SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H I M A C H A L   P R A D E S H

SSSB cancels results of 4 examinations
Blames software for faulty evaluation
Mandi, November 3
The Subordinate Services Selection Board (SSSB), Hamirpur, which cancelled results of four different examinations yesterday, has blamed the goof in final results on a fault in software of the “computerized evaluation”. Candidates and their parents have raised serious doubts on the SSSB’s credibility and computerised evaluation process.

BJP chief poll: lobbying on
Shimla, November 3
Even though the BJP high command is keen on the unanimous election of the state BJP Chief rather than having to opt to voting, yet lobbying by both the Shanta Kumar and P.K. Dhumal factions is on as delegations of MLAs and staunch loyalists of either group are making rounds of central party leaders in Delhi.

SEZ in Nurpur approved
Dharamsala, November 3
The barren fields of Milwan in Nurpur sub-division of Kangra district will soon turn into the industrial hub of Himachal Pradesh as a special economic zone (SEZ) has been approved for the area, which is located close to the inter-state border with Punjab.

Exercise authority, CM tells PRIs
Shimla, November 3
Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, said that the Panchayati Raj Institutions should exercise their authority in a most democratic and humane manner and select beneficiaries under different programmes being implemented through them, rising above political consideration.






YOUR TOWN
Dharamsala
Mandi
Shimla
Solan


EARLIER STORIES



Employees confederation opposes extensions
Shimla, November 3
The Himachal Pradesh Employees Confederation has opposed the decision of the government to grant extension in service to favoured officers and alleged that the benefit was being showered on political considerations.

MLA lists instances of discrimination
Palampur, November 3
Mr Ravinder Thakur, BJP leader and MLA from Thural in this district yesterday charged the Virbhadra Singh government with extending stepmotherly treatment to the merged areas of Himachal Pradesh,

BJP hits out at Cong over Sonia’s visit
Dharamsala, November 3
The BJP here yesterday alleged that the visit of the AICC president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, had cost the state exchequer Rs 5 crore, even though it was supposed to be an event of the Congress party.

ABVP to oppose privatisation of education
Shimla, November 3
Giving a call for political change to bring about educational reforms, the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) today accused the UPA regime of creating divisions amongst the student community in the name of reservations.

10-year RI for raping minor
Solan, November 3
The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Pritam Singh, today sentenced a Nepalese youth, Mangal Singh, to 10-year rigorous imprisonment (RI) and a fine of Rs 20,000 for raping a four-and-a-half-year-old girl at Garog village in Solan tehsil. The judge further announced a sentence of one year RI if the convict failed to pay the fine.

 

Top



 

SSSB cancels results of 4 examinations
Blames software for faulty evaluation
Tribune News Service

Mandi, November 3
The Subordinate Services Selection Board (SSSB), Hamirpur, which cancelled results of four different examinations yesterday, has blamed the goof in final results on a fault in software of the “computerized evaluation”. Candidates and their parents have raised serious doubts on the SSSB’s credibility and computerised evaluation process. The candidates and parents rued that the SSSB’s recent goof in the final results would have serious consequences for the careers of hundreds of candidates, suffering due to a fault of the Board.

The sources told The Tribune that the SSSB had installed the software, prepared by a private computer company from outside the state, for the computerized evaluation of the results of the written objective-type tests for four different examinations- the police Sub-inspectors, fishery officers and inspectors, Excise and Taxation.

The board conducted the screening tests for these examinations on October 3 (Excise and taxation sub-inspectors), October 15 (fishery officers) and October 15 (police sub-inspectors, Evening Session) and September 3 (fishery officer, morning session) and declared results in the past two weeks of October.

In all results (copies of which are with The Tribune) declared by the SSSB the candidates whose roll numbers ended in the odd digit number made it to the interview, but the candidates whose roll numbers ended in the even digit including zero were wiped out in the examinations.

Though the board cancelled the results yesterday, but it has yet to take an action against the “private company”, set up the “faulty software that drew flak, casting serious doubts on the credibility of the SSSB’s screening process, rued candidates and parents here.

The board was found wanting in cross-checking the computerized evaluation of scores of each candidate, raising questions on the process of conducting the screening tests as the board does not bother to cross-check final results manually, alleged the candidates, who had appeared in the examinations.

But President, SSSB Mr Tashi Dawa, when contacted he said: “the results have been cancelled and the board is doing the fresh computerized evaluation of the results. The fault in the computerized evaluation software has been detected. We will declare the results in a couple of days”.

When asked why the results were not cross-checked manually, Mr Dawa said the numbers of candidates were very large and the screening tests as a standard practice were evaluated through the special computerized process of evaluation. “We have detected the mistake and cancelled the results”, he added.

Secretary, SSSB Mr Chandel said the board had hired the services of the experts and would look into the whole matter. “We can not disclose name of the software company for reasons of secrecy”, he added.

Top

 

BJP chief poll: lobbying on
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 3
Even though the BJP high command is keen on the unanimous election of the state BJP Chief rather than having to opt to voting, yet lobbying by both the Shanta Kumar and P.K. Dhumal factions is on as delegations of MLAs and staunch loyalists of either group are making rounds of central party leaders in Delhi.

A delegation comprising die-hard loyalists of Shanta Kumar like Mr Ramesh Dhwala, Mr Harinarain Saini, both MLAs, Mr Kishan Kapoor, Mr Vipin Parmar and Mr Karamdev Dharmani recently met central leaders like Mr Sanjay Joshi, All-India General Secretary (Organisation), Mr Sahib Singh Verma, in charge of Himachal and National Electoral Officer, Mr O.P. Kohli. They backed the candidature of former minister and Speaker, Mr Radha Raman Shastri.

Prior to this, a delegation comprising about 10 MLAs from the Dhumal camp including Mr I.D. Dhiman, Mr Satpal Satti, Mr Ravinder Ravi, Mr Baldev Sharma, Dr Rajiv Bindal, Mr Sukh Ram Chaudhary, Mr Bikram Singh and Mr Virender Kanwar met central leaders. They supported the candidature of former Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal or Mr Kripal Parmar, a former MP.

Taking note of the bickering and discord within the party which is split right till the grass roots level, the high command has already given indications that under such circumstances, it would not want another Jwalamukhi-like episode, where the two factions virtually came to blows. With the Assembly elections due in March 2008, capturing the top party post in the state is crucial for both factions.

Under such circumstances, the name of Mr Jai Ram Thakur, MLA from Mandi district, who has a strong organisational background and is not too involved in factional politics is doing the rounds.

He has remained active in the ABVP, BJP’s youth wing of which he was the state chief and later became the BJP chief in Mandi district. He is currently the state Vice-President of the party. The name of Mr J.P. Nadda, former Health Minister too is doing the rounds.

With the high command not too keen to make Mr Dhumal the state chief as it will intensify infighting, the faction led by the former Chief Minister is backing Mr Kripal Parmar.

On the other hand, the Shanta camp is in favour of Mr Radha Raman Shastri, Mr Khushi Ram Balnatah or Mr Karamdev Dharmani. The state Party Chief Mr Suresh Bhardwaj is backing Mr Ramswaroop for the top post.

According to party sources, the high command had received a large number of election-related complaints from both warring factions during the organisation elections and has not taken too kindly to the kind of lobbying and delegations from both camps making rounds of the central leaders. The elections for the post of state president are likely to be held on November 9 and 10.

Top

 

SEZ in Nurpur approved
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, November 3
The barren fields of Milwan in Nurpur sub-division of Kangra district will soon turn into the industrial hub of Himachal Pradesh as a special economic zone (SEZ) has been approved for the area, which is located close to the inter-state border with Punjab.

Sources in the Industries Department told The Tribune that a multi-product SEZ would be set up by a Delhi-based company, DS Constructions, in Milwan, even though the exact location is yet to be finalised.

“The rough area of the SEZ is likely to be 500 hectares, which would have a whole range of quality infrastructure in the form of a school and a stadium and other basic amenities,” said Mr N.K. Lath, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Nurpur.

Deputy Commissioner Bharat Khera said the proposed location of the SEZ was also crucial as it would be very close to Punjab’s Pathankot district. “It would be a multi-product SEZ and would be developed as per the norms of the Central and state government. The details are yet to be worked out,” he said.

Mr Lath added that though there was only narrow-gauge rail links in the rest of the state, the proposed location of the SEZ did have broad gauge connectivity with Pathankot. Besides, the National Highway No. 1 also runs through the Milan area in Indora tehsil.

This would make sure that the terrain of the state does not pose a problem for the promotion of industry, he said.

“The tender for developing the SEZ has been awarded to Delhi-based DS Constructions and they would set up the infrastructure with aid from the Central and state governments. The land proposed for the SEZ is mostly barren or has single-crop fields,” he said.

Sources in the Industries Department said that the project is likely to focus on encouraging food processing, handicrafts, IT, BPO, and pharmaceuticals. A medi-city might also come up in the SEZ, once it becomes functional, which would go a long way in promoting medical tourism.

Top

 

Exercise authority, CM tells PRIs
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 3
Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, said that the Panchayati Raj Institutions should exercise their authority in a most democratic and humane manner and select beneficiaries under different programmes being implemented through them, rising above political consideration.

Addressing a public meeting at Chopal today, he said his government had delegated supervisory powers to the Panchayati Raj Institutions and all village-level functionaries had been brought under their control. They had the power to monitor their functioning so as to ensure that they achieved the given targets.

The government functionaries at the village level had been made accountable towards respective gram panchayats so that the factual position about development activities could be ascertained.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said his government was committed to providing the social security pension to every eligible person and about 74,000 new persons had been given the benefit over the past three years. The number of pensioners had increased to 2,12,250 persons and the government was spending Rs 54 crore annually on pensions.

He said that urban development department would come out with a plan to provide sewerage and a marketing complex for Chopal. He announced upgradation of Government Primary School, Dhot, to middle school.

Earlier, the Chief Minister launched the e-governance facility at the office of the local Subdivisional Magistrate.

Top

 

Employees confederation opposes extensions

Shimla, November 3
The Himachal Pradesh Employees Confederation has opposed the decision of the government to grant extension in service to favoured officers and alleged that the benefit was being showered on political considerations.

The confederation said the extensions were not only against the recruitment and promotion rules but also affected the career of other official. He said the government should make public the reasons for granting extension in service. It also demoralised the staff and put unnecessary burden on the state exchequer. On the other hand, the government was not filling the vacant posts.

More importantly, the officers who enjoyed such benefits could never function impartially. The government should adopt a uniform policy and instead of granting selective extensions increase the retirement age to 60. — TNS

Top

 

MLA lists instances of discrimination
Our Correspondent

Palampur, November 3
Mr Ravinder Thakur, BJP leader and MLA from Thural in this district yesterday charged the Virbhadra Singh government with extending
stepmotherly treatment to the merged areas of Himachal Pradesh,

particularly Kangra district. He said the present Congress government had failed to create regional as well as caste balances and adopting a pick-and-choose policy while allocating funds under the state and Union government-sponsored schemes.

Mr Thakur said the BJP had been raising this issue for the past four years and the remarks of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, during her visit to Dharamsala last week, stating that no discrimination would be done to the merged areas of the state in future had vindicated the stand of the BJP and the allegation had been proved true.

Addressing a new conference here, Mr Thakur alleged it was evident from the fact that in the Bharat Nirman Yojna, which was a

major agency for development in the state, 196 schemes were sanctioned for Shimla district alone, whereas the other 11 districts could get a meagre share of 90 schemes. Likewise, in the allotment of funds for the Irrigation and Public Health schemes, Hamirpur, Una and Kangra districts were discriminated against as compared to Shimla district. He said even in Shimla district, too, only a few constituencies were given priority in the allotment of funds. Mr Thakur said he had raised these issues in the Assembly but could not get a satisfactory reply from the government.

Top

 

BJP hits out at Cong over Sonia’s visit
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, November 3
The BJP here yesterday alleged that the visit of the AICC president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, had cost the state exchequer Rs 5 crore, even though it was supposed to be an event of the Congress party.

Mr Vipin Parmar, BJP's Kangra president, and Mr Ashwani Sharma, state executive committee member, alleged that government employees were made to assist the rally preparations and even educational institutions in the area had to declare a holiday on November 30, the day of the rally.

Mr Parmar said Ms Sonia Gandhi 'acknowledged' that the government was discriminating against Kangra by giving it 'step-motherly' treatment.

The BJP leader and former Tourism Minister Kishan Kapoor also alleged that the government machinery was misused in organising the public meeting of UPA president Sonia Gandhi.

Top

 

ABVP to oppose privatisation of education
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 3
Giving a call for political change to bring about educational reforms, the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) today accused the UPA regime of creating divisions amongst the student community in the name of reservations.

Addressing a massive ABVP student rally at the local ice skating rink, the National General Secretary of the ABVP, Mr K.N. Raghunandan said that the government’s proposal of privatising education and opening of foreign universities would be opposed.

Students from all over the state attended the rally which had been organised by the state unit of the ABVP in protest against corruption in education and unemployment.

“Under no circumstances will the ABVP allow opening of foreign universities as they can be allowed only to serve and not for making profit,” said Mr Raghunandan. Opposing privatisation of education, he said that the first and foremost duty of state governments was to strengthen basic facilities in educational institutions of the state.

He said that the ABVP would launch a nationwide agitation if the government tried to provide reservation to minorities in education and employment as an appeasement policy.

“Our demand for having a central law for admission to medical and engineering colleges so that an end can be put to the exploitation of students has not been met,” he said.

Mr Raghunanadan said that as compared to Rs 7,700 being spent on every student in 1991, the Manmohan Singh government had brought it down to Rs 5,500, which has affected the quality of education. “The state government which is talking of opening foreign universities should first improve the facilities in government educational institutions,” he said.

He said the state government must take effective steps to tackle the problem of the unemployed whose number had crossed 13 lakh in Himachal Pradesh.

Some other ABVP leaders including the national Vice-President, Mr Nagesh Thakur, also spoke.

Top

 

10-year RI for raping minor
Our Correspondent

Solan, November 3
The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Pritam Singh, today sentenced a Nepalese youth, Mangal Singh, to 10-year rigorous imprisonment (RI) and a fine of Rs 20,000 for raping a four-and-a-half-year-old girl at Garog village in Solan tehsil. The judge further announced a sentence of one year RI if the convict failed to pay the fine.

The crime was committed in November, 2005, when she was alone in the room of the accused. He lived as a tenant in the neighbourhood.

Top

 





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |