Wednesday, January 31, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


AISSF takes out protest march
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 30 — All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) activists today took out a protest march and staged a dharna at Mini Secretariat, demanding immediate release of Sikh youths languishing in jails and settlement of other panthic matters.

The federation workers had gathered at Gurdwara Akalgarh, from where they marched through main bazaars of the city towards Mini Secretariat. The AISSF President, Mr Harminder Singh Gill, who led the protesters, criticised the state government, for what he described as betrayal of the Sikh masses in general and the youth in particular. ‘‘The government, during its four-year rule, had failed to take any step for securing the release of Sikh youth from jails. On the contrary, the police officers, charged with violation of human rights were being defended at government expenses.’’

Mr Gill said the federation had launched struggle on several issues, where the government had been found wanting. Besides, release of Sikh youths from jails, the federation would press for the demand for withdrawal of cases against those involved in earlier Sikh struggle, general amnesty and rehabilitation of army deserters, adequate compensation and government jobs to kin of those killed during a decade of militancy.

The AISSF president called for strict check on activities of the RSS and its interference in Sikh religious affairs.

Charging the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, with nepotism, Mr Gill remarked that the government lacked the vision and foresight to deal with problems like unemployment and stagnation in development. ‘‘Mr Badal and his Cabinet colleagues are not averse to taking political advantage of issues like operation Bluestar and sacrifices made by Sikh youths in the course of ‘panthic struggle’, but they conveniently forget everything, once the elections were over.’’

The Shiromani Akali Dal legislators Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal and Mr Hira Singh Gabria, who owe allegiance to the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, lambasted the SAD government, charging it with betrayal of the panthic cause. The incompetent and corrupt government had lost confidence of the people and its ouster in the next elections was a foregone conclusion, they added.

Among others Mr Ajit Pal Singh Sethi, Mr Parkash Singh Matharoo and Mr Gurmukh Singh Chana also addressed the protesters.

Later, the AISSF activists, led by Mr Gill submitted a memorandum, addressed to the Chief Minister Punjab, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and the Union Home Minister, Mr Lal Krishan Advani, to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K.Sandhu.


Ladhowal project: textile industry for tax holiday
Tribune News service

LUDHIANA, Jan 30 — Representatives of the textile industry have demanded that the industry should be given a tax holiday for at least five years for shifting to the Ladhowal industrial complex. The land could be reserved for dyeing and composite units only, as the engineering units had declined to shift because of the waterlogging in the area.

A meeting was called here today by the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) to discuss the terms and conditions of the allotment of plots to the industry. Ms Surjeet Kaur Sandhu, MD, PSIEC, agreed to consider most of the demands of the industry. She announced that in the next few days, tenders would be called for the allotment of different sizes of plots, varying from 500 square yards to 10,000 square yards. The cost would be about Rs 650 per square yard. She made it clear that the units would have to install their own effluent treatment plants.

Mr Vinod Thapar, president, Knitwear Club, speaking on behalf of the knitwear industry suggested that the knitwear and garment industry, which falls under the category of green industry may be given land from railway line of Phillaur covering Bhadaurke Road up to Rahon Road.

He further demanded that as an incentive, the units may be allowed a tax holiday for five years for construction in the designated land. There should be timebound development of land and other civic amenities. Plots should be allocated on a tender basis. The PSIEC should ensure that seepage from the land was properly controlled as it could create problems for the multi-storey buildings later.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pradhan, president, Chamber of Industrial and Undertaking (CICU), demanded that power connections of the shifting units should be provided at the allotted sites by charging nominal shifting fees.

Ms Sandhu said the PSIEC would allow industrial units to utilise allotted places up to 40 per cent for labour quarters. Land for group treatment plants would be provided free of cost. The industrialists would, however, have to build and maintain the effluent treatment plants and the water supply system themselves. Mr Lalit Jain, president, Bhadaurke Dyers Association, also participated in the meeting.


Ludhiana quake relief touches 50 lakh mark
From Tribune Reporters

LUDHIANA, Jan 30 — Moved by the touching scenes in Gujarat caused by the worst-ever catastrophe, Manpreet, a Class ix student of Government Senior Secondary School, Mianpur, donated his own blanket for the earthquake victims.

Manpreet handed over the blanket to the Deputy Commissioner. Various religious institutions like Gurdwara Dukhniwaran and the Gyan Sthal Mandir have set up collection centres where people can deposit their contributions like rice, atta, pulses, biscuits, sugar, clothes and blankets for the victims.

Addressing a press conference the president of the Gurdwara Dukhniwaran, Mr Pritpal Singh, and the general secretary, Mr T.S. Dhang said 10 truckloads of goods worth Rs 10 lakh accompanied by 50 volunteers would leave for Gujarat on February 2. The relief convoy would be flagged off by the SGPC president, Jathedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi.

Meanwhile, the contributions towards the relief fund set up by the local administration crossed Rs 30 lakh. This is other than the amount contributed by other social and religious organisations on their own, making the total collections cross Rs 50 lakh.

Prominent contributions came from the local MP, Lala Lajpat Rai, with Rs 5 lakh, Mr O.P. Munjal of the Hero Cycles, Rs 2.5 lakh, the SGPC president, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi with Rs 1 lakh on behalf of the people of Raikote, Durga Mandir Trust with Rs 2.51 lakh, Mr Rajinderpal Sood of Oriental Textiles with Rs 1.01 lakh, the District Bar Association, Rs 1 lakh, the associations of rice, dal and edible oil dealers with Rs 1 lakh each, local rice shellers, Rs 70,000, Mr S.P. Oswal of Vardhaman Spinning Mills, Rs 50,000 and the Lodhi Club, Rs 50,000. The club had earlier also contributed Rs 50,000 making the total amount Rs 1 lakh, local flour millers, Rs 25,000, Jagraon rice millers, Rs 21,000, rice millers of Raikote, Rs 21,000, Mrs Sarita Rani of Payal, Rs 10,000 and Mr T.P.S. Sandhu of Sandhu Studios, Rs 5000.

The Deputy Commissioner said, portable generators, drills meant for cutting concrete structures and water purifiers would be dispatched to Chandigarh airbase to be flown to Gujarat the same day. He also clarified that the Administration had not authorised anyone to collect aid and no aid should be given without due receipts.

The staff members of Arya College, Ludhiana, have decided to contribute Rs 1,000 each from their salary towards the relief fund. Besides, the students have decided to raise at least Rs 2 lakh for the aid of quake victims.

A meeting of the staff of the Government College for Women was held today where it was decided that each staff member would contribute Rs 500 each from their salary of January towards the Prime Minister's Relief Fund. Besides, the NSS volunteers of the college will go door to door to collect relief for the quake victims.

The MC Clerical Staff Union has decided to contribute Rs 10,000 from the union fund, besides donating one-day salary. Some employees, who included Surinder Gupta, Tarlok Singh, Subash Khalsa, Kamlesh Sharma, Gagan Uppal, Lakhbir Singh Jassi, Harpreet Singh Walia, Anil Sharma and Padam Chand Sharma, donated Rs 2,000 each, besides their one-day salary. A team of the District Taxation Bar Association, led by Mr Sikander Lal Jain, will go to Gujarat for the direct distribution of blankets, clothes, medicines, household goods and eatables. The team will leave Ludhiana on February 5.

The staff of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School has decided to donate one-day salary as its contribution, whereas, the students will also contribute according to their means.

The staff of the DAV Public School and Guru Nanak Public School will also donate one-day salary for the quake victims.


PNB drive to recover Rs 88 crore
Tribune News service

LUDHIANA, Jan 30— Punjab National Bank (PNB) is holding lok adalats to recover long-pending repayment of loans under the non-performing assets (NPA) category. Under the new policy of the RBI to recover NPAs, the bank is launching an awareness drive to convince defaulters to avail the last opportunity to settle unpaid loans without any litigation and to avail themselves of the benefits of interest waiver.

Talking to TNS, Mr P.N. Khurana, General Manager, PNB, Punjab zone, informed that under the RBI policy of resettlement of NPAs, the bank has launched a special scheme to ensure the repayment of loans. Persons who had failed to repay loans by March 31,1997 as per the terms and conditions, are eligible for benefits under the scheme.

Under the ‘non-discriminatory and non-discretionary’ scheme of NPAs settlement, the bank would waive interest from March 31,1997 to the date of payment, if the defaulter agreed to repay the loans by making an out of court settlement. However, only those persons were eligible for the scheme, whose accounts had been declared doubtful under the NPAs by March 31, 1997.

Mr Khurana disclosed that though the actual amount of bank’s NPA was about Rs 269 crore in the Punjab zone on December 30, 2000, but under the proposed scheme, more than 4,000 persons were eligible in the zone to return NPAs worth Rs 88 crore by March 31, 1997. Out of the eight regions in Punjab, Rs 6.52 crore was involved in 363 cases in Ludhiana region alone. The bank has succeeded in making compromise for Rs 64 lakh. At the state level, cases worth more than Rs 6 crore had already been settled and the settlement of cases worth Rs 10 crore was in the pipeline.

Giving details of defaulters, the GM said that most of the defaulters were small and medium scale industrial units. Some of the units had become sick at the time of the fall of Soviet Union. Others were expecting some relief package, which had now been provided by the RBI.

As part of the recovery drive, the bank had written letters to all defaulters. Efforts were made to contact them personally. The bank was holding lok adalats in Pathankot and Dasuha on February 3 and 4, respectively. Every effort would be made to recover payment from the defaulters at that time.

Mr Khurana further said that the bank would also issue red colour pass books to all defaulters to create psychological pressure on them to repay loans. However, the bank was now taking maximum precautions while giving fresh loans. A risk assessment cell was being associated with all branches of the bank. It had technical experts who have knowledge of the trade and industry. All proposals of more than Rs 3 crore were first cleared by this cell, before the sanction of the loan amount.


225 leprosy cases detected
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 30 — The district health administration observed Anti-Leprosy Day as part of the national leprosy elimination campaign in EWS Colony on Tajpur Road here today.

Dr Neelam Bassi, District Health and Family Welfare Officer, who inaugurated a medical check up camp said 225 cases of leprosy were detected in the district from April 2000 to January 2001. Out of these, 27 were local residents while others were migrants.

He said the disease was totally curable and in case any of the symptoms of leprosy were visible, medical advice should be sought without delay. Dr Inderjit Singh Bagga conducted medical check up for more than 150 patients. Free medicines were also provided to them. Dr. Bagga informed that free treatment of leprosy was available at the local Civil Hospital and other institutions like Dayanand Hospital, CMC Hospital and Oswal Hospital were also providing free medicines to leprosy patients.

Anti-Leprosy Day was also observed at the local women jail, where Mrs Paramjit Kaur, Superintendent of Jail and Mrs Santosh Bhatia, District Mass Media Officer, provided useful information to inmates about the dreaded disease. Speakers focussed on main symptoms of leprosy, besides educating the inmates against drug addiction. Educative literature on leprosy was also distributed.


‘Free power supply bane of Punjab economy’
By Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 30— The economy of Punjab was slowly but steadily leading towards a major crisis thanks in part to the populist policies of the Punjab government and the lack of will on the part of agriculture economists and other policy makers to take a stand against the short sighted policies of the state. The free power supply to the agriculture sector was a major constraint in the diversification of Punjab agriculture.

These views were expressed by Mr S.S. Johl, a renowned agriculture economist while talking to the TNS. Dr Johl vehemently criticised the Punjab government’s policy to supply free electricity to the agriculture sector. This policy was responsible to a large extent for the recent paddy crisis as the farmers had sown paddy in the month of May itself because of free and abundant power supply. Recent studies have revealed that it has also resulted in the fall of water table in most of the districts.

The senior economist held free power supply responsible for the downfall of Punjab economy in recent years. The government has not subsidised the farmers of the state but indirectly subsidised the consumers of other states. Elaborating his argument, he said since paddy surplus in the state had occurred because of free electricity. It has led to the fall in paddy prices in the national market. The wastage of thousands of crores of rupees in recent years for free power supply had helped only the consumers of other states.

Dr Johl’s proposals

* Abolish the policy of free electricity supply to agriculture sector.

* Introduce metered supply to agriculture with limited subsidy.

* Downsize the over staffed and inefficient government departments.

* Divest government’s share in loss making public sector units.Z* Use the saved money for agriculture diversification and the development of infrastructure such as transport, education, health and power.

He asked the Finance Minister of the state to abolish this policy in the coming budget. The electricity supply should be metered and farmers may be partially subsidised instead of free supply. The saved money can be easily diverted to encourage the farmers to diversify agriculture as well as for the development of infrastructure in the state. It will ultimately help attract the investment in industry and other fields.

In the changed scenario of privatisation, there was a great need to downsize the inefficient and overstaffed government departments. Prof Johl urged the government to offer voluntary retirement schemes in the loss-making public sector units and privatise different sectors of the economy on a large scale. The collected money from divestment and downsizing of the government departments should be invested in the priority sectors such as transport, power, education and health.

He said it was unfortunate that the agriculture experts of the state and especially of PAU had toed the line of state government in case of free electricity supply without bothering about the long term interests of the state. They should have concentrated on the technological upgradation and diversification of agriculture, instead of becoming a tool in the hands of politicians. Since most of the Indian states were becoming self-reliant in food grain production, the surplus states such as Punjab should concentrate on other valuable crops.

Prof Johl warned that if the suitable steps were not taken in time the state economy was bound to lead towards doom. The increasing unemployment, declining growth of agriculture and inefficient and outdated small scale units needed immediate attention of the state, policy makers and economic experts. 


4 proclaimed offenders surrender
From Our Correspondent

DORAHA, Jan 30 — While the Payal police has already arrested two proclaimed offenders in the Dhakki Sahib arson case, four more have surrendered before the Duty Magistrate.

The four who surrendered today are: Devinder Singh, son of Darshan Singh, Devinder Singh, son of Sukhdev Singh, Kuldip Singh and Makkhan Singh. They were allegedly involved in the incident in Dhakki Sahib on December 2,1999, when the Gurdwara of Sant Darshan Singh was set on fire in which a large number of items were destroyed.

A case has been registered under Sections 427, 447, 436, 506, 295, 148 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act.


Judicial remand for Dhand
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 30 — Former Youth Congress leader Nirdhosh Dhand, who is facing charges of murder, has been remanded to judicial custody till February 13.

He was produced in the court of Mr Gurnam Singh here today. He is also facing the charges of assault on the husband of a local councillor.



As the nation was celebrating the Republic Day and country's military might was being exhibited along the Janpath, the nature struck with fury scripting an epic tragedy within a span of few seconds only. tremors were felt in the city as well. While the duration of the earthquake was in itself long enough to send shivers among people, yet everyone seemed to be relieved to learn that everything was well.

However, within a few hours, the relief gave way to gloom as the news of devastation in Gujarat started pouring in. It might be one of the rare natural disasters in the recorded human history when thousands perished within seconds.

Like in other parts of the country, there was an instant and spontaneous reaction from people who came out generously with aid for the quake victims in Gujarat.

This close brush with death has also led to panic among people this became evident as a number of people preferred to stay out in the open during night as the rumours of an impending quake spread in the city recently.

A word of caution

Number of professional fund raisers have cropped up in the city to collect funds for the victims of Gujarat earthquake. The other day a person knocked at the door of a bank employee in the Civil lines area. The person clad in white khadi and with a receipt book in hand asked the family members to donate liberally for the Gujarat earthquake victims. The children were perhaps waiting for such an opportunity to donate. They were moved by watching the scenes of death and flattened buildings on TV and reading stories of victims in the newspapers. They donated Rs 100 out of their pocket money and their mother donated some clothes and utensils.

However, the family was in for a shock when it noticed that the printing on the receipts had been done long ago, much before the earthquake. The family contacted the police and wanted to verify the address mentioned on the receipt. Later it was found that no such address existed nor was there any such organisation whose name was printed on the receipt.

Vehla Ram

Nothing can be more atrocious for a senior IPS officer than to be kept in line for a “proper posting”. The experience becomes too harsh when the officer has tasted power the policemen are used to. However, one senior police officer has found an ideal way of killing time and overcoming the pangs of isolation. Claimed to be a man of aesthetic and literary taste, the officer can always be spotted at places like dance performances, drama, poetic symposia, fashion shows, body building or beauty contests. On all these occasions he is not made an ordinary guest, but is always accorded the privilege of being the chief guest. he does not mind inaugurating shops and showrooms.

The officer is obviously an object of envy for his colleagues, particularly those who, like him, find it difficult to kill time during insignificant postings. But they do not let their imagination die down. While some of his envious colleagues, unmindful of their own plight describe him as Vehla Ram and also distort the 'pronunciation' of the chief guest, making 'it' sound quite otherwise, others have been claiming that the officer always carries a pair of scissors with him, as he does’nt want to miss an opportunity to inaugurate a shop, showroom or beauty parlour. Plus, the officers ‘‘fail to remember’’when he was last seen wearing his uniform.

(Un)ethnic beauty contest

Beauty contests have become so common that people have lost craze for these. Recently some organisations got together in the city and hosted one such contest. Probably aware of the monotony of the event, the organisers had tried their best to give a different name to the contest. They claimed, it would be an ‘ethnic beauty contest depicting Indian tradition. Dresses, make up, presentation, music and everything else was supposed to be having a typically Indian flavour. But it proved to be no better than a run of the mill show with 13 girls walking down the ramp in different costumes and attire, some of which were no doubt Indian, but it stopped there only. In fact the show proved to be a contradiction in itself as it was compered in English.

The not-so Indian compere seldom used Hindi or Punjabi. The contestants were also interviewed in English. Finding nothing new in it, over half of the audience had left within an hour of the start of the show.

And surprisingly, the organisers of the show appeared to be unmindful of the loss of life in a devastating earthquake in Gujarat only a day before. The show started and continued without a word of condolence for the deceased. It was only after a journalist pointed out to the organisers that one-minute silence was observed in their memory.

Cars or carts

There is no dearth of modes of transportation in the city, yet people here are in the habit of doing unusual things. Even if it means using their cars as load carriers. In Ludhiana, most of the businessmen are putting their cars to multipurpose use. Not just this, they have made them fuel efficient also by installing gas fuel systems in them. Innumerable cars can be noticed on city roads daily carrying goods of all sorts. Even the space on the rooftops of small cars does not remain unutilised. (see picture). Goods of all sorts ranging from mattresses to fruits, can frequently be seen loaded on and in these vehicles.

Compulsory viewing

Recently the Asian School Hockey championship was held in the PAU grounds. Given the lukewarm interest of people in the event, the organisers wanted to make a good presence felt in the stadium. Since people did not come in adequate numbers. The organisers took help of the education department. Just to make others feel that people, particularly the schoolchildren, were quite interested in the games, the officers of the District Education Department directed several schools of the city to bring their students during the Asian Hockey School Championship at the PAU astroturf and make them sit there for at least half of the day, or till the completion of one match.

However, since the examination are just round the corner, such directions created problems for the parents. A worried mother called up at The Tribune sub-office and narrated her grievances. She said her son along with several other school children was being forcibly made to watch the hockey match for the entire day, thus, affecting his studies. Besides, she said, the children were not provided anything to eat, not even a glass of water.

Tuition menace

As the month of March comes near, the tuition menace reaches feverish pitch. According to principal of D.A.V. Public School, Mr R.S. Patial, “Students are taking tuitions due to peer and social pressures”. Most of the students want to appear for I.I.T competitive examinations and are spending Rs 1000 per person per subject, per month.

The whole thing is an exercise in futility as out of thousands appearing for these examinations not even a 100 make it to the preliminaries What a waste of time and money! He concluded by saying that the whole school system had failed, as more and more 10 and 10+2 students were depending on tuitions. According to some parents the teachers teaching even LKG students make the three plus tiny tots learn their names and phone numbers instead of anything else. Enter any school and you will receive a hand bill assuring you that a mere 10-day coaching will enable a child to get entry into any prestigious school.

Everything seems to be instant, instant food, instant coffee and now instant knowledge seems to be within everyone's reach. What a myth!

— Sentinel


Tributes paid to Mahatma Gandhi
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 30 — Tributes were paid to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi on his martyrdom day in several functions organised in the city today by the District Youth Congress, the District Congress Committee (DCC) and the district Administration.

Recalling the unparalleled contributions made by Mahatma Gandhi in the freedom struggle, the DYC President, Mr Parminder Mehta, observed that only by following the path of sacrifice and hard work as shown by Father of the Nation, we could build a strong nation and a healthy society. He said India, even today, needed Gandhian leaders, who could lead the countrymen with truth, conviction and dedication.

The function held in Sawan Public School, Noorwala Road, was attended among others by Mr Sawan Kumar, Principal of the school, Mr Jasbir Johny, Mr Ravinder Syan, Mr Sarbjit, Mr Sabhajit Pandey, Mr Sanjay Sharma, Mr Pankaj Sood, Mr Ashok Arora, Mr Mohinder Pal and Mr Jagdambay Raman.

Mr Surinder Dawar, President, DCC, while presiding over a function organised by the DCC in Congress Bhavan, garlanded the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi and the party workers observed a two-minute silence. Speaking on the occasion, he said it was due to his relentless struggle against the British rulers that India attained freedom. ‘‘It was unfortunate that the moral values and principles cherished by him were forgotten by the Indians, which had led to degeneration of society.’’

The Congressmen later took out a march from Congress Bhavan to Old Town Hall, where floral tributes were paid to Mahatma Gandhi. Among others, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, General Secretary PPCC, Mr K.K.Bawa, Secretary PPCC, Mr Pawan Diwan, Chairman, Urban Development Cell of IYC, Mr Ramesh Joshi and several party councillors and office-bearers of district and block units were present.

Paying tributes to Father of the Nation and other martyrs in a function organised in Mini Secretariat, Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, said Mahatma Gandhi and other great martyrs laid down their lives for unity and integrity of the country. ‘‘Let us pledge to work unitedly to strengthen peace, unity, communal brotherhood and integrity of the country,’’ he said, adding that every citizen should perform his or her duty honestly and earnestly, which would be a real tribute to the martyrs.

He expressed his sympathy with the victims of devastating earthquake in Gujarat and made an appeal to the people to contribute liberally towards relief and rehabilitation of the quake victims.

Mr S.R. Kler, ADC, Mr A.K. Sinha, ADC (D), Mr Karamjit Singh, Deputy Director, Local Government, Mr Manjit Brar, SDM (West), Mr Kuldip Singh, SDM (East), Mr Shinderpal Singh, Assistant Commissioner General and Mrs Anita Darshi, Assistant Commissioner (Grievances) were also present on the occasion.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) activists paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and garlanded his statue in Old Town Hall Park. The District President, Mr Rashpal Singh, Senior Vice-President, Mr Ramesh Nanchahal, Vice-President Mr Amar Takkar, Mr Subhash Sharma, Mr Ashok Khullar, Mr Nathaniel Gill, Mr Ashish Nanchahal, Mr Hem Raj Jindal, Mr Arun Happy, Mr Surinder Singh and Mrs Paramjit Kaur were also present.

SAMRALA: Two-minute silence was observed at the Nagar Council Office, here, under the leadership of Mr Devinder Singh Grewal, Executive Officer, on the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi.


IT-enabled services under-utilised: experts
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 30 — The potential of information technology-enabled services like Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and Global Positioning System (GPS) is not being fully utilised in India as yet. Low bandwidth and high cost are two basic hurdles before the Indian IT industry.

This is what IT experts from a computer education centre told BCA students of Gujranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology in a lecture on ‘Trends in IT and career’ held here today.

Speaking on the topic, Ms Monika Sharma, an IT expert at the centre, said that the WAP services is a latest technology available due to convergence of IT with the telecom sector. She said that WAP had come as a major value-addition for businessmen who needed updated information from the Internet, while travelling without personal computers.

She said that the service required the use of WAP-enabled mobile telephones or Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), including laptop computers and palmtop computers which could easily be carried during travelling.

While explaining the difficulties being faced by users of the technology, Ms Sharma said that low memory, processing power and bandwidth of these gizmos was the major hurdle which needed to be rectified. She said that small display of the PDAs was another factor, which created problems in retrieving high amount of information. Graphics, she said, can also not be opened on the tiny screen of these aids.

Speaking on the use of GPS services, Ms Sharma said these could be attached with cars, kitchen appliances and other consumer products for value-addition. She said a processing chip could be attached with such products, enabling them to compute . ‘‘A car equipped with GPS can direct the driver to the destination via the shortest possible distance. It can even tell him where to find the best parking place for his car’’, she told students.

Describing the technology, Ms Sharma said that the system required 24 satellites in the space for giving signals, a user system such as a mobile phone or a car, and five stations on earth for monitoring activities of the satellite. Since the system required lots of investment, common use of GPS was still a distant dream for Indians, she said while concluding the lecture.


Biopesticide conference: BET 2001
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 30 — A conference on Biopesticide : Emerging Trends (BET 2001) is scheduled to be held at Chandigarh between February 7 and 9, 2001. The conference is being organised jointly by the Society of Biopesticide Sciences, Jalandhar; Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST), Chandigarh, and Indian Ecological Society, PAU, Ludhiana.

The conference is sponsored by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). A book on ‘Phytochemical Biopesticides’ by Opender Koul and G.S. Dhaliwal, would also be released at the conference.

According to Dr G.S. Dhaliwal, Professor of Ecology at PAU and chairperson, BET 2001, the response to the conference had been good from different parts of the country. More than 150 delegates, representing various agricultural universities, CSIR laboratories and ICAR institutes, including Project Directorate of Biological Control (PDBC) and National Centre for Integrated Pest Management (NCIPM) were expected to participate in the conference. The key note address would be delivered by Dr S. Kanniyan, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. Dr. S.N. Puri, Vice-Chancellor, Mahatma Phule Agricultural University, Rahuri (Maharashtra); Dr O.P. Dubey, Assistant Director General (Plant Protection), Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi; Dr Amerika Singh, Director, NCIPM and Dr S.P. Singh, Director, PDBC would also address the conference.

“The conference is of special significance for a state like Punjab, where the per hectare consumption of pesticides (923g) is highest in the country” adds Dr Dhaliwal. There is an urgent need to reduce the pesticide load in the environment to the tune of 40-50 per cent. This could be possible only if we reduce dependence on chemical pesticides and substitute these with biological inputs. It is against this background that the conference would deliberate on problems and potential of different types of biopesticides like botanical, microbial, parasitoids, predators and transgenics. Besides, the conference would devote a special session about the safety and commercial aspects of biopesticides.

The conference would provide a unique opportunity to scientists, policy planners and industry personnel to devise ways and means to promote the cause of biopesticides. The pesticide industry would exhibit recent products for ecofriendly management of pests. In addition, leading publishers would display books on different aspects of pest management and sustainable agriculture. 


Congressmen hail Vora's directions
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 30 — Several senior Congress functionaries have hailed the directive of Mr Moti Lal Vora, General Secretary, All-India Congress Committee (AICC), and in charge of the Punjab affairs.

A former Punjab Speaker and member of the AICC, Mr Harnam Das Johar, the District Youth Congress President, Mr Parminder Mehta, the President of the Mahila Congress, Mrs Usha Malhotra, and the Chief Organising Secretary of the Congress Sewa Dal, Mr Sushil Parashar, have welcomed the move, which they said would help in curbing the indiscipline and factionalism in the party.

In a joint statement here today, they said the party directive would serve as a deterrent to those opportunist elements who frequently opposed party policies and programmes just to gain cheap popularity. 


100 animals treated
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 30 — An Animal welfare camp by the People For Animals was organised here yesterday at New Sabzimandi.

The camp was inaugurated by Mr Narinder Kalra, Director, Kalra Industries. He appealed residents to donate funds for the hospital and animal shelter to be built by the PFA, Ludhiana.

About 100 animals were treated and vaccinated against various diseases by Dr Rajiv Bhandari, Dr Surjit Bhadaur and Dr Sinder Singh.


Cash, jewellery worth Rs 1 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 30 — The Model Town police has registered a case against two persons for allegedly stealing cash and ornaments worth about Rs 1 lakh from the house of Kuldeep Singh.

The FIR was registered on the complaint of Shalu Singh, wife of Kuldeep Singh. She has alleged that her two relatives, who were in possession of duplicate keys, stole a purse containing a sum of Rs 20,000, besides some ornaments when she had gone to the market.

When Shalu returned, she found the doors open and the purse with cash and some ornaments missing. She lodged an FIR against the relatives.

Although the police has registered a case, no arrests have been made so far. 

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |