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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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Hundreds of shops sealed in Capital
New Delhi, September 5
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi today continued its sealing drive by closing hundreds of shops and other business establishments in various parts of the city. Demolition of unauthorised constructions is also being carried out. The main focus of the sealing drive today was Rohini where many people have opened shops in their houses, turning the locality almost into a commercial area.

MCD bulldozer demolishing unauthorised construction in a farm house in Vasant Kunj. MCD bulldozer demolishing unauthorised construction in a farm house in Vasant Kunj. —A Tribune photograph

Institution of Parliament on decline: Sangma
New Delhi, September 5
Former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma today lamented the decline of the institution of Parliament, saying that debate and discussion on national and international issues has become a relic of the past as the proceedings are dominated by village and municipal level subjects.





SC takes exception to plea for separate slaughtering 
New Delhi, September 5
The Supreme Court today took exception to a plea seeking separate provisions for the slaughter of animals according to Islamic rites at a modern abattoir being constructed in East Delhi.

Teachers’ fraternity calls for end to violence 
New Delhi, September 5
Accepting that the ‘Guru-Shishya’ tradition stands diluted, teachers from schools up to the University say while they do not expect the age old practice restored, what they do want is an “end to violence against teachers”.

Members of Academy for Action and Development during a peace march against violence on north campus in the Capital on Tuesday. — A Tribune photograph

Members of Academy for Action and Development during a peace march against violence on north campus in the Capital

MCD increases assistant teachers’ retirement age 
New Delhi, September 5
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) today announced to have increased the age of retirement of Assistant Teachers in its schools from 60 to 62 years. Announcing the age of teachers’ retirement on the occasion of Teachers’ Day, the Chairman of Standing Committee, Mr Jaikishan Sharma said that with the increase of the retirement age, thousands of teachers and students would be benefitted. There was a shortage of teachers in MCD schools, he said, adding that now with this announcement, the students would not suffer.

Radhakrishnan Award given to 155 teachers
New Delhi, September 5
On the occasion of Teachers’ Day today, 155 teachers and professors of Delhi schools and colleges were honoured with the ‘Dr S Radhakrishnan Memorial National Teachers Award’ for their contribution to the field of education.


 

A blind teacher being felicitated by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on the occasion of Teachers’ Day during an award ceremony for teachers at Talkatora Stadium in the Capital. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi

A blind teacher being felicitated by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on the occasion of Teachers’ Day during an award ceremony for teachers at Talkatora Stadium in the Capital.

Rehabilitation Council signs MoU with ISRO
New Delhi, September 5
In an effort to encourage distance education for persons with disabilities, their parents and trainers, the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) today signed an MoU with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for setting up an EDUSAT uplinking station and studio in the RCI building.

Panchayat work: It may still be a case of many cooks
Faridabad, September 5
A recent decision authorising gram panchayats to get various development works worth Rs 3 lakh done minus the nod of the higher authorities is not likely to do away with the general tardiness.

BSNL reduces call charges
Faridabad, September 5
In a bid to woo customers, the government-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has announced a reduction in call charges of its pre-paid mobile service in the Haryana Telecom circle. The company has also offered the scheme of free SMS for the students in the circle for the first time.

HDFC’s Net arm misfires, bank in Rs 3 lakh cheating case
New Delhi, September 5
HDFC Bank is under fire for allegedly using its Internet banking facility to illegally withdraw almost Rs 3 lakh from a customer’s account and transferring it to a third person without the knowledge of the original account holder.

BYPL’s network modernisation program in 3 divisions
New Delhi, September 5
Appreciating the BYPL for implementing the Mass Network Modernisation Program (MNMP) in Karawal Nagar, Nand Nagri and Yamuna Vicar divisions, Mr Sandeep Dikshit, MP from East Delhi, today said the project would prove a milestone in improving the power supply in the area.

Man gets 10-year RI for forcing abortion
New Delhi, September 5
A man, who forced his wife to abort their child suspecting her of infidelity, was sentenced to ten years rigorous imprisonment by a Delhi court today.

Illegal arms factory unearthed
Greater Noida, September 5
The police today claimed to have busted an illegal arms and ammunition factory and recovered a large stock of revolvers and live cartridges. Two persons have been arrested in this connection.

Custody death: Police hunting for absconding cops 
Noida, September 5
The police here is trying to locate six policemen, including the Station Officer (SO) of Sector 20 police station, who reportedly went absconding after the custodial death of a youth last Saturday.

NGO to organise ‘Himachal Mela’
New Delhi, September 5
The District Mandi Jankalyan Sabha, an NGO, will organise ‘Himachal Mela’ to mark its 45th annual function on September 16 in Saha Auditorium of Shree Delhi Gujarati Samaj.

DU seats available for SC candidates
New Delhi, September 5 
The University of Delhi has announced that some seats were available in various undergraduate courses in Arts, Commerce and Science for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories.

 

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Hundreds of shops sealed in Capital
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 5
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi today continued its sealing drive by closing hundreds of shops and other business establishments in various parts of the city. Demolition of unauthorised constructions is also being carried out.

The main focus of the sealing drive today was Rohini where many people have opened shops in their houses, turning the locality almost into a commercial area.

In South Zone, the MCD sealed a number of premises in Malviya Nagar, Hauz Rani, Khirki Extension, and Gautam Nagar. Twentythree shops were sealed in Shahadra Zone, including Seemapuri, Dilshad Colony, Naveen Shahadra, Partappura, Shivaji Park, West Rohtash Nagar, Welcome and Bhajanpura, for misuse of land. In Civil Lines, four properties were sealed for ongoing unauthorised constructions.

Demolitions were carried out in farmhouses in Vasant Kunj and Nehru Nagar Ashram.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Congress MLAs, led by Mr Subhash Chopra, submitted a memorandum today to the Union Urban Development Minister, Mr Jaipal Reddy, demanding a halt to the ongoing sealing and demolition drive. “The drive is not permanent solution. More job opportunities and housing facilities are the solution,” the memorandum said. “The DDA, which has monopoly in land ownership in Delhi, failed to keep pace with the changing times. As a result, people had to make alterations and additions to existing buildings to fulfill their needs,” it added. 

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Institution of Parliament on decline: Sangma 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 5
Former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma today lamented the decline of the institution of Parliament, saying that debate and discussion on national and international issues has become a relic of the past as the proceedings are dominated by village and municipal level subjects.

Presiding over the 16th Foundation Day celebrations of the country’s premier think tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF), he said it was unfortunate that not even one budget of the NDA government could be taken up for discussion in Parliament.

Referring to the recent incident in the Lok Sabha in which two MPs virtually came to blows over a rape case in Bihar, Mr Sangma, a nine-time MP from Tura constituency in Meghalaya, said the decline was unexplainable.

Earlier, former Prime Minister I K Gujral congratulated the ORF for completing 15 years, saying that normally institutions here do not last so long.

Welcoming the guests, the ORF Chairman, Mr R K Mishra, said the Foundation was focussing on new areas of health, education and urban developments. 

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SC takes exception to plea for separate slaughtering 

New Delhi, September 5
The Supreme Court today took exception to a plea seeking separate provisions for the slaughter of animals according to Islamic rites at a modern abattoir being constructed in East Delhi.

Upset with such an application, a Bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhan, Justice S B Sinha and Justice A K Mathur observed, “What is there in Muslim halal and Hindu jhatka. We are all brothers”.

The Court kept pending the application moved by Buffalo Traders’ Welfare Association seeking to make provision for separate entry and exit for animals and persons involved in slaughtering of animals with halal and jhatka method.

Meanwhile, the Bench, which had directed the resumption of the work for construction of the Rs 180 crore project, asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the private contractor to reach an amicable settlement over the project cost.

Granting two weeks in this regard, the court said while assessing the cost, escalation of price of raw materials had to be taken into consideration.

During the previous hearing, the court was unhappy with the parties over the dispute on the actual cost of installing the machinery at the slaughter house.

While the contractor had maintained that the estimated cost of the project of installing the machine imported from Germany and France was Rs 150 crore, the MCD put the cost to Rs 106 crore.

The project became controversial after the MCD and the private contractor made allegations and counter allegations on the issue of payment and the project was not completed within the June 30, 2006 deadline. — PTI

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Teachers’ fraternity calls for end to violence 
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 5 
Accepting that the ‘Guru-Shishya’ tradition stands diluted, teachers from schools up to the University say while they do not expect the age old practice restored, what they do want is an “end to violence against teachers”.

As the people across the nation came together to pay tributes to them on September 5, celebrated as Teacher’s Day, the teachers themselves expressed their consternation against the growing incidence of violence across campuses.

In December 2002, Professor M N Singh was shot dead in the Delhi University’s Shradhanand College from point blank range by students whom he had caught cheating during an examination.

In 2006, such incidents of students manhandling and humiliating teachers have risen sharply.

“There cannot be violence on the campuses. In a democratic set up, there is a scope for differences and we must learn to live with them. Teachers and students disagreeing on issues should not lead to violence and teachers getting killed,” Aditya Mishra, former DUTA President, said.

To mark their protest against the recent killing of Professor Sabharwal in Ujjain and against the authorities’ apathy towards the family of Professor M N Singh, members of the academic fraternity led by the Academics for Action and Development (AAD) today took out a ‘silent march’ in the Delhi University.

While the students tried to make amends by observing silence in memory of Professor Sabharwal, the teachers were not entirely convinced.

“First you threaten a teacher in full public view, you blacken their faces, vandalise their residences and kill them, then you put up a show of repentance…is this tribute to teachers. I may not stop a child from copying in examinations because he or she may kill me. With this fear occupying my mind, how can I think of motivating my students and instilling values in them,” questioned a senior teacher of a government school in the Capital.

Noting that the teachers too need to make additional effort to bridge the chasm between themselves and their students, some teachers said they were willing to change.

“Indian education is incomplete because there is too much theory and little practical. We need to change that. Teachers should otherwise as well make efforts to change themselves. They should lead by setting examples,” said Mohd. Zahirul Haque, a Principal from Bihar who was presented the National Award for teachers by the President here today.

Acknowledging that the teacher-student relationship over the years has undergone change, teachers insisted that they still wanted the best for their students.
“In the last 36 years that I have been teaching, I have given love and received it. What you get from students is what you give them and there is great joy in seeing your students prosper,” said Ms Karuna Sharma, Headmistress, Kendriya Vidyalya, Gurgaon.

“The volatile tempers that we see across campuses today is not a good sign. Students have to learn that there cannot be unanimity always, they must learn to respect different points of view. The government cannot provide us security, but in the given environment where debates and discussions are being replaced by annihilation, teachers will find it difficult to deliver what is expected of them,” Mishra said.

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MCD increases assistant teachers’ retirement age 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 5 
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) today announced to have increased the age of retirement of Assistant Teachers in its schools from 60 to 62 years.
Announcing the age of teachers’ retirement on the occasion of Teachers’ Day, the Chairman of Standing Committee, Mr Jaikishan Sharma said that with the increase of the retirement age, thousands of teachers and students would be benefitted. There was a shortage of teachers in MCD schools, he said, adding that now with this announcement, the students would not suffer.

New appointments are not being made due to certain reasons. Within two years, the MCD would be able to fulfill all vacancies lying in the education department, he claimed.

On the Teachers’ Day occasion, Suman Bala, a municipal teacher in Kamla Nagar School, was awarded with State Teachers’ Award for her meritorious and dedicated service. During her teaching career spanning 25 years, she was awarded Municipal Zonal Award in 1991, Municipal Cash Award in 1994 and Municipal Teachers’ Award in the year 2004. 

Meanwhile, Mayor, Farhad Suri presented merit certificates and insignia to meritorious municipal teachers. 

Addressing a gathering of teachers and students, the Mayor said that for the schools, where drinking water could not be reached owing to being located at fag end of the supply line, bore wells were being arranged with the cooperation of Rotary Club of Delhi. Recycling of water in these schools would also be ensured, he added.

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Radhakrishnan Award given to 155 teachers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 5 
On the occasion of Teachers’ Day today, 155 teachers and professors of Delhi schools and colleges were honoured with the ‘Dr S Radhakrishnan Memorial National Teachers Award’ for their contribution to the field of education.

Among the recipients of this award are Mr M I Hussain, Principal of Delhi Public School, Mathura Road; Ms Jyoti Anand, Lecturer, Gargi College; Prof Brahma Prakash of NCERT and Ms Seema Gupta, a teacher at RKSS School, West Patel Nagar.

The awards were given away by the Union Minister of State for Urban Development, Mr Ajay Maken, at a function marking the 119th birth anniversary of late President S Radhakrishnan last evening.

The awards are given away every year by the All India Freelance Journalist and Writers’ Association and the National Child and Women Development Charitable Trust to educationists for their services in the field of education, art and culture, conservation of environment and creating health awareness.

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Rehabilitation Council signs MoU with ISRO
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 5
In an effort to encourage distance education for persons with disabilities, their parents and trainers, the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) today signed an MoU with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for setting up an EDUSAT uplinking station and studio in the RCI building.

Another agreement was struck between the RCI and the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for facilitating children with disability in acquiring knowledge and needed skills.

With this tie-up with the ISRO, approximately 100 study centres of the RCI spread across the country will be connected to the Delhi studio via satellite. Facilities will be provided at these centres for disabled people, students with special needs, their parents and others to avail of free informative lectures.

Major General (Retd), Ian Cardozo, RCI chairman, said, “Since India is a big country and the number of disabled is also very large, we decided to broadbase our educational services by using modern information communication technology. People from across the country will soon be able to enjoy various lectures, conferences and classes by having one-way video and two-way interactions with various experts from the disability sector.”

Further, the new EDUSAT studio in the RCI building will host regular teleconferences on various disability-related topics. Training in Braille and sign language will also be provided to parents, teachers and interested individuals.

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Panchayat work: It may still be a case of many cooks
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, September 5
A recent decision authorising gram panchayats to get various development works worth Rs 3 lakh done minus the nod of the higher authorities is not likely to do away with the general tardiness.

The panchayats have been vested with some authority, no doubt. This, however, does not translate into a diminished role for the Panchayati Raj’s engineering department.

The panchayats will still have to seek the engineering wing’s approval. Besides, the involvement of government officials has not lessened at all. There is an increase of 50 per cent in the total budget for various schemes envisioned for the district this year. Experts opine there will be negligible change in giving the requisite push to development work.

A meeting of the district officials was held here today. Now, all works up to the cost of Rs 3 lakh will be done on a muster roll basis. A panel of government engineers will help panchayats in preparing estimates, maintaining records and getting sanction for the schemes finalised. Two per cent of the budget has been set aside for such works. 

According to the authorities concerned, permission of the officials of the engineering department will still be required. While the executive engineer’s approval is necessary for works with a budget of Rs 5 lakh, the junior engineer and the SDO concerned are empowered to give the nod for schemes with funds ranging between Rs 1.25 lakh and Rs 3 lakh. Village panchayats and other bodies like panchayat samitis and the zila parishad can give administrative approval to the projects.

The officials concerned are responsible for supervising and ensuring good quality work. The panchayats have been authorised to purchase raw material like cement tantamount to adhering to the rates sanctioned by the district administration. 

The funds will be released by the district administration only after receipt of documents signed by the sarpanch, the gram sachiv, the SDO and the junior engineer concerned. 

While tenders will be sought for granting a particular project, any work involving funds up to Rs 50 lakh will be finalised at the district headquarters.

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BSNL reduces call charges
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, September 5
In a bid to woo customers, the government-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has announced a reduction in call charges of its pre-paid mobile service in the Haryana Telecom circle. The company has also offered the scheme of free SMS for the students in the circle for the first time.

Announcing the details of the new schemes, the General Manager of BSNL, Faridabad, said in a press conference on Saturday that the existing as well the new customers of the Excel pre-paid service could now enjoy to speak to about 16 lakh BSNL landline, WLL and mobile consumers of Haryana Telecom circle at a reduced rate of just 49 paise per minute instead of earlier charges of 90 paise per minute.

He said while this scheme would be applicable for consumers opting for Excel mobile service in the next 45 days (from September 2), he said the users might also enjoy this reduction even after this period. But the scheme was not applicable for One India and Excel Anant users, it was stated.

The Nigam has also announced a revision in the tariff of the post-paid plans like Plan 225, Plan-325 and Plan-525 with enhanced free calls within its own network worth Rs 60, Rs 100 and Rs 300 respectively instead of earlier structure of free calls worth Rs 25, 75 and Rs 175, respectively.

In an important decision that could attract students for opting for the BSNL mobile service, the Nigam has offered free local SMS to any network in the circle. While the rate of the national SMS has been fixed at Re 1, the local call charges to the BSNL network from 10 pm to 6 am would be 30 paise per minute.

According to the BSNL authorities, the new customers of its prepaid mobile service will also be benefited as the cost of the new Sim card would be Rs 100 from September 1, 2006 instead of Rs 200 earlier and it would have a talk time of Rs 30 applicable for seven days.

In another related decision, the BSNL has offered to activate pre-paid Sim cards that had been deactivated or whose activation period expired by March 31 this year, without any cost.

However in another move, the Nigam has revised the call value of its recharge coupons for the pre-paid customers. Now the customers will get reduced talk time by about 30 to 35 per cent. 

The new call value for the denomination of coupon worth Rs 200 will be Rs 40 instead of Rs 60 earlier. Similarly, the call value of the coupons of Rs 300, 500 and 700 has also been revised to new value of Rs 140, 321 and 782, respectively.

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HDFC’s Net arm misfires, bank in Rs 3 lakh cheating case

New Delhi, September 5
HDFC Bank is under fire for allegedly using its Internet banking facility to illegally withdraw almost Rs 3 lakh from a customer’s account and transferring it to a third person without the knowledge of the original account holder.

A local court will on September 11 take cognisance of the criminal complaint filed against the bank’s Old Rajinder Nagar Market branch, its manager Yogesh Tekchandani and Pawan Kumar Soni, a resident of Inderpuri here, in whose account the money was allegedly traced.

Complainant Avinash Kumar Batura, a Delhi-based businessman, has accused the three of criminal conspiracy, forgery, cheating and criminal breach of trust.

Mr Batura, on a visit to the branch in July this year, found, much to his surprise, that an amount totalling Rs 2,79,043 had been withdrawn from his current account through the Internet on several occasions without his knowledge, complainant’s counsel Ajay Gupta said. He had never availed of the bank’s Internet facility for operating his account. 

Mr Batura allegedly came to know that a credit password, known only to the manager and the account holder, was required to transfer money. Through his own efforts, he traced the entire amount to co-accused Soni’s account.— PTI

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BYPL’s network modernisation program in 3 divisions
Tribune News Service 

New Delhi, September 5
Appreciating the BYPL for implementing the Mass Network Modernisation Program (MNMP) in Karawal Nagar, Nand Nagri and Yamuna Vicar divisions, Mr Sandeep Dikshit, MP from East Delhi, today said the project would prove a milestone in improving the power supply in the area.

Attending the function where the program was inaugurated today at the Shastri Park Grid, Yamuna Vihar, Mr Dikshit said the project would not just reduce the number of local faults, but also substantially curb the incidence of power theft and accidents in the area. He further said the program should be implemented across East Delhi.

Mr Arun Kanchan, CEO BYPL, said, “The implementation of 63 MNMP schemes in these districts at an investment of over Rs 50 crore will not only help in reducing power theft from the existing levels of 66 per cent, but also bring thousands of additional customers under the billing net.”

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Man gets 10-year RI for forcing abortion
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, September 5
A man, who forced his wife to abort their child suspecting her of infidelity, was sentenced to ten years rigorous imprisonment by a Delhi court today.

Terming the offence as “barbaric”, Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) R K Yadav of Karkardooma courts convicted Rajesh Bhardwaj, a resident of East Delhi, after finding him guilty under Section 313 (causing miscarriage without women’s consent) of the IPC.

Yadav also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him.

The court, however, acquitted Bhardwaj’s mother Narayani Devi, a co-accused in the case, for want of evidence.

As per the prosecution, the convict, after marrying the victim in 2001, was not on good terms with her and used to quarrel.

In 2003, the victim got pregnant. Her husband Bhardwaj, who used to suspect her of infidelity, started pressurising her to abort the child. But she kept on refusing.

Later, the accused gave a tablet to his wife on the pretext that it was good for the child’s health.

After consuming the tablet, she started bleeding and was rushed to a nearby hospital where her foetus got aborted.

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Illegal arms factory unearthed

Greater Noida, September 5
The police today claimed to have busted an illegal arms and ammunition factory and recovered a large stock of revolvers and live cartridges. Two persons have been arrested in this connection.

Revolvers stored illegally as well as those manufactured in the factory being run in an industrial area of Surajpur were seized. Weapons and ammunition manufactured in the factory used to be supplied to the criminals in Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr and Noida, the police said.

During interrogation, the duo told the police that they had been sent to Bulandshahr jail in murder and abduction cases and received training in manufacturing revolvers in the jail.— OC

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Custody death: Police hunting for absconding cops 
Our Correspondent

Noida, September 5
The police here is trying to locate six policemen, including the Station Officer (SO) of Sector 20 police station, who reportedly went absconding after the custodial death of a youth last Saturday.

It may be recalled that Sonu, a suspect in a theft case, was arrested from Khurja and brought to Sector-20 police station at night and extensively interrogated. He was later found hanging from a window grill in the lock-up cell. 

This was the second such case reported here in the last 10 days. In case any policeman is found guilty, harsh action will be taken, the local SSP said.

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NGO to organise ‘Himachal Mela’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 5 
The District Mandi Jankalyan Sabha, an NGO, will organise ‘Himachal Mela’ to mark its 45th annual function on September 16 in Saha Auditorium of Shree Delhi Gujarati Samaj.

Coinciding with the famous ‘Sair Festival’ of Himachal Pradesh, the event will showcase traditional cultural items by several artistes of Hindi Academy, Delhi and those belonging to the Language and Culture Department of HP government. 

Chief Minister Mr Virbhadra Singh is also likely to attend the function.

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DU seats available for SC candidates

New Delhi, September 5 
The University of Delhi has announced that some seats were available in various undergraduate courses in Arts, Commerce and Science for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories.

The University has asked those Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates who have registered themselves with the University to be present for Counselling at Sports Complex on September 7, 2006 at 10.00 a.m.— TNS

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