State forges ahead in e-governance
In all, Haryana has received 18 prestigious national e-governance awards. The state ranked number four in the Dataquest-IDC e-governance survey, 2008
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Haryana has not only made rapid strides in many key fields but also kept pace with technology and put it to good use for the benefit of citizens. The state progressed from the 15th position in 2003 to the fourth position in 2006 in the country, according to the e-readiness report of the union government.

Haryana won the “Best e-Governed State Government” TELECOMM India Excellence Award, 2007. In all, the state has received 18 prestigious national e-governance awards. The state ranked number four in the Dataquest-IDC e-Governance Survey, 2008, having progressed from the 18th position in 2007-08, ahead of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat and Maharastra.

The state government has laid special emphasis on implementing Mission Mode e-Governance Projects, identified under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), having successfully organised the 11th National e-Governance Conference in February, 2008.

The state sector Mission Mode e-Governance projects namely, On-line Treasuries Information System, Haryana Registration Information System, Haryana Land Records Information System, Road Transport Regulatory Functions (Driving License and Vehicle Registration Systems), Haryana Pensions Processing and Information System, e.Health.Net project of the health department, VAT Monitoring Assessment and Collection System, etc., have already been implemented. Monitoring of the PWD (B&R) and the PWD (Water Supply and Sanitation) activities has also been computerised.

Haryana is the first state in the country to introduce online off-campus counselling system and online entrance examination system for admission to technical and professional courses. This project has received Gold Icon Award at the 11th National e-Governance Conference. The project has also received “Best e-Governed Project Excellent Project” Award of CSI-Nihilent Excellence Awards, 2008”. The Mustard Procurement Management System, implemented in Rohtak district, has received the Silver Icon Award at the conference. Administrative reforms and publishing of all results, admit cards, provisional certificates on web, received Skoch Challenge Award in March, last.

The union government has selected the state for implementation of the smart card-based PDS and Ration Card System on a pilot basis. The union government has also sanctioned a pilot project IntraGov Haryana Portal with integration of G2G & G2E applications under e-Office suite. Web-enabled MIS for the NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) scheme has been implemented in all districts.

The Below Poverty Line (BPL) Households Census Survey has been computerised for all districts. The smart card-based Rashtriya Swasthya Beema Yojna (RSBY) scheme has been implemented in four districts (Yamunanagar, Bhiwani, Faridabad, Panipat) and is being extended to other districts. Work on the project of issuing unique ID cards to senior citizens has also been initiated.

Police G2G Suite of software packages has been implemented for facilitating the police functioning. Dynamic police web portal with citizen interface and websites of all SP offices in districts have been launched.

Besides, Common Integrated Police Application (CIPA) project is being implemented at all major police stations.



Lost in the fog
Rail, road traffic hit in region
Ravinder Saini

Bahadurgarh/Jhajjar, December 29
With severe cold and fog engulfing the district, normal life has been thrown out of gear. Due to persistent chilly and foggy weather conditions, hundreds of passengers have to face traumatic experience with most of trains running late, while on the other hand, the same has brought cheers among traders of woolen garments.

Dense fog early in the morning and cold winds blowing from last one week pushed the mercury further down in the region that has resulted in disruption of the movement of rail and road traffic.

According to reports, almost all long-distance trains on the Delhi-Rohtak-Sirsa track have been running late for some days. Commuters travelling by Haryana Express and other passenger trains could not reach their offices/workplaces on time as the trains were running late by a significant margin. The delay in the arrival and departure of some trains varied from a few hours to over an indefinite period.

Passengers at the railway station here said they were not being attended by the railway authorities since they were not giving them any information about the arrival and departure of the trains. The passengers could be seen shivering at the platforms while waiting for the delayed trains. Temper also flew high as the passengers had to wait for long for their train.

Meanwhile, railway officials said adequate arrangements had been made to inform the passengers about the train timings. Latest position of all trains was being announced in regular intervals, they added.

Besides trains, vehicular traffic on the national highway and other roads was also affected on account of thick fog and poor visibility. The drivers of vehicles used headlights for onward journey.

While the delay in the arrival of winter had dampened the spirits of wool traders, now intense cold wave has cheered them up. The sales have been picking up.

Some customers at a roadside garment seller said they did not plan to spend lavishly on winter clothes, which were used only for a month or two. They claimed that garments sold at roadside shops, were as good as the ones sold in expensive showrooms.

A garment seller at the Model Town locality said their garments were purchased by middle to high-end customers. Apart from this, heat convectors are also again in operation at homes and offices.



SCERT Inspection
Teaching of science subjects lacking in government schools
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, December 29
If the report of detailed inspection of science laboratories in various government schools, which was recently conducted by experts of the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Gurgaon, is any indication, the teaching of science subjects - Physics, Chemistry and Biology - in general and their practical instruction in particular is in shambles in many the schools in the district.

In the wake of a campaign of the state education department to reinforce the teaching of science subjects and thereby encouraging more and more students to opt for them, comprehensive inspection of the science laboratories in as many as 21 government senior secondary schools of Rewari, Bawal, Dharuhera, Kund, Khol, Pali, Dahina, Zainabad, Kanwali, Mandola, Khori, Masani, Hansaka, Pithrawas, Bodia Kamalpur, Budhpur, Berli Khurd, Jatusana and four government high schools of Majra, Khori, Zainabad Dahina and Musepur villages of the district was recently conducted.

The teams of experts comprised Manoj Kaushik, Jagdish Singh, Kulbhushan, Vinod Kumar, Sushil Sharma, Harsh Kumar, Subhash Garg, Poonam and Gyanwati.

The experts keenly observed the condition of the science laboratories, efficiency level of acquaintance of students with equipment and practical and projects conducted.

It is deplorable that while the students’ response in senior secondary schools of Bawal, Dahina, Kanwali, Pali, Dharuhera and high schools of Zainabad Dahina and Khori was found poor, the labs, too, were found deficient in proper maintenance and accomplishment of projects and activities.

Similarly, while the experts elicited average response from students in senior secondary schools of Bodia Kamalpur, Budhpur, Mandola, Khol, Pithrawas, Hansaka, Rewari, Jatusana and Berli Khurd, prevalence of inadequacies in one respect or the other was detected in the labs of most of these schools.

Amidst prevalence of such sorry state of affairs in the above schools, only Government High School, Majra, where students’ preparedness was found excellent, solitarily presented a picture of brightness, whereas the experts also extracted good response from students of senior secondary schools of Kund, Zainabad and Masani.

The director of the SCERT recently sent a message to the district education officer (DEO), Rewari, urging him to take due cognisance of the contents of the above report and make it convenient for the SCERT to undertake remedial measures to tone up the teaching of science subjects in Rewari district.

Consequently, the office of the DEO here has sought explanation from the schools which were found deficient in the teaching of science subjects.



Village with 80 per cent SC population faces neglect
Bhanu P. Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Karnal, December 29
Dabkauli Khurd village in Indri subdivision of the district is a glaring example of how the Scheduled Caste habitations are being discriminated against by the government and left to fend for themselves.

This tiny village along with six adjoining deras with a population of about 1,000 has over 80 per cent SC families, but it presents a picture of sharp contrast with Dabkauli Kalan village that falls in the same panchayat.

Even after 60 years of Independence, Dabkauli Khurd continues to be a victim of government apathy and neglect.

Deprived of basic facilities like roads, middle and high schools and health centre, villagers have been living on false hopes and promises made by politicians at the time of elections.

The road connecting the village ends 3 km short of the village and even pedestrians had to trek through the marshy patch of land while driving past this stretch is a nightmare.

The condition of the only road to the village is so terrible that two years ago a pregnant woman died due to bumpy drive on the road full of potholes and since then the villagers have stopped taking delivery cases to the hospital.

Mahipal, husband of panchayat member Sharda Devi, rues that due to the apathy of the government village women have been banking on dai (midwife) for delivery and the efforts of the health department to ensure 100 per cent institutional and safe deliveries have been set at naught.

The villagers are agitated over the indifference of the government and wonder if a day would ever come when this road would have a "black top," he adds.

The agony of the people becomes more severe when they compare themselves with the adjoining village of Dabkauli Kalan where all these facilities exist. "Why such step-motherly treatment is being meted out to this village” is one big question rattling the mind of every villager.

The situation in respect of healthcare is no better. More than 20 persons are suffering from tuberculosis (TB) and every third person is anaemic or carrying some water-borne disease but there is no one to listen, says Vikram, who himself is a TB patient.

About 12 persons, including Rampal, Mani Ram, Lal Singh, Sher Singh and Madan Lal, say they have been left out in the distribution of water tanks while many others have serious complaints against the manner in which the public distribution system is being run.

Our ration depot is in Dabkauli Kalan and it remains open only for two hours. Commodities are not available at one time and we have to go to the other village again and again to get rice, wheat, sugar and oil and most of the time the depot holder keeps our ration cards and later tells that these have been lost,” says an old widow Sanori Devi. Another 20 resident, including a handicap person Shesh Ram, also have similar complaints.

Furthermore, none of the Scheduled Caste person has any piece of land registered in his or her name and they are working as labourers and the impact of the much-hyped land reforms is nowhere to be seen.

The reason behind the miserable plight of the villagers is that there is a common panchayat for both Dabkoli Khurd and Dabkoli Kalan villages and majority of the funds are diverted to the other village, says Jagtar Singh, a villager.

Incidentally, Dabkauli Kalan happens to be a bigger village with a population of about 2500, but less than 20 per cent scheduled case families.



Another Khan sibling set to make his mark
Sonika Bhatia
Tribune News Service

Hyder KhanGurgaon, December 29
No doubt that the “super Khans” - Aamir, Salman, Shah Rukh and Saif - rule the tinsel town and after a successful debut by young Imran Khan, another Khan is knocking on the doors.

This young Khan kid is none other than Aamir “perfectionist” Khan’s stepbrother Hyder Khan. Born and brought-up in filmy atmosphere, soon he was addicted to be a big movie fan. Seeing the excitement and eagerness, his father Tahir Hussain decided to take him to Bollywood arena and inspired him to join the stardom. Although Hyder is yet to make an official entry on the big screen, he is acting in around 5-6 films and the most important fact is that his films will be released next year, in which the first one will be “Dil To Diwana Hai”.

Apart from this, Hyder is currently busy shooting a new movie “Trumpcard”, which is a suspense thriller and is being directed by Arshad Khan. Hyder is playing the role of an angry young man. The young Khan was here recently and we got an opportunity to talk with him.

Q. Tell us something about yourself?

A. I am son of film-maker Tahir Hussain and brother of Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan. From the beginning there was everything filmy around me due to which I got attracted to stardom and abbu found my interest towards the movies and insisted me to assist him in film-making where I learned a lot, but later he asked me to face the camera rather than to assist which inspired me in becoming an actor.

Q. Your father and brother are well-known personalities, so did this fact prove to be beneficial one in starting your career?

A. Yeah! It was very beneficial for me as I didn’t need to struggle, but being related to them the expectations are high and it’s me who has to prove, their name won’t do any good going further. I think irrespective of your background you have to justify your character by acting. When you are from a family, which includes people like Aamir, expectations are very high and I have accepted this fact as a challenge and it will definitely help me.

Q. Tell something about your debut movie?

A. “Dil To Diwana Hai” is my debut movie and will be released in January. Well-known actress from South Sada is opposite to me. Zeenat Aman, Raj Babbar, Alok Nath and others are also playing major roles in the movie. It has been produced by Deepak Sharma and directed by Raja Bundela. The movie explores the changing mentality of the new generation, their attitude towards family values, traditions and the requirements of a bridge that can hold them between ethics and modern culture.

Q. What about “Trumpcard” and other movies?

A. The movie is directed by Arshad Khan. It is a suspense thriller where I am playing the character of an angry young man who is normally a very chilled out person but gets angry on trivial issues. This character matches to my real life. Debutant actress Urvashi is my heroine in the movie. Other than this, I have 5-6 films in my hand. Apart from this there is a movie named “Ghaav”, and will give the details on other movies according to their timing of release.

Q. You are working in 5-6 movies but none of them is released as yet. What was the reason behind signing so many movies at a time? Which aspect do you prefer most while selecting the movie?

A. I have 5-6 movies in hand. Due to dates and various other reasons none of the movie has been released. The scripts of all these movies were the important factor in signing them. For me, script and director are very important because it all depends on director how to make the things going.

Q. Your elder brother Aamir Khan has created his own identity in Bollywood and has always created new heights. Do you have any impact of Aamir in your career?

A. There are no comparisons when it comes to Aamir. He’s a great actor and a perfectionist. It’s almost two decades since his debut but still he is a learner, his passion for work is just amazing. He himself is a school for newcomers like me. There are a lot of things to learn from him. His hard work, dedication is inspiring. I watch his movies and try to learn from them. If I get the opportunity I would like to work with him. Though I admire him, my father is my idol and inspiration in life.

Q. What are your future plans?

A. I would like to finish the commitments I have taken. Also I’m looking forward for the audience reaction and will try to overcome the mistakes accordingly.

Q. Any message you would like to give to our readers?

A. With New Year’s wishes, I would like to request them to come to theatre and enjoy our movies, appreciate and criticise our work so that we can provide better and improved entertainment to them and create our own identity.



‘Cinema has power to manipulate time, space’
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, December 29
We can manipulate time and space with cinema. Such is the power of cinema. We all have the sense of beauty whether literate or illiterate. And the sense of beauty is innate of human experience. This was stated by film director Goutam Ghose while addressing the gathering during the state international film festival at DAV College for Girls here.

Ghose said cinema was much closer to music, and music was a fantastic medium, which was born with strong dichotomy of change and would keep on changing. “If we compare it with literature, it is like reading a novel, it goes first to your intellectual perception then you visualise and then we form some kind of understanding. So it is from intellectual perception to visual perception and cinema is just the opposite. It goes to your intellectual perception for interpretation. Interpretation might be subjective,” he said.

Commenting on the evolution of cinema, the filmmaker said, “Cinema is not very old. We consider the centenaries of cinema, when Lumier brothers had shown their silent footage in a Paris cafe in 1895. In 113 years, you see the incredible changes in cinema. We have to understand, what cinema is? Cinema is basically seen as the creation of science and technology”.

“Two scientists Roger and Michael Farade performed a wonderful job by creating the optical system. This incredible thing about human perception can be seen as an optical image where one image stays back till the other comes. On this basis the whole idea of cinema came, in which still photograph can be seen in a moving film, but we do not see the black line which joins the two scenes. Their invention was very interesting,” added.

“Cinema is a very interesting combination of science, arts and commerce. The great pioneers have practiced with the new tools to create the language in which they worked on how to tell the story. These pioneers have tried this and film was born with dichotomy.”

Talking about the change in technology, he said silence to sound, black and white to colour and so on, it keeps on improving. Now, we are living in a digital age. It is a continuous process but you have to understand with this language and process.”



Ensure amenities to workers, factory owners told
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, December 29
Senior executive functionaries and owners of industrial units of Rewari, Dharuhera and Bawal as well as representatives of trade unions participated in a workshop on safety, health and welfare of industrial workers held here recently.

While state labour commissioner and president of the Haryana Safety Council NC Wadhwa was the chief guest, deputy commissioner Chander Prakash presided over.

The workshop was sponsored by the Rewari Chamber of Commerce and Industry,

Delivering the keynote address, Wadhwa asked the factory executives/owners to ensure that all requisite amenities were made available to the workers.

Mentioning about various programmes and projects launched by the state government for the welfare of the workers, he told the company managers and the trade unionists that it was their responsibility that awareness camps were organised for the workers to enable them to derive optimum benefits from these projects.

Emphasising the urgency of ameliorating the poor living conditions of the workers, he urged the factory executives to ensure full-fledged implementation of government projects in the best interests of the workers.

Simultaneously, Wadhwa said the lackadaisical approach of the managements towards the precise accomplishment of government policies and projects often led to confrontation between the workers and the managements, which adversely affected production and led to vicious environment as well.

He went on to say that occasionally some factory managers adopted anti-workers approach by taking the law into their hands and which often led to violence.

Administering a warning to such factory executives, Wadhwa said they would be sternly dealt with.

Wadhwa also said the state government would soon purchase five mobile vans which would provide health services as well as X-ray and CT scan facilities to the workers and their families.

Deputy commissioner Chander Prakash said if the managements and the workers put up their genuine grievances before the district authorities, the administration was always prepared to provide all possible assistance to them.



Working to make special children self-reliant
Sushil Manav
Tribune News Service

Sirsa, December 29
Geeta Kathuria could not understand why her two-year-old daughter Gudoo was different from others. While other children started standing on their feet at the age of eight to nine months, she took almost two years for that.

While other children would cry when not fed in time or not allowed to play with the toy of their choice, Gudoo would not tease her mother.

Geeta thought Gudoo was simply a peaceful girl and was happy with whatever was given to her as feed. But, she got worried when all normal activities children start learning at certain age were getting delayed.

She consulted local doctors who told her that she might have to face some problem in learning. It was only after she took her daughter to the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) that she came to know that Gudoo was a mentally retarded child.

She was shocked but did not give up and now, when Gudoo is 22, Geeta, who has since launched her own special school through an NGO, is making all possible efforts to make her daughter self-reliant, although she is still dependent on Geeta for more than 80 per cent of her daily activities.

It is an alarming fact that approximately 2.5 to 3 per cent of the total population is mentally retarded which in most cases is a lifelong condition. Mentally retarded children at homes are a lifelong pain for parents. Proper handling and treatment can make them self-reliant to some extent.

Mental retardation is a developmental disability that can appear from the very birth of a child. People, who are mentally retarded function at an intellectual level that is below average and have difficulties with learning and daily living skills.

Ant it is a misconception that mental disabilities are related to gender or race.

Several government and non-governmental organisations have been working for the cause of these children in the country.

Disha and Paryas, two NGOs have been working in Sirsa for the welfare of such children.

As many as 62 children suffering from autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities have been getting training in self-help skills besides personal, social, recreational and occupational skills at Disha.

These special children are provided services in speech therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy and are also made to participate in behaviour modification programme and cultural and sports activities.

Pre-vocational and vocational training is being provided to 76 other special persons in different trades.

Geeta Kathuria, director of the institute, who has devoted herself to the cause of special children and has won accolades for this at the national level, says the institute endeavors to make special children and those with physical disabilities become self-reliant.

With this objective in mind, the institute has opened six shops on the front portion of its land where special persons have been running a general store, an STD-PCO both, a photocopier, popcorn-making machine, coffee machine, grinder and a plastic spoon-making machine.

Disha also provides free computer training to 50 special children and 160 women from the weaker sections of society.

Vocational training courses offered to these women include cutting, tailoring, dressmaking, embroidery, soft toys making, beauty culture and typing. All these courses are provided free of cost.

The institute is registered with the National Institute of Open Schooling, New Delhi, and as many as 400 women have been getting vocational training at the institute. It also runs two separate hostels for special boys and girls named "Anchal" and "Devi Kun", respectively.

Surinder Bhatia, secretary of Disha, says several projects in the offing are: construction of a home for special children above the age of 18, construction of a workshop for special persons, a medical and research centre and to start vocational training centres at all major villages of Sirsa.

Paryas, another Sirsa-based NGO, has been running a school for children with special needs where over 70 such children have been getting training.

Run by the District Child Welfare Society, Paryas has children between the age group of 8 and 18 years and these children are of all forms of disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, multiple disorder etc.

But scarcity of funds is the biggest handicap before the institute. "Funds from the ministry of social justice and empowerment take too long to reach us. If the government could ensure that the funds reach in time, much of the problems faced by these schools could be mitigated," says Bhatia.



9 most wanted criminals held in 2008: SSP
Tribune News Service

Sonepat, December 29
The Sonepat police has arrested nine most wanted criminals carrying rewards ranging from Rs 5,000 to 50,000 on their arrest, during 2008, claimed Senior Superintendent of Police Navdeep Singh Virk here recently.

Jharonth residents - Chandveer carrying reward of Rs 50,000, Sandeep and Satish with reward of Rs 20,000 each and Ashok with Rs 10,000 reward - were arrested during the month of March. They were allegedly involved in the cases of murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, etc.

Vijay, alias Boda, of Halalpur village, carrying reward of Rs 30,000, was arrested in January. As many as 14 cases of murder, attempt to murder, loot, dacoity, etc, were registered against him in Rohtak, Hissar, Sonepat, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Delhi.

Baroda resident Rajesh carrying reward of Rs 15,000 was also arrested in January and cases of the Arms Act, murder and attempt to murder were registered against him.

Momin of Gurana village in Uttar Pradesh, wanted in three cases of dacoity and attempt to murder registered in Baghpat and Sonepat was nabbed in July.

Kaptan, alias Chenny, of Badwasni village and wanted in as many as six cases of murder, attempt to murder, attack on government servants, kidnapping, etc, was arrested in July. He also carried reward of Rs 20,000.

The ninth criminal, Robin, alias Babloo, of Bhatana village, Zaffarabad, with reward of Rs 5,000, was also arrested by the police.



71 development works under way in Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 29
Under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, as many as 71 development works involving an amount of more than Rs 1.27 crore are being executed in the district during the current financial year.

According to deputy commissioner Ajit Joshi, Rs 73.56 lakh had already been spent on construction activities and 13 development works had already been completed. The work on remaining projects was likely to be completed by the end of March next year, he added.

The DC also informed that under the scheme, Rs 31.10 lakh had been allocated for 12 development works in Sonepat block, Rs 25.98 lakh for 17 works in Gannaur block, Rs 10 lakh for five works in Rai block, Rs 10 lakh for 12 projects in Kharkhoda block, Rs 10.92 lakh for eight development projects in Gohana block, Rs 27.55 lakh for 10 projects in Murlana block and Rs 12 lakh were being spent to complete seven development works in Kathura block of the district.




Police action condemnable

The Haryana police has once again unmasked its brutal face by resorting to firing and lathicharge upon villagers in Kharak near Bhiwani, killing two youths. Notably, the villagers were protesting against the police inaction in tracing two missing youths (whose dead bodies were found later). In this way, the death toll of a small peaceful village jumped to four in a single day, all “courtesy” state police. Such instances are not unusual when the police has shown its “bravery” in similar ways. Instead of suppressing the protesters by the use of force, the police should have patience and calm down the agitators using peaceful and psychological means.

Hardesh Goswami, Bhiwani



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