Sunday, March 18, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Farmers’ hopes soar

Ludhiana, March 17
Rising temperature in the just started month of Chaitra (as per the Vikrama Samvat calendar) has also given rise to hopes and expectations of a bumper harvest among the farmers of the region.

If the weather gods continue to shower their blessings, local farmers feel that they would be able to overcome their economic hardships and take care of their debts also.

Some farmers said that they were hopeful of a good harvest that would enable them to be financially comfortable despite the looming threat of competition arising out of the GATT agreement.

It is not only the farmers, but also the daily-wage earners in the rural areas who are also eagerly looking forward to the forthcoming harvest season, as this is the time of the year when they expect to secure for themselves sufficient foodgrain to last them till the next harvest. It is a common practice to pay the harvest labour in kind rather than in cash, as per a mutually beneficial arrangement.

During a tour of the countryside near Kohara, this correspondent came across fields of green wheat. Farmers say crop is bumper this time.

Mr Tara Singh, a farmer in the nearby Ramgarh village, is hopeful that in a few days' time, the green wheat would start changing colour. This season too, he is confident of having a bumper crop. But he cannot help wondering whether farmers all over the state would have to undergo the same kind of hardships which they had to during the past paddy season.

But since the marketing phase is still a months or so away, he is not very much bothered about it at the moment. What is of immediate concern to him is the possibility of an unfriendly, inclement weather in the near future. Because an untimely rain can dash their hopes to the ground.

A large number of farmers are currently going in for the last watering of their wheat crop. After that, they would be silently praying for a bright sunshine and no rains till the whole operation of harvesting and selling is over.

Meanwhile, various government procurement agencies are reported to be gearing up in the right earnest to accomplish what might be the highest ever wheat procurement in the state. But only time will tell whether the farmers would be able to sell their wheat in the market without delays and hassles at the hands of government officials and traders or not.


Over 500 students awarded
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 17
The students of SCD Government College and Khalsa College for Women received prizes for their performance in academics, sports and cultural activities at annual functions held in the respective colleges here today.

At SCD Government College, as many as 250 students were given away prizes, 14 students were given the Roll of Honour and 15 students got the College Colors. Ritu Ahuja and Rimple, both MA II (Maths) students, received Roll of Honour for standing first and second, respectively, in examination conducted by Panjab University.

Kumud Chandra, B.Com-I student, received College Color for winning a debate contest held during Inter-Zonal Youth Festival of the university. Bhupinder Singh, MA-II student, was honoured for being adjudged the best artist in clay modelling in the same festival.

Tripender Pal Singh, Deepak Sharma, Pawan and Harpreet Singh, all NCC students, received the Roll of Honour for their participation in the Republic Day parade.

Madhav Sund, BA-II student, received College Color for setting seven new records in swimming. He was also adjudged the best swimmer in the All-India University Meet. Mahavir Singh, MA-I student, was honoured for his performance in athletics and discus throw. Besides, Harpreet Singh, Tauseef Ahmed and Parminder Singh were given Roll of Honour for their performance in handball, badminton and cycling, respectively.

Master Mohan Lal, Minister of Higher Education, Punjab, was the chief guest on the occasion. Others present included Mr Gulzar Singh, DPI (colleges), Mr Sat Pal Gosain, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Lala Lajpat Rai, Member Parliament, and Prof S.S. Sooch, Principal of the college.

At Khalsa College for Women, more than 300 students received prizes for their achievements in academics, sports and co-curricular activities.

Minister ready to intervene, if asked

While expressing ignorance about the badly hit administrative work at Guru Nanak Girls’ College (GNGC), Model Town, owing to frequent appointments of officiating principals, the Minister of Higher Education, Master Mohan Lal, said there was no point of intervention in the college affairs as he had not received any complaint.

He said he was not aware of the dispute in the management of GNGC, frequent appointments in the college and delay in payment of salaries and other dues of its staff.

Regarding the issue of underpayment to teaching staff at Khalsa College for Women, Master Mohan Lal again expressed his ignorance. He said he had not received any complaint from the teachers of the college. He said he may intervene in both the cases if he got a detailed, written complaint about the two colleges.

About the UGC notification over appointment of PhD qualified principals in colleges, Master Mohan Lal said several universities had pleaded with the commission to relax this rule. “However, there has been no rollback and the universities have to go by the norms set by the UGC,” he said.

Talking about the new Budget, Master Mohan Lal said this year the amount allocated to education had been increased from Rs 260 crore to Rs 450 crore. He, however, said the ministry had not decided about the exact utility of the allocated amount.

The minister said from the coming session, 35 new vocational courses would be started, most of which would be technology-oriented and as per the latest demands of the market. He said computer education had already been introduced in all colleges in the state.

Regarding the persistent demand of the college teachers for the implementation of pension-cum-gratuity scheme, Master Mohan Lal said the litigation filed by the teachers was pending in the High Court.


Annual day of Pine Wood School
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 17
The tiny tots of Pine Wood Nursery School celebrated their annual day at Panjab University Extension Library here today.

The programme began with the recitation of sacred hymns by Sahil. Group dances were performed on Punjabi numbers, ‘Ik charkha gali de wich daah leya’, ‘Dil lai gayee kudi Gujarat di’ and ‘Sohna disda hai mahiyaa’. The children gave an excellent performance in qawwali ‘Kali guldaste mein khuli hai’. Besides, they presented a patriotic song, ‘Yeh desh hai veer jawano ka’.

Ms Urvashi Mehta and Ms Bhupinder Kaur, both teachers, compered the show. Ms Jaswant Malhotra, Principal, appreciated the efforts of the students in her address.


Prof R.N. Matta lecture held
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 17
The fifth Professor R.N. Matta Memorial Lecture was organised at Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Civil Lines, on Saturday. Dr Gulshan Kataria, chairman, Department of English, Punjabi University, Patiala, spoke on ‘Man, religion and responsibility in Greek and Shakespeare tragedy’. 


Forum fines Telecom dept
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 17
The District Consumer Disputes and Redressal Forum has directed the Department of Telecom to pay Rs 1,000 to Mr Narinder Singh on account of deficiency in services.

According to the complaint, Mr Narinder Singh, a resident of Krishna Colony, had a telephone No. (608347) installed at his residence. The complainant stated before the forum that his telephone hardly worked for eight days in a month since June, 1999. The complainant alleged that despite lodging several complaints, his grievance was not solved by the department. He further alleged that he had met the officials concerned of the department many times in the past seven months but instead of solving his problem, they behaved rudely with him.

The department pleaded that the telephone was working perfectly till October 3, 2000. The department submitted a verification report duly signed by the mother of the complainant in support of its argument. The department stated that the officials had verified from Narinder Singh on September 5, 2000, and the said telephone was found working properly.

The respondent stated that the SDO concerned along with a cable jointer, had personally visited the house of the complainant on February 19, 2000. The SDO had reportedly found that there was some trouble due to a technical fault which was removed later on and the telephone worked properly after that.

The forum observed that as per the fault cards submitted, it was evident that the telephone remained faulty quite often and it took a week to remove the fault as such it is desirable that some compensation paid.

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