Swearing in of Sukhbir Badal
City turns into police fort for ‘coronation’
Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 20
Much to the chagrin of public in general and pilgrims in particular, all kind of vehicles were debarred to drive on the approaching road to the Golden Temple from the Ghanta Ghar chowk here today. Only pedestrians were allowed on the road.

In order to beef up security before the swearing-in ceremony of SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal as Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and arrival of a large number of VVIPs, the step was taken.

With a view to making the swearing-in ceremony historical tomorrow, entire Punjab and district administrations were observed engrossed in preparation. Heavy police bandobast could be seen near Golden Temple and upscale Ranjit Avenue, venue for the oath-taking ceremony. Policemen could be seen manning vital intersections in the city.

If a number of policemen in plain clothes were deployed on the Golden Temple complex, in mufti they turned the venue for ceremony in a police cantonment. Since the holy city is the first town in Punjab after Chandigarh and Mohali to witness the swearing-in of a Deputy Chief Minister, all efforts have been put in to look it like a “coronoation” ceremony.

About 50,000 chairs would be made available while the Akali leaders claimed that over a lakh people belonging not only to the SAD but also to the BJP would arrive. As many as 1,200 mats would be spread for accommodating workers of both parties.

Elaborate public address systems were set up to reach out to maximum number of people as 50 speakers were put up. Buses have been pressed into service to ferry participants from as far as Delhi and nearby states to various parts of the state.

A massive pandal was set up at Ranjit Avenue and connected with Ajnala Road, leading to Rajasansi International Airport. Work was carried out at the war-footing level with senior Punjab government officials taking rarely seen keen interest.

Bikram Singh Majithia, who resigned as a minister to make way for brother-in-law Sukhbir, is personally overseeing the arrangements and visited the venue in the morning. Separate stages were set up for the Chief Ministers, MLAs, religious leaders, mediapersons and for oath-taking ceremony.

A stage would solely be dedicated to the ceremony in which Governor Gen S.F Rodrigues (retd) would administer the oath to Sukhbir while his father Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal would be savouring the moment from the same stage. The second stage would be for Chief ministers, including Prem Kumar Dhumal from Himachal Pradesh, Raman Singh from Chhattisgarh, central ministers, central BJP observers and former union ministers.

While the third stage is for accommodating ministers and MLAs from Punjab, there is a stage for mediapersons and another for accommodating Sikh religious personalities.

Though tea and snacks were offered to people engaged in work and policemen deployed at the venue today but arrangement has also been made for offering packed food to the participants tomorrow.

Separate parking area for buses bringing participants from various parts of the state and also from outside have been made to avoid any parking blues.

Meanwhile, the setting up of the pandal and other related works have been outsourced to a private firm.

As per information available with the district administration, the ceremony will start at 11 am and conclude at 1.30 pm.

City’s development: NGO pegs hope on Sukhbir

Even as the political parties and its affiliated groups flayed the elevation of SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal as Deputy Chief Minister, a local NGO hoped that the leader would put the holy city on the path of progress.

The Shiromani Akali Dal Panj Pradhani, headed by Daljit Singh Bittu, criticised the move saying Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was promoting his family interest by overlooking traditional Akalis serving the party for generations.

Jaswinder Singh Khalsa of a little known Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Sewa Dal, said the Chief Minister had hijacked three vital organisations belonging to Sikhs, including Akal Takht, SGPC and Shiromani Akali Dal. However, Harmandeep Singh Sarhali, president of Khalra Mission Organisation, said Parkash Singh Badal, who had shifted the office of the SAD from Amritsar to Chandigarh after operation Bluestar in 1984, with the help of BJP leaders had once again turned the attention towards the city by organising the swearing-in ceremony of Sukhbir.

The Amritsar Vikas Manch (AVM) has pegged hope on Sukhbir Singh Badal to carve out a path of progress and development for the holy city after becoming the Deputy CM.

AVM president Manmohan Singh Brar and secretary Amrit Lal Mannan said the city must be developed as an IT, tourism, medical, knowledge and education hub.

They hoped that Sukhbir would help in setting up a world-class IT park, tourism park, medical city, IIM and international convention and exhibition centres here. — TNS



Rhyming sunlight as friend
Sujata’s Collection of Poems
Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 20
Sujata’s collection of Hindi poems “Dhoop Saheli” is about to hit the stands. The book draws its name form its first poem. For the poetess, sunlight is a friend and useful companion. Obviously, a friend helps in the hour of distress and a blissful companion in the hour of joy.

Poetry is said to be spontaneous outflow of emotions. In the case of poetess Sujata, the spontaneous flow has telling imprints of her surroundings as well. Picturesque and idyllic mountains and valleys of Himachal Pradesh where she spent a large part of her life moved her to express her feelings in rhythmic way.

Themes of her poems are taken from as varied issues as are seen in routine life.

Certainly, sunshine and its rays are keenly awaited in winter and their wait is keenly felt in mountains to escape from severe and long winters.

The book contains 73 poems. Some poems are strikingly small like “Vivashta” with five lines, “Abhilasha” with three lines, “Ankahi” with six lines, “Dahshat,” “Mahol” with seven lines, “Kalpana” with four lines and many more. However, majority of the poems last either one or two pages.

Earlier, she had penned two books on poetry - “Barfilla Mon” and “Dekhna Tab.” Numerous of her poems have found place in literary periodicals and some of them were translated in Punjabi.

She participated in several programmes on poetry on radio and television. For the poetess her poems offered a link to connect with her surroundings and look for her identity in the new environment.

Objects, which routinely pass before our day-to-day living seeking little or no notice at all, have been shaped in rhymes and rhythms by her. A reading of her poems dawned the fact that even trivial objects have been absorbed in the verses with poetical effect.



Road project faces Jain community’s opposition
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, January 20
The ambitious elevated road project may run into trouble as the Jain community has made it clear that it would not allow the project at the expense of their memorial, build in memory of their great leader Sohan Lal Jain.

Sohan Lal’s ashes have been kept at the memorial.

Amrit Lal Jain, president of the Punjab Beopar Mandal and senior functionary of the Jain community, today met mayor Shawet Malik and the officials of the corporation and apprised them on the objections.

Talking to The Tribune, Jain said the earlier plan did not include any portion of the memorial but the revised and the modified plan did include some part of the memorial for erecting the pillar.

He said the community has raised objections at the revised plan and threatened if the corporation goes ahead with the revised plan, it would launch an agitation to protect the memorial of their spiritual leader.

Meanwhile, Shawet Mailk said they would work out an alternate solution and assured the community that they would not like to hurt their sentiments while erecting the pillars.



Campus Buzz
GND varsity gets Rs 3.8 cr for research
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 20
Guru Nanak Dev University has received a grant of Rs 3.8 crore from various funding sources to enhance research in the university, said director research Dr S.S. Chahal.

He said the department of science and technology had identified the department of botanical and environment sciences, molecular biology and biochemistry and zoology of the university for special financial assistance for research under the “fund for improvement of S&T infrastructure in higher educational institutions” (FIST) scheme, for a period of five years. He said under this scheme, Rs 1.45 crore had been sanctioned for the purchase of sophisticated equipment and modernisation of laboratories.

Chahal said the University Grants Commission had also sanctioned Rs 1.34 crore for all the 18 major research projects submitted by various teachers during 2008. He said the problem-oriented projects of three-year-duration, starting from February 1, 2009, will focus on research in frontier areas in botany, environment, food science and technology, mathematics, applied chemistry, chemistry, zoology, applied chemical sciences and technology, economics, library and information science and political science.

In addition, the UGC has also sanctioned Rs 60 lakh under departmental research support (DRS) to life sciences departments for strengthening research facilities and upgradation of laboratories. He said the Indian Council of Social Sciences Research (ICSSR) had also sanctioned Rs 4.2 lakh to the department of political science to study the problems of the border area farmers in Punjab.

Lecture organised

The department of biotechnology, DAV College, organised the first lecture of the popular lecture series sponsored by the DBT, government of Indiam, on January 19. Dr Sunita Biala, group leader - drug regulatory affairs - API development, Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited, Gurgaon, delivered a talk on the topic entitled “industrial production of secondary metabolites”. In this talk Biala explained the various steps involved in the large-scale production of any new drug.

Talk on bioinformatics

BBK DAV College for Women organised a lecture on bioinformatics in which Dr Arvind Gupta, scientific director, MITACS, SFU, Canada, delivered a lecture on protein design in HP models. He delved on ongoing research on drug designing in School Of Computing Science and Department of Bioinfomatics, Simon Frasor University, Canada.

Dr Gupta said drug design concepts and problems of inverse protein folding. According to him, finding a native fold in HP model was still hard for 2D and 3D square lattice.

Gymnastics competition

The rhythmic gymnastics team of Khalsa College for Women won the inter-college competition organised by the Guru Nanak Dev University.

College principal Sukhbir Kaur Mahal said it was extremely encouraging for the college team since it participated in the event for the first time and won the same. Mahal congratulated physical education lecturers Tajinder Kaur, Gurjit Kaur and coach Nitu. BBK DAV College was the runners-up and HMV DAV College Jalandhar stood third.



Gurumaa calls upon girls to fight it out
P.K. Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 20
Students of SR Governement College here had more than a lesson in spirituality from Gurpreeti Hari, popularly known as Anandmurti Gurumaa, when the spiritual guru, also an alumnus of the college, called upon the girls to become economically independent, mentally strong and to fight against female foeticide and infanticide.

She was honoured by college principal Jasmeet Nayyar.

Speaking on the occasion, Anandmurti expressed her concern and anguish over the depleting sex ratio due to female foeticide. Quoting some data from a report of the government of India, she said since the independence of the country, about 35 lakh girls had been killed due to foeticide and infanticide on an average of 1.50 to 2 lakh per year.

Surprisingly, even a highly enlightened city like Chandigarh has a sex ratio of 715 girls to 1,000 boys between the age group of 0-10 years while the ratio could be higher in the higher age groups, she added.

Emphasising on the fact that increased crimes against women were the outcome of a depleting sex ratio, she said inclusion of courses in self-defence in education were of prime importance for girls so that they could effectively save themselves from hooligans and anti-social elements.

She strongly stressed on the building up of a strong education base for empowering women to take on challenges and become economically self-reliant. She said educated women would have different roles to play as homemakers and become economically independent to share the responsibility of the family.

Talking about her venture Shakti, an NGO, she said the organisation was providing scholarships to about 198 girls keen to pursue higher education. She said about Rs 22 lakh was being spent on them. She added that the organisation got about 195 more applications and she would support them too.

She announced an annual contribution of Rs 1 lakh for the college from her side. She said it would be the prerogative of the principal of the college to spend the money, which would be sent to the institute before March 31 every year.



Chopping Of Trees
Expose, punish the miscreants: NGO
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 20
An environmental NGO, Joint Effort, today urged the government and the administration to take stringent action against an advertising agency and the officials who had given permission for installing huge hoardings on the premises of Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital by chopping trees.

A meeting of the NGO led by P.S. Bhatti of the Pollution Control Committee resolved to take up the matter with the district as well as the hospital administration.

P.S. Bhatti said earlier “pruning” was done, whereas now the trees had been chopped to give way to the advertisement hoardings.

Bhatti urged the administration to take action against the advertisers and the permitting officials so that nobody could dare to destroy trees.

Deepak Babbar of Mission Aagaaz, an NGO, said though the government was promoting plantation, yet permissions were being granted liberally to cut trees in lieu of the petty profits.

Members of the NGO urged the government and the police authorities to probe the incident thoroughly to expose the miscreants and punish them.

The police should at once take possession of wood and dismantle the structure of hoarding, said members of the NGO.



Sports club holds protest against Pataudi
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 20
The Sarhad-e-Punjab Sports Club protested against former test cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi for advocating cricket as national game instead of hockey.

The club organised a protest in front of Hall Gate today. Its president Gurinder Singh Mattu said Pataudi in a statement to mediapersons recounted achievements of cricket and said it should be made the national game instead of hockey.

He said cricket was being played in nearly 12 countries, whereas hockey was being played in about 125 countries. He added that the Indian hockey team had clinched eight golds, one silver and two bronze in the Olympics, while once won the hockey World Cup, remained runners-up once and twice secured bronze.

Similarly, in the Asia hockey cup, the Indian hockey team was winner twice and for seven times remained runners-up, he said, adding that whereas the Indian cricket team won the World Cup once in 1983 and managed to reach finals in the 2003 World Cup.

He reasoned that cricket being not included in Olympics could not become the national game.



City lad bags chess trophy
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 20
Tejas Singh Arora has won the north zone trophy in chess championship while he remained runners-up in the NIIT national chess championship organised by the NIIT Mind Champions Academy held in Jaipur.

Tejas (14) received the award from World Champion Vishwanathan Anand in Delhi, who also played a game with him which ended in a draw. “It was like dream come true receiving trophy from and playing a game with the World champion,” said the ever-promising player.

A student of class VIII in Spring Dale Senior School, he gave the credit of his success to philanthropists late Dr Shivinder Singh Sandhu and Manveen Sandhu, who recently died in a road mishap in Rajasthan, besides his parents and coach Anuj Shingari. Incidentally, just a couple of days before their death, the Sandhu couple had congratulated him for the feat.

Tejas won the north zone championship by defeating the state champions of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh during online chess. Earlier, he had defeated the champions of Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Chandigarh to win the state championship.

His father Sukhwinder Singh said Tejas defeated the east and west zon champions in the NIIT national championship on January 12, but lost to west zone champion and was declared runners-up.

Tejas, who had secured the first position with more than 96 per cent marks last year, said he wanted to win the world championship. However, this was not easy, said Sukhwinder. He urged Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and sports minister to promote chess in Punjab.



MLA honours Major Verka
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 20
Major Manmohan Singh Verka, who was appointed member of the Amritsar District Planning Board, was honoured by SAD MLA Dr Dalbir Singh Verka.

Dr Verka hoped that Major Verka would keep the aspirations of the people in mind and work for getting more funds for the development in the area. He said the main aim of the party was to have all around development of the area so that the youth should forget the idea of moving abroad.

Among others, senior vice-president Upkar Singh Sandhu, vice-president and councillor Harjap Singh Aujla and other leaders of the Verka assembly constituency felicitated Major Verka.



Experts give parents kid-grooming tips
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 20
Spending “quality time” with children was essential not only for creating a meaningful relationship but also for their better grooming, said Dr Bindu Rana, a noted child psychologist and head of research and development at Educomp Solutions Ltd.

Speaking at the parenting workshop organised by The Millennium School here recently, she said careful thoughts and planning was must for successful parenting.

Dr Rana said the parents should at least spend one hour with their children besides sharing responsibilities for healthy upbringing. Carving special time for kids’ activities through planning and special weekends and allied gestures were discussed as major strengthening factor.

Other experts emphasised upon the importance of time spent with children as extremely crucial, the need to strengthen bonds with kids through meaningful time spending was termed as decisive.

The special motivational workshop for parents titles ‘The Making Of Next Generation Whiz Kids’ organised at Art Gallery Auditorium in which more than 300 parents participated and received guidance and effective parenting tips and the art of bringing up children through a synergised effort on part of parents and teachers.

Accepting the fact that parenting in the 21st century is possibly one of the most challenging jobs, the two-hour-long workshop addressed core issues pertaining to upbringing of kids.

Stressing the need for positive praise, motivation, approval and endorsement to nice works of children, the experts called for need to set personal examples through parents' conduct to be imbibed and imitated by children.

Rita Kaul, principal of The Millennium School, Noida said the Millennium Learning System developed by Educomp's team of over 100 educational researchers would also be implemented in the school.



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