P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



It was Amarinder versus Badal
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
The 10th session of the 12th Vidhan Sabha virtually turned out to be an Amarinder vs Badal affair with issues of public interest getting relegated to the background.

Two of the four sittings during the session were taken up in discussing the controversial Nehra Commission report besides holding the much-awaited debate on the “roots and causes of terrorism which caused a huge loss of life and property in the state of Punjab”. The thrust of the discussions during both sittings veered round to the ongoing conflict between the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

While the Leader of the House launched a massive attack on Mr Badal, holding him “singularly responsible for terrorism in Punjab because of his moral cowardice”, the latter retaliated by accusing the Congress of supporting terrorism with men, money and arms. He held that the Congress looked for opportunities to teach the Akalis a lesson for opposing the 1975 Emergency in the country. Mr Badal also wanted the Nehra Commission report to be thrown in the dustbin and the inquiry marked to the CBI in the Punjab Intranet case.

It was an Amarinder vs Badal battle that evoked tremendous public interest. The visitors’ galleries nearly full on the days of the debate on the Nehra Commission report and terrorism.

Other than these two debates, only a couple of other issues of public interest generated an animated debate in the House. One of these was the setting up of the state’s first-ever private Lovely Professional University while the second was the amendments to VAT.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh (Congress) and Capt Kanwaljit Singh (SAD) had come well prepared to set the debates in motion on Lovely University and the VAT Amendment Bill, respectively. While Mr Bir Devinder Singh’s demand to either withdraw the Bill or refer it to a select committee of the House, which was supported by the entire Opposition, was voted out, Capt Kanwaljit Singh managed to extract an assurance from the Taxation Minister that suggestions made by him in the interest of the common man would be considered.

Though the Akalis persisted with their demands relating to issues like the deteriorating law and order situation and hardships faced by growers of paddy and cotton, the Chief Minister agreed to a special session of the Vidhan Sabha before the Budget session to discuss and compare the performance of the Congress government and the previous SAD-BJP government.

The Opposition Benches, irritated over the Speaker’s oft-repeated statement “Baitho, gal aa gayee” (sit down, the point is made), protested vehemently as all attempts for adjournment motions were firmly turned down. The demand for a discussion on the Nanavati Commission report, too, was rejected.

Both SAD and BJP members staged a couple of walkouts, especially one in protest against the registration of a case against a sitting member, Mr Sukhdarshan Singh Marrar, of Muktsar. Another walkout was on the issue of the rotting of cotton and paddy in markets in the state.

It was during the penultimate sitting of the session that both the Treasury Benches and the Opposition got together in criticising the state’s bureaucracy for “inefficiency, non-performance and red-tapism”. A couple of Bills were also passed unanimously.

Coming to general debates, while Congressmen were unable to shed their “Badal phobia”, the Opposition, too, did not miss any opportunity to bash the Treasury Benches for non-performance and ignoring of the burning issues facing the state.

The recommendation of the Rules Committee for holding a minimum of 41 sittings in a year notwithstanding, the number of sittings held during the current year so far has not reached even 14. Though the Opposition blamed the ruling party for keeping the sessions short and running through the agenda without giving it sufficient time to come prepared for the legislative business, the Treasury Benches retaliated saying no agenda items came from either the SAD or the BJP.

Interestingly, of the eight call-attention motions taken up during the session, six came from Mr Bir Devinder Singh (Congress) alone while only one — that of Mr Manpreet Singh Badal — came from the Opposition. Attendance during all four sittings was impressive. On the last day, the Akalis came in black robes on which were painted slogans charging the government with overlooking the interests of Dalits, employees and other sections.


CPI hits out at Badal, Amarinder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Dr Joginder Dayal, member of the National Executive of the CPI, here today said that both SAD, headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and the ruling Congress party led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, had tried to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in Punjab by resorting to a blame game in the Punjab Assembly in the garb of discussing “roots and causes” of terrorism in the state yesterday.

He said the Congress as well as SAD had played opportunistic politics when militancy was at its peak in Punjab two decades ago. Except the Left parties — the CPI and the CPM — which paid heavy price for taking a bold stand against militancy, no other mainstream party dared to raise its voice against terrorism in an organised manner. He said it was the Left leaders who spoke openly against religious fundamentalism at that time while other parties had sealed their lips.

He said both parties failed in the House to pay tributes to those thousands of innocent people who were killed during terrorism in the state. In fact, leaders, who were debating terrorism, were more interested in settling personal political scores with each other than discussing the issue of terrorism, he added.

He said that only a judicial commission headed by a Supreme Court or High Court Judge could find the truth behind terrorism in the state.


Hindus, Sikhs take shelter in Pak gurdwara
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Wagah, October 19
At least 100 Hindu and Sikh families which were severely hit by the devastating earthquake in Pakistan have taken shelter at Gurdwara Panja Sahib and the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) has arranged langar (community kitchen) for them.

This was disclosed by Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, president, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), on his return from Pakistan here today. A delegation of the DSGMC, led by Mr Sarna, had gone to Pakistan to distribute relief to victims of the earthquake. The worst hit areas of Hindus and Sikhs are Shamlai and Bhatgram. The PSGPC has also arranged langar at Bhatgram, about 150 km from Panja Sahib.

Mr Sarna said five-star hotels and restaurants in Lahore, which used to hum with activity during the month of Ramzan, wore a deserted look.

Mr Sarna said Mr Mastan Singh and Mr Sham Singh, president and former president of the PSGPC, respectively, had been camping in Panja Sahib and Muzaffarabad, respectively, to look after the earthquake victims.

The PSGPC has urged its Delhi counterpart (the DSGMC) to send more blankets and tents. Mr Sarna, who visited some of the worst-hit areas of Pakistan, said the earthquake had pushed Pakistan 50 years back as it would take a long time to rehabilitate the affected persons. He informed that a few hundred families of Hindus and Sikhs, too had suffered. Most of the Hindus and Sikhs who bore the brunt of the earthquake belonged to the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). Mr Sarna said the DSGMC, which had already sent six truckloads of relief to Pakistan, would shortly send a second installment of relief.


Pak buys relief material
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 19
In a bid to cope with the massive relief operations in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of October 8, the Government of Pakistan here today purchased a large quantity of relief material.

The first consignment of 12 truckloads containing blankets was today dispatched to Pakistan to meet the needs of the victims as the winter has set in in the upper reaches of the PoK.

In this context, a team of senior Pakistani officers was here last week to negotiate the immediate supply of blankets.


Information panel not super authority: Kashyap
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Punjab’s Right to Information Commission is not a super authority meant to replace any normal process of law. The commission is to ensure that all channels of governmental communication are open and members of the public are empowered, says Mr Rajan Kashyap, the newly appointed State Chief Information Commissioner.

Mr Kashyap, who was talking to The Tribune here today, said the commission was not going to act like a super authority over the existing channels of law. It could provide information to ensure transparency in the working of the government.

The objectives of the Right of Information Act included, transparency in the working of the government, the maximum disclosure of information while keeping the number of exemptions to the minimum and ensuring public participation in governance. Mr Kashyap, a former Chief Secretary of Punjab, said the commission would ensure in its interaction with senior officials of Punjab that all citizens had access to information in a time-bound manner and enforce the provisions of the Act in the public interest.

On being asked whether his own background as an IAS officer for 38 years could hinder the smooth flow of information between the government and the public, Mr Kashyap said: “Not at all. There will be no problem. I will follow the provisions of the Act and ensure that these are followed”. On his immediate priorities, he said: “See, this is a dynamic process and everything will evolve with time”.

First, the records had to be in an information friendly format. “I would like to see more use of information technology and would want to see that the e-mail addresses of all information officers appointed by various departments are put on the website immediately”.

Replying to a question whether information provided by government departments would be the bare minimum, Mr Kashyap said: “Certain information is required to be given in 48 hours and this would be done.”

On being asked whether members of the public would be uneasy while approaching police officers appointed as information officers by the police or the Vigilance Department, Mr Kashyap said: “We will have a policy laid down so that individuals do not matter in the flow of information”. People could send in e-mail, he said, adding that the commission would be the final level for all appeals related to information provided by any of the departments.


Manjit re-enacts murder
Tribune Reporters

Patiala, October 19
The Police, here today recovered the sword used by Manjit Singh to kill Mr Vijay Singh from the Bhakra-Narwana branch canal in Lachru village in Ghanaur sub-division of this district today.

The police has also taken into possession Rs 50,000 , allegedly given to him as part of the Rs 5 lakh supari by doctor Ravdeep Kaur and a Tata Mobile vehicle.

Patiala range DIG V.K. Bhawra and SSP A.S Rai, along with senior officials of the police, were present today at the Polo ground, scene of the crime, where Manjit Singh was asked to re-enact the crime.

According to police sources, Manjit Singh was made to wear long kurta and pyjama which he was wearing when he allegedly murdered Vijay Singh. Manjit Singh reportedly told the Police that he had entered the Polo Ground complex from the Modi college’s side through a broken wall and had even taken his motor cycle along with him. He told senior police officials that he had been visiting the area for the past three months and made 18 to 20 trips but somehow never found right opportunity to commit the murder.

Manjit Singh added that he had the sword concealed in his clothes before he used it to kill the judge.

Police sources disclose Manjit Singh, in an attempt to recreate the scene, was made to drive the motorcycle with his sword concealed in his clothes in the Polo ground.

On the night of murder, Manjit Singh said that he had crossed the path of the judge twice but on both occasions he could not execute his plan due to some reason or the other and when Vijay Singh crossed his path for the third time he committed the murder.

Manjit Singh added that once he murdered the judge around 10.20 pm on the fateful day,, he went straight to the Baradari residence of Ravdeep Kaur where the doctor gave him over Rs 2 lakh as part of the supari payment. The doctor again called him early next morning when he was handed over the remaining Rs 2.5 lakh near Dukhniwaran Sahib Gurdwara. Rupees 50,000 had been paid to him by the doctor when the conspiracy was hatched three months ago, disclosed sources.


NRI couple killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, October 19
A pall of gloom descended at nearby Bhullarai village today when the news of the death of an NRI couple, Baldev Singh and wife Kashmir Kaur in an accident in Italy yesterday, reached the village.

Three children of the couple were injured in the accident. An Akali activist and village resident Jasbir Singh Bhullarai, while confirming the death of the couple, said Baldev Singh was the first from the village to settle in Italy 25 years ago.

The family was going in a car from their house in Rome to Bergamo to meet their relatives.

Their car and trailer were involved in the accident near Bergamo. The couple died on the spot.

Their daughter Manjinder Kaur, sons Balwinder Singh and Aman Singh were injured in the accident and hospitalised there.


Mann flays killing of 2 Dalits
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, October 19
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) chief, today condemned the killing of two persons by Excise Department in an alleged encounter.

Mr Mann said law and order situation had deteriorated in the state. He pointed out that killing of two Dalits in an encounter was violation of Section 21 of the Indian Constitution. According to which no person will be deprived of life and liberty without procedure laid down by the law,” he added.

He demanded a judicial inquiry by the Sessions Judge, Hoshiarpur. This was second similar encounter after the Pathankot episode, in which poor and Dalits had lost lives a couple of months ago.

Meanwhile, Mr RS Cheema, Excise and Taxation Officer, Hoshiarpur, clarified there was no encounter between the Excise men and liquor smugglers. He said car’s occupants were neither chased nor any fired shot at them. He said the smugglers after noticing a team of the Excise Department, tried to speed away with liquor and met with an accident when a tyre of their car burst.

The police has registered a case of rash and negligent driving against car’s occupants, he added.


Vets sit in dharna, threaten to resign
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Veterinary officers have threatened to resign en mass after October 31, if the Punjab Government failed to revoke the suspension order of Dr Anil Sharma, Deputy Director, who was suspended on flimsy grounds, by that day.

There are about 700 veterinary officers in the state. “We have told the government authorities concerned that after October 31, all veterinary officers including Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors and others posted in the field will put in their papers in protest against the suspension of Dr Sharma and leave it to the government how to run the show”, said Dr Gurcharan Singh Chahal, Patron of the Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association.

In fact, the association has questioned that on what basis the Animal Husbandry Department had been charging Rs 4 per vaccine which was provided free of cost by the Union Government to immunise milch and other animals in the 8 border districts of the state. The association has questioned the Director, Animal Husbandry, and other authorities concerned whether they had taken the approval of the Punjab Council of Ministers before fixing the charges for vaccination.

Dr Chahal said because of farmers refusal to get their animals vaccinated against the payment of charges, the department failed to achieve the target fixed by it for the immunisation of animals against the foot and mouth disease. This resulted in department’s axe falling on Dr Sharma, who was not involved in any manner in framing the policy to charge money from farmers against vaccination. The other charge levelled against Dr Sharma was that he did not attend the Central team that visited Sangrur district. Dr Chahal said how could have Dr Sharma attended the Central team when he was on official duty with a Joint Director to purchase milch cattle from a cattle fair in Haryana.

In fact, the department authorities used arm-twisting measures against various veterinary offices to force them to achieve the target.

Under the banner of the association, veterinary officers, including Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors and others today held a dharna against the suspension of Dr Sharma. They also urged the department authorities to accept other pending demands such as payment of non practising allowance, conveyance allowance, counting of ad hoc service and to start in-service post graduation course.


Ultramodern bus stand opened
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 19
Transport Minster, Punjab, Mohinder Singh Kaypee inaugurated an ultramodern bus stand, one of the best in Asia, here today.

It has been constructed on the BOT (built-operate-transfer) concept by a Pune-based construction company.

The bus stand was to scheduled to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, but he could not make it to the ceremony, much to the disappointment of those present.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister said the Transport Department had allocated Rs 40 crore for modernisation of bus stands in 10 small and big towns of the state.

Mr Kaypee said private builders had been invited to construct new bus stands in Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Phagwara under the concept.

He assured that porters would not be hit by the modernisation plan, adding that they had been provided with trolleys to carry the luggage of passengers there.

Mr Kaypee said the government had established an urban development fund to upgrade the existing infrastructure.

Secretary (Transport) A.R. Talwar said the government had already added 560 new buses to the existing fleet. He said with the induction of new buses, the revenue collection had increased manifold.

Mr Talwar added that the department had gone for a major computerisation drive for the registration of vehicles and for issuing of driver’s licence.

He said with the computerisation, the vehicles would be registered within 45 minutes.

Earlier, Chairman, Improvement Trust, Jugal Kishore Sharma said the government had embarked upon an ambitious plan to provide better civic amenities, especially for the pilgrims visiting the city.

Those who spoke included Chief Parliamentary Secretary Raj Kumar, Surinder Singh Kathunangal, Parkash Singh Saini, both MLAs, and Mayor Sunil Dutti.


Foodpipe of newborn reconstructed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 19
In what was claimed to be a first such operation in a private hospital in the region, the incomplete food pipe of a newborn baby was reconstructed at a private hospital here.

Dr V.J.S. Virdi, paediatrician and neonatologist, at a press conference held at Cheema Medical Complex, Phase IV, here today said the baby, which was less than 24 hours old, underwent a major surgery for a birth defect. The food pipe of the baby which was not completely formed had also connected to the windpipe. During the surgery, which went on for about two hours, the food pipe was disconnected from the windpipe and later reconstructed surgically with the help of sutures.

Dr Virdi further said that during the surgery, which was done by Dr Ashish Dharmik, paediatric surgeon, the chest was opened and the lungs were pushed forward to approach the operative field. The baby was kept on artificial life support for four days.

The newborn was later started on breast feeds and discharged on the eighth day.

Dr Virdi, who also helped during the surgery, said that such defects occurred in one out of 5000 new born babies.


Power cuts cripple life
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, October 19
Erratic power supply since Monday has crippled life in this subdivision and border villages. People are facing inconvenience with no information at complaint centres regarding power cuts.

Mr Surjit Singh Rana, president of the Bar Association on Tuesday, said the electricity authorities here announced a power cut for three hours only on Monday but more than 12 localities remained without electricity for eight hours.

On Tuesday no information was available regarding power cuts but many localities remained without power for about seven/eight hours and the supply was not stable in other areas.

The people here criticised the Congress leaders for step-motherly treatment to people of Dhar and Pathankot subdivisions. Despite claims by the Congress leaders to give 24-hour power supply, the consumers in border subdivisions have been put to inconvenience.

The Executive Engineer of the PSEB, said long power cuts were due to widening of the Pathankot- Jalandhar road. He said power supply would be restored shortly.


Mann visits dead soldier’s family
Our Correspondent

Malerkoltla, October 19
Mr Simranjeet Singh Mann, President Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), on Monday visited the house of Bhupinder Singh a jawan, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances near Nanded Sahib in Maharashtra about a month ago.

He assured the members of the family that he would take up the issue with the President of India to provide help to the family.

Mr Karamjit Singh alleged that the body of his son was found under mysterious circumstances at a gurdwara near Nanded Sahibs and a suicide note was also recovered.


Bishop Mal is head priest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
The Bishop of the Diocese of Chandigarh, Reverend Joel. V. Mal, has been unanimously elected Head Priest of the Church of North India in an election held at Ranchi here today.

Stating this in a press note issued here today, Mr Abraham Irshad, Registrar, Diocese of Chandigarh, having his office at Brown Road, Ludhiana, said delegates of the Church of North India from all over the country (excluding four states of the Church of South India) elected him unanimously as per the constitution of the Church of North India.


300 units of blood donated
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 19
The police and civil administration organised a blood donation camp at Bachat Bhavan today in which more than 300 units of blood were donated. Mr Rajan Kshyap, chairman of the society, inaugurated the camp. Mr S.M. Sharma, IG, Police, Mr V.K. Bhawra, DIG, Patiala Range, presided over the function.

Addressing the donors, Mr Rajan Kshyap said a blood bank had been set up in Chandigarh at the cost of Rs 3.5 crore. He appreciated the efforts of the district administration in organising such a camp.


DSP gets bail in corruption case
Tribune News Service

Ropar, October 19
The Ropar Special Court, Judge, Mr S.K Goel, today granted bail to DSP, Kahan Singh, of Ludhiana, who has been arrested on the basis of prevention of corruption and tampering with evidence charges. He was ordered to be released on the presentation of a bail bond of Rs 25, 000.

It was alleged that the DSP had favoured Inspector Harjinder Singh, who had been arrested by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau while accepting a bribe of Rs 5000. It was alleged that DSP had tampered and with the evidence and did not seek the police custody of the accused after his arrest and as a result of this the accused was remanded to judicial custody.

The DSP has pleaded in the bail that he was falsely implicated in the case.


Slow procurement of paddy in Sangrur
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 19
Sangrur district, which has become known for fast procurement of paddy over the past few years, has reportedly created a record in slow procurement this year.

Only 5,47,622 metric tonne (MTs) of paddy was procured by the government agencies and traders till last evening in the district as compared to 16,46,102 MTs during the corresponding period last year.

The trend is being attributed to damage caused to paddy due to rain in the recent past, non-harvesting of the crop at many places so far and slow procurement of paddy by the government agencies on account of excessive moisture contents, damage and discolouring.

As per information, Pungrain procured only 1,46,849 MTs of paddy till last evening in the district, while Markfed procured 1,11,745 MTs, Punsup 1,07,549 MTs, Warehousing Corporation 73,447 MTs, Punjab Agro 44,554 MTs, FCI 51,072 MTs and the traders 12,406 MTs.

Thus government agencies and traders had procured 5,47,622 MTs of paddy till last evening.

The administration has set up 259 procurement centres for the purchase of paddy in the district this year while it has fixed a target of procuring 26,29,657 MTs of paddy.

Last year, the district had topped in paddy procurement in the state for the sixth consecutive year by procuring 26,28,068 MTs of the produce.

Ms Gurmeet Kaur, District Food and Supply Controller (DFSC), Sangrur, said the procurement of paddy was now going on at a fast note in all grain markets and procurement centres.

She admitted that the procurement was low in the district this season as compared to the previous many years’ figures. She, however, expressed hope that the district would be able to achieve procurement target even this season.

On the other hand, as per reports from many grain markets and procurement centres, a large number of farmers have been waiting for the procurement of their produce by the government agencies for the past about 10 days.


Government ‘responsible’ for farmers’ suicides
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 19
Expressing concern over the rising incidence of Punjab farmers committing suicide, the BKU (Ugraha) today held the state government responsible for it.

In a statement released here, union president Joginder Singh Ugraha, and general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri gave a call to the farmers that instead of ending their lives, they should join hands to intensify the stir against the government.

They said the MSP of paddy and cotton were already less and the farmers were not even getting those.

They said paddy farmers were facing problems in procurement and there were apprehensions due to relaxation in specifications only till October 24.

They said the loans of farmers should be waived and a ban should be imposed on auction and arrests.

They also sought a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each and a government job for a family member of the farmers who committed suicide.


Ban on sale of crackers
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, October 19
Exercising his powers vested under Section 144, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Magistrate Alok Shekhar has regulated various prohibitory orders with immediate effect on the sale and storage of different type of crackers to avoid any untoward incident during the forthcoming Divali festival in the district.

Issuing directions in this connection here today, he imposed a ban on storage, exhibition or sale of any kind of firecracker or any other explosive material from Hukki Chowk to Baba Farid bazaar, and main bazaar to Baba Farid bazaar here; and Shastri market and Gurdwara bazaar at Kotkapura.

The wholesalers who have been issued licenses have been restricted to keep their stocks at five shops each located on the Chahal road and near Ram Bagh at Faridkot and Kotkapura, respectively. At Jaito, they have been allowed to do their business at Panchyati Gaushala, near Kalu Ram Bagichi, and the Bishnandi road, near level crossing.


Inmate beaten up by jail staff
Tribune News Service

Ropar, October 19
Sharpreet (27) an inmate of Sub-jail, here, was allegedly beaten up by jail staff. He faces trial in a murder case. The incident came to light in the morning when the victim’s father Gursharan Singh, met him in the jail.

Gursharn Singh who hails from Anandpur Sahib said that it was a case of violation of human rights. My son received serious injuries as jail employees gave him inhuman treatment. My son had received a head injury and also on other parts of body. I have submitted a complaint to the District and Sessions Judge, here.

IG (Prison), S.K Dutta, also visited the jail to look into the matter in the evening. Mr Dutta said that the victim and jail officials had given different versions of the incident. While Sharpreet said that he was beaten up by jail employees the jail officials said that Sharpreet himself banged head against the wall and received injuries.


Two youths booked for unnatural act

Moga, October 19
The police here has booked two youths under Sections 377, 323 and 342 of the IPC for unnatural act. The accused, who had absconded to avoid the arrest, were identified as Manpreet Singh and Iqbal Singh.

The police has registered the case following a complaint by victim Manjit Singh. — UNI


Convention on technology from Oct 21
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 19
The Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE), New Delhi, will organise its eighth national convention in Punjab on the theme “Impact of technology on societal living” at Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College (BBSBEC), here from October 21 to 23.

The chairman of the ISTE, Prof R.S. Nirjar, said six vice-chancellors of technical universities, 64 principals and directors of engineering and management colleges, officials of the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and the ISTE, Deputy Secretary of the UGC will also take part in the convention.

He said the academicians would discuss on the topics of IT-enabled education, E-governance and laws of cyber space, bio-technology and genetic engineering, technology and health system technology versus poverty and other realted topics. He said students would exhibit their skills with technical activities like technical quiz, robot modelling, micro mouse and programming contest, technical paper presentation and debate on topic “Technology and ecology”.


NAAC for upgrading rural institution
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 19
The Director, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Dr V.S. Prasad, today strongly favoured upgrading the rural institution of higher education to bring them on a par with colleges and universities in urban areas.

He was speaking at the convocation of the BBK DAV College for Women here.

Addressing reporters after the convocation, he said the NAAC focus had been on assessing the existing activity level of performance of various institutions and to pinpoint their strength and limitations for the promotion of quality higher education.

He said their critical analysis would help institutions to overcome their deficiencies and come up to the expectations of the students.

He said the government must review its priorities in the education field and allocate more funds from the present level of only 3 per cent of the GDP.

He said people must come forward to pool in their resources for colleges in rural areas.

Later, he presented degrees to 996 graduates and postgraduates. The Principal, Ms J. Kackria, also spoke on the occasion.


Aids awareness march by students
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, October 19
Nearly 1,000 students of various educational institutions carrying placards and banners marched in main streets of the town here yesterday to make people aware about HIV (AIDS), a menace to society. Raising slogans they urged both the Central and Punjab governments to initiate steps to eradicate the serious problem. Before the start of the rally the District Aids Control Society (DACS) held a function at the mini-secretariat here which was presided over by Deputy Commissioner Alok Shekhar.

Speaking on the occasion he sought cooperation of the people for mass movement against the disease which was the need of hour. Dr Chander Shekhar, head of the body, apprised of the steps being taken by it (DACS) in the district.

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