Chandigarh, June 11: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday ordered Sugarfed to pay balance amount of Rs.149 crore to liquidate full arrears of Rs.299 crore payable to the cane growers by the Cooperative Sugar Mills.

Meanwhile, on the directives of the Chief Minister, the Finance Department sanctioned Rs.150 crore to make the outstanding payment of the farmers of Cooperative Sugar Mills, while the balance amount of Rs.149 crore would be paid by the Sugarfed from its own resources.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said Captain Amarinder also asked Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa to work out a financially viable mechanism so as to avert such a situation in future, and ensure timely and regular payment to the cane growers.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also directed the private sugar mills to immediately clear the pending payment of farmers.

Notably, out of the total Rs.1253 crore on account of cane arrears of four private sugar mills in the state, Rs.876 crore has already been paid and Rs.377 crore is pending, while out of Rs.486 crore of cooperative sugar mill, Rs. 229 crore has been made by the Sugarfed and Rs.257 crore and Rs.42 crore is pending for the year 2019-20 and 2018-19 respectively.


Punjab Government developed a new software for resolving the grievances and complaints of the teachers

Chandigarh, June 11- While taking another step for the betterment of the education sector, The Punjab Government has come up with a new software for resolving the problems and grievances of the teachers.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the school education department said that in view of the difficulties faced by the teachers, this new software has been developed by the education department for registering grievances and problems online on the e-Punjab school portal. With the help of this teachers will now be able to register their problems online on the Punjab School Portal from their personal account.

According to the spokesperson, earlier the teachers had to submit their grievances and problems to the school heads / district education officer and the head office. In this process, a lot of time was being wasted due to paperwork. This new system will save the time of the teachers as well as also reduce the difficulties they face.




CHANDIGARH, JUNE 11-The Punjab Police on Thursday foiled a major attempt to smuggle weapons into the Valley for carrying out terror attacks, with the arrest of two J&K-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives.

Ten hand grenades, along with one AK-47 rifle with 2 magazines and 60 live cartridges, were seized from the suspected militants, identified as Aamir Hussain Wani (26 yrs), r/o Hafsarmal, Distt. Shopian, and Wasim Hassan Wani (27 yrs) r/o Sharmal, PS Jainapora, Distt. Shopian.

The duo, actively involved in transporting automatic weapons and hand grenades from Punjab to the Kashmir Valley, were nabbed by the Pathankot police, who intercepted a truck bearing registration No. JK-03-C-7383 at a Naka on the Amritsar-Jammu highway in the PS Sadar area.

Giving details, DGP Dinkar Gupta said the search of the truck led to the recovery of the weapons and ammunition, and the accused, during preliminary investigation, revealed that they had been directed to collect this weapons consignment from Punjab by Ishfaq Ahmed Dar alias Bashir Ahmed Khan, a former J&K constable. Currently an active militant of LeT in the Kashmir valley, Dar had absconded in 2017.

The duo further disclosed that they had collected the consignment from two unknown persons early this morning at a pre-arranged location on Maqboolpura-Vallah road near the vegetable market in Amritsar. They had then concealed the consignment in the truck, which they had brought ostensibly for the purpose of loading vegetables and fruits from the mandi in Amritsar, according to the DGP.

Aamir Hussain Wani has revealed that, on his earlier trips to Punjab in his truck, he had collected more than Rs. 20 Lacs of hawala money at the behest of his handlers - Ishfaq Ahmed Dar and Dr. Rameez Raja, who is currently lodged in a jail in J&K for his involvement in terror activities.

Aamir has also disclosed that, during previous trips to Amritsar, he had ferried two armed Hizbul Mujahideen and LeT militants from Punjab to the Valley. Incidentally, both the men are now dead. They were identified by Aamir as Hizbul Mujahideen’s Saddam Ahmed Paddar, s/o Farooq Ahmed Paddar r/o Hepp, Distt. Pulwama and Jasim Ahmed Shah (died) s/o Gulam Ahmed Shah r/o Malnar Distt. Pulwama of LeT. Paddar was picked up with a pistol from near Verka, Anmritsar, while Shah was picked up from a Kashmiri hotel near Gurdaspur Bypass, Batala, with a AK-47 and grenade in his possession.

A case FIR under section 25/54/59 Arms Act, 3/4/5 Explosive Substances Amendment Act 2001 and 13, 17, 18, 18-B, 20 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, PS Sadar Pathankot, Distt. Pathankot has been registered, and further investigations are on to unravel this network of Lashkar-e-Toiba and their operations in Punjab, in coordination with the J&K police, said the DGP.

According to Gupta, the arrest of Aamir and Wasim had corroborated recent intelligence inputs indicating that Pak ISI has been pushing weapon consignments and infiltrating militants from across the border into Punjab, and further to Kashmir valley for carrying out terror activities. Earlier, on 25th April, 2020, Punjab Police had arrested another J&K based youth, namely Hilal Ahmed Wagay, who had come to collect drug money from Amritsar, on the instructions of slain Hizbul Mujahadeen Commander Riaz Ahmed Naikoo. In that case also, Hilal Ahmed had used a truck for ferrying the drug money.





CHANDIGARH, JUNE 11-Amid apprehensions of community spread of Covid and projections indicating that the pandemic peak in the state was still two months away, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday ordered stricter lockdown on the weekends and public holidays, with movement to be restricted to e-passes holders.

All citizens, except medical staff and essential service providers, would be required to download e-passes from the COVA app, the Chief Minister directed at a Video Conference meeting to review the pandemic situation and the state’s preparedness to handle further spread.

Industry, however, will be allowed to function normally on all days, said the Chief Minister, while asking DGP Dinkar Gupta to ensure strict implementation of these directives to prevent gathering of large crowds.

The Chief Minister said such tough measures were necessitated on account of the spiralling Covid cases across the world. Stringent curbs could help delay the peak for as long as possible, he added, pointing out that with no early vaccine or treatment in sight, strict protocols was the only way to fight the pandemic.

Even as he warned of the pandemic worsening in the coming days and weeks, the Chief Minister also asked medical and health experts to consider imposition of strict conditions, including mandatory testing certification, for entrants from Delhi, where the situation had assumed alarming proportions. On an average, 500-800 vehicles are coming to Punjab from the national capital every day, the DGP informed the meeting.

A decision on stricter curbs on those coming from Delhi will be taken after a review by the experts, an official spokesperson said after the meeting.

Pointing out that many of those who had come from outside had behaved irresponsibly and had not reported to the health authorities, the Chief Minister said tough measures would have to be taken where needed, as the spike was still continuing and was expected to escalate in the days ahead.

The Chief Minister suggested that since it normally takes 3-4 days for the virus to show up, those coming from outside should be tested after a week and in the meantime they should be strictly asked to home quarantine themselves. He also directed the DGP to ensure strict implementation of the home quarantine. The DGP disclosed that 550 flying squads of the Punjab Police were enforcing the same.

Referring to complaints received on social media, and through other channels, of private hospitals charging exorbitant sums for Covid hospitalisation and care, the Chief Minister directed the Health Department to ensure strict application of CGHS rates. All data on availability of beds etc should be put in public domain, he added.

The Chief Minister’s directions came even as the doubling rate in the state worsened from 22 on May 31 to 15 on June 10, showing a progressive decline day by day. Though significantly longer than the national average, the doubling period decline was a matter of anxiety, said the Chief Minister.

Expressing concern over the large number of people coming from outside the state, even though the positive cases among them were not many, the Chief Minister said there was no scope for complacency in the state’s battle against Covid. The state government’s efforts would need to be scaled up further, particularly in view of the Health Department’s projections suggesting that the peak of the pandemic had yet to hit Punjab, and it could happen towards the end of August if the doubling period continues to come down as per the current trend.

Early diagnosis and increased testing was the key to tackling the crisis under Mission Fateh, the Health Department officials said at the meeting, underlining the need for doubling of testing in the next one month and close monitoring of the densely populated areas. Four more testing labs were in the pipeline for being operationalised, the Chief Minister was informed.



GNDU ranked 51st and Punjabi University Patiala 64th place among all universities by NRIF

Chandigarh, June 11: Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar has been ranked as the top State Public University of Punjab and 51 among all the central, public and private universities which participated in NIRF-2020 rankings. Besides this GNDU has been ranked 18th among the State funded universities in the country. The National Institute Ranking Frame (NIRF) - 2020 rankings were released by Union Minister for Human Resource Development Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ at New Delhi.

The Punjab Higher Education Minister Mr. Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa has congratulated GNDU for this achievement. The Minister said that this would encourage and motivate the students for studying in State Public Universities of the state.

Further disclosing about this the Higher Education Secretary Mr. Rahul Bhandari said that this year two State Public universities of Punjab are ranked among the first 100 in NIRF-2020 rankings. The Guru Nanak Dev University improved its ranking from 55th to 51st position and Punjabi University, Patiala has also improved its ranking from beyond 100 last year to 64th rank.

NIRF ranks the various institutes on the basis of 5 parameters namely Teaching and Learning Resources, Research and Professional Practice, Graduation outcome, Overall Inclusivity and Perception. This year, Guru Nanak Dev University has improved in 3 out of these 5 parameters (Research and Professional Practice, Graduation Outcome and Perception). These improvements point to the existence of an excellent research environment and great higher education and placement opportunities for the graduates of this university. A good ranking in NIRF enables the universities to get several prestigious grants from federal funding agencies. Guru Nanak Dev University has been consistently improving its ranking since the last 3 years.



Stay vigilant from frauds in the name of voter registration: CEO Punjab

Chandigarh: June 11-Cautioning voters from frauds on the pretext of voter registration or any amendment, Punjab Chief Electoral Officer Dr. S. Karuna Raju today appealed to all the eligible voters of the state that if any eligible person wants to become voter or any amendment in electoral roll, he/she can be obtained the information from website of CEO Punjab http://ceopunjab.nic.in/ in this regard.

Divulging further, Dr. Raju said that it has come to his notice that some miscreants are indulging to loot the people in the name of amendment in electoral rolls by initiating fake websites and taking Rs.500 for amendment in names and registration. He appealed to the voters of the state that if any eligible voter wants to avail any amendment in electoral rolls or other services related to electoral rolls he can avail it through Common Service Centers set up by the government.

Rates for these services range from Rs. 1 to Rs. 30 with GST ranging between 12 to 18 per cent. Details of rates fixed for each service are available on the website of the Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab. He also said that BLOs services in this regard are free of cost. Any citizens can go to the Election Commission of India portal http //:NVSP.in to register himself as new voter or any amendment in his existing credentials as voter, You can get this service free of cost by filling up an online form in this regard.