P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



JAC member alleges harassment by police
Probe initiated into complaints against VC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Just a few days after the formation of a joint action committee (JAC) against the functioning of the authorities of Punjab Agricultural University, a member of the committee was today allegedly harassed by the police on the pretext of questioning him in connection with a complaint filed by Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor.

The police, however, said the teacher, Dr A.S. Grewal, was not harassed. It said the police had initiated a probe to trace the identity of ‘anonymous’ persons who had been filing scores of complaints to different authorities and departments against Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor. It was in this regard that Mr Grewal’s statement was required.

A senior official of the police said they had received a complaint in which some persons had made several anonymous complaints against Dr Aulakh to the state government, the Vigilance Bureau and senior officials concerned. Dr Aulakh had alleged that the complaints were part of a deep-rooted conspiracy by some teachers against whom he had taken action on disciplinary grounds.

Dr A.S. Grewal said in a press note that a police party, led by an Inspector of the CIA wing, came to his residence at Karnail Singh Nagar in the afternoon yesterday and pressurised him sign on a blank sheet. Since he refused to oblige them, they rang up a senior police official, who directed Dr Grewal to appear before him in the afternoon today.

Later, a team of CIA officials raided his house twice in his absence and managed to obtain his wife’s signature on some documents, charged Dr Grewal.

Dr Grewal has, in a statement made to the SP (Detective), Mr Gurpreet Singh, said he had made several complaints against the Vice-Chancellor, but all of them had been under his own signatures and he did not have any reason to hide his identity.

Dr Grewal’s counsel, Mr B.N. Sehgal, served a notice on the SSP, Ludhiana, the SP (Detective), the DSP and the ADGP (Crime) today stating that the police action was aimed at terrorising Dr Grewal in order to prevent him from pursuing the complaints made by him to the higher authorities, including the President, the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister of Punjab, against Dr Aulakh during the past over 3 years, apart from dissuading him to participate in the activities of the joint action committee of PAU teachers and employees that was formed to demand Dr Aulakh’s removal last week.

Dr Grewal’s counsel has reminded the police officials concerned that their action meant serious infringement and violation of the fundamental rights to life, liberty and freedom of speech of his client. “In case my client is required in some case, he should be informed in writing about the same, giving full details,” he has said in the notice.

He has also cautioned the officials concerned that if Dr Grewal is not informed of the facts within three days, he will be left with no option but to file a complaint with the Punjab State Human Rights Commission , the consequences of which shall entirely lie with the police officials concerned.


DC orders inquiry into road construction
Places teacher under suspension
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 18
Making a departure from the traditional style of administration, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr K. A. P. Sinha, while admitting that substandard material was being used in the premix paving of the Talwandi Sabo-Teona Pujarian road at a public grievances removal function organised at Teona Pujarian village today, announced that the SDM, Talwandi Sabo, Mr Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, would conduct an inquiry into the same.

He said that if it was found that substandard material had been used then those who had been executing the premix paving work would have to pay a heavy price for the same.

Not only this, Mr Sinha, who was accompanied by the SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, and the MLA, Mr Jeet Mohinder Singh, placed a teacher, posted in one of the schools falling in Talwandi Sabo block, under suspension on the spot after he received a complaint that the teacher had been remaining absent from his duty since long.

He also asked Mr Dev to register a case against those who were allegedly involved in the illegal cutting of trees in Giana village. He ordered to raise a boundary wall around the waterworks of Sangat Khurd village so that entry of stray animals could be prevented.

While expressing his displeasure over the fact that a section of rural waterworks, which had been repaired and augmented since past two years, could not start functioning because some of these were yet to get power connections and some were yet to get enough raw water to function. He assured the people that within a few weeks, these waterworks would start functioning.

While Mr Sinha settled 49 complaints out of a total of 62 complaints received by him on the spot, Mr Kapil Dev solved all the three complaints on the spot which were received by him at today’s function.

Mr Jeet Mohinder Singh said that the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had released Rs 58 lakh for the waterworks being set up at Talwandi Sabo town.


Resolve differences, Governor tells ex-servicemen
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 18
“Ex-servicemen should come under a single umbrella to chart out a new course. For this they should meet me. But first they must resolve differences and come on a single platform to address their issues,” insisted newly appointed Governor Gen SF Rodrigues (retd) here while talking to The Tribune today after his first visit to the Golden Temple along with his wife Jean Rodrigues . The Governor was answering query a with regard to the plight of ex-servicemen.

He stated that the basis of education should not be merely acquisition of knowledge but to develop a value system. The Governor had remained on the advisory board of Goa University for seven years and had introduced revolutionary changes in their teaching pattern.

Lamenting that he could not visit the Golden Temple earlier due to tight schedules, he wrote in the visitors’ book “ a thoroughly spiritual satisfying visit long overdue but all the more uplifting. Thank you for sharing this experience with me.”

The Governor was presented a Siropa, a set of books and a model of Golden Temple. The SGPC urged him to provide land near Gurdwara Santokhsar Sahib at the reserved price. They requested him to get its auction stopped, which is for tomorrow and is to be held by the Municipal Corporation.

The Governor later visited Durgiana Temple and Jallianwala Bagh.. Placing floral wreaths the Governor evinced keen interest about its upkeep and development.

Earlier, in his interaction with the district heads the Governor emphasised on paying more attention to reforms in the education system to inculcate patriotic feelings.

Admitting fault in education system he stressed the need to introduce a feed-back system about teachers from students.


Imbroglio at Raj Bhavan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Punjab Raj Bhavan has arm-twisted the Department of Information and Public Relations to submit a panel of names rather than implementing the transfer orders of the incumbent Information Officer, Mr Surinder Malik, who was replaced by Mr Jarnail Singh.

The orders to post Joint Director Jarnail Singh in place of Mr Malik were passed on November 4. He was, however, not allowed to join. Instead, the Secretary to the Governor, Mr D.S. Kalha, wrote to the Principal Secretary, Mr D.S. Jaspal, on November 8, reminding him that the former Governor, Justice O.P. Verma (retd.), had ‘’specifically’’ asked the Media Adviser not to shift Mr Malik. It was also mentioned in the letter that choice of the Information Officer at Raj Bhavan was the ‘’prerogative’’ of the Governor. As such, change, if any, has to be with his consent. The letter had called for a panel of names.

This move, say insiders, was obviously to ‘’protect’’ Mr Malik from returning to the department, rather than treating the transfer as a “routine”. For reasons unknown, the department chose to send the names of three joint director level officers to Raj Bhavan on November 10 rather than the reiterating transfer orders.

Interestingly, the orders of shifting out Mr Malik and posting Mr Jarnail Singh have still not been withdrawn. Mr Malik is in Raj Bhawan since 1993.

While replying to the November 8 letter, Mr Jaspal reportedly mentioned that the post of Information Officer at Raj Bhavan had been upgraded to that of Joint Director-level, as the job required an “expereinced” officer due to the enhanced “responsiblities” of the post.

The three names, along with their bio-data, sent to Raj Bhavan are of Mr Jarnail Singh, Mr Sat Narain and Mr G.S. Boparai. Sources in the Department of Information and Public Relations say that a wrong precedent has, thus, been set by submitting a panel of names just because an officer had reportedly ‘’managed’’ to stall his transfer.

Sources said Mr Jarnail Singh has not only held key post of Press Secretary to the Chief Minister for five years, during Mr Beant Singh’s time, but also had experience of serving in the Chandigarh Administration, first as Assistant Public Relations Officer, 1980- 82, and later as Public Relations Officer 1982 to 1990.

It is also learnt that in 2003, a Deputy Director, Mr A.K. Bansal, was posted to Raj Bhavan. He, too, was not able to join because the incumbent had even at that time reportedly managed to pull the right strings to stay on.

The department, sources said, was to blame itself more than finding fault with Raj Bhavan, as it has seemingly succumbed to arm-twisting by sending a panel of names of three Joint Directors, rather than getting routine transfer implemented.

It remains to be seen how the new Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd.), will solve the imbroglio.


Heritage fest opens amidst colour and chaos
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

American Sikh girls perform martial arts during the inaugural function of the second Amritsar heritage festival in Amritsar
American Sikh girls perform martial arts during the inaugural function of the second Amritsar heritage festival in Amritsar on Thursday. — PTI photo

Amritsar, November 18
The Amritsar Heritage Festival was thrown open this afternoon with a 3 km long traditional procession that went past the historical landmarks of the Holy City.

The procession featuring nearly all forms of Punjabi folk dance was structured round familiar themes. There were tableaux on the cultural richness of Punjab as well as the historical significance of its crafts. The newness came from a heightened focus on the contemporary challenges, the most significant being female infanticide and foeticide.

Well conceived and sensitively projected, the tableaux section offered space to burning issues marring Punjab’s spirit, including drug addiction, alcoholism and hatred for the girl child. Through smart projections, the students of various schools called for restraint on the occasion of celebration that was attended among others by Amritsar Mayor Sunil Dutti and Deputy Commissioner Raminder Singh.

Interestingly, the scene of celebration was rife with speculation that the DC might proceed on leave. It may be mentioned here that the local INTACH person Mr Sukhdev Singh had recently raised objections stating that the local administration had ignored INTACH while finalising events. But for some heart burning, the festival opened well.

Led by the aggressive-yet-poised students of Miri Piri Academy, the heritage procession reflected myriad shades of the region. Where on the one hand there were the impressive American Sikh students playing the gatka in their spotless white-blue attire, on the other were the Punjabi lasses injecting the ambience with their quintessential charm.

Another space in the festival being organised by Amritsar Heritage Society, INTACH and Punjab government was reserved for the skills of Punjab’s crafts persons.

Meanwhile, the entire city seemed to have come to a standstill this afternoon on account of a severe traffic jam caused by the heritage procession. The area from Bus Stand till Sharifpura was particularly congested, so was the entire stretch from where the procession passed. The worst affected areas were City Centre, Hussain Pura Chowk and Ram Bagh.


Benaras musicians lead pianist Michael Nyman’s orchestra
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 18
Pt Rajan-Sajan Misra have spent ages perfecting the nuances of the Benaras tradition of Indian classical music. True inheritors of the legacy of Pt Hanuman Misra, the brothers have not only added a fresh perspective to their music but have also transcended confines to discover new horizons for their style.

A fine example of their musical insight is their recent collaboration with the internationally famed composer Michael Nyman who wrote music for the Academy Award winning film “The Piano.” In Amritsar today to present the inaugural recital for the six-day Amritsar Heritage Festival being organised by Amritsar Heritage Society and INTACH, the brothers talked about their project which also features pieces by renowned Mandolin player U. Srinivas.

“Michael Nyman has been among our devoted listeners. For long he had been planning a project that would draw from melody, which is the soul of Indian classical music. The piece came about recently and we called it Sangam,” said Pt Sajan Misra who is assisting his elder brother Pt Rajan Misra in the task of documenting the rich musical compositions enshrined in the Benaras tradition.

Sangam features musical pieces based on four main ragas that create a wonderful tapestry of the Indian classical musical tradition. These include Mian malhar, Hansadhwani, Kedara and Bhopali. Selected consciously, the ragas bring alive the soul of Indian music by unleashing melodies in abundance. U. Srinivas’s mandolin forms another heartwarming section of the collaboration, which was presented live in London some time back.

Famous for the newness of their music, Pt Rajan-Sajan Misra regard the project with Michael Nyman as another step towards the co-mingling of cultures. They take pride in the fact that Nyman’s orchestra followed the Indian melody and never even once directed it. “We did not have to work hard to ensure that our music leads the orchestra. It happened on its own,” say Misra brothers who are currently engaged in recording the timeless compositions of the Benaras musical tradition. While 250 compositions in about 90 ragas are ready, another about 300 in more ragas remains to be recorded.

In all these compositions, the musicians allow lyrics to play a predominant role. Firm believers in the supremacy of literature in any musical piece, they have never considered the “word” as secondary to rhythm. Says Pt Rajan Misra: “Both the written word and the rhythm must come together to weave magic.” As far as literature for compositions is concerned, the musicians bank on Braj bhasha, which is the main source of all poetry for Indian classical musical pieces.

The magnificence of poetry in classical music was there for all to see as the brothers sat in concert at Khalsa College this evening. Accompanied by Ritesh and Rajnish Misra, the sons of Pt Rajan Misra, they laced the recital with the best in the Benaras tradition. Kumar Bose accompanied them on tabla and Sri Kanta Prasad on harmonium.

Later during the evening it was Amritsar’s turn to soak in the music of legendary flutist Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia.


Exploit trade ties to resolve turban row: Ravi Inder
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 18
The Centre should exploit its trade relations with France to resolve the turban issue which has affected thousands of Sikhs staying there. The Akali Dal (Ravi Inder) president, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, said this while addressing a Sikh convention organised to mark the 11th death anniversary of Akali leader Baba Joginder Singh at Rode village, near here, today.

Ravi Inder said the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and Sikh leaders had not made serious efforts to resolve the issue and they had been only issuing statements to the Press in this regard.

He praised Tarlochan Singh of the Minorities Commission for his endeavour in the matter. He said the SGPC had ditched the Sikh community by implementing Nanakshahi Calendar made by Pal Singh Purewal who didn’t know anything about Sikhism. He said the calendar had violated Sikh tenets. He alleged that the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP were dividing Sikhs and SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal was aiding them.

He said that the Sant Samaj and Sikh leaders would join hands to launch a campaign to sensitise Sikhs on these issues. Former Akal Takht jathedar, Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode, alleged that the RSS had “bought” some Sikh intellectuals and was using them to create controversies.


Sikhs urged to wear kesri headgear
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 18
The French Sikh delegation visiting India and the Sikh Nation Organisation (SNO), in a joint appeal, have urged the Sikhs of the world to wear kesri headgear on every Thursday and Gurpurabs “to build an effective global movement to focus international attention on unique Sikh identity, facing serious crisis in France and some other countries”.

The French Sikh delegation reached Patiala last evening and held prolonged parleys till late night with the SNO before leaving for Delhi for a meeting with the chairman of the Human Rights Commission and the Prime Minister. The SNO is spearheading a global movement on Sikh identity and ideology. Its petition, under 1503 procedure on French ban on turban and religious symbols, is under the consideration of the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

The French delegation prayed at Dukhniwaran Sahib Gurdwara at Patiala and also addressed the Sikh sangat in front of the Gurdwara, where it made a appeal to all Sikhs to support the movement of the SNO on the issue. They were presented kesri turbans on the occasion.

SNO president, Dr M.S. Randhawa, said the French delegation also assured the SNO that they would take up with Prime Minister the issue of passing a resolution by Indian Parliament on the issue of human right violations of schoolchildren in France.


Jagtar Sidhu, Sham Singh get Punjabi Patarkar Award
Tribune News Service

Jagtar Sidhu                  Sham Singh

Chandigarh, November 18
Clearing the four-year-old backlog, the Punjab Government today announced Shiromani Puraskars, the most prestigious state awards for 52 Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and Sanskrit writers and journalists, besides ragis and dhadis.

In all, there are 13 categories of awards, which are given by the Punjab Languages Department every year. However, for unknown reasons, these awards were not given for the past four years.

While the Punjabi Sahit Shiromani Sahitkar awards have gone to Mr Gurdial Singh (2004), Mr Surinder Singh Narula (2003), Mr Jaswant Singh Neki (2002) and Mr Sayyed Nazam Hussain (2001), two senior journalists — Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu (2004) and Mr Sham Singh (2003) — of Punjabi Tribune have got the top Shiromani Punjabi Patarkar award.

Mr Sidhu, having experience as journalist of 27 years, is at present Special Correspondent of Punjabi Tribune, and Mr Sham Singh, having almost the same experience, is at present officiating News Editor of the Punjabi Tribune.

The award money for the Punjabi Sahit Shiromani Puraskar is Rs 1,25,000 along with a siropa and medal, and for other Shiromani puraskars it is Rs 1,00,000 along with a medal and siropa.

To decide the names of the award winner, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, today held a meeting of the Advisory Board of the department. After the meeting, Ms Bhattal said that the awards would be presented to the winners on November 28 at the concluding function of the Punjabi week at Patiala.

In fact, breaking the tradition and writing a new chapter in the history of such awards, the Punjab Government has included Mr Sayyed Nazam Hussain, who is from Pakistan, in the list of Punjabi Sahit Shiromani Sahitkar awardees. This is perhaps first time that such a prestigious award has gone to Pakistan based Punjabi writer. He has been chosen for this award for year 2001.

Though there is no official word in this connection, it appears that the state government, which is organising a Punjabi conference of East and West Punjab writers in the first week of December, has sent another strong message to further improve Indo-Pak friendship by announcing this award. Mr Hussain has been bracketed in the category of Mr Gurdial Singh and Mr Neki, both most respected writers of Punjabi. And the name of an other Pakistan-based Punjab writer, Mr llyas Ghuman, also figures in the list of award winners. He has been chosen for the Shiromani Punjabi Badeshi Sahitkar award. Mr Ghuman has made tremendous contribution for the promotion of Punjabi literature in both the countries.

Others who also figure in the list of award winners are Mr Gulzar Singh Sandhu, former Editor of Punjabi Tribune, Mr Wariam Sandhu, an eminent Punjabi story writer, Mr Om Parkash Gasso, famed Punjabi writer from Barnala, Dr Chaman Lal, famed Hindi writer from Punjabi University, Patiala, and Dr Narinder Singh Kapoor, a celebrated Punjabi writer.

The following is the list of awardees:

Punjabi Sahit Shiromani Sahitkar: Mr Sayyed Nazam Hussain (Pakistan), Mr Jaswant Singh Neki, Mr Surinder Singh Narula and Mr Gurdial Singh Jaito. Shiromani Punjabi Sahitkar: Mr Gulzar Singh Sandhu (2001), Mr Prem Parkash (2002), Mr Wariam Sandhu (2003) and Mr Om Parkash Gasso (2004). Shiromani Hindi Sahitkar: Mr Ramesh Kuntal Megh (2001), Mr Harmohinder Singh Bedi (2002), Dr Chaman Lal (2003), and Mr Baldev Vanshi( 2004).

Shiromani Urdu Sahitkar: Sardar Panchi (2001), Mr Balraj Komal (2002), Mr Bhupinder Singh Parihar (2003) and Mr Satyapal Anand (2004). Shiromani Sanskrit Sahitkar: Mr D.D. Sharma (2001), Mr M.V. Pandey (2002), Ms Usha Satyawat (2003) and Dr Abhimanyu (2004). Shiromani Punjabi Patarkar: (Jatinder Pannu (2001), Mr Darshan Makkar (2002), Mr Sham Singh (2003) and Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu ( 2004).

Shiromani Ragi/Dhadi: Dr Gurnam Singh (2001), Mr Baljit Singh Namdhari (2002), Mr Gulam Mohmad Chand (2003), Mr Sadugar Singh (2004).

Shiromani Punjabi Lekhek: Mr Megh Raj Mittar (2001), Mr Harchand Singh Sirhindi (2002), Dr Narinder Singh Kapoor (2003) and Mr D.R. Sachdeva (2004).

Shiromani Punjabi Kavi: Mr Shiv Nath (2001), Mr Pal Kaur (2002), Mr Ravinder Bhattal (2003) and Mr Mohanjit (2004).

Shiromani Punjabi Bal Sahit: Ms Rama Rattan (2001), Mr Hardev Chauhan (2002), Mr Sarabjit Bedi (2003) and Mr Surjit Marjara (2004).

Shiromani Punjabi writer (Outside Punjab): Mr Gurbachan Singh Bhullar (2001), Mrs Ajit Kaur (2002), Mr Kamal Kashmiri (2003), Mr Mohanjit Bawa (2004).

Shiromani Punjabi Badeshi Sahitkar: Mr Illyas Ghuman (2001), Mr Amarjit Singh Chandan (2002), Mr Navtej Bharti (2003), Mr Pritam Singh Kaimbo (2004).

Shiromani Punjabi Television\Radio award: Mr Atamjit (2001), Ms Priti Saproo (2002), Mr Lakhwinder Johar (2003) and Ms Neelam Mann Singh Chaudhary (2004).


Ajay does not rule out truck with BJP
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Senior INLD leader and Rajya Sabha member Ajay Singh Chautala today did not rule out a possible alliance with the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) for the forthcoming assembly elections in Haryana. He maintained that although it was too premature to comment, but clarified, “Nothing is certain and nothing can be ruled out in politics till the last moment.”

Talking to reporters here today, while on his way back to Sampla, the ancestral village of Sir Chhotu Ram, after bringing his relics from Lahore, Mr Chautala was frank enough to admit that in case the two parties fought the elections together it would be in interest of both. He pointed out, “Had we contested the parliamentary elections together, we would have won eight seats.”

To a question about the efforts of Mr Parkash Singh Badal to help in forging an alliance between the INLD and the BJP in Haryana, Mr Chautala said most of the National Democratic Alliance leaders were keen for such an arrangement. “Since we were ourselves a part of the alliance, we enjoy good relationship with them and politics we do discuss among ourselves, particularly when elections are ahead,” he said.

Commenting on the performance of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre, he said they had failed the expectations of the masses. He pointed out that Congress President Sonia Gandhi, during her road shows, had promised to remove poverty, unemployment and starvation and also control the prices. “But instead we have seen phenomenal rise in poverty, unemployment, starvation and also an unprecedented increase in the prices of essential commodities,” he observed.

On the issue of the Shankaracharya, he said while the law should take its own course.


I have been framed, says Padiala
Our Correspondent

Kharar, November 18
Mr Rajbir Singh Padiala, vice-president of the state unit of SAD, who had been booked by the police in connection with an incident of shootout at an SGPC rally here, said that he was innocent and had been falsely implicated in the case.

Two Akali activists got killed in the shootout that took place at a rally in the Anaj Mandi here on July 2. Apart from two Akali leaders, a number of persons had been named in the FIR registered in this regard. All the suspects had been arrested by the police except Mr Kiranbir Singh Kang, a youth Akali leader.

Mr Padiala, who had surrendered before the police on July 6, had been produced in a court here today. While talking to mediapersons he alleged that Mr Kang was involved in the firing incident. He said that eyewitnesses had seen supporters of Mr Kang allegedly firing during the rally. He said that though Kang’s name figured in the FIR, he had so far not been arrested by the police. He alleged that police had helped Kang to go underground.

He alleged that Kang had hatched a conspiracy to kill him. He had even called “goondas” from other states to achieve his aim and these persons were present at the rally. He even blamed the police for the incident. He said that no proper security arrangements had been made at the rally.


Housefed to build 632 flats in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 18
The Punjab State Federation of Cooperative House Building Societies Limited (Housefed) has fixed a target to disburse loans worth Rs 125 crore to members of cooperative house building societies for constructing/repairing about 6200 houses in the state in the current financial year, while it had already disbursed loans worth Rs 66 crore among the members till October 31 in this financial year.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr K.S. Palne, Managing Director, Housefed, Punjab, said Housefed had disbursed loans worth Rs 115 crore and Rs 75 crore during financial years 2003-04 and 2002-03, respectively, for the construction and repair of houses in the state. He said during the financial year 2003-04, about 90 per cent part of Rs 115 crore loans had been disbursed in the rural areas.

Mr Palne also stated that Housefed had also decided to construct 632 flats in Mohali, for which land had already been acquired by the Housefed from PUDA. He said construction of flats was being taken up and the flats would be handed over to the allottees by December 31,2006.

He also said earlier, the loan had been sanctioned from the head office of the Housefed at Chandigarh, but now the loaning operation had been decentralised to the district-level to provide doorstep facility to members of cooperative house building societies. He said Housefed had earned Rs 18.74 crore as profit during financial year 2003-04 whereas it had earned Rs 13 crore as profit by September 30 in the current financial year against the target of Rs 22 crore in the entire financial year.

Mr Palne said Housefed had waived Rs 171 lakh of the 252 deceased loanees during the financial year 2003-04. He said Housefed had raised a Loanee Welfare Fund by contributing 0.5 per cent out of the interest earned from the loan for waiving the outstanding loan towards the deceased loanee.

He said in the past two years several projects had been completed by Housefed which included Cooperative Housing Complex, Phase-1, Amritsar; 12 flats in Ludhiana, 36 flats in Jalandhar and 97 flats in Amritsar, and Sehkarta Bhawan at Hoshiarpur at a cost of Rs 2.40 crore.


Prices of industrial plots getting out of reach
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Doubling of the prices of industrial plots in Punjab in general and Mohali in particular may benefit the present owners but is a serious setback to plans to further industrialise the economically-wrecked state.



Current Price
(in lakhs)

Price 6-months back
(in lakhs)

Prices one yr back
(in lakhs)





Two kanal




Five kanal




1 acre




The PSIEC, which is to facilitate industrial development, has also joined the bandwagon of speculators as well as real estate agents to make the prices of industrial plots out of reach for the prospective entrepreneurs.

The PSIEC increased the rates of industrial plots in Mohali from Rs 1,150 per square yard to Rs 2,000 per square yard in one go. Even in Jalandhar and Ludhiana, the new rates are Rs 2,000 per sq yard. While in Amritsar, the rates have been increased from Rs 625 per sq yard to Rs 1,000 per sq yard, in Patiala they have gone from Rs 350 per sq yard to Rs 800 per sq yard. The upswing of prices have put the prospective industrialists in a tight spot as they feel that they would not be able to buy these plots at such high rates from the present-day buyers, who are either speculators or real estate agents supported by financial institutions.

The PSIEC top brass maintains that upcoming Quark City in the township and implementation of Value-Added Tax ( VAT) in the state from April next were mainly responsible for the increase in the prices of property in the primary and secondary market. Going by the recent trends in property market, it seems Mohali has become an attractive destination for people who want to invest a major chunk of their resources in real estate.

On an average, the prices of industrial plots in the township ( 1 kanal, 2 kanal, 5 kanal and 1 acre) have witnessed a whopping 80-90 per cent increase. In fact the plots in Phase VIII-B, where the Quark City is slated to come up, has witnessed a good 100-120 per cent growth in the past few months. A 5-kanal plot in this phase, which was sold two months ago by its buyer for Rs 40 lakh, today fetches a price of Rs 70 lakh. Similarly, a one-canal plot, which was available for Rs 9-10 lakh six months back is now priced at Rs 30-32 lakh in this phase. The same is true of these plots in Phase VII , VIII and IX ( see chart).

Property dealers in the township also acknowledge that the market is on the upswing keeping in view the ascent in the real estate prices and other economic factors. . “There is a good environment for both buying and selling with the owners preferring to sell off the prime property than using it for industrial purposes.

“Since the bank rates on deposits have gone down, investing in property is the obvious choice for many. Moreover, with property prices going up due to the coming up of Quark City, the mindset of the people has changed and they are enthusiastic about making investments now to earn rich dividends later,” said Mr Naresh Arora, a property dealer.

“The trends of price rise are disturbing and threaten the growth of industry in the region as prospective entrepreneurs cannot afford buying land at these exorbitant rates, and those who already have plots will skim profits by selling these at higher rates,” laments, Mr R.S Sachdeva, co-chairman of the Punjab Chapter of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The government too has acted as a speculator and joined the real estate agents to make a fast buck.

Similar sentiments were echoed by, Mr Gurmeet Singh, president of the Mohali Industries Association. He said a few years back industrial plots in Mohali were allotted at Rs 700 per sq yard and the government had subsequently raised a demand of Rs 500 plus per sq yard as additional cost of the plot, which was approved by the court also. But such a massive hike in the rates would only benefit the financer’s market, who will pool in resources to grab the property at these rates and sell them at much higher rates later, he added. No agro-based or labour intensive industry, which can absorb the growing numbers of unemployed youth has come up in the township during the past few years and only the service sector is setting up base here.

In fact a lot of plots are lying vacant in the industrial focal points at Dera Bassi, Kurali, Channalon, Mandi Gobindgarh, Amritsar, Bathinda, Moga, Barnala and Batala. Even norms have been relaxed by the authorities allowing the owners to use it for purposes other than the industrial activity. Some of these plots at Mohali are being purchased for setting up educational institutions, multiplexes or even showrooms, said, Mr Sachdeva.

Sources in PSIEC, however, refute these allegations by claiming that the same were being allotted only to the manufacturing or the service sector with all the considerations of the capability of the entrepreneur and the genuineness of the industry.

“Property in Chandigarh is too costly and there is hardly any vacant land left. So people prefer to buy industrial plots,” said, Mr Bhupinder Sabharwal, a Mohali-based property dealer. The coming of foreign real estate developers has also led to a major boost in the rate of these plots, said another property analyst.


MLA wants relief to farmers raised
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 18
Farmers, whose land is to be acquired by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), should not be given less than Rs 28 lakh per acre as compensation.

This was stated by Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Kharar MLA, while talking to some newspersons here today. He said he had attended a meeting of the District Land Price Fixation Committee held at Kharar on November 16. At the meeting, PUDA had proposed to give Rs 7 lakh per acre to farmers as compensation for the land that was being acquired by the authority.

The MLA said PUDA had acquired land falling under Jagatpura and Kambala villages some years ago. Farmers were given Rs 6 lakh per acre as compensation. He said later PUDA sold about 16 acres of the acquired land to the Railways as a railway line from Chandigarh to Ludhiana had to be laid. PUDA sold those 16 acres of undeveloped land, part of it falling in a choe, to the Railways for Rs 4.50 crore. The MLA argued that when PUDA could sell undeveloped land for Rs 28 lakh per acre, why were farmers only being given Rs 7 lakh per acre as compensation. He said he had recommended that farmers should be given a respectable amount (not less than Rs 28 lakh per acre) as compensation if PUDA had to acquire their land.


Liquor contractor missing: counsel
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 18
Advocate Mohan Jain, counsel for liquor contractor Sanjeev Bhandari, today created a flutter in the Punjab and Haryana High Court when he alleged that his client had been missing since November 3, two days before the re-auction of liquor vends of Jalandhar.

During hearing of a petition filed by another liquor contractor, Mr Mann Singh, against the auction of liquor vends of Ludhiana, Mr Jain claimed that Mr Bhandari has not been in touch with him since November 3.

“Mr Bhandari, who was earlier in touch with me almost on a daily basis, has not contacted me since November 3. He may have been forcibly taken away at the behest of the government, which had awarded the contract to Mr Ponty Chadha,” Mr Jain claimed.

Mr Jain also said that Financial Commissioner (Excise and taxation) Mukul Joshi and Mr Chadha would know the whereabouts of his client.

However, Punjab Advocate General Harbhagwan Singh today, who was present in the court, emphatically denied the allegation and said that Mr Mohan Jain was trying to mislead the court.

It may be recalled that Mr Bhandari had contested the case up to the Supreme Court and his failure to participate in the auction could lead to forfeiture of the security amount of Rs 6.07 crore deposited by him in the court.

Meanwhile, an application filed by the Punjab Government, seeking appropriate directions to ensure that no loss of revenue takes place due to shortfall in bid amount during re-auction of vends of Ludhiana

In the application, the government has sought direction to the petitioner — Mr Mann Singh — to deposit extra security amount of Rs 34 crore before re-auction.

Citing the instance of re-auction of vends of Jalandhar-I, Jalandhar-II, Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur, where the State incurred losses to the tune of Rs. 17.79 crore, the government said that extra security should be taken from the petitioner to ensure that no further loss was suffered by the exchequer.


Vigilance probe against Xen
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 18
Taking serious notice of misappropriation of funds to the tune of lakhs by an Executive Engineer of the Public Health Department, the Vigilance Bureau has started a probe into the matter.

Sources said that the engineer, who was working under Rural Water Supply Scheme, used to prepare fake bills of daily wagers and embezzle huge amounts of money from the state exchequer. He showed these daily wagers working in his subdivision and claimed their wages, thus usurping lakhs of rupees.

Sources said that some of the names among these daily wagers were of those who had been regularised by the Public Health Department. Sources said that the Executive Engineer pocketed the amount with the alleged connivance of some of his colleagues.

When the matter was reported to the Vigilance chief, Mr A.P. Pandey, he asked the Vigilance SP to look into the matter. The SP has directed the Vigilance DSP, Mr Surjeet Singh Khosa, to conduct an investigation in this regard.

Sources said that other Public Health employees might also come under the Vigilance scanner as various works were carried out in the Moga-I, Moga-II, Baghapurana, Nihalsinghwala, and Dharamkot areas under the Rural Water Supply Scheme.


Crime against women on rise in Bathinda dist
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 18
Even as the district police authorities have been leaving no stone unturned to curb criminal activities in the district, crime against women, including rape, kidnapping and abduction and murder for inadequate dowry has witnessed an unprecedented rise in this year.

The incidents pertaining to rape and kidnapping, this year has established the fact that crime against women has witnessed an unprecedented rise in 2004 and has beaten the record of the past 11 years.

This district already been the dubious distinction of low literacy rate among women. The literacy rate in this backward district of Punjab could not rise due to some social factors, including the prevalence of purdah system. Not only the crime against women is on the rise, the number of women, who have been initiating themselves into the world of crime, is also on the rise.

Though the district police authorities brought down the number of murders to 31 till November 15, from 48 as compared to the corresponding period, last-year the number of rape and kidnappings cash witnessed a significant jump as about 19 cases of rapes and 26 cases of kidnapping and abduction have been reported so far in this district up to mid November as compared to 14 cases of rape and 15 cases of kidnapping which took place last year during the corresponding period.

As per the official figures available with this correspondent, it is for the first time that 19 cases of rape have taken place in a single calendar year in the past 11 years. Earlier, about 17 cases of rapes were reported in 2000. Similarly, it is also for the first time that 26 cases of kidnapping have been reported this year, which is a record as per the crime data of the past 11 years.

What has caused embarrassment to the district police authorities is the fact that last year, it was 51 murders which topped the crime graph a record in the crime scene of the past 10 years, this year it is the rise in rape and kidnapping cases and rise in number of dowry deaths that have added to their worries.

Though the SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, could not be contacted for his comments, a section of police officials pointed out that in most of the cases pertaining to kidnapping and abduction, the victims went out with accused with their consent. They added that though the population of the district had been increasing every year, there were no arrangements to increase the number of police stations and police posts accordingly and hence strength of those, who were supposed to curb crime, was inadequate.


Employees resent Singla’s remarks
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 18
The Technical Services Union (TSU) has lambasted Finance Minister Surender Singla for creating unrest among different sections of the society by issuing dictatorial, irresponsible and inflammatory statements.

Mr Sukhdev Singh and Mr Shanker Dass, treasurer and executive member, respectively, of the state ad hoc committee of the TSU referred to Mr Singla’s statements on reducing land ceiling from 25 acre to 18 acre and his criticism of government school teachers for poor academic results. They also criticised the move of Mr Singla to privatise education on the pretext of unsatisfactory functioning of government schools in the state. The leaders also flayed the move of converting PSEB into four regional corporations.

The TSU leaders said the employees would not allow the privatisation of the Punjab State Electricity Board at any cost and were ready for any sacrifice to save the interests of the consumers as well as of workers. The employees had resolved to organise jagran, take out rallies tonight at all divisional offices of the board as a part of their struggle.

The leaders said they would remind the state government and the board management how the workers had been working overnight to keep the electricity supply intact risking their lives and comforts of their families.

The TSU also urged the Chief Minister to put restrictions on the Finance Minister as his statements in the media had created unrest amongst the employees.


Migrants perform Chhath puja
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 18
About 20,000 migrants, mostly from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh performed Chhath puja this evening by offering ‘ark’ to the setting sun along the waters of Chachoki distributary. The water was streamed in specially for the occasion as the canal otherwise had been dry for the past several years with shrubs, filth, and litter strewn in and around.

It was learnt that political bigwigs had approached the irrigation officials for securing the flow of water in the distrubutary yesterday in order to win over the migrants as Chhath was one of the biggest festivals for Biharis and residents of Uttar Pradesh.

A mela-like atmosphere prevailed at the Chachoki canal on the periphery of Phagwara. The migrants burst crackers, illuminated their houses and organised langars. The Bihari youths regulated traffic on the GT road themselves.

Even Punjabis have taken a fancy for this festival of migrants. They participated in it, some out of political compulsions and others just out of curiosity. Some of them brought trolley loads of raddish, while others gifted boxes of apples. Some Punjabi women also observed Chhath fast.

Chhath is marked by rigorous fastings for two days during which even drinking of water is prohibited. It is harsher than Karva Chauth — fast observed by married women in Punjab. Chhath is performed by married women for the welfare of their children, especially sons.

Mr Naginder Kumar Ojha and Mr Joginder Ojha, Bihari brothers, while talking to this correspondent disclosed that the real name of the festival was Ravi Khashti Vrata, meaning a fast for sun observed six days after Divali. They traced the origin of this fast to the days of Mahabharta and claimed that even Kunti used to observe it.

After the ‘ark’ to the setting Sun, a religious ceremony called ‘kosi’ would be held in homes with puja and Chhath hymns, they informed. Then ‘ark’ would be offered to the rising sun tomorrow after which the fast would be broken.


Kashmiri Pandits demand special package
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
The Kashmiri Pandit Sabha, Ludhiana and Chandigarh today regretted that the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, during his yesterday’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir did not make any mention of them. It said they were not against any package given to J&K, but were concerned because they were ignored.

In a joint statement issued here today, Dr M.K. Mam, the president of the Kashmiri Pandit Sabha, Ludhiana, and Mr B.L. Sadhu, president, Kashmiri Sabha, Chandigarh pointed out that Dr Manmohan Singh did not make any mention of the Kashmiri Pandits who were forced out of Kashmir by the Islamic extremists.

They said the Kashmiri Pandits had been suffering for the past 15 years for no fault of theirs. “We were victimised just because we refused to side with the secessionists and the result was that we became refugees in our own country”, they observed, while seeking special rehabilitation package for the displaced Kashmiri Pandits.

The Kashmiri leaders disclosed that thousands of educated youth from the community were unemployed. During the past 15 years, they said, no Kashmiri youth was provided government job in J&K as there was a subtle move to ensure that they did not return. They also appealed to the Prime Minister to announce special rehabilitation package for the Kashmiri Pandits.


Jatha for Pakistan on Nov 21
Our Correspondent

Amritsar November 18
To mark the 536th “Parkash Utsav” of Guru Nanak Dev, a 3000-strong Sikh jatha would leave for Pakistan on November 21.

Devotees would pay obeisance at gurdwara Nankana Sahib and other historical gurdwaras on the occasion.

The jatha would be led Mr Ajaib Singh, former MLA, while Mr Kabul Singh and Bibi Nirmal Kaur, both members of the SGPC, would be deputy party leaders.

The jatha would visit Gurdwara Panja Sahib on November 22, Nanakana Sahib on November 24 and Sacha sauda on November 25. It would return to Gurdwara Nanakana Sahib to celebrate the occasion on November 26 with a visit to Gurdwara Dera Sahib on November 27.


Jammu-Srinagar railway line by 2008
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 18
The Jammu-Srinagar railway line will be completed by early 2008. This was stated by Mr R.R. Jaruhar, General Manager, Northern Railway, during his brief stay here today.

He was here for annual inspection of Jammu, Pathankot, and Batala railway stations falling under Ferozepore division.

He said the work on laying 320 km of railway line stretching from Jammu to Srinagar was under way and would be completed by early 2008.

Also, doubling of Jalandhar-Jammu railway line would be completed by 2006-2007, he added.

He said there was a proposal to make Suchipind-Bhogpur, Braouli and Madhopur railway line two-way.

He further added that the Morinda-Chandigarh railway line would be completed by this financial year.

Talking with mediapersons about the setting up of railway track from Abohar to Fazilka, he said the talks were going on with the state government for allotment of required land for track.

He said an amount had already been deposited with the state government.


Cancel appointments, say Muslims
Our Correspondent

Kharar, November 18
Members of the Muslim community, who gathered at Choltan Kalan village, near here, today demanded that the recent appointments made to the Punjab Wakf board should be cancelled.

Those present at the meeting said that most of the persons who had been appointed to the Wakf board were from outside the state and as such they were not aware of the problems being faced by Muslims of Punjab and neither were they aware of the land owned by the Wakf board.

They demanded that the appointments be cancelled at the earliest failing which the Muslim community would be compelled to lodge a protest.


Motorcyclist dies in mishap
Our Correspondent

Lalru, November 18
A resident of Sarahvon locality near Yamunanagar, Amar Singh (35), was killed when an unidentified vehicles rammed into his motorcycle on the busy Kalka-Ambala in Sarseeni village near here, late last night.

Mr Amar Singh was riding his motorcycle (HR-02K-2567) towards Ambala when some vehicle knocked him down leaving dead on the spot. The body was today handed over to his family members after a postmortem examinations at Civil Hospital, Rajpura.

The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the Indian Penal Code at Lalru police station in this regard.


Arhtiyas threaten stir
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, November 18
Demanding immediate payment of their dues from the rice shellers, the District Arhtiyas Association has decided to launch an agitation if their dues are not paid on time.

Stating this after a meeting here today, Mr Om Parkash Behl, president of the association, said that they had been selling paddy since September, but their dues had not been paid. They said that their payment to the tune of crores of rupees was pending with the shellers for the past three months.

They said that they would hold a meeting with the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Kumar Verma, tomorrow asking him to intervene. Mr Bipin Azad, a member, said that the arhtiyas were not able to pursue their work for the next season for want of payments.


Water samples taken
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 18
A team comprising officials of various departments on Tuesday paid a surprise visit to various private and public places and took 13 samples of water.

The samples were sent for examination.


Woman paid Rs 50,000 for unsuccessful tubectomy
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, November 18
Owing to an “unsuccessful tubectomy operation”, Mr Jora Singh, District Judge, Gurdaspur, has directed the Punjab State to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to the complainant, Ms Chanchila, a resident of Doong village, near here.

Reversing the orders passed by the lower court, in which the plea of the plaintiff was turned down, the District Judge has held the State of Punjab, the SMO at the Bhungal Badhani and Civil Surgeon here responsible for negligence.

The plaintiff had said that she had three children and on the assurance of the Medical Officer posted at the primary health centre at Bhungal Badhani, she was operated upon November 8, 1990. The doctor concerned had assured her she would have no more children.

The plaintiff alleged that on February 28, 1994, a girl child was born to her. Since it was after four months that she came to know about the pregnancy, she could not go in for abortion. She moved the court demanding Rs 2 lakh as damages.

The defendants contested her claim. After hearing the arguments of counsel of both parties, the judge directed the Punjab State through the Secretary, Health, and others to pay Rs 50,000 as damages.


Man sentenced to RI for murder
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 18
The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Ropar, Mr S.K Goel, today sentenced to Kulwinder Singh, a resident of Mohali to rigorous imprisonment for four and a half year in a murder case.

The accused, Kulwinder Singh, along with three other, had allegedly murdered a 39-year-old jeweller Ashok Kumar of Sector 46, Chandigarh. The deceased was running, a jewellery shop in Panchkula. The other accused Gurvinder Singh, Lakhbir Singh and Ranbir Singh, were declared pro-claimed offenders by the court.

According to the prosecution the victim Ashok Kumar was murdered by the four persons in Mohali on May 21, 2000. Later the deceased body was cut into pieces and dumped at two different places. The parts of the body were dumped at nullah in Papri village and in Industrial area at Mohali.


Smugglers sentenced to 12-yr RI
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 18
Mr Raj Shekhar Attri, Additional Sessions Judge, Bathinda, today sentenced four international smugglers to 12-year rigorous imprisonment (RI) in a case registered against them at the Sangat police station about four years ago.

The smugglers, Rajinder Puri, Raj Moddar, Charanjit Singh and Karamjit Singh, who have been facing a number of cases registered here and at various other places in the country, were ordered to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh, failing which they would have to undergo further imprisonment.

Police sources said the accused were arrested at different points of time in connection with a case of opium smuggling.

About 75 kg of opium was seized from them. The accused had been carrying it in a special cavity made in a truck.


Nephew arrested for murder
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 18
The district police today solved a case of murder with the arrest of the accused.

According to the police, Malkiat Singh of Bidhipur village, near here, in a complaint today said that the body of his uncle Lashkar Singh was found in the fields where the latter used to sleep.

During the course of investigation, the needle of suspicion pointed towards Baldev Singh, a nephew of the victim. It was found that Lashkar Singh was a bachelor and used to live with Baldev Singh. He had also willed part of his land in the name of Baldev.

Lashkar reportedly drank liquor last night and had an altercation with Baldev, who allegedly killed his uncle using “kahi”.

Baldev was arrested from his residence this evening.

A case has been registered under Section 302, IPC, even as arrested person was being produced in the court.


19 Pbi varsity students refuse to secure bail
Student body gives strike call
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 18
Nineteen students, who were arrested yesterday after they raised slogans outside the office of the Vice-Chancellor despite a court stay on demonstrations on the campus in view of World Punjabi Conference, refused to secure bail for the second time today.

The students, who were arrested under Sections 107 and 151 of the IPC, could have secured bail but refused to do so yesterday after which they were sent to the Central Jail here. They are expected to be presented before the Sub Divisional Magistrate tomorrow.

The Punjabi University Students Confederation has simultaneously given a strike call in all colleges of the town tomorrow even as a protest meeting was held at the Khalsa College. Students said they would submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, against “dictatorial” policies of Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai.

The Chief Minister is scheduled to attend a function to release the logo of the World Punjabi Conference at the university tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the confederation has claimed that the police action against the students on the campus yesterday was on the directions of the Vice-Chancellor. He is bent upon “suppressing” a movement of the students who have only raised their genuine demands.

Confederation spokesman Gurpal Singh Dhaliwal said the student body would also appeal to the Chief Minister to personally intervene in the matter. He said the university authorities had suspended three students for their involvement in a fight on the campus and had still not reinstated them even though the warring factions had arrived at a compromise.

He said similarly another student leader had been suspended after being found drunk on the campus.

Mr Dhaliwal said the Vice-Chancellor had filed a report against 10 more student leaders who were leading a recent protest during which the main gate of the university was blocked for the entire day. A criminal case has been registered against all these students affecting their procareer, he added.


Punjabi varsity observes International Philosophy Day
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 18
Guru Gobind Singh Department of Religious Studies of Punjabi University today observed International Philosophy Day by organising a lecture delivered by a noted scholar of Buddhist philosophy, Prof Sanghasen Singh, Professor and former Head, Department of Buddhist Studies, University of Delhi.

Prof Sanghasen Singh, while paying respectful homage to the Gurus of Sikhism, wished that the teachings and ideals of the great Gurus would permeate every nook and corner of the country and else-where. He highlighted the basic doctrines of Buddhism, stressing that the teachings of the Buddha regarding the three characteristics of the world, Anicca (Impermanence), Anatta (No-soul) and Dukha (Suffering), distinguished Buddhism from any other religious tradition of the world. He also highlighted a few similarities and differences between Buddhism and Sikhism.

Dr I.H. Azad Faruqi, Professor Department of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi was the guest speaker of the day. Dr Faruqi spoke on “Momentous landmarks in the history of Muslim Philosophy”. He traced the roots of the Islamic Philosophy right from the line of Greek hegemony established by the conquests of Alexander the Great. He highlighted the points which led to the flourishing of Greek rational sciences in the area called the Fertile Crescent, which included Egypt Syria, Iran and the land between Syria and Iran called Jaziarah.

He further said that it was in the ninth century AD that Muslim thinkers and scholars with original contributions in the field of philosophy started to emerge. Faruqi highlighted the main features of Indian philosophy and the philosophy of Semitic religions.

Prof Harpal Singh Pannu welcomed the guests and Dr R.K. Rohi proposed a vote of thanks.


Biotechnology answer to sustainable growth: expert
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 18
Biotechnology is the answer to sustainable development with the post-Green Revolution era almost going for a gene revolution for improving crop productivity and quality.

This was stated by Prof Deepak Pental, Director, University of Delhi, South Campus, while inaugurating International Conference “Bioconvergence 2004” at the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology here today.

Dr Pental said major influence of biotechnology was equally significant in process industries as an alternative to chemically intensive mechanisms, biological routes to prevent hazards from industrial wastes and transformation of substances in the presence of micro organisms.

He also stressed the importance of technological innovations and initiatives in the area of biotechnology besides ever important fundamental research to understand the intricacies of biology.

He also envisioned generation of potential human resource and leaders and technocrats from engineering institutes like Thapar due to state-of-art education and training there.

Earlier, welcoming the gathering, Dr Sunil Khanna, Professor and Head of Department of Biotechnology and Environment Sciences, indicated that this first international conference on the campus was a pre-launch of the golden jubilee celebrations of the institute.


Holiday in primary schools today
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 18
The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain, today declared holiday tomorrow in all the primary schools in the district on the concluding day of a three-days sports meet of the primary schools here today.

Besides this, she has also directed the Education Department not to organise any seminar to train the primary school teachers for the sarv sikhsa abhiyan for the next two months.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |