Computerization of power
billing system to be
completed by March: Rather

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Stating that revenue realization has a significant importance in stabilizing the State’s economic foundation, the Minister for....more

Coregroup meeting
discusses security
situation

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Jan 14: A core group meeting of different security agencies today discussed prevailing security situation in the Kashmir valley, a defence ministry spokesman said here this evening. He said Lt Gen Hasnain, GOC Chinar Corps and the Security advisor to Government, chaired the Core Group..more

Patel visits Vaishno Devi

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Union Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel today visited holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi ji and offered prayers. Mr Patel flew-in from New Delhi to Jammu Airport from where he took off the chopper to Sanji Chat.......more

4 more accused held in
gang rape in matador

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Four more accused in the rape of a woman at Burn khud under the jurisdiction of Gharota police station were today arrested by police while one of the accused was still absconding. With this, total arrests made in the gang...more

Irrigation, FC Deptt directs
closure of major canals

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: The Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Jammu has directed to close the major canals for repairing. As per the press note issued here, the Chief Engineer said that all the major canals including Ranbir Canal, New Partap Canal and Kathua canal and its network will be closed from....more

 

JCC to decide course of
action in today’s meet

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Senior members of the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) and president JKEJAC have resolved to chalk out next course of action in tomorrow’s meeting as Government has shown cold response to their main issue related to payment of arrears. The members pointed out that the cold...more

ACF examination
partly postponed

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: As per Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission the compulsory papers of General Knowledge and English of ACF (Main) Examination, 2010 scheduled to be held on January 15, 2011 and January 16, 2011 at Jammu and Srinagar centres have been postponed till further orders. The dates for conduct of these....more

Dr Jitendra Singh
quits job

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Dr. Jitendra Singh, nationally known Diabetologist, author and scholar, who was recently nomiated as National Executive Member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by hte party national president Nitin Gadkar, today formally put in his papers...more

     
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Gender budgeting necessary to empower women: Shameema..........

Sena announces support to BJYM move
BJP asks CM to desist from creating hurdles in flag hoisting........

Constitute Committee to probe mass exodus of Pandits: ASKPC..........

Durga Nagar Welfare Committee’s plea......

Govt SRO debarring militancy victims of compensation unjustified: Mir.........

Nanak, Saraswati Vihar plunge into darkness........

Contribute generously for disabled: Bhalla

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Calling upon affluent class to readily contribute for the welfare of disabled children, Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Raman Bhalla said coordinated and collective efforts are needed to provide succor to this miserable class. Addressing a function organized by Sahyog India in collaboration with Prerna Institute of Rehabilitation and Research for mentally challenged, deaf and dumb at Future Pack Higher Secondary School, Upper Gaddigarh, Mr. Bhalla said honest and dedicated NGOs engaged in promoting social cause will always receive encouragement from the Government.

Well-made ‘Lakeer’ heralds regional cinema

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: ‘Lakeer’, a well-made first ever film in Pahari language was released with lot of fanfare at the Hari Theatre, here today, by Abhiyaan, a NGO, committed to promotion of culture. With brass band playing choicest filmi songs, audience lined up before time and group of curious passers almost blocking the early traffic in Raghunath Bazar—all gave a festive look to the mahurat show of the film.

Science Express arrives Udhampur

Excelsior Correspondent

UDHAMPUR, Jan 14: " Science Express", the state of art science exhibition mounted on a specially designed train was inaugurated by Additional District Development Commissioner (ADDC), Udhampur, Ram Rattan Sharma at Railway Station, here on Friday morning . The exhibition, which is being packed on a train, was conceived by India’s Department of Science and Technology. The Executer of the exhibition is Vikram A Sarabhai from Community Science Centre, Ahmedabad.

3-week VTP for students of winter zones begins at BGSBU

Excelsior Correspondent

RAJOURI, Jan 14: The 3-week Vacation Training Programme (VTP) for students representing winter zones under the aegis of Centre for Biodiversity Studies (CBS) commenced here at Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU). Vice Chancellor BGSBU Prof Irshad A Hamal inaugurated the programme. While addressing, he said that popularizing science and creating public awareness regarding nature conservation is the need of hour and such outreach and training programmes would go a long way in spreading the message.

House panel to study documents on PF misappropriation........

OBC Jagriti Manch expresses resentment against Govt........

Collective efforts needed to conserve green gold: Altaf..........

Deputation calls on Addl DC........

YP, NPSU condemn Govt for offering jobs to stone pelters..........

JCUM extends full support to JPPF’s 2nd phase of agitation........

PDD officials disconnect 250 illegal connections........

15 injured in road accident.........

25 candidates selected for placement.......

Fill up vacant posts of doctors in Doda: MLA.........

KPC asks Pandits to observe Holocaust Day as Black Day......

Physiotherapists’ protest dharna continues .........

2 killed, 3 injured in car-truck collision...............

 

Computerization of power billing system
to be completed by March: Rather

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Stating that revenue realization has a significant importance in stabilizing the State’s economic foundation, the Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather today called for an intensified revenue collection campaign against the electricity consumed by the consumers

Interacting with the senior functionaries of the PDD, after inspecting main power Grid Station, Gladni, Jammu this afternoon, the Minister urged for accelerated efforts to achieve the targets through persuasion.

Mr. Rather said that the entire Power Billing System in the State would be computerized by ending March this fiscal. This would help to check pilferage of power and revenue and also save precious time of consumers by reducing their interface with the field officers.

Mr. Rather urged for a vigorous recovery drive against defaulting Government Departments also, adding that about Rs.531 crore are outstanding against various departments on account of power bills in Jammu division out of which only Rs.58.67 crore have been recovered upto November this fiscal.

"Same is the situation in Kashmir where whopping sums are outstanding with various Government Departments on account of power bills. This is certainly a cause of concern for which we need to put our heads together so that burgeoning power bill outstanding is contained and recoveries effected," Mr. Rather asserted. He said the Government would explore all possibilities to recover outstanding Power Bills against various Government Departments at source.

The Minister took a threadbare and holistic review of revenue receipts in Jammu division and asked the Engineers that their performance is being monitored very closely at heighest level. He said any laxity in this regard would be reviewed seriously. He assured that the Government will safeguard service interests of Power Employees as an obligation. He also called for creating awareness among the consumers about the repercussions of power theft through pursuance and better public relation.

Economic Advisor to Government, Jalil Ahmad Khan, Commr/Secy. to Government, PDD, Basharat Ahmad Dhar, Development Commissioner Power, Asgar Ali, Chief Engineer, Elect, M&RE, Jammu, Mohammad Qasim, Director General Budget, Ravi Magotra and District and Circle Level Engineers of PDD were also present.

Coregroup meeting discusses security situation

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Jan 14: A core group meeting of different security agencies today discussed prevailing security situation in the Kashmir valley, a defence ministry spokesman said here this evening.

He said Lt Gen Hasnain, GOC Chinar Corps and the Security advisor to Government, chaired the Core Group meeting at BB Cantt here today.

The meeting was attended by the Director General of Police (DGP) Kuldeep Khoda, senior officers of Army, Police, CRPF, BSF, Intelligence Agencies and Civil Administration.

Speaking on the occasion, Lt Gen Hasnain complemented the high level of synergy that exists between all instruments of National and State Power in addressing the security concerns of the Valley, Mr Kuldeep Khoda while addressing the gathering echoed the same sentiments and further elaborated on key security issues as prevalent in Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting deliberated on the prevailing external environment and carried out a holistic introspection of the way ahead.

Patel visits Vaishno Devi

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Union Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel today visited holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi ji and offered prayers.

Mr Patel flew-in from New Delhi to Jammu Airport from where he took off the chopper to Sanji Chat.

After paying obeisance to Goddess Vaishno Devi, Mr Patel returned here from the chopper and flew back to the Union capital.

4 more accused held in gang rape in matador

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Four more accused in the rape of a woman at Burn khud under the jurisdiction of Gharota police station were today arrested by police while one of the accused was still absconding.

With this, total arrests made in the gang rape have reached five.

Police identified four rapists arrested today as Sukhwinder Singh and Purshotam Kumar, both residents of Kangar, Mohammad Sadiq and Mohammad Javed, residents of Burn. Driver of the matador, in which the girl was raped, has already been arrested. He was identified as Balwinder Singh of Digiana.

Police said one of the accused, Sohan Lal of Kangar was absconding and efforts were on to nab him.

As reported, a woman was raped in a matador in Burn khud by the accused when she was traveling from Bantalab to Digiana, where she had been married.

The accused have been booked for kidnapping and rape.

Irrigation, FC Deptt directs closure of major canals

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: The Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Jammu has directed to close the major canals for repairing.

As per the press note issued here, the Chief Engineer said that all the major canals including Ranbir Canal, New Partap Canal and Kathua canal and its network will be closed from January 15 for annual repairs. He directed all the concerned Superintending Engineers and Executive Engineers to take up the closure work and urgently repair the canals.

He further said date of opening the canals would be notified separately.

JCC to decide course of action in today’s meet

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Senior members of the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) and president JKEJAC have resolved to chalk out next course of action in tomorrow’s meeting as Government has shown cold response to their main issue related to payment of arrears.

The members pointed out that the cold attitude of the Government has created sense of disbelief among the employees who are facing the brunt of sky rocketing inflation. After taking the stock of situation by JKEJAC in its recent general council meeting and after the consultation with other factions of the JCC it has been felt that the leadership of the JCC has a responsibility towards the employees and it can not remain spectator to the cold attitude of the Government.

It has now been resolved by mutual consensus by majority of the JCC members including Abdul Qayoom Wani and Khursheed Alam that next course of action would be decided in the proposed meeting tomorrow. They also issued appeal to all the leaders of the JCC / EJAC from Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh to participate in the meeting so that a consensus could be evolved to announce joint struggle to get the issues of the employees resolved. They pointed out that unrest was prevailing among the employees in view of soaring prices of the essentials and all other items while the Government was denying them their hard earned money. Mr Wani further said that EJAC will also hold its meeting earlier and discuss the employees issues. He said employees were worried and suffering a lot in view of price hike. They are feeling helpless and dejected. It becomes the responsibility of the leadership to take a lead and discuss strategy for getting the issues resolved.

The JCC leader again impressed upon the Government to release the arrears of 6th Pay Commission, issue orders of regularization of adhoc, contractual and daily rated employees as per decision of the Government taken in the Assembly and remove the pay anomalies.

ACF examination partly postponed

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: As per Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission the compulsory papers of General Knowledge and English of ACF (Main) Examination, 2010 scheduled to be held on January 15, 2011 and January 16, 2011 at Jammu and Srinagar centres have been postponed till further orders. The dates for conduct of these papers would be notified separately.

However, rest of the papers of the examination would be held from January 17, 2011 onwards as per already published date sheet at Srinagar & Jammu centres.

Dr Jitendra Singh quits job

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Dr. Jitendra Singh, nationally known Diabetologist, author and scholar, who was recently nomiated as National Executive Member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by hte party national president Nitin Gadkar, today formally put in his papers to quit the post of Professor in Govt Medical College Jammu.

When contacted, Dr Singh confirmed the news but said he would continue his clinical practice and alays be available to his patients for consultation.

Dr. Jitendra Singh took this decision in response to a written communication to him from the BJP high command in Delhi requesting him to relinquish his Government job so that he could be officially entrusted with organizational responsibilities of the party at national and State level.

Menawhile, the BJP sources had all praise for Dr Jitendra Singh who, they said, had set a rare example for others by quitting a senior lucrative Government position in response to call of service for nationalist and patriotic ideals.

Gender budgeting necessary
to empower women: Shameema

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Chairperson State Commission for Women Shameema Firdous inaugurated two day workshop-cum-training programme on gender budgeting at Samba today.

Minister for Industries and Commerce Surjit Singh Slathia was chief guest on the occasion.

In her inaugural speech, Mrs. Shameema said that women empowerment is must for socio economic development and Government is endeavouring to empower the women folk of the society by providing them equal chances of upliftment in every sector, adding that concept of gender budgeting was necessary to empower women economically.

While highlighting the importance of the gender budgeting, Mrs Shameema said there are a number of gender specific barriers which prevent women and girls from gaining access to their rightful share. "Unless these barriers are done away with thorough planning, the fruits of economic growth won’t reach to them", she said and stressed the need for policy interventions to make women equal shareholders of growth and development.

Mrs. Shameema said that Government has initiated various schemes for welfare of women which need to be implemented in letter and spirit at grass root level. She urged upon women to avail optimum benefit from the schemes launched by State and Central Governments for their better livelihood.

Mr Slathia said the gender budgeting is an important powerful tool in transforming the status fair sex. He said the full contribution of women in the development will be realized only after they are made economically independent.

Sena announces support to BJYM move
BJP asks CM to desist from creating

hurdles in flag hoisting

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14:- Reiterating its firm resolve to hoist the National Tricolor at historic Lal Chowk, Srinagar in Kashmir Valley on the occasion of Republic Day, BJP today warned that it will not allow any political party to do politics over the issue.

The issue of flag hoisting is the matter of national unity and integrity and no interference will be tolerated in this regard, BJP state president Shamsher Singh Manhas, told reporters here along with BJP Kashmir chief, Sofi Mohammed Yousf and MLA Choudhary Sukhnandan.

He said any citizen of India can hoist National Flag in any part of the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and no one can object in it.

Taking strong exception to the statement of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah that why BJYM is hoisting the flag after 19 years, he clarified that Omar Abdullah has no knowledge over this issue as the Party leaders are hoisting the National Tricolor at Lal Chowk, Srinagar every year since 1992 after the then president of the Party Murli Manohar Joshi along with other senior leaders unfurled the Tricolor there. So there should be no problem for Chief Minister if BJYM has decided to hoist the flag this year, he added.

He said this way Mr Abdullah was supporting the Hurriyat and JKLF leadership who have opposed the flag hoisting. If Omar Abdullah, his Ministers and senior functionaries of administration can hoist the National Tricolor in other parts of the State why the BJYM activists can’t hoist the Tricolour in Kashmir, he asked?.

Meanwhile the Shiv Sena while taking serious exception to the statement of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah over Ekta Yatra has extended full support to BJYM in organizing the Yatra.

In a statement issued today vice president North India SS, Kuldeep Luthra, said the BJYM’s effort will lead to curbing down the nefarious designs of separatists in J&K.

Constitute Committee to probe
mass exodus of Pandits: ASKPC

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference (ASKPC) held a meeting here today under the chairmanship of R K Raina its senior vice president to discuss the prevailing situation in the state.

Addressing the meeting Mr Raina criticized the duel policy of NC patriarch and Union Minster, Dr Farooq Abdullah and accused him of changing statements from Kashmir to Jammu. He said such a policy of the NC leader was responsible for spoiling the atmosphere in the state.

Addressing the meeting, H L Chatta general secretary, ASKPC said the exodus of KPs and other nationalist forces from Valley in 1989-90 and afterwards was due to wrong policies of Dr Abdullah who headed the Government at that time.

He demanded that a high level Committee headed by an acting judge of Supreme Court be appointed to probe the mass exodus of KPs and fix responsibilities. He said by becoming mere apologetic will not serve the purpose nor can it change the history.

Chatta also criticized the double standards of present Chief Minister and alleged that he has given a raw deal to Pandits. He reiterated that KPs will only return to Valley if they are settled in a single major township.

Others who addressed the meeting included Ravinder Riana, M K Sher, D N Kissu, Ravi Raina, Ashok Dhar, Reeta Bhat and Grishim Gurtoo.

Durga Nagar Welfare Committee’s plea

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Durga Nagar Welfare Committee in a meeting today held under the chairmanship of Roshan Lal Raina its president expressed grave concern over the delaying tactics adopted by the Government in construction of park in the area.

The meeting said that despite the assurances given by VC JDA no head way was made till date regarding the construction of park in the area.

The meeting in an appeal to Housing and Urban Development Minister has sought his immediate intervention in the matter.

The meeting also expressed concern over the blockage of drains and lack of proper matador service in the area. It demanded immediate construction of drain and installation of flood lights in the area.

Govt SRO debarring militancy victims
of compensation unjustified: Mir

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Terrorism Affected Peoples Front (TAPF)–Jammu criticized the State Government for issuing a fresh SRO debarring the militancy victims whose family member was killed by terrorists of Rs five lakh as compensation.

After issuing an official letter on January 27, 2009 that the militancy victims whose monthly income will be Rs 5000 will not be given Rs five lakh as compensation the State Government has backstabbed them, Mohammed Farooq Mir, ex MLA and TAPF president Mohamed Aslam Kohli chairman Jammu Migrant Front (JMF) and Ravinder Raina told reporters here today.

This is a matter of shame and instead of providing a healing touch and justice to the militancy victims, the Government seems to have shirked its responsibilities towards them Mir said.

He said there are thousands of pending cases in the Government offices under SRO 43 in the districts of Poonch, Rajouri, Reasi, Udhampur, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Kathua and even some cases in Samba district who have not been given full compensation.

The people were asked to submit income certificates which is totally unjustified, Mir said, adding that the Front will not sit as a mute spectator to this all and it will come to roads against this gross injustice.

He said that thousands of the militancy victims from the hilly and far flung areas of Jammu region who have migrated are still unregistered as migrants by the Government which has adopted the double standards and utilized different yardsticks for migrants of Kashmir Valley and Jammu region.

Mir said the Jammu migrants are on constant dharna in front of Divisional Commissioner’s office but the authorities are not paying any heed to their demands.

These migrants are the victims of Government’s apathy as they are leading a miserable life for years together. He said the Front will decide its future course of action on January 30 meeting and announce its agitational programme on the same day.

Nanak, Saraswati Vihar plunge into darkness

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: The colonies of Nanak Vihar and Saraswati Vihar in Lower Muthi plunged into darkness after a local transformer developed a snag from January 12 mid night.

Despite the repeated pleas of the residents the authorities till date have failed to install the transformer in the area. The people of the twin colonies said that they were facing many hardships due to power failure in the area. They alleged that the students whose exams have drawn near are the worst hit due to the blackout.

The residents of the area including Omparkash, Radhakrishan Bhat, Girdhari Lal and Bansi Lal Raina have also taken up the matter with concerned MLA.

Meanwhile the residents of Suriya Vihar Lower Muthi are facing the shortage of LPG. According to Dr G K Gupta the people who have booked the LPG with concerned agency about a month back have not received the home delivery till date which has compounded their problems.

Dr Gupta has appealed the Director CAPD to look into the matter and issue directives to the concerned Gas agency to ensure home delivery of LPG in time.

Contribute generously for disabled: Bhalla

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Calling upon affluent class to readily contribute for the welfare of disabled children, Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Raman Bhalla said coordinated and collective efforts are needed to provide succor to this miserable class.

Addressing a function organized by Sahyog India in collaboration with Prerna Institute of Rehabilitation and Research for mentally challenged, deaf and dumb at Future Pack Higher Secondary School, Upper Gaddigarh, Mr. Bhalla said honest and dedicated NGOs engaged in promoting social cause will always receive encouragement from the Government. He said two decades long turmoil has given rise to a large scale disabled people for which collective efforts of Government, NGOs and philanthropists are needed for their well being and rehabilitation.

The Minister said generous help of the rich will go a long way in mitigating sufferings of this distressed class, adding that serious efforts are need to spot talent among the disabled children and train them accordingly for their transformation into productive and capable human resources.

Chief Advisor, Sahyog India, Kh. Farooq Renzushah, president Sahyog India, Ashwani Jojra among other senior members included Mahesh Kinth, S Narinder Singh, Lalit Kumar, D D Khajuria, Dr. T K Moza, 84-Bn. CRPF Chauhan besides prominent personalities of Red Cross home, government and private personalities were present on the occasion.

Well-made ‘Lakeer’ heralds regional cinema

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: ‘Lakeer’, a well-made first ever film in Pahari language was released with lot of fanfare at the Hari Theatre, here today, by Abhiyaan, a NGO, committed to promotion of culture.

With brass band playing choicest filmi songs, audience lined up before time and group of curious passers almost blocking the early traffic in Raghunath Bazar—all gave a festive look to the mahurat show of the film.

Approved by Censor Board of India and exempted of entertainment tax by Government, the film is being considered by many a historic moments in history of regional cinema in the State.

‘Lakeer’, while showcasing grand tradition of communal harmony and brotherhood amongst Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs of the State, is a moving portrayal of pre and post partition happenings and its aftermath that has not only divided the land but people also.

Directed by Shiv Dutt, one of the senior most filmmaker of the State, based on original story idea of Khalid Hussain and written by Ali Adalat, the film has emerged as a true reflection of Pahari culture and social practices.

The lilting music by Chaman Panthi, is a vital aspect of the film as it has made artistic use of folk forms like ‘mahiya’, ‘Heer’ along with poetry of Saif-ul-Malook. Based on lyrics of poet and artiste, K D Maini, and Pervez Malik, the songs have been sung by Surpal Singh, Suresh Chouhan, Deepali Watal, Neelam Langeh and Sham Sajad.

The actors of ‘Lakeer’ who gave brilliant performances include Pankaj Khajuria, Monika Singh (now leading artist in serial "Pratigya" of star plus), Shiv Mehta, Raghunandan Singh Bali, Shammi Malhotra, Bharat and Late Subhash Raizada, Lalit Gupta, Madan Rangeela, Sandesh Veer, Kusum Tikoo and Ritu Mehra.

Talking to Excelsior, Manmeet of MC Khalsa School, said that the film entertains as well as educates. Mohammad Ashraf, who had specially come from Surankot to watch the film said that to watch a film in one’s own mother tongue was a dream come true.

Today’s mahurat show was inaugurated by Mushtaq Bukhari, VC, Advisory Board for Pahari Speaking People. Other eminent personalities who also watched the film included Mubarak Gul, Advisor to Chief Minster, ex-Minister Sardar Harbans Singh and Surinder Singh Shingari.

Science Express arrives Udhampur

Excelsior Correspondent

UDHAMPUR, Jan 14: " Science Express", the state of art science exhibition mounted on a specially designed train was inaugurated by Additional District Development Commissioner (ADDC), Udhampur, Ram Rattan Sharma at Railway Station, here on Friday morning .

The exhibition, which is being packed on a train, was conceived by India’s Department of Science and Technology. The Executer of the exhibition is Vikram A Sarabhai from Community Science Centre, Ahmedabad.

The exhibition on wheels with more than 300 large format visual images, over 150 video clips and multimedia exhibits highlighting cutting edge research in Science and Technology would remain open for students in particular and masses in general upto January 17, 2011 from 10.00 A.M to 5.00 P.M at Railway Station, Udhampur.

Lauding the efforts of organizers for holding Science express in Udhampur Railway Station, the ADDC said that the exhibition would provide an opportunities especially to the students and others having scientific bent of mind to know the glorious legacy of India future programmes in Science and Technology. Mr. Sharma said that efforts have already been made to involve maximum number of students so that they could learn how science is enabling society to face the global challenges of the 21st century.

Other highlights of the Science Express include India’s achievements in IT, Bio-Tech, Space and Nanotechnology besides film shows on Innovations, Inventions, Discoveries and Topical issues. Another special feature of the exhibition is "Joy of Science Lab" where students can conduct hand-on experiments in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Math Projects.

Large number of students from various Government and private educational institutions thronged Udhampur Railway Station on Friday to be on board "Science Express" to see the various advancements in the field of Science and Technology. Science educators and communicators explained the different science exhibits and answered their numerous queries.

3-week VTP for students of winter zones begins at BGSBU

Excelsior Correspondent

RAJOURI, Jan 14: The 3-week Vacation Training Programme (VTP) for students representing winter zones under the aegis of Centre for Biodiversity Studies (CBS) commenced here at Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU).

Vice Chancellor BGSBU Prof Irshad A Hamal inaugurated the programme. While addressing, he said that popularizing science and creating public awareness regarding nature conservation is the need of hour and such outreach and training programmes would go a long way in spreading the message.

Prof Hamal also hailed the selection of Centre for Biodiversity Studies as one of the Regional Resource Agencies (RRAs) for implementation of national level DNA club programmes in the State.

Registrar M Rashid Chowdhary, lauded the role of RRA in organizing such programme for the students of winter zones nodal schools of Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu regions.

Earlier, Dean Academic Affairs Prof A K Koul stressed on the need for sensitizing the young students about the importance of conservation of nature and appealed the young minds to play their vital role.

Principal Investigator of the DNA Club programme Dr Ashfaq Ahmed Zarri, gave detailed presentation on the project and highlighted the various activities organised during the last three years.

The students from Leh, Kargil, Srinagar, Pulwama, Kishtwar and Poonch districts would undergo training during 3-week programme.

Others present on the occasion were ACR Shahbaz Mirza, university officials, head of various departments, scholars and students.

House panel to study documents on PF misappropriation

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: A meeting of the House Committee of Legislative Assembly constituted to examine and investigate the issue of misappropriation in the Employees Provident Fund Organization, was held under the Chairmanship of MLA M.Y Tarigami, here today.

The Committee received the requisite material from the concerned Organization for its perusal, which the Committee decided to study in detail to arrive at the conclusion.

Mr. Tarigami asked the Members to examine the documents in detail so that a common view is evolved for farming the opinion. He asked the Members to give their opinion in the next meeting.

Among others, Nazir Ahmed Gurezi, Abdul Majid Wani, Sukhnandan Kumar, Ashok Kumar and Charanjit Singh besides officers of the Assembly Secretariat attended the meeting.

OBC Jagriti Manch expresses resentment against Govt

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: The J&K OBC Jagriti Manch showed resentment against the State Government for ignoring their demands in a meeting, here today.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Madan Chalotra, who said that OBC people were struggling to get their due rights. He said that Backward Classes Commission is working against the aspiration of these downtrodden people. He demanded that the recommendation of Mandal Commission report in which 27 per cent reservation has been granted to OBC people should also be granted to them.

The Manch members also demanded quota in Legislative Assembly to highlight their problems and grievances. They further demanded that chairman should be appointed from OBC people only for the interest of down trodden people.

Collective efforts needed to conserve green gold: Altaf

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Stressing on collective efforts to conserve green gold in the State, Minister for Forest and Environment Mian Altaf Ahmad has called for sensitizing people regarding bearing of shrinking forests on climate change and global warming.

Addressing a workshop on 'climate change and role of forests in green house GHG mitigation', he emphasized the need to green the environs by planting plants on every available space subject to feasibility. This, he said will help to minimize impact of global warming besides ensuring attractive landscape and scenic surroundings. The workshop was organized by Soil Conservation Department

"Healthy environment is everybody's concern", he said and called for roping in NGOs and students to spread wide awareness about promotion and conservation of tree cover in Jammu and Kashmir. Stating that survival of life is dependent on forests, he said Government is endeavouring to expand green cover and protect unique flora and fauna of the State.

Minister said massive plantation along highways, roads and industrial concerns will go a long way in minimizing impact of green house gases on the human and plant life. In this regard, he called for emulating green policy of New Delhi and replicating it in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mian Altaf called upon the experts to help in formulation of efficient plans for protection of forests. He said such occasions should help working out in better policy inputs to safeguard forests for the posterity.

Commissioner/Secretary, Forests, Shantmanu, Additional Director General of Forests, Government of India, Jagdish Keshwan, and Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Director Soil Conservation Abahi Kumar also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the co-relation between forests and climatic vagaries.

Deputation calls on Addl DC

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: A deputation of Shri Ram Sena called on Additional Deputy Commissioner and highlighted about the problem of renovation work at Institute of Music and Fine Arts, here today.

The delegation members led by State president Rajiv Mahajan apprised the Additional Deputy Commissioner about the deteriorated condition of the building of Institute of Music and Fine Arts and stressed that students and staff members should be shifted to the premises of New Campus of Jammu University, as there is apprehension of major tragedy.

The Sena members stated that students were facing inconvenience and difficulties due to risk of their lives. The deputation also highlighted that former Deputy Commissioner had personally inspected the building and assured that the execution of works for the renovation would be undertaken immediately, but nothing has been done till now.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner gave patient hearing and assured that matter would be taken on priority basis and renovation of building started at an earliest.

YP, NPSU condemn Govt for offering jobs to stone pelters

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Young Panthers and National Panthers Students Union (NPSU) have strongly condemned the State Government for rehabilitating stone pelters in Kashmir valley and offering jobs to them.

Addressing a press conference here today vice president of Young Panthers, Pushvinder Singh Manhas lambasted the National Conference leadership for its discriminatory attitude towards the youth of Jammu region. He pointed out that recruitment rallies are being organized regularly but the youth from this region are being ignored.

He pointed out that a BSF rally and two district police rallies were held recently and now again recruitment rallies are being held there but State Government was deliberately delaying the select list of the executive police for Jammu province. Mr Singh alleged that NC was mainly responsible for turmoil in Valley which instigated the youth for resorting to stoning and now offering Rs 5 lakh and jobs to them. It is now exposed that NC was playing duel role.

The Young Panthers appealed the educated unemployed youth from Jammu region to wake up from deep slumber, realize this hard fact and get united to launch a decisive battle against the discriminatory policies of the Valley based parties and get them uprooted from Jammu. He alleged that NC was black-mailing the Central Government to get fulfilled unjust demands of the stone pelters. Instead of punishment, they are being offered jobs and cash. This has proved the saying, "Andher Nagri Chaupat Raja".

The NPSU leader Partap Singh Jamwal and Pushvinder Manhas declared war against the Kashmiri rulers and urged the students from Jammu region to get united under one umbrella and go for agitation. They said NC was mother of terrorism, corruption, discrimination and favouritism and expressed the resolve that it would be taught a lesson. They claimed that NC has to be uprooted from the region for its anti-Jammu stance.

They declared that as part of its beginning, Young Panthers and NPSU would hold protest demonstrations at all district headquarters in Jammu province on January 18. Effigies of the Government would be burnt outside every college to register their protest against the government policies.

JCUM extends full support to
JPPF’s 2nd phase of agitation

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Extending its full support to the Jammu Province People's Forum (JPPF) in its second phase of agitation against the posting of Prof. Amitabh Mattoo as Vice Chancellor of Central University, Jammu Central University Morcha (JCUM) leaders today asserted that they will not allow any person to head this prestigious institute who has been indicted by CAG as well as other committees.

Talking to media persons here the leaders of Morcha including Ram Pal Sharma, Rajinder Jamwal, Uday Chand, Balwinder Singh Bhatia, Mohinder Pal Singh and R R Raina said that during the tenure of Prof Mattoo as the head of Jammu University the educational standards went to the lowest ebb which resulted into the sufferings of the students and delay in declaration of results.

Accusing Prof Mattoo of working like a dictator they said he tried to install one of his blue eyed boys second in hierarchy just after VC and the same order was kept in abeyance by the present Chancellor after a Committee led by S L Bhat was constituted in 2008.

JCUM leaders have lashed out at those who are trying to mislead the common man that only Prof Mattoo is capable of leading the University, saying that there are many more capable people in Jammu who have much more potential of leading the University.

Criticizing the appointment of Prof Mattoo as Vice Chancellor of Central University, they said many irregularities were found during his two term tenure as VC Jammu University from 2002 to 2008 and he has been indicted by various committees including AG J&K’s audit report, S L Bhat Committee constituted by the Chancellor of the University and Performance Review Committee on Working of University of Jammu.

The Morcha leaders also appealed the people to join the torch light procession against the Mattoo being organized by JPPF.

PDD officials disconnect 250 illegal connections

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: The Power Development Department engineers and other staff members today raided some areas in Janipur, Subash Nagar, Roop Nagar and Mishriwala and disconnected 250 illegal connections besides seizing 40 heaters.

The raid was conducted under the supervision of Rashpal Bhagat, AEE on the directives of Chief Engineer, M&RE, Jammu.

The Department also warned the people to stop the using electricity illegally and urged those who have illegal connections to approach the Department for power connection by following a proper procedure.

During the drive the Division III of M&RE and Sub Division –I Canal has disconnected illegal connections besides seizing 15 electric heaters at Muthi -Barnai area.

The AEE Electric M&RE, Sub Division Ist Canal Somnath led the team. He was accompanied by AE, Ashok Siwal, JE Rasik Bhagat and other officials of the Sub Division including Surinder Kumar and Vijay Sharma.

Besides, disconnecting 20 illegal connections, seizing 15 heaters the team also increased the load of 30 consumers.

The Department in a handout issued here later said that the drive is also the part of vigorous campaign launched by it to educate the public about the judicious use of electricity. These measures will minimize the problem of low voltage, frequent burning of transformers and breakage in electricity wires, it added.

The drive will also be extended to other parts and the Department has appealed the people to approach the concerned office of PDD if they find any illegal connection from anywhere.

15 injured in road accident

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Jan 14: At least 15 persons were injured today when a passenger vehicle skidded off the road due to snowfall in Bandipora district of north Kashmir, official sources said here.

The mishap took place this afternoon as a passenger vehicle (Tata 407), which was on its way to Banidpora town from Sumbal area, skidded off the road at Nadihal, the sources said.

They said at least 15 passengers received minor injuries in the accident, which was caused by the slippery road due to snowfall in the valley.

All the injured persons were hospitalised for treatment but later discharged as the injuries were minor in nature, the sources said.

Three other persons were injured in different road accidents in Kashmir valley during the day.

A Maruti Car bearing registration number JK04-8975 met with an accident near Chungi Achabal in Anantnag district. The driver of the vehicle and Ashiq Hussain Shah were injured in the incident. Both the injured were hospitalized. Police has registered a case in this regard.

A Load Carrier bearing registration number JK01K-2605 hit and injured one pedestrian namely Nazir Ahmad Malik at Qamarwari near petrol Pump. The injured was hospitalized.

25 candidates selected for placement

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: The first ever State Level Placement Fair for polytechnic and ITI trained candidates, announced recently by Minister for Technical Education and Youth Services and Sports, R. S. Chib commenced today at Government Polytechnic College, Jammu.

This fair was organized by the Technical Education Department in collaboration with ITI and the Polytechnic sectors.

Inspite of bad weather conditions today, more than 350 candidates participated in the fair and were registered with the placement cell. UFlex Private Ltd. conducted the written test and interview of diploma holders and selected 25 candidates for placement of their Jammu based industry. Pre-placement training for candidates was also conducted by eminent faculty.

Number of industrial representatives as well as candidates evinced keen interest and enthusiasm in the fair.

The fair will continue till January 22, 2011.

Fill up vacant posts of doctors in Doda: MLA

Excelsior Correspondent

DODA, Jan 14: Former Minister and MLA Bhaderwah Mohammad Sharief Niaz has demanded filling up of more than 100 vacant posts of doctors and opening up of health centres at Panchayat level in this hilly and backward district.

Mr. Niaz visited Bhallesa area and met a number of public delegations at Changa, Thaloran Khui, Kalotran, Gohari, Gandoh, Thathri, Karra and Kollala. The people complained that due to excessive rains their crop has been destroyed and they have suffered huge losses. The people said that they dont have even seed to sow for the next crop season. They also complained of inadequate health facilities in the area.

Niaz demanded free ration for six months, seeds and fertilizers in rain affected areas of the erstwhile district Doda and subsidized timber depots at Malikpura-Bhatyas, Sawara, Kahara, Thathri, Balla, Bela, Drodu and Seri.

He expressed concern over the power scenario in the district and demanded upgradation of power infrastructure in the area. He asked the administration to execute the development works of high quality and maintain transparency in the execution of works.

He demanded enhancement of wages of ReTs, ReZs, who are highly qualified and the wages of Numberdars/Chowkidars, who are serving the State for peanut amount.

He said shortage of doctors in the hospital and dispensaries was worrisome and resulting into loss of life. He asked the Government to immediately post doctors against the vacant posts especially posting of lady doctors in the rural areas.

KPC asks Pandits to observe Holocaust Day as Black Day

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Kashmiri Pandit Conference (KPC) has decided to observe "Holo-Caust Day" on Jan 19, as "Black Day" by wearing black badges and holding corner meetings.

This was decided in a meeting of KPC at New Delhi today. The meeting was chaired by its national president Kundan Kashmiri. He appealed whole KP Biradari to wear black badges and switch off the lights of their respective residences and business establishments to draw the attention of the Government towards KPs problems as well as to condemn the atrocities and nefarious designs of anti national elements.

He also urged the activists to launch a campaign to educate the youngsters and other Indian masses about the dreadful events which culminated in to the forced exodus of KPs from the valley as well as their Human right violations.

Earlier Mr Kashmiri along with C.L. Gadoo Ex-President Kashmir Samiti Delhi., S.K. Bhat. Nanacy Kaul, Mohan Lal Koul, G.L. Bhat pleaded before National Human Right Commission (NHRC), New Delhi to influence State and Central Governments for posting of newly K P employees particularly women in safer zone of the state. They also told the Commission that situation in Kashmir is not conducive for the Kashmiri Pandits to return and had it been so such a hue and cry would have not been raised by political parties in power over the decision of BJYM regarding hoisting of National Flag in Srinagar on Republic Day.

They also demanded allotment of quarters to non-camp migrants at par with camp dewellers and restoration of land belonging to Pandits in Kupwara which has been allotted by the administration to other departments with out the knowledge if its owners.Class505.

Physiotherapists’ protest dharna continues

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14; Despite rain unemployed physiotherapists’ protest dharna outside the old office of the Divisional Commissioner at Mubarik Mandi continued here today. These trained physiotherapists are on the agitational path for the last more than fifty days. They are demanding their absorption in the departments of Health and Medical Education. They pointed out that many posts were lying vacant in these departments.

A large number of youth who are on struggle for the past 52 days, held massive protest demonstration at the venue site and then moved to Panjtirthi and staged protest outside Raj Bhawan. They claimed that their protest will be continued till the demand is addressed by the government. Braving rain and chilling weather they continued their protest for couple of hours there and then dispersed and moved back to original dharna site.

2 killed, 3 injured in car-truck collision

Excelsior Correspondent

UDHAMPUR, Jan 14: Two persons were killed and three others sustained injuries in head-on collision between a truck and a car at Tikri on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway this evening.

Police spokesman said that a brand new Ritz car collided head on with a truck bearing registration number JK02G-5167 near Tikri critically injuring all the five persons traveling in the car.

On the receipt of information, a police party from Tikri Police Station led by SHO P D Singh swung into action and started rescue operation. It took about one hour to the cops to bring out the injured from the car as Ritz was badly mangled in the collision.

All the five occupants of the car were rushed to District Hospital Udhampur where two of them succumbed to injuries. All the three injured were, later, referred to Government Medical College and Hospital Jammu for specialized treatment. Their condition was stated to be critical when reports last came in.

The deceased have been identified as Rajiv Singh, son of Pritam Singh and Manohar Lal, son of Jagdish, both the residents of Kot Bhalwal.

The injured have been identified as Ram Lal, son of Barfu Raj, Surjeet Singh, son of Janki and Sonu, son of Joginder Singh, all the residents of Kot Bhalwal.



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