L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Even Bt cotton needs pesticide spray
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
Dr S.S.Gill, Director Extension Education, Punjab Agricultural University, today said Bt cotton was not a zero spray crop. The sucking pests, jassids and white fly, which are major pests on non-Bt cotton, damage the Bt cotton hybrids equally. In addition to these, thrips and aphids may also damage the St and non-Bt cotton crop.

All the six Bt cotton hybrids are as susceptible to the foliage-feeding pests like tobacco caterpillar, leaf folder, black and green semi-loopers as non-Bt cotton. Dr Gill said farmers should consider that Bt cotton also requires sprays. He advised them to follow the MU recommendations to save their crop from the attack of these harmful pests.

Addressing farmers, Dr G.S. Chahal, Dean, College of Agriculture, said Bt hybrids provide effective control of American, spotted and pink bollworms for a period of 100-140 days depending upon the various factors. Dr Chahal advised the farmers to follow the recommendations made by PAU scientists.

Dr G.S. Deol, Head, Department of Entomology, said that six hybrids of Bt cotton (MRC 6301, MRC 6304, Rasi 134, Rasi 311, Ankur 651 and Ankur 2534) were approved for cultivation in Punjab.

These 131 hybrids are equally susceptible to all the pests except the bollworms as non St hybrids/varieties. He advised the farmers to monitor the incidence of different insect pests and take appropriate control measure as recommended by the MU.

The incidence of sucking and foliage feeding pests can be more on Bt cotton not due to the fact that these hybrids are more susceptible to these pests but the sprays usually done for the control of bol on non St varieties/hybrids take care of these pests and does not allow the pests damage to cross the economic injury level.

He added that the decline in number of sprays against bollworms on Bt hybrids might result in the build up of population of sucking pests and foliage feeding pests beyond economic threshold level during flowering phase. Farmers should monitor the build up of boliworm complex on at hybrids and take effective measures.

The lack of effective measures may result in the development of resistance in bollworms particularly the American bollworms. He advised the farmers to take advice from the KVKIFASS or Head Department of Entomology for the management of insect pests on the Bt cotton.



PCCTU demands early release of grant
Our Correspondent

Doraha, July 6
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union has demanded early release of grant of first quarter to private aided colleges.

In a press note Prof R. S. Brar, president, Dr Jagwant Singh general secretary and Dr Parminder Singh, area secretary, PU, urged the Higher Education Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, to implement the pension-cum-gratuity scheme, merger of 50 per cent DA, recommendations of the Johal Committee and ensure pay parity for DPE‘s and Ludhiana and rural house rent. They said DPI colleges had initiated the work of releasing of senior and selection grades to the lecturers of DAV Colleges and began issuing approvals to the selections made before November 30, 2004.

However, they said the teachers had not been paid salaries for months and the financial crisis had gripped many private aided colleges. It must be resolved by the government, they added.



PAU to get Rs 20 crore grant
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, July 6
Punjab Agricultural University is expected to get a grant of Rs 20 crore from the Punjab Government for undertaking research on diversification of agriculture in the state. This has been indicated to the PAU authorities by the state government which has sought the details of the research for achieving the objectives of diversification.

It may be mentioned here that the Punjab Agricultural University authorities had sought a corpus fund of Rs 100 crore for undertaking diversification of agriculture and intensifying the research activities of the university on various crops. PAU has been facing a financial crisis as the present funding of the university by the state government only meets the salary component of the university teaching and non-teaching staff.

Enquiries made today reveal that the immediate step the PAU proposes to undertake is to establish a market intelligence cell to ensure profitable market for alternate crops like soyabean, pulses, oilseeds, vegetables and fruits. A linkage and contract of farmers with the food processing industries, cooperative societies like Markefed, Punjab agro and Pepsi would be developed to ensure regular procurement and attractive price for these crops to make them competitive with paddy and wheat.

According to Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, and simultaneous steps would be taken for development of new technologies for improvement of quality, shelf-life and value addition to the existing crops and newly introduced medicinal and aromatic plants. This would involve establishment of quality evaluation laboratory for research and commercial scale quality testing cereals, oilseeds, vegetables and fruits for high end local market and export purpose.

Special economic zones would be planned and established for production, processing and export of offseason fresh fruits and vegetables and frozen products. A vigorous campaign would be launched for export of high value products from aromatic and medicinal plants through such outlets. Establishment of infrastructure for commercial scale application of agricultural biotechnology for mass scale production of planting material of fruits, potato, sugarcane and medical plants. An ag-biotech centre would be established for commercial production of transgenic crops and pharmaceuticals.

The process of value addition and shelflife enhancement would be intitiated through the establishment of food industries centre with strong linkage of private food industries, research workers, farmers and financial institutions.

The selfhelp groups of farmers cooperatives shall be established to produce, manage and market the agricultural produce at their own initiative withless dependence on public funded support. Such activity would be taken up under the guidance and direction of Punjab State Farmers Commission.



PAU play bags top honours
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
The play “Soch Samajh Kar Keetnashak Ka Prayog” presented by a team of Punjab Agricultural University (PA) at an international conference at Cotton Research Centre, Nagpur, Maharashtra, has got first position in the technical drama competition. The play was written and directed by Dr Anil Sharma. The play aims at creating awareness among the cotton growing farmers about the “cautious use” of pesticides lest it lead to the counter damages.

Presiding over the function, Dr Rafiq Chaudhary, Chairman, International Cotton Advisory Commission, said although the scientists had developed different technologies but these need to be forwarded to the farmers and its serve no purpose if the farmers were not aware of it.

Appreciating the way of presentation of the play, Dr Rafiq said such efforts could be helpful in making latest technologies reach to the farmers so that they could be able to make proper use of it. A CD of the play was presented to Dr Rafiq also.

Dr G.S. Deol, Head, Department of Entomology, said the play had already been staged under the IRM Project in villages of Punjab and would be presented in 120 villages in the next year so that the farmers could avoid the excessive use
of insecticides and

Besides, Dr Drick Russel from National Resource Institute, England, Dr Khadi, Director, CICR, Dr C.D. Mayee, Chairman, ASRB and Dr Rajinderan, scientists from China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Netherlands, England and Australia participated in the conference.

Meanwhile, processing and Food Engineering Department, Punjab Agricultural University, is organising a five-day training course from July 25 to 29. Giving information, Dr B.S. Ghuman, Head, Department of Processing and Food Engineering said the course which was related to industry based on agriculture, would be useful for the rural industry.



Guru Nanak College girls excel
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 6
With the declaration of results of MA I Political Science of Panjab University, Guru Nanak Girls College has once again established its premier position as one of the leading colleges in the city.

The college boasts of 100 per cent pass percentage with nine students getting five top 10 positions. Twentytwo students got first division. College Principal Ms Charanjit Mahal congratulated the students and staff on this stupendous success.

Gurpreet Kaur and Mandeep Kaur bagged first position, Jasbir Kaur and Jaspreet Kaur got second position, Kiramjit Kaur, Ramandeep Sharma, Amandeep Kaur and Gurpreet Kaur came third while Anu Rani bagged fifth position in the university.



Rain washes away teachers’ protest
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 6
Rain washes away the plans of one dozen teachers’ bodies of Ludhiana district that had to hold a rally under the aegis of Sanjha Adhypak Front to protest against Capt Amarinder Singh’s privatisation drive at Mini Secretary here today.

The teachers had to present a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner to hand it over to the Chief Minister. But due to heavy rainfall, the rally was not held even though a large number of teachers had gathered for the purpose. The spokespersons of the front said in a press note that the teachers had come from Jagraon, Raikot, Sidhwan Bet, Khanna, Malout, Samrala, Machhiwara for the rally.

The teachers had held protest rallies and mass meetings at their stations and had condemned the anti-teacher stance taken by the state government.

Front members also said Bhattal Report was misleading and said Cabinet should take a decision to fill 30,000 vacancies, and teacher on contract should be made regular, and contractual system should be discontinued and transfers of teachers should be on merit and not on the basis of favoritism.


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