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Mid-day meal scheme a farce, allege teachers
Kangra, October 20
Resentment prevails among the teaching community here over the mid-day meal scheme, especially after being directed by the state government to provide more wholesome and nutritious mid-day meals to primary school students at Rs 1.51 per head per day.

Withdraw charge sheet, demand teachers
Shimla, October 20
The Himachal Pradesh University Teachers Welfare Association (HPUTWA) has demanded the withdrawal of the decision of the executive council to chargesheet senior functionaries, including certain teachers and officers.

Cong govt vindictive, alleges BJP
Shimla, October 20
The spokesman for the Himachal BJP and sitting MLA, Dr Rajiv Bindal, today said that the Congress government was acting with political vendetta and was not even willing to take constructive criticism.

Plea against clemency to Afzal
Mandi, October 20
Activists of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch today staged a protest march in the town and burnt the effigy of Afzal Guru convicted in the Parliament attack case and requested the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, not to give clemency in the case.

Strike by bank staff on Oct 27
Shimla, October 20
The employees and officers of various nationalised banks will observe a day's strike on October 27 to press for the acceptance their demand for one more option for pension and fresh recruitment to meet shortage of manpower.




 



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Mid-day meal scheme a farce, allege teachers
Our Correspondent

Kangra, October 20
Resentment prevails among the teaching community here over the mid-day meal scheme, especially after being directed by the state government to provide more wholesome and nutritious mid-day meals to primary school students at Rs 1.51 per head per day.

Teachers, on the condition of anonymity, said an enhancement of conversion cost per child per day from Rs 1.76 to Rs. 2.50 was a mere eye wash.

They said Rs 1.51 had been fixed as average ingredient cost per day per child, while Re 0.40 was to be used on fuel and Re 0.59 for giving honourarium to cooks or helpers.

They questioned the sustenance of the programme in view of escalating market price of ingredients.

They said they would be forced to pay from their own pockets to sustain the scheme.

Under the programme, teachers have been asked to provide food having 10.78 gm proteins and 470 average calories to each student every day. The teachers, however, claim that ingredients, which merely cost Rs 1.51, would in no way provide requisite calories and proteins.

They alleged that oil in the market cost Rs 58 per kg, whereas they were allocated Rs 52 for per kilogram of oil. Also, Rs 125 had been allocated for purchase of one kilogram of spices, whereas the market cost was Rs 180 per kg.

They further alleged that Rs 40 were being provided for purchase of per kilogram of pulses, whereas an average cost of pulses in the market was Rs 48 per kg.

As per the directions, children were to be provided with eggs or fruits once every week.

The teachers argued that an egg cost Rs 2.50 in addition to the fuel charges, whereas they were merely getting Rs 1.51 for each student.

They claimed that the scheme was becoming a burden on their pockets.

They said enhancement had only been made in the honourarium of cooks, which has been doubled from Rs 100 to Rs 200 per cook per school.

They sought an increase in the funds from the government or supply of raw material from cooperative societies.

They threatened to discontinue the programme if the government failed to intervene soon.

They also alleged unpaid salaries for the past three months. They said they had been demanding money from the BEO concerned but to no avail.

However, BEO sources said money had been disbursed to teachers.

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Withdraw charge sheet, demand teachers
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 20
The Himachal Pradesh University Teachers Welfare Association (HPUTWA) has demanded the withdrawal of the decision of the executive council to chargesheet senior functionaries, including certain teachers and officers.

In a statement issued here today, the HPUTWA threatened that in case the decision was not taken back, they would be forced to resort to direct action. “The hiring of accommodation due to paucity of space and persistent demand of the HPU employees was the need of the hour and the printing of the prospectus was done as per the laid-down procedure,” said Prof Sunil Gupta, secretary of the association.

He said the hiring of accommodation was done by following proper procedure. “The decision to chargesheet the employees has been taken at the behest of the ruling party to harass innocent persons on the lines of an earlier case of termination of three teachers and one non-teaching employee,” he said.

Prof Gupta said the charge sheet was to divert the attention of the general public from serious acts of omission and commission such as the PMT scam and conversion of senior faculty positions to accommodate henchmen of the ruling party.

He alleged that the wrongful regularisation of the unauthorised leave of Prof L.R. Verma had caused loss of lakhs of rupees to the university exchequer.

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Cong govt vindictive, alleges BJP
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 20
The spokesman for the Himachal BJP and sitting MLA, Dr Rajiv Bindal, today said that the Congress government was acting with political vendetta and was not even willing to take constructive criticism.

In a statement issued here, he said the statement given by three ministers in the Virbhadra government against a former Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, was very unfortunate. “It is surprising that neither the Chief Minister nor his ministers have the guts to reply to the allegations levelled by the BJP during the three-and-a-half-year Congress regime,” he said.

He said the issue of appointments of teachers being made in schools through the PTA raised by the BJP was very important as the government was benefiting its own people by ignoring deserving candidates.

The BJP leader said the government had failed to get any benefits from the Centre, be it the settling of the royalty issue or any new railway project for the state. “The state has suffered huge losses due to the failure of the Congress government in the state to get its share of 7.19 per cent from the neighbouring states,” he said.

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Plea against clemency to Afzal
Tribune News Service

Mandi, October 20
Activists of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch today staged a protest march in the town and burnt the effigy of Afzal Guru convicted in the Parliament attack case and requested the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, not to give clemency in the case.

The activists, included students from the BJP-supported ABVP and like-minded organisations. “The clemency to the convict will set a wrong precedent as the attack on Parliament is an attack on the country’s sovereignty and nation” .

The SJM leaders said that clemency in the case would amount to a great injustice to those who laid down their lives to defend Parliament during the attack, they claimed. “Everybody should come forward to join the protest. No body should defend the convict in the case”, they claimed.

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Strike by bank staff on Oct 27
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 20
The employees and officers of various nationalised banks will observe a day's strike on October 27 to press for the acceptance their demand for one more option for pension and fresh recruitment to meet shortage of manpower.

The other demands include implementation of the compassionate appointment scheme as per the bilateral discussions, immediate discontinuation of outsourcing and mergers and acquisition and safeguarding of trade union rights.

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