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Govt. lists steps to promote Urdu

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, SEPT. 15. Reiterating the Government's commitment to promotion of Urdu, the School Education Minister, Mr. K. Srihari, on Saturday told the Assembly that 1,047 Urdu medium primary schools had been sanctioned besides upgrading 37 upper primary schools to high schools and recruiting 1,600 Urdu teachers, during the current academic year.

Replying to a host of supplementaries during question hour, the Minister said the Government was prepared to open more number of Urdu medium schools on demand, the only pre-condition being there should be at least 10 students willing to take admission and study. Of the 1,047 schools, constituting 14.24 per cent of the schools sanctioned during the year, 848 have been opened and action being taken to launch the remaining ones.

Responding to the MIM leader, Mr. Asaduddin Owaisi's charge that there was discrimination against Urdu schools and teachers, the Minister said the number of schools sanctioned and Urdu teacher posts being filled up were the maximum by any Government so far. On shortage of teachers, he said in all, 32,000 teachers were to be recruited through District Selection Committee 2001 in October and 52,000 "Vidya Volunteers", inducted by school committees.

When Mr. Akbaruddin Owaisi and Mr. D. Nagender highlighted the pathetic condition of schools in Hyderabad, the Minister said Rs. 6.5 crores has already been sanctioned for repairing school buildings and improving facilities. A "Hyderabad School Project" was being readied for further improvement in infrastructure and views of the city MLAs would be taken before finalising it.

Independent body to tackle corruption

Deputising for the Chief Minister, the Revenue Minister, Mr. P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, said the Government was thinking of constituting an ``independent body'' to enforce anti-corruption laws and prevent corruption. A Cabinet Sub-Committee was studying the proposal.

He told Mr. P. Raghunatha Reddy (TDP) that there was multiplicity of the institutions looking into corruption cases like Lok Ayuktha, Director-General of Vigilance and Enforcement, Commission of Enquiries and a Tribunal for Disciplinary Proceedings. The Vigilance wing of the Civil Supplies department has been wound up and its responsibilities entrusted to DG, Vigilance and Enforcement from May 1 this year.

The Government had appealed to the AP High Court to ensure that the five Special Courts for the trial of cases filed by the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) do not take up non-ACB cases, to cut down the pendency. As against 592 cases of ACB, these Special Courts were trying 5,071 non-ACB cases, leading to high pendency.

Action against engineers

The Endowments Minister, Mr. D. Sivarama Raju, gave an assurance to Dr. M. V. Mysoora Reddy (Congress), that action would be initiated against contractors and engineers responsible for the poor construction quality of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams- built Yatri Nivas at Janakpuri in Nepal, after receiving a report from the Central Building research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee.

He said a senior engineer of TTD who had visited the building was of the view that there were no structural defects. Dr. Reddy alleged that the building developed cracks within a few months of construction and that while the building was constructed at a cost of Rs. 60 lakhs, the expenditure on inspection by officials was Rs. 20 lakhs.

Replying to separate question by Dr. K. Laxman (BJP), the Minister said an order of the AP High Court was coming in the way of appointment of a full-fledged executive officer at the Srisailam temple. An appeal for the appointment was pending before the court. Among the development proposals at the Srisailam temple were a queue complex modelled after the Tirumala temple.

Bridge across Uppateru

The Roads and Buildings Minister, Mr. K. Vijayarama Rao, told Mr. G. Babu Rao (TDP) that certain modifications had to be carried out in the design of some piers of the bridge across Upputeru at Pallipalem and Rosara villages in Krishna district, leading to delay. Two abutments and two end piers have been completed and deck slab over two spans were to be laid. Land acquisition for approaches from West Godavari district was under progress but the bridge would be ready by February next year.

Kotappakonda in tourism circuit

The Tourism Minister, Mr. E. Peddi Reddy, told Dr. K. Sivaprasada Rao (TDP) that the tourism spot around Shiva temple in Kotappakonda would be included in the Nagarjuna Sagar tourism circuit along with Amaravathi. An amount of Rs. 10 lakhs had been sanctioned this year for improving the facilities there.

MoU with Harvard University

The Revenue Minister, Mr. P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, denied the CPI(M) floor leader Mr. N. Narasimhaiah's charge that the MoU signed between the Dr. MCR Human Resource Development Institute and John F. Kennedy School of Governance, Harvard University was kept a secret and that it was inspired by the World Bank. Under the MoU, three training modules have been designed for senior and middle-level civil servants, two of them would be in the institute here and one at Harvard.

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