Saturday, August 25, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Paddy procurement arrangements
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh, August 24
As elections to the state assembly are round the corner and the issue of purchase of paddy is likely to affect poll prospects, the government is making all efforts for the smooth procurement of paddy. Senior officials have been asked to review paddy procurement arrangements.

Mr D.P. Reddy, Divisional Commissioner, directed all agencies to make the necessary arrangements in advance. He cautioned the state agencies to get ready for their enhanced share of purchase as the FCI might lower its share of purchase of paddy from 40 per cent to 30 per cent.

He directed all SDMs to counter-check the arrangements of paddy procurement and storage sites in their respective sub-divisions and get all procurement centres ready.

Mr Vikas Paratap, Deputy Commissioner, said the administration would strive hard to efficiently implement development and welfare schemes of the government. He said the ROB at Sirhind is near completion and soon it would be opened for the public and would solve the traffic problem of the district.

Mr M.P. Arora, ADC( G), Mr B.S. Sandhu ADC (D) and Mr R.S. Brara AC (G) and all SDMs also spoke on the occasion.


Membership of PU Extension Library falls
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, August 24
Lack of reading habit among students and teachers, sufficient stock of books with city colleges and high purchasing power of college students has resulted in a fall in the membership of the Panjab University Extension Library.

Some years ago, hundreds of college students and teachers used to visit the library regularly, read books for two to three hours and get them issued, its membership has been falling constantly for the past few years. Despite the fact that the library is open to all residents falling within the area of 60 km radius and not just restricted to PU college students and teachers, it gets very few visitors now.

The library records are a proof of a constant fall in number of members. While in 1999-2000, special membership for non-student and non-teacher category was 703, it fell to 160 last year and stands at 140 this year. In teachers’ category, the membership was 169 in 1999-2000, it fell down to 120 last year and is 45 till date this year. In 1999-2000, 308 professional students were its members, the number came down to 275 in 2000-2001 and 95 this year. The number of non-professional student members is 339 this year while it was close to 700 during the last two years.

However, the membership for special category began in April, 2001, library cards for students and teachers were renewed since July 15 and would continue till January. But employees of the library said majority of the students and teachers who wanted to become members had already applied for it.

Despite the fact that no membership charges are being levied from the PU students and teachers, very few students and teachers are showing their interest in becoming its members. The non-professional students have to pay Rs 100 as refundable security and the security for professional students is fixed at Rs 250. The employees of the library said it was very rare chance to see any teacher or principal in the library. They said most of the students came to the library to read syllabus books, get information regarding examination datesheet and other notices of the PU.

The employees said while earlier the students preparing for competitions like IAS, PCS and other entrance examination, were frequent visitors, no such student came to the library now. They said special attention was paid to such visitors and at times, they were also given separate rooms for studying. Books were purchased by the library on their demand, but now a student rarely asked for competition books, they said.

Giving reasons for its low membership, Mr S. H. Khan, acting Librarian, said, “Despite the fact that I send letters to principals of all colleges to encourage students to become members of the library, very few students come to the library. This may be because almost all colleges have good libraries and needs of the students are fulfilled there.”

Mr Khan said the number of students taking professional has come down because Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, which was earlier affiliated to the PU, has now become affiliated to Punjab Technical University and medical colleges, which were with the PU, have now come under the Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences.



Rank and talent, but no money
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 24
Though Nishant Sethi has cleared the PMT and entrance tests of various MBBS courses, financial constraints are stopping him from realising his dreams.

Nishant aspires to join the MBBS course of the Manipal Academy of Higher Education and has cleared the CET for it. However, a Rs 1,60,000 fee, payable at the time of counselling on August 27, is what may stop him in his tracks.

Nishant’s rank in the entrance test is 171, which is good enough to get him a seat in the institute of his preference. Undeterred by the financial crunch in the family, a determined Nishant said, “MBBS is just the first step towards my destination. After getting the degree, I shall go in for the MS degree and join a trauma centre in the USA.”

His father, Mr Arun Sethi, an electrician, said his inability to pay the fee made him feel sad as he wanted his son to achieve his target. He said Nishant had always been a brilliant student and cleared his Class XII examinations as a student of the SCD Government College. He had secured 82 per cent marks in the examination and received a gold medal for his performance in science studies.

Mr Sethi said he wanted some philanthropist to help him out in his hour of need. He said he would repay the amount as soon as his son got his degree.



PAU student molested?
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
Can a teacher of a university be allowed to go scot-free if he is being allegedly accused of molesting a student? The answer is yes, going by a recent case at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

The campus is buzzing with the news of an attempted molestation by the teacher and the authorities are allegedly not taking any action against the teacher concerned. Inquiries by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the victim had lodged a complaint with the head of the department concerned, but it is being alleged that he is not taking any action in the case.

The victim was said to have gone to the head of the department who discouraged her and asked her about the proof to substantiate her complaint. One of the senior officials of the university gave a prompt reply when asked whether any action was taken against the teacher or not, “Why do you want to rake up the matter? Don’t you know it can bring a bad name to the girl and her family?”



‘Censor board within a year’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
The Punjab Cultural Promotion Council has urged intellectuals and art lovers of the state to “expose those who are defaming the rich cultural heritage of the state in the name of the promotion of culture”. The council has also supported the proposal of Mr Swarna Ram, Cultural Affairs Minister of the state, on setting up a censor board.

A delegation of the council led by Devinder Singh Chhina, a well-known folk-dance choreographer, met the minister here on Thursday. The delegation urged him to take action against unauthorised cassette companies who were promoting vulgar songs, videographers who used scantily-clad dancers and those who indulged in human smuggling under the cover of cultural tours.

The minister told the delegation that cases under Sections 293 and 294 of the IPC would be registered against those who spread obscenity. He said he had already received suggestions regarding the proposed censor board from 650 prominent persons connected to art and culture and the board would be formed within a year.

The minister also urged the people to bring to his notice any songs or presentations that they found vulgar. He has ordered all district magistrates to take appropriate action in such matters.



Deepa is ‘Dream Girl’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 24
Deepa of the Niharika ladies club was declared the winner at the Dream Girl competition, while Neetu from Aar Cee ladies club and Sabina from Geetanjli ladies club were declared first and second runners-up, respectively, here today.

The members of six clubs, Venus, Aar Cee, Geetanjli, Sarabha, Ramgarhia and Niharika, took part in the competition. The women participated in a talent-hunt competition in which they were required to imitate the Hindi film heroines of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. They imitated the characters of Waheeda Rehman, Zeenat Aman, Sadhna, Rekha, Vaijyantimala, etc. The consolation prizes were given to Bindiya from Venus, Monica from Sarabha and Jasmine from Ramgarhia club.

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