Teachers’ resistance forces state tuition turnaround
SER trains rescheduled
Special venues for results
NGOs find foothold in hospitals
Firing ball in CM court

 
 
TEACHERS’ RESISTANCE FORCES STATE TUITION TURNAROUND 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 29: 
In the face of strong opposition from the pro-Left teachers’ bodies, the state government has decided to revise its circular seeking a quarterly declaration from teachers on private tuition.

The new circular requires teachers to give the undertaking only once a year that they are not taking classes in private.

Government officials said on Saturday that the notice would soon be sent to all the state-funded primary and secondary schools.

The government took the decision last week after a meeting between finance minister Asim Dasgupta and representatives of teachers’ organisations affiliated to the CPM and other Left Front partners.

“It is humiliating for teachers to give quarterly declarations. We are happy to get the assurance from the finance minister that it will not be necessary so frequently,” said Amiya Basu, general secretary of the CPI-controlled Bengal Teachers’ and Employees’ Association.

The quarterly circular had created resentment among teachers. Recently, the government had to face an embarrassing situation when a large number of teachers launched a massive agitation in Malda, protesting an order asking the district administrations not to release the salaries of teachers who had not submitted the quarterly declaration.

Responding to another demand of the Left teachers’ bodies, the government has decided not to use the term “contract service” for school teachers appointed on a temporary basis. The word “renewable” will be used instead.

The organisations also urged the government to withdraw its decision to stop creating new teaching posts in state-funded schools and introduce temporary recruitment at a monthly salary of Rs 2,000.

Teachers are averse to the term “contractual” service as the nature of their job, they say, is “completely different from any other profession”.

For instance, according to a recent government announcement, school teachers appointed on a temporary basis will be required to take a maximum of 40 classes a month. “Take a village school where there is a scarcity of teaching staff. Can a teacher stop taking classes in the middle of the term after his scheduled 40 classes are over? This is an absurd proposition,” a teacher said.

The government has agreed to the demand to recruit at least two non-teaching employees in all district schools where there is a crisis. They will also be recruited on a temporary basis.

The finance department has asked the education department to prepare district-wise lists of vacancies in non-teaching posts in schools, sources said.

   

 
 
SER TRAINS RESCHEDULED 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 29: 
South Eastern Railway has revised its schedule with effect from July 1.

Howrah–Ahmedabad Express: 3.45 am (arrival), 10.25 pm (departure). Howrah–Kurla Jananeswari Super Delux AC Express: 4.30 am (arrival), 11.15 pm (departure). Howrah-Hapa (Gujarat) Aradhana Express: 4.30 am (arrival), 11.15 pm (departure). Ispat Express: 8 pm (arrival), 6.10 am (departure). Howrah–Kurla Express: 3.25 pm (arrival), 11.30 pm (departure). Geetanjali Express: 2.05 pm (arrival), 11.45 pm (departure).

Howrah-Pune Azad Hind Express: 3.50 pm (arrival), 6 pm (departure). Howrah-Mumbai Mail (via Nagpur): 6.30 am (arrival), 8.15 pm (departure). Sambalpur-Koraput Express: 5.45 am (arrival), 9 pm (departure). Howrah-Ranchi Hatia Express: 8.10 am (arrival), 9.55 pm (departure). Howrah-Kanyakumari Express: 4.15 am (arrival), 3.25 pm (departure).

Howrah-Tiruchirapalli (Biweekly Express): 4.15 am (arrival), 3.25 pm (departure). Howrah-Hyderabad East Coast Express: 2.30 pm (arrival), 11 am (departure). Howrah-Secunderabad Falaknama Express: 8.15 pm (arrival), 6.50 am (departure). Howrah-Tirupati Express: 3.30 am (arrival), 11.30 pm (departure). Howrah-Bhubaneswar Dhauli Express: 11.25 pm (arrival), 6 am (departure). Coromandal Express: 1.05 pm (arrival), 2.25 pm (departure). Steel Express: 10.30 am (arrival), 5.30 pm (departure). Howah- Yaswantpur Express: 4.15 am (arrival), 8.05 pm (departure).

Howrah-Chennai Mail: 6.10 am (arrival), 8.45 pm (departure). Howrah-Puri Express: 5.25 am (arrival), 10.05 pm (departure). Howrah-Trivandrum Bi-weekly Express: 3.05 pm (arrival), 10.50 pm (departure). Howrah-Nagarcoil Express: 3.05 pm (arrival), 10.55 pm (departure). Howrah-Tata-Shatabdi Express: 9 pm (arrival), 6.35 am (departure).

Death: Kamala Chatterjee, daughter of Dr Nilratan Sirkar and wife of late Ashok Chatterjee, died at her south Calcutta residence on Friday. She was 102.

   

 
 
SPECIAL VENUES FOR RESULTS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 29: 
The West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education has made special arrangements for distributing marksheets among students in the south Howrah Assembly constituency area because of the by-elections on July 2.

The results of this year’s Higher Secondary examinations will be announced on the same day.

Council president Jyotirmoy Mukherjee said on Saturday that the school authorities would be able to collect the marksheets from Howrah Zilla School, which falls outside the south Howrah constituency.

The school authorities will then distribute the marksheets among the students from locations other than the schools where polling booths have been set up. Notices informing the locations for distribution of marksheets will be put up outside the respective schools on Tuesday.

According to Mukherjee, apart from the Net, candidates across the state can check their results through two toll-free telephone numbers — 334-2222 and 223-8040.

Killed in clash

A person was killed and another sustained bullet injuries when Jharkhand Party workers clashed over road repairs contract at Punnapur, in Midnapore, on Saturday. Police said the clash was the fallout of a feud between rival groups.

Cable operators’ protest: The joint action committee of cable operators on Saturday protested the accusation of “blackmailing” against RPG Netcom and SitiCable by ESPN. The two multi-system operators were accused of switching off ESPN and Star Sports. A meeting between the two warring parties is expected next week.

   

 
 
NGOS FIND FOOTHOLD IN HOSPITALS 
 
 
BY UTPAL BANERJEE
 
Calcutta, June 29: 
Taking healthcare reforms a step further, the government has decided to induct representatives from Indian Medical Association and non-government organisations into the managing committees of district hospitals.

Besides, chief medical officers, health and additional chief medical officers, health will now be authorised to sanction, at their discretion, up to Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively, to meet the needs of district and sub-divisional hospitals.

“The exercise is aimed at decentralising the health administration. It will offer more transparency by involving representatives from NGOs and Indian Medical Association and award more financial powers to health authorities so that they do not have to depend on Writers’ Buildings on every issue,” said minister of state for health Pratyush Mukherjee.

According to the minister, the government decisions will help district health authorities to independently tackle emergencies.

Welcoming the health department’s decision, the president of Indian Medical Association, West Bengal chapter, Subir Ganguly, said: “It was a long-standing demand of our organisation. We have 145 branches in the state and the government’s move to incorporate us into the health administration will improve medical care.”

The department is also setting up a Rs 4-crore online information system to centrally cover state-run health services with funds and technical expertise from NGOs.

The electronic system will provide information about the availability of a particular blood group in the city, a health department spokesman said. The Institute of Blood Transfusion and Immuno-haematology, formerly known as Central Blood Bank, will also offer online information on the availability of blood across the state, he added.

The European Community and the Department for International Development have offered to fund the ambitious integrated electronic system, saving the government from immediate financial anxiety.

“The government’s objective with the integrated system is to get updated information from all parts of the state, especially the districts. This will help us to avoid distorted data from remote areas,” the health department official said.

   

 
 
FIRING BALL IN CM COURT 
 
 
FROM ANUPAM DASGUPTA
 
Siliguri, June 29: 
Municipal affairs minister Ashoke Bhattacharya today blamed Naxalites for the standoff over the satellite township here, saying some were trying to squeeze political capital out of an “innocuous” government project.

However, the minister remained mum on the police firing in which two workers died at Chandmoni tea estate. Asked about the government’s failure to control the police time and again, Bhattacharya replied: “Go and ask the chief minister.”

“Some Naxalite leaders here are a threat to democracy and they have managed to mobilise some anti-socials to create law and order problems at Chandmoni tea garden,” Bhattacharya said.

Justifying the government’s plan to build a satellite township on a portion of the tea estate, the minister cited court orders and said there was nothing “fishy” about the deal it made with the management.

“Initial investigations have revealed that Wednesday’s incident was not over the uprooting of tea bushes. Trouble broke out when miscreants pelted stones at the police, forcing them to retaliate. Those who attacked the police were not workers of Chandmoni tea estate but had assembled there to create problems,” Bhattacharya said.

“The Chandmoni area is crime prone. If the township comes up, it will do good to the people of Siliguri. But at the same time we will see that the interests of workers are not sacrificed,” he added.

The district administration has clamped Section 144 on areas around Chandmoni tea estate.

   
 

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