L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Use paddy straw for cow bedding, say PAU experts
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 27
Scientists of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have advised the farmers not to burn the paddy straw and instead use it as bedding material for cross bred cows during winters. This was concluded in a study conducted at the Department of Livestock Production and Management, College of Veterinary Sciences, PAU.

During the study, Dr M.C. Handa, Head of the department, found that the use of paddy straw bedding during winter helped in improving the quality and quantity of milk as it contributed to animals’ comfort, udder health and leg health. Paddy straw bedding helped the animal keep itself warm and maintain reasonable rates of heat loss from the body. Above all, it provided neat, clean, hygienic, dry, comfortable and non-slippery environment, which prevented the chances of injury and lameness. Healthy legs and hooves ensured enhancement of milk production and reproductive efficiency of animals, explained Dr Handa.

The veterinary expert said paddy straw used for bedding could be subsequently used as a good source of organic manure in biogas plant. The use of paddy straw was also found to result in increased net profit of Rs 188-971 per animal per month from the sale of additional amount of milk produced by cows provided with bedding, it was found.

Dr Handa said despite the ban imposed by the state government, nearly 180 lakh tonnes of paddy straw constituting about 80 per cent of total straw, was still being burnt every year. He said this was resulting in increased levels of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen and other gases, which caused a lot of air pollution. It formed clouds of smog, which could not easily be dispersed away.

Dr Handa said if the findings of present study are adopted by the farmers, paddy straw could be used as vital component of animal husbandry system particularly during the winter season. The veterinary expert has, therefore, advised the farmers to stop the burning of paddy straw in the fields and use it as bedding material to improve the quality and quantity of milk, animal’s health, welfare and comfort and avoid the unwanted hazards produced by the burning of paddy straw.



PAU to form group to plan research projects
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, October 27
The Punjab Agricultural University authorities have decided to constitute a resource conservation technology group to identify and plan research projects with clear-cut identified areas of research for individual scientists through inter-departmental collaboration. This decision is the outcome of an in-house review of research projects undertaken by the university.

For the first time since the coming into being of the PAU in 1962, in-house review of all 47 departments of the five colleges has been undertaken under the supervision of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh. The review of the departments has been completed in more than two months.

The need for the review of the departments’ functioning was felt because of the changing scenario in agricultural research and allied subjects, keeping in view the WTO and global competition on agricultural front, said the Vice-Chancellor.

Besides, reviewing the functioning of the departments on the Ludhiana campus, the working of zonal research stations and the Krishi Vigyan Kendras was reviewed. Seven departments have been merged to check the duplication of research work and some more departments are likely to be merged in near future, said Dr Aulakh. The merger of the departments would also help in the savings of funds as the university is faced with financial crunch.

Dr Aulakh said that during the review exercise, inter-disciplinary approach was found to be weak. The emphasis now was to strengthen the same within the college and across the colleges of the university. He said that there was duplication of research work, for example, the research work on water management was being undertaken by the departments of soils, agronomy and soil and water engineering. Similarly, crop improvement programme was being carried out in the Departments of plant breeding, genetics and biotechnology. All these programmes are being reframed. Research on herbs is also bring intensified.

The university has decided to prepare a status paper with comprehensive analysis of achievements and deficiencies in the implementation of resource conservation technologies.

During the review, it was observed that there was a lot of duplication in the work relating to the date of sowing, transplanting, methods of sowing, ridge-planting, grain quality, nutrient management, irrigation, green manuring and direct seeded rice in the Department of Soils and in the Department of Agronomy and Agrometeorology. A committee consisting of Director Research as chairman, Additional Director of Research (agriculture) and heads of departments of soils and agronomy and agrometereology was constituted to finalise the areas of research for the scientists in both these departments. It was also stressed that groundwater balance studies be strengthened in collaboration with the scientists of the Soil and Water Engineering Department. A tie-up arrangement with the Ground Water Cell at Chandigarh may also be explored.

It was also decided to study the effect of sewerage water on crop productivity, preferably at the University Seed Farm, Nabha, when more than 100 acres were irrigated by sewerage water.

The scientists involved in the research on selenium toxicity should also work on toxicity studies in other heavy metals like chloride, boron, lead. Moreover, the health of animals was suffering due to micro and macro nutrient deficiencies in crops. The scientists studying soil and plant relationship should undertake these studies in collaboration with the scientists in the Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics.

The Department of Floriculture and Landscaping has been asked to undertake soil extraction studies in collaboration with scientists of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources and Chemistry and Biochemistry. The varietal development programme in flowers and other ornamental plants may also be strengthened. A tie-up arrangement with private agencies exporting seeds needs to be taken up for commercial production of seed at the university, and if additional land is required, it can be made available to the department at the Ladowal farm. The Department of Plant Breeding has been asked to undertake the testing of cotton genotype suitable for spring sowing under suitable cropping system, particularly following oilseeds or basmati for Jalandhar and Gurdaspur districts.

It was observed during the review that productivity performance of crop hybrids developed at the PAU, particularly of maize and sunflower, was quite high but their seed production was a major limitation. Breeders were assigned specific duty to monitor and supervise the hybrid seed production in association with scientists of the Seed Production Centre.

The Horticulture Department has been advised that studies on inter-crop cycles under different fruit systems be strengthened. In Bangladesh, juice extraction of desi “khajoor” is popular. Similar studies need to be conducted at the regional station Abohar to work out the potential of juice extraction from various varieties of “khajoor”. For studies on processing aspects of fruit varieties, the responsibility be entrusted to the respective scientists in the Department of Food Science and Technology, who will be directly responsible to test varieties in pipeline with regard to their processing attributes. The Vice-Chancellor has also emphasised in the Horticulture Department to strengthen the work on fruit hybridisation immediately and germplasm should be collected for the same.

The Department of Vegetable Crops has been told that the vegetable seed production in general and vegetable hybrids programme are weak and should be strengthened. As far as studies on the processing aspects of vegetables are concerned, the scientific staff deputed in the Punjab Horticultural Post Harvest Technology Centre should be given the additional responsibility specifically to the individual scientist.

The Department of Agronomy and Agrometereology has been asked to strengthen the work on cropping systems studies in agronomy. A core group of agronomist be formed in which plant breeders should also be involved so that comprehensive recommendations are given for major cropping systems in the state.

Regarding the Department of Food Science and Technology, it was observed that a large number of technologies have been developed but may be got approved from the research evaluation committee and recommended for the benefit of the end-users. The Vice-Chancellor has told the scientists of the department that time has come for selling the technologies to the end-users. He also stressed that scientists in the Food Science and Technology Department should be regrouped to develop strong scientific groups to work on cereals, vegetables, fruits and milk. The Vice-Chancellor pointed out that the university was facing financial difficulties and the state government had been apprised of the situation.



Schools celebrate founder’s day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 27
Students of SAN Jain Senior Secondary School, Daresi Road, and SAN Jain Model Senior Secondary School, Circular Road, celebrated founder’s day on school premises here today.

Meritorious students and outstanding sportspersons were given prizes in the morning session, which was presided over by Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. Mr G.S. Ghalib, MP, was the chief guest, while Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, and Mr Surinder Dawar, MLA, were among distinguished guests at the function.

Later, Vallabh Darbar was held. Thirteen teams from various schools of Ludhiana, Malerkotla and Jandiala presented folk dances, qawalis and group songs.

Mr Lajpat Rai, MP, was the chief guest at the function, while Mr S.K. Sharma, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, presided over the function. Mr Rakesh Pandey, Minister of Printing and Stationery, Punjab, lighted the lamp. Mr Jagmohan Sharma, president of the Ludhiana unit of the Congress, was the guest of honour.

Others present on the occasion were Mr Kashmiri Lal Jain, president of the managing committee, Mr Shri Pal Jain, manager, Mr Sikander Lal Jain, general secretary, Mr Ashok Jain, vice-president, Mr Shiv Chander Malhotra, Principal of the Circular road branch of the school, Ms Swaran Kanta Jain, Principal of the Daresi road branch, Mr Raj Pal Gupta, administrator, and all staff members.



PCTE students excel
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 27
Students of the Punjab College of Technical Education (PCTE) have bagged top five positions out of 10 in BCA second semester examination conducted by Punjab Technical University (PTU) this year.

Gurjot Kaur, a student of the PCTE, grabbed the first position at the university level by securing 90.43 per cent marks. Anureet Gill bagged the second position by securing 89.14 per cent marks. Varun Aggarwal stood third by securing 87.43 per cent marks.

Monika Chopra of BCA stood fourth by scoring 85.71 per cent marks and Aabha Aneja got fifth rank by securing 84.86 per cent marks. The students were delighted at their success and thanked their teachers for providing them support and guidance.

“It is for the 27th time that the students of the PCTE have achieved first position in the university examination since its inception in August, 1999,” said Dr K.N.S. Kang, Director, PCTE.



District-level science contest
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 27
A three-day district-level competition for science teachers and students will begin at Ramgarhia Senior Secondary School for Boys, Millerganj, tomorrow.
While students will compete in chart-making, model-making and quiz contests, teachers will participate in extempore and teaching aids competitions. In chart-making contest, the students will get topics on the spot. Students will have to choose from six topics — food and health, industry, energy, transport and communication, information technology and biotechnology — in the model-making competition.

The participants will include students from classes VI to XII. Those from classes VI to VIII will fall in elementary group, from classes IX to X in secondary group, while the rest in senior secondary category. As an incentive for students from schools falling in rural areas, there will be two special categories for them — rural secondary and rural senior secondary.

Mr Varinder Sharma, District Science Supervisor, will be the main organiser for the contest.



NCC training camp concludes
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 27
Campfire and ‘bara khana’ of the annual training camp for the cadets of three Punjab Girls Bn NCC Ludhiana organised by the Directorate of NCC Group Headquarter, Ludhiana, was held at the 814 CETC, Doraha.

More than 340 cadets from various institutions in and around Ludhiana participated in the camp. A number of distinguished personalities were present on the occasion.

The camp commandant, Lieut-Col Avtar Singh, said the aim of the camp was to impart training on various subjects including drill, firing, map reading, signals and first aid. He said all cadets evinced keen interest in training. They also participated in various social activities. 


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