Digital eye to monitor GNDU paper-checkers
CCTV cameras will record conduct of examiners
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 3
In a major boost to check cheating in examinations and to do away with casual and fraudulent paper-checking approach of teachers, the Guru Nanak Dev University has decided to install close-circuit cameras at its examination centers from the coming September exams and would record the conduct of the paper-checkers.

Even though the cameras were to be installed during the recently-concluded annual exams of undergraduate and post-graduate classes, the system could not be put in place due to some “teething problems.”

In-charge, examinations, B.R Batra, told the Amritsar Plus that even though it proved futile, the exercise of installing close-circuit cameras did bring to light the functional problems, which would be successfully removed before the September exams.

Besides, this time the university has decided to go a step further and record the proceedings of paper-checking at the key examination centres of the university. Two permanent examination centres would be set up in the examination branch of the university itself.

“For the annual undergraduate and post-graduate examinations conducted earlier this year, the university had set up a total of eight examination centres. A pool of answer sheets was created from various colleges and then handed over the paper-checkers. It was also ensured that these were regular staffers of the colleges,” he said. Ever since reports of the university’s decision to install cameras at examination centres came out, it also put additional pressure on faculty members from the university and affiliated colleges and many of them turned apprehensive about going for examination duties.

However, many senior faculty members welcomed the decision as it would lead to more transparency in the paper-checking process of the university. “This is one of the most effective examination reform decided upon by the university in recent years,” said one teacher.

The courses available on the university campus have only semester system while all affiliated courses follow the annual system.

For the courses run on the varsity campus, the GNDU has already decided to revert to internal system of evaluation, wherein answer sheets would be marked by teachers on university campus only.

The external system of evaluation was introduced by the university only last year but the delay in declaration of results had lead to widespread resentment among students.

The external evaluation system of sending answer books to teachers of other varsities eventually became a headache for GNDU and it quickly decided to revert to the old system. The new system not only turning out to be costly, the university had to go thorough the cumbersome exercise of delivering and then bringing back the answer books as well.



Tech revamp tops agenda for varsity’s new sports director
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, July 3
Guru Nanak Dev University will produce national and international players in various games by providing them scientific training, creating state-of-the-art sports infrastructure and providing the requisite incentives and sports facilities to its sports persons.

This was stated here today by newly appointed director of sports Dr Kanwaljit Singh while interacting with media persons.

Dr Kanwaljit Singh said his first priority would be to check the drainage of sports talent of this area to other universities by motivating players, looking after their interests and winning the confidence of the principals of the colleges affiliated to the university as they play a great role in the development and promotion of sports in the area.

Dr Kanwaljit Singh assured the principals of the colleges that there would be an absolutely fair selection, fair competition and only the best teams would be selected by the experienced and qualified experts.

He said all selections would be made after extensive scientific and right training to the players. For this purpose, he said the university would provide all necessary facilities to them. He said the university would evolve a mechanism to bring excellence in sports.

He said the UGC had already established a Centre of Excellence in Sports Sciences on the university campus with a grant of Rs 6.30 crore. The university with this financial assistance would provide qualified, trained and best coaches to impart training to the players. He would make all efforts to fill the vacant posts of the coaches at the earliest as the sports session had already commenced.

Talking about the erosion of sports, he said it was all due to the lack of scientific training and other sports facilities. Guru Nanak Dev University had hockey Astroturf, swimming pool, indoor gymnasium and an athletic track of international standard.

He said the university was in the process of upgrading the indoor gymnasium by providing wooden flooring, etc. Rs 1.75 crore would be spent for the purpose.

Similarly, a velodrome was also being constructed at a cost of Rs 75 lakh and a shooting range and synthetic track were in the pipeline.

Dr Kanwaljit Singh said the university had best sports talent in its affiliated colleges - Khalsa College, Amritsar; DAV College, Amritsar; Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar; DAV College, Jalandhar; HMV, Jalandhar; KMV, Jalandhar; BBKDAV College for Women, Amritsar; Hindu College, Amritsar; Sports College, Jalandhar.

He assured the principals of colleges that the university could provide them infrastructural and manpower help, if they wanted.

The sports director said the university had already provided a number of incentives to its sports persons and had also increased their prize money enormously. He, however, clarified that adequate financial assistance would be provided to the outstanding and needy players for their education, diet, etc, strictly under the university rules. It would not allow the best talent to drain to other parts of the country for want of facilities.

Dr Kanwaljit said he had identified some schools in the border belt, like Khajala village, who had produced many international players.

Keeping in view their performance, the university would try its utmost to groom them after providing them necessary training, he added.



ABVP demands reverting to old system for appointing lecturers
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 3
Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has decided to launch an agitation if Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) failed to abolish the new score card system introduced for appointment of lecturers. G.S. Nagra, district president ABVP, in a statement here said a state-level meeting would be held soon to discuss further course of action if the university failed to revert to the old system of recruitment. He has alleged that the new score card system was aimed at accommodating wards of some influential persons.

He informed that Upinderjit Kaur, education minister, had assured them that she would direct the university authorities to revert to the old system of pro-rata basis for selecting lecturers. He said they have also apprised the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, and Chancellor of the university in this regard.

He said the new score card system ignored the procedure of giving points on a pro-rata basis vis a vis marks obtained in basic qualification, i.e. MA/M.Sc in the interview for the selection of lecturers. He said the new score card increased points given for marks obtained in basic qualification from 30 to 40 which gave 20 points to a person with 55 per cent marks in basic qualification and one point for every per cent of marks obtained up to a total of 75 per cent.

He rued even points for research publications had been reduced from 15 to 10 and points for teaching experience had been reduced from 10 to 5 points. He alleged that this dilution again favoured the inexperienced candidates.



Complaints Under RTI Act
PIC to set up special dist-level counters
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 3
The Punjab Information Commission (PIC) officials would set up counters at district headquarters across the state to speed up disposal of complaints received under the right to information Act.

This was stated by chief information commissioner Rajan Kashyap while addressing here on Tuesday. For the purpose, five benches would also be constituted. He said the state government has approved the proposal of the commission to set up tnformation counters in Suvidha Kendras of all the districts and camps would be held to create awareness among the public regarding the Act. He rued that even the information officers were not fully aware of the rights of people under the RTI Act.

The CIC further said a sum of Rs 35 lakh has been earmarked for providing necessary training to the information officers for speedy disposal of complaints. He said the commission has also sent a proposal to the state government to give powers to the deputy commissioners to review the cases at their own level.

Replying to a query, Kashyap said barring the information pertaining to central intelligence and security agencies, information from all departments has to be provided within 30 days and 48 hours in cases where life or liberty is involved. He said a number of cases under RTI were being catered by various departments daily but the commission has received 2,474 complaints so far, out of which 1,249 have been redressed and the remaining would be taken care of within the stipulated time.

He stressed on the need to make people aware of RTI Act so as to eliminate the scourge of corruption. It will also ensure accountability, he added. Earlier, DC Kahan Singh Pannu informed that so far 93 applications have been received under RTI, out of which 69 cases have been disposed of. The remaining would be settled within a month. He said the Suvidha Kendra in the district administration complex was being renovated so that an RTI counter may be established there.



Farmers rally against erratic power supply
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 3
Hundreds of farmers of Patti area in Tarn Taran, led by Jamhuri Kisan Sabha (JKS), held a rally near the office of executive engineer, Bhikhiwind on Tuesday. They were protesting against irregular power supply by the Punjab State Electricity Board.

Addressing the rally, Arsaal Singh, president, JKS, demanded that the board must provide 14-hour uninterrupted power supply to farmers in the area in the ongoing paddy season.

He demanded immediate replacement of burnt transformers, damaged electricity poles and power cables.

He also demanded a comprehensive plan for installation of more transformers in the area. He called on the to take measures for providing 24-hour uninterrupted power supply besides providing 200 units of free power to backward sections of society unconditionally.



Taking Up Cudgels
Amenities: Undertrial on fast unto death
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 3
Raj Kumar Shaheen, an undertrial prisoner in a murder bid case lodged at the Amritsar central jail, has been on fast for the past eight days to protest against the failure of the jail authorities in providing basic amenities to the prisoners.

Talking to The Tribune during his court appearance, Shaheen said he was being accompanied by Jasbir Singh Dimpa, an accused of the murder of an Akali worker during the last assembly elections. “We have submitted a memorandum containing five basic demands to the jail superintendent. But till date the jail authorities have taken no action on the same,” he said.

Shaheen said the demands included scrapping the formality of producing I-card by the relatives of the prisoners during their visits to the jail, to allow the visits on Thursday, to provide ENT testing apparatus in jail hospital, include green vegetables in the diet and to provide more barracks to the inmates.

When contacted, jail superintendent Roop Lal said the state government would look into the demands submitted by Shaheen. “The I-card rule was introduced keeping in view security of the jail inmates and staff members. The provision of ENT testing apparatus would be considered by the health department,” he added.



Pitch in for HIV patients, NGO told
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 3
“The Positive Network Amritsar (PNA), an NGO, should help HIV-AIDS infected people acquire education, health care and other basic facilities,” said Punjab health secretary K. B. S. Sidhu while presiding over a meeting of the organisation, here on Tuesday. The meet was held for setting up drop-in centre at Amritsar.

Directing the Amritsar branch of Indian Red Cross Society, Sidhu said, “Necessary amendments should be made in the building of community care centre at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital Complex so that it can help HIV-AIDS patients.” Assuring his full cooperation in the initiative, he asked the body to procure the equipment at the earliest to expedite functioning of the centre. During the meeting, PNA chief J. Kundra emphasised on the need of starting the drop-in centre at the earliest.



Summer camp enthrals students

Amritsar, July 3
Master Mind School organised a summer camp to help students identify their talent and creativity. The participants, between the age group of 3 and 8, tried their hands at various activities, including thumb painting, pottery and bead making. To boost their fitness levels, the students were also encouraged to take part in roller-skating and swimming. The highlight of the camp was the puppet theatre which helped them improving their communication skills. The school CEO Ajay Kapoor and principal R.T. Williams said such camps would be made a regular feature. — OC



Poetic compilations to resurrect society

Amritsar, July 3
For him poetry is an instrument to uplift the self, society and humanity. Prof Vijay Vishal has the credit of compiling two books of poems, Speechless Messages (1999) and Parting Wish (2001). Both the books include poems on a wide variety of themes, which he claims would always be significant.

After serving at the GGD SD College, located in the cool environs of Baijnath in Himachal Pradesh, Prof Vijay Vishal is now back to Amritsar, the city where he truly belongs. “The themes of my poems are mostly inspiring, such as self awakening and self-development. The compilation ‘Parting Wish’ contains 36 poems on issues like universalism, female exploitation and gender bias,” he says. “I write poems in both English and Hindi. ‘Ehsaas’, a collection of 50 selected poems in Hindi, including ‘ghazals’ was recently released. — TNS



Lok Adalat on Aug 3

Amritsar, July 3
A Lok Adalat would be held on August 3, at Labour court, in Amritsar to settle the disputes between industrial workers and their employers. Complainants have been told to register themselves before August 3 at labour court in Amritsar district court complex. The adalat would be presided over by additional district and session judge Ashok Kumar. — OC



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