Friday, March 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Punjab EC: no CRPF, no repoll in Jalalabad
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The state Election Commissioner, Mr C.L. Bains, has written to Chief Secretary Y.S. Ratra, seeking deployment of the CRPF in Jalalabad and Abohar for the municipal re-elections there on March 16.

The March 12 letter says that if the CRPF is not deployed in the two cities by March 14 forenoon, it would not be possible to conduct “free and fair” elections and the commission will have no choice but to postpone the repoll.

The letter, inter alia, reminds the Chief Secretary that he had earlier also written for CRPF deployment based on ground realities for the municipal council elections in Jalalabad, Fazilka and Abohar.”

The candidates and residents of the two places were opposed to the holding of elections under the Punjab police or any of its wings like the PAP, the letter underlines.

In a separate letter to the District-Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, the commission has sought video-filming of the repoll in ward No 9 and ward No 12 at Jalalabad and in Abohar. Meanwhile, the commission has appointed two IAS officers as Observers for the March 16 repoll.

They are Mr Satish Chandra, Director, Food and Supplies, for ward No 9 and Mr Roshan Sunkaria, Director, Technical Education, for ward No 12 at Jalalabad.


Cong, Akalis map session strategies
P. P. S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The Punjab Vidhan Sabha meets here tomorrow for its Budget session, with Governor J.F.R. Jacob delivering his inaugural Address at 2.30 pm. By then the ruling Congress and the main Opposition party, the SAD, would have finalised their respective strategies.

Besides the Budget (2003-04) the Treasury Benches will also table the ‘’action taken report’’ on its medium-term fiscal programme, informing the House of the performance of the government. Several Bills are also in the pipeline—a Punjab Electricity Duty (Amendment) Bill, two Bills pertaining to Punjab Agriculture Produce Markets (Amendments), one related to Punjab General Sales Tax (Amendment), one on the Punjab Tax on Entry of Goods into Local Areas Bill, and, of course, the Punjab Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Bill.

If the election of the Deputy Speaker is on the agenda as the previous incumbent, Mr Darbari Lal, has been elevated as a Minister of State, the members would also eagerly look forward to an enhancement of their allowances to be at a par with Haryana MLAs.

In the light of the decision of an all-party meeting, the government will also table a resolution on the SYL issue. The Haryana Governor, Babu Parmanand, had highlighted this in his Address to the Haryana Vidhan Sabha. The subject was of intense debate in the Haryana House. Naturally, the Punjab House, too, will not remain silent on this issue.

It is apparent the Akalis would not miss any opportunity to attack, embarrass and needle the Treasury Benches, taking on the government for neglecting development and non-performance.

The Congress is marshalling its facts and figures to combat the Akalis. It has a strategy to defend of its actions and performance. It will take the Opposition by its horns on issues like corruption, usurping the politico-administrative systems and pushing Punjab towards bankruptcy, slowing its economic development and burdening it with a huge debt or betraying the farmers by keeping away from all-party meetings or deserting Punjab by politicking with the NDA government in Delhi.

One can expect a lot of heat and very little light when members speak on either the Governor’s Address or the Budget. When this happens, the past political and administrative sleaze, scams and scandals will occupy the front pages of most newspapers. The Speaker, Dr Kewal Krishan, will find it hard to do ‘’damage control’’, as members throw to the winds the House etiquette.

In recent times, election manifestos have emerged as a ‘’new weapon’’ of attack.

The Akalis are sure to beat the Congress for its unfulfilled poll-related promises and demand as to why the same had been either forgotten or ignored. The Congress, on its part, has all along maintained that it would abide by all its election manifesto promises, as and when the state’s financial health improved.

In the first year, the Congress Budget was preceded by a white paper. It managed to have its way in and outside the House on the steam of euphoria of election victory and also the PPSC job scam. In the intervening year, much has changed despite it taking on the Akalis and several officers/officials by giving the Vigilance Bureau a free hand.

When the Congress harps on this and more, the Akalis will embarrass the government on its ‘’leisure and pleasure’’ ways and figuring of its ministers in a sex scandal during the Gujarat Assembly elections.


Probe into police firing on farmers
Our Correspondent

Sheron (Tarn Taran), March 13
The Kisan Sangharsh Committee (KSC) today lifted its three-day-old dharna when Mr Iqbal Singh Sidhu, Deputy Commissioner, ordered a magisterial inquiry into the alleged police firing on the agitating farmers.

Addressing the farmers, Mr Sidhu said the inquiry report would be filed within a fortnight and action would be taken against those found guilty during the investigations. The SDM, Tarn Taran, Mr Blupinder Singh, would be the inquiry officer. Mr Narinder Bhargav, SSP, Tarn Taran, along with other senior officials was also present.

Before ordering a magisterial inquiry, a closed-door meeting was held between the leaders of the agitating farmers and senior police officials, including Mr Bhargav.

The KSC had alleged that at least 12 farmers were injured when the police opened fire on March 11 when they were “celebrating” their achievement over the announcement of disbursement of their dues of the sugarcane crop. However, the police thought that the farmers were heading towards the sugar mill, Sheron, where the Irrigation Minister, Mr Gurchet Singh Bhullar, was addressing a gathering, the police had refuted the charges of the farmers and claimed that they were injured when the police used “anti-riot guns” and burst tear-gas shells. At least five policemen were also injured in the clash on that day. The farmers sat in dharna in protest against the incident.

Mr Kanwaljit Singh Pannu, convener of the KSC, while welcoming the announcement of the magisterial inquiry hoped that the farmers would get justice at the earliest. He, however, said the inquiry should be completed within a stipulated time. Mr Pannu also thanked the farmers, especially the women folk, who had participated in the dharna in a big way.


Kalam’s proposed visit boon for villagers
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Khatkar Kalan (Nawanshahr), March 13
The proposed visit of President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to this ancestral village of Shaheed Bhagat Singh on March 23 has virtually transformed the lives of residents and the shape of the village for the better, thanks to an overdose of efforts being put in by the state government and the district administration as well.

The President is scheduled to visit the village on March 23 to inaugurate the country’s first Rs 4.80 crore solar photo voltaic grid interactive power project, a joint venture of the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Resources and the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA). The ministry and PEDA have funded the project on a fifty-fifty basis.

The project has already ‘lit up’ the lives of the residents of the village with the installation of about 100 solar streetlights on the village periphery on the road leading to the Bhagat Singh Memorial Museum and Adarsh School.

The 200 KV power project, according to Mr Ashok Gupta, the Nawanshahr Deputy Commissioner, has already been linked with the PSEB grid and would start contributing to the kitty of the PSEB from March 23. “We have already made all arrangements for the scheduled visit of the President. The administration is waiting to receive the detailed itinerary of the President,” said Mr Gupta. Apart from the Jalandhar Division Commissioner, Mr R.S. Sandhu, a number of senior officials were monitoring the arrangements being made for Mr Kalam’s first visit to Punjab as the President of India.

Mr Gupta said besides its utilisation as a power source, the project had a wider scope in its demonstrative and educative value, particularly for young students.

Meanwhile, in view of the presidential visit, a number of development works, including a Rs 36 lakh water supply scheme and widening of three roads leading to Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s ancestral home and the village Adarsh School, have been completed in a record time. Interestingly, the village was sans any source of potable water, except for hand-pumps, even after 50 years of independence. “We are in the final phase of allotting water connections to the residents and before March 23 all of them will have running taps in their houses,” said Mr Gupta, adding that the problem of accumulation of rain water faced by the Dalits in a low-lying locality of the village had also been solved at a cost of Rs 8 lakh.

Referring to the power project’s utility to the residents, Mr Gupta, said the village would become the first village in the state to have round-the-clock power supply after the project was dedicated to the nation by the President on March 23. The President was also likely to visit Punjab Technical University (PTU) and the upcoming Pushpa Gujral Science City at Jalandhar.


DSGMC’s tribute to Bhai Kanahiya
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 13
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) would revive the three-century-old ‘mashks’ (water skins) once used by Bhai Kanahiya, a follower of Guru Gobind Singh, who treating friends and foes alike served water to wounded soldiers in the battle-field.

To this endeavour, the DSGMC will provide jobs to the eighth direct descendants of Bhai Kanahiya, who have been living in penury near Anandpur Sahib these days. The Delhi Committee will seek their (the descendants of Bhai Kanahiya) help to revive the ‘mashks’. Though the Punjab Government had declared Mohiwal, a sleepy village situated in the lap of Shivalik hills (near Anandpur Sahib), as first heritage village at the tercentenary celebrations, yet no efforts were made to preserve the heritage relating to Bhai Kanahiya even the SGPC failed to preserve the age-old ‘baoli’ (water source) and ‘tap asthan’ (place of meditation) of Bhai Kanahiya. Many big “havelis” and forts around the Mohiwal village have already been demolished in the past.

Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, president, DSGMC said that efforts would be made to preserve the ‘baoli’ and ‘tap asthan’ of Bhai Kanahiya which are dilapidated. Bhai Kanahiya used to draw water from this ‘baoli’ for injured Sikh and Mughal soldiers during the battle. Mr Sarna said that the great heritage could fall into oblivion if immediate efforts were not taken.

Mr Sarna said that a five-member committee would be dispatched to Mohiwal tomorrow so that the great heritage related to Bhai Kanahiya could be preserved. He said the descendents of Bhai Kanahiya would be free to revive the ‘mashks’ at historical places in New Delhi, Punjab or any other part of the country.

Many societies constituted in the name of Bhai Kanahiya had collected huge funds in the name of Bhai Kanahiya but failed to preserve the Mohiwal (the first heritage village of the state).

During tercentenary celebrations of the birth of Khalsa Panth, noted Israeli architect Moshe Safdie described the site as ‘amazing’.


PSIEC Superintending Engineer suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The Managing Director of the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation ( PSIEC) has suspended Mr C. R. Sharma, Superintending Engineer in the corporation. The suspension order has been issued after the alleged detection of irregularities and losses worth Rs 90.06 lakh with the regard to the works executed under Mr Sharma’s supervision, when he was an Executive Engineer in the corporation.

An intimation regarding the suspension has been sent to all concerned by the personnel wing of the corporation. The technical audit report of the development works carried out under Mr Sharma’s control in the industrial focal point, Phase VIII, Mohali, has been made the basis for the suspension. The technical audit has been conducted by Mr S. S. Sandhu, Deputy Chief Engineer( retd) .

In his concluding remarks, Mr Sandhu has stated that “while preparing the estimates, the stabilisation of earth had been pre-planned without soil tests. Even though the sub-grade of the road is almost in cutting, it has been filled and compacted by bringing earth from outside without using locally available soil, thus causing a huge financial loss”. The quantities of many items were enhanced without any justification. “No drawings showing the X-section indicating the sub-grade and formation level along the alignment of the road were made available for working out the earthwork quantities.

The report has indicated several irregularities in works like sewerage, road works, disposal works, storm water drainage and water supply etc.


Murder case solved
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, March 13
The police here has claimed to have solved a murder case involving a woman, who in connivance with her stepson, allegedly killed her husband.

According to Mr Praveen Sinha, Senior Superintendent of Police, on the night of March 10, the police got information that Mohinder Singh, son of Banka Singh, a resident of Hazarasinghwala village under the Mamdot Police Station, had been found murdered in his house.

Meeto, the second wife of Mohinder Singh, told the police that on the night of March 10, she heard some noise and went out to check what was wrong. She saw three unidentified persons entering their house. She said that before she could react or shout for help, they covered her mouth with a cloth and tied her hands and legs and pushed her in a room where husk was stored.

Her stepson, Paramjit Singh, aged around 18, who was sleeping in the adjacent room, listened to her shrieks and came to her rescue and called his uncles from the neighbourhood. When they went inside the house, they found Mohinder Singh lying dead.

Mr Sinha said that when the police talked to a cross section of people in the village, it was revealed that Mohinder Singh had been in the jail for the past 10 years in connection with the murder of his first wife, and Meeto, aged around 25, was his second wife. Mohinder had a son from his first wife and three children from his second wife.

After the investigations, the police found that the story narrated by Meeto was a concocted one. Later, when the police interrogated Paramjit Singh, he revealed that while his father was in jail, he had developed illicit relations with her stepmother during the past six months. He said his father used to give severe thrashing to his stepmother and used to beat him also. So they together planned to eliminate him.

He said that on the night of March 10, Meeto gave her husband some intoxicating pills in the milk and later both gave him shock with an electric wire. They weaved the entire story so that they could go scot-free.

The police has arrested Meeto and Paramjit Singh, and the electric wire which they used to kill Mohinder Singh has also been recovered.


Cong members for action against Gagowal, Mofar
Our Correspondent

Mansa, March 13
Congress members of the district have demanded the removal of Mr Sher Singh Gagowal, Mansa MLA and Mr Ajit Inder Singh Mofar former Sardulgarh MLA from the party for their role in the Municipal elections held recently. They held both leaders responsible for party’s defeat in the Municipal elections. They also submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister, Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief H.S. Hanspal and met Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Public Health, Rural Development and Panchayats Minister, Punjab and Mr Ram Paul Dhaipi, General Secretary, PPCC when they visited Khiwan Kalan village near Mansa for the distribution of prizes at a sports meet there demanding expulsion of Mr Gagowal and Mr Mofar.

They alleged that both leaders worked for the win of Mr Parkash Chand Badal, former senior Vice-President of the DCC expelled from the party during last Assembly elections for supporting independent candidate Sher Singh Gagowal, in two Municipal wards No. 18 and 13 opposing senior Congress leaders Narotam Singh Chahal, former civic chief and Mr Bhagirath Lal Danewalia, president, Block Congress Committee, Mansa, respectively.


Ajnala expelled from Congress
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 13
District Congress Committee (Rural) President Inderjit Singh Baserke today announced the suspension of senior Congress leader Harpartap Singh Ajnala from the primary membership of the party for six years for anti-party activities.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Baserke said that Punjab State Congress committee President H.S. Hanspal had told him on phone that Mr Ajnala be suspended for supporting the rebel candidates in the recently concluded Municipal Council elections in Ajnala segment where Mr Harpartap Singh put up his candidates opposing the official Congress candidates.


Conversion reports condemned
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 13
Catholic priests of Punjab have condemned “provocative” reports of conversion appearing in a section of the media and have given a call for maintaining peace and harmony.

Addressing a meeting of the Catholic priests of Punjab held at the local Bishop’s house, Dr Symphorian Keeprath, Bishop of the Jalandhar Diocese, said such reports were false, malicious and irresponsible and could lead to communal tension, besides, hurting the religious sentiments of the Christian community.

Advising the Christian community against playing into the hands of the divisive forces with mischievous designs, Dr Keeprath said legal proceedings would be initiated against people responsible for such “false” propaganda.

The priests felt that such acts were aimed at destroying the friendship and cordial relations among the Christians and other peace-loving communities. “It appears that views of certain parties and individuals were reported without verifying facts,” said Dr Keeprath.

The priests have also called for an open dialogue and an objective investigation into the matter by the parties concerned.


Men exhorted to go in for vasectomy
Our Correspondent

Muktsar, March 13
Despite the extensive campaigning by the government agencies about simple and painless operations, the males constitute only 2 per cent of the total number of persons operated upon under the family planning programme. The number of vasectomy operations is much below than those of the tubectomy operations.

Due to the indifferent attitude of people, particularly men, Punjab, which was once on the top in the implementation of family-planning programme, has slided down to the third place.

This was stated by Dr Joginder Singh, Director, Health Services and Family Planning at a tubectomy and vasectomy operations camp organised here today by an NGO, the Bharat Vikas Parishad.


100 defluoridation plants for Malwa
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 13
Defluoridation plants are being set up in about 100 canal based rural water supply schemes located in the flouride-affected belt of Bathinda, Mansa, Muktsar, Faridkot and part of Ferozepore and Sangrur districts at the tail ends of the canals.

Addressing a press conference here today, Public Health Minister Jasjit Singh Randhawa said Rs 8 crore was being raised from Nabard for the scheme. He said the defluoridation plants, which were being set up for the first time in the state, were likely to solve the problem of excess fluoride content in water in the Malwa region.

Mr Randhawa said the government also proposed to install portable treatment plants in the areas affected due to waterlogging in the districts of Muktsar, Faridkot and Ferozepore. He said in addition to this, the Central Government had also provided a special grant of Rs 7.05 crore to improve the functioning of canal-based rural water supply schemes in the districts of Mansa, Bathinda, Muktsar, Ferozepore and Sangrur for replacing the filter media and repairing inlet channels.

The minister said as far as rural development was concerned, the government had decided to take up the work of integrated rural development programme of about 500 villages in the first instance.

Mr Randhawa also disclosed that the Public Health department was being downsized and that all new water supply schemes were being established and run on a contract basis.


Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Taking up a petition filed by three students seeking directions to the state of Punjab and Punjabi University to declare revised result after awarding additional marks as recommended by subject expert and paper setter in electronics measurement and instrumentation of B.Tech fourth semester, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday issued notice of motion to the respondents.

In their petition, Alok Bhushan and two others had earlier contended that the paper was out of syllabus. Moreover, no teacher was deployed by the university prior to the exams.


Arguments on the issue of maintainability of a petition challenging the elections of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh from Patiala Assembly constituency remained inconclusive today also. The case will now come up for further hearing on March 26.

It may be recalled that Harkirat Singh — a voter from Patiala — had earlier alleged that the Chief Minister had used a helicopter during his election campaign, but the expenses incurred in the process had not been specified. Alleging the use of chopper by the now CM for visiting his constituency and for dropping hand bills, the petitioner had added that an expenditure of approximately Rs 3,70,000 was incurred in the process.


Pak denies entry to peacenik
Our Correspondent

Wagah (Amritsar), March 13
Peacenik Mr Mohammed Iqbal, who had come all the way from Mumbai to Amritsar on his bicycle as a messenger of peace, was crestfallen at the border checkpost today after he was denied to entry to Pakistan and had to return to the city.

Mr Iqbal (65) aims to go to Mecca Madina for Haj spreading the message of communal harmony. He started his journey in October last year and travelled thousands of kilometers on his bicycle to reach the holy city to cross over to Pakistan.

Talking about his mission, he said the clouds of a world war were looming large and there was a serious need to make efforts aimed at achieving peace among all countries.


Patrolling on motor cycles inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 13
Mr Anil Kaushik, IGP (Patiala zone), today flagged off eight motor cycles for police patrolling at the Police Lines here. These motor cycles have been provided to the police by Sangrur block of the District Industrial Chamber.

The Sangrur police today also initiated the Beat system of policing with the distribution of beat-books to police personnel and beginning of motor cycle patrolling. The police personnel will patrol on the motor cycles round the clock in shifts. Each patrol motor cycle has been provided with a first-aid box, a walkie-talkie set and a beat-book containing information about criminals.

After distributing the beat-books to the SHOs of district police stations, Mr Kaushik asked the police personnel to use the beat-books effectively as these would help in the prevention of crime in their areas.

Mr A.S. Rai, SSP, Sangrur, said the local police had adopted the Beat concept to identify the criminals and prevent crime.


Discrepancy of Rs 2 cr in IT returns detected
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 13
Patiala Division Commissioner of Income Tax R.S. Mathoda today said his department had found a discrepancy of around Rs 2 crore during a survey of returns of various industries this year.

In a statement here, Mr Mathoda said the discrepancies had been verified during random checking of returns of industries in Patiala, Mandi Gobindgarh, Samana, Rajpura and Sirhind. He said the industrial houses had subsequently deposited the remaining amount.


Judge named in DDR
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 13
The drive to ensure the smooth movement of vehicles led to the naming of a Judicial Magistrate in a daily diary report (DDR) when she tried to park her vehicle on Mall Road near the Hospital Bazaar, here on Tuesday.

Sources in the traffic police said the Mansa Judicial Magistrate, Ms Gurdarshan Kaur, tried to park her vehicle in the no parking zone. When she was asked to move her vehicle by the traffic police personnel, she tried to use her influence. Her father, Mr G.S. Dhaliwal, a retired judge, was accompanying her at the time of the incident, the sources said.

Police sources confirmed that the Judicial Magistrate had been named in the DDR and the drive would continue.


Attack on lawyer condemned
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, March 13
Members of the local Bar Association have condemned the murderous assault on an association member, Advocate S.S. Bhullar, allegedly with an intention to prevent him from performing his duties.

In a meeting held today under the chairmanship of association president Ravinder Thakur, the lawyers condemned the failure of the police in taking suitable action against the culprits.

The lawyers also observed a “no work day” today in this connection.


5-yr RI for three

Moga, March 13
A local court has sentenced three persons, including a father and a son to five year’s rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 3,500 each for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

The Additional Session Judge here on Tuesday sentenced Baldev Singh, his son Rajinder Singh and nephew Tejinder Pal Singh to five year’s rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 3,500 each for attacking Bachittar Singh of Sekha Khurd on May 14, 1999 over a land dispute. Bachittar Singh, who had received serious injuries in the incident, later died in hospital. PTI


Zero tillage showcased at kisan mela
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 13
Low-cost eco-friendly technologies like zero tillage and bed-planting were showcased at the kisan mela organised by Punjab Agricultural University here. Besides, 9000 packets of seeds of improved qualities of field crops and vegetables were distributed among farmers.

Thousands of farmers and farm women thronged the Krishi Vigyan Kendra on the occasion. The visitors were impressed by the bumper wheat crop grown on the kendra’s farm without any preparatory tillage.

Addressing the farmers at the mela, PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh said farmers could come out of the present crisis being faced by them by adopting low-cost and eco-friendly technologies like zero tillage and bed planting. Dr Aulakh also advised the farmers to market their farm produce directly to the consumers instead of selling it to traders at low prices.


MC fails to meet revenue target
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 13
The local municipal corporation (MC) has recorded a loss in revenue in five of its nine branches even as it has fallen short of its revenue target of Rs 30.2 crore for this financial year. It has been able to earn only Rs 23.35 crore. In the last financial year, it had earned Rs 27 crore against a target of Rs 30 crore.

The corporation has failed to come up to last year’s figures with regard to the collection of excise duty, building application fee, water supply charges, sale of property and rent. The failure of the corporation to surpass last year’s figures in the collection of excise duty and water supply charges is surprising. It has been able to collect only Rs 46 lakh through excise duty this year as against Rs 2.12 crore last year. The revenue from water supply charges has recorded a decrease from Rs 4.89 crore last year to Rs 4.7 crore this year.

According to sources, the corporation is trying to justify the decrease in building application fee collections by stating that there has been a decrease in submission of building plans because of strict conditions imposed by the corporation. The collection has gone down from Rs 1.71 crore last year to Rs 1.54 crore this year.

The corporation has claimed that it has not been able to collect money from the sale of property during the current financial year because some affected parties have moved court and have stayed the sale. The corporation has netted Rs 60 lakh through sale of property this year as against Rs 3.89 crore last year.

The decrease in collections from rent of municipal corporation shops and land in the city seems to be inexplicable. The corporation has netted only Rs 11 lakh under this head this year as against Rs 71 lakh last year. Sources say the corporation has not been able to recover a major part of its rent due to political considerations.

The corporation has recorded an increase in collections from octroi and house tax. It has collected Rs 10.65 crore through octroi this year as against Rs 9.5 crore last year. House tax collections are up from Rs 3.88 crore last year to Rs 3.99 crore this year.


Posts of 9 civic chiefs reserved
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, March 13
The Punjab government has reserved the post of presidentship of nine Nagar Councils in the state. According to reports available a letter 3/4/2003 of March 2 by the Secretary, Local Body, Punjab, posts of president in the Municipal Councils of Faridkot, Fazilka, Garh Shanker and Banur have been reserved for Scheduled Castes, whereas Bhadaur Nagar Council’s post will go to a Backward class candidate. Women from Scheduled Caste category will be elected from Doraha and Ferozepur Nagar Councils whereas the women of general category will be chosen for Dhariwal and Hambra Nagar Councils posts.

Earlier the Faridkot Nagar Council was reserved for women of general category.


Panel to identify redundant staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The Punjab Government has set up a committee under Mr Y.S. Ratra, Chief Secretary, to restructure the government departments. The committee will identify the redundant staff. Mr R.C. Nayyar has been made member-secretary of the committee.


Travel agent held for cheating
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, March 13
The district police has arrested a travel agent for duping Gurjiwan Singh of Rs 5 lakh on the pretext of sending him to England.

Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, stated here today that Amardeep Singh and Amarpreet Singh of Professor Colony here had promised that they would send Gurjiwan Singh of Shahbad Markanda in Haryana to England and demanded Rs 5 lakh for it. But the duo failed to send Gurjiwan abroad and even refused to pay back the money despite repeated requests in this regard during the past two years.

Meanwhile, Gurjiwan came to know that both of them were not authorised travel agents. A case was registered under Sections 420, 406 and 506 of the IPC and subsequently, Amarpreet Singh was arrested from his house last evening.

During the preliminary interrogation, Amarpreet admitted that he and his brother Amardeep Singh had been involved in the illegal business of sending people abroad by charging huge amounts.


Colleges told to follow new guidelines
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 13
In a circular sent to managements of all its affiliated colleges, Guru Nanak Dev University has asked them to implement the new criteria and guidelines (score card) for the recruitment of lecturers as laid down by the state government in toto. The Syndicate of the varsity adopted the guidelines at its meeting held here recently.

Earlier, the state government had, through a notification, advised the Punjab Public Service Commission and the universities of the state to adopt the said policy for the recruitment of lecturers.

As per the newly laid down policy, the number of candidates to be invited for interviews has been restricted. According to the new norms, for one vacancy, a maximum of six candidates, subject to eligibility, will be invited. Similarly for two vacancies (maximum 10 candidates), for three vacancies (12 candidates), for four vacancies (maximum 14 candidates), for five vacancies (16 candidates), subject to eligibility, would be called for interview. Beyond that, for every additional vacancy, three candidates would be invited.

Criteria has also been laid down for the screening of applications for short-listing the highest-ranking candidates. The selection of candidates for interview would be made only on the basis of the performance and achievement in their respective subjects along with certain other qualifications.

The basic qualification would be as laid down by the UGC for humanities, social science, sciences, commerce, education, physical education, foreign languages and law.


235 students get degrees
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, March 13
Amardeep Singh Shergill Memorial College, Mukandpur, organised its annual convocation function yesterday. The Local Bodies Minister, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, was the chief guest and Dr S.S. Johal, Vice-Chairman, State Planning Commission, presided over. Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, conferred degree on 235 students including 28 postgraduates. Besides, about 25 students, who had excelled in the academic, sports and co-curricular activities were also honoured.

Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, in his address, lauded the role of NRIs in setting up the college with a view to providing educational facilities to the rural youth on par with the international standards. Praising the infrastructural facilities and dedication of the management and staff in the functioning of the college, he said the college would be presented as a ‘role model’ for other educational institutions in the state. He assured that the state government would draw up a plan to provide financial aid to unaided colleges functioning in the rural areas. He announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for the college from his discretionary fund. He honoured NRI guests Mr Baldev Singh Aujla, Mr Gurdial Singh Khangura, Mr Darshan Singh Sanghera, Mr Gurmajor Singh Shergill, Mr Piara Singh, Mr Santokh Singh, Mr Sohan Singh Gill (all members Oversees College Committee).

Dr S.S. Johal, Vice-Chairman, State Planning Commission, Dr Surjit Singh Bhatti, Principal of the college, also spoke. The students presented a cultural function.

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