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AGRICULTURE

Legislative panel lays stress on crop diversification
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 11
A High Powered Committee of Punjab Vidhan Sabha MLAs, under the chairmanship of Randeep Singh, visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) to evaluate its performance. The other members of the committee were Mr Joginder Singh Mann, Chaudhary Rumal Chand, Dr Raj Kumar Gupta and Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura.

Mr Randeep Singh said that Punjab’s economy was facing many problems due to the wheat-rice crop cycle. Besides this, the natural water resources were passing through a critical crisis and the marketing system was not satisfactory. Therefore, the Department of Agriculture, with the help of PAU scientists, should suggest measures to the Punjab government and the Centre for the betterment of the farmers.

We had been failed in winning the faith of the farmers that we could help them in getting the good prices of their crops. Mr Brahmpura suggested that the government should instruct the agencies - MARKFED, Punjab Agro Industries etc - to purchase pulses, maize and other crop produce and pay the better prices to the farmers. Mr Joginder Singh, former minister, said the power crisis occurred due to the diversion of the power for tube-wells, especially during the paddy season. So we needed the diversification in the present crop cycle.

The chairman of committee said they would suggest the Punjab Government to release more grants to accelerate the research work in the PAU. He expressed his pleasure that the PAU had got the approval of the ICAR for opening new krishi vigyan kendras in different districts of Punjab. The members of the committee assured that they would recommend for the allotment of the land for the kendras.

Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh said the PAU had developed 502 varieties so far (wheat 40, rice 25, fruits 124, vegetables 83, fodder 36, cotton 25, pulses 43, sugarcane 13, flowers 13). Three varieties of wheat - PBW 502, PBW 509 and TL 2908 - were recommended yesterday. The farmers of Punjab were getting the benefit of Rs 850 crore per year just because of PBW 343. Owing to the unavailability of the funds from the government, some of the research works were incomplete. The PAU always depended on the government and the ICAR for funds. These days, the PAU was running 45 departments instead of 53 in the past and there would be a saving of Rs 14-15 crore in the next 10 years, added Dr Aulakh.

Dr Ajmer Singh, Director, Agriculture, Punjab , Dr G.S. Nanda, Director of Research, PAU , Dr Amrik Singh Sandhu, Director of Extension Education, PAU, Dr M.S. Tiwana, Dean, College of Agriculture, and Dr Darshan Singh, Dean, Postgraduate studies, PAU, and other high officials were also present.

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PCCTU seeks enhanced HRA
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 11
The PCCTU organised a rally at A.S.College, Kahnna, in protest against the indifferent attitude of the government towards its long-pending demands.

Teachers from Khanna, Samrala, Doraha, Kottar and Fathegarh Sahib attended the rally. They criticised the government for not fulfilling its pre-poll promises of restoring 95 per cent grant-in-aid and implementing the pension and gratuity schemes of December 18, 1996. They demanded that the government should start a dialogue with members of PCCTU.

The other demands included the release of enhanced HRA and CPF grants from January, 1996, RRA and HRA to rural teachers. Prof S.S. Hundal,Dr Parminder Singh and other office-bearers were present on the occasion.

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Teej celebrated with fervour
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, August 11
The campus echoed with Punjabi folklore. Girls looked happy and cheerful in myriad coloured Punjabi dresses as the Teej function was arranged to mark the advent of sawan at SDP College for Women, Ludhiana, here this morning. Ms Rakhi Gupta Bhandari, IAS, Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, was the chief guest and Ms Sushil Gupta, Deputy Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, was the guest of honour on the day.

A colourful Punjabi ambience was created by decorating the campus with phulkaris, dupattas, daris, khes, pakhis and chaaj etc. The campus was tastefully decorated and it provided a unique view of the Punjab culture and heritage.

Ms Bhandari inaugurated the exhibition of items related to Punjab’s culture such as chullah, charkha, chakki, bharoli, madhani, phulkaris, chamta etc.

A large number of students dressed in bright coloured costumes, decked with traditional Punjabi jewellery, bangles, tikas, saggi-phul, bindis and tiledaar jooti very enthusiastically participated in various cultural items like giddha, kikli, modelling, folk dances, folk songs, tappey and bollian.

Punjabi singer Happy Jaura enthralled the audience with his songs and performance for about an hour.

Miss Teej, mehndi, Punjabi jutti and paranda, bangles contests were also held on the occasion. The winners of the mehndi competition were: Shilpi I, Ranjana 2, Veena 3.

Mrs Gupta and Mrs S. Verma, Principal, honoured Ritambara of B. Com II, who won the Miss Teej title, and gave away prizes to the winners of other competitions.

Mrs Bhandari and Mrs Sushil Gupta addressed the students and asked them to remain in touch with the culture of Punjab and preserve it.

Mementos were presented to Mrs Bhandari and Mrs Gupta.

Members of the management also graced the occasion.

Meanwhile, College of Home Science, PAU, organised a function to mark the festival of Teej here today. Dr (Ms) Manjeet Dhillion, Dean of the college, inaugurated the festival. Folk song, folk dance and Ms Teej contests were held on the occasion. The students also participated in kikli competition. Stalls selling bangles, suits, chat papris etc were put up.

The Hasbol Kitty Club celebrated Teej at SKSK Educational Institute, Saleem Tabri, Ludhiana, today. To promote cultural activities among women, a mehndi competition and a Teej queen contest were organised.

According to the organiser of the function, Dr Harpreet Kaur, 25 women participated in the contests. Principal Ajit Kaur and Mr Harleen Kaur were the judges for the contests. Mrs Kamal Grewal was adjudged the Teej queen and Mrs Manwinder was declared the 'giddha queen'. The Beautiful smile title was won by Mrs Jolly. Mrs Renu won the Hasdi Boldi Mutyar title while Ms Noorie was awarded the Matakdi Tor title.

Teej the festival of maidens, mehndi, mithai and monsoon was celebrated in KVM today. A mehndi and rangoli contest was organised in the mini auditorium on the occasion. The theme of the contest was traditional 'Triranjan'. Girls dressed in colourful attire presented a dance. As many as 260 girls participated in the contests. They drew exotic mehndi designs. The rangoli making contest was also exciting. The girls used flowers, lamps, sawdust, colours, pulses, rice etc to make designs ranging from geometrical, traditional and floral. The floor of the mini auditorium seemed to be sprayed with a colourful array of intricate colour schemes and eye catching designs.

The contest was organised by craft teacher and the Principal, Mr S C Saxena, presided over the function. Speaking on the occasion Mr Saxena said such functions helped to tap creativity as well as keep the traditions alive. Dr (Ms) Sushma Gupta, Head of the Department of Home Science, Govt College for Women, Ludhiana and Dr (Ms) Rupa Bakshi, Prof and Head Department of Family Resource Management, PAU, were the judges for the occasion.

Results were as follows: Mehndi -Class IX- Palak Goyal first; Aditi second; Aditi Jain third.

Class X- Saru first; Geetika second; Isha third(IX-G)

Class XI- Daneet first; Neha second; Megha third.

Class XII- Shaveta first; Naureen second; Yammi third.

Rangoli- Gurpreet and Dhara, first; Vidushi and Shagun second, Neha and Nancy, third; Consolation prize. Jaismeen and Shikha.

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