L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Assam farmers get training at CIPHET
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
A week-long training programme on post-harvest technology of foodgrains, oilseeds, spices, pulses, fruits and vegetables was organised at the Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) for 15 participants from Chirang in Assam.

The programme was sponsored by the State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD), Assam.

Dr R.T. Patil, director, Dr Matthew Prasad, head, technology transfer division, and Dr S.K. Nanda of CIPHET asked the farmers to take up processing and value addition of the local produce for higher income and more employment.

The training programme was coordinated by Dr D. Dhingra and faculty members drawn from CIPHET conducted lectures and practicals.

The trainees learnt cleaning, grading and de-stoning of foodgrains, milling of foodgrains, pulses and oilseeds and processing of fruits and vegetables.

The training concluded with a visit to Markfed canneries, Jalandhar, and Nijjer Agro Foods Ltd, Amritsar. 

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Students to be trained in CollabCAD
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana July 23
As part of an MoU signed between Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College (GNDEC) and the National Informatics Centre (NIC), Department of Information Technology, Government of India, New Delhi, a training and support centre for CollabCAD software was launched by K.S.Nagesh of the CAD group, Delhi, today.

The principal of the institute, Dr H.K. Grewal, was also present. The aim of the centre is to train the manpower on CollabCAD so that the industry can make use of this latest high-end software.

Dr H.S. Rai, head of the civil engineering department, emphasised on the presence of Indian software at the global level.

CollabCAD will take care of the needs of the industry without compromising on the desired features. To popularise the software, a multi-pronged approach will be adopted like the introduction of CollabCAD in the course curriculum of engineering course and use of the software by students of GNDEC as part of their project work. 

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Proposed Fee Hike
MBBS aspirants in a quandary
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 23
Parents of a large number of MBBS aspirants have accused the state government of indulging in double standard by proposing a sudden hike in fee of MBBS and BDS courses.

M.P. Singh and G.D. Singh, whose children have secured good ranks in the PMET, said medical colleges should charge fee as mentioned in the BFUHS prospectus.

“We are not prepared for this sudden hike in fee,” they said while criticising the government decision to propose the fee hike.

They said students who got ranks between 200 and 400 and were likely to get admission in private colleges were unhappy with the proposed fee structure.

Under the existing structure, government-run MBBS colleges were charging annual fee of around Rs 13,000, while private colleges were charging around Rs 1 lakh annually.

For BDS courses, the government institutions were charging an annual fee of around Rs 11,000, while it was Rs 75,000 per annum in private colleges.

There is a separate fee structure for NRI candidates and other faculties for BAMS and bachelor in homoeopathy courses.

The state government was in the process of revising fee structure for MBBS and BDS courses, the entrance test for which had already been conducted and a merit list finalised.

The medical education department has called a meeting for fee revision on July 23 in Chandigarh.

The parents said with the decision, medical students had nowhere to go, as the PMET had been conducted very late and counselling in other streams had already been completed.

Most students had left their seats in universities in the hope of getting admission to MBBS and BDS courses.

They said if the government wanted to hike fee, it should have notified earlier to give ample time for the aspirants to decide if they wanted to pursue the stream.

They have sought the deferment of the decision for one year.

Former deputy chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who held charge of the department during the previous Congress regime, said the fee hike should not be announced at this stage, as a large number of candidates would be affected by this and they might not be able to take admission.

She suggested that the state government should pump in funds to bail colleges out of the financial mess.

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Sakshi tops speach contest
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 23
“Freedom to Speech” Institute today organised a seminar on spoken english and personality development at Punjab Agricultural University here today. President of the state unit of the BJP Rajendar Bhandari was the chief guest. He spoke on the importance of English to students.

About 35 students took part in the contest. Institute’s director Puneet Batra encouraged students to speak English. Sakshi received the first, Gurpreet second and Aarshi stood third in the speech contest. Tarandeep Kaur stood first, Sakshi Kanwar received second and Rahul Sharma stood third in the presentation contest. Sonia, Pankaj, Manoj and Aastha were the anchors. 

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PAU Notes
Board of management meeting today

Ludhiana, July 23
The PAU board of management meeting will be held tomorrow at the university's camp office in Mohali. It would be the first board meeting of the vice-chancellor, Dr Manjit Singh Kang. The board is likely to approve some appointments made recently by the university. There are some appeals that would also come up for discussion, besides the routine matters concerning the university.

ICAR team

A six-member team constituted by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research to review the progress of work under the all-India coordinated research project in vegetable crops recently visited the department of vegetable crops, floriculture and landscaping. Dr J.S. Kanwar, head of vegetable crops, floriculture and landscaping, apprised the team of the achievements of the department. The team held a discussion with the faculty .

Books for farmers

The centre for communications and languages of the university has revised two books that would be released at the annual kisan mela in September. The books are comprehensively illustrated to ensure that farmers can learn about crop-related problems.

Interviews

The PAU has decided to hold interviews for vacant NRI seats in various departments on Agusut 2. While the university has filled all seats in the departments in various categories, some NRI seats are still vacant. — TNS

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The vanishing art of Bazigars
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
The special art of bazigars seems to be fast vanishing. The scintillating performances by members of the community may soon turn to be a thing of past.

The few remaining members of the community rue the indifference of the people towards their art that is fast dying. Despite being so dangerous and risky, they perform it.

Joginder Singh, an octogenarian bazigar, recalls the pre-partition days when the collections after a performance could go up to Rs 200. Now, after 60 years, the collections remain the same, at times even less than that.

He disclosed that earlier people would throng to see their performance. Whether in the villages or the cities the attendance would be in hundreds. But now it is only a few people, mostly the children who watch their performance. As nobody watches their performance in the cities, they restrict their activities in the countryside only.

During a show at Mandiani village, Joginder Singh disclosed that he still maintained the ledger book mentioning the donations by people from various areas. He has been carrying this ledger since 1947.

The bazigars is an organised community. They distribute areas, particularly the villages (for performance), among themselves. Their economic status within the community is known by a number of villages they have for performances. This happens to be their only asset. Even marriages are settled on the basis of the villages in their possession. They even "give away villages" in dowry to their daughters.

But all this happens to be a thing of past. The art would pass from one generation to another. However, with very less chance of making a livelihood from this profession, the children of the bazigars opt for other jobs. Joginder Singh pointed out despite taking so many risks they were not able to make both ends meets.

Some of their acts are really breathtaking. Particularly the 'patt di chhal' wherein the performer jumps from a small wooden board with swords on four sides and one in between and returns after several somersaults to the same board. The act is so dangerous that the performer has to be accurate lest he place his foot on the sword and loose it. Joginder Singh had suffered an injury in this act.

He said this was only an example. There are other performance involving great risk to their lives. "Still we take those risks to ensure that maximum number of people watch our performances", he said, while regretting, even then they are not able to earn enough to make a living.

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‘Saas-bahu’ comedy in new light
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
At a time when Punjabi comedies, surviving mainly on vulgarity, are in the market, a city-based couple has come out with a clean comedy that seeks to present the "saas-bahu" relationship in a new light.

The comedy "Billian ch Bandar" produced by Dheeraj Sharma, who also plays the role of a man, sandwiched between his wife and mother, tries to make a point that the saas-bahu conflict is natural and a part of the culture.

The comedy leaves a message that in the depth of their hearts, the two women dote on each other. They even offer to give their life when the other is in danger.

With popular comedy artiste Neelu (of Chankata series) playing the role of the wife and noted actor Nirmal Rishi playing the character of the "saas" and Chacha Chatra Jaswinder Bhalla making a second half heroic entry as the "bandar" brought to sort out the differences between the "cats", the comedy has all ingredients and star power to ride on.

Dheeraj, who is also the real life husband of Neelu, has ventured for the first time in production as well as acting arena. Neelu, who is a household name in the genre, is in real life an additional district attorney at district courts here.

"Women, especially the mother-in-law(MIL) and the daughter-in-law(DIL), have been unfortunately painted in a highly negative sense in certain serials these days," said Dheeraj. The characters in the comedy fight with each other but it is taken as the spice of the relationship and not as originating from the criminally plotting and scheming women."

Neelu, while talking to her mother-in-law, always addresses her as Mummy ji, showing the respect of the relationship. Even Chacha Chatra diverts from the monkey and two cats story by asserting that as a dutiful relative, he will sort out the problems instead of cashing in on by dividing them further.

Neelu asserts that television is no longer a medium of entertainment and information which destresses people in the evening. Instead, with the kind of serial showing these days, there is a definite need for such comedies which entertain but leave a moral message also.

Dheeraj said the comedy had been well received with encouraging reports of sales coming not only from the state but also from England, Canada, Italy and the USA, where Punjabi families are watching it.

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