Sunday, April 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India

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Nanakshahi calendar from today
Anandpur Sahib, April 12
The Nanakshahi calendar will come into force tomorrow. An announcement to this effect will be made during the Baisakhi celebrations to be held at Damdama Sahib tomorrow. Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, president of the SGPC, stated this while talking to this correspondent here today.

Call Puran Singh at Takht: Bibi Jagir Kaur
Amritsar, April 12
Even as the SGPC is all set to release the Nanakshahi calendar on Baisakhi, Bibi Jagir Kaur, former President of the body, has urged the Sikh clergy to summon Giani Puran Singh, Head Granthi of the Golden Temple, at Akal Takht for creating ‘hurdles’ in its implementation in his capacity as Jathedar of Akal Takht four years ago.

Punjab BJP panel to study conversion issue
Nawanshahr, April 12
The Punjab unit of the BJP at its executive meeting held at Balachaur, 20 km from here today, said the BJP-led coalition government at the Centre had not only provided a stable government but had also made India a nuclear power. The state executive endorsed the Vajpayee government’s proposed move of inter-linking of river waters.

Issue of conversions tops BJP agenda
Chandigarh, April 12
The BJP today put the reported religious conversions and permanent settlement allegedly of certain Bangladeshis and Pakistanis in Punjab area near the Indo-Pakistan border top on its agenda.

Anandpur Sahib



Young men perform bhangra in a field ahead of Baisakhi on the outskirts of Amritsar on Saturday. — Reuters

Now, BPL wheat diversion scam
Wheat meant for poor sold in open market
Tapa, April 12
A racket pertaining to the diversion of wheat meant for the below poverty line section of society to the open market being allegedly run by depot holders in connivance with officials of Punsup has been unearthed by the local police.

Pro-VC excluded from decision-making body
Patiala, April 12
For the first time in the history of Punjabi University, its Pro-Vice-Chancellor will not officiate in the absence of the Vice-Chancellor. The Vice-Chancellor, Mr Swarn Singh Boparai, has instituted a six-member committee to take all important decisions during his 10-day absence from the varsity from April 11.

A contingent of 27 Sikh pilgrims reaches Pakistan on the occasion of Baisakhi, where they will visit different gurdwaras.
(28k, 56k)

Medical colleges fail to utilise funds
Patiala, April 12
Three years after the Punjab government hiked user charges in all Government medical and dental colleges in the state and started admitting non-resident Indians, there was no improvement in the condition of the institutions.

Padhri Kalan shows path of prosperity
Chandigarh, April 12
Padhri Kalan is a village situated close to the border with Pakistan in Amritsar district. In December 1998, it was at the centre-stage of a new experiment aimed at overall and quick development to improve quality of life and income of the rural people.


Deputy Speakership ‘temporary’
Patiala, April 12
Punjab Deputy Speaker Birdevinder Singh said today at a civic reception held at a local hotel to honour him that the post of Deputy Speaker had been offered to him as a temporary measure by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

Cong men scramble for posts
Chandigarh, April 12
Senior Congress leaders in Punjab have started pressurising the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to appoint them chairpersons of various boards and corporations. There are several senior leaders, who have been denied party ticket, but were promised to be accommodated elsewhere if the party came to power in the state.

Panthic Morcha for Akali unity
Bathinda, April 12
The Panthic Morcha today said it was in favour of unity among various factions of the Akali Dal. However, due to differences among some leaders of different groups, unity could be forged.


‘Current duty charge’ norms revised
Amritsar, April 12
Following the lifting of the ban on promotions, the Department of Local Bodies, in a move affecting senior posts, has cleared “current duty charge” postings in civic bodies.

Punjab to launch awareness drive
SAS Nagar, April 12
Punjab which has the lowest sex ratio of girls in India will be the first state in the country to publicise the amendments to the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PNDT Act, 1994) to create awareness among ultrasonologists and other sections of society.

Skewed sex ratio is age-old
SAS Nagar, April 12
An analysis of the sex-ratio pattern in Punjab has revealed a historical consistency in this aspect among various regional belts. The Malwa belt has consistently recorded the poorest sex ratio in the state.

Wanting to be nurse, forced into prostitution
Bathinda, April 12
When Manpreet (name changed), a teenaged girl, left her home situated in one of the towns of Punjab to become a nurse, little did she know that destiny had something else in store for her. Instead of becoming a nurse as promised by her “anuny” she was allegedly forced into prostitution.

Bajwa vows sops for Kahnuwan area
Gurdaspur, April 12
Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, Public Works Minister, while talking to newsmen at Kahnuwan near here, today said the Batala-Dera Baba Nanak road would be widened from 18 feet to 23 feet keeping in view the historical importance of Dera Baba Nanak. The road would also be strenghthened.

PSSSB ex-chief presents bail bond
Ropar, April 12
Tajinder Pal Singh Sandhu, former Chairman of the Punjab Subordinate Services Selection Board, who has been booked by the Vigilance on a charge of corruption today produced a bail bond and surety of Rs 25,000 each in the court of the Special Judge, Ropar, Mr A.S. Kathuria.

New pay panel sought
Patiala, April 12
The Punjab State Services Federation today demanded the setting up of a new pay commission for state employees and upward revision of emoluments of industrial and agricultural workers in both organised and unorganised sectors.

3-day Baisakhi sammelan starts
Jalandhar, April 12
Over 300 foreign-based and Indian scholars are participating in the three-day Baisakhi mahasamelan, which started today at the Hoshiarpur-based headquarters of the Manvata Mandir, a social organisation.

Martyrs’ kin being ‘denied jobs’
Bathinda, April 12
Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, president, Lok Bhalai Party, said here today that kin of martyrs were being denied jobs by the government.
Mr Ramoowalia, while addressing a press conference, said the non-serious attitude of the government towards the problems of families of ex-servicemen and kin of martyrs was highly condemnable.

Rare surgery performed
Hoshiarpur, April 12
Dr Sanjay Narad, orthopaedic surgeon, has fully performed a total knee replacement surgery at a local hospital. The patient who had been operated upon was a 68-year-old NRI woman Ms Ranjit Kaur of Adampur.


Farmers rush to Gujarat to buy Bt cottonseed
Abohar, April 12
Many farmers of the Malwa region have reportedly left for Gujarat to arrange Bt cottonseed from the open market. Cotton growers are shocked over the reported denial by the Union Government to Punjab Agriculture University to go ahead with Bt. cotton sowing in the state.


Romila Dubey is Principal Secretary, Tourism
Chandigarh, April 12
Within 48 hours, the Punjab Government has reversed its order on the transfer of Mrs Romila Dubey from the Tourism Department. On April 10, Mrs Dubey was relieved of the additional charge of Principal Secretary, Tourism. In her place, Ms Kusumjit Sidhu was appointed Secretary, Tourism.


Seven depot holders booked
Jalandhar, April 12
The police has booked nine ration depot holders for irregularities in the distribution of kerosene under the public distribution system.
A press release here yesterday, said that District Food and Supplies Controller, in his complaint to the police had said that the central flying squad constituted by the state government conducted surprise raids on the premises of various ration depots in the district to check irregularities.

Hawala racket unearthed, 2 held
Jalandhar, April 12
The Jalandhar police has claimed to have unearthed hawala racket with the arrest of two persons and recovery of Rs 1.40 lakh. District police chief Varinder Kumar stated here today that a police party of Nakodar intercepted two persons riding on a two-wheeler near Jalandhar bypass yesterday evening.

One held for rice theft
Bathinda, April 12
The police today claimed to have busted an interstate gang, which stole foodgrains from godowns of the FCI. Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, said in a statement issued today that on the intervening night of April 4 and 5, thieves had stolen 70 bags of rice from a godown situated on the Bhucho Mandi-Lehra Bega road, about 15 km from here.


State to get national law school
Amritsar, April 12
The Advocate-General of Punjab, Mr Harbhagwan Singh, said today that Capt Amarinder Singh had agreed in principle to establish a national school of law at a cost of Rs 50 crore in the state on the pattern of Bangalore.

Now it is students vs Saru Rana
Patiala, April 12
Punjabi University Fine Arts Department students today appealed to Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai to review his decision to exempt former student Saru Rana, who had accused former Vice-Chancellor Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia of attempting to rape her, from reappearing in two practical examinations of MA(part-II) while reappearing for the examination this year, after failing in it last year.

Hike in college fee unjustified: Mittal
Ropar, April 12
Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, the former Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Punjab, has flayed the hike in college fee effected by the Congress Government. Addressing a press conference at Ropar yesterday Mr Mittal alleged that the steep hike in fee effected by the Congress Government would make higher education unaffordable for the poor.

NGOs may take over govt schools
Tarn Taran, April 12
The Punjab Government is contemplating handing over of the administration of government schools to non-government organisations to make the schools’ functioning more effective.

Singla highlights role of technical education
Bathinda, April 12
The annual function of Giani Zail Singh College of Engineering and Technology concluded here yesterday. Mr Surinder Singla, MLA, was the chief guest. He highlighted the role of engineering and technical education in the modern society.

‘Techfiesta’ concludes
Malout, April 12
The two-day technology festival “Techfiesta”, organised by the Malout Institute of Management and Technology, concluded here yesterday. Events relating to software development, hacking and creative writing aroused much interest.

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