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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
D E L H I   A N D   N E I G H B O U R H O O D

MCD offices raided for scandalous purchase
New Delhi, July 30
The Central Bureau of Investigation today raided seven places in the MCD, including the premises of the Horticulture Director, Junior Engineer, Assistant Engineer and three contractors in connection with the purchase of sandstone benches.

CBI officers in the office of the Directorate of Horticulture, MCD, in the Capital on Friday. CBI officers in the office of the Directorate of Horticulture, MCD, in the Capital on Friday. — A Tribune photograph

Two women held for drug trafficking
New Delhi, July 30
The Delhi Police Narcotics Branch has claimed to have frozen assets worth Rs 69 lakh of two women drug traffickers considered to have been purchased with the ill-gotten money.




EARLIER STORIES

 
  • Desperate criminal arrested

  • Police lift fingerprints to get clue to PNB robbery

Film actor John Abraham flanked by MTV VJ Ramona and Ranvijay during the audition of a reality show ‘MTV Hero Honda Roadies II’ at Kamani Auditorium in the Capital on Friday.
Film actor John Abraham flanked by MTV VJ Ramona and Ranvijay during the audition of a reality show ‘MTV Hero Honda Roadies II’ at Kamani Auditorium in the Capital on Friday. — Photo by Rajeev Tyagi

Self-defence camp for women inaugurated
New Delhi, July 30
In its continued drive to curb crime against women, the Delhi Police inaugurated a self-defence camp for girls in North-East Delhi today. The self-defence training programme for the girl students of Bhim Rao Ambedkar College and eight other schools of the North-East district is being organised by the district police in collaboration with a self-defence academy.

  • Drive to discipline TSR drivers

  • Home Secretary visits CRPF Headquarters

  • World through eyes of children

KMC staff council for inquiry into altercation 
New Delhi, July 30
Following an altercation between the principal and a few teachers in the Kirori Mal College here last evening, the staff council of the college has called for an inquiry into the matter.

Lid off inter-state stamp scam
Ghaziabad, July 30
The Special Task Force of Lucknow police in a raid on three houses on Wednesday recovered postal stamps worth Rs 65 lakh and unearthed an inter-state stamp racket which has country-wide ramifications.

  • Ivory idols valued at Rs 40 lakh seized

Haryana Mahila Cong wants CM’s scalp
Faridabad, July 30
The Haryana unit of the women cell of the Congress has demanded the resignation of the Chautala government for its alleged failure to provide sufficient power and water to the people of the state. The demand was made through a memorandum submitted by the party leaders after a demonstration outside the district headquarters here today.
UP IN ARMS: Activists of the Congress women cell clamouring for sufficient power and water in the state.
UP IN ARMS: Activists of the Congress women cell clamouring for sufficient power and water in the state.

Abattoir can pose serious threat to IAF air base
Ghaziabad, July 30
The continuation of safe operations of Indian Air Force at Hindon Air Base near Ghaziabad, one of the strategically important air bases near the national Capital, seems to have become endangered.

Rohini Ward Committee meeting adjourned
New Delhi, July 30
A meeting of the Ward Committee of Rohini Zone over the distribution of unhygienic mid-day meal in a MCD school was adjourned after strong protest by the members. The Leader of the Opposition in the Standing Committee, MCD, Mr Vijender Gupta, said that the guardians were fearful after the recent incident in which unhygienic mid-day meal was supplied to the children.

  • Camp held to spread awareness about osteoporosis

Excise dept hopes to collect 17% more tax
Faridabad, July 30
“The Central Excise Department expects to see a growth of about 17 per cent in its total collection this year. But this was not possible till the industry and the entrepreneurs cooperate with the authorities concerned,” this was stated by Ms Rashida Hussain, Commissioner, Central Excise, while interacting with the local industrialists here recently.

Parliament, school-style
New Delhi, July 30
It was Parliament sans the usual noise and commotion. There were no walkouts or protests and members conducted their business without rushing inside the Well of the House. Even Minister of State for Defence and Parliamentary Affairs B.K. Handique admitted the fact.

First-point tax to affect jewellery exports
New Delhi, July 30
The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, which is sponsored by the Union Ministry of Commerce, has said that bringing jewellery exporters under the purview of the first-point tax will not only adversely affect exports from the NCT of Delhi but also affect thousands of skilled and semi-skilled workers and artisans employed by jewellery exporters.

No room for violence in colleges: VC
Ghaziabad, July 30
The Vice-Chancellor of Ch. Charan Singh University, Meerut, Dr R.P. Singh, has strongly condemned the incidents of indiscipline and violence in various colleges for the past few days.

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MCD offices raided for scandalous purchase
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
The Central Bureau of Investigation today raided seven places in the MCD, including the premises of the Horticulture Director, Junior Engineer, Assistant Engineer and three contractors in connection with the purchase of sandstone benches.

The benches were purchased in 2000 to be installed in MCD parks.

The raids on the offices of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi were conducted on complaints in the purchase of sandstone benches, without backrest, which the department installs at public places, a CBI spokesman said.

The searches have so far disclosed that the Director, Horticulture, Mr D. P. Singh, was apparently in possession of huge assets, including 22 acres of farm land in Ganganagar (Rajasthan), a house at Andheria Mod in South Delhi, two cars (Ford Icon and Octavia).

According to the spokesman, the Director approved the design of the red sandstone benches for installation in the MCD parks during July 2000, and the then JE, (Civil) Department of Horticulture, falsely justified the cost of each bench at Rs 3637.19, which was approved by the Director (Horticulture) when such benches were available at Bayana, Bharatpur, for Rs 600 to Rs 800 per bench, inclusive of transportation charges.

He alleged that the Director prevailed upon officers of the Horticulture Department of various zones to place indents for the benches under their zones for amounts below Rs 2 lakh in order to avoid calling of open tenders, as required under the general financial rules, and in connivance with the three suspected contractors place orders for the red sandstone benches at an exorbitant cost of Rs 3,550 per bench.

The benches were indiscriminately fixed in parks and even at places where they were not required.

The spokesman said that supply orders for the red sandstone benches, worth several crores of rupees, were given in conspiracy with the suspected contractors.

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Two women held for drug trafficking
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
The Delhi Police Narcotics Branch has claimed to have frozen assets worth Rs 69 lakh of two women drug traffickers considered to have been purchased with the ill-gotten money.

Based on a tip-off the sleuths arrested one Janki (50), resident of Delhi, and seized 290 gms of heroin from her possession.

The sleuths said that at least six cases under the NDPS Act were registered against her earlier. The sleuths also froze her assets worth Rs 32 lakh. Janki was found possessing two houses, one in Raghubir Nagar and another in Vishnu Garden. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Narcotics) D.L. Kashyap said from now on the accused shall not be in a position to sell or transfer the property in anyone else’s name. If convicted, her properties would be auctioned by the government.

In another case, the sleuths seized 270 gm of heroin from the possession of one Raj Rani (45) and froze her assets worth Rs 37 lakh.

Desperate criminal arrested

The Narcotics Branch arrested a desperate criminal involved in a Rs 37 lakh dacoity case. The accused Mohammad Rashid, alias Fard Rashid, alias Raja, is a proclaimed offender and the Delhi Police Commissioner had announced a reward of Rs 10,000 for his arrest. Rashid and his associates, Jafar Qureshi, Deepak Kumar, Vinod Kumar, Jagdev Singh, Zakir alias Bablu and Javed, alias Bobby, entered a house in Bhogal lane on July 27 and committed the sensational dacoity.

Police lift fingerprints to get clue to PNB robbery

The Finger Print Bureau lifted several fingerprints from the 16 tampered lockers of the Safdarjung Enclave branch of the Punjab National Bank even as the police asked all those ‘affected’ in the incident to report with details of the missing items.

Finger Print Bureau Director R.K. Vajpayee said they had lifted the fingerprints and comparisons were being made.

He said a detailed study would be made after the verification of the fingerprints of the bank employees with those lifted from the site.

Additional DCP (South-West) Shalini Singh said the police was keeping a tab on the situation and questioning all those visiting the locker room.

“Yesterday, after drilling and tool marks were found from the lockers, fingerprints were taken which are being verified at present. We are finding out who all visit the room regularly, besides questioning those who handle the section.”

We have also asked the people to report of any missing items from their lockers to the police before we are able to gauge the scale of the robbery, she added.

The alarm regarding the robbery was first raised by a woman yesterday who found all her valuables missing from the locker even as the lock was intact. The police later found drilling marks on her locker, which were found in several other lockers too.
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Self-defence camp for women inaugurated
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
In its continued drive to curb crime against women, the Delhi Police inaugurated a self-defence camp for girls in North-East Delhi today.

The self-defence training programme for the girl students of Bhim Rao Ambedkar College and eight other schools of the North-East district is being organised by the district police in collaboration with a self-defence academy.

Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi Range) Maxwell Pereira, while speaking at the inauguration, said the skills imparted would help infuse a greater sense of confidence among girls.

He said with increasing cases of eve-teasing and attacks on women, the training programme would instill confidence and a degree of self-assertion among girls.

Participants in the programme, customised to prepare students and girls against chain snatching, mobile-picking, attacks or teasing, also demonstrated ways to tackle difficult situations in self defence.

Under the programme, select students of the area, who excel in the workshop, would be hand-picked for further training in martial arts.

The initiative, held at Ambedkar College in Gokulpuri in North-East Delhi, is part of the Delhi Police’s motto of ‘Citizens First’ and empowering them to handle situations arising out of emergency, said Pereira.

Drive to discipline TSR drivers

The Traffic Police launched a drive to educate and to prosecute TSR drivers, who indulge in overcharging, refusal to carry passengers to their destinations, misbehave with passengers, do not wear uniform and display PSV badges, park near bus stands and carry extra passengers.

In the last two days, 3, 828 TSR drivers were prosecuted for violation of traffic laws and rules. Of them, 391 for refusal to carry passengers, 320 for over charging, 36 for misbehaviour, 967 for not wearing uniform and displaying PSV badges, 357 for parking TSRs near bus stands, 340 for carrying extra passengers and 417 for other traffic violations.

Home Secretary visits CRPF Headquarters

The Union Home Secretary, Mr Dhirendra Singh, today visited the Central Reserve Police Force Headquarters. It was his first visit to the CRPF Headquarters after assuming the charge of Home Secretary. He was apprised of the various activities of the CRPF by the Director-General, Mr J.K. Sinha. A computer presentation on the modernisation and other activities of the CRPF was made on the occasion.

World through eyes of children

Combining football, mountaineering, children and national tourism, the summit will demonstrate the global conveying power of football as a tool to promote peace and friendship throughout the world. It is endorsed by the United Nations and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and supported by the Federation International Football Association (FIFA).

The epic 32-stage trek is from Kanyakumari to Kathmandu and is led by Bhuvanesh Joshi with teams of youth ambassadors from 32 countries.

The “Youth Ambassadors” will be joined by local Indian “Youth Ambassadors” to introduce and exchange their respective cultures and customs. Bhuvanesh Joshi will be joined on the trek through India and the subsequent ascent of the Everest by Tashi Tenzing for the last attempt on Everest.

This expedition will view the world through the eyes of our children and will provide them with a platform on which to voice their concerns and opinions on peace, friendship, cultural unity and tolerance.

“If as adults we are unable to resolve the problems of the world, then perhaps it’s time to move aside and allow our children to demonstrate how adversity may be overcome, said Bhuvanesh Joshi.
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KMC staff council for inquiry into altercation 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
Following an altercation between the principal and a few teachers in the Kirori Mal College here last evening, the staff council of the college has called for an inquiry into the matter.

“The staff council called for a time- bound inquiry into yesterday’s unfortunate incident and have demanded an appropriate action,” said Principal, Dr Bhim Sen Singh.

He said the members of the staff council have “taken strict note of the fact that the teachers involved the students in administrative matters instead of solving the matter in a more professional manner”.

“They should not have involved the students. The matter should have been raised before the staff council and then referred to the governing body” he said. He went on to add, “in today’s staff council meeting, Dr Garg used abusive language and passed comments against a lady faculty member. This caused an uproar and the council has directed me to note this offence as misconduct and take strict action against Garg.”

Dismissing the teacher’s demand for the bifurcation of the class into two sections, Dr Singh said, “Only three teachers are pressing for two sections. The rest understand that this cannot be done because we cannot get the extra staff for teaching”.

He also pointed out that it is not for the first time that the college has had to admit more students than the sanctioned strength. “We have had more than 100 students once, this year we have just 78, then why is the fuss being created”.
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Lid off inter-state stamp scam
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, July 30
The Special Task Force of Lucknow police in a raid on three houses on Wednesday recovered postal stamps worth Rs 65 lakh and unearthed an inter-state stamp racket which has country-wide ramifications.

The network is connected with Ranchi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Allahabad apart from Ghaziabad.

The STF team, under the ASP, had raided the house of S. P. Goel in Nandgram under Sihani Gate police station area and arrested him. Goel was laundering postal stamps and stamp papers. Later, the police raided two houses in Pratap Vihar and Govindpuram area and seized a large quantity of stamps. According to the Additional SP, the accused used to erase the marks and words from the stamps and sold them to the shopkeepers or back to the post offices. A number of postal employees, the police said, were also involved in the racket, which had a national network in major metros. The stamps were supplied in the big cities. They used to get 50 per cent value of the renovated stamps, the SP said.

Goel had come in touch with some youths in Kolkata eight years ago and picked up the tricks of the trade from them.

Ivory idols valued at Rs 40 lakh seized

The Modinagar police recovered ivory idols worth Rs 40 lakh from a Meerut-based youth. The idols had been possibly stolen from a museum, SO Dharminder Chauhan said.

To confirm their doubt, the police have sought the opinion of the archaeology department.

The Modinagar police had arrested Illyas from Kankerkheda police station area of Meerut and seized idols carved out from ivory.

During interrogation, Illyas said that the idols had been given to him for delivering them to someone in Delhi. Their value is stated to be Rs 40 lakh, Mr Chauhan said.

The police have not ruled out the possibility of the hand of international smugglers network in the case. The police feel that the idols were stolen from a museum. The UP police are contacting the National Museum for guidance.
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Haryana Mahila Cong wants CM’s scalp
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 30
The Haryana unit of the women cell of the Congress has demanded the resignation of the Chautala government for its alleged failure to provide sufficient power and water to the people of the state. The demand was made through a memorandum submitted by the party leaders after a demonstration outside the district headquarters here today.

The memorandum, addressed to the Governor, was submitted to the Deputy Commissioner. It said that the people of the district and the region were disenchanted with the government on the issues such as employment, law and order, crime against women and discrimination in the matter of development.

The demonstration, organised by the district unit of the Mahila Congress and led by Ms Sharda Rathaur, was also addressed by the general secretary of the All India Mahila Congress, Ms Alka Lamba and Ms Renu Poswal, secretary of the Mahila Congress.

They said that the state government had no moral right to stay in power due to its inability to provide even the basic necessities like drinking water and power.

They alleged that there was unprecedented rise in crime in the recent years.

Ms Lamba and Ms Rathaur said that the situation had become intolerable and now the women had been forced to come out on the roads for their basic rights.

They demanded that Faridabad should be declared a ‘drought-hit area’. Farmers lost their crops due to lack of water. The state government’s ‘failure’ to provide sufficient water and power leaves no ground for the government to stay in power.

The women leaders said that the action taken by the Chautala government following the ‘annulment of the water pacts’ by the Punjab government spoke volume of the seriousness of the INLD government in safeguarding the rights of the state.

They said by not approaching the Supreme Court, the Haryana government had proved that it was interested only in ‘politicising’ the issue. It just wanted to draw political advantage after its drubbing in the recent Lok Sabha elections, when the people of Haryana had sent as many as nine Congress candidates into the Lok Sabha.

Taking a dig at the Chautala government, the Congress activists asked if the present rule in the state was avenging its defeat by not supply enough water and power to the people.

According to Ms Rathaur, who is also the president of the District Mahila Congress, the people were also fed up with the present rule because of large-scale unemployment.

Asking the government to issue a ‘white paper’ on how many youths of Faridabad had been given the government jobs during the past four and a half years, Ms Rathaur said there was hardly any avenue of employment for the majority of the unemployed in the district.

The Mahila Congress has also announced to start a membership campaign from August 1 to 15 in
the state.
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Abattoir can pose serious threat to IAF air base
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, July 30
The continuation of safe operations of Indian Air Force (IAF) at Hindon Air Base near Ghaziabad, one of the strategically important air bases near the national Capital, seems to have become endangered.

A large number of birds flying in and around the IAF air base have increased the risk of bird-hits. As a result of illegal slaughter of birds and animals in the vicinity, the number of flights from this air base has been affected.

The situation will become serious with the proposed slaughterhouse opening in Ghazipur. According to sources, the air operations from this base, established at a cost of hundreds of crores of rupees, can grind to a stop with the Ghazipur slaughterhouse coming into being.

According to IAF sources, Hindon Air Base is a strategic air base established many decades ago.

The runways of the Hindon IAF station are a merely 6 km from the site of the proposed slaughterhouse.

As a rule, no abattoir is permitted within 10 km of an air base, according to the Air Craft Act, but the civil administration of NCR Delhi seems to be oblivious of the fact.

The birds hovering over the waste dumping station, a fish and hen market in the area, have already caused many bird-hits to IAF flights.

Three valuable IAF aircraft, including two MIG-21 of Hindon Air Base, have crashed due to the bird-hits. One MIG-21 had crashed near Metri village and other in Loni. The third had crashed near Pasaunda village.

Flying birds have been recognised as the biggest danger for an aircraft and they can hinder the take-off and landings on the runways.

The proposed slaughterhouse of Delhi Nagar Nigam will attract hundreds of birds posing a serious threat to the aircraft landing and taking-off at the Hindon Air Base and can endanger the security of the Capital in an emergency.
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Rohini Ward Committee meeting adjourned
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
A meeting of the Ward Committee of Rohini Zone over the distribution of unhygienic mid-day meal in a MCD school was adjourned after strong protest by the members.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Standing Committee, MCD, Mr Vijender Gupta, said that the guardians were fearful after the recent incident in which unhygienic mid-day meal was supplied to the children.

He alleged that the Director, Education, Mrs Indira Yadav, was deliberately absent from the meeting though she was informed that the supply of mid-day meal to children would be discussed.

Mr Gupta demanded a detailed investigation of the incident. He also demanded that a special meeting of the House be called to discuss the irregularities and mismanagement in the supply of mid-day meal.

Camp held to spread awareness about osteoporosis

The Arthritis Foundation of India, an NGO, organised a free bone health camp at Sandhya old age home in Netaji Nagar to spread awareness about osteoporosis.

Senior citizens were given free treatment at the camp and were informed about the diseases, which doctors claim was turning into an epidemic. However, medical practitioners’ point out that osteoporosis is avoidable.

The camp provided information on how osteoporosis and arthritis makes the bones weak and contributes to sixty per cent of the fractures. It was pointed out that in the elderly population, one out of three women above 45 years has osteoporosis, while the number is one in eight for men.

Bone denisitometry was also conducted on 100 senior citizens. The chairman of the foundation, Dr Sushil Sharma, said that they were aiming to spread information about the disease and have plans to augment the campaign.
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Excise dept hopes to collect 17% more tax
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 30
“The Central Excise Department expects to see a growth of about 17 per cent in its total collection this year. But this was not possible till the industry and the entrepreneurs cooperate with the authorities concerned,” this was stated by Ms Rashida Hussain, Commissioner, Central Excise, while interacting with the local industrialists here recently.

She said that while the government had simplified several procedures of the tax collection and adopted suitable changes in its functioning, it was the duty of the entrepreneurs and the industry to extend their cooperation for submission of taxes on time.

She said that the department takes proper action regarding the objections raised and the claims made by the industrial units in the matter of central excise and it was the attempt of the authorities not to harass its customers.

Stating that the department had been bringing some more changes, she disclosed that a new post of the Commissioner (service tax) was being created to modernise the office at Ballabhgarh town.

It was also stated that the divisional office of the department will soon be shifted to the NH-Four area of the NIT here, where any entrepreneur could contact the officials concerned regarding the central excise.

The representatives of the Faridabad Small Industries Association asked for more interaction and meetings between the department and the entrepreneurs .
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Parliament, school-style
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
It was Parliament sans the usual noise and commotion. There were no walkouts or protests and members conducted their business without rushing inside the Well of the House. Even Minister of State for Defence and Parliamentary Affairs B.K. Handique admitted the fact.

Speaking at the prize distribution function of the 38th Youth Parliament Competition here today, he admitted that while students of the prize-winning school, Satbhrawan Arya Senior Secondary School, Karol Bagh, had taken minutest care while enacting the scene from Parliament, “The only difference is that there is no noise. I am glad that the future of democracy is safe in the hands of these young Parliamentarians.”

The function, organised by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs for schools under the Directorate of Education, Government of NCT of Delhi and New Delhi Municipal Council, is part of its Youth Parliament Scheme.

Winners of the Running Parliamentary Shield and Trophy, the students of Satbhrawan Girls Senior Secondary School, played their parts perfectly, enacting a 45-minute sitting of Parliament complete with oath ceremony, obituary reference, introduction of new ministers, annual reports, debates and introduction of a Bill.

Playing along, the minister also began his address by first greeting the “Speaker” and the “Prime Minister”.

Later, speaking to The Tribune on the sidelines of the function, he said it would be nice if the Parliament was always conducted like this.

Speaking on the occasion, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs Secretary V.K. Agnihotri said the target of the scheme was to inculcate democratic ethos in the younger generation by imbibing democratic values like tolerance, discipline, respect for divergent views and beliefs and other determinants of civilised social behaviour in them.

As many as 67 schools had participated in the series organised under the scheme. Today, merit trophies were awarded to 17 schools. Mother Divine Senior Secondary Public School, Rohini, won a trophy for standing first among new entrant schools. A trophy was also presented to the Central District of Education, Directorate of Education, Government of NCT of Delhi, for being the best educational district in the competition.
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First-point tax to affect jewellery exports
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, which is sponsored by the Union Ministry of Commerce, has said that bringing jewellery exporters under the purview of the first-point tax will not only adversely affect exports from the NCT of Delhi but also affect thousands of skilled and semi-skilled workers and artisans employed by jewellery exporters.

The convenor of GJEPC’s northern region, Mr Rajendra Bhola, has said in a memorandum to the Chief Minister and the finance minister that all major gems and jewellery exporting states like Karnataka, Maharashtra and West Bengal have exempted exporters from sales tax as well as first-point tax.

The major reason for exemption, Mr Bhola said, is that gold jewellery exports from the country are done with bare minimum margins due to stiff international competition. The Government of NCT of Delhi has proposed to bring gold under the first-point tax scheme, which when implemented, will make the bullion traders pay the tax before manufacturing of jewellery.
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No room for violence in colleges: VC
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, July 30
The Vice-Chancellor of Ch. Charan Singh University, Meerut, Dr R.P. Singh, has strongly condemned the incidents of indiscipline and violence in various colleges for the past few days.

He said students, teachers and principals of colleges should not lower the guard against the goonda elements. Goondaism has no place in educational institutions and indiscipline will not be tolerated or condoned, he added.

Dr R. P. Singh, who was upset by the clashes between students and teachers, said every effort will be made to improve the atmosphere in colleges. Teachers, students and others should give a fitting reply to the goonda elements. Keep your morale high, the Vice-Chancellor told them.
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Rehabilitation council courses
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
As many as six different open universities from across the country have come forward to broadbase the reach of the two courses of the Rehabilitation council of India on disability - B. Ed. (Special Education) and Post Graduate Professional Diploma in Special Education through distance mode. In a meeting held recently here these universities agreed to sign a tripartite agreement with the RCI and MP Bhoj University to start the two courses in regional languages. The courses will soon be available in regional languages through the distance mode programme of these universities.

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