L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Records go missing from DEO’s office
Sports fund scam cover-up suspected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
In a shocking development, records involving sports fund have gone missing from the office of the district education officer (elementary) pending an inquiry into the embezzlement of funds.

The theft came to light yesterday when class IV employee Avtar Singh reached the office around 8.30 am. On finding the locks of the almirah broken, Avtar Singh informed DEO (elementary) Harpal Kaur and other officials. The DEO, in turn, informed the police.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Harpal Kaur said: “When I reached the office, I found everything ransacked and informed the police.”

She said a police team from division No. 5 reached the scene to investigate the case.

“I checked the almirah and files in the presence of police officials and found that a sports fund file, three cashbooks, vouchers, counter slips and some documents were missing,” the DEO added.

Meanwhile, sources in the department said an inquiry was already on in an embezzlement of sports fund case.

The sources suspected that the theft was committed as a cover-up. They said the theft was the handiwork of some insider who knew where the records were and how to reach them. “It is the handiwork of someone involved in the sports fund embezzlement case, as he must have wanted to remove the evidence in the case,” said an official, requesting anonymity.

The DEO, however, denied that the theft had anything to do with the inquiry in the sports fund scam. “It was an old file and had nothing to do with the embezzlement of funds. The inquiry in that case is already over,” she remarked.

Meanwhile, division No. 5 police station SHO Dharam Pal said a case had been registered in this regard and investigations were on.

“The theft seems to have taken place between 7 and 9 am. Statements of the DEO and other education department officials have been recorded,” the SHO said.

He added that the DEO and other officials of the education department had not raised suspicion on anybody in the case.


Unipole numbers match: MC
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
The municipal corporation has claimed that the number of unipoles/hoardings, promoting products or companies, put up in the city was in consonance with that allocated officially and that it had no vested interest in promoting illegal hoardings.

The corporation authorities have further said the figure from the department can be tallied with the total number of unipoles put up in the city. Those mushrooming “illegally” on major roads in the city are of religious nature and getting the patronage of political leaders.

As per the data available with The Tribune, the corporation has given nod to three main companies — Greenline, Pioneer Publicity and Balaji Ads — to put up hoardings on roads in the city.

The number of unipoles to be put up by these companies was 200, 220 and 25, respectively. The MoU with the companies was signed by the then Commissioner GS Ghuman and the contract will expire in 2013.

“These companies have been allotted roads where they can display advertisements. The only drawback in the contract is that the number of unipoles to be displayed on a particular road has not clearly been mentioned in the agreement, as a result of which companies have started displaying their ads on busy and leading roads in the city. The civic body cannot make amendments and will have to terminate the previous contract to get it changed. But as per the contract, the total number of displayed boards is not more than 445,” said MC Additional Commissioner Kamalpreet Brar.

The authorities further added that the only revenue loss to the civic body was when unipoles carried promotion of religious functions.

“To make leaders or well-connected persons happy, companies promote their own products on advertisements of religious functions. Otherwise, any such board promoting products (even if it is displayed on the board of a religious function) is liable to draw penalty of Rs 1,500. However, the corporation has been unable to get even a single penny from them as they enjoy political patronage,” said another official of MC on the condition of anonymity.

Vijay Danav, national general secretary, Bhartiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj, said: “We ask people not to promote their shops/products under the garb of some religious functions, still they write their names or promote their products on boards of religious events.”

Share of Companies


Roads allotted: 14

Total unipoles allotted: 200

Roads: Model Town Market, Feroze Gandhi Market, Sarabha Nagar Market, Canal Road, Malhar Road, Club Road, Cemetery Road, Old Court Road, College Road, Rani Jhansi Road, Ghumar Mandi, New GT Road, Pakhowal Road and Dugri Road

Pioneer Publicity Corporation

Roads allotted: 5

Total allotted unipoles: 220

Roads: Ferozpur Road, Old GT Road, Chandigarh Road, Cheema Chowk to Samrala Chowk, Gill Road

Balaji Ads

Roads allotted: 1

Total allotted unipoles: 25

Road: Fountain Chowk to Dholewal Chowk 



Picking fight proves fatal for labourer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
Picking a fight in an inebriated condition proved fatal for a 30-year-old man as he succumbed to his injuries at his rented quarters in the Railway Colony area, near Jagraon bridge, here today.

The victim — Shiv Pradhan (30), a migrant labourer from Uttar Pradesh — was found dead by his roommates this morning.

Babu Ram Bhardwaj, a roommate of the victim, said Shiv was working at a fast food joint in Haibowal and had gone to have his dinner near Laxmi cinema last night.

Babu Ram claimed that Shiv Pradhan barged into the room last night and told the roommates that some persons were trying to kill him.

According to Babu Ram, the victim was under the influence of liquor and soon went to sleep. However, he failed to wake wake up this morning. Shiv had sustained several wounds on the neck and hand.

The victim reportedly told his roommates that he had picked a fight with some unidentified persons at an eatery near Laxmi cinema while he was having dinner.

He told them that the unidentified assailants had attacked him with sharp-edged weapons.

The roommates reportedly informed the police about the incident this morning.

The police took the body to the Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

The police has registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC and stated the investigation.

Role of roommates suspect

The callous attitude of the roommates of the victim has raised suspicion of the police. Police is trying to figure out why the roommates did not take him to the hospital when they were in the know of his injuries



Another fund fraud detected

Ludhiana, October 20
More skeletons are tumbling out of the closet of the department of ADC(D). After being booked for siphoning off Indira Awas Yojna funds, Junior Assistant Varinder Kumar of OBC Bank, Feroze Gandhi Market, has been booked again for embezzling funds.

According to a complaint lodged by the department, the accused had siphoned off Rs 99,954. The investigating official stated that the accused received the amount from the instructor of a computer centre at Machiwara, but did not deposit those in the treasury.

The fraud came to light during the investigation into the fraud committed by Laxman Singh, who was a clerk in the department. The accused had embezzled the instalments for the months of May to August. The accused, already behind bars, was booked under Section 409 of the IPC. — TNS



Couple killed in car-truck collision
Our Correspondent

Samrala, October 20
A man and his wife were killed after their car collided head-on with a truck near Urna village here last night.

According to sources, Dharminder Singh, a resident of Bhagwanpura road, was going towards Panjeta village in his Indica car with his wife Parminder Kaur.

When they reached the U-turn of Urna village, their car collided head-on with a speeding truck.

Dharminder Singh, who was driving the car, died on the spot, while Parminder Kaur was seriously injured.

She was taken to the local Civil Hospital by a highway patrol unit and was later referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, where she succumbed to her injuries.

The police has registered a case in this regard and is probing the cause of the accident.



Criminal negligence

The pitiable condition of the roads in the industrial capital of the state speaks volumes about the inefficiency and insensitivity of the civic administration towards the pathetic plight of the people. Take any locality -- not only in old city but even posh residential areas like Civil Lines, Model Town, Dugri, Rishi Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Humbran road and DMC road -- the condition of the roads has to be seen to be believed.

Deep potholes, broken berms, missing top surface, too high or too deep manholes make life of the road users miserable. The top brass of the municipal corporation as well as elected representatives of the people have completely closed their eyes to the suffering city population.

This was evident when all subjects under the sun were discussed in the recently held general house meeting of the MC, but not a word was uttered about the poor condition of roads and the pressing need to do something in this direction. This is not just failure to discharge the assigned task but a clear case of criminal negligence.

Lawns turn cricket grounds

In the absence of proper playgrounds in city, children often play cricket on the lawns of mini secretariat on Sundays and other public holidays.

As the administration does not seem to find it necessary to maintain the lawns, children make the most of it by using them as playground.

Bricks are used as stumps and the matches go on till the sun sets. “Where do we go? We have no other place. So whenever we find these lawns empty, we bring our cricket kits and play the gentleman’s game,” said a teenager. (see pic)

Dog goes Italian!

Pet dogs are like kids and no doubt they also throw tantrums when not in a good mood. One day our pet dog refused to have its meal and I thought it also wanted a change so I gave it pasta that I had prepared for the entire family. The dog relished the dinner to its heart’s content.

Next day it had breakfast and lunch as usual consisting of Pedigree and milk, but at dinner time it refused to eat anything. The entire family tried to make it eat its dinner but it refused bluntly by moving its head. Then I realised that it wanted pasta in its bowl. I made a bowl of pasta and the dog gulped it down in no time. Same story happened the next day. Now, our dog only eats pasta.

Modernity versus Nature

Known for her ready wit, the Punjab Health Minister Laxmikanta Chawla’s remarks on the “modern lifestyle” were lauded by each one of the participants at a seminar on naturopathy organised recently in the PAU.

Speaking on air and water, the health minister said while air had become captive in air conditioners, water was sealed in mineral water bottles.

She quoted the example of the waiters at restaurants who asked the customers, “aam paani piyoge ki mineral water”, adding that, “Now, the choice of water, too, demarcates ‘aam aadmi’ and ‘khaas aadmi’.”

The minister was at her satirical best as she took a jibe at the people sleeping in air conditioners at night, waking up in “half-frozen” state and then rushing for a hot shower.

In yet another example of the changing scenario, the minister in her speech pointed at the VIP treatment given to the non-resident Indians (NRIs). Chawla took a dig at the governments who she said held the NRIs in high esteem and ignored the resident Indians.

The minister concluded by saying, “Arrey bhai mein to uski izzat karti hun jo bahar jaa kar bhi khud ko Indian kahe naki non-resident Indian.” (I respect people who take pride in calling themselves Indian despite living in other countries).

Poor handwriting

Recently, during a parent-teacher meeting at one of the leading schools in the city, teachers asked parents to fill some forms, which were to be kept as record by the school. While some children were accompanied with both their parents, many came with either their mothers or fathers.

A smartly-dressed woman was asked to fill the form of her ward by a class teacher. The woman requested the teacher if her husband could fill the form. The teacher politely replied, “It does not matter. You, being a mother, too can fill the form.” The woman kept quiet for some time and then said giggling, “Actually my handwriting is too bad. You will not be able to understand it. Let my husband come. He will fill it nicely.” Poor teacher had no words to express her feelings.

Contributed by: Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Manav Mander and Anshu Seth 



Inadequate transportation impedes lifting of paddy
Administration asks officials to clear stocks
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 20
Taking cognizance of the alleged slow lifting of paddy procured by various state food agencies and the central food procurement agency, the administration has warned the officials to clear backlog immediately.

Identifying transportation as a major impediment in smooth lifting of the procured commodity, the administration has announced to engage vehicles owned by rice-sheller owners and private firms to clear the stocks.

Apprehending that hindrance in lifting of the produce brought in the market will further delay preparation of fields and sowing of wheat crop, organisations fighting for rights of farmers have threatened to launch an agitation in case harassment of peasant continued further.

The administration has taken a serious notice of reports of alleged delay in lifting of paddy procured at local market and centres at Latala, Barundi, Kalakh, Gujjarwal, Kila Raipur, Lohatbaddi, Kanganwal, Kalsian, Jhaner, Momnabad, Nathumajra and Maholi centres. The officials have been directed to ensure that all procured stocks are lifted within two days.

“We have asked officials of various procurement agencies to ensure that farmers should not be harassed at any cost. Unlike previous years we will allow owners of private vehicles to engage their vehicles in lifting paddy in case truck operator unions fail to deploy adequate number of vehicles for the purpose,” claimed Prem Chand, SDM (west).

Referring to information received from office-bearers of various organisations visiting grain markets and centres, Prem Chand regretted that alleged non-cooperation of the office-bearers of the Truck Operator Union and officials of procurement agencies had resulted in a situation wherein farmers were the worst hit.

Observing that the procurement process was turning out to be a nightmare for farmers of the area, activists and office-bearers led by Punjab Kisan Union general secretary Baldev Singh Latala and Sikander Singh Jartoli threatened to launch an agitation if nothing was done to speed up the procurement process.

While farmers were forced to stay in mandis for days, dumping of paddy on roads and streets caused inconvenience to passersby.

As the yards were packed to their capacity with filled bags, labourers had to put more efforts to load the produce onto trucks.

Negligible stocks were being lifted from the mandis by procurement agencies like Punsup, Pungrain and Markfed.

The unsold paddy heaps and filled bags, lying in the yards at the Lohatbaddi, Kanganwal, Kalsian, Jhaner, Momnabad, Nathumajra and Maholi centres besides the local grain market, had forced farmers to dump their produce on roads and in streets.

Latala alleged that procurement agencies were not purchasing their produce under the pressure of rice mill owners. “We will launch an agitation if officials continued to harass farmers,” he threatened.



Power staff strike on Nov 11, 12
To stage dharna in Chandigarh on Nov 2
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 20
Employees of Punjab State Power Corporations Limited (PSPCL), the erstwhile Punjab State Electricity Board, seem to be moving ahead for a decisive battle with the state government over what they term as a “betrayal”.

Prior to a two-day strike on November 11 and 12, the PSPCL employees will hold a state-level dharna in Chandigarh on November 2.

Presiding over a workers’ meeting here today, Swarn Singh, president, Workers Federation, INTUC, PSEB, said in response to the call given by the joint forum of trade unions of the PSEB, the ongoing agitation would be further intensified. “The employees will stage dharnas at sub-division and division levels between November 2 and 11. They can even gherao the management to press for their demands,” he said.

Hitting out at the PSPCL and the state government for deliberately giving a deaf ear to the pleas of the agitating employees, he said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, during his two meetings with the trade union representatives, had given a categoric assurance that service conditions and other benefits available to the employees under the PSEB regime, would be safeguarded.

“However, demands like signing of tri-partite agreement, recommendations of wage formulation committee, hike in rate of increment to 3.5 per cent, time-scale promotion and payment of arrears from January 2006 are yet to be fulfilled,” the trade union leader lamented.

Among others present at the meeting were Jasbir Singh, Kaur Chand, Pawan Wadhera, Bimla Rani, Ganga Ram Pandey, Sukhdev Singh, Dharam Pal and Jaswant Singh.



Bar members disrupt traffic

Samrala, October 20
Vehicular movement remained disrupted for half-an-hour on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road following a protest by Jaspreet Singh, president of the Bar Association, and some advocates.

They alleged that the police had failed to nab the miscreants who had committed a theft at the association’s ex-president’s residence.

The police officials reached the spot and pacified the protesters. The advocates were made to talk to senior officials of the Samrala police. Senior advocates NK Sharma, Parminder Singh Gill raised slogans and demanded justice.

Later, ArvindPuri, SHO, Samrala, held a meeting with members of the Bar Association. — TNS



Riot victims threaten stir over irregularities
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 20
The Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) is under fire for alleged irregularities in the allotment of residential flats to victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The Ludhiana Sikh Migrants Welfare Board has threatened to gherao GLADA and district authorities if remedial action was not taken to undo the bungling in the draw held for allotment of flats to beneficiaries on October 12.

In a statement here today, board chairman Kartar Singh Patna said the riot affected families had submitted applications for MIG and LIG flats in 2000.

However, in the draw of lots held on October 12 at the GLADA office, a few MIG flats were allotted to applicants while others were included in the draw held for LIG flats.

Also, the LIG flats allotted to a majority of applicants were in fact flats constructed for economically weaker sections (EWS).

Maintaining that GLADA officials could not change the category of flat from MIG to LIG, or EWS on their own, Patna claimed that over 400 MIG flats were still lying vacant in different residential schemes of GLADA, which ought to be allotted to riot victims who had opted for that particular category.

He said the board would meet on October 25 here to discuss the future course of action, including legal recourse, to seek justice for riot-hit families.

A website would also be launched the same day to provide details of assistance provided by centre and state governments to riot victims and the follow-up action taken by the district administration in this respect.



Religiosity becomes headache for motorists
Two more processions today
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
Respite from serpentine traffic queues seems to be a distant dream for city residents as religious processions coupled with incomplete infrastructure projects are adding to chaos on roads.

Religious processions have left commuters high and dry and the problem is aggravating by the day with no solution in sight.

City residents who are planning to go shopping tomorrow evening can expect some nasty traffic jams as two factions will organise processions across the city to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Valmiki.

While the traffic police claims to have made arrangements to minimise discomfort to residents, commuters fear the holding of processions during peak hours will spell chaos on roads.

While thousands of supporters of the Bharatiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj headed by Laxman Dravid will hold a procession at Chaura Bazaar and its surrounding areas, those supporting another organisation led by Vijay Danav will organise a state-level procession at Ferozepur Road, Ghumar Mandi and Mall Road in the evening.

The processions are expected to start around 3 pm and cover different parts of the city till 9 pm.

Religious processions seem to have not gone down well with city residents. They feel such events have lost their significance as most have become a tool in the hands of leaders to display their show of strength.

A traffic policeman, on the condition of anonymity, says: “Earlier, one organisation used to hold a procession across the city. It used to be a day-long affair and was well organised. But leaders have lately formed their own factions and currently four different organisations are holding processions in the city to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Valmiki.”

Miffed over traffic chaos created by religious processions, a commuter says: “For the past two days I have been getting caught in traffic jams while returning home caused by religious processions and tomorrow two more processions will be held.”

According to ACP (Traffic) Wazir Singh, the police has made all necessary arrangements for the smooth conduct of the processions. Traffic diversions will be made to minimise chaos.

He also requested the residents not to park their vehicles haphazardly in the middle of the road while shopping in markets.



Women’s plight, a new challenge
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khamano, October 20
Pakkhi Hegde, heroine of about 30 Bhojpuri films, is doing a challenging role in the Hindi film ‘Women From The East’, based on the Punjabi novel ‘Kudesan’, written by Jatinder Brar.

Jeet Matharu, director of the film, says it will be completed soon and will be released on March 8 (Women’s Day) next year.

Shooting for the film is going on at Sandhari Majra, Rurki and Rauni villages, near here. The film will later be dubbed in Punjabi as its story is related to some areas of Punjab.

Interacting with mediapersons at Sandhari Majra village, Pakkhi said she was delighted about the topic and had been working hard for her role.

She said the story of the film was about the plight of women. She although she was born in Mumbai, but she preferred to act in Bhojpuri films.

She had started her career three years ago and was satisfied with her performances so far. She had also acted in the serial ‘Main Banugi Miss India’ on Doordarshan.



City without any approved industrial testing lab
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
Though the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has approved four laboratories for testing samples in addition to its own labs, not even one of them is located in the city. Faced with great inconvenience industrial units will have no option but to get their samples tested in other cities.

The four laboratories approved by the board are in Delhi, Panipat, Gurgaon and Mohali. However the Punjab Biotechnology incubator in Mohali is a state-owned lab. PPCB has announced this list as per the state’s 2009 industrial policy which states Punjab will have more private labs approved by the PPCB so that industry could get their samples checked by private labs in addition to PPCB labs. The apparent reason behind the government's decision was the alleged corruption at PPCB labs.

"It’s hard for industrial units to get their samples tested in Panipat, Gurgaon or Delhi. The state’s major industrial cities such as Ludhiana, Jalandhar or Amritsar are ignored when private labs are approved. Ludhiana is the hub of hosiery, dyeing and cycle industry but still no lab has been approved here," said Badish K Jindal, president of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association.

He asserted industry alone was not responsible for generating pollution. "There are many other sources of pollution like autorickshaws and power generators but it’s only industry that is always targeted for creating pollution," he added. Another industrialist, Narinder Gupta, said at least one lab should have been approved in Ludhiana for sample testing. “It appears PPCB does not want industry to get their samples tested parallel to their labs. Approving labs in Delhi and Haryana are of no use for the industry of Punjab," he added.



Blood pressure rises with fall in temp: Experts 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 20
When winter arrives and temperature drops, there is one place the mercury actually rises-in blood pressure gauges.

A survival mechanism in people and other mammals constricts blood vessels in cold weather to conserve heat and maintain body temperature. But with less room for blood to move, pressure rises, along with the risk of fatal heart attack and stroke, which peaks during winter.

Many of these deaths could be prevented with simple precautions, says Dr RP Singh, senior cardiologist, SPS Apollo Hospital, here. “Everyone should bear in mind that cold temperature is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. People with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and patients with health conditions that require strict blood pressure maintenance such as diabetes and chronic kidney disease are at risk. But even comparatively healthier people are also not entirely immune,” he said.

“Patients with hypertension should be very careful when they go out in the cold,” Dr Singh cautioned, while adding, “Even normal people should take precautions as well.”

Blood pressure, which is considered a key indicator of overall health, is the force blood exerts against artery walls. A healthy person at rest should have a blood pressure below 120/80, high blood pressure is defined as 140/90 or more, and readings from 120/80 to 139/89 are considered pre-hypertensive.

“Many Indians are believed to have hypertension, and two-third of them are unaware of it. How much will your blood pressure increase in cold? The answer depends on variables such as the current temperature and wind chill, the temperatures you are accustomed to, how long you are exposed and your health, dress and activity level.”

According to Dr Singh, a common medical evaluation known as the cold pressure test shows that a person who plunges one hand into freezing water for one minute will experience a rise in blood pressure lasting up to two hours. For now, physicians treating hypertensive patients with medication should be alert to seasonal changes in blood pressure, he said. “You want to watch them (patients) more closely, because if you use the same dose of anti-hypertensive drugs as in the summer, they may not be able to control hypertension in cold weather.”

In a word of caution, he remarked that people can take other simple precautions to help lower risk. Cold-weather care includes dressing in layers to conserve body heat, easing into outdoor physical activity to minimise sudden changes in the heart’s workload and avoiding extreme exertion or heavy lifting. 



Mini Rajasthan in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
In a bid to attract domestic tourists from Punjab, the department of tourism, Rajasthan government, is organising a two day “Mini Rajasthan Festival” in the city on October 25 and 26, 2010.

The two-day “Mini Rajasthan Festival” will be held at Rotary Bhawan, Sarabha Nagar.

The event is part of the Rajasthan Tourisms’ Domestic Tourism Promotion Campaign “Rajasthan Calling”.

Under the campaign, the event will be held in 19 major cities across the country including Kotchi, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Patna, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Lukhnow and Chandigarh.

“The reason behind organising “Mini Rajasthan Festival” in Punjab’s financial capital Ludhiana is to facilitate a better understanding about the state. The major highlight of the festival will be live dances, a food court and free application of mehandi (henna),” said Usha Sharma, principal secretary and commissioner, department of tourism, Rajasthan.

“The food court will have stalls serving famous dal baati choorma, famous Rajasthan kachori’s, mirchi pakora and traditional sweets. Traditional Rajasthan dances to be performed will include famous Chari, Gujri, and Algoja dance,” she added.

“About 25 stalls depicting various culture, handicrafts, works from various regions of the state will be showcased during the festival.

Wooden toys from Bassi Chittor, terracota from Siaya, stone artefacts from Banswara and Tichupada, Ajmer ka gota work, aratari zardozi work from Nyla village, leather items-bags, jutis from Jodhpur and Shinmal, tie & die from Akola, Brass Nakkashi- Balahedi and forest products from Barna will be put on display,” she added 



Canadian organisation selects PAU’s project
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
A research proposal for “Background Food and Nutrition Study in Punjab” submitted by the department of food and nutrition, College of Home Science, has been selected by Harvest Plus, a Canadian research organisation. The project was selected through a “Request for Proposal” process.

The organisation is a global alliance of research institutions and implementing agencies that are working together to breed and disseminate crops for better nutrition. It is coordinated by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and International Centre of Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

Research team for the project consists of Dr Kiran Bains, associate professor, Food and Nutrition, as principal investigator; Dr Harpreet Kaur, assistant professor, Food and Nutrition, Dr Manjit K Sangha, biochemist, department of plant breeding and genetics, PAU, and Dr Puneet A Pooni, professor of paediatrics, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

Dr Neelam Grewal, Dean, College of Home Science, said wheat was an important source of zinc. Dr Neelam said Harvest Plus, where research on micronutrients is a major thrust, would fund the project for one year at an approximate cost of 60,000 USD.



PAU’s youth fest to be a gala affair
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
The PAU Inter-College Youth Festival for the session 2010-11 will kick off tomorrow and a range of cultural activities will be organised from October 21 to 30.

Various events like dance, drama, music, literary and fine arts will be organised during the fest. A variety of items ranging from Indian to western numbers will be presented. Students are in high spirits and festive mood for this gala event.

A debate will take place tomorrow at the Students' Home Auditorium, where Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, additional director, Centre for Communication and International Linkages, will preside over. AC Rana, PAU Comptroller, will be the chief guest.

Briefing about the youth fest, Dr PPS Lubana, director Students' Welfare, said more than 500 students would participate in the fest. The formal inaugural session would be held on October 28.

CS Talwar, special secretary, Finance, and director, Treasury and Accounts, Punjab, and Rajbir Deswal, Inspector General of Police (CID), Haryana Police Headquarters, Haryana, will be the chief guests. The function will be presided over by Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU.

Gursharan Singh Sandhu, SSP, Ludhiana (rural), and Gurpreet Singh Toor, SSP, Barnala, will be the guests of honour.

Dr Lubana said poetical recitation and declamation contests would take place on October 22, while competitions in fine arts would be held from October 23 to 25.

On October 28, music and creative dance items and on October 29 all theatre items like drama, mime and mimicry will be held. Skit, mono-acting and folk-dance competitions will take place on October 30.



Irish scholars visit PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
A group of Nuffield scholars Ian Duthi, Chris Ferguson, Don Madden, Steven Newman from Australia, and Bill O' Keeffe from Ireland visited Punjab Agricultural University today. They were accompanied by representatives of Syngenta India Limited.

The group met PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang and deliberated upon wide ranging topics concerning Punjab agriculture and the role of PAU towards food security of the nation.

Dr Kang welcomed them to the university and shared the ongoing agricultural education, research and transfer of technology programmes. He elaborated that the evolution and popularisation of high yielding input responsive varieties of rice and wheat coupled with matching production technologies, pro-farmer government policies, hard working peasantry were the major factors that led to the green revolution.

Elaborating further, he said depleting underground water table and deteriorating soil health were the major fall outs for which the university was developing relevant technologies.

Rice, which was not the crop for Punjab, became pre-dominant due to its assured marketing.

Highlighting the problem of residue management, particularly of paddy straw, Dr Kang said, “The solution is to adopt the happy seeder machine which sows wheat in the stubbles of paddy and offers multiple benefits in terms of moisture conservation, residue management and weed flora reduction.”

He dwelt on the benefits of custom hiring and shared use of cost intensive equipment and machinery like laserland leveller, happy seeder, etc.

Nuffield scholars belonged to different professions. Ian, a hatchery manager with an aquaculture company, shared his views about aquaculture operations and research facilities in different countries.

Ferguson was interested to know about the goat meat industry and issues concerning the sustainable management of goat herds in arid areas.

Among others present were PAU registrar Dr RK Mahey, additional director of research Dr SS Gosal, additional director of communication Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, and president PAU Kisan Club Pavittar Pal Singh Pangli. 



From Colleges

Ludhiana: The Red Cross Unit of Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, organised a motivational lecture on the theme of eye donation. Dr Ashish Chander, MS eye specialist, CMC and Hospital, was the resource person.

Educating students and staff about various ocular diseases like myopia, cataract, hyperopia, conjunctivitis, etc, Dr Ashish said, “Some of these problems are curable, while some like chemical burns, internal injuries, serious infections and congenital corneal opacities are incurable, with medication and corneal transplantation being the only solution.”

He urged people to come forward and donate their eyes. He said eyes of one person could give light to two lives and it was only in acute cases of death due to cancer, AIDS and rabies that a person was incapacitated from transplantation.

The presentation was followed by an interactive session with students, wherein he dealt with the queries of children regarding laser surgery, contact lenses, external injuries and immediate first aid. Principal Dr Varinder Kaur Thind thanked Dr Ashish for providing fruitful guidance to students and staff members.


A one-day workshop on communication skills was organised at Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology for MBA students. Director Dr (Col) HS Singha inaugurated the workshop. Speakers included Rajesh, a corporate trainer, Dr Sarabjit Singh, PAU, Ludhiana, and Dr Swarandeep Hundal from the PAU, Ludhiana. They deliberated upon the relevance and importance of executive communication and discussed various related topics. Various role-plays and management games were a part of the workshop. Dr Sandhya Mehta, deputy director, proposed a vote of thanks. In order to inculcate the habit of reading among MBA students “You can win”, a book by Shiv Khera, a renowned trainer of behaviour sciences, was distributed among students.


Sportking Institute of Fashion Technology conducted a training session today for faculty members about fashion forecasting and trends website WGSN.

SIFT is the seventh institute in Southern Asia which has this website. The programme started with a welcome note and introduction of WGSN by Monica Malhotra.

Parveen Jothania, chairman, Academic Board SIFT, gave a floral welcome to guest Luv Jasuja, regional sales director, South Asia, WGSN.

During the session, Jasuja spoke on the significance of the site.

The company identifies and analyses current and future style trends and provides its customers with state-of-the-art online tools that can be used to create commercially successful products and services. WGSN has over 36,000 customers globally. Over 2,700 companies subscribe to WGSN, including many of the world’s leading apparel, style, design and retail companies, including Levi Strauss and Co, Adidas, Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products, Benetton Group, and Marks and Spencers.

In India, more than 60 companies subscribe to WGSN, comprising leading textile and apparel companies, leading brands and retailers, as well as prominent educational institutes.

WGSN’s headquarters is in London. It has offices all over the world, including Milan, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Tokyo.

During the training session, teachers were told how to operate and get the best out of it. Charnjiv Singh, secretary, Knitwear Club, Ludhiana, was also present on the occasion.


The department of MBA and MCA of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College organised freshers’ party Rendezvous’10 at the college auditorium.

Director of the college Dr MS Saini lit the traditional lamp. Students performed bhangra and duet dances and also participated in a fashion show. Judges of the event were Prof Kanwaljit Singh, Prof KS Mann, Prof Anil Singla. MBA department Mr Fresher was Narpinder Singh and Miss Fresher was Navpreet Kaur, while in the MCA department Mr Fresher was Manroop Singh and Miss Fresher was Shaminder Kaur.

Heads and Deans of various departments and other dignitaries graced the occasion. Dr Sukhdev Singh, HOD, MBA, and Prof JS Saini, HOD, MCA, lauded the role of students, organisers and participants and thanked all those who were present. — TNS



30 LPG cylinders stolen from godown
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
Thieves decamped with 30 cooking gas cylinders worth Rs 75,000 from a godown located at Daad village last night.

The incident came to light here this morning when workers reached the godown and found a window broken. They informed the owner of the godown about the theft.

According to R Mehra, owner of KC and Company, the thieves entered the godown by scaling the boundary wall.

“They then broke the window and took away 27 empty and three filled LPG cylinders,” said Mehra.

She suspected it to be the handiwork of an insider, as the thieves struck at midnight and knew exactly where the cylinders were kept.

The police has registered a case and started the investigation.



A favourite among thieves
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, October 20
With the spurt in demand for cooking LPG gas cylinders in the festival season the red-coloured canisters have suddenly become a much-desired item for thieves and even snatchers to get their hands on.

Several incidents during the past few days have yet again demonstrated how a shortage in supply of the cylinders and the anticipated hike in its price are drawing the interest of thieves.

The police recently busted a gang that used to snatch LPG cylinders from commuters travelling on bicycle and scooter. The gang members, who used to move around in an autorickshaw, was operating in Focal Point and surrounding areas. Their “modus operandi” was to snatch cylinders from cyclists and scooterists after hitting them and flee.

"Cases of theft of LPG cylinders are on the rise, it is high time that Police should keep get hold of these cylinder thieves and inquire truck drivers and auto rickshaw drivers who travel with bulk of cylinders everyday,” said R Mehra, owner of KD and Co, from where the thieves stole 30 cylinders.

Sources close to the police said the gang is operating in the city’s Salem Tabri, Jodhewal Basti and Ladhowal areas.

“With residents facing an acute shortage of supply of cooking gas cylinders thieves are making a fast buck by selling stolen cylinders at hefty premiums in the black market. There even appears to be a nexus between the thieves and LPG gas agencies to get empty cylinders refilled”, the sources added.



Inter-state gang of criminals busted
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, October 20
With the arrest of three persons, the police has claimed to have busted an inter-state gang.

The accused, identified as Shashi Kapoor, Hori Lal and Ram Paul, alias Pawan, were nabbed from Bir Kumbarra village yesterday.

The police said Ram Paul, alias Pawan, supplied arms to BHATU gang.

It has recovered four pistols (.32 bore with live cartridges, 1 pistol .315 bore) and Rs 2 lakh in cash from the accused.

Other members of the gang-Sonu, Nandan, Vivek, Behra and Pintoo, all residents of Adarsh Colony, Muradabad (UP), are wanted in several cases.

An FIR was registered on October 19, following which a case was registered under Sections 399/402/379 IPC and 25/54/59 Arms Act, against the accused.

The police stated that the accused had earlier looted Rs 1,50,000 from Nawan Shehar, Rs 2,61,000 from Baddi HP, Rs 1,82,000 from Anaz Mandi Khanna and Rs 51,000, Rs 50,000 and Rs 30,000 from Ambala.

The accused have confessed to have committed 15 to 20 more such crimes in other states as well.

According to the police, Ram Pal, alias Pawan, alias Kala, is the main weapon supplier to the inter-state gang.

It said the accused used to supply arms to members of Dimple, alias Dimpy Gang.

Nineteen cases have been registered against Hori Lal, while Sashi Kapoor has 10 cases against him.

The police said the accused were wanted in several cases.

It said further investigation would reveal more facts.



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