How will the Rs 60,000-crore loan waiver announced in the Union Budget impact the farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh? The Tribune team of correspondents report their findings from the field

Beyond the waiver
The loan waiver will give farmers respite but only a revamp of the entire agricultural system will ensure their sustainability, writes Yoginder Gupta
Jubilation, confusion, apprehension, secrecy and disappointment are the emotions which farmers in Haryana display after Union Finance Minister announced a scheme to waive off bank loans of small and marginal farmers in his Budget speech. The farmer is jubilant that he would be free from his loan burden. He is confused to what extent the government would take care of his loan burden. He is apprehensive to what extent he would have to shell out clandestinely to bank and other officials to take the benefits of the scheme. A multi-pronged strategy has to be adopted to uplift marginal and poor farmers
A multi-pronged strategy has to be adopted to uplift marginal and poor farmers.

“It rewards defaulters”
Farmers who have paid off their loans are feeling cheated, writes Shveta Pathak
from Ludhiana

Cycling to his farm 55-year-old Nachhattar Singh smiles to himself thinking of his lush green fields where wheat gets ready to be harvested next month. A small farmer, with a five-acre land holding in village Jandiali Khurd in Mandi Ahmedgarh, he feels content. With an income which in no way is substantial, he has managed to run his household, never letting anyone doubt his credibility. He paid off his loans regularly, though not comfortably. He is joyous at the news of the loan waiver.

No exit
Farmers in Malwa have little to celebrate as they still have to pay back loans to arhtiyas, reports S.P Sharma from Bathinda
The Prime Minister’s package covers only the loans taken from commercial banks and cooperative institutions. With the highest number of farmers of the Malwa region in Punjab reeling under debt, the area has hit headlines because of the high incidence of suicide. Nearly 700 small farmers and agricultural labourers have reportedly committed suicide in Bathinda, one of the district of the seven hard-core cotton-growing districts of the state.

Ready for more
Defaulters are happy that they will now be eligible for fresh loans, reports
Ruchika M. Khanna

Rs 60,000-crore largesse offered by the Union Finance Minister, to the farming community may not prove to be such a boon after all. Even as farmers are ecstatic over the loan waiver, a vast majority of farmers in North India, who have availed loans from private money lenders, do not stand to benefit.

Scent of an albatross
collaborated study led by American and French researchers has found that wandering albatrosses rely heavily on their sense of smell to find food. They found that the birds were capable to pick up the smell of food from several miles. “This is the first time anyone has looked at the odour-tracking behaviour of individual birds in the wild using remote techniques,” said Gabrielle Nevitt, study author and professor of neurobiology, physiology and behaviour at UC Davis.

Armed with nostalgia
A number of Indians received their pre-commission training at the Royal Military College Sandhurst in the early 1900s. Brig M. P. Singh (retd) visits the famous academy in the UK which has artefacts and memorabilia of the British Indian Army

Off the beaten track
The great Indian traveller is seeking out niche experiences, says V. Vijayalakshmi
Mere trips to Singapore and Thailand, or for that matter even to London, Paris and Rome, are no longer good enough for the great Indian traveller who is now looking at specialised tours like music cruises, adventure trails, spiritual getaways and health holidays abroad.

Whither women’s cinema
There has hardly been a movement of self-assertion and protest by filmmakers against the way women are depicted in cinema, writes Derek Bose
Women’s representation in cinema has more or less been limited to the way the movie camera "looks" at the staging of certain stereotypical situations on screen, such as a rape, the social ostracism faced by an unwed mother, a cabaret, kathak or item number, an orphan girl trapped in a den of vice and so on.

Image makeover for Bipasha
Setting aside the micro-minis, Bipasha Basu will be seen in a saree and ethnic jewellery in Rituparno Ghosh’s film, writes Shoma A. Chatterji
Bipasha Basu is a surprise package. Just when everyone is getting ready to see her shapely self in sizzling style in Race, hotting it up with Saif Ali Khan, here she goes all sari-bindi-ethnic jewellery for her first Bangla film, Shawb Choritro Kalponik (All Characters are Fictitious) being directed by Rituparno Ghosh.

Now Salaam-e-Ishq in 6 stories
Subhash K. Jha
what will decidedly qualify as a first-ever experiment in cinema, Nikhil Advani’s segmented love saga Salaam-e-Ishq will now be divided into six separate stories, with each plot treated as an individual, self-contained film. This more viewer-friendly version of the episodic film will conclusively illustrate the fact that the fragmented format doesn’t work in India. Commenting on this, Advani said: "I’d have to go with that.


A sparkling new look
If you are wearing an off-shoulder dress, you can apply shimmer on the curve of the shoulder, says Dolly Sagar
Shimmer and glitter in the make-up are back with a bang. Every fashion-conscious young girl out there is vying to get it perfectly right. Turn around and you find that shimmer cannot go unnoticed. The giggling group of girls in your favourite fast food joint make sure that you notice it. They lower their eyelids and you can catch a trace of it.

Touch wood
at North Carolina State University have unveiled a wooden sports car, which can run faster than a Porsche or a Lamborghini, as part of their graduate project. Joe Harmon, head of the project, has revealed that the car has been named Splinter. He says that it can produce 700 bhp from its twin supercharged, 4.6 litre V8 engine, almost 300 bhp more than a Porsche 911 GT3. The car has a top speed of 240 mph, he adds.


'ART & SOUL: The poetry of sound
by B.N. Goswamy

TELEVISION: Publishing scandal

FOOD TALKEnglish treat, the Indian way
by Pushpesh Pant

Garden life: Add golden touch to summer
by Kiran Narain

CONSUMER RIGHTS: Dealers must supply safe LPG cylinders
by Pushpa Girimaji

by David Bird

ULTA PULTA: Note-worthy
by Jaspal Bhatti


King, Saint and Oprah
Priyanka Singh
Martin Luther King, Jr: A Biography
by Roger Bruns. Jaico. Pages 157. Rs 295.

Mother Teresa: A Biography
by Meg Greene. Jaico. Pages 152. Rs 295.
Oprah Winfrey: A Biography
by Helen S. Garson. Jaico. Pages 174. Rs 295.

Books received: ENGLISH

Pragmatic Mahatma
Kavita Soni-Sharma
Gandhi’s Philosophy and the Quest for Harmony
by Anthony J. Parel. Cambridge University Press. Pages 226. Price not stated.

Legacy that goes beyond blood ties
Amarinder Sandhu
The Other Face of the Moon
by Asha Miro. Jaico. Pages 243. Rs 295.

Towards a better tomorrow
Aditi Garg
Job Creation and Poverty Reduction in India: Towards Rapid and Sustained Growth
Ed. Sadiq Ahmed. Sage Publications. Pages 350. £37.50.

Kids robbed of their innocence

Lesson in leadership
David Goldblatt
Gang Leader For A Day
by Sudhir Venkatesh. Allen Lane, £18.99.

A professor’s crash course in the crack trade has few parallels in social science

Mission to unravel myths
Madhushree Chatterji

Hooked to Harry Potter

Rushdie on the life and times of Jodha

Novella and a blast from the past
Randeep Wadehra
by M. Mukundan (Translated by D. Krishna Ayyar & KG Ramakrishnan)
Katha. Pages 123. Rs 175

Shakespeare’s Daughter & Other Plays
by CD Sidhu. Writers Workshop. Pages 422. Rs 200 (flexiback)
The Alipore Bomb Case
by Noorul Hoda (Ed Shyam Banerji). Niyogi Books. Pages 176. Rs 395