MD/MS entrance row
Cong govt takes a beating
Raman Mohan
Tribune News Service

Hisar, March 13
The image of the Congress government in Haryana has taken a beating lately with the controversy over the alleged bungling in postgraduate medical courses entrance examination taking its toll.

Even before the latest row erupted, the government was finding it hard to grapple with the negative impact of unprecedented power shortage, and an acute shortage of cooking gas and kerosene.

However, the examination controversy has severely eroded the credibility of the government.

Thus far, despite sporadic protests over power and LPG shortage almost everywhere in the state, people were appreciative of the fact that there had been no reports of any bungling in recruitments, government purchases and the grant of permission for change of land use. This public perception not only blunted opposition criticism of the government, but also helped the government successfully project the previous regimes as more corrupt than the public could imagine.

The Chautala era’s HPSC recruitments and the appointments of JBT teachers that went under judicial scanner, gave the Congress ample ammunition to keep the INLD leadership cornered. These issues also helped the government project itself as different from the earlier regimes in a positive sense. But the medical entrance examination scandal has deprived the government of the advantage it had.

The fact that Maharshi Dayanand University and the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences are located in Rohtak, the hometown of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has added to the party’s problem for no fault of either the party or its leadership. But the fact that the town is at the centre stage of the agitation of medicos is damaging in itself.

Congress leaders are quick to point out that had there been any irregularities because of intervention by party leadership, this would have happened in previous three years as well. While this plea may shift the blame from political leadership to MDU authorities, but nevertheless it still is damaging to the government’s reputation especially when the Lok Sabha elections look round the corner and assembly elections to follow in less than two years.

The row has already emboldened opposition parties to resort to mudslinging on the issue. The Haryana Janhit Congress (BL) has taken up the issue and the BJP has joined the chorus. The INLD has also taken it up but the approach has been feeble and mostly the second rung leaders have been crying foul so far.

But more than the political damage, what should be worrying the state Congress leadership is the deep scar this controversy has left on the psyche of the common man. Luckily, the Chief Minister continues to be publicly regarded as aboveboard. However, he can still not wash his hands entirely off the row unless the admissions are probed in a transparent manner and the guilty punished if any irregularities are found. 



Sirsa gets 3 mobile medical units
Sushil Manav

Sirsa, March 13
Healthcare facilities in Sirsa district have received a boost with the introduction of three mobile medical units recently.

The mobile units, inaugurated by Deepender Singh Hooda, Congress MP from Rohtak, are aimed at providing medical facilities to people living in the far-flung areas of the district at their doorstep.

The authorities have converted one of these mobile units into delivery room and minor operation theatre, the second one into dental clinic and the third into eye clinic and general out patient department (OPD).

Civil surgeon P.R. Kayasth informed The Tribune that Rs 1 crore had been spent on these mobile units, which would be beneficial for poor patients.

He added that a gynecologist and a surgeon had been 

deputed on the first of its kind mobile van, besides nurses and other assisting staff.

An X-ray machine had been installed in the mobile unit meant for dental care, said the civil surgeon, adding that the third mobile medical unit had been equipped in such a manner that it would be possible to perform surgical operations of eyes, besides normal eye check-ups.

He said besides an ophthalmologist, a general physician had also been appointed. All medical facilities in these mobile units would be available free of cost, he added.

Deputy commissioner V. Umashankar told The Tribune that delivery huts had been set up in almost all major villages of the district under the National Rural Health Mission.

This had shown very good results, ensuring that a majority of deliveries in the villages were conducted in these huts and not in the hands of quacks, he said.

The condition of primary health centres and community health centres in villages was also being ameliorated by providing latest medical and surgical equipments there, he said.

The mobile medical units, he added, were a big step in providing healthcare facilities to the poor.



Young at 96, oldest at Jagadhri Bar
Nishikant Dwivedi
Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, March 13
A 96-year-old advocate is practising at the District Bar Association (formerly Jagadhri Bar Association), which celebrated its centenary last week. He is presumably the oldest advocate practising in a court located in the state.

The bar, which was founded in 1907 with five members, now has more than 750 members.

The bar members had earned a lot of praise for their knowledge and conduct from judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda at a function organised to celebrate the centenary celebrations.

Brajraj Kaushik (96) regularly reaches his chamber located at the judicial courts in Jagadhri and supervises his junior advocates in dealing with different cases. His father, late Joyti Parsad, had founded the Jagadhri Bar Association in 1907 with five members.

Kaushik, who joined the Bar in 1937, has a collection of more than 10,000 books in his library and most of them were passed on to him by his father and maternal grandfather. Some of his books are rare. He has already donated more than 3,000 legal books to other advocates.

He says there were only six or seven advocates when he joined the bar. He lives alone in his ancestral house in Jagadhri and does all household jobs himself. He was honoured on the centenary day celebrations. He feels that punishment does not help reduce crime but it is more important to work on the improvement of character of the criminals.

Another senior member of the bar, Dhan Parkash Garg, says, “When I started practice in 1964, advocates used to sit on broken chairs under trees and tarpaulin tents, but now things have changed as advocates have chambers and bar office has air conditioners, rich library and of course, better furniture.” He claims that the bar is the best, at least in the state, where advocates and judges enjoy good relationship.

Other advocates say the bar members have played a vital role in getting district status for Yamunanagar. Garg says in 1984-85, as many as 102 bar members were arrested under section 107 and 151 of the CrPC while they were protesting against a tehsildar. The advocates were, however, released after three days after the then Chief Minister Bhajan Lal intervened.

“We stood against corruption and the jail trip was like a picnic,” says Garg. He also informs that at one time, there were as many as 25 cases in the Jagadhri court against INLD chief and former Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala. Senior advocates say these days clients do not hesitate to pay fees of the advocates. “When I had started practice, the fee was meager and even then clients were not ready to pay it. They used to bargain a lot,” says Kaushik.



Forget e-mail, Mewat even lacks postal services
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Mewat, March 13
Satpal, a student of class X, residing in Raniyala village of the district, got panicky when he did not receive his roll number slip with just two days left for the commencement of his board examinations. He and his father hired a taxi by paying Rs 2,000 and went to the Haryana School Education Board’s office in Bhiwani to get a duplicate slip issued.

Satpal was informed that his roll number slip had been dispatched a fortnight ago at the postal address mentioned in his form.

Satpal could not get the document as there is no post office in his village and the post office covering his village is far away and the postman does not deliver letters regularly.

Talking to The Tribune, Satpal’s father revealed that as he was not very well off, he had to borrow money from one of his friends and rushed to Bhiwani to get his son’s duplicate roll number slip. He said his son’s study suffered a great deal during this period of mental harassment.

Satpal’s is not the isolated case, but numerous others face similar predicament due to poor postal services in the rural areas of Mewat. In this age of information technology when huge data can transferred to any part of the world in the blink of an eye, it is the irony of the people this district who are waiting for the improvement in postal services despite Mewat being at the backdrop of the national capital.

A visit to the area revealed that not even the postal services but various small-saving schemes, which are introduced through post offices, are not publicised among the villagers because of the shortage of manpower in the post offices in the region.

As per the norms of the postal department, a branch post office is set up in the rural areas at the minimum distance of 3 km from the nearest existing post office for a population of 3,000 in a group of villages.

According to the guidelines, the mail should be delivered within two days after the day of posting within a city, town or district. For inter-metro, the mail should be delivered within two to three days. Similarly, within state in three days, interstate capital within three days after posting and within three to five days in case of interstate mail.

Sarpanch of the Kotla village said there was a branch post office at Multhan village, which is 4 km away from their village, but the mails of their village were not delivered in time due to which the villagers had to travel 12 km to use postal services in Nagina village. He stated that due to irregular transport service in the rural areas, a majority of the villagers avoid going to post offices.

He remarked that most of the students and unemployed youth of the village who are dependent for their academic, interview and appointment letters on the postal department were the worst affected. He said the villagers hardly got their mail in time and postman came to deliver the mail only once in a month.

He said after floods in the village, the government had released compensation for the village, which the panchayat had to deposit with Nuh post office, which was more than 8 km away. He stated that every time the panchayat needed money, one member of the panchayat had to visit Nuh, which sometimes caused delay in starting the work.

Talking about the postal saving schemes, he said the villagers were not even aware about them, as they did not visit post office and neither any representative of the postal department came to the village to make villagers aware about it. 



Fatal accidents
Tipsy drivers infor a rough ride
Vishal Joshi
Tribune News Service

Panipat, March 13
Following the startling official revelations that out of the total causalities in road accidents in the state, nearly 80 per cent of them belonged to the crucial age group of 16-45 years, the state highways police has proposed to initiate strict legal proceedings against the drunken drivers on the NH-1.

In a bid to tighten noose around these “risky drivers”, the highway police has written to the state authorities to take strict view of the scenario while maintaining that they contribute considerably in fatal road accidents.

It has further requested to take up the case with the higher legal authorities for the cancellation of driving licence or the registration of the vehicle, besides imposing strict penalties against those caught drunk.

Keeping in view of fatal accidents on the GT Road, last year in April, the state police set up a permanent sobriety checkpoint at Karnal toll plaza and nabbed nearly 1,400 offenders.

“It is a matter of deep concern that nearly 1.20 lakh persons are killed annually on the Haryana roads. Out of the total deaths, nearly 20 per cent are between the age group of 16-21 years whereas 60 per cent are between the age group of 22-45 years,” revealed AIG (Highways) Rajpal Singh.

Either the driving licence or the registration cards of the drunk drivers are impounded and sent to the Karnal court for legal proceedings. However, he added that nearly 500 such violators had not turned up in the court on the given date and stressed that there was a need to get strict with lawbreakers.

The police has also decided to prepare a database of the violators to take legal proceedings against those involved for second or subsequent violations.

There are two alcohol sensors on job at the Karnal toll plaza where police personnel from Kurukshetra, Ambala, Yamunanagar, Karnal, Kaithal, Panipat and the HPA, Madhuban, are put on duty on daily basis between 8 pm to 1 am.



Wedding revelries spell doom for residents
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, March 13
Thanks to the uninhibited and boisterous revelries of wedding parties, almost all 30-odd banquet halls of the town have virtually become a scourge of thousands of hapless citizens as well the student community. The on-going peak season of marriages has added to their woes.

n The existence of numerous banquet halls in and around Rewari has been causing hardships to its residents

n The unrestricted playing of music at a deafening pitch keeps hapless residents tossing in their beds till after midnight almost daily

n Owing to the lack of adequate parking space, traffic jams are routine

n This being examination time, the student community is a harassed lot

This is all the more agonising that these celebrations have been going on unabated despite apex court orders putting restrictions on such celebrations after 10 pm.

The existence of many of these banquet halls and marriage palaces in and around the populated areas of the town has been causing considerable hardships to the residents on several counts.

The unrestricted playing of music at a deafening pitch coupled with loud and incessant bursting of crackers keep hapless residents tossing in beds till after midnight almost daily.

This being the examination time, the student community is a harassed lot. Besides, numerous inmates of a college girls’ hostel on the Delhi road here have been facing similar hardships.

The lack of adequate parking space for vehicles with many of these banquet halls frequently leads to traffic jams which continues for hours together, particularly on the Delhi road. Worse still, many of the invitees often park their vehicles on the streets of local Shiv Nagar colony much to the inconvenience of the residents.

Besides, many of the young invitees relish drinking in the open with such impunity that causes panic particularly among the women residents of the neighbouring colonies.

A large number of invitees often urinate in the open and in the drains of streets of the colonies, again causing embarrassment of the residents.

The aggrieved residents are at a loss to know if it was not the consequential responsibility of the banquet hall owners to provide adequate parking space as well as security guards, who could keep an eye on vehicle-lifters, drinkers and other nuisance-mongers. They are also sore at the lackadaisical approach of the district administration towards such a grave problem.

The menace of such revelries is not confined to Rewari city alone, it has rapidly spread its tentacles in numerous towns and big villages of the district as well.

In view of the alarming proportions assumed by this nasty problem, several village panchayats have banned the playing of high-pitch music during wedding celebrations in their respective villages.

Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Chander Prakash told the Tribune that he was seized of the matter and the promulgation of prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC was on the anvil.



College adopts novel way to help poor
Nishikant Dwivedi
Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, March 13
As many as 50 rural girls from the weaker sections of the society were adopted by DAV Girls College, Yamunanagar, and trained in cosmetology, cooking, tailoring and embroidery, and computers.

Now, after three months stay in a hostel of the college, all these girls have become experts in their respective fields and they can now start their own venture or get employed. The college had adopted these girls from different villages of the district to make them self-reliant. The short-term project, named "Udaan", for non-school going adolescent girls was part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the college.

It was not easy to convince the rustic people to let their girls come out of the confines of their homes and stay in a hostel for three months. "It was very difficult but we convinced the parents regarding the safety of their daughters," informd Dr Sushma Arya, principal of the college. The college provided the girls with free boarding, lodging and meals.

Tanmeet, Deepa and Prerna, all project officers and faculty members of the college, worked hard to train these girls. "When these girls had come here they had no knowledge about martial arts but today any one of them can give a sound thrashing to an eve teaser," claims Tanmeet. These girls were also taught about hygiene and women's rights. "The girls were fast learners and have now become more cautious about personal hygiene," informs Manisha Bajaj, president of the local chapter of the family planning association, who counseled the girls about their social rights and health.

Except for a couple of the girls, most of them were school dropouts. "Here everything was good and homely. But the English classes were the best," says Jagwinder Gill of Gumthala Rao village and a class VIII dropout. She is second among her five siblings and belongs to a poor family. She said initially, her parents were hesitant to send her to the college hostel for three months.

"They agreed only because an institution like DAV was associated with the project," Gill said.

Rajinder of Yamunanagar, who has become an expert in cosmetology, says, "During my training, I attended a marriage function and earned Rs 1,000 for bridal makeup."

Meanwhile, articles made by these girls were displayed in an exhibition recently. Additional deputy commissioner Narinder Singh, while visiting the exhibition, had appreciated their efforts and promised help on behalf of the district administration.

The college authorities were sure that these girls would be able to earn their livelihood from the training they received at the college. "They can visit the college hostels once in a month and provide their services to the hostlers and charge for the same," informs Dr Arya.



Inside Babudom
Irregular HCS appointments

Govt dithers on termination
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Congressmen in Haryana are these days busy highlighting the alleged irregularities committed by the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) during the Chautala regime. But when it comes to setting the wrongs right, their government dithers, and dithers.

One such incident concerns the nomination of in-service employees of various categories to the HCS made during the INLD rule. The Chautala government nominated 19 persons to the HCS, after it raised the cadre strength of the state civil service to 300. Under the rules, while some posts are filled through direct recruitment, the rest are filled through nomination of in-service employees of various categories. But the nominations are made only after the direct recruitment has been made.

However, the Chautala government, obviously to accommodate a few of its favourites, made the nominations in anticipation of the direct recruitment, for which the HPSC selected the candidates. Before the appointment letters could be issued, the elections were announced and the code of conduct came into force. The new government reduced the cadre strength from 300 to 270.

The issue went before the courts where it was held that the government had a right to reduce the cadre strength. About the nominated officers, it was held that the government could terminate their services by giving them a notice and issuing speaking orders. If the nominated officers continue to remain in service, the cadre strength exceeds the prescribed strength.

Among the nominated 19 officers, while two died, one Sharwan Kumar was terminated when his certificate of graduation was found to be fake. Though his services were terminated, no criminal prosecution was launched against him. To accommodate its favourites, the Chautala government had changed the rules to make employees of boards and corporation eligible for nomination to the HCS.

The then Chief Secretary Promilla Issar issued notices to the nominated HCS officers asking them why their services should not be terminated. When a few officers sought personal hearing, Issar granted this facility to everyone. She is believed to have dictated the speaking orders. But before making her orders public, she sought the opinion of the legal remembrancer (LR) so that there should not be any legal flaw in her orders. The LR, in turn, sent the speaking orders for the opinion of the advocate-general, who returned the file after a few days along with his opinion to the CS's office. But by then Issar was left with just a couple of days before superannuating.

Now the opinion in the CS's office is that since the formal termination orders are to be issued by the new CS, Dharamveer, the personal hearing held by Issar and her speaking orders may not hold ground before the courts. Therefore, the new CS should grant the personal hearing afresh, thereby restarting the whole process

Since the CS is busy these days with the assembly session, which will continue till the end of this month, the earliest Dharamveer can grant personal hearing is some time in April. Till then, these officers will continue to make hay.



Citizens’ Grievances
Paying dearly for freebies

I was offered a free Internet connection of Airtel on the purchase of an HCL computer. I deposited Rs 1,500 as security (refundable on surrendering the connection). However, the company started charging from the very first month by levying rent on the connection (no. 0184-4036426). I complained to the officials concerned but to not avail. Later when I asked the company for the disconnection, I was assured of refund of excess amount. But the company kept levying rent in its subsequent bills. The latest bill shows my security deposit as fully exhausted. The company of this repute should not resort to unfair trade practice and refund my money.

K.K. Chawla, Karnal

Industrial area in bad shape

For the past several days, a water pipeline opposite shed no. 229 in Industrial Area, Panchkula, has been broken, resulting in the loss of water and damage to the road. But nobody seems to bother despite repeated requests to HUDA officials. In fact, the dilapidated infrastructure is the bane of this area. Roads are in bad shape, particularly in front of shed no. 229, 248 and 232. Besides, non-working streetlights, poor sewerage and unscheduled power cuts have a direct or indirect bearing on the output of industrial units in the area.

Dr R.K. Modi, Panchkula

Retirement dues not paid

I was employed with the Haryana State MITC, which was shut down by the government in July 2002. As per requirement, I submitted no dues certificate in time. However, my dues were withheld for the want of proof regarding house-building loan, which I never availed. I also filed an affidavit in this regard, but the department seems in no mood to release my dues even as nearly six years have elapsed. Will the authorities look into the matter and release my retirement benefits at the earliest?

R.L. Sharma, Rohtak

Send in write-ups, not exceeding 200 words, to Haryana Plus, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh. E-mail:



A philanthropic genius
Sunit Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Garhi Balb (Rohtak), March 13
Most of us would be confident of knowing tables till 20 or 25. Some having a sound mathematical acumen may remember the tables till 50, while those of us who dreaded the subject might know only till 10 or 15. Meet Surender, a class IX student of Garhi Balb village in Rohtak district, who knows tables till - hold your breath - 11,000.

Ask him any from between and he'll come up with the correct answer in a jiffy. Many a time, he is even faster than calculator. And on knowing the circumstances in which he lives and studies, one feels likes saluting the laborious lad.

Surender's father was an alcoholic and died when the boy was quite young. His mother is not well and is unable to care of Surender and his elder brother. His grandfather somehow tries to make both ends meet with his limited means. Their house is in a shambles.

However, despite all odds, this brave young boy never lost hope and devoted himself to his studies. The depth of his character can be gauged from the fact that Surender teaches younger children of his village in his free time and does not charge any fee from them.

"He teaches our children but refuses to accept any money in return," says an elderly woman of his neighbourhood.

Seeing Surender's sincerity amidst trying circumstances, Rohtak-based Sristi Gyan Kendra, a voluntary organisation, came forward and arranged a monthly scholarship for him.

"Mathematics and English are my favorite subjects and I want to become a teacher when I grow up," he says on being asked about his likes and ambition.

No wonder, this 15-year-old boy is becoming a role model for other children of his village. Having learnt to face adversities with his steel-like will at a tender age, this altruistic genius can be our role model as well.



Drive against social evils
Reaching masses through radio
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Jind, March 13
There may be a sea change in the means of communication over the years, but certain traditional mediums like radio have not lost its relevance. Though a radio or a transistor set is not very commonly visible, this medium has, however, seems to have made inroads into our daily lives with the entry of FM stations and its availability on the mobile phone sets.

This has also become a medium of various awareness drives on social issues. Dev Raj Sirohiwal, a local resident, has been actively involved in using radio, which is still an important medium of communication in the rural and semi-urban areas, to create awareness against social evils among the masses.

Working with the public relations department here, Sirohiwal has recently written the script of a feature titled "Ladli" to be aired on the All-India Radio station of Rohtak. The feature about the importance of the girl child in the modern society and reflects the need to maintain a proper balance in the sex ratio.

The feature mainly focuses the benefits of "Ladli" scheme launched by the Haryana government, a couple of years ago. It contains dialogues in regional accent and has examples from the current social environment and supported by clips of songs in local dialect and language.

Under the scheme, the state government provides financial help of Rs 5,000 per year for a period of five years on the birth of second girl child to the couple.

According to experts, broadcast of such features and plays on radio proves to be an effective means of making the people aware of the lacunae in the social set up and the need for corrective measures by motivating them to take benefit of the ongoing schemes.

Sirohiwal feels that there is a need to broadcast small clips of programs on social issues on all FM channels so that the younger generation, which has developed a liking for the FM stations, can be made aware.

He says the channels should be motivated to give away prizes and awards to the listeners for their participation in spreading such messages.

Sirohiwal says he has written more than 13 features on such topics in the past couple of years. One of his feature titled "Lal Akhbar" on the lives of two freedom fighters hailing from a village in Safidon subdivision in the district has been nominated for the national award by the ministry of information and broadcasting recently.



Rival groups agree to end bloody feud
B.S. Malik

Sonepat, March 13
The long efforts of Dahiya khap panchayat to strike a compromise between two rival groups of Jharonth village paid dividends when members of one group participated in the marriage of two daughters of a member of rival group in the village recently. Both groups jointly attended the ceremonies in a homely atmosphere.

The Dahiya khap committee, led by its president Ram Phal Dahiya, had arranged a meeting between members of Nathan group and those of Dalel group at Kharkhoda police station a day before the marriage. The members agreed to forget their enmity and create an atmosphere of brotherhood and live peacefully.

The decision has been welcomed not only by residents of the village but also by the people of the region as well as the police authorities. The bloody rivalry between Nathan and Dalel groups has so far claimed seven lives in the past two years and as a result of it several members from both groups are behind bars while many others have been declared as proclaimed offenders. Besides, many families have been displaced from the village.

It may be recalled that the rivalry started in May 2002, over playing of loud music by Jagbir of Dalel group, which was objected by members of Nathan group. It led to the murder of Jagbir allegedly by the members of Nathan group. After a few months, Dalbir of Dalel group, too, was murdered allegedly by Nathan group.

In retaliation of these murders, the Dalel group allegedly shot dead Narender Rathi, a relative of a family of Nathan group in 2006. It was followed by the murder of Atma Ram and Inder of Nathan group when they were shot dead at the village bus stop in May 2007.

The bloody feud did not stop here. Prem and Kartar of Nathan group were found missing from their work places in Delhi. Later, the Dalel group reportedly confessed before the Dahiya khap panchayat that both of them had also been eliminated.

Realising that there would not be any end to this rivalry and it could result in more murders, Dahiya khap took initiative and formed a committee to establish contacts between the members of both groups. The panchayat also sought cooperation from the police, which agreed readily.

Talking to The Tribune, Dahiya said there was still a long way to go to find solution to many other issues mainly relating to murder cases. "We are optimistic and hope to convince the members of rival groups to forget their past and make a new beginning." 





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