SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Keep NDA united, says Vajpayee
Dona Paula (Goa), August 1
A day after the key NDA ally JD(U) threatened to snap ties with the NDA if it returned to the Hindutva fold, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today stressed the need to keep the opposition alliance intact even as the RSS asked the party to remain firm on its ideology.

Soren’s plea on warrant shot down
Jamtara, August 1
JMM activists attend a rally called by their party President Shibu Soren at Kanchan Bera in Jamtara on Sunday. A Giridih police team arrived here today to execute a production warrant in a 30-year-old murder case against Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief Shibu Soren. 


JMM activists attend a rally called by their party President Shibu Soren at Kanchan Bera in Jamtara on Sunday. — PTI photo

Drought contingency plan — sow alternative crops
New Delhi, August 1
As the country is likely to face drought, the Centre has asked the affected states to make available to farmers all infrastructural assistance to see them through the difficult period and has prepared a list alternative to crops to be sown, to minimise the loss.



EARLIER STORIES

 
Members of the UN Peace Keeping force, who were deployed for a year at the troubled borders between Ethiopia and Eritrea in Africa, arrive at IGI airport
Members of the UN Peace Keeping force, who were deployed for a year at the troubled borders between Ethiopia and Eritrea in Africa, arrive at IGI airport in New Delhi on Sunday. 

A child and his father watch helplessly as the Bhagirathi waters slowly devour Old Tehri town
A child and his father watch helplessly as the Bhagirathi waters slowly devour Old Tehri town.
— PTI photos

Functions to mark 400 years of Guru Granth Sahib
New Delhi, August 1
The World Punjabi Organisation has chalked out elaborate functions to mark the 400 years of the compilation of the Guru Granth Sahib. On the occasion of completion of 400 years of the holy book, which is revered as a living god by the Sikhs, on September 1, the organisation plans to celebrate the day with light and sound show and other measures to spread the teaching of Guru Nanak.

News Analysis
History swings students
THE UPA government’s move to “de-saffronise” NCERT textbooks introduced by the previous NDA government is leading one to ask whether one agenda, of the Right, is being replaced by another one, this time from the powerful Left.

‘Ganja’ omelettes a rage with students
Chennai, August 1
We have heard of a Spanish omelette, which means a stuffed omelette. And that can be with vegetables or meat. But have you ever heard of an omelette stuffed with drugs? Well, that is exactly what is available in the South Indian town of Madurai and it is a craze among engineering students studying there.

INHS ‘Asvini’ connected by air, sea & land
Mumbai, August 1
Indian Naval Hospital Ship, Asvini, the naval command hospital at Colaba in South Mumbai, has become the first hospital in the world to be connected by air, sea and land.

Madras HC amends Advocates Act
Chennai, August 1
Taking a tough stand against frequent obstruction of court work by lawyers, the Madras High Court has amended the Advocates Act to take strong action against those violating it and also laid down a code of conduct for the advocates.

Delhi to play host to CPM congress
New Delhi, August 1
For the first time, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) will hold its all-India congress in the Capital. It will be held in April next year to review the party’s performance during the past three years and chalk out the future strategy.

Birla-Lodha case today
Kolkata, August 1
The Birlas will controversy comes up for hearing again at Justice K.J.Sengupta’s court in the Calcutta High Court tomorrow when the entire Birla family, irrespective of their business differences, will stand up jointly against Mr R.S.Lodha for preserving the prestige and sanctity of the Birla house, as was stated, on behalf of the Birlas, by their solicitor, Mr M.G. Khaitan.

MP wildlife plan for dam area
Bhopal, August 1
The Madhya Pradesh Government has chalked out, though belatedly, an action plan for protecting wildlife of the Indira Sagar Project submergence area. Over 40,000 hectares of forests, with over 2000 wild animals of 32 species, will be submerged as the dam fills up any time now.

Sonia chairs meeting on NCMP
New Delhi, Aug 1
The National Advisory Council headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi yesterday met to discuss the implementation of the National Common Minimum Programme on the issue of employment guarantee programme and freedom of information.

Dr B.C. Roy awards announced
New Delhi, August 1
The Medical Council of India has announced the prestigious Dr B.C. Roy National Awards under different categories for three years to be conferred on 54 people. BJP leader Dr C.P. Thakur and Director General of Health Services Dr S.P. Agarwal have been selected under the major category of the award for 2002, while Dr S.K.Sama, Chairman, Ganga Ram Hospital, and Dr M. Gauri Devi have been selected for the award for 2001, sources said.

Pact with Cong, RPI to continue, says Pawar
Mumbai, August 1
With assembly elections in Maharashtra round the corner, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar today said the alliance between the Congress-NCP and the RPI would continue unless there was any change in the “policy decision” of any of the partners.

AGP seeks dismissal of Patil, Gogoi
Guwahati, Aug 1
The Opposition Asom Gana Parishad has demanded the dismissal of Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, his deputy Prakash Jaiswal and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for their ‘’anti-national acts in misleading the people’’ about the presence of illegal Bangladeshi migrants in the state.

Bhim Singh hits out at Congress
New Delhi, August 1
Mr Bhim Singh, whose Panthers Party is part of the ruling coalition in Jammu and Kashmir, yesterday hit out at the alliance partner Congress over its decision of making six independent MLAs in the assembly as associate members.

Hirendranath Mukherjee cremated
Kolkata, August 1
The people of West Bengal bid a tearful farewell today to veteran Communist leader, Historian and noted parliamentarian Professor Hirendranath Mukherjee who died in a city hospital on July 30.

Nafisa’s fiance clarifies on divorce
Tribune News Service
Mumbai, August 1
Mr Gautam Khanduja, fiance of model-turned-VJ Nafisa Joseph, who committed suicide on Thursday, clarified in a media statement that he had divorced his former wife in February last year. Responding to allegations by Usha, Nafisa Joseph’s mother, about his marital status, Mr Khanduja said he divorced his former wife on February 10 last year. 


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Keep NDA united, says Vajpayee

Dona Paula (Goa), August 1
A day after the key NDA ally JD(U) threatened to snap ties with the NDA if it returned to the Hindutva fold, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today stressed the need to keep the opposition alliance intact even as the RSS asked the party to remain firm on its ideology.

Participating in the party’s brainstoming session on the second day, Mr Vajpayee said all efforts should be made to keep the NDA united as the party endeavours to grow further, party sources told PTI.

Mr Vajpayee, who is chairman of NDA Parliamentary Group, however, did not specifically refer to any ally or the threat made by JD(U) at its national executive meet in Delhi yesterday.

In his seven-minute-long intervention, Mr Vajpayee expressed concern over the functioning of the UPA government which, he said, was “buckling under pressure of communists”.

RSS joint general secretary in charge of the BJP, Madan Das Devi, cateogrically told BJP leaders present on the occasion that the Sangh expected the party to remain firm on Hindutva and propagate its ideology confidentally and effectively.

Speaking on the Sangh’s expectations from the BJP, Mr Devi said the party should not deviate from the Hindutva philosophy and should train its workers to propagate the BJP ideology.

Sangh Parivar outfits, including the VHP, had attributed BJP’s debacle in the Lok Sabha poll to the dilution of its ideology and even threatened to float a parallel Hindu political forum — an idea on which the RSS is yet to take a decision.

RSS top brass had apprised the BJP leaders, including Mr Vajpayee, Mr L.K. Advani and Mr Venkaiah Naidu of its concerns and expectations at a meeting last week.

On the first day of the deliberations yesterday, the party leaders including Mr Murli Manohar Joshi and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had stressed on harmonious integration of Hindutva with the party’s social expansion plans.

Social political and geographical expansion of the party, besides drawing up a strategy for the coming assembly poll in Maharashtra, Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh were on the agenda of the discussions today. — PTI
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JD (U) to continue in NDA: Fernandes

New Delhi, August 1
Janata Dal (U) president George Fernandes today said his party would not sever ties with the BJP, provided it did not revert to controversial issues such as ‘Hindutva’, the Ram Temple, Article 370, and the Common Civil Code.

Mr Fernandes, who is also the NDA convener, said the JD(U) had joined hands with the BJP and become part of the NDA only when it put aside the controversial issues of Ayodhya, Article 370 and the Common Civil Code.

There was no change in his party’s stand, the former Defence Minister told reporters on the conclusion of a two-day national executive of the JD(U) here.

“We joined the NDA only after the three controversial issues had been removed from the NDA agenda. If any effort is now made to revive them, we shall have to take another road. We shall never compromise with religious bigotry,” said a political resolution adopted at the executive.

When pointed out that the BJP’s political resolution at its Mumbai national executive clearly stated its resolve to return to Hindutva, he countered he had seen the resolution and there was nothing like that in it.

He scotched reports that the JD(U) was leaving the NDA, saying the party had not taken any such decision and its political resolution was very clear on the issue.

But on further questioning on why they were talking about “taking another road” if they did not suspect the BJP, he said recent media reports in this regard had created some doubts that the party was perhaps planning to backtrack on its commitment. — UNI 
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Soren’s plea on warrant shot down

Jamtara, August 1
A Giridih police team arrived here today to execute a production warrant in a 30-year-old murder case against Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren. Party leaders agreed that a crisis had arisen with the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Giridih, turning down the former Union Coal and Mines Minister’s plea to revoke the warrant.

Barely 24 hours were left for Mr Soren to surrender before the sessions court in the 1975 Chirdudih massacre case.

Mr Soren and 10 others are wanted in the murder case of Chandni Rai and Khirodar Singh on April 15, 1974, at Kudko village in Pirtand in Giridih. An FIR was lodged by Jang Bahadur Singh under Sections 302 and 307 of the IPC in this regard.

However, “Guruji’s”, as he is popularly known, failure to appear before the court in Giridih is attributed to the failure of the Dumka jail authorities since he was in their judicial custody at the time.

Meanwhile, JMM leaders across the state addressed small public meetings and denounced what they termed as “political conspiracy” by the BJP. — UNI 
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Drought contingency plan — sow alternative crops
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 1
As the country is likely to face drought, the Centre has asked the affected states to make available to farmers all infrastructural assistance to see them through the difficult period and has prepared a list alternative to crops to be sown, to minimise the loss.

A senior Agriculture Ministry official said as an immediate measure farmers in the rain deficient states are being advised to undertake quick shift in crops to suit lower availability of water based on areas and region.

The crop contingent plan for the first two weeks of August has recommended that Haryana farmers transplant a special variety of bajra as grain crop or to directly sow it as fodder crop in Hisar, Bhiwani, Sirsa, Mahendragarh, Gurgaon and parts of Rohtak district.

For Bhilwara, Tonk, Dungarpur, Ajmer, Chittaurgarh, Rajasamand, Jalore, Sikar, Jodhpur and Chur in Rajasthan, the plan recommends planting of varieties of sesame, green gram, sorghum as fodder crop. The plan report said it was essential to protect the livestock at this juncture as the drought-like situation could lead to shortfall in fodder. The crop contingent plan would be successful in case sufficient rain is received July 27 onwards, it said.

“In the light of monsoon behaviour, farmers are advised not to do paddy transplanting till the monsoon activity is regained especially in Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh,” said the weather-based Agriculture Management of Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR).

For Madhya Pradesh, the ICAR study said, in case of delayed monsoon, short duration varieties of soyabean and other pulses may be sown.

“It is advised to farmers that sowing of long duration varieties should not be taken now even if rainfall occurs next week and they should go for short duration varieties”, it said.
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Functions to mark 400 years of Guru Granth Sahib
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 1
The World Punjabi Organisation has chalked out elaborate functions to mark the 400 years of the compilation of the Guru Granth Sahib. On the occasion of completion of 400 years of the holy book, which is revered as a living god by the Sikhs, on September 1, the organisation plans to celebrate the day with light and sound show and other measures to spread the teaching of Guru Nanak.

At a function organised in the Capital last night, it said light and sound show by Dr Harcharan Singh would be held in the city and there were plans to take it around the globe throughout the year.

The organisers said the English translation of the holy scripture by Dr Kartar Singh Duggal would also be released on the occasion.

This is a plan to undertake the translation of the Guru Granth in all Indian languages, as it is the most cosmopolitan religious scripture which has hymns from Muslim and Hindu saints.
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News Analysis
History swings students
 by Sridhar K Chari

THE UPA government’s move to “de-saffronise” NCERT textbooks introduced by the previous NDA government is leading one to ask whether one agenda, of the Right, is being replaced by another one, this time from the powerful Left.

The panel, constituted by the government to examine the text books, comprising Prof S. Settar, Prof J.S. Grewal, and Prof Barun De, made several recommendations. The only recommendation that the new NCERT executive committee, appointed by the UPA, accepted was that the present text books could not be continued. The panel, however, does not make any recommendation that the older textbooks, which many neutral scholars wouldn’t hesitate to describe as “leftist,” be revived. But the books have indeed been revived by the NCERT executive committee, thus ignoring a key panel recommendation that a fresh exercise be conducted and new books be written.

“I would have been happy if the NCERT committee had considered all our recommendations instead of picking up only a part of it,” stated Prof Settar, who is a former ICHR chairman and is currently with the National Institute of Advanced Studies, in Bangalore. In addition, the NCERT body’s resolution is that the old texts, by the big three of Indian history - Romila Thapar (Ancient India) Satish Chandra (Medieval India) and Bipin Chandra (Modern India) be used as reference texts by school children. “I cannot understand how a sixth standard child or even his or her teacher can consult reference texts for use in the classroom,” Prof Settar states.

And while most agree that the NDA texts are indeed problematical, it is difficult to accept 30 to 40 years old texts as an alternative. Has historical scholarship not moved forward at all in the past few decades?

The problems do not end there. The NCERT and the government have pointedly ignored the panel’s concern that textbooks on Ancient India, both the older one and the NDA book, have a North Indian bias. The panel’s report, in an appendix, talking about one of the current texts, states: “Ancient India is identified with the Indo-Gangetic zone. The events of the rest of the country….are viewed as of no relevance. Out of 89 pages devoted to the study of Ancient India, not even nine pages are spared for the history of peninsular India. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka together have preserved a corpus of over 50,000 inscriptions, but not even a passing reference is made to this enviable wealth.”

“Simply going back to the old text books is not going to solve this problem,” Prof Settar notes. “1050 CBSE schools in the four southern states have to learn from these textbooks. What history of India are we talking about?”

Another ignored recommendation is that school textbooks be anonymous, so that individual egos, pet peeves, and controversial positions do not complicate the school level learning (there is always time for that at graduate and post-graduate levels.)

The government now intends to reconstitute the syllabus, just as Murli Manohar Joshi did in the beginning of his term. The problem is, the books have already been decided upon, and the syllabus therefore will simply be built around this. “It would have been more convincing if the syllabus had first been restructured and then the textbooks decided upon or remodeled,” says Prof Settar.

The new powers that be perhaps recognize that there is a problem - witness a curious and arguably misleading advertisement released in newspapers by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, titled ‘Students’ interest - our foremost concern.’ The eight column advertisement refers to the text book issue and the panel, and proceeds to display the highlights of the recommendations. Though these masquerade as the recommendations of the panel, many of the points mentioned are in fact from the NCERT executive committee resolution, or a government decision.

Some of the points in that list are: The present history text books are biased, badly written and full of inaccuracies (the panel report does say this); No replacement of the books for this academic session (this is a government decision); Earlier books to be used for reference, they are to be printed in sufficient numbers, and free copies sent to schools (this is an NCERT resolution and government decision); Earlier books will be used from 05-06 with appropriate modifications (what these are who made the recommendation is not known); Workshops for using current text books with reference to earlier ones (not quite the workshops that the Panel report talks about.) 
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‘Ganja’ omelettes a rage with students
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, August 1
We have heard of a Spanish omelette, which means a stuffed omelette. And that can be with vegetables or meat. But have you ever heard of an omelette stuffed with drugs? Well, that is exactly what is available in the South Indian town of Madurai and it is a craze among engineering students studying there.

Instead of onions, tomatoes, peas or meat, they are stuffed with “ganja” also.

In the temple town, 550 km from here, students are thronging the roadside “dhabas” and getting hooked on these omelettes laced with various narcotic substances.

Other than omelettes one also gets “anda parathas” stuffed with drugs, which too are popular among the students.

“A special omelette or an “anda paratha” costs anything between Rs 20 and Rs 30 while those without drugs cost around Rs 10.

The cooks use “ganja” powder instead of salt and pepper and beat it with eggs, onions and tomato slices.

According to a student, these special snacks gave them a kick.

An undergraduate student said: “We have code words when we place our orders. Only the cook understands and prepares the dish accordingly.”

A senior faculty member of a Madurai college admitted that some students had become addicted to such vices but expressed inability to tackle the menace since these eateries were outside the college premises.
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INHS ‘Asvini’ connected by air, sea & land

Mumbai, August 1
Indian Naval Hospital Ship (INHS), Asvini, the naval command hospital at Colaba in South Mumbai, has become the first hospital in the world to be connected by air, sea and land.

Announcing this Surgeon Vice Admiral V.K. Singh, the Director-General, Medical Services (Navy) today said in the next six months all naval hospitals would be connected as part of an ambitious project to connect all hospitals of the armed forces in the country.

The Admiral, who was here to inaugurate a seminar on disaster management as part of the 60th Bombay Medical Congress here, said “INHS Asvini has now the unique distinction of being connected by air, sea and land.”

A helipad in the hospital premises is ready and it will facilitate the use of choppers for moving patients. A small jetty near the 1,000-bed hospital will also facilitate the movement of patients by boat or sea-ambulances. “This is one of the best facilities in the world,” he claimed. — UNI
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Madras HC amends Advocates Act

Chennai, August 1
Taking a tough stand against frequent obstruction of court work by lawyers, the Madras High Court has amended the Advocates Act to take strong action against those violating it and also laid down a code of conduct for the advocates.

The amendment to Section 34 (1) of the Act was being made in the wake of a series of protests by lawyers in various parts of the state over the constitution of the Madurai Bench of the High Court.

Advocates found guilty of contempt of court would be barred from practising in any court for a period up to one year, the July 30 Tamil Nadu Government Gazette notification on the amendment said.

The code of conduct stipulates among other things that lawyers should conduct the cases in a respectful manner, restrains them from acting with incivility, rudeness or showing disrespectful conduct to the presiding judge.

It stated that no advocate would be permitted to make disparaging and derogatory remarks against the presiding judge. Also no advocate should directly or indirectly malign a presiding judge.

It also forbids advocates from holding demonstrations, processions or fasts in the court premises which disturb the judicial proceedings.

Advocates should conduct cases in a respectful manner, keeping in mind that the dignity of the judicial officer was essential for survival of law.

Clarifying that forms of misconduct against a Single or Division Bench would be construed as misconduct against the entire court, the notification said advocates against whom an order of “stoppage of appearance” was issued would not be entitled to enter the precincts of any court.

City advocates, who are resuming work on Monday after another spell of boycott of the courts, however, will continue to stay away from the First Bench, presided over by the Chief Justice, and press their demand for the transfer of Chief Justice B Subashan Reddy. — PTI
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Delhi to play host to CPM congress
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 1
For the first time, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) will hold its all-India congress in the Capital. It will be held in April next year to review the party’s performance during the past three years and chalk out the future strategy.

Over 800 elected delegates from across the country will discuss threadbare the national and international developments at the congress.

Party politburo member Prakash Karat told mediapersons that the party’s central committee at its three-day meeting, which concluded here today, had ratified the suggestion of the party politburo.
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Birla-Lodha case today
Subhrangshu Gupta

Kolkata, August 1
The Birlas will controversy comes up for hearing again at Justice K.J.Sengupta’s court in the Calcutta High Court tomorrow when the entire Birla family, irrespective of their business differences, will stand up jointly against Mr R.S.Lodha for preserving the prestige and sanctity of the Birla house, as was stated, on behalf of the Birlas, by their solicitor, Mr M.G. Khaitan.

So far just four of the Birla family — Mr K.K. Birla, Mr B.K.Birla, Mr G.P.Birla and Mr Yashovardhan — had filed a joint affidavit challenging the probate of the will, which Mr Lodha had produced claiming that he had been bequeathed the entire M.P.Birla’s property worth Rs 5,000 crore by Priyamvada Birla.

Now the two sisters of M.P.Birla, Ms Laxmi Bai Nawar and Ms Radha Bai Mehta, have come out challenging Priyamvada’s will. They also staked the claim to Mr M.P.Birla’s property as per Hindu succession law.

On Monday last, the case came up for hearing at the court of the assigned judge, Justice Subhra Kamal Mukherjee, but he refused to take the hearing on personal grounds.

Mr Yashovardhan, a son of the late Asoke Vardhan Birla (grandson of Jugal Kishore), has already claimed that he was brought up as the son of late M.P.Birla and Priyamvada.

He said after his father’s sudden death in a plane crash, he had been reared by the childless M.P.Birla and Priyamvada, virtually as their son and the heir-apparent.

But still none of the Birlas have claimed M.P.Birla’s property for themselves. Instead they urged upon the court to set up a trust for handling the property of M.P. Birla in spending them on various noble causes and welfare activities like building hospitals, leprosy centers, orphanage, schools for free educations etc, which had the dreams of the late M.P.Birla than to allow Lodha to enjoy the Birla family property.

The Birla sisters and Yashovardhan have also made the same appeal to the court in the affidavits filed by them.

Phased removal of Lodha

Mumbai: After shareholders of Hindalco Industries voted out R.S. Lodha & Co as branch auditors, the Birlas have decided to remove Mr Lodha from the auditorship of the Aditya Birla Group companies in a phased manner, according to group insiders here.

Hindalco shareholders had unanimously voted out Lodha & Co from being re-appointed the branch auditors at the 45th Annual General Meeting of the company here yesterday, a fallout of the ongoing tussle over the MP Birla group assets.

The removal of Lodha & Co from the branch auditorship of Hindalco signals the intention of the wider Birla group to dislodge Lodha from his current position as auditor to many group companies.

MP Birla Group company — Birla Ericsson — was the first company to decide against the continuation of Lodha & Company as its auditor. The Birlas have decided to remove Lodha from the auditorship of the group companies one after the other. — UNITop

 

MP wildlife plan for dam area
Our Correspondent

Bhopal, August 1
The Madhya Pradesh Government has chalked out, though belatedly, an action plan for protecting wildlife of the Indira Sagar Project submergence area. Over 40,000 hectares of forests, with over 2000 wild animals of 32 species, will be submerged as the dam fills up any time now.

The action plan has been prepared on the basis of the recommendations made by the Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun. It envisages the setting up of a national park in a 250 sq km area and two sanctuaries spread over 174 sq km and 66 sq km.

The Friends of Nature Society, an organisation working in the field of forest and environment, has conducted a detailed study of the area and has listed 32 species threatened by the submergence. The Zoological Survey of India had, however, mentioned only 27 species.

The government announced today that the wild animals in the submergence area would be shifted to the proposed national park and sanctuaries. Already, 1375 wild animals have been shifted to safer places.
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Sonia chairs meeting on NCMP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, Aug 1
The National Advisory Council headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi yesterday met to discuss the implementation of the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) on the issue of employment guarantee programme and freedom of information.

The meeting chaired by Ms Gandhi discussed the proposed legislation to guarantee employment and the provisions relating to freedom of information.

An official press note issued here today said the recommendations of the council would be finalised and sent to the government soon. The council heard the presentations on access to basic education and health sector in the country.

The council would consider in depth the issues relating to education, health care and health insurance at its next meeting scheduled to be held on August 14.
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Dr B.C. Roy awards announced

New Delhi, August 1
The Medical Council of India has announced the prestigious Dr B.C. Roy National Awards under different categories for three years to be conferred on 54 people. BJP leader Dr C.P. Thakur and Director General of Health Services Dr S.P. Agarwal have been selected under the major category of the award for 2002, while Dr S.K.Sama, Chairman, Ganga Ram Hospital, and Dr M. Gauri Devi have been selected for the award for 2001, sources said.

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam would confer the awards on the recipients at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 3. A neuro surgeon, Dr S.P. Agarwal, is the first DGHS to receive the award. Professor of Cardiology at the All-India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) Dr K.K. Talwar, Dr A. Kesanna from the IMA College of General Practitioners have been selected for the award for 2000 and 2002, respectively, the sources said. — PTITop

 

Pact with Cong, RPI to continue, says Pawar

Mumbai, August 1
With assembly elections in Maharashtra round the corner, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar today said the alliance between the Congress-NCP and the RPI would continue unless there was any change in the “policy decision” of any of the partners.

“The Congress-NCP and RPI alliance was accepted by everyone during Lok Sabha elections and will continue unless there is a change in the policy decision of the alliance partners,” Mr Pawar said addressing a rally of NCP’s city unit workers here.

Mr Pawar’s statement assumes significance in the wake of earlier reports that a few Congress leaders were not in favour of an alliance with the NCP.

In a strong message to sulking NCP leaders, including high-profile former Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Mr Pawar today said those wishing to leave NCP could do so. — PTI
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AGP seeks dismissal of Patil, Gogoi

Guwahati, Aug 1
The Opposition Asom Gana Parishad has demanded the dismissal of Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, his deputy Prakash Jaiswal and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for their ‘’anti-national acts in misleading the people’’ about the presence of illegal Bangladeshi migrants in the state.

In a letter to President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam yesterday, which was released to the press today, AGP secretary Dilip Kumar Saikia demanded the three persons ‘’should be immediately arrested under the National Security Act’’.

Mr Saikia urged Dr Kalam to use his offices to direct the Centre and the Assam Government to deal with the issue of the foreigners settling in the country and identify and deport all the illegal foreigners, post March 25, 1971, immediately. — UNI
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Bhim Singh hits out at Congress
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 1
Mr Bhim Singh, whose Panthers Party is part of the ruling coalition in Jammu and Kashmir, yesterday hit out at the alliance partner Congress over its decision of making six independent MLAs in the assembly as associate members.

Mr Bhim Singh said he would move the Election Commission and also write to the Assembly Speaker seeking disqualification of the six MLAs. While one

MLA had associated with the Congress earlier, five others were made associate members on July 30.
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Hirendranath Mukherjee cremated

Kolkata, August 1
The people of West Bengal bid a tearful farewell today to veteran Communist leader, Historian and noted parliamentarian Professor Hirendranath Mukherjee who died in a city hospital on July 30.

A funeral procession carrying the flower-decked body of Mr Mukherjee started from Peace Haven, where his body had been kept since July 30, touched his residence in South Kolkata and then reached Rabindra Sadan where his body was kept for two hours for the people to pay their last respects. — UNI
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BRIEFLY

BSP leader held with call girls
GHAZIABAD:
With the arrest of a BSP leader, a local journalist and two girls from a hotel here, the police has claimed to have busted a call girl racket. Those arrested have been identified as BSP leader Janardhan Sharma, who contested Assembly poll from the Ghaziabad constituency, and Noida-based journalist Vinod Kumar. The police also seized Rs 98,000 from Sharma and claimed to have arrested two call girls during the raid on Saturday. — PTI

Scribe Venugopal Rao dead
NEW DELHI:
M. Venugopal Rao, senior journalist and former Editor of Link, died here on Sunday. He was 81. He had also worked with the Hindustan Times, The Statesman and the Patriot. He is survived by wife and a daughter. — UNI

Five farmers end life
KARIMNAGAR:
The assurances by the Andhra Pradesh Government notwithstanding, five debt-ridden farmers allegedly committed suicide at various places in the district. K. Rajesham (30) of Pathagudur village consumed pesticides to end his life on Saturday. The police said. Other farmers who died in the past 24 hours were Narsaiah (38) of Narsaiahpalli, P. Peddalaingam (45) of Kathlapur, Lambu Chandra Reddy (60) of Husnabad and Gurram Rahi Reddy (40) of Manakondur. — PTI

MLA sent to jail
HAJIPUR:
Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) MLA Ram Kishore Singh, also known as Rama Singh, has been sent to jail after being produced in a court here in connection with murder and kidnapping cases, the police said. Ram Kishore Singh, who was wanted by the police of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal in various criminal cases, was arrested recently by the Jharkhand police. — PTI

9 of a family killed
Kolkata:
Five members of a family, including two children, died in a house collapse at a tribal village in Purulia, about 200 km from here, on Saturday night. — OC
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