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AGRICULTURE

Farmers up in arms against importing wheat at Rs 1125 per quintal
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
As the union government prepares to ink the contract for the supply of wheat from the foreign companies at the rate of Rs 1125 per quintal, farmers in Punjab are up in arms against this decision.

According to Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board and president of the the Bhartiya Kisan Union, Punjab, this was ridiculous as wheat in the country was purchased at a minimum support price of Rs 750 per quintal only (with Rs 100 bonus per quintal valid till May 31).

The farmers have been demanding that the government should pay them the same price for wheat at which it was importing it. They maintained that the wheat import tenders which were opened recently found Rs 1125 per quintal as the minimum cost. Plus there would be transportation charges, they pointed out.

They said if the same price was paid to the farmers they could produce wheat on a large scale and there would be no need to import it from abroad.

The shortfall in the procurement of wheat this year is being attributed to the fact that farmers have withheld it in the hope to get better prices later. Despite a sustained campaign by the government to persuade, even pressurise, farmers to sell off their wheat, the targets were not met. With the result, the government decided to import one million tonnes of wheat. It is also planning to import about 5 million tonnes more to ensure the adequate buffer stocks in the country.

The government has been maintaining that the price of the domestic wheat once it reaches to the southern part of the country comes to almost the same as that of the imported wheat since it directly lands at the southern ports.

Even the union minister of state for agriculture, Akhilesh Kumar Singh, had said the price of the imported wheat once all details are worked out and compared with that of the domestic wheat is too negligible, only about 27 paise per quintal more. However, the farmers are not accepting these arguments saying this was simple manipulation of figures only. 

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Middle standard exam
Poor performance by Machhiwara schools
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, May 27
Poor performance of a number of schools in Middle standard exam in the Machhiwara area has become cause of worry for the educationists of the area. A look at the result gazette shows that only one dozen schools have crossed the pass percentage more than 50. Rest of schools could not succeed to get pass percentage of even 50 per cent.

Manpreet Singh, a student of Chopra Public Senior Secondary School, Machhiwara, has been the only ray of hope by bagging a place in merit list.

Meanwhile, a record of sorts was created at Government Middle School Kachcha Machhiwara where none out of the 24 students managed to pass the exam.

The schools that have touched the figure of pass percentage of over 50 per cent, include Moon Light Hedon(92.85%),Shaheed Bhagat Singh Public High School Machhiwara(90%), Shakti Public Senior Secondary School Machhiwara(85%), Gurmat Public School Jhraudi(84.6%), Harjas Public School(76%), Government Senior Secondary School For Girls Machhiwara(69.56%), Chopra Senior Secondary School Machhiwara(68.49%), Government Middle School Sherian(65.38%), Government Middle School Panjeta(64%), Shaheed Bhagat Singh Public School Takhran(60.65%) and Government High School Powat (60%).

Those schools who could not touch the 50 per cent are Government Middle School Ratipur (46.66%), Government Senior secondary School Lubangarh, Government Middle School Rahimabad Kalan and Government High School Uppal(40 per cent each),Government Middle School Rahimabad Khurd(38.70%),Shankar Dass Government Senior Secondary school Machhiwara(37.36%),Govrnment High School Sehjo Majra (36.66%), Government Senior Secondary School Hambowal Bet(35%), Government Middle School Milkowal(33%), Government Middle School Partapgarh(28.57%) and Government Middle School Bhattian(26%).

It was tough for Government High School Manewal and Panjgraian where the pass percentage was only 10 per cent. 

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City girl tops hardware, networking exam
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 27
Having topped in the all-India examination for Diploma in Hardware and Networking conducted by the Shokendea Institute of Hardware and Networking, Delhi, Gagan Deep Kaur Gahir, a lass of the local Jagera road aspires to pursue a carrier in computer science.

“Unlike other computer science students, I will first try to gain maximum theoretical and practical knowledge and then start some establishment,” said Gagan.

She urged the software students to learn the basics of hardware before starting the job. Efficient learning of the subject would help in solving the problem of unemployment, she claimed.

Charanjit Singh, manager of a local centre, told that Gagan had topped among all students, who appeared at 250 centres in the country.

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Singing away to peace
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 27
While various political parties leaders were busy in harvesting political mileage from the ongoing conflict between activists of Sikh organisations and the Dera Sacha Sauda, M.S. Khan, a young singer, has called upon leaders of various social and religious organisations to join hands in preserving peace and tranquility in the region.

He belongs to a nomadic cowmen family temporarily settled at the local Jagera road.

He conveyed his message by singing the song, ‘Mein dharti Punjab di loko mein vasdi ujjar gaggie’, which had fetched him a second prize in a state-level competition organised by the Education Department last year.

By singing songs like ‘Aapna Punjab yaaro aapna Punjab’, ‘Masti de vich yaaro hassna te gauna, kise de dil nun yaro na rulauana’ continue his pursuit in his mission in view of the present volatile situation in the area.

Apprehending tension in the coming days Khan said: “The senior members of society should try to understand the meaning of the songs, which have since remained ignored. It is high time when we should understand that a stitch in time will save nine.”

Khan is a fan of Gurdas Mann and claims to have sung a majority of his songs at various functions during the past few years. Though he has never interacted heartily with Mann, he considers him as his guru and seeks his blessings.

Khan, a BA-I year student at Government College, Malerkotla, started his education in Bollywood style. “I was grazing buffaloes near a school when some students from inside the class started teasing me. I complained against them to the principal, who later persuaded my father to get me admitted in the school,” told Khan, adding that he was directly admitted to Class III after a few months of labour.

He credits the contribution of former principal Jagmit Singh, who inspired him to practice singing and helped him in every sphere of life.

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