P U N J A B    S T O R I E S

Atta-Dal Survey
Are 39 pc families really poor? 
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 4
Believe it or not but it is on record that more than one-third of those living in the town are poor as their annual income is only Rs 30,000 as per the survey completed by the local municipal council for the purpose of providing atta-dal at cheap rates by the state government.

Though the town is considered as a city of middle class people but as per the survey, carried out for atta-dal scheme, it has more than 39 per cent poor families with annual income of up to Rs 30,000. As per the voters’ lists, there are 15,601 families in 21 wards of the town, of which 5,897 have been identified as the proposed beneficiaries for the atta-dal scheme.

Besides this, there are 688 such families in the town whose names do not figure in the voters’ lists. Out of these 688 families, 498 have been identified as proposed beneficiaries for the atta-dal scheme. Thus, out of total 16, 289 families, living in the town, 6, 395 (39.25 per cent) have been identified as proposed beneficiaries of the scheme.

Talking to The Tribune here today executive officer of the local municipal council Ranbir Singh said the survey for atta-dal scheme was completed yesterday. He further said the list of proposed beneficiaries had been displayed on the council’s notice board for inviting objections and claims. People could raise their claims till May 7 while objections would be considered up to May 14. After that, the final list of the beneficiaries would be released by the deputy commissioner, he added.

Vice-president of the district unit of the BJP Jatinder Kalra was astonished to find such a huge number (39.25 per cent) of identified beneficiaries for the atta-dal scheme in the survey. He today exhorted the Punjab government to order random sampling of the identified beneficiaries through out the state, so that the benefits of the scheme could reach the needy and poor people. 


Every second family earns less than Rs 100 per day 
Raj Sadosh
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 4
Every second family in this ‘most-prosperous’ subdivision of the Ferozepore district now earns less than Rs 100 per day. This is what the atta-dal survey indicates. Abohar had earlier been identified as ‘cotton-rich belt’ and referred in numerous brochures as ‘Manchester of Punjab’. The subdivision has highest per capita income and had highest contribution in sales and income tax collection.

The subdivision figured in the list of top 10 towns in North India in terms of drug trafficking and other crime during past few years. The area also tops in fruit growing till today. There are more than 30,000 vehicles registered in this subdivision, including a fleet of luxury cars, and thus leads in the district. More than 10,000 people here had valid firearms.

But the recent atta-dal survey indicates that 41,000 out of 85,000 families listed in this subdivision as per the last Census were having an annual income of less than Rs 30,000 thus are eligible for getting atta and dal at subsidised rates.

However, the SDM rejected the survey carried out by government schoolteachers and employees of other departments and has asked for its revision. Employees of the revenue department have been directed to visit each village and urban ward to personally verify the claims. Interestingly, 95 per cent of residents of localities on the outskirts of the subdivision had stated that they were living below the poverty line.


More power for Punjab 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 4
In a major relief to combat the on-going power crisis, Punjab will get 395 MW of additional power from May to September from the un-allotted central quota that constitutes 25 per cent of the un-allotted power.

This was announced by union minister for power Sushil Kumar Shinde after a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here today.

Punjab would also get 500 MW of power from the 4,000 MW production from the Lara Thermal Power Project in Chhattisgarh, which is likely to be completed next year.

Badal asked the minister to allocate the committed 1,500 MW through any on-going NTPC project. Shinde assured the Chief Minister that the proposal would be considered on a priority basis.

On the scheme of rural electrification, Shinde said the Centre would extend the benefit of this scheme to equip the rural households in Punjab with domestic power supply. A proposal to this effect would be sent by Punjab State Electricity Board to Rural Electrification Corporation.

This scheme would primarily benefit the economically weaker segments of the rural population. An estimated 10 per cent of rural households were still un-electrified in the state.

On the issue of setting up of mini hydel projects with a power potential of 64 MW at different locations on Bhakra Main Line, Shinde assured the Chief Minister of resolving the issue at the earliest.


VB’s dilemma — where to question Amarinder
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
With the return of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to Punjab, the state vigilance bureau (VB), faces a unique challenge --- where to question him so as to prevent the exercise from turning into a media ‘tamasha’ in the era of live telecasts by television channels and vast coverage in newspapers.

Well-placed sources in the Punjab government said the VB had a few locations in mind to question Amarinder Singh, who was booked about a month ago for his alleged involvement in the Ludhiana City Centre scam, but nothing has been finalised as yet.

The Punjab government is aware that keeping the location a secret would not be possible. Amarinder loyalists would want to cash in on the opportunity and themselves invite the media and use the platform to raise slogans and address impromptu press conferences. A live telecast by television crews and a battery of press photographers and reporters would turn the questioning more into an Amarinder show, opined a senior official in the ruling SAD-BJP combine.

Official sources ruled out the possibility of a VB team questioning Amarinder Singh at his Moti Bagh Palace residence in Patiala. The palace lawns can accommodate a few hundred people and with TV camera whirring away, it can create a sympathy wave for Amarinder Singh. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal does not want this to happen. Amarinder Singh during his tenure as Chief Minister had publically claimed to have nailed Badal in corruption cases. Political circles believe this may have created a sympathy wave. Being a seasoned politician, Badal does not want that to happen now in case of Amarinder.

Legally, the VB can question the former Chief Minister in any adjoining vigilance police station from his residence in Patiala. Normally, a large revenue district has one vigilance police station. In some cases two small districts have a common one.

So the VB has three options --- vigilance police stations at Patiala, Ludhiana and Mohali. Sources said Patiala being the home town of Amarinder Singh and a traditional Congress stronghold, will see a huge gathering while the questioning is on. Mohali has its own drawbacks. It is close to Chandigarh which is the biggest media centre north of Delhi. A huge media contingent will descend on the scene. The last plausible option is Ludhiana.

Punjab Government officials said crowds or media opinion were of least concern, but the fact that Amarinder was questioned for cases of corruption would be pushed to the background in news reports. Legally, the investigating team of the VB will not be able to address any media gathering or reveal anything that may transpire at the questioning. Or what did Amarinder reveal. Whatever the VB will reveal about the questioning and its details, if any, will be unofficial. With a such scenario, the government is looking for an opportune moment rather than rush through with the process.


Rajasthan CM visits Harike headworks
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, May 4
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia, along with a large number of ministers and senior officials of the Rajasthan government, today visited Harike and Hussaniwala headworks to determine the condition of the feeder canals supplying water to Rajasthan.

She inspected Rajasthan feeder, besides the Sirhind and Gang canals, and discussed the deteriorating condition of the feeder canals with state irrigation minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon. She said the irrigational water being supplied to Rajasthan as per its share was not reaching up to the tailends because of seepage and siltation in these feeder canals.

She was accompanied by Rajasthan irrigation minister Sawar Lal Jatt, PWD minister Rajinder Singh Rathore, agriculture minister Surinder Pal Singh, CPS (public relations and information) Bhawani Singh Rajawant besides chairman of the Indira Gandhi Nahar Pariyogna Ram Pratap, principal secretary (Irrigation) S.N. Thanvi and other senior irrigation department officials from Punjab and Rajasthan.

She said immediate steps were required to improve the condition of feeding canals so that the total water being released to Rajasthan reaches there without much wastage. According to information, 11,200 cusecs of water was being supplied to Rajasthan daily from Rajasthan feeder alone whereas Bikaner and Sirhind feeders were supplying 2,800 cusecs and 1,500 cusecs, respectively.

She also took up the issue of the water supplied to Rajasthan being contaminated and polluted with Sekhon. Sekhon told her that pollutants were entering the Sutlej through Buddha nallah in Ludhiana for which instructions had already been given to the PPCB to install water treatment plant so that effluents from the nallah did not pollute the Sutlej water.


SGPC takes its fight to Haryana against separate panel 
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
The SGPC has decided to take its fight against a separate gurdwara committee for Haryana by deciding to organise a series of protests in the state itself. The protests will start on May 6 from Karnal and conclude on May 15 at Pehowa, the home constituency of agriculture minister H.S.Chatha, one of the staunch supporters for a separate committee. The protests will jointly be organised by the SGPC and the SAD (B) and likely to be addressed by its acting president Sukhbir Badal.

SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, who is recuperating at Hero Dayanand Medical College after having undergone spinal surgery, said this would be followed by the World Sikh Council meeting to be held in the first week of July at Kurukshetra.

The Congress was conspiring to divide the Sikhs, Makkar alleged. The SGPC was the apex body of the Sikhs, their highest parliament. It did not merely represent the Sikhs of Punjab or Haryana, but the entire country and even the world. Besides, the 170 elected members, the SGPC had 15 'co-opted' members from other states, he pointed out. There was a proposal to co-opt 10 more members from foreign countries, he added.

There are seven gurdwaras in the state, which come under the direct control of the SGPC, and 18 others which are under its indirect control. Except for a few gurdwaras there, most of these are dependent on the SGPC, he said. "They think that we are taking away their money, but they should see the income of the gurdwaras there”, he asserted.

He regretted that the Congress government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda was playing sectarian politics by dividing the Sikhs while ignoring the SGPC’s contribution towards that state.The SGPC was setting up a 100-bedded hospital along with a medical college at Shahabad besides running a number of charitable hospitals there. The government there did not grant permission for the medical college on time that delayed its take off, he claimed.


Three CPSs attack Amarinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s allegations of vendetta politics against the ruling SAD-BJP alliance have come in for criticism from three chief parliamentary secretaries (CPS) of Punjab.

In a joint statement, Des Raj Dhugga, Jagdip Nakai and Nand Lal alleged that the former Chief Minister was a deserter who had fled when the party lost the elections in the state. Now on his return, he had raised the bogey of political vendetta to sidestep his embarrassment.

They questioned the repeated cry of “political vendetta” by Amarinder Singh, a man who during his five-year tenure had mobilised all legal and illegal resources with the sole purpose of putting Akalis behind bars and teaching the Badal family a lesson.

In the statement they said Amarinder Singh, who during his rule never bothered to meet his ministers and MLAs, had no moral right to shed “crocodile tears” for those whom he never cared to meet during his tenure as Chief Minister.

The three chief parliamentary secretaries reminded Amarinder Singh of the “reign of terror” unleashed by him during the SGPC elections, with the aim of preventing the members of the SGPC from electing their president. The call of vendetta at least does not behove a person who made a mockery of the law with the single aim of suppressing Akalis, they said.

They said that Amarinder Singh and his coterie picked and rewarded those police officers who excelled in registering false cases against Akali workers. 


Kar seva at Golden Temple from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 4
Devotees and heads of various religious organisations will take part in the kar seva to construct lintels of corridors of the Golden Temple from
May 6.

In a press statement issued here today, Harbhajan Singh, manager, Golden Temple, said the job of carrying out kar seva of the corridors of the parikarma had been assigned to Baba Harbans Singh Dilli Wale and work had begun on April 4.

He said the kar seva would at gurdwara Manji Sahib and Akal Takht jathedar Giani Joginder Singh and additional head granthi of the Golden Temple Giani Mohan Singh would take part in the kar seva.



System of carrying night soil to end by 2009
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 4
The system of carrying night soil on the head will end in India by March 2009, and not December 2007, the previous deadline. Chairperson of National Commission for Safai Karamcharis Santosh Chaudhary stated this, adding that Rs 750 crore had been earmarked in the current budget to generate employment for about 3.5 lakh people involved in that occupation.

Chaudhary, who addressed a press conference here today, said the deadline to eradicate the evil was deferred when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was made aware of the progress made by the authorities concerned in this connection.

She said the system had continued in the states that had not been able to fully utilise the money given by the Centre for the purpose.

Expressing concern over the fact that safai karamcharis were not being provided facilities in cognizance with the job hazards, she said the commission had left no stone unturned in ensuring that all types of facilities are given to them.

She said the Centre had decided to impart free education to the children of safai karamcharis and they would also be provided with dwelling units. Apart from this, the services of all those safai karamcharis who had been working as part-time employees would be regularised, she added.

New posts of sweepers would be created to meet the rising demand and the commission would try and ensure that sweepers be given Rs 50,000 as interest-free loan from the government on the occasion of their daughter’s marriage, she said.

She also advocated the removal of the contract system in the sanitation department. Chaudhary met the representatives of various sweepers’ union and heard their grievances. She directed the district officials to solve the problems of safai karamcharis without any further delay.


Physically challenged not harassed: SGPC
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 4
The SGPC has made special arrangements keeping in mind the convenience of physically challenged devotees who come to offer obeisance at the Golden Temple.

SGPC sources, however, claimed that they had never denied entry to any handicapped person wanting to offer prayers at the sanctum sanctorum as wheel chairs and other possible arrangements were in place at the entrance of the temple complex so that no one returned without visiting the holy shrine.

An Australian couple, Tom Simpson and his handicapped wife Beverly, had been denied the entry to the shrine which had caused great dismay to them. Simpson had mentioned his shock and dismay to Daya Singh in Australia about this unsavoury episode which had left him greatly anguished. According to Simpson his wife Beverly suffered from weak veins in legs and feet and had to be bandaged to avoid swelling. The sewadars at Golden Temple allegedly stopped her from entering the shrine with bandaged feet.

Taken aback by a news item appearing in a section of Press, the secretary of SGPC Dalmegh Singh yesterday not only expressed ignorance about this particular incident but also pointed out that the parikarma sewadars had been instructed to provide special care to all physically challenged persons visiting the shrine. He said a special group of sewadars with wheel chairs was deputed round-the-clock and all entry points would facilitate and help such persons.

Citing the case of a handicapped Venezuelan Ambassador to India, who had visited Golden Temple a few months ago, the SGPC sources revealed that special arrangements were made by the staff who lifted him up on their shoulders, after properly washing his feet, till the parikarma. He was later taken around the sanctum sanctorum in a wheel chair. 


Tanker blocks traffic

Pathankot, May 4
Traffic on the busy Jalandhar-Pathankot-Jammu highway was disrupted for over 17 hours after an LPG tanker developed a fault and obstructed the highway near Damtal, near here, last evening. Traffic was restored after cranes removed the tanker from the highway this morning.

The Jammu-bound tanker developed a snag in its clutch plates while ascending the Damtal hills around 6.30 pm on Thursday. The driver then failed to negotiate a turn, following which the vehicle (HR-38-6848) got stuck on the highway, thereby blocking it completely.

While the long-route vehicles had to take alternate routes, local motorists and commuters opted for link roads through nearby villages. — TNS


Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 4
The following have been elected office-bearers of the Sanatan Dharam Sabha: president--Lal Chand; senior vice-president--Ravinder Dhir; vice-presidents--Bhupesh Aggarwal and Anil Bajaj; general secretary--Vijay Mohan Gupta; secretary--Narinder Goyal; finance secretary—Rajinder Jindal; and press secretary--Arvind Gupta.


Ramdev lashes out at health minister
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 4
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev today lashed at the union minister for health, Ramdoss. In an exclusive interview with The Tribune Ramdev said the health minister had lost mental balance. “I would advise him to adopt yoga to retain his mental health”.

He was reacting to an inquiry marked against his ayurvedic pharmacy by the Uttaranchal government on the directions of the Union government. The Uttaranchal government has ordered an inquiry into the alleged production of ‘putarjevika’ medicine in Ramdev’s pharmacy. The medicine allegedly helps women deliver male children.

Ramdev said the medicine in question was an ayurvedic drug for treatment of infertility among women. “If the government wanted any inquiry regarding the drug then it should have referred the matter to the ayurvedic department. The union minister instead marked it to director, health, despite the fact that he had no concern with the ayurveda.

“This clearly illustrates that the union minister for health has ordered the inquiry with ulterior motives. It is strange that while many anti-nationals and terrorists are roaming freely in the country the Union government has been trying target me time and again. The 5 lakh crore allopathic industry in the country is behind the conspiracy being hatched to defame me. More and more people in the country are now taking to yoga and leaving allopathic medicine. This was leading to losses for allopathic industry and they are reacting against me through the union minister for health”, he alleged.

He also added that he was ready to face any kind of inquiry.

Ramdev who has been organising a six-day yoga camp at Patiala said he would urge the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to introduce yoga in schools of the state. This would help children in attaining good health. The Chief Minister has already proposed to open a yog university in the state. 


Rebel SGPC secretary sacked
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 4
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) executive today dismissed the rebel secretary Raghbir Singh on charges of indiscipline.The sub-committee of the SGPC had recommended the dismissal after a meeting held here yesterday.

Avtar Singh Makkar,president,SGPC, in a statement to the press here,said he was dismissed due to alleged irregularities commited by him, false propaganda against the SGPC and contesting the Assembly elections against the rules of the committee. He said Raghubir had been given a number of chances to present his case, but he failed to come up before the sub-committee which then recommended his termination with immediate effect.

The dismissed secretary had served legal notices to the SGPC president and other officer-bearers for indulging in misappropriation of gurdwara funds and had filed a number of cases in the local Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission and the Punjab and Haryana High Court.


Civic body officials to file property list
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
In a bid to bring about transparency, the Punjab government today issued instructions relating to the furnishing of property details by officials of municipal bodies in the state.

Minister for local government Manoranjan Kalia issued instructions that all officials above the rank of SDO would be required to furnish annual details of their immoveable property.



Kala Singhya’s dark tales - second gang rape in 3 months
After Satya Devi, 18-yr-old girl sexually assaulted 
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Kala Singhya, the sleepy village in the vicinity of Kapurthala, is again in the eye of a storm. Already in news for the rape of 40-year-old Satya Devi, the village woke up to the distressing news of an 18-year-old girl’s gang rape today.

This is the second incident of gang rape in Kala Singhya in less than three months. Satya was assaulted on February 23, while Reema (name changed), the latest victim, was rescued yesterday after having endured three days of sexual brutalization by five men from the village. All the accused including Sandeep, Manga, Pinda and Sukha have been arrested and remanded in judicial custody. Incidentally, except for one, all of them are unemployed.

Reema, for her part, is devastated. An orphan with no extended family to support her, she had been living off alms for the past many months. Mostly, she lived at Nakodar. It was only about six days ago, that she came to Kala Singhya to get her injured foot treated.

Today she told Kavita Singh of Punjab Human Rights Organization: “Someone advised me to come here to get a foot massage. My foot was paining badly and I couldn’t tolerate the pain. So I came here. One day the village sarpanch warned me to return. He said it was not safe here. He even gave me Rs 50 for bus ticket.”

But safety was not to be. On May 1 when Reema was resting at Kala Singhya bus stand, she was accosted by Sandeep, who proposed marriage to her. In her statement to sub inspector Surinder Singh of police station Sadar, Kapurthala, Pooja said, “He said he would marry me and asked me to accompany him and his friend Manga to a gurdwara.”

But instead of taking Reema to Gurdwara Tammi Saheb, they took her to a nearby dera where she was kept for three days and allegedly raped by five men. Sandeep and Manga, the FIR states, were joined by owner of the dera Pinda and two of his accomplices.

“After sexually torturing me for three days, they gave me Rs 50 and asked me to return to Nakodar. They accompanied me to the bus stand where the police had put up a barricade. I refused to go. It was then that the police intervened,” the girl stated. SI Surinder Singh told The Tribune today that the accused were immediately arrested, while the girl was taken to Kapurthala civil hospital for a medical test. Tomorrow she will be taken for oxification test to confirm the age. At present she is in safe custody of Kapurthala police.


Cheated by travel agent, youth ends life

Hoshiarpur, May 4
A youth of Sarangwal village of this district died at local civil hospital today. He was admitted yesterday evening after he consumed some poisonous substance.

According to the police sources, a so called travel agent Tejinder Singh, alias Mangi, of Kukran village, Garhshankar, allegedly took Rs 6.75 lakh from Mohinder Singh of Sarangwal village for sending his son Paramjit Singh to Spain about one-and-a-half years ago. Instead of sending him to Spain, the said travel agent sent him to some other country.

After getting maltreated there, Paramjit somehow returned to India with the help of Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, president of the Lok Bhalai Party, who arranged Rs 60,000 for Paramjit’s air ticket. — OC



Pbi varsity campus row touches new low
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 4
Taking their mode of agitation to a new low the members of the joint action committee, seeking the removal of vice-chancellor Swaran Singh Boparai today took a donkey through the university campus.

They labeled the donkey as the vice-chancellor and took it through the entire campus with the students standing in corridors. The security personal of the university and police present at the spot remained mute spectators.

The protesters carried on with their activities for more than three hours, raising slogans against the VC and demanding his removal. They ended their protest in front of the office of VC, who was not in his office today.

The VC, when contacted, said, “I have come to know about the developments at the campus today. One of the spectators to the event called me up and said he could not decide as to which one was the real donkey, the agitators, which included university professors, and were stooping to such low levels or the poor animal. I cannot say anything more than that.”

Meanwhile, the Dr Baltej Singh Mann, prof and head of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur National Integration Chair in the university, has written to the chancellor cum governor against the VC and director PR of the university Baldev Singh Sandhu.

In the letter, a copy of which was provided to newsmen, Mann alleged that activities of the VC and the director PR had put a stigma on his thirty-year carrier and damaged his reputation. He urged the governor to intervene and get him the permission to visit abroad. He had been protesting against the denial of permission to him and his wife by the VC for visiting America and Canada to meet his son and in-laws.

Mann has already filed a defamation suite against the VC and director PR of the university. His wife has also filed a petition before the women’s commission alleging mental harassment by the university administration.

The VC said Mann had been reacting in an unprofessional manner. He was an employee of the university. The dean (academic affairs) had directed Mann to produce the names of his sponsors for visiting aboard. Instead of providing the details asked by a responsible university official, Dr Mann was trying to divert attention from the issue.

Earlier, the VC had maintained that the permission to go abroad was denied to Dr Mann and his wife because they were trying to get the sponsorship by using their links with the sponsors in universities aboard.

Meanwhile, the VC has cancelled his visits abroad to collect donations due to pandemonium at the campus that has been prevailing since the new government took over.


New PAU VC to focus on raising farm growth
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
New vice-chancellor of PAU Manjit Singh Kang will focus on increasing agricultural growth, productivity and diversification.

Talking to The Tribune, Kang today said increase in productivity was an immediate requirement to remove stagnation in the agricultural sector.

"I will focus on raising the growth of the agricultural sector to 5 per cent", he said in reply to a question. The sector had been growing at a snail's pace for the past several years in the state.

Speaking on the important issue of diversification in agriculture, Kang said: “It is a key area. I am aware that the water table is going down because of the transplantation of paddy in a large area. Hence, there is need to reduce the acreage under this crop." And there should be delayed transplantation of paddy, say after June 20, to bring down the consumption of water for this crop. Moreover, alternative systems were available and these could be tried.

Kang said that maize was a good alternative. The crop consumed less water. “I am told some good varieties of maize have already been released. Other alternatives can also be considered."

He said there was no law to prevent farmers from going in for the early transplantation of paddy. Our job was to educate farmers against early transplantation. “We will convey our concerns with regard to paddy to the policy makers. They will take the final decisions", he said.

Kang is aware of the problem of indebtedness faced by farmers. And then there were other social issues related to the farm sector, he said.

Asked about the fall in the productivity of wheat by 3 to 4 quintals this year, Kang said he had seen reports to this effect. “I will review the programme of plant breeding with the scientists concerned of PAU on Tuesday. After that I will be able to speak on this issue more elaborately. However, I along with the commerce secretary of India visited the PAU plant breeding museum and came across a large number of varieties produced by PAU", he said.

“We need to develop varieties of wheat which can withstand frequent variations in the temperature. Because of climatic factors and changes in the weather, the production level is affected. We will analyse the available varieties critically and come out with improved ones which can adjust to the variations in the weather conditions", he said. 


GND varsity takes over Mukandpur college
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 4
In a significant development, Guru Nanak Dev University has decided to take over Amardeep Singh Shergill (ASS) Memorial College, Mukandpur, (Nawanshahr district) with a view to promoting education in the educationally backward and remote rural areas especially in the Doaba region.

The university syndicate here took this decision today. The university adopted this prestigious college of Doaba on the request of the Amardeep Shergill Memorial Trust.

Vice-Chancellor Jai Rup Singh said the college was built in 1994. It had more than 20 acres of land. Rural students studying in this college belongrd to OBCs while more than 60 per cent of them were girls.

He told the syndicate members that the University would provide international standard infrastructural facilities and would also introduce need-based vocational and professional courses to meet the educational requirements of Doaba region.

The syndicate also accorded its approval to ink memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bureau of Police Research and Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi. The university would also enter into an agreement with the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, for promoting cooperation in education and academic research in the focused areas of life sciences and human genetics.

The syndicate approved the promotion of Dr Renu Bala, Reader in Sanskrit, Dr Manmohan Singh Gill, Reader in Sociology and Dr Shashi Bala, Reader in Guru Nanak Studies, as Professors under Career Advancement Scheme. It has also approved the Assured Career Progression Scheme of 4-9-14 for its non-teaching officers on the pattern of Punjab Government.

The meeting also approved the request of Dr Autar Singh Dhesi, former Professor of Punjab School of Economics for instituting an annual memorial lecture at the Guru Nanak Dev University in memory of his grandfather on “Decian Heritage-Mahan Singh Dhesi Lecture”. 


Computer teachers up in arms
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, May 4
Up in arms against the government for adopting an indiscriminate behaviour towards them, members of the Computer Teachers Union, Punjab, organised protest rallies in different subdivisions of the district today.

The protesting teachers raised anti-government slogans and criticised the state government.

The union has been demanding the regularisation of computer teachers appointed on contract basis and full grade as per their qualifications.

The protestors have submitted their memorandum to the subdivisional magistrates in Gurdaspur, Pathankot and Batala.


Roll numbers sent to candidates

Amritsar, May 4
The semester examinations of Guru Nanak Dev University will commence from May 7. The university has despatched roll numbers to all eligible candidates.

According to Prof B.R. Batra, Professor in charge (Exams), those colleges and departments, which have not receive the roll numbers of candidates so far, should immediately contact the semester branch of the university on May 5 and 6 from 9 am to 3 pm. He further asked the candidates that for getting duplicate roll numbers they should bring one attested passport size photograph and other relevant documents. — TNS


Rural students do Punjabi varsity proud
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 4
The rural and under-privileged students, getting their education in various streams of B.Tech (Engineering) at the Yadavindra College of Engineering, Talwandi Sabo, have done themselves and Punjabi University proud by doing well in their first semester examinations, the vice-chancellor of Punjabi University, Swarn Singh Boparai, said here today.

Over 90 per cent students, with 70 per cent pass percentage, came out with flying colours, passing B.Tech examinations in Electronics and Communication, Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering with first division. While 6 per cent of them scored marks above 80 per cent.

Significantly, education of these students has been funded by Punjabi University, under the ‘Golden Heart Scholarship Scheme’, with donations collected from various beneficent institutions and individual donors from India and abroad by the university.

Boparai said this was done to award a clear advantage to the poorest segment of the rural youth, belonging to the most backward belt of Punjab.

Their splendid performance has enhanced the chances of Yadavindra College of Engineering getting shaped into the first rural University, the Draft Act, which has already been approved by the cabinet of previous state government and is now awaiting the approval of the state assembly, he further added.


Computer workshop at Akal Academy
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 4
A computer workshop was organised at Akal Academy at Reetkheri here today. This workshop was attended by computer teachers of 22 Akal academies.

Dr Khem Singh Gill, chairman of the academies, inaugurated the camp. Resource persons, Dr Maninder Singh and Dr Prateek Bhatia, both senior lecturers in the department of computer science, Thapar University, Patiala, and Dr Kanwaljeet Singh, director of computer centre, Punjabi University, Patiala, imparted requisite knowledge to the participants through lectures and demonstrations.

Dr Maninder Singh discussed the advantages of Internet and disadvantages of the pirated software. The tiny tots of the academy presented a show on this occasion.


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