Tuesday, August 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


CM gave nod to state Bill: Advani
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 25
The Deputy Prime Minister and Union Home Minister, Mr L. K. Advani, today said the Centre had moved the statehood Bill for Delhi only after receiving a nod from the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, that a proposal could be mooted under Article 371 of the Constitution of the country.

Talking to reporters here at the felicitation ceremony organised by Delhi BJP MPs and MLAs, Mr Advani said the Centre started considering the Bill seriously only after the opinion of the Delhi Chief Minister was sought.

“I met Ms Dikshit a couple of times during which I asked her to discuss the issue within her party and, if necessary, could also consult the main opposition, BJP, for the same,” Mr Advani said, adding, “After that, she wrote a letter to me saying that she didn’t have any problems in granting statehood to the national Capital with some provisions lying with the Centre under Article 371.”

Mr Advani displayed the letter of Ms Dikshit and also read the relevant paragraph from it.

He said the BJP had been pressing for ending the multiplicity of authorities in the national Capital for long. The Deputy Prime Minister expressed surprise over the stand of the Congress on the statehood Bill but said, “I hope that the Congress party will study the bill, at present with the standing committee, and then decide.”

Speaking on the occasion, the Delhi BJP chief, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, said opposition to the statehood Bill by Ms Dikshit and Congress president Sonia Gandhi amounted to “insult of the Constitution.”

While the Delhi BJP has welcomed the Delhi Statehood Bill, the Delhi Pradesh Congress has criticised it on the ground that the Bill was finalised without consulting the present Congress-ruled Delhi Government. The issue has assumed considerable political importance in the wake of the scheduled Assembly elections later this year. 



CAS in Delhi on hold till elections

New Delhi: Bowing to pressure from within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in view of the Assembly elections later this year, the government today deferred the implementation of Conditional Access System (CAS) for Cable TV systems in Delhi until after the elections in the National Capital Territory.

After a meeting convened by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and attended by senior party functionaries, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said CAS would be implemented in the other three metros from September 1 according to the phased plan announced earlier. The minister accused the Congress of having politicised CAS which he said was a consumer-friendly service. TNS



Admission-seeker duped of Rs 18 lakh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 25
With the arrest of two persons, the Crime Branch today claimed to have busted a fake admission racket in professional colleges. The sleuths have recovered Rs 12.50 lakh in cash, one motorcycle, cash receipts, invoices, attested documents of the victims, list of medical and engineering colleges in India, rubber stamps of Principal, SRP Inter college, two cell phones, a blank cheque book of ABN Amro bank and nine blank forms of Bihar Intermediate Shiksha Parisahd.

The accused — Sanjeev Kumar alias Mike Gatting De Silva and Krishan Kant Sharma — were arrested for duping one Surender Kumar Arora of Rs 18 lakh on the pretext of securing his daughter admission in the National Medical College, Kolkata. A hunt is on to trace two of their associates, Prakash and B K Gupta.

Surender registered a complaint in the Crime Branch, after he realised he had been duped. He came in touch with B K Gupta, who runs a tutorial college in Delhi in November 2002 through a newspaper advertisement. During the meeting, Gupta assured Surender of a medical seat in the Calcutta medical college and demanded Rs 20 lakh for the same. Some days later, Sanjeev got in touch with Surender; he gave Gupta’s reference and convinced the latter that his daughter would be admitted in the management quota. Accordingly, Surender, Sanjeev and his associate, Krishan Kant, went to Kolkata for the purpose and met their accomplice, Prakash. The latter asked the girl’s father to hand over Rs 46,000 and the original certificates for admission; Prakash returned with a fee receipt for the first year and claimed that the girl was admitted. He also informed Surender that the Parents Teacher Association (PTA) meeting would be held on August 27 and 28 and he should attend the same. Prakash also took Surender and his daughter around the campus. He also told Surender that classes would start in the first week of September and the identity card would be issued on the first day of the classes.

Surender paid them Rs 4.5 lakh in Kolkata, the first installment. In Delhi, the second installment of Rs 13 lakh was paid to Sanjeev.

The fraud came to light only after Surender tried to check the veracity of the receipts through his individual contacts. After verification, it was found that no medical college exists at the address mentioned in the receipts issued to Surender by the accused. The medical college, in fact, exists at Borachand Lane in Kolkatta. During interrogation, it was revealed that Sanjeev is a school dropout while Krishan had failed in his B.tech examination at IIMT, Meerut. 



Rattled by blasts, Delhi on high alert
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 25
The Delhi Police was today on high alert following series of blasts in Mumbai, which claimed a large number of lives and left scores of others injured. A senior Delhi Police official said that police presence in crowded market places, cinema halls, parking lots and other public places has been increased and searches were being carried out to ensure that no explosives or arms were being smuggled into the Capital. Particular attention was being paid to railway stations, inter state bus terminuses and airports. Barricades have been erected at crucial points to carry out checks on vehicles and suspicious persons. Senior police officers have been deputed to monitor the arrangements.

A general alert has also been sounded, asking people to be vigilant while travelling in public transport and visiting markets. In case any suspicious or unclaimed objects are found, people have been advised to immediately inform the police. Periodic checks of car parks were also being carried out to prevent any repeat of Mumbai like blasts. The police have asked the attendants at the parking lots to remain alert and inform them in case they find any vehicle left unattended for a long time.

Mobile patrolling by the Police Control Room vehicles has also been intensified. Special security measures are being taken in and around buildings of strategic importance and offices and residences of VVIPs. The security around vital installations was also being reviewed.



Varsity teachers’ body resents V-C’s bid to gag them
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, August 25
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisations (AIFUCTO) has expressed grave concern over a recent letter in which the Vice-Chancellor of Maharshi Dayanand University has threatened the secretary of the Maharshi Dayanand University Teachers’ Association (MDUTA), Dr Himmat Singh Ratnoo, with disciplinary action for the resolutions passed by the Executive Committee of the MDUTA on fee hike.

A resolution ‘in defence of academic freedom and democratic rights’ in Maharshi Dayanand University was passed by the meeting of the NEC of AIFUCTO held here yesterday.

Mr B. Parthasarthy, national secretary, AIFUCTO, said a copy of the resolution had been sent to the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor of the MDU, the Haryana Chief Minister and the state Education Minister for necessary action. He said the federation viewed this letter as a breach and infringement of the fundamental right to freedom, particularly the rights regarding freedom of speech provided under Article 19 of the Constitution.

The teacher activist said it was highly objectionable to describe the teachers’ opposition to the unprecedented fee hike and spurious levies as seditious.

He said it was the duty as well as the legitimate right of a teachers’ association to underline all aspects of education. Differences of opinion have a rightful place in a democracy and these should be met with meaningful and free exchange of ideas and not through cynical intimidation and provocative threats. The federation resolved to request the Vice-Chancellor to withdraw the letter.

Bhiwani students sore

Bhiwani: Resentment prevails among thousands of students and their parents regarding the order closing the Distance Education Programme, which was earlier being run in this district.

According to sources, the programme has been closed following the directive of the state government to change the affiliation of colleges of Bhiwani district to the newly formed Devi Lal University, Sirsa. Since no new guidelines have so far been issued by the new university, students who have completed two years of the three-year degree courses have been left in the lurch.

A student observed that thousands of students who were unable to get regular education took admission every year in different centres being run at Bhiwani but owing to the sudden closure of the programme mid-course, a state of uncertainty prevailed.

An office-bearer of the Chhatra Sangharsh Samiti and a former president of the student union, Mr Kamal Singh, said the state government did not take them into confidence before de-affiliating Bhiwani colleges with Maharshi Dayanand University. “The government has thus proved that it is chhatra virodhi,” he said.



Case of mistaken identity: Kidnapped boy let off 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 25
An attempt to kidnap an 11-year-old boy came a cropper when the two alleged kidnappers realised to their chagrin that they had caught hold of the wrong boy. They promptly drove him back to his hometown and released him there. According to information, Hemant, a student of the local Rishikul school, used to go to the school in an autorickshaw daily around 7.45 am.

On the fateful day, Hemant’s father, a resident of local Batra Colony, received a telephone call at 7 am, saying that the regular autorickshaw would not be available and another rickshaw would be instead sent to pick up the boy for school.

Around 7.15 am, a rickshaw puller, along with another person, reached the boy’s house to take him to school.

However, Mr Kishan Batra became suspicious of the rickshaw puller. When he made inquiries about his son from the school authorities around 9 am he was informed that the boy had not come to the school.

Mr Batra informed the police. The police promptly relayed the information to all nakas and deployed jeeps to trace the boy within the town.

However, the boy was found standing near the local bus stand around noon and was brought to the Geeta Bhawan police post. The boy has reportedly told the police that he was taken in an autorickshaw to a place near Ganaur on the GT Road. When the boy was produced in front of a person there, the latter said he was not the boy they had planned to kidnap.

Then, a motorcyclist dropped him back at Murthal Chowk in Sonepat and the boy walked up to the bus stand. The police have launched a manhunt to nab the unidentified gangsters.



Tis Hazari lawyers strike work 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 25
Thousands of lawyers went on a strike at the Tis Hazari courts here today in protest against the Delhi High Court’s move to post civil judges at the Karkardooma courts in East Delhi, causing considerable hardship to the litigants. At least 7,000 advocates stayed away from the proceedings of approximately 200 courts at Tis Hazari, terming the decision of the high court as “arbitrary and against litigants’ interest”.

Office-bearers of the Delhi Bar Association (DBA), representing the lawyers at Tis Hazari, said they had written to the Chief Justice of the high court to give a second thought to the recent postings.

“The decision (of the high court) would only result in delaying the disposal of the cases as there were bound to be frequent adjournments on the ground of non-availability of the advocates/parties, who would have to shuttle between both the courts”, DBA President Rajiv Khosla said. With this high court order, the civil cases in the lower courts will be shared; earlier, the civil cases were heard only in the Tis Hazari courts. The high court had not taken any steps for converting the available vacant space at Tis Hazari into courtrooms but instead had posted civil judges at Karkardooma on the ground of paucity of accommodation at Tis Hazari, the DBA said.

SC judge to preside over Lok Adalat

Rewari: A state-level special Lok Adalat, the first of its kind in Haryana, will be held here on August 30. This information was given by Justice V. K. Bali of the Punjab and Haryana High Court at a press conference here on Saturday. He said that Justice Ashok Bhan of the Supreme Court had consented to preside over the Lok Adalat. Judges, including the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr B. K. Roy, were expected to be among the prominent participants who would be imparting unique significance to the Lok Adalat which would, to all intents and purposes, be a big event. Besides, top civil, police and judicial officers from Chandigarh as well as from various other districts would also be present at the Lok Adalat which would virtually be a joint venture of the entire administration. OC



Congress unity possible if Bhajan stops projecting himself as CM: Birender 
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 25
The Haryana Congress leader and former chief of the party in the state, Mr Birender Singh, has said that if the HPCC president, Mr Bhajan Lal, stopped projecting himself as the future Chief Minister, he was ready to attend ‘every meeting convened by him’.

Mr Singh made this comment while speaking to mediapersons after attending a worker’s meeting at Ballabgarh. He said no leader of the party could stake a claim to the post of the Chief Minister as it would be decided by the elected MLAs and the party president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

He made these remarks when he was asked why the Congress supporters and workers were holding separate meetings in the same district.

It may be recalled that a similar party worker’s meeting had been held by Mr Bhajan Lal’s supporters at Sarai here about three weeks back. Supporters of Mr Singh and Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda had stayed away from it.

Mr Birender Singh declared that he was working to organise about one lakh workers from Haryana on a common platform in order to put pressure on the Union Government to speed up the construction of the SYL canal.

He also said that he was against giving party ticket to any individual who had lost in two consecutive elections. In a different context, he said he would oppose the entry of three independent MLAs from Faridabad district into the Congress party.

He said that he had learnt that they would try to enter the party when the Assembly poll draws near. Two of the three MLAs are presently supporting the Chautala government.

He claimed that the Chautala government had failed ‘miserably’ on all fronts, and all his promises made during the last election have been proved to be false. He said the various statements by the Union Government about investments in Haryana had also exposed the ‘lies’ of the present government on this front.

In separate statements, Mr Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of Mr Bhajan Lal, and Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, demanded the resignation of the Chautala government for `misleading’ the people about investments made in Haryana and the justification of Chautala’s foreign jaunts. They demanded a white paper on the issue. 



Cong, BJP members almost come to blows at MCD meet
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 25
Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party members of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi today nearly came to blows as the House convened to discuss the recent attack on Mr Vijendra Gupta, a BJP councillor, allegedly by the henchmen of an official against whom a CBI case has been registered for possessing disproportionate assets.

The meeting was convened to discuss the recent attack and also the request by the CBI for permission to prosecute the officer since the MCD is an autonomous body.

The trouble started as soon as the House was convened as tempers ran high and the Opposition accused the ruling Congress of encouraging corruption in the civic body. Shouting slogans, the members raised their fists and threatened to clash even as their leaders asked them to show restraint. Not to be outdone, several women councillors from both the parties almost came to blows trying to tear away at each others’ clothes. The House had to be adjourned twice.

Later, when the House met and some semblance of order was restored, it was decided to grant permission to the CBI to proceed against the officer.

Today’s meeting was convened under unprecedented security as the Mayor had specially sought security from the Delhi Police Commissioner in view of the recent attack on Mr Gupta.

The Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, informed that a case had been registered against the officer concerned and two of his henchmen had been arrested.

He talked to the Commissioner of Police to expedite the investigation of the case and asked him to take strict action against the suspects who attacked Mr Vijender Gupta.

Mr Ram Babu Sharma, Leader of the House, and Mr Subhash Arya, Leader of the Opposition, condemned the incident and the scene created in the House meeting. They also assured that the suspects would be punished. 



Traders joining hands to float political party 
Our Correspondent

Rewari, August 25
Leaders of the Haryana Pradesh Beopar Mandal have resolved to form a new political outfit, which will predominantly comprise of traders and businessmen. They hope to take part in a big way during the next Assembly elections in Haryana.

This was announced by its state president, Mr Bajrang Lal Garg, at a press conference here today.

He said that the new political outfit would be formally launched soon after the completion of essential formalities in this regard. He also announced that their party would put up candidates in about 40 Assembly constituencies, where the business community has predominant presence and exercised some hold on the electorate.

He said that during the past three weeks he had visited a number of districts during his current campaign for creating political awareness among the business community. He informed that the concept of moulding the trading community into a potent political force and entering direct electoral politics had been welcomed by a large number of traders at Hisar, Narwana, Kalayat, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Ambala, Pehowa, Bhiwani, Narnaul and several other places.

Explaining the background which necessitated such a campaign, he said the Chautala-led INLD government, which had been supported by the business community during the last elections, had adopted ‘anti-traders’ policies and had virtually ‘let loose a region of terror’ against the entire trading community.

He said the introduction of the VAT system in Haryana by the Chautala government was unprecedented in its impact on the trading community. He alleged the VAT system would only breed corruption in the system.

Mr Garg announced that the business community in the state would continue to oppose the VAT system, and would struggle till it was completely withdrawn.

Emphasising the need for the trading community to have their representatives in the corridors of power, he said the trading community, which constituted about 35 per cent of the total votes in Haryana, could efficaciously tilt the balance of power in its favour with the cooperation of the farming community.

He also claimed that the presence of the business representatives in the government would be able to provide a clean government to Haryana.

Mr Garg alleged that corruption in the various government departments and lack of essential facilities and infrastructure was proving detrimental to the interests of the business community in the state. He alleged that while other states provided incentives to business community, Haryana was putting up all kinds of obstacles.

Earlier, Mr Garg addressed a gathering of prominent traders of the city and urged them to make effective contribution to this challenge.

Mr Kishan Chaudhary, state vice-president, Mr Bhim Sen Baweja, state secretary and Mr Arvind Gupta, district president of the Beopar Mandal, also spoke on this occasion.



Chandrayaan mission will measure the best of our energies and skills

The announcement by the Prime Minister, from the ramparts of the Red Fort, to launch an indigenous moon craft Chandrayaan-I, was historic indeed. Reports in the media, however, indicate that the importance of unveiling of this momentous project slated for completion in five years is yet to be fully realised.

Nevertheless, every Indian should have a reason to feel proud of this scientific commitment. In this context what President Kennedy of USA said in 1961, when their programme for placing man on the moon was launched, is relevant even today.

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and do other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win. The growth of our science and education will be enriched by new knowledge of our universe and environment, by new techniques of learning and mapping and observations, by new tools and computers for industry, medicine, the home as well as the school. Technical institutions and public will reap the harvest of these gains.”

How prophetic were these words to be, was proved within a few years, as space science became a testing ground for new technologies in the field of electronics, automation, and miniaturisation of computers, besides medical instrumentation and biometrics etc. For the first time in USA in 1963, an office of Technology Utilisation was set up to promote public knowledge of the benefits accruing from the space programme. This was almost six years before the man had actually set foot on moon. Some 20,000 items were included in the list of these newly developed products. Perhaps it is not known, but numerous products, which we take for granted today, are a by-product of the space programme and space age travel.

Some of these are digital watches, small electronic calculators, global satellite communications-phone linkages, telecasts, photo and data transmission, miniature lithium batteries, rechargeable pacemakers, solar cells, high-strength temperature resistant paints and adhesives, light weight heat shields and many more. Micro miniature computers were ultimately used to develop automicrobic systems which could detect and identify harmful microorganisms (a la Star Trek!) in a fraction of time, it would have taken otherwise to analyse.

Developments in the field of rocketry, particularly research on various combinations of fuels, led to some highly advanced versions of missiles, further intensifying the cold car which was already peaking in the sixties and the seventies. Realising the gravity of the situation and the near possibility of the entire programme of scientific exploration of space getting transformed into a military programme and moon becoming the first colonial outpost in space, a course correction was immediately applied in the shape of a Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and use of Outer Space including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies.

This treaty signed simultaneously at Washington, London and Moscow in 1967, prohibits colonisation of space or of celestial bodies and commands international cooperation in scientific as well as legal aspects of the use of outer space for peaceful purposes. In this context we have also made it amply clear from the very beginning that our space programme is to be seen as a technology demonstrator and is for entirely peaceful purposes.

The Americans had sent seven manned missions to moon under the Apollo project, between July 1969 and December 1972. All of them landed except Apollo 13, and brought back with them lunar rocks and other scientific data, which led to some fundamental changes in our perception about moon.

Simultaneously, a view of earth as a small blue white marble in a blue sky was also obtained from moon. But due to the high costs manned missions to moon had to be abandoned. Later, the focus shifted to research projects through launching of recoverable space shuttles and positioning international space stations and studying long-term impacts of space travel on human biology. An important aspect of this area of research got highlighted accidentally when after the tragic incident of Columbia, live nematodes were recovered from its debris. A few thousand of them packed and sealed in petri dishes were found intact and full of life. They had certainly survived the re-entry temperatures and exposures to accelerations of about 10,000 times the force of gravity.

Thus by the time our launch take place we would have the benefit of immense experience of others to guide us. In a way, our tasks would be even more challenging as the more convenient equatorial regions of moon have been almost fully explored and we will, to avoid repetition, have to focus on fringes or polar areas of moon.

Shammi KapoorThe irrepressible yahoo man: During the last few weeks a lot may have been read on Shammi Kapoor but perhaps enough has still not been written about this irrepressible star of yesteryears. Inspite of the reigning heroes of the time, Shammi Kapoor was able to create a niche for himself with his unique style, which became a trend setter. Towards the end of the 1950’s, the public had, perhaps, become tired of the heavy black and white and overbearing stuff which dominated the scene. A change had become very much desirable, and in comes a bouncing, bubbling, dancing, yahooing Shammi Kapoor and the crowds are in raptures and off their feet virtually into a dreamland of boy meets girl musicals. With his flashy clothes, cardigans and jackets, for the first time, perhaps, there was someone more stylised and glamourised on the screen than even Dev Anand.

Shammi Kapoor’s success run began with ‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’ (1957) and ended with ‘Prince’ (1970), whereafter, he tried his hand as an overweight in some character roles, but chose to fade away. Shammi Kapoor is credited with launching maximum number of debutant heroines. Ameeta in ‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’, Asha Pareksh in ‘Dil Deke Dekho’ (1959), Saira Banu in ‘Junglee’ (1961), Kalpana in ‘Professor’ (1962) and Sharmila Tagore made her debut in Hindi cinema with him in ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ in 1964.

Incidentally, all of them were golden jubilee hits. It is known that his first five years in films were a period of struggle with one flop after another, yet he managed to marry Geeta Bali. Ultimately, it was left to the directorial instincts of Subodh Mukherjee, to try him out without his moustache in ‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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



Haryana to spend Rs 165 cr on flood protection work
Shiv Sharma

Bhiwani, August 25
The Haryana Government has formulated a Rs 165 crore scheme to protect the districts of Jind, Hisar, Sirsa and Fatehabad from the onslaught of floods and seepage.

This was stated by Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala while inaugurating the Khera minor, which has been constructed a cost of Rs 1.6 crore in Bhiwani district. 
He said Rs 683 crore had been spent to improve the irrigation system in the state during the past three and a half years. As many as 80 irrigation schemes had been completed and work on 72 such schemes was in progress to strengthen the irrigation system in the state.

He said efforts were being made to ensure early completion of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal, so that Haryana’s share of water flowed to the state. He said the state government had urged the Supreme Court to entrust the task of completion of the SYL canal to the Border Roads Organisation and get it completed within a year.

He reiterated the commitment of the government to ensure supply of adequate water and power and eradicate corruption at all levels. He said the installed capacity of power generation had been increased to 792 MW, which was 30 per cent of the existing installed capacity, during the past three and a half years.

More than 25,000 tubewell connections had been released and 53 new sub-stations were commissioned. Also, the capacity of 214 sub-stations was augmented. He said the work to set up seventh and eighth units of 250 MW each at Panipat Thermal Power Plant was in progress.

The work to set up a 500 MW thermal power plant at Yamunanagar had already been taken in hand. There would not be any shortage of power after the commissioning of these power plants. He directed the Irrigation Department to explore the possibility of Khera minor benefiting more villages. At present, the minor had a capacity to irrigate 2200 acres of land.

Mr Chautala was accompanied by MP Ajay Singh Chautala, the Minister of State for Education, Mr Bahadur Singh, the MLA from Mundhal, Mr Shashi Ranjan Parmar, the MLA from Badhara, Mr Ranbir Singh, and officers of the district administration.



Kiloi residents to protest against Chautala’s ‘disparaging’ remarks
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, August 25
Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, a former minister and spokesman of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee, has announced that the residents of the Kiloi Assembly segment would hold a demonstration at the office of the Deputy Commissioner here on September 22 in protest against the “derogatory” remarks made by the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, during his recent visit to the region.

In a statement here today, Mr Hooda alleged that the Chief Minister disappointed the thin gathering at his meeting when he said that he would consider the Kiloi segment as ‘dead’ and manage from the rest of the 89 constituencies in the next Assembly elections. Besides this unwarranted statement, he said the villagers would protest against the hike in bus fare, non-payment of dues of sugarcane growers for the last over six months by the Rohtak and the Meham cooperative sugar mills, the excessive hike in the fees for professional courses, prolonged power cuts and deteriorating law and order situation in the region.

The Congress leader announced that he would start a campaign to mobilise the residents of the Kiloi region to make the demonstration successful from September 6. 



A novel project to provide amputees with techno limbs
Nalini Ranjan

Artificial lower limbsHaving served in the Army for more than 30 years, no one knows better the pain and trauma of people who have lost their limbs than 61-year-old Brigadier (retd) Virendra Kumar Bajaj. Commissioned in the Corps of Signals in 1962, and rose to the rank of a Brigadier before he took premature retirement in 1993, to pursue his dream project.

Armed with BTech in electronics, MSc in defence studies and a diploma in computer software, this defence officer ventured into the civilian life with only one desire – to help those who have lost their limbs to lead a life of independence and self-respect. There were not too many options for the unfortunates, except the famous ‘Jaipur foot’. Only a few could afford to import prostheses from abroad. Other reconciled themselves to continue to live with whatever was available.

Technically equipped as he was, opportunity came his way in the form of International Society For Human Welfare And Rehabilitation (ISHWAR). The ISHWAR, a voluntary organisation, was looking for someone who could take on the task of designing and manufacturing prostheses for external parts of people’s bodies. Brigadier Bajaj, had three years of experience in industrial production having founded his own firm. After working out the details with an overseas collaboration, he started Endolite India Limited in the Naraina Industrial Area, in the Capital in 1966, which produces quality functional prostheses at affordable prices.

Since then, there was no looking back for this army officer, who now continues to battle with complicated designs to help those who need a limb. Brigadier Bajaj is a fellow of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers and member of the All India Management Association. He is also a member of the Computer Society of India and associate member of the Institution of Engineers. He has also received several awards for excellence in both military service and management skills from various organisations.

In a conversation with the NCR Tribune, he talks about his plans and objectives of the noble venture.

What is Endolite India Ltd?

An artificial upper limbIt is a joint venture of International Society for Human Welfare and Rehabilitation (ISHWAR), India and Chas A.Blatchford and sons, UK. It was started on January 1, 1996. Its mission is to provide reliable, cost-effective, technologically superior prosthetic and orthotic products with technical and clinical support to maximise benefits to the practitioners and their patients in India and its neighbouring countries.

The main objective of the venture is to manufacture, assemble and carry out fittings of high-tech artificial limbs and other prosthetic and orthotic (P and O) appliances and components for the needy, to establish prosthetic and orthotic limb centres in different parts of the country. It also aims at providing quality clinical prosthetic and orthotic services. This would include repairs, refitments and replacement of components, to provide P and O services through franchises. To provide Endolite products to hospitals, institutions, clinics, limb fitting centres and individuals as per requirement, to undertake training of prosthetic and orthotic engineers and technicians, to establish a research and development cell for the development of advanced P an O hardware. The cell will work in close co-ordination with the R and D division of Blatchford and Co.

What new features have been added to the venture?

It has attained a high level of proficiency in fitment in lower extremity prosthetics and has recently commenced fitment of upper extremity prosthetics. It has recently tied with RSL Steeper and co, UK, for upper extremity prosthetic components, Goemed of W. Germany, for selected prosthetic and orthotic components, which are not available in our country and Camp Scandinavia of Sweden for selected orthotic components. It has recently achieved ISO 9001 certificate for always maintaining international standard quality.

Besides, it has become the first in the South Asia to achieve such a distinction. Right now, it has five P and O centres, one each in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. It has franchise network of nearly 30 outlets. Now, it is planning to set another five centres and expand its franchise network to nearly 100 by the end of next year.

How did you come in to this field?

After taking voluntary retirement from the Army, I had gone to London to meet my close friend, who is a doctor there. He is a known orthopaedic doctor there and runs one successful artificial limbs centre there. After returning to India, I decided to set up such a centre in our country.

It started in a very tiny rented complex. And my first patient was Mrs Komal Gupta. She was a fortunate survivor of Dabwali inferno, in which hundreds of children had lost their lives. Due to severe burns injuries her both legs were amputated by the doctors. We fitted the first artificial computerised limbs set to her. Now she is happily married. We have fitted artificial limbs to many Dabwali survivors.

How are your products different from Jaipur Foot?

There is no denying the fact that under the able direction of universally renowned Dr Sethi, Jaipur Foot has been the pioneer in the field. But those were the days when it was the single option in the market. It had shot into limelight with the famous classical dancer Sudha Chandran episode when she was enabled to dance with the help of artificial Jaipur foot.

Now, the scenario has changed. There are so many options in the market and mutual competition is very stiff and cutthroat. Endolite is the name that has brought hope to thousands of amputees across the world. It ushered in a dramatic technological change in prosthetics by introducing carbon fibre composite materials.

These products ensure superior strength, extremely lightweight and easy to mould. All the prosthetic fitments are handled by highly qualified and skilled prosthesists. It provides all the comprehensive range of professional and clinical services. It covers all levels of amputation of the lower limbs.

Special attention is paid to the design of joint ankle, knee and hip, thereby providing highly efficient systems for all categories of patients. The modularity of the system enables the patient to find the right fit for his requirements.

The Endolite range includes state-of-the-art IP+(Intelligent Prosthesis plus) a computerised ‘Above knee’ limb – the only one of its kind available anywhere in the world. The range covers various swing phase control mechanisms, the stansflex stablised knee, the four bar knee and hip joints, the four bar child system, the silicone sockets, the multi-flex foot and multi-flex ankle and fore the more agile the dynamic response foot.

To cater to the great Indian middle class clientele, a lower cost alternative system under the brand name Prolite has been introduced. This is cheaper, but meets the same exacting standards that Endolite does. The Prolite component covers both the trans tribal and the trans femoral ranges. The range includes Aqualimb – a lightweight shower limb for below knee amputees.

In addition to these products, we have very low cost Atlas system - a simple, sophisticate design and it combines superb function, durability and low cost. It can be assembled and fitted with speed without any special tools.

The entire range ensures highly economical and efficient systems for all categories of patients.

Human limbs are one of the nature’s most intricately designed mechanisms. Its loss not only causes physical handicap, but also leads to social, psychological and economic handicap. It goes without saying that it affects the individual, family, society and country as a whole to some extent. But this can now be reduced to some extent by provision of artificial limbs.



Minister fails to turn up for grievances panel meet
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 25
The Haryana Agriculture Minister, Mr Jaswinder Singh Sandhu, did not turn up to preside over the monthly meeting of the District Public Relations and Grievances Committee held here yesterday. According to a report, this is the third time that the minister has failed to turn up to preside over the meeting. This has caused strong resentment among the official and non-official members of the committee.

Mr Balwan Singh, Deputy Commissioner, who presided over the meeting in the absence of the minister, disposed of 11 out of 12 complaints received by him from the aggrieved persons.

Rly crossing reopens: The Northern Railway reopened its crossing near Hindu College here today. According to a report, this railway crossing was closed down around 10 pm on Saturday for annual repair of the railway tracks. It remained closed throughout the day yesterday, causing inconvenience to thousands of people, particularly the vehicles drivers passing through this crossing.



Temple, Mother Dairy outlet on park land
Our Correspondent

Noida, August 25
Residents of Sector 49 here are livid that the land for a children’s park in the sector has been encroached on and a temple, a Mother Dairy outlet and the RWA office have been constructed on it.

On the plea of the residents, a Noida senior project official, S. Chandra, who is the Engineer, Civil Construction Division-II, had ordered suitable action to remove the encroachments some months back. But no action has been taken. The land where the temple, the Mother Dairy outlet and the RWA office had been constructed was earmarked for the children’s park, Noida officials have confirmed.

This piece of land had been encroached on bit by bit, says Mr Rattan Ram Verma, a resident of D-207 in the area. People had paid to the Noida administration higher prices for the plots facing the park but that they have been denied this facility.



Noida traders stage protest against ‘harassment’
Our Correspondent

Noida, August 25
Traders of prestigious Sector 18 market here took out a rally and organised a dharna against the menace of government officials demanding bribe and exploiting and harassing them.

The traders were demanding strict action against the government officials from Dadri tehsil. In a memorandum given to the District Magistrate, the traders alleged that on August 13, about a dozen tehsil officials demanded a bribe from Rajinder Prasad, a shopkeeper of Sector 18. When they said they had come for “recovery”, Rajinder Prasad told them that the recovery notice against his shop was sent wrongly. He told them he had been assured by the DM that the recovery challan had been returned. “Give me a day’s time, let me find out,” he had requested them.

At this, the Naib Tehsildar, Dadri, asked the employees and customers to vacate the premises. They allegedly assaulted two employees, Satvir and Mrs R Jain.

As the situation became tense, the police from the Sector 18 police post were summoned. The memorandum said Naib Tehsildar of Dadri Rajinder Singh Bhatti, Bhasin, Babu Ram, Ameen, Dinesh Kumar, Chitranjan and others had come for the “recovery”.

Non-official members of Rajya Sainik Board

Bhiwani: Major Bharat Singh (retd), Major Sher Singh Dalal (retd), Capt Mange Ram (retd), Honorary Capt Nafe Singh (retd) of Bhiwani district have been inducted as non-official members of the Haryana Rajya Sainik Board, which was reconstituted yesterday. According to information, the tenure of the non-official members will be three years.

The Haryana Government has re-constituted the Haryana Rajya Sainik Board with Governor Babu Parmanand as its president and Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Chandi Mandir, and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, Delhi, as vice-presidents. The Secretary, Haryana Rajya Sainik Board, will be the member secretary of the board.

School upgraded

Rohtak: The Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, has announced the upgrading of Harnam Das Government High School at Lohari Jatu village to senior secondary level. The announcement was made by the Chief Minister during his visit to the village recently.

It is believed that the village was set up by Luha Rajput, a descendant of Pandavas, about 900 years ago. The other people, Bharadwaj Brahmins, who came here were considered to be the descendants of Guru Dronacharya. The Chief Minister also announced a metal road from this school to Baba Jagannath Udyan and to the cremation ground.

Scribes stage demonstration

Journalists of the district today took out a demonstration in the town in protest against the rise in the incidents of police assault on scribes. The call for the agitation was given by the Patrakar Sangharsh Samiti.

The journalists belonging to different unions and associations assembled at Durga Bhawan temple and marched through main markets of the town, carrying placards and shouting slogans against the police atrocities. The demonstration culminated at the mini secretariat and the participants staged a dharna at the office of the Deputy Commissioner. The protestors were demanding registration of cases against the police officials who beat up two newsmen during the elections of office-bearers of the Maharshi Dayanand University Non-teaching Employees Association on August 20 without any reason.



Man shot for asking for loan amount
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, August 25
A young man in Shakipur village under the Surajpur police station was shot dead on Saturday night by his friend and neighbour when he reportedly demanded back Rs 15,000 he had loaned to the latter last year. The incident happened in the night, hours after Fateh Singh (24) asked Om Prakash to return the money.

According to the police, both of them were running hair cutting saloons side by side in Shakipur village and were residing as neighbours. Last year, Om Prakash had taken a loan of Rs 15,000 from Fateh Singh to meet some expenses.

Two months ago, when Fateh Singh asked Om Prakash to return the loan, the two had an argument. Om Prakash, it is learnt, had warned Fateh Singh that he would be shot dead if he ever demanded the money back again.

On Saturday, Fateh Singh again asked Om Prakash for the money, as he needed it badly. Om Prakash reportedly threatened him that he would be dealt with in the night. Fateh Singh did not take the warning seriously. When Om Prakash came out at midnight to answer the nature’s call, Om Prakash fired at him. A badly wounded Fateh Singh started shouting. Though some villagers chased Fateh Singh, he escaped under the cover of darkness. The police were immediately informed and Fateh Singh was rushed to a Ghaziabad hospital Fateh Singh where he succumbed to his injuries next day.

Killed over illicit affair: In another incident, a driver of a bus allegedly killed the conductor with a spade on Saturday. The Mussori police have arrested the assailant, 24-year-old Shahnawaz, and his wife in Dasna town. Shanawaz had struck a friendship with Vikas, a Bihar youth who was also living in Dasna, the police said. Sometime later, Shahnawaz managed to get Vikas the job of a conductor on his bus. Subsequently, Vikas developed an affair with Shahnawaz’s wife. On Saturday night, Vikas gained entry into Shahnawaz’s house. When Shahnawaz woke up suddenly, he found Vikas and his wife in a compromising position. In a rage, he hit Vikas with a spade on his head. 



Two knocked down by HR bus
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 25
Pravesh Gautam and Jitender Singh, residents of Vasundhara, who were on a scooter, were reportedly knocked down by a Haryana Roadways bus near Ashram Chowk in South district today. The driver fled the spot leaving the bus behind. The victims were coming from Badarpur side and were heading towards Sarai Kale Khan. As they crossed the Ashram crossing, the bus hit their vehicle. They fell down and died on the spot. A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving has been registered, the police said.

In another incident, Vikas Khandelwal, scooterist was killed after Blue Line bus hit the vehicle on Desh Bandhu Gupta Road in Central district. The driver of the erring bus, Chandu Kumar Indoria, has been arrested, the police said.

Nepali men found dead: Kishan Bahadur and Bharat, both Nepali nationals, were found dead in a guard room situated on the fourth floor of Competent House in Nangal Rai in South-West district today. Their throats were slit. Kishan Bahadur was guard in the building whereas Bharat worked as a peon somewhere else but lived in the building. The police suspected the involvement of a youth, who lived in a house opposite to the building and had friendship with Kishan Bahadur. The suspect is missing. Robbery is suspected to be the motive behind the murder.



Two murders in Pandav Nagar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 25
Two women were murdered in two different incidents in Pandav Nagar in East district this afternoon. In the first incident, a 40-year old woman was found hanging from a ceiling fan with both her hands and legs tied. The body of the victim, Sajni Bhatia, wife of J K Bhatia, who is running a brass and copper business, was discovered by her sons after they returned from the school.

The police said that there was no sign of ransacking and the accused might have gained a friendly entry.

In the second incident, one Pooja Karbhandha (52) was found murdered at her rented house. Pooja’s neck was slit and she was lying in a pool of blood. The house is owned by one Rakesh Kumar.



DD Metro to become news channel
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 25
The Metro channel on Doordarshan, known for its entertainment programmes, may become a 24-hour news channel from October if the reports from Mandi House are to be believed.

According to sources in the Prasar Bharti Boardcasting Corporation of India (PBBCI), the corporation had reportedly decided to convert the highly successful Metro Entertainment Channel into a news channel from October 2, Gandhi Jayanti. It will be in the face of previous such experiments of starting a DD News Channel, which had to be ultimately closed down due to heavy financial losses. Metro Channel of Doordarshan has been a highly successful channel with an annual revenue of around Rs 30 crore from the advertisements and sponsorships.

The Association of Private Producers and Agencies of Doordarshan (APPAD), which make sponsored programmes exclusively for this channel (Metro), has decided to oppose the reported decision of the government to convert it into a 24-hour news channel. It has alleged the motive behind it was quite clear as assembly polls were due in November in Delhi and a few other states. It is claimed that as the reach of Metro Channel had been maximum countrywide the government wanted to use this channel to propagate and flash its achievements to get an advantage in the elections.

According to Mr Ashwini Sharma, general secretary of the APPAD, the government wanted to take benefit of the fact that a majority of the TV audience watched Metro Channel in the country. It was part of a well-planned strategy to cash in on the already available audience as people would be helpless, having no option but to watch what was served to them.

Alleging that it was tantamount to blackmailing the viewers, the APPAD claimed the decision would lead to a huge loss of over Rs 30 crore to Doordarshan and prove harmful to the interests of thousands of persons associated with production and telecast of programmes.

It has been contested that the policy of starting a news channel may be okay but why do away with DD Metro and why not DD Bharti or DD Sports channels? It says the reason was simple. DD Metro had been a terrestrial channel with a viewership of 128 million people. The reach of other channels was negligible.

The association has charged that the move was unjustified as it would snatch the basic right of the viewers to see entertainment programmes. They would be just left with programmes that may be biased and boring for a large audience. It is alleged that the conversion of a popular channel into a news channel was a perfect example of the continuous interference of the government in the working of Prasar Bharti and Doordarshan.

According to the association whose membership is around 105, this would serve as a major loss to the producers, who had paid Rs 25,000 as processing fee and had spent lakhs on production of various programmes, which had been already approved and were in the pipeline for slotting on the channel. It is stated the closure of the channel would entail heavy losses.

It is reported that the government may spend another Rs 100 crore to Rs 125 crore on creating infrastructure and preparing new programmes. The Association, which has announced its opposition to the move, has decided to convene a meeting of the producers to decide on the next course of action in this regard. It has alleged that its request for a direct talk with the CEO and the DG of Doordarshan had been turned down.


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