C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S




Industrialist held on rape charge
Victim says he promised her job
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The Chandigarh Police today arrested 58-year-old Narinder Singh, director of Ludhiana-based Frontier Cycle Industries, for allegedly raping a 24-year-old Ropar resident on the pretext of getting her a job.

Belonging to one of the rich and well-known families of Ludhiana, Narinder Singh’s family was in the news last year for the kidnapping and subsequent killing of his nephew Vikramjit Singh.

SHO of the Sector 34 police Station inspector Prem Kumar Chauhan said the girl alleged that the accused called her to his Sector 34 (first floor) residence this afternoon and raped her.

He also threatened her with dire consequences if she informed anyone about the incident. A case of rape and criminal intimidation under Sections 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

The victim and the accused both were sent for medical examination to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital. The police said the victim reached the police station at 3 pm along with her friend and lodged a complaint.

She said one of her friends had given her the contact number of Narinder Singh, saying that he was a “helpful man.” Two weeks ago, she called Narinder Singh on his phone, requesting him to get her a job. She met him in Ludhiana. She was told to meet him again in his Chandigarh office.

She came to the city and stayed with a friend at Sector 23.This morning she rang up Narinder. He asked her to meet him near the Sector 23 gurdwara. However, he called her up again summoning her to his residence. She alleged that there he raped her.

Talking to mediapersons at the police station, the victim said Narinder had promised to get her a job in Spice. He had given her recommendation letters for the same. He also promised to get her a government job.

Narinder Singh, on the other hand, said he had been “trapped”. He said the victim had contacted him some weeks ago and met him in a restaurant at Samrala.

“I gave her a recommendation letter for a job in Spice. But she kept calling me up, insisting on meeting me in Chandigarh to thank me. I agreed and whatever happened was with her consent. Now she is alleging rape,” he said.

Narinder Singh is married and has two sons.

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Apartment rules: To be or not to be
Sanjeev Singh Bariana and
Pradeep Sharma

  • Standing counsel wants apartment rules in case of commercial property only.
  • Public opinion to decide the issue
  • Roads will be overcrowded, ecology hurt and services hit, say critics

Chandigarh, May 28
The administration has left the decision on allowing homes into apartments to city residents. The standing counsel for the UT administration has already expressed his opinion against such a move.

He has argued that this would mean bigger buildings, pressure on services, increase in traffic and a sea change in the basic character of the city.

Sources said the counsel was in favour of allowing apartment rules in commercial areas alone. A group of prominent residents had approached Sonia Gandhi, chairperson of the UPA, saying that the apartments would have a negative impact - roads would be overcrowded, ecology hurt and services adversely affected. The administration referred the matter to the standing counsel.

While the administration continues to be undecided, the living quarters in the city have already undergone a change with thousands opting for sale of property through the sale of shares.

Under the rules on sale of property through shares, the administration is faced with scores of property deals stuck in legal wrangles. "In case of sale of share, the property is often owned by more than two persons, who end up in court on ownership rights of specific portions in the building", a senior officer said.

Under the apartment rules, if the area of the plot opting for apartments is less than 1400 sq yards, the owners can go in for construction of one apartment on each floor. In case the area is more, the owners is allowed to construct two apartments on each floor.

Under the apartment Act, each dwelling unit needs to have a parking space for two cars each for each apartment within the apartment area. In case of sale through share, there is no mention of parking space for new owners.

Following the drafting of the apartment rules, approximately eight properties in the UT were allowed to construct apartments and work was near completion on a majority of projects. These include properties in Sectors 16-A, 19, 27-B, 40-B and 9. Approximately, nine cases of conversion into apartments pertaining to properties in Sectors 8, 9 and 32. are pending with the administration. — TNS

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GPA agony

Chandigarh, May 28
Even as the administration flip-flops on the apartment Act, regularising sale/purchase on general power of attorney (GPA) in group housing societies seems to be nowhere on its agenda.

This would go a long way in the implementation of the Act in Phase III (Sectors 48 to 52) of the city where hundreds of apartments have been sold on GPA.

"This would make property transactions hassle-free, besides getting huge revenue for the exchequer," RP Malhotra, president of NGO Samadhaan, told the Chandigarh Tribune today.

A transparent system for the transfer of coop society flats was the need of the hour, he argued.

In the absence of regularisation of sale transactions through GPA, legal disputes were common. This also led to exclusion of GPA-holders from the management of the house building societies.

The administration had introduced substitute members in cooperative housing societies last year after the Tribune had launched a sustained campaign in its favour. Despite certain flaws in the substitution policy, it has given some relief to hundreds of society members. — TNS

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CBSE Class X result today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The result of CBSE Class X examination, held in March 2007, for Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh will be declared tomorrow.

The result sheets and marks statements will be sent to outstation schools while schools of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula can collect the result sheets from the CBSE Regional Office, Sector 5, Panchkula.

Government schools of Chandigarh can collect the result sheets from the office of the DEO, Chandigarh, tomorrow morning.

All Airtel customers will be able to get their result on their mobile sets by dialling 56461and typing ‘CBSE 10th’ and entering the roll number.

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Unsafe Bridge
PSHRO asks govt to file report
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
With an inspection report declaring the Zirakpur-Panchkula bridge unsafe, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission has directed the Punjab government to file an action-taken report on August 8.

The commission had earlier ordered an on-the-spot inspection of the bridge following a complaint by advocate Arvind Thakur regarding the condition of the bridge and the resultant chaos.

The inspection was carried out by secretary of the commission B.Sarkar, who submitted the report on May 7. In the report, it was mentioned that the bridge connecting Zirakpur and Panchkula on NH- 22 was 20.3 ft wide and 190 ft long. 

The bridge connecting Zirakpur and Panchkula has six spans and is too narrow to cope with the heavy traffic. — Report

The bridge had six spans and was too narrow to cope up with the heavy traffic. It was noticed that as many as 280 vehicles crossed over within a span of five minutes, the report stated.

Importantly, the iron bars along both sides of the bridge were in a bad shape and at one place, the bar was found broken. In no uncertain terms the report stated that the bar was unsafe.

Sarkar highlighted the fact that given the narrowness of the bridge and the intensity of the traffic, the movement of vehicles was usually very slow. In the event of any accident or breakdown of vehicle, the bridge got blocked, leading to chaos.

The commission, in its order on May 24, observed that the situation had the potential of endangering lives.

Accordingly, the commission directed the Punjab government to take remedial steps. A copy of the order was sent to the chief secretary, for compliance.

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COMMUNITY
 

Bail out farmers or face crisis, warns Jakhar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Madhya Pradesh Governor Bal Ram Jakhar today demanded that farmers should be made stakeholders in development projects and warned of an impending agri crisis if steps were not taken immediately to bail out the farmer.

Jakhar was non-committal on whether he was in the race for the office of President, but added: ''I am willing to serve the country in any capacity''.

Talking about farmers, Jakhar said land acquisition for special economic zones or for other projects should be stopped.

Also, paying huge sums of money to farmers in lieu of land was not a wise step. Rather, the farmer should be given a participating stake and assured jobs for his children. However, the farmer should be given the option to sell the land.

The minimum support price of agricultural products should be linked to the price index.

''The input costs of farmers should be taken into consideration before determining the price of an agricultural product'', Jakhar said. Jakhar argued if imported foodgrains could be purchased at higher rates, why couldn’t our own farmers be given similar prices. Referring to contract farming, he said that farmers should never be deprived of the ''right to their land''.

He stressed the need for setting up agro-based industries in the rural areas to provide employment to next of kin of farmers who were facing problems due to a decrease in the size of land holdings.

Tracing the decline of agriculture in the country, Jakhar lamented that enough was not being done in this sector to improve the lot of farmers. '' All of us are to blame for this'', he added.

Questioned about the debt trap in which a vast majority of the farmers found themselves, he said a permanent solution would have to be found for this.

''We cannot simply waive their loans year after year'', he said, suggesting that loans at 6 per cent interest rate should be made available to the farmers.

Expressing concern at the overexploitation of groundwater, particularly in Punjab, Jakhar felt the government would have to urgently address this problem.

He suggested that the Israeli system of drip and sprinkle irrigation was one answer to check the falling groundwater level. Some sort of commission in each state should be set up to look into the quality of fertilisers, seeds and pesticides or weedicides being made available to the farmers.

Owing to the fragmentation of land holdings , the agri production level had fallen and the country had to import foodgrains to meet the demands of the growing population, he added.

On the issue of being in the race for the office of President, he said: ''I have never asked anything for myself and my only desire is to serve the country wherever I am''. He welcomed the suggestion that a member of the farming community should be the head of state.

“I have held various posts and now I am serving the country as Governor'', he added, refusing to be drawn into the debate on President A. P. J. Kalam's successor.

Jakhar refused to be drawn into the Dera Sacha Sauda controversy. He felt it was the duty of every person to show respect to all religions.

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Girls elope, tie knot, seek protection
“Missing” daughters give sleepless nights to parents
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Lalru, May 28
Elopement is in vogue in the Lalru area nowadays. "Missing” daughters are giving sleepless nights to their families. Blame it on woman liberalisation or electronic media, five missing or elopement cases have been reported in the area since last month spreading panic among the families of the grown-up girls.

In fact, in two cases, the couples have reportedly tied the knot and approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court for protection from the families of the girls. While the bridegrooms have already been booked on the complaints of the girls' families, the high court has directed the police to "act in accordance with law".

The case of Rajwinder Kaur, who allegedly eloped with a married man Sukhwinder Singh, is rather interesting. Sukhwinder embraced Islam last month and came to be known as Mohammad Shabbir before solemnizing "nikah" with Rajwinder (now known as Zahida Khatoon).

Apprehending threat to life from her family Rajwinder (20) moved a petition before the high court claiming that she had "strained relations with her parents as they wanted to marry her forcibly and against her wishes."

"I have solemnized my marriage with Sukhwinder according to my own wish without any pressure and coercion and living happily with him" she said demanding protection to life and liberty under Section 482 of the Cr.PC. In a communication to the senior police officials, she had rubbished kidnapping charges against her husband.

Meanwhile, the elopements cases have sent the parents in a tizzy. "It is a dangerous trend threatening to rip apart the fragile social system in the backward area. The government, NGOs and the police should join hands to nip the evil in the bud," said a concerned parent.

Residents alleged that the "saas bahu" serials and crime shows on the electronic media which flashed the inter-caste marriages were largely to blame for the elopement cases.

A police official said the law enforcement agencies could not do much in such cases. When the major girls marry according to their own will and seek court protection the police may not help the families much, the official said underlining the need for tackling the problem at the social level.

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Fauji Beat
Placement year holds no promise for ex-servicemen

Barwali War Memorial
Barwali War Memorial

THE Government of India had declared 2007 as the year of placement for ex-servicemen.

There is hardly any effect of this announcement on the states’ employing agencies so much so that some states do not even know about it.

The ex-servicemen in almost all the states are sore over the governments’ attitude of not giving them the vacancies reserved for them in the government jobs. In Punjab, the job quota for ex-servicemen is 13 per cent but not more than 3 per cent of the reserved vacancies have been filled so far. This, despite the former Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, having said in September 2002 that “13 per cent seats reserved for the defence personnel would be filled now”. The situation in Himachal Pradesh and J&K is equally bad. However, Haryana is doing better than the other northern states.

The Army Placement Agency started at the Army Headquarters a few years ago with its branches at the command headquarters did pick up well in the beginning. But the placement agencies at various command headquarters have not been able to keep up the tempo. What they essentially lack is the intimate liaison with the employing agencies.

The director, Sainik Welfare, in each state should make concerted efforts to get the vacancies reserved for the ex-servicemen filled by the government departments. The least that the chief ministers of states owe to the ex-servicemen is to fill the vacancies reserved for them in their states in the placement year.

Doctors at polyclinics

Doctors employed at the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) polyclinics are the retired Army Medical Corps (AMC) officers as well as civilians in the ratio of 70 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively. Of them, the medical officers get a salary of Rs 15,000 per month, whereas the specialists’ monthly salary is Rs 25,000. The working hours of the medical officers and specialists are eight hours and five hours, respectively.

Patients from outstations generally come to the polyclinics in the afternoons when the specialists are not there. Most of the polyclinics have only one medical officer. It is he who sees all the patients by working for longer hours in the afternoons. This calls for a higher salary for the medical officers. Thinking should also be given to upgradation of the specialists who qualify for the higher upgradation.

There is a strong feeling among the civilians — doctors and other staff — at the polyclinics that they should be provided basic medical cover during their service with the ECHS. This needs a consideration.

Barwali War Memorial

Barwali ridge, lying 10 km north-east of Naushera in J&K, dominates the Naushera-Chinigus-Rajouri road and the Naushera Tawi. It was held by the enemy during the 1947-48 operations. To enable our troops to move to Rajouri, the enemy had to be dislodged from this ridge. This task was given to 4 Dogra on April 8, 1948.

In a daring action, 4 Dogra captured the ridge. Thus was opened the road Naushera-Rajouri-Poonch for the movement of our troops. while serving second time in this sector from 1954 to 1957, 4 Dogra constructed a memorial in Naushera to commemorate the sacrifices of its soldiers in the Barwali ridge battle. This memorial was further improved by the battalion in December 2006.

— Pritam Bhullar

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Jaipur MC delegation visits local civic body
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
A nine-member team of the Jaipur Municipal Corporation today visited the local civic body to study its functioning. The delegation was led by Pankaj Joshi, deputy mayor.

A spokesman for the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation said the delegation studied engineering projects, “rehri phari” bylaws and advertisement control in the city.

City mayor Harjinder Kaur welcomed the delegation and H.S. Kandhola, joint commissioner-II of the corporation, gave a presentation on its working. He apprised the delegation of various works undertaken by the MC, including the sanitation system, waterworks, electricity and other functions of the corporation.

Speaking to the delegation, the joint commissioner said the city had beautiful gardens like Shanti Kunj and Fragrance Garden. He said the corporation was developing one green belt every year ever since its inception.

On “rehri phari” bylaws, P.K. Sharma, secretary of the MC, said earlier there were a number of unauthorised “rehri phari” markets in about 25 sectors of the city. With the passage of time, the Chandigarh administration changed these into booth markets. Under the Rehri Phari Act of 1991, these booths were allotted to the differently abled, widows and others to regularise the “rehri phari” business.

Besides, there was also provision for challaning persons who were involved in “rehri phari” business on roadsides.

He said according to the Punjab Municipal Law, there were two types of encroachments in the city - commercial encroachment and residential encroachment.

Briefing the delegation about the Advertisement Control Order in the city, T.P.S. Phoolka, joint commissioner-I of the MC, said under section 4 of the Advertisement Control Order of 1954, there was designated space to advertise in every building. The MC had removed all advertisements which are unauthorisedly installed in the city.

The deputy mayor of the Jaipur MC gave a brief introduction of the delegation and the purpose of the visit. He appreciated the sanitation system and control over advertisements in the city, besides the green belts.

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Bomb-like object creates panic

Chandigarh, May 28
Panic gripped Hallo Majra village this evening when some children spotted a bomb-like object. The police was informed, which reached the spot with a team of the bomb disposal squad.

The SHO of the Sector 31 police station, inspector Har Sahai Sharma, said they received information around 5.30 pm that a bomb-like object was found in a dry pond near the village. A police team rushed to the spot. They found the nose of an empty bomb shell weighing around 750 gm from the spot. The children told the police that they went there after spotting some broken helmets. A shell was lying near the helmets. The bomb disposal squad took the shell into its custody and brought it to the police station. It was buried in the ground and sand bags were put on it. The Army authorities would be informed about it, said the SHO. — TNS

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Governor seeks solar power plant for UT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The Punjab Governor and UT administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), today asked for allowing Chandigarh a 50 MW solar power plant. He was speaking at a conference of chief ministers on the power sector in New Delhi today. The conference was inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.

The administrator demanded that the allocation in the unallocated power share should be increased from 5 to 7.5 per cent in case of Chandigarh.

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390 donate blood

Dera Bassi, May 28
As many as 390 persons donated blood at a blood donation camp organised by the Sant Niranari Mandal, here yesterday.

The senior medical officer of the local civil hospital, Dr Ram Kumar, inaugurated the camp. A team of doctors from the PGI, Chandigarh, conducted the camp. Zonal in charge of the mandal K.R. Nandwani said the camp was a part of the social commitment of the mandal. Besides Dera Bassi, donors from Zirakpur, Lalru, Dappar and Samgoli also donated blood. — TNS

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Missing man found dead
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 28
An 80-year-old man was found dead in Nadda village, ahead of North Park, here today. He has been identified as Jayant Das Gupta, father of Lt Anuj Das Gupta, who had gone missing from his residence in Chandi Mandir cantonment a few days back. Police sources said a “missing persons report” had been received by them recently. Sources added that he was mentally unstable and had been undergoing treatment at the Command Hospital.

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Fire in junk dealer’s store

Mohali, May 28
Scrap lying in the store of a junk dealer caught fire in Phase II, Industrial Area, here today.

The fire was soon brought under control. Fire officer Avtar Singh said a major tragedy was averted, as the fire didn’t spread to a sawmill, which is located next to the store. According to reports, there was lot of thermocol lying in the scrap, which created a lot of pollution. Thick black smoke engulfed the area, causing panic among the people there. — OC

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Mayor visits SBI Colony

Chandigarh, May 28
On an invitation of the SBI Staff Flats Residents Welfare Association, city mayor Harjinder Kaur visited the SBI Colony in Sector 42.

President of the association B.S. Chauhan briefed the mayor about the problems faced by the residents. — TNS

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Letters
Roads need dividers

Even after great persuasion, the authorities concerned could not draw the road dividers for the convenience of Panchkula residents. Although the work was started and the way from centre of one sector to another was cleared but it was done half-heartedly. The people are still using these dividers as per their convenience. It is requested that the authority concerned should pass orders for fixing lights on the already existing passages for the safety of residents, especially of vehicle owners.

S.K. Mittal, Panchkula

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030

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CRIME
 

2 held with stolen motorcycles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The local police today arrested two “notorious vehicle thieves’ and claimed to have recovered two stolen motorcycles from their possession. The police said one of the accused had been booked by the police in as many as 28 cases of vehicle thefts.

Giving details, the in charge of the crime branch of the Chandigarh police, inspector Satbir Singh, said following a tip-off, a naka was set up near gate No. 3 of Panjab University this afternoon. The accused were riding on a stolen motorcycle (CH-03-J-1627) when they were signalled to stop by a police party.

The accused have been identified as 21-year-old Vicky of Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran, and 19 year-old Varinder Kumar of Uttaranchal. Vicky was released from jail on May 8 while Varinder was released on May 16. Vicky had 28 cases registered against him while Varinder was involved in three cases of thefts. Soon after their release, they stole two motorcycles within a week, said the police.

During interrogation, they admitted to having stolen a Hero Honda Splendor motorcycle (CH-O3-J-1627) from Sector 20 on May 26 and a Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle (CH-03-J-6274) from near Fragrance Garden in Sector 33 on May 21. The Pulsar motorcycle was parked at the PGI parking lot, which was recovered later.

Vicky was arrested by the Sector 31 police station in July last year.

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Licence form racket outside DTO office
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 28
Unauthorised persons have been allegedly issuing applications for driving licences and registration certificates of vehicles outside the DTO’s office, leading to a several persons being harassed.

The unauthorised activity of such persons came to light after DTO Balbir Singh carried out a checking, here today. Some of the persons allegedly fled the spot when the DTO went to check the area where typists, lawyers and others sit for work in a shed opposite the administrative complex in Phase I. However, some documents related to the office of the DTO were recovered from two persons.

According to information available, the DTO has brought to the notice of the deputy commissioner that some persons were allegedly indulging in illegal activities and not working according to the terms of the licences issued to them.

Certain residents had complained that they were not getting their driving licences and registration copies of their vehicles even when the applications for the same had been deposited many months ago.

The DTO took the slips from the complainants and enquired from his staff why so much delay was being done. It was then that the staff pointed out that they had not issued these slips.

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3 arrested for viewing porn
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 28
Three persons have been arrested at a raid on a cyber café in Phase III, B 2, for selling obscene material, here today.

The police also seized two computers, which were allegedly being misused by two of the accused, who are youngsters.

According to information, the police has arrested D.J. Singh, owner of the cyber café who lives in Sector 71; Rajneesh, a resident of Sector 37 A and Himanshu, a resident of Phase VII.

During the raid, the police found that both the youngsters were allegedly watching pornographic material in the café. It is yet to be ascertained whether such material was being forwarded to others in the town as well. A case under Sections 292 and 293 of the IPC has been registered.

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3 held for smuggling liquor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The Chandigarh police has arrested three persons, including a local liquor contractor, for allegedly smuggling liquor to Haryana. The police seized 145 cartons of liquor from their possession.

Sources in the police said a team of crime branch officials set up a naka near the Sector 47 T-point late last night on a tip-off. They stopped a mini-truck (HR-55-C-5862) and its search led to the seizure of liquor which was being smuggled to Haryana. In all, 145 cartons of various economic brands of whiskies were seized from the truck.

The accused are Kulwinder Singh, a Sector 47-based liquor contractor, the driver of the truck, Vijay Kumar, and its cleaner, Rajesh Kumar, both residents of Panipat in Haryana.

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BUSINESS
 

Indian pharma market growing: Expert
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 28
Over 60 persons attended a workshop on “Opportunities and Challenges in Export of Pharmaceuticals” at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), here today. P.U.M. Rao, additional industrial advisor, ministry of chemicals and fertilisers, Government of India, inaugurated the two-day workshop.

Commenting on the current business models followed by Indian Pharma companies, he said many of the Indian pharma companies were now acting as contract research centres. Japan is the world’s third largest pharma market and Indian companies should enter into a long-term association with it.

Under the DPRP, the government is planning to provide soft loans for pharma companies to help them in their R and D efforts. India is fast emerging as a hub for clinical trials and as a result, global companies have joined hands with Indian pharma industries in the endeavour. The introduction of the product-patent regime has led to significant transitions in the Indian companies.

Rao added that the government had been responding to the needs of the pharmaceutical industries and catalysing their transition to internationally recognized companies.

Rao, while delivering the keynote address, presented the exports trend from Indian generic pharmaceuticals companies. He highlighted the expected impediments in the entry of Indian companies into the global generic market and suggested strategies to help them in grabbing a substantial market share.

Professor P. Rama Rao, director, NIPER, highlighted the objective of the workshop and said the focus of the workshop was to understand the existing technical barriers for exporters and ways to overcome them. He also emphasised the significance of regulatory affairs in the drug-approval process. He added that NIPER had been generating trained work force for academia, pharma industries, and regulatory agencies. He was quite confident that this workshop would help in upgrading the skills of professionals engaged in the area.

The inaugural function ended with a vote of thanks by Dr Arvind K. Bansal Assoc. professor, NIPER. The workshop is sponsored by the department of chemicals and petrochemicals, ministry of chemicals and fertilisers, Government of India. Those who attended the meeting include Lalit Kumar Jain, BoG member; professor Harmel Singh Nigah, member of Senate, NIPER; Dr H.P.S Chawla, ex-dean, NIPER; faculty members, scientists, students and staff of the institute. More than 30 participants from the pharmaceutical industry, academia, and regulatory agencies are participating the workshop.

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Pay cut for CEOs: Bansal backs PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Supporting the suggestion made by the Prime Minister on cutting salaries of CEOs, the minister of state finance, Pawan Kumar Bansal, today said that the suggestion should be acknowledged for his focus on holistic growth in society.

Bansal was talking to media persons after presiding over the inaugural function of the 24th Management Research and Development Programme for senior executives of banks, organised at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) here today.

He said though the country had been showing rapid growth, the growth was more visible in the higher strata of society. “Ten per cent of rural population still has a daily income of Rs 9, while 10 per cent of urban population has a daily income of just Rs 19. Development is still not trickling down to the lowest strata,” he said.

Earlier, while addressing the bankers, who are participating in the six-day seminar, the minister said that the Indian banking sector must gear up and prepare itself for the challenges that come with globalisation. He urged the bankers to inculcate leadership qualities in order to keep up with the changed global economic environment.

MR Sivaraman, former union revenue secretary, spoke about good corporate governance. He emphasised that ownership and control of any organisation should rest in the same hands for better corporate governance. Quoting examples from the Indian corporate sector, he said that returns on investment would be maximum if ownership and control are in the same hands.

He pointed out that in many other countries, it was a standard practice by banks to put their persons on boards of companies for better governance and independent directors were also included so that the interests of the public are watched. “However, in India, the authorities have reduced the maximum number of directors from banks from six to three, in case the bank has a 30 per cent share-holding in the company,” he rued.

Earlier, Rashpal Malhotra, director general, CRRID, welcomed the chief guest and said that banking sector should evolve itself in accordance with the changing economic environment. A T P Selvam, principal programme adviser, CRRID, also spoke on the occasion. 

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