Saturday, August 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


ICAR committee to hold meeting
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 9
To discuss and review the current status of agricultural research, education and extension in Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand, the regional committee of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research will hold its 16th meeting at Punjab Agricultural University on August 13 and 14.

Ministers of Agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries and horticulture from Punjab, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, Director General and all Deputy Director Generals of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research would participate in the meeting which would provide a forum for dialogue amongst research and development agencies in the Centre and states of the region.

In addition, several Members of Parliament, other dignitaries and members of the governing body of the committee, Secretaries of Agriculture, animal husbandry, planning and finance, vice-chancellors, Directors of the state agricultural universities and ICAR institutes and scientists from the five states would also take part.

Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Minister for Agriculture, Rural Development and Panchayats, and Development of Women and Children, Punjab, would be the chief guest during inaugural session of the meeting to be held on August 13.



Protest by PSA members
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 9
The coordination committee of Professional Services Association (PSA), Punjab, with employees from the Departments of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry and Technical Education organised a dharna outside the Mini Secretariat here today.

The association members demanded that the services of those employed during the tenure of Ravi Sidhu, suspended Chairman of Punjab Public Services Commission, be not terminated.

They said that they appreciated the move of the government to check corruption but it would be wrong to sack employees without conducting any inquiry. They said that majority of the professionals were appointed on the basis of merit and attempt in interview.

The rally was addressed by Dr Balwinder Singh Butahri, Dr Rajinder Pal Singh Aulakh, Dr Ravinder Kumar, Ms Geetanjali, Prof S.P. Singh, Dr Daler Singh, Prof Arjan Singh, Dr Paramjit Singh and Dr Ramandeep Singh.

All members demanded that the vacant posts be filled soon, unemployed professionals be given jobs and appointment letters be issued to college lecturers and other professionals without any further delay.



Training for village artisans at PAU
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 9
A 20-day training programme on ‘Prototype manufacturing of improved agricultural implements for village artisans’, organised by the Department of Farm Power and Machinery, Punjab Agricultural University, began here yesterday.

Nearly 32 trainees from villages of Ludhiana, Faridkot, Sangrur and Moga are participating in the programme.

Dr I.K. Garg, head of the department, said the training was being imparted with an aim to inform artisans about latest farm machineries developed by PAU, particularly those related to diversification of agriculture. During the programme, the trainees would be taken to various research and development organisations to help them understand standardisation of production techniques and promote usage of latest machinery technology in production processes.

Dr Garg said such programmes would ensure effective utilisation of human resources in the country and make them skilled for providing cost effective agricultural machinery system. He urged the trainees to set up farm machinery custom hiring centres for the benefit of farmers and enhancing their income.



PCCTU members hold dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 9
Teachers of 23 colleges of the district held a protest rally today in GGN College, Civil Lines, Ludhiana. The rally, originally planned in front of the New Courts, could not be held there as the government had clamped Section 144 in the city.

Around 150 teachers of private colleges were protesting against the government’s indifferent attitude towards their long-pending demands and its anti-higher education policies. They also showed resentment over the release of the notification dated July 9, with regard to pension-cum-gratuity scheme which, according to them, was nothing but a joke on them as it deprived them of the facility of pension commutation and provision for family pension. Moreover, the government would have no responsibility of maintaining the corpus fund, raised after taking the total provident fund from the teachers. Only the representatives of management, principals and the union would look after it. So, this scheme was nothing but the government’s withdrawal from its promise to grant pension and gratuity to the college teachers.

To protest against this backtracking by the government, the teachers burnt a copy of the notification and demanded the immediate withdrawal of this totally distorted scheme.

The other major demands of the teachers include 95 per cent grant-in-aid for the aided colleges, release of all arrears of pay-revision inclusive of the 5 per cent share of the state government as per the UGC terms, parity to librarians and DPEs with other college teachers with regard to their fixation at Rs 14940, lecturer designation to DPEs and librarians, release of GDA/RRA to other teachers who were working in the rural colleges and incentive increments for pre-1996 Ph.D holders.

Among those, who addressed the rally included Prof K.B.S. Sodhi, former state president of PCCTU, Prof Kanwaljit Singh, area secretary, Prof Kuldip Singh and Prof V.K. Bhardwaj, members of the central executive of the PCCTU. The speakers were unanimous in voicing the opinion that the government’s indifferent attitude to the demands of the teachers and its anti-higher education politics would do irreparable damage to the quality and quantity of education in the state. Many a rural college would be closed and a large number of people would be deprived of getting higher education.

The speakers were also critical of the high-handedness of the government in handling the issue of tuitions. They condemned the raids by the Vigilance Department and the arrests of the teachers. They demanded the withdrawal of cases against the teachers.

Mr DP Maur and Mr Amritpal, president and secretary of Non-Teaching Employees Union, PAU, respectively, also expressed their solidarity with the agitating college teachers They also deplored the dictatorial attitude of the government. A memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner was also submitted.



‘Delink promotions from results’
Our Correspondent

Amloh, August 9
Mathematics teachers of middle and high schools in Amloh subdivision, in a representation to the Director of Public Instruction (DPI), have sought a review of the policy of evaluating teachers' performance on the pass percentage of the students of the subject in the middle and matriculation examinations.

At present, promotion of teachers to a higher grade, transfers, Assured Carrier Progressive Scheme (ACPS) and other benefits are based on the pass percentage of students, which should be higher than the board's pass percentage.

According to the representation, it was unjustified to hold a teacher responsible for poor result, especially in a subject like mathematics.

One of the factors that affected the mathematics result was a policy of the Education Department which said that out of six subjects, Punjabi was compulsory and a student had to pass any four subjects out of the remaining five.

The teachers said students preferred to drop mathematics , especially in the rural areas where parents were unable to guide their wards in the subject.

The results of private schools in mathematics was better than government schools due to many other reasons as well, contended the teachers adding that if the promotion of teachers had to be linked with results, a separate pass percentage of government schools should be worked out.

The representation said that the government school teachers had to perform other duties as well and urged to delink promotions from result percentage or make all subjects compulsory and create a separate percentage for government schools. 


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