111 schools in district without regular principals
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 27
If statistics are to be believed, school education in Jalandhar district is in a mess. Of the 120 government senior secondary schools in the district, as many as 111 are without regular principals.

Though Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and son Sukhbir Singh have been painting a rosy picture of the education sector with talks going about the setting up of Adarsh schools, but the government has failed to appoint regular principals in government schools. The last time principals were promoted or appointed was in 2001.

Teachers met Prakash Singh Badal and education minister Upinderjit Kaur several times, but to no avail.

Despite repeated meetings and memoranda to the authorities concerned, the status of these schools has not changed for the past nine years.

Sources said there were 120 sanctioned posts of principal in the district, out of which 111 had been lying vacant. “Only nine government schools have regular principals, while the others are working without them. The show is being run by appointing officiating principals. When three such schools are without principals even in Jalandhar what can one say about the schools located at remote places in the district.

The nine institutes are government senior secondary schools at Sammipur, Patara, Hazara, Ladhewali, Goraya, Nehru Garden, Ladowali, Bhargo Camp and Khambra. The rest of the schools function in makeshift arrangements with the senior lecturers working as the officiating principals.

Senior vice-president of the Government School Lecturer Union, Punjab, Gyan Singh Sultanpuri said, “Our repeated demands to promote senior lecturers to the post of principal in these schools have fallen on deaf ears. On one hand, the government claims to improve the standard of education, on the other, the authorities concerned never even bother to fill the vacant posts of principal in the district.”

He added that the government should think beyond its vested interests and appoint principals as the progress of a state depended on the status of education to a large extent.

Sultanpuri said even in the adjoining districts like Kapurthala and Nawanshahr, of all the government schools, just one has a principal (for both districts). “Its the same story throughout the state where out of 1,547 sanctioned posts of principal, nearly 1,300 lie vacant,” he added.



Kahlon unfurls Tricolour in city on R-Day
Tribune Reporters

Jalandhar, January 27
The rights and principles enshrined in the constitution confer the power of voting on the people of the country to elect the government of their choice, something that cannot be said about other countries in the world.

Punjab speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon, who was here to unfurl the Tricolour on the occasion of Republic Day, said, “Our constitution ensures equality for all and provides them with opportunities to earn their livelihood and have freedom of speech.”

Commenting on the development in the state, he said the government had undertaken several prestigious projects and work on many of them had begun in earnest. Among them was an international airport at Mohali, thermal power plants at Mansa, Abohar, Gidderbaha and Rajpura, besides six laning of various important highways in the state.

He said the government had also started several schemes for the welfare of the poor sections of the society, notable among them being the atta-dal scheme. Hundreds of families had benefited from the scheme at a cost of over Rs 365 crore. Similarly, more teachers were being appointed in the government-run schools to improve the education level. A sum of Rs 400 crore would be spent on the exercise, he added.

Kahlon also drew the attention of the gathering towards the water treatment plants being set up in the Malwa belt where the ground water was unfit for human consumption. In addition to this, the government was implementing a scheme to lay sewerage systems in all cities and towns at a cost of over Rs 1,260 crore, he said.

The speaker criticised the union government for eroding the federal structure of the constitution. The Centre was interfering in matters that were state subjects, thereby putting a strain on otherwise cordial relations.

Earlier, he reviewed the parade and enjoyed the cultural programme presented by students of various educational institutions. He also honoured 13 eminent personalities on the occasion.

The district Red Cross also distributed eight tricycles to physically handicapped persons, seven sewing machines to widows and daughters of poor families.

He honoured the BSF contingent for standing first in the march past, Punjab police for second and Punjab Home Guards for the third place.

Eminent personalities in the district, besides high-ranking senior civil servants were present on the occasion.

Kapurthala: Punjab health and family welfare minister Luxmi Kanta Chawla urged the public to fight against female foeticide, dowry menace and drug addiction.

Addressing the gathering at Guru Nanak Stadium here after unfurling the national flag on Republic Day, Chawla said efforts were being made to provide affordable health facilities to the general public under the national rural health mission scheme.

Health minister gave away 23 sewing machines, tricycles and wheelchairs to the needy. She announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh each for promotion of sports and emergency medical expenses for the poor of Kapurthala district.

Deputy commissioner J.M. Balamurugan and SSP Rakesh Agarwal were present on the occasion. A colourful cultural programme was also presented.

Phagwara: Chief parliamentary secretary, health and family welfare, Avinash Chander hoisted the national flag at Government Senior Secondary School here.

Addressing the gathering, he highlighted the achievements of Parkash Singh Badal-led SAD-BJP government. SDM Amarjit Paul was also present.



Even statue needs security cover in the city
Deepkamal Kaur

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 27
Even as we have just celebrated the 60th Republic Day, such is the irony of present times that the statue of the architect of the country’s constitution has to be maintained under a security cover.

Six decades hence on, the statue of a man who talked about civil liberties is under a round-the-clock vigil of four cops who have been camping on an intersection named after the Dalit icon on Nakodar Road here.

The policemen have been camping in the tent put up within the circumference of the roundabout, which on the contrary has resulted in spoiling the beauty of the life-size statue of Dr B.R. Ambedkar.

The police protection began more than a year-and-a-half ago when a similar cover was given to the statue of former Punjab CM Beant Singh at BMC Chowk here. This was triggered by an incident that occurred on May 14, 2007. President of SAD (Amritsar) Simranjit Singh Mann and chief of SAD (Zafarwal) Wasan Singh Zafarwal had allegedly tried to disgrace the statue of Beant Singh by hanging a portrait of his assassin around his neck.

Apprehending a similar threat to the statue of the draftsman of the Indian constitution in the city, in the light of such incidents in other parts of the country, Dr Ambedkar’s statue also began to be kept under guard.

SSP Pawan Kumar Rai said his department was getting a periodic review of the need of the security cover for the statue. “As and when the next review occurs and it is found that there is no need for more vigil, taking into account the condition of the times and no anticipation of any mischief by any anti-social elements, the security cover could be removed.”

The chowk holds eminence for thousands of Ambedkar followers and the area around it has become a landmark for most Dalit protests. Rajya Sabha member and state president of the BSP Avtar Singh Karimpuri opines, “If the police personnel have been deployed at the site, it must be on the basis of some intelligence inputs. The country is passing through such a sorry state of affairs because the rulers did not follow the steps of the man who advocated the theory of social and economic equality. Look at the irony, even the country’s parliament is not safe till date.”



Eyeing Poll
T-20 tourney in memory of Kaypee’s father in Feb
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 27
As Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Mohinder Singh Kaypee expressed his willingness to contest from Jalandhar (reserved) seat in the coming Lok Sabha elections, a frontal organisation of the Congress has decided to hold T-20 cricket tournament in the city in the memory of his father Darshan Singh Kaypee, who had been shot dead by terrorists on October 13, 1992.

In what may be termed as an apparent move to attract youth towards the Congress by organising the cricket tournament right before the coming Lok Sabha elections, the sports cell of the district congress committee (urban) is holding the tournament from February 1 to 22.

Mohinder Singh Kaypee will formally inaugurate the tournament, scheduled to be held at Pyare Lal Beri SD Senior Secondary School grounds, near Patel Chowk, on February 1, said DCC president Arun Walia and PPCC secretary Virendra Sharma.

Interestingly, neither the birth anniversary (November 9) nor the death (October 13) anniversary of veteran Congress leader Darshan Singh Kaypee, who also remained a cabinet minister, falls in February.

When asked why the cricket tournament is scheduled in February right before the coming LS poll, the PPCC secretary said it was being held due to the ongoing cricket season. Further the martyrs could be remembered at any time.

As many as eight teams would participate in the tournament, which would be held on the knockout basis, said chairman of the sports cell of the DCC Gurpreet Bobby and its president Virendra Lovely.

Everyday two matches would be played. They said the purpose of holding the tournament was to attract the youth toward games and detract them from drugs.

This was for the first time that T-20 cricket tournament is being held in Darshan Singh Kaypee’s memory. The tournament would be held every year, they added.



At 19, he is champion of self-defence games
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 27
He is barely 19 and is already a chief instructor and a referee for a karate federation. A student of B.Com (professional) from DAV College, Sahil Kumar has won the acclaim being a winner all the way through in various self-defence games. Last month, he won the all-India karate championship organised by the Indian Genseiryu Karate Do Federation at Mumbai. While he himself participated in the senior category contest and won a gold, he was a referee for the junior participants for the Japan-based federation.

The referee tag did not come easy for Sahil. He had to prove his mettle by showing his previous record and appearing for an examination after studying the jargon for the game from a book that had 76 Japanese words with their definitions.

Almost a year back, the black-belt winner also won the 14th international high school karate and kickboxing championship held at Nepal and brought home a gold. He had struck another gold at that time as he also won national sqay championship, a sport played using devices similar to a sword and a shield.

Sahil has also learnt playing kobudo that involves the use of long sticks in unique patterns called katas. He has also practised taekwondo.

He even has taken training in self-defence mechanisms from Mumbai.

But achieving all this in a quick succession has not been an easy task. Sahil follows a very difficult regime. “My father Parvesh Kumar, who is a trader of fruits and vegetables, is an early riser and wakes me up before he leaves for work at 4 am. I go for practice under my coach Vikas. Though I have taken training in other sports events also, I have been concentrating only on karate and kickboxing,” he asserted.

Sahil is even imparting coaching to boys of various schools. “I organise small events and fights for them as part of the federation activities,” he revealed.

Making sure that he does not remain behind in studies, Sahil attends his college classes and spares time for tuitions as well. “My mom and dad are very particular about my regularity in studies. My ultimate aim is to become an IPS officer,” he added.

There is yet another major activity in Sahil’s life. He is also working for a call centre. “I am not doing this out of any compulsion. I have sufficient financial support from the family. I just want to gain a good working experience,” he explained.



Young World
Eklavya School holds science, math exhibition
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 27
The local Eklavya School organised a science and math exhibition from January 21 to 23. On day one, students participated in a science quiz in which questions regarding simple machine, universe and human body were asked.

On the second day, students were shown educational science films. On the third day, the students participated in the science and math exhibition and presented various working and static models. The highlight of the exhibition was life cycle of butterfly, digestive system, circulation of blood, solar system and constellation.

The students also displayed maths models. This included curve-measuring device, types of polygons and much more. A special math bazaar was also held in which the students were made aware of the concept of billing.

Fashion marketing

The department of dress designing of the local Prem Chand Markanda S.D. College for Women organised seminar on “Fashion marketing”. Chief guest Jyoti Bhatia of Dixon PJ International spoke at length on the scope of career in dress designing.

Lecture held

Dr D.R. Vij, former principal of the Government College of Education, delivered a lecture on “No shortcuts to success” on January 22 at the Apeejay College of Fine Arts here. He urged the students to aim high and work hard in life.

NASA trip

Students of the local Lawrence International School left for a six-day trip to NASA in the USA on January 23. The students would learn about the space technology and environment there.

NSS camp

Students of the local Guru Nanak Dev University, regional campus, Ladhewali, participated in a 10-day NSS camp. The students went to Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Hall and then worked in the surroundings.

Group song

Students of the music department of B.D. Arya Girls College, Jalandhar Cantonment, won the first prize in a group song competition held on the 113th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chander Bose. The competition was organised by the National Martyrs Memorial Society.

Campus placements

A campus placement was organised by IBM Daksh on the campus of HMV College here. Nearly 160 students participated in the placement drive, out of which 45 students were selected.

Meanwhile two final year students of B. Tech of the DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology secured placements with Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India Limited, Gurgaon.



Sports lovers flock kabaddi gold cup
Kusum Arora/TNS

Jalandhar, January 27
Hundreds of kabaddi aficionados gathered to watch scintillating moves by players from various clubs from across the globe here today. It was virtually a treat for the sports lovers of the city with rural sports at its best. The tournament was dedicated to 300 years of Gurta Gaddi celebrations.

The 10th Guru Gobind Singh World Gold Cup Kabaddi Tournament began with the loud slogans of “Jo Bole So Nihal.” Amidst the jam-packed Guru Gobind Singh Stadium the players started the sports fest with triumphant voices of “kabaddi kabaddi.” Such was the thrill of the tournament that the spectators cheered along with their every single move.

The day-long kabaddi matches, which served as a platform for the budding players, saw some soul of Punjab. The tournament turned out to be a big NRI fair as a majority of them especially came all the way from foreign shores, including US, UK, Canada, Germany, Holland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Australia. An annual feature, the tournament was organised by the Toronto Sports Kabaddi Club, Canada. Started in 2000 on this day, the tournament has witnessed best rural talent in the matches.

Talking to The Tribune, general secretary of the tournament M.S. Khaira said, “The event is an effort to take back the youth of Punjab back to its roots. Since majority of the youth has fallen prey to drug addiction, therefore we hope to bring some radical change in the society by bringing more and more youth in the fold of sports. Moreover, over the years we have virtually forgotten the importance and tradition of rural sports, which hold a lot of relevance till date.” And during the tournament the players and the spectators echoed together with thrill and euphoria. People especially came from villages to cheer their favourite players. One of the spectators, Gurnam Singh, who came all the way from Rurka Kalan, said, “I have been a regular visitor to this sports fest for the last nine years. Such events foster the sporting spirit among the youth and should be held with good infrastructure.”

In the tournament eight teams participated from abroad, including US, UK, Canada, Germany, Norway, India Blue and India Red. Besides this, women kabaddi matches were also held in which girls from Punjab and Haryana took part.

On the other hand, their eight kabaddi clubs from Punjab competed with the Indian-based players. These included Harjit Talwar Club, Jagraon, Tony Kalakh, Ludhiana, Sher-e-Punjab Miri Piri, Kapurthala, Chardi Kala, Kapurthala, Shri Guru Nanak National Ambi Club, Bassian (Raikot), DAV College, Bathinda, International Ambi Hathur Club, Moga, Miri Piri, Jalandhar.

The star attraction of the tournament was cash prizes for the winners. The club authorities had declared a cash prize of Rs 1,50,000 for the winning team, followed by Rs 1,00,000 for the runners-up team. A special prize of Rs 40,000 was also declared for the participating team.

Besides, a prize of Rs 30,000 was also declared for the women team. “To attract more spectators we have also announced 10 gift motorbikes in the tournament,” said president of the club P.S. Nijjar.



Delay in flight costs Air-India, agent dear
Deepkamal Kaur/TNS

Jalandhar, January 27
A delay of flight from the UK to Delhi and further from Delhi to Amritsar has cost Air-India and its sub-agent dear.

On a complaint of Phagwara-based Jitesh Verma, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Kapurthala, has directed the parties to pay Rs 14,000 as compensation for not providing Verma and his family stay, Rs 6,000 for causing mental agony and Rs 3,000 as cost of litigation.

Verma in his complain said he had paid Rs 1,30,500 to Travel. Com, a sub-agent of Air-India, for the return tickets for the UK for himself, his wife Poonam Verma and minor sons Nandan and Gokul.

He said on his return on June 26, 2007, when he reached Birmingham airport, he learnt that the flight had been delayed by 12 hours.

The plaintiff said since his family got no place to sleep, they had to pass time on the floor of the airport. He said he reached Delhi airport at 11.30 pm and had to wait till 5.45 am for travelling from Delhi to Amritsar, again making his journey more strenuous.

In his reply, the sub-agent tried to wash off his hands in the episode by saying that he had no role to play. The Air-India officials also tried a similar approach, saying, “The schedules were subject to change without prior notice. The delay occurred purely due to technical fault in the air bus which was beyond the reasonable human control. Passengers were taken due care of by the staff that gave them meal vouchers and every possible assistance.” The forum represented by president Paramjit Singh and members Gulshan Prashar and Shashi Narang said there was a clear-cut deficiency in service.

“It was the duty of the airline to have informed the complainant well in time and made arrangement for his family’s stay. The family had to again wait for six hours at Delhi airport despite having confirmed tickets. By simply providing food, it cannot be said that the desired purpose had been achieved. All airlines provide suitable accommodation in case of such eventualities,” it observed.



Sultanpur Lodhi police station adjudged best
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, January 27
Sultanpur Lodhi police station was adjudged the best and Chaheru police post bagged the first place in a competition organised by the district police to declare the model police station and the model police post.

Kapurthala SSP Rakesh Aggarwal said 14 police stations and eight police posts competed forthe honour. They were assessed on the basis of community orientation, physical conditions, transparency, work conditions of the police force, crime prevention, detection system and use of technology in police working.

In the police station category, Kotwali police station and Bholath police station were declared second and third, respectively. Following Chaheru police post, Kabirpur police post was declared second.

The SSP said the winners in the police station category would be given Rs 1 lakh, Rs 25,000 and Rs 10,000 each, while the first and the second police post winners would get Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000, respectively.



3 auto thieves arrested
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 27
The CIA Staff of the district police has nabbed three members of an auto-thieves gang and recovered electronic goods worth lakhs of rupees, besides a Tata-407 vehicle and a scooter, from their possession.

Acting on a tip-off, the CIS staff laid a trap on the Jalandhar-Ludhiana road and nabbed Pawan Kumar, Rajesh Kumar and Harish Kumar, all local residents, when they were travelling in a Tata-407 vehicle at BSF Chow, last night. After questioning, the three admitted their involvement in over 40 cases of theft in past couple of years. The gang was active in Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Phagwara, Nurmahal, Garhshankar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr, Dasuya and the surrounding areas. The police has also recovered 10 batteries, six computers, two colour television sets, a scooter, an LPG cylinder, a CD player and some other electronic goods.

The police said the gang had been using gas cutters to cut open the shutters of shops and decamp with truckloads of goods at night. The police has launched a hunt for the rest members of the gang. A case under various sections of the IPC has been registered against them.



IT bar members suspend work
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 27
Up in arms against the income tax department officials for conducting raids on residential and officials premises of a senior advocate and a chartered accountant in continuation with the MBD publishing house raids, members of Jalandhar Income Tax Bar Association (JITBA), held a protest and suspended work here today.

The association members criticised the raids and condemned the attitude of the raiding party towards the family members of these professionals.

In continuation of the raids on the MBD publishing house, the income tax officials also conducted raids on the residential and official premises of senior advocate S. Prem Singh and G.S. Syal, a practising chartered account, on January 24.

The association members also held an emergency meeting of members of the Income Tax Bar Association. The association along with the District Bar Association and the Jalandhar branch of the NIRC of Institute of Chartered Accountants observed “no work day”. The further course of action would be decided on Wednesday, claimed JITBA president Kuldip Kaushal.



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