L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

‘Pulses Mission’ to boost production 
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
Despite growing demand due to increasing population and preference for vegetarian food, the production of pulses in India remains far too low than the requirement.

This is mainly being attributed to the non-availability of the quality seeds and preference for the cash crops like wheat and paddy.

However, the government of India is laying a special focus on enhancing their production in the country and launched a ‘Pulses Mission’.

This is aimed to check the rising prices of pulses which are going beyond the reach of a common man.

According to Masood Ali, director of the Indian Institute of Pulses Research, Kanpur, the country’s production of pulses never exceeded 14 million tonnes.

He identified shortage of quality seed as the major culprit for the low production. Besides, insect-pests and diseases limited the production of pulses.

Ali was here to participate in the annual group meet of the All India Coordinated Research Project on pulses organised in Punjab Agricultural University.

Giving details about the ‘Pulses Mission’ of the finance minister, P. Chidambaram, he said a plan had been prepared with the target to double the seed production in three years.

He suggested a three-pronged strategy to augment the pulse production which would be taken into consideration pre-breeding, exploration and mutation, in addition to an integrated approach in agronomy and soil management.

He said if we could halve the post harvest/ storage losses which stand at Rs 58000 crore today, we would be self-reliant in pulse production without any requirement for their import.

He said the institute had identified three centres of excellence for research. Agricultural Research Station, Badnapur (Maharashtra), was identified for pigeon pea, GB Pant University for agriculture and technology, Pantnagar for urd bean and Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, for summer moong.

M.S.Kang, vice-chancellor of PAU, said pulses provide high-value food, nutritional security and alleviate malnutrition to masses.

The biological nitrogen fixed by pulses not only met their own requirement but also helped in enhancing the yield of succeeding cereals.

About pulse production statistics, Kang said about 55 million tonnes are produced globally and a declining trend had been witnessed in the same. India being the largest producer and consumer of pulses in the world accounted for 33 per cent of the world area and 22 per cent of the world production.

However, the domestic demand of consumption was increasing rapidly. Despite being the largest producer in the world, there had been a decline in the Indian output. The global mismatch in demand and supply had made the prices of pulses sky-rocket everywhere, he concluded.



Benefits of laser levelling highlighted at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
The department of farm power and machinery, PAU, Ludhiana, organised a two-day training programme on laser leveller for the secretaries and tractor operators of cooperative societies on May 15 and 16. Eighteen participants from different cooperative societies from different districts of Punjab participated in the programme. These members were sponsored by the joint registrar, cooperative societies, Jalandhar division.

Presiding over the concluding function last evening, additional director of extension education Dr Satpal Mehra said the use of laser levelling would not only help reduce water requirement but also reduce electricity consumption, which in turn would help provide more area under irrigation.

He said, “Underground water reservoir is depleting at an alarming rate, therefore, water management needs utmost attention. Laser levelling ensures uniform level of water throughout the entire field and that in turn ensures uniform germination and growth of the crop in the entire field. It also suppresses the weeds. In fact this also saves all other costly farm inputs to the advantage of the farmers”.

Dr Mehra informed that the PAU was planning the introduction of laser levelling technology in a big way. He also mentioned that the cooperative department of the state had already purchased 50 laser levellers to undertake laser levelling on cooperative basis.

Senior agricultural engineer-cum-head Dr S.S. Ahuja informed that this training programme was designed to upgrade the knowledge and skills of secretaries, tractor operators and progressive farmers.

During the programme, trainees were also given practical training hints on trouble shooting and fault finding operations. Dr Ahuja said agricultural machinery was very costly and out of the reach of small and medium farmers.

Cooperative hiring or contracting are ideal solutions for providing farm machinery services to small farmers at a low cost. The sustainability of agriculture heavily depended upon the availability of irrigation water. Laser levelling not only helped reduce water requirement but also improved input and water use efficiency. 



From Schools
Dr Pathak interacts with KVM teachers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 17
An eminent international physicist and former VC of Panjab University, K.N. Pathak, addressed teachers of Kundan Vidya Mandir School, here, today and spoke of the value based education and induction of science subject at grass root level

The principal S.C.Saxsena welcomed him. He advised the teachers to possess good knowledge of the subject and develop good communicative skills.

He also laid stress on the need for refresher courses, workshops and orientation programmes for all round development of the students.

International Family Day

Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School, Ludhiana, celebrated International Family Day and birth anniversary of patriot and martyr Sukhdev Singh, here, today.

Students of the various classes decorated a tree and named it as a family tree. They displayed the tree in the school premises.

In the morning assembly, Jatinder of class X delivered a speech highlighting the importance of Family Day.

Vivek Azad of class IX spoke about the martyrdom of the great freedom fighter Sukhdev Singh, Bhagat Singh and Raj Guru who laid down their lives for their motherland. The students also paid homage to the great martyrs.

While addressing the students, Avinash Kaur Walia, director and founder, said all should follow the path shown by the great martyrs.

Protests observed

A protest against the chief of Dera Sacha Sauda was organised by the Baba Isher Singh (N) Education Trust.

Baba Isher School, BRS Bagar, Ludhiana announced that the school will remain close on May 18 to protest against the intolerable activities of the chief of Dera Sacha Sauda.

All educational institutions run under the guidance of Dhan Dhan Baba Harbhajan Singh Ji Nanaksar Kaleran will also remain close.

The president, Dr Manmohan Singh Chahal and the trustees of the school, Santokh Singh, Amrik Singh Bansal, Harbhajan Singh Sandhu and Manjit Singh Walia, expressed disapproval for hurting the sentiments of the whole sikh community.

Martyr remembered

Students and staff of Shanti Niketan Adarsh Vidyala, organised a function to pay homage to martyr Sukhdev, here, today. The function started with a patriotic song. Principal Randhir Sharma, asked the students to draw inspiration from the life of Sikhdev.



Training workshop for govt computer teachers 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 17
A three-day teachers training programme for the computer faculty of government schools commenced at the Government In-service Teachers Training Centre (GITC) here today. The programme is being conducted on the directions of the director general, school education, and the Punjab ICT Education Society (PICTES).

Principal of the GITC Gurdeep Kaur told the media that exclusive training was being provided to computer teachers working in government schools. “Teachers are being equipped with the knowledge of teaching methodology, teaching skills as well as the development of multimedia content for teaching of English”, she said.

Coordinator for the programme Savita Chadha, a lecturer in English, said the development of multimedia content for teaching of English for Class VII was being taken up at the GITC. She disclosed that about 70 computer teachers were being trained in the first phase and about 180 more teachers would be trained in the next two phases.

Edusat coordinator Dr Shashi Trehan said relevant material was being provided to computer faculty for developing soft and hard copies. As per the Punjab School Education Board syllabus, the assignments were being allocated to them

Assistant coordinator (edusat) Davinder Singh Chhina said these trained computer teachers would be developing projects in their respective schools, using project based learning methods during the summer vacation.

Principal Gurdeep Kaur also mentioned that such type of training was being provided for the first time to the computer teachers. The teachers were showing full enthusiasm towards the existing programme.

Anil Kumar Ghai and Ritu Bhandari were the resource persons. Others present on the occasion included GITC lecturers Pradeep Kumar, Shivani, Balbir Kaur, Prem Lal Sharma, Asha Joshi, H.S. Manocha, Surinderpal Kaur and others. These training schedules are running simultaneously at all DIETs and GITCs in the state. 



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