P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



No cases decided by Debt Recovery Tribunal since January, 2005
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
Ever-rising non-performing assets (NPAs) of various banks and financial institutions notwithstanding, the manpower-starved Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) here has not decided even a single case since January last year.

Till now, the Chandigarh tribunal has a part-time Presiding Officer (PO) and no Recovery Officer (RO). Unmindful of the output of the first tribunal here, the Union Ministry of Finance, which controls the functioning of the DRTs in the country, has decided to set up a second one.

The tribunals were set up after Parliament passed the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks & Financial Institutions Act, 1993. Initially, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Rajasthan were covered by the Jaipur-based DRT. But in 2000,it was bifurcated and a new tribunal was set up here to cater to the needs of the northern states.

Sources reveal more than 1100 cases are pending before the tribunal here. In the five years of its operations here,110 cases were decided.

The sources say that in some of the cases belonging to 1978 in which ex parte proceedings have been initiated, no decision has been taken so far.

In the absence of any RO, the decree or recovery orders passed cannot be implemented. One of the two posts of RO has been lying vacant for several months now while the second officer was repatriated to his parent organisation, the Rajasthan High Court, yesterday.

All is not well with the Chandigarh DRT. After the previous PO, Mr A.L. Verma, returned to his parent state of Punjab, an ad hoc arrangement was made. Ms Meena V. Gomber, PO of DRT, Delhi III, was given the additional charge of Chandigarh with instructions that on every Monday and Tuesday she would sit in Chandigarh. However, she has not held any court since February 7.

Investigations reveal that between January 1 and December 31 last year, the Chandigarh DRT received Rs 1.16 crore as court fee. Its sanctioned budget for the year was Rs 49.70 crore. Even for a unit which has been generating enough revenue, it is unfortunate that no results are forthcoming, says Mr I.P Singh, a city-based advocate. Not only adjudication of cases but also recoveries have been held up.

“While on the one hand the existing DRT has shown no results for the past 13 months, on the other hand it is intriguing that the Ministry of Finance has decided to start a second tribunal here. It is startling that some of the cases which were transferred from civil courts to the DRT here in 1993 are still pending for a decision,” rues Mr Singh.

He says that since POs and ROs are taken from different departments, including different ministries, there is no accountability. One of the ROs appointed recently from a Union Ministry returned to the Capital as he had neither any law background nor any aptitude for such work. In some cases even serving bank officials are being appointed POs.

Mr H.C. Arora, another local lawyer, who filed a PIL for the appointment of a regular PO for the Chandigarh DRT, says that the ministry should have a regular central cadre of POs and ROs to make them accountable and effective.

At present, all cases in which bad debts are Rs 10 lakh or more can be filed before a DRT. Now when the government wants to lower the debt amount to Rs 1 lakh, it has decided to set up more DRTs. Generally, POs are taken from state judicial services but in many cases they are also taken from amongst Desk Officers of various ministries, besides officers from nationalised banks.


1 killed, 20 hurt as truck operators clash
Kiran Deep

Tribune News Service

Nangal, March 5
Tension prevailed here as one person was killed and at least 20 others were injured, including two police personnel, when the Himachal Pradesh police opened fire to disperse a violent mob of truck operators belonging to Nangal and Barmana truck unions at Goalthai in Bilaspur district this evening.

Meanwhile, the administration has imposed Section 144, Cr P.C., in Nangal town.

A truck operator of Nangal, Jarnail Singh, died on the spot while seriously wounded Sukhdev Singh was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh. Other injured persons Rajinder Singh, Pawan Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Dalwant Singh and Sanjay, all from Nangal, were admitted to the BBMB Canal Hospital, Nangal. The two Himachal police personnel, SHO Puran Chand and ASI Thakur Chand also sustained serious injuries and were admitted to a nearby hospital. The police has arrested a person for setting trucks and a bus on fire at Anandpur Sahib, Mr Surinder Pal Singh Virk, SSP, Ropar, said.

The situation further aggravated around 6 pm when protesting against the death of truck operators the members of the Nangal truck union burnt several trucks and one Himachal Roadways bus at Agampur in Anandpur Sahib and damaged another Himachal Roadways bus in Nangal town.

Earlier the police resorted to firing when hundreds of truck operators from Barmana in Bilaspur and Nangal town started pelting each other with stones. They damaged several vehicles, including trucks and two-wheelers. The truck operators of Barmana damaged the office of the Nangal truck union.

The truck operators of the two unions were reportedly indulging in violence to prove their supremacy to run their offices from Goalthai, the place which the Himachal government is developing as an industrial town. The Nangal Truck Union had set-up its office here yesterday while Barmana truck operators came in the morning claiming right to run their union office from this place.

Tension between the two groups began in the morning when the truck operators from Barmana reached at Goalthai to sort out the issue with the Nangal truck operators. However, when both parties failed to reach a compromise, they started throwing stones at each other damaging several vehicles. Besides, both groups jammed traffic on the Nangal-Bhakra road for several hours. The police was not in strength to control the protestors.

The SP, Bilaspur, Mr Chander Shekhar, told this correspondent that the police resorted to firing only when the truck operators turned violent. The situation is now under control on their side. He said policemen also sustained serious injuries. He said the police was still investigating the matter and it required more time to gather details about the injured, he added.

After the incident, both truck unions blamed each other for the incident.

President of the Nangal truck union Ravinder Singh, said their union had set up office with an agreement with the Barmana truck union. He alleged that the police protected the members of the Barmana truck union. On the other hand, the senior vice-president of the Bilaspur truck operators union, Mr Chand Ram Thakur, said they had informed the police and the administration about their resentment against the Nangal truck operators yesterday. He alleged that the truck operators from Nangal turned violent first. He added that the truck operators of Himachal Pradesh had a right to operate from this place.

The police here rounded up 17 truck operators in the late night after they set fire to trucks and Himachal roadways bus. They were protesting against the killing of truck operator in the police firing.

The police said the protestors also manhandled the bus driver, a lady passenger and children while vacating the bus. The police has been conducting raids at several places.


Promised Tohra institute forgotten
Chander Parkash

Tribune News Service

Tohra (Patiala), March 5
The number of announcements made by Congress Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in connection with the setting up of numerous facilities at this village at the bhog ceremony of the late SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra two years ago, has brought little solace to his lakhs of followers, including residents of this town.

Disappointment is writ large on their faces now as the state Congress government has failed to set up any institute or hospital in memory of the late Tohra in his native village as promised by Capt Amarinder Singh.

A cross-section of villagers while talking to TNS today alleged that not only this, the state government had failed to release a grant of Rs 5 lakh given by Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, MP, about a year ago to set up a stadium in memory of Jathedar Tohra on a piece of land donated by the local Panchayat about a year ago. They added that Mr Libra gave Rs 5 lakh from his MP’s quota fund but hurdles were created by the vested interests in its release.

As campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections was going on when Jathedar Tohra died after remaining hospitalised for a few days in Patiala, the leaderships of both Akali and Congress parties tried to outdo each other to woo his followers in their fold.

Capt Amarinder Singh, who attended the bhog ceremony at this village held in April 2004, made a number of promises for this village and Mrs Joginder Kaur, widow of Jathedar Tohra. She was given Cabinet rank, a residential plot, a telephone connection and pension by the Congress government. Mrs Joginder Kaur, who refused to take all these facilities, was given a telephone connection by the state Congress government apart from monthly pension.

Ms Preneet Kaur, wife of Capt Amarinder Singh, emerged victorious in the Lok Sabha elections, defeating SAD (B) candidate Kanwaljit Singh and no one bothered about the promises made by none else than the Chief Minister, alleged the villagers.

They added that the state government failed to ensure the payment of telephone bills at regular intervals and hence a number of times the telephone given to Mrs Joginder Kaur was disconnected.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who has been taking care of the arrangements for tomorrow’s function to be organised in connection with the second death anniversary of Jathedar Tohra, said it was a habit of the Congress to befool people by making false promises for political gains. He added that when SAD (B) came to power, it would make a big memorial in this village in memory of Jathedar Tohra.


Mia Mir’s descendant visits ancestral building
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Dera Baba Nanak  (Gurdaspur), March 5
Residents of Rattar Chattar, a remote village on the Indo-Pak border, have been preserving a 300-year-old building since Independence.

Mr Sai Chand Pir Quadri, a descendant of Mia Mir, who laid the foundation stone of Harmandir Sahib, visited the building and paid obeisance last night.

It was then that the villagers came to know that the building belonged to the family of Mia Mir.

He received a rousing welcome from the people, who waited for him for more than eight hours.

He exhibited utensils and other objects of Guru Arjan Dev and the people paid obeisance to those.

He said his ancestors used to go to Kartar Sahib and Lahore through Dera Baba Nanak and they might have constructed the building en route.

Mr Quadri was accompanied by Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.

Mr Randhawa said he would write to the Archaeological Survey of India to find about the history of building.

He added that he would request the Punjab Government to provide funds for the maintenance of the building.

As Mr Quadri did not have a visa for visiting Gurdaspur district, the authorities at Amritsar did not allow him to go to Gurdaspur yesterday.

After Mr Randhawa intervened, the authorities gave Mr Quadri permission to go to Gurdaspur.


Change in Maryada draws criticism
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 5
The amendment in the Sikh 60-year-old Rehat Maryada by the SGPC has evoked a strong reaction from Sikh intellectuals.

Mr Gurcharnjit Singh Lamba, a Sikh intellectual and Editor of monthly ‘Sant Sipahi’, has said the Sikh Maryada was formulated after marathon discussions and hence any amendment without taking the Sikh Panth into confidence was unacceptable to the sangat. He was here today to pay his obeisance at Harmandar Sahib.

A comparative study of two versions of the ‘Sikh Rehat Maryada’ - one of 1945 and the recent one published by the SGPC - shows glaring discrepancies.

Questioning the wisdom of changing the Article on re-marriage, Mr Lamba alleged the amendment was aimed to benefit certain influential persons who had indulged in bigamy. The original Rehat Maryada clearly mentions that no Sikh could remarry when his wife was alive. However, the amended Maryada has added the word ‘generally’ that reads, “Generally, no Sikh should marry a second wife if the first wife is alive.”

Another glaring amendment in the new version is on the definition of a Sikh. The Punjabi version of the original Maryada gives the definition of a Sikh as “Any human being who believes in all Sikh Gurus in One Immortal Being, (ii.) Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, (iii.) Guru Granth Sahib, and the utterances and teachings of the 10 Gurus and baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion, is a Sikh.

However, the amended Punjabi version has deleted ‘Dassan’ (meaning all 10 from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh).

Mr Lamba further alleges that the deletion of ‘plucking of gray hair’ from the new version of Maryada was a blunder on the part of the SGPC.

He also criticised a section of the Sant Samaj for pursuing its own Maryada which was in sharp contrast to the original version, passed with the consent of the Sikh sangat.


Mann seeks Makkar’s resignation
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 5
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president SAD (A), through a letter to SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar has sought his resignation for attending the Virsa Sambhal World Sikh Sammelan held at Fatehgarh Sahib last week. He alleged the function was organised with an intention to divert attention of Sikhs from real issues being faced by them and to weaken the tenets of Sikhism.

In this letter that was released to the Press today, Mr Mann has mentioned that the sammelan was organised by the Sant Samaj, which had already rejected “Rehatnama” issued by Akal Takht and Nanak Sahi calendar issued by the SGPC. Moreover, SAD president Parkash Singh Badal had termed it as a Congress-sponsored show.

Mr Mann has asked why he has violated the directive of his party president and what his compulsion was for attending it. He has committed treason with Sikhs and thus he has no right to head their supreme body.

He has also criticised those Panthic organisations that have participated in the sammelan. Mr Mann has urged the SGPC president to resign immediately, otherwise his party will launch an agitation for his removal.


Brick kilns to be brought under Factories Act
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 5
Labourers who are engaged in brick kilns in the region will soon get the facilities entailed under the provisions of the Factories Act. This would help in improving working conditions for the labourers.

Once under the Act, the workers would get benefits like compensation in case of accident at workplace and owners would be held responsible for the lapse leading to the accident.

The state government having given the assurance to this effect in the Assembly has decided to complete the process within this year. Punjab would thus become one of the few states in the country to extend the benefits of the Act to the labourers working in the kilns, which employs largest section of labourers in the unorganised sector.

When contacted, the Labour Commissioner and Director of Factories Punjab, Mr Som Prakash, said the government had decided to bring the brick kiln workers under the provisions of the Factories Act to regulate the working conditions in the sector and the owners of the factories would be made to provide all basic facilities that were mandatory in any factory premises.

The workers would begin to get the health benefits, accident compensation, besides hike in their wages, he said, adding that the brick kilns employed mostly migrant workers belonging to the poorest section of the society to work under unregulated conditions, which were bound to improve.

The Labour Commissioner, who was here for a function held to observe the National Safety Day at the Desh Bhagat Yadgari Hall, said the registration of the kilns had already begun and maximum kilns would be covered within this year. He said the problem of bonded labour was not very serious as per the survey conducted by the Government of India and only stray cases had been reported.

The problem of child labour was a social as well as economic problem and the government had opened as many as 100 schools in Jalandhar, Amritsar and Ludhiana for such children where they could work along with study, he added.


CM reaches out to panchayats
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 5
Officials of the Public Relations Department of the government have been visiting every nook and corner of the state to get information about grievances of the public and to hand over envelopes containing a letter from the Chief Minister to every panchayat of the district.

These envelopes also contain broachers highlighting his government’s achievements during the past four years. These officials are also getting themselves photographed with panches and sarpanches of various panchayats as a proof of their personal visit to remote villages.

This step of the government is being received positively by the panchayats at large. Even on Sunday, all employees of the local Public Relation Department, along with the DPRO, were busy in distributing the letters of the Chief Minister to sarpanches.

In the letter, the Chief Minister has highlighted the steps taken by his government to improve economic condition of farmers. He has highlighted that it was his government that has taken a historical step on the water issue and the SYL. He has mentioned if he had not taken that step, nine lakh acres would have become barren and 16 lakh farmers and laborers would have been affected.

He has said that Mr Badal, being a friend of Mr Chautala, had not taken any step in that regard. He has also mentioned about providing eight-hour regular supply by purchasing electricity worth Rs 5,500 crore, releasing around 1 lakh tubewell connections, lowering service charge for new connections, free 200 power units to Dalits, lowered interest rates for farmers, smooth purchase of their produce and payment within 48 hours.

He has also mentioned about repairing of 17,000 km rural link roads at a cost of Rs 700 crore and construction of 1500 km new roads at a cost of Rs 750 crore. An investment of Rs 53,000 crore has been ensured in the industrial sector, which will generate employment for 10 lakh unemployed youths, he has claimed.

He has claimed that the steep increase in the rates of land was due to this investment. “Your land has been turned into gold due to the policies of the government,” the letter says. He has also mentioned about the handing over of 17 departments to panchayats.

In the last, he has assured the farmers that his government will continue to work for the welfare of the farming community and has hoped that the state farmers will soon be the most prosperous in the country. He has also sought support and c-operation from them.


Terror victims seek compensation

Amritsar, March 5
Demanding compensation on a par with the anti-Sikh riot victims, the All India Terrorist Victims Association said today that its members would welcome the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, with black flags during his proposed visit to the holy city for the inaugural Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus service on March 10 if the administration failed to arrange their meeting with him.

A large number of association members gathered at the local Rambagh. They threatened to gherao the Prime Minister’s residence in New Delhi if the government failed to accept their demands. — OC


Kisan unions’ meeting tomorrow

Chandigarh, March 5
The All-India Kirti Kisan Sabha, which is supporting the agitation by the Bharti Kisan Union, today said that a meeting of all five kisan unions had been convened for Tuesday to take stock of the situation and intensify the agitation to seek an MSP of Rs 850 for wheat and to stop the import of wheat.

A sabha spokesman said it had already organised dharnas at the district head- quarters. — TNS


DC’s directive to bank managers, panchayats
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 5
The government is releasing money for various pensions schemes every month and the District Social Security Department is working overnight for the disbursement of money to the beneficiaries.

This was stated by Ms Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, while presiding over a meeting of the District Consultative Committee of the bank managers here yesterday. She said it was the duty of respective banks and panchayats to ensure that the beneficiaries got pension before the 10th of every month. If any delay was noticed on the part of a bank or a panchayat, action would be taken.

She said the banks should start disbursing pension to the beneficiaries as soon they received cheques or drafts from the Social Security Department. She said if any bank delayed the disbursement due to any cause, the respective bank manager would be held responsible for the same. Action would be taken against him at the government as well as departmental level, she said.

She took stock of the implementation of various schemes and the loans sanctioned by the banks under different schemes. She directed the banks to achieve their targets by March 31. She stressed the need for better coordination between banks and officials of different departments so that loan cases could be settled at the earliest.

The DC directed the bank managers not to give the amount for the registry of plots or houses to the beneficiaries directly rather they should go to the Registrar’s office and get the property registered in their presence.

She expressed satisfaction over the performance of banks as regards sanctioning of loans.

Mr Ashwani Mahajan, AGM, NABARD, said 885 self-help groups had been formed in the district and 704 had been provided loans by various banks. He impressed upon the banks and department to identify cases under various NABARD schemes.

Mr S.S. Kharaud, Lead Bank Manager, said all cases sponsored under the PMRY schemes would be decided within 10 days.

Mr D.S. Walia, ADC(D), Mr S.P. Dudeja from the RBI, Mr V.K. Sharma, Chief Manager, SBOP, and Mr N.K. Bansal also spoke on the occasion.


Rs 35,000, gold ornaments looted
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, March 5
Two scooter-borne miscreants snatched Rs 35,000, a gold bracelet and two gold rings from an aged person, Nihal Singh, at Patti yesterday.

Police sources said today here that a case under Sections 382 and 341, IPC, has been registered at Patti police station. The sources said that Nihal Singh was going to deposit the cash in Punjab National Bank when the miscreants gave him “parsad”. Soon after consuming it, he became unconscious and the swindlers took away the cash, a kara and two gold rings.


Woman commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Batala, March 5
Seema, mother of two children, became a victim of dowry as she committed suicide by taking some poisonous substance here.

Dr Jatindra Kumar Jain, SSP, told mediapersons today that a case had been registered at the Civil Lines police station against the in-laws of Seema on the basis of a complaint lodged by her mother.

In the complaint, she had written that since the marriage of Seema 11 years ago, her in-laws had been harassing her to bring more and more dowry and this time also she was asked to bring Rs 50,000. She was threatened with dire consequences allegedly by her husband, Harjinder Singh, a resident of Ajit Nagar, Batala.


Man killed in mishap

Ropar, March 5
One person was killed while another was seriously injured when a truck hit a car near Chakhiyan village here today.

A resident of Kulu, Sanjay Kumar, was driving the car and died on the spot while Jyoti Bhatia sustained serious injuries and has been referred to the PGI. The truck driver escaped. TNS


Bhattal promises education panel
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 5
To usher in reforms in the education sector aimed at making it job oriented, the state government will set up an education commission within two months, said Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

She was presiding over the prize distribution ceremony of a five-day festival of ayurvedic colleges at Babeke Ayurvedic Medical College, Daudhar, near here, today.

The Deputy CM said India had made rapid strides in the field of technical education and information technology, which had drawn scores of foreign institutions to the country. She said job avenues for IT students were increasing across the globe.

Later, interacting with mediapersons, she said a law university would soon come up in either in Fatehgarh Sahib or Patiala.

She said Rs 600 crore would be spent on the all-round development of cities and villages under the Punjab Nirman Programme and 70 per cent of this amount would be spent on rural areas.

She also gave an assurance of taking up the matter of re-starting post-graduate courses in ayurveda with the Central Government. About the jobless ETT teachers’ agitation, she said they had already been assured of recruitment on a regular basis.

Earlier, she gave away the prizes to the winners of various contests held under a five-day festival that witnessed participation of 11 ayurvedic colleges from Punjab and Haryana.

Transport Minister Mahinder Singh Kaypee, Science and Technology Minister Rakesh Pandey and District Congress chief Ranwinder Singh Pappu were also present on the occasion.


Computer teachers allege discrimination
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 5
Unrest is brewing among government computer teachers for the alleged partisan approach of the state government towards them in comparison to other teachers.

The computer teachers, who are getting Rs 3960 per month, are deprived of allowances and perks being extended to regular teachers, as they are employed on contract. The ETT teachers, whose eligibility criteria is a two-year diploma after Class XII, are given a regular job. However, computer teachers, whose eligibility criteria is postgraduate degree in computer like MCA, M.Tech, MSc (computer science), MSc (IT), are given a measly salary.

Mr Gurpreet Singh, president, Computer Teachers Union Punjab (CTUP), said a majority of the teachers were employed in rural schools for which they had to commute daily, resulting in spending of a quarter of their pay and stretching of their daily schedule.

He said crores of rupees were spent to set up computer laboratories but teachers were being treated shabbily. He said since the introduction of computer education in government schools, over 5000 teachers have been employed.

Regular teachers, besides salary, received Rs 2 for checking of a paper, but computer teachers were not given such money and were burdened with clerical work of the school too, he lamented.

He stressed that the principle of equal pay for similar work must be observed in their sphere too.


Jobless ETT teachers to stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 5
Members and activists of the Unemployed Elementary Teachers Union (UETU), the DIET Students Welfare Association (DSWA), the Navniyukat Elementary Teachers Union (NETU), and parents of the unemployed ETT teachers, at a meeting here today, discussed the advertisement issued by the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats to fill vacant posts of teacher in government primary schools in rural areas. The meeting unanimously adopted a resolution that no ETT teacher would apply against the advertised posts till the state government removed all flaws, found in the advertisement, and the state body of the ETT union gave a green light to the unemployed ETT teachers to apply for these posts, as the main demand of the ETT teachers to recruit them through the Education Department on the pattern of 1998-2000 ETT batch had been rejected by the government.

Mr Jagtar Singh Illwal, district president of the DSWA, and Mr Kulwinder Singh Jahangir, state finance secretary of the DSWA, said that in the advertisement, there were several flaws. Both leaders said that if the Punjab Government did not remove the flaws, found in the advertisement, by March 6, a large number of activists of all three unions of the ETT teachers would stage a day and night dharna on March 7 and March 8 in front of the house of Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal at Lehragaga.


Rs 473 crore sought for varsity
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 5
The Baba Farid University of Health Sciences has sought a liberal financial grant to the tune of Rs 473 crore from the state government for developing modern infrastructure to streamline its working. Dr Ravinder Singh, Vice-Chancellor of the university, revealed this here yesterday.

He was here as the chief guest on the occasion of the annual convocation of Punjab Government Dental College and Hospital here.

The university, which caters to 57 medical and dental colleges with strength of more than 9,000 students, requires its own medial college and hospital for conducting research, the vice-chancellor said.

He expressed hope that the government would soon accede to the demand and release the grant. At present, the university only conducts examinations due to lack of proper medical research and educational infrastructure.

Talking about taking over Faridkot Medical College, he said all legal procedures had already been completed and it would be soon taken over by the university to have its own campus.


Defence course in GND varsity mooted
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 5
Guru Nanak Dev University should introduce defence-related courses which could help the youth choose a career in the defence services. This would also be helpful in the career advancement of the serving defence personnel and ex-servicemen of the country.

This was stated here today by Air Marshal Arjun Singh (retd), while interacting with Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor, and other senior faculty members of the university.

He said he would write to the authorities concerned for getting an abandoned MIG to the university campus for display so that the students may get inspired. The Vice-Chancellor said he had already made a request in this regard.

Air Marshal Arjun Singh, his wife and grandson were warmly received by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Singh, and the Dean, Academic Affairs, Dr Gurnam Singh, and Registrar, Dr R.S. Bawa.


KU institute wins moot court contest
Tribune News Service

Ropar, March 5
The Institute of Law, Kurukshetra University, won the first Payare Lal Rukmani Devi consumer moot court competition at Rayat College of Law here today. Law Centre I of University of Delhi got the second prize.

The best mooter (individual) trophy was given to V.K. Sachdeva, Dept of Law, Panjab University, while the best memorial (team) award was won by the Institute of Law, KU.

Justice S.K. Jain, former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, was the chief guest.

He said now people were ready to take Law as profession on a priority, he added.

Panjab University DUI Veer Singh gave tips to the law students.


Placement drive at engg college
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 5
A placement drive was held at the local Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College today. A large number of B.Tech students of final and third year got jobs in various companies.

This was stated by the Principal of the college, Dr D.S. Hira. He said last week Global Vantedage selected 35, Exl Services 50, HCL Technologies 11 Convergys 50 and Dell selected 80 students at a job fair organised in collaboration with Punjab Technical University on the college campus.

He said a software company of Bangalore, Congnizant, had shortlisted 93 students of third year for the final interview. The students of the college were specially trained for interviews apart from their education, he added.


Investment, projects to be monitored regularly, says Singla
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 5
Asserting that Punjab had turned out to be the first and the most preferred destination for investors, Punjab Finance Minister Surinder Singla observed Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s “charming personality”, was attracting big players like Tatas and Ambanis to Punjab.

Mr Singla also assured people of Punjab that the government would be monitoring progress of investment proposals and other projects on monthly basis. Progress of investment proposals and development projects, by big players would be monitored by the office of the Chief Secretary.

“It is for the first time since over 50 years that all major players like Tatas, Reliance, TCS, ITC, Wipro, Satyam, automobile component units, including Ashok Hinduja have either come or are planning to come to Punjab. They are bowled over by the personality of the Chief Minister and sensed Punjabs economy has become the most dynamic in the country. State’s finances and resources are being pitched in to create world-class infrastructure. While the World Bank has rated Punjab as first or second in all of its indices, it is the India’s first destination for investment now,” said Mr Singla to The Tribune after a annual function of a institute here.

Whether it was possible to garner huge investment of Rs 1 lakh crore in less than a year as promised by the Chief Minister, Mr Singla said, “Actually, maturity period of a proposal or a project is between one and two years, almost 50 per cent of the target would fructify in one year. It is a realistic target as it would take the shape of reality. To ensure that promises on large-scale investment in the state realise fast, we have decided to monitor progress of all projects and investment proposals at the Chief Secretary’s level. Punjab’s economy is slated to boom due to delivery of responsible governance by the state administration. You can judge future of the state from the statement of Ratan Tata, who, did mince words to say that Punjab was the most dynamic economy and Mukesh Ambani has described it as highly growth-related economy,” said Mr Singla.

Mr Singla said Reliance Industries would help small and medium investors. “Has such big players ever entered or even discussed Punjab at any point of time in past 50 years?” questioned Mr Singla.


Investors’ meeting on March 15
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
Realising that work carried out under various mega-projects announced by the Punjab Government has to be “visible”, a meeting of all 139 investors has been convened on March 15.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh will chair the meeting where each and every investor will be asked to provide details about the project and the expected time required for completion.

Sources said the investors would be asked to show “visible results” in the next three to four months.

Apart from gaining mileage, the Chief Minister had been advised that a detailed list indicating when each of these companies planned to start construction and what was the stage of each project should be available, said a senior functionary.

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