People’s day out with Army
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 13
It was a true-to-life experience for scores of schoolchildren and spectators who gathered at the two-day-long Army equipment display at Katoch Stadium in Jalandhar cantonment here today. The event was held to mark Army Day, which is celebrated on January 15 every year.

The exhibition-cum-mela virtually brought the might of the Army under one umbrella.

Among the main attractions were wide displays of tanks, guns, missiles, latest weapons, equipment and aero show.

An impressive mass display by the Army bands from various regiments was also held. Besides, hot air ballooning, dog show and paramotor display also remained a big crowd puller.

Spectators, including Army officers, JCOs, NCOs and their families and school students, expressed keen interest in knowing the technicalities of modern warfare equipment.

The students were curious to understand the knowhow of the weapons. Students from the local Kendriya Vidyalayas, Army Public School, BSF School, Cantt Board Boys School and Sainik School, Kapurthala thronged the event.

Impressed by the massive display of the Army weapons, Neeraj Rana, a class XI student of Cantt Board Boys Senior Secondary School, said, “All I knew about the Army was wars. But the exhibition has brought to the fore the strength of our armed forces. I am quite impressed by the might of the Army and would like to don the uniform one day.”

For many students the exhibition was a glimpse of adventure and life in the Army. Another student Jujhar Veer Singh from the local Army Public School said, “Being from an Army background I am aware of life as an officer in the Army. Besides entertainment, we got to know the functioning of the Army as well. I think the exhibition has served its purpose of motivating the youth to join armed forces.”

The entire Katoch Stadium was turned into a mini cantonment with different stalls of all the corps in the Army. A majority of the weapons on display were foreign based. Most of the weapons were from Russia, Sweden, Belgium and South Africa.

This included infantry weapons, artillery weapons, engineers weapons, air defence, nuclear biological chemicals (NBC) equipment, display of Army Medical Corps (AMC) and handicrafts of the Army Wives Welfare Assocaition (AWWA) as well.

A majority of the students gathered to see the 122-mm multi-barrel rocket launcher which was displayed by 213 Rocket Regiment. The curiosity was evident, as the students had seen the weapon on TV during the Kargil war. “Till date I had seen these weapons in films like Border and LOC but the exhibition gave us a chance to see and touch them in reality. Moreover, the Army jawans are also expressing a lot of interest in answering our queries,” said Gurpreet Kaur, a student.



Choked sewer gives residents a hard time
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, January 13
Several residents of the Model Town locality, falling under Ward 4 of the local municipal council (MC) are forced to live in almost hellish conditions as the sewer line in a street has been choking for about two weeks.

“The sewerage in the street, which has houses from 216 to 234 in Model Town, had been choking for about two weeks,” said Anita Gupta, a resident of the locality.

Another resident Raj Kumar alleged that the sewerage was choking as no desilting work had been done for the past several years.

The sewage had been overflowing in the street due to choking of the sewerage, said resident B.S. Walia, adding that even several cracks had developed in the cemented floors at the entrances of these houses.

Anita Gupta said, “We have been living in hellish conditions in our own houses for about a fortnight due to unbearable stink emanating from the overflowing sewage.

Gupta and Raj Kumar said they had brought the entire matter verbally to the notice of municipal councillor Chajja Singh, MC president Paramjit Singh and EO R.K. Aggarwal but to no avail.

Fed up with the indifference of the MC, the residents of the locality lodged a written complaint with the MC in this regard on Tuesday.

When contacted, the EO said the matter was already in his notice. MC men were on job and a machine would also be pressed into service to desilt the choked sewerage to normalise the situation, he added

Answering a query, he said the sewerage of the area might not have been desilted for the past several years as the entire sewerage was inter-connected and if a desilting machine was operated at a major point near some localities, the sewerage of the nearby localities would get desilted.



PTU eyes industrial tie-ups for distance education students
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 13
A delegation of the All-India PTU Distance Education Programme Associates met PTU vice-chancellor Dr Rajnish Arora and apprised him of the initiatives taken by the association to enhance the learning process and the student support services.

President D.S. Sekhon said the members were trying to bring in proposals of dual certification from the industry. He also said the tie-ups were being done with the industrial groups for trainings and customised programmes. The proposals submitted also include industrial associations with Reliance Retail, Unicon Investments and ICICI for taking students as insurance advisers.

He said all the course material was prepared like computer-based tutorials. Also, an online learning management system was launched to supplement the learning process for the PTU DEP students.

Secretary general Maneet Dewan said the association had invested heavily on automation and imbibing technology into the system for seamless flow of information and support services. The association had launched its web portal three months back and had more than 1.5 lakh hits on its site.

“This portal will soon have alumni and placement engine integrated to national job portals. Further, an online ERP solution to connect all learning and regional centres to process the fees, internals and student database will be in action within short time. This will lead to a paperless system and a real time data processing centre. This ERP will have all possible mobile solutions where student can retrieve any related information through their mobile phones,” he added.



Govt trying to take credit of central schemes: Khaira
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 13
Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira has sent a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in which he alleged that the Parkash Singh Badal-led government in Punjab was trying to take credit of the roads constructed under Pardhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna (PMGSY).

Demanding an inquiry at the highest level to fix responsibility of those officers and political leaders who had violated legal course of working in order to benefit politically, Khaira also sent the copies of the letter to Union Minister for Rural Development Rahgu Prasad Singh and director RC (PMGSY) Sanjay Rakesh.

Khaira also attached as evidence photographs of two PMGSY road foundation stones. One of the photographs was about the Mana Talwandi-Akbarpur road via Begowal, the foundation stone of which was laid by deputy speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal.

The name of deputy speaker is inscribed on the stone below the name of Bibi Jagir Kaur, a former MLA and defeated candidate of the SAD-BJP.

Although, he is the elected representative of the Bholath constituency where the work took place, neither his name had been purposely inscribed nor he was invited for the said function, he added.

The other photograph pertained to Kartarpur-Bholath road, the foundation stone of which was laid by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Name of defeated candidate Bibi Jagir Kaur was again inscribed on the foundation stone, he added.



Firing on IT team: Father, son denied bail
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 13
The district and session judge today rejected the bail application of a city based property dealer and his son, who had fired on sleuths of the income tax (IT) department on December 11 last year. Earlier a lower court had also rejected their bail application.

The suspects, Yesh Pal Khanna and his son Rohit Khanna, had fired upon the IT sleuths lead by Rajinder Kaur, deputy director, IT department, Bathinda, who conducted a raid at their house in Model Town.

After the firing incident both the father and son absconded but surrendered before the Division No. 6 police station later.

Yesh Pal Khanna got furious and even misbehaved with the raiding party. The father and son managed to give the slip to the IT men and escaped from a backdoor of the house.

The property dealers also took along documents relating to their property deals and other sale-purchase deals.



Sharma heads IMA (Jalandhar chapter)
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 13
ENT surgeon Dr Sanjiv Sharma has been elected president (elect) of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Jalandhar chapter. Dr Sharma was elected un-opposed when Dr Sarbjit Singh, another candidate for the post, withdrew his candidature from the fray. Dr Sharma has been elected for 2010.

Earlier, he was state senior vice-president and state finance secretary of the IMA.

He is also the assistant secretary of the Surjit Hockey Society and an eminent sports promoter.



Appoint more doctors, asks PCMS
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 13
The PCMS Specialist Doctors Association, Punjab, demanded from the state government that more doctors should be appointed according to the parameter set by the Indian Public Health Standard, in Punjab, through the Punjab Public Service Commission.

A deputation of the association, led by its president Dr Kashmir Singh Sohal, met principal secretary health and family welfare at the mini-secretariat on Friday and submitted a memorandum of their demands.

The other demands of the doctors included that the already appointed specialist doctors be given the cadre of specialist doctors and pay scale for the same.



Gymkhana issue: Hearing on Feb 19 
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 13
Acting on a complaint filed by Lieut-Col S.S. Sohi (retd), the State Information Commission (SIC) Punjab has fixed February 19 as the date for hearing on his application pertaining to denial of information regarding the Jullundhur Gymkhana Club.

Issuing notice of hearing to the applicant, Col Sohi and respondent public information officer at the office of Jalandhar divisional commissioner-cum-president of thr club, the SIC asked them to appear before the state information commissioner Lieut-Gen (retd) P.K. Grover on February 19 at 2 pm either personally or through authorised representatives.

The one-page notice of hearing, a copy of which has been procured by The Tribune, was sent by the deputy registrar of the SIC on January 2.

Col Sohi lodged the complaint against the president of Jullundur Gymkhana Club-cum-commissioner, Jalandhar division, before the state information commission in November last year after he was denied the information he had asked for under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.

While Col Sohi claimed that the club falls in the ambit of the RTI Act, the legal committee of the club opined that it was not covered under the prescribed definition of public authority.

However, in his complaint Col Sohi stated certain points to validate his claim. “The club president is the divisional commissioner who is a government official. He has the power to offer membership to anyone at a discount of 50 per cent. Whenever an inquiry is to be conducted, the divisional commissioner marks an inquiry to any government official. In case of dissolution of the elected management committee, it is the divisional commissioner again who appoints a temporary administrator till the resumption of a new elected management committee. The club offers temporary membership to government officials at a token fee.”

In his complaint, Col Sohi requested the commission to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the respondent under section 20 of the act while citing another reason for the same, “The club is functioning on the land which belongs to the provincial government as per the revenue records.”

In his RTI application filed on September 4, Col Sohi had asked for copies of all inquiries conducted into the alleged diesel scam.

While responding to his application, the club honorary secretary, Satish Thakur, claimed that he had consulted the chairman of the club legal committee for his advice on the matter. The enclosed photocopy of the piece of advice from the chairman mentioned, “Jullundhur Gymkhana club is not covered under the prescribed definition of public authority for it is neither established under any constitutional law nor is being financially aided by the central or state government. Rather it is registered under the Societies Act and is being run by the contribution from members.”



Don’t fire workers despite meltdown: Assn chief

Jalandhar, January 13
Industrialists should refrain from sacking labourers from their units despite global meltdown. Founder president of the All-India Valves and Cocks Manufacturers Association Vimal Jain advised the owners of different industries while addressing its meeting here.

The industrialists should not become panicky due to the meltdown and should not expel their employees in the national interest, he said, adding that if they were expelled, they might become drug addict and might get involved in other anti-social activities. The representatives of different government departments related with industries were present at the meeting. Jain requested them to develop those industry friendly techniques in India also which had already been functional in different countries. Giving an example, he said that Korea had developed hydro-flame which generated 2000 degree Celsius temperature. If such a technique was developed in India, it might be beneficial for several industries and would be helpful in saving electricity too.

Former president of the association Mahohar Dhawan informed the industrialists about the activities of the cluster of valves and cocks industries. Director of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) R.C. Chopra and National Small Industrial Corporation (NSIC) branch manager Gurpal Singh informed the industrialists about different government schemes for them.Association president Pran Nath Bhalla, its chairman Rup Singh Dhumal and general secretary Anupam Khanna also expressed their views on the occasion. — TNS 



Tiny tots celebrate ‘grand’ Lohri
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 13
The Eurokids celebrated Lohri and Makar Sakranti as “Grand-Parents Day”. Tiny tots along with their parents and grandparents attended the function. A bonfire was lit and kids enjoyed the function with traditional Lohri songs.

Meanwhile, the Social Welfare and Charitable Society of BD Arya Girls College, Jalandhar cantonment, celebrated Lohri with the orphans of Nari Niketan on January 9. On this occasion, students donated dry ration to the inmates of Nari Niketan. Meanwhile, the Rotaract Club of the college gifted woollen socks to the children.

Skating competition

The CT Public School hostel conducted an inter-house roller-skating match for boys and a relay race for girls on January 10. Skaters from Beas and Sutlej houses displayed wonderful skating skills.

In the boys’ category, Sutlej house won the match by 5-4 goals whereas in the girls category, Beas house won the relay race. Jaskarandeep Singh Ranu from Beas house was declared ‘Best Skater’ of the year 2008-09.

Principal of the school Lakhvinder Kaur awarded medals and certificates to the winners.

Presentation held

KMV College, Jalandhar, held a presentation pertaining to job avenues and recruitment in the Indian Army. Col Bibash Chandra urged women to join the army as commissioned officers and serve the nation. An interaction session was held later on, in which the students clarified their doubts pertaining to army recruitment.

Industrial visit

Students of computer science of the Prem Chand Markanda SD College for Women went for a two-day industrial visit to Sonalika International Tractors Limited, Hoshiarpur. The students saw the production process of the tractors. Head of the department of Sonalika Tractors Dr Gurvinder Singh spoke at length about the history of Sonalika manufacturing.

Essay contest

Namita Malhotra, a student of Prem Chand Markanda SD College for Women brought laurels to the institution by bagging the second position in a national-level essay writing competition. Namita expressed her views on the topic “India: An upcoming economy”.

She was awarded a cash prize of Rs 1,500 for her achievement.



Expert warns against bronchial asthma
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 13
The lingering allergic rhinitis leads to bronchial asthma which is one of the common respiratory allergic disorders throughout the world, said city based noted bronchoscopist Dr H.J. Singh.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr Singh, an executive member of the Indian Council of Allergy, Asthma and Applied Immunology, pointed out the nearly 25 per cent children had been developing the bronchial asthma after they fell prey to the allergic rhinitis. The reluctance and ignorance of the developing symptoms of the disease among parents virtually made the kids suffer from this. He also said that the present lifestyle and allergens played a major role in causing the disease. The bronchial asthma was preventable but curable, he added.

Dr Singh said that the indoor allergens included dust might, mould, insects and pet animals’ hair, while outdoor allergens were environmental pollution, pollens, dust and fungi. The problem aggravated with the change in weather. Allergic rhinitis, if diagnosed at the initial stage, could be cured and causes less harm, he added.



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