N C R   S T O R I E S



Home Secy-designate gets contempt notice
Failure to implement order as DDA vice-chief
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 30
The Delhi High Court today issued a contempt notice to DDA Vice-Chairman, Anil Baijal, whose name has been cleared as the Union Home Secretary, for having failed to implement an order of the court.

Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, who also issued contempt notices to DDA Commissioner (Housing) R K Singh and Director (Housing) B L Makhija, asked the three officials to implement the court’s order to allot a house to one Radhey Shyam Samalia by March 8, failing which they will have to personally appear before the court on the next date of hearing.

“In case the order is not implemented by the next date, all the respondents shall remain personally present in the court on the next date,” Justice Kaul said in his order.

The order came on a contempt petition filed by Samalia, accusing the respondent DDA officials of failing to implement the October 1, 2002 order of the court to allot a house to the petitioner within four weeks. The petitioner’s counsel, Mr R K Saini, contended that even after expiry of 16 months the order had not been complied with and, therefore, the officials were liable for contempt of the court.

The DDA has not challenged the said order, he pointed out. The court fixed March 8 for further proceedings, after DDA counsel Anusuya Salwan, who accepted the notices on behalf of the respondent officials, sought time to seek instructions on the issue from the DDA.

Samalia, who was allotted a flat which was also given to another person, was in October 2002 ordered to be allotted an MIG flat in Paschim Vihar/Vikas Puri at the same cost at which the earlier flat in the same area was allotted to him in a draw in February 1991. However, the order was not implemented by the DDA.


Delhi Govt bans ads on road railings
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 30
The Government of NCT of Delhi has decided to ban advertisements on railings on central verges of the roads falling under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Works (PWD).

PWD Minister AK Walia on Friday said that the advertisements on the railings on the central verges of the roads divert the attention of the drivers and are often the cause of accidents.

The PWD had given 25 kilometres of roads on Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis to companies/organisations for displaying their products or services.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the companies/organisations, barring three, has since expired. The PWD has been asked to take back control of those roads.

The minister said that the West Bengal Prohibition of Defacement of Public Property Act was in force in NCT of Delhi and that with the decision to impose the ban, the roads would become advertisement-free.

Officials who attended the meeting, called to review the status of the roads, also raised concerns about theft of railings. The minister said that henceforth a record would be kept of the railings.

“If there is any case of a railing being stolen, the same should be reported to the police and a copy of it sent to me, so that matter could be taken up,” the minister was quoted as telling the officials.

In the meantime, the officials have been asked to evolve a standard design of railing that would have a longer life and less chance of getting stolen.

Liquor policy attacked

The Shiv Sena today charged the Sheila Dikshit Ministry with doublespeak on the issue of prohibition and demanded that the licence of wine shops in residential localities be cancelled.

In a statement released to the media, the party said that the Government of NCT of Delhi has put out advertisement in newspapers asking people to abstain from liquor when its excise policy encouraged the opening of wine shops.

On the occasion of the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi, who had worked for prohibition, the party demanded that the Government of NCT of Delhi amend its excise policy and cancel the licences of these liqour shops.


Kalpana ki Kalpana, a year later
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 30
To pay homage to a woman, who charted her way from dreams to reality, a musical programme is being organised in the Capital’s FICCI auditorium on February 1.

The function is being organised to observe the first anniversary of the ill-fated space shuttle, Columbia, which included on board, astronaut Kalpana Chawla.

The musical evening being organised by the Punjab Engineering College Old Boys Association (PECOBA) will be presided over by US Charge d’ Affaires and will be attended by Kalpana’s family and friends.

The space shuttle Columbia perished along with seven astronauts on board last year. Kalpana, who achieved success in her chosen field through sheer grit, had sent an e-mail from the shuttle to her mentor, Prof. V S Malhotra. In the message, which she wanted passed on to the students, she had written, “The path from dreams to reality does exist. May you have the vision to find it, courage to get onto it and the perseverance to follow it”.

A role model for scores of Indians, particularly girls, who are often discouraged to pursue their dreams, Kalpana was an icon of fortitude. Her meteoric rise from a small town to the echelons of NASA reinforces the lesson that dreams can indeed turn into reality.

An alumnus of the Punjab Engineering College and Tagore Bal Niketan, Kalpana completed her B.E in aeronautical engineering in 1982.

The programme being organised on February 1 will include an audio visual programme titled, ‘Kalpana ki Kalpana’. A book written by Dilip Salvi, ‘Kalpana Chawla-India’s first space woman,’ will also be released on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the Discovery Channel will broadcast ‘Coming Home from Space: The Science of Re-Entry’ and ‘Destination Future: Space Exploration’ on February 1. While the former searches for answers by looking into the events leading to the Columbia disaster, the latter is about space exploration.


lucky catch
Poacher nabbed, dead peacocks seized
Our Correspondent

Noida, January 30
Five carcasses of peacocks have been found in different police station areas, highlighting once again that killers and smugglers of the national bird do not care two hoots for the law.

One such poacher was moving around in suspicious circumstances in the guise of a Sadhu, who was nabbed by police with the help of the public.

Ramdas, according to reliable sources, had collected clothes, loaves, wheat flour etc from residents of Patla village in Dadri; he was later seen hanging around Ramkishan garden on the outskirts of the village.

He was spotted by a farmer, Surinder Bhatti, and a social worker, Dalbir Bhatti, who nabbed him with the help of some students of the adjoining Inter College. The police were also informed.

The police recovered from “Sadhu” Ramdas 50 chapattis, clothes and poison-laced tablets made from soybean and maize. The police also recovered five dead peacocks from a nearby garden. The carcass of the national bird has been sent for examination.

Ramdas, who hails from Alwar in Rajasthan, is living in Ghaziabad these days. He used to smuggle peacocks after killing them or rendering them senseless. He has been booked under the Protection of Wild Birds and Livestock Act.

Besides, one Shakar Ali has been arrested for killing peacocks in Dankaur on a complaint lodged by Divinder Singh Nagar of Garhi Mohalla, Dankaur.

NO MILK SUPPLY TO DELHI ON MONDAY: In protest against the scrapping of Gautam Budh Nagar district, the Milk Producers and Suppliers Association has decided not to supply milk to the national Capital on Monday (February 2). Noida dairy farmers supply five lakh liters of milk to Delhi daily.

Winter gives Delhiites a parting shot
New Delhi:
After a brief sunny spell, the Capital was back to chilly weather, forcing people to stay indoors. Intermittent rain in the city since early morning caused the temperature to dip and made the Delhiites shiver.

The Capital had received 6.6 mm rain till about 2.30 p.m., which continued well into the afternoon, the weather office said. The change in the weather is owing to a western disturbance over Rajasthan, the Meteorological Department (IMD) officials said.

The disturbance was likely to persist for another 24 hours, causing more rain in the Capital and other parts of the northern region, it was pointed out. The minimum temperature was recorded at six degree Celsius, two degrees below normal today. The day temperature also plunged sharply and hovered around 14 degrees after mid-day.

Meanwhile, the fog in other parts of the country continued to slow down the movement of trains. A Northern Railway release said that the Patna-New Delhi Magadh Express has been cancelled. Besides, the Delhi-Katihar Mahanada Express has been rescheduled for tomorrow at 0400 hrs.

The Darbhanga-Amritsar Shaheed Express was running late by 16 hours, the Guwahati-Delhi Avadh Assam Express by seven hours and the Lucknow-New Delhi Gomti Express by six hours. TNS



And now, ‘herbal & vegetarian’ eggs
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 30
Sunday ho ya Monday, roz khao ande. Even better, if these eggs are low-cholesterol and richer in proteins and vitamins than your usual egg.

That is what the Haryana-based Tagma Agrotech claimed at the launch of Organegg, their new brand of vegetarian, herbal and low-cholesterol eggs here today.

With these branded low-cholesterol eggs, the company hopes to capture five per cent of the overall egg market by December 2004.

The company is hawking the health spin-offs and the immuno-stimulating therapeutic and functional properties; the eggs are also ultra low in cholesterol (80-120 mg per egg as against 200-240 mg in conventional eggs), which makes them heart-friendly. They are also well suited for diabetics.

This innovation has been brought about by feeding the hens exclusively a vegetarian diet, fortified with special herbs, a few of them actually being cholesterol lowering. As a result of this ‘satvik’ feeding, Organeggs are also odourless, while being rich in natural vitamins, proteins and minerals, and do not produce chicks, which also makes them vegetarian.

The present capacity of the farm in Barwala near Panchkula is 1, 25,000 birds with a production of 1,00,000 eggs per day and the market share of the company is 70 per cent in the low-cholesterol category.

However, given the changing dietary habits and the fitness fad, the company’s future projection includes capturing 5 per cent of the overall egg market by December 2004; a turnover of over 10 crore is projected by the end of 2005.

The company has a distributor network spread in Delhi, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Panchkula and Ghaziabad.


shot in the arm
INLD sweeps Bahadurgarh civic polls
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, January 30
The elections to the Municipal Council of Bahadurgarh, which passed off peacefully yesterday, brought jubilation to the ruling INLD camp as candidates supported by it have bagged 25 out of the total 31 wards.

The results, which are on expected lines, would increase the stature of the local INLD MLA, Mr Nafe Singh Rathe, whose political future was at stake in the poll.

Although some candidates in ward no 9, 10, 4 and 14 alleged large-scale irregularities in the electoral rolls as well as rigging and bogus polling, most of the other contestants supported by the Congress and the BJP expressed satisfaction over the arrangements.

In the last leg of the polling, some youths reportedly attempted capturing a booth in ward no 22 and entered into a brawl with a candidate, but the SDM and DSP rushed to the spot and controlled the situation. In the close fight here, INLD supported candidate Raj Singh Rana defeated his rival Suresh Bhardwaj by 51 votes.

Interestingly, most sensitive wards reported free and fair polling. There were direct fights in wards 5,20,25 and 30.

Lawyers of NCR want to be integrated with Delhi Bar Council

Gurgaon: With policy makers giving much thrust to the development of the National Capital Region, it is the turn of professionals to pitch in: A section of the legal fraternity here wants the lawyers of NCR to be integrated with that of Delhi Bar Council.

The churning is on account of a large number of lawyers from NCR practicing in the Supreme Court, High Court and the lower courts in the Capital. This throws up a peculiar problem, especially when a client wants to it lodge a complaint against an errant lawyer. Often the client finds to his surprise that the complaint has to be processed in a different state.

According to a former member of the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council of India, Mr Jagdev, there have been occasions when aggrieved members of the public have lodged their complaints with the Delhi Bar Council, under the mistaken notion that the accused lawyer was from Delhi. In a good number of cases, the accused were from districts of Delhi’s neighbouring states, which fell in the NCR.

To rectify this anomaly, the jurisdiction of the Delhi Bar Council needs to be extended to bring the entire national capital region within its ambit. At present, the lawyers are enrolled with the concerned state Bar Council, which exercises control over the lawyers on issues pertaining to discipline.

The reform needs urgent attention on account of the increasing incidence of litigation. The cases relating to breach of discipline have also increased in the national Capital. TNS



Faridabad roads badly need repair
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 30
Most of the roads in the city have been in a state of disrepair for the past few months. Though the Lok Sabha polls have been announced in March-April, the authorities seem to be in no mood to take up the repair work.

The biggest problem faced by the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF) is the lack of funds.

The largest civic body in the state is facing an acute financial crunch these days and the direct result is the long pending list of the development works that have been delayed.

“Almost all the roads in the city have been damaged badly,” says Rajkumar Gaur, a resident of Sector- 5 A here.

He said people had expected that the roads would be repaired within two months after the monsoon. Some of the residents who had approached the civic authorities and the corporator, were told that there were no funds at present and the work would start as soon as the finances were available.

Most of the residents here seemed to have resigned to their fate and adapted themselves to the prevailing conditions.

Mr L.R. Jaggar, a resident of Sector- 9 here said that moving on the roads in the town had become quite difficult. The dividing road between Sector 9 and 10 witnesses heavy traffic. Half a kilometer long patch on this road had developed craters and the motorists have to think twice before passing this patch, he said.

Instead of repairing it, the authorities had thrown soil and waste material to fill up the potholes.

Mr H.S. Rathi, a resident of Sector 10 here said that the roads in his sector were hardly visible and what welcomes a visitor was dust and broken roads.

He said the roads in the area had not been repaired for about a year.

According to Mr Anoop Shourie, a resident of the B.P Road in the NIT, travelling on most of the roads had become unsafe. Crossing some of the areas, including the main road in the NH-2 and NH-3 part was a nightmare.

A senior member of the MCF admitted that the development works in the town had been stalled for the past eight months as there were no funds with the civic body.

He said despite the assurances, the MCF which was responsible for all the works including the maintenance of the roads, had not received the funds due from the LADT collection.

It may be recalled that the authorities had handed over the repair of about six main roads in the town to the Haryana Urban Development Authority and asked it to take up the work immediately.

Delegations of the residents of various parts of the town, including Ashoka Enclave and various sectors, had visited the office of the Mayor to request him for an early repair of the damaged roads.


On-line CBSE counselling to tackle exam blues
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 30
With barely a month left for the Board examinations for classes X and XII to begin, the counselling services and helplines have begun the task of soothing frayed nerves.

Taking cognizance of the sheer magnitude of the problem, the Central Board of Secondary Examinations (CBSE), which conducts these examinations, has planned out a triple route to tackle the exam time blues of the students.

Apart from their usual helpline, which has schoolteachers and principals offering solutions and aid to students, the CBSE has announced this year an on-line counselling, where students can send their queries to either or . It will also answer the queries of the students through some newspapers.

The helpline will begin functioning on February 1 and will continue till March 31. For general consultations, the students can access the helpline on cbse.nic.in from February 3.

Tobacconists asked to stick to closing time

The Commissioner of Police, Mr R.S. Gupta, today directed that the pan and cigarette shops should not be allowed to remain open late at night as these shops drew persons who caused a nuisance to the neighbourhood. Anti-social elements create a scene sometimes leading to a riotous situation.

Municipal school building

The Mayor of Delhi, Mr Ashok Kumar Jain, and the Congress MLA from Kalkaji, Mr Subhash Chopra, today laid the foundation stone of a Municipal Primary School building to be constructed at K Block Kalkaji.

Khavinder Singh Captain, Chairman of the Central Zone Ward Committee; Virender Kasana, Municipal Councillor; Mrs Punya Srivastava, Deputy Commissioner, Central Zone and area residents were present at the function. The MCD will construct the school building at a cost of Rs 69.46 lakh which will comprise 10 classrooms, one hall, two headmaster’s rooms, one room for science lab and one for library, the Mayor said.

Blind murder solved

With the arrest of two suspects, the North-East district police today claimed to have worked out a blind murder case. The suspects were identified as Ravi Kumar and Ashwani Dubey. Two days ago, they allegedly killed a TSR driver, Sarvesh and robbed his vehicle. They dumped his body near Sangam Vihar and tried to sell the TSR to a ‘kabari’ in Welcome Colony in North–East district.

The police received information and arrested the suspects. During interrogation, they disclosed that they killed the TSR driver and robbed the vehicle. 


Mobile rescue service for the destitute and homeless
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 30
A Mobile Rescue and Rehabilitation Squad (MRRS) for the relief of sick, destitute and displaced persons, especially women and children, was launched in the national Capital today.

The service, launched by the Delhi Labour Welfare Board, would operate twice a week, the Board’s chairman, Sukhbir Sharma, told mediapersons.

The MRRS’s job does not end at just rescuing people and bringing them to a night shelter, but it will also look into the rehabilitation of these people and aim to include them into a productive income group, Mr Sharma said.

The service will give priority to helpless women and children who are homeless, victimised by touts, unscrupulous brokers and pimps, he added.

A large number of people come to the Capital in search of livelihood, adding to its population living below the poverty line. Mr Sharma said this situation posed a great challenge for the police and social welfare organisations.

The MRRS has been created as an extension of the Board’s existing Mobile Centre to help thousands of daily wage earners who sleep on pavements, railway platforms and in abandoned and unsafe buildings.

The board has launched the service in collaboration with three most reputed rehabilitation shelter homes of the Capital, Sidunalay, Nityaanandita, and Subela. It has also sought services of the Delhi Legal Services Authority, so that the rescued persons could be restored/repatriated to their families in a lawful manner, said Mr Sharma.

He said that it had come to light while investigating the background of the rescued people that Delhi and the NCR has a terrible shortage of shelter-linked rehabilitation services.

Mr Sharma said that the board had to stop its daily rescue service because of lack of shelter for vulnerable women and children and it was now considering converting some of the welfare schemes into institutional care and support centres for the victimised and underpaid labourers and their displaced family members.


Bhimkaya Reactor fails to resume journey to Panipat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 30
One of the heaviest vehicles, popularly known as Bhimkaya Reactor, carrying 520 tonnes of machinery, which was scheduled to reach Panipat Refinery on January 15 had to terminate its journey at Kharkhauda town in the district on account of non-completion of the temporary bridges en route to Panipat via Sonepat.

According to a report, it has been held up at Kharkhauda town for the past two days and it has now become an attraction for the people of the town and surrounding villages. This vehicle had reached Kharkhauda town on January 25 at 8 pm and since then it had failed to resume the onward journey as the work on the temporary bridges was still in progress.

It had earlier suspended its journey at Rohtak for a similar reason. It would start its journey only when the temporary bridges are declared safe.

As many as 80 temporary bridges have so far been constructed between Kandhla Port and Panipat Refinery. The weight of the vehicle is 100 tonnes and it is fitted with 256 tyres and driven by two engines with the capacity of 20 tyres. The machinery weighing 520 tonnes is being transported by the vehicle for the Panipat Refinery.

Its crew consists of 650 persons and five more pilot vehicles are helping it to clear the roads. Its speed is only five km per hour. This vehicle had commenced its journey from Kandhla Port on October 23 last year and it is now likely to reach Panipat in March next.

One of the temporary bridges is being constructed on the Diversion Drain No. 8 passing through Sonepat-Rohtak Road and the construction work has already been speeded up to enable the vehicle to pass through it.


10-day Basant Utsav

Rewari: Haryana Governor Babu Parma Nand inaugurated a handicrafts-cum-industrial fair, ‘Basant Utsav 2004’ at Ram Lila Maidan here on Wednesday.

The 10-day fair, which is a joint venture of the Handicraft Department of Govt. of India and District Rewari administration, comprises 250 stalls. The handicrafts wing consists of about 90 stalls while brass wares, textiles, paintings, antiques and other industrial products are on display at the remaining stalls.

The governor took a round of the Mela ground and evinced keen interest in the artistic brass items, old handicrafts, rare photographs, embroidery and exhibits of total sanitation campaign.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mrs Neerja Shekhar, told the governor that the craft mela would be instrumental in acquainting the people with the otherwise latent treasures of arts, crafts and other industrial wares.

She went on to explain that the exports of artistic handicrafts and brass wares, which had put Rewari on the International Trade Map, from Rewari district to foreign countries during the current financial year had crossed Rs 115 crore. OC


Ncr briefs
Old man crushed, youth stabbed to death
Our Correspondents

Ghaziabad, January 30
An old man was crushed with stones and bricks while a youth was strangled and then stabbed to death under Sihani Gate police station.

The elderly person was a brother of an SSH College reader. The criminals had also tried to burgle the adjoining shop in the area but were unsuccessful in their attempt.

A youth under Vijay Nagar police station was strangled and then stabbed to death. The victim has not been identified yet.

Suraj Bhan, alias Tota, 68, used to run a general merchant shop in Kailash Ki Bagichi. He was a bachelor. His younger brother Shri Bhagwan Aggarwal is a geography reader in SSH College. Suraj Bhan had always lived alone. His head and face had been crushed with blows of stones and bricks and the body was found in his shop in the morning.

When Suraj Bhan’s neighbour Zhamin Ahmed opened his hardware shop, he found the common wall burgled. The Sihani Gate police were informed. When the police pushed the door on Suraj Bhan’s shop, it fell open. The police found Suraj Bhan’s body lying in a pool of blood. The old man had apparently been repeatedly hit on the head and face with bricks and stones resulting in his death. Suraj Bhan had been running his shop for last 40 years.

S.P. City Umesh Srivastava said the cause of death is being investigated, including the possibility of a property angle, if any.

In the other murder, a 27-year-old young man was strangled under Vijay Nagar police station area. His body was found near Sunder Puri area. The assailants had repeatedly stabbed the youth in stomach and neck. The cause of the unidentified youth’s murder could not be ascertained.

Interestingly, another young man had been murdered in similar circumstances recently. His body was found in the CSD canteen. The police had failed to identify the deceased as also the cause of murder.

Two killed in accidents

Sonepat: Two persons were killed and seven, including a woman were injured in different road accidents reported in this city and elsewhere in the district on Wednesday.

According to a report, a motorcycle was hit by a cow on G T Road near Bari village about 15 km from here on Wednesday, resulting in the overturning of the motorcycle and killing one and injuring the other. The victim was identified as Mr Fateh Singh whereas the injured as Mr Jaipal. Both belonged to the power colony at Panipat.

They were going on a motorcycle towards Panipat when the accident occurred.

According to another report, an unidentified man was seriously injured when he fell down from a canter near Hullehr village near here. He was rushed to the hospital wherefrom he was referred to a trauma centre in Delhi but he succumbed to his injuries on the way. The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress.

In another accident, two persons including a woman were injured when their motorcycle was hit by a three-wheeler on Sonepat-Bahalgarh Road near Joshi Chauhan village about 8 km from here. The injured motorcyclists were identified as Mr Raghbir of Om Nagar and Mrs Rampyari of Mamchand Colony, Sonepat. They were on their way to Sonepat from Deepalpur village. Both the injured were immediately hospitalised and stated to be out of danger.

The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress.


Delhi Jal Board worker found murdered
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 30
A Class IV employee of the Delhi Jal Board was found murdered with stab injuries on his neck this morning in his office in Tehkhand area of Okhla. The victim Omprakash (45), resident of Harkrishan Nagar, was spotted this morning by his colleague Ratan Lal at around 10 am. Omprakash was on duty from 12 am to 8 am.

Ratan also enquired the whereabouts of Omprakash from another colleague Vijay Pal who was on duty with him. The police have registered a case of murder and suspect enmity angle in the case.

Health Awareness Camp

The Gobhania Nirog Dham Society organised a Health Awareness Camp in Sat Namdev School at Nanda Enclave in Najafgarh area on the occasion of 57th martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi.

At least 535 patients visited the camp to get medical advice and treatment. The medicines were distributed among patients by president of Gobhania Nirog Dham, Dr Shiv Raj. The health camp will be opened every month to make women aware of health issues.

Unique marketing move by HDFC Bank

HDFC Bank, one of India’s leading private sector banks, has launched a unique marketing activity to promote both, the fiscal and physical fitness of customers.

The activity, to be conducted over a period of two months in the National Capital Region and Delhi, consists of a mobile float that will visit prominent areas of the region. Any person carrying a debit/credit card of any bank can visit the float and have their height, weight and blood pressure checked by the technicians of Apollo Health Clinic.

Computer centre in MCD school

The Mayor, Mr Ashok Kumar Jain, inaugurated a computer-aided learning centre in a corporation school located at Gali Kunjas, Dariba Kalan in Chandni Chowk area on Thursday.

It is a new beginning in an MCD school where learning will be made easier and enjoyable by using multi-media computers in a playway method.




Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism? If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune, First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

It is sometimes felt that education does not enjoy the kind of respect that it should in a developing society like India. The political class, in particular, seems ignorant of its necessity in the governance of this country. Today, even as the political class talks of overcoming illiteracy as the first step to rooting out poverty and increasing the pace of development in the country, they have shied away from fixing certain basic educational qualification for the political representatives.

It is amazing why no educational qualifications have been prescribed for the political representatives of our nation. Is educational qualification only necessary for those who wish to become doctors or top executives in companies?

Education is of paramount importance to a country like India. Education brings about awareness and is considered to be the basic tool to be possessed by a wise man.

We have prescribed certain educational qualifications even for the post of a peon in our country. However, there is no qualification necessary for the political leaders in our country.

Although education is no guarantee for an effective discharge of political responsibility, it is amazing that while we have basic qualification criteria for every post in our country, the political leaders have been exempted from such a standard. I think it is important to have certain educational qualification for candidates desirous of becoming lawmakers in our country.

Even in ancient times, the gurus used to guide the kings and were the ones to teach them the basic principles of truth and knowledge.

Historically, our political leaders considered education to be the most important tool for the development of our country. Dr Rajendra Prasad made a significant observation in the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949: “I would like to have some qualifications laid down for the members of the legislatures. It’s anomalous that we insist upon high qualifications for those who help in administrating law, but none for those who make it”.

The Apex Court had issued directions to the Election Commission to call for information on affidavit by issuing necessary orders from each candidate seeking election to Parliament or state legislature.

However, the Government of India diluted the order.

In effect, the political leaders in our country believes that there is no basic qualification necessary for them as it is not important in the governance of the country. They believe that in a country like India we should not apply standards, which we can not sustain.


A memorial for the last emperor

The last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was a great patriot. He was the unanimous choice as the leader of the First War of Indian Independence in 1857. The English took his two sons as prisoners of war and mercilessly butchered.

The English did not spare him. They exiled him to Rangoon where he died a sad man. It was truly unfortunate that he had to pass his last days in exile. Now, when the Red Fort of Delhi has been handed over to the Archaeological Department and the Tourism Ministry, the people of India do hope that the last remains of the late emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar will be relocated from Rangoon to Delhi.

Moreover, a dignified memorial should be erected for the patriot emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar in the Red Fort at Delhi, especially in the context of the Prime Minister Vajpayee’s suggestion during the SARAC conference in Islamabad that both India and Pakistan should jointly celebrate their First War of Independence.


Making management courses affordable

Indeed, it was satisfying to learn that the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Dr M. M. Joshi, has advocated that management courses offered by institutions receiving government grants should be made affordable. No one can deny the fact that fees of such institutions have become very expensive, which has made it impossible for poor meritorious students to join such management courses. Now, the committee under the chairmanship of U.R. Rao has suggested that the fees should be brought down.

In my opinion, the recommendations of the Rao committee must be accepted so that meritorious and deserving students can also get an opportunity to study in the best institutions of this country. In the long run this will prove beneficial for the country, as it will add to its human resource.


Facing the world with a smile

A smile can help one deal with any difficulty. When we smile we also bring a ray of light into the lives of others. Sometimes, a smile can be like a drop of water in a desert. Someone has said: “You may think it silly to be told to practice smiling in front of the mirror... but the greatest statesmen are not above this sort of thing. They know that a good smile is the best advertisement the personality has”. Every situation in life must be faced, and so why not face it with smile?


Our disposition matters

Principal Madhu Chandra in her article, “Our disposition matters, not our position” (NCR Tribune January 19) has observed: “Thus, we realise that life is full of choices and compromises, and our attitude determines its course.” In this connection, I wish to share with the readers the views of an eminent thinker in this regard: “You can’t get more than you give, anymore than you can take a pint container to a well and bring back a gallon of water. You can’t give frown and get back smiles; you can’t give a loud, angry voice and get gentleness from others in return.

By the same token, you can’t plant a kind word, a thoughtful deed, a generous gift, and not reap more of the same from someone, somewhere, sometime”.

RITU SHARMA, Faridabad

Give peace a chance

During the last few months, India and Pakistan have taken a number of confidence building measures to improve its relationship, which had deteriorated after the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament.

Historically, even after the Indian subcontinent was divided in August 1947, the fact is that the common cultural heritage of the two countries continues to appeal to their population.

Since the Partition in 1947, a number of developments have taken place, some bringing the two country together, while others have only increased the gulf between them.

The truth is: “Majab Nahi Sikhata Aaapas Mein Bair Rakhna.” (Religion does not teach us to fight) Political differences, often portrayed as ‘religious jihad,’ is the ideology of the fanatic. And the victims in such situations have always been the innocents, who have nothing to do with these fights. It is the common man who is effected by the communal violence and terrorism.

Now the people in both India and Pakistan have understood their basic requirements in life. We all want love, peace and friendship. As such, steps have been taken by both sides to cater to the needs of their respective population.

The Delhi-Lahore bus service was again stared, which was welcomed by the people on both sides of the border. Parliamentarians from both India and Pakistan have traveled across the border to understand the changing situation. The treatment of young Noor Fatima generated goodwill on both sides of the border. As a goodwill gesture, prisoners have been set free by both the countries.

However, there are many obstacles on the road to peace. The enemies of the peace process would want to derail the peace process. The government needs to be on guard.


Need to move cautiously

Though the peace process with Pakistan is welcome, can we overcome the many obstacles in the path of peace? It is true that if the seven South Asian countries come together, it will mark a beginning of a new age.

However, opening up borders among the SAARC countries for free trade can have its own problems. Will Pakistan give up its policy of exporting terrorism and narcotics?

Even as open borders will facilitate the development of composite culture, unchecked and unregulated migration (for example Bangladeshi refugees) will have its own destabilizing consequences.

However, we should give peace a chance and move forward towards the creation of a `South Asian Union, so that outside powers are unable to exploit the differences between the seven countries of the region.



Man held for extorting Rs 6 lakh from businessman
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 30
The Crime Branch Anti-Extortion Cell today claimed to have arrested an extortionist who had threatened a businessman by posing as a member of the Kishan Pahelwan gang. The sleuths also claimed to have seized a motorcycle and a mobile phone from his possession.

Based on a complaint from a businessman, Anil Mahajan, resident of Pitampura that one person identified as Khan Bhai, had been threatening him for protection money, the police swung into action and nailed the culprit.

The accused had already extorted Rs 6 lakh from the victim in December 2003 and again started demanding Rs 50 lakh from Mahajan.

The victim also told the sleuths that the caller had been threatening him and his family members with dire consequences if he did not pay the amount.

On January 27, the victim again received a call from Khan Bhai for the protection money. Mahajan agreed to pay Rs 10 lakh.

The caller told Mahajan to bring the amount in a gunny bag and place it in front of the Guru Govind Singh College, Pitampura.

Accordingly, on January 29 at around 11am, Mahajan placed the amount while the Crime Branch sleuths surrounded the place. At around 11.45 am, the sleuths spotted one person on a motorcycle picking up the gunny bag.

The policemen immediately overpowered the person who was identified as Manish Kumar (30), resident of Maurya Enclave, Pitampura. The accused told the cops that since the victim did not lodge a complaint when Rs 6 lakh was extorted from him earlier, he got encouraged and tried to get some more money in his second attempt.


Narcotics dept strikes it rich
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 30
The Delhi Police Narcotics Branch claims to have arrested six persons in six different cases and seized 13.2 kilograms of heroin and five kilograms of charas worth Rs 13.5 crore in the international market.

In the first case, the narcotics sleuths apprehended one Laxmi Narain (32), a resident of Mandsaur, near the ESI hospital. He was found in possession of 10 kg of heroin, which he was carrying in a suitcase. Laxmi told the sleuths that he, along with his associate Sheodan Singh, had learnt to manufacture heroin. In the second case, one Mazhar Miyan (24), a resident of Bihar, was arrested from Baba Kharak Singh Marg. He was found in possession of five kg of charas.

In the third case, based on a tip-off, the sleuths nabbed one Sunil Kumar (28), a resident of Muzaffar Nagar, on the GTK road. He was found possess 1.5 kg of heroin. He was getting the supply from one Lala and Shokinder Singh from Muzaffarnagar.

In another case, one Om Prakash (52), a resident of Subzi Mandi, was arrested from the Nabi Karim area and 270 gm of heroin was recovered from his possession. In the fifth case, one Ram Sufal (75), a resident of Barabanki, was arrested from a bus stand near the Zakir Hussain College. He was found to possess 750 gm of heroin.

In the sixth case, the sleuths, based on a tip-off, apprehended one Bhim Singh (35), a resident of jhuggi near New Delhi Railway Station and 500 gm of heroin was seized from him.

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