Dragon calling: Chinese cells are in
The high-end models can even catch television channels on their relatively wide screen 
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 13
If the “Made in China” electronics and cycles have not belied your faith, check out the latest range of sleek Chinese mobile sets, which have hit the city markets. These cell phones score over the established brands in being more affordable and yet loaded with the latest features.

The Landa Bazar opposite Railway station is one place where you can get a Chinese mobile in the price range of Rs 2,500 to 8,000. The models priced between Rs 5,500 to 6,500 come with as many as four speakers, twin cameras and are equipped to run two SIM cards at the same time.

“The latest model is for Rs 8,000 which can even catch television channels on its relatively wide screen.

These phones come with the latest Windows’ software, interesting games, high audio quality and impeccable picture clarity,” says Ravinder Singh, a cell phone dealer.

“Unlike other Chinese items, the cell phones have a chic look and are something the customers love to boast of. Since these phones have hit the market recently, people are intrigued by their unique features,” he added.

Kumar Pal, who had come to buy a Chinese cell phone, said he was pleasantly surprised to find that the latest features being advertised by the popular brands, like windows software, are being offered at affordable prices in these Chinese models.

On the flip side, in the absence of any authorised outlets, the Chinese mobiles have no after-sale services and don’t come with any warranty. Some local dealers are, however, offering a one-year warranty by charging Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 extra.

“That is why the wise deal would be not to buy the costly models and settle for something around Rs 4,000. I have made up my mind after watching the durability of the sets bought by my friends. Till now, they have not developed any problems and have proved worth the price,” he said.

The sales executive of a popular brand had a word of caution on the frantic sale of the Chinese cell phones. “When even the phones of international companies have the chances of developing problems, it wouldn’t be advisable to buy a costly mobile from a junk dealer with no assurance on the genuineness and durability of the product.

Instead of buying such phones for sheer fun, the customer should know what the features he really wants to use are and then make a choice between the available options in the market,” he said.



My City 
Encroachments need to be dealt with iron hand
Dr Ranbir Singh Pannu

Encroachment on public property, in any form, is an offence and is like encroaching on the right of law abiding citizens, causing lot of inconvenience. If we talk of encroachment on roads in our cities, it is free for all shop owners, rehriwalas, foot path squatters or those putting posters and erecting gates or making mazars.

Encroaching on government property is done with impunity, without fear of law, at places you have to pay officials for your misdeeds, it has become a habit with us; our roads in cities are narrowed to one third of their capacities. But the administration conveniently looks the other way.

Some remedies to fight this ill could be that the premises of all shopkeepers should be marked with a red line and shopkeepers should be warned not to encroach an inch into it, as in the case of yellow line for parking. Whenever the municipal corporation employees come with their trucks to lift encroachers the forewarning is sounded and encroachers retract into their shells, only to come out later.

With newer technology in force, the best thing would be to silently photograph the encroachers, may be in the form of a video and put the video in to a computer as record for the encroachers to see and pay for it in form of fine or challans, as per rule. Building material should be on the roads for a limited time, allowed by the authorities, only. This single step on the part of the municipal corporation will make it rich and get rid of most of the encroachments without coming directly in contact with offenders, also without putting staff members at risk. 



Birthplace of Luv-Kush lies in pitiable state 
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 13
Even as devotees have been deprived of a holy dip at Ram Tirath for a long period, due to non-filling of the vast sarovar (water tank), some devoted individuals have come forward to beautify the surroundings of the oldest Hindu shrine, by spending money from their own pocket.

According to the legend, Maharishi Balmiki scripted epic Ramayana here, and Mata Sita gave birth to her two sons, Luv and Kush, at this very place. Despite its great heritage and history, the ancient temple has steeped in controversy because no sincere efforts are being made to bring rapprochement between the warring factions of mahants and balmikis to ensure overall development and beautification of the shrine. The common devotees want development of this shrine on the pattern of Mata Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu.

However, some individuals, namely Rai Bahadur Mehta (79) in their endeavour to beautify the surroundings of the ancient shrine, succeeded in installing a 55-foot idol of Hanuman, a great devotee of Lord Rama, amidst chanting of hymns, on the auspicious occasion of Divali. He has not collected any fund from anybody but the entire amount was spent from his pocket. The unveiling ceremony was performed by Vijay Chopra, editor-in-chief, Hind Samachar Group of newspapers. A serai has been made on the ground floor of the temple for old people.

The president of all india Hindu shiv sena, Surinder Kumar Billa said the temple, which is a part of the Ram Tirath Mandir complex has been constructed on the piece of land, provided by Sanatan Dharm Sabha, Mahavir Dal.

Giving details of the idol, Rai Bahadur Mehta said it took more than six months to complete the project. The temple also has a “Ram darbar”, comprising idols of lord Rama, Sita mata, Hanuman, Laxman and Durga mata. Another big idol of Hanuman already existed in the basement of the temple.

However, a common devotee is shocked to see the pitiable condition of the Ram Tirath Temple, which needs immediate attention. One notices vehicles reaching right up to the holy parikarma. Shockingly, the management has failed to stop the entry of stray dogs in the parikarma of the temple.



Black threat to top Sikh shrine
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 13
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) should take immediate steps to control pollution around Golden Temple, said Maninderjit Singh Bitta, president, All India Anti Terrorist Front, to the media here.

Bitta said the SGPC should frame a policy within the next three or four months for initiating steps for controlling pollution caused by the use of fire crackers in the temple complex. He said the authorities concerned should also take preventive measure to control pollution created by the small scale industries situated around the temple.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Punjab Pollution Control Board, which had been monitoring the environment around the Golden Temple, found high levels of harmful nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide in the ambient air. The experts had also cautioned that fireworks release these gases which could react with marble leading to its corrosion and blackening. The miniature paintings and gold plating are also under threat from the harmful gases, the experts added. He said the recent study was an eye opener for him as he had never imagined that fireworks at the shrine complex could cause such a damaging effect on the Harmandir Sahib.

He said it was difficult to change the 400-year old tradition but the SGPC authorities should discuss the issue so that the shrine could be saved from being damaged.



Wake Up Call
Punjabi teaching needs a major revamp: Experts 
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 13
A quote from Surjit Patar’s poetry “Balda bikh han, khada han, bas shaam teek han, pher vi kise bahaar di krda udeek han,” displayed at the seminar on “Punjabi Sahitya - Adhyan and Adhyapan,” organised at Khalsa College here said all about the dismal present day study and teaching methodology of Punjabi literature adopted in various educational institutions.

However, the renowned scholars, who presented their papers, showed a ray of hope for the Punjabi language saying that there was need to study Punjabi literature deeply and develop modern tools for teaching it.

Dr Jaswinder Singh of Punjabi University, Patiala, said the students and teachers should not confine themselves to just poems, novels and dramas to attain postgraduate degrees in Punjabi literature. He said there was need to deeply study the literal meaning of each and every word of a particular book to promote the language in real sense.

Agreeing to his counterpart, Panjab University’s Dr Nahar Singh said there was a need to produce effective Punjabi literary works. He rued that no valuable contribution has been made in the Punjabi grammar since 1980. The globalisation has put brakes on the professionalism of Punjabi scholars and thinkers after 1990 as they were just producing works of literature, which had failed to affect readers.

Speaking on the occasion Dr Satinder Singh, former pro-vice chancellor GNDU and Prof Emeritus UGC, said globalisation has turned the Punjabi world into a small village and there was a need to spread knowledge.

Dr Udham Singh Shahi, head of the postgraduate Punjabi studies department, said, “People are getting attracted towards new philosophy. So, instead of traditional teaching methods there is a need to develop new tools and teaching methods.”

Among others who spoke on the occasion included Khalsa College’s managing committee secretary Rajinder Mohan Singh Chinna and principal Dr Daljit Singh.



Teachers told to take tech convergence route
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 13
“It is unfortunate that we are ignoring the basic sciences today and going for the engineering courses. Since today, we will be talking of technologies where things are at the nano scale, things that can be imagined and not seen physically; therefore the need for today is for imaginative thinkers rather than mechanical thinkers”.

These observations were made by Dr. H.S. Virk, former dean academic affairs of the Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), while speaking at the valedictory function of 3-week refresher course in computer science electronics / I.T., which concluded here recently. More than 21 teachers participated in the course.

Dr. Virk said for any teacher there were three main priorities - comforts which he said are necessary up to a certain level; happiness and peace of mind. He reminded the teachers about the three watch words given by Nobel laureate Dr. C. V. Raman that every teacher should have an ambition to achieve something. He should have the courage and the endeavour to put in hard work to achieve it. Teachers should inspire their students to do great things. They should act like a beacon of light for their students.

Dr. Derick Engles, course coordinator, speaking on the occasion, said the thrust area chosen for the course was recent advances in electronics/computers/IT. The most recent trends in these areas are the convergence of technologies. He said today, it is a collaborative effort between physicists, chemists, biologists, computer scientists, engineers and other specialists to work towards a common objective.

He said going by the present trends in nano-technology, miniaturised electro-mechanical systems (MEM’s), bio-nano-technology, nano-robotics orbio-mimetic, there is one thing which he spoke is that in all these areas, apart from engineering, a lot of basic sciences- physics, chemistry, material science and biology are involved.



Fellows present papers on Punjabi culture, literature
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 13
Sixteen research papers were presented by the fellows of the School of Punjabi Studies of Guru Nanak Dev University highlighting Punjabi folklore, literature, Gurmit and language in a one-day seminar organised by the department here today. Prof. Dr. Manjit Pal Kaur, HoD, presided over this seminar. The budding research scholars also highlighted the effect of western culture on Punjabi language, literature, culture especially focusing on Punjabi dress code, Punjabi folklore and Punjabi cultural values. Terming Professor Sahib Singh as Panini of Punjabi grammar, they also lauded his commendable contribution to Gurbani.

Prof Manjit Pal Kaur, head of the department, Dr Dharam Singh, Dr Gurmit Singh, Dr Raminder Kaur, Dr Kawaljit Grover, Dr Kawaljit Kaur Jassal, Dr Harchand Singh Bedi, Dr Paramjit Singh Sidhu, Dr Sohinderbir Singh, Dr Satinder Aulakh and Dr Darya also expressed their views in the seminar.

While interacting with the students and faculty, Prof Manjit Pal Kaur said GNDU is the only university of the region which has the largest number of research fellows and maximum students of School of Punjabi Studies had qualified the JRF and UGC NET tests. The faculty of the department was also of the view that such seminars should be the regular feature so that our researchers could gain more confidence.



IAFA to hold painting contest on Children’s Day
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 13
The Indian Academy of Fine Arts (IAFA) will hold an on the spot painting competition for school children from 9 am to 12 noon at Art Gallery here, to commemorate November 14 as Children’s Day.

Arvinder Singh Chamak, officiating honorary general secretary, said more than 700 children from Amritsar and nearby areas would participate in the competition to be inaugurated by DC Kahn Singh Pannu. He said besides cash awards colour boxes would also be given to each participant.Book fair begins at Spring Dale school



Destination Abroad
Set on right course for better results: US expert 
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 13
Shammi Muin De, director international admission, Drexel University, counselled local school students about making the right choices about course content while going abroad for higher education.

Having the power to admit students through an interview on basis of the guidelines given by the American College Board, Muin De, informed students about the pitfalls while seeking admissions in educational institutions abroad. She said the cost of living in the city they would study in and the environment in the educational institution, including the strength of students, should also be considered.

“In a class of over 100, a student would be identified by his roll number and one-to-one interaction with the teachers may not be possible. He won’t ask you to come to his office after the class for more details,” she said.

She further said it was important for students to explore a host of subjects by not confining their interests to the major and elective subjects only. A student of IT should also have the choice to study marketing to know more about the outside world. “My daughter for instance, one day realised that she was keener on learning an optional subject than the major subject,” she added.

She interacted and also gave a presentation at a seminar organised by the Spring Dale Senior School, which has become the third school to be a part of the school-based programme of the Drexel University, along with DPS, RK Puram, New Delhi and Catonian School, Bangalore.

The university, she said, was set up by John Drexel, the man who created the Wall Street in USA and has a strength of 1,70,00 students with 25-30 students in each class. It has 2 types of programmes, the 4 year programme (includes 2 years of classroom study and 2 year of internship with the Multi National Companies) and 5 year programme (which includes 1 year of classroom study and 4 years of internship with the Multi National Companies).

Around 70,000 students go to the US for higher education every year with 90 per cent of them being from Bombay and Delhi. This is due to the fact that there is lack of awareness and opportunity in the rest of India about studying in the US.



Badal pro-Khalistan, alleges sacked cop 
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 13
Dismissed head constable of Punjab Police Jaswant Singh, who protested the state government’s policy of honouring Khalistani ideologue Jagjit Singh Chauhan in the state assembly took a dig at Parkash Singh Badal and his party Shiromani Akali Dal and accused them of supporting the Khalistanis.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Jaswant Singh he would seek justice from the honourable court by filing a petition against the officers of the state police who had tortured him during his 20-day illegal confinement in July.

“My main agenda would be to fight against terrorism in the country besides wiping out Parkash Singh Badal’s Shiromani Akali Dal from the state, which had been supporting the Khalistanis,” he said.

He said he would also make aware the people of the state about the atrocities that he was subjected to, besides appealing to them to vote against the party during the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

It is pertinent to mention here that Jaswant Singh submitted his resignation in protest against the policy of the state government for honouring Khalistani ideologue Jagjit Singh Chauhan in the state assembly.

Later he urged the state government to either accept his resignation or sanction a long leave to him.

However, the district police dismissed him from service on October 16 for raising his voice against the state government in front of the press, before seeking prior permission of the competent authority. He had later floated “Advisor to Public Problems and Shaheed family Welfare Association”.

Jaswant alleged that he was being pressurised by the authorities concerned for seeking forgiveness from the Chief Minister in front of the print and electronic media.

He further alleged that though the orders for his dismissal were issued on October 16 but the police officers neither released its copy to him nor revealed it to the press, which was the murder of truth and justice.

He would also seek final verdict from the people of the state whether he is right or wrong by contesting against the strongest candidate of SAD as an independent candidate. He said he if any party supports him on this issue he would readily accept it.



‘Ban unscientific activities’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 13
The district units of the Taraksheel Society today presented memoranda at all tehsil levels to press for their demand for enacting a law against illegal and unscientific activities like treatment through blind faiths, astronomy etc.

Sumit Singh of the chief organising unit of Majha  zone said in almost all villages, tantriks, sadhus  and mahatmas had influenced people and made them follow blind faiths like treatment without medicines and extort money from them, besides physically  torturing them. He rued that the state government had failed to take any action against these people under the  Drugs and Magic Remedies Objectionable Advertisement Act, 1954. In the memoranda, they also urged the government to immediately ban such serials being  telecast on television which help in spreading such blind faiths.



Seminar on boosting farmers’ income

Amritsar, November 13
The Indian Institute of Industrial Economics and Development Society (IIIEDS) with the support of the UNCTAD, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and National Centre for Trade Information (NCTI) is organising a seminar on “Value addition and scope of agro-products from Punjab” in Amritsar on November 16.

Stating this in a press note here, Prof S.S. Chhina, director, IIIEDS, said Arvind Gupta, adviser,WTO , APEDA, would discuss the impact of WTO agreements on agricultural exports from India with specific reference to Punjab. He said Gunbir Singh, chairman, CII, Amritsar, would present a paper on problems and prospects of export from Punjab.

Chhina said experts from Punjab Agricultural University, UNCTAD, India, NCTI New Delhi, and Markfed, Punjab, would present research papers and progressive farmers would discuss the problems faced by farmers at grassroots level and opportunities available for better farming in the future. — TNS



Awareness drive 

Amritsar, November 13
Punjab National Bank will organise vigilance awareness campaign from November 12 to 16.

All employees of the zonal office, here took the pledge under the leadership of N.C. Jain, general manager, PNB Punjab (North zone), to bring integrity and transparency in their functioning.

Total business of the bank had increased to Rs 2,51,474 crore. — OC



Diabetes Day on Nov 14

Amritsar, November 13
The World Diabetes day would be observed on November 14, to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sir Fredrick Banting, who discovered insulin used in the treatment of diabetes.

In a statement to the media, Dr H.S. Gill, director Fortis Hospital, said this year’s theme of the day is ‘Diabetes in Children and Adolescents’ with the aim of generating awareness among the public, especially in children and adolescents.

The disease will be ailed to diagnose at an unerring sign stage so as to manage it in such a way that its harmful effects on heart, kidney, brain and lower limbs can be prevented, halted or reversed, said Gill.

Dr Gill said a team of doctors would examine/screen diabetes patients and free blood sugar and ECG would be done on the spot.— TNS 



Book fair begins at Spring Dale school

Amritsar, November 13
A five-day book fair was organised by Scholastic Private Ltd at the local Spring Dale Senior School today. Manveen Sandhu, principal of the school, inaugurated the fair having books of all types, including fiction, stories, science, etc, and for all age groups at a reasonable price.

She said such book fairs help in inculcating a habit of reading among children. — OC



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