Thursday, November 21, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Punjab to release 3 pc DA soon
Sushil Goyal and Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 20
What could come as a major reprieve for about seven lakh employees of the state, the Finance Minister, Punjab, Mr Lal Singh, today announced to release another instalment of dearness allowance (DA) for its employees on the pattern of the Central Government very soon with effect from July 1, 2002. It may be recalled that the Union Government had earlier released the DA instalment from July at the rate of 3 per cent to the Central Government employees enhancing the existing rate from 49 per cent to 52 per cent.

Earlier, the Congress government after taking over the reins of the state had frozen the DA of the employees on the plea of financial crunch besides withdrawing certain other allowances. This had disenchanted the employees who formed a major vote bank for the Congress during the previous Assembly elections.

Mr Lal Singh, along with the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Mr Ramesh Dutt Sharma, was here before departing for Tiba Nangal village near Nurpurbedi to inaugurate the building of a degree college established by Sant Maharaj Brahmanand Bhuriwale.

In reply to a query of mediapersons on the issue of the DA, Mr Lal Singh said the Punjab Government was committed to releasing the DA on the pattern of the Central Government. So, it would also soon release the 3 per cent DA to its employees on the Central pattern. However, he avoided questions regarding the mode of DA payment in the light of the freezing of DA by the government some months ago.

The Finance Minister further said after streamline the financial health of the state to a certain extent, the state government had now released funds to all ministers to the tune of Rs 40 lakh each for various development works under their discretionary quota.

About the over staffing in various government departments, the minister said the state government had drawn up a plan to create a Central pool of surplus employees in various departments like the SYL for their absorption in under-staffed departments. Due to the over staffing, the government was forced to impose a ban on fresh recruitments, he added.

Due to the efforts of the Congress government, the state had become eligible for loans from various financial institutions. The mismanagement by the previous government had eroded the credit position of the state government to such an extent that no financial institution like the World Bank, Hudco and NABARD were ready to lend money to the state. The previous government had diverted Rs 2,400 crore from the credit limit for procuring paddy to other works due to which the RBI had also once declined the over draft to the state, he added.

However, with the efforts of the present Congress government, the World Bank had now agreed to release Rs 817 crore for the rural water supply scheme, which had been prepared during the stint of previous Congress government. Besides the World Bank, the other financial institutions were also now coming forward to extend loan to the state, he added.


SGPC continues work on controversial land
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 20
Even as the municipal corporation has written to the SP and the District Magistrate to provide it force to stall construction work on a “deori” (main entrance gate) on land near Santokhsar gurdwara, ownership of which continues to be a bone of contention between the corporation and the SGPC, the SGPC is trying to complete the work on a war footing.

The work on the “deori” started last evening. While Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar, SGPC President, asserts that the entrance road to the gurdwara belongs to the shrine and the SGPC has the right to construct the gate on it, the corporation Additional Commissioner, Mr Kirpal Singh, says eight marlas there belong to the corporation and the gate is being constructed on a part of it.

Mr Ajaib Singh, manager, Darbar Sahib, said Baba Harbans Singh Karsevawale from Delhi possessed all relevant documents and affirmed that approval had been sought. He said the “deori” would be made the thoroughfare to the gurdwara as it belonged to it.

Mr Vijay Partap Singh, SP, City-I, who was approached by the corporation in a written complaint late last evening, however, evaded a reply on the course of action to be taken on the controversial construction. He, however, said he would only reply after assessing the nature of the complaint since he was not in the city.

The corporation also wrote to the District Magistrate today who, too, was also out of station. Mr Harbeant Singh, Secretary, SGPC, said the gurdwara had full claim on the site as it had paid lakhs in compensation to owners whose shops were acquired by the gurdwara for the proposed road and the corporation could not object to it. He claimed that the dispute over the land was resolved by Mr Parkash Singh Badal two years ago when he was the Chief Minister.


SAD ‘misused’ SGPC funds
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 20
Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, general secretary of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal and former acting president of the SGPC, today alleged that the SAD had misused gurdwara funds during the November 12 SGPC poll.

He said the SHSAD would knock the doors of the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission against it, while talking to newsmen.


3 ministers fail to attend co-op function
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 20
Three ministers and two members of Parliament did not turn up at the state-level function held to mark the 49th Cooperative Week celebrations here today. Though five ministers — Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Mr Avtaar Henry and Chaudhary Santokh Singh, Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee and Mr Amarjit Singh Samra and two MPs Ms Santosh Chaudhary and Balbir Singh were scheduled to attend the function. But only Mr Kaypee and Mr Samra, participated in the event making the farmers resent their absence. According to sources, three Cabinet minister abstained from the function as Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal, Parliamentary Secretary (Co-operation) was the chief guest of the function.

Earlier Mr Atwal, speaking on the occasion, disclosed that Lok Adalats had been set up for setting the dues of Co-operative Credit institutions of the state to help reduce non-performing assets (NPAs). “As many as 350 such cases were settled at the first Lok Adalat held at Patiala on November 14, while 1000 cases were settled in Jalandhar today. We have also started new credit schemes for setting up rural godowns, agro-business centres, cultivation of marigold and jasmine flowers to help unemployed youth under Non-Farmer Sector scheme.” he added.

Mr Atwal said that the co-operative societies were being computerised and the department was planning to set up 1000 computerised milk collection centres in the state. “Markfed is setting up Agri Export Zones for Marketing of basmati rice and potatoes at Jalandhar, Bathinda and Patiala,” he said.

The president of the district unit of the Congress, Mr Tajinder Singh Bittu, said that the Congress government was committed to provide better marketing facilities to farmers for better price of their produce. “The government had already given relief to the farmers by reducing the price of fertiliser from Rs 4 per bag and interest on short-term agriculture loans had been reduced to 13.5 per cent from 14.5 per cent, he added. Punjab Technical Education Minister Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Minister for State for Agriculture Amarjit Singh Samra, Commissioner, Jalandhar Division, Mr R.S. Sandhu also spoke.


300 Punjab schools may be downgraded
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
As many as 300 schools, which were upgraded by the SAD-BJP Government in the last years of its rule, are likely to be downgraded by the present government.

Informed sources said today that a high-level committee had been set up to visit these schools and submit a report within 15 days. The Director, Secondary Education, has been made coordinator of the committee. The Education Department is of the view that these institutions were upgraded by the previous regime because of political considerations without realising the fact that no proper infrastructure and staff were available for this purpose. Most of these schools are not functioning properly in the absence of proper buildings, staff etc.

The sources said the committee had been told to review the upgradation of these institutions by examining all factors such as the strength of students, availability of rooms and staff.

It may be mentioned here that when the SAD-BJP Government came to power in 1997, it had also expressed similar views and stated in the Punjab Assembly that the previous Congress Government had upgraded hundreds of schools for political considerations.

Even otherwise, the government schools are facing a shortage of staff. About 12,000 posts have been lying vacant in government schools in Punjab. A large number of schools are without regular Principals and Headmasters. The November 6 order by the Personnel Department banning fresh recruitment in government departments will further hit the student community.

“We are trying to convince the government that the Education Department should not be treated on a par with our departments as far as recruitment is concerned. Schools cannot be run without having adequate strength of teachers. Hence exemption should be given to start recruitment of schools teachers to fill vacant posts before the beginning of the next academic session,” said a senior officer of the Education Department on condition of anonymity.

Though efforts were made to recruit teachers on a temporary basis by paying a token amount under the Sarab Shiksha Abhiyan it has not proved successful. Without regular staff, there was no possibility of providing good education to students.

Meanwhile, on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Education Department has started identifying unsafe and repairable school buildings. Repair would start soon, it is learnt. There are certain villages where schools are functioning in private buildings. The government has decided to construct buildings at such places, mostly, in the border belt.


NRI, sons booked for cheating
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, November 20
The police has registered a case against an NRI and his two sons for cheating people on the pretext of getting them jobs in Canada. Mr Varinder Kumar SSP, said in a news conference here today that the NRI, Pritam Singh of Dina Nagar, was away to Canada but his son Chatarbir Singh had been arrested. His other son Harcharan Singh, is at large.

Mr Daler Singh of Alechack, near here, had complained to the police that the NRI took Rs 14 lakh from him on September 1 on the pretext of sending him to Canada.

The complainant said after charging the said amount, the accused gave him a passport, which was in the name of Joginder Singh of Hoshiarpur. The accused allegedly removed the photograph of Joginder Singh from the passport and affixed a photograph of Daler Singh on it.

After a few days, Mr Daler Singh was called to Delhi, where he stayed at a hotel. Chatarbir Singh used to visit him. During this duration, Mr Daler Singh was detained, by the police and was later released.

The complainant said he returned to his village and narrated the story to his parents. He also went to the accused for the refund of his money, but in vain.

A case has been registered against the accused at Dinanagar police station in this regard. The interrogation of Chatarbir Singh is in progress and the police is raiding the possible hide-outs of his brother.


PRTC seeks hike in fares
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 20
The Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), which is already recommended for disinvestment, has urged the state government to allow it a hike of six paise per kilometre so that it can meet its raised expenditure levels which, it claims, is due to lack of any regular fare revision since July, 1998.

The corporation, which had earlier asked for a hike of four paise from the present 41 paise per kilometre, has demanded a six paise hike to ensure it can tide over the financial crunch being faced by it. The organisation hopes to earn an added Rs 12 to 13 crore following revision of the fare.

Corporation sources said the organisation had written to the government in this regard after a severe financial crunch which had become more acute due to lack of any reimbursement to the corporation from the government for the free facility extended to as many as 14 categories. The sources said following the last revision in July, 1998, there had not been any regular revision. They said two revisions had been affected in November, 1999, and May, 2002, but they only revised bus fares on the basis of the proportionate increase in diesel prices and the prices of other commodities had not been taken into consideration.

The sources said if the fare was not revised, the average income from buses was likely to go down further.

Meanwhile, the corporation has reportedly asked the government to speed up the reimbursement due on it. Of the 14 categories, the largest amount due is on students — Rs 11 crore, police and jails — Rs 7 crore and old-age pensioners — Rs 1.25 crore. During the last financial year, the corporation was to be reimbursed Rs 22 crore but got only Rs 9 crore. This year the reimbursement figure is likely to go up to Rs 23 crore.

The corporation has also separately asked the government to raise the fares applicable to students. It has submitted that the fares for students had not been revised since November, 1999. At present, students have to pay Rs 60 to travel 60 km per month. The PRTC wants this figure to be increased by around 50 per cent.

Meanwhile, the corporation will consider the new tender rates for operators under the kilometre scheme. Operators who had put up buses under the kilometer scheme had to submit fresh tenders as their three-year contract was on the verge of expiry. Though the operators had resisted the fresh tender move and were demanding that their tenders be approved on the old rates, the corporation has decided to distinguish between old and new buses.


Issuance of notices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Acting on a petition filed by Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission member Dara Singh challenging the orders of his suspension, Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar and Mr Justice Viney Mittal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday ruled that the issuance of notices to the other respondents at the present stage was not considered necessary by them.

In his petition against the Chief Minister, besides the SGJC Chairman and other respondents, Dara Singh had contended that the suspension orders, besides the charge sheet, had been issued without jurisdiction. Giving details, he had contended that there was no power with the state government to suspend a judicial member.

Meanwhile today, denying the allegations Deputy Inspector-General of Police G.S. Sahota claimed that Dara Singh was taken into custody under Sections 107 and 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code after he, along with two others, was found to be involved in a brawl. He added that the three were medically examined before being taken to a police station.

Regarding Dara Singh’s contention that information should have been sent to the High Court and the Sessions Court as he was a Commission member, the DIG asserted that the fact was not brought to the notice of the authorities concerned.

Describing as false the incident narrated in the charge sheet, Dara Singh had earlier added that “it was pure and simple criminal act done at the behest of Punjab Chief Minister” so as to prevent him from exercising his judicial powers during the hearing of the petitions dealing with the voting right of certain SGPC members before the elections on November 12.

In an affidavit submitted before the High Court, Dara Singh had earlier claimed that he was picked up by the police following his refusal to tow the line of the state government. He had also denied the allegations of consuming liquor.

He had alleged that Judicial Commission President Kashmir Singh had told him to pass orders against certain SGPC members, supporting former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, as the present Chief Minister’s prestige was at stake in the forthcoming SGPC elections. After he insisted upon passing the orders “on merit”, he was picked up by the police, Dara Singh had submitted. The case will now come up for arguments on November 26.


World Bank team visits Fatehgarh Sahib
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 20
A World Bank team visited the office of the Deputy Commissioner here to get first-hand information regarding the initiative taken by the District Administration to implement various e-governance projects which have been introduced here. The team was led by Mr Bikram K. Chand, senior public sector management specialist, World Bank. He was accompanied by Mr R.C. Nayyar, Secretary (Expenditure, Punjab government, DC Patiala, Tejweer Singh, Navneet Kukreja, Director National Informatics Centre (NIC).

Bikram showed keen interest in all projects and appreciated the efforts of district administration for the implementation of WebCITI, DialCITI and SUWIDHA. Expressing views about the DialCITI, he said it was a unique project through which people, particularly those residing in rural areas, could know the status of their applications through a single telephone call. He suggested to bring all services under SUWIDHA, more computer system should be installed on the SUWIDHA counter and an officer should be deputed permanently on the counter to sign and attest the documents of the applicant on the spot.

Mr R.C. Nayyar, Secretary (Expenditure), Punjab government, appreciated the SUWIDHA-based revenue model, initiatives of the district administration to raise its own resources and to utilize the same to reach to the doorstep of people for their welfare using information technology .

Mr Navneet Kukreja, Director, National Informatics Centre (NIC), said SUWIDHA is not just a software product but an idea and replica of public feelings evolved to provide utmost convenience to citizens.

Mr V.K. Ohri, Additional Deputy Commissioner, informed the team that the SUWIDHA counter is first of its kind in the state where the applicants submitting his application can get its response on a given specific date. 


Drivers block traffic
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 20
Drivers and other supporters of a local transporter Satish Kumar, known as Satish Aarewala, blocked traffic on the Ropar-Nangal highway near the octroi post for about half an hour here this evening, following the alleged beating up of a driver of the transporter by employees of contractors of “khuds” over the issue of royalty. Later, the blockade was cleared by the police.

Mr Satish Kumar alleged that his truck was carrying “bajri” from Himachal Pradesh to Ropar when it was stopped at the local octroi post for paying “rahdari” The employees of the contractors of the “khuds” allegedly came from the Ghanauli barrier and demanded Rs 1,000 as royalty for bringing “bajri”. When the driver refused to pay them, they allegedly beat him up which led to the blockade of the traffic on the road. 


CM promises medical college
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 20
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced the Indira Gandhi Kandi Vikas Yojana Scheme to ensure potable water in all villages of the Kandi area of Punjab. He was addressing a big state-level rally organised by the District Congress Committee, Hoshiarpur, in connection with the celebration of 85th birth anniversary of late Indira Gandhi at Roshan Ground here yesterday.

The Chief Minister accepted the long pending demand of the people of Hoshiarpur and promised to open a Medical College in Hoshiarpur district as a befitting tribute to the great national leader.

Mr Ramesh Chander Dogra, Health & Family Welfare Minister, Punjab, Dr Kuldip Kumar Nanda, President DCC, Mr Pawan Garg, a well known social activist, Mr Rajnish Tandon, General Secretary, City Congress, and many others thanked Capt Amarinder Singh for announcing the opening of medical college in Hoshiarpur.


Passing out parade of ITBP men 
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 20
The passing out parade was held today at the rear headquarters of 12th Battalion of the ITBP in the city on the completion of basic training which the 217 recruits of the 244th and 245th batches underwent.

The ITBP has been given sanction by the Central Government to raise additional 38 companies by December, 2005. For the purpose, the ITBP has established an ad hoc training centre in the city.

Mr K.J. Singh, Additional Director-General of the ITBP and chief guest on the occasion, said the new recruits should keep up the glorious traditions of the force. He said that the country was facing challenges like terrorism and communal riots and the armed forces should bring peace and harmony by doing their duty with sincerity and hard work. He took the salute and inspected the parade.

The parade marched past the dais in rhythm to the tune of ITBP and Punjab Police bands.

Officers and family members of the recruits were among the spectators. A demonstration of martial arts and judo was also presented by the recruits on the occasion.

Mr K.J. Singh distributed prizes to trainees for their performances in the different fields of training. The best trainee award for all-round excellence was given to Ct/GD Sanjeev Kumar, for PT to Veghela Suresh, for weapon to K. Amarnath Reddy, for drill to Zabar Ansari, for field craft, Mrityunjay Ghosh and for firing Krishan Chand.

Meanwhile, commandos of the ITBP have been entrusted with the job of providing security to the diplomats and other members of staff at the Indian Embassy in Kabul.

This was stated by Mr K.J. Singh while talking to mediapersons at the rear headquarters of the 12th Battalion of the force here today.

He said assigning the security duty to ITBP commandos was a matter of pride for them.

He said although the ITBP was originally formed for protecting the border, but subsequently, it was assigned many other tasks, like counter-insurgency operations, providing security to VIPs and security duty at banks.

When asked about the allegations of violation of human rights by security forces, Mr K.J. Singh said there was no such complaint against the ITBP. He said the protection of human rights was made a part of the training curriculum.

The ADG said the force was being made IT-savvy, adding that the employees in lower ranks were also being provided computer education. He said it was necessary that the troops should be familiar with the latest weapons being used throughout the world.


534 NCC cadets undergo training
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 20
As many as 534 NCC cadets from 24 educational institutes are undergoing training at an annual training camp conducted by the 20 Punjab Battalion of the NCC.

Col A.V.S. Andrews, Commanding Officer of the camp, said here today that the NCC was a platform to create a sense of responsibility and discipline among the cadets, some of whom might join the armed forces.

He said besides giving training in the use of arms, map reading, drill and physical exercise the cadets were also encouraged to participate in social welfare activities. He said 41 cadets and three NCC officers, including Maj N.K. Gosain, Capt B.S. Mann and Lt Rajiv, had donated blood at a blood donation camp organised by the cadets with the help of the district authorities.

He added that to foster the spirit of nationalism and religious tolerance among the youth a rally was held in which cadets took lighted torches in their hands.

The cadets undertook a candle-light vigil at Havaldar Nand Singh Chowk in the city and organised a prayer meeting in which priests of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Chirstian communities participated.

The cadets observed a one-minute silence in the memory of those soldiers who had sacrificed their lives for the country while fighting militants in Kashmir. The cadets also celebrated Gurpurb by launching a cleanliness drive. The district unit of the Brahmkumaris conducted a camp for the NCC cadets to make them aware about the problems related to drug abuse and taught them medication techniques.


Farmers gherao PSEB office
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, November 20
Hundreds of farmers on a call given by the Kisan Sangharsh Committee, gheraoed the office of the Punjab State Electricity Board, Fatehabad subdivision, today in protest against the “anti-farmer policies of the government. The farmers burnt power bills sent to them by the board. Mr Kanwalpreet Singh Pannu and Mr Pargat Singh Jamarai, addressing the farmers, threatened the government that they would intensify their agitation.

BHIKHI (Mansa): Mr Ruldu Singh, senior vice-president of the state unit of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta), has asked farmers not to pay electricity bills. He was addressing a dharna staged at the power grid house here on Wednesday by farmers to oppose the reimposition of electricity tariff on the agriculture sector.


Plan to promote Punjabi culture
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, November 20
The Punjab Government in collaboration with the Punjabi Overseas Cultural Association, Canada, has envisaged a plan to promote the Punjabi culture, including folk dances, music, art, craft and painting in the state. To implement the plan, five zones — Amritsar, Faridkot, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala — have been created and three or four districts have been included in each zone to search for talented persons by holding open competitions. Winners at the zonal level will be given a cash award of Rs 50,000 for each item whereas at the state level, the finalists will get Rs 1.50 lakh.

Mr Manjit Singh Bondi, a Canada-based NRI, has given Rs 10 lakh for the plan. Stating this here today, Professor Rajpal, Adviser to the Punjab Cultural Affairs Department, said the zonal-level competitions at Amritsar and Jalandahr had been completed and the same at Ludhiana would be held from December 4. The competitions for the Patiala zone will be held from January 15 to 17 at Sangrur and at Faridkot from December 9 to 11.

Mr Ashwani Sekhri, Minister for Cultural Affairs, Punjab, who is the brain behind the programme, will preside over the concluding-day function here. The entries from the participants will be received by Mr H.S. Punia, Principal of the local Brijindra College till November 25. A state-level function in this regard will be held on January 23 and 24 at Mahindra College, Patiala. It will be presided over by the state Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.


Promote vanishing art forms: VC
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 20
Calling upon various Punjabi satellite channels to help promote various art forms of Punjab, particularly those passing into oblivion, the Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Dr S.S. Boparai, said such programmes should be given special time slots.

He made these remarks after watching a documentary film made by the Punjabi University’s Theatre and Television and Music Departments, “Puadhi Akahara: a vanishing Punjabi art form”.

Exhorting the Head of the Theatre and Television Department, Dr Yogesh Gambhir, to make efforts to motivate Punjabi satellite channels to come forward to give due exposure to the documentary films made by Punjabi University on various art forms, he said such an effort would be beneficial in saving the fast vanishing art forms of the state.

The Vice-Chancellor also assured to replenish the existing open-air theatre facility in the university and create suitable infrastructure for staging indoor theatrical performances by the department.


Declare 2004 year of ecology: ex-VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, has urged Parliament to pass a resolution in the current session for observing 2004 as the year of ecology and spirituality.

In a statement here, he said that the UN was already concerned over the deepening ecological crisis. He pointed out that since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the ecological crisis had come on the top of the agenda of scientists, political thinkers and spiritual leaders all over the world.

The World Congress of Faiths (K) in its conclave at Punjabi University in January had adopted a declaration, calling upon the UN to declare 2004 as the year of ecology and spirituality.


Subedar cremated
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 20
Subedar Amrik Singh of 51 Field Regiment Artillery, who sacrificed his life while fighting ULFA terrorists in Assam on November 16, was cremated today with military honours at Nathupur village in Patti subdivision here. Besides villagers, Mr S.K. Sabarwal, SDM, Patti, Mr Kewal Kumar, SP (headquarters), Tarn Taran, and Mr Harjinder Singh, BDPO, paid tributes to the martyr.

Jawans fired 36 rounds and reversed arms as a mark of respect to the martyr. Subedar Amrik Singh who had joined the regiment in July, 1979, was posted in Nogaan district of Assam. He is survived by wife Harjit Kaur and two sons, aged 11 and 9.


Villagers seek water supply
Our Correspondent

Moga, November 20
Residents of Bhekha village under the Baghapurana police station in the district have been forced to fetch drinking water from a hand pump, about one and half kilometres from their village, as they have not been receiving water supply in the village since the past several months.

They have urged the administration to make arrangements for the supply of safe drinking water to them.


Student dies in road mishap

Hoshiarpur, November 20
Aman Deep, a student of class VI, was killed when he was hit by a tractor near DAV Senior Secondary School on the Hariana-Shaamchaurasi road in the district last evening.

According to the police, the driver Jorawar Singh, has been arrested under Sections 304A and 279 of the IPC and the tractor impounded. UNI


4 cops booked for taking Rs 10 from driver
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, November 20
Four policemen, including an ASI and a head constable posted at Harike police station, have been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act by the police for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 10 from a truck driver.

Police sources told this correspondent here today that a case had been registered against, ASI Sakattar Singh, Head Constable Arjan Singh, Constable Mohinder Singh and SPO Gurjeet Singh on the complaint of Mr Gura Singh, the truck driver.

The complainant said he was coming from Bahga Purana along with Desh Raj, driver of another truck, when SPO Gurjeet Singh stopped him at a police naka at Harike and demanded a bribe of Rs 20. The driver said he was willing to give him Rs 10. At this point, Mr Gurdev Singh, SHO of Harike police station, reached the spot and enquired into the matter.

The SHO observed that while the SPO was taking the bribe, the ASI, the head constable and the constable were present but they did not check him. All four policemen had been booked, said Mr Narinder Bhargav, SSP of the local police district. No arrest has so far been made in this regard.


JE held on charge of taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 20
Sohan Lal, Junior Engineer (Suburban), Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), posted at Kotkapura, was arrested today by a Vigilance Bureau team on the charge of taking a bribe of Rs 5,000 from Hakam Singh, a resident of Nangal village in Faridkot district, to release a power connection for his tubewell for setting up drip irrigation in his fields.

Mr Baljinder Singh Grewal, SP (Vigilance), Bathinda, in a press note issued here today, said Sohan Lal was arrested on the charge of taking the bribe from Hakam Singh for releasing a power connection in an inquiry conducted by the DSP (Vigilance), Faridkot.

He added that Sohan Lal took Rs 5,000 from Hakam Singh on the pretext that he was taking the money as per the orders of the PSEB as it was to be deposited with the PSEB for meeting additional expenses for the power connection. Sohan Lal took the money from Hakam Singh at the latter’s house after poles were erected and transmission lines laid in his fields.

Hakam Singh lodged a complaint in the court of the District and Sessions Judge, Faridkot, in this regard. The judge directed the DSP (Vigilance), Faridkot, to conduct an inquiry into the complaint and present a report.

After receiving the report, the judge directed that necessary action should be taken on it. The directions were given on September 20, 2002.

A case in this connection was registered in the Vigilance Bureau police station, Ferozepore, today under Section 7 and 13 (2) 88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act after which Sohan Lal was arrested. On search of his house, eight tolas of gold jewellery and Rs 4,800 were recovered.


PTU to build ‘knowledge reservoir’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
A ‘’knowledge reservoir’’ is to be built up for Punjab Technical University (PTU) to give it a highly professional touch, besides reviewing its distance education programme and restructuring the academic and administrative systems.

This was decided upon at a meeting of the university’s Board of Governors here today.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Y.S. Rajan, told TNS that the consensus was that the proposed knowledge reservoir, drawn from industry, academia and other organisations would enable the PTU to firm up its courses, theoretical and practical to enable students get placement. In this endeavour, the board authorised the Vice-Chancellor to have net-working with affiliated colleges and institutions to draw out the best.

On the distance education programme, the board took a pragmatic view and authorised the Vice-Chancellor to constitute one or two sub-committees to review textbooks and service providers in the larger interest of the academic standard. This task is to be completed within one month.

All 35,000-odd students already registered with the PTU under the distance education programme will be allowed to complete their studies and shall appear in a special entrance test. Those who qualify shall be facilitated to take up specialised courses.

Since the PTU does not have any system to keep a tab on what happened to its alumni, the university now will have proper interaction with industry and business firms within and outside India for placement purposes. Greater stress will also be on the M. Tech and Ph.D courses.

The PTU Board reminded the government representatives of the financial commitment made in the PTU Act, 1996, and demanded that the shortfall of Rs 10 crore be reimbursed for the period 1996-97 to 2001-02. As per the Act, the state has promised that it shall provide a minimum annual grant of Rs 2 crore to the university for meeting its recurring expenditure. The Principal Secretary, (Finance) Mr K.R. Lakhanpal, assured the board that money would not be allowed to hamper PTU functioning/programmes.

The board decided on an “overhaul’’ of all systems, examination, evaluation, staff training, administrative, net-working with affiliated colleges/institutions, IT enabled systems etc that are necessary for running the university in a professional manner. The Vice-Chancellor said the restructuring of staff would be done in a manner that it did not cross the financial limits assigned.

The present staff at the PTU is on an ad hoc basis. The board today authorised the Vice-Chancellor to constitute a group to look into administrative restructuring. ‘’We are working for IT-enabled services’’, said the Vice-Chancellor.

Prof. Rajan said a special message was delivered to the Board of Governors, which has 11 members, from Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, promising all possible help to restructure the PTU.

In fact Prof. Rajan has already had preliminary discussions with German and Australian groups to tie up teacher-student exchange programmes. In view of the PTU’s charter, industry and business houses are willing to help the university resolve the problems faced by small and medium entrepreneurs by allowing PTU students gain industrial experience.


Varsity results today
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 20
The results of BCA and BIT part-II, B.Com (Professional) part-I and B.Com part-I and part-II supplementary examinations of Guru Nanak Dev University will be declared tomorrow. This was stated by the university in a press note issued here today. It said the results would also be available on the university website www.

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