P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


37,400 for 872 posts of constable
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 19
In a shocking pointer to the level of unemployment in the state, the Punjab Police has been deluged with the applications for the recruitment of constables commencing tomorrow with physical tests at Tarn Taran, Ferozepore, Kapurthala and Patiala.

As many as 49, 353 persons applied for 872 posts of male constable. Out of these 37,400 applications have been accepted after scrutiny.

On an average each candidate will have to compete with more than 42 others for each post.

Though a constable would earn Rs 7,000 to 8000 as salary in the beginning of his career, yet youths seem to be preferring this job to others available in the private sector.

The lure of security in the job as well as the imagined “perks” that go by it seem to be a strong attraction too.

The DIG, Ludhiana range, Mr Parag Jain, who is the Chairman of the Constables Recruitment Board, said he would be analysing the education qualification of the applicants also as the data was under preparation. He was sure that many graduates would have filled the forms.

Mr Jain said the candidates would have to go through a strenuous physical measurement and efficiency test from tomorrow onwards. The candidates from the border range would undergo tests at Tarn Taran, Bathinda range at Ferozepore, Jalandhar range at Kapurthala and Patiala range at Patiala.

He said the board had taken new measures in the recruitment process. These included use of a uniform software to do a collective analysis of the candidates.


Malta tragedy mission plans contempt plea
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, September 19
The Malta Boat Tragedy Probe Mission will file a contempt of court plea against the state government for “non-implementation” of the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding payment of ex gratia of Rs 50,000 each and issuance of death certificates to the kin of the victims of the tragedy.

This was disclosed by Mr Balwant Singh Khera, chairman of the mission, while talking to mediapersons here today. Mr Khera has recently returned from Canada and the USA after launching an awareness campaign about the tragedy in those countries.

He said of the 170 victims of the tragedy belonging to Punjab, kin of only 25 to 30 had received ex gratia and death certificates. He appealed to the kin of the remaining victims to contact the mission office as early as possible for getting ex gratia and death certificates from the state government.

He said the mission would also file a petition against the orders of Punjab and Haryana High Court to raise the ex gratia grant from Rs 50,000 to Rs 3 lakh each and to finalise other issues.

The 10th anniversary of the tragedy would be observed at Jalandhar on December 25. He said members of the mission would visit Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Singapore to meet families of victims of the tragedy in November to know their fate after the deaths of their wards.

Referring to his recent tour of the USA and Canada for awakening the NRI Punjabis living there about the tragedy, he said his tour was very successful. The tour was organised with the help of the NRIs Sabha, Punjab. A relief fund account had been started by the sabha in the name of “the Malta boat tragedy affected families”. NRIs living in various countries were depositing donations in this account for helping the victims’ families, he added.


2 girls go missing from Nari Niketan

Amritsar, September 19
Two girls went missing from the Nari Niketan being managed by the Punjab Government here today. The police lodged a report of missing of two young girls who were staying in the Nari Niketan.

The girls, who were around 20-year old, fled around midnight by throwing dust in the eyes of security guards of the Nari Niketan, officials said.

The police said one of the girls was staying in the Nari Niketan since childhood as she was an orphan.

The another girl was brought in the Nari Niketan just a week ago by the police when she was noticed moving aimlessly around Harmander Sahib.

On investigation the police found that the girl was from Maharashtra and had been living in the national capital for the past few years.

The police said the girl during investigation had told the police that she had been staying in one of the brothel houses for the past few years in New Delhi from where she had come to Amritsar to earn money but was arrested by the police.

The police had produced her before the wife of Deputy Commissioner Kiran Deep Singh Bhullar, who is looking after the Red Cross Society. She issued directions to admit the girl in the Nari Niketan. — PTI


Birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh to be celebrated
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 19
The Punjab Student Union (PSU) has decided to celebrate the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh by making it a movement to oppose policies of the government, under which it has allowed capitalists to loot the wealth of the country.

Addressing a rally here today, PSU state treasurer Dharminder Singh Patran said a movement to make youths aware of various acts of the Centre, which were anti-people, would be organised from September 28 to October 20.

He alleged that the Prime Minister had been dubbing the act of looting of wealth of the country by capitalists as development of the nation.

He added that the time had come not to pin hopes on the present set-up and to oppose its policies tooth and nail.

He added that the PSU would build a movement so that the policies of privatisation and commercialisation pursued under pressure from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank could be stopped.


Rally on drug awareness
Our Correspondent

Abohar, September 19
The city police today organised a drug-awareness rally with the cooperation of some local schools. Mr Jaskiran Singh, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, flagged off the rally at Government Model Senior Secondary School for Boys.

He, along with DSP Amrik Singh Minhas and SHO Satish Malhotra, led hundreds of students, who passed through the main roads of the sub-divisional town.

Mr Sher Singh Aggarwal was the lone representative of the jumbo-sized Sub-Divisional Peace Committee who joined Mr Sita Ram Sharma, Managing Director of the Sardar Patel Medical Institute of Nursing, Principals Jagsir Singh and Shashi Pal Gupta, Mr Darshan Lal Chugh, chief scout trainer, and a few other citizens in the march.

Mr Minhas said such rallies had been organised all over the district under a plan chalked out by the SSP to fight against drugs on the social front.


Physically challenged stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 19
Members of the district unit of the Physically Handicapped Association, Punjab, led by Mr Bhan Singh Bhaura, district president of the association, yesterday staged a dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner here in protest against the non-acceptance of their demands.

The protesters also wore black gowns and badges to express resentment against the state government’s alleged indifferent attitude towards the demands of the physically handicapped.

The demands include implementation of the Person With Disability Act, 1995, in Punjab, free education for handicapped students, free bus travelling, clearance of backlog of jobs meant for handicapped persons, increase in the pension and scholarship, etc.


Tribune Impact
Relief for farmers recommended
Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 19
Taking note of farmers plight of over 100 villagers of Nurpurbedi and Nangal subdivisions who have suffered losses due to Maize crop failure, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Alok Shekhar, today recommended compensation for them in a report sent to the Chief Secretary.

The decision to this effect was taken after the Chief Agricultural Officer submitted a report to the Deputy Commissioner that the farmers of these areas have suffered 50 to 75 per cent crop damages.

The Tribune had highlighted the farmers’ grievance on September 17 with headline “Maize crop failure in 100 villages”. Many debt-ridden farmers rued that they had suffered heavy losses due to crop failure allegedly due to supply of lower quality seeds to them by government agencies.

The Chief Agricultural Officer, Dr Harvinder Singh, who had conducted the survey of the effected areas, gave finding that inability of the seeds to adapt and high temperature of the area could have caused damages to the crop.

The total effected area was 4845 hectare and 386.75-quintal seeds of 849,879 Dhaniya hybrids were supplied to the farmers.

Giving details, Mr Shekhar said that the Managing Director of the Markfed, Mr Gurinder Singh Garewal, in a communication to the administration revealed that the seeds were supplied to the farmers after clearance from the agricultural department.

The company, which had supplied seeds, has an agreement with Markfed if the farmers would suffer crop damages due to poor quality of seeds then the company would pay their loses, he added.

The seeds were also supplied to the farmers of Ropar, Morinda, Kurali, Kharar but no complaint was received from farmers of these subdivisions, he said. 


1 arrested with 1 kg of opium
Our Correspondent

Abohar, September 19
The district police today nabbed a person with 1 kg of opium. He had recently been released on bail for similar offence after serving four years’ sentence.

The SSP, Mr Arpit Shukla, said Mr Sarabjit Singh, SHO, Muktsar, had in 1998 arrested Balbir Singh, a son of Vasudev Singh on the recovery of 1 kg of opium.

The accused was now on bail after spending four years in jail.

Today ASI Nirmal Singh of Mamdot police station intercepted a sky-blue TVS motor cycle (HR-24-H 8567) and on search seized 1 kg of opium from Balbir Singh. He was arrested under the NDPS Act.


3 booked for raping minor

Rajpura, September 19
The Rajpura police has booked three residents of Nanhera village on the charges of raping a minor girl of the village.

According to the police, the girl was on her way to the house of her grandfather on September 17 night when she was allegedly forcibly taken to the house of Parvinder Singh. There she was allegedly raped by two other persons — Gurpreet Singh and Rattan Singh — besides Parvinder.

The parents of the girl were reportedly out of station. When they returned yesterday, the girl narrated the incident to them. On their complaint the police registered a case. TNS


BEd colleges working without principals
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 19
About two dozen B.Ed colleges are running without regular principals, infrastructure and faculty members that exposed the standard of education in education colleges in the state.

Though the state government has relaxed norms for appointing principals and lecturers, the vacancies could not be filled so far.

It is learnt that many B.Ed colleges could not fill the posts of Principal for more than one year that raised the question mark on giving permission to start the colleges.

The sources said non-compliance of the norms set by the university and the state to run a B.Ed college was the main reason for unceremonious removal of Dr A.S. Dua, Dean Colleges.

The New Dean, Dr Mohinder Singh Dhillon, a former Principal of Khalsa College, succeeded Dr Dua with a view to provide quality education in the B.Ed colleges.

When contacted, Dr Dhillon said the university was committed to process all the cases pertaining to the B.Ed colleges under its jurisdiction. He said now there should not be any problem to recruit Principals for the management when the state government had given enough relaxation of qualification.

He said as per the new guidelines, the state government had allowed colleges to appoint Ph.D in any subject instead of Education. The percentage of numbers in M.A. had been reduced from 55 per cent to 50 per cent.

The Principals could be appointed without clearing the subject of Punjabi on a condition that they should pass the same subject by next year.

However, the owners of such colleges are sore over the stringent measures adopted by Guru Nanak Dev University.

In a communication, a Gurdaspur district based management of a B.Ed College said that most of the colleges were granted temporary affiliation by GNDU after receiving NOC from the Punjab government and recognition from National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) that the colleges have fulfilled all conditions relating to building, laboratories, equipment, library books, etc, except the appointment of Principals and lecturers.

It claimed that the colleges have been advertising such posts repeatedly but no eligible candidate was found .

Moreover, some of the candidates who were otherwise eligible had not studied Punjabi up to matric level.

The colleges also failed to find Net qualified lecturers. B.Ed colleges in Jammu and Kashmir have been benefiting, where NCTE is not required.


Law university set for start
Chander Parkash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 19
After getting over initial hiccups, the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL), the first of its kind in Punjab, is all set to formally start its first academic session from September 25. The arrangements for the same got an impetus after Dr Gurjeet Singh took over the charge as university’s first regular Vice-Chancellor recently.

Housed in the historical Mohindra Kothi on the Mall Road, the university is not going to produce lawyers in the usual manner like the universities dotting the country have been doing. The RGNUL will run a five-year Bachelor’s degree course in law to produce corporate lawyers. These lawyers would be experts in meeting the challenges posed by the post-WTO regime. They would also be eligible to get foreign fellowships.

In an exclusive interview to The Tribune, Dr Gurjeet Singh, spelled out his plans in connection with the university. He said the main thrust would be on the teaching faculty, practical training, library, research centres and faculty and student exchange programmes to produce lawyers of international standard.

The students and teachers of the university would have frequent interaction with retired and serving judges of the Supreme Court and high courts, leading lawyers of the country and experts in specialised fields to equip them with the latest.

The students would also be involved in moot courts, sent to district courts, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, non-governmental organisations, corporate law firms and the Delhi High Court for their internship.

A world-class library was being set up on the campus where all types of law books, bare acts, law journals and law reports would be made available to teachers and students. He said orders for different books and journals had already been placed. The students would be provided with the Internet facility in the library. A laboratory having 40 computers with lease line and the Internet facility had already been set up on the campus, he added.

“What we want is that our students should be all-rounders. They should be excellent researchers in law,” he said. He wants that the university became a centre for producing journalists exclusively for reporting proceedings of the Supreme Court and the high courts.

Dr Gurjeet Singh said the university would run research centres on the campus where students would undertake research on different subjects. He said there would be research centres on consumer law, right to information, environmental law, law and ethics for medicines, law of human rights, criminology, penology and victimology.

A close interaction with all leading law schools and university of national and international level would be a feature of the university. He said the university would be signing MoUs with a section of national and international institutes and organisations.

He said the university faculty would pick up the best matter on various legal topic from different books and journals available in the world and compile it in the form of books that would be provided to the students as study material. He said this would ensure the best study material to students in concise form.

The students would be bringing out a newsletter every month and then an annual issue with articles on different legal aspects. A gymnasium was being set up on the campus to make students health conscious so that they could develop a healthy mind.

Dr Gurjeet Singh pointed out that in the next few years, the university would start a distance education programme under which it would run courses on corporate laws, cyber laws, cyber ethics, financial laws and laws and ethics of medicine.

Although the university had been getting adequate grants so far, it would be able to produce excellent results only if provided with funds that had been promised to it by the Punjab Government, he added.


New recruitment rules for teachers soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
State Education Minister Partap Singh Bajwa has said all new recruitment of teachers will be purely based on merit. Speaking during the Assembly session here today, he said no test would be held to select teachers and there would be no marks for an interview. There was a proposal to select 10,000 teachers to fill vacant posts, he added.

Mr Bajwa said for teachers who would be recruited in near future rules were being framed, eliminating the provision of transfer for them. “While issuing an appointment letter, rules governing postings will be enlisted there in,” he added. Teachers seeking transfer would have to quit the job, he said, adding that the mode of recruitment of new teachers had not been finalised yet. “We would clinch this issue in a week or so.”

Already 9,000 teachers had been recruited in 5,060 schools, which were handed over to zila parishads, he said.

There was no posting of any teacher in as many as 716 government primary schools and 59 elementary schools in the state. Such schools were being run by sending teachers on deputation from other nearby schools on rotational basis.

Replying to a question raised by Mr Jeetmohinder Singh, Rural Development Minister Lal Singh said as many as 1,625 posts lying vacant in schools, which were under the control of zila parishads, would be filled soon.

Replying to a call attention notice with regard to the supply of contaminated eatables to students as a part of the mid-day meal scheme at Shahi Majra village in Mohali district, Mr Bajwa said the government had taken steps to ensure the supply of quality food to children in schools. The notice was moved by Mr Bir Devinder Singh.


College librarians seek confirmation of services
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 19
The Punjab College Librarians Association (PCLA) has expressed its resentment over unnecessary delay in clearance of the probation period and confirmation of the services of college cadre librarians (PES), who were recruited by the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) during 1997-98.

Mr Barjinder Pal Singh Dhiman, general secretary of the association, in a press note issued here today, said the librarians still continued to work on probation irrespective of the fact that they had completed two years of the probation period, which was mandatory under the service rules.

As per the Department of Personnel, Government of Punjab notification dated April 8, 1991, the concept of probation and confirmation get merged and the orders of confirmation of an employee should simultaneously follow when the orders regarding satisfactory completion of his probation period were passed.

Apart form this, the librarians were denied their annual increments and they were still working on the minimum of the basic pay of Rs 8,000 for the past eight years.

Due to non-payment of their annual increments, the librarians were facing financial hardships and thus losing a basic pay of Rs 2,200 plus allowances per month.

Mr Dhiman said out of 13 college cadre librarians recruited during 1997-99 the services of five librarians was yet to be confirmed.


March against polytechnic, ITI sale on Sept 23
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 19
The Punjab Polytechnic Staff Association (PPSA) and the ITI Association will organise a protest march towards the private residence of Chief Minister here on September 23.

Mr Gurbakshish Singh, president of the PPSA, in a press note issued here today, alleged that the Punjab Government had been making efforts to sell polytechnics and industrial training institutes to private societies.

He announced that the organisations would oppose the government move tooth and nail.

He said it was decided to launch an agitation to stop the government from handing over the institutes to societies.

He said students of the polytechnics and ITIs which would be handed over to private societies would join the stir.

He pointed out that the government had completed formalities, but the authorities had failed to explain how societies could run the institutes with the existing fee structure when the government had been finding it difficult to do so.

He said the government was trying to sell the property of such institutes, worth thousands of crores, to private parties at throwaway prices.

He said the government had been claiming that it was committed to provide technical education to the youths, but had been running away from its responsibility to provide technical education to enable them for self-employment.

He said the associations also condemned the role of the Punjab Technical Education Minister.


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