P U N J A B    S T O R I E S

Chief Khalsa Diwan-run schools 
14 principals, teachers have fake degrees 
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 5
It has come to light that 14 principals and teachers of the Diwan-run schools possess fake degrees. The Diwan is the oldest Sikh institute.

A three-member inquiry panel, headed by then director education, Chief Khalsa Diwan, Darshan Singh, had also identified around 100 principals and teachers with the Diwan-run schools, mostly Guru Harkrishan Public Schools, who didn’t have B.Ed degrees.

The panel, comprising former registrar of Guru Nanak Dev University Darshan Singh, Jaswant Singh and Ajit Singh, was constituted to verify the certificates and degrees of educational qualifications of the principals and teachers working in the schools under the management of the Diwan. President of the Diwan Charnjit Singh Chadha ordered for the constitution of the panel.

However, after submitting the report, Darshan Singh, who had served the institute for about 10 years, was unceremoniously removed without being given any reason.

The case of ‘fake degrees’ has been enlisted in the agenda of an executive meeting, proposed to be held tomorrow.

The “tainted” principals and teachers, who had served the educational institutes for over 15 years, were given a last chance to get B.Ed degrees from recognised institutions by August 9, 2006.

At least four teachers, who possess fake degrees, are from a school in the border area of Chabhal, seven from the Tarn Taran school, one each from schools at Sur Singh, Asal Uutar, Mehal Jandiala, Abdal and Pandori Khajpur.

Darshan Singh alleged that he was sacked as director education because he had “exposed” the management and its selection procedure. He alleged that he was punished because some of the tainted principals and teachers were either relatives or confidants of senior functionaries of the Diwan. He alleged that some of the managers of the educational institutions did not possess higher degrees.

The matter was earlier discussed at the executive meetings of the Diwan held on June 24, 2006, and then on August 9, 2006, asking such teachers to get themselves enrolled for the B.Ed courses, failing which their services would be terminated. Later, the president of the Diwan advised them to get admission in the distance mode programme of the Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi, at its Khalsa College of Education, Amritsar centre.

Food coupon option open
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Even though the promised cheap atta and dal scheme will be implemented from August 15, the Punjab government is keeping an option open to provide food coupons to the beneficiaries.

The MLAs have been asked to get feedback from the beneficiaries and suggest improvements in the delivery system, said Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal while talking to mediapersons here today.

The government would start providing wheat and dal from August 15, but the response of the people to the delivery system would have to be checked to see if it was effective. The option of giving food coupons had not been closed. If people wanted such coupons, the government would give these, Badal said.

When pointed out that a report by a known consultancy firm had said that about 69 per cent of the PDS items in Punjab were being pilfered, Badal said “things will be reviewed after three months of starting the scheme”.

Referring to the Dera Sacha Sauda issue, the Chief Minister denied having knowledge of having seen or approved any draft of the apology sent by the dera chief that was finally rejected by Akal Takht. “ I did not say a word to the jathedar on this and it is wrong to say that I was politicising the issue”, Badal said while refuting allegations by leader of the opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

Replying to a question that P.S. Sarna had claimed that the Punjab government knew about the contents of the apology, Badal said: “ Sarna only wants credit and nothing more”.

Badal gave an assurance that the rule of law would be maintained at all costs.He scotched speculation that the dera-Sikh organisation clash could hamper investments. Confrontation on an issue was part of democracy,he said.

Badal said the recent demand made by Sukhbir Badal, working president of the SAD, for further empowering the MLAs would be met.

Badal said the allocation of central funds was lopsided as several states were being virtually “rewarded” for lagging behind. There should be more autonomy to the states with regard to financial powers.

He said the Hero group and the Bharti group had agreed to set up 10 adarash schools each in Punjab.


Badal for decentralised planning
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Rabbon Uchhi (Ludhiana), July 5
With a view to decentralise the planning and development in the state, the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, today unveiled an "innovative and an interactive process of governance" by taking it to the block level. This, he said, would help in involving the local population in execution and development of these projects.

He also said, there was no ill will against the chairman or any other member of the Punjab Public Service Commission. He said the state government had referred some posts to the Union Public Service Commission only to ensure efficiency and transparency. He said he had full faith in the commission.

Speaking at the state level function organised to commemorate the 151st Martyrdom Day of Shaheed Baba Maharaj Singh Ji, first martyr of freedom movement at his native village here today, the Chief Minister said centralised planning was the bane of all the problems being faced by all the states. He said Punjab Government has now chalked out a programme to take the planning process to the block level. Every block besides having an "Adarsh School" to provide quality education to the poor children would also have a "skill development centre" to be run in association with local university.

Besides sanctioning Rs 1, 500 crores for widening 1, 300 km roads in the state, Rs 1, 280 crores would be spent to provide potable drinking water in rural areas. Rs 2, 053 crores plan has already been approved for improving civic amenities of Ludhiana city.

Referring to the demands of the local people, Badal announced grants Rs 3 lakh each for the opening of libraries in villages Rabbon Uchhi, Jogi Majra and Ramgarh Sardaran and to set up a Skill Development Center in 20 acres of land at Araicha. He also assured to construct a new road on the land of disserted irrigation minor from canal to Maksudra via Kaddon and to solve the problem of Sullage water at Doraha.


CM approves de-notification of 76,000 acres of farm land
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today allowed de-notification of 76,000 hectares of agricultural land locked under the controversial Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900.

The land spread across districts of Mohali, Ropar, Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur is in the sub- mountainous Kandi belt of the state. The land had been accidentally clubbed under forest areas. Advocate general H.S. Mattewal a few days ago gave opinion the land could be de-notified. The Chief Minister gave his approval and asked the chief secretary to convene a meeting of the Local Government, PUDA and the Forest Department to de-notify the said land. Sources said the government will write to the deputy commissioners concerned asking them to de-notify the lands allowing people to use their land as they desired.

BJP MP from Hoshiarpur Avinash Rai Khanna, had protested against the clubbing of land under PLPA with forest land and had even raised the matter at several forums. He has held the state government could have de-notified the land and the Forest Department had nothing to do with. At present land owners have to take permission of the Forest Department.


Amritsar MC inks Rs 273 cr pact on sewerage, water supply
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 5
The Municipal Corporation here has signed an agreement of Rs 273 crore for the revamp of sewerage and water supply system of the city with loan from a Japanese bank.

The agreement was signed by municipal commissioner Hussan Lal and Nishi Maghi of the Japan Bank for international Cooperation here today. Secretary, Local Bodies D.S. Bains, who was present at the signing ceremony here today said the government had prepared and given its approval to the the plan which would provide 100 per cent coverage to the sewerage to the city besides water supply would be available for the residents as well. He said last year the demand for sewerage and water supply had gone up manifolds and required steps to upgrade the facility. He said the sewerage would be connected with all houses in the city besides establishing three sewage treatment plant.

He said the loan had been taken on long- term basis on a moratorium of 10 years and the amount would be returned in 30 years starting from r 2017 on interest of 0.7 per cent per annum. He said the 271 km sewerage line would be constructed besides laying 182 km -long water pipes in the holy city. He said 28 new tube wells and 15 overhead reservoirs would be constructed in one and a half years.

Hussan Lal said while the sewerage work would be undertaken at the cost of Rs 360 crore the water supply and treatment plant would be added at a cost of Rs 19 crore. 


Tributes to Chohan
Cong flays BJP
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 5
The Congress today took the BJP to task for supporting the condolence resolution in the Assembly and paying tributes to “Khalistan” ideologue Jagjit Singh Chohan.

Taking a dig at senior BJP leaders, who were present at the opening session of the Assembly, senior Congress leader and former MLA Jugal Kishore Sharma said the BJP had indirectly supported the cause of “Khalistan” for which Chohan had fought his life.

Sharma said the action of ruling party legislators in paying tributes to the self-styled president of “Khalistan” was a major set back to the unity and integrity of the country.


Amarinder govt gave Rs 1 cr, one acre
Record of proposed trauma centre summoned
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 5
The government has summoned record of the proposed trauma centre that was to be brought in government medical college Patiala by a private trust. The acting director research and medical education (DRME) has summoned the records of the trauma centre from the office of principal government medical college here.

The sources here said the inquiry was being conducted on a complaint allegingt the vice-chancellor Baba Farid medical university Ravinder Singh got one acre prime land of Patiala medical college allotted to a trust headed by him.

The trust comprises seven members and includes the VC as president and his wife who is DRME but on leave, as member secretary. The sources added the VC being close to former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had evoked interest of the government in the case. The former CM besides allotting the land gave grant of Rs 1 crore to the trust in 2006.

It was also being alleged the VC ha s made himself lifetime president of the trust and head of the promised trauma centre proposed to come up on government medical college land. The trauma centre as per agreement would be run on no- profit, no -loss basis and the society running it would have the power to levy charges for the services provided by it.

The VC admitted the seven- member trust that was allotted the land was headed by him. He, however, told the controversy surrounding the project was a handiwork of a few of his detractors.

He said t the trauma centre was conceived by the Government Medical College Patiala old Students Association and the US- based Patiala health society. Both organisations wanted to set up an ultramodern trauma centre in government medical college Patiala. They had been lobbying for the land in government medical college for the past eight years.

The previous government allotted the land for the project and donations are now being collected in India and overseas for the project. The total cost of the project is Rs 50 crore. The work on the project can only be started once the entire amount was collected. The type of trauma centre that has been planned would be second in the country. First such trauma centre has been brought up at the All- India Institute of Medical Sciences at Delhi. However, it is yet to be made functional.

However, the sources here alleged the trauma centre was just like a private facility that is coming up on government land using government grant but supposed to run by private persons.

To this the VC said all property of the proposed trauma centre would go to the government in case the trust failed to run it successfully.

The issue also generated heat at a recent meeting of university Senate.


Separate directorate to run ayurveda research 
Anuradha Shukla
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 5
Government has appointed Dr Ashwini Kumar, principal, Government Ayurvedic College, Patiala, as the director research and medical education (DRME), Ayurveda. This is for the first time that a separate directorate will run the teaching and research in the field of Ayurveda in the state. The step by the ministry of medical education and research has been widely welcomed by the Ayurvedic fraternity in the state.

Talking to the Tribune, the minister for medical education and research, Tikshan Sud said, "The government aims at promoting Ayurveda in the state for which the need for a separate directorate had been felt for a long time. The directorate will help promote Ayurveda as its experts can now have an independent say in the field of research, education and study," he added.

About the functioning of the directorate the minister said the parameters are yet to be decided. Speaking about his appointment Dr Ashwini Kumar said the directorate will aim at starting post graduate courses in maximum subjects in 12 colleges of Ayurveda in the state. "Students from Punjab will not have to go to far off colleges in states like Maharashtra. With MD courses they will not lag behind in getting appointments as per Central Council of Indian Medicine norms," he added.

President, Teachers Association Government Ayurvedic College, Patiala, Dr P.K Rishi has welcomed the step to free Ayurveda from control of Allopathy in the state and hopes that problems like fixing of seniority and promotions will also be sorted out soon.


Chief parliamentary secy’s post 
No violation of Constitution: Punjab govt 
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The secretary, coordination, department of general administration (general coordination), Punjab, has stated in his counter-affidavit that office of chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) is not a constitutional post and therefore cannot fall under the category of member of council of ministers.

The counter-affidavit (a copy of which is in possession of The Tribune) will be taken by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on July 23 while hearing a petition filed by Jagmohan Bhatti, advocate, who has challenged the appointment of chief parliamentary secretaries by the Punjab government as arbitrary and in violation of the Constitution.

The fulcrum of the petition is the 91st Amendment to the Article 164 of the Constitution whereby it has been stipulated that total number of ministers, including the chief minister, in the council of ministers of a state shall not exceed 15 per cent of the total number of MLAs of that state.

The affidavit stresses that amendment makes a mention of the offices of ministers and chief minister only and no reference is made to the post of CPS or parliamentary secretaries. Thus, the office of chief parliamentary secretary or parliamentary secretary is not a constitutional post and accordingly the said posts cannot be termed as those falling under the category of member of council of ministers.

Importantly, the affidavit states, the CPSs have no recognition under the Constitution and they are deputed to assist ministers and are supposed to work as an “intermediary channel between the administrative secretary and the minister” according to the Punjab Parliamentary Secretaries and Chief Parliamentary Secretaries (terms and conditions of appointment) rules, 2006.

Also, a modification was introduced through a notification, dated March 9, 2006, by the then speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha whereby the terms CPSs and parliamentary secretaries were deleted from the definition of “minister”.

The affidavit emphasises that since the office of CPS is not constitutional thus there is no question of its violation. It says that it is within the executive powers of the state to create offices and make appointments thereto. It further prays for the dismissal of the petition on the grounds that it is totally misconceived and deserves to be dismissed.

Another interesting revelation in the affidavit is that according to sub-section 2 of the Punjab State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1952, a person shall not be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of the state legislature just because he holds the office of the CPS.


‘1.42 lakh farmers committed suicide in 8 yrs’

Chandigarh, July 5
Member of the national farmers’ commission and general secretary of the all-India kisan sabha Atul Kumar Anjaan here today said that 1,42,000 farmers committed suicide in the country from 1998 to 2006.

In the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra on an average six farmers committed suicide every day, he added. Even a package of Rs 3,750 crore for the region did not help.

He urged the Prime Minister to call a meeting of farmers’ organisations. He sought the raising of the minimum support price for wheat to Rs 950 per quintal. — TNS


Vigilance to probe education trust pact

Chandigarh, July 5
The Punjab vigilance bureau has been asked to inquire into various alleged irregularities in the agreement under which land was allotted to the Dashmesh education trust, Patiala, which is run by a relative of B.I.S. Chahal, media adviser to former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Manoranjan Kalia, minister for local bodies, said the lease deed was signed by former chairman of the improvement trust, Jalandhar, Tejinder Singh Bittu on November 20, 2006, with the Dashmesh trust even before he had got approval from the government. — TNS


Harassment of 22 families
Case transferred to Tarn Taran SSP
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 5
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has transferred the case of alleged harassment of 22 families aligned with the Congress and belonging to Madh village, near Rayya, against Akali workers to the SSP, Tarn Taran, P.K. Rai for a fresh inquiry into their charges.

A delegation of these families had met PSHRC chairman R.L. Anand, who after giving them a patient hearing had rejected the report of the SSP, Amritsar (Rural), and asked the SSP, Tarn Taran, to initiate a fresh inquiry.

Bhagat Naresh Kumar, one of the victims, while talking to The Tribune here today alleged that the Beas police was neither allowing them to take away their belongings for moving to safer places nor it was registering a case against the culprits, who continue to threaten them.

Meanwhile, SSP, Tarn Taran, said he was yet to receive the orders of the PSHRC and added that he would conduct the inquiry according to the instructions of the commission.


State Round-up
Shagun scheme extended to BCs, Muslims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The Punjab government today extended the shagun scheme to backward classes and Muslims.

Announcing this after a high-level meeting of officials, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said here today that by taking this decision the SAD-BJP government had fulfilled the promise made to the public in this regard.

The state welfare department has been asked to undertake the requisite exercise to ensure that no beneficiary under the extended scheme is left out.

In another major concession, the government decided to waive the condition regarding the submission of an affidavit on the annual income of the beneficiary. The Chief Minister said that the block development and panchayat officer, the naib tehsildar and the SDM had been authorised to issue income certificates to the beneficiaries in the rural areas of the state. In the urban areas, the same authority would vest in the executive magistrate, the assistant commissioner and the joint commissioner of the areas concerned.

Civic amenity project

A leading Japanese financial institution, the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC), has agreed to fund the programme to provide 100 per cent water supply and sewerage connectivity in all major cities of Punjab.

The financial implication of this programme could well cross Rs 3,000 crore by the time cities like Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala and Bathinda are brought within its purview.

In the first phase of the programme the JBIC will fund the project for total water supply, sewerage connectivity and garbage disposal in Amritsar. The total cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 360 crore. The Japanese firm will cover the entire cost in the form of a soft loan at a nominal rate of interest of 0.75 per cent. The loan will be recovered over a period of 30 years , with a 10-year moratorium.

Village ponds

The state government today unveiled the first contours of its drive against water pollution in the state with a comprehensive scheme to cleanse and rehabilitate stagnating and polluted ponds in the countryside.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister. An outlay Rs 80 crore has been earmarked for the scheme which will cover over 12,000 villages.

The ponds will be rehabilitated with a new internationally approved laminar flow and oxidation technology developed by leading US-based water technologist Anil Sharma who made a presentation of the technology to the Chief Minister.

PCS (judicial branch) exam

Admit cards for the PCS(JB) main exam (2007) have been despatched.

A candidate who does not receive the card by July 12 should personally collect the duplicate admit card from the Punjab public service commission’s office at Patiala from July 13 to 18 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. , the secretary said here today.


Same-sex couple splits
One attempts suicide
Tribune News Service

Batala, July 5
The love story of the same-sex couple, who got married against the wishes of their parents, today took a sad turn when one of them attempted suicide at the Sadar police station here.

The couple, Baljit Kaur (21) of Hassanpur Kalan and Rajwinder Kaur (20) of Hassanpur Khurd, were brought to the police station by panchayat members of their respective villages after Rajwinder allegedly refused to stay with Baljit. Both girls were to be produced before the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), Batala, Sandeep Rishi to record their statements.

Baljit slit the veins of her left hand at the police station while Rajwinder recorded her statement before the police. The former was taken to the local civil hospital where after a medical examination, she was arrested under Sections 309, 511 and 506 of the IPC for attempting suicide.

Rajwinder told the SDM that Baljit married her with the promise that she would send her abroad. She alleged that Baljit was having similar relations with certain girls and was forcing her into their company.

Later, talking to mediapersons, Rajwinder alleged that Baljit was a drug addict and was having relations with certain boys. She did not give up her habits even after my repeated requests. She said Baljit cheated her by not keeping her matrimonial promise to send her abroad and now she did not want to live with her any more.

Parents of Rajwinder had brought her back with them following which Baljit complained to the police.

Baljit claims to be the “husband” of Rajwinder. She said they got married at the Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir on June 15.


Worms in tap water
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 5
Panic spread among residents of the Guru Nanak Colony here yesterday as some of them found worms in the tap water of their respective houses in the morning. Scared of the worms in the water, some children even went to school without taking bath.

Amarjit Sharma and Naresh Sharma, president and assistant finance secretary of the Guru Nanak Colony Sudhar Committee,respectively, today showed worms in a bottle filled with water supplied by the local authorities through pipelines for drinking purposes.

Talking to The Tribune here yesterday, Amarjit and Naresh said residents of the colony had earlier also received muddy water, along with worms, from the pipelines, but the authorities concerned had not paid any attention to their problem. They also said due to supply of contaminated water, diseases like diarrhoea and gastroenteritis might affect the health of the residents of the colony.

Eleven residents of the colony also submitted an application to the offices of the executive officer (EO) of the local Municipal Council and the executive engineer (XEN) of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, regarding contaminated water supply to their houses.

In the application they have warned the authorities concerned that if any water worm disease broke out in their locality, they would be held responsible for the same. They also said they might approach the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum to get justice.


Meddling in affairs
MLA to move court against Bunny
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 5
Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu today said he would move court against Jasjit Singh Bunny, who contested Assembly elections against him, for “usurping his authority in the constituency”.

Sidhu told mediapersons at a press conference this evening that Bunny, whom he had defeated in the elections, was “misusing” his father Capt Kanwaljit Singh’s position in the government and interfering in his working.

“What locus standi does Bunny have in distributing cheques to people in my constituency? Who is he to do the work an MLA is supposed to do?” he said.

Sidhu pointed out that he would move court after July 6 with evidence to prove that Bunny was trying to take over the working of the MLA.

Flanked by municipal council president Rajinder Singh Rana and councillor Gurnaam Singh, Sidhu alleged that Capt Kanwaljit Singh was trying to dissolve the municipal corporation.

“The level of interference is very high and all efforts are on to influence our councillors. Councillors are being threatened and workers being implicated in false cases,” said Sidhu.

Sidhu further alleged that Capt Kanwaljit Singh was trying to oblige his workers in Peer Sohana village and getting a road re-laid for them.

In spite of village panchayat’s objection to the move, they were going ahead with the re-laying of the road.


Pensioners for reconstituted pay panel
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 5
The Punjab Pensioners Welfare Association, Patiala, has demanded the reconstitution of the fifth pay commission, constituted by the previous government, so that employees as well as those who have retired can place their grievances before the panel for consideration.

Association president H.H. Sodhi said the association had sent a memorandum to the chief minister, reminding him of his pre-poll promise that the pay commission would be constituted but no notification had been issued in this regard so far.

Their demands include suitable hike in basic pension, besides other allowances and fresh concessions. They also want subsidised ration, electricity concession, 50 per cent concession in state-owned and private buses and hike in medical allowance.


Order reserved on blanket protection
Chahal’s anticipatory bail plea adjourned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Anticipatory bail pleas of B.I.S. Chahal and Today Home officials were adjourned yesterday when the case came up for hearing in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Justice Uma Nath Singh, while taking up pleas of Chahal and Today Home officials’ for anticipatory bail in the Ludhiana City Centre case, observed, “flexing of muscles by the state is not required”. The next hearing in the case has been fixed for July 18. The interim relief granted earlier will continue.

Justice Singh asked Punjab advocate-general H.S. Mattewal to elaborate on as to in what manner the accused had not cooperated in the investigation.

Mattewal asserted that apex court’s guidelines were being completely followed and there was no question of torturing anyone by the Punjab Police or by the Vigilance Bureau.

Petitioners’ (Today Home officials) counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi hammered on the “unsavoury language used in the SLP filed by Punjab against the order passed by Justice Uma Nath Singh’s court on June 1”.

The reference to the SLP’s language drew the judge’s ire who asked Mattewal to ask the lawyer who drafted the SLP to appear before the court soon and tender an unconditional apology.

He also highlighted the fact that Chetan Gupta’s statement recorded by the Vigilance Bureau on May 18 (which was a part of the SLP) was given to him only on Tuesday.

Justices Sathasivam, Bhalla reserve order

Meanwhile, the Division Bench, comprising Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Rajive Bhalla, reserved order (likely to be pronounced on Monday) on Chahal’s plea for blanket protection, seeking extension of Justice S.S. Saron’s order of June 15, against arrest by the Punjab Police or any other agency in any case to be registered in future against him.

H.S. Mattewal opened up the arguments and asserted that Chahal’s plea was not maintainable as it was filed by his wife, who never met him (Chahal) while he was in custody and the plea was thus based on hearsay.

Petitioner’s counsel R.S. Cheema drew attention of the court to the fact that three FIRs were registered against Chahal by the Punjab Police in a short span of four days. One of the FIRs was registered in Ludhiana while two others were registered in Patiala.

He also sought that investigation into the said FIRs be handed over to the CBI.


Raninder’s plea  adjourned to July 17

Chandigarh, July 5
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today adjourned the hearing to July 17 on the plea of Raninder, Capt Amarinder Singh’s son, seeking blanket protection against arrest by the Vigilance Bureau or any other agency of the Punjab government.

Justice Uma Nath Singh said that since a similar matter, relating to blanket bail to B.I.S. Chahal (media adviser to former CM Capt Amarinder Singh), was pending before the Division Bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Rajive Bhalla, he would not like to arrive at any conclusion now.

Raninder and his kin Raminder had submitted in the petition that they feared arrest in any false case that could be registered against them by the Vigilance Bureau or any other agency of the Punjab government. — TNS


Ahluwalia takes over as commissioner
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 5
Surinder Krishan Ahluwalia, a senior IAS officer, took over as commissioner of Patiala division here today.

Ahluwalia has earlier worked as deputy commissioner of Fatehgarh Sahib and held important assignments as commissioner of the Patiala municipal corporation and director public relations.

Ahluwalia hit the headlines when he joined issue with Patiala mayor Vishnu Sharma, regarded close to former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh. He was then unceremoniously shifted out by the former chief minister.

Talking to mediapersons after assuming the charge, Ahluwalia said his priority would be the speedy disposal of cases coming to his court.

He said he would strive for disposing of cases within six months so that litigants did not face harassment.

Ahluwalia said he would ensure all-round development of the town, which had already got a grant of Rs 5 crore under the National Capital Region Project.

This was being used for various development works in the walled city, he said. Another grant of Rs 100 crore would be sought for the town under the project for provision of sewerage facilities in the peripheral colonies, he added.


Synthetic desi ghee racket busted, 3 held

Barnala, July 5
The local police has unearthed a racket of synthetic desi ghee and arrested Rajesh Kumar, Roshan Lal and Karnail Singh.

Addressing a press conference here today, Paramjeet Singh Garewal , SSP, Barnala, said the whole operation was supervised by Sukhdev Singh Bhatti, SP(D). A team comprising CIA in charge Sanjeev Goyal, Dr Subash of Civil Hospital and food inspector Jaswinder Singh raided a premises at Dashmesh Nagar, Dhanaula road, Barnala. During the raid the team seized 8,500 kg of synthetic desi ghee loaded in six drums.

The police in another raid at a shop, Punjab Desi Ghee Bhandar, seized 50 kg of synthetic milk. About 45 kg of Rag banaspati ghee was also seized. Garewal said during interrogation the accused revealed that they were in this business for the past one year and had already sold about 80,000 kg of synthetic desi ghee in one year. — OC



Foolproof security for PMET

Faridkot, July 5
Having faced an embarrassing situation once following the leak of pre-medical entrance test (PMET) paper, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences is leaving nothing to chance this time. Now, the test will be held under foolproof security of the Punjab police on July 8.

The department concerned has deployed police contingents, headed by gazetted and non-gazetted officials, at the spots where the question papers are being printed and where these will be kept.

Police personnel would accompany the staff transporting question papers to examination centres.

Earlier, the PMET question paper leaked in 2005. Next year, Punjab University was assigned the task to conduct the test. — TNS


ISRO plans weather stn at varsity
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 5
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has decided to set up an automatic weather station (AWS) on the Guru Nanak Dev University campus shortly. In the first phase ISRO has planned to setup a network of around 20 AWS in each state at various locations.

Vice-chancellor Jai Rup Singh said here yesterday that with the setting up of the AWS the long-felt need of the university for weather data for environmental monitoring, water management, irrigation, crop acreage and cropping system analysis would be met.

He said the AWS is capable of recording weather data on an hourly basis, which is transmitted through satellite and pooled for other AWS in India. The AWS would record temperature, pressure, humidity, winds, rainfall, and radiation. The data recorded would be useful for drought monitoring, flood assessment and forecast, agriculture, irrigation in the state.

He said the station would be developed indigenously by the Space Applications Centre, Department of Space, Government of India, New Delhi, in association with M/s Astra Microwave Products Ltd., Hyderabad. 


Plus II, BA compartment cases not eligible for promotion
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 5
The students who have been placed under compartment in +2 examinations or in the final year of graduation are not eligible for admission to a higher class. It is applicable even for taking admission into postgraduation.

Stating this Dr R.S. Bawa, registrar, Guru Nanak Dev University, said the decision would be effective from 2007-08 academic session.

However, he has clarified that if a student clears his/her compartment of +2 examinations during the admission being made with late fee, he could be admitted to the graduation level with a requisite late fee.

He said the student who presents his/her confidential result from school education board/ university would be eligible for admission.


Approval granted for MBA course
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 5
Cordia Institute of Business Management, Sanghol, has got the AICTE, New Delhi, approval to start MBA course from 2007-08.

Institute director Dr R.K. Sharma said they had been allocated 60 seats in MBA-I for this session.

He said the complex was already running a BEd college and offering courses like the BCA and the PGDCA.


Mgmt school welcomes freshers
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 5
The Punjab School of Management Studies (PSMS), Punjabi University, started its new batch of MBA (correspondence) students here on Monday.

The course, which was introduced in 1984, has been popular among students across the country.

This year, 70 executives from business and defence sectors have been admitted to the course.

Head of the department Dr S.K. Bansal and other faculty members welcomed the new students. Dr Bansal said the course, which was earlier offered exclusively to defence personnel, was now being offered to business executives and professionals.

He added that the course was beneficial for executives who wanted to sharpen their managerial skills.


BEd Entrance 
Roll Nos. dispatched
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 5
Preparations for the BEd entrance test, being conducted by Punjabi University on July 15, are in full swing.

Sources said 166 examination centres had been set up for 40,000 candidates in 21 towns, including all district headquarters of Punjab and Chandigarh.

Roll numbers of the candidates have been dispatched and are expected to reach them by the end of the first week of July.

Candidates who do not receive their admit card-cum-roll number slip by July 9 can collect a duplicate one personally from the university on July 10 and 11. They must bring along one attested photograph.

For further query, they can contact at BEd Entrance Test Cell on phone Nos. 0175-3046391 and 3046392.

Candidates can submit their forms with late fee of Rs 2,000 till July 7.


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