P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Bhattal warns govt over vendetta
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The leader of the Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal today cautioned the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janta Party government in the state against pursuing policies of vendetta and political victimisation. She cautioned the two parties against testing the patience of the Congress party.

“Instead of addressing urgent issues facing the state, including grant of compensation to farmers who suffered heavy losses in recent spells of unprecedented inclement weather, the Badal government was treading on the path of confrontation making Congress leaders and workers their sole target,” she said.

“We will not take it lying down. Congress is united and will not desist from taking to the streets in defence of its workers and leaders,” added Bhattal.

Talking to The Tribune here this evening, she said that she has been profusely misquoted by a section of the media. “I am very clear in my stand. So is my party. But some media reports have misquoted me about persons who are not even part of the Congress party,” said Bhattal.

“I have been raising the issue in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha urging the SAD-BJP government not to pursue politics of vendetta and political victimisation. Our party workers are being harassed and implicated in false cases in Punjab. It appears that the Badal government is out with a vengeance. This kind of conduct by a government which is not even a month old in office smacks only of vindictiveness towards the Opposition.”

“It became apparent when it took only a few minutes to repeal the Punjab Vigilance Commission Act by throwing all legislative norms and niceties to winds. But such actions of the government are strengthening our resolve to fight out such repressive measures with all our might in a peaceful and democratic way. People of Punjab are with us,” she added.

She again urged the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to instruct the departments concerned not to harass workers and leaders of the Congress party.

“We will have the best of lawyers to defend our leaders and workers against whom the SAD-BJP has registered cases in a tearing hurry but the party leaders and workers were in high spirits to counter this onslaught of the ruthless SAD-BJP regime.”


No vendetta in FIR against Capt: Badal

Ludhiana, March 24
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said today the Vigilance case registered in connection with the City Centre project was based on merits and there was no political vendetta in case.

Talking to reporters at the marriage ceremony of a nephew of SSP Vigilance Kanwarjit Singh, who heads the Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau, Mr Badal said vigilance inquiry conducted during the Congress regime was the basis of the registration of the FIR. He said his government had not put pressure to register the case.

He said the law would take its course and the SAD-BJP government was committed to root out corruption. TNS


Cong men throng Moti Bagh amid raid rumour
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 24
Many Congress workers from Patiala gathered outside New Moti Bagh palace residence of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today evening amidst rumours of Vigilance bureau raid. Though nobody was aware of the origin of rumour but everyone expected the raid was made following the booking of Mr Amarinder Singh in the Ludhiana City Centre scam.

Taking the rumour of raid on the palace seriously guards at the place locked the gate not allowing anyone to enter the premises.

Even the Congress leaders from the city, including the Patiala Mayor Vishnu Sharma, chairman of the improvement trust K.K. Sharma, Sanjeev Garg vice chairman Punjab Agro Industries Corporation and office-bearers of Congress faced difficulty in entering the palace.

None of members of royal family was present in the palace. Even the attendants were not present and place was enveloped in darkness. It was only after the Congress workers were allowed inside the palace that some lights were switched on.

Wife of the former Chief Minister and Patiala MP Preneet Kaur when contacted, was on her way to Patiala. She said I also received phone calls regarding the raid on their residence. I would be returning to Patiala and am ready to face any action being planned by the present government. She also urged her supporters to maintain peace.

Though Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said they would not act with vendetta, but I can expect anything from them. They can even raid our residence in the night.

About the implication of her husband in the Ludhiana City Centre scam she said our government did no wrong in the project. We are ready to face any kind of inquiry in this regard.


Reshuffle of babus after session: CS
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 24
Major reshuffle in Punjab administration will take place after current session of Assembly is over. Chief Secretary Punjab Ramesh Inder Singh stated this to a query from newsmen here today.

He was here to preside over a function organised by the young farmers association in Rakra village 10 km from here.

The Chief Secretary added the recent inclement weather had damaged crop in 1.5 lakh acres across the state. Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal has ordered the secretaries to monitor the survey for assessing damage to crops.

The compensation for damage to crops due to inclement weather has also been increased. Earlier a compensation of Rs 2000 per acre was given for more than 70 per cent damage to crop. However, now it has been increased to Rs 5000 per acre.

The compensation would be paid to the farmers at the earliest, he said.

When asked about the action being taken against former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his Cabinet colleague Chaudhary Jagjit Singh in Ludhiana city centre scam, he said action would be based on facts that come up in the case. The Vigilance bureau has been given freedom to probe the case.

The Chief Secretary speaking on the occasion, urged the farmers to diversify from the traditional cropping pattern. Cultivation of paddy particularly was having adverse impact on the underground water in the state.

Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister DS Guru said profitability in agriculture was going down due to increasing costs of inputs. Economy of Punjab is dependent on agriculture and government would take steps to increase profitability of agriculture.

Organisers of the function gave Dr Amrik Singh Cheema award to the Principal secretary to the Chief Minister.

During the programme new wheat varieties including HD-2852, HD-2894 and WR-544 were demonstrated to the farmers. Experts urged the farmers to give up predominantly used PBW-343 wheat variety in favour of the new varieties. The PBW-343 variety has very little tolerance to heat and has completed its life cycle.

They also urged the farmers to opt for basmati instead of traditional paddy as it requires very less water.


Superstitions, blind faith rules
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 24
Superstitions, myth and blind faith were the order of the day at the Kali temple, here on Saturday.

Lakhs of devotees thronged the temple from early in the morning to pay their obeisance on the sixth day of the navratras mela, along with loads of offerings, including sacrificial goats and hens, liquor, besides the other usual items like oil, dal, sweets, coconuts, bangles and chunnis.

Most of those present believed that offering goats and hens as sacrifice would please goddess Kali and make her shower blessings on them. Others claimed their wishes had been fulfilled by the goddess and they owe her the offerings.

When asked why animals and liquor was being offered to the deity, Karnail Singh of Narwana village, said, “This is a way to please the goddess and escape her wrath. I come here during every navratras along with my entire family because it is a well known fact that whatever one wishes for here, comes true.

Another devotee, Amarjeet Kaur, a resident of Ghagga near Patran village, had brought a goat to offer to the goddess. She said, “The goddess was angry with me and my family for seven years but ever since I started coming to this temple regularly, the deity has become generous to us.”

One had to wait for hours to have a glimpse of the goddess but the devotees stood undeterred, braving the heat and the sun and the coarse road beneath their bare feet.

Offerings worth lakhs of rupees are offered at the temple. Around 20,000 bottles of liquor, 400-500 goats and 100 hens are offered during navratras alone,” said Avtar Singh, a sewadar of the temple.

When the sewadar was asked as to what do the temple authorities do with the offerings, he said, “All the goats and hens are left in the near-by Moti Bagh bir forest after the festival is over. The liquor is put into the sharab kund built within the temple premises.

Sanjeev Hariji Maharaj, president of the All-India Hindu Suraksha Samiti, who runs his office from the temple and is a temple sewadar, also said the same.

However, contradicting all the statements, another temple worker, on condition of anonymity, said, “These goats and hens are sold off after the navratras and the priests are party to it as they fill their own pockets with all the money. The liquor is given to those who come here in search of freebies. A regular visitor to the temple, agreeing with him, added, “I have seen it happening many times.”

When contacted, wildlife authorities said, “It is impossible for anyone to release any animal in the Moti Bagh bir, as it is fenced from all sides. In fact, no one can release any animals in any of the government-owned forests and if anyone does that, the forest authorities traces the owner and returns the animals to them after a challan. If the owners of the animals are untraceable, the forest authorities have the right to auction the animals.

Now, what happens to the animals after navratras is a question that remains unanswered. But one thing has been confirmed is that even in today’s fast-paced, hi-tech world, there are lakhs of people who believe in pleasing God with animal sacrifice.


Mental patient damages minister’s car
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 24
There was a commotion on the premises of Dr Vidya Sagar Institute of Mental Health, when a mentally deranged youth today started dancing atop the official car of health and family welfare minister Lakshmi Kanta Chawla resulting in smashing of the front windscreen, besides damaging the vehicle.

The visibly shaken driver and one of the gunmen, guarding the official vehicle, said they were taken by surprise when a deranged outdoor patient, Sukhwinder Singh (22), a resident of Sultanwind village, in a fit of rage suddenly rushed towards the official car of Chawla. The patient who was brought in a three-wheeler for check up was administered two injections in the hospital. He was tied with a rope but managed free himself before damaging the vehicle. The health minister who was taking round of the hospital along with director of the institute B.L. Goyal rushed towards the vehicle on hearing about the incident.

She said her driver and gunman managed to get hold of the patient whose leg had got trapped in the broken windscreen. Chawla said she wouldn’t recommend any action against the patient who was already suffering from mental disorder. She, however, refuted the charges that the driver of the car had wiped the bloodstains with the Tricolour fluttering on it.

Later, she served 'langar' (community kitchen) to the inmates of the mental hospital and then partook the same. The institute has as many as 333 patients but lacks doctors, nurses and health workers. The minister has been regularly visiting the hospital for past 25 years. The inmates entertained the minister and other guests by organising a cultural program.


Govt will remove corruption: Sukhbir
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, March 24
Fighting with his back to the wall in the disproportionate assets case, working president of the Shiromani Akali Dal Sukhbir Badal yesterday reiterated the commitment of the SAD-BJP alliance to the eradication of corruption from the state.

Speaking to reporters after a felicitation ceremony here, Badal said the government would come down heavily on government officials indulging in irregularities and malpractices.

Recently, a Ropar court had framed charges against Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, his wife Surinder Kaur Badal and Sukhbir Badal in a disproportionate assets case.

Sukhbir Badal also used the opportunity to assure the residents of the Rajpura assembly segment that the government was committed to the overall development of the area, allegedly neglected during the last five years.

Raj Khurana, who won on the SAD-BJP ticket in the recent assembly elections, had been alleging that the Amarinder Singh government had meted out a “step-motherly” treatment to the area. Raj Khurana was a Congress MLA in 2002-2007 and joined the BJP just before the February 2007 elections.

Earlier, addressing the felicitation function, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, cooperation minister, assured the residents that their aspirations would be fulfilled by the government. The SAD-BJP rule was the beginning of the people's rule as during the Congress regime direct contact between the rulers and the people had snapped, the minister asserted.

Meanwhile, a delegation, led by Khurana, presented a memorandum demanding the shifting of the liquor factory from Devi Nagar. Sukhbir Badal assured the delegation that the government would keep residents' reservations about the liquor project in mind while taking a final decision.

Senior leaders, including Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur, Kripal Singh Badungar, Surjit Singh Rakhra, Balwinder Singh Saifdipur, Jasjit Singh Bunny, Surjit Singh Garhi and Prem Singh Chandumajra, were prominent among those present at the occasion.


SAD meetings on March 30
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Acting president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Sukhbir Singh Badal has convened meetings of the general council and the working committee of the party here on March 30.

The meeting of the general council will be held in the forenoon and the of the working committee in the afternoon.


Working tirelessly for a noble cause
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 24
“Blood donation is simpler than giving someone water to drink.” These words of Sat Paul Bansal (58), a regular blood donor and social worker, rang a bell in many-a-ear and left us wondering if it is actually that simple. Says Bansal: “It takes just 10 minutes to donate one unit of blood. The only thing required is motivation, which sadly, is lacking.”

“In fact, most people are scared to give blood because they feel their health might get affected by it. I want people to know that donating blood under expert medical supervision is completely safe and does not harm the human body. All healthy adults between the age of 18-65 can give blood,” teaches Bansal.

Bansal, who is a member of the Indian Red Cross Society and the Indian Society of Blood Transfusion and Immuno-haematology, says educating masses about blood donation is the mission of his life. “I want to make people realise that they can save lives by donating blood,” he adds.

Bansal feels that 20 per cent persons who use blood collected through camps have no contribution in the donation. This disturbs the demand and supply of blood, the result being that during emergencies, many people have to depend upon private donors, who unfortunately, have made donating blood, a business activity.

“Organising blood donation camps alone cannot solve the purpose unless people are motivated to come forward in larger numbers”, Bansal remarks.

Bansal, a retired branch manager of the State Bank of Patiala, has, so far donated blood 128 times. He has been holding special talks in Patiala schools since many years to make children aware about the importance of donating blood.

“I have tried seeking help from social organisations but none have so far come forward to take up the cause,” Bansal says with a hint of sadness in his voice.

Bansal is waiting for the day when some organisation will take notice of his tireless efforts and come forward to help him. Until then, he continues to work tirelessly to get people to donate blood.


Committed to reviving algoza
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 24
“The algoza is a dying art and I want to revive it; not only in Punjab but also all over the world,” says Jaswinder Singh (27), a young artist from Patiala, who plays algoza with a lot of passion.

Jaswinder recently won a competition organised by the North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, for the Algoza art form. He received a cash prize of Rs 10,000, a certificate and a memento. In all, four participants had come from all over Punjab.

Algoza is a type of double flute and is traditionally played along with Punjabi folk music.

Jaswinder has been playing the algoza for the last eight years and has been a regular participant in the Inter-University Youth Festival since six years and has won five gold and three silver medals. Jaswinder says: “There are no takers of this art form. It is really sad that today youngsters are running only after money and do not care about creativity, art and culture.”

“The real soul of Punjabi music is nearing death and I want to revive it and spread it among the masses,” he adds.

“I trained under a very senior musician, Moti Ram of Patiala, and it was he who inspired me to take up this instrument as a hobby. Now it has become a passion,” Jaswinder says.

When asked if he would bring out an album of his own, like many Punjabi youth, the shy man shakes his head. “I play the algoza only for my own satisfaction and will not like to commercialise my hobby.”

A wise and rare thought, coming from a very talented youth man!


20 lakh TB cases in India, says doctor
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 24
Since the inception of revised national TB control programme (RNTCP) in January 2003 in the district, more than 45,000 persons suspected to be suffering from tuberculosis have availed the benefit of free sputum examination. Besides this, 10,000 persons have taken advantage of free treatment during the past four years in the district.

Civil surgeon S.K. Bansal while addressing a gathering on the occasion of ‘World TB Day’ at the local civil hospital today stated this. He said the RNTCP was started to control the spread of tuberculosis and reduce the death rates due to it.

Chest and TB specialist and in charge district TB centre Surinder Singla told the gathering that tuberculosis was linked with AIDS, drug abuse and HIV infection.

He said out of 55 lakh HIV-infected persons in India more than 20 lakh people were suffering from tuberculosis alone. He also emphasized on safe sex, safe blood transfusion and safe injection procedure to control spread of HIV/AIDS.

Later, a TB awareness rally was taken out through the main bazar, which concluded at the War Heroes Stadium. A large number of students took part in the rally.


‘Superstition’ behind son’s murder
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, March 24
A local court today remanded Rajinder Singh, accused of murdering his 11-year-old son, in police custody till March 28.

According to sources, the prosecution sought his police remand as the accused was to be interrogated for his motive behind the murder. Superstition is suspected to be behind the crime.

Rajinder had allegedly strangulated his son Arshpreet yesterday inside a gurdwara in Dalima Colony here.


Campaign on environmental issues
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 24
The department of social work of Punjabi University, organised a one-day national environment campaign in village Sehra of district Patiala, here today. The basic purpose was to sensitize villagers, farmers and rural population on environmental issues.

Faculty and students of the department and teachers of the primary school of the village participated in the programme. Dr Manjit Singh, head of the department inaugurated the programme. Navneet Virk, general executive of Manthan, an NGO, disseminated information on organic farming.

The programme was sponsored by the Punjab Council for Science and Technology, Chandigarh.


Train engine catches fire passengers, unharmed

Ferozepore, March 24
Passengers on board a DMU train had miraculous escape after its engine caught fire on the Ferozepur-Jalandhar section this afternoon, Assistant Divisional Railway Manager R.S Ghera said here.

Mr Ghera added that the engine driver halted the train near Mohalam railway station and with the help of the passengers, decoupled the engine from the other compartments. The engine was destroyed completely in the fire, he said.

Unconfirmed reports said a few passengers on noticing flames jumped off the DMU train and received minor injuries. However no cases were reported from any of the hospitals in the region.

Mr Ghera said preliminary investigations revealed the fire was caused due to a technical fault in the engine. An inquiry has been ordered into the incident.


Chaudhary cautions against troop withdrawal

Hoshiarpur, March 24
The PDP’s demand for withdrawing armed forces from Jammu and Kashmir should not be accepted till the restoration of peace in the state. Former MP and member of the SAD political affairs committee Kamal Chaudhary expressed these views here today.

He said terrorists were still massacring innocent civilians in Jammu and Kashmir. More than 50,000 innocent persons had been killed so far. Now, militants were not only targeting Army camps but also public meetings of VIPs. — OC


Foundation stone for judicial complex laid
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, March 24
“To expedite the filling of posts of judge in lower courts, talks are going on with the state government to bring the recruitment of judges out of the ambit of the PPSC Punjab Police Services Commission so that the judges were recruited by directly by the high court,” stated Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Vijender Jain.

He was presiding over the foundation stone laying ceremony of new judicial complex to be constructed at cost of Rs 11.80 crore in Sessions Court premises here today.

The Chief Justice Jain also inaugurated the state-level lok adalat. He was accompanied by Justice Mehtaab Singh, Justice Rajiv Bhalla, Justice Pritam Pal, Justice M M Aggarwal, Justice Ranjit Singh, Justice H S Bhalla, Justice Surya Kant, Justice A N Jindal, Justice MMS Bedi, Justice Munish Grover, Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice S B Anand. Advocate General H S Mattewal, Major General Minush Sibal GOC 7 Div, Sessions Judge U S Gera, DC Bhagwant Singh, SSP D P Singh were also present on the occasion.

Mr Justice Jain said judge could not handle more than 500 cases but on the contrary, there were almost 9000 cases with High Court judge, around 4000 to 6000 cases with the Sessions Judge and more than 6000 cases were with judges in other lower courts today.

Mr Justice Jain further said to expedite justice to people, the process of lok adalats had been initiated. He said that a permanent lok adalat would be established at Ferozepore.

On the occasion, Justice Jain stressed on the need for dispelling illiteracy which he said was the main reason behind increasing legal cases.

Justice Jain said that though the objective of creating new districts was often political but while carving out new district, the establishment of sessions court and judicial complex should be kept in mind.

He exhorted the NGO’s, and social service organizations to work against evils like female foeticide and drug addiction and also ensure dignity and respect of women in the society. Mr Justice Mehtaab Singh Chairman Building Committee said that the judicial complex being constructed in Ferozepore would be completed in 18 months for which the state government had already released first payment of Rs 70 lakh.

He told that the state government has released Rs 4 crore for construction of new judicial complexes but almost Rs 100 crores was required for the purpose.


Police beats up widow, husband for remarrying
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, March 24
A widow who has re-married recently, was allegedly beaten up by the police in Sarhali village in the presence of village elders. Widow Paramjit Kaur, a complained to the police against her first husband’s parents and members of her own family, alleging they had misbehaved with her as they objected to her remarriage.

Paramjit Kaur (27), a mother of three children of Khara village married Sukhwinder Singh (21), of the same village recently, after her first husband died five years ago in an accident.

In her statement to the police, Paramjit Kaur alleged the family of her first husband was objecting to her second marriage because she had got compensation of Rs 7 lakh from an insurance company. Her first husband was working as an SPO with the Punjab Police.

She has alleged on March 17, the family of her first husband and her own family members came to her residence and started beating her up and wanted her break up marriage with Sukhwinder Singh.

On the complaint of Paramjit Kaur the Sarhali police summoned both parties to the police station on March 18. ASI Lakhwinder Singh was deputed to investigate the matter.

Paramjit alleged instead of taking action against the accused named in her complaint, the ASI started thrashing her and her husband with a stick in the presence of village elders.

Sukhwinder Singh was produced today here before mediapersons by the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Punjab Istri Sabha. The parties alleged the ASI had violated instructions of the Punjab CM against misbehaving with women in police stations and demanded action against the ASI.

The two parties said they had submitted an application to the SSP.

SSP Pawan Kumar Rai expressed ignorance about the case and said whenever some written complaint comes to his notice he would take action.

Such incident had happened at a police station in Amritsar only a week back in which a domestic help was beaten up.

The SHO of the police station was later suspended by the SSP.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Punjab Istri Sabha have taken serious note of beating by the ASI and demanded action against the ASI who dared to do an illegal act in the presence of elders.


Two pilgrims killed in road accident
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 24
When Jagatar Singh, a resident of Gulabgarh village, left the historical Maiserkhana temple after paying obeisance along with his kin, little did he realise that a tragedy was waiting for them near their home.

Tragedy struck Jagatar Singh when two women, who were travelling in Maruti van along with them, died on spot when it collided head on with a speeding jeep near Katar Singh Wala village on the Bathinda- Mansa road today.

The accident that took place 3 km away from the house of the deceased, also left 14 persons injured.

The injured persons were being treated at local civil and private hospitals.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that Gurpreet Kaur (32) and Jaswinder Kaur (62) died on the spot. Twelve persons were travelling in the van when the accident took place.

While the occupants of the jeep were going to Maiserkhana temple from Matili town of Rajasthan.

The occupants of Maruti van were coming to their village after paying their obeisance at Maiserkhana.

Those injured have been identified as Gurjant Singh, Jagtar Singh, Simran, Karamjit Kaur, Somnath (driver of the van), Jaswinder Singh, Manmohan Singh, Angrej Kaur, Karamjit Kaur (all occupants of Maruti van). Vijay Kumar, Charanji Lal, Naresh Kumar, Sahil, Darshna Devi, Veer Chand and Sunita Rani.

Jagtar Singh and Charanji Lal, who suffered multiple fractures and whose condition was stated to be serious, were being treated at a private hospital.

Occupants of the van and the jeep had also suffered multiple injuries, including fractures, but they were responding to the treatment at the local civil hospital. Vijay Kumar was driving the jeep when the accident took place.


300 species of moth identified
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 24
Under a project allocated by the Ministry for Environment and Forests, researchers from the Department of Zoology of Punjabi University have identified about 300 species of moth across the state including many reported for the first time. These include about 50 species in fast-decaying Shivalik Hills in Punjab.

Dr H.S. Rose, principal investigator in the project told The Tribune earlier there was no record of moths (popularly known as ‘parvana’ in Punjabi) in country. The moths form an important part of bio-diversity in various eco systems.

The Ministry of Environment and forest wanted to start conservation measures to protect bio-diversity in the country. However, there was no record or date on which the conservation measures could be focused. So, the ministry allotted the project to collect data and create inventory of moths across the country to them.

After the allocation of the project, researchers from the department in the past seven years have collected data regarding 300 species. The plume moths are least studied species in the country. They are found in low altitude hills. Two researchers from the university are still recording new varieties of moth in Uttaranchal and Western Ghats, he said.

The research is rare and is carried out under the All-India coordinated project on taxonomy. It includes survey, collection, identification, preservation and maintenance of collections, preparing data banks, developing manuals and training of human resource.

Dr H.S. Rose added inferences derived from the data collected by the researchers would be sent to the Department of Forest and Wildlife in respective states. It will help them take measures to preserve the registered moth varieties. Though a lot is being said about the declining species of mammals but nobody is caring about insects that are equally important for maintaining the bio-diversity of the area, he said.

A workshop was conducted in the Department of Zoology to make various groups concerned aware about the research project.

Experts on subject including Dr S.S. Bir, Professor I.J.S. Bansal, Professor M.S. Saini and Dr Devinder Singh participated in today’s workshop.


DIG exhorts teachers to fight social evils
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 24
Exhorting students and teachers to launch a crusade against social evils like female foeticide, dowry, drug addiction that has been plaguing the society, DIG (jails) Kunwar Vijay Partap said these problems were interrelated and NGOs should come forward to uproot them.

He was speaking at an inaugural session of the three-day seminar on ‘Sensitization of Social Problems: Role of Adult Education’ being organized by the Department of Adult Continuing Education, Guru Nanak Dev University, here today. Former vice-chancellor of Lucknow University D.P.Singh inaugurated the seminar while vice-chancellor Jai Rup Singh presided over the inaugural session.

He said the adult continuing education and extension centre established by the university in Amritsar Central Jail was imparting training to jail inmates in TV maintenance, computer basics and dress designing. He also announced that the centre in collaboration with the university would be organizing its first-ever convocation for the inmates.


PTU to open coaching centres in rural areas
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, March 24
To promote technical education and hunt for talents, Punjab Technical University (PTU), Jalandhar, will open coaching centres in rural areas. The two weeks coaching would be provided free of cost. This will help students in preparing for combined entrance tests (CET) to be conducted by the university for seeking admission in different courses offered by various technical institutes affiliated to the university.

PTU Vice-chancellor S.K. Salwan, who inaugurated "Virasat 2007", a cultural and heritage fair organized at Sri Sai College of Engineering and Technology, Badhani, said the university had decided to provide technical education to the students belonging to the rural areas. The coaching centers would become operational from next year.

The university has also chalked out plans that the students undergoing coaching may not have to travel more than 10 km to join coaching classes. Expert teachers in different faculties would prepare the students at these centers for the CETs, he added.


Call to produce quality food
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 24
The two-day national conference on ‘Food and Nutrition Security: Food and Biotechnologies Interventions’ concluded at the Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET), Longowal, 20 km from here on Friday.

Chief guest and director of the SLIET Dr S.K. Pandey stressed upon the need to integrate the knowledge of utilising the tools of material science, biotechnology and information technology into food technology to have quality food products, which were nutritive and helped sustain health.

She also called up the scientists to think to produce quality food to meet the global standards. If the USA could produce orange oil and other rare food items then why not India, so all participants should think in this direction.

Scientists from Mysore, Mumbai, Karnal and Ludhiana presented work in the form of oral and poster presentations.


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