SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Every Wednesday and Friday

Daredevil bikers leave spectators spellbound
Jalandhar, December 28
The spectacular success of the Galley Stallions is testimony to the age-old adage that where there is a will, there is a way. The team, with its 26 jawans, has got pretty popular across the country, in a short span of time.
Daredevils display their skills during an Army mela at Kapurthala. Daredevils display their skills during an Army mela at Kapurthala. Tribune photo: Malkiat Singh 

No DPC: Additional directors, SMOs occupy higher posts
Jalandhar, December 28
Owing to the fact that no meeting of the departmental promotion committee (DPC) has been convened for the past over eight months, the additional directors and senior medical officers (SMOs) are manning the posts of directors and deputy directors, respectively, in the State Health Department as a stopgap arrangement.



EARLIER EDITIONS



Double whammy for Rama Mandi resident
Duped by travel agents, man trying hard to get FIR lodged
Jalandhar, December 28
It’s a double whammy for Rama Mandi resident Jasbir Singh as after being duped by unscrupulous travel agents he has been trying to get a police report lodged against them for the past six months.

Party workers honoured on Cong’s foundation day
Jalandhar, December 28
The District Youth Congress (Rural) celebrated the 125th foundation day of the Indian National Congress, which was founded on this day in 1885 at the Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College in Bombay.

Shaile’ statement on corruption
Punjab BJP gets in damage-control mode
Jalandhar, December 28
A day after controversial statement by president of the Punjab unit of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) Gurparvej Singh Sandhu Shaile, the state chief of its parent body BJP, Ashwani Sharma, has started damage control exercise. Talking to The Tribune on phone today, Ashwani claimed that no BJP leader in Punjab had been involved in corrupt practices. Talking to mediapersons on Monday, Shaile candidly admitted that several BJP MLAs, including some ministers, in Punjab were involved in corrupt practices.

Bound by the Manu string
Sandeep, Gurmeet Singh and Amrik Singh at Shri Ram Hall at the Devi Talab Temple in Jalandhar.Jalandhar, December 28
As the Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan ended on Sunday, along with a lot of class and talent that was witnessed, it left back lingering memories of people and faces floating in the mind. There were people who might or might not have made a mark as artistes in the bigger scheme of things so far, but the story about their constant efforts and resolve has touched hearts.


(From left) Sandeep, Gurmeet Singh and Amrik Singh at Shri Ram Hall at the Devi Talab Temple in Jalandhar. Photo by the writer

Young World
Mayor World organises inter-school golf contest
Jalandhar, December 28
The Mayor World School, on Sunday, organised the first ever inter-school Golf Competition on December 19. The competition was organised at the golf court of the school.

Master-cadre teachers rue dislocation
Phagwara, December 28
Resentment prevails among the teachers of government schools as master-cadre teachers have been deputed as master trainers to impart teachers’ training to government schoolteachers during the ongoing Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan.

Check illegal use of domestic LPG cylinders: SDM
Phagwara, December 28
SDM Amarjit Paul has instructed the officers of the Civil Supplies Department to check the illegal use of domestic LPG cylinders by several commercial establishments.

Govt urged to open polytechnics in villages
Jalandhar, December 28
Mehr Chand Polytechnic urged the state government to open polytechnics at the village level to enable the rural youth get skill-based jobs. A meeting in this regard was conducted by the Community Development Department of the college during the meeting of the Advisory Committee.





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Daredevil bikers leave spectators spellbound
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Daredevils display their skills during an Army mela at Kapurthala.
Daredevils display their skills during an Army mela at Kapurthala. Tribune photo: Malkiat Singh

Jalandhar, December 28
The spectacular success of the Galley Stallions is testimony to the age-old adage that where there is a will, there is a way. The team, with its 26 jawans, has got pretty popular across the country, in a short span of time.

The Galley Stallions are daring motorcycle riders from The Punjab Regimental Centre, Ramgarh Cantonment, Jharkhand. They were here recently, to perform during an army mela at Kapurthala.

Spectators were left awestruck as they saw the team perform thrilling adventures and stunts on Royal Enfields. It was an incredible spectacle when the Galley Stallions, as a team, came on two bikes, with their regiment flags.

Dressed in their regimental colours, the men in green track suits, from the Punjab Regimental Centre, are the first from the Corps of Infantry to form a team of daredevils in May 2007.

The team has learnt and picked the stunts up on their own, without any formal trainer.

Talking to The Tribune, CHM Rajesh Kumar, who heads the Galley Stallions, said, “It is a through sheer will power and sincere practice that we managed to pick up the stunts. We learnt a lot by watching others perform. Practice makes a man perfect and we have proved it.”

The Punjab Regiment was asked to make a motorcycle display team in the year 2007 and it was there. “Our team practices twice a day for two hours. No sooner did we become adept in our stunts, that we started receiving invitations from various army functions to perform,” he added.

And why do they call themselves Galley Stallions? Spot came the reply, “Galley means a crescent which carries as many men and takes them together, while stallion is a male horse, which again symbolises strength. Hence the name Galley Stallions for the team,” said CHM Rajesh Kumar.

From the thrilling stunt of tube crush to fire circle, brick wall, pyramids and single stunts, the men virtually are a sign of perfection.

“We all joined voluntarily. It was an adventure, learning and picking the stunts on our own”, said Lucky L/Naik Lucky.

On being asked about any fear of accidents or injuries, the Galley Stallions men said, “There is no scope for any mistake. We perform to the best of our potentials. But, yes, initially there were some small injuries and accidents but then we learnt to stay steady. After all, it is a competition of man and machine.”

In addition, it is just a proof of their excellent performance that the team, with just a three-year-old history, has received awards and citations too.

The daredevils have performed in almost all parts of the country and received commendation cards for their brilliant performances at Central Command, Lucknow in January 2009.

Another award fell in their kitty in April this year from the Central Command.

“We are waiting for the day when we would get an invitation to perform during some function in front of the President of India or on some national event. Till then, practice and hard work is our source of motivation”, the Galley Stallions men quipped.

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No DPC: Additional directors, SMOs occupy higher posts
Amaninder Pal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 28
Owing to the fact that no meeting of the departmental promotion committee (DPC) has been convened for the past over eight months, the additional directors and senior medical officers (SMOs) are manning the posts of directors and deputy directors, respectively, in the State Health Department as a stopgap arrangement.

There is resentment among such appointees, since they are eligible for their next promotion, but have been affected due to the lack of any meeting of the DPC being convened for the past around six months.

Sources said of the total 34 posts of deputy directors in the state, only 22 posts are being held by regular officers, while the remaining 12 are being manned by SMOs, who are a rung below in seniority.

Moreover, three top posts of directors, to oversee health services, health and family welfare and ESI, are also being held by the two additional directors.

Another single post, of a joint director, is also lying vacant.

In all, 20 posts, including those of civil surgeons, five medical superintendents, principal of the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare Training, Mohali and a post of deputy director at the chemical examination laboratory, Kharar, are the posts meant to be manned by deputy directors.

Besides, there are seven posts of deputy directors in the office of the health directorate, Chandigarh, itself.

Out of these posts, five of civil surgeons, four of deputy directors in the health directorate, two of medical superintendents and a post of deputy director at the chemical examination laboratory are either vacant or are being held by junior officers as a makeshift arrangement.

Satish Chandra, principal secretary, health, said as of now, the department is unable to convene the DPC since the department of personnel has directed it to recast the entire seniority list of doctors.

“We are still in the process of revising the seniority list but the DPC cannot be convened at all before January,” added Chandra.

He, however, claimed that the absence of regular directors does not hamper the official work.

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Double whammy for Rama Mandi resident
Duped by travel agents, man trying hard to get FIR lodged
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 28
It’s a double whammy for Rama Mandi resident Jasbir Singh as after being duped by unscrupulous travel agents he has been trying to get a police report lodged against them for the past six months.

He alleged that he was duped of Rs 5.50 lakh by Chandigarh-based agents Indian Immigration Services, Sector 34 -A, on the promise that he would be sent to a European country of his choice.

Run by Aman Sandhu, Ram Bilas and Sonia, the firm regularly advertises in the media about their expertise in sending people abroad, he added.

He approached the police here and requested for the registration of a case.

“The issue was also highlighted in the media forcing Aman and Ram Bilas to seek a compromise with me. But the police here did not register an FIR,” he said.

“In the meantime, I had also sent a complaint to Sector 34 police station, chandigarh, who summoned the duo in the case. There they admitted to their wrongdoing and gave in writing that they had taken money from me to send me abroad, but had not done so. They also confessed that they had retained my passport,” he revealed.

“Following this, they promised that they would return my money - Rs 5.64 lakh - by cheque. They came to Jalandhar on December 1 and handed over my passport and two cheques for the entire amount,” he said.

“I deposited the cheques in my account, but they were dishonoured by the bank. Upon enquiring, I came to know that the account on which the cheques were drawn were in the name of the sister of one of them and had no funds,” he narrated.

“I again approached the local police for the registration of a fraud case, but nothing has happened. I sold my cab to raise funds to go abroad, but my whole world has come crashing around me. I have three small children and my wife to feed besides my ailing mother. I had arranged the money by selling my taxi and have now lost a mean of livelihood. The family now survives on the pension of my father,” he revealed.

“The confidence of the travel agents can be gauged from the fact that they are still functioning from their office in Chandigarh,” he added.

“I urge the authorities to register a case and arrest the accused so that such human traffickers do not cheat any more innocent persons,” he added.

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Party workers honoured on Cong’s foundation day
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 28
The District Youth Congress (Rural) celebrated the 125th foundation day of the Indian National Congress, which was founded on this day in 1885 at the Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College in Bombay.

DYC president Vikramjit Singh Chaudhry said functions were held in various villages, including Kote Garewal, Kala, Aneher, Chuck Desraj villages in Phillaur constituency.

Addressing the gatherings, former minister Santokh Singh Chaudhary exhorted the youth to acknowledge the great sacrifices made by the party in securing independence from the colonial rule.

He said the Congress had been in the forefront to develop the country through its five year plans. These plans have resulted in the overall and balanced growth of the country. The youngsters should strengthen the hands of Rahul Gandhi and help him in shaping the country into another superpower, he added.

Vikramjit explained on how the Youth Congress is widening the meaning of democracy by allowing open membership and internal elections to youngsters from every region and community.

He also reiterated that he would continue his fight for MNEREGA job card holders till they get their due. It was due to their agitation that the Centre has now deputed a national-level monitor to inquire into the irregularities in the scheme in Punjab, he pointed out. On the occasion, the Youth Congress facilitated senior Congress workers and freedom fighters who made contribution to the society.

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Shaile’ statement on corruption
Punjab BJP gets in damage-control mode
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 28
A day after controversial statement by president of the Punjab unit of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) Gurparvej Singh Sandhu Shaile, the state chief of its parent body BJP, Ashwani Sharma, has started damage control exercise. Talking to The Tribune on phone today, Ashwani claimed that no BJP leader in Punjab had been involved in corrupt practices. Talking to mediapersons on Monday, Shaile candidly admitted that several BJP MLAs, including some ministers, in Punjab were involved in corrupt practices.

When his attention was drawn towards the statements of various senior central BJP leaders during different discussions from time to time on electoral reforms that no political party was left untouched by the malice of corruption, Ashwani Kumar merely said corruption of any kind at any level should be weeded out. Interestingly, he did not forget to reiterate his claim that “no one in the SAD-BJP government is corrupt”. Meanwhile, Ashwani said he had talked to Shaile but he denied issuing such statement to the media. Expressing his dissatisfaction over his verbal reply, Ashwani asked Shaile to submit a written explanation at the earliest. Without naming anyone, Shaile had admitted that some of the BJP leaders were involved in corruption. Shaile said, “We should first set our own house in order, only after than we can raise questions about corruption in other political parties.”

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Bound by the Manu string
Aparna Banerji
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 28
As the Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan ended on Sunday, along with a lot of class and talent that was witnessed, it left back lingering memories of people and faces floating in the mind. There were people who might or might not have made a mark as artistes in the bigger scheme of things so far, but the story about their constant efforts and resolve has touched hearts. The Tribune takes a look at an instrumentalist trio, which is bound by the same guru and whose efforts and spirit is a tribute to the very men who set up the sammelan.

Gurmeet Singh from Batala was a little kid when he started taking vocal lessons from Dr Gurwinder Singh, a dentist, who lived in his neighbourhood and also did kirtan when his job and schedule allowed. After two and a half years of vocal training, his guru saw a penchant for instrumental music in him, following which he referred him to Sandeep, a dilruba player, who was further taking lessons from Manu Seen, the Jalandhar-based ace sitarist.

It’s been two-and-a-half years that Gurmeet’s been learning the dilruba and last year was the first time he participated in the Harivallabh Sangeet Pratiyogita, this year being the second.

Dr Gurwinder has, so far, sponsored all of 18-year-old Gurmeet’s musical education and wants to see him become a big artiste one day.

Why Dilruba? “It’s sweet to the years and helps me uphold the Gurmat Sangeet cause,” quips the humble Gurmeet.

Amrik Singh (21), who lives at Dera Baba Jhanda Sahab at Nahla village, got exposure at the Sant Nahar Singh Sangeet Sammelan that have been an annual affair at their dera since he was a little kid.

Now a two-month affair, Amrik saw artistes from India and abroad perform at the festival and was bitten by the music bug.

He chose the rabab as his instrument and sought to learn more about it and play it. His aspirations to attain mastery over the instrument hit a roadblock when he failed to find an appropriate trainer in the instrument in the region. But deciding not to give up, he soon decided to learn the dilruba for which Sant Sukhwant Singh of his dera found him the perfect guru in Manu Seen. He’s been learning for the past three years and made his first outing at the sammelan in 2008.

Jaspreet Singh from Patiala heard Ustad Shahid Parvez play the sitar at the Central State Library three years ago and found his calling in the sitar that very moment. A student of Punjabi University, he had just chanced upon the instrument. He went to the maestro and expressed his wish to be his student. Ustad Parvez called him to Pune but the city was too far for Jaspreet. Sensing his disappointment, the maestro asked him to call him once, later. A month later, Ustad Parvez asked him to start taking lessons from his disciple Manu Seen. Jaspreet did as he was asked.

Now, he enjoys the best of both Manu and Ustad Parvez as Manu Seen also takes him to meet Ustad Parvez whenever the maestro pays a visit to Jalandhar and its neighbourhood.

Jaspreet currently pursues his MA in instrumental music. The trio contested for the non-percussion category at the Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan this year.

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Young World
Mayor World organises inter-school golf contest
Tribune News Service

Students perform bhangra at the annual function of DIPS, Karol Bagh, Jalandhar.
Students perform bhangra at the annual function of DIPS, Karol Bagh, Jalandhar. A Tribune photograph

Jalandhar, December 28
The Mayor World School, on Sunday, organised the first ever inter-school Golf Competition on December 19. The competition was organised at the golf court of the school.

Participants were divided into two groups on the basis of their classes.

Group-A was from Grade-I to VI and Group-B comprised students from grade VII to XII. In Group A (boys), Gurvaak Deol of grade V of Mayor world stood first, followed by Mehul Tulli of grade VII and Uday Sehgal of grade VI of the same school.

In group B (boys), Sarthak Kohli of grade VIII of Mayor world stood first, followed by Gunveer Rana of grade XI and Chetan Mayor of grade XI of the host school.

Group A (girls) Aakarshan Sandhu, grade V of Police DAV School lead the pack, closely followed by Mokshita, grade V, of the Cambridge International School.

The girls in group B saw Shivani of grade VII of DIPS Karol Bagh leading the pack, followed by Shagun Bhardwaj of grade IX, Mayor World School.

Principal Neeraj Bhargava gave away prizes to winners. Surinder Pal Singh, the golf coach and the force behind the competition said the event was quite a success, going by the number of participants and seeing their enthusiasm.

Annual day

DIPS Karol Bagh celebrated its annual day on December 24. Kapil Suri DGM and JS Dhaliwal, AGM of the Oriental Bank of Commerce, participated as chief guest and guest of honour, respectively.

‘Nukkad Natak’ a satire on media, was appreciated by all. Gurbachan Singh, chairman of the DIPS Institutes and Tarwinder Singh, MD, gave away prizes to students, who brought laurels to the school in various fields. Scholarships were also awarded to the brilliant students.

Environment mela

Students of Swami Sant Dass Public School, Phagwara, brought laurels to the school, by excelling in various events, at the Environment Mela, on December 18 and 19, in Phagwara.

A trophy in painting competition was won by Divjot Kaur, Ekam Pannu Jaspreet Singh bagged the third position and consolation prize was received by Gurleen and Manpreet Singh.

The school bagged the second prize in the science fair and also in the fancy dress competition, in which Devyanshi got the first prize and Priya Chaddha bagged the second position.

Navdeep Kaur of class XII (science) got appreciation award of Rs 1,100 in the folk song competition. —Kiranjyoti, Suman

honoured

The St Soldier Group of Institutes today honoured Kiranjyoti and Suman Agnihotri, who were selected as PCS (Judicial) officers. The selected students were honoured by Chairperson of the group Anil Chopra.

NSS camp

DAV College started an NSS camp at Kartarpur on December 24, during which the students highlighted the need to save water and use it wisely. The camp would conclude on December 30.The students went door to door to collect data regarding water requirement, usage and spillage. Vice-Principal of the college D L.P.Upadhayay inaugurated the camp. President of NGO Pahal Dr Lakhbir Singh spoke on saving water.

Career counselling

Faculty members of Kanya Maha Vidyalaya (KMV) visited Dev Raj Girls Senior Secondary School for the career counselling of students of class 10+2. The students were told about various career options and different vocational and job-oriented courses at the college.

Corporate programme

The career counselling cell of Hans Raj Mahila Maha Vidyalaya (HMV) has started a workshop of 40 hours on “Corporate readiness programme” by MIE Educational Services Private limited, Gurgaon, from December 25 to January 1.

The students were taught about resume writing, personal interview, communication skills, group discussions, etc. Principal Dr Rekha Kalia Bhardwaj said the students learnt about the basics of personality development 

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Master-cadre teachers rue dislocation
Ashok Kaura

Phagwara, December 28
Resentment prevails among the teachers of government schools as master-cadre teachers have been deputed as master trainers to impart teachers’ training to government schoolteachers during the ongoing Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan.

On the other hand, qualified, experienced and expert lecturers of over 10 Government In-service Training Centres (GISTCs) of the state have been shifted on a temporary basis to far-flung village schools.

The GISTCs are located at over 10 places to provide training to in-service government teachers on the guidelines of the NCERT.

These GISTCs have got distinction in organising seminars, orientation programmes and teachers’ training programmes in the state in the past more than two decades.

An eminent educationist and lawyer Davinder Singh Saini expressed surprise over the recent moves of Krishan Kumar, Director-General of School Education (DGSE).

“How could the master-cadre ‘master trainers’ train schoolteachers as they themselves need teachers’ training. Why are the GISTC staff being deprived of teachers’ training programmes?” questioned Saini.

Most of the deputed master trainers (teachers) are already discredited with the low percentage of results in the subjects they teach. Contrary to the tall claims of the DGSE on bringing about efficiency in government schools, these master trainers, approximately 30 to 40 from every district of Punjab, had been training teachers and inspecting government schools for the past few months, leaving their respective school students in the lurch or at the disposal of less trained teachers .

According to sources, dozens of schoolteachers from every district had been deputed as master trainers’, block resource persons (BRP), district resource persons (DRP), coordinators etc on the orders of the DGSE.

Hundreds of these teachers are involved in monitoring, inspection and other teacher training programmes despite the availability of expert staff at GISTCs and other postgraduate senior lecturers, lecturers with PhDs, MPhils and M.Ed qualifications in the Education Department.

Hundreds of schools along the Kandi and Bet areas lack the basic infrastructure of education. Many schools in these areas had been without lecturers and teachers in various subjects for the past many years.

“Instead of filling the vacancies in the Kandi and Bet areas, the DGSE is busy checking the attendance of schools and creating panic among teachers,” explained a schoolteacher.

Government School Lecturers’ Association president Hakam Singh Sangrur and secretary-general Sukhdev Singh Rana condemned the move of DGSE Krishan Kumar and Education Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan in dislocating approximately 60 experienced and qualified lecturers of GISTCs throughout the state. The association has demanded immediate revocation of the orders.

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Check illegal use of domestic LPG cylinders: SDM

Phagwara, December 28
SDM Amarjit Paul has instructed the officers of the Civil Supplies Department to check the illegal use of domestic LPG cylinders by several commercial establishments.

Addressing two advisory committee meetings of the Sales Tax and Civil Supplies Departments, Paul asked the civil supplies officers to check and ensure normal supply to consumers by different gas agency holders.

He has advised officials of the Sales Tax Department to launch a campaign to educate people to pay required VAT and get valid bills while purchasing goods. — OC

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Govt urged to open polytechnics in villages

Jalandhar, December 28
Mehr Chand Polytechnic urged the state government to open polytechnics at the village level to enable the rural youth get skill-based jobs. A meeting in this regard was conducted by the Community Development Department of the college during the meeting of the Advisory Committee.

Industrialist Kundan Aggarwal said the polytechnics could provide much-needed boost to the rural youth in the state. Principal Dr Jagroop Singh said by the end of February as many as 1,000 youth would be trained. — TNS

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