Sunday, November 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Young replace old in BJP
Rinwa retained as President
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The BJP high command today inducted young blood into the Punjab unit of the party to prepare it for a long struggle on various issues against the Amarinder Government. Those who have been dropped from the main organisational posts have been adjusted elsewhere like in party cells.

The BJP has taken to its heart the staging of a dharna by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in front of the residence of Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee last month. In a mood to pay back to him (Chief Minister) in the same coin the party has launched a struggle against his government on issues of public concern. “To hide his own failure on the paddy front, Capt Amarinder Singh took the extreme step of staging a dharna in front of the residence of the Prime Minister. It was against all established norms of politics”, said a senior BJP leader.

In fact, the BJP high command today put to rest the controversy with regard to Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, President of the Punjab unit. Rumours have been doing rounds that Mr Rinwa will be replaced as the party fared badly in the last Assembly elections. However, Mr Rinwa has been retained as President though several changes down the line have been announced.

In fact, the party has inducted young leaders at the top, keeping in mind that such leaders will be more effective in the field. “The mobility factor has been kept in mind while putting people on important posts”, said a senior leader.

Mr Sangh Priya Gautam, MP and in charge of the party affairs in Punjab, today released the new list of office-bearers. Bibi Gurcharan Kaur and Jathedar Sukhwant Singh have been retained as Vice-Presidents. However, Mr Shakti Sharma and Mr Vijay Sampla have been inducted afresh as Vice-Presidents. While Mr Avinash Jaiswal has been retained as General Secretary (organisational) of the state unit, two new faces — Mr Harjit Singh Grewal and Prof Rajinder Bhandari — have been inducted in this slot.

Mr Vinod Sharma and Mr Anil Sareen have been retained as Secretary even though Mr Arunesh Shakar, Mr Om Parkash Kalia have also been appointed secretaries. Mr Ashok Juneja has been appointed Treasurer of the party.

Mr Manajit Singh Rai has been made President of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha replacing Mr Sukhwinder Singh Grewal, whose name has been recommended for inclusion in the national executive of the committee morcha. The party has set up a new medical cell under the command of Dr Baldev Raj Chawla. Dr Laxman Dass Sewak has been made its General Secretary. A new NRI cell has also been created under the charge of Mr Mahendra Bhagat with Mr Jagpal Singh Chahil as its President, Mr Satwant Singh has been made President of the kisan morcha, replacing Dr Anoop Singh Bhullar, who has been made a member of the executive committee of the party.

Mr Sita Ram Kashyap, Mr Balwant Rai and Mr Dharm Pal have been made President, Vice-President and General Secretary, respectively, of the SC morcha of the party. Mr Ashok Bharti has been made President of the legal cell of the party.

Mr Narotam Dev Ratti has been appointed President of the beopar cell of the party with Mr Sohan Lal Gupta as Vice-President and Mr Anil Sachhar as General Secretary.


PPCC chief favours Cabinet expansion
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 2
Mr H.S. Hanspal, president, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, today favoured the expansion of the Punjab Cabinet as there were senior MLAs who deserved to be adjusted in the ministry.

Replying to a query here today, Mr Hanspal said the appointment of office-bearers of the PPCC and the constitution of the District Congress Committees would be finalised shortly after getting the green signal from the party high command. He, however, said the formula of “one man one post” would be applied while appointing the office-bearers.

Mr Hanspal vehemently denied the allegations that the Congress was interfering in the SGPC affairs as alleged by Mr Parkash Singh Badal or Akali leaders. On persistent queries Mr Hanspal indirectly admitted that one could not stop dissidence in a big party like the Congress. He, however, hastened to add that the party was united and nobody was violating discipline. When asked about the taking over of the management of Durgiana Temple by the Congress he said individually anybody could be the member of any religious committee. But he could not give a satisfactory answer about the presence of Mr Darbari Lal, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, during the toppling of the previous temple management with the support of the Congress.


DIET employees denied pay
State government diverts Central fund
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 2
For the nearly 7,000 employees of the teaching and non-teaching faculty of the state Education Department, this Divali, the festival of lights, is likely to remain ‘dark’.

The hopes of employees, working under “Operation Blackboard” and in the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET), were dashed to the ground with the Punjab Government failing to pay them their salaries.

Mr Labh Singh, president of the DIET Staff Association, Punjab, says that a major section of the employees have had to borrow money at exorbitant rates of interest, ranging from 24 per cent to 50 per cent.

He pointed out that the Centre had given Rs 514 lakh to Punjab in July 2002 for salaries of DIET employees. But the state government had not bothered to take any step in this connection, despite their efforts in this regard.

A senior functionary of the Education Department, when contacted at Chandigarh today, on the condition of anonymity, said various funds released by the Centre government to make payment of salaries to employees of DIETs and those working under Operation Blackboard had been diverted to other areas by the state government.

Mr Basant Kumar, general secretary, Democratic Teachers Front, said under Operation Blackboard, the Centre gave 85 per cent grant to state and the state had to contribute remaining 15 per cent as matching grant. But that for the past many years, the state government had been failing to contribute its share. Fed up with “apathetic” attitude of the authorities concerned, these employees have sought transfers to different schools so that they could get their salaries regularly.


SGPC poll: Mann favours consensus
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 2
The Akali Dal (Amritsar) yesterday favoured consensus over the candidature for the post of SGPC chief in the coming poll.

The party chief, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, addressing mediapersons said here that though efforts being made by expelled SAD leader Mal Singh Ghumman and others were good, still there was scope for doubts that consensus could be achieved for Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra and Mr Ravi Inder Singh might have their own hidden agenda. Mr Mann, however, said the final decision on casting votes by members of his party would be taken at an appropriate time.

He said the SAD chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had politicised the SGPC poll. The proposed SAD morcha against the government from November 15 was just an effort by Mr Badal to divert the attention of the people from allegations of corruption against him and his party leaders, said Mr Mann.

He criticised the alleged police high-handedness against an SGPC member and said the government and the Union Government should not interfere in the SGPC poll as it was purely a religious issue.

Mr Mann threatened that his party would organise protests across the world in case the Union Government failed to accord permission to Sikh jathas to visit gurdwaras in Pakistan for participating in the celebrations of the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev. He had written a letter to Mr L.K. Advani, Deputy Prime Minister, in this connection, he said.


SGPC panel’s decision backed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The Sikh Employees’ Federation has supported the decision of the seven-member committee of the SGPC for consensus in SGPC’s Presidential poll, which is likely to be held on November 12 in Amritsar.

Mrs Gurtej Kaur Sidhu, convener of the federation, said it was a good decision of the committee and it would create an atmosphere where members of the SGPC could decide on a president of their own choice independently, rather than accepting one, which was thrust upon them by former Chief Minister, Mr Prakash Singh Badal.

Mrs Sidhu alleged that Mr Badal was using religion for his narrow political gains which was against the traditions of the Sikh Panth.


SGPC poll: forum opposes observers
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 2
The Sikh Forum, Punjab, today opposed the holding of the SGPC election scheduled to be held on November 12 in the presence of the Central or state observers.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Channan Singh Sidhu, president of the forum, said the appointment of observers by the state or Central Government for the proposed election would be considered as direct interference in the Sikh affairs.

He, however, recommended the appointment of three retired Sikh judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court or Supreme Court as observers for the election.


NRI husband shatters her hopes
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
In less than 20 months of her marriage to a professionally qualified software NRI young man, 24-year-old Cheru, a professionally qualified chemical engineer, is back home, shattered and discarded.

Her story is typical of those ambitious young qualified girls who aspire to make it big in western world but end up, with their marriage on the rocks, as mental wrecks either because of lack of compatibility with their spouses or are victims of greedy and ever-demanding in-laws.

“In my case, it is both,” she says maintaining that though her husband took her to the USA after obtaining a “dependent visa” for her but he neither made his marriage public in the USA nor did “ he apply for my immigration to Canada as his spouse (wife)”.

“When we landed in the USA, he was served with a notice for breach of contract by his previous employers. And at the end of my six month dependent visa, I was asked to return home without any intimation to my parents. I got into my in-laws’ house who started making demands on me and my parents leaving me with no choice but to go back to my parents.”

“In between I got admission in M.S. (chemical engineering) at San Jose State University. But since I had been sent back home and my husband moved back to Canada as the second company he was working for also laid him off, the letters were redirected to his Vancouver address and he never ever informed me,” says Cheru, maintaining that though her husband was a Canadian citizen, he continues to use the Indian passport also.

“Since my parents have already suffered enough as they spent their entire life savings on my marriage, I have decided to fight back this system,” she says hoping that the police case she has filed against her estranged husband and in-laws would get her justice.

On her complaint, the police has already registered a case under Sections 406 and 498 A IPC at Phase VI Police Station, SAS Nagar.

“I have been reading about the plight of hundreds of Punjabi girls left tottering by their NRI husbands but nothing is done to mitigate their sufferings” says Mr Harbhajan Singh, father of Cheru, maintaining that he and his wife, both government servants, went beyond their capacity to meet the demands of her husband and in-laws at the time of wedding and even afterwards.

“In fact, it was the good and satisfying experience of marrying off my elder daughter abroad that we decided to marry Cheru to an NRI. Cheru has been a topper throughout her career. My eldest daughter is happily married and settled in the UK. But the second experience has turned out to be a nightmare. Eversince the marriage took place on April 13 last year, we could hardly rest in peace even for a second.


Foundation day function of PPS Nabha
Our Correspondent

Nabha, November 2
The local Punjab Public School today held a function to mark its 42nd foundation day. Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, was the chief guest.

The function started with the school anthem followed by a performance by the school orchestra. Principal of the school highlighted achievements of the students. The Chief Minister gave away prizes to students for their outstanding performance in various fields.

Divya Sharda, winner of J.K. Kate Memorial All-India Inter Public School debate held at the school and Col Goldstain Memorial English debate held at Y.P.S., Patiala, and Parneet Kaur who stood 4th in the international grand finals of aerobics held at Dallas, USA, were given prizes. Other recipients were — Leesha Singh (Gen Kulwant Singh Prize for standing first in ISC-2002 examination, Guneet Pal Singh (best all-round sportsman prize), Nishan Singh (best boy in senior school), Leesha Singh (best girl student in senior school), Gurneet Singh (Col Naunihal Singh Mann Memorial Medal), Arpinder Kaur (best all-round merit among the girls), Vikramjit Singh Bedi (best all-round merit), Mr S.S. Shanni (Pbi) and Mr R.S. Sodhi (Pbi) Dronacharya Award for 100 per cent first division results in ICSE/ISC-2002 examinations.

Ravi House won junior cock house and middle cock house trophies. Jamuna House won presidents championship trophy for senior cock house, 2002. Major-Gen O.P. Nandrajyog was also honoured.

Capt Amarinder Singh exhorted the students to learn maximum and be strong to face challenges of the life. He assured the Principal that a grant of Rs 40 lakh would be given to the school and 12 acres of the Horticulture Department would be allotted to the school. Concluding part of the function witnessed an impressive display of choreography, band and gymnastics.

Later, at a press conference held at the residence of Kaka Randip Singh, MLA, the Chief Minister said, “The Akalis are in the habit of blaming and criticising me and my party just to divert attention of the people from their misdeeds”.

He said Rs 1.75 crore had been sanctioned for setting up fire brigade, sewerage and an amusement park for the children.


Private buses to go off road on Nov 8
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 2
Operators running private buses under the kilometre scheme of the Pepsu Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC) today announced that they would strike work on November 8 in protest against the “discriminatory” attitude of the PRTC management in calling for fresh tenders for running buses under the scheme.

Disclosing this here, PRTC Kilometre Scheme Bus Operators Association secretary Pardeep Gautam said operators had agreed to running buses under the scheme on the assurance by the authorities concerned that the case for a rise in the contract would be considered sympathetically. On the contrary, the management was inviting fresh tenders after the completion of the three-year contract with the operators at lower rates than what had been given to the contractors earlier.

Besides, the new contract included terms and penalties which would make it impossible for operators to run their buses under the scheme, he said.

Demanding that the fresh tender exercise be scrapped, the association accused the PRTC of violating the contract signed with the operators.

It alleged that the management was not making payments to the operators according to a fair table framed by the office of the Regional Transport Authority (RTA). Payments were also being withheld beyond the 15-day period agreed upon in the contract, it said.

Mr Gautam said the management was compelling operators to run their buses in hilly areas, including Dharamsala, MeLeodganj and Mandi in violation of the contract causing them enormous financial losses.

The association urged the Chief Minister to intervene in the matter.


Medical waste disposal: IMA to enforce norms
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 2
The Indian Medical Association, Punjab, having 3500 members and 56 branches in the state, has decided to implement the Bio-Medical Waste Management rules in private hospitals and nursing homes from November 15. Dr R.C. Garg, President, IMA Punjab addressing newsmen and a meeting of local branch of the IMA stated this. Two companies — the Jalandhar-based PACMA Air Systems and Mohali-based Mirids Ecotherm Systems have been given contract for the disposal of this waste, said Dr Garg. Bags would be placed in hospitals for the segregation of the waste, he said. The bags would be of three colours — green, red and black, he continued. Rupees two per bed will be charged in hospitals for it while Rs 500 would be charged per month from laboratories and clinics, he disclosed. The Supreme Court and the Punjab Government has issued directions on proper disposal of the waste, fixing December 31 as deadline. The violation entailed Rs one lakh fine and imprisonment for five years.

Dr Garg said that Ayurvedic practitioners should not prescribe allopathic medicines and vice-versa. We had filed contempt plea in the high court as the verdict on RMP’s prescribing allopathic medicines had not been enforced, said Mr Garg.

He admitted that the NRI’s quota of seats in medical colleges compromised quality of education. One buying a medical seat with Rs 32 lakh under the NRI quota system, it was at the cost of merit, he said. The Medical Council of India had made the screening test compulsory for those with medical degrees from Russia, he disclosed. Dr Karamjit Singh Bamrah and Dr Gurvinder Pal Singh, President and Honorary Secretary of the Phagwara branch of IMA were present at the meeting.


Minister’s supporters ‘attack’ ashram
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 2
Mr Baldev Dutt Kalia, working president, Sadhu Sewa Munshi Ram Sood Board Trust, alleged at a press conference here today that supporters of Mr Ramesh Chander Dogra, Health and Family Welfare Minister were interfering in trust affairs.

He alleged that on October 31, 2002, 10 persons, including Pirthi Chand, Satpal Saini, Pawan Malhotra and Ram Pal, tried to capture the Bahadurpur ashram, run by the trust. They broke open donation box with a gas cutter and cut off the telephone wires. They had also put their own locks, but those were removed after the police intervened. He said that he had reported the matter in writing to the Station House Officer, City Police Station, Hoshiarpur.

Mr Dogra said there were two groups in the trust and he had no link with either.


Stray cattle cause fatal mishaps
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 2
While the city has been gaining popularity in business circles and has seen a spurt in planned development, stray animals like cows and bulls roam the streets, proving to be a public nuisance and a traffic hazard.

A number of accidents involving pigs and cows have been reported during the recent past from various parts of the city. In some cases, the victims have lost their lives. During their mating season, cows and bulls cause frequent traffic jams, often hitting parked vehicles and commuters.

Mr Sadhu Ram Kusla, spokesman, Shree gaushala, a registered body taking care of about 1,000 cows in the district, in a written statement said more than 2,000 stray cows were there in the city. He said the organisation has been urging the authorities concerned to initiate necessary steps so that the problem could be solved.

He admitted that stray animals, especially bulls, were a threat to the life and property of residents. He said some fatal accidents had been caused due to stray animals. He said the Deputy Commissioner had been asked to order the capture of the stray cows and bulls and send these to the gaushala. He stated that about 100 stray bulls had been caught by the district authorities and handed over to the management of the gaushala.

Mr Kusla said more than 1,000 cows were taken care of by the gaushala and about Rs 40 lakh were spent on the cattle.

He said the Municipal Council and the Animal Husbandry Department had launched a joint operation and handed over 100 stray bulls to Sri Bal Gopal gaushala. He claimed that besides 2,000 cows, more than 150 bulls were roaming in the city.

No official of the Municipal Council could be contacted despite repeated efforts.


Organ trade: Dang flays minister
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 2
Veteran CPI leader Satya Pal Dang criticising Minister for Medical Education and Research Ramesh Chander Dogra, said by ruling out the involvement of any doctor or the Chairman of the authorisation committee in the organ trade, the minister was supporting the guilty.

In a press note here today, Mr Dang said: some top officers were trying to shield the culprits and only insignificant people might be booked. The minister had, however, gone a step further by ruling out the possibility of the involvement of the authorisation committee while talking to the media on November 1, he said.

He said the minister had talked of middlemen benefiting from the trade and of poor donors, but had not spoken about the organised mafia that was thriving on it.

He said the poor donors were being misguided to donate their kidney for a few thousand rupees. Even in hospitals, the donors were not tested being for AIDS before their kidney were removed, he claimed, adding that there was documentary evidence to that effect.

Mr Dang requested the minister to reconsider the matter.


How not to play with fire
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 2
Mr Baldev Singh, District Fire Officer, today urged city residents to take precautions while setting off crackers and lighting candles. He said that children should not be allowed to set off fire crackers without adults around. He said that clothing should preferably be of cotton and crackers should not be set off in closed lanes or houses. Open grounds and lawns were best for these activities. Common precautions like buckets of water, sand buckets, carbon dioxide-based or other fire extinguishers to fight fire should be kept. He said that the fire-fighting equipment including fire engines of the Fire Brigade had been kept in a state of readiness for any emergency.


Riot victims want dues waived
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, November 2
The November 84 Riots Victims Society, Goindwal Sahib in a letter to Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of the country has requested to waive the dues from the entrepreneurs whose units had been declared sick at Goindwal Sahib.

Mr Gurbachan Singh Virdi, secretary of the society, releasing the letter to the Press here today said that victims from Delhi and other parts of the country after the riots came to Goindwal Sahib and started small units after taking land on lease from the then GIICO (Now the PSIEC) and loans from banks and the Punjab Financial Corporation (PFC). Mr Virdi added that the entrepreneurs even after 20 years were not settled. He said that the Supreme Court in a judgement on December 12, 1993 held that “although signatures were taken on various documents yet it was always held that the money advanced was in fact a grant”. Mr Virdi said that units had not been given facilities as per Supreme Court directions.


Five hurt in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 2
Mangat Ram (60), destitute and an addict, died here today due to illness. He was cremated by the volunteers of the Sahara Jan Seva, after a postmortem examination was got done by the district police at the local Civil Hospital.

The police has registered a case under Section 174, CrPC.

In a separate incident, a commuter was injured at Canal Colony when he was hit by a tractor-trailer. The victim was identified as Mohan Singh, resident of Harbans Nagar, admitted to the Civil Hospital.

In another accident, Partap Singh, Nand Sarup and Karnail Singh, who were coming in a Canter from Haryana were injured on the Bathinda-Dabwali road, when their vehicle hit a tree along the road. They were rushed to the Civil Hospital and their condition was said to be stable.

A young boy was injured when he was hit by a tractor-trailer in another mishap. The leg of the boy was crushed badly. He was rushed to the civil hospital by volunteers of the Sahara Jan Seva.


2 held in fake degree racket
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, November 2
The police has busted a gang that used to sell fake degrees and certificates.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, said Nitish Mahajan and Arvind Saroop of Pathankot had been arrested for selling fake degrees of LLB, ITI, plus tow, and matric and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe certificates.

The SSP said the fake degree racket came to light after Navdeep Singh of Ranjit Sagar Dam Township complained to the police that the accused gave him a fake plus two certificate after charging him Rs 13,000 for it.

He said a fake certificate of the State Board of Technical Education and Industrial Training, Nangal Township, two certificates of the ITI, Batala, two degrees of BA of Guru Nanak Dev University, three stamps of the Secretary, Punjab School Education Board, Batala, three certificates of the ITI, Hoshiarpur, and a stamp of the Principal, Udhyogic Sikhlai Sansthan, had been seized from the accused. Besides four certificates of the Kandi area, some certificates of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe, a stamp of the DTO, Gurdaspur, and a stamp of the Tehsildar, Pathankot, had also been seized.

The accused had charged Yogesh Kumar of Pathankot Rs 5,000 for a BA degree, Rs 10,000 for an ITI certificate to Ravish Kumar of Sarna Colony, near Pathankot, Rs 4,000 for a Scheduled Caste certificate to Vipul of the same colony and Rs 15,000 for an LLB degree to Yogeshwar of Pathankot. A case under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468 and 471, IPC, had been registered.


LIC officer held for fraud

Moga, November 2
The Faridkot police has arrested Kuldeep Singh Matharoo, development officer with the Life Insurance Corporation of India, on the charge of committing fraud with the corporation, whereas his co-accused LIC agent Vijay Kumar Malhotra was still at large, police sources said today.

Matharoo was produced in the court at Faridkot and remanded in police custody for a day.

According in SSP Harinder Singh Chahal the LIC Officer got a woman insured for Rs 5 lakh under the name of Gyan Kaur of Bir Bholuwala village whereas the real Gyan Kaur had already died in January, 1999.

When the matter was reported to the LIC headquarters, the zonal office of the LIC Jalandhar lodged a complaint with the Faridkot police which after probing registered a case. PTI


6 BKU leaders booked

Moga, November 2
The police has registered a case against six BKU (Ekta) leaders and many others on many charges, including causing inconvenience to general public, assaulting public officials and preventing them from discharging their duties and causing loss to the railway property during a dharna here on Wednesday.

The case has been registered against BKU's state unit general secretary, Sukhdev Singh Kokari, district president Himat Singh and Gurmail Singh Machhike among others, the police said here today. PTI


Jobless teachers cautioned
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 2
Mr Sukhdarshan Singh, president, Berozgar Adhyapak Front, Bathinda district unit, in a statement here today said that a few unemployed teachers of this and Mansa district had been getting letters asking them to pay Rs 500 each for filing a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court challenging the alleged discrepancies in the filling of some vacancies.

He said that these letters claimed that the petition would contest the filling of 3311 vacancies of teacher by the previous government. The letters carry the signatures of Narottam Singh. He claimed the front had no connection with the said person and he (Narottam Singh) had not been authorised to collect money from anybody.

The district president said that Narottam Singh had been expelled from the front and none should deal with him in respect of money matters. He urged the unemployed teachers not to give money to the expelled member.


Varsity exhibits students' paintings
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 2
Much in the news for quite some time due to the infamous Saru Rana case, Punjabi University’s Department of Fine Arts is trying its best to regain its lost prestige. To ensure the same, the faculty of the department has taken several steps to showcase the paintings, graphics and prints made by students of the department by organising exhibitions both inside and outside the university.

An exhibition showcasing works of the students, sponsored by the North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC), was recently organised at the local Banasar Art Gallery at Sheesh Mahal here. The exhibition had received quite a positive response from both visitors and established artists besides enquires from different quarters are pouring in for purchasing the displayed works.

An ‘assignment’ exhibition is being presently shown at the varsity’s Art Gallery and Museum, where nine students of the second year have displayed a total of 27 paintings. Besides this, the department is all set to organise an exhibition of graphics by first year students in which paintings, sculptures, graphic prints and other works of both the first and second year students would be displayed.

The UPSC Chairman who recently visited the ongoing exhibition was so impressed with the works of the budding artists that he decided to display the painting made by Kavita Singh, a second year student, at the UPSC Head office.

Elaborating on the importance of such exhibitions, Mr G.S Garcha, faculty member and National Award winning painter said, “We want to ensure that when the students pass out they have a basic idea on how to exhibit their works keeping in mind the trends and style of presenting the art works in a professional manner.” 


Schools’ merger, problems galore
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 2
Mr Gurdev Singh Mrar, former District Education Officer and Mr Surinder Singh, president, Vidya Vikas Manch, in a statement issued here yesterday said that the new decision of the state government merging the primary schools with the middle schools would create problems for the aided schools.

They said that most of the senior secondary schools, being run with grants-in-aid from the government were single campus schools and therefore the decision of unification could not be applied.

Mr Mrar said that besides the new decision, which, as per the statements of government officials were to be implemented from today, would create problems for school authorities in maintaining of the school records. He said that the school authorities would be forced to have separate records for the period starting from November 1, till the end of this financial year.

Mr Surinder Singh said that no written and detailed instruction had been issued by the government and only some statements issued in newspapers would not suffice. He said that written instructions should be sent to all school heads if the same were to be implemented.


NCC training camp concludes
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, November 2
The 13 Punjab Battalion of the NCC organised a combined annual training camp for junior and senior division cadets of the NCC at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Mahianwala Kalan, this week.

The cadets were made to undergo rigorous training including physical and weapon training. The cadets also undertook several community development programmes.


Steep fall in Divali sales
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar, November 2
The mining of agricultural fields along the border following the Indo-Pak standoff has not only spelled a “black Divali” for border villagers, but also cast a dark shadow on the local urban markets.

The largely agro-based economy of the holy city has shown a steep fall with farmers suffering losses after two consecutive crop failures, mining of fields, lower MSP on crops, inclement weather and the industrial slump.

The sale of crackers too has fallen by 50 per cent, says a wholesaler of fire crackers, Mr Gian Chand, while talking to “The Tribune”.

Even the fast moving consumer goods which usually register a good sale in this part of the year have recorded a steep fall, says Mr G.S. Chawla of “Chawla Electronics”. The sale of home appliances like food processors, juicers, irons, kettles toasters, blenders, washing machines and refrigerators has nose-dived this Divali.

The textile industry too is showing a decline in the border city markets, with places like Surat taking the bulk of sales, says Mr Pankaj Talwar, a textile wholesaler and manufacturer. The textiles sales have shown a fall of 40 per cent in addition to the delayed payments that have become the norm.

Retailers and wholesalers of sweetmeats and dry fruits which are traditional Divali gifts are giving discounts on bulk procurement and other incentives for their sales.

The rise in sale of jewellery is mainly due to the wedding season ahead, said Mr Durga Dass Seth of Seth Jewelers.

Luxury items like televisions are mainly surviving on interest-free loans and large cash subsidies as also exchange offers. Novelty Auto, a two-wheeler authorised sales outlet in the city, has showed a decline of 15 per cent, said Mr Sanjeev Bedi, sales manager.


A dark Divali, lament traders
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 2
While Divali has traditionally been seen as a money-minting season for traders, this time business seems to have registered a fall.

The season coincides with marriages and the businessmen start preparing for this months in advance. The sale of household goods, eatables, gold, silver and diamond jewellery records an increase.

Mr Sunil Singla, who deals in gift items, said he had been getting a lukewarm response from the customers this season. He said that the trend of exchanging gifts had been witnessing a slowdown.


NRIs reluctant to invest
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 2
Contrary to the state government’s claim, Punjabi non-resident Indians (NRIs) are reluctant to invest in their homeland due to red-tapism, corruption and bureaucratic and political system.

A delegation of Punjabi NRIs, which was invited and honoured by the vice-patron of the NRI Sabha, Punjab, and MP, Mr Balbir Singh, here today, shared the problems faced by them in installing projects in the state with the media.

Mr Avtar Singh Kang of the UK, said he wanted to install a breweries unit at Beas, for which land had been purchased, but a dera located there objected to the project. When he contacted the then Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, he too denied permission for the project. So, when he considered another site at Jandiala, the Army authorities denied him permission as the ammunition dump was located nearby. Mr Kang said he had already spent a huge amount on the project, which was still in the blueprint stage and now he had dumped the idea of installing the unit.

Mr Niranjan Singh Bassi from the USA said till the state government built confidence among the NRIs and provided proper infrastructure, Punjabi NRIs would continue to be hesitant of investing in the state. Another reason for is that the World Bank does not guarantee any investment in India, he added.

Mr Paramjit Singh Johal, NRI from Canada, blamed red-tapism, corruption, bureaucratic and political system of the country for the lack of foreign investment.

Meanwhile, Mr Balbir Singh has arranged a meeting of NRIs with the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, on November 12 for the solution of their problems.

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