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AGRICULTURE

Bed sowing gives better yield, saves water, say experts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
Crops sown on raised beds give higher yield and save on nitrogen and water. This is true as much of vegetables as cereals: wheat, maize, soya bean.

This has been amply proved in the field trials conducted under an international project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

Trials in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and south-east Australia showed if the yield increased by 10 per cent to 15 per cent, nitrogen saved was up to 20 per cent and water up to 30 per cent.

These findings were revealed at the inauguration of a three-day “review workshop” of Punjab Agricultural University and the ACIAR collaborative project on “Permanent beds for irrigated rice-wheat and alternative cropping systems in north-west India and south-east Australia.”

Inaugurating the workshop, Director (Extension Education) S.S. Gill said water was a precious input in agriculture and also scarce. Permanent beds for alternative cropping systems were helpful in obtaining optimum yield and saving on water and energy: two major areas that require persistent and continuous monitoring and evaluation.

PAU Head of the Department of Soils V. Beri said this was the last year of the five-year project for which funding came from the ACIAR. Deliberations during the workshop would help determine continuation of the project in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

ACIAR programme manager Christian Roth spoke about of the project. He said there were three project centres in India, two in Pakistan and one in Bangladesh. After evaluating the research findings in these countries, the ACIAR would deliberate with the ICAR on the extension of the project. The workshop would focus on reviewing the progress reports in three countries.

Liz Humphreys spoke on “house rules” and objectives of the project. She said results were very encouraging. In her presentation, she discussed how mulching and method of crop establishment in a permanent bed planting system affected rice and wheat yield.

Best results of sowing vegetables and cereals in permanent raised beds in irrigated trials were obtained in soils with heavy texture. The hard pan below the surface of such soil obstructed root penetration. The scientists, however, felt that sowing of paddy on permanent raised beds had not been very successful so far, as compared to other crops.

About 24 foreign delegates and 16 participants from India are attending the workshop, which will conclude on September 8.

The participants will synthesise the findings on the performance of permanent beds as also the performance of technologies involved for direct drilling of wheat into rice residue without burning. This will enable scientists to identify future needs and priorities for research development and extension.

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EDUCATION
 

Teachers protest killing of Sabharwal
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 5
The local unit of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) today went on a one-period strike on a call given by the union and AIFUCTO in protest against the brutal murder of Prof Sabharwal in Ujjain.

Prof M.S. Bhandari, Prof Pargat Singh Sekhon, Prof Harminder Kaur, Prof Gursharan Kaur, Prof Gursharanjit Singh, Prof Ranjit Kaur, Prof Willianjit Singh, Prof Lovleen Bains and Dr Nirlep Kaur were among those who participated in the strike.

Dr Kuldip Singh, president of the unit and area secretary, Panjab University, along with Prof Mohinder Kaur, local unit secretary, expressed resentment over the merciless, murder of Prof Sabharwal and the role of the authorities in this regard.

“It is really sad that the teachers, who are regarded gurus, should be subjected to such harassment and extreme torture and that too by their own students for whom they are no less than torchbearers. The teachers will in no way keep their hands crossed.

“It is a matter of great sorrow and concern for the entire teaching community. As such violence by students needs to be nipped in the bud. At no cost will we tolerate such a great shock for our community. We will fight with whole might to get justice in the most fairer manner”.

The incidents at Kamla Lotia College, Ludhiana, and MCM DAV College were condemnable, they added.

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Teachers’ dharna against privatisation
Tribune Reporters

Teachers and activists of the Government Teachers’ Union pose at Mandi Ahmedgarh railway station before leaving for Sangrur to join a protest rally there against the policies of the state government.
Teachers and activists of the Government Teachers’ Union pose at Mandi Ahmedgarh railway station before leaving for Sangrur to join a protest rally there against the policies of the state government. — Photo by Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana, September 5
A large number of teachers and activists of the Government Teachers’ Union took part in a protest rally organised in front of the office of the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner in Mini Secretariat here today. The rally was held to protest against the alleged policy of privatisation in the state.

Speakers criticised the governments’ move of privatisation and commercialisation of education. They appealed to fill up the vacant posts in the state and also take concrete steps to streamline the education system. They also urged upon the government not to give management of schools to Zila Parishads and discontinue with the practice of contract system of teachers. A state-level protest rally would be held at Jalandhar on October 1, it was announced.

Mr Charan Singh Sarabha, Mr Dyal Singh, Mr Mukhtiar Singh, Mr Dhanna Singh and Mr Piara Singh Dhillon were among others who addressed the protestors.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Hundreds of government school teachers of the town and surrounding areas observed the Teacher’s Day as a protest day and handed over memoranda to the Chief Minister and the Education Minister through District Education Officers at Sangrur today.

According to Mr Sikander Singh Jartoli, district general secretary, hundreds of activists of the union today held a protest march and later went to Sangrur to joint protest in front of DEO’s office. The activists were carrying black flags and placards with slogans against the state government. They handed over memoranda for the Chief Minister and the Education Minister through the DEO office.

“The union has observed that the state government, that had adopted insulting attitude towards teachers in the past, is trying to exploit the sentiments of the builders of the nation by performing a ritual on the Teacher’s Day,” Mr Jartoli said.

Referring to the information received from Mr Daljit Singh and Mr Sucha Singh Khatra, president and the general secretary of the state body, respectively, Mr Jartoli claimed that members of the union boycotted the felicitation functions across the state.

Mr Jartoli alleged that the government had ruined the future of the students by imposing a ban on recruitment for more than four years.

“What to talk of appointing new teachers, the government had kept already burdened teachers busy in non-teaching jobs, a trend that spoiled the results of all board classes,” said the union leader.

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