thanks are due to my daughter, who is teaching journalism in Lady Sri Ram College for Women (LSR), who is very understanding.

In all universities abroad the applications are accepted online to facilitate admissions from all parts of the globe. When will Delhi University go online with submission and acceptance of forms online?

Soon, very soon. It will take at least three to five years to reach up to that level. But I am positive that we will make it. I would do everything within my reach to attain that goal. 



Uprooted trees claim four lives
Tribune News Service

Panipat, June 3
Accidents caused by the uprooted trees lying on roads after the squall have claimed four lives in the district since Sunday.

In the first incident, three residents of Khukrana village died when their motorcycle hit an uprooted tree near Saudapur village, 6 km from here, on Sunday night.

The trio — Zile Singh, Ranjit and Sukhbir — were on their way to Khukrana village. They did not see the uprooted tree lying in the middle of the road and their motorcycle banged rammed it.

According to information, the deceased, along with their friend, Ram Phal, who was riding another motorcycle, had left Panipat late in the evening. While Ram Phal reached Khukrana safely, the trio could not make it to the village late in the night. When Ram Phal came in search of them, he found them lying in a pool of blood. All the three had died on the spot.

Meanwhile, Rameshwar, a resident of Shila Kheri in Jind district, died on the spot when his motorcycle banged into an uprooted tree near Nara village.

The post-mortem examination was conducted at the local Civil Hospital and the bodies were handed over to the relatives.



8,898 power consumers use waiver scheme
Our Correspondent

Narnaul, June 3
As many as 8,898 consumers have availed of the recently concluded power dues waiver scheme in Mahendragarh district and deposited Rs 1.91 lakh with the Power Department. As much as Rs 577.89 lakh had been waived by the department.

This was stated in a press note issued by the department here today. It said that Rs 17.73 lakh was deposited by consumers on the last day of the scheme on May 31 alone.

Illegal vehicles: A large number of unauthorised passenger vehicles are plying on the roads here giving the Haryana Roadways buses a run for their money. It has been a daunting task for the police and District Transport Officer to check the menace. However, the Deputy Commissioner, Dr R. B. Langyan, claimed that the problem was being addressed reeling out figures. He said that 66 jeeps had been fined and 60 jeeps and 19 buses impounded during the last 10 days.

However, private vehicles still load indiscriminately passengers in front of the local Haryana Roadways bus stand while the General Manager of the roadways and the Traffic Manager of DTO fail to take any action. Knowing the timings of the roadways buses, these private vehicles take passengers before the roadways buses reach the bus stations.

In an incident last year, the DTO chased an illegal vehicle. In the end, he had to face the flak of the authorities as the private unauthorised vehicle turned turtle.

No water supply: Residents of Muhalla Rao Ka are sore over the contaminated piped water being supplied by the Public Health Department. Even old and handicapped persons are seen roaming in search of potable water in the village. The residents complained that there had been no supply of potable water for the last 10 days. Even after several complaints and reminders, the public health authorities had not sorted out the problem till date. In Adarsh Nagar too, there is an acute scarcity of piped water supply. Rewari road, Muhala Kabil Sanghian, Peer Aga, Muhala Bhatwara and upper areas of Narnaul also face water shortage.



Stree Shakti camps inaugurated
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 3
In the third instalment after launching Stree Shakti (women empowerment) Programme, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday inaugurated camps in Sarojini Nagar and Mehrauli. The event was last held on April 28.

On the occasion, Ms Dikshit said economic and financial independence was a must for empowerment and this could be achieved only if women began to take care of themselves and, in particular, their health. “Health, literacy and income generation”, she said, would be the priority for the Stree Shakti Programme. The first step had been taken by issuing health cards that entitle the cardholder to “special preference” in government-run hospitals.

The programme was launched on February 17. To be implemented as part of the Bhagidari (citizen-government partnership) programme, the Stree Shakti Programme envisages the availability of quality and timely healthcare at the door step of women within two years. Besides the Government of NCT of Delhi’s agencies, non-government organisations (NGOs) will be involved in generating awareness and counselling the target group.

DP inspectors reshuffled

There has been a minor reshuffle of inspectors in the Delhi Police. Inspector Sunder Lal posted at IGI Airport has been transferred to Civil Lines police station as Additional SHO; Mr Prem Chand has been transferred from Civil Lines to Chankyapuri police station, Mr Narender Singh from Chandni Chowk to Najafgarh, Mr Rakesh Kumar from Seemapuri to PCR duty, Mr Jai Bir from Pratap Nagar to security duty, Mr Sidh Muni Sharma from Central district to Subzi Mandi as Additional SHO and Mr Dharam Pal, Additional SHO of Timarpur, to security duty.

Car parking facility coming up

The foundation stone of the Master Tara Singh Underground Car Park at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib was laid here on Sunday. A lift installation was also inaugurated at the gurdwara to facilitate the movement of the aged.

Sant Baba Harbans Singh laid the foundation stone of the car parking area. Among those present were Jathedar Avatar Singh Hit, S. Kulmohan Singh, Shamsher Singh Sindhu, Jathedar Kuldip Singh Bhogal and Jathedar Inderpal Singh Khalsa. After the conclusion of the programme, a Kirtan Durbar was arranged at the Gurdwara.



Kisan Sabha for dialogue with farmers 
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, June 3
Condemning the brutal repression of the farmers’ agitation by the police, the All India Kisan Sabha appealed to the state government to release the arrest farmers immediately without any condition and resume dialogue with them in the interest of the state.

Mr N. K. Shukla, joint secretary of the sabha said on Monday that 8 farmers were killed and hundreds injured in the recent police firing and lathi charge.

He said that the farmers were agitated when the government backtracked from its pre- poll promises and the subsequent Kandela agreement with the farmers.

He also demanded an adequate compensation to the families of those killed and injured in the police action

MDU meet

The undergraduate students of Maharshi Dayanand University would be declared failed if they were unable to obtain pass marks in at least two subjects with effect from the annual examinations next year.

The vice-chancellor of the university, Maj-Gen. B. S. Suhag (retd), informed the principals/ heads of the institutions of affiliated colleges/ institutions about the important decision during a meeting held here this afternoon.

He further stated that the examination forms as well as prospectus of different courses would be available at the general post offices, at the district headquarters in the state. It would also be available at the post offices at Gohana and Bahadurgarh, he added.

The vice-chancellor announced that the university administration proposed to decentralize the system of registration of students. He said the registration of students were likely to be done at the college level to streamline the registration procedure with effect from the forthcoming academic session.

He informed that the supplementary examination of TDC(BA/B.Sc/ B. Com) part I and II would also be held along with the supplementary examinations of TDC part III.

Maj-Gen Suhag laid stress on introducing ‘personality development’ programmes for students in colleges, strict adherence of attendance stipulations, proper emphasis on industrial training in professional/ technical courses, strict adherence of promotion rules in engineering college, among other things in his address.

About 90 principals/ heads of institutions attended the meeting.


The indefinite dharna launched by the retrenched employees of the Hindustan Tin Works Limited entered the 32nd day today near Dhaturi village, about 15 km from here.

According to a report, the leaders of the workers union alleged that the authorities of the Labour Department had failed to resolve the dispute as they had adopted a pro-management attitude.

They also announced that their agitation would continue until their demands were accepted by the management.

House burgled

Thieves broke into a house in broad-day light in Sikka Colony area here on Monday and escaped with cash and other valuables from it.

According to a report, the owner of the house, Mr Bhim Singh along with other family members were in Kurar village. The police have not yet registered the case.

Sub-post office

Mr Hoshiar Singh, superintendent of post offices, inaugurated a two-storey building of a sub-post office at Kharkhauda town, 19 km from here on Sunday.

According to a report, the building was constructed at a cost of Rs 15 lakh and would provide postal facilities to one lakh people of Kharkhauda town and its surrounding 25 villages. 



Three die in gas cylinder blast in factory
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, June 3
Three workers died and 18 were injured when a gas cylinder exploded in a plastic grain factory in Sahibabad this morning. The injured have been admitted to G.T. Bahadur Hospital, Delhi and local hospitals. The fire brigade personnel were trying to clear the debris from the site of accident while the DM, the SSP, and the SP City and other senior officials remained in the factory for about two hours. The DM has ordered an inquiry to be conducted by ADM City R K Sachan.

Fire broke out at 4.20 am today in Amar Plastics, an illegal factory at Khurampur Pasaunda in Rajeev Colony under Sahibabad police station.

The factory was being run round the clock. When power went off at 4 am, the factory contractor Harun started the generator. The plastic grains caught fire from the sparking generator. Efforts were made to extinguish the fire, but it reached gas cylinder from plastic grain through the machine, the police said.



Ticket aspirants from Akali factions wooing
 NAD: Pamma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 3
The National Akali Dal claimed that a large number of persons who were denied tickets by the two main factions of the Akali Dal (Badal and Tohra) for the June 30 Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee elections had approached its leaders to accommodate them.

In a statement issued here, the national president of the National Akali Dal, Mr Paramjit Singh Pamma, said that everyone was welcome to his party but only candidates with a clean image would be given tickets, so that they could work honestly and dedicatedly for the Sikh community in the Capital. The Badal and the Tohra groups had been trading charges in the run-up to the elections.



Three die as marble slabs fall from truck

Faridabad, June 3
Three persons, including two residents of Sector 29-A here, were killed today when marble stone slabs fell on them while unloading the same from a truck. The incident took place at about 3.30 pm when Sarasjeet Singh, owner of house No 928, which was under construction, and his neighbour Narender rushed to help a labourer unloading the marble stones from the truck. It is learnt that the labourer, identified as Mohammad Aslam, cried for help as one of the slabs fell on him. As soon as Sarasjeet and his neighbour, who were supervising the work, rushed to the help of the labourer, the marble slabs started falling from the truck in a heap burying all the three. TNS



Brother stabs sisters, kills one 
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 3
In a gruesome incident, a youth allegedly murdered one of his sisters and injured another near Palwal town on Sunday night.

The accused, identified as Sukhbir, was returning along with his three sisters — Rekha, Hitesh and Kashmira — in a car to their native Chandhut village after shopping at Palwal in connection with the engagement of two of his sisters. The engagement was fixed for today.

It is reported that the accused stopped the vehicle near Rasool Pur village and attacked the sisters sitting in the backseat with knife.

He first stabbed the eldest sister, Rekha (22), several times. As she fell down, the youth attacked the younger (Kashmira) injuring her. In the melee, the third one and the youngest (Hitesh) managed to run to a nearby house and raised an alarm.

By the time local residents rushed to their help, Rekha had succumbed to her injuries. Kashmira was taken to Diamond Hospital at Palwal. Meanwhile, Sukhbir fled the spot soon after the incident.

While the real reason behind the incident is yet to be ascertained, it is suspected that property or inability of the family to marry off the girls could be what might had upset the accused. A case has been booked. No arrest has been made so far.

Hoax caller held: The railway police have arrested a person who reportedly made the hoax call on Sunday night saying that a bomb was planted in the Bangalore-bound Rajdhani Express. The train was halted at the Ballabgarh station for over two hours.

The accused, an employee of the NSG academy at Gurgaon, had made the call because as he was not able to board the train. He has been identified as L. Ravindran.

He had booked a ticket to Bangalore in the train but failed to board the train as it had left the Nizamuddin station before he reached there.

Frustrated and desperate, he went to a PCO and made a call to the Station Manager of Nizamuddin stating that a bomb had been placed in the train. The call was traced within half-an-hour. Meanwhile, the PCO owner did not let the accused leave till the police arrived there. A case has been booked.

Phones dead: About 1,000 phones have gone dead in the NIT area here as a cable got submerged in water. It is learnt that water entered the paper-core cable of the telephone exchange of BSNL at Nehree ground leaving about 1,000 connections out of order. The affected consumers have lodged a complaint. The BSNL officials claimed that the snag had been located and repair work had started. 



Beopar Mandal chief robbed
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 3
Mr Pawan Goel, a wealthy trader and president of the District Beopar Mandal was allegedly robbed by two armed youths near Gopalpur village about 25 km from here last evening.

According to a report, one of the two robbers was caught and handed over to the police. The other culprit, however, managed to escape.

The police have recovered Rs 2.27 lakh and a pistol from the possession of the youth who was identified as Vinod of Kharkhauda town. The other culprit was identified as Raju of Rohna village and a hunt is on to apprehend him. According to another report, three women were injured one of them seriously when they were attacked by some persons at Bandepur village near here.



Hardcore criminal of Bihar held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 3
The Kotwali police arrested a notorious criminal of Bihar who was a member of the D. N. Tewari gang operating in that state and was involved in the murder of a police officer and in several other cases. He had been hiding in the Capital for several months, it is learnt.

The Kotwali police received a secret information that the suspect, Pintoo Kumar Pandey alias Chander Shekhar Pandey, was hiding in Usmanpur in North-East district. While he was walking on the old Yamuna bridge, the police approached him. Seeing the police party, he tried to run away.


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