L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Govt to check mushrooming of B.Ed colleges
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, January 24
“Mushrooming of B.Ed colleges, which do not have proper infrastructure, is certainly a matter of concern and we will definitely put some restrictions in the future,” said Dr Dinesh Gupta, Deputy Director, Colleges, here today.

Dr Gupta was in the city to attend a seminar on NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) at SCD Government College.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Dr Gupta said the government had to give approval to hundreds of such colleges in recent years as in the absence of sufficient B.Ed colleges, students of Punjab went to Jammu or other universities for B.Ed. The expansion of colleges was necessary to accommodate thousands of students. This year also, about 40,000 students had sought admission but only 12,000 could be accommodated in Punjab colleges.

The rest had to go to other universities. Dr Gupta added that last year, about 60 B.Ed colleges got the no-objection certificate (NOC) whereas, this year, the government acted tough and only 22 colleges were given the NOC.

To a question that several existing colleges did not fulfil the basic conditions and did not have proper staff, Dr Gupta said their job was to provide the NOC only. “Other formalities are to be examined by the universities concerned”, he said.

Regarding the ban on recruitment of lecturers in the colleges, Dr Gupta said the process of restructuring was on. Once it was over the ban would be lifted, he assured.

He said the government was in touch with agitating private college teachers regarding their demands and the matter would be sorted out soon.

He said efforts were needed to achieve quality education. On the issue of NAAC accreditation, he said it helped the institution to know its strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, and identify internal areas of planning and resource allocation.



Admn blames MC for paralysis of man
PHRC notice to Commissioner
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The district administration has held the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation responsible for the accident involving a 50-year-old man who was paralysed after he had fallen in an open manhole in 1998.

An inquiry report, submitted by the district administration to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PHRC), stated that it was due to the ‘‘carelessness of MC employees’’ that the manhole was left open after a rainy day and Mr Rakesh Talwar, a local resident, had fallen into it and became handicapped.

The inquiry was conducted by Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) Priyank Bharti after the PHRC had directed the local administration to do so following allegations by Mr Talwar that he became paralysed after falling in an open manhole.

Accepting the report prima facie, the PHRC has issued a notice to the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, under section 16 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, asking him to produce the defence, if any. The commission has forwarded the inquiry report also to the local MC.

It was for the second time that the commission had directed the district administration to submit a report into the case as earlier report, that had given a clean chit to the local body, was not accepted by the complainant.

Mr Talwar was rendered handicapped on July 7, 1998, when he had fallen in an open manhole that was uncovered on a rainy day. Since then he had been fighting his battle alone but had failed to move the authorities, who refused to compensate him.

He had been claiming that he was driving his scooter through a flooded street in the Dhobi Ghat area the day of incident. He was not able to anticipate an open manhole and his scooter had got stuck in it. He fell on the road and the cover of the manhole hit his head badly. He developed an injury in his head and the right side of his body was totally paralysed.

Since then he has been trying to earn his bread and butter to support his bright children who are studying in different colleges. His requests to the Municipal Corporation have also fallen on deaf ears as the civic body had refused to help him.

Recalling the fateful day that left him crippled for life, Mr Talwar said the injury was so grievous that he could not gather consciousness for a year and was in a coma. He did not know who had rushed him to DMC Hospital. He stayed in the hospital for a year and the family strained all its resources on his treatment.

It took him almost a year to regain consciousness. But that too was not a very good day for him. He discovered that he was unable to move both his legs and he was paralysed. 



Industry's threats on VAT go unheeded
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Industry's constant pleas and threats pertaining to non-refund of Value Added Tax (VAT) seem to be falling on deaf ears. Post the boycott of government by local industry in protest against non-refund, the 10-day ultimatum that the industry gave to the government is over evoking no response from the government.

The industry, which had threatened to come out on roads if there was no action on the front, would now take up the matter with the Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Punjab, Mr D.P. Reddy.

"We would meet him on the 27th of this month and would decide the further course of action on the basis of that meeting only," said Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

Local industry has also sent another memorandum to the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh urging him to issue VAT refunds at the earliest without insisting on form 'C'. The industry has again threatened to launch protest if refunds are not issued.

Sore over non-refund of Value Added Tax (VAT), nearly 25 local industry associations in a meeting, gave a 10-day ultimatum to the government on January 10, and had threatened a stir in case of inaction.

They said as the survival of industry was at stake, they would resort to agitations, bandhs and declaration of black day for the trader and industrialist community.

"Despite several requests, the government is not bothered to issue refunds due to which a huge capital is blocked," industrialists said. They rued that blocked capital was hampering smooth operations.

Industrialists say that when VAT was implemented, the government assured them that refunds would be made within three months. However, even after nine months of implementation, industry is yet to get its refunds.

Earlier last month, local industry had declared a boycott of state government, a step that has had little impact.

Industry is now banking on the meeting on January 27 and hopes that its problem pertaining to VAT non-refund would be over.



Infant loses foot due to doctors’ negligence 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 24
In order to save the life of their one-month-old son, his parents have given their consent to amputate his left foot that had developed gangrene allegedly due to erroneous administration of DPT vaccine. But it was negligence of doctors of a rural centre of a Ludhiana- based multi-speciality hospital situated at Pohir village near here, later which resulted in amputation.

According to Bhagwant Singh of Nangal village his infant son Avrinder had developed gangrene allegedly due to the negligence of doctors and paramedical staff of a rural health centre being run by the Social and Preventive Medicine Department of a Ludhiana-based multi-speciality hospital situated at Pohir village.

Avrinder had been administered DPT by a nurse at Anganwari centre of Nangal village on January 2. He had developed some complication immediately after receiving the vaccine. “When Avrinder continued crying we took him to the centre in the evening, but instead of taking notice of abnormality, the doctors kept assuring us that he would be all right afterwards,” said Mandeeep Kaur, the mother of the child while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune at Deep Hospital, Ludhiana. The family alleged that doctors, instead of taking some remedial procedure, tried to evade their responsibility and left the child on the mercy of nature.

“We were shocked to learn from doctors at Deep Hospital here that the foot had developed gangrene and it was necessary to severe his foot in order to save his life. Besides causing us financial loss the negligence of doctors at the centre has resulted in our child being permanently handicapped,” said an aggrieved Mandeep.

Dr Baldeep Singh, director of the hospital and Dr Sanjiv, surgeon physician maintained that the victim had developed gangrene due to blockade of peripheral blood vessel that was caused possibly due to administration of vaccine in some vein or an artery.

Showing ignorance about the matter, the in-charge of the preventive medicine department running affairs of the rural health centre, said no complaint had been received by his office. “However, an inquiry will be made to find the truth,” responded the in-charge on telephone.

The DPT vaccine is given to protect children from dreaded deceases diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus. But unfortunately, a life-saving vaccination has left permanently handicapped.



4 run over by car, 1 dead
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 24
One person was killed and three hurt when an Esteem car ran over some persons, who were playing cards on the roadside, here yesterday. On the statement of Gian Chand, who was also playing with them, an FIR has been registered under Section 304, IPC, on January 23 against Arju Mehant alias Kamal, driver of the car (DL1C-2367), resident of Bhari Panaich.

Mr Gian Chand stated that they were playing cards when a car ran over them and he had a narrow escape. Wounded Dalwara Singh, Nachhattar Singh and Kartar Singh were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Mandi Gobindgarh, and the body of Prem Singh of Jahallan village in Patiala district was sent for post-mortem examination.



Accused remanded in police custody
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The two accused in the attempt to murder case of a yarn broker have been remanded in police custody till January 27 even as the Haibowal police team was making preparations for reading the hide-outs of the third accused in Mumbai.

The police has not revealed the identity of the third accused, said to be a gambling mafia don in Mumbai. Police sources said they have got enough evidence against the third accused to nail him.

SHO Haibowal, SI Gurpreet Singh said a local court has remanded two arrested accused Vishal Jain and Jai Sindhi, alias Chaudhary, to police custody till January 27. The police had sought the further remand on the plea that they had to recover the weapon used in the case and more details of the third accused.



CII-Bharti to award women achievers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The Bharti Foundation and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), which have jointly instituted the CII-Bharti Woman Exemplar Award, have invited nominations for the 2006 edition of the award till January 31, 2006, from women in rural and urban slum areas.

The award acknowledges and honours women who have broken new ground in the spheres of primary education and literacy, health and micro finance. The award carries a medallion, a citation and Rs 1 lakh in each of the mentioned areas of work, a press note said. Nomination details are available on www.ciionline.org.

According to Mr S Sen, Deputy Director-General, CII: “Our aim is to make this award available for women at the grassroots level. The award recognises significant contributions to the development process of a community within India”.

The CII-Bharti Woman Exemplar Award is meant to further empower those women who display a spirit of leadership and entrepreneurship, helping them to empower other women to do the same.

Giving details of the criterion for nomination, he said nominations were invited from underprivileged women, either in rural or urban slum areas, whose accomplishments had spanned five years or more.

NGOs could only be nominators, not recipients, the press note said.



Man alleges rape of daughter, wife denies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Mystery shrouds an alleged rape of a minor of the Sherpur area, whose father brought her to the Civil Hospital this afternoon claiming she was raped by a quack but her mother took her away from the hospital claiming she was fine.

The contradictory statements made by the parents of the girl left the police foxed about the incident. SI Mukesh Kumar, in charge, Sherpur police post, said the police had not registered any FIR because of the opposite claims about the case by the parents.

The drama began in the morning when Mr Ramesh (name changed) brought his 6-year-old daughter to the Civil Hospital claiming that a quack had raped his daughter in his clinic. The girl was admitted to the Civil Hospital.

However, just a few minutes later, the girl’s mother came to the hospital ward. She created quite a scene there. She alleged that her husband wanted to settle an old score with the quack. He cooked up the rape story of his daughter for the purpose.

Meanwhile, the medical examination of the girl also proved inconclusive about the rape charge. Doctors and the police were thinking on what to do when the woman took away her daughter on her responsibility. She also gave a statement to the police that her daughter was fine and she did not want any police action.



Foundation stone of PNB Complex laid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Mr I.D. Singh, General Manager, Punjab National Bank, Punjab Zone, laid the foundation stone of PNB Complex at Ferozepur Road here yesterday. Mr Singh said the complex would be ready in a year-and-a-half and would be equipped with modern facilities.

“It would house the Integrated Zonal Office with 214 branches across 11 district of the State under its control. A branch, that would provide world-class banking services to customers, would also be located in the complex,” he said.

Mr S.C. Bithal, Deputy General Manager, Mr K.L. Miglani, Deputy Zonal Manager and bank officials were also present on the occasion.

Security Awareness Week: With a view to enhance security consciousness amongst all employees, PNB is organising a ‘Security Awareness Week’ from January 23-28.

During this week, the bank would demonstrate security equipment at its zonal office here. Besides, mock drills would be conducted in selected branches across the state to generate awareness among bank employees to deal with crime and other exigencies. Banners and slogans are also being displayed in the bank’s branches.



Cherry Blossom celebrates 100 years
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Cherry Blossom has launched a new campaign showcasing its “100th Shining Year”. A company press note said the campaign reminded the consumers of the various occasions when they had used the brand over the years.

The company planned a slew of activities to celebrate the occasion during which it would launch product variants, label and improved packaging.



SBI seminar on credit-rating scheme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
With a view to generate awareness on performance and credit-rating scheme for small-scale industry, State Bank of India (SBI) and CRISIL conducted a seminar for SSIs on the scheme here last evening.

Mr R. Karthikeyan, Deputy General Manager, SBI, zonal office, Ludhiana, told participants about the details of the scheme. He said that under the scheme, National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) provides 75 per cent subsidy to SSI units that undertake rating exercise through CRISIL.

He explained how rating of SSIs was getting critical due to intensifying global competition.

The SBI has signed an MoU with CRISIL to arrange services of the credit rating agency for the bank’s SSI customers, he informed.

He emphasised on the need for small units to focus more on financial management of their business and exhorted them to set higher standards in terms of disclosures and quality of accounting, which are the need of the house in the global business environment.

Mr Yogesh Dixit, Head, SME Rating, CRISIL, gave a presentation on the concept, merits and benefits of rating for SMEs.


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