L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sexual Harassment Case 
Brar again fails to appear before VC 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
Dulcha Singh Brar, the accused in sexual harassment case at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), who was summoned by vice-chancellor M.S.Kang at 4.30 pm today, once again failed to appear before him. Kang, reportedly gave Dr Brar another opportunity to explain his side of version after PAUTA members and others felt that he be given another chance.

In yet another development, the Punjab Agricultural University Employees Union today felt that Brar was being dragged in the whole issue in an attempt to settle some professional jealously. Avinash K.Sharma, union’s general secretary, said the name of university was being spoilt by a group to achieve their personal target.

Union members said Brar, against whom the complaint had been lodged, was a known student, scientist and administrator for the past 40 years. They said it proved from the fact that the NGO, member of standing committee of the PAU, did not agree to sign the report prepared by committee members with the result, he (NGO) preferred to resign. They said the vice-chancellor should settle the issue so that the university image was not tarnished.

Meanwhile, Roop Singh Roopa, an NRI and former PAU Employees Union president, who served at the post for more than 15 years expressed that first, the complainant was a female and secondly, she was an employee of the varsity. "If PAUTA can come to the rescue of Brar, why can’t the union provide the complainant their support? Let us not be biased but we must give it a thought that no woman will ever blow the issue out of proportion to malign her own reputation", he added.

A letter issued by the registrar to Brar on December 8, clearly mentioned that, "keeping in view the principles of natural justice, another opportunity is given to you for the personal hearing on December 10 at 4.30 pm to appear before worthy vice-chancellor in his office room on the subject. In case, you don’t turn up this time, it will be assumed that you have nothing to say in your defence in sexual harassment case filed by the complainant".

The PAUTA executive submitted a letter to the vice-chancellor today. In it they have condemned the highhandedness of authorities in singling out two of their teachers (to whom complainant had served a notice) and trying to threaten them for views expressed in general house.



Streetlight maintenance contract
Political pressure to the fore
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
Once again political pressures have started casting their shadows on development works in the city.

This time the target is streetlight maintenance contract.
A contractor waits in front of SE Dharam Singh’s office, which was locked before the official timing of 5 pm.
A contractor waits in front of SE Dharam Singh’s office, which was locked before the official timing of 5 pm. Photo: Inderjeet Verma 

According to information, today was the last date for submitting tenders for the maintenance of the streetlights of the whole city, work for which has been divided into 11 groups. The total amount of all projects is said to be around Rs 8 crore and was valid for two years.

Talking to The Tribune, some contractors, on the condition of anonymity, said that ideally the tenders should have been opened in contractors’ presence today itself. However, as soon as the deadline was finished at 3 pm, the employees took the tender box, sealed it and placed it in a room without disclosing the further course of action.

They added that the room of SE Dharam, too, was locked and they had been kept waiting till 5 pm, but no one responded.

Smelling something fishy, they alleged that a few contractors were hand in glove with some SAD politicians and might misuse the time period till the tenders were opened. They alleged that everything about the tenders had been pre-planned and those associated with SAD politicians have pooled in single tenders and distributed work among them.

Interestingly, the tenders for the streetlight maintenance were called by the municipal corporation earlier too, but the advertisement was cancelled, citing change in terms and conditions as the reasons. The new terms and conditions had a clause that no contractor from outside the city would be eligible for it.

Higher placed sources in the municipal corporation revealed that there were irregularities in form-giving process, too, and many contractors had alleged that they were not being given tender forms even on the last day i.e. Monday.

Meanwhile, tender cell in charge SE Dharam Singh could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.


‘Earn while you learn’ picks up in city
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
“Earn while you learn” is no more the way of the west only, as the trend is fast catching up with the youth in the city, and in Punjab at large. A large number of young boys and girls are working in the city cafes, multiplexes, shopping malls and various other showrooms to earn their pocket money without giving up their studies.

Barista Coffee, Costa Coffee, Café Coffee Day, PVR cinema, Waves cinema, Flames mall, West-End Mall and Ansal Plaza are some of the outlets that are accommodating hundreds of youth from the city and adjoining areas in regular and part-time jobs.

Some boys and girls, between the age of 18 and 25 years, are pursuing their studies through correspondence, while others are studying regularly and working in evening hours. They earn from Rs 3,000 to 5,000.

For Jackwinder, working at Pizza Hut earlier, and now a year’s stint at PVR, was as good as working at Oberoi hotel. "I learnt a lot at these jobs and was able to support a good lifestyle that included two movies a week and branded garments."

The humility comes easy to Supriya, a nineteen-year-old girl working at Costa Coffee, who is also pursuing her bachelor's degree in humanities. "I love my work just as I love my studies. I come from a simple, but educated family, and my parents respected mine and my younger sister Meenu's decision to earn while studying," said Supriya.

In an interesting revelation, Ravinder Sapra, who is pursuing his engineering diploma in electronics, stated his fondness for pets was an added burden on his parents. Thus, he picked a part-time job in a multiplex, thereby spending a good amount on his “Pomeranian” and “Doberman”.

Change is the only unchangeable phenomenon, so adjust accordingly, feels Raminder, mother of a young boy working in a cinema. "I am happy that my son was wise enough to realise that I can't afford to give him the “required pocket money” and support his studies at the same time. He is happy working, and so I am to see that he has become smart and mature in his dealings," said the proud mother.



IMA Poll
Contestant for top post asks rival to sink differences
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
The IMA district body elections once again took an interesting turn as D Narotam Dewan (the contestant for the post of president) approached his opponent Dr Arun Mitra to give up all differences and work in favour of the IMA at large.

The elections are scheduled for December 21.

With just 12 days to go for the elections, the doctors of the Unity Front comprising Dr Narotam Dewan, Dr S Ohri, Dr Hardip Singh, Dr S Nauhria and Dr H Singh (the candidates for various posts), in an open letter written to Dr Arun Mitra, stated that the Unity Front was for the proper working of the IMA. The doctors have also written, "We are even ready to sweep the floor of IMA house if it contributes towards healthy and harmonious relations amongst doctors of Ludhiana."

Interestingly, the Unity Front and Dr Arun Mitra were in the same group and had recently split owing to their differences on the issue of contesting district body elections.

The doctors of the Unity Front, while making an interesting proposition, stated that all groups should come together and give Ludhiana IMA a new group of doctors as office-bearers in the executive. "Let us hand over IMA from the groups to IMA members in general or choose IMA executive through draw of lots or by a committee of most senior doctors, including Dr LS Chawla, Dr SB Khurana and Dr Lajpat Rai."

However, Dr Arun Mitra, Dr Karamveer Goyal, Dr Kulwant Singh, Dr D.P.Singh Arora and Dr Narjit Kaur the candidates refuted the allegations leveled by Dr Narotam Dewan and Dr Hardeep Singh on the wastage of IMA money. In no mood to accept the above proposals, the group lead by Dr Mitra stated that the term of present team is till December 31 and the team has every right to spend for the welfare of the IMA Ludhiana if need be, the doctors added.

On the other hand, the election commission brought into force the election code of conduct, thereby refraining the contestants from levelling allegations and counter allegations against each other.

Dr Iqbal Singh Ahuja, chief election commissioner, Dr Jagmohan Chopra and Dr RS Ghulati categorically stated that any doctor found indulging in mud slinging on his opponents or giving derogatory statements in media would be 'disqualified'.

The election commission abstained the old team from spending any money from the existing account and also put the directory of IMA doctors on hold. The commission also restricted the number of doctors convening a meeting in IMA house to 15.

Dr Ahuja further said, "There are 11 nominations for the post of president , vice-president , general secretary , joint secretary and finance secretary and election commission has accepted single nomination from each candidate. The record of each candidate pertaining to the PNDT ACT was procured from the civil surgeon office," said the CEC.



Celebrations turn sour at marriage
Tribune News Service

Khanna, December 10
Pradeep Kaur (26) was shot dead by her drunk brother-in-law during a marriage party at Dau Majra village last night.

The accused was firing in the air during the marriage and one of the bullets pierced through the neck of Pradeep Kaur. She died on the spot.

Pradeep Kaur, mother of two, was married to Nirbhay Singh, a resident of Dadheri village in Fatehgarh Sahib. They had come to attend the marriage party of Nirbhay aunt’s daughter.

The incident took place at around 10 pm when the women were singing songs.

The accused was firing gun shots in air with a rifle and revolver when gun’s barrel turned towards Pradeep Kaur.

The accused has been identified as Gurdeep Singh of Ranon village. A case under Section 304 of the IPC has been registered against him at the Sadar police station.



Fire tender charges outside MC limits
3-time hike proposed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
The municipal corporation, which has been trying new methods to earn revenue, has come up with yet another proposal of hiking fire tender charges.

According to information, the proposal of hiking fire tender fees from Rs 300 to Rs 1,000 for the use in the areas outside the Ludhiana municipal limits would be discussed during the municipal house meeting tomorrow.

Presently, the department has been charging Rs 300 per hour for each fire tender for giving services in areas like Mullanpur, Raikot, Sudhar, Sidhwan Bet, Hambra, Macchiwara and many more which fall beyond the MC limit.

If the proposal is approved, the fee would be hike almost more than thrice and the fund-crunched municipal corporation would find a good way of earning more revenue.

Interestingly, after New Delhi, Ludhiana is the most fire-prone city. The fire department of the municipal corporation extinguishes fire in the MC limits free of cost and is often called for VIP duties and rescue calls that too again without any payment.

Due to frequent calls from the nearby areas and the VIP duties, fire staff was generally overburdened and were not being paid their overtime. The sources said the proposal has come in the wake of providing respite to these fire department staff.



City Concerns-II
Root out corruption to check adulteration 

The root cause of the problem is corruption. If the enforcement agencies play a fair role, this menace can easily be curbed. Even compulsory ISI mark is not going to check this adulteration as one can have this mark by bribing the officials.

Formation of alternate agency will only augment the corruption and unnecessary harassment. I think the existing authorities are capable enough to check adulteration if there is a will to do so.

As far as the role of citizen organisations is concerned, most of these are patronized by politicians. These organisations are formed to fulfill self interest and gain media attention. As far as the question of packaged products is concerned, even most of these products are spurious.

So, need of the hour is implement the law strictly. One thing I want to mention here is that people have become habitual of buying grocery items at a discount. As a result, departmental stores are selling standardised items at a discount and compromising the quality in case of non-standardised items to set off the benefits given to the customers.

Manu Chopra, Civil Lines

Severe punishment must

Food adulteration is very much prevalent in society. If we don’t eat properly, we will definitely fall sick. From time to time we read and watch in the media, reports regarding food adulteration and their effects on human health.

Food is the first basic need of life. Food adulteration is a cause of health hazard to adulteration of food items. It is very much prevalent in our society and majority of people are not aware of its bad effects. As per study conducted desi ghee, jaggery, coriander powder, pickles and canned vegetables, spices like chillies and turmeric powder are adulterated. Even milk is not spared, adulterated in many ways. Caustic soda and chemicals are being used to increase its shelf life. The quality of food items in our daily life should be the main consideration instead of spending money on clothes and other rich items. It’s true "Health is Wealth." The department concerned must of and on keep a check on food adulteration and severe punishment be given to them who are involved directly or indirectly in food adulteration.

Manjit Singh Mehram, Dugri

Say no to market spices

Man's greed for money drives him to commit sinful and criminal acts, unscrupulously. Being solely occupied with stuffing his moneybags with wads of currency notes of highest denomination, he does not have any compunction of conscience even while poisoning the foodstuffs meant to be consumed by his brethren. The study conducted by PAU scientists on the mass scale adulteration going on in our society has sent shock waves among the consumers.

Women at this juncture must rise to the occasion and say "No" to the use of market spices and other edible materials, which can be prepared at home from the raw materials.

The government should help them fight this menace by providing small grinders at subsidised rates for domestic use to enable them to grind spices in their homes from the raw material.

Shopkeepers selling such injurious materials ought to be socially boycotted and publicly disgraced. On this front women can play a vital role and help to curb this evil.

Manna Malhotra, Sarabha Nagar

Prick traders’ conscience

Genocide through the sale of adulterated spices and other edible materials with injurious ingredients is quite rampant in our degenerated society. Study of some samples collected by the PAU Scientists has brought to light shocking facts. Depravity and immorality rule the roost among the business community.

The need of the hour is enactment of stringent laws to deal with these crimes against humanity, strict enforcement and exemplary punishment to the guilty.

The present moral degradation is also a sad commentary on the miserable failure of clergy, religious heads and sentinels of morality in the discharge of their duty.

They should look it upon as their humiliating defeat. They are squarely responsible for the erosion of moral values in society.

Whereas stringent laws and exemplary punishment can provide short-term relief only, permanent cure of this corroding disease can come only through the raising of public's moral standards and pricking the conscience of the business community.

K.B.S. Sodhi, Sham Singh Road

Certify food for quality

It’s really horrible to know about the shocking results of the tests conducted recently by the PAU. Generally, a question arises that why there is so much adulteration in food? It is so because that the health department is ill-staffed and lethargic. They are not trying to search and confiscate the adulterated food. There are numerous bakeries, sweet shops, general stores, dhabas, hotels and restaurants in the city, which are not checked. A strict process of compulsory quality certification should be in place and no food article especially pulses and spices etc should be allowed to be sold without certification. The laws to curb adulteration should be stringent. Those who are found guilty should not be spared. They should be given exemplary punishment that will act as a deterrent for every body involved in the adulteration racket. The consumers should be vigilant enough to check the manufacturing and expiry date of the grocery products before buying them.

Lakshmi, Kundan Vidya Mandir



Different bylaws for old city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
A ray of hope has been seen in the unplanned and congested streets of the old city, where it is "tough" to implement the building byelaws, as there is a proposal to have different byelaws for the old and new city areas.

According to information, the proposal has been included at number 16 in the agenda list of the municipal house-meeting, which is scheduled to be held here tomorrow.

The old city areas, which include Chaura Bazaar, Trunk Bazaar, Bijli Bazaar, Daresi, Basti Bazaar, Book Market, Ghas Mandi, Janak Puri and Sarafa Bazaar, are already in a mess. The narrow streets to enter these areas are not only a problem for the residents, but even for the visitors and the shopkeepers.

Talking to The Tribune, senior deputy mayor, Praveen Bansal, said: "With the coming up of different byelaws, development will be initiated in these areas, which are difficult to access."



A case of political vendetta: Cong leader 
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
Though the municipal corporation has tightened its noose around Park Plaza for violating building bylaws, it has brought to the fore the fact that hundreds of other buildings in the city, too, are violating the bylaws.

The owner of Park Plaza happens to be a Congress MLA, who has been close to leaders in power during the Congress regime. He added ‘‘We will be happy if the corporation takes stringent action for making the residents stick to the norms. But this is clearly a case of political vendetta against the Congress.’’

The civic body has served notice on the hotel for not following the parking norms while other violators are being left scot-free. It has, in a notice served on the hotel management, given three days time to adhere to the bylaws or face sealing.

Knowing that it is too short a time for the hotel authorities to comply with the rules, the corporation is preparing to take action against it on December 12.

In its ‘‘selective action’’ the corporation has spared other buildings that are flouting the rules. Most of the commercial buildings in city are using the basement for purposes other than parking. But, notices have not been served on a single of them, the Congress leader added.

Almost all shops in Ghumar Mandi, Mall Road, Pakhowal Road and the Ferozepur Road are not using their basements for parking. These have even not been served on them. The corporation had sealed a few shops in Ghumar Mandi some time ago. Due to political pressure it had to be removed the same day.

Officials had also claimed they would give a month’s time to violators but these establishments have not complied with the rules.

Before this, the local body had sealed Vishal Mart, VLCC and another outlet. The seals of these outlets were removed after owners complied with the rules.

Arun Jaiee, general manager, Park Plaza, said he had made hotel owners aware of the latest happening. ‘‘They would decide the future course of action,’’ he said while refusing to comment anything about the issue. 



No respite from power cuts
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 10
Even as the winter season has set in, and the demand for power has considerably gone down, both in the domestic and agricultural sectors, there has been no respite from prolonged power cuts, which were continued rather regularly during peak of the summers.

The urban and mixed feeders in the city are subject to anything from five to seven hours every day, and minor relaxations are allowed in power cuts by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) top management from day-to-day basis, which is almost rare. In most of the city localities, the power remains off from 10 am to 4 pm or 11 am to 5 pm.

The long duration of the outage has been adversely affecting the business and trade activities while the industry is also suffering huge loss of production.

For the last couple of days, the PSEB authorities have imposed one-hour power cut in the morning from 7.30 am in some localities whereas in some other areas, people had to go without power supply from 8 am to 9 am. During the power cut, the water supply is also disrupted, leading to the total dislocation of normal life for the students, office goers and the women.

The city residents were sore that the PSEB was resorting to morning power cuts without giving prior intimation to the consumers. "If one knows in advance about the power cut in the morning, it becomes easier to make necessary preparations to make sure that the morning routine is not disturbed. As the morning cut is being imposed without any prior notice for the last two days, no member of the family could take a bath. We had to fetch water from our neighbours to cook the food," said Asheesh Mehra, a businessman.

While the people in general, even though agitated and perturbed over erratic power supply, have been tolerating the apathetic attitude of the PSEB management towards their plight, the members of the industry have made it clear that they had had enough, and would no longer take it lying down.

A joint meeting of more than half a dozen associations of different segments of industry, held here last evening, decided to launch a mass agitation against the prolonged power cuts and indifference of the state government towards the crisis-like situation.

The members of the industry said they would hold a protest at the office of the chief engineer of the PSEB here on December 12.

"If the government or the PSEB authorities fail to listen to us and take corrective steps, we will have no other choice, but to intensify the agitation," a representative of the industry said.

In a memorandum to the textile ministry, the industry has pointed out that exports of $ 20 billion, which constitute 40 per cent of the textile production, and essentially this has to be protected.



Combining comfort with style
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
As the winter sets in with a nip in the air, everyone is on the look out for a footwear that is fashionable, yet substantial. While some prefer stylish high-heeled boots, others go in for light and comfortable ballerina, the market has it all to meet the style requirements.

The hot this season are the ballerinas, which girls find stylish and comfortable, while shoes are never out of trend. Gagan, a student of interior designing, said she was happy that ballerinas were back in fashion. "Earlier, nothing stylish was available in flats, but now ballerinas are on the list of every person who wants something stylish and comfortable. I have a good collection of ballerinas to match my winter outfits," she adds.

The hottest trends available at Momak for this winter include everything that is stylish and chic. From knee and ankle length boots, high-heeled shoes, to ballerinas, everything that is on the list of a youngster is available there. In addition to this, one can also pick from an array of designer styles, which include square toes, peep toes, mary jane, sling backs, pointed and toe. Toe styles are also available in diverse styles like patent leather, mock animal skins or satin.

The trends for boots this winter are knee-length boots and ankle boots, which will always remain a popular fashion trend. The boots are available in both patent leather and pure leather in varied darker hues of black, brown and purple. The ankle boots can be chosen from a variety of fur lined and wedge heels and can be teamed with leggings and slim pants.

"High-heeled lace-up shoes have become popular as winter has arrived. They are sleek and stylish. The stiletto will carry on, adding a touch of style to the winter skirts and dresses," adds Tamanna, another college student.

The trends for this winter are distinctly bold and are guaranteed to dress up even the most sedate cold weather fashion attire.



Cotton textile industry faces crisis

Ludhiana, December 10
The cotton textile industry in India is in a serious crisis as a result of global meltdown and the recession caused in the USA, Europe and Japan. This is definitely going to hit the industry hard and the units are bound to face closure.

S.P.Oswal, chairman, National Committee of Textile of the CII, has sounded this warning. This might led to retrenchment of five to seven lakh workers.

In an exclusive interview Oswal said here today that the current crisis being faced by the industry was so acute that if adequate steps were not taken it would leave a long-term impact on industry’s health.

Oswal pointed out that international prices of cotton had fallen by 30 per cent this year while the government had increased its MSP by 40 per cent with the result that the demand for cotton yarn and garments had fallen. The production of cotton yarn had also fallen by 15 per cent as against last year growth of 8 to 9 per cent. This clearly indicates that the textile export had declined. There were a few small export orders. A large number of retailers in the USA had closed their shops and the exporters were not sure if the buyers would make the payment. The foreign buyers, he said, were not making payments and the garment industry was in dilemma. "They may not get the payments for the goods already supplied.... and would have to seek the help of the export credit guarantee corporation," he added.

Oswal disclosed that despite fall in the cotton production worldwide the prices of cotton had fallen by 30 per cent in the international market "contrary phenomenon has occurred in India, the government has increased the MSP by 40 per cent in its efforts to boost agriculture. This has aggravated the crisis. The textile industry does not contest the prosperity of the government, but in the face of international prices, this works out to be very high. The government has not evolved a phenomenon on pricing policy, which should ensure the Cotton Corporation of India sells cotton to mills on international related comparative prices. The relationship between the prices of cotton in India and the international prices could be gauged from cotton cotlook index-A. Last year the prices of Indian cotton shankar-6 and J-34 were lower by 6 to 7 cents per pound and this year because of the MSP prevailing prices are 5 to 6 cents per pound higher. We are compelled to bear high cost of cotton which will prove fatal to the industry."



Murdered youth's father fears threat to life
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 10
Apprehending threat to his life and property, Manjit Singh one of whose sons had allegedly killed his another son and his accomplice about eight months ago, has urged the administration to either provide security or issue an arms license to him.

Manjit apprehends threat from henchmen of the suspect who had been remanded in judicial custody after being booked. His elder son Sanjit Singh is one of the accused.

In communiqué addressed to higher authorities, including DGP Manjit Singh alleged that a few henchmen of the suspects had been threatening him to withdraw the case he had got registered against the accused.

Alleging that the district authorities had refused to grant him an arms license for keeping a 12 bore gun, Manjit Singh apprehended that the accused would get him eliminated by a contract killer.

"As my wife and parents have already died I live alone in my house. My elder son and his accomplice, who earlier killed my younger son, can also kill to grab my property," apprehended Manjit Singh, alleging that the suspects had sent their relatives to pressurise him to withdraw the case.

Manjit Singh alleged that a few persons had threatened him of dire consequences in case he pursued the murder case registered against three persons.

Sanjit Singh, elder son of Manjit Singh, Pardeep Singh, a local resident, and Harvinder Kaur of Chandigarh were booked for allegedly murdering Jaskaran Singh (Sanjit's brother) and destroying his body on March 11.

Resistance of Jaskaran to the alleged immoral activities of the suspects was reported to be the cause behind the rivalry. Though the complainant and his relatives had noticed injury marks on Jaskaran’s body on the same day, they allowed cremation on Sanjit Singh's insistence. Manjit Singh became suspicious about the role of Sanjit Singh when he, instead of feeling concerned about the death of his brother, started enquiring about transfer of the property in his name.

The case was registered after about a month of the incident.



DBA Poll: Stevon Soni stakes claim for chief’s post 
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, December 10
A senior lawyer Stevon Soni today filed nomination papers staking claim for the post of the District Bar Association’s president. His is directly contesting with sitting Bar chief Parupkar Singh Ghumman, who had filed the nomination papers yesterday.

Chairman of the Bar Council of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Balwinder Goel, Harpreet Singh Garcha, member, Bar Council, Former Bar presidents, Hemant Kalia, K R Sikri, Rajneesh Gupta, Ravinder Singh Grewal (former DBA secretaries), Sandeep Kapoor, R.P.S. Bhatti, B.K.Rampal, Naginder Gora and Parwinder Pari also accompanied Soni at the time of filing nomination papers to show their support.

With the fear of rejection of nomination papers, majority of candidates today removed their posters, banners and banters following directions from returning officer Ashok Mittal. He had warned the contestants against rejecting their nomination papers, if they failed to clean the defaced walls. An undertaking to this effect was also taken by the returning officer at the filing of nomination papers by contenders.

It was the last day of filing nomination papers. The number of aspirant have gone up to 25 with the filing of nomination papers by 10 more contestants for different posts of DBA, in the coming annual elections scheduled for December 20.

For the post of Vice President Vishal Gupta filed nomination papers. Earlier two lawyers have filed nominations for the same post.

Three more aspirants, including Gurvinder Singh Sodhi, Rakesh Bhatia, and Amandeep Bhanot have jumped into election fray for the post of secretary.

For the post of joint secretary Yadwinder Sharma filed nomination papers. Whereas for the six posts of executive members four more aspirants, including Baljeet Singh Sidhu, Ajay Dogra, Sunil Kumar Chawla, Balraj Kaur have filed nomination papers. Six persons had already filed their nominations staking claim for the same posts.

Giving the information, returning officer Ashok Mittal, assistant returning officers Darshan Gupta, N.P.S.Gahir said the scrutiny of nominations would be done on December 11. The final list of contenders would be displayed on December 12. The last date of withdrawal of nomination papers has been fixed as December 13.



Vocational courses in demand in govt schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
The vocational courses started by the Punjab Education Department in Government senior secondary schools are gaining popularity among students of classes XI and XII.

These job-oriented courses were started with the motive to produce more skilled labour. Parents who can't afford the hefty fees of non-medical, medical and commerce streams, prefer their wards to go in for these technical trainings.

Baldeep Singh, vocational master, Government Senior Secondary School for Boys, Jawahar Nagar camp, said they were having five trades (vocational courses) - knitting technology, textile designing and printing, commercial garment making and designing, mechanical servicing general and mechanical servicing automobile.

In class XI, they are having 145 students and in class XII they are having 99 students. Baldeep Singh further added that all these vocational courses were in Punjabi medium and students find it easy to understand. Admission to these courses is done on merit basis after class X.

"Ludhiana being the industrial hub, is the centre of hosiery and textile industry. Students opting for knitting and textile courses have the job opportunities in the city. The major reason of going in for these courses is that students get direct admission in the third semester of diploma in polytechnic institutes after passing out XII," stated Baldeep Singh.

H.K.Mayer, principal, Government Multipurpose Senior Secondary School, said that they were having 200 students in class XI and XII vocational courses - knitting, mechanical servicing, automobile and computers. They are having 25 students in each trade. From the next session, they are going to add secretarial practice (typing). "For the last two years, the demand for these courses is on the increase, as the students who want to join diploma are exempted from entrance test," said Mayer. They have got well-equipped labs and workshops to train the students.

Government Senior Secondary Model School, PAU, is having 297 students in vocational courses - horticulture, knitting technology, mechanical automobile, home science — food preservation and computers. 



Children’s science congress opens at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
The Centre for Communication and International Linkages (CCIL) PAU and the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST) organised the 16th state-level Children Science Congress-2008 at PAU today with the focal theme "Planet Earth-our Home: Explore Share and Care".

The event was supported by the Rashtriya Vigyan Pradyogiki Sanchar Parishad (RVPSP) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.

Dr Neelam Gulati Sharma, additional director, PSCST, said this annual event was becoming popular among state schools and served as a potential way to inculcate scientific temper among students.

Dr Tejwant Singh, dean, College of Basic Sciences, said that scientific thought with imagination and innovation were vital for any progress. He said holding of science congresses provided opportunity to students to showcase their talent.

Selected projects (101) of students from all 20 districts of Punjab were presented and 16 best projects were short listed for participation at the forthcoming National Children Science Congress-2008 to be held in Nagaland.

The chief organiser of the event Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, additional director of communication, CCIL, said that the selected teams would be awarded prizes and certificates on December 11. He gave an outline of the event and welcomed the participants and their teachers.

He appreciated the scientific talent and inquisitiveness of students, adding that providing the required motivation could train them to excel in scientific pursuits. More than 450 students and their teachers from different parts of Punjab were participating in the Congress.

The children prepared projects on diverse scientific themes, including greenhouse (Govt High School, Kandhala, Mohali), industrial waste management (Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan SL Public School, Amritsar), solar reactors (Govt. Sr. Secondary School, Khasa, Amritsar), detoxification of waste water (Govt. Sr. Secondary School, Khasa, Amritsar), generating electricity from kitchen waste (Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan SL Public School, Amritsar), vermi-compost (St. Joseph Convent Punjabi High School, Bathinda), no-till-seeder (Govt. Girls Sen Sec School, Mandi Harji Ram, Malout) , toxic highways and free air carbondioxide enhancement system (Manav Public School, Amritsar), environmental impact of large power plants (St. Joseph Convent School, Bathinda), causes of pollution(Manav Public School, Amritsar), parking systems to regulate traffic (St. Joseph Convent School, Bathinda), sewerage treatment plants (Sri Guru Harkrishan Sen Sec School, Taran Taran, AIDS (Govt. Sen Sec Girls School, Panjgarain, Faridkot, usages of farm waste (Govt. Sen Sec School, Sri Hargobindpur, Gurdaspur), ozone hole (Saravhitkari Sen Sec School, Barnala) etc.

The children enthusiastically presented their projects and replied to queries by panel of judges.

On this occasion, a demonstration on "Manipulative device for visual understanding of theorems related to triangle" was held by Gurmeet Singh, science master from Government High School, Mehtan, district Kapurthala, that had been granted a patent by Government of India.

Another attraction was a stall put up by Rationalist Society Punjab wherein Sarjit Talwar explained to students about scientific truth behind tricks played 
by magicians. 



BCM bags overall trophy
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 10
An inter-school solo song competition was organised at Green Grove Public School recently.

The competition was categorised into two categories, ghazals and folk songs. Students from eight schools participated in the competition.

J. P. S. Jolly, president of the school, presided over the function. S. George, principal of the school, said it was a maiden attempt to offer the students a platform to showcase their talents in the field of music.

Other than enjoying the mesmerising English number of Aastha Mehta of Class IX and Oshin of Class X, the audience was treated to some musical feasts.

Result of the competition:

Ghazal competition: 1 Prabhjot Kaur, BCM School; 2 Rupinder Kaur, Geen Grove Public School; 3 Alaap Sikander, Radha Vatika; Consolation prize-Urmi Verma, DAV Public School.

Folk song: 1 Tanveer Kaur, Lala Sarkaru Mal; 2 Shivam Sharma, BCM School; 3 Navreen Kaur, Green Grove Public School; consolation prize-Gagandeep, Radha Vatika.

The overall trophy was won by BCM School.



Ravinder Kaur elected PU dean
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
Dr Ravinder Kaur, principal, Malwa Central College of Education for Women, was elected as dean, faculty of education, Panjab University, Chandigarh, on December 8, for the term starting from the day to January 31, 2010. The faculty, besides the departments, includes colleges of education and colleges of physical education affiliated to the PU.

Dr Ravinder is presently fellow, PU, from the principal constituency of technical and professional colleges.

Project sanctioned

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has sanctioned a project of Dr Kamini Sahir, head of Hindi department, Khalsa College for Women, on “The prevailing condition of Hindi language in Punjab". Dr Sahir said she had chosen the topic after looking at the present condition of Hindi language in Punjab state. "I will have to go deep into the psyche of the students who opt for Hindi as one of their elective subject at college level. On basis of that, I will try to find appropriate solutions for the progress of Hindi," she added.



Youth burns house in inebriated state
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, December 10
A youth of Issewal village burnt his house under the influence of liquor. Rachpal Kaur, wife of Gurmeet Singh of Issewal village, complained to the police that her son Rajbant Singh (30) was a drug addict. Due to his habit of consuming intoxicants of various kinds, they had not married him so far. Her elder son was residing at Jadha village near Latala and she, along with her husband, was living with him.

Fed up with his habit and disobedience, they separated him. They actually gave him their house and themselves shifted to the cattleshed as a temporary settlement. Their household goods were still at their house.

Last afternoon he, under the influence of liquor, set the house on fire and burnt all the household goods. The Humbran police has registered a case against him under Sections 436, 506 and 427 of the IPC and arrested the accused.



Drug stores raided
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 10
Reacting to the reports of alleged violation of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, a joint team of the health department and the police raided drug shops located at the local town and surrounding localities.

While owners of the drug stores, being run by proxy pharmacists, were warned by the authorities, rich haul of scheduled drugs was seized from a shop at Raikot Wala Adda here.

A joint team, led by district drug inspector Kamal Kamboj and SHO Harinder Singh, raided drug shops situated at local town and surrounding localities today.

Rich haul of 12 types of scheduled drugs that can be used as narcotics were seized from Khalsa Medical Store at the Raikot Wala Adda. The tablets and bottles of Momotil, Phenotil, Rexol syrup, hypotex, spasmo proxyvon and parvon, worth about Rs 25,000, were included in the seized drugs.

According to Kamal Kamboj, an action was taken after receiving reports about alleged violation of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act at the hands of certain shopkeepers in the area. While owners of the shops, being run by proxy pharmacists, were left after giving warning, action was initiated against those who could not produce relevant records regarding sale and purchase of the scheduled drugs.

Referring to resumption of working of certain dealers, even after being caught, violating the Act, Kamboj claimed that records about the seizure of drugs had been sent to higher authorities for necessary action. She, talking to The Tribune, told some of the shops, which were suspected to be violating rules, remained closed during the raid.

The local authorities had tightened the noose around those petty shopkeepers at local town and surrounding villages of Ludhiana and Sangrur districts, who were suspected to be running their shops without holding valid licences.

The Tribune had carried stories on easy availability of scheduled drugs without prescription. The district health authorities, taking cognisance of these reports, directed the staff to tighten the noose around the violators.



Six booked for focible ploughing of fields
Our Correspondent

Raikot, December 10
Five persons have been booked for forcibly ploughing the fields of Jagjiwan Singh, son of Sukhdev Singh of Walipur Kalan.

In his complaint lodged with the Sudhar police Jagjiwan alleged that Rajwinder Singh, son of Malkait Singh of Hissowal village along with Kaka and four others had entered his cultivated fields on December 7 and forcibly ploughed it as a result standing crops were damaged.

He had said the accused armed with .12 bore riffle and sticks came in a car and a tractor and threatened to eliminate him.

A case under Sections 447, 511, 427, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC has been registered against the accused. 



Two more judges for city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 10
The city has got two more Additional District and Sessions Judges with the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

They have been appointed directly from the lawyers quota. Those who joined here are Additional District and Sessions Judge Mohd Gulzar as additonal officer, whereas Munish Singal has joined as Additonal Sessions Judge in place of P.S. Dhanoa, who had retired on November 30. This was the first posting of these judges after their appointment.



Punjab softball teams announced
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 10
P.N. Passi, honorary secretary, Punjab Softball Association, has selected boys and girls for representing Punjab in the 26th Junior National Softball Championship to be held at Warangal in Andhra Pradesh from December 17 to December 22.

The boys who have been selected are - Vikramjeet, Sunil Kumar, Balraj Dass and Atul of Ludhiana; Amit Bhogal and Rajvansh from Jalandhar; Mandeep Singh and Sikander Pal from Sangrur; Iqbal Singh from Moga; Simranjeet Singh, Ranjot Singh and Rishabh Bali from Amritsar; Manoj Kumar from Gurdaspur; Amandeep Singh and Arjun from Patiala.

Selected girls are- Amandeep Kaur, Navneet Kaur, Manpreet Kaur, Gagandeep kaur and Prabjit Kaur from Gurdaspur; Supreet Kaur, Amandeep Kaur and Jasleen Kaur from Sangrur; Jyoti Rani from Jalandhar; Rasmeet Kaur from Bathinda; Saima Gupta, Harnoor Kaur, Lovepreet Kaur, Gurpreet Kaur and Shweta Rai from Ludhiana.



‘Basketball players in city talented’ 
Kawal Preet Singh

Ludhiana, December 10
The young players in this part of the country are talented and keen to learn. This observation was made by David John Petrozziello, a basketball coach from Canada, who is in the city to impart training to the upcoming cagers, and also to interact with the coaches. David is a coach in various colleges and universities in Canada and USA.

David has been invited by the Punjab Basketball Association (PBA) to coach the young boys and girls for the forthcoming national and international tournaments. He imparts training at the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, in the morning, and in the evening session, he is occupied with the Punjab senior players at Guru Nanak Stadium here, who are preparing for the Senior National Basketball Championship, slated to be held at Surat from December 31 to January 7. He will stay here for five weeks, which include four weeks’ stint with the cagers.

Talking to this reporter, David said the players here are talented and good learners. But they have to master certain new techniques. “They need to work hard about the fundamentals if they want to play at the national level,” he said.

Certain players from the rural area could not understand his language, but they understood his actions, he added. The visiting coach appreciated their approach towards the game.

David said he liked India very much. “It's a nice country, and I am familiar with the Indian culture as my wife, Seema Shivanjli Singh, is also from this country,” expressed the coach, who is associated with a leading sports club of Canada, Vancouver Titans, as general manager.

David suggested that the players should work hard to overcome their shortcomings. They should set an objective, and focus on it to achieve the same.



9 Green Land students selected
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana,December 10
The management committee of Green Land Senior Secondary School,Ludhiana,has sent its students (u-14) to Nagpur for taking part in the North Zone II CBSE Chess Championship.

Chairman-cum-director, Green Land Schools chain, Rajesh Rudra, and principal, Baldeep Pandher, along with other faculty members were present at the Jalandhar bypass to see off the students.

Students selected for taking part in the meet are Divanshu Jain,Manav Sharma,Akash Verma,Lovish Juneja, Vishal Tiwari,Sunakshi Batra,Tapsi Pahwa, Himani Arora and Amanpreet Kaur Grewal.



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