L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


For education board, Class II=Class V
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Strange are the ways of the Punjab School Education Board. In the revised syllabus, the board has introduced the same set of Hindi books for Classes II and V.

The books contain 21 chapters in the same sequence. Except for the cover, the authorities responsible for publishing did not even bother to shuffle the chapters.

The education department, which was earlier criticised for the delay in the issuance of books, has further disappointed the teaching fraternity, which has termed it as unfortunate and confusing. The teachers accused the board of being irresponsible.

“This shows the seriousness of the education board and its hollow claims about the promotion of education at the primary level.

For the board, there is no difference between a Class II and Class V student,” Lata Sharma, a teacher at a government primary school, said.

Another teacher said: “It took the board more than four months to make the Class V Hindi book available in the market and look at the irony now, it is the same book that is being taught to Class II students.”

“If the board had to issue the same set of books, it could have intimated the school authorities in advance so that the teachers could have initiated the teaching process,” another teacher said.

There is a mixed feeling among students regarding the books. While some are happy that it would save time and they could concentrate on other subjects, the others feel that it would make it monotonous.

D.S. Dhillon, chairman of the board, could not be contacted. Rajinder Sharma, chairman of the board affiliated school principal association, and Jagtar Singh Khatra, DPI (secondary) were tightlipped on the issue.


Scheme for service tax defaulters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
For the quick resolution of disputes involving small amounts of service tax up to Rs 25,000, the central excise department has asked the parties concerned to make their declaration before September 30.

The commissioner, central excise and service tax, A.K. Mehra, yesterday said that the dispute resolution scheme of the Centre was in operation from July 1 to September 30.

As per the scheme, amnesty would be available on the payment of 50 per cent of service tax amount involved in the show-cause notice and the penalty and interest would be waived.

The scheme covered all cases where tax arrears, including interest and penalty, were payable under the Finance Act, but were not paid prior to March 1, 2008, and where show-cause notices were sent.

However, service providers who had collected service tax from their service receivers, but did not pay tax to the government shall not be covered under the scheme.



Undertrial in murder case shows the way
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
“Positive thinking” propelled Rajnikant Pathak (21), an undertrial accused of murder, to impart computer education to other inmates of “Boston jail”, referred as an institute as the inmates falling in the 18-21 age group are either going to school or undergoing vocational training.

Rajnikant was accused of murdering a youth and brought to the jail in 2003. Jail officials said he was an introvert who kept himself busy with computers.

He was well versed with FoxPro, C ++ before coming to the jail and went on to add to his knowledge after Indiavision, an NGO, donated four computers to the jail.

Inspired by jail superintendent Charanjit Singh Bhangu, Rajnikant starting taking computer classes. “He has trained around a dozen young boys who are running their computer hardware stores. Some of them have even established themselves in software development,” Charnajit Singh said.

Rajnikant said: “I was implicated in thecase. I did not even know about the murder till the time I was arrested from my house in the Civil Lines. But I believe in providence and have done my best to share my knowledge with the inmates.



Godown sealed; insecticide worth Rs 2 cr seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
The district agriculture department has sealed a godown of a prominent company for storing illegal insecticide worth Rs 2 crore in Transport Nagar.

District agriculture officer Yadwinder Singh Chhina said in a press note today that the godown had been sealed until further orders.

He said the godown was illegal and the department had taken five samples of the insecticides. The samples were being examined to ascertain if those were spurious.

The company had its head office in Kolkata. It had set up the godown in the city from where insecticide was supplied to northern states.



Power Crisis
Farmers spend Rs 1,000 on generators everyday
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
In the absence of the “promised” eight hours power supply to the agriculture sector, a large number of farmers in this part of the region are being forced to shell out on an average Rs 1,000 per day on diesel for getting good yield.

Sore over the additional burden put on them by the state government, farmers alleged this was being done, as the government wanted to handover the PSEB to the private sector.

President, central executive committee, All-India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha, Hardev Singh Sandhu, said the board had failed to provide 8 hours power supply (in shifts) to the villages so far.

“The voltage keeps on fluctuating as every grid or a transformer is overloaded. There is a shortage of staff in villages as well. Thus, farmer is left with no alternative but to use generators for saving the produce. On an average, we are spending Rs 1,000 per day on diesel. This is nothing but exploitation of farmers”, he rued, adding that about 50 to 60 villages fall under the Jagraon grid and power situation was similar in the Lakha, Sidhwan Bet, Sudhar and Jagraon areas. He added that farmers of Jagraon would meet on July 8 for discussing the issue.

Mohinder Singh Dosanjh of Jagatpur near Nawansher, who received numerous awards during the latest Kisan Mela at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), said those having single phase meters were the worst affected.

“Monsoon has been kind to us this season. Those who transplanted paddy earlier were lucky enough and people like me who are yet to start transplantation, are also getting enough rains. As far as surviving on electricity board is concerned, this has been the worst year”, he complained.



Police remand extended in RDX case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 5
The duty magistrate today extended the police remand of alleged terrorist Gukrdeep Singh till July 8. He is stated to be the brother of Bagga who stays in Germany and is an alleged terrorist.

Billa was reportedly helping local terrorists on the instructions of his brother.

The judge also extended the police remand of Gurbhej Singh, Amrit and Daljit
Singh till July 7, who were apprehended by the Jagroan police with 35 kg of RDX, including detonators.

Judges in Jagroan were on leave and that is why the accused were produced here.

SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said a request was made to the court for extending the police remand.

Meanwhile, Manjit Singh and Sukhwinder Singh, arrested on the charges of having explosives, were today remanded in judicial custody.



Bank employees rally against privatisation
Nationwide strike on August 20
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
At least 3,000 bank employees took part in a state-level rally, which is a part of the national campaign by employee unions to “save public sector banks”, here today.

The All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) in association with the All-India Bank Officers Association has launched the campaign.

It would end with the observance of the “save public sector banks day” on July 19.

Bank unions are demanding end to the privatisation, mergers and consolidation and FDI in banks.

Besides these they are in favour of opening up of more rural branches and recovery of bad loans from the corporate sector.

The bank employees will also observe a nationwide strike on August 20 to mark their protest against the government policies regarding the public sector banks.

Members of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation also took out a procession from Chattar Singh Park till Dugri. They also held a rally here.

Addressing the employees, C.H.Venktachalm, general secretary of the association, said despite of assurances the government was moving toward reforms suggesting privatisation.

“This will result in handing over a huge and hard-earned savings of more than Rs 24 lakh crore to the private corporate sector. The government shall abandon all such move.”

Condemning mergers and consolidations, Venktachalm said mergers “were unwarranted as these would not lead to strengthening of public-sector banks.”

The union leaders also expressed fear over the 74 per cent FDI being allowed in the banking sector. Secretary of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation, Naresh Gaur, said the Bill seeking to delete Section 12(2) of the Banking Regulations Act had not been withdrawn and it only indicated that the government was waiting for an opportunity to push through the amendment that enabled 74 per cent FDI to enter the banking sector with full voting rights.

More than 50 per cent people don’t have access to banking services and the government and the RBI should ensure that more branches are opened in non-banking areas.

Giving data, unions said only 36 branches were opened in non-banking areas in 2006-07 out of 2,366 new branches in that year.

Similarly in 2005-06 only two out of 1,331 branches were opened in non-banking areas while this was 15 out of 1,250 in 2004-05.

Among other issues raised in the rally were more loans to the agricultural sector, stopping of loans for speculation and trading in food grains and recovery of bad loans.



Breakfast key to healthy diet, say PAU scientists
“Paranthas” more nutritious than bread
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Breakfast being the foundation of healthy diet helps in providing energy and other nutrients to an individual for the day.

Food and nutrition scientists Dr J.S.Sidhu and Dr S.Verma of Punjab Agricultural University in their research study have stated this.

They reached this conclusion after carrying out a dietary survey on 80 families. They found that “paranthas” are more nutritious than bread and its preparations.

They observed that people who eat breakfast tend to feel more energetic and on average are better able to regulate their appetite during the day than those who skip their breakfast.

They observed that consumption of a nutritious breakfast is associated with better physical and mental performance as it quickens reactive time, decreases muscular fatigue, increases pulse rate, influences mood and improves cognitive performance.

Early breakfast is the best way to maintain a healthy body weight and get nutrients that can in no way be compensated by other meals during the day, mentioned the scientists.

Commonly consumed breakfast preparations were selected for analysis. Eleven preparations like stuffed “paranthas”, plain “paranthas or chapatti” with seasonable vegetable and sandwiches were prepared in the laboratory based on the recipes common in Punjabi families.

The whole-wheat flour used for each “parantha” was 40 gram and the amount of stuffing varied with the king of material used.

Seasonal vegetables like potato, cauliflower, radish and fenugreek leaves were used. In “missi parantha” 10 grams of wheat flour was replaced with gram flour.

Refined groundnut oil was used for shallow frying of the “paranthas” and for vegetable preparation. Boiled, mashed potatoes along with spices were used for potato sandwich whereas tomato and cucumber slices with a pinch of salt and black pepper powder were used for vegetable sandwich.

These preparations were analysed for their proximate composition. The results revealed that the “parantha” had 4.2 to 5 gram protein and 209 to 258 Kcal of energy per 100 gram.

The protein content of both combinations of “chapatti” and vegetable and “parantha” and vegetable preparation was same (5.3 g per 100 gram) but the energy value of the latter was higher because of the fat content that goes into preparation of “parantha”.

Plain bread had lowest values for both protein (2.28 per 100 gram) as well as energy (69 Kcal per 100 gram) on fresh basis.

The calcium content of various “paranthas” ranged from 101.23 to 118.50 mg per 100 gram, the lowest being in potato “parantha” and the highest in fenugreek “parantha”, found the scientists.

The combinations of “chapatti” and vegetable had 107.16 mg per 100 g calcium while that of plain “parantha” and vegetable had 105.18 mg.

Calcium content in the plain bread and sandwiches was very low as compared to other breakfast preparation. Plain bread had 25.13 mg per 100 gram of calcium while vegetable sandwich and potato sandwich had 32.15 and 23.65 mg calcium, respectively.

The scientists informed that the highest iron content was found in fenugreek “parantha” (6.91 mg per 100 gram) followed by cauliflower “parantha” (6.13 mg per 100 gram) and radish “parantha” (5.83 mg per 100 gram).

The iron content in plain bread was 1.09 mg only and in vegetable sandwich and potato sandwich it was 0.97 and 0.92 mg, respectively.

Iron content of plain “parantha” and vegetable and in “chapatti” and vegetable combination was on par, observed the scientists.



Property dealer told to refund Rs 23,200
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 5
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered the owner of BR Real Estate to refund Rs 23,200 to a labourer, deposited by him for getting a plot.

The forum pronounced the order while deciding a complaint filed by Milan Kumar.

The forum held that the complainant failed to make the instalments in time.

As per the agreement with the dealer, in case of failure to pay three continuous instalments, the sale agreement would be deemed cancelled.

Even the dealer had sold the plot to someone. The forum asked the dealer to refund the amount to the complainant.



New councillors flooded with complaints
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 5
Overflowing sewage, inadequate water supply and unavailability of space for dumping garbage are the major problems that welcomed newly-elected councillors here. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, SAD secretary general from Sangrur, said all problems would be solved in a phased manner once the council gets constituted.

While office-bearers of the local civic body are yet to be elected, newly-elected councillors have started receiving complaints about inadequate water supply, choked sewage connections and garbage dumped in streets. Intermittent rains have compounded sewage disposal problem.

Though the residents had been facing these problems for years, they could not digest the laxity anymore as local leaders had garnered support for their respective candidates by promising them respite after the elections.

According to Bimal Sharma Billu, councillor from ward No. 11, inadequate water supply had emerged as major problem in localities on the outskirts of the town. In some areas pressure of the water is so low that the consumers have to use tullu pumps to fill their buckets.

Contrary to claims made by the council authorities disposal system is also inefficient. As there are no water recharge pits in majority of the private and public establishments, the volume of disposed water swell on numerous occasions.

Fields surrounding outlet of the disposal channel being flooded with rainwater, farmers resist working of disposal pumps for a longer time. The trend has aggravated the problem.

Despite restoration of work by the council scavengers, heaps of garbage can be seen in the streets.

Apprehending aggravation due to inefficient solid waste management, Ravinder Puri councilor maintained that the council had already exhausted carrying capacity of the garbage dump.



Power tariff hike pinches industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Local industry and residents today condemned the hike in power tariff. Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma, president, United Cycle and Parts manufacturers Association, said the industry was already reeling under pressure due to hike in steel prices and other raw material.

Frequent power cuts of more than six hours in a day had made it tough for the industry to even function smoothly. Under such circumstances, a tariff hike was uncalled for, he added.

Kuldip Singh Kareer, general secretary, MIG Welfare Society,, said the tariff hike had added to woes of residents who are already suffering due to prolonged power cuts.

"Despite good monsoon, consumers did not get any benefit and cuts have continued. "It is totally unjustified to increase power tariff ," he added.



Steel Prices
Secondary producers to blame: Industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
The local industry has urged the government to control the prices of steel supplied by secondary steel producers of Mandi Gobindgarh and Ludhiana.

While industrialists welcomed the assurance by steel producers regarding a cut in rates, they blamed secondary producers of taking advantage of the market situation and “arbitrarily” increasing prices.

“We are relieved that steel producers have agreed to reduce steel prices. However, secondary producers of Mandi Gobindgarh and Ludhiana are taking undue advantage of the shortage and increasing rates without any valid reason.

The government needs to check such practises,” Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma, president of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, said.

The Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed hope that secondary producers would also slash rates in line with the main producers.

“We hope that secondary producers will read the stern message of the steel ministry in this regard,” P.D. Sharma, president of the chamber, said.

The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) said hoarding needed to be checked at the local level.

“The cut by large producers would benefit SMEs, particularly the engineering industry, here. However, to ensure that the positive impact remains, hoarding should be monitored,” Avtar Singh, general secretary of the CICU, said.



Traders: Plaints of steel hoarding baseless
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
The Ludhiana Iron Sheet Traders Association in its meeting discussed the current steel prices and the Steel Authority of India’s policy pertaining to MoUs.

President of the association Sandeep Gupta said a few entrepreneurs of steel consuming units were levying baseless allegations on them regarding hoarding steel.

Under SAIL’s MoU policy HR Coils are given only to industrialists and not to traders, he said, adding that under such circumstances it was not possible for traders to create any artificial shortage.

Among others present at the meeting were Harish Gupta, vice-president, and Rohit Gupta, secretary of the association.



‘Smile Train’ flagged off
Our Correspondent

Doraha, July 5
Sidhu Hospital in association with the “Smile Train Express’, an international NGO, today launched a mobile unit for making those living in the remote areas aware of the cleft lip and palateremote problems.

Hospital’s MD Dr Harbans Singh Sidhu flagged off the unit. The hospital in association with the “Smile Train Express” has decided to bring smiles back into the faces of those who need reconstructive surgery.

It service would be provided free of cost at the doorstep of such needy patients.

Dr Gurdip Singh Sidhu said in order to make the highly specialised face reconstructive surgery available to the poorest of the poor, free check-up and treatment camps would be organised in remote areas of the North. First such camp would be organised at Isru village tomorrow.



Pulse polio drive for labourers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
The district health authorities will administer pulse polio drops to children of migrant labourers living in slums and other low-lying areas in the district. The drive will commence tomorrow and continue till July 8.

A meeting was convened at the civil surgeon’s office yesterday in this connection.

Programme officer Puneet Juneja said various organisations had been roped in and the vaccine had already been supplied.

The civil surgeon, Dr Satpal Sharma, urged the labourers to ensure that their children between the age group of 0 and 5 years were given polio drops.



CM meets VCs, principals
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, July 5
The CM, Parkash Singh Badal, convened a meeting of principals and vice-chancellors of the universities of Punjab at Chandigarh on July 3.

A report had been published in these columns titled “University education - a low priority for Badal government” which highlighted the ouster of VCs of the PAU, Punjabi University and Punjab Technical University.

The CM discussed the problems being faced by the universities and said government would help universities and colleges in raising the standards of education.



From Colleges
Desh Bhagat inks pact with NZ institute
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 5
The Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes has opened an Institute of International Studies in collaborations with the Waiariki Institute of Technology, New Zealand, North Tec Government, Institute of Technology, Whangari, New Zealand and Taurus International, USA, under the students exchange programme.

The Desh Bhagat Institute of International Studies, Mandi Gobindgarh, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), New Zealand, for enabling Indian students to pursue different courses. Such students after their studies will become eligible for the permanent residency in New Zealand.

Exam results: Students of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, have fared well in annual examinations conducted by the Punjab University in April this year. Kiranpreet Kaur of BA Part-II stood first in the college by securing 74 per cent marks.

Harwinder Singh and Mandeep Kaur stood second and third, respectively, by securing 72 per cent and 70 per cent marks.

Similarly, Jatinder Kaur of BA Part-III stood first in the college by securing 73.08 per cent marks while Ramandeep Kaur and Sukhvir Kaur, stood second and third, respectively, by securing 73 per cent and 72 per cent marks.

Priyanka Bhatia of B.Com Part -II has stood first in the class by securing 69 per cent marks while Navjot Kaur stood second with 68.78 per cent marks.

Placement offer: Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering, Dr P.K.Gupta, has said that reputed companies are conducting on-campus interviews. At least 25 graduate engineers have already received placement letters during the past five years.

A few companies that selected students through campus interviews are Mahindra and Mahindra, New Holland Tractors, Punjab Tractors Limited, Automat Industries Pvt. Limited, Field Fresh, Green Earth Limited and Duncan Tea.

Felicitated: Sunita Kumari, a second-year engineering student, Bhutta College of Engineering and Technology, Bhutta, Mandi Ahmedgarh, was felicitated for her outstanding performance in the online examination in convergence technology conducted by Hindustan Computers Limited, yesterday.

Jagdish Singh Garcha presided over the felicitation function and Dr Moinuddin, director, National Institute of Technology (NIT), was the chief guest. According to principal V.K.Sharma, at least 100 students had taken part in training session on convergence technology.

Merit lists: The admission process for courses like B.Sc, B.Com, BCA, BA and MA are scheduled to start from July 8 onwards.

The Government College for Women has displayed merit lists for admissions in B.Com I and BCA I classes.

According to an official press note, admission to both these classes will start on July 8 whereas admission process for BA I will end on July 9.



Roaring Lions trounce Ludhiana Lions by 64 runs
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 5
Fine batting by Jatinder (60) and Devinder Pal (53) enabled Roaring Lions XI to register a convincing 64-run victory over Ludhiana Lions XI in the second semifinal of the Ludhiana District Twenty20 Cricket Tournament (u-19) here today.

It is being organised by the Ludhiana District Twenty20 Cricket Association at the Government Polytechnic Institute, Rishi Nagar.

In the finals, Roaring Lions XI would take on BCM School XI, which defeated Vinay XI by five wickets and had already secured a place in the title clash match.

Batting first, Roaring Lions XI scored 164 runs for the loss of four wickets in 20 overs. Besides, Jatinder (60) and Devinder Pal (53), Gurkaran made 13 runs.

For Ludhiana Lions XI, Darshpreet Singh claimed two wickets for 45 runs in four overs while Sandeep took one for 16.

Chasing the target, Ludhiana Lions XI were bowled out for 99 runs in 16.1 overs. Their inning revolved around Mohit (30), Sandeep 280 and Munna 13.

For the winners, Jashanpreet grabbed two wickets for 12 runs, Jatinder scalped two wickets for 16 runs while Devinder Pal captured two wickets for 7 runs and helped their team to romp home victorious.



32 probables attend baseball camp
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 5
At least 32 probables have been attending a coaching-cum-training camp at Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, since June 29.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday evening, P.C. Bhardwaj, secretary general, Amateur Baseball Federation of India, said these campers had been undergoing rigorous training sessions for the second edition of the World Women Baseball Series slated to be held from August 24 to 29 at Matsuyania in Japan.

"There will be three phases of training camps for these probables. After the first camp at Ludhiana, which concluded on July 8, the second camp will be organised at Cuttack from July 20 to 31 and the 18 member Indian contingent will be announced in the end," Bhardwaj added.

The third and final camp will be held from August 5 to 20 at New Delhi prior to the team's departure for Japan, he added.

Giving details of the forthcoming series, Bhardwaj said eight teams had been divided into two pools. The pool A consists of India,USA, Australia and Chinese Taipai while pool B comprise Japan, Canada, Hong Kong and Korea.

"With a couple of internationals in its ranks, India stands good chance to finish among the three first positions in Japan," he added.

The names of these probables are: Shaeen Begum and Madhavi D. from Andhra Pradesh; Kavita Sahu, Monti Tidke, Devki Sahu, Reena Uranu and Payal Dadekar from Chhattisgarh; Kavita Avati, Geeta Parwar Borkar, Deeplaxmi Avati, Claudia Vaz, Nitisha Kalgutkar and Hema Gavde from Goa; Poonam More and Sonali Kurade from Maharashtra; Rakhi Negi, Sharda Rawat and Rashmi Rai from Uttarakhand; Rupashi Lenka, Binoo Sahoo, Shivani Singh, Silpa Ray, Swapna Pahi, Ashrita Bhengra and Rajlin Lakra from Orissa; Daljeet Kaur Sandhu, Navdeep Kaur, Kuljeet Kaur, Sukhjeet Kaur and Amandeep Kaur from Punjab.

Coaches: Harish Kumar from Punjab, L. Rajinder from Andhra Pradesh and Dilip Sonu Nayak from Goa have been imparting training to the probables.

Former international, Bhanu Chanu from Manipur has been named manager of team.

Jagdish Mittal, DIG, Punjab, and president of the Punjab Baseball Association, and Harish Kumar, general secretary of the association, were present on the occasion.



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