P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Badal’s power(ful) sop
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 22
Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, while interacting with industrialists at Mandi Gobindgarh today, declared that they would be allowed to generate power at their own cost or purchase it from other states.

The government and the PSEB would facilitate and cooperate with them, as the previous Congress government did not made any effort to generate even single unit of power, which led to power crisis in the state. He declared that within five years, the state would not only become self- reliant, but also there would be surplus power as three new power plants were being commissioned and one of them was in the advance stage.

He said that the government had also become share holder in the power generation units being set up by other states and Punjab would get power from them.

Badal came here to preside over the Bhagwan Parshuram Jyanti celebrations organised by the Brahmin Sabha, Punjab. The sabha conferred upon him "Dharma Rakshak" award.

Badal assured the traders that as promised during elections, he was going to constitute three boards for them with in 10 days and members of these boards would form rules and regulations themselves.

Reacting to the demand of the traders that officials of the Excise and Taxation, Central Excise and other departments unnecessary harassed them, he declared that if they promised to increase the tax revenue by 25 per cent, he was ready to withdraw all officers.

Later, addressing a huge gathering at the Bhagwan Parshuram Jyanti celebrations, he said Brahmins had always given a lead to the society and worked for the well-being of every section of society.

He highlighted the role played by Brahmins in forming the SAD-BJP government and said that it was for the first time that the alliance won all seats in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar.

He announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for Parshuram Dharmshala being constructed at Mandi Gobindgarh. He also announced a heritage status for "Khati" village near Phagwara, which is the "Tapo Asthan" of Bhagwan Parshuram.


Badal gets 10 days to resolve Trident row
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 22
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today sought 10 days’ time from farmer unions for settling the Trident land acquisition issue by taking up the matter with owners of the Trident group, for whom the Amarinder government had acquired 376 acres of farmers’ land in Dhaula, Fatehgarh Chhanna and Sangherra villages near Barnala.

Badal sought the time at a meeting held today between him and the representatives of the farmer unions. The meeting was also attended by Punjab industries minister Manoranjan Kalia, MP from Sangrur Sukhdev Dhindsa, BKU (Ugrahan) state president Joginder Singh Ugrahan and leaders of the Kisan Sangharsh Committee and the Zamin Bachao Sangharsh Committee.

General secretary of the BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan said after 10 days it would be the final round of talks with the Chief Minister. He said the BKU (Ugrahan) would convene an emergency meeting to chalk out further course of action and announce agitation programme, in case the final round of talks between the Chief Minister and the farmer unions failed.

Kokri Kalan said regarding the Trident land acquisition case, the demand of the BKU (Ugrahan) and other farmer unions was scrapping of notification, issued by the Amarinder government to acquire 376 acres for the group, and returning the land to their owners.


Patiala Gharana losing ground
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 22
The famous art form associated with Patiala is losing ground in the place where it reached its zenith. The khyal form of Indian classical singing, popularly known as Patiala Gharana, is not finding any takers in the city these days. Due to lack of government support, no one teaches Patiala Gharana form of classical music.

Dr Surinder Kapila, an expert of Patiala Gharana art form, talking to The Tribune, lamented the fact that there was no proper historical record of the development of the gharana. She is a disciple of Manuwar Ali Khan. Earlier, the North Zone Cultural Centre used to organise teaching classes on the Patiala Gharana music form. However, now even they have stopped taking interest in it.

Patiala Gharana was founded by Ustad Jasae Khan during the rule of Maharaja Mohinder Singh. He was succeeded by Ditae Khan, whose son Kalu Khan became the royal singer during the rule of Maharaja Rajinder Singh of Patiala.

The exponents of Patiala Gharana mixed styles of various gharanas to develop their form of singing. Ustad Bare Ghulam Ali Khan became the most known singer of Patiala Gharana. Ghulam Ali and Lata Mangeshkar also took training from the exponents of Patiala Gharana.

The singers from the gharana are famous worldwide. However, the commercialisation of music and lack of government support, the art form is likely to get lost in time, Dr Kapila expressed the apprehension.

In Patiala, that was the seat of form of music, there is not even a single music school of the Patiala Gharana form of Indian classical music.

The previous government had organised heritage festivals at Patiala. However, these festival helped in preserving the Patiala Gharana heritage. The government should establish a museum to document the heritage of Patiala Gharana. Museums have been established in Lucknow for preserving the heritage of Lucknow Gharana.

A research seat can also be established in the local university. The government will have to provide support to sustain the art that is associated with Patiala.


Dhillon to continue as SAD youth chief
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Sharanjit Singh Dhillon may continue to be the chief of the youth wing of the SAD for the time being, despite some subtle and obvious suggestions made during a youth convention here today, seeking his replacement.

Acting president of the SAD, Sukhbir Badal, said though Dhillon had expressed willingness to step down, he had rejected the offer as he wanted him to continue.

Despite Sukhbir reposing faith and confidence in Dhillon’s leadership, leaders like Bikram Singh Majithia and Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal did not mince words to speak the obvious although in a subtle manner.

Majithia remarked, rather jokingly, that although he (Dhillon) was 20 years older than him, still he found himself to be young at heart.

“While my beard has started turning grey his (Dhillon’s) continues to remain black,” he remarked.

Corroborating him was another senior leader Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal who suggested that Dhillon deserved to be accommodated in the parent body. “Dhillon was fit to be in the SAD as he had proved his mettle in the youth wing of the party,” he said. The contribution of the youth wing towards the party’s victory could not be ignored, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Sukhbir Badal said the youth would be given due recognition and the officers had been asked to ensure that the youth Akali workers were not ignored.


A bulb change : Saving Rs 250 cr
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Worried over the rising cost of power purchase that virtually cripples the state’s economy, the Punjab government has hit upon a plan to save a couple of hundred crores by just using new technology power-saving bulbs and tubes in its offices.

Also, the use of such bulbs will be mandatory for farmers with tubewell connections in the state.

Now, the shift is towards lower power-consuming CFL bulbs. The state will make it mandatory to use such bulbs and tubes in all offices of the state government. CFL bulbs will also replace the traditional bulbs emitting yellow light used by farmers at tubewells. The power conservation plan has to be put in place and there is no other option, said a senior functionary.

The annual saving on account of this “bulb change” will be Rs 250 crore to Rs 300 crore, estimate officials. The one-time cost to the government will be much less than the financial advantage. Farmers will be asked to carry out the change from their own pocket. A CFL bulb consumes anything between 11 watt and 24 watt while, in comparison, the traditional bulbs use power as per their marked wattage. There is no decrease in light emission when a CFL bulb is used.

The Punjab state electricity board has estimated that the cost of power purchase will be close to Rs 2,400 crore this year. The average cost of each unit of purchased power and supply further is about Rs 5.10 while the average recovery is just Rs 3. 23 per unit. This means about Rs 1.90 per unit is being lost for supplying power to industry, residential areas and farmers. The last segment is being supplied free power. The gap will be too huge to bridge for the state.

The PSEB had calculated that there are about 14 lakh tubewells and farmers also install a bulb using the free power. The tendency is to install 200 watt bulbs. The purpose of the bulb is to be able to see from a distance if power is being supplied or not. On an average about 2 lakh to 3 lakh bulbs are switched on at any given point of time across Punjab during the paddy season. Since all this results in the consumption of a colossal amount of power, the farmers have been told to ensure a bulb change.


Punjabi film festival opened
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 22
The first-ever international Punjabi film festival, dedicated in the memory of late Punjabi film superstar and film maker Varinder, started here today. A large number of Punjabi artists from the Bollywood and Punjab are likely to participate in the ambitious four-day film festival ‘Sur-Sanjh’ which was inaugurated by Deputy Commissioner K.S. Pannu.

The festival would highlight the 60-long years of Punjabi films. A seminar to bring out the contribution of the Punjabi Cinema would be held on April 23 where leading cinema journalists and film critics besides noted film directors would discuss the achievements of Punjabi cinema in the promotion of tradition and culture of the state.

A few films like ‘Nanak Naam Jahaj Hai’, ‘Chann Pardesi’, ‘Shaheed-e-Mohabbat Buta Singh’, ‘Jagga Daku’, ‘Mahoul Theek Hai’, ‘Sarpanch’, ‘Shaheed Udham Singh’ and ‘Jee Ayaan Nu’ and ‘Waris Shah’ produced and directed by Gurdas Mann have made the Punjabi cinema goers proud.

The Bollywood artists likely to participate in the four-day festival are Dharmendar, Deepti Bhatnagar, Preeti Sapru, Tej Sapru, Raj Babbar, Dara Singh, Guggu Gill, Kim Verma, Bhagwant Mann besides film makers, producers, directors, musicians and singers.


Mangal to sensitise youth on drug addiction
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, April 22
Alarmed over the rise in drug addiction cases in the state, noted Bollywood actor, producer and director Mangal Dhillon today released two-hour-long documentary “Sarvnash” at a special preview for mediapersons here today.

He has decided to launch a project to sensitise the masses, especially the youth, about the economic and social problems posed by the intoxicants in different forms. He said he planned to start a crusade not only to bring the drug addicts back to the mainstream but also to give them a ray of hope that “there is a chance to redeem their life through determination and spiritual course”.

Dhillon, who has been involved in making films for the past many years, said “Sarvnash” could play an important role in creating awareness among the masses. He said a team of experts prepared the theme of the documentary after analysing the impact of the drugs on the youth and the common man in the rural areas. Blaming the political set up for the rise in drug addiction cases, he that the government had been systematically ignoring the threat to the state prosperity.

He said he had written hundreds of letters to various educational institutes and panchayats seeking their support in his crusade against the drugs. He would also meet the Chief Minister in this regard.


Move to set up govt rehab centres
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 22
The Punjab police has sent a proposal to the state government for setting up infrastructure for treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts in Amritsar.

As of now, there is no government set-up to help drug addicts lead a normal life in Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur districts, even though an increasing number of the youth are getting hooked on to drugs.

Considering that it is difficult for the youth to get over the habit of taking drug, the police authorities are of the view that the solution lies in setting up rehabilitation centres having trained staff and the latest infrastructure either in the government sector or in partnership with private parties.

According to the proposal, there is also need to study the trends in drug addiction. The findings will not only give an insight on the extent of prevalence, but also bring out any new area the police needs to focus on.

Talking to The Tribune, Rajpal Minna, IG (Border Range) said the police department had already launched a crackdown on drug paddlers and a concerted effort is being made to breach the supply line of narcotics.

Most of those involved in the trade were locals and it was important to take steps to bring the youth back into the social fold, he said.


MPs cross over to Pak
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 22
A seven-member delegation of Indian parliamentarians led by Rajya Sabha member Nirmla Deshpande today crossed over to Pakistan to take part in the two-day conference organised by the Indo-Pak forum of parliamentarian s to be organised in Islamabad from tomorrow.

The others who accompanied her were Abdul Rehman Shaheen (National Conference) from Baramula, Sudhangshu Seal (CPM) from Kolkata, E.M. Sudharsana Natchiappan, Jayanti Lal Bharot (BJP), Sayyad Aziz Pasha (CPI), Alka Kashatriya (Congress).

Deshpande while talking to mediapersons said their Pakistani counterpart had also established a forum of parliamentarians in Pakistan and would announce its formal launch during the conference.


MP for Adampur airbase use as civilian airport
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Punjab Rajya Sabha member Naresh Gujral has impressed upon defence minister the need to allow the Adampur airbase to be used as a civilian airport on the lines of Chandigarh airport as this would benefit people of the Doaba region.

The defence minister assured the MP that he would get the matter examined expeditiously. Naresh Gujral also met union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and requested him to raise the MSP of wheat to the same level as the price of wheat being imported from Pakistan. He appraised the minister of the dismal condition of agriculturists in Punjab.

Gujral also met the union minister for urban development Jaipal Reddy and urged him to provide funds for Punjab's large, medium and small towns under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission. Reddy promised all help provided Punjab fulfilled the conditions laid out under the scheme, City Development Plan (CDP).

Gujral has asked the municipal commissioner, Jalandhar, to expedite the CDP. 


Blood donors’ directory on the cards
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 22
About 205 persons donated blood at a camp organised by the local Sant Nirankari Mandal in association with the Blood Donors and Healthcare Society at Nirankari Bhawan here today. Civil surgeon S.K. Bansal inaugurated the camp.

Blood transfusion officer (BTO), Civil Hospital, Inderjit Singla said a large number of devotees of the Nirankari mission donated the blood. He said besides this, blood grouping of about 450 persons was also confirmed.

Chairman of the Blood Donors and Health Care Society said the names of the blood donors and of those whose blood grouping was done had been registered for preparing a blood donors’ directory besides preparing their cards.


Photographer wins first prize
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 22
Shamsher Singh Dhillon, a city photographer, who works for a Punjabi daily also, has been awarded first prize in the international photo competition jointly organised by Punjabi Sath, Lambra, Manjki Punjabi Sath, European Punjabi Sath and Asia Vision.

As per the results declared by these organisations here today, Dhillon has been awarded the first prize for his photo depicting a farmers talking with migrant labourers for hiring them for agriculture purpose at the local railway station. Others photographers who managed to win prizes in this competition, included Subash Parihar, who won the second prize and Gurnaib Sajan, who was given award of excellence.


Officer gets notice for not providing information
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The Punjab State Information Commission has issued a show-cause notice to the public information officer (PIO) in the office of the secretary to the Punjab government (PWD, B&R), for failing to provide information under the provisions of the Right to Information Act,2005.

The commission on April 16 directed the officer to file an affidavit within a week explaining why penalty should not be imposed upon him for not supplying the information sought by complainant K.R. Vashist, a former SE (PWD, B&R).

The PIO was told on February 6 to deliver the copies of the annual confidential reports (ACRs) for the years 1992-93 and 1997-98 to Vashist who had applied for the same. Incidentally, the PIO had initially maintained that the ACRs were not traceable.

However, the PIO later sought exemption from the disclosure of the ACRs on the ground that this was personal information as defined under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. He also averred that the issue as to whether the ACRs could be disclosed was pending before a three-member Bench of the commission and a final decision was awaited.

The PIO’s argument was contested by the complainant who said the claim to exemption was an afterthought and it was not open to the PIO to take a fresh plea now.

The complainant further asserted that the commission’s order on February 6 had given a finality to the direction of the case which could not be revoked now.

Concurring with the complainant’s assertion, the commission said the PIO’s plea for exemption could not be entertained at a stage when it had already issued an order directing the PIO to divulge the information sought from him.


Right to info: Sangrur officer in the dock
Vishal Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Taking a serious note of denial of information by Sangrur’s district revenue officer, the Punjab State Information Commission has asked the state government to take disciplinary action against him. A penalty of Rs 25,000 has also been imposed on the erring officer.

Bhupinderjit Singh, public information officer-cum-district revenue officer, Sangrur, was approached by Mohd Riaz on September 21, 2006, with a request for information pertaining to an inquiry conducted by the district magistrate, Sangrur, indicting sub inspector Kamaljit Singh.

Riaz had sought the certified copy of the inquiry report and details of the action taken by the SSP, Sangrur, against the sub inspector following the magistrate’s orders.

When the revenue officer didn’t supply the information sought within 30 days as mandated by the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, Mohd Riaz complained to the information commission on November 17 last year, seeking necessary action against the officer.

The commission sent the complaint to the officer, seeking his reply within 15 days. However, when no response was received, a notice was issued to the officer to appear, either personally or through an authorised representative, before the commission on January 11 this year.

The revenue officer’s authorised representative appeared before the commission and pleaded that the complainant’s request letter was not available with his office at which a copy of the application was given to him.

The representative also assured the commission that the information sought would be provided within 10 days. The case was later adjourned to February 8 so as to confirm if the said assurance had been fulfilled.

On the said date, the complainant informed the commission that he had still not been provided with any information. Incidentally, neither the revenue officer nor his representative were present at the hearing.

The commission then directed the revenue officer to personally appear before it on March 1 and explain the reasons for the laxity in supplying the information even after the lapse of five months. The officer ignored the orders and did not appear before it.

At this, the commission issued a show cause notice to him asking as to why a penalty should not be imposed on him. The officer ignored the notice too which led the commission to impose a penalty of Rs 25,000, the maximum that can be imposed under the provisions of the RTI Act, on him.

The commission, in its order of April 20, directed the Punjab government to realise the said penalty from the erring officer’s salary if he failed to deposit it with the treasury within 10 days from the date of order. It also recommended strong disciplinary action against the officer for denying the information sought without any reasonable cause.


‘White gold revolution’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 22
Punjab stands on the cusp of “white gold revolution”, thanks to the adoption of Village Cluster Adoption Programme launched in the cotton belt of Malwa by the Vardhaman-led consortium of spinning mills and banks. The programme was launched in 2003-2004 with the cooperation of Punjab Agricultural University.

The programme that has covered 50 villages of the Malwa belt has brought prosperity and a ray of hope for the cotton growers of the region. The success of the programme can be gauged from the fact that the average cotton yield has been registered as 965 kg lint per hectare.


415 packets of medicine seized from quack
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 22
In an effort to check the sale of medicines and treatment to patients by unauthorised persons, Sangrur drug inspector Sanjiv Kumar and Bhawanigarh hospital SMO A.S. Azad today raided a dharamshala at Bhawanigarh, about 22 km from here, and seized a huge quantity of “purrian” (folded pieces of paper containing doses of medicine in powder form) from a person, who allegedly runs a “dawakhana” at Bathinda and comes every Sunday to Bhawanigarh to give these to patients.

Sanjiv Kumar told The Tribune that residents of Bhawanigarh had been making complaints for the past some time to the SMO that a person came to Bhawanigarh every Sunday and treated patients for joint pains and asthmatic problems with steroids. The SMO brought the matter to the notice of Sangrur civil surgeon S.K. Bansal, who directed him and the SMO to conduct the raid, he added.

The drug inspector further said when they raided the dharmashala, Jagmohan Sharma was giving medicines to patients. Jagmohan Sharma told them that he had no licence but his father was a registered medical practitioner (RMP), he added. They seized 415 packets from him.

The drug inspector also said as they had seized the entire stock and taken samples of all three types of medicines. The samples would now be sent for testing to a government analyst at Chandigarh.

Besides this, the seized medicines would be produced in a court at Sangrur tomorrow.


Student dies in road accident
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 22
Navneet Kumar (15), a Class X student of a local school, died on the spot while his friend Sahil Sharma sustained injuries in a road mishap that took place at the Traffic lights chowk here yesterday. Both were returning to their homes after attending a marriage.

A large number of local residents, led by municipal councillor Bhagwant Singh, blocked the traffic at the Mahavir chowk near the civil hospital today.

They alleged that both boys were hit by a motor cycle but the police was not registering the case in this regard. However, they lifted the dharna when the police agreed to register a case. Sahil Sharma was admitted to the local civil hospital in a serious condition.


Woman burnt to death, husband arrested
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 22
Kamaljit Kaur, a resident of Daburji falling under Sultanwind police station, was allegedly burnt to death by her in-laws for dowry. The police has arrested Balkar Singh, husband of the deceased, while Balwinder Kaur and Bhan Singh, parents-in-law of the bride, was absconding.

Nishan Singh, father of the girl and resident of Kapurthala, in his complaint lodged with the police, alleged that his daughter was married to Balkar Singh about five years back. He said since the marriage, the in-laws had been torturing her for bringing more dowry. He alleged that yesterday he got the information that her daughter was burnt to death. The police has registered a case under Section 304-B of the IPC.


18-yr-old girl killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 22
Eighteen-yr-old Shikha, a resident Lehal colony, was killed in an accident near the bus stand this evening.

The deceased was riding pillion with her brother on a motor cycle when it got wedged between an auto-rickshaw and a truck.

She came off the motor cycle and fell on the road. Her head was crushed under the rear tyre of the truck, killing her on the spot.

The truck driver fled the scene, leaving behind the vehicle.

The parents of the deceased, who reached the scene after the accident, said Shikha was going along with her brother to a local temple to pay her obeisance.

The police reached the scene and impounded truck. A case for causing death due to negligent driving has been registered against the driver of the truck.

The body of the victim was sent for a post-mortem examination to the Government Rajindra Hospital.


Son kills drunk father, held
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 22
Fed up with the habit of consuming liquor, a son killed his father here today. The police has arrested accused Gurpreet (19), a resident of Suchander village near here.

According to information, the deceased Harjinder Singh (45) was drunk and beating up his wife Darshan Kaur and daughter Rupinder Kaur. When Gurpreet resisted this, the enrage father reportedly brought a double- barrel gun from the house. Gurpreet hit his father with iron rod. Harjinder died on the spot.


Kauni home science college to be restarted
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Kauni (Muktsar), April 22
In a significant move, which can give a boost to the educational setup in this one of the backward districts of Punjab, the state government has decided to restart Kauni-based home science college by introducing bachelor of education (B.Ed) course and nursing and paramedical course classes in it from the current academic year.

Not only this, the state government has also decided to introduce job-oriented courses in this college in a phased manner to promote education among girls.

A decision to this effect was taken by finance minister Manpreet Badal after a meeting with high-level officials, including R.C. Sobti, vice-chancellor, Panjab University, and deputy commissioner Vikas Garg, here on Friday.

Manpreet, who has been touring various parts of Muktsar district to upgrade education facilities, said Kauni-based home science college would be handed over to Panjab University, Chandigarh, and the state government would take a formal decision in this connection shortly.

The home science college in this village, which was opened in 1978-79 by the then state government, made a mark in the field of education within a few years of its operation. However, it was closed by the authorities about six years ago for the reasons best known to them.

Manpreet Badal said in the home science college, new job-oriented courses, including fashion designing, IELTS and biotech, would be introduced in a phased manner. The high-level school, which was being run in the complex of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), would be upgraded to the plus II level from the next academic session. All seven posts of teacher, which were lying vacant in the school, would also be filled very soon.

The finance minister said about an amount of Rs 1 crore was needed to introduce job-oriented courses in the local college. He added that the Punjab government would be arranging the required funds without any delay. He added that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had already released Rs 25 lakh for this college.

He pointed out that 70 per cent of the total seats of different courses, which would be run in this college, would be reserved for girl students. Apart from it, 13 per cent seats would be reserved for the girl students belonging to this village.

Meanwhile, vice-chancellor Sobti pointed out that principal of the college would be appointed by Panjab University.


Panjab varsity to start MBA programme at Ludhiana centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Panjab University is all set to start a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programme at its regional centre in Ludhiana. Following a nod by the university’s syndicate and senate, the programme will commence from the forthcoming session with 60 seats to begin with.

An inspection committee comprising the university’s MBA faculty members has been constituted by Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti to determine the feasibility of starting of the course in Ludhiana. The committee members are going to visit the university’s regional centre this week to ensure that there are enough number of classrooms and other infrastructural facilities, including accommodation and library etc available for starting the course.

Sources added that candidates who cleared CAT 2006 and had applied for admission to the University Business School (UBS) but were unable to make it to the list of successful candidates here will be considered for admission to the university’s Ludhiana centre.

“The UBS has shortlisted and interviewed almost eight times the number of seats that it offers. There are hundreds of students who have not made it to the final list and these will now be eligible for admission to these 60 additional seats in Ludhiana,” said a member of the inspection committee.

The member added that the infrastructure available in Ludhiana was satisfactory and the faculty was being arranged. Other than employing new teachers, UBS faculty members will also be taking classes in Ludhiana. The Ludhiana MBA School will have its share of reserved category seats and NRI quota seats.

The university’s regional centre is located on the Panjab University Extension Library campus in Ludhiana and the university is running an LLB and BA LLB programmes at this centre.

The MBA programme here has been envisaged following a demand from the industrial town residents. PU sources said the matter would come up for discussion during the next meeting of the syndicate on April 28.


Principal denied benefits by former college
Tribune News Service

Mukerian, April 22
The management of a Pathankot-based government-aided college and a former lecturer of the same institution have locked horns over the release of gratuity and other benefits of the latter.

Rakesh Mohan Sharma, who served as lecturer of English with SRPAAB College, Pathankot, for the past 22 years, later joined as principal of Swami Premanand Mahavidyalya, Mukerian. Though he had joined Mukerian college through the proper channel, yet the management of SRPAAB College was not willing to release his benefits, including gratuity and other arrears.

Sharma further claimed that though the DPI (Colleges), Punjab, and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, had directed the management of SRPAAB College to release his benefits as per university calendar’s rule but the management refused to budge.

However, principal of SRPAAB College S.K. Sood claimed that as per the university calendar, an employee was entitled for gratuity and other benefits from an institute from where he either retires or dies. “ Rakesh Mohan Sharma did not retire from our college. Instead, he left the college to join another as a principal,” he added.


Move to recruit ad hoc teachers flayed
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 22
Teachers have condemned the government move to appoint the faculty on an ad hoc basis in medical colleges. They are suffering due to lack of promotional avenues.

The posts of principal in all the three medical colleges of the state have been filled on an ad hoc basis. At Patiala, the director medical education and research has been given the additional charge of the principal of the college.

The posts of medical superintendent in the colleges have also been filled on ad hoc. The head of the department of various faculties have been given additional charge of medical superintendents.

The department promotional committee meeting in the department of medical education has not been held since 2001.

Minister for medical education and research Tikshan Sud, when contacted, said the government had asked the Punjab Public Service Commission to recruit 90 teachers. The commission had started the process to recruit 26 teachers.


State plans heritage hotels
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Punjab now wants to follow the heritage tourism model adopted successfully by Rajasthan and Gujarat.

The state government has decided to convert ancient, historical heritage havelis and monuments into heritage hotels. The use of old forts and havelis was done in Kerala, Gujarat and Rajasthan, said Jagjit Puri, secretary, tourism and cultural affairs.

Puri said all havelis and forts which were more than 100- year old would be converted into hotels. This would not only attract tourists from within and outside India but also highlight and depict many aspects of the ancient cultural heritage of Punjab.


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