Thursday, June 30, 2011



Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon, who has been appointed as the new Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will be joining office on July 1. He has arrived at his native place, this afternoon. During his telephonic conversation with the Additional Director of Communication, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Dr. Dhillon shared that he will reach PAU on July 1 and will meet the Officers of the University.

Dr. Dhillon is the 13th Vice-Chancellor of PAU. Born in 1947, Dr. Dhillon, hails from village Daburji in District-Amritsar and had earlier served PAU in various capacities.

He is a renowned scientist of international repute who has earlier served Indian Council of Agricultural Research( ICAR) as Assistant Director General, and Director of National Bureau of Plant Genetic Research (NBPGR). Dr. Dhillon had been Director of Research of PAU and Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) , Amritsar. Presently, he is working at maize biotechnology at University of Hohenheim, Stuttgard, Germany. Having a doctorate from Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi Dr. Dhillon is known for scientific breakthroughs in maize breeding in particular and crop improvement research in general . He has published over 350 research publications and authored many books on his area of specialization.

He has been honoured with several national and international awards that include DAAD Post-Doctoral Research, Post-Doctorate Fellowship of Alexander von Humboldt, Fellowship, Alexander von Humboldt Europe Fellowship (University of Birmingham), University of Hohenheim Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Associate Scientist ship at International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Memorial Prize of ICAR, NAAS Recognition Award, Om Prakash Bhasin Award, IARI Gold Medal, Dr. Joginder Singh Memorial Award, etc. Dr. Dhillon is a fellow of several coveted scientific bodies including Indian National Science Academy, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India, National Academy of Sciences in India, Punjab Academy of Sciences, India, etc. and has been associated with various journals for research paper reviews.

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The department of Entomology, PAU organized a two-day \'Advance training course on honey bee mites, other bee enemies, diseases and their management\' for progressive bee keepers of Punjab. The programme was held under the aegis of Sir Ratan Tata Trust project \'Evolving management technology for ectoparacitic mite, varroa, in honey bees and its validation at the bee keepers apiaries\'. The Chief Guest on the occasion was the PAU Dean, Postgraduate Studies, Dr. Gursharan Singh while the Director of Research, Dr. S.S.Gosal and Additional Director of Communication, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman were the guests of honour.

Dr. Singh said that the purpose of the training was to impart the participants knowledge on different aspects of bee keeping especially the management of mites, enemies, diseases endangering bee keeping. He highlighted that besides being the source of additional profit, the bee keeping profession helps in enhancing productivity of crops due to increased pollination. He said that the Italian bees, introduced in Punjab in 1967, revolutionized bee keeping in the state.

Dr. Gosal said that beekeeping is facing new challenges due to global warming and the research should be re-oriented to study impact of Bt cotton on the performance of bee keeping, especially in the south-western parts of Punjab. He said that bee keepers, PAU scientists, extension workers have made bee keeping a successful venture in Punjab.

Dr. Dhiman, while congratulating the participants for their successful training said that they should spread useful tips among their fellow bee keepers. He said that Punjab produces 30% honey of the entire country and more than 25000 bee keepers are involved in this profession.

The experts of PAU deliberated on different technical aspects of bee keeping and provided tips about prediction, diagnosis and management of these problems so that the important rural activity could not only be sustained but made to flourish.
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Net-house and poly-house technologies are being widely used for vegetable production under protected conditions, especially for high value vegetables. PAU has developed net-house technology for vegetables such as brinjal, capsicum, tomato, cucumber, etc. The Director of Research, Dr S.S. Gosal said that the technology significantly increases the productivity of vegetables along with improvement in the quality. The net-house and poly-house environment helps vegetable production under relatively less pesticide use. This technology uses less pesticides by 20-59% in different vegetable crops, he said. Besides, it also increases the employment opportunity to the farm family. Farmers should take benefit of subsidy given for net-house installation and participate in vegetable cultivation to increase their income in the long run, emphasized Dr Gosal.

Dr M.S. Sidhu, Head, Department of Economics and Sociology, PAU, told that growing of crops under protected conditions takes care of the crop against temperature changes, hails, heavy rains, etc. As a result, higher input-use efficiency is achieved and super quality of the produce is obtained.The state government also provides subsidy on building of the net-houses, informed he.

While discussing about the practice of this technology at the farmers level, Dr. M.K.Sekhon, Economist (Marketing) said that several farmers in the state are cultivating vegetables such as tomato, cucumber, brinjal, capsicum, etc. under cover of poly-house or net-house. The net-house reduces the infestation by insect-pests and consequently leads to a reduction in the pesticide use. There is always an emphasis on pesticide free vegetables, especially those consumed fresh, she said. She disclosed that a survey was conducted including 50 net-house cultivators cultivating different vegetables. The produce obtained there from was better in quality and free from pesticides. She added that to compare the net-house technology with open-field cultivation of vegetables, the data were also collected from 50 open-field vegetable cultivators. The size of net-house varied from one kanal to one acre.

Varsity economist, Dr Manjeet Kaur observed that the technology also promotes better use of resources. More efficient use of resources helps in reducing the chemical use and thus the expenditure on plant protection chemicals by 59% in tomato and about 20% in other vegetables when compared to the vegetables grown in open fields. Dr kaur added that the expenditure on fertilizers and manures in case of net-house declined by about 10% in tomato and capsicum as compared to the open field cultivation.

Mr V.R. Singh informed that all the vegetables cultivated under the net-house gave higher gross as well as net returns as compared to the vegetables cultivated in the open fields. The maximum net returns were obtained from tomato followed by capsicum, chilli, etc., he said. The experts stressed that farmers should utilize the advice and technical knowledge of experts for producing vegetables under net-house to improve the quality and quantity of vegetables.

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"In a culture that idolizes sons and dreads the birth of a daughter, to be born female comes perilously to being born less human. Born into differences and reared on neglect, the girl child is caught in a web of cultural practices and prejudices that divest her of individuality and moulds her into a submissive, self-sacrificing daughter and wife. The practice of female foeticide is a social evil and a blot against humanity," expressed PAU home scientists while urging the farmers, farm women and the rural youth to correct the sex imbalance and ensure the survival of the girl child where she can enjoy equal rights.

Pointing out the factors responsible for female foeticide, Dr Seema Sharma of the Department of Human Development (HD), told that the most important factor is the low status of Indian women coupled with traditional gender bias. She added, "It has been observed that educated mothers in Punjab are more prone to discriminate against their daughters than the educated ones. The rich agriculturists living in the rural areas of Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat and the urban elite living in the metropolis of Delhi tend to avail sex determination abortion." Dr Sharma said that sons are looked upon as a type of insurance and are responsible for "preservation" of family name. This strong preference for sons results in a life-endangering deprivation of daughters.

Dr (Mrs) Rippen Gill Jassal, HD scientist, bemoaned that in India, daughters are considered as economic liability. Women have little control over economic resources and the best way for a young bride to gain domestic power mainly comes from her ability to produce children, in particular, sons. Dr Jassal told that if the first child is daughter, families go for sex determination test and the female foetus aborted repeatedly till a son is born. The increased availability of advanced technologies is another factor responsible for this malpractice and decrease in sex ratio.

The home scientists stressed that under the prevailing scenario, there is a need to change the mind set of the society and make people aware about the gravity of their mistake. Legal awareness, more laws and amendments in existing laws are required to strengthen the position of women in the society. The principle of equality between men and women should be widely promoted through the media to the change the attitude of the general public, said they and added that it is important to educate women and girls about their rights for they have a right to their dignity, health and decision making in all the important issues. They also stressed that education regarding reproductive health should be provided with focus on the effect on the overall health of women and child after repeated abortions followed by increased mental trauma. PAU scientists emphasized that panchayat mahila mandals, self-help groups, co-operatives, etc., should make efforts to introduce and implement women and girl friendly systems. The practice of dowry at the time of marriage should be eliminated through education and concept of equality of sexes.
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Punjabi culture is known for its values. Serene music has been a strength of our culture. It is a pity that that the contemporary music is becoming a noise with undesirable elements intruding in it. This was stated by Mr. Tarlochan Singh, former Chairman of National Commission for Minority and Member Parliament. He was interacting with participants of a function held at GGN Institute of Management and Technology, Ludhiana to release a new audio CD of noted Punjabi poet, Trailochan Lochi. The CD named \'Sarvar\' has eight ghazals in the melodious voice of Lochi himself. S. Tarlochan Singh said that the companies dealing with audio and video cassettes, TV channels, singers and lyricists have a great social responsibility to maintain the richness of our culture through permitting only neat and clean songs. Lochi has given voice to compositions of Gurbhajan Singh Gill, Manjinder Dhanoa and Satish Gulati. Dr. S.P.Singh, former Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University appreciated the zeal with which Lochi composes and sings his ghazals. S. Jagdev Singh Jassowal, Chairman of Prof. Mohan Singh Foundation described Lochi as promising poet and singer. The former Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha, Mr. Charanjit Singh Atwal said that the public too should discourage sub-standard and undesirable songs. Member Parliament, Mr. Balwinder Singh Bhunder described Lochi as \'Pride of Malwa\' and said that he should continue with his voice to denounce social evils such as female foeticide and uphold the cultural values. Mr. Amarjit Singh Chawla, former Member Punjab Public Service Commission congratulated Lochi for his literary contributions.

Mr. Gurbhajan Singh Gill, President of Punjab Sahit Akademy said that Lochi is poet of great promise. He said that the Punjabi Sahit Akademy will formulate programmes to encourage young writers, singers and stage artists so that the neat and clean values of Punjabi culture are upheld. Dr. Nirmal Jaura congratulated Lochi for his new efforts in the world of music.
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GADVASU completes first round of counselling for Undergraduate Programmes.

Ludhiana 29-June-2011

The first round counselling of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) was completed for three Under Graduate courses i.e. Bachelor of Vet .Sc.& Animal Husbandry (Five year programme), Bachelor of Fisheries Sc. (Four year programme) and B.Tech. (Dairy Tech. - four year programme) at Silver Jubilee Block Auditorium of the University. A total 1014 students appeared for CET conducted by this University on 22nd June. 2011. 58 seats of B.V.Sc & A.H, 17 of B.F.Sc and 25 of B.Tech. (Dairy Tech.) were filled in the first counselling held on 28th and 29th July, 2011 as informed by Dr. P.D. Juyal, Registrar, GADVASU. The University started B.F.Sc and B.Tech. (Dairy Tech.) courses in 2008 for first time in this region. A great rush was seen to Veterinary, Dairy and Fisheries courses due to increasing popularity of these courses. 1197 applications received this year which were higher than the last year.

The seats for Khalsa College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Amritsar for the Ist year could not be filled. The permission for this year from Veterinary Council of India is awaited. These seats are likely to be filled up in the second counselling to be held on 21st July, 2011. The 2nd counselling for B.Tech. (Dairy Technology) will be held on 22nd July, 2011 while third counselling for all the undergraduate programmes will be held on 30th August, 2011.

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Ruckus in Kerala assembly over lathicharge on students

Thiruvananthapuram, June 30, 2011(PTI)

Kerala assembly today witnessed a ruckus between opposition and ruling party members, who came to near blows over Wednesday's police lathichage on pro-Left organisations on the self-financing colleges issue.

Speaker G Karthikeyan called the watch-and-ward to prevent a commotion after two legislators rushed to the chair of the Chief Minister, and adjourned the House after the situation got out of control.

The trouble started after opposition Deputy Leader in the House Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, through an adjournment motion, raised the issue of "brutal" lathicharge on student activists who were protesting against "commercialisation of education" in the capital yesterday.

He said even R Rajesh, MLA representing Mavelikkara, came under attack by the police.

Replying to the motion, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said there was no justification in the student struggle as there was absolutely nothing different between the policies of the previous LDF government and UDF government on self-financing issue.

He also denied the charge that Mr. Rajesh was injured in the police action. "A cover was made by the police under Deputy Commissioner of police Thomas Jolly Cherian to protect him," he said.

On hearing this, CPI(M) member Babu M Palissery rushed to the chair of the Chief Minister with a blood-stained cloth.

Mr. Rajesh also followed him and showed the injury on his hand.

Ruling party members also got up and moved to the front benches. As both sides appeared to reach to near blows, the Speaker adjourned the House temporarily.

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US varsity researcher abducted by Maoists in Bihar


An American university research scholar, who is known to be a resident of Bangalore was abducted along with a local in Bihar\'s Jamui district by suspected Maoists, police said on Thursday.

Juhi Tyagi, in her mid 20s, a sociology research fellow at Stony Brook University in New York, was on a visit to the rural areas of Jamui in connection with her research on Maoist problems in India.

Jamui Superintendent of Police Ram Narain Singh said on phone on Thursday, "Maoists abducted them from Nawada area under Kowakol police station and informed the family members of Das about it."

Tyagi, had been missing for the last two days along with a local, Pradeep Das, he said. "Juhi was last seen in Jamui on June 28," Singh added.

The two were meeting some villagers, suspected to be Maoist sympathisers, he said.

Tyagi arrived in Jamui June 15. She had visited the district earlier also.

A massive manhunt has been launched to trace the girl. Police sources said that desperate attempts were being made to get in touch with her family members and university authorities in the US.

Jamui is considered to be a stronghold of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Magnitude-5.4 quake jolts central Japan

TOKYO, June 30, 2011 (AP)

A magnitude-5.4 earthquake has rattled central Japan and at least seven people are hurt.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake hit Thursday in Nagano, some 170 km northwest of Tokyo. The quake was just four km deep. No tsunami warning was issued, the agency said.

Nagano fire department official Sadahiko Furusawa said seven people were injured in the quake, but none was in critical condition.

Japan is located on the Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines spanning the Pacific Basin, and is regularly hit by earthquakes. The nation is recovering from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11, which left more than 22,000 people dead or missing in northeastern Japan.

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French automobile company to set up unit near Sriperumbudur

Chennai, June 30, 2011.

A French automobile company has chosen Tamil Nadu for its integrated project with an investment of Rs.4,000 crore.

A high-level delegation from PSA Peugeot Citroen called on Chief Minister Jayalalithaa at the Secretariat on Wednesday. Minister for Industries S.P. Velumani was also present, according to an official release here.

The company is interested in setting up a car manufacturing facility with an initial capacity of three lakh vehicles per annum for Indian and overseas markets.

It will be a 100 per cent subsidiary of the parent company. After evaluating various sites, it has selected a site near Sriperumbudur.

Chennai offers a mature eco-system with auto components supply base, abundant availability of skilled manpower, port logistics, etc. Above all, according to PSA, the support of the State government being the most critical, the company has requested the Chief Minister for a package of support, including land.

Ms. Jayalalithaa thanked the company for selecting Tamil Nadu and assured it of the government\'s support for expeditious implementation of the project.

Direct employment

The project is expected to provide direct employment to about 5,000 and indirect employment to another 15,000. Also, it will help attract a large number of French auto components manufacturers, triggering a multiplier benefit to the State economy, the release said.

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Bhupen Hazarika hospitalised

Mumbai, June 30, 2011 (PTI)

Legendary singer-composer Dr Bhupen Hazarika was admitted to Kokilaben hospital in suburban Andheri in Mumbai after he complained of difficulty in breathing, hospital sources said on Thursday.

The 85-year-old multifaceted genius was hospitalised on Wednesday when he suffered breathing problems. He was treated immediately. He is stable and doing fine, hospital sources told PTI.

The maestro has been kept in the ICU and is under observation but is out of danger, the sources added.

Mr. Hazarika is a noted poet, music composer, singer, actor, journalist, author and filmmaker of high repute and has been decorated with several prestigious awards including Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Padma Bhushan, Sangeet-Natak Academy Ratna award and the 'Assam Ratna' award by the Assam government for his contribution towards building bridges of unity and culture not only in the north east region but across the country.

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Sonia Gandhi unlikely to meet Anna Hazare today

New Delhi, June 30, 2011 (PTI)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is on Thursday unlikely to meet Anna Hazare who wanted to discuss with the Congress chief the civil society's stand on the Lokpal Bill.

"No meeting is likely between Anna Hazare and Sonia Gandhi today. No appointment has been fixed for today," sources at 10 Janpath, residence of Ms. Gandhi, said.

Mr. Hazare had on Wednesday said that he will try to persuade Ms. Gandhi to include the office of the Prime Minister in the Lokpal Bill.

"We will meet all parties...We will meet Sonia and tell her if the Prime Minister is saying so, then what is the problem," he had said.

He had said the incumbent Prime Minister is an honest man. "The Union Cabinet belong to India, the people in the Cabinet are our people. Then what is the problem in taking the decision? They should be able to take it for the country."

Mr. Hazare was responding to Singh's remarks that he had no hesitation in bringing himself under the purview of Lokpal but many of his Cabinet colleagues feel that bringing the institution of Prime Minister under it will create instability.

Reaching out to political parties ahead of the all-party meeting, the Anna Hazare team had yesterday met CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat and RLD chief Ajit Singh to explain their position on the Lokpal Bill.

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Bye bye, small change

Mumbai, June 30, 2011 (PTI)

Coins in the denomination of 25 paise and below cease to be legal tender from today

The 25 paise coin, which has been fading out of the pocket change in recent years because of low acceptability, will finally become history from Thursday.

The coin, along with those with lower denominations, will be demonetised or cease to be legal tender.

Wednesday was the last day to exchange such coins with banks or the Reserve Bank of India.

"Coins of the denomination of 25 paise and below will cease to be legal tender from June 30, 2011. These will not be accepted for exchange at bank branches from July 1, 2011 onwards," the Reserve Bank of India said recently.

In December 2010, the government had decided to withdraw the coins of denomination of 25 paise and below from circulation from June 30.

Even before price inflation killed the 25 paise coin, the RBI had been receiving complaints that shops, business establishments, utility services and even public sector organisations and government departments were not accepting it.

The RBI then had to issue notice that the coin was in circulation and continued to be legal tender. Coins of 1 paisa, 2, 3 and 5 paise denominations have already been demonetised.

The Frozen Series 1947-50 represented the currency arrangements during the transition period up to the establishment of the Indian Republic.

The Monetary System remained unchanged at One Rupee consisting of 192 pice.

The Anna Series was introduced on August 15, 1950 and represented the first coinage of Republic India. The King\'s Portrait was replaced by the Lion Capital of the Ashoka Pillar, according to an RBI document.

In September 1955, the Indian Coinage Act was amended for the country to adopt a metric system for coinage. The rupee remained unchanged in value and nomenclature. It, however, was now divided into 100 'paise\' instead of 16 annas or 64 pice.

The 2.5 gram nickel 25 paise coin was born. The latest 25 paise coin, weighing 2.83 gram, was ferrite stainless steel.

Stainless steel coinage of 10, 25 and 50 paise, was introduced in 1988 and of one rupee in 1992.

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Signboards that make you smile

Leh, June 30, 2011 (PTI)

BRO innovation along the Leh-Manali highway amuses tourists

'I am curve[a]ceous, Be slow!\'

This is one of the many messages put on signboards along the Leh-Manali national highway here to guide drivers about narrow turns and traffic rules.

This innovation of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), a nodal agency under the Government of India involved in construction and maintenance of crucial road infrastructure for the armed forces in inhospitable and far-flung border areas, has caught the fancy of tourists.

"It is interesting to find such funny boards on roads. These signboards convey serious messages. I really like the idea," says Christopher, a tourist.

'Love thy neighbour but not while driving,\' reads another one.

Roads maintained by BRO are full of such signboards.

For 29-year-old software professional Aniket, who had come to Leh from Ahmedabad on a motorbike, these signboards are rejuvenating after a tiring stint.

"I have come to Leh a number of times. Every time I see these boards, I forget all my worries and laugh freely. These are indeed an innovative approach to teach people about traffic and roads rules," he said.

'This is a highway not a runway,\' warns another signboard, asking people to drive slowly.

These boards are visible from a distance of about 200 metres and words are written in large fonts for the convenience of the drivers.

"I am going to suggest officials in my country follow this. How do you people get such ideas?" said a Canadian national, Maya Taylor.

The BRO has been receiving plaudits from people and authorities here for its initiative.

"We have tried to make it innovative so that people feel like reading and following it. We keep thinking of such new messages to teach people about traffic rules and driving," a BRO official said.

'Your hurry may be a cause of worry to your family,\' says another signboard.

"I wish these kind of signboards are erected by other State authorities too. After all, gone are the days of serious messages. The government needs to change its attitude," said Raksha, who had come here from Mumbai.

Some of the signboards, which were damaged in a cloudburst on the intervening night of August 5-6 last year, are being revamped by the BRO. Over 250 people had died and 1,400 households were affected in the natural calamity.

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Punjab Commerce and Management Association spells Options better than B.Com after 10+2 for Commerce Students

Students are crazy for admissions in the B.Com -1 after 10+2 because of the lack of knowledge and counseling for better options other than B.Com that's why they are not looking at other alternatives for their better career. There are number of other courses available in commerce, Management and arts streams which are not only 100% better than B.Com but also attract the employers of Industry and services sector for recruitment in various organizations. Educational Institutions at the school level must organize regular Career guidance programmes in their schools to guide students to opt for these courses to fulfill the needs of Industry. Punjab Commerce and Management Association have expressed concerns over the pathetic situation of the students who are not able to get admissions in colleges of their choice and now feeling frustrated. PCMA feel that instead of feeling frustrated and running after the B.Com they must look better alternatives. Dr. Ashwani Bhalla , Executive Vice President of Punjab Commerce and Management Association said that today's Industry demand soft skills including IT Skills which can be better obtained by taking the option of B.A with (English Elective, Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics) as elective subjects . This combination of subjects will prepare better competence than B.Com and will have number of gateways open for them. After doing this combination they can go for Masters in Business Administration, M.Com, MSc (Hons School) in Economics, MSc Computer Science, M.C.A , M.A (English) (To join the career of Journalism) , MSc (Mathematics), Masters in Business Economics and M.Com Business Innovations. B.B.A is surely 100% better option than B.Com the course structure of which is more industry oriented and students has the chance to go to industry for the practical training and project work which is not available in B.Com. Secondly B.B.A provides a focused line of stream to the students which they can continue in their post graduation programmes in Management sciences. A student who has the mobility to go to other places has the option of B.Sc (Hons School) Economics running in the campus of Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar and Panjab University Chandigarh. Punjabi University Patiala has introduced five integrated programme in M.B.A and M.Com with flexibility to leave the course after three years and can get B.B.A and B.Com degree. These campuses are better than any college in the state of Punjab. Apart from that Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar and Punjabi University Patiala has started B.Com (Professional) stream which is not only better than the B.Com (Pass Course) but has the focused learning system in their curriculum to prepare professionals in the stream. Students with sharpness in Mathematical skills can opt for B.C.A and B.Sc (IT) as the better option than B.Com. Punjab commerce and Management Association has presented the career option in tabulated format for the convenience of the students which explain why these courses are better than B.Com.

Sr No Name of the Course Why it is better than B.Com?

1. B.A (With Computer Science, Mathematics, Economics and Elective English) Develop soft skills and IT skills , bring sharpness in computing and prepare for better future career in Management, Economics, Computers and Information Technology, Business Economics , Business Innovations, Business Journalism, Economic and IT Advisory Services , Parliamentary Services, Secretariat Services etc.

2. B.B.A Course Content is Practical oriented , practical training in the industry is the part of the curriculum, focused learning with the aim to become budding managers

3. B.Sc (Hons School Economics) Focused on Economic Analysis, Analytical and Research and fit for preparing students for economic advisory services, career options are M.B.A, M.Sc (Hons School) Economics, M.Sc (Statistics). Job Opportunities are in Banking, Insurance, Financial Services, Merchant Banking Services, Mutual Funds organizations, Housing Finance Institutions etc.

4. B.Com (Professional) Course curriculum is better than B.Com (Pass Course) as it concludes intensive learning process and the curriculum is designed as per the requirements of Industry and Professional Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, ICSI and ICWAI. The focus is more on Computer based Accounting and Management System. Students have to go for practical training in industry to complete the course which is lacking in B.Com (Pass Course).

5 B.C.A Focus on applications of computers in business and industry as well as contain the contents of accounting and management in the curriculum. Career options are M.C.A, P.G.D.CA and M.B.A (IT), M.B.A (Sectoral Management) of Panjab University etc.

6. M.Com and M.B.A five year Integrated Flexibility to leave the course after three years and can get B.B.A and B.Com degree.

Dr. Ashwani Bhalla

Executive Vice President

Punjab Commerce and Management Association

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LUDHIANA, JUNE 29:------

Equipping the farmers with beneficial tips for the farm operations of kharif pulses and sugarcane in the month of July, Dr M.S. Gill, Director of Extension Education stressed that sowing of mash (Mash 114, Mash 338, Mash 1-1) should be completed during the first week of July as delayed sowing results in lower yields. Earthing up of the sugarcane crop may be done, if not done earlier, during the first week of July. In case sugarcane fields get flooded with water, excess water may be drained out. Dr Gill told that for moongbean, apply 11 kg urea and 100 kg single super phosphate and for mash, apply 11 kg urea and 60 kg single super phosphate at the time of sowing.

While discussing disease management operations, Dr Chander Mohan emphasized, "For the control of yellow mosaic virus in kharif pulses, treat the seed with 3 g Captan per kg of seed before sowing."

The experts suggested the farmers to check weeds in mash, moong and arhar by giving one or two hoeings. Alternatively in moong, use Stomp 30 EC (pendimethalin) @ 1 litre/acre pre-emergence application or Basalin 45 EC (fluchloralin) @ 600 ml/acre or Treflan 48 EC (Trifluralin) @ 800 ml/acre as pre-plant application. Stomp 30 EC can be used for controlling weeds in mash.

Discussing about pest management, Dr. Jagdev Singh Kular, suggested that semi-looper/hairy caterpillar infestation can be checked by spraying 500 ml of Thiodan 35 EC or 200 ml Nuvan 85 SL in 80-100 litres of water per acre. In the sugarcane crop, the attack of top borer can be checked by applying 12 kg carbofuran 3G or Phorate 10 G at the base of shoots during first week of July, said he. Further more, Dr Kular advised to earth up slightly to check the granules from flowing with water and irrigate the crop immediately. Apply granules only if attack exceeds 5% level. For the control of lpomoea species (lapeta Bel), spray 2, 4-D amine salt @ 400 ml/acre or 2, 4-D sodium salt @ 800 g/acre. These herbicides will also control dila/motha.

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SC stalls return of land to Singur farmers

New Delhi, June 29, 2011 (PTI)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the West Bengal government not to go ahead with distribution and return of land in Singur to farmers which was acquired for Tata Motors' small car project Nano.

"As an interim order we direct state government not to hand over or return land to farmers concerned until further order passed by the Calcutta High Court," a vacation bench comprising justices P. Sathasivam an A. K. Patnaik said.

The bench said it was making it clear that this was an "interim arrangement" and it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case.

The judges said they were passing a limited interim order and asking the high court to proceed with the main matter in which the Tatas have challenged the new law enacted by the Mamata Banerjee government for taking possession of land and distributing it to farmers who were the original owners.

However, the bench said since the main issues were pending before the high court, it was not inclined to go into them.

"We are not inclined to interfere at this stage on the main issues pending before the high court," it said.

The bench observed it was granting interim protection as senior counsel P.P. Rao, appearing for the state government, said the possession of land will remain in the hands of state government till the high court decides the issues.

During the proceedings, the bench observed it is not a question of political issues but a question of rights.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Tata Motors challenging the order of Calcutta High Court which refused to grant any relief to it.

Tata Motors had on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court accusing the West Bengal government of enacting the law in a haste to take over land in Singur alloted to it for its Nano car project and using police force illegally to take back possession of the plot.

The Tatas, which on June 27 failed to get any relief from the Calcutta High Court, had challenged the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development (SLRD) Act, passed by the state assembly for taking back possession of the land and distributing it among farmers who owned them before acquisition by the previous Left Front government.

Tatas have filed the appeals against the orders of the High Court which rejected its plea to restrain the state government from taking back possession and distribution of land to farmers.

The petitions said the state government was allegedly indulging in "colourable exercise of power" on Singur land issue.

Tatas alleged the state government has been "illegally" taking possession of land by using police force.

The company had said that in view of "vandalism" and "looting" of goods at the factory site, the land should be returned immediately to Tata.

Tata Motors had filed separate petitions challenging two Calcutta High Court orders dated June 23 and June 27.

On June 23, the high court had refused to entertain the company's plea seeking directions to restrain the state government from taking possession of the about 1000 acre land.

The company had also filed another plea in the high court on June 23, unsuccessfully challenging the SLRD Act and rules and notification since June 20.

It had also sought a direction to restrain the state government from distributing land to original owners and farmers thus creating a third party interest.

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BJP wins Jabera assembly by-poll in Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal, June 29, 2011 (PTI)

Continuing the winning streak, the ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh today wrested Jabera seat from Congress in a by-poll by a margin of 11,738 votes.

BJP's Dashrath Singh Lodhi got 53,846 votes while Congress's Dr Tanya Solomon polled 42,108 votes. The election, held on June 25, followed the death of incumbent MLA and Solomon's father, Ratnesh Solomon.

Earlier, the ruling party had also snatched away Sonkatch and Kukshi seats from the Congress in the by-polls.

Reacting to the victory, state BJP President, Prabhat Jha said that after Kukshi and Sonkatch, the people in Jabera too had discarded Congress, and reposed faith in the development policies of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Mr. Jha asked the BJP workers to be prepared for the 2013 Assembly polls.

However, Union Minister and state Congress president, Kantilal Bhuria, said it was not BJP's victory, but that of massive misuse of official machinery.

He alleged that government officials worked as BJP's agents. He also alleged that liquor and money were used freely to influence voters.

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Manmohan arguing against his failures: BJP

New Delhi, June 29, 2011 (PTI)

Refusing to buy Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's argument that his government is not "lameduck and comatose", the Bharatiya Janata Party today said the 'economist PM' had failed to control prices, check corruption and take the opposition along on issues like the Lokpal Bill.

"The Prime Minister tried to argue against his failures... On price rise, he said the prices are going up around the world. But to claim that inflation is increasing globally is wrong. In India, it is due to bad governance and wrong and corrupt policies of this government," BJP president Nitin Gadkari told reporters in New Delhi.

"Corruption in this government has also led to price rise," he alleged.

The BJP maintained that though the Congress-led UPA had stated in its manifesto of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections that it would check price rise, it had failed to do so.

"The Prime Minister had said from the Red Fort that prices would be controlled within 100 days. In March again he said price rise would be checked. Today he is saying he does not have a magic wand to control prices.... The economist Prime Minister has completely failed in his examination. He has betrayed the nation," Mr. Gadkari said.

He insisted that Rs.70,000 crore worth of foodgrains were being allowed to rot every year while half the country's population has a daily income of less than Rs.20.

Mr. Gadkari refuted the Prime Minister's charge that the opposition is not cooperating with the government, saying it was Dr. Singh's regime which had not taken the BJP on board on the Lokpal issue.

"Both the Leaders of the Opposition (in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) are very important leaders. But the government did not consult them on the Lokpal Bill," Mr. Gadkari said.

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Survey and ground levelling work on in Singur

Singur, June 29, 2011 (PTI)

With the Supreme Court order on stopping distribution of land yet to be received by authorities here, survey and ground levelling work continued on Wednesday even as over 150 farmers submitted forms for reclaiming their holdings.

A 50-member team from the Records and Survey Department was surveying areas in Gopalnagar, Shanapara and Kolaypara here in Hooghly district, Block Land and Land Revenue Officer, Probal Pagal said.

Block Development Officer Pulok Sarkar said, "Since we have not received any direction from the court, we are continuing the survey and ground levelling work."

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the West Bengal government not to go ahead with distribution and return of land in Singur.

Altogether 153 unwilling farmers submitted forms for claiming back their holdings during the day.

Mr. Sarkar said that till date, 1,279 unwilling farmers had submitted forms for land they had unwillingly parted for the Tata Motors Nano small car project.

Trinamool Congress MLA and Convenor of the Singur Krishi Jami Raksha Committee Becharam Manna said that survey could be taken up from the Durgapur Expressway.

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Lokpal essential, but not a panacea: Manmohan

New Delhi, June 29, 2011 (PTI)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said that while the Lokpal Bill was essential and desirable, it was not a panacea .

During a 100-minute interaction with five editors at his official residence, the Prime Minister said he would try to find a way on the Lokpal issue and work for a national consensus. However, he stressed that while the government would reach out to the civil society, no group could insist that their views "A to Z" are the last word.

As for bringing the office of the Prime Minister under the purview of the Lokpal, Dr. Singh said that he had no hesitation in bringing himself under it. However, many of his Cabinet colleagues were of the view that bringing the institution of the Prime Minister under Lokpal would create "an element of instability which can go out of hand".

In any case, the Prime Minister is covered by the anti-corruption act and is a "24-hour servant" of the people, he said pointing out that a person holding that office can be removed by Parliament.

Dr. Singh said that he would like to be "guided" by political parties on this issue. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha and her Punjab counterpart Prakash Singh Badal had both expressed their views that this office should be kept out of Lokpal's purview.

Not Lameduck

Dismissing the talk that he is a "lameduck" Prime Minister, he said he had been entrusted with the job by the Congress party from which he has not heard "any contrary view".

Terming the perception that his government had gone "comatose" and was "lameduck" as clever propaganda of the Opposition "to which some sections of the media had lent ear", Dr. Singh asserted that "truth will prevail" and his performance would speak.

\"Sonia not an obstacle\"

Dr. Singh spoke of "maximum possible cooperation" that he was getting from Congress president Sonia Gandhi whom he met one-on-one every week. He had never felt that she was an "obstacle".

Ms. Gandhi had done a "superb job" as Congress president for nearly 15 years now, he underlined.

Asked about occasional statements from party functionaries that Rahul Gandhi should become Prime Minister, Dr. Singh said that the Congress party and its president had entrusted him with this job and he had not heard any contrary view from the Congress high command.

"In fact, the Congress high command has always been most supportive, particularly Mrs. Gandhi," the Prime Minister said.

He went on to add, "Personally, if you ask me, the general proposition that younger people should take over, I think, is the right sentiment". Whenever the party "makes up its mind I will be very happy to step down, but so long as I am here I have a job to do".

Cabinet reshuffle

To a question about a possible reshuffle of his Cabinet, the Prime Minister said it was a "work in progress".

Asked if it could take place soon, Dr. Singh replied, "I cannot predict."

On ties with DMK

Told about doubts being raised about the stability of his government, particularly in the light of problems with the DMK, the Prime Minister said, "We have some points of tension but nobody wants an election."

On dialogue with civil society, he said that the government should appear to be receptive to what the society says and he had himself encouraged a dialogue with Anna Hazare.

On Baba Ramdev also, the effort was not to create unnecessary misunderstanding, he said, adding that he had earlier written to the yoga guru to share some of his concerns on blackmoney and corruption.

About the controversy surrounding the decision of four union ministers to meet Baba Ramdev at Delhi airport, the Prime Minister said it was not to "receive" him but the meeting had been arranged so that it could take place before he entered Delhi.

Responding to a question about police action against Baba Ramdev and his followers at Delhi's Ramlila ground in the middle of the night, Dr.Singh said it was unfortunate but he did not see any alternative.

If action had been taken the next day there would have been larger crowds, he said.

Asked if Mr. Hazare was naive or politically motivated, the Prime Minister said it was not good to question the motives of those government is negotiating with.


Asserting that his government was committed to pursuing whatever was feasible to deal with blackmoney, tax evasion and corruption, the Prime Minister said it was not a "one-shot operation".

He acknowledged that the telecom scam, the CWG scam and other perceived cases of corruption had caused genuine concern to the middle class whom he assured that the guilty would be punished.

In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister said there was a growing perception in the media that the government was under a siege and not able to implement its agenda.

He then went on to hit out at the role of the media for having become "accuser, prosecutor and the judge". No parliamentary democracy could function in that manner.

About foreign relations, the Prime Minister said India lived in a very uncertain neighbourhood and a very uncertain international economic environment.

On Pakistan, he said that the action taken by it so far on dealing with terror emanating from its soil was not satisfactory but India had to keep that country engaged.

He said that terror should never be used as a state policy. Terror groups like Lashkar—e—Toiba (LeT) and Jaish—e—Mohammed (JeM) were offshoots of ISI.

Asked about the possibility of his visiting Pakistan, Singh said they were keen about it but there must be something solid to achieve.

About China, he said that the Indian media should not sensationalise differences with that country. He had dealt with the present leadership of President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao whom he regards as men of peace.

At the same time, the Prime Minister said India could not compromise on the issue of Arunachal Pradesh to which China lays claim and on river systems.

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Dey closely tailed by bike-borne assailants

Mumbai, June 29, 2011 (PTI)

CCTV footage revealed that senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey was tailed closely by his motorcycle-borne assailants. He was shot dead in suburban Powai on June 11.

Dey was driving a motorcycle when he was fired upon by gunmen near the Spectrum Building in Hiranandani area of the upscale suburb.

Four attackers on two bikes followed the 56-year-old MiD-Day crime reporter before closing in and executing their plan, showed the footage, aired by some news channels.

However, the murder was not captured by the CCTV cameras installed at D-Mart, a shopping centre in the area.


Another piece of footage showed panic-stricken people moving near the Spectrum Building after the attack.

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1400-year-old mosque to be restored to its original form

Thrissur, June 29, 2011.

Cheraman Juma Masjid in Kodungallur was reconstructed many times to accommodate rising number of believers

The Cheraman Juma Masjid in Kodungallur, believed to be the country\'s first and oldest mosque, will soon be restored to its original form. Its management committee was giving final touches to a renovation project that would start in September, according to masjid president P.A. Mohammed Sayed.

The 1400-year-old mosque was reconstructed many times to accommodate the increasing number of believers. "The Cheraman Juma Masjid is a cultural monument and it should be preserved it in its original form," said Mr. Sayed.

The mosque is believed to have been constructed in 629 AD by Malik Bin Dinar, a contemporary of Cheraman Perumal.

Legend has it that Cheraman Perumal had gone to Mecca, met Prophet Mohammed, and embraced Islam. Perumal fell ill on the way back from Mecca. Malik Bin Dinar and a few others reached Kodungallur and showed the rulers, the letters written by Perumal about his new religious experience. Dinar and his associates were allowed to construct a mosque. When Dinar, who was the chief priest (Ghazi) of the mosque, left for Arabia, his nephew Habib Bin Malik took over.

The mosque was first renovated in the 11th Century AD, and later in 1974, Mr. Sayed said. "An extension was added after demolishing the front portion of the old mosque during renovation. The ancient part of the mosque, including the sanctum sanctorum, was left untouched." It was renovated later in 1996, and in 2003, by adding extensions to accommodate more devotees, he said.

Soil examination

The soil examination for the renovation project was over and work would commence in September first week, according to sources in the masjid. The work was expected to be completed in three years.

The renovated mosque would have two underground prayer halls, with a capacity of 3,000 people. The mosque has been visited by a galaxy of celebrities, including theologians from different parts of the world. 'Vidyarambham\' (initiation into the world of letters) ceremonies have been held in the mosque in the Hindu style.

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Aiming at proper growth of the plants, the farming community needs to identify the physical problems in their soils and make efforts for their scientific management. Whetting the skills of the farmers, Dr C.J. Singh, Head, Department of Soil Science, PAU, emphasized that optimum physical environment can help in making the nutrients available to the plants. Stressing that following the management practices will enable the crops to grow properly; PAU experts dwelt on variety of physical problems of Punjab soils.

Discussing about highly permeable soils, the varsity expert Dr S.S. Kukal divulged, "In Punjab, about 12.7 lakh acre soils are coarse-textured and are commonly referred to as light soils." Found in south-western, north-eastern and bet areas of the state, these soils should be given little slope with laser land leveler toward the other end of the field so that the irrigation water reaches the far end of the field sooner and less water goes out of the zone. Light and frequent irrigations should be given in these soils, said he and added that the crops requiring less water need to be grown in these soils. Talking about slow permeable soils, Dr Kukal told these soils are most suitable for paddy cultivation. He stressed that application of farm yard manure (FYM ) and green manuring should be practiced in these soils and preference should be given to grow water guzzling crops like paddy. Crops like maize and wheat should be grown on raised beds.

Dwelling on salt affected soils, Dr Amanpreet Kaur said that these soils are common in Khaira Majha area of Amritsar, Ropar, Patiala, Sangrur, and some parts of Bathinda and Ferozepur districts of Punjab. Telling that these soils should be strongly bunded after leveling, the expert informed that the use of FYM and press mud also improves these soils. "Mix gypsum in the surface soil as per the soil test report followed by heavy irrigation. This should be followed by green manuring with dhaincha before transplanting rice," suggested Dr Kaur. She advised that for water logged soils, install tile drains at 50-60 cm depth in the soil for drainage of excess water and the use of tubewell water for irrigation should be encouraged in the areas where underground water is of good quality so that the water table may go down.

Dr S.S. Bawa, referring to eroded soils, elaborated that the water eroded soils are common in the sub-mountainous tract of Ropar, Hoshiarpur, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar districts, around the banks of the rivers and other ill-managed soils of the state. Agricultural lands having slope steepness between 1-3% should be leveled before the onset of rains to conserve rain water in the fields. On steep lands, the contour bunding and bench terracing should be practiced. Dr Bawa suggested the application of FYM which is beneficial in strengthening the soils structure of wind eroded soils and hence reduces soil detachment. Both the eroded soils, be it water or wind eroded soils, should be kept covered with straw or other crop residues.

Referring to crusting and hard pan soils, PAU experts told that the crust can be weakened by light irrigation and be broken down by hoeing. Chiseling or deep ploughing practiced once in three years helps in breaking or loosening the hard pan.

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Advising the farmers and the general public to avoid food products rich in "trans fats," PAU scientists of the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics (PBG), cautioned that trans fats are non-essential, have no health benefits and human body has no mechanism to eliminate them. Dr Manjit Singh Gill, Head PBG, said that besides some fats, especially, hydrogenated fats (vanaspati) and fats of animal origin also containing trans fatty acids (trans fats), trans fats are also produced by heating of oils and during frying.

Telling that maximum trans fats are present in vanaspati followed by ghee and butter, Dr A.K. Atwal, the varsity scientist, referred to other food sources of trans fats which are commercial foods such as popcorn, french fries, baked goods, pizza, margarines and shortenings and snack foods from some fast food chains. "The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that to be healthy, not more the 1% of the daily calories should come from trans fats, and everybody should consume less than 10% calories from saturated fats. Safe level is zero per cent trans fats," added Dr Atwal.

Mentioning about the precautions to reduce fats, Dr M.K. Sangha asked the farmers and the public at large to follow the safety measures. The scientist advised to trim visible fat from meat products. Suggesting to avoid fats high in trans fats, Dr Sangha said that while most of the oils that are partially hydrogenated-canola, soybean, etc., will contain trans fats; whereas plain, non-hydrogenated soybean and other oils used for salad dressing and mayonnaise do not contain any trans fats. Most margarine products currently available in the market place, especially, tub and squeeze/liquids contain zero gram of trans fats and as a rule, the softer the margarine product, the fewer trans fatty acids it contains.

Providing beneficial tips, Dr Shashi Banga told to minimize commercial packaged foods which are high in trans fats and stressed on reading the labels to look for trans fat free alternatives. Many food manufacturers have been working to reduce the amount of trans fatty acids in popular products by exploring new technologies and /or using soybean oil with improved fatty acid profiles for enhanced stability. As a result, a variety of cookies, crackers, potato chips, energy bars, popcorn and other snack foods now contain low/zero grams of trans fat for sensible snacking, informed she.

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A regional training course on \'Conservation agriculture: nurturing sustainable production systems in south Asia\', under the aegis of International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), in collaboration with Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) was organized under cereal systems initiatives in south Asia (CSISA) was organized here, today.

Speaking in the inaugural function, the Chief Guest, Dr. R.K.Mahey, PAU Registrar said that the contemporary agriculture is facing several challenges including the decline in natural resource base. Conservation agriculture (CA) practices are useful in addressing the issues, he said adding that it was good that CIMMYT) is playing a good role in promoting CA by taking along the partner organizations. He wished that the experts deliberating on different facets of CA will benefit the participants.

Dr. Patrick Wall, Director (GCAP), CIMMYT, who presided over the function said that CA is being globally recognized as a need-based approach as far as the natural resource conservation is concerned. He informed that the training programme was started a couple of years ago with many partners world wide. He said that CA being the multifaceted programme need the involvement of multi-disciplinary scientists. He said that the second regional programme at PAU has been planned to provide exposure to the participating trainees from different countries.

The guest of honour, Dr. M.S.Gill, Director of Extension Education said that for maintaining sustainability, resource conservation in agriculture is important. He pointed out a variety of socio-economic and other agrarian constraints that he hoped will be addressed with the support of CSISA project. He said that PAU has developed and recommended several CA technologies such as laser land leveling, permanent bed planting, and highlighted that the resource saving technologies such as leaf colour chart for paddy and maize, tensio meter for need-based irrigation in paddy, etc. have been recommended. The state of Punjab is largely having machinery based agriculture system, he observed.

The Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Dr. P.P.S.Lubana welcomed the Chief Guest, guests of honour and participants to the training programme.

Giving an overview of the course, the Course Coordinator, Dr. M.L.Jat expressed that an emphasis has been laid on practical training to participants from different production systems. The participation of women in the training is positive sign, he said. Participants (14) from Bangladesh, Nepal apart from India are undergoing training at PAU on different aspects of CA, he said.

Dr. Ken Sayer from CIMMYT highlighted that the CSISA programmes have been held at PAU, earlier also. He mentioned that the objective of the training is to impart the necessary orientation and exposure on the CA to the scientific community, said Dr. Jat adding that the emphasis is on practical aspects.

Dr. H.S.Sidhu, Senior Research Manager, CSISA project at PAU proposed his vote of thanks to the chief guest, guest of honour, resource persons, and participants.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011



Arts and Sciences Graduates along with commerce graduates also eligible to join Business Innovations Programme

Keeping in view the very high craze of the students regarding M.Com Business Innovations Programme, it has been clarified that the Arts and Science Graduates are also eligible to join this new innovative and Professional Programme of the University Grants Commission leading to the Post Graduate Degree in M.Com Business Innovations started at S.C.D Government College Ludhiana . The students with B.Com/B.B.A with 45% Marks and Students with B.A/B/Sc with 50% Marks are also eligible to join this course. The Course is designed to enrich students with not only commerce and business skills but also to make them competent in teaching of commerce and Management as well professional career in business organizations. It is a professionally oriented program which develops the diversified analytical skills and competencies required to gain insight and intelligence into the operations of a modern business enterprise. The main objective of this programme is to enhance the capability of Graduates to make them employable in various sectors of Industry like Services Sector, Manufacturing Sector and Government and Public Sector Undertakings and institutions of higher learning as faculty members as assistant Professors level. . The Programme will have far reaching impact on teaching as it will be having industry institute collaborative programme where faculty of the college will have the chance to interact with industry experts, know their requirements, identify their core areas of research and the research projects will become collaborative in nature. The format of entrance test prepared by the Panjab University Chandigarh which is scheduled for 17th July, 2011 also signals to measure the student's competence level in general awareness, ability to take quick decisions and Mental sharpens. The beauty of the programme is that the programme is sponsored by the University Grants Commission and the normal fee will be charged ranging from Rs. 3000-Rs. 4000 will be charged as prescribed for other post graduate courses of Panjab University running in the college. The last date of submitting the applications for entrance test is 7th July, 2011.

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French Socialist leader announces presidential bid

PARIS, June 28, 2011 (AP)

The leader of France's opposition Socialists, Martine Aubry, says she will seek the French presidency.

Ms. Aubry faces a party primary in the coming months. The Socialists are France's leading opposition party and their candidate is likely to be the chief challenger to the conservative and unpopular President Nicolas Sarkozy in the elections next April and May.

The leading Socialist contender was knocked out of the French political picture last month. Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is under house arrest in New York facing charges that he tried to rape a hotel maid. He denies the charges.

Ms. Aubry announced her candidacy on Tuesday. Possible opponents for the Socialist candidacy include her predecessor, Francois Hollande, and his long-time partner Segolene Royal, who lost to Mr. Sarkozy in the 2007 presidential runoff.

In announcing her candidacy on Tuesday, Ms. Aubry denounced what she called policies "led exclusively for the profit of the most privileged."

She pledged "decent" pensions, a rehaul of public services, and better pay checks, though didn't detail how these would be paid for.

Ms. Aubry called on "green" parties and other leftists to come together ahead of the elections.

"I want to bring back France's strength, its serenity, its unity," Ms. Aubry said.

"One does not govern by pitting French people against each other, the unemployed against the workers, the young against the old, the French against the foreigners," she said.

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Suu Kyi delivers prestigious BBC annual lecture

LONDON, June 28, 2011 (AP)

Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has delivered the BBC's annual Reith Lecture, speaking to an international radio audience via recordings smuggled out of the country.

In Tuesday's lecture the Nobel laureate drew parallels between the uprisings shaking the Arab world and her country's failed revolt against its military rulers.

Ms. Suu Kyi says that people in Myanmar, also known as Burma, look to the Arab world with envy. Myanmar's own pro-democracy rising was crushed in 1988.

In a question-and-answer session following the broadcast, Ms. Suu Kyi said that Myanmar's democracy movement stalled because it didn't benefit from the information revolution and because, unlike in Egypt or Tunisia, the army opened fire on the people.

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India honours doyen of modern Sinhala music

COLOMBO, June 28, 2011.

The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka organised an evening with musician and Magsaysay award winner Pandit Amaradeva, at India House here on Monday, to celebrate his six decades of excellence in music, and to underline the deep cultural and civilisational links the two countries share.

Pandit Amaradeva (earlier known as Albert Perera), who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2002 and composed the melody for the Maldivian national anthem, along with Ananda Samarakoon (author of the Sri Lankan national anthem), and composer-musician Sunil Santha, are regarded as the founding fathers of the modern Sinhala music. All the three had much in common – were celebrated artists but utterly poor, had deep links with India, and were greatly influenced by Rabindranath Tagore and Rabindra Sangeet.

"It is an emotional moment for me as a friend of long standing is being re-honoured by India," said Sarath Amunugama, Senior Minister for International Monetary Cooperation. "Traditionally we were not a country that promoted music…In modern times Amaradeva single-handedly created Sinhala music," he added. Amaradeva's secret of success was because he was a man of the people and once, people collected money to foot his travel expenditure so that he could learn from his contemporaries.

Highlighting aspects of Amaradeva's personality, G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, said that he had a great knack of working with others and drawing out their best. His partnerships with other noted musicians had enriched Sri Lanka and its music.

Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Minister of National Languages and Social Integration, described Amaradeva's music as one that transcended all barriers in Sri Lanka and was widely accepted. He absorbed every influence from world cultures and dared to carry out innovative experiments. In many ways, he liberated musicians, Mr. Nanayakkara said.

"Whether in religion or in dance, music, literature and other art forms, it has been a silent but enormously powerful give and take between India and Sri Lanka over countless centuries, a process which has been mutually enriching," noted Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K.Kantha. "This provides the civilisational bedrock to our relationship and makes it so sturdy and so unique. Sometimes, we lose sight of this bigger picture of India-Sri Lanka relations as we get distracted by odd discordant notes that grab our attention on a particular day," he said referring to the recent discordant notes over the capture of fishermen from Tamil Nadu on June 20.

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Tatas moves Supreme Court on Singur land issue

New Delhi, June 28, 2011 (PTI)

Tata Motors on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court challenging the Calcutta High Court order refusing its plea to restrain West Bengal government from distributing land to farmers in Singur.

The petition was mentioned before a vacation bench comprising justices P. Sathasivam and A.K. Patnaik which posted the matter for hearing tomorrow. The bench accepted the plea of Tata's counsel to file the petition later in the day.

The counsel submitted that the company is seeking a direction for the state government not to create third party interest in the land.

The Calcutta High Court had on Monday refused to pass an interim stay order observing that the Tata Motors Limited petition had no specific statement as to when the process of land distribution would start.

The high court had noted the petitioner had submitted that if the prayer was not allowed and land distributed, the original petition challenging the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011 would become infructuous.

Tata Motors had moved an ex-parte petition seeking stay on distribution of land expressing apprehension that it would be given back to "unwilling" farmers within a day or two.

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Gorkha tripartite meeting likely next week

New Delhi, June 28, 2011 (PTI)

The Centre is likely to convene next week a tripartite meeting with Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and West Bengal Government to sort out differences on the proposed pact for creating a Gorkhaland Autonomous Authority.

Official sources said the GJM has requested the Home Ministry to convene a tripartite meeting to discuss the issues concerning the proposed agreement as the outfit wanted a review of certain provisions of it.

The Home Ministry is awaiting the response of the West Bengal government to the GJM request for the tripartite dialogue.

"Once we get the nod of the State government, the meeting will be called. Hopefully, it will take place next week," sources said.

The GJM has been insisting inclusion of more areas in the proposed Gorkhaland Autonomous Authority (GAA) than what the existing Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council have i.e. only three sub-divisions in Darjeeling district.

The GJM wants that other areas such as Mal, Matiali, Nagrakata, Phansidewa and Birpara in Dooars should also come under the proposed GAA.

The divesting of certain legislative powers to the GAA is another contentious issue. None of the bodies such as the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council have such wide-ranging powers which are being proposed by the GJM.

The proposed agreement includes holding direct elections to the proposed GAA and vesting it with certain legislative, executive, administrative and financial powers.

Sources said the Centre was not going to accede any "unconstitutional" demands even though West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was in a hurry to resolve the Gorkhaland issue quickly.

Since its inception in 2007, the GJM has been fighting for a separate State that includes Siliguri sub-division of Darjeeling district in the plains and contiguous areas in neighbouring Jalpaiguri district.

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MCOCA likely to be invoked against Dey murder accused

Mumbai, June 28, 2011 (PTI)

Mumbai police are likely to apply stringent provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the seven accused, arrested for allegedly murdering senior crime journalist Jyotirmoy Dey in Powai.

According to police, MCOCA can be applied, if at least two members of the organised crime gang have at least two chargesheets registered against them.

In the chargesheet, besides the arrested seven accused, underworld don Chhota Rajan's name would also be included, a Crime Branch officer said.

Rajan has several criminal cases against him in the city, whereas the seven accused also have criminal background.

"It is a fit case where MCOCA can be applied against the accused. I think only paper work is left to apply the stringent act against them," said the official.

On Sunday night, police arrested Rohee Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalya (34), Abhijeet Shinde (28), Arun Dake (27), Sachin Gaikwad (27), Anil Waghmode (35), Nilesh Shendge (34) and Mangesh Agawane (25) in connection with Dey's murder.

Joint Police Commissioner Himanshu Roy (Crime) said, "We are examining all possible legal options to see if the MCOCA can be applied against the accused."

J Dey (56), working with the city-based English tabloid Mid Day, was shot dead by four motorcycle-borne assailants in suburban Powai on June 11.

The journalist was eliminated at the behest of Rajan, who paid Rs 5 lakh to the accused, police said adding that the motive behind the killing was not yet clear.

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Joshi’s bid to take up 2G report scuttled at PAC meet

New Delhi, June 28, 2011 (PTI)

An attempt by Murli Manohar Joshi to make the PAC take up his controversial report on the 2G scam prepared during the tenure of the last committee was on Tuesday strongly opposed by Congress members. Dr. Joshi, however, got support from DMK and BSP, in addition to NDA members.

In view of the divisions in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), it was decided that Constitutional experts would be consulted on whether the report, which was recently returned by Speaker Meira Kumar, can be considered by it.

Ms. Kumar had returned the report to Mr. Joshi, who was reappointed as Chairman in May, suggesting that it was an "unfinished work" as it was not supported by the entire PAC, whose term ended on April 30.

During the PAC meeting on Tuesday, Dr. Joshi, a veteran BJP leader, wanted to take up the 2G scam report. At this, Congress member Jayanti Natarajan intervened to raise a point of order, sources said.

Dr. Joshi disallowed Ms. Natarajan from raising it but she, along with party colleagues K. Sudhakaran, Sanjay Nirupam, Girija Vyas and K.S. Rao, were of the opinion that the 2G report should not be taken up by the current PAC as the matter was before a Joint Parliamentary Committee, the sources said.

On the other hand, NDA members wanted circulation of the report for consideration. Interestingly, DMK and BSP members also favoured it, apparently reflecting the current ties with Congress.

BSP member Satish Chandra Mishra is understood to have said that members would be in a position to comment on it only after reading it.

DMK member Adhi Sankar, whose party had earlier opposed Joshi's report, wanted the PAC to call more witnesses in connection with the 2G scam issue.

BJD member Bhartruhari Mahtab is learnt to have said that the Speaker, while returning the report, had neither given any specific directions to the PAC, nor rejected it.

He pointed out that the Speaker, in her letter to the PAC Chairman, had referred to the document as a "draft report."

Ms. Natarajan also sought to know from Dr. Joshi on what basis had he written to the Speaker about the "unruly behaviour" of the Congress members during the PAC meeting on April 28.

The PAC meeting on April 28 had descended into chaos after the UPA managed to secure the support of BSP and SP to obtain a surprising majority which "rejected" the draft report on the 2G scam that was sharply critical of Prime Minister, his office and others.

Dr. Joshi had then sent the report Speaker Meira Kumar along with a covering letter detailing the sequence of events during the meeting.

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Joshi’s bid to take up 2G report scuttled at PAC meet

New Delhi, June 28, 2011 (PTI)

An attempt by Murli Manohar Joshi to make the PAC take up his controversial report on the 2G scam prepared during the tenure of the last committee was on Tuesday strongly opposed by Congress members. Dr. Joshi, however, got support from DMK and BSP, in addition to NDA members.

In view of the divisions in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), it was decided that Constitutional experts would be consulted on whether the report, which was recently returned by Speaker Meira Kumar, can be considered by it.

Ms. Kumar had returned the report to Mr. Joshi, who was reappointed as Chairman in May, suggesting that it was an "unfinished work" as it was not supported by the entire PAC, whose term ended on April 30.

During the PAC meeting on Tuesday, Dr. Joshi, a veteran BJP leader, wanted to take up the 2G scam report. At this, Congress member Jayanti Natarajan intervened to raise a point of order, sources said.

Dr. Joshi disallowed Ms. Natarajan from raising it but she, along with party colleagues K. Sudhakaran, Sanjay Nirupam, Girija Vyas and K.S. Rao, were of the opinion that the 2G report should not be taken up by the current PAC as the matter was before a Joint Parliamentary Committee, the sources said.

On the other hand, NDA members wanted circulation of the report for consideration. Interestingly, DMK and BSP members also favoured it, apparently reflecting the current ties with Congress.

BSP member Satish Chandra Mishra is understood to have said that members would be in a position to comment on it only after reading it.

DMK member Adhi Sankar, whose party had earlier opposed Joshi's report, wanted the PAC to call more witnesses in connection with the 2G scam issue.

BJD member Bhartruhari Mahtab is learnt to have said that the Speaker, while returning the report, had neither given any specific directions to the PAC, nor rejected it.

He pointed out that the Speaker, in her letter to the PAC Chairman, had referred to the document as a "draft report."

Ms. Natarajan also sought to know from Dr. Joshi on what basis had he written to the Speaker about the "unruly behaviour" of the Congress members during the PAC meeting on April 28.

The PAC meeting on April 28 had descended into chaos after the UPA managed to secure the support of BSP and SP to obtain a surprising majority which "rejected" the draft report on the 2G scam that was sharply critical of Prime Minister, his office and others.

Dr. Joshi had then sent the report Speaker Meira Kumar along with a covering letter detailing the sequence of events during the meeting.

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Political parties support journalists’ demand on wage board

New Delhi, Июнь 28, 2011 (PTI)

Political parties on Tuesday pledged their support to journalists and non-journalists demanding implementation of the recommendations of Majithia Wage Board promising to raise the issue in Parliament in the coming Monsoon session.

Senior leaders of CPI(M), CPI and JD(U) alleged that the government was "dithering" on the issue as they want to serve the interests of corporate houses while leaving journalists to fend for themselves.

The leaders were addressing a protest at the Jantar Mantar organised by Confederation of Newspaper and News Agency Employees' Organisations (CNNAEO), which has Federation of PTI Employees' Unions, UNI Workers' Union, All India Newspaper Employees Federation, Indian Journalists Union and National Union of Journalists(I) as its affiliates.

The employees were on a day-long dharna in support of their demands.

Addressing the protesters, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav alleged the government has no political will to implement the recommendations of the Wage Board it constituted.

"We will raise your demands in the Parliament. We will ask the government why they are not implementing their own commitment. We will put pressure on them," Mr. Yadav said.

Echoing his views, CPI(M)'s Tapan Sen and Nilotpal Basu said their party will raise the issue inside and outside the Parliament and will lend all support to their agitation.

Accusing the government of serving the interests of corporate sector, CPI National Secretary D Raja said the UPA dispensation was "dithering" on its commitment and that his party will be with the protesters in "difficult times".

Demanding early implementation of the wage board recommendations, CNNAEO Secretary General M S Yadav warned the government that they would intensify their protest if it does not heed to their demands soon.

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Seized cash belonged to devotee: Satya Sai Trust

Puttaparthi (AP), June 28, 2011 (PTI)

With questions being raised over its activities, the Sri Satya Sai Central Trust on Tuesday said the money seized recently was given by a devotee for a consultant tasked with construction of a memorial for Sai Baba.

Refuting any wrongdoings, it said financial transparency is being strictly followed while running the body.

SSSCT Trustee V Srinivasan, addressing a press conference here, said the trust has filed all statutory returns and donations received from devotees have been duly deposited to banks in a transparent manner.

He said the trust has already paid Rs 9.75 crore as income tax without any demand by the authorities concerned and decided to pay necessary tax on all its inventories.

On the seizure of over Rs 35 lakh in cash from a vehicle in Puttaparthi town, he said the trust had appointed a consultant for construction of a "Maha Samadhi" as a memorial for Satya Sai Baba and the amount offered by a devotee was handed over to the consultant for the project.

"The trust has no connection with it. The cash was not recovered from any trustee. The vehicle from which the money was recovered does not belong to the trust," Mr. Srinivasan said.

He said the consultant has already explained to the police that the money was given for the Maha Samadhi project.

"Since the trust is not going to implement the project, the money was handed over to the project consultant.

All information sought by police are being given," he said.

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Census tells a horror story

Bangalore, June 28, 2011.

Census figures for Karnataka show that 16 out of the 30 districts have seen a decline in the child sex ratio, with Chamarajnagar at the bottom, down to 942 from 964.

The Bhagyalakshmi insurance scheme for girl children, introduced in 2006, was seen as the panacea for female foeticide and declining sex ratio in Karnataka. Five years down the line, the provisional figures of the 2011 Census don\'t reflect the promise held out by the scheme.

While the overall sex ratio has risen from 965 to 968 in Karnataka, the child sex ratio (between 0 to 6 years) has declined from 946 in the 2001 census to 943 in the recent one. Greater presence of women in the overall population is attributed to improved life expectancy. However, decreasing child sex ratio points to the continued preference for male children and termination of female foetuses, which has, in the recent years, been greatly aided by advanced scanning technology.

Karnataka figures show that 16 out of the 30 districts have seen a decline in the child sex ratio, with Chamarajnagar at the bottom, down to 942 from 964. Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Chikmagalur, Hassan and Kodagu have overall female sex ratio crossing 1,000, but none have reached this mark in child sex ratio. Even Udupi, which has the best overall sex ratio at 1,093, has seen a dip in its child sex ratio from 958 to 955 in a decade. Only 10 districts have a ratio above 950, with Kodagu at the top at 977. Ramanagaram has seen a dramatic increase in child sex ratio, up by 15 points from the last census figure of 945.

In Bangalore

The situation is the State capital too gives no cause to cheer, with its child sex ratio down to 941 from 943 in 2001. Bangalore presents a curious case, with the presence of women in the overall population figures being the lowest at 908, attributed to migration of working male population to the city in large numbers. The metropolis, at 904, is at the bottom of the table in the above 7 age category as well.

C. Chandramauli, Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner, said while releasing the provisional results of the census that this trend is "a matter of grave concern". The decline is the sharpest in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Haryana has 830 female children per every 1,000 children born and Punjab 846. The highest ratio is in Mizoram, at 971, followed by Meghalaya at 970. Karnataka is clearly nowhere near the top, though it is above the average national ratio.

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18 more Somali pirates held on Dwarka coast

AHMEDABAD, June 28, 2011.

Evading patrolling helicopter, Somali pirates had abandoned ship, swum towards Saurashtra

Within a week of the arrest of 14 Somali pirates in Una in Junagadh district of Gujarat\'s Saurashtra region, 18 more Somali pirates along with three other African nationals were located and arrested on the coast of Dwarka in Jamnagar district on Sunday.

According to the Jamnagar police, of those arrested two were Yemenis, believed to be fishermen, and one Tanzanian. Jamnagar District Police Superintendent Subhash Trivedi claimed that the Somali pirates had hijacked the Yemenis\' fishing boat and were out in the sea to loot vessels before it developed technical snags and drifted towards the Saurashtra coast.

Mr. Trivedi said the Somali pirates had admitted to having dumped their weapons, including a rocket launcher, off the Oman coast, after they were spotted by a Nato helicopter on routine patrolling duty. The police said the seamen were in the sea for about 70 days before swimming ashore to Dwarka, where they were spotted by some locals, who alerted the police. On June 19, 14 Somali pirates and three Yemeni fishermen were detained at Una. Suspected Spmali pirates in police custody at Dwarka coast on Sunday night. Both the boats carrying Somali pirates had apparently breached the three tiers of security claimed to have been installed by the Navy, Coast Guard and marine police.

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Nilekanis donate Rs. 50 crore to IIHS

BANGALORE, June 28, 2011.

One of the largest gifts for a new school: IIHS Director

IT industry veteran and Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India Nandan Nilekani, and his wife Rohini Nilekani have donated Rs. 50 crore to the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS). A statement released by the institute on Monday quoted the couple as saying the donation was made because the "IIHS is at the convergence of both our interests in education, urbanisation and sustainability."

Thanking the Nilekanis for "one of the largest gifts in India\'s history for a new school at a prospective national university," Aromar Revi, Director, IIHS, said:

"India is returning to a tradition of philanthropy to build independent national institutions for the common good."

The IIHS said the donation marked "a major step" in its endeavour to mobilise Rs. 300 crore in order to fund five interdisciplinary schools, build one of South Asia\'s largest reference and digital libraries and establish other facilities on its campus near Kengeri. The IIHS is also raising Rs. 100 crore for chair professorships at the university.

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“A mix of access, affordability and quality vital for creating a world-class university”

CHENNAI, June 28, 2011.

Morton Schapiro speaks on trends in higher education institutions in U.S.

Combining access with affordability and ensuring high quality undergraduate education is vital for building a world-class university, according to Morton Schapiro, President, Northwestern University, U.S.

Professor Schapiro, who was recently in the country, spoke to The Hindu here on a host of issues related to funding, accessibility, affordability and quality in higher education.

"You cannot create a world class university overnight. Most of our institutions, though great research institutes with brilliant scientists and millions coming in for sponsored research, also do a pretty good job of [imparting] undergraduate education," he says on the pursuit of quality in higher education.

Pointing to certain trends in the U.S. universities, Professor Schapiro says the class size is small, and often capped at 20. Professors like him prefer an interactive approach to teaching, to lecturing.

"We go around the room, students write papers every week and we have discussions in class. It is this kind of educational model which tends to be pretty unusual in the world which usually has a professor lecturing to a large group of students sitting in front of him.

"The professors [in the U.S.] really get to know the students and work closely with them. I am not sure if that counts on the ranking [of the university] but that counts on the quality of education."

A model that enables a very high quality undergraduate experience means that the class size is small and that the expectations of the students, to have the faculty truly available whether they are writing a thesis or research projects or in labs, are met.

"Combined with access and affordability, that [quality] is more important than climbing the ladder from 225 to 150 in the ranking lists," observes Professor Schapiro, who is credited with achieving a substantial reduction in average class size at institutions he has served.

Crucial distinction

In the discourse on quality, the distinction between private, not-for-profit institutions such as Harvard and Yale and private, for-profit universities is crucial. Arguing in favour of a rigorous and careful process of accreditation for private for-profit universities in particular, he says: "In the case of non-profits, you want to make sure they are good given that they are not distributing the earnings. What is the incentive to be a really bad private not-for-profit? Not much, because you cannot distribute the revenues."

In the case of private for-profits, however, there is incentive to make a lot of money. "Your shareholders and owners do well, but students may not. So accreditation is particularly important for private for-profits. In order for India to meet its access goals, you might want to think about the private for-profits as well as private not-for-profits."

Professor Schapiro, who specialises in the economics of higher education, says for private not-for-profit universities such as Northwestern, much of the funding is taken care of by the endowments built over years, new gifts, money obtained through research and tuition fees. "We get almost no money from the State."

"Last year, at Northwestern we got $556 million to support research labs…that is about a third of our annual operating budget [$ 1.6 billion]. Most of it was from the Federal government, while some came from the State and some, from corporations. It does not really go into the endowment. It is given just to support research."

The university\'s chemistry and biomedical engineering departments are very famous for their research initiatives. "We got a grant of $10 million recently from the Federal government to do five years of research that we think is going to help the government and the country."

Endowments constitute a major portion of the funding to universities. Northwestern University, one of the most highly endowed institutions in the U.S., currently has endowments worth $ 7.5 billion. "It basically grows from new gifts [the University gets about $ 200 million every year] have $ 7.5 billion and then you have a good year, you make a billion dollars…that is how Harvard got to be so rich." Such endowments allow universities to provide better education, relying less heavily on tuition.

However, the public institutions such as the University of Illinois, which is a wonderful research university with great engineering, rely on State funding that forms a declining yet significant share of their revenues. Pointing to a "terrible budget problem" during the last three years, Professor Schapiro notes that the public universities in the U.S. have been very vulnerable to cutback in State revenue.

"I am hoping that if tax revenues rebound, once we fully recover from the great recession and the States have much more tax revenue, they can give it to the public colleges and universities. That has been the big story in the U.S. higher education over the last three years. They have had a terrible, terrible time."

The key to philanthropy in the U.S. is a combination of factors, ranging from tax deductions to loyalty to one\'s alma mater. "If you are a U.S. citizen paying taxes and if you make a gift to a not-for-profit institution like Northwestern, you get a tax deduction." Also, some alumni have great financial success and they say they want to share it with their alma mater.

Many public universities have a lot of students from low income groups, but the flagship public universities actually have richer students, he notes. "They are very hard to get into. Part of their mission is to serve low income kids, but most of their mission is to attract people with high test scores and high performance in high schools and they tend to be from more affluent families."

Ironically, it is the highly endowed private universities that are able to subsidise education for students from underprivileged sections. "It is institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, Duke, Stanford, Williams and Amherst that have enormous endowments and can say fine, you are a brilliant kid, your parents can\'t afford, come for free."

Then, criteria for admissions become significant. "Many of us in the job recognise that if you come from a low income family, your SAT is not going to be high. You might have to work outside to supplement family income, or babysit younger siblings."

Elaborating on the need to pay attention to admission criteria, particularly while admitting students from lower economic groups, he says: "If you have someone from an affluent background and from a poor background, the scale is going to basically tilt towards the richer. So what we do is you put the thumb on the scale and push it down a little bit. If you are not going to do that you are not going to get a lot of low income kids to get into Harvard and Northwestern, simply because they are not competitive with the richer kids."

Observing that it would be nice to do in India what has been tried in the U.S., he adds that universities must also remember that it is unrealistic to expect the exact, same academic qualifications from someone from a low income family as that of a student from a rich family. "The difference will always be there."

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Posco: protesters detain officials, police

ERASAMA, Orissa, June 28, 2011.

The officials were released by Balisahi residents with a warning that they should not return to acquire land

In a dramatic turn of events, senior administration and police officials of Orissa\'s Jagatsinghpur district had a bitter experience on Monday when they went to carry out land acquisition for the proposed mega steel project of Posco.

Women took the lead in expressing their anger when they threw their broomsticks at the Additional District Magistrate of the area and the District Superintendent of Police at Balisahi hamlet in Nuagaon gram panchayat, which was so far considered to be a stronghold of the project supporters.

Trees felled

The residents of Balisahi detained the two officials after the administration felled more than 1,000 casuarina, cashew and neem trees after entering the area behind their hamlet.

The trees were felled when the residents of all hamlets under Nuagaon were away at Polang village to force the authorities to halt the boundary wall construction work on the land that was acquired by demolishing a large number of betel vineyards a few weeks ago. The work was stopped in view of the protest.

Hundreds of villagers, who were staging a dharna outside Gobindpur village demanding shifting of the project from the area, were also not aware of the tree felling operation.

This is because it was around that time when as many as 12 platoons of armed policemen almost surrounded the protesters from three directions.

The hundreds of men, women and children, who were participating in the dharna for the past three weeks, however, did not obey the administration\'s orders to vacate the dharna site.

The authorities asked the villagers to disperse after they declared the blockade illegal.

Human barricade

The presence of a delegation of the Orissa unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party led by party\'s State president Jual Oram gave a boost to the agitating villagers who had formed a human barricade at the dharna site to prevent the entry of land acquisition officials and police into Gobindpur and Dhinkia villages.

The police left the dharna site minutes after news came from neighbouring Nuagaon about the detention of the ADM and SP.

The two senior officials were released by the residents of Balisahi with a warning that they should not return to their village in the future to acquire land for Posco.

It may be recalled that the government had temporarily halted the land acquisition work on June 21 in view of the growing criticism over forceful acquisition of land.

However, resistance from the protesters as well as residents of Nuagaon on Monday forced the authorities to stop the land acquisition and construction work after they faced the wrath of the locals, particularly women.

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