Food Parks
Pb should seek major share of pie: CII
P K Jaiswar

Amritsar, June 19
Giving a thumbs up to the central government’s proposal of setting up 30 mega food parks across the country in the next five years to best utilise the agricultural produce, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has urged the state government to seek at least five projects for Punjab, including one for Amritsar.

According to sources, the projects would encourage private sector investment into the sector as these parks would be given SEZ status. “With a total subsidy of Rs 1,500 crores and major tax reliefs, these parks would directly benefit the farm retail process which has just taken root in the country,” said Gunbir Singh, president of Amritsar zone.

Since Punjab is the food-bowl of India, producing 21% wheat, 10% country’s rice and other crops, it deserves a major share of food parks pie, he added. With its central location and an international airport having top class cargo-handling facilities, the holy city can very comfortably stake claim on at least one of these parks.

According to sources, the food processing industry needs major investment. And the government is looking at private sector for the same. “The government will give a Rs 50 crore grant to each of the 30 mega food parks being planned. Other fiscal benefits will also pour in to encourage the private sector to pump in investments,” said Singh.

 Providing SEZ benefits to food parks will reduce the cost of processed food products. These food parks, having facilities of cold warehousing, grading centers and research laboratories, will be spread over 10 to 100 hectares.

To gain maximum benefits, Singh said, it was imperative that the state government augments its productivity through the Agricultural Renewal Thrust (ART) program proposed by CII. The programme was an essential part of the presentation, Vision Punjab 2012 give to the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal last month. The proposal aims at production increase, organic cultivation, value addition to produce, curbing wastage, d cold chain management, buyback arrangements and export.



State govt urged to reduce stamp duty
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 19
The Amritsar Consumers Welfare Forum (ACWF) has urged the Punjab government to reduce the stamp duty and make it at par with the Delhi pattern and provide hassle-free information under the Right to Information Act.

Vijay Mehra, general secretary, ACWF, in a resolution passed to this effect, said the state government should charge stamp duty from male and female buyers of properties at the rate of 6 and 4 per cent, respectively, as was being done in Delhi.

He urged the government to remove discrimination between urban and rural buyers. The urban buyers were being charged more duty as compared to the buyers of the rural areas.

The ACWF general secretary said the rates being charged from purchasers of properties were not in consonance with the rates at which these properties were allotted. Citing an example, he said land in Green Avenue was sold from Rs 18 to Rs 20 per sq yard, while collector rates now vary from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 per sq yard. Similarly for East of Mohan Nagar where plots were allotted to poor people from Rs 10 to 12 per sq yard, the rates being charged were 400 to 500 times more.

He said the forum was not averse to generating more income by the state government for development, but it should find out a reasonable way out in this regard.

In an another resolution, the forum requested the state government to open call centres at the district and block levels where an application could be registered by a telephone call and fee required be charged in the telephone bill of the customer so as to provide speedy and hassle-free information under the Right to Information Act. He said those who did not own a telephone could give such an application through PCOs.

Earlier, the forum also elected its new office-bearers for the 2007-09.



Punjabi writers to bridge east-west gap
P K Jaiswar

Amritsar, June 19
In a bid to bridge the gap between the fictions of eastern and western Punjab, created by political bitterness, some eminent Punjabi storywriters of this side of the border have come forward to transliterate the works of prominent writers of west Punjab.

Apart from bridging the gap, this group aims at a better understanding of the literary scenario and style of writers from across the border, especially for the common man.

It was in the early eighties that Dr Karnail Singh Thind, Dr Jagtar and Dr Jatinderpal Singh Jolly started to transliterate the works of prominent writers of west Punjab and help the readers go through the subject and style of these writings.

Talwinder Singh, an eminent Punjabi storywriter, in collaboration with poet Pal Singh Vallah has contributed four valuable fictional texts to the readers of east Punjab.

The stories of these books threw a good deal of light on the literary concerns of writers in Pakistani Punjab.

“The translation of stories of western Punjab also helps understand the historical, political, economical and social aspects of our counterparts on the other side,” said Talwinder Singh.

For more than three decades the literary stream of east Punjab was isolated from its western counterpart. “Now, efforts were being made to understand the literary scenario on either side of the border,” he added.

The duo’s, Talwinder Singh and Pal Singh Vallah, four valuable books, “Ujrey Gran De Vaasi”, “Saanjhi Peer”, “Kache Kothean Da Gee”, and “Gurh Di Bheli” are an example of this move.

The first publication, “Ujrey Gran De Vaasi,” an anthology of 31 stories (published by lokdhara parkashan, Amritsar) included 12 from west Punjab. “Saanjhi Peer” and “Kache Kothean Da Geet” each bore 40 stories of different writers were published by Lokgeet Parkashan, Chandigarh. “Gurh Di Bheli” collection of stories of Anwar Ali also brought into light by Lokgeet Parkashan.

The story of Pakistani Punjab which was started by Joshwa Fazal Deen, Akbar Lahori, Mohammad Asif Khan, Nawaz, Anwar Ali, Sajjad Haidar, and Satnam Mehmood, was followed by Mansha Yaad, Afzal Ahsan Randhawa, Afzal Toseef, Saleem Khan Gimmi, Abdul Majeed Bhatti, Mirza Hamid Beg and Maqsood Saqib is now moving ahead gracefully in the hands of Ilyas Ghumman, Zubair Ahmad, Jameel Ahmad Pal, Sayeed Bhutta, Toqeer Chughtai, Karamat Ali Mughal and Khalid Farhad Dhaliwal.

A group of more than 100 storywriters in west Punjab are continuously working to enrich the fictional stream of Punjabi.



Melody men: Wadali trio weaves musical magic
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 19
Rendering voice of Wadali brothers and divine lyrics of Baba Bulle Shah simply made way for one of the finest musical journeys one can ever enjoy.

Popular Sufi songs like ‘Tu mane ya na mane dildara’ and ‘Sauda iko jiha’ left the audience craving for more. “If we start singing the whole songs, it would take two hours of each one of them,” explained Pyare Lal Wadali, who shared the stage with his Padamshree awardee brother Puran Chand Wadali.

The evening being a promotional event for the music album of Lakhwinder Wadali, son of Ustad Puran Chand Wadali’s titled ‘Jogiya-the ascetic’, he too joined the two popular exponents of Sufi music to sing the song ‘Weh mahiya tere vekhan nu, nit charkha gali de wich’.

The song has been included in ‘Jogiya’, sung by the father-son duo. “This time my uncle could not lend his voice but I promise that in my next album, all three of us will sing a song together,” said Lakhwinder.

The crowd, which waited for a long time for the Wadali Brothers to arrive, forgot their grouses in no time, enjoying every bit of the Sufi numbers, thanks to timely translations by the singers and some peppy anchoring.

The Wadali brothers are known for their diverse repertoire of Punjabi folk and Sufi music and they have excelled in Sufiana Qalaam. “Our music is an offering to the divine and it is through the devotional music, the ecstasy in praising the lord, that our verses flow,” said Ustad Puran Chand Wadali.

After the joint performance, Lakhwinder Wadali slipped into a pair of jeans and tees to give a life performance of songs from his first and the latest albums. A CD of his album was also released by Manveen Sandhu and Dr Shavinder singh Sandhu, directors of Punarjyot.

The event was organised by Punarjyot, an offshoot of Spring Dale Education Society at the Guru Nanak Bhawan on Saturday.

“Lakhwinder has done MA in music and is presently pursuing PhD in classical music (vocal). He feels alaps and taans are a vital aspect of music,” said the organisers.



Summer camp draws huge crowd

Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 19
A 13-day summer camp which is being organised at Mamta Niketan Convent School, Tarn Taran is drawing a huge rush.

More than 50 students, including those of host institutions, are participating in the camp.

“The students are taking an active part in yoga and aerobics sessions which are a must for maintaining physical fitness. Personality development lessons are also being delivered with focus on English speaking and reading enhancing skills. Children are also enjoying pot-decoration, tile-painting, flower-making and cookery classes,” said Sawinder Singh Pannu, director of the school managing committee.

Known theatre artistes Kewal Dhaliwal and Pritpal Singh Pali along with their teams are imparting technical knowledge of theater to students.



R&D needs more attention: VC
P K Jaiswar

Going sporty
Prof. Jai Rup Singh said the UGC has granted Rs 6.3 crore for the prestigious project of ‘centre with potential for excellence in sports sciences’. Under this project, the varsity would incur Rs. 1.25 crore on flooring and sound proofing of the multipurpose indoor gymnasium. “A velodrome at an estimated cost of Rs. 75 lakh is also scheduled to be constructed shortly,” he added.

Amritsar, June 19
Terming the promotion of higher education in the country as responsibility of the central and state governments, Guru Nanak Dev University Vice-Chancellor Jai Rup Singh said it could not be shifted to the private  sector.

Interacting with the media here, the VC said the government should provide liberal grants to the varsities across the nation for promoting higher education besides boosting research.

“There are only a few Central research centers in northern India. The central government should establish more such institutes to shape up the destiny of Punjab,” he added.

Explaining the prestigious research projects available with the UGC, CSIR, HRD, DST and DBT, Jai Roop said the research would not only be helpful for society but also solve many problems being faced by the nation at present.

“Apart from the research projects in the agricultural and industrial sectors, the government should also introduce research projects in the fields of science and technology, management, IT, environmental sciences, human genetics, biotechnology, microbiology, nano-technology, pharmaceutical, architecture, planning and sugar technology in the state,” said Jai Roop, adding that the varsities should appoint adequate qualified faculty and devoted researchers.

Talking about the creation of a ‘research corpus’ in the varsity budget, the VC said Rs 8 crore had been earmarked for the research. “After competing with the other reputed universities of the country, the varsity has received a huge amount for research projects under the UGC-SAP scheme,” he added.



NSS vital for social uplift: GNDU VC
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, June 19
The educational institutions should serve as centres of social service to mitigate the human sufferings, said Guru Nanak Dev University vice-chancellor Dr Jai Rup Singh.

He added that this work could be done efficiently by the NSS volunteers of various institutions. He was addressing NSS Advisory Committee held here today.

Prof Jai Rup Singh said National Service Scheme has a great and pioneer role in nation building.

It also contributes commendably to make the general masses aware about the various social evils,  he added.

He emphasised the central and state governments should release maximum grants for NSS activities so that NSS volunteers may participate in awareness movements against various social evils, cleanliness, tree plantation, building check dams etc more actively.

He urged the Punjab government and the director, youth services, Punjab to convene a meeting of the state NSS advisory committee to solve the problems of the various NSS units being run at the various educational institutions of the state.

Dr Balwant Singh, coordinator, training orientation course of Punjabi University, Patiala said there is only one NSS training centre in Punjab located at Punjabi University.

He suggested for zonal basis training for programme officers.



My City
Guru Ki Nagri going to the dogs

Amrit Lal Mannan

Amritsar, known as Mecca of Sikhs, is being marred by poor sanitary conditions, dusty pot-holed roads, stray cattle menace and haphazard construction. It seems that the entire city is going to the dogs.

Though the municipal corporation authorities have been making tall claims that the city would soon be developed on the lines of Paris and California, they have, in reality, not been able to do much.

The administration has failed to check encroachments, one of the major problems here. Traffic chaos is the direct fall out of encroached roads and pavements. Political interference is also wreaking havoc on development plans.

There is no public transport system and one can see swarming population of auto rickshaws. These autos have no proper stands, as a result they just halt anywhere, creating bottlenecks and disrupting traffic. Also their drivers are sans licences.

With traffic cops not doing much to stem the menace, these drivers are having a field

Day. Many a times they drive the vehicle do roughly that it poses great risk to the lives of commuters.

Another big problem is poor drainage. When there is rain, many areas look like a big pond. The stagnant water is a breeding ground for many diseases. The situation on law and order front is no better.

There has been alarming increase in the number of chain snatching and vehicle-lifting incidents. People feel insecure in their own city. It is time for administration to wake from its slumber. Strict action is needed against those violating norms.

Care should be taken that building material is not dumped on the city roads. Also, the city direly needs proper garbage disposal system. The residents are waiting for a change, which can be initiated with efforts of local administration and social organisations.



216 patients examined

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 19
A free multi-specialty camp was held at Fortis Hospital here today where as many as 216 patients were examined by a team of doctors.

The patients were checked for problems related to cardiology, orthopaedics, neurology and others.

Procedures of ECG, blood sugar and dental surgeries were also conducted at concessional rates during the camp. ‘Echo test’ was offered free of cost.

The doctors, attending the camp, included Dr ML Chawla (cardiology), Dr Anuj Mahajan (internal medicine), Dr Hemant Ojha (surgery), Dr Madhu Shankar Diwan (maxillofacial surgeon), Dr Mohit Arora (orthopaedics) and Dr Sachin Mishra (neurology).



‘Globalisation casting a shadow on culture’
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 19
Globalisation is taking its toll on our human and ethical values, said political scientist Prof Harish Puri.

Inaugurating a four-week general orientation course being organised by the Academic Staff College of Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) recently, the professor said in the era of continuous improvement and competition, globalisation is certainly taking our people away from the good values of our culture. “Explosion of knowledge is accompanied by erosion of values.”

Puri, who was former professor at Dr B.R. Ambedkar Chair, laid emphasis on human trust, hope and good habits. Poverty and starvation were growing though efforts were being made to establish economic zones, he said.

He said that our approach is becoming individualistic, self-centered and profit-oriented and were being deceived by the politicians. The governments are playing into the hands of multinationals and corporate biggies. As many as 23 teacher participants from different colleges and universities of Punjab and Rajasthan are attending this course.



5 new courses at Hindu College
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 19
The Hindu College will introduce five new courses this season, said admission in-charge Dr Arun Mehra.

These courses are MSc (computer science), BBA, bachelor of multi-media, BSc (biotech) and post-graduate diploma in journalism and mass communication.

Expressing happiness over the results, the students have done exceedingly well in the Class XII and have made us proud.

The overall pass percentage of the college is 92 per cent and it is cent per cent for the commerce group. Manjot Singh got the 38th rank in All India CBSE entrance (PMT) test and Heena Arora of Class XII commerce has scored 84 per cent marks and has been placed in the state merit list.

V.P. Lumba, college principal, said the college was founded in 1924 in order to meet the growing demand for university education in the town which at that time had a single institution located at a distance of four miles.

Late Sir Gopal Sass Bhandari and other illustrious philanthropists decided to set up the college to impart education to students from the area.



Sugar hastens wrinkles

The cake baking in the oven may have a gorgeous golden crust, but inside each delicious crumb is a time bomb of ageing.

Sweet treats till now might have been the culprit behind weight gain, but now a dermatologist has revealed that they can cause wrinkles.

Dr Fredric Brandt, who discusses the effect of sweet on skin in his book 10 Minutes/10 Years: Your Definitive Guide To A Beautiful And Youthful Appearance, says removing sweet from diet can make a person look ten years younger.

“Sugar hastens the degradation of elastin and collagen, both key skin proteins. In other words, it actively ages you,” says Dr Brandt.

The sugar leads to glycation process that makes sugar molecules bind to your protein fibres, which are flexible collagen and elastin fibres that form the base for a person’s skin.

“Imagine that your collagen is your skin’s mattress and the elastin fibres are the coils holding it together. The sugar attacks these fibres, making them less elastic and more brittle so they break. The result is that your once-youthful skin starts to sag and look old,” he adds. — ANI



‘Kindle’ nominated for short film award
Tribune News Service

Ashish Balram Nagpal’s film Kindle, starring – Sushant Singh and Dipanita Sharma, has been nominated for the Indian Short Film Award at the Bollywood and beyond (Indian Film Festival) in Stuttgart Germany.

Ashish Balram Nagpal’s film it has been directed by Nitin Shingal.

The director zooms in on the story of a couple torn between joys of parenthood at the birth of their child and the grief of innumerable questions within their unfathomable subconscious mind.

Partho Ganguly (Sushant Singh), professor of history in a small town lives with his dutiful wife Mishti (Dipannita Sharma).

Soon they are blessed with a baby girl, Kiki (Krishi Shah).

Over a period of time, the baby invokes the deep dark recesses of the mind, so disturbing that it threatens to destroy the family.



Workshop helps boost confidence in students
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 19
A six-day workshop on personality development was organised at MKD DAV Public School, Attari.

The main objective of workshop was to make participants realise their strengths and usher confidence in them.

Around 30 students participated in the event. They were divided into groups of five each.

Daffodils group was declared winner and the entire six-member team was given titles and medals bearing inscription ‘Towering leaders of tomorrow’.

The workshop focused on practising self control, optimum use of leisure hours and developing reading skills. Stories, poems, quotations and real life instances were used to teach students strengths of character and competence.



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