L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Schools come under one roof
Parents throng the exhibition
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, February 21
Are you a parent looking for an 'ideal school' for quality education, then here's good news! The third India and International Premier Schools Exhibition (IIPSE) started here today. The two-day event has been organised at Majestic Park Plaza, Ludhiana.

The exhibition will showcase some of the best and finest schools from across India all under one roof. The exhibition opens a plethora of options before parents and guardians, on the verge of deciding the academic future of their children.

The exhibition offers a wide choice of schools to parents ranging from the finest international schools, residential and boarding schools to day schools from various parts of India. At the exhibition, the parents get an opportunity to meet and interact directly with school authorities, principals, admission officer of the finest schools, providing authentic and relevant information to parents about their respective schools, fee structure, admission procedure and answering the queries of parents.

The exhibition gives an insight to parents of the changing pattern of schools education in India and also about the significance and importance of international curriculum. Besides, schools offering ICSE and CBSE curriculum, this exhibition also features the international schools offering international curriculum from University of Cambridge, U.K and International Baccalaureate (IB).

The 'Premier Schools Exhibition' has today grown into the biggest scholastic event of it's kind in India and offers a unique interface between schools, parents and service providers to schools. More than 20 schools are participating at the exhibition from Delhi, Murnbai, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Dalhousie, Faridabad, Ludhiana, along with many other schools from various states have assembled in the city, for the third IIPSE. Schools from India offering primary, middle and secondary level with their varied board examination affiliations like ICSE, CBSE, IGCSE and IB will be present here.

Transparency, authentic information, direct interaction with school representatives is the key feature of the exhibition. "We first conceived IIPSE as a platform to meet the growing demand for quality education, but today we find students and parents lacking time and access to authentic information about school education, using it as a time & cost effective medium to make the right choices!" says Mr Sanjeev Bolia, CEO, Afairs.



Raise tax limit to Rs 2 lakh: INTUC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) has sought enhancement in the income tax limit from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh in the forthcoming Union Budget.

In its pre-budget recommendations, INTUC appealed to the finance minister to enhance the limit in view of high inflation rate. It also emphasised the need for a better social security system with higher pensions and free medical treatment.

Balwant Rai Kapoor, president, INTUC, said, “ in case of interest on income of bank deposits there should be no TDS (tax deducted at source) so that people invest more in banks. To promote national savings, the exemption limit for investments in the NSCs, LIC, PPF, Insurance Pension Plans etc should be enhanced from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh."

The members of the INTUC also said there was a need to change the existing structure of multiple income-tax slabs. "There should only be two income-tax slabs. For income up to Rs 5 lakh, the rate can be 10 per cent and it can be 20 per cent for income exceeding Rs 5 lakh," said Shiv Gupta, general secretary.

It was said income tax exemptions would raise the level of gross domestic savings and could also help control steep rise of inflation.

Besides, the Centre needed to plan social security for tax payers as was prevalent in other counties. 



Anti-adulteration drive stepped up
Eateries told to display ingredients on boards
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 21
Dr Yash Pal Singla, Civil Surgeon, has issued directions to owners of eateries, including hotels, restaurants, sweet shops and bakeries, as also manufacturers and sellers of other articles of food, to put up noticeboards, carrying information about cooking mediums within the next seven days.

The boards should state whether items being offered for sale were cooked in pure ghee, edible oil, vanaspati or other fats for the information of the intending purchasers. The defaulters will be challaned under rule 50 (7) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act,1954, from March 1, 2007.

Dr Singla also made an appeal to public to buy good quality food items to avoid falling prey to diseases caused by adulterated or sub-standard food items. He asked the people to send confidential information, with their contact number, to him against those indulging in adulteration or sale of poor quality eatables. The district control room regarding this kind of information has been set up (with phone number 0161-2444193).

The Civil Surgeon made it clear that in the coming days campaign against manufacture and sale of adulterated and sub-standard eatables will be intensified.



JCO killed in avalanche
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
Mortal remains of a Junior Commissioned Officer of the Army Bir Singh, who died in an avalanche in Sikkim, along with three colleagues recently, will reach his native Khudai Chak village near Sidhwan Bet on February 23.

He will be cremated in the village crematorium with the guard of honour as per the Army traditions. As soon as the news of his death reached the village today morning, a pall of gloom descended with villagers rushing to his house to pay condolences to his father and four brothers.

Serving the 6 Sikh Regiment for the past 19 years, Bir Singh had been reported dead two days ago. He had gone missing on February 18 along with three others after a heavy snowfall. They were on a routine patrol on the China border in Sikkim at more than 4,000 meters above the sea level.

After a thorough search, all of them were declared missing on February 19 and were declared dead after the recovery of the bodies of three jawans yesterday. The other two jawans are said to be from Pathankot and Hoshiarpur.

Mr Amar Singh, deceased's father, said his promotion to the rank of Subedar was due and he was about to retire from the Army, having a neat and honest service of 19 years.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters aged 13 and 6 years. They are residing at their maternal grandparents house at Pharwali village and studying in a school there. 



Ex-serviceman crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, February 21
Encroachment on Machhiwara-Rahon Road near Udhowal village has claimed the life of an ex-serviceman of the same village. He was crushed to death by a truck which went out of control on this part of the road.

Deceased Manjit Singh was coming back home on a motorcycle after discharging his night duty at a mill near Machhiwara, when he was crushed to death on the spot. He is survived by a son and a married daughter.

Expressing resentment over the incident, the residents of the village, including sarpanch Balwant Singh and former sarpanch Parkash Singh, have held the district administration responsible for the death of Manjit Singh as no one has yet removed the encroachment.

The villagers have warned the administration to remove the encroachment by February 26, or else they would block the traffic on this road.



3 killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Khamano, February 21
Two members of a family, including a girl and her mother, were among three persons killed during a road mishap near village Jatana Ucha, near here, on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana road. One person seriously injured is fighting for life at the PGI, Chandigarh.

According to information collected on the spot, CTU Bus No. CH-IG-5851 was going towards Ludhiana from Chandigarh. It collided head-on with a Santro Car No. PB-08AK-6484 and the bus overturned. A scooterist was going by the side. The bus fell on the scooter. After hearing loud noises, the villagers of village Jatana Ucha gathered on the scene. In the meantime, a person informed the Khamano police station and SHO Sukhjit Singh Virk reached the spot with ambulance. Rescue operations were launched immediately and bus passengers were saved.



NCAER, Max New York Life survey
Most people do not invest wisely
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
Most Indian households, rural as well as urban, have little or no awareness about the need for financial protection. Despite accelerating economic growth, majority of people have inadequate financial protection.

Findings of a survey of over 63,000 Indian households conducted by Max New York Life Insurance Company Limited and the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), revealed that 51 per cent of them deposited their savings in banks and 36 per cent simply kept their savings at home.

According to Gary Bennett, managing director and CEO of Max New York Life, there is lack of understanding about the real benefits of life insurance towards both financial protection and long-term wealth creation. The Life Insurance industry needs to educate Indian households about their risk profile, through sound quality advice and the right mix of product offerings.

Commenting on the findings of the survey, Suman Bery, director general, NCAER, says, "The results broadly confirm the fact that Indian households are in the habit of saving and also that they are fundamentally optimistic about their financial future. However, for almost a quarter of households across the income spectrum, current income is insufficient for their routine and unusual expenditure. While governments have a role to play for the poorest households, in general financial security is the responsibility of each household and both needs and options available are more complex today than before.”

Elaborating further on the survey, NCAER official, added, "This is a first-of-its-kind study that assesses the income, expenditure and saving patterns of households based on primary data. The key objective was to evaluate the financial risk profile of Indian households by assessing how they earn, spend and save and to understand the significance and potential of life insurance in particular as a risk-mitigating tool for Indian households.”

The financial risk, spending and borrowing habits of Indian households, their perceptions about financial security and low ownership of life insurance, all point to significant opportunities ahead for the industry. These opportunities emanate from the fact that while a vast majority of Indians are aware of life insurance, only 24 per cent of households own a life cover.

Most Indians have a misplaced optimism and tend to believe that ‘nothing will happen to them’ and that ‘savings will take care of things’ in case something happens. 



Indo-Pak psychiatrists call for stronger bonds
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 21
An Indian delegation of mental health professionals led by Dr A.K. Kala, President, Indo-Pak Punjab Psychiatric Society, attended the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) conference at Lahore from 15 to 19 February. The conference was dedicated to mental health problems in developing countries.

Dr Kala made a presentation on “Mental Health Legislations Suitable for Developing Countries”. He also delivered a talk on “Lessons from Partition: Making Sense of History”.

He was interviewed live on PTV World on mental health issues in the region. Dr Gurmeet Singh, a senior psychiatrist from Patiala, Dr Ravinder Kala, a Ludhiana-based psychologist, Dr D.J. Singh, a psychologist, and deputy director, Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, also took part in the conference. A workshop on physical and psychological rehabilitation of the patients was organised.

It was decided by the WPA to launch a collaborative research project on “Emotional Expressivity in Families of Schizophrenic Patients” with the Department of Psychology at Government College University, Lahore, in the near future.

Delineating his experiences, Dr A.K. Kala said the Indian team received a lot of love and warmth form their Pakistani friends There was positive communication and during the panel discussion on partition, it was expressed that now the focus should be on forgiving and healing the psyche on both sides of the border so that the basic bonds of love got strengthened.

"It was evident from the discussions and behaviour of people that the division of lands did not lead to division of minds and hearts. Everybody hoped for a positive and a participative phase between India and Pakistan and this bond will continue to strengthen in the days to come," added Dr Kala.



Senior citizens seek effective policy on protection
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 21
Senior citizens here have doubts about the effective implementation of the much hyped forthcoming legislation which provides them legal remedy against neglect by their children. They feel that the national policy on older persons has always made little impact.

R.R.Katyal, a senior citizen and general secretary, Kidwai Nagar Welfare Association, said that it was unfortunate that elders, which formed about 50 per cent of the total population, generally lived in miserable conditions and died uncared for. The nuclear families under the present materialistic era had also affected the elders.

He said that the national policy on elders mentioned that shelter was basically a human need. It further motivated the earning persons to invest in their housing so that they had no problem when they grew old. "But as ill-luck would have it, the elders are forced to vacate even their own houses by their children. They are refused meals even on payment and widows and widowers are forced to live in old age homes", said Katyal. He further added that the proposed legislation should have the provision that no child would stay at his father's self acquired house, if he could not look after the parents.

Yash Paul Ghai, another senior citizen and general secretary of Senior Citizens Forum of Kidwai Nagar, said that the government must ensure that elders were not harassed by their own anymore. He said they could leave peacefully by engaging themselves in Red Cross activities, maintaining parks and campaigning against social evils like female foeticide and drug addiction etc.

S.K.Thamman, organising secretary of All India Senior Citizens Organisation, said that senior citizens should be given due respect at government offices by the employees. Suitable protection should be provided to the aged couples living alone in their flats and houses. He said that there was a need for the formulation of a model legislation in this regard. The senior citizens deserve free medical aid, suitable homes, allotment of funds, day care, recreational centres, free bus fare scheme, concession in railway fares and quota in allotment of flats etc.



People cautioned against Hepatitis-B
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 21
The Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), on the invitation of the Lions Club, Raikot, organised a medical check-up and awareness camp for gastro and liver diseases free of cost.

Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina, Professor and Head of the Department of Gastroenterology at the DMCH, along with other team members, examined more than 200 patients. Those who attended the camp were also given health education on various types of liver diseases with special reference to viral Hepatitis B and C. During the camp, the importance of Hepatitis B vaccination was also emphasised.

According to Dr Chhina, Hepatitis B was one of the major liver diseases prevalent in the North in spite of being a preventable disease. It was mentioned that India fell into the intermediate zone (2-7 per cent) of Hepatitis B incidence and approximately 1/10th of Hepatitis B cases occurred in India.



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