Tuesday, April 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


DDA corruption is tip of the iceberg: Sheila
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 7
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit believes the arrest of certain bureaucrats working in the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on charges of corruption is the tip of the iceberg. “There is a very high level of corruption rampant in the DDA,” she told media persons on the sidelines of a World Health Day function.

“Sacking and arresting some individuals is not going to solve the matter. Corruption is a big and stark reality in the DDA,” says Dikshit. She will not divulge instances of the corruption she was alluding to, just yet, but feels the only solution is to revamp the organisation.

The DDA, she says, is “corrupt,” “malfunctioning” and “redundant.” It should be completely revamped if not disbanded as it has become a breeding ground for corruption and malpractices. After a series of bribery scams, the DDA has lost its legitimacy and moral authority to function in its present form.

The Union Government’s disinterest in cleaning up the DDA also came in for criticism. The Centre, she says, has done precious little to check corruption in the DDA. “There was, and still is, a huge room and scope for manipulation in the DDA and this has to be stopped,” she adds.

That, and the role of the chairman of DDA, she feel, leaves much to be desired. The Lieutenant Governor of NCT of Delhi is also chairman of DDA. DDA Vice Chairman Subhash Sharma was sacked from his post and a case of corruption registered against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) but the chairman was “spared.”

Wondering why the chairman should be spared when DDA vice chairman and others have been taken to task by the CBI, Dikshit says the chairman is responsible for all the decisions taken by the authority. She however declined to comment whether the chairman should resign or be sacked.

“If I had the authority, I would have actually disbanded the DDA. Even the United Nations had pointed out that DDA was one of the most corrupt authorities in the world,” she told reporters. After Sharma’s arrest, PC Hota was given additional charge as vice chairman of DDA. Suman Swaroop replaced him only to be shunted out 48 hours later.

The new vice chairman, Anil Baijal, is in the reckoning for promotion to the rank of secretary. He is therefore seen as a tentative choice till a more suitable candidate is instated. The DDA is likely to get a new vice chairman before the NCT of Delhi goes to polls in November.


Two killed in slum cluster fire behind Raj Ghat
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 7
Two persons, including a 70-year-old man, were charred to death and a few persons injured in three fires which broke out in different areas of the Capital early this morning. Goods worth lakhs of rupees were gutted.

Ali Hasan (70) and Jahangir (24) died in the fire that broke out in a jhuggi cluster at Kanchanpuri behind Raj Ghat. Sparking in a power cable, which was dangling exposed in the clusters, led to the fire in Kanchanpuri. The sparking had ignited a jhuggi constructed from tarpaulin and wood. When the fire broke out, residents in the cluster were asleep. The swift wind fueled the fire and within a few minutes it had engulfed the entire cluster, a spokesman of the Delhi Fire Service (DFS) said.

The heat woke up the residents. They started rescuing their friends and relatives and salvaging their belongings. Jahangir died while he was asleep in his jhuggi. Ali Hasan tried to run away but could not as the flames had engulfed the narrow bylanes. However, his other family members managed to flee to safety.

In all, 400 jhuggis were gutted. The DFS rushed 30 fire engines, which took four hours to control the blaze.

The spokesman said the second incident took place at 2.15 am when fire engulfed 12 godowns at Lahori Gate in North district. No casualty was reported in the fire, though cereals worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed. Around 30 fire engines were rushed to douse it. A night watchman, who first noticed smoke emanating from one of the godowns, informed the DFS.

The third fire, which broke out in an Okhla factory, was minor. It was doused within a few minutes by the DFS personnel, the spokesman said. 


Stop stuffing your kids with junk and turning them into couch potatoes
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 7
Government officials at the Centre as well in the state are alarmed about the increase in the incidence of lifestyle diseases in children. Expressing concern, the Centre and the Delhi Government today blamed modern lifestyle which, they believe, is causing the health of the children to deteriorate.

Speaking on occasion of the World Health Day today, the Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ms Sushma Swaraj, said, “We have taken a serious note of the increasing incidence of diabetes and other related cases among children. Lack of physical activity, modern lifestyle and bad eating habits are adversely affecting the children’s health”.

Ms Swaraj pointed out that society, parents and those at the helm of affairs have to share the blame for not being able to provide a conducive and healthy environment to the children. She noted that children in the cities instead of spending time in outdoor activities are seen indoors glued to the computers.

The Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, who was also present on the occasion, agreed with Ms Swaraj and said that besides lifestyle, food habits also were responsible for the decline of children’s health in the Capital. She reiterated her government’s stand on unhealthy food. “We have banned junk food outlets inside and around schools as it is the primary causative factor for obesity, diabetes and related diseases in the city”.

However, Ms Dikshit went on to praise the endeavours of the students to help keep the city clean. She said children in the city had done a commendable job in the campaign for making Delhi cleaner and greener. The Chief Minister acknowledged their contribution by launching campaigns that disallowed the use of plastic bags and crackers.

Ms Dikshit also pointed that as many as 1,400 schools in the city had eco-clubs, which were contributing to a better and greener city. Back


Inviting Australia to bat first was a mistake: Achrekar
A. Gulati

Rohtak, April 7
The most captivating batsman in the world, Sachin Tendulkar, has always remained the most affectionate and favourite pupil of his coach, Ramakant Achrekar.

During a chat with NCR Tribune, the septuagenarian coach and mentor of the little master says Sachin is a natural cricketer. Achrekar, who has the distinction of coaching several eminent cricketers, namely Chandrakant Pandit, Praveen Amre, Vinod Kambli, Ajit Agarkar, Amol Majumdar, Sanjay Bangar, Balwinder Singh Sandhu and Sameer Dighe, disclosed Sachin always remained serious in his approach ever since he joined the cricket field of Shardashram Vidhyamandir in Mumbai.

Achrekar began to coach Sachin when he was 11 years’ old. “I could see a spark in him right from the beginning,” said Achrekar, describing Sachin as a matchless cricketer in the world today. He admitted that Vinod Kambli and Praveen Amre were two other cricketers who had enormous talent. When asked about the reasons for their early exit from international cricket, Achrekar said Kambli was less serious in his approach whereas luck did not favour Amre who did not get adequate opportunities.

Seventyone-year-old Achrekar, a recipient of Dronacharya Award and Maharashtra’s Daduji Kondeo Award in recognition of his dedicated services to the cause of cricket, was himself a wicket-keeper in his playing days and represented the State Bank of India for several years. Besides shaping the talent of young cricketers in Mumbai, he groomed his two daughters, Vaishakha Dalvi and Kalpana Murkar, to become cricketers. Vaishakha went on to represent India whereas Kalpana plays for Mumbai only. It was his stint with Shardashram Vidhyamandir which helped Achrekar establish himself as a dedicated coach. A record partnership of 600-odd runs between Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli in school cricket was the first instance which brought the trio, Kambli, Sachin and their coach Achrekar, into limelight. The early success of Vinod Kambli in international cricket and Sachin’s burst to fame in the world of cricket made Achrekar a well-known figure, especially among the cricket fraternity. Achrekar also survived a brain haemorrhage a few years ago; the ill-effects of this attack still persist.

During his conversation, Achrekar could not complete a sentence several times and had to be assisted by his fellow coach, Ashok Goel. On many occasions, his memory also did not serve him well but he managed to recollect most of the deeds of his world famous pupil.

When asked about the secret of his success in grooming international-level cricketers, the veteran coach replied, “I still devote three to four hours in the morning and an equal number of hours in the evening on the ground giving tips to the youngsters. Play while you can play is my message to them.”

Achrekar also praised Sachin for his deeds on and off the field. Replying to a question, he said glamour of the game had not made Sachin forget his coach. The little master visits him frequently for which he chooses the midnight hour, probably to avoid the public and for security reasons. “On Gurupurnima and Ganesh Utsav days he either visits me personally or greets me on phone. He came to my residence before leaving for the World Cup to seek blessings,” recalled Achrekar.

Analysing the reasons for India’s drubbing at the hands of Australia in the World Cup final recently, Achrekar said, “Inviting opponents to bat first after winning the toss was a decisive mistake. Agarkar should have been given a few chances in place of Dinesh Mongia.”

Achrekar also advised Tendulkar not to accept the captaincy of the Indian team as it was likely to be an extra burden and could adversely affect his batting abilities. He described Vinyak Mane, a youngster from Mumbai, as a brilliant and upcoming cricketer capable of donning the India colours. He blamed one-day cricket for killing the art of spin bowling. Back


Board penalises students for paper leak
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, April 7
The Haryana Rajkiya Adhyapak Sangh has condemned the decision of the Board of School Education, Haryana, whereby it reportedly announced recovery of Rs 100 each from students of classes whose examinations had been cancelled on account of leakage of the question papers.

In a statement here today, Mr Baljit Singh, secretary, district unit of the sangh, alleged the decision recently taken by the board was absolutely unjustified as certain exams were cancelled due to lapses on the part of the board authorities and the students were not at all responsible for the leakage of the question papers.

He said that the affected students had to suffer undue harassment as a result of the decision to cancel certain exams. He alleged the question papers were leaked and sold on a large scale in the market at various places 24 hours before the commencement of exams due to the lapses in the network of the board authorities. He said the board should bear expenses incurred on holding the exams which were cancelled.

Mr Baljit Singh also held the practice of transporting sets of question papers by the centre superintendents from Vishwakarma Senior Secondary School here to their respective centres as wrong. He said it was not safe for the centre superintendents to transport the question papers from this school to their respective examination centres located in remote areas in view of certain incidents of violent attacks directed at even police parties.


Haryana Speaker rules out raw deal to Cong MLAs
Our Correspondent

Panipat, April 7
Haryana Vidhan Sabha Speaker Satbir Singh Kadian today refuted the allegations of the Opposition leader in Haryana Vidhan Sabha, Mr Bhupender Singh Hooda, who had often said that the Opposition MLAs were not being given sufficient time during the Assembly session.

Mr Kadian claimed that despite the fact the number of the Congress MLAs was fewer, they had been granted more time compared to the MLAs of ruling INLD.

Addressing a press conference here in Skylark Tourist Complex today, Mr Kadian said that during the debate on the Governor’s address, of the total

646 minutes, the Congress MLAs were given 293 minutes compared to 165 minutes to the INLD MLAs. Similarly on budget discussions, the Congress was given 251 minutes including 44 minutes to the Opposition leader out of the total duration of 619 minutes.

Mr Kadian defended the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) provision, stating that it would bring uniformity in the taxes and would not have any adverse impact on the common man as well as traders.

He reminded that a lot of hue and cry was made when Form St-38 was introduced, but after a while, there was no opposition to it.

When asked about the opposition to impose excise duty on velvet, blankets and handloom textiles, Mr Kadian parried the question. However, he added that the Panipat industrialists had not approached him in this regard so far, though he was local MLA.

He said that the annual earnings of the state government had considerably increased through various resources including Rs 90 crore from the auctions of mines and liquor vends besides the incomes from other resources including sales tax. The increased amount was enough to undertake development works in the state.

He claimed that there would not be any shortage of power after the completion of Seventh and Eighth units of 250 MW each in Tau Devi Lal Thermal Power Station, Panipat by August 2004.

Referring to some important demands of Panipat towners, Mr Kadian said that the construction work of the Mini-Secretariat would start soon. However, he stated that the proposal for an elevated flyover on G.T. Road in the town had not yet been sanctioned by the Central Government. There was no proposal for a Sewah bypass so far, he added.


Economy must be restructured to make it mesh with ecosystem

As the probability of a long drawn out war in Iraq recedes, economists the world over and particularly in India would have heaved a sigh of relief. Otherwise the impact on our economy may have been disastrous. This also takes us to the need for shifting the base of our economy from oil, bulk of which is imported, to alternate sources, which are sustainable and eco-friendly.

Lester Brown in his seminal work, Eco-Economy, has analysed similar problems and brought out the wide gap between the perceptions of ecologists and economists. According to him, economists look at the unprecedented growth of the global economy and of international trade and investment and see a promising future with more of the same. Ecologists look at this same growth and realise that it is the product of burning vast quantities of cheap fossil fuels, a process that is destabilising the climate. They look ahead and see more intense heat waves, more destructive storms, melting ice caps, and a rising sea level that will shrink the land area even as population continues to grow. While economists see booming economic indicators, ecologists see an economy that is altering the climate with consequences that no one can foresee.

The need of the future as such is restructuring of the economy so that it meshes with the ecosystem, as a stable relationship between the economy and the earth’s ecosystem is essential in the long run. A sharper focus on finding alternative sources of energy and reducing dependence on imported oil would, therefore, be in order.

Remembering Sahir

Sahir Ludhianvi With time and space on the media being hogged, first by cricket and then by the Gulf war, one completely missed out on Sahir Ludhianvi whose birth anniversary on March 8 used to be traditionally observed with mushairas and tributes.

Perhaps this is also a reflection of the times as Sahir’s poetry could be identified more with the developing India of the fifties and sixties and may have no meaning left for the modern gloss of a consumerist society.

Sahir’s first collection, Talkhian (1940), was published while he was still in college and brought him instant recognition almost casting a spell on contemporary Hindi as well as Urdu literature. For some time, he tried his hand at editing `Savera’ and 'Shahrah’, a monthly journal from Delhi (1948), but he could not resist the call of the tinsel world and came to Bombay. As usual, the initial reception of the film industry was rather cold, but Guru Dutt, himself being a very sensitive person and a connoisseur of poetry, realised Sahir’s potential and gave him a break while directing Dev Anand’s `Baazi’ in 1950, though this was not without the initial hiccups.

'Tadbeer se bigdi hui taqdeer bana le’ was written in a ghazal style by Sahir but S. D. Burman composed it into a very peppy and a bouncy tune. A shocked Sahir wanted to quit and protested but Dada Burman being what he was refused to listen, and it was then left to Guru Dutt to broker a compromise. The film when released in 1951 was an instant hit with Geeta Roy’s (later Geeta Dutt) husky voice becoming a rage from this very song. This also was the beginning of a long relationship between Guru Dutt, Sahir, S. D. Burman and Dev Anand responsible for hit films like ‘Jaal’, ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘House No. 44’ and ‘Munimji’. Sahir’s

“Jeevan ke safar me rahi - milte hain bichar jane ko” from ‘Munimji’ (1955) and “Dukhi Man Mere” of ‘Funtoosh’, sung for Dev Anand by Kishore, remain fresh even today.

Sahir was at his creative best in ‘Pyasa’ (1957) again with Guru Dutt and S. D. Burman in the team. While the poet in him was passionate about his lyrics, Dada continued to be adamant. But Sahir refused to budge, and this time Dada had to give way and compose music on the lyrics, and not vice versa. ‘Pyasa’ even today is remembered more for its lyrics than music. The same is true for lyrics of ‘Sadhna’, where the exploitation of women is beautifully summed up in “Aurat ne janam Diya Mardon Ko”.

The youthful rebel in Sahir and his portrayal of emotional dilemmas faced by poor and hungry common man often led people to identify him with Leftists. This was inevitable in the age of socialism, manifested very aptly in Dilip Kumar leading in ‘Naya Daur’ (1957) with “Saathi Haath Badhana”. A crusader against false values in society, Sahir continued to dwell on realism in all forms at the grassroot level. His was the only age when people flocked to cinemas to enjoy the romance of musical poetry. His contributions remain unsurpassed and unmatched in intensity and expression even today.

Third Lord of the stars

Sachin TendulkarTendulkar and Sehwag have often been compared with each other for their various similarities. TV channels have shown them together on a split screen matching stroke for stroke in playing styles, mannerism, physical build and even body language. 

Some of the English newspapers have even gone to the extent of describing Sehwag as a duplicate Tendulkar.

While they do appear to be a splitting image of each other on the cricket field, it would be of interest to the readers that famous astrologer K. N. Rao has found yet another similarity amongst them. 

Tendulkar (date of birth: April 21, 1973, Mumbai 18:01:00) and Sehwag, (date of birth: October 20, 1978, Delhi 02:45) are both blessed by the Third Lord in their horoscopes. 

Sehwag In case of Tendulkar, Mars, which is exalted, has six planets influencing his third house, giving him a Bradmanesque reputation. In case of Sehwag also, the Third Lord is in his own house with Mars, the planet of aggression, and has five planets aspecting favourably. 

The temporary suspension of Sehwag in South Africa last year by the match referee, Mike Denness, is attributed to a peculiar conjunction of Jupiter with Rahu and Ketu between December 21, 2001 and February 9, 2002.

Similarities apart, only time will tell whether Sehwag will be able to touch the exalted milestones set by Tendulkar.

(Dr K. K. Paul is Special Commissioner, Administration, Delhi Police)


New rail reservation centres sanctioned
 Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 7
The Railway Ministry has approved the opening of computerised railway reservation centres at Gohana, Kaithal and Jhajjar this year. The Railways has sanctioned Rs 12 lakh for each of the centre.

This was disclosed by the member of Parliament and senior vice-president of the state BJP, Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, while talking to mediapersons at his residence in Gohana. When asked about the usefulness of having a centre at Jhajjar where there was not even a railway station, he said this step had been taken to assure the people of that region that the town would be connected with the railway line as promised earlier.

Mr Sangwan also revealed that the Railway Ministry had approved as many as seven railway stations on the proposed Sonepat-Jind railway line. The number of stations would be four between Sonepat and Gohana whereas there would be three between Gohana and Jind. He claimed that the proposed railway line had been fully approved by the government with only the budget allotment being awaited.

Mr Sangwan also claimed the central government by providing financial assistance to the state government had provided record employment opportunities to the people, particularly in rural areas, under various job-oriented schemes of the central government.

Examination datesheet

The Board of School Education Haryana has released the new date-sheet for the middle and high school examinations for those papers, which were cancelled on account of mass-scale copying and other malpractices indulged in by the examinees at various examination centres in the state. According to a report, the date sheet for the middle examination is as follows: Mathematics on April 22, English on April 24 and Social Studies on April 26. Similarly, the datesheet for the matriculation examination is as under: Social Studies on April 23, Mathematics on April 5 and Science on April 28.

2 injured in vehicle collision

Two persons including a woman were injured when two vehicles collided with each other on the G.T.Road near Murthal Chowk, about 8 km from here last evening. According to a report, the injured persons were identified as Mr Surinder and his mother, Mrs Shanti Devi, and they belonged to Pipli village. Both the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and they are stated to be out of danger. The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress.

According to another report, Raj Singh, a driver of an auto-rickshaw, sustained injuries when he lost control of the vehicle and it overturned on the G.T. Road near Bahalgarh Chowk, about 10 km from here last night. The injured driver was immediately hospitalised and is stated to be out of danger.

Six injured in group clash

At least six persons were injured, including two seriously, in a clash that took place between two rival groups at Mehndipur village, about 10 km from here last night. According to a report, lathis and other deadly weapons were used freely in the clash over a long-standing land dispute. The injured persons were identified as Karan Singh, Raj Singh and Sundu from one group and Dharampal, Wiza and Rajbir from the rival group. The injured were hospitalised.


‘Company secretary acts as an in-house legal counsel’
Tribune News Service

An enthusiastic contributor to the corporate life of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), Mr Pavan Kumar Vijay, is currently Managing Director of BLB Limited, a financial services company based in Delhi.

Thirty-nine-year-old Pavan Kumar Vijay is MCom, LLB and FCS. Apart from being an eloquent speaker, he has been associated with a number of prestigious institutions, including the Investor India Foundation, JIMS, ILI, DU, ICAI etc.

Besides being a contributor to the ICSI, he has served the profession in various capacities, including as the one-man committee for the syllabus review, chairman of the computerisation committee. Mr Vijay has significantly contributed in computerising the working of the institute. For bringing corporate governance to the centre stage, he organised two "ICSI National Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance" functions. He also conceptualised the legal website, corporateprofessional.com, and a capital market portal, blbfinwiz.com. He is a prolific writer and has co-authored two books, ‘Depositories, Law, Practice & Procedures’ and ‘Guide to Depositories’. He has contributed through research papers and reports to the Department of Company Affairs, the prominent one being ‘Board Meetings through Video Conferencing – Legal Issues and Technical Analysis: To the ICSI, To SEBI on Uniform Settlement System’, ‘Norms for Good and Bad Delivery of Shares’, ‘Guidelines for Corporate Membership’. He is a regular contributor to financial dallies and journals and ‘Chartered Secretary’.

He is the convenor of the working group on corporate governance of the DCA. He is also a member of various trade and industry bodies like the Business Advisory Group of the Stock Exchange, Mumbai and the Capital Market and Financial Services Committee of the PHDCCI, and a special invitee of the E-Corporate Business Working Group of the DCA and a co-opted member of the Executive Committee of the Association of NSE Members of India.

As the vice-president of the ICSI during 2002, his contributions include preparation of draft ‘Strategic Action Plan’ for the enhancement of the standing and prospects of the institute, its members and the profession, started oral coaching, an interactive learning system with the aid of IT tools, and CC Test. He has also introduced a computer-based test and ‘training orientation programme (TOP). He was also instrumental in revamping the ‘management traineeship’, changing the system completely so as to make it in tune with the ‘Guru-Shishya’ parampara, and brand building and marketing of the ICSI.

Talking to the NCR Tribune, he explains the role of the ICSI and career prospects of company secretaries.

What are the functions of the ICSI?

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India is a premier national professional body, imparting education primarily through distance learning. It was established by an Act of Parliament (Company Secretaries Act, 1980) to develop and regulate the profession of company secretaries in India. The ICSI, besides conducting Company Secretaryship examinations, enrols qualified students as members after practical training, exercises professional supervision over the members in matters pertaining to professional ethics and code of conduct, organises on a regular basis professional development and continuing educational programmes and brings out research publications, guidance notes and secretarial standards.

I took personal interest in bringing out the monthly journals, ‘Chartered Secretary’, for corporate executives, ‘Student Company Secretary’ and ‘CS Foundation Course Bulletin’ for students. The ICSI also regularly interacts with government, regulatory bodies and chambers of commerce and industry on policy and professional matters.

The institute has its headquarters at ICSI House, 22 Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi and regional offices at Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi and Chennai and 37 chapters and 20 satellite chapters located in various cities all over India. The ICSI has 16,000 qualified members both in employment and in practice.

Nearly 1.5 lakh students are currently pursuing the CS course. The institute is a statutory body working under the administrative control of the Department of Company Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

Elaborate on the admission criteria and cut-off dates for Company Secretaryship course.

A person desirous of becoming a member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) must pass the intermediate and final examinations conducted by the institute and undergo 16 months training, which is arranged by the institute. A person passing the final examinations may enrol as Licentiate ICSI at his or her option until completion of the practical training. After qualifying the final exams and undergoing practical training, he/she is eligible to be admitted as an associate member. One can do the CS course by correspondence with provision for optional oral coaching classes.

What exactly is the role of a company secretary?

As the principal officer of the company, company secretary is a vital link between the company, the board of directors, shareholders and governmental and regulatory agencies. He is a business manager and an important adjunct in corporate management hierarchy serving as the registrar for the company. He acts as a confidant of the board of directors, takes part in the formulation of long-term and short-term corporate policies. The company secretary also maintains statutory books and records and ensures compliance with legal and procedural requirements under various enactment for effective corporate governance.

His duty involves advising the board of directors on the ramifications of the proposals under the consideration of the board. As a corporate development planner, he identifies expansion opportunities, arranges collaborations, amalgamation, mergers, acquisitions, takeovers, divestment, setting up of subsidiaries and joint ventures within and outside India etc.

He looks after the entire secretarial functions, which include preparing agenda, convening, conducting meetings of board of directors, shareholders, annual general meetings, inter-departmental meetings and meetings with foreign delegations, financial institutions, regulatory authorities etc.

A company secretary as a competent professional comes into existence after extensive exposure provided by the ICSI through comprehensive study material, compulsory coaching, highly exacting examinations, rigorous compulsory training and continuing professional development programmes.

Besides rendering statutory duties, as attending meetings, preparing minutes, maintaining register of members, ensuring timely transfer of shares, ensuring compliance of various laws, a company secretary by virtue of his extensive knowledge of finance, management and taxation assists the board in various other aspects.

What are the career prospects of company secretaries?

A qualified CS has access to openings both in the private and public sector, financial institutions, stock exchanges and even the central and state governments. As per the Section 383-A of the Companies Act 1956, companies with a paid-up share capital of Rs 2 crore or more must have a full-time company secretary. In case of a company with a paid-up capital of less than Rs 2 crore, a CS with an intermediate pass is also eligible for appointment. All companies seeking a listing on stock exchanges are required to have a full-time CS.

The Department of Education of the Ministry of Human Resource Development has recognised the membership of the ICSI for appointment to superior posts and services under the central government. It is one of the essential qualifications for recruitment from Grade 1 to Grade IV in the account branch of the Central Company Law Service of the Department of Company Affairs.

The Indian Banks Association has recommended to all the banks to consider appointment of company secretaries as specialists in the fields of finance, accounts, law and merchant banking.

Almost every kind of organisation whose affairs are conducted by boards, councils and other corporate structures, be it a company, co-operative society, trust, society, association, federation, authority or commission finds it useful to appoint a person who holds the qualification of company secretaryship in key administrative positions. Members of the institute may also opt for independent practice. Being a versatile professional, a company secretary in practice renders a wide range of services to companies under the various corporate, economic, commercial, tax and securities laws. Besides issuing statutory certifications and appearing before various quasi-judicial authorities as an authorised representative, he issues due diligence and comfort certificates, acts as a secretarial auditor and an advisor and consultant on finance and management.

What are the future plans of the ICSI?

Today national boundaries have disappeared for trade and commerce. There is tremendous increase in international trade with fierce competition, increasing pressure for survival leading to leaner organisations with high efficiency and technological excellence. In such a scenario, company secretary being the principal co-ordinator plays a crucial role as integrated business manager and as an in-house legal counsel encompassing all functional areas. He will be called upon to provide support to the various economic activities and operations of the company, including finance and accounts, internal audit, costing and budgeting, materials management, commercial and general administration, besides legal and secretarial functions.

He will have to act, advise and guide on good corporate governance and assume a much wider role in ensuring compliance in an altogether new corporate set-up and legal procedural and disclosure requirements not necessarily originating from company law but other laws, which will be no less stringent and hitherto unknown to corporates in India, monitored by ever vigilant foreign investors, much more knowledgeable customers and the society through various NGOs.


Teachers protest against US war
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 7
Expressing concern over the war in Iraq, teachers from various universities held a protest march from Mandi House to the American Center here today.

The teachers representing the Delhi University, Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Hamdard, IGNOU, Jamia Millia Islamia and Jawaharlal Nehru University, and united under the banner of Federation of Central Universities Teacher’s Associations, handed a letter to the US embassy.

The letter, which has been addressed to the American President, Mr George W Bush, registers the condemnation of the teachers’ fraternity at the ongoing war in Iraq. The letter written on behalf of the university community accuses Bush of delivering, “arrogant and patently false speeches about bringing freedom and democracy to the people of Iraq” while the US armed forces, “ maim and kill innocent men, women and children, obliterate their homes and poison their environment”.

The teachers emphasised solidarity with the Iraqi people and demanded action against the US ambition for global domination.

Forged marksheets

The West district police today claimed to have unearthed a cartel involved in printing and selling of forged marksheets of high school examinations of the Uttar Pradesh Board with the arrest of three suspects. The suspects were identified as Vijay Kumar, Viresh and K.R. Singh. The police have seized 1,000 forged marksheets, printing blocks, ink and offset printing machines. The district police had a secret information that fake certificates were printed in Hari Nagar. The information was developed and a raid was conducted on the premises of D. R. B Printers located in Shiksha Bhawan and its owner Vijay Kumar was arrested. His interrogation led to the arrest of his other associates, the police said.

Criminal arrested

A team of Special Cell arrested Dharmendra alias Pathan who was reportedly involved in more than eight cases of murder, attempt to murder and under the Arms Act. The police team had a tip-off that the suspect would visit Wazirabad Bridge to meet one of his associates. A trap was laid there and he was arrested. One country-made pistol and four live cartridges were seized from him, the police said.

12-hour ICICI banking

ICICI Bank has introduced 12-hour banking at its 28 branches in Delhi. The bank will now provide the services to its customers for 12 hours—from 8 am to 8 pm.

“The bank has become the first Indian bank to break away from the traditional 10 am to 2 pm hours. Our customers will now be able to visit the bank without disturbing their daily schedule,” Ms Chanda Kochhar, Executive Director, ICICI Bank said in a press release today.

Currently, the bank has introduced the extended hours in its 121 branches which includes 28 branches in Delhi. The bank plans to introduce 12-hour banking in other branches across the country in a phased manner.


No plans yet to widen Mathura Road as commuters fret and fume
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 7
Travelling on National Highway 2, also known as Mathura Road, passing through the town is quite arduous and risky. While the accident rate on the 50-km stretch of this road in the district is alarming, commuters are faced with traffic jams and unusual congestion at several points.

Though the authorities concerned, including the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), keep interacting with district officials, the desired results are yet to be seen. Both these sides had a meeting yesterday too but there have not been any significant suggestions on improving the situation. They seem to be more keen on tinkering with the narrow road and crossings rather than widening the road or constructing flyovers.

The NHAI in January 2002 had announced to adopt the highway stretch in the district for proper upkeep and maintenance. Despite some measures, the problems remain. It seems that co-ordination between various agencies has been missing.

In the last meeting, the NHAI officials had asked the district authorities to get encroachments on both sides of the NH removed, especially in the town area, and ensure that autorickshaws did not operate on it. The authorities had proposed to make the service road on the side of the highway operational so that autorickshaws use it, leaving the highway for large, medium and small vehicles only. But even after six months, the work is yet to begin.

This road is under encroachment at several places. The service road has been encroached on and turned into the parking area of a commercial plaza, which became operational recently. Although the highway authorities have got constructed new bus stands (shelters) on the sides, they are yet to fence the greenbelt dividing the road. At several points, the dividing belt has been breached, causing accidents as both human beings and animals criss-cross the highway.

The highway is quite narrow at several places and the traffic congestion becomes maximum in the mornings and evenings. While the traffic lights remain out of order at some points, lack of streetlights all along the highway make it difficult for the motorists.

Former Deputy Commissioner Arun Kumar, during his tenure, had announced to give top priority to providing streetlights on the highway from the border to Ballabgarh last year, the scheme was abandoned later. The scheme to make the bypass road operational for heavy vehicles also could not be implemented.

“Accidents have become common and one has to struggle to pass through the stretch, especially in peak hours,” says a commuter based here. He said the problem starts, if one comes from Delhi side, when he/she approaches the Badarpur Border. It normally takes 20 to 30 minutes to cross over to Faridabad in the evenings. The authorities claim that a proposal for constructing a flyover at the border has been pending with the central government. When the project would be taken up is not known.

At the meeting of the district authorities and the NHAI officials here yesterday, the traffic problems were discussed. It was suggested that the service lane be revived and made operational, besides creating stands for three-wheeler autorickshaws at 11 spots. Schemes to improve all important crossings, including border, old Faridabad, NHPC Chowk, Badkal Crossing, Sarai Khwaya and Ajronda Chowk was taken up for discussion. But the authorities seem to have no plans to make the highway three-laned on both sides.

There is no news about constructing underpasses or flyovers at some of the bottlenecks, including the Badkhal Chowk, old Faridabad, Ajronde and Ballabgarh bus stand, where the traffic congestion had been maximum, either.


Workers rally against Electricity Bill
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 7
Nearly all the employees of the electricity (power) department took part in the demonstrations against the Union government’s decision to introduce Electricity Bill-2001 in Parliament to effect reforms in the power sector. The employees owing allegiance to the All Haryana Power Corporation Workers Union (AHPCWU) and the Haryana State Electricity Board Employees (workers) Union (HSEBWU) suspended their work and staged the protest between 9 am and 12 noon.

They alleged that the Electricity Bill-2001 had not only been ‘anti-employees’, but had also been against the interests of power consumers. Subhash Lamba, spokesman of the AHPCWU, said that if the bill gets the consent of Parliament, the power could become a rare commodity as it would come under the control of the mafia likely to take over after the privatisation of the power departments in various states.

He said the protests were carried out on a call given by the Electricity Employees Federation of India (EEFI) and the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers. It is reported that routine work and functioning got affected at all the six divisions and 18 subdivisions besides 42 complaint centres in the district due to the protest.

Polio campaign

Noida: About 56 per cent children were administered the pulse polio drops in Noida on the first day of the campaign. This number is significantly less than that of last year. More than 53,000 children had taken the drops during the drive last year.

The campaign was formally launched by the new District Magistrate L. Venketeshwar Loo in government hospital in Sector-30, Noida where according to Dr R P Gaur, district officer, a total of 48,439 children were given the drops. Besides, 25,000 children in Block Bisarakh, more than 20,000 in Block Dadri, over 12,000 in Javer and over 14,000 children in Dinkaur were given the drops. OC

BSNL exchanges

Faridabad: The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has set up two new exchanges or RSUs (Remote Subscriber Units) at Sector-58 and SGM Nagar here. According to the office of General Manager, the exchanges will be inaugurated on April 9 by the Lok Sabha member from here, Mr Ram Chander Bainda. These RSUs have a capacity of total 7000 lines. TNS


Chautala favours medicinal plants
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, April 7
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, today directed the officials to undertake plantation of medicinal plants on the land of the Forest Department during the coming ‘afforestation’ season.

The Chief Minister issued the order while presiding over a meeting of the District Public Relation and Grievances Redressal Committee, Gurgaon.

Mr Chautala also urged the people of the state to give primacy to plantation of medicinal plants.


Dowry case registered after court intervention
Our Correspondent

Noida, April 7
The police finally swung into action and registered a dowry case against the in-laws of Hemlata, daughter of Prem Prakash Nagar of Moharsa. The case was registered 20 days after the incident when the court demanded a compliance report from the police.

Hemlata was married in April last year to a youth of Nizampur under Narsena police station. However, she was tortured and beaten up for her failure to meet the dowry demands of her in-laws. In the process, her arm was fractured and she was thrown out of her in-laws’ house in Moharsa village in Bughrasi, Bulandshahr.

Due to the regular torture of his daughter, her father Prem Prakash gave Rs 10,000 to her in-laws. Subsequently, however, Hemlata’s husband demanded a motorcycle. When the demand was not met, Hemlata was beaten up by her husband and his family members.

Since the police had refused to register the report, her father knocked at the door of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Bulandshahr. The court had ordered the police to register the report, which was not complied with.

When the court demanded a compliance report from it, the police swung into action, naming four persons including her husband in the case.


Septuagenarian NRI shot dead
Our Correspondent

Meerut, April 7
A 72-year-old NRI was shot dead by three unidentified assailants here late last night, creating panic in the city.

The police said Mr Gurbachan Singh (72) was returning to his residence in Devpuri after dropping his daughter and son-in-law at the railway station late last night when three assailants opened fire indiscriminately, using a 9mm pistol. Mr Gurbachan Singh was rushed to a private hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. All three assailants managed to escape under cover of darkness.

The police said while the motive of the murder was yet to be ascertained the possibility of a land dispute was not being ruled out. The body had been sent for a post-mortem examination and efforts were on to trace the assailants who were described as young and ordinarily dressed, the police added.

Mr Gurbachan Singh had been staying in the USA for the past 20 years with his family and used to visit the city, where he owns some property, every year, the police said.

While the investigations were still at an early stage the police suspect the assailants were aware he would be returning from the station and were apparently lying in wait for him. The statements of some of the relatives of the deceased were being recorded and the land records checked to ascertain the motive.

Bomb hoax at Delhi police HQ

New Delhi: Entry was banned in the Delhi Police Headquarters this afternoon after a call was received by the Police Control Room at 3.10 pm that a bomb had been planted in the headquarters’ building. A bomb disposal squad, sniffer dogs, forensic experts and Delhi Fire Service engines were rushed to the headquarters. Each and every room of the building was checked for two hours and thereafter the call was declared as a hoax. The call was made from a cellular phone, the police said.

Robbed of Rs 50,000 in bus

Three youths, armed with knives, robbed Rs 50, 000 in a moving bus from M. Krishana who had withdrawn the money from Bank of India in Kirti Nagar. The suspects had followed him from the bank. The suspects gharaoed him in the bus and tried to snatch the bag in which he was carrying the amount. When the victim resisted, the suspect stabbed him and decamped with the bag. This is the fourth incident of its kind in a moving bus. The first incident was reported in Narayna, the second in Jahangirpuri and the third in Tughlak Road area, the police said. TNS



Finance company driver robbed of car
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 7
Three unidentified motorcycle-borne armed miscreants robbed a driver of Indica car about 8 km from here last night while he was returning to the village.

According to a report, the incident occurred around 9 pm when the driver of Messrs Mangla Finance Company was going towards Murthal village on the car. When he reached near the village, the armed miscreants stopped the car and threatened him to come out of the car. The culprits snatched the car from him and drove it away.

The car driver immediately informed the Murthal police about the incident and the police launched a hunt to apprehend the miscreants. The incident has caused panic among the villagers.

According to another report, at least eight masked men are reported to have attacked the gunman and the cashier of a sand dune contractor at Basodi village about 15 km from here yesterday and decamped with Rs 1 lakh. Both the gunman and the cashier sustained injuries. They were immediately hospitalised and stated to be out of danger.

The Rai police have registered the case and launched a hunt for the robbers.

It is stated that the robbers, all masked, came to the office of sand dune contractor and overpowered the gunman Satish. When the gunman resisted, he was roughed up and injured. Thereafter, they entered another room and assaulted the cashier Mr Bush Ram and Aglesh who were asleep. They removed cash from the almirah and fled after threatening both of them with dire consequences.

The alleged robbers also took away the gun, and escaped through the fields.

On receipt of information, the Rai police swung into action and informed the SP and other police officials about the incident.


Gang of auto thieves smashed; vehicles seized
Our Correspondent

Dadri (Noida), April 7
The Dadri police have busted an inter-state gang of auto thieves and recovered three vehicles, including one Santro car, from them. Three gangsters were held while the ring leader Jatinder gave the slip to the police.

According to SP (Rural) Umesh Srivastava, the police had gathered input that a gang of auto thieves was about to steal vehicles in Dadri.

The police barricaded the area and launched a vehicle check. When two youths in a Santro car were signalled to stop, they tried to speed away. But police were able to stop the Santro car No. DL-3 CV-2228 and when the vehicle documents were demanded from the occupants, they tried to mislead the cops. When questioned, they confessed that it was a stolen car.

They identified themselves as Piyush Garg and Narinder.

Two Hero Honda motorcycles were later recovered from Chitohera village and Bulandshahr on their revelations.

Their third accomplice Mukesh was also arrested during the raid. This gang had stolen a motorbike under Kasna police station a few days ago but had left it when the police chased them.

The gangsters told the police that one Jatinder was their leader who guided them to steal vehicles from various places in Delhi, Haryana and Gautam Budh Nagar. He would get duplicate papers made and then sell them with fake number plates at cheap rates. The police are looking out for the kingpin of the gang.


Up in arms, traders say saree is a fabric not a garment
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 7
Saree traders are upset with the Delhi government’s decision to impose sales tax on the trade of sarees for the first time. Calling it “arbitrary and unjustified”, the traders are demanding its withdrawal.

Organised by the Delhi Hindustani Mercantile Association, about 50,000 saree traders have expressed concern over the fact that the Delhi government, for the first time since Independence, has imposed 12 per cent sales tax on silk and four per cent on other varieties of saree.

Association general secretary Suresh Bindal said if the decision was not withdrawn by April 10, the traders would observe a two-day strike on April 11 and 12.

He added that they have decided not to pay the tax under any circumstances.

It was also alleged that the imposition of the tax appears to be a ploy to destroy the saree trade in the Capital as the city government is bent on making for the shortfall in the state revenue collection.

Giving details, Mr Bindal said since the beginning of the trade, sarees were always classified fabrics and at no stage, there was any difference between the two.

He added that in 1975, only silk fabrics were subjected to sales tax, pointing out that Delhi Finance Minister Mahender Singh Saathi, in his 2001-02 budget, had even exempted silk fabrics from the levy of sales tax as there was no such tax in the neighbouring states.

Addressing the media here today, Mr Bindal said the sole criterion of the Sales Tax department in imposing the levy was its ‘misinterpretation’ of the Supreme Court judgement in the Kapri international case.

He added, “The Kapri case only relates to the levy of excise duty on cotton fabrics and bedsheets as both the items come under the same tariff and hence can be taxed twice. But the judgement has nothing to do either with the sales tax levy or the item of sarees.” Mr Bindal said the Sales Tax department had misinterpreted it to apply it on sarees by saying that these attracted sales tax because of being garments. He said, “Sarees are only a fabric and not a garment.”


50 per cent of Sonepat’s small scale units are defunct: Survey
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 7
More than 50 per cent of the registered industrial units here have shut down or have been not functioning for the past many a year for one reason or the other. Most of these sick units are small-scale industries and are situated mostly in rural and suburban areas.

According to the report of a survey carried out by a cooperative agency of the state government, at present as many as 4,720 industrial units were found operational whereas 4,793 units were reportedly closed. In the report, financial problems have been cited as the main reason for the closure of the units. Also, a sizable number of units, which were financed by the banks, had been wound up for not returning bank loans.

The number of closed units include 882 mechanical and metallurgy units, 101 chemical units, 39 pharmaceutical units, 232 units of electric equipment, 652 handicraft units and as many as 244 textile units.

Besides, the number of closed units of rubber and plastic have gone up to 62 and 67 units of leather products were out of production. Similarly, in the case of non-categorised units only 629 units were found working whereas 1,033 had already become non-functional in the district. Though the state government has been trying its best to promote setting up of agro-based food processing units at Rai 241 had already been closed.

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