L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Knowledge Foundation wants a slice of PAU
The foundation has suggested that the university make itself “self-dependent” by offering 70 per cent of its stakes
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
The Knowledge Foundation Punjab that runs vocational courses like engineering, nursing and B.Ed in private colleges is extending help to the PAU. According to sources, the foundation has suggested to the PAU authorities to make the university “self-dependent” in the face of a financial crunch by offering 70 per cent of its stakes. This means the 46-year-old university could end up as a puppet in the hands of the foundation.

The university is reeling under financial burden and pensioners have not been paid their dues for the past five months. Also, the government is in no mood to offer it financial assistance.

The foundation has asked the university to give the proposal a thought. If the authorities like the idea of a partnership, the courses will be decided by the foundation and experts of the university will design the syllabus.

Teachers from the foundation will take classes while the university will conduct the examinations and check answer sheets. The official work will be conducted by the foundation.

Not only this, 20 more colleges affiliated to the PAU will be set up in the state and more than two lakh students will be imparted education, including distance education learning programmes.

The foundation proposes to run several other “beneficial” courses.

According to a senior faculty member: “The foundation claims it will give Rs 1,200 crore per year to the university. Unfortunately, the government is sleeping over the issue.”

CM Parkash Singh Badal, during his recent visit to the city, had said if a good proposal came with regard to the university, it would be considered.

Meanwhile, PAUTA has rejected the proposal. Its president, M.S. Mahal, said this would not be tolerated. “The 46-year-old university cannot be given in the hands of private players,” he said.



On V-Day, 500 vehicles challaned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Love birds had a tough time today as heavy police force was deployed outside colleges and major markets. While many went ahead with the celebrations, others preferred to postpone it until tomorrow.

The morning came as a rude shock to youngsters who were eagerly waiting to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It was moral policing all the way in parks and markets where couples were questioned.

“The police should have taken care of crime. It is unfair to stop couples and harass them. Besides, if they think that such measures would stop our celebrations, they are mistaken. We will go out and have fun,” said Puneet Joshi, a final-year student.

While malls, markets and eating joints were decked up, the morning was low on activity.

The police kept love birds away till around noon. Over 500 vehicles were challaned, over 25 per cent higher than routine.

“Since, I could be out only till my college timings, I had to postpone my celebrations. I will celebrate with my boyfriend tomorrow,” a disappointed Shalini said.

Post noon, however, there was no stopping the youth. Eating joints witnessed heavy rush. Florists, too, did brisk business.

At a leading mall, a dance programme was organised for couples in the evening. City clubs also held cultural functions to celebrate the occasion.



Children’s park being used as dump
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
A children’s park in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar has been converted into a dump by employees of the Water Supply and Sewerage Board who dump sand collected after digging work over there.

Tractor trailers of the contractor entered the park after demolishing a wall amid protests by residents who said the Improvement Trust had not developed the park and when they did some work on it, it was being treated as a dump.

They said as many as 25 parks in SBS Nagar had been encroached upon by slum dwellers and this was the only park where children could play.

“I asked drivers of the trailers who had directed them to do so. They named a junior engineer of the Trust,” said Jaswinder Singh Ghai, a resident.

He said they had spoken to the JE, Jagdev Singh, who said it was the area councillor who had told them to do so.

Councillor Tanveer Singh Dhaliwal, however, denied this, saying he did not know that the wall of the park had been demolished and the earth dug from sewer lines was being dumped there.

“I saw them piling sand on the road leading to the G and H blocks. I told them not to block the way. I am not aware when they started dumping the sand in the park. I will look into the matter,” said Dhaliwal.



City bandh partial
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Industry's call for bandh in protest against rising steel prices received a partial response here today. Industrialists, under the banner of the All Industries and Trade Forum, marched from Vishwakarma Chowk to the office of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam in Feroze Gandhi Market here where they gave a memorandum to the general manager of the company and held a dharna too.

Most markets, including Chaura Bazaar and Miller Ganj, were open today. The units that remained closed today were those manufacturing cycle parts and some engineering units.

However, there was a heavy turnout for the protest rally. " We are happy with the response and are sure of a solution soon," said Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma, president, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

The protestors accused large steel manufacturers for forming a "cartel" and manipulating rates.They demanded that the steep hike effected by the manufacturers be rolled back.



Industrialists meet Paswan, but in two groups
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Local industry today met union minister of steel Ram Bilas Paswan who assured them a solution to their problems. Interestingly, the industrialists, protesting for the last 10 days against rising steel prices, met the minister in two groups.

One meeting was planned by Lok Bhalai Party president Balwant Singh Ramoowalia and the second by SAD youth leader Sharanjit Singh Dhillon.

The industrialists, instead of meeting Paswan in one delegation, met him in groups, one led by CICU president Inderjit Singh Pardhan and the other by K.K. Seth of Neelam Cycles.

"The minister gave us a patient hearing. He assured us that he would do all he could to bring down the steel prices and also agreed to reducing the import duty on scrap, steel and other inputs of steel," said Pardhan.



Jhuggis reappear overnight
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Less than 24 hours after the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) removed a few jhuggis from public parks in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, the structures have come back.

A squad had demolished 10-12 jhuggis yesterday and officials had asked the dwellers to demolish the encroachments by February 19 or face action.

Leaders of slum dwellers promised the officials that they would do so themselves. They even removed two or three structures, but soon after the squad left, they started rebuilding.

Ashok Kumar, a leader of slum dwellers, said they would not heed to the LIT. “We will not go from here. We have been here for 20 years. Nobody has been able to touch us,” he said.

It is not the first time that the jhuggis have come up again in SBS Nagar. It happened in the past also when the LIT had taken up a demolition drive to remove jhuggis from the City Centre area.



Contractors allege favouritism
MC postpones tenders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
The municipal corporation today postponed tenders of development works worth Rs 20 crore amidst silent protests by contractors who alleged that it wanted to accommodate a particular company under political pressure. The functionaries, however, denied that allegations stating that they were trying to bring more transparency and were working on changing the conditions for tenders.

The tenders were called for strengthening the G.T. Road, Chandigarh Road, Gill Road and the Humbran Road worth crores each. The contractors, who were vying for tenders said it was disappointing that the corporation had postponed the tenders at the last minute. None of the contractors, however, wished to be quoted stating that their chances of getting the projects would dwindle if they spoke to the press.

Later after the postponing, the functionary of the municipal corporation, including commissioner, Vikas Partap, joint commissioner, Ashok Bajaj, mayor, Hakam Singh Gyaspura, and senior deputy mayor, Parvin Bansal, met to chalk out new guidelines for inviting tenders.Bansal said they wanted more companies to bid for tenders. He strongly denied the reports that the tenders were postponed due to political pressure. 



Govt demotes sub-registrar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Punjab’s honeymoon with an honest official has finally ended with the state government posting Mukesh Kumar Sharma, former sub-registrar on a relatively inferior position. 

Buckling under pressure of affluent and influential persons in the city, the government finally appointed Mukesh as a joint sub-registrar. Three more sub-registrars have been appointed to work with him. They would work on rotation basis on the two posts.

The government withdrew its earlier orders yesterday. Mukesh was posted as the sub-registrar by none other than the Chief Minister for being honest. He had specifically posted him in an office known as a den of corruption in the city. This office made crores every month amidst reports of lakhs exchanging hands illegally.

As per the orders of Romila Dubey, finance commissioner (Revenue), Mukesh was posted as joint sub-registrar (West), while tehsildar, Amandeep Singh Bhatti was posted as the sub-registrar (West) against the vacant post, Kanwar Narinder Singh and Tarsem Mittal as the sub-registrars (East).

Mukesh is on leave till February 15. He complained on working under stress and was hospitalized on February 6. He was being troubled by a few residents for strictly going by the book while executing the sale deeds. Talking to The Tribune today, Mukesh said, “I will work to the best of my abilities at whatever post I have been assigned.”

Since the day he took over the post someone or the other has been gunning for him. Earlier, property dealers wanted him to be removed. Then there were a few politicians, who were angry as he had refused to execute the sale deeds which did not have a legal standing or caused losses to the state exchequer. 



Govt employees stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
The joint action committee of the Ludhiana government employees union staged a dharna in support of their long-pending demands at the mini secretariat today. They sought promotions, regularisation of the part-time employees and filling of vacant posts.

Employees from the PWD, canal and the irrigation department, forest, health, technical education, transport, electricity and corporations took part in the rally. The committee members also demanded a ban on thee move to privatize various agencies. 



Flower show at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
PAU’s department of floriculture and landscaping will organise a flower show and competition near examination hall of the College of Agriculture on February 27 and 28 as part Dr M.S. Randhawa’s birth anniversary celebrations.

Stating this, department head Dr Ramesh Kumar Sadavarti said the competition would be open to individuals, private institutions, amateurs, government and semi-government institutions and nurseries.

There will be nine classes and 101 sections comprising fresh/dry flower arrangements, different flowers, foliage, cactus, ferns and bonsai plants.

Vice chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang will inaugurate the show. A prize distribution function will be held on February 28.The show will be open to general public after 1.30 pm on February 27, said Dr Sadavarti.



Patwar union seeks apology, threatens stir
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Activists of the Revenue Patwar Union today staged a dharna against the alleged misbehaviour of a senior functionary of the revenue department.

The rally was addressed by Kuldeep Singh Mann, president of the union. He condemned the incident and sought an apology failing which they would intensify their agitation. The representatives of the union condemned the authorities for not taking against the guilty. 



Income tax evasion

More often than not one comes across news on income tax department carrying out raids on big business houses and recovering crores of rupees in the form of undisclosed income. Sometimes, businessmen bribe away officials even before the checking of records, etc is done. However, the income tax and VAT departments do not target small business houses like cloth merchants, iron merchants, paints and grocery stores, which usually do not issue cash receipts to customers. The departments must keep an eye on such traders.

S. N. Sharma



Hybrid seeds can enhance profit: Dr Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Former PAU vice chancellor Dr Khem Singh Gill visited the university field area and interacted with scientists working on oilseed crops. He said oilseed crops in general and canola-type sarson held great potential in agricultural diversification of the state.

He said the involvement of male sterility in hybridisation programme could help in the development of hybrid seeds.

Dr Gill said farmers could maximise their profitability through shifting to hybrid seed production. He discussed the oilseed breeding programme with Dr S.S. Banga of the department of plant breeding.

Former head, department of plant breeding, Dr M.M.Verma and former director of extension education, Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishva Vidyalaya, Palampur, Dr G.S. Sethi also accompanied Dr Gill.

He shared his plans to promote seed production programmes in oilseeds in areas available around the schools run by Akal Academy for strengthening the resource generation for these institutes. It was the first visit of Dr Gill to the university after he relinquished as its vice chancellor.

The team interacted with PAU VC Dr Manjit Singh Kang in his office.

Dr Gill said the university had established itself as a creditable institute of agricultural research, education and transfer of technology not only in the country but also globally.

He was all praise for world-class scientific infrastructure available at the university.

Dr Gill said the state government should support the cause of agricultural development at the university.

Dr Gill said scientists should continue working with zeal to achieve goals in spite of ups and downs.



Experts underline benefits of forestry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Inaugurating a national symposium on “Intensive forest farming: the state-of-the-art” in the wheat auditorium on the PAU campus yesterday, vice chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang said forests could help to a great extent in addressing the problems of environment degradation arising out of agricultural and industrial activities.

He added that trees provided viable solution to many agrarian, social and economic problems. He emphasised that more area should be brought under forests in the country.

Dr Kang said as responsible members of the society, it was their duty to critically analyse the issues involved and plan strategies that ensured the well-being of present as well as future generations. He mentioned that the socio-political environment was in favour of promoting area under forests and emphasised that research programmes ought to be made gainful to the intended beneficiaries.He drew attention towards the ecological and economical side-effects of agricultural revolution and invited scientists to develop technologies for promoting not only forestry but also agro-forestry.

Chief conservator of forests Dr Jatinder Sharma, who was the guest of honour, said development programmes like dams and other structures had led to reduction in the area under forest cover.

Highlighting the need for expanding the forest cover, Dr Sharma said the forest department and research departments should work hand in hand.

He said although useful research output had been generated in the country on the production technology for forests species, there was a need for fostering market linkages with research.

PAU registrar Dr R.K. Mahey said forestry component could play a functional role in changing the agricultural scenario through enhancing productivity and profitability through forest-based production models.



From Schools
KVM students bid adieu to seniors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Students of class VII and faculty of KVM bid adieu to the outgoing class VIII of the school. Principal S.C. Saxena was present at the function. The function began with a hawan followed by songs and dances.

Prize winners: Miss Evening: Verma; Master Evening: Akhil Manchanda; Miss Beautiful Smile: Rajini Verma; Most Stylish Boy: Arora; Miss Innocent: Harleen Kaur; Master Innocent: Winkla Soin; Miss Beautiful Hair: Devyani Sharma; Master Handsome: Vikas Sharma; Miss Confident: Sweta Sharma; Best Dressed Boy: Dayashanker; Best Dressed Girl: Shivani; Miss Versatile: Sugandha Dhawan; Master Verntile: Sumit Goyal; Miss Scholar: Preeti, Master Scholar: Rajat Rattan.

Topper: Navneet Kaur, a student of class V of Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School, has brought laurels to the city by securing first position (91 per cent marks) in religious studies examination held at Sikh Missionary College.



577 students get prizes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
At least 577 students received prizes at the annual prize distribution function of Guru Nanak Girls College here today. Dr Daljit Singh, principal, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, was the chief guest. He was received by NCC cadets.

In his keynote address, Dr Daljit Singh said modern technology was advancing rapidly in every field and education had spread on a global scale with the availability of technology.

He added that in the present world of fierce competition, enormous opportunities were available for students.

Principal Dr Charanjit Mahal highlighted the achievements of the college in academics, sports and cultural activities and modernisation of infrastructure.

Guru Nanak Education Trust president Gurbir Singh lauded the students for their achievements.

The function commenced with shabad recitation by students. Dr Daljit Singh distributed prizes to students for excelling in academics and co-curricular activities.



From Colleges
Students get tips on flower arrangement
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
The home science department of SDP College for Women organised a workshop on “The art of arranging flowers” in the seminar hall here yesterday.

Dr Neelam Mehrotra, associate professor of family resource management of home science, PAU, was the resource person. She gave tips to students on making fresh-flower and dry-flower arrangements. She said different flower arrangements could be made for different occasions.

Discussion: A meeting of eminent educationists was yesterday held at Punjabi Bhawan on “What is required to improve academic standards of Panjab University and service condition of teachers”. The meeting was chaired by Prof K.B.S. Sodhi. Issues like revival of higher education, one representative each of PCCTU and GCTA as ex-officio/ special invitee to PU senate, complete compliance of PU calender, strict penalties against erring managements, strict implementation of affiliation norms to check the mushrooming growth of academic shops, to check victimisation of teachers, etc. were discussed. Tarsem Bahia, Dr Yog Raj Angrish, Prof Kuldip Singh, Prof Jaipal Singh, etc. took part in the meeting.

Students’ meeting: A meeting of the Punjab Students Union was yesterday held at Ghumar Mandi to discuss issues relating to student community. The meeting was chaired by president Gurmukh Singh Maan and general secretary Dharminder Singh Patran. Union members condemned the state government’s proposal to hand over the education to private players. They sought students’ support to get benefits from the government.



40 lakh Indians suffer from cancer: Doc
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Today, in a lecture organised for employees of Abhishek Industries at Kitchlu Nagar, Dr Rajeev Bedi, senior consultant and head, department of medical oncology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, shared important information on cancer, its causes, signs and symptoms.

According to Dr Bedi, at least eight to 10 lakh people are diagnosed as suffering from cancer every year and approximately 30 to 40 lakh are suffering from it in India. Lung, head and neck, colorectal esophageal and prostate are the common cancers in males whereas breast, cervix, ovary and gall bladder are common in women.

Spreading awareness on the subject, Dr Bedi said: “Tobacco is a major contributor to cancer. Physical inactivity, bad food habits, viral infections are related to cancers.

He stressed on need to educate people about the early signs of cancer like a new lump in any part of the body, cough, hoarseness of voice, difficulty in swallowing, poor appetite and weight loss, change in bowel and urinary habits, abnormal  discharge or bleeding from anywhere in the body

In India, 70 to 80 per cent people are diagnosed as suffering from cancer during the advanced stages (III or IV). Chemotherapy is given to shrink the cancer after which surgery can be done.

In this way a large number of cancer patients could be cured.

Only 20 to 30 per cent of patients are diagnosed as suffering from cancer in early stages, unlike in western countries where most of patients are diagnosed in stages I and II.

Such patients are treated with combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Survival in early stages is usually more than 80 per cent whereas it is poorer in later stages.



Local lad wins gold in power lifting
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 14
A power lifter of the local Galla Mandi area bagged another gold medal at the Punjab State Bench Press Championship organised by the Ludhiana district Power Lifting Association at Samrala recently. A few social and educational organisations of the town felicitated him at a function organized at M.G.M.N Senior Secondary School.

Mohit Dhand was declared winner in the 125 kg category at the Punjab State Bench Press Championship organised at Samrala recently. He had lifted 195 kg weight in the bench press. President of the host organization Kanwar Jit Singh Sandhu, SSP (Vigilance), and Harish Dhanda, parliamentary secretary, presented him gold medal on the occasion.

Mohit had earlier won gold medal in the National Junior Power Lifting Championship held in Assam last month.

He will be representing Punjab in the National Bench Press Championship scheduled to commence at Mumbai on February 22. A few social and educational organisations of the town felicitated Mohit Dhand for his outstanding achievement. 



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