24112017-TTC-01.qxd 11/24/2017 1:23 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 friday, november 24, 2017 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 1 no. 219 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd Centre: Warn hospitals on malpractices New Delhi, November 23 The health ministry today asked all states to issue strict warnings and take action against hospitals which indulge in malpractices and don’t follow standard treatment protocols. The move comes in the wake of allegations that Gurugram-based Fortis Hospital billed the family of a dengue patient Rs 16 lakh. In a letter to the chief secretaries, Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan said alleged malpractices not only compromise patient safety but also raise concerns about accountability in healthcare costs. She asked the states to implement Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 under which all hospitals can be regulated. Till now, Arunachal, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Assam and all UTs except NCT of Delhi have adopted the Act. — PTI /thetribunechd Bamboo not tree now Snow escape President clears ordinance amending Forest Act Hundreds of stranded commuters were evacuated from Himachal Pradesh’s snow-bound Lahaul valley to Manali in over 100 vehicles after the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) cleared the Manali-Rohtang-Keylong highway of snow on Thursday. Many vehicles got stuck mid-way and had to be pulled out by BRO vehicles. PHOTO: MEHAR CHAND THAKUR New Delhi, November 23 President Ram Nath Kovind today cleared an ordinance amending the Indian Forest Act, omitting bamboo grown on non-forest areas from the definition of a “tree”. This would help in exempting it from requiring permits for felling or transportation. Before the ordinance was issued, the definition of “tree” under the Act included palm, bamboo, brushwood and cane. The brief ordinance, aimed at increasing bamboo plantations, states that clause seven in Section 2 of the Act will omit the word “bamboo”. “The government, in a landmark initiative, has promulgated the Indian Forest (Amendment) Ordinance 2017 to exempt bamboo grown over non-forest areas from the definition of tree, thereby dispensing with the requirement of felling or transit permit for its econom- BACK TO OBC PANEL ■ Looking to strengthen its hold on OBCs, BJP-led government has decided to re-introduce a Bill to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes in winter session of Lok Sabha. ■ The government had to face embarrassment on the OBC Bill, with the Rajya Sabha amending the proposed legislation by expanding the members on the panel from three to five. The amendment came after the LS had passed the Bill. With two different versions existing, the original Bill will be re-introduced. ic use,” Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said. Though taxonomically a grass, bamboo was legally defined as a “tree” under the Indian Forest Act, 1927. Before this amendment, the felling and transit of bamboo grown on forest as well as non-forest land attracted provisions of the Act. “This was a major impediment for cultivation,” a statement said. Bamboo grows abundantly in areas outside forests with an estimated growing stock of 10.20 million tonne. About 20 million people are involved in bamboo-related activities. One tonne of bamboo provides 350 man-days of employment, the government said, adding the bamboo demand in India is estimated at 28 million tonne. Though India has 19 per cent share of world’s area under bamboo cultivation, its market share is only 6 per cent. At present, India imports timber and allied products such as pulp, paper and furniture and the amendment will help in addressing the issues. — TNS/PTI No plan for Pandit Let mom too visit Jadhav: India to Pak SC no to stringent townships in Valley Wants assurance on safety of kin during jail meeting proposed by Islamabad PMLA provision Smita Sharma Tribune News Service RTI: No exclusive zones for displaced Arteev Sharma Tribune News Service Jammu, November 23 The Union Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA) has no plans to raise composite townships for displaced Kashmiri migrants (Pandits), as per the Centre’s reply to Jammu-based RTI activist Rohit Choudhary. The latter had sought to know about a government proposal to carve out separate zones for the KPs for their ‘dignified return and rehabilitation’. Of the 62,000 Kashmiri migrant families registered with the government, 41,462 are residing in different parts of Jammu and the remaining 20,000 in the rest of the country, reveal official figures. “The reply makes it clear that the MHA has no plans to rehabilitate the Pandits. The move to appoint interlocutors is not meant to address the aspirations of nationalists, but to ‘accommodate’ jihadis and separatists — a Cheque book here to stay, asserts govt New Delhi, November 23 The finance ministry today said there is no proposal to withdraw the bank cheque book facility — an integral part of the payments landscape. The clarification comes in the backdrop of reports that there is a possibility that the Central government may withdraw bank cheque book facility in the near future, with an intent to encourage digital transactions. This has been denied by the government. Post-demonetisation, the government has been pushing digital transactions. — PTI meek surrender, indeed,” remarked a disappointed Mahesh Koul, a scholar. Ajay Chrungoo, chairman, Panun Kashmir, is angry that the Centre’s plans to rehabilitate the KPs have failed to take off. “If their representative (Dineshwar Sharma) has come with the briefing that his priority is to prevent Kashmir from turning into a Syria, they have realised the situation is getting out of hand,” he said. The PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir had in early January this year claimed it had identified 723 kanals (nearly 100 acres), priced at Rs 374.65 crore, for building composite townships. This followed the Government of India’s approval to constructing 6,000 transit accommodations in the Valley for Kashmiri migrants (Pandits). Separatist groups in the state have all along opposed the idea of exclusive zones. New Delhi, November 23 India has asked Pakistan to allow jailed Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother Avantika to accompany his wife for a meeting proposed by Islamabad. A former Indian Navy officer, Jadhav has been lodged in a Pakistan jail on charges of espionage and sentenced to death without having been granted any consular access despite official requests since ensure the safety, security and March last year. MEA wellbeing of the wife and the spokesperson Raveesh Kumar mother of Jadhav and that today elaborated on they shall not be the conditions put questioned, harassed forth by India in its or interrogated durresponse to the Paking their stay. We have istani note verbale asked that a diplomat offering a meeting. of the Indian High Talking about Commission be India’s “positive allowed to accompaKulbhushan Jadhav response”, Kumar ny them at all times.” said: “We have also sought sovMeanwhile, hoping that ereign guarantee from the Islamabad would facilitate the Government of Pakistan to meeting, New Delhi also reit- erated the intent to “pursue all measures with full vigour so as to secure the final release of an innocent Indian”. “Such a meeting offer does not absolve Pakistan of the violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and Human Rights and not following the due process in treating Jadhav, who faces the death sentence through a farcical process and on concocted charges,” underlined the MEA spokesperson. 3 madrasa teachers assaulted aboard train No communal angle, claims Uttar Pradesh ADG; case filed, transferred to GRP Shahira Naim DISCARD HEADSCARF OR QUIT, SCHOOLGIRL TOLD Tribune News Service Lucknow, November 23 Three madrasa teachers were severely beaten up by passengers as they were getting off a train at the Ahera halt in Baghpat, 55 km from Delhi, late last night. A case was filed at the Baghpat Kotwali police station, which was later transferred to the Government Railway Police. Downplaying the incident, Lucknow: A Class VII student of a missionary school in Barabanki has been told to leave and join an Islamic seminary if she insisted on wearing a headscarf. The girl’s father, Maulana Mohd Raza Rizvi, said they had received a letter from the school in this regard. The principal said it was not her intention to hurt religious feelings. “Rules are explained in the brochure. If any parent has a problem, they will have to withdraw their ward." TNS Uttar Pradesh ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said while deboarding, the teachers entered into a verbal duel with some co-passengers which turned nasty. He maintained that the complaint did not point to a communal angle. However, he was at a loss for words when asked why the teachers in a Muslim attire had been singled out. Gulzar, Israr and Abrar said they were returning from Delhi. “As we walked towards the coach exit, the door was locked by a group of youths. Asked why they had done so, they began hitting us.” Baffled, Israr asked why they were being targeted. One of them responded: “Rumaal kyon pehente ho?” clearly referring to the keffiyeh. Says bail procedure ‘harsh, wrongful’ Satya Prakash Tribune News Service New Delhi, November 23 In a setback to the Union Government, the Supreme Court today struck down as unconstitutional a stringent provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, that virtually overturned the legal maxim “bail is rule and jail an exception”. A Bench led by Justice Rohinton F Nariman struck down Section 45(1) of the PMLA to the extent it said “jail is rule and bail an exception”. Section 45(1) imposed two stringent conditions for grant of bail in offences punishable with a jail term of more than three years under Part A of the Schedule. It required that the public prosecutor be given an opportunity to oppose any application for release on bail, that the court must be satisfied that there were reasonable grounds for believing the accused was not guilty and that he was not likely to commit an offence while on bail. Signs of Punjabi dropping off blackboards too Sanjeev Singh Bariana Tribune News Service SAVING PUNJABI - I An aggressive attempt has been made to ‘save’ the dignity of Punjabi language on roadside signboards. But the reasons for its falling out of favour may lie far deeper — in a lack of interest in learning the language as well as apathy on the part of govt to provide the wherewithal for its teaching and promotion. The Tribune brings out the malaise in a three-part series, beginning today with the state of Punjabi learning in schools Chandigarh, November 23 The most crucial requirement for the growth of a language is a large enough user base. Punjabi may just be losing that, especially as reflected in the figures of students opting for the language in schools as well as in the learning outcomes. There is a ‘compulsory ’ version of the Punjabi language that all students have to take up as a subject till Class 12 under the Punjab School Education Board. But the language is taught in a literary sense only in the ‘elective’ version, for which students may opt after Class 10. There has been a significant drop in the latter. In 1995, around 40 per cent of the total students taking the Punjab board Class 12 exam opted for Punjabi elective. By 2017, this has dropped to 24 per cent. A major reason is more students going for science or commerce. However, even in the humanities group, there The socio-economic realities of the day have also pushed Punjabi down in students’ priority. is disappointment. From 46 per cent arts students choosing Punjabi elective as one of the subjects in 1995, it is down to 35 per cent in 2017. But the challenge begins early, as a significant proportion of Punjabi students come from the rural background, where the teaching standards in government schools are disturbingly poor. The Annual Status of Education (Rural) report prepared by Pratham, a reputed NGO working for quality education for the underprivileged, found that at least 46 per cent of the students of Class 4 could not read books (in Punjabi) of Class 2. As many as 4.4 per cent students did not even know the alphabet till Class 3, and 20 per cent of them could not read the text of Class 1. Missing teachers Teaching Punjabi even as a compulsory subject in all streams is a challenge owing to lack of teachers in government schools. Devinder Punia, general secretary of the Democratic Teachers Front, says, “Approximately 1,500 senior secondary schools have only 1,113 Punjabi teachers against the sanctioned strength of 1,700, so they have to manage by using high school teachers.” The principal of a government school in Ludhiana district, who did not want to be identified, says, “Just the compulsory paper takes up all Punjabi teachers, leaving very little resources to teach elective Punjabi.” He adds, “Big cities like Ludhiana, Patiala, Jalandhar and Amritsar do not have shortage as these stations are preferred by teachers. But the paucity shows in rural areas, where the demand for Punjabi is higher but it is not offered as an elective subject.” Harvinder Singh, a Punjabi lecturer, is teaching 12 sections of compulsory Punjabi at Government Senior Secondary School, Amloh, where elective Punjabi is not offered. He says, “Elective Punjabi requires critical appreciation in poetry, stories and drama, besides advanced grammar, and students cannot manage without proper guidance.” Sliding demand The socio-economic realities of the day have also pushed Punjabi down in students’ priority. A teacher in a public school near Kharar says, “Students nowadays prefer continued on page 7 The Bench said the conditions for bail under Section 45(1) were arbitrary as these violated the accused’s right to equality and right to life and liberty, virtually making it impossible to get bail. Terming it “manifestly arbitrary, discriminatory and unjust” for making the bail procedure “harsh, burdensome, wrongful and discriminatory”, the court struck it down on the ground that it provided for “a procedure which is not fair or just and would, thus, violate both Articles 14 (right to equality) and 21 (right to life and liberty). “In fact, the presumption of innocence, which is attached to any person being prosecuted of an offence, is inverted by the conditions specified in Section 45…,” the Bench said, declaring it unconstitutional. The top court set aside all orders denying bail to accused in various cases that relied on the conditions prescribed in the Section 45(1) of PMLA. continued on page 7 Delhi: Pakistan mainstreaming proscribed ultra New Delhi, November 23 A day after a judicial review board of the Lahore High Court ordered the release of terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed from house arrest, India called out Pakistan on its duplicity on terror. Stressing that the Jamaatud-Dawa (JuD) chief was not just the mastermind but the prime organiser of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “His release confirms once again the lack of seriousness on the part of the Pakistani government in bringing to justice perpetrators of heinous acts of terrorism, including by individuals and entities designated by the United Nations. It also appears to be an attempt by the Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists.” In a setback to India, Hafiz will walk out of house arrest just ahead of the ninth anniversary of the 26/11 terror strikes, after the review board denied further detention of Saeed. — TNS
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).