L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Roadways buses go off road
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Hundreds of passengers were today inconvenienced as roadways buses did not ply from the Ludhiana bus stand following a strike by employees in support of their long-pending demands.

The bus stand wore a deserted look as no bus was allowed to enter it. The agitating employees sat on a dharna inside the bus stand. Private buses were running from outside the terminal, leading to traffic chaos.

“I have got late for work as I had to reach Jalandhar by 10 am. I do not know where to go. We cannot find any bus,” said Gurmail Singh, an office-goer. He said the strike had affected the common man. “If they have to protest, they should go on leave. Why should they stop the transport of the common man?” he asked.

Several students were angry with the strike. They said they had to reach educational institutes, but had been delayed for no fault of theirs.

While roadways buses were off the road, private operators did brisk business. Many buses were overloaded.

The employees threatened that if their demands were not met, they would be forced to intensify their agitation. They want permanent recruitment of employees instead of on contract.


DC’s case may go to privileges panel 
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
The Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha is likely to forward the case of the deputy commissioner, Sumer Singh Gurjar, to the privileges committee of the assembly.

Gurjar had appeared before Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon at Chandigarh today. The complainant in the case, MLA of Mahilpur, Sohan Singh Thandal, also appeared before him.

The Speaker listened to both parties and sources close to him said he was not satisfied with the reply submitted by the DC.

Talking to The Tribune over the phone, Thandal said the DC could not give satisfactory answers. He said he had requested the Speaker to forward the case to the privileges committee.

The Speaker sent both of them back without asking them to see him again. Kahlon remained tightlipped about the proceedings. He said he was yet to make up his mind about the case. “I may forward it or may call them again,” he said.

The inquiry had reached the Speaker after a complaint by Thandal that Gurjar did not take the SC welfare committee seriously although it was constituted by the assembly to look into the welfare schemes run by government for the SCs.

The committee sent a communication to the DC, asking him to be present at its meeting in Ludhiana, but he took it casually and did not even send a representative for the meeting.

Meanwhile, the government has asked the Patiala division commissioner, J.S. Bir, to look into the allegations against the DC regarding the allotment of firecracker stalls, as alleged by the deputy Speaker, Satpal Gosain.



Zonal commissioners rendered ‘teethless’
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
In a setback to zonal commissioners who were part of the committees that approved building plans, the MC commissioner, G.S. Ghuman, has formed two committees for passing building plans without zonal commissioners.

According to information, one of these committees would pass residential building plans which would be headed by senior town planner B.S. Brar, while the other team would be looking after commercial and industrial buildings and would work under the chairmanship of the MC commissioner.

The other members of the commercial and industrial plan approval team are senior town planner, town planner Hemant Batra and respective zonal assistant town planners. The municipal town planner and assistant town planners would assist Brar for approving house plans.

Sources revealed that the MC commissioner was unhappy with the working of the zonal commissioners as they had failed to keep a check over the mushrooming of illegal buildings and encroachments in their zones.

They said the work would linger due to the non-availability of zonal commissioners and this used to hamper the working of the town planning department of the MC.

Terming it to be a routine affair, Ghuman said: “Despite repeated reminders and letters, the zonal commissioners of all four zones have failed to yield any positive result. I have asked them several times to give me reports of various illegal buildings and encroachments in their areas, but they have failed to provide me with the details.”

He said there was no point in keeping them in committees where there were not ready to work, adding that the formation of teams would help speed up the process of passing building plans.



JEs, SDOs go on mass leave against suspension
Contractors stop operations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Putting on hold several development projects in the city, junior engineers and sub-divisional officers of the B&R cell of the municipal corporation today proceeded on mass causal leave and contractors decided to close their hotmix plants in protest against the suspension of a junior engineer and an SDO and blacklisting of a contractor in a case of road recarpeting two days ago.

Claiming that the JEs and SDOs were burdened and were not able to perform their duties well, the engineers said as they were not able to supervise development projects, contractors were doing shoddy work and they were being made to bear the brunt of it. The contractors also announced that they would not recarpet roads from tomorrow and would shut the hotmix plants in protest against the blacklisting of High Rise Buildings Private Limited.

Linking the shortage of staff with the action taken by the local bodies minister, Manoranjan Kalia, against JE Rakesh Singla and SDO Rakesh Sharma two days ago, the engineers said if they did not protest several of them would suffer the same fate. The minister had suspended both officials and blacklisted a contractor for influencing the testing of samples of material collected from the Gill road.

Office-bearers of the MC engineers association said they were on mass casual leave from today. They would wait and watch the situation until this weekend. If their demands were not met, they would intensify their protest.

They said there were only 14 JEs against 136 posts and 21 SDOs against 39 posts. ‘‘Every SDO should have four JEs but here two SDOs have one JE. How can we go and supervise so many works? We work until midnight everyday and still we are being held responsible for the wrongdoings of contractors,” an SDO said. He added that their cell had undertaken development works worth Rs 150 crore in this fiscal year. More works worth Rs 550 crore had also been sanctioned after sangat darshan. “A JE should not supervise projects over Rs 1.5 crore. It can be imagined how many JEs are required. They can spend Rs 2 crore on supervision salaries,” he added.



City Concerns
Tap solar energy alternatives

With nearly all residential societies, malls, offices and homes surviving on generator sets in Ludhiana, air and sound pollution is inevitable. Pollution from generators stands second only to vehicle pollution. While emission standards have been set for generators, a majority of manufacturing is in the informal sector and monitoring is impossible.

As far as the enforcement is concerned, nobody has even given it a thought and even if they had, it was a half-hearted attempt. The government machinery can take effective measures if it starts removing all generators from government agency/establishments.

The reasons for having an alternative power source are limitless. To get power to run an establishment, wind generator, solar generator, battery inventer, solar inverter and solar heaters at subsidised rates could be issued by the government.

Ludhiana has so much garbage and it can be used to generate electricity. Water electricity generation on canals should be done. As the demand for electricity keeps increasing due to frequent cuts, so does the demand for other modes to generate power. The demand has to be neutralised by the government by subsidising alternative modes and warnings should be put up in streets regarding the health hazard caused by generators.

— Major Kuljit Singh Sidhu (retd)

Proper installation must

When the supply of an item of basic need becomes irregular and when the government and the local administration fails to overcome the huge variation in the demand and supply, its natural for residents to find a solution on their own.

That is why electric generators are increasing day by day. The administration as well as the rising population are the root of various problems being faced by residents.

Emission of smoke by generators can be prevented if these are properly installed. Diesel engines can suffer damage like internal glazing when hot combustion gases blow past poorly-sealing piston rings, causing the lubricating oil on the cylinder walls to flash burn, creating an enamel-like glaze which smoothes the bore and removes the affect of honing marks and carbon buildup because of its misapplication and misuse.

Further, running of an engine under low speed/electric load can cause low cylinder pressure and consequent poor piston ring, sealing combustion pressure and temperature. Poor combustion leads to soot formation and unburnt fuel residues that clog and gum piston rings.

In order to prevent the formation of soot because of misuse, it becomes necessary for the government and the local administration to make it mandatory to organise seminars and awareness camps in this regard.

— Shivanshu

Monitor power supply

If residents curse the government and the electricity department for the rise in smoke or noise pollution due to generator sets, they are right as both have failed to monitor the regular supply of electricity.

In order to regulate the supply of power, they have been forced or bound to find an alternative by way of installation of generator sets.

Having no other technological advancement in the sector of electricity production equipment, they are using smoke formatting generator sets even as the emission of soot by way of burning diesel produces large amounts of hydrocarbons, both aliphatic (methane, ethane, ethylene, acetylene) and aromatic (benzene and its derivates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and terpene).

In order to save the environment and to cut rising costs of production, the government should initiate a way to monitor the regular supply of electricity and should also try to look for alternative technology with regard to electricity producing equipment.

— Bhawna

PSEB to blame

It is right to say that the generators are polluting environment. But before blaming anybody, we should analyse why people are forced to run generators to meet their power requirement even though it is a costly affair. The PSEB supplies power to the agriculture sector on priority basis and the other sectors are ignored.

Also, to meet the priority of free power to farmers, the PSEB imposes cuts on other consumers. Residents are left with no option, but to go in for generators.

The generators used by malls/showrooms should be of international standard.

— Ravinder Mohan Chopra 



Manifestos lack worthy issues
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Having failed to mention a single health-related issue in their election manifesto, doctors contesting for the district IMA elections are indulging in “petty politics”.

In a contravention of the code of conduct, Dr Narotam Dewan and Dr Arun Mitra, contesting for the post of district president, are carrying on with allegations and counter-allegations even though the code came into force on December 9.

A senior physician stated that the mad race among the doctors for the post of president had defeated the purpose of leading an esteemed body like the IMA.

Maintaining anonymity, the doctor said: “The cases of tuberculosis are on the rise just because private doctors are not following DOT (directly observed treatment) programme. Alos, they are responsible for the growth of multi drug resistant TB as patients are taken in for treatment, but no follow up is done. As a result, patients leave the treatment and stop responding to the drug.”

Ludhiana being an industrial town had the maximum population of migrants who were prone to TB, but it was unfortunate that the IMA had done nothing to evolve a programme for it, he said.

Making a mockery of the objectives of the IMA, a group went to the extent of mentioning the “creation of a list of daughters and sons” of members of the IMA to help them chose a match as part of the manifesto.

The derogatory and melodramatic language used by a doctor under the garb of an open letter is appalling and smacks of personal enmity.

Dr Iqbal Ahuja, chief election commissioner, tried to evade the issue by saying that, “I can only request the doctors to refrain from mudslinging. They are mature and competent professionals who should understand their responsibility and act wisely.”



30 pc small units in Punjab sick
Khanna seeks white paper on economic condition 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Nearly 30 per cent small-scale units in Punjab have become sick during the past couple of months due to the wrong economic policies and populist measures of the state government.

As a result of this the state coffers have become empty.

Harish Khanna, president, Small Scale Industries Association, stated this during association’s meeting here yesterday.

Khanna urged the government to issue a white paper on the present status of the state's economic condition and the measures it intends to take to wriggle Punjab out of the financial crisis.

"Small scale industry forms the backbone of the Indian economy but the government has not done much for its welfare. Even the fiscal stimulus packages announced by the Centre for bailing the industry out of the economic crunch are meant for the larger industries and the interests of the small scale units have been completely ignored," added Khanna.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Khanna added: "We will protest, hold rallies and meetings and give representations to the government till our demands are met.

We will not let the small scale industry die a slow death at the hands of the government."

Shakti Sharma, chairmen of the association, rued that the small scale industry was not a profit generating industry rather it was a job-oriented one and in the 2 lakh registered and non-registered small scale industrial units in Punjab, a many as 18 lakh people were employed.

If the industry collapses due to the faulty policies of the state government, there would be a large-scale unemployment, he added.

Khanna added that in the wake of the prevailing downtrend in the global as well as domestic markets, a number of small scale entrepreneurs have committed suicides in Punjab which itself is a proof of the government apathy towards the industry.

"The state government has become a mute spectator to the incidents. In fact, the government, instead of giving relief to the entrepreneurs, keeping in view their difficulties, is imposing new taxes. Of late, 1 per cent cess on construction activity has been imposed in the state. As it is industry in the state is paying more taxes that the other states," he said.

Both demanded that the government should immediately provide sops to the small-scale industry for bailing it out of the crisis.

"While formulating various policies for the industry, the government should at least consult and discuss the pros and cons with the representatives of the industry," Sharma demanded.



Congress activist held for fraud 
Our Correspondent

Raikot,December 17
A senior Congress worker has been arrested for allegedly committing a fraud about six years ago. On December 17,2003, Balbir Singh of Jalaldiwal village had in an application forwarded to the SSP Jagraon alleged that Amit Jai and Kimti Lal Jain had lured his brother, Sukhwinder Singh,to pay Rs 13.50 lakh for sending him to Canada and getting married to a Canadian citizen.

Sukhwinder had paid Rs 13 lakh to Kimti Lal and Rs 50,000 to Amit Jain, a middleman. The entire payment was made between December 2 and January 3.

Soon, they found that they were being cheated by Kimti Lal Jain. Later on, the DSP Raikot found that a few more persons were also involved in the fraud. . Dinesh Jain, Kimti Lal, Muskan and Renu were made co-accused. But, during probe the complainant gave an undertaking on January 17, 2004, in the presence of seniors of his village that the amount paid by him has been received and he didn’t want any action against the accused. Then DSP Harjit Singh Brar reported to the SSP that a compromise had been reached by the complainant and the accused. The complainant thereafter went to Dubai.

On June 15,2006, Gurtej Singh of Jalaldiwal village again complained to the SSP Jagraon that Kimti Lal Jai, Renu, Dinesh and Muskan lured his brother for sending him to Canada. He also accused that Lalit Jain in presence of Raikot MLA Harmohinder Singh forced his brother Balbir Singh to reach a compromise by the way of false and unkept promise to get his money refunded. Later on, he withdrew on the pretext that the parties had refused to comply with the promise. He asked for legal action against the accused. The enquiry was done by DSP Raikot Narinder Pal Singh.

Lalit Jain accused the police on becoming a tool at the hands of a local Akali leader for settling the score with him as he was the in charge of Raikot during the election for the sitting Congress MLA Horminder Singh.



MC blacklists four ad companies 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
The finance and contract committee of the local municipal corporation that met here today blacklisted four advertisers who defaulted on timely payments to the civic body.

Putting aside the controversy, the corporation that was accused of patronising defaulting advertisers, the committee blacklisted August Advertisers, Greenline, Gypsy and Rajeev Nancha Advertisers. The decision had a nod from municipal commissioner, too, who favoured that erring contractors need to be removed.

The meeting was organised at the mayor house today. Issues which were discussed during the meeting were allotment of bus shelters to one contractor who would look after the advertising rights. The proposal was cancelled due to opposition by BJP councillors who cited monopoly of a single contractor as the reason and came up with idea to have six groups, one in zone A, B and C and three in zone D.

Another agenda related to advertisement which came to fore was giving advertisements of private buildings to one contractor. Interestingly, one of the zonal commissioners, who had included the item in the agenda list, said today that there were many illegal buildings in the city and it was not possible for the corporation to collect tax from all of them. The matter was kept for reconsideration till the next meeting.

The other topics which got a red signal were sanctioning of Rs 3 lakh to a traffic consultant for guiding the civic body in traffic management.

However, the members did approve some resolutions to improve working of civic body. These included installation of CCTV cameras on the dumpyards, global positioning system (GPS) in corporation’s vehicles and punching machines to note entry of the employees.

Apart from this many work orders were passed which were sanctioned during the sangat darshan, installation of fancy lights from the Bharat Nagar Chowk to the Samrala Chowk via the Link road, construction of 100 public toilets and potable drinking water sites which would be given on the BOT basis for 12 years. A multi-level parking at Feroze Gandhi Market and purchase of a few JCB machines were also sanctioned by the committee.

The members also decided to form two committees one of which would look after the tender policy, while another into the mohalla sanitation committee matter.



Pay Commission
Pensioners seeks early report, interim relief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 17
The government pensioners while celebrating 26th pensioners day under the aegis of Pensioners Information Centre Management at Pensioners Bhawan here today urged the Punjab government to release the report of 5th Pay Commission before the code of conduct was imposed for the Lok Sabha elections. They also demanded another installment of interim relief of 5 per cent of the pension as had been given by the Himachal Pradesh and many other state governments.

At the start of deliberations, a condolence resolution was moved to pay homage to those pensioners who had died this year. Tributes were also paid to former Chief Justice of India Y.V. Chandrachud, who had died in July after a brief illness in Mumbai.

Speaking on the occasion, B.R. Kaushal, chairman, Pensioners Bhawan Management Committee, recalled the landmark judgement delivered by the constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Chandrachud, which had ruled that pension was a right; its payment was governed by rules and did not depend on the discretion of the government. 



Industry relieved as banks cut interest rate
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Cut in the interest rates by public sector banks by 100 point basis for micro enterprises and 50 basis point for small and medium enterprises has come a relief to the local industry. However, the industry has demanded that loans to micro enterprises be granted at 7 per cent on a par with agriculture.

Joginder Kumar, president of the Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India, said: “The decision of the banks to provide 20 per cent ad hoc need-based credit to borrowers of exiting loans to meet their working capital needs is also a good measure. However, the small and medium industry needs more stimulus packages in the present scenario.”

He said recently during a meeting of representatives of the MSME with the Prime Minister in New Delhi, there had been a demand for loans to small and medium industries not to be linked with the PLR.

Manmohan Singh, president of the Small Scale Industry and Traders Association, said: “A major problem of the industry is that applying for a loan from a bank is a tedious and long process. Banks should make the process easier and faster.”



Christmas festivity in the air
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Santa is almost here! Flowers decorating the Christmas table with festive food, puddings, chocolates and cake would be a common site at the houses of Christian families and popular restaurants. The plum cakes are already being prepared by the city bakeries and are decked up with tasty and mouth-watering cakes, puddings, pies, pastries, wines and champagnes.

The leading malls seem to be welcoming Christmas. With Christmas tree playing the centrestage, stores are using bells, stars and flowers to keep the festive spirit on.

It is the time of the year when loved ones, family and friends near, far and absent are all remembered. Cards and gifts are part of the joy that is celebrated every season.

Christmas is no fun without the traditional Christmas cake and making this cake is no quick and easy task. Preparations begin months in advance. All the major bakeries and hotels in the city have started the mixing process for making scrumptious and delicious cakes for Christmas. The preparations are in full swing and the chefs are having a hectic schedule ahead of Christmas. This religiously followed ritual marks the beginning of a very busy period of the year for the bakeries and confectionaries.

"Come December and one good thing to look forward is the Christmas season. And when we talk about Christmas the second thought that comes to the mind are yummy and tasty plum cakes", said R Fredrick, city resident who has already given the advance order to one of the bakeries for the festival.

"Every moment of baking this cake is so much pleasure, right from the first step of pouring in the wine, to stirring it, then baking it, and to seeing my grandchildren relishing it. I would be preparing the plum cake at home for the family and gifts for the relatives have already been decided", said G. Nathaniel a city resident.

Bakeries are offering a bundle of options to make the festival special. Apart from the plum cakes, plum pudding, chocolate rum balls, black forest pudding, dark chocolate pudding, sweet buns, rum chocolates, coffee cake, apple crumble pie, brandy custards, hot chocolate pudding, raisin gathos, barum muffins are there to splurge upon. Some of the themes for the cakes decided by the master chefs this year are horseshoe, ulog, and white angel.

Not to forget turkey in different forms would also be there.



Photo exhibition on at Artmosphere till Dec 25
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
His hobby transformed into his passion when he saw a photography exhibition at Chandigarh Art Gallery. Satwant Singh Nandra has put up an exhibition of his photos at Artmosphere art gallery. A businessman by profession he describes his camera as his soul mate and photography as an addiction.

He is best at capturing nature and rivers, leaves and flower. His passion for clicking has taken him around the world to more than ten countries and five different continents in search of inspiration for his work. "In most of my works I use nature as the central theme as I am fascinated by God's divine gift. The flora and fauna attracts me and inspires me to capture them in my shutterbug," he adds.

In addition to taking pictures his contribution towards promoting amateur photography in the region cannot be ignored. He nurtured the "Lensmen" and "Club 35" amateur photography clubs in the city.

Over the years he has attended numerous workshops organised by the India International Photographic Council. He is also an associate of India International Photographic Council, New Delhi, and the Royal Photographic Society, UK.

One will find clouds, mountains, rivers, snow, trees, and flowers in abundance in Nandra's pictures. The exhibition is on at Artmosphere art gallery till December 25.



Singers angry over use of songs by DJs 
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khanna, December 17
A large number of singers, lyricists, directors and others from the Punjabi music industry today raised their voice against the use of their songs by DJs at parties.

They submitted a memorandum in this connection to the SSP, Khanna, and the SDM. The singers demanded immediate ban on the commercial use of their songs by DJs during marriage functions and at other public places.

“We spend lakhs of rupees to make songs, CDs and its videos, but the DJs are using these songs for commercial use and mint money during marriage functions and at other public gatherings,” said singer Sardul Sikandar.

The prominent singers who attended the meeting include Sardul Sikandar, Inderjit Nikku and Labh Janjua. A number of lyricists and song directors also attended the meeting. The meeting was called by the Lok Gayak Kala Manch of Khanna.

The participants of the meeting said a state-wide campaign would also be launched on December 23 wherein a state-level meeting of the singers would be held at Khanna.

“We will urge the Akali government to immediately put a ban on the use of our songs at public functions or else we have to raise the issue at different platforms to intensify our agitation,” said Labh Janjua.

The artistes said they were not opposing use of lyrics composed by them, but their CDs or cassettes should not be played publicly. This is completely illegal and action must be initiated against those who play such CDs and songs without the permission of a singer, they said.



Award for PAU director
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Dr P.P. Gupta, former director of research (veterinary and animal sciences), Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has been selected for Dr P. Bhattacharya Memorial Award of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) for the year 2007-2008 for his contributions in animal and veterinary sciences.

The award consists of a citation and gold plated silver medal and will be presented to him at the inaugural session of 9th agricultural sciences, scheduled at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Srinagar, in June 2009.

So far, Dr Gupta is the only scientist in the history of PAU and Veterinary University to receive this national honour.

Dr Gupta is an eminent bio-medical scientist and educationist and is a recipient of many national and international awards, including science pioneer prize and fellowship by Egyptian veterinary association, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai award etc.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) also honoured Dr Gupta by awarding him Sriramachari award for his research work on the prevention and reversibility of atherosclerosis and ischaemic heart disease by dietary and lifestyle changes.

Dr Gupta, a Ph.D in pathology from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, is a fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, National Academy of Veterinary Sciences and Royal Veterinary College, Sweden.



UGC Pay Scales
Centre’s decision a mixed bag
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Prof Jaipal Singh, president, Punjab Government College Teachers Union, hailed the decision of the Central government to implement the UGC pay scales for university and college teachers with certain reservations. He has appreciated the government for granting pay band-4 to all associate professors, promotion of all assistant professors to associate professors without any pre-condition of Ph.D both in colleges and universities, and calculating the total service for promotion to the post of associate professors.

He also appreciated the grant of 5 and 3 increments for Ph.D/M.Phil degree holders and the grant of 3 and 1 increments for those doing these degrees during service. The creation of professors’ post in both UG and PG colleges was also a welcome step, he added.

In a press note issued here today, the president said the denial of such benefits to existing Ph.D/M. Phil incumbents was condemned. Also, against the Chadha committee commendation of 100 per cent grant to the states for uniform implementation of this pay package throughout the country, the government had agreed to give only 80 per cent assistance for the extra burden, that too for only 4 years and 3 months (from 1-1-2006 to 31-3-2010) instead of 5 years. Prof Jaipal Singh said the government had also unjustifiably increased the number of years to become associate professor from the existing 9, 10, and 11 years to 12, 13 and 14 years for those holding Ph.D, M. Phil and PG degrees, respectively.

He has also demanded allowances such as transport allowance, academic allowance, children education allowance etc. be also notified and the states be asked to fill all vacant posts, otherwise the part-timers kept on such posts be also given full pay and allowances and guest faculty teachers, in case of dire need, be paid Rs 25,000 a month. These were some of the recommendations of the Chadha committee, he said.

He termed the decision as a mixed bag containing both positive and negative features. He along with other office-bearers of Punjab GCTA, including Prof Kuldip Singh, Prof Harbans Singh, Prof Paramjit Kaur and Dr Rakesh Kumar, urged the Punjab government to implement UGC pay scales as soon as the notification was received. The government had already discriminated against university and college teachers by denying the 5 per cent interim relief, which was a part of pay revision. These leaders urged all its members to be prepared for a struggle to get these pay scales.


l Pay band-4 for associate professors

l Promotion of assistant professors without any pre-condition of Ph.D

l Calculating the total service for promotion to the post of associate professors

ll Grant of 5 and 3 increments for Ph.D/M.Phil degree holders


l Increased the number of years to become associate professor

l Centre agrees to only 80 pc grant to the states for implementation of pay package



Midday meal improves attendance
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Although, the midday meal in government schools has been criticised for the substandard food, children of the labour class stick to the school waiting for the midday meal.

"Midday meal has allured the children to stay in the school and it has been able to check the delinquency. It has improved the attendance chart of the students," said H.K. Mayer, principal, Government Multipurpose School. It is only the children from Punjabi families, who bring their own lunch and have no taste for midday meal. But for the children from poor families, a bowl of rice or halwa is enough to sustain.

Tarsem Lal Banga, district manager, midday meal, said government has allocated Rs 2.08 per student at primary level and Rs 2.60 per student at upper primary (Class VI to VIII). Students are served 50 gm wheat and 50 gm rice at primary level and 150 gm wheat and rice at upper primary level. He further added that wheat and rice are supplied by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) through PUNSUP. Rest of the material i.e. cooking oil and grocery items, are purchased by the teachers from the amount earmarked for the students and payment to the cook is also to be paid from this amount, said Banga.

Many teachers crib that midday meal has added an extra burden to their hectic schedule of teaching. The primary teachers revealed that they have to maintain the complete record of the account and they have to perform another extra duty of measuring the height and weight of the child after every three months to assess the physical growth of the child after consuming sarkari roti. Menu for the mid-day meal has been set by the government authorities. Children are served sweet and salted rice, halwa, dal roti at primary level and rajma chawal, chana chawal and dal chapatti at upper primary level.



Indo-Danish folklore festival today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
A Danish group will be performing in the city tomorrow during Indo-Danish Folklore Festival 2008 at Partap College of Education, as per the memorandum of understanding between Dr Balwant Singh, director of the college, and Danish Gymnastics and Sports Association represented by the International Committee of DGI Gymnastics.

Accompanied by 32 members, ‘The National Danish Performance Team’ will interact with the students of various institutions by conducting workshops, academic sessions and by giving cultural performances, including gymnastics, aerobics and folkdances.

The director said this kind of cultural activities would help to shape up the complete persona of the individual and was helpful in bringing East and West together.

While addressing the media, Balwant Singh said, “We are organising this international event with the theme of cultural diversity, cross country educational, sports and cultural relations with Denmark.”



3-month training course for young farmers 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
The directorate of extension education, PAU, is organising a three-month training course (100th batch) for young farmers in agriculture from January 6 to April 3, 2009 at Kairon Kisan Ghar on the theme "Diversification in agriculture".

Dr N.S. Malhi, director of extension education said the course will cover topics like diversification in agriculture, pest and disease management, agronomic practices, dairy science, horticulture, vegetable growing, farm management, agri-business management, farm power and machinery, etc. Course coordinators will be Dr T.S. Riar and Dr V.K. Bhambota.


Soil health needs to be improved by proper tillage and fertiliser inputs under diversified cropping system so as to sustain food production for the growing masses. This was stated by Dr Sukhdev Singh Malhi, research scientist with agriculture and agri-food, Canada, while interacting with faculty of department of soils, at a seminar organised by Ludhiana Chapter, Indian Society of Soil Science at Punjab Agricultural University.

Dr Malhi emphasised upon the contamination of ground water due to the downward movement of nitrogen under high input levels prevailing particularly in developed countries like Canada. He suggested that nutrient movement to the ground waters can be minimised by proper combination of soil/tillage management, fertiliser input and diversified cropping system. Dr G.S. Hira, former additional director of research (agri) discussed about the ecologic and economic benefits of happy seeder and shared the performance of the machine at farmers' field near Sangrur.



Shobin, Nancy excel in recitation contest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
A recitation competition was held at G.M.T. Senior Secondary School under the guidance of Amarjeet kaur Dhaliwal. About 65 participants recited their poems on various social evils. Kashmir Singh Thind presided over. Shobin and Nancy stood first, Damanjeet and Vishal stood second followed by Shivali and Kiranpreet who bagged third prize. Thind gave away prizes to the winners.


A workshop on 'Emotional and multiple intelligence' was organised at B.C.M Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, today. G. Bala Subramanium, former director (academic), CBSE, was the resource person and explored the theory of multiple intelligence. The workshop contributed to enhance teacher's skills and knowledge in how to educate students each depending on their individual multiple intelligences.


Col Karamjit Singh, Group Commander, NCC group, Ludhiana, paid a visit to the Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School today to apprise the school authorities about the sanction of one SW PI Army (54 NCC Girls Cadets).

He said NCC training instills confidence and leadership qualities.



Students selected

Mandi Gobindgarh, December 17
Desh Bhagat Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Mandi Gobindgarh, during this period of global recession has managed100 per cent placement for its students studying in the final year of B.Sc. airlines, travel & tourism and hospitality.

Felicitating the selected students and staff of the institute, Dr Zora Singh, chairman of the group, disclosed that these students have been selected by Indira Gandhi International Airport and MNC's like Thomas Cook, SOTC and Travelcraft Management Institute. — OC



Use horn discreetly

City residents are in dire need of comprehensive lessons in the discreet use of horns while driving. Reckless and indiscriminate use of horns has virtually turned the city into a bedlam.

This indiscriminate use is not only injurious to human hearing, but also affects human mind and heart. Intelligentsia, Authorities and all civilised citizens must address to his problem.

Education institutes and traffic controlling cops can play an effective role in mitigating this nuisance.

Time has come for authorities to warn the defaulters. Let us all endeavour to turn this bedlam city into a quieter, more pleasant and peaceful zone.

KBS Sodhi, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.



Man fire shots at marriage
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 17
A man was booked for allegedly beating up another person and firing shots at a marriage party yesterday.

Chamkaur Singh of Roomi village in a complaint lodged with the police alleged that Inderjit Singh of Budh Singh Wala village, near Baghapurana, had beaten him up and even fired a few shots from his revolver as a threatening gesture.

He said the quarrel started on a song being played by an orchestra. The accused started hitting him in front of the people and even fired a few shots from his revolver. The accused was booked under the Arms Act



North Zone emerge champions
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 17
North Zone won four matches and drew one to secure 13 points for emerging champions in the 38th All India Food Corporation of India (FCI) Inter-Zonal Football Tournament that concluded at Guru Nanak Stadium here today. North East Frontier Zone accumulated 12 points to finish runners-up.

In their last league encounter, North Zone players did a commendable job by holding the defending champions, East Zone to a goal less draw to finish at top of the points table and walked away with the winnner's trophy.

While, North East Frontier Zone, in their last match, routed Headquarters, Delhi 4-0 to follow North Zone and had to content with the second position.

Sayeed Ansas put North East Frontier Zone into the lead in the very second minute and eight minutes later, Thomson increased the lead while Sayeed again struck in the 16th minute to consolidate the lead 3-0. Bhaskar Jyoti Barua pumped in a goal in the 44th minute to complete the tally.

Manish Mithani of North Zone was declared the player of the tournament while North East Frontier Zone bagged the Fair Play Trophy. Players of the North Zone outfit received a cash prize of Rs 2,000 each and those from the North East Frontier Zone pocketed a cash prize of 1,000 each.

Executive director, North, FCI, J.P. Sharma gave away prizes. H.S. Dhaliwal, Sandeep Gosain, R.P. Sharma, Jasbir Singh Saini, Reeta and Manmohan Vinayak along with other FCI members were present on the occasion.



Ranjit, Krishna best athletes
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 17
Ranjit Singh and Krishna Sharma were adjudged best athletes among men and women (below 50 years), respectively, in the one-day Punjab Agricultural University Employees Union Annual Athletics Championship held on the university campus here today.

Tarsem Singh was named the best athlete in the above 50 years category. The registrar, R.K. Mahay, inaugurated the meet while Dr Tejwant Singh, director, students welfare, PAU, and Dr Gurkirpal Singh were the guests of honour.

The prize distribution function would be held on December 19, according to the union senior vice-president, Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu.

The results: Men (below 50 years) 100m race: Ranjit Singh 1; (above 50 years) -- Mewa Singh 1; (below 50 years) 200m race -- Ranjit Singh 1; (above 50 years) 200m race — Mewa Singh 1; 400m race — Des Raj 1; and shot put — Tarsem Singh 1.

Women (below 50 years) 100m race: Gurdial Kaur 1; (above 50 years) — Krishna Sharma 1; spoon-lemon race -- Krishna Sharma 1; musical chair race — Baljinder Kaur 1; and shot put — Jagwinder Kaur 1.

In tug of war, Tarsem Singh XI emerged winner.



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