R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


: The Revenue Patwar Union continued to stage a sit-in at Patwar House close to the sub-divisional complex here today to oppose the “arbitrary” orders of the government desiring that all patwaris go through a refresher course. The union members raised slogans against the government terming the orders as unwise and unwarranted as there was no provision for arranging exams on the basis of such a course. 

Bolaria’s death mourned: Various organisations and prominent citizens of the city on Friday mourned the death of Raminder Singh Bolaria, an Akali MLA from the Amritsar South constituency, at Cleveland (USA) on Thursday. The management, staff and students of St Francis School condoled the sudden demise of Bolaria who was an alumnus of the school. The Amritsar Social Welfare Association, led by Sohan Lal Khanna, and the district unit of the Punjab State Cooperative Audit Staff Association, led by its president Gurpreet Singh, paid tributes to the departed soul.

Foundation stone laid: The state government has decided to open an Adarsh School in every district and three out of five schools would be developed as ‘Model School’ at the cost of Rs 55 lakh each. Besides, Airtel was also opening high-quality schools in villages. Information and public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia on Friday laid the foundation stone of a government senior secondary model school at Tarsikka village being constructed at a cost of Rs 55 lakh here. 

Gang of dacoits busted: The Amritsar police on Friday busted a gang of dacoits and arrested four persons belonging to various areas, including Jammu, Ropar and Gurdaspur, in this regard. The gang was active for long in Amritsar and nearby police districts. The accused were identified as Baldev Singh, Dharam Singh, Sher Singh and Shami Pal Sharma while Nishan Singh, brother of Dharm Singh, along with another accomplice Kala, were absconding. 

Cocaine seized: The district police has recovered 250 gm of cocaine from the possession of two smugglers Kiranpal Singh of Gulldair village and Awanish Kumar of Datiana village of Ghaziabad district, Uttar Pradesh. A case has been registered under Sections 22/61/85, NDPS Act, at Sadar police station here. 

Research projects: The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of the Government of India have sanctioned two research projects of Rs 80 lakh to Guru Nanak Dev University. Dr Renu Bhardwaj of the Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences of the university has been awarded the research projects by the UGC on conducting study on Brassino steroids. Dr P.K. Pati and Dr Subodh Kumar have been appointed co-investigators of the DST and DBT projects, respectively. 

Kanwaljit leads delegation
: Punjab cooperation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh has left for New Zealand and Australia with a delegation to study the cooperative movement in these countries. The delegation included financial commissioner, cooperation, Kusumjit Sidhu, registrar, cooperative societies, Vishwajeet Khanna and MD, Punjab State Cooperative Agriculture Development Bank, Chandigarh, Gurbir Singh. The minister will be in these countries till February 20 at the invitation of the Department of Cooperation of the New Zealand and the Australian governments. 

KSC stages dharna
: Activists of the Kisan Sangharsh Committee (KSC), Punjab, under the leadership of Darshan Singh Mattoo, Gurmesh Singh, Jagdish Singh Chokha and Jeet Singh, held a rally and staged a dharna in the tehsil complex here today. The protest was organised to support their demands such as waiving of arrears issued by the Punjab Tubewell Corporation to the farmers of Kandi, completion of the second phase of the Rajiv Gandhi Kandi canal at the earliest, provision of annual funds for its maintenance, etc. 

National prize: The NABARD Kisan Club of Lambra village in Hoshiarpur district secured the first prize for its overall performance at the national level during 2006-07. 

Punjab bandh
: The Punjab Employees Struggle Committee, Mansa, announced today to support the Punjab bandh call, which has been given by labourers and farmers organisations against the privatisation of public sector units. A meeting of employees was held at the Baba Bujha Singh Bhawan under the presidentship of Atma Singh. 

: The department of journalism and mass communication will organise a two-day symposium on ‘Media Technologies - Today and Tomorrow’ from February 19. Vice-chancellor Dr Jaspal Singh will inaugurate the symposium while Sidhu Damdami, editor, Punjabi Tribune, Chandigarh, will be the chief guest of the valedictory function. Three eminent scholars and professionals will share their knowledge and experience with students of the department. 

Honoured: Chicago-based NRI Thakar Singh Basati was conferred with Pride of Punjab Award on Friday by Punjab Writers’ and Cultured Form (regd.) in a specially organised function in recognition of his services for preservation of Punjabi culture, language and customs in America and Canada for past two decades. 

36 complaints settled
: A sangat darshan programme was held under the presidentship of ADC Dr Indu Malhotra here on Thursday. Forty complaints were presented at the programme, of which 36 were redressed on the spot while four were sent to the departments concerned for redressal. On the occasion, the ADC took a serious note against those officers who had not sent reports of the complaints, which had been handed over to them at the previous sangat darshan programme. 



Maths workshop: A two-day workshop on ‘Mathematics Education and Research in Punjab’ was inaugurated by Punjab chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali, at its transit campus in Chandigarh. Dr N. Sathyamurthy, director, IISER, impressed upon the delegates to come out with ideas for reviving maths education in Punjab. The workshop will have three different sessions on school mathematics, college mathematics and higher education mathematics.



Killed: Udham Singh, a resident of Jarota village, was killed while two others were seriously injured when their motorcycles collided near Panjokhra village on Friday afternoon. Udham Singh had come to visit Jor Mela at Gurdwara Panjojhra Sahib. While returning, his motorcycle collided with another motorcycle coming from the opposite direction. He died on the spot. The injured Piyara Singh and Kuldeep were rushed to the local civil hospital. 


‘Preserve’ rich hill culture: Prem Sharma, Himachal director language and culture has pointed towards rich and varied hill cultural heritage of Himachal Pradesh and has urged youths and artists to ensure that latest and modern trends do not spoil the originality and richness of this wealth of the state. He also urged to take special care to encourage and preserve our traditional folk songs, folk dances, folk lores and also folk instruments as most of these are now going in to oblivious due to neglect and carelessness and also there being no proper encouragement to folk artistes from the society. 

Truck mishap: Driver Rattan Lal, son of Vijay Ram of Sosan-Namhole village, was killed on the spot as his truck No. HP-24 - 9278 suddenly into a 300-feet gorge near Gambhar bridge on NH-21, near here, on Thursday night. Another occupant of the truck, Sanjay Kuma,r son of Nikku Ram of Delag village, was injured seriously and has been admitted to the regional hospital, here. A case has been registered. 

Book released: Deputy Commissioner Devesh Kumar here on Thursday released a book of poems ‘Samriti’ written by late Shabir Qureshi a prominent journalist and a poet. Kumar praised the effort of the district Language And Culture Department and district cultural council who had collaborated to publish this compilation of poems of the poet who suddenly expired last year. 

Two arrested: The police here have succeeded in arresting two persons red-handed while cutting the BSNL telephone cable on NH-21 near Chadol after someone informed it about this illegal activity. The police said they have arrested Jagdhir Kumar of Malhotra colony, Ropar (Punjab) and Anil Kumar of Valmiki Ashram, Ropar (Punjab) along with their cutting instruments and have also recovered 50 m cable from them on the spot. 

PRI reservation: Geharwin MLA Rikhi Ram Kondal has welcomed the decision of the government that all Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) and local bodies will have 50 per cent reservation for women in the next elections. Addressing a series of public meetings in connection with his public contact program at Barad, Mannan, Duhhak and Sunhani, Kondal said this was a historic step as it would bring a sea-change in decision-making in these local bodies and would be a great step forward in political empowerment of women in the state. He said the government was committed for all-round development of all sections of society. 

Improve healthcare
: The Chamba Citizens Progressive Council has urged Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal to ensure upgrading of health services in the area and save historical places from decay. President of the council D.N. Pardesi said Chamba had a zonal hospital during the tenure of the previous BJP regime but that was downgraded to an ordinary hospital during the Congress regime. Out of sanctioned strength of 22 doctors, only eight were available to attend around 500 patients everyday. 

National conference
: The applied sciences department at the NIT, Hamirpur, will organisea a two-day national conference from Saturday on recent advances in innovative materials (RAIM- 08). Organising secretary Kuldeep Kumar Sharma said 114 papers would be presented in this conference. DRDO additional director Chander Prakash would inaugurate the conference while Dr. S.M.D Rao from Taiwan would be the guest of honour. 

Declamation contest: Jyotsna Public School and Jyotsna ITI on Friday organised a declamation contest to create awareness on AIDS. Class VIII student Priya was adjudged first in the contest while Vandana and Soni were declared second and third. 

Women quota
: As much as 50 per cent reservation would be ensured for women in all three tiers of panchayati raj organisations in the next elections. Deputy Speaker Khimi Ram stated this at a “Jan Shikayat Nivaran” (public complaint redressal) meet at Banjar recently. He said the rural road construction would remain a priority in his constituency. The areas where there were problems in getting clearance from the forest authorities, machine-operated ropeways would be installed. These spans would be controlled by respective panchayats, he added. 

Foetus found
: A case of infant foeticide has been reported at Baddi on Friday. The body of a 6-month old boy was located alongside a wall of Digital System near the HPSIDC office, Baddi by a unit security guard. The police was informed about the matter. This is second case of infant foeticide in Baddi area in seven months. 

Provide housing
: The local unit of Himachal Pradesh NGO federation has urged the state government to provide housing facility to employees working in various government departments at subdivisional headquarters in Nurpur. In a statement president of the federation Onkar Dhiman underlined the need of housing facility keeping in view the enhanced office burden on the employees due to various Centrally sponsored schemes as the employees face problem while returning to their houses situated in far off places in the local subdivision. 


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