Friday, March 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Farmers cautioned against replacing poplar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 13
The Department of Forestry of Punjab Agricultural University has sounded an alert for the farmers going in for the cultivation of paulownia as a substitute to poplar in their farms. The department has warned the farmers against being duped by some unregistered nurseries selling these plants as the results of the ongoing research on the plant have indicated towards production of poor quality timber.

This was disclosed by Dr S.S. Gill, Head of the Department of Forestry, after the PAU authorities found that many farmers were being misguided by some unauthorised nurseries. He said while the broad-leafed paulownia had a very fast growth in the first year, its growth as well as quality deteriorated in the next two to three years.

Dr Gill pointed out that the girth of the trunk did not increase and it became hollow from inside. He said even if the tip of the tree was pruned from the top, it developed knots making it even more unfit for production. As a result, there were chances that the market value of the plant would not be much and the farmers would suffer losses in its cultivation.

Dr Gill said all such recommendations were based on a research being carried out in its 3 to 4 acres farm at Ladowal. He said the research was assigned to the university under the National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP). For the purpose, saplings had been bought from an authorised nursery at Dehra Dun and these were being grown in different climatic conditions.

He said at the end of five years, the paulownia trees would be taken to the market and their value would be assessed. He suggested that the farmers should not go in for these trees till the university scientists are able to adjudge its market value and suitable silvicultural recommendations. He said the tree could probably be cultivated for use in pulp and plywood industry.

Meanwhile, Dr Gill has also advised farmers not to plant Burma Dek as it did not produce seeds here. He said since the plants could only be propagated by seeds, the plants could not be reproduced. 



US scientist visits PAU
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 13
To review a joint project on wheat diseases, Dr Bikram Singh Gill, professor and founding director of the Wheat Genetics Resource Centre in the Department of Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, USA, is on a visit to Punjab Agricultural University.

On his first day on the campus today, Dr Gill was taken around in the PAU farms. He was accompanied by scientists from the wheat section and Department of Plant Breeding. He discussed a new disease found in wheat that resulted in fishy odour in the crop, thereby, resulting in problems in its sale in the market.

Tomorrow afternoon, a seminar will be held in the Wheat Auditorium, PAU, in which Dr Gill will present his paper on ‘Leveraging bio-diversity and biotechnology for doubling Green Revolution in agriculture’. He said his aim was to increase wheat production by developing a better genome, using less fertilisers and pesticides.

Dr Gill received his BSc and MSc degrees in botany from Panjab University, Chandigarh, and later did PhD in genetics from the University of California, Davis, in 1973. Before joining Kansas State University, he held various posts at the University of Missouri, Washington University, St Louis; University of California, Riverside; and the University of Florida, Belle Glade.

Dr Gill was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy in 1991, the Crop Science Society of America in 1994, the American Phytopathological Society in 1998 and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1999. In 2002, he was appointed a Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences of India.



Colourful show by schoolchildren
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 13
Tiny tots of Children’s Valley School, Shakti Nagar, enacted a colourful show at a function held at the Guru Nanak Bhavan here today.
The programme began with Saraswati vandana. After this, the stage was set like a valley of children in which a magician took the audience on a tour and told them how various concepts of colours and numbers were taught to them in the school.

Kids come dressed up like a silver moon, a yellow star, green trees, a red tomato and a purple brinjal. The kids in the guise of animals hold a parade in which a peacock was followed by two bulls, three horses, four monkeys and so on.

The kids explained the concept of opposites by dancing in pairs. A tall giraffe danced with a short rabbit and a big elephant played with a small rat.

Similarly, the concept of shapes was also depicted to them by examples like sun was round and ice cream cone was conical.

The function was presided over by Ms Abhilash Oswal. Ms Harinder Dhillon, a former Principal of Khalsa College for Women, was the guest of honour.

Ms Bindiya Chaudhary, and Ms Shivani Chaudhary, Principal and Vice-Principal of the school, respectively, said the aim of the programme was to help children develop confidence and creative abilities, besides express themselves with rhythmic and harmonic movements.



Her passion for Husain’s works
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
Real art is said to be an imitation of life. And that is what great artists have done. But Harneet, an upcoming and promising painter, also a class tenth student of Sacred Heart Convent School, has started from imitating the art itself. And when the art has been created by no less an artist than M.F. Husain, nobody should have any doubt or questions to ask.

Harneet has imitated a master piece of Husain. And it did not take her too long, just less than an hour, to complete the painting of Husain. It is not her maiden venture. She has been painting, but does not remember since when. And she aspires to become a painter. “That is not just my dream, but my destination”, she declares with confidence.

Harneet is influenced a lot by the works of M.F. Husain and loves to watch his paintings. Obviously, for the immense cost his paintings are priced at, she is not able to purchase any of those, but she never misses an opportunity to go and see his paintings. Even if these are shown in pictures, newspapers or magazines.


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