L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Internal assessment on notice boards
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
There’s good news for college students. From now onward, they will come to know about their internal assessment and practical marks of respective subjects before the declaration of results.

It has become mandatory for the colleges affiliated with Panjab University, Chandigarh, to display the list of marks on the notice boards for at least five-six days, even before submitting it to the university.

Talking to The Tribune, prior to delivering his convocation address at KCW here, Prof R.C. Sobti said colleges had been asked to submit the internal assessment marks before March 19 and the list of marks of practical subjects before April 6.

Acting tough with B.Ed colleges not sticking to the basic guidelines, Prof Sobti said the colleges violating rules or not implementing basic guidelines will be disaffiliated by June 2008. "It is mandatory for these colleges to appoint the principals and faculty according to the rules and regulations given by the university", he said.

When asked whether the university had any intention of handing over the MBA/MCA courses to colleges, Prof Sobti said the move was not viable because then the graduation/post-graduation classes would be affected. "But if there is some extraordinary college, the proposal can be considered", he added.

Meanwhile, the 46th annual convocation function of Khalsa College for Women was organised here today. Professor Sobti, the chief guest, was given a warm welcome by the principal, Dr Varinder Kaur Thind, and members of college managing committee.

Dr Thind read the annual college report and highlighted the achievements of college students. As many as 1,071 students were awarded degrees, including 810 graduates, 56 honours students and 205 postgraduate students. Rolls of honour in academics, social and cultural activities, sports and NCC were also given.

The college teams of skit, basketball, cricket, cross-country and shooting were given merit certificates for bringing laurels to the college in 2007-2008.



A salute to women’s spirit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Various colleges, social organisations and NGOs celebrated International Women’s Day here today. People from different walks of life laid stress on giving equal rights and status to women in society.

The social welfare and women and child development department of Punjab organised a state-level function at Guru Nanak Bhawan here. Punjab minister of technical education and social welfare Choudhry Swarna Ram presided over the function.

Choudhry Swarna Ram said women had achieved great heights in society and in many fields, women were far ahead than their male counterparts. "State government is making every possible effort to uplift women in society. Many schemes for spreading awareness among women, saving the girl child, Swayam Siddha, etc are being run by the department," he said. He asked the women to fight for their rights.

Many cultural items were organised. Amongst others present were deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar and director of social welfare, women and child development department, Punjab, Rakhi Gupta Bhandari.



Auto fares zoom
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 8
It is no longer possible for a city resident to pay a fare of Rs 2 or Rs 3 to commute even a very short distance on a three-wheeler, which was possible till a few days ago.

As a result of the marginal hike in fuel prices, all the auto rickshaw unions have got together and fixed a minimum fare of Rs 5 per passenger for travel up to 5 km on different routes in the city. The fares for a journey beyond that distance have been jacked up to Rs 6 and Rs 7.

With the hike in minimum fare, the worst hit are the commuters travelling short distances on a regular basis. Thousands of office goers, small traders and workers, commuting from their places of residence to offices, shops and factories have to shell out more by way of auto fare every day.

A large number of people in the city prefer to commute by some 25,000 auto rickshaws plying in the mega city rather than using their own mode of conveyance just because of the chaotic traffic condition on city roads and acute shortage of parking space in commercial and industrial areas. Many of the shoppers also make use of three- wheelers as a mode of transport for similar reasons.

An office-bearer of one of the three-wheeler unions in the city justified the hike in fare saying the repeated increase in fuel prices had virtually dried up the margin of profit and in the old fare structure, running an auto rickshaw was no longer economically viable. "Even at Rs 5, commuting short distance on a three-wheeler is any day cheaper because the passenger will have to pay anything like Rs 20 to travel the same distance on a cycle rickshaw, the only other alternative mode of local transport."

The affected members of public, however, termed the new fare structure as irrational. Said Amrik Singh, a sales man at a textile show room in Chaura Bazar, "A minimum fare of Rs 5 for travelling long distance may be justified. But paying the same amount for commuting say from Kailash Chowk to Clock Tower which earlier cost just Rs 2 is not done."

Several regular commuters to different points on three-wheelers within the city stressed the need for some sort of regulatory mechanism for the fare structure so as to ensure that the auto drivers had a rational fare structure and did not resort to an increase as and when they desired so.



Delimitation process complete, says Justice Kuldip
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Chairman, Delimitation Commission, Government of India, and former Supreme Court Judge Kuldip Singh said today that the delimitation process was almost complete. Justice Kuldip Singh also added that both delimitation and elections were important in democracy. He was in city today to preside over the 37th annual prize distribution function of the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women.

In an exclusive interview with The Tribune, Justice Kuldip Singh informed that the delimitation process had been completed and the President had even given her assent. It will be implemented by April. It took almost three years to complete the entire process.

“Delimitation means equal value for equal vote. In the state like Punjab, four new Scheduled Caste and Backward Class constituencies like Faridkot, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Fatehgarh Sahib have come up. The commission had nothing to do with increase in the number of seats, as in 1976 these were frozen”, said Justice Kuldip Singh adding that the aim was to provide equal representation to people.

He further added that during the past three years, people from all walks of life forwarded their suggestions. “But we did what was exactly required. Nobody interfered in our working, really”, he added. Giving an example of Delhi, he said one constituency (Chandni Chowk) had 38 lakh population whereas another had just 3.5 lakh voters. “We had to balance the constituencies, which were a challenging task”, he added.

Justice Kuldip Singh added that after accomplishing the task he would start an NGO which would work on subjects like environment and female foeticide.



Green Move
228 parks handed over to committees
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
After a gap of six years, the municipal corporation has decided to hand over the charge of maintaining 228 parks in the city to the Park Management Committees (PMCs). As many as 161 committees will handle the parks in all the four zones of the city.

The development followed a direction of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that said that the management of parks be taken care of by the committees. The committees, constituted during the previous regime of Parkash Singh Badal, were scrapped by the Capt Amarinder Singh government in 2002.

The development took place after a meeting between PMC members and MC officials at the MC horticultural department at Guru Nanak Stadium here today. The meeting was headed by the Xen and horticulture expert, Dr J.S. Bilga. It was under Bilga's supervision that the PMCs came into existence in 1999.

Dr Bilga said, "Approximately 46 agreements were made with the various PMCs and the process will be wrapped up in a few days."

According to the agreement, Re 1 for each sq yard will be given by the MC to the PMCs for the restoration of greenery in the park.

The PMC members fought a legal battle on many fronts to reinstate the scheme after it was scrapped by the previous Congress regime.

They even approached the State Human Rights Commission and filed a petition in the High Court to reinstate the PMCs. Ultimately the High Court directed the MC to restore the PMCs.

A new set of rules have been introduced for hassle- free conduct of the PMCs. According to the new rules, no outsider can be a part of a PMC. For this purpose, the PMCs have been divided into four zones. In Zone A, five committees will look after six parks.

As many 22 PMCs of Zone B will look after 35 parks and eight PMCs of Zone C will look after 13 parks. Zone D, which has got 121 committees, will look after 171 parks of the city.

Bilga said, "This time there will be no interference by any outsider and the park will be managed by the residents of the colony."

The MC is about to introduce a plan in which the residents will be encouraged with special perks to maintain barren land or the roundabouts, close to their homes.



Include agriculture in school curriculum, says expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
A two-day brainstorming session on agricultural education policy began today at PAMETI Conference Hall in Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). Vice chancellors from different states are attending the session.

Inaugurating the event, Dr Jai Rup Singh, VC of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, said the number of rural students enrolling in various agricultural programmes was decreasing while the number of urban students, who, he said, looked for white-collar jobs for better living standards, was increasing.

He further stressed that the cutting-edge technology such as biotechnology, computer sciences and engineering were engulfing huge monetary investments but their real output was still awaited. He drew attention of the audience towards including agriculture as a subject in school and college curriculums. He also laid emphasis on the regular revision of course curriculum and taking steps to strengthen research in the need-based areas. He said state agricultural universities (SAUs) should revamp their curricular programmes so as to produce job creators rather than job seekers.

Dr S.A. Patil, director, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, said to address the upcoming problems in agriculture, a viable interaction between SAUs and other technology-generating institutes should be fostered through favourable government policies.

Former PAU VC Dr Khem Singh Gill emphasised that efforts must be made to improve educational standards in rural areas and to promote the influx of rural students in agricultural programmes.

Dr Dmitry Kozlov, Rector of Moscow State University of Environmental Engineering (MSUEE), said food safety was a global issue for which education could play a useful role. He stated that MSUEE and PAU had signed an agreement in the area of education, research and technology. PAU VC Dr Manjit Singh Kang delivered the keynote address in the first session, which was chaired by Dr S.A. Patil. Kang provided an overview of the agricultural education in India. He mentioned that SAUs played a key role in bringing in green, blue, yellow and white revolutions that brought prosperity.

Dr S.S. Johl, former VC of Punjabi University, Patiala, suggested that the previous system of internal evaluation needed to be revised. 



Park panels object to ‘political intervention’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Members of the Park Management Committees (PMCs) have shown their resentment over “political participation” in the allotment of PMCs.

Members of previously established PMCs alleged that the area councillors were making new committees and appointing their confidants as presidents of the PMCs.

According to a new clause, the residents need the signatures of an area councillor to form a PMC.

Agitated with the decision, residents met mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura and commissioner Vikas Partap Singh this morning and demanded that no councillor should be involved with PMC matters.

Residents alleged that councillors preferred their allies in the allocation of the PMCs.

The residents further alleged that a majority of the councillors were backed by a political party and in order to pamper their supporters, these councillors were allotting the PMCs to them.

L.R. Khera, a resident of Tagore Nagar E-Block, accused the area councillor Bharat Bhushan Ashu of allegedly assigning a PCM to one of his close confidants.

Khera said he had been maintaining the Tagore Nagar E-Block park for the past 35 years. Since he was a BJP supporter, the area councillor, who is a Congress candidate, declined his application and appointed his close confidant as the president of the PMC. He alleged, "The councillor is settling scores with us for not supporting him during the MC elections held last year.”

Xen, Horticulture, J.S. Bilga said, "We have received similar complaints form various PMC workers. If the councillor and the residents fail to resolve the issue, then the MC will employ its own workers.” 



Chief Justice inspects traffic lok adalat
Day 2: Rs 25 lakh recovered from violators
Rajneesh Lakhanapal

Ludhiana, March 8
Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Vijender Jain inspected the working of the mega traffic lok adalat benches in which 15,000 traffic challans were cleared and Rs 25 lakh was recovered from the traffic violators.

Talking to the reporters, he said the alternative system of lok adalat was becoming popular. He appealed to masses to settle their disputes through lok adalats.

He said to accelerate the disposal of pending cases as well as of pre-litigative stage, mediation and reconciliation centres based on lawyers as well as judges would be set up at the district level. The first such centre was going to set up at the High Court on March 17.

Today was the second day of the traffic lok adalat organised here by the District Legal Services authority under the supervision of its Chairman and District and Sessions Judge G.K.Rai.

Earlier, the Chief Justice was welcomed by president of the District Bar Association, Parupkar Singh Ghumman, secretary Goving Puri, Balwinder Goel,member, Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, Additional Sessions Judges M S Virdi, Sanjeev Berry, Gurbir Singh, Kishore Kumar, P S Dhanoa, A K Mehta, R L Ahuja, Chief Judicial Magistrate Rajinder Aggarwal, Judges Tarsem Mangla and K.K. Bansal.



Women’s Day
Female infants to get ‘shagun’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 8
Director of SPS Apollo Hospital Jugdiep Singh said today that each female infant born at the hospital would receive a gift cheque worth Rs 1,100 as “shagun”. He said this while addressing a function to mark International Women Day on the hospital premises.

He dwelt on the role of women in today’s society and added that though women had made a mark in the fields of education, science, technology and management, still empowerment of Indian women had a long way to go. “The bias in favour of a male child is still very strong that is evident from the skewed sex ratio which is perhaps the worst in Punjab.”

In another function organised at Civil Hospital to mark Women’s Day, civil surgeon Dr Sat Pal Sharma expressed concern over the declining sex ratio in the state. He stressed on the need to effectively curbing the menace of female foeticide. It was a black spot on the face of Punjabis, who were otherwise known to be progressive, he added.

Dr Jasbir Singh spoke on the increasing incidence of HIV/AIDS among women. Dr Surinder Kaur and Dr Sumita Sahdev focused on rights of the women while the district family welfare officer Dr Reena Sandhu discussed in detail the provisions of PNDT Act. An awareness rally was also taken out on the occasion.



Industrial Expo-2008 kicks off
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, SAD MP, inaugurated the Industrial Expo-2008, organised by Paramount Exhibitors, here yesterday.

Twenty-five industrial associations are supporting the event and aim to provide a platform to industry to discuss its requirements, equip itself with the latest technology and learn about international trends.

Harish Arora, CEO of Paramount Exhibitors, says: “The objective of the exhibition is to create a forum focused at highlighting the latest technologies and help units become globally competitive by imbibing these technologies.

We have created a platform through our exhibitions wherein buyers and sellers in the industry can interact and develop relationships for the development and modernisation of the industry in Ludhiana.”

Over 100 companies from various segments are participating.



Price Hike
Now, local producers blame big steel houses
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Local steel manufacturers have blamed big steel producers for the rise in steel prices.This comes in response to the steel consuming industry’s allegations that owners of the local induction furnaces and rolling mills are indulging in unfair practices by forming a cartel and jacking up the rates.

“We too condemn rise in steel prices. We are unable to control the prices due to increase in rates of the raw material, particularly steel scrap. For this, we are also dependent on leading steel producers. However, the rise in price is market driven and we have no control over it,” said president, North India Induction Furnace Association, K.K. Garg.

While steel consuming units like engineering industry said manufacturers here were jacking up the prices without any reason, whereas local producers cited shortage of iron scrap as the cause.

“Due to the shortage of iron scrap, rates are rising rapidly. When major steel producers increase their rates, scrap traders too affect a hike and create artificial scarcity.”

Steel producers also said the high cost of manganese, ferro silicon, aluminum, chrome, sponge iron; uranium and burning losses were another reason for the rise in prices.

“The cost of mould has also increased from Rs 4,000 to Rs 9,000 per metric tonne. Besides, hike in electricity tariff too are adding to our costs,” they explained.



1,005 awarded degrees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
More than 800 graduates were awarded their degrees during the annual convocation of Khalsa College for Women here today.

Two hundred five postgraduates also received degrees at the function attended by Prof R.C. Sobti, vice-chancellor of Panjab University, as the chief guest. Principal Varinder Kaur read the annual report.

University toppers who were honoured included Priya Gupta, Niharika Ahluwalia, Inderpreet Kaur and Anita Singh.

Women’s Day: Seminars and discussions marked the International Women’s Day celebrations at Ramgarhia Girls College here today. During a seminar organised by Ramgarhia Girls College, G.K.Chatrath, a former advocate general of Punjab, dwelled on various aspects of women empowerment. Principal Harmit Kaur highlighted the need for a greater awareness among women about their rights.

VISIT: A VLCC team visited Rising Stars School on the occasion of International Women's Day. The team gave a demo on make up to the parents. Dr Balli spoke on the importance of nutritious diet for children.

Annual Day: Pumpkins Kindergarten celebrated its 5th annual day children on the school premises here today. Tiny tots gave scintillating performances. They also showed their theatrical talent in the play titled "The Princess and the Glassware”.



Navtej Johar mesmerises audience
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Bharatnatyam exponent Navtej Johar mesmerised the audience with his dance-theatre performance, “Fana’a: Ranjha Revisited” organised at Guru Nanak Bhawan here yesterday evening. The event was organised by Media Artists and Sangeet Natak Academy.

The dance-theatre piece combined two archetypical narratives from North “Heer Ranja”, and South’s “Kutrala Kuravanji”. The performance narrated the love story combining Carnatic and Sufi music with Punjabi and Tamil languages.

The audience was left spell bound as Navtej Johar presented the male-duet, freely intermixing and juxtaposing the two texts without a fixed flow of narrative or characterisations.

The piece, that was operatic in nature showed how Ranjha, harbinger of continuity, becomes the bard of a million masquerades, crossing cultural, spiritual and existential spaces with ease.



SAI centre eves register win
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporer

Ludhiana, March 8
An exhibition volleyball match was organised by the Sports Training Centre, Ludhiana, at Guru Sports Complex here today to celebrate International Women’s Day.

The match was played between the teams of SAI centre and Government Senior Secondary School, Kundan Puri, Civil Lines, in which the former came out triumphant in straight sets 25-21 and 25-15.

Daleep Kaur Randhawa, former head of the sports section, Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana, was the chief guest. The players were provided refreshments by the members of the Young Sportsperson’s Friends Association.

Harbans Singh, in charge of the SAI Training Centre and coordinator of Punjab, along with Gianinder Singh Sandhu, district sports officer, Ludhiana, and other officials of the sports department, including Jaspal Singh, Daljinder Kaur, Sonia, Rakesh Sharma, Neelam Rani, Surinder Singh and Sita Kapila witnessed the match.



Punjab eves win b’ball title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 8
Hosts Punjab overpowered Haryana to the win the basketball title in the 2nd National Workers’ Games being held at the Punjab Agricultural University, here today.

In the men’s section, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh wrapped up their respective semifinal encounters to set up the title clash. In the semifinals, Punjab outplayed Haryana while Andhra Pradesh outnumbered Gujrat.

Other results: Lawn Tennis (men): Sanjay of Punjab bt Rajesh of Rajasthan; Ramesh Singh of Rajasthan bt Ashish of Uttrakhand; Pushpendra Singh of Rajasthan bt Shailender of Uttrakhand; Kuljeet of Punjab bt Arvind of Uttrakhand; Raj Kumar of Punjab bt Ramesh Singh of Rajasthan; V Kumar of Andhra Pradesh bt Pushpendra Singh of Rajasthan.

100m (men): 1 Vivek Ojha of Uttrakhand, 2 Bharat Singh of Uttrakhand and 3 Amrik Singh of Punjab; 100m (women): 1 Kavita of Haryana, 2 Pavetra of Punjab and 3 Bhupidner Kaur of Punjab; 200m (men): 1 Ravinder Chaudhary of Uttrakhand, 2 Jalawar Singh of Punjab and 3 Gurvinder of Uttar Pradesh.

200m (women): 1 Ekta of Daheya of Haryana, 2 Maneesha of Haryana and 3 Bhupendera Kaur of Punjab; 400m (men): 1 Kapil Chaudhary of Uttrakhand, 2 Akbar of Andhra Pradesh and Pushpendra Singh of Rajasthan; 400m (women): 1 Pooja Daheya of Haryana, 2 Sumandeep Kaur of Punjab and 3 Seema of Haryana.

Volleyball (men) semifinal: Punjab bt Haryana and Andhra Pradesh bt Diu and Daman.

Chess (men): 1 Pushpendra Singh of Rajasthan, 2 Ramesh Singh of Rajasthan and 3 Narottam Sharma of Gujrat.



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