L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Student leader shot dead by rival group
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, January 20
The president of the Jagraon wing of the Students Organisation of India (SOI), Hargunjeet Singh, was shot dead while his friend was injured when six armed men belonging to a rival group opened fire outside the courts complex here this morning.

Hargunjeet, 24, who was a resident of Buzgar village, died at the spot after receiving a bullet injury on the head. His companion, identified as Inderjeet, 24, a resident of Jagraon, who suffered injuries on his back was rushed to DMC Hospital in Ludhiana, where his condition is said to be stable.

Two other young men accompanying them, Baldeep Singh Balli and Gurvinder Singh, 23, had a narrow escape during the firing.

Eyewitnesses said there was a violent brawl at about 10:15 am at the busy main chowk, adjacent to the courts complex. Incidentally, the area is located in the vicinity of the DSP's office. People heard gunfire when Hargunjeet, accompanied by four friends, arrived at the chowk.

"Hargunjeet and Inderjeet, along with two friends, left the complex and as soon as they crossed the street, two cars - one of them an Alto - came there. About six men, equipped with a .315 and .12 bore guns, a locally made 'katta’ and other weapons arrived at the scene and began firing. The assailants fled after firing about six or seven shots in the town’s busy chowk, where the police were present”, the witnesses stated.

Talking to The Tribune, Gurvinder, who had a narrow escape, said: "We had gone to the courts complex today as one of us, Harsimran, had a hearing in a case. After the hearing Harsimran went to bring the car while the other three and I decided to wait for him on the other side of the street. Hargunjeet and Inderjeet were walking along while I was following them. Suddenly, some cars coming in our direction screeched to a halt and people stepped out of them. Without giving us any time to react, they showered bullets on us”.

Gurvinder, who is president of students union of Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial College, Jagraon, is yet to give his statement to the police. He asserted he could identify the assailants. “Hargunjeet and I study in the college here and the assailants had a rivalry with us. Our injured friend, Inderjeet, is a cable operator”, he added.

Jagraon DSP Bhoopinder Singh stated a case had been registered against six men identified as Gurpreet Singh alias Lambher Singh, Jaspinder Singh Mallhi, Gurpreet Singh alias Deepa, Gurpreet Singh alias Gopi, Stinder Pal Singh alia Niku (a postgraduate student of LLDAV College, Jagraon) and Rinku. He added they are yet to be arrested as they had fled the scene in their cars.

"This is a case of rivalry arising out of college politics. There are two groups in the college - one headed by Mallhi while the other is lead by Nacchatar Singh. Last year an FIR was filed against the Mallhi group following a complaint by the Nacchattar group alleging abduction of one of their members. The Mallhi group responded by registering a case against its opponents. Members of both groups were arrested. However, later they struck a compromise,” the DSP said.



Police laxity blamed for murder 
Rakesh Gupta

Jagraon, January 20
Rivalry between the president of the local wing of the Students Organisation of India (SOI), Hargunjeet Singh, a student of the town’s Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial College, and the assailants who killed him today arose a long time ago on the issue of presidency of the student union.

Encouraged by the seemingly indifferent attitude of the local police, the suspects shot Hargunjeet and his friend, Inderjit Singh, with their unlicensed .312 bore gun, killing the former on the spot after he was was hit by a bullet in the head. Inderjit, a resident of Kothe Khajooran, Jagraon, was injured by bullet splinters entering his back.

The assailants, thought to be about eight in number, arrived at the scene, a high security area of the town where the SSP’s office and residence are located a stone’s throw away. The DSP’s office is about 20 yards further with the traffic police control room located not more than ten yards from the spot.

The incident took place in full view of cops posted there, who remained mute spectators till the assailants fled after committing the crime. Hargunjeet’s other companions escaped unhurt as they took shelter when the first shot was fired.

On July 31 last year Jaspinder Singh Malhi, accompanied with several men armed with guns, arrived at the college premises in broad daylight and pasted posters declaring himself as college president. His armed supporters even disrupted traffic in front of the college for over an hour. The Jagraon police, led by then SHO Navinpal Singh, arrived at the scene but Jaspinder and his supporters managed to escape by then.

The police did not take any action after the college principal, VK Sharma, chose not to file a complaint.

Instead of seeking police action against Jaspinder, Sharma merely suspended him for 20 days and reinstated him after a few days only after seeking a written apology.

On August 2, only two days after this incident, the other group backed by SOI declared Gurvinder Singh Ginda president of the college and pasted posters announcing it in the college premises. They also handed over a memorandum in this regard to the principal. Since then both the groups have been at loggerheads. Hargunjeet, in his capacity as SOI president, had given his unconditional support to Gurvinder.

On September 6 nigh last year Mohinderpal Kaur, mother of Jagdish Singh, a friend of Gurvinder, filed a complaint against Jaspinder accusing the latter and his armed companions of kidnapping his son from their home in Gulabi Bagh as Jagdish was a supporter of Gurvinder.

The police again failed to take any action against Jaspinder as he belonged to an influential family of Jagraon. Retaliating to the kidnap attempting, supporters of Ginda group then first attacked Jaspinder’s home and then that of Gurpreet Singh of Salempur village. In this incident a group of about 15 students fired in the air and even at Gurpreet’s house, demanding the immediate release of Jagdish.

With the help of some influential people of the area, SHO Navinpal was able to put pressure on Jaspinder and got Jagdish released unhurt. The police later registered cases against both groups. On the statement of Mohinder Kaur, a case was registered under sections 365, 148, 149 of the IPC and 25/54/59 of the Arms Act against Jaspinder and his 5 unidentified accomplices at Jagraon police station and against the supporters of Ginda under sections 336 of the IPC and 25, 54 & 59 of the Arms Act. on the statement of Zoravar Singh, Jaspinder’s father. Pammi, Hargunjeet’s brother, rued if the police had taken action earlier his brother would have been alive today. 


Evasion of house tax to be difficult
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
With Punjab Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia and Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal sending the proposal of levying property tax by the municipal corporations instead of house tax and fire tax, the evasion of house tax would be difficult.

According to sources in the local bodies, the Punjab government is ready to levy property tax from April 1, the new financial year.

"Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia wants to introduce the tax from fiscal 2010-2011, as property tax would help boost income of the civic bodies," said a senior official of the Local Bodies Department.

Giving details, they revealed that property tax would be a self-assessment system for the residents where they would be given a form divulging details of their property. Under the property tax system, forms would be given to the residents where they would be required to give details like location of property, house number allotted to the property, name of the owner, covered area etc.

"The local bodies department would prepare a notification revealing property rates per square feet in various areas. Then the residents can locate their property area in the chart and multiply it with the size of the plot to calculate their property tax," said a senior officer from the local bodies department.

Apart from it, the move of increasing validity of building plans from one year to five years, suggested by the two-member committee, would also bring good news for the residents. "Earlier building plans had validity for one year, which means from the date of approval, the owner has to start construction within a year. Besides, the construction of the approved plan should be completed in two years," said sources.

However, the officials revealed that for increasing the time limit of building plans, amendments would be made in the Punjab MC Act and the MC Act, which would take a little time.

They revealed that suggestions given by the two-member committee would help the Municipal Corporation and Committees, reeling under fund crunch across Punjab in a big way.

Interestingly, Ludhiana Municipal Corporation had been facing a huge loss due to the evasion of house taxes. "We have been below our targets every year as far as house taxes are concerned. But with the property tax we would be able to bail out from the cash-crunch," said an MC official from the House Tax Department.

Year House Tax Income

2004-05 Rs 35.56 crore, 2005-06 Rs 37.66 crore, 2006-07 Rs 41.28 crore

2007-08 Rs 50.30 crore, 2008-09 Rs 53.75 crore 



Lawyers strike work
Registration of criminal case against Additional District Attorney
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, January 20
Showing resentment against the registration of a criminal case against Additional District Attorney Neelam Pathak, the city lawyers today struck work. Terming the case to be false one, the legal fraternity has decided to gherao office of the Ludhiana SSP.

The city police has booked the Additional District Attorney on the charges of trying to snatch ‘registration copy’ of a car belonging to a veterinary doctor, Dr Ajay Pal Singh Mangat, after an accident with the car of the Assistant District Attorney.

Pathak has refuted allegations levelled against her by the complainant. She said Ajay Pal hit her car from the rear side but unfortunately the police without any fault of her has booked her.

District Bar Association president Naval Kishore Chhibber claimed that she was innocent and had been falsely implicated by the police under pressure. He said that the legal fraternity would not tolerate such type of injustice with one of their colleague.

Chhibber appealed to all members of the DBA to show unity and reach the SSP office tomorrow at 11 am. Demanding the cancellation of ‘false case’ the city lawyers today struck work.

It was learnt that before registration of the case, one Chief Parliamentary Secretary of the Punjab Goverment had asked the SSP to resolve the issue amicably and not to register the case but the city police appears to have overlooked the suggestion of not registering the case.

A case under Sections 382,511,34 of the IPC was registered at Division no: 5 police station. 



Migrants freed on bail seek compensation
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Leaders of various labour unions including the Karkhana Mazdoor Union, Moulder & Steel Workers' Union and Akhil Bhartiya Purvanchal Vikas Parishad have expressed their happiness over the yesterday’s release of 42 migrant workers on bail from the Central Jail here.

Meanwhile, representatives of the migrant workers have demanded the government should provide immediate compensation to these workers, who had to spend one and a half month in jail without any of their fault. Besides, they have urged the police to withdraw complaints against those released on bail.

To restore their lost confidence, about 50 representatives went to the living quarters of migrant workers here today. They enquired about their health and provided assured them the unions would be united in the fight to get justice for those released.

Karkhana Mazdoor Union president Lakhwinder Singh told The Tribune those in jail had to “bear mental, physical and social torture”.

"As they (detained migrant workers) couldn’t earn a single penny during all these days the state government should provide them monetary relief. They were all innocents and false cases were framed against them", he asserted.

Representing the Citizens Forum for Justice, Arun Mitra stated among those held were three innocent children who had been arrested on fabricated charges while sleeping in their homes.

"These children should also be released at the earliest. Moreover, all those whose property had been damaged by miscreants should be given Rs 5 lakh as compensation. The forum members today met the Dhandari victims and have assured them of all help in the future", said Mitra.

Akhil Bhartiya Purvanchal Vikas Parishad president AN Mishra said the release of 42 workers would “bring back the lost confidence among migrant workers. For their safety they should be allowed to form their unions”.



Rs 1 lakh burgled from 2 shops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Thieves decamped with cash worth Rs 1 lakh after breaking into two shops at Mochpura Bazar in Division Number 3 here late last night.

The miscreants stole around Rs 30,000 from MGR Hoisery and Rs 60,000 from Arora Wools. Both shops were adjacent to each other.

According to the police, the thieves didn't break the locks, but broke open the shutters with iron rods. The theft came to light in the morning when shopkeepers came to the shops and found their shutters broken. They then informed the police.

Police said it had lifted fingerprints from the shops. "Since the locks of the shutters were intact, we have strong opinion that someone knowing the places must have committed the crime," said a cop.

Till the filing of this report, the statement of the victims was recorded and investigations were on. A case was yet to be registered according to Additional SHO Swaran Singh.



PAU Rock Garden to get facelift
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Punjab Agriculture University former Vice-Chancellor Dr Mohinder Singh Randhawa's dream to see his cultural legacy flourish, has found a patron in the Nek Chand Foundation.

The foundation has offered to support the renovation of Rock Garden as well as other landmarks on the varsity campus showcasing art and culture. Tony Rajer, trustee of the Nek Chand Foundation, Medison Wisconsin, USA, who was on a visit to PAU, disclosed this. The Nek Chand Foundation is supporting the Rock Garden of Chandigarh. VP Mehta, former Deputy Director, Employment and Training, Government of Punjab accompanied rajer.

Offering technical services for the renovation of the Rock Garden situated on the university campus, Rajer said it was the first Rock Garden that Nek Chand had created outside Chandigarh, specifically by the invitation of Randhawa and added that with proper maintenance and upkeep, it would guarantee its preservation for posterity. He disclosed that the beauty and artistic value of the garden on the university campus had brought him to PAU.

Appreciating the vision and artistic acumen of Randhawa, who created several landmarks on the campus with a view to spread awareness about the rich cultural heritage of Punjab among students and visitors, Rajer said the foundation would provide all kinds of help to give the garden a facelift.

During a meeting with Rajer, PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr MS Kang thanked the visitors for their offer in supporting the renovation of artistic landmarks on the PAU campus. On this occasion, Mehta presented his newly published book 'Rock Garden: A Vision of Creativity' which he has written in joint authorship with Nek Chand Saini, creator of Rock Garden, Chandigarh.

The group later visited the Rock Garden, Museum of Social History of Punjab and Dr Randhawa Section in the Central Library on the PAU campus. Rajer found that the museum was showcasing art and culture of Punjab. 



Fog may damage crops, says Met Department
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
With dense fog and cold weather conditions prevailing in the region, there seems to be no respite for the city residents for the next few days.

As compared to the previous years, maximum temperatures have plummeted to almost 12 degrees below normal.

“The fall in maximum temperature to 8.6 degree Celsius this year has taken the Met department by surprise,” said Dr KK Gill, assistant agrometeorologist, department of agrometeorology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. During the previous years, the average maximum temperatures for January have been recorded at 19 degree Celsius.

Dr Gill said over the next couple of days, the sunshine would bring warmth, she added.

“If the cold wave continues to prevail in the region, numerous crops will be damaged due to the ground frost,” cautioned Dr Gill.

Meanwhile, fog continued to engulf the region at night, reducing the visibility to zero.

However, as the sun shone brightly in the afternoon, respite was brought to the city residents who had been confined indoors for the past three days.



Parkash Utsav of Satguru Ram Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
A state-level function of 195th Parkash Utsav of Satguru Ram Singh was organised by the Punjab Government at Bhaini Sahib 30 km from here today. Hira Singh Gabrai Minister for Jail, Tourism, Printing and Stationary, Punjab, while speaking on the occasion said that memorials would be set up in the memory of martyrs from the state, who laid down their lives for the freedom of the country and their native villages would be developed as modern village, so that the coming generation would seek inspiration from the sacrifices from these martyrs.

While paying tribute to Satguru Ram Singh, Gabria said Bhani Sahib, the birth place of Sat Guru Ram Singh was a sacred and historic place for the whole country, as the effective Kuka Movement for the freedom of the country was launched from here by Satguru Ram Singh.

He said supreme and unparalleled sacrifices of 66 Kuka martyrs, who were killed by the British, would always remain a source of inspiration to all those who had the courage of conviction.

He further said that the Kukas occupieda prominent place in the history for they were amongst the first to initiate non- cooperation against the British rule.

Gabria said that the Namdharis under the leadership Satguru Ram Singh made enormous sacrifices to liberate the country and launched an effective drive to eradicate social evils like dowry and female feoticide from the society. 



Cardiologist donates 92 coronary stents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Dr Anil kumar Mehra, a renowned interventional cardiologist from the University of Southern California, division of Cardiology, Los Angeles, recently completed his professional visit to the Hero DMC Heart Institute (HDHI).

Mehra, an expert in cutting-edge developments in the field of cardiology for the past 20 years, assisted the institute's team of cardiologists in performing complicated cases of coronary angioplasties.

Mehra keeping up with his philanthropic zeal donated 92 coronary stents costing about Rs 75 lakh to the institute.

The coronary angioplasty is a medical procedure in which a balloon is used to open a blockage in a coronary (heart) artery narrowed by atherosclerosis.

Stents are often then placed at the opened blockage to prevent its recurrence.

Speaking about dealing with the coronary artery disease by angioplasty, Mehra said, "The coronary angioplasty is generally a very low-risk procedure and is done on more than 1-million people a year in the United States of America. But in some cases the nature of plaque or its size presents problems in carrying out the procedure. It is in such cases that delicate maneuvering of the ballon and stent needs to be carried out."

However, Mehra said generally cardiac surgeons got the desired results and serious complications didnot occur often, but there was always a chance of complications no matter how careful the doctor was.

But the research on angioplasty is going on to make it safer and more effective, to prevent treated arteries from closing again, and to make the procedure an option for more people, the doctor went on to add.

The institute offered concessional rates on procedures, which were done during Mehra's visit to which Prem Gupta, secretary, DMCH managing society, said "The purpose of our initiative was to ensure that high-end cardiac care was made accessible to the needy at a time of the year when cardiac complications happened to be most common." 



Delay in filing VAT return worries traders
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Four holidays in a week have given jitters to traders, as the last date for filing the quarterly Value Added Tax (VAT) return is drawing near.

The last date for filing the return was January 20, but since it was a holiday today, the last date will now be on the next working day.

The Excise and Taxation Department has remained shut due to the holidays adding to the woes of traders.

The last date for filing the VAT quarterly return of October-December was January 20, while in those cases where the tax is not applicable, it can be filed till January 30. Traders can be seen making rounds of the Excise and Taxation Department to file their returns.

While some of them want passwords, others want to get their VAT number unlocked.

Tejinder Singh, a trader, said he was unable to file his return, as he did not receive his password.

“Due to holidays, I could not receive my password for e-filing, as a result, I will not be able to file the return on time,” he said.

In addition, the uploading of the VAT return is also taking a lot of time. A source at the head office, Patiala, disclosed that those having BSNL connections are facing the problem due to a busy server.

Jatinder Khurana, an advocate, said, “The delay due to holidays has already worried traders and now the slow system has aggravated their woes. It takes nearly two hours to upload the form,” he said.

Satish Sharma, another trader, said his VAT registration number has been locked due to some technical reason. “Holidays were declared on Monday and Wednesday. I am suffering losses, as my goods are stranded at the barrier,” he rued.



Artists display their creativity at ‘Dastak’
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Art is a common feature among all ten artists who have come from various parts of Punjab to display their artwork at Gallery Artmosphere here.

While some of the artists have highlighted the environmental issues through their creativity, others have depicted different facets of women in their paintings at the exhibition titled “Dastak”.

Artists, who have exhibited their paintings, include Jaswinder Singh, Subhash Chander, Parveen Kumar, Harpreet Kaur, Manveer Kaur, Ravinder Singh, Harcharan Singh, Daljeet Singh, Gurbax Singh and Jasmeet Singh.

A total of 44 paintings and six sculptures have been displayed at the exhibition.

Jaswinder Singh, a sculptor from Khamano, says carving in wood gives him an all together different experience. “Sculpting is a work which needs a lot of time and concentration,” he said.

Manvir Kaur from Fathegarh Sahib has painted several changes taking place in a woman’s life. “I have depicted different stages of a woman’s life in my paintings,” she adds.

Ravinder Singh from Dera Bassi has highlighted environmental issue like global warming and pollution.

Daljeet Singh, a postgraduate in fine arts from Patiala, is inspired from the ancient medium of art, while Jasmeet Singh from Patiala has painted Lord Shiva and other deities on the canvas. The exhibition will conclude on January 23. 



Indian, foreign artistes felicitated 
Tribune News Service

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 20
Cultural heritage of Punjab came alive at Jarg village near here when top artistes from India and abroad were taken in a 66-year-old bullock cart for being felicitated on Sunday. A large number of boys and girls performed bhangra and giddha alongside the cart while the artistes were being taken to the venue for the felicitation ceremony.

Former legislator and patron of Mohan Singh Memorial Trust Jagdev Singh Jassowal presided over the function organised by the Punjabi Sath Jarag to commemorate contributions of late principal Hardev Singh. Dr Nirmal Singh Lambra, convener, Punjabi Sath Lambra, was the chief guest.

Canadian educationist N Murphy, folk artiste Gurnam Singh Gopalpur, folk trainer and columnist Harjinder Singh Lal were prominent among those who were felicitated on the occasion.

Appreciating the role of Punjabi Sath in propagating the state’s culture Jagdev Singh Jassowal called upon social and educational organisations of the area to launch a coordinated movement to save the heritage from being sabotaged by commercial artistes. Dr Nirmal Lambra regretted that the successive governments had failed to maintain standard and accuracy of the Punjabi language even. Students of Raja Jagdev Model School Jarag and artiste Zorawar Noor and party presented a cultural programme on the occasion. All appreciated folk dances, skits, songs and choreographies depicting elements of cultural heritage.

Navjot Singh, president, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Society, Principal Paramjit Kaur, sarpanch Jasbir Kaur Mander, Manmit Singh Jarag, Kulwinder Singh Ghuman, Ranjodh Singh, Swaran Kaur, Tripat Bhatti, Billa Lasoi and Narinder Singh Mander were also present on the occasion. Artists being taken in a bullock cart at Jarag village near Ahmedgarh. Photo Mahesh Sharma 



City celebrates with colour, zeal
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The yellow flowers of mustard crop covered the entire field in such a way that it seems as if gold was spread over the land. When the fields are mustard yellow, it is the time for the spring festival, Basant Panchmi.

The residents celebrated Basant Panchmi with fervour today. They wore yellow clothes and flew kites. Yellow is the colour of the energy-giving sun and Basant is one of the most colourful festivals of Punjab.

People visited temples and offered prayers to Goddess Saraswati. Students in particular today paid homage to the goddess of knowledge, intelligence and wisdom.

"At the time of Basant Panchami, fields of mustard bloom all over rural Punjab, a spirit of gay abandon pervades the air and the heart and soul become one with nature. Fairs are held in many villages of Punjab. Kite-flying is a major attraction of Basant Panchami and an innumerable number of multi coloured kites dot the skies on this day," added Gurdev Singh, a senior citizen from the city.

Chipping in a school student, Gurtej Grewal, said he had a nice time flying kites all day. "All my friends today got together and indulged in kite flying while yellow rice, the special delicacy of Basant, prepared by my mother was relished by everyone," he said.

Santokh Singh, a senior citizen, who has lived in the city for the past 35 years, said in his village they used to celebrate the colour and vibrancy of Basant with the beat of the dhol and bhangra. Colourful kites used to dot the sky on the particular day while nothing could ever match the ‘saag’ and ‘makki di roti’ prepared by my grandmother on earthen oven. 



Parents demand practical training in science subjects
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 20
Showing concern over deteriorating standard of practical training in science subjects in government and private-affiliated schools, residents of the area have urged higher authorities in the Education Department to impress upon officials concerned to ensure that students are imparted realistic science education according to their syllabus.

The office of Director-General (school education)-cum-Director of the Sarav Sikhya Abhyan Authority, Punjab, has also taken note of the trend. All district education officers and district science supervisors have been directed to ensure that the school head include enough practical periods for all classes of high and senior secondary schools in the timetable.

Students of classes VI to X in majority of the government and private schools, affiliated to the Punjab School Education Board, are not being imparted ideal training in science subjects. Instead of conducting experiments according to the syllabus, the teachers perform the ritual of practical training in the last months of the academic session. This besides falsifying motive of the science training affects study of other subjects in the pre-examination period.

In a communiqué addressed to higher authorities, including the Education Minister and the Secretary, education, parents of students of governments schools of the area have demanded that due importance should be given to practical training in science subjects and technology.

Investigations by the officials of the Education Department have also indorsed concern of residents in this regard.

“It has been observed during inspections conducted at schools from time to time, that students of classes from VI to X are not given training in science subjects according to the syllabus. Rather, these practicals are conducted in January and February i.e. towards the end of the academic session, This does not achieve the target of understanding science through practicals,” reads a communication sent to all DEOs and DSSs of the state by the DG (SE) and Director, SSA, Punjab, recently.

The district education authorities have been asked to ensure that enough periods are reserved in timetable for practical training in science subjects from the next academic session. Some concepts should be demonstrated during theory classes and students should be asked to conduct experiments.

Science teachers and heads of the defaulting schools will be held responsibility for the negligence, warned the authorities. 



Yellow colour marks Basant at BCM School
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Basant Panchami was celebrated in BCM School, Dugri, here today. Students as well as teachers came dressed in yellow attires to signify the spring season i.e. Basant. The teachers explained the significance of Basant Panchami to the students. Prayers were offered to Goddess Saraswati.

On the occasion, boys flew kites conveying messages like 'save the planet earth', 'prevent swine flu', 'conserve energy' and girls decorated classrooms and boards with yellow flowers, kites and balloons setting the mood for the day. Dr Vandna Shahi, principal, extended her greetings to the students and wished them luck.

GMT PUBLIC: Basant Panchami was celebrated on the premises of GMT Public School today with full enthusiasm. All staff members and students of the junior block came attired in yellow dresses. To mark the festival, a kite flying competition was organised. The students as well as the staff members enjoyed kite flying on the occasion. Sweet yellow rice was also distributed among the staff members. Directors of the school Kashmir Singh Thind and Jasbir Singh Thind along with principal Amarjeet Dhaliwal wished the students and also encouraged them to celebrate such festivals, which showed their bonding with their culture.

KIDDIES' PARADISE: Students of Kiddies' Paradise School, Kochar Market, celebrated Basant Panchmi with great enthusiasm and fervour today. Everyone was dressed in yellow attires to welcome the 'Basant' season. The school campus was tastefully done up with yellow flowers and kites. Students sang and danced to the tunes of 'rang basanti, mastana mausam'. A kite flying competition was also held. School director Randhir Singh wished the students.

SPRING DALE: Following the saying 'Aai Basant, Pala Urant', in true spirit, Spring Dale School celebrated Basant Panchami with great zeal. Tinytots dressed in yellow dresses, sumptuous yellow delicacies and yellow marigold flowers adorning the school premises made the spirit of the festival come alive in the kindergarten and primary section. Director and founder principal of the school Avinash Kaur Walia lighted a traditional lamp in front of Goddess Saraswati. Principal Sandeep Raikhi highlighted the importance of Basant Panchami and appreciated the efforts put in by the teachers.



IT company shortlists 38 students from RIMT 

Mandi Gobindgarh, January 20
The Training and Placement Department of the RIMT group organised a mega pool campus drive of Noida-based VibrantWorx TechServe Pvt. Ltd. for B.Tech and MCA students passing out in 2010. More than 450 students from nearly 15 institutes from Ludhiana, Phagwara, Jalandhar, Patiala and Chandigarh participated in the drive.

While welcoming Puneet Srivastava, executive director, Manoj Vaish, marketing head and Rajashri technical analyst, vice-chairman of RIMT group of institutions Vijayant Bansal said, that VibrantWorx TechServe was a specialist software outsourcing and offshore development firm with offices in Noida, Bangalore and the USA. He added that so far, more than 200 students had been placed in IT companies through campus placements and with the start of the second phase of placements in the new session, the institute would be achieve hundred per cent placements as more number of multinational companies are lined up for recruitment from campus.

While giving the company presentation, Srivastava said the company provided its expertise in mobile application development, software application development, location -based services, wireless application development, custom web application, web 2.0 application development, iPhone application development, windows mobile and J2ME mobile application to enterprises spread across the globe.

He also briefed that the company was going to hire technical analysts and would offer a package of 3 lakhs per annum to selected applicants. The placement drive began with a technical test, which comprised objective and subjective questions. As many as 70 students cleared and appeared for the first round of interview, among which 38 students made it to the second and final round of interview. Dr Harsh Sadawarti, principal and Prof. HS Taluja, director, training and placement, were also present on the occasion. — OC



PU academic council poll
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 20
Dr Inderpal Singh Sidhu, assistant professor (zoology) at Guru Gobind Singh College, Chandigarh, has won the academic council elections of Panjab University by getting majority votes. Prof Amit Narula of Gobindgarh Public College, Alour (Khanna), secured the overall third position. He has, however, topped the Punjab list.

Dr Inderpal broke all previous records by getting 1,763 votes out of 2,164, while Prof Amit Narula secured a total of 1,259 votes. There were 15 seats in the academic council for which 23 candidates were in fray.

Dr Sidhu is the zonal secretary of the Government College Teachers Union. Dr Inderpal did his PhD from Punjabi University, Patiala, and has a teaching experience of six years. Prof Amit Narula, who is the youngest teacher to become the member of the academic council, has many publications to his credit. He is also pursuing doctorate in English from Panjab University, Chandigarh. 



Celebration time at Doraha Public School
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 20
Doraha Public School celebrated Basant Panchami with full zeal on the school grounds today.

Celebrations commenced with the shabad “Maha Ruti Meh Sadh Basant” sung by the music teacher. Students read papers and recited poems related to Basant Panchami. Students of class III sang a beautiful song on the occasion of basant.

Tiny tots of class I and II tapped their feet on an energetic tune of Punjabi folk song. Refreshment was served by the management for the students.

Chairman Sukhpal Singh inaugurated the kite-flying ceremony. The whole school was engaged in flying kites. 



Extension of retirement age
Teachers’ union welcomes move
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 20
The Government College Teachers Union has welcomed the recommendations of the Sukhbir-Kalia committee to extend the retirement age from 58 to 60.

Prof Jaipal Singh, president of the union, along with the zonal secretary Prof Kuldip Singh, has termed it a sensible thought and demanded its notification as soon as possible.

Members of the union has urged the government to fill the vacant posts in the government colleges.

“As far as extending the retirement age is concerned, it would have been better if the government had gone by the recommendations of the MHRD that has fixed the age of the retirement at 65 years” added the GCTA president.



Milk samples taken
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The health department, along with the police, conducted a raid on Sethi Dairy in Jamalpur here today. Two samples of milk powder were collected from the dairy.

CMO Dr Maninderjit Singh said, “People were complaining that the dairy was preparing ghee and milk from spurious milk powder. So a team comprising district health officer Dr Daljeet Kocchar, along with his team, went to take samples from the dairy.”

The samples will be sent for testing to the food and chemical laboratory, Chandigarh, tomorrow.

“We will be able to say anything only after we receive the laboratory report,” said CMO Dr Maninderjit Singh.



Tributes paid to martyr
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 20
Tributes were paid to Nirmaljeet Singh Sekhon during a commemoration ceremony of his martyrdom held at his native village, Issewal, in the district today. Prominent among those present on the occasion included local MP and the national spokesperson of the All-India Congress Committee Manish Tewari, Jassi Khangura, MLA, Gurdeep Singh Bhaini, MLA and Malkit Singh Dakha, former minister. 

Addressing the function, Tewari said, the martyrs were not just a memory but an asset of a nation. He pointed out, “If we are living a smooth and peaceful life today, it is because of the sacrifice made by martyrs like Nirmaljeet Singh Sekhon and Sarup Singh Sekhon”. He asked the people to remember the sacrifices of the martyrs and at the same time, think and introspect to see as to what they were doing for the country.

Tewari also sanctioned a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the local dispensary from his MP Local Area Development Fund. At a separate function at Ayali, the MP sanctioned another Rs 2 lakh from the fund for the local school.



Mini olympics from Jan 22
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, January 20
The stage is set for the 24th Coca Cola Modern Mini Olympics to be held at Jarkhar village, about 15 km from here from January 22 to 25.

A meeting of the this annual sports festival, Mata Sahib Kaur Sports Club, was held here today to review the preparations made to conduct this sports extravaganza, successfully. Narinder Pal Singh Sidhu, DSP and chairman of the club, presided over the meeting.

After the meeting, Sidhu and advocate Harkamal Singh, president of the club, addressed a press conference during which they informed that all preparations had been completed for the event to be organised under the agies of the Punjab Rural Sports Promotion Council. The Fastway Channel will telecast the festival live. The festival will start on January 22, however, the formal inauguration is slated for January 23 when MLA, Darshan Singh Shivalik and SSP, Ludhiana, Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill will formally declare the meet open.

The games' torch will be brought in a procession from the nearby historical Gurdwara, Manji Sahib, Alamgir, on January 23, which will be led by former national football star, Gurmeet Kaur, hockey olympian, Gaganajit Singh, comedian Jaswinder Bhalla and folk singer, Inderjit Nikku.

They said the main attraction of this year's festival would be wrestling and kabaddi teams from Pakistan, who would be seen in action on January 23.

Besides, competition in eight games would be held during this festival, which include grass hockey, astro-turf hockey, volleyball smashing and shooting, basketball, handball, wrestling and kabaddi. Matches will be conducted in the boys as well as girls sections in all games, except for kabaddi and wrestling.

On the concluding day of this festival, hockey star, Baljeet Singh, goalkeeper of the national hockey team will be awarded with the Surjit Singh Randhawa award, while ace shooter Avneet Kaur (olympian) will be given the Prithipal Singh Award, they added.

Popular singer, Kuldeep Manak will be honoured for his contribution in the field of culture. The Amarjit Singh Grewal award will be bestowed upon Rupinder Singh Ravi, Assistant Education Officer (sports), Ludhiana, for his contribution to the promotion of sports in the region. On the penultimate day of the festival, Harbhajan Maan will entertain the spectators, Sidhu added.

Bikramjit Singh Majithia, former minister, Punjab, will be the chief guest on the final day.Among others who attended the meeting include Manmohan Jodha, Gurnam Singh Dhaliwal, Davinder Singh Dhandra, Rupinder Singh Barhara, Sarpanch Jaimal Singh, Hardial singh Aman, Inderjit Singh (USA), Paramjit Singh Neetu, Sarpanch Dapinder Singh, Ranjit Singh Deol, Maninder Singh Happy and Jasmail Singh Nokwal.



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