L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

On Shaky Ground
3-storeyed structure at risk
Commercial building accused of violating bylaws
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
An upcoming commercial complex is threatening a three-storeyed residential-cum-commercial building in the neighbourhood as cracks have started appearing in it.

Holes have appeared in the wall of the building and its very foundation has been threatened as the owner of the upcoming building has not left the necessary area between the two buildings.

D.P. Singh, owner of the three-storeyed house, said the commercial complex, belonging to the kin of a police official posted in the district, had left area on three sides, not an inch had been left on the fourth side adjoining his house.

He said they would start digging the basement of the commercial complex soon and his structure would face a threat.

“I have asked them a number of times to leave a little space on my side. I am not asking them to give me that part of land. I am just concerned with the security of my house,” said D.P. Singh.

He said the owner of the commercial complex had left 16 feet, 22 feet and 12 feet on different sides of the proposed structure.

“I have no problem. I do not want that when they start digging, my structure comes down,” he said.

D.P. Singh said he was shocked to know that the MC had approved the site plan even though it was not in accordance with the building bylaws.

“A few shops and PCOs have been shown in between his complex and my house but nothing of the sort exists,” he said.

He alleged that a few days ago, DSP Bhupinder Singh had come to the place. ‘‘When I told him that the building bylaws were being violated, the DSP asked me to provide him with a copy of it. I gave it to him, but nothing was done,” he said.

The DSP, however, said he did not know anything about the violation. It was the job of the MC to bother about it.

He said he had gone to the spot fearing a law and order situation as both parties were fighting over the possession of a wall dividing the two properties. While one party was claiming it to have been constructed by it, the other party was saying it was their wall.

“I told them that they should resolve the issue as I did not want any law and order situation in the area,’’ said the DSP. He said he was not siding with anyone in the matter.



Model Village
A lesson for management gurus
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Kot Gangu Rai (Ludhiana), January 30
Management gurus can take some tips from residents of Kot Gangu Rai village on how to make a model village.

The village, 30 km from the city, is unique. It has constituted three societies to handle various problems faced by the village.

The societies are known as Guru Nanak Dev Educational and Welfare Society, Guru Nanak Dev School Committee and Baba Nag Bag Management Society.

Dr D.S. Bhatti, senior vice-chairman of the College of Education, Kot Gangu Rai, says, “While the senior member of the society handles the education sector and manages village affairs, the youth society take cares of cultural events.”

The village has its own B.Ed College, a senior secondary school and sports stadium. The society is planning to construct a nursing institute with help from NRI investment.

Even Punjabi pop stars could not resist temptation and come calling to the village for its unique and modern facilities, much like those in cities.

Today, Jazzy B, Sukjinder Chinda, Yudhvir Manak and others performed live in a concert organised in the village.

Recently, a Babbu Mann film was also shot here.

The village has got the required infrastructure and the school is equipped with the latest facilities like computer lab and science library.

The villagers have also constructed their own stadium with a capacity of 10,000 people.

They are now looking to construct a nursing college.

Also, they have constructed a gurdwara and masjid adjoining each other.

“We are making a constant endeavour to make the village a model village of the state,” Bhatti says.



Business, too, freezes
As per a rough estimate, there is a 50 per cent decline in business as against previous year
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
Heavy rush of customers at discount sales of woollens is merely one side of the story. Those in other businesses, including apparel, household items and hotels, are recording a dismal business due to the acute winter that is forcing customers to stay indoors.

As per rough estimates, there is a 50 per cent decline in business as against previous year.

A steep decline in number of customers from nearby villages and towns like Phillaur, Khanna and Machhiwara has been recorded.

At this time of the year when the business in most categories is on the rise, the local customer has nearly vanished from city markets. The only category that is engaged in shopping is the NRI or those shopping for weddings.

Entrepreneurs fear that low business may lead to an overall poor result for the year and payments may get stuck.

“The average time that a customer spends outdoors has declined. People do not step out of their homes before noon and even before the sun set, they are in. We are waiting for the cold wave to end so that customers start pouring in. This year, there is a drop of at least 50 per cent in comparison to last year,” said Opesh Gupta Rana, president of the Ludhiana Silk and Saree Association.

“This time we are very disappointed. There are almost no customers from the surrounding areas. Not only retail, we have seen a major impact on wholesale business also. We fear that payments may get stuck if the weather does not get better,” said Gurvinder Singh, secretary of the Akalgarh Market Shop Owners Association.

Hotels have also recorded a low. “Occupancy has been hit. We were expecting good business this year as many people who forge tie-ups and make purchases visit the city around this time. But due to harsh winter, the activity has come to a halt,” said Amarbir Singh, general secretary of the Punjab Hotel and Restaurant Association.



City Centre Scam
Three move bail plea
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 30
In the alleged multicrore City Centre Scam, Anil Narula, Arun Nayyar and Sanjay Jetwani, stated to be directors of Today Homes Company, moved regular bail applications today.

The bail applications were presented before the additional sessions judge, M.S. Virdi, as the sessions judge was on leave. These would be placed before the sessions judge tomorrow.

The accused were chargesheeted by the Vigilance Bureau, but never arrested. After the filing of the challan by the bureau, the sessions judge, G.K. Rai, had issued summons to them to appear before the court.

Apprehending arrest, the accused had filed anticipatory bail applications before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. It was learnt that the high court had directed that their bail applications be decided within three days.

In case of the dismissal of their bail application, they would not be arrested for a week, as per the order of the high court.



IT sleuths detect Rs 3.1 cr income
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
An undisclosed income of Rs 3.1 crore was unearthed by officials of the income tax department here today.

The income was revealed by units in Moga and Jagraon on which the department conducted surveys yesterday. The units included rice shellers, a marriage palace and a petrol station.

The department also conducted surveys on three units here today. These units are Chalimex Leather Private Limited, which has an office on Mall Road here and a factory in Jalandhar, Fetex Industry in Dhandari Kalan and Punjab Treading Company in Sahnewal.

The surveys were on till the filing of this report.



Poor get Rs 15 lakh under shagun scheme

Ludhiana, January 30
Tourism and cultural affairs minister Hira Singh Gabria today distributed cheques worth Rs 15 lakh among 100 beneficiaries under the Shagun scheme at Labour Colony, here today. He said the state government would be spending Rs 1,320 crore on the welfare of the weaker sections during the current financial year. P3

Elaborating on the Shagun scheme, the minister said the government had also established a dedicated social security fund worth Rs 482.46 crore for releasing regular pensions under various schemes launched by the social security departments of the state.

In Ludhiana district alone, shaguns worth Rs 2, 06, 85000 were being distributed among 1,379 SC families during the current financial year. At least Rs 1.89 crore had already been distributed among 1,259 beneficiaries and the remaining would shortly be distributed.

Gabria said under the integrated development programme, cheques worth Rs 5 crores had already been released to the panchayats for various development projects in Ludhiana rural constituency during the past 10 months. He said under the Word Bank sponsored project of water supply and sanitation of Rs 1,280 crores in the state, funds worth Rs 15 crore were being released in Ludhiana rural constituency to execute water supply and sewerage and development of village ponds under the scheme. He urged the panchayats to carry out proper supervision of the development projects for ensuring the quality of work.

Mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura said the municipal corporation would ensure the availability of basic amenities like water supply, sewerage, streets lights and roads in all areas of the city.



Nursery Admissions
CBSE schools set to benefit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
The recently established CBSE Schools are reaping excellent business from nursery admissions as parents whose wards could not clear the interviews, are opting for these schools.

Parents are now eager to get their child admitted to any school and are ready to play a hefty amount for it. The amount begins from Rs 20,000 and can go up to Rs 50,000.

Satwinder Singh, a Model Gram resident, said, “I do not know any thing about the procedure of nursery admission. As my child could not make it in the interview, I am concerned which school would be best for my child as the admissions have closed in most schools and the other schools are charging a hefty amount to take my child.”

The huge number of such children has given a chance to the CBSE Schools to earn a quick buck as the parents have no option but to admit their wards in these schools.

Some people are even “negotiating” with the school authorities and giving large sums of money in the name of building funds or donations.

“My father would get angry if I told them that their grandson could not clear the interview,” Manik Puri said.

On the other hand, some parents proved smarter as they had applied in five or six schools to ensure admission.

Davinder Gupta said, “I had faced similar problems during the admission of my elder son. Learning from the past mistake, I played safe this time and filled admission forms in five schools. My younger son got selected in three schools, now it’s up to me where I want to admit him.”



Ludhiana Calling

One can experience this especially at bus stops on the Ferozepore Road. Womenfolk are jostled around by their male counterparts, seemingly in a hurry to catch the bus. The other day an elderly woman, carrying a sack, encountered the same when she made futile attempts to catch the bus. Each time she did so, she was pushed aside by overzealous passengers. She was not helped by anyone, including students, with her sack.

Wait another day

A few mediapersons, who proclaim themselves to be good cricketers, wait for Republic Day each year. For, this is the day when newspaper offices are closed, giving them a chance to play a match or two. However for some, the day ends on a disappointing note as they are trapped for a duck. They walk off the field disappointed but with a promise to display their skills the next year.

Cops’ dilemma

Ever since the Punjab State Human Rights Commission passed an order not to parade the accused before media and if so with their faces covered, the police has been in a tight spot. While policemen want their pictures splashed in newspapers with the accused, they have been finding it hard to deal with this predicament. They have now got black bags stitched and started using these to cover the faces of the accused while posing for photographs.

How insensitive

The issue of child’s abduction from the city was by and large handled by the local media in a responsible manner. Following requests by the police not to highlight the same in the media, as it could threaten the life of the boy, most newspapers did not carry the story. However, a few vernacular dailies went overboard by splashing the news, ignoring the requests by the family. And the following day, they bragged about how they were the first ones to break the news. How insensitive!

Winter extreme

Extreme cold has had the residents longing for winter to relent. Though people look forward to this weather, extreme conditions have started making them sick. With temperature declining by -2 °C here and even ground frost being reported from many areas, this is just an indicator to what is in store for the residents in future.

Encore performance

Bhangra remained the highlight of the day during the Republic Day celebrations here. Dancers gave such powerful a performance at one such function that the audience were heard discussing it even after the programme was over. (see pic)

— Sentinal



Poor get Rs 15 lakh under shagun scheme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
Tourism and cultural affairs minister Hira Singh Gabria today distributed cheques worth Rs 15 lakh among 100 beneficiaries under the Shagun scheme at Labour Colony, here today.

He said the state government would be spending Rs 1,320 crore on the welfare of the weaker sections during the current financial year.

Elaborating on the Shagun scheme, the minister said the government had also established a dedicated social security fund worth Rs 482.46 crore for releasing regular pensions under various schemes launched by the social security departments of the state.

In Ludhiana district alone, shaguns worth Rs 2, 06, 85000 were being distributed among 1,379 SC families during the current financial year. At least Rs 1.89 crore had already been distributed among 1,259 beneficiaries and the remaining would shortly be distributed.

Gabria said under the integrated development programme, cheques worth Rs 5 crores had already been released to the panchayats for various development projects in Ludhiana rural constituency during the past 10 months.

He said under the Word Bank sponsored project of water supply and sanitation of Rs 1,280 crores in the state, funds worth Rs 15 crore were being released in Ludhiana rural constituency to execute water supply and sewerage and development of village ponds under the scheme.

He urged the panchayats to carry out proper supervision of the development projects for ensuring the quality of work.

Mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura said the municipal corporation would ensure the availability of basic amenities like water supply, sewerage, streets lights and roads in all areas of the city.



No suitable land for Ladowal farm
K S Chawla

Ludhiana, January 30
The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) authorities have not found any suitable piece of land as proposed by the Punjab government in lieu of the land of the Ladowal research station.

The state government has asked PAU to vacate the Ladowal research station land and hand it to the government for starting some mega project. It had also sent a CD containing sites of land available in Mansa, Sangrur, Ferozepur and Amritsar districts.

University experts, who examined the CD and also made a physical inspection of the land available in the CD, have found that there is not a single piece of land which can be used for the research station or seed production station.

The university at present has 1,250 acres at Ladowal which is being used as a research station in sugarcane, fruit plants and sweet sorgum. Nearly 500 acres are under seed production. The shifting of the sugarcane research from Ladowal to some other place would give a setback to the cultivation of sugarcane, and sugar mills are already facing closure and losses.

Financial commissioner, Development, Punjab, who is a member of the board of management of PAU, told the board of management meeting on January 7 at Mohali that the Ladowal land belonged to the state government and it was within its right to get back same.

This has put the PAU authorities in a dilemma as to how to confront the state government as the university is a state-funded university and has to depend on the state government for its financial needs. The university is already facing a financial crisis and the retirees of the PAU have not received their pension for three months.

Vice-chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang was reluctant to talk on the subject. However, he said sugarcane research could be shifted to the Kapurthala regional research station, but what to do with the seed production. The state was already facing a shortage of seeds of various crops, he said.

Besides PAU, the Ladowal seed farm has 300 acres on lease with a cellular company and 200 acres with another private company for citrus cultivation. PAU and the private company engaged in citrus cultivation have been asked to vacate the land under their possession, but the cellular company has not been asked to do so. Probably the state government wants to give the 2950 acres to this company.



Panel seeks increase in retirement age
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 30
A delegation of the Punjab state employees’ association, led by Balkar Singh Gill, president, excise and taxation officers association, Punjab, met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on January 26 and submitted a memorandum listing demands of employees of the state government. The primary demand was regarding enhancement of the retirement age from 58 to 60 years.

They said the SAD-BJP government should fulfill promises made in the election manifesto and enhance the retirement age by two years. The Central government had raised it to 60 years in 1999, Rajasthan followed suit in 2003 and the Uttar Pradesh government raised it to 62 years. The heads of the associations urged the Chief Minister that it was necessary to remove the disparity between state governments.

They further pointed out that Class IV employees of the state government retire at 60 while the teachers and non-teaching employees of Punjab Agricultural University also retire at the same age. The lecturers and professors working under the UGC retire at the age of 62 and in some faculties they retire at 65. The PCS (judicial) officers retire at the age of 60 years whereas PCS (executive) officers retire at 58 years. The PCS and PPS officers after elevation to IAS and IPS cadres retire at the age of 60 years.

Balkar Singh Gill disclosed that the fourth pay commission of Punjab had recommended the retirement age at 60 years and the B.R. Bajaj committee had also recommended the same.

He said the enhancement in retirement age would not hamper the proposed recruitment of state employees. The associations have pointed out that the liability of Rs 600 crores per year, which is required to be given as retirement benefits would be saved with the enhancement of age.

The associations have also urged the Chief Minister to start recruitment of employees against the vacant posts, which were lying vacant for a long period.



Dhindsa for affordable medicare
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 30
Senior Akali Dal leader and MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa stressed on the need for bringing modern diagnostic aids and medical treatment within the reach of the common people, here on Monday.

Dhindsa said the prohibitive cost of diagnostic tests, as also the medical and surgical treatment of different diseases, was a cause of major concern that ought to be tackled effectively, both by the governments and private health institutions.

He was speaking at a function to mark the dedication of three new departments of JG Hospital on Pakhowal Road. The newly set up 50-bed facility had added the CT scan, mammography and dialysis to deliver ultra-modern healthcare services to the city residents and patients from surrounding areas. Dr Jattinder Gambhir, managing director of the hospital, said the institution had engineered a unique approach to treatment. "We have set up systems where we will combine the power of customised care with the latest technology aimed at speedy recovery for our patients."

He said the hospital would provide comprehensive facilities for gynaecological problems and childbirth in addition to facilities for general surgery, cosmetic surgery, keyhole surgery and neonatal ICU.



Training on efficient water management
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
Punjab Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute (PAMETI), located on the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) campus, started a national training programme on ‘extension technologies for efficient water management in irrigated agriculture’ sponsored by the ministry of water resources, Government of India, here on Monday.

The outlined objectives are to impart training for the benefit of senior-level officers of water resources / irrigation department (Central as well as state government), who were responsible for the implementation of the Command Area Development (CAD) programmes and to provide latest technical know-how to manage land and water resources for sustainable development.

Vishal Khullar, associate (farm management), PAMETI, read the welcome note. He explained the importance of efficient water management in irrigated agriculture.



This girl needs aid to survive
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 30
Immediately after her birth in 2000, Manpreet had to undergo a surgery for treating intestinal perforation at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here. Now in her eight year, the girl was again admitted to CMCH on January 4 (under unit No. C-7120931).

Three day ago, a corrective surgery was performed on her and as a follow-up on January 18, yet another surgical procedure was carried out on her as the intestine was found to have perforated again.

According to doctors attending on her, Manpreet requires intravenous nutrition for at least a month along with the life-saving treatment and medication for her survival. The treatment and other expenses will cost around Rs 5,000 per day, and the total hospital expenditure is expected to be about Rs 2 lakh.

Her father is working as a casual crane operator. With a meager salary he is finding hard to even support his family which includes three children. He is the sole bread winner of the family and this unforeseen problem has landed the family in big trouble. Exhausting all his means, so far he has been able to deposit just Rs 25,000. Manpreet and her family need financial help. All donations or philanthropic financial aid will be appreciated.

All those interested in helping Manpreet can contact the office of medical superintendent at CMCH, Ludhiana. Donations should be made in favour of Christian Medical College and Hospital with “Treatment for Manpreet “written on the back of the cheque, demand drafts or on the covering letter.



President’s Award
Diligence paid off, says recipient
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 30
Dedication and diligence are prerequisite for performing duty at any level in the armed forces, said sub-inspector Lal Mohammad, who recently received President’s Award for Meritorious Police Services.

He claimed that no subversive elements could adversely affect peace and tranquility of the border state till all constituents of the Punjab Police worked to their conscience.

On role of bribery in getting jobs and promotions, Lal Mohammad claimed that he, like many others, had not paid a single penny during appointment and subsequent promotions.

“Let alone paying money, I have never tried to appease my seniors by unethical practices. Sincerity and devotion towards my official commitments fostered my senior’s faith in me and fetched me the award,” he said adding that he learned about the award through a fax received on January 25.

Meanwhile, office-bearers of the Ahmedgarh Vidya Parcharak Sabha hounoured Lal Mohammad for his achievement.

Lal Mohammad had brought laurel to his alma mater MGMN Senior Secondary School, being run by the sabha, said organisation manager Kedar Nath Kapila.



Disclose assets or face fine, cops told
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
With a large number of police officials not making the mandatory disclosure about their assets before the police department and filing income tax returns, the department has issued a warning and told them to provide the details or face a fine of Rs 10,000.

The department move to seek details of all known sources of income of policemen of all ranks began seven years ago to assess their wealth every year, owing to the large cases of corruption and general perception about amassing money.

Police sources said a few police officials had not filled details for 2007-08 due to which a notice had been issued by the SSP.

According to sources, the Ludhiana SSP has sent circulars to all police stations and other wings of the city police to submit details of their assets.



MCPI (U) discusses economic slowdown
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
A meeting of the Punjab State Committee of the Marxist Communist Party of India(United) was held here yesterday.

Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, national general secretary, drew the attention towards the economic crises in the world capitalist system. “Even the US economy, which thrives on the armament industry is in trouble, pushing it towards recession. The crises has affected the Indian economy also, resulting in slowdown and fall in the GDP,” he said.

Kuldip Singh, general secretary, said the state committee took serious view of the proposal of the Punjab Government to sell the land of public undertakings to private entrepreneurs. The MCPI(U) opposed all types of privatisation.



Training of civic staff concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
The Rapid Training Programme for the employees of the local municipal corporation concluded here today.

M.P. Mathur,director, National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi, discussed financial management reforms under the JNNURM and showed a film on the solid waste management of Ranchi, Jharkhand.

T.S. Puri,director (Research), Institute for Spatial Planning and Environmental Research, Panchkula,gave a presentation on rain water harvesting.




Menace of kite flying

People of Punjab have been flying kits during the Lohri since time immemorial. But the sad part is that this has led to numerous accidents, some of which were even fatal.

Children are particularly vulnerable to kite-flying related accidents. They get careless while flying kites on rooftops and roadsides, often leading to disastrous results. Sometimes the kits get entangled in overhead wires causing power failure. Broken wires pose a serious threat to human life.

All this can be avoided if the administration bans the kite flying in residential and public places. Open grounds can be earmarked for it where people can gather and safely enjoy this sport.

Rupinder Singh

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com " or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.



2 brothers held for forgery
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 30
The Raikot police has arrested two persons on the charge of forgery and booked them under Sections 420,419,465,468, 471 and 120B of the IPC.

Surinder Singh Grewal and his brother, Rupinder Singh, allegedly forged documents for getting two mobile phones. The case was registered at the instance of Makhan Lal of Raikot.

Shops burgled

Angrej Singh and his brother Kuldip Singh, alias Jagga of the Sherpura Road, Jagraon, have been arrested for committing theft in two shops. They allegedly burgled the shop No. 1 in the Sherpura Chowk and stole a desi ghee container, a mobile phone, one battery and Rs 750 as well as two hand batteries and cash worth Rs 1,250 from the shop No. 2. A case has been registered against them I

Two arrested

Gurcharan Singh and his brother Joginder Singh of Gersian Khan Mohamed have been booked under Sections 436,427 and 34 of the IPC. They allegedly put their own house on fire. A domestic dispute is said to be the reason their action. Gurcharan Singh has been arrested, but Joginder Singh is absconding.



‘Space studies can help in farm research’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
The Punjab chapter of the Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers (ISAE) organised a lecture at the PAU College of Agricultural Engineering on “Space transportation for national development” by Dr N. Vedachalam, a professor at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, ISRO.

He said the engineering faculty could play a vital role in addressing the issues of national food in-security in a cost-effective and specific manner.

He traced the history of space research in India and elaborated that the planning commission was keen to look after agricultural promotion by getting estimates of production levels of major rabi and kharif crops and assessing their time of arrival.

He said by involving space research technology, real time monitoring of the grassroot situation was possible. He said space research could prove useful in a variety of ways such as generating data on agricultural crops, cartography, climate modelling, and assessing global changes in relation to agriculture.

He said the current space research programmes were aimed at enhancing national capability in the area of telecommunications as well.

The presentation was attended by faculty and students. They interacted with the speaker on the diversity of applications of geo-stationary satellites in relation to research and development of various agricultural and related areas.

He said polar orbit imaging was extremely useful in agriculture.

PAU VC Manjit Singh Kang said application of space studies in weather forecasting, generation of ground information, remote sensing, mapping of water resources, studying density of forest covers and the incidence of biotic and abiotic stress on crops and green covers could play a useful role in agricultural development.



From Schools & Colleges
Minithon-2008 at Ryan from Feb 2
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
Ryan International School will host the 10th edition of the Ryan-Maggi Minithon-2008 on February 3.Reason behind organising such a programme was to give a competitive platform to schoolchildren. The boys and girls under 12 to 14 and 16 years are eligible to take part in the minithon.

The event will be organised at Ryan International School, Phase-Il, Urban Estate, Chandigarh Road, Ludhiana. At least 5,000 students from various schools are expected to take part in it.

Knitting contest: Vardhman Spinning and General Mills organised knitting competition at Guru Nanak Bhawan here yesterday.

At least 700 students from 57 schools took part in the competition. The contest went on for three hours. The students competed in five categories. Students knitted beautiful patterns, caps, bootie and miniatures of purse and bags with the help of colourful yarn provided by the company.

Mahesh Arora, chief general manager (Marketing) said there was tremendous pressure among youths to excel at any cost. This leads to stress and mental pressure. In order to overcome these one should revert to old values that sustained human life. Knitting helps in intellectual development of children and improves their concentration levels.

Harish Bhatia, product manager, and Lalit Mahajan, chief manager (Sales) were also present on the occasion.

Paper-reading: An inter-school paper reading contest was organised on the premises of G MT Public School recently.Manmohan Singh, PSEB deputy director, was the chief guest.

The students presented their views on how to save the electricity and urged people to use it judiciously. First prize was bagged by Arshdeep of KVM School, while Avni and Navpreet from GMT Public School and Nankana Sahib School stood second and third, respectively.

Seminar: To highlight various psychological and sociological upshots of drug abuse, the departments of psychology and sociology of the Khalsa College for Women organised a PU-sponsored one-day seminar on ‘Psycho-social aspects of drug abuse’, recently. The event started with principal Dr Varinder Kaur Thind welcoming the guests. She said it was the duty of all educational institutions to make society healthy and a better place to live in. She acknowledged that drug abuse was a major problem in India, especially among the youth.

Dean of college development council, PU, B.D. Budhiraja, emphasised on the significance of such seminars. The key-note address was delivered by Dr Jatinder Mohan, Professor Emeritus, Panjab University.

The first and the second sessions were conducted by Ranvinder Sandhu, dept of sociology, Guru Nanak Dev University, and Dr Meera Sehgal, chairperson, dept of psychology, Panjab University. Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary, Punjab government, spoke on legal aspects.

Lecturer elected: Bimlesh Kumar Gupta, head, Punjabi department, Kamla Lohtia SD College here, has been elected to the academic council, Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, from January 2008 to 2010. He has been elected to the academic council for the second time.



Teach English to rural youths: Don
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 30
Terming knowledge of English as necessary for rural students to come up to the level of their urban counterpart, Harjinder Pal Singh Walia, former head of the department, Journalism and Mass Communication, Punjabi University, Patiala, urged the management committees of private schools to focus on improving teaching of the subject at their respective institutes.

Addressing a gathering of constituents of Baba Nand Singh Public High School, Mukandpur village near here, on occasion of the annual function today, Walia said relatively poorer knowledge of English had frustrated Punjabi youth in general and rural students in particular in national-level competitive exams. Situation was not satisfactory even in case of the Punjabi and Hindi language.

“As more and more parents have started sending their wards to private schools, onus of safeguarding the interests of these students lies on the management committees and the staff of these institutes,” stressed Walia. He distributed prizes among outstanding students of the school.

A cultural programme was presented on the occasion. Choreographed songs performed by Gagandeep Singh, Baljit Singh and Sandeep Kaur. Harpreet Kaur, Navneet Kaur, Palavi Goyal Kirandeep Kaur, Hardeep Kaur, Satinder Kaur, Navdeev Kaur, Hardeep Singh and Akash Goyal were facilitated for excelling in academics.



Ectopia-2008 begins at CMCH today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 30
The annual cultural function of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) “Ectopia-2008” will be organised from today to February 2.The three-day cultural extravaganza will have medical students from all the batches competing against each other in a variety of events like debate, mono-acting, dances, singing and quiz contests.

The competitions in painting, sketching and collage making were held as a part of pre-Ectopia events and the results will be declared tomorrow. The winner batch will be awarded Ectopia-Running Trophy.

Chairperson of DMC cultural committee Dr Sandeep Puri said this was the seventh edition of Ectopia. Dr Sunil Juneja, convener, informed that a new event (the modeling show) had been added in this year’s programme.

According to Dr Kapil Dua, secretary of the DMC cultural committee, the theme of this year’s cultural events is “Colours of Spring.” The official news letter “Ectopia Times” will be released on the opening day of the function. Student secretaries Shamim Monga and Manpreet Kaur said the news letter would portray the spirit of the medical students who were trying their best put make it a memorable event.

DMCH principal Dr Daljit Singh said such functions encouraged the students to participate in cultural activities for the overall development of their personality and rejuvenated their mind from their hectic schedule.



President’s Police Medal for A.S. College alumnus
Tribune News Service

Khanna, January 30
Inspector General (Northwestern Zone) of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBPF), Chandigarh, Prithpal Singh, who is also an alumnus of the local A.S. College has been awarded the President’s Police Medal in recognition of distinguished services rendered by him.

Born at Khanna, P.P.Singh did his graduation from A.S. College, post graduation from Punjabi University, Patiala, and M.Phil in chemistry from Panjab University, Chandigarh. He cleared the Indian Police Services examination in 1984 from Assam and joined the Meghalya cadre. He is presently on deputation with the ITBPF since April 2002.

Prithpal Singh was the district police chief (1987 to 1991), Kokrajhar, Assam. He successfully undertook operations against the Bodo militants followed by another eventful tenure at Shivsagar from 1991 to 1992 during which he braved ULFA militants.

Later, he took over as the DIG (Northern Range) Assam with its headquarters at Tejpur and as the DIG (Southern Range) with its headquarters at Silchar. During this tenure he successfully tackled almost all active militant organizations operating in the North-East.

While being posted in the Kashmir valley he actively took part in anti-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations in the Bijbehara area.

Later, he even served as the ITBPF DIG (Logistic and Communication) in Chandigarh and the IG (Training Zone) and as the Director of the ITBPF Academy, Mussoorie.

Presently, he is ITBPF IG (Northwestern Zone) and engaged in operational deployment along the international border in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.



167 donate blood
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 30
Terming blood donation as the noblest contribution towards humanity, office-bearers of a few social and medical organisations have called upon the youth of the area to help the needy.

The call came during a blood donation camp organised by the local unit of the social welfare organisation at grain market here on Monday. At least 167 persons, including 14 women, donated blood.

DMC Hospital secretary Prem Gupta inaugurated the camp, while Sangrur DHO Dr K.C. Goel and Malerkotla judicial magistrate T.S. Bindra were the guests of honour.

Stressing the need for voluntary blood donation, speakers including Dr Goel, Dr Jyoti Hind and Gupta, urged office-bearers of social organisations of the area to join hands in creating awareness about the significance of blood donation.

“Blood, like many other organs of the body cannot be manufactured synthetically and that ‘donated’ by professional ‘donors’ may be infected. Moreover, a healthy body cannot produce transfused blood within a reasonable period. So, in order to save human lives, we should not hesitate in donating it,” they said.

The organisers felicitated the donors with mementoes.

Jagjit Singh Jajjie, Gurinder Singh Grewal and Kamal Kumar Babla were felicitated for being regular donors.

Society chairman Dr Rajinder Mittal and secretary Tarsem Garg thanked donors for their contribution.



Scan centre sealed, 3 more sent notices
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 30
The district health administration has sealed the ultrasound scan machine at Basi Hospital in Tagore Nagar here and suspended its registration under the PNDT Act.

Three other scan centres at Gurdev Hospital and Medicity Hospital, both on the Ferozpore road, as also Bhandari Eye and Maternity Hospital, were sent show-cause notices for failure to maintain record as provided under the Act in the course of inspections carried out on January 17 and 19.

Presenting a report before the district-level PNDT advisory committee, which met here on Monday under the chairmanship of civil surgeon Dr Satpal Sharma, district family welfare officer Dr Reena Sandhu said during November-December 2007, 19 ultrasound scan centres were inspected in the district, and action initiated against those found violating the provisions of the PNDT Act.

She said the health department had directed all senior medical officers to mobilise people against female foeticide by holding seminars, rallies, declamation and poster-making contests.



Green Land, Sacred Heart triumph
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 30
Green Land Senior Secondary School boys and Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School girls emerged winners in the Ludhiana Sahodaya Schools Complex Chess Tournament which concluded at Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, here yesterday.

In the boy’s section, Green Land Senior Secondary School proved too good for their opponents.

In the preliminary round matches, they got the better of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, outplayed GGN Public School, pipped USPC Jain Public School and overpowered BCM Senior Secondary School. In the final round, they proved their mettle against BCM Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar branch.

DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, and Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, secured the second and third position, respectively.

In the girl’s section, Alpine International Public School finished second while BCM Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh road branch, had to content with the third spot.

S.C. Saxena, principal of Kundan Vidya Mandir, distributed the prizes.



SAI trials on Feb 5
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 30
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) will hold trials for selecting players for admission to its training centre at Guru Nanak Stadium on February 5.

The players will be selected in the disciplines of athletics, handball, judo, volleyball and weightlifting in the residential and non-residential scheme for the boys and in judo and volleyball for girls.

SAI training centre, Ludhiana in charge, Harbans Singh, said players who had secured first three positions in the national and the state-level competitions (under-14 to under-19 years) are eligible for the trials. The selected players will be provided facilities like boarding, lodging and coaching besides sports kit and competition exposure as per the guidelines of the SAI.

The interested players have been asked to report for trials on February 5 at 9 a.m. at the centre with two passport size photographs along with photostat copies of their age proof and sports achievement certificates.

The aspirants shall have to arrange their own stay during the trials and no TA/DA will be given, Harbans Singh said.



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