Friday, August 29, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Amarinder opposes use of Articles 356 & 365
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Rejecting the Union Government’s claim that there was consensus at the Srinagar Inter-State Council meeting over the use of Article 256, 257, 356, 365 and deployment of Army in the states, Punjab Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, said today that he was in total disagreement with the Centre on the way it wanted to use Article 356 and 365 in the garb of recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission.

While the Sarkaria Commission had recommended that Article 356, under which any state can be brought under President’s rule by dismissing the popular government, should be used sparingly, the Union Government did not reveal what checks and safeguards it would take to stop its misuse in the light of the Sarkaria Commission’s report.

Addressing a Press conference immediately after his arrival from Srinagar, Capt Amarinder Singh said he told the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, to debate the issue at length before taking any step about enforcing Article 356 and 365.

He apprehended that the BJP would misuse Article 356 and 365 in case it got majority in the Rajya Sabha. BJP’s only handicap to use Article 356 at present was that it had no majority in the Upper House, Capt Amarinder Singh added. In the Bommai case, the Supreme Court had given directions that the Centre could only suspend a state government under Article 356 but its dissolution had to be ratified by both Houses of Parliament.

Article 365 should be removed from the Constitution. It was against the spirit of the Federal structure of the Country. Under this Article, powers are vested in the Union Government to take action in case any state government fails to enforce its (Centre) instructions. Capt Amarinder Singh said under Article 256 and 257, the Centre had vast powers to impose its will on the states. “My viewpoint was supported by the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and certain other states”, said Capt Amarinder Singh.

In fact, the Punjab problem had its genesis in the over-centralization of powers by the Centre. The Sarkaria Commission was set up as a part of the Rajiv-Longowal accord to redefine centre-state relations. The Union Government was again playing mischief and trying for further centralisation of powers. “I will tell my party to oppose in Parliament in case the Union Government brought any legislation regarding the use of Article 356 and 365 against the state”, he added.

He strongly pleaded for autonomy to states in financial matters. The Union Government sits on various financial proposals of the states thus impeding the development process. For even getting a minor proposal cleared, we have to approach the Union Finance Ministry, he added. The Centre was not giving due share from the taxes collected by the states. In fact, it had been diverting the money collected from states like Punjab to other areas, he asserted.

The banks were collecting huge deposits from states like Punjab but investing the money elsewhere. The deposit-credit ratio was highly skewed in case of Punjab, he said. The Union Government was welcome to deploy the Army in case of external aggression. But to deal with internal situations, it must take the consent of the State government concerned before ordering deployment. Moreover, the Centre should foot the bill for the deployment of paramilitary forces in states to deal with problems like terrorism.

The Centre retained a big share from the taxes collected from the state and it was its duty to bear the expenditure of deployment of paramilitary forces which fight nation’s battle against the anti-national forces such as terrorists. “Punjab will not pay the pending dues to the Centre pertaining to the deployment of paramilitary forces during the militancy period”, he said.

In fact, by opposing unchecked operation of Article 356, Capt Amarinder Singh has also put the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal in a tight spot. SAD MPs will have to oppose in case any legislation regarding the use of Article 356 is introduced in Parliament. “Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, an Akali MP, is a representative of SAD in the Union Government. Why is he silent on these issues”, questioned Capt Amarinder Singh.

He said his government would not enforce POTA in Punjab. It was a draconian law and could not be enforced as such, he asserted. Many other states had also refused to implement POTA, he added.


Free hand given to Chief Secy, DGP, says CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has given a free hand to Chief Secretary Jai Singh Gill and DGP A.A. Siddiqui to post officers of their choice.

Capt Amarinder Singh said here today that he had told both officers that since they were supposed to run the administration, they should pick up officers of their choice for postings in the field. But they must show results “I am not going to thrust any officer upon the Chief Secretary and the DGP” said the Chief Minister. The doctors would continue getting the non-practising allowance till the final decision was taken on this issue.


DCs removed as chairpersons of 
rural development agencies
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The Punjab Government has removed all Deputy Commissioners from the chairmanship of District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) in the state. They have been replaced by elected Chairpersons of Zila Parishads.

Informed sources said today that the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) in each district had been made member of the DRDA. He would act under the control of the Chairperson of the DRDA henceforth. Sources said necessary instructions about the removal of DCs had been sent to the authorities concerned in all districts.

All MLAs had been made members of the DRDA. Besides, heads of various departments in the districts and managers of banks, who provide funds for various development schemes in rural areas, had also been made members of the DRDAs.

Two members of the DRDA in each district would be taken from poor sections of society and one of them would be a dalit. The Chairperson of the DRDA had been authorised to nominate one woman and two NGOs as members of the DRDA besides one official from the Technical Education Department.

Sources said the Deputy Commissioners had been removed to gear up the process of development in the state through elected representatives of the people. The objective of giving more powers to Zila Parishads had also been achieved by doing so.

Sources said the officers concerned had been told to hold meetings of the DRDAs on a regular basis and review the various schemes on a monthly basis. A proper liaison should be maintained with the banks to finance various development and employment generating projects.

Meanwhile, the state government had started preparations to train members of panchayats, including sarpanches, on the use of powers which would be given to them on October 2. At least five departments, including education, social security, public health, civil dispensaries, would be handed over to the panchayats on October 2.

Panchayats would be authorised to recruit teachers and would also be given supervisory powers. Various organisations had been sounded on preparing the training profile of panches and sarpanches. There are about 90,000 members of panchayats in the state.

It is also pertinent to mention that Punjab has lagged behind states like Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat as far as empowerment of grass root democratic institutions is concerned. States like Gujarat had given vast powers to the panchayats.


Review decision on private practice, say doctors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) Association has urged the Punjab Government to review its decision to allow private practice to few doctors keeping in view its adverse fallout on the healthcare system.

A faction of the association headed by Dr Hardeep Singh in a press note here today also sought the review of the administrative organisation of the Department of Health and Family Welfare by involving more PCMS officers into the administration.

The Experts Committee had yesterday recommended the introduction of an “optional’’ non-practicing allowance (NPA) and a mechanism to oversee the same for which certain administrative and organisational changes were also suggested.

The association president, Dr Hardeep Singh, and general secretary, Dr Surinder Singla, urged the government to issue a notification with regard to the decision taken by the committee on the issue of restoring the NPA to those not opting for private practice so that the pending bills of the doctors could be cleared without any delay.

The association promised to extend support in ensuring effective delivery of health services, particularly in the rural areas in a cost-effective manner.

Meanwhile, the Dr M.S. Randhawa faction of the association has also welcomed the decision of the state government regarding the restoration of the NPA by describing it as “a step in the right direction’’.

In a joint statement issued by Dr D.S. Gill and Dr Manjit Singh, president and general secretary, respectively, of the association expressed their gratitude to the Chief Minister for ensuring that the doctors got their salaries for August without any cut.


Row over upkeep of Ram Tirath temple deepens
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 28
A major clash was averted today as the police accompanied by the Deputy Mayor, Mr Om Parkash Gabbar, the Tehsildar, Mr Manjit Singh, Balmiki followers and followers of Mahant Baldev Giri stood defiant near the disputed property of the ancient Ram Tirath Temple.

The mahant presented relevant court documents in his favour to the Tehsildar, who decided against reported intention of the forceful occupation of the disputed property in the presence of this correspondent.

In a fresh turn of events, despite a pending court case between a trust headed by mahant Baldev Giri and the one led by the Deputy Mayor, Mr Om Parkash Gabbar, chairman, Bhagwan Balmiki Ashram, Dhuna Sahib Trust, the Tehsildar, Mr Manjit Singh as representative of the district administration came to conduct the survey of the disputed property here today.

The mahant alleges that they came with an intention to break the locks of disputed property which earlier housed the CRPF quarters in the peak of militancy and later was occupied by the police who vacated it about three years ago. The Tehsildar refuted the allegation. The mahant alleged interference and high handedness by the district administration to grab the disputed property at the behest of the Deputy Mayor.

However, Mr Gabbar claimed that the Balmikis were the rightful claimants of the property and asserted that they would take over the disputed property within a week. He, however, could not produce any documents to substantiate his claims.


Toll from defence personnel taken up with Centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The Chief Engineer, PWD, Punjab, has taken up with the Central Government the issue of violation of the Indian Tolls (Army and Air Force) Act by some toll collectors in the state. While armed forces personnel are exempt from paying a toll there have been a number of instances when they have been asked to pay up.

A complaint in this connection was filed before the Punjab State Human Rights Commission by Capt Navdeep Singh. The commission had subsequently directed the Chief Engineer to take up the case with the Central Government. At a hearing before the commission today, officials from the Chief Engineer’s office submitted that the matter had been taken up with the appropriate authorities.

Section 3 of the Act provides that all officers, soldiers and airmen of the regular forces shall be exempted from the payment of a toll on any road or bridge. While this exemption is applicable to members of the regular forces whether on duty or otherwise, and whether travelling in a service vehicle or a private one. Territorial Army and NCC personnel are exempt only when on duty. The Act also provides for penalty if the aforementioned provisions are violated.

The commission had earlier directed the state government to ensure that defence personnel are not harassed and made to pay a toll by collectors at various roads and bridges in Punjab since it is prohibited by law.

The state government had then maintained that the issue of toll collection involved the state and Central Governments following which the state was directed to take up the issue with the Centre and sort out the matter.


No differences with Badal, says Tohra
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 28
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, said today that he had no differences with Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Tohra said certain “anti-Panthic” forces were out to create a division in the Shiromani Akali Dal by getting “fabricated” news items planted for vested interests. He claimed that he had nothing to do with the statement issued on his behalf yesterday.

Mr Tohra said he was directly in touch with Mr Badal and there was complete unity in the Shiromani Akali Dal. He said he was out of station when a press note was issued on his behalf with some ‘ulterior motive’. Interestingly both press notes (yesterday’s and today’s) were released by the Publicity Department of the SGPC.


Removal of NRI Sikhs’ names from black list soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The Union Home Ministry is all set to remove the names of several NRI Sikhs from the black list issued after Operation Bluestar. The entry of these NRI Sikhs was banned in India.

Sources said several meetings had been held in the Union Home Ministry in the recent past to review the list. An announcement about the removal of the names, according to sources, will be made by Mr Bhisham Agnihotri, India’s Ambassador at large, in Canada later this week.

Sources said Mr Agnihotri along with Mr Rulda Singh, a senior leader of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat from Patiala, held meetings with Home Ministry officials and Union Home Minister L.K. Advani in this connection.

During Mr Advani’s visit in June to New York, certain organisations of NRI Sikhs asked him to review the black list.

There are about 400 names on the list. Many among them are in Germany and other countries, including Pakistan.


BJP holds rally against MC
Our Correspondent

Abohar, August 28
The BJP today took out a protest march to express resentment over two resolutions passed by the local municipal council on August 25. Over 125 workers assembled at Geeta Mandir here this morning and walked in procession raising anti-Congress slogans.

The protesters included a former MLA, Dr Ram Kumar Goyal, Mr Faquir Chand Goyal district president, and Mr Brij Mohan Sharma, city unit president of the party. The procession passed through main roads of the town.

Later, they submitted a memorandum to the SDM, Mr Jaskiran Singh. It said the council had resolved to rename Loknayak Jaiparkash Narayan Park as Indira Gandhi Park, which was not a right step. The BJP took exception to another resolution regarding giving collection of octroi on contract. The memorandum said privatising octroi was against the interests of the common people and the business community.


Case against Lopoke false, says Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The Shiromani Akali Dal ( SAD) President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today condemned the registration of a “false dowry case’’ against a party legislator, Mr Veer Singh Lopoke, and other members of the family, saying that this was a “brazen attempt by the ruling party to gain political mileage out of what is essentially a domestic issue.’’

“The registration of a false case is a part of the continuing attempts by the Congress Government to involve Akali leaders in false cases at the slightest pretext. The case against SAD legislator Lopoke comes on the eve of the assembly sessions likely next month and this does not augurs well for political climate in the state,’’ Mr Badal said here.

Mr Badal decried the Congress attempts to take its divide-and-rule dictum to such absurd limits as to exploit domestic disputes for political ends.


Jagjit enthrals fans on homecoming
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, August 28
Singer Jagjit Singh today visited, DAV College here, where he used to study about 44 years back, interacted with students and enthralled the audience at a function held to honour him.

Clad in a white kurta pyjama, Jagjit Singh reached the college and visited the classrooms, where he used to study between 1959 and 1963. As soon as the news of his arrival reached the students, hundreds of them tried to have a glimpse of the singer, making it tough for policemen to handle the crowd.

The students chased Jagjit Singh from one room to another even as the college authorities tried to avoid any discomfort to him. He formally inaugurated the Pandit Mehr Chand IT block in the college.

Going down memory lane, he said he used to pass out of a class in two years as he was more dedicated towards music than studies. “I used to eat eggs at a dhaba near the railway crossing even as his fee and hostel charges were borne by the college authorities,” he said, adding that he was proud of DAV College, which was his launching pad for the field of music.

“I am happy to be back in Jalandhar again, where I spent six precious years of my life. It is like a homecoming for me and a dream come true by visiting my college,” he said.

“It was DAV College, which had given me a proper platform in undivided Punjab to become a popular singer way back in 1959 during a youth festival. Subsequently, I won some competitions of All- India Radio and later shifted to Mumbai. I think my dedication and hard work proved fruitful,” Jagjit Singh said.

Talking about the recent trend of vulgarity in videos, he said it was unfortunate that commercial interests were becoming more important than cultural values and heritage. It was virtually difficult to watch videos of songs along with family members, he said.


Mann for separate Sikh identity
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, August 28
Demanding separate Constitutional identity for the Sikhs, the president of SAD (Amritsar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, today urged that the Central Government should implement the recommendations of the Constitution Review Committee which suggested to bring a Bill to amend Article 25 of the Constitution to exclude Sikh community from the fold of Hinduism.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Mann said that he had already written to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Law and Justice in this regard, but nothing happened causing disillusionment among the Sikhs.

Mr Mann alleged that some Hindu fundamentalist organisations were creating hurdles in introduction of an amendment Bill in this regard. He further said that the Lok Sabha Speaker was not allocating requisite time to the members belonging to minorities for raising issues of their constituencies.


Anti-drug staff for border districts
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 28
The border range police has decided to have anti-drug staff in each border district under it to eliminate drug peddling and smuggling. Making this announcement, DIG G.S. Sahota today admitted here that smuggling and addiction of drugs had increased manifold in Punjab in the last seven or eight years, which was effecting society not only socially but also economically.

The DIG admitted that petty crimes like snatching had increased due to drug addiction among the youth.

He revealed that staff would collect information about the persons involved in drug peddling and take necessary action.

He said the staff, comprising an SI, two ASIs, four head constables and 10 constables, would work under SP (D), with their headquarters at CIA staff office.


Lance Naik cremated
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, August 28
Lance Naik Lakhwinder Singh was cremated with state honours in his native village Babehali today. He died in shelling from across the border in the Kargil sector on August 26.

Subedar Dalbir Singh of 14 Mahar Regiment accompanied the body to the native village of the martyr.

A large number of villagers from Babehali and its surrounding villages were present at cremation. These included Mr Gurbachan Singh Babehali, president DCC, Mr Amarjit Paul, Subdivisional Magistrate, Gurdaspur, Mr Sardool Singh, DSP and Station Staff Officer, Lieut Col D.S. Sandhu.

Mr Amar Singh, father of the martyr, lit the pyre. The Subdivisional Magistrate told the father of the martyr that the family would receive the benefits due to him on account of his supreme sacrifice while defending the borders.


Nangal resident killed in Nashik stampede
Our Correspondent

Nangal (Ropar), August 28
Raksha Devi (46), a resident of the Sharma store area, was among those killed in stampede at Nashik yesterday. As the news of her death reached here yesterday night a pall of gloom descended on her family. Her son, Satpal Sharma, confirmed the news of her death.

Today the shopkeepers of the area downed their shutters to mourn her death.

Rashka Devi had gone to Nashik on the eve of Kumbh along with her husband, Satpal Sharma, who runs a sweet shop at Nangal and other residents of the area in specially hired buses.


Special offer to riot victims’ kin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The Punjab Government has made a special offer to next of kin of the riots and terrorist victims to apply for jobs on compassionate grounds. According to a press note issued by the Department of Relief and Rehabilitation, this last chance was being given to enable those who were minor at the time of the incident.

The applications can be submitted in the office of the Deputy Commissioners concerned before October 6, 2003.


CBI probe ordered into police killing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The mystery shrouding the death of a Moga district resident, allegedly killed by Punjab Police after being taken out of a bus, trudged towards a solution today with Mr Justice K.C. Gupta of the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordering a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the matter.

The alleged victim, Kulwant Singh, was on the way to Moga from Ludhiana when he was reportedly taken out of the bus by cops belonging to “Mehna police station”. He was later “shown to have been killed in an encounter”.

It was in April, 1995, that the matter was initially brought to the notice of the Supreme Court. In a letter to Justice Kuldip Singh — then a Supreme Court Judge — Member of Parliament Simranjit Singh Mann had enclosed an affidavit of the alleged victim’s wife Charanjit Kaur.

Taking up the letter, the apex court had directed that the same should be treated as a writ petition. It was subsequently referred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court for “hearing and decision”. During the proceedings, the state of Punjab had alleged that Kulwant Singh was killed in an encounter.

After hearing the arguments, the high court had directed Faridkot’s District and Sessions Judge to hold an inquiry into the matter. He was also asked to submit a report within six months.

In her statement before the Sessions Judge, Charanjit Kaur had asserted that she, along with her children, were also brought to the police station where she had identified her husband. He was alive, but was ill-treated.

After completing the inquiry, the Sessions Judge, in his report, had held that the fact regarding Kulwant Singh’s killing was to be established by the state. In fact, no evidence had been produced regarding the alleged encounter, the Judge had concluded.

Taking up the case today, Mr Justice Gupta ruled: “In view of the unrebutted evidence of the complainant, it was desirable that the case be got registered and then inquired by the CBI.

Therefore, in view of the fact, I order that CBI inquiry should be conducted into the killing of Kulwant Singh of Khukhrana village in Moga tehsil”.


BKU (R) for action against spurious pesticide sellers
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 28
The district unit of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) has urged the Deputy Commissioner to take stern action against the sellers and manufacturers of the spurious pesticides.

In a representation to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Jhanda Singh, the district president of the BKU (Rajewal), has stated that some pesticide sellers were selling “spurious” Padan pesticide in the district. The authorities of the Agriculture Department had collected samples of the pesticide in the recent past from the shops at Bhawanigarh and Sangrur. Both samples were rejected by the authorities concerned, he added.

Mr Jhanda Singh has also urged the Deputy Commissioner to take stern action against the pesticide sellers and demanded that a case should be registered against both shopkeepers to reveal the whereabouts of the pesticide manufacturers.


Commissioner’s visit makes town cleaner
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 28
Today’s visit of the Commissioner, Faridkot division, Mr B. Sarkar, to this town turned into blessing in disguise for the residents.

The municipal corporation authorities came to know about the visit yesterday and pressed sweepers into service to make areas littered with garbage cleaner.

A section of officials of the municipal corporation followed Mr Sarkar with mobile phones and kept sounding other officials on the place the was likely to visit next.

After visiting various localities, Mr Sarkar went to the office of the District Transport Officer and checked the records. He asked the officials concerned why some columns in the official registers had been kept empty.

Mr Sarkar next visited a number of government schools and checked the attendance of students and members of staff. He also tasted the midday meal being served to students of primary classes.

He later went to the offices of District Education Officers (Secondary and Primary) and found that only a few senior officials were away to attend meetings. He told the teachers to make efforts for all-round and integrated development of students.

On the demand of shopkeepers of Amrik Singh Road, he told the executive officer of the municipal corporation to set up urinals. He was accompanied by senior civil officials.


Posts of SDM, Tehsildar vacant
Our Correspondent

Mansa, August 28
The people of Sardulgarh subdivision in the district are facing difficulties in getting their complaints redressed as there is no Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM) for the last six months. The people of the subdivision have to go to Mansa to get their work done as the charge of SDM, Sardulgarh, has been given to SDM, Mansa. Since the Amarinder-led government was formed in the state, six SDMs had been transferred.

There is no Tehsildar at Sardulgarh for the last three months. There is no PCS officer with the state government who can be posted in the district.


Husband booked in dowry death case
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, August 28
Kuldip Kaur, wife of Kuldip Singh of Muradpur Narial village succumbed to her burn injuries at local Civil Hospital last night.

According to police sources Kuldip Singh and his mother Joginder Kaur allegedly used to torture Kuldip Kaur to get more dowry. On August 21, Kuldip Singh and his mother poured kerosene on Kuldip Kaur and set her on fire. The Hariana police had registered a case under Sections 307, 498A, 341, IPC, against Kuldip and his mother.

Kuldip Kaur was admitted to the Civil Hospital here where she succumbed to her burn injuries. After her death the police converted the IPC Sections into Section 304B IPC. Police sources said that Kuldip Kaur got married with Kuldip Singh about four years ago and had two-and-a-half-year-old son.


Woman injured critically, saved
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 28
Ms Sushila Rajdan, who was critically injured when Kaushik allegedly stabbed her at her residence in the Dayanand Nagar locality here last evening, was saved after surgery, which lasted till late last night.

Kaushik of the Income Tax Colony allegedly stabbed her. She is the mother of the girl he liked. He later committed suicide after consuming some poisonous substance.

The police registered an FIR on the complaint of her family members. They had reportedly stated that the accused had trespassed the house and stabbed her. The police registered the case under Sections 397, 459, 309 and 511 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.


Few seats, too many called for B.Ed counselling
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 28
Mismanagement and unsystematic arrangements in counselling for B.Ed students as almost left hundreds of candidates high and dry, including those from far flung places and also from Chandigarh who had arrived here for counselling scheduled for tomorrow at the Guru Nanak Dev University.

Dr Kulwant Singh, Deputy Controller of the university informed that in the general category counselling for residents of Punjab, no seat was vacant in the science group in any combination while students ranked 3001 to 4000 on the merit list have been called for counselling.

In the same way in the humanities group seats were available only in the disciplines of fine arts, music, home science and physical education. In the Malwa Central College for Women, Ludhiana, only one seat is available in the rural category for girls in the combination of mathematics and English.

Similarly in the humanities group, candidates in the out-of-state category above the rank of 3001 were called, while few seats in this category in the science and humanities group were available. In the backward class category called tomorrow only seats in the science group in few combinations were available. The university authorities had failed to inform the students before they arrived in the city for counselling.


New policy on 8,000 posts of teacher
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, August 28
More than 8000 posts of elementary school teachers are lying vacant in Punjab for which a recruitment policy will be drafted soon, according to Mr Jagtar Singh, Director, Elementary Education, Punjab, here today.

He said under the new education policy, several steps had been taken to provide quality education in the state. Under the policy of rationalisation of teachers, about 2500 teachers had been shifted according to the number of students in the school. After introducing the twin system of education, the enrolment of students had augmented in the government schools and there was a significant increase in attendance and punctuality of teachers he claimed. There are 1382 elementary schools, 1742 high schools, and 2500 middle schools in Punjab, which are now under the direct supervision of a headmaster or a principal. There were about 7000 isolated primary schools, which would be soon attached to these elementary or high schools.

To boost the quality of education, trimester system had been introduced in all government elementary schools and parents-teacher meetings would be held every three months, he said.


Students hold protest against WTO
Our Correspondent

Abohar, August 28
Students of various educational institutions marched in procession under the banner of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) to the sub divisional complex here today in protest against the WTO.

Addressing the gathering, ABVP leaders said if agreements under the WTO were implemented, education would become costlier and would be beyond the reach of the common man.

The ABVP had decided to launch a countrywide agitation in a phased manner to educate and unite the youth against the WTO.


Seminar on English
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 28
The INDO British School of Languages, Patiala, on Thursday organised a seminar on ‘Role of English language in career and business environment’ in association with the IDP, Australia, here .

The aim of this seminar was to provide complete understanding of all aspects of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

The other major topics covered by the IDP delegates include mantra of success, Global Platform English Language, benefit of multinational certificates and English languages verses global opportunities.


PTU panel on re-appear cases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, has appointed a high-level committee to look into re-appear cases of B.Tech programmes being conducted by the university.

According to a statement issued here, Prof S.C. Sexana, Director, Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, has been appointed as the committee’s Chairman.

The committee will submit its report within one month. Meanwhile, the students affected have been allowed to attend classes of the fifth semester.

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