L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


19-yr-old held for killing mother
Victim was strangulated, hit with bricks by son, friend
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
Perturbed over his mother’s “immoral” activities, Sonu, a 19-year-old son of Bholi, alias Lakshmi (40), admitted to have brutally killed his mother in October 2010. Sonu along with his friend Govinda (25) was arrested from a park near Moti Nagar here last evening. Pushpa Devi, mother of Bholi, was instrumental in getting this blind murder case cracked.

Nilambari Jagdale, ACP, said a police team conducted raids and arrested both accused on the basis of statements recorded by it. Both accused admitted to have committed the heinous crime, she added.

Fact File

* Murder took place on October 14 night

* Gurpreet, who resides near the vacant plot, had spotted the body and got an FIR registered in this regard.

* Police identified the body from the name Bholi inscribed on the deceased’s arm.

* Grandmother, Pushpa Devi, provided details about her missing daughter. 

Devinder Attri, SHO, said an FIR in this regard was registered on October 15, 2010. The body of Bholi with severe head injury marks was recovered from a vacant plot near Moti Nagar. “Bholi had divorced her husband about 15 years ago. Sonu was born out of this wedlock. She was in a live-in relationship with Ravi Kumar. Her son, Sonu, was not happy with this relationship. He tried to stop her, but she refused to listen to his pleas. This forced him to commit the heinous crime. According to Sonu, his mother, a drunkard by nature, was also involved in flesh trade racket,” the SHO added.

“Sonu decided to eliminate her and for this he took the help of his friend Govinda. Both took Bholi to the vacant plot in Moti Nagar, strangulated her with a dupatta, hit her with bricks and fled away,” the SHO said.

He further added that both accused were alcoholics. Sonu had a criminal background and was lodged in the Dakha jail about five years ago. He had also committed a theft in Phillaur. Both, Sonu and Govinda, were living with Sheela, a divorcee, for the past several months.

“We were able to catch the culprits on the basis of vital information provided by Bholi’s mother, Pushpa Devi. Both will be produced in a local court today. Meanwhile, a case under Section 302 of the IPC has been registered against them,” the 
SHO said.


Collection agents robbed of Rs 2.5 lakh
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
Two employees of a payment collection agency were robbed of Rs 2.45 lakh by four unidentified youths Tuesday afternoon at Green Field, near the Hero bakery on Pakhowal Road. The suspects fled with the cash kept in a bag after injuring the duo who were on their way to the agency office.

The agency, CMS Co, collects money from various institutions and business establishments and gets it deposited in city banks.

The employees, Rajan Kumar and Arun Kumar alias Rimpi, had reportedly collected the cash from Reliance Store located on Malhar Road following which they headed for the agency office in the Model Town Extension main market on a motorcycle. However, Instead of taking the main Malhar Road they took an adjacent street to reach\ Green Field.

When they got to the busy Pakhowal Road at about 2:15 pm, the duo was intercepted by the four young men. Even as the employees tried to speed away on their bike, the suspects threw chilli powder into their eyes, blinding them momentarily. Rajan who was riding the bike, lost control over its balance.

Arun, who war riding pillion, managed to escape leaving behind the bag containing the cash. But Rajan was attacked with rods and sharp-edged weapons by the suspects before they fled the scene with the bag.

Giving details about the incident, assistant deputy police commissioner (III) Jasdev Singh said they had begun investigations and expected tosoon nab the suspects. He, however, said: “It’s possible the employees might have themselves planned the robbery. A similar incident occurred last June in which Rs 7 lakh belonging to the same agency was robbed. It later transpired it was a well-planned robbery in which agency employees were involved.”



Potato becomes too hot for farmers to handle
Wholesale prices nosedive to Rs 1.60 - Rs 3 per kg
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
A bumper potato crop has not brought any rewards this time for farmers who are suffering losses instead with prices having nosedived, making it a problem of plenty. With prices of the carbohydrate-rich tuber having slumped to between ` 1.60 and ` 3 per kg in the wholesale market, growers say they are being forced for sell 50 kg of potatoes for anything between ` 70 and ` 150.

As compared to the estimated cost of agricultural and fertilizer inputs for cultivation at ` 30,000 per acre, the crop has not yielded any returns this season. ‘‘It would be better to dump our produce into the open or feed cattle on it rather than engaging labourers to sort the pototoes, fill them in sacks and then transport them to ‘mandis’ (farm produce markets)”, said a disappointed farmer from Lehra village, Shingara Singh.

He said the farmers had spent had incurred much more heavier costs of fertilizers and other inputs this time. ‘‘We spend ` 30,000 on every acre of potato crop. Then we have to hire labour and transport the produce. We earn profit only if we sell a 50 kg sack for Rs 300. And this year we actually are, ’’ said Gaurav Ahuja, a potato farmer and owner of a cold storage on the Kara Bara Road. This time even wholesalers did not turn up to claim their tubers from cold storages after hearing about the bumper crop. ‘‘They abandoned the stocks - after all, they wouldn’t have wanted to pay Rs 65 as cold storage and carriage charges for the sacks when potatoes are being sold for Rs 70-90 per 50 kg”, said Ahuja. Farmers regretted that while they were selling potatoes for as low as Rs 1.60 a kg, the common man was still paying Rs 5 to 7 per kg. 



Cattle made to binge on vegetables
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 8
With prices of vegetables taking a nosedive, farmers have started feeding their cattle with carrots, peas, cauliflowers and potatoes. As these vegetables are much cheaper than the wheat chaff and cattle feed, the farmers, who are dealing with a problem of plenty, are making their cattle binge on vitamin-rich vegetables.

Vegetables like carrots, peas, beans, cauliflowers and turnips besides potato tubers had emerged as major constituents of diet being fed to cows and buffaloes.

Besides being more palatable and readily consumed by the cattle, incorporation of these vegetables has eased the budget of farmers and dairy owners.

Besides improving the health and enhancing immunity of the cattle, intake of these food items has increased the yield and nutrient profile of the milk as well.

These vegetables were easily available in local market at very low price. In the wholesale market, carrot was available for Rs 2 per kg, cauliflower for Rs 1.50 per kg. wheat chaff at Rs 5 per kg, potato tubers at 80 paisa per kg and green peas at Rs 10 per kg.

Dr Ravinder Sharma, a dairy farm owner on Chhanna road, said green vegetables were more suited for use in the cow’s diet. Carrot can serve as a source of energy. A cow will eat up to 15 kg of green vegetables, said Sharma.

Endorsing the trend, veterinary doctors have recommended that the vegetables should be processed prior to feeding to eliminate possibility of lodging in esophagus and causing blot. Veterinary officer at Jhuner, Dr Jagdev Singh, said green vegetables did not cause any deleterious affect. “Instead, the use of these vegetables will improve quality of milk besides increasing the yield,” said Singh adding that wheat chaff provided only roughage while essential minerals and vitamins were in the vegetables.



Manhole Death
10 more engineers of Soma Co. quit
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
After an engineer of Soma Company, which has undertaken the work of six-laning the National Highway No. 1, was booked for the death of the seven-year-old boy who died after falling into the manhole, at least 10 other engineers have also quit their jobs within the past a week in protest against the administration’s highhandedness. This has brought the work of the ambitious project to a halt.

The death of Sujan had infuriated the common man. People had demanded lodging of an FIR against those responsible for it. An engineer of the company was booked and subsequently arrested in this regard. Ironically, no action was taken against municipal officials who were responsible for checking the manholes.

The five engineers of the company, out of resentment, have already left the job. Five other have submitted their resignation. This has forced the company to wind up its operation.

“We were left with no other alternative as our engineers are not ready to work on this stretch of the road,” said M Suresh, manager (liaison) of the company.

Parshottam Mittal, project manager of the company, said they had stopped working on the project for the past one week. The company is incurring loss worth Rs 1 crore daily. This would lead to delay in the completion of the work by another three months. We would not be able to complete it before November 2011.

He alleged that the administration had turned an accidental case into a murder by booking their engineer. But, it has failed to taken any action against the municipal officials.

Srikanth, deputy manager of the company, who is supervising the work near the Jalandhar bypass, said, “Ten of their colleagues have left their jobs till date. Others are planning to submit their resignation soon. 



Quacks, witchdoctors continue to defy ad ban 
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
Swindling people by offering "magical remedies", quacks and self-styled witchdoctors in the city continue to put out misleading advertisements on local cable TV channels and vernacular newspapers in blatant violation of the district magistrate’s orders prohibiting such ads. In turn cable operators have also dared to defy the orders by displaying the adverts, infringing the Drugs & Magical Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act.

Not only are “witchdoctors" making false claims of treating serious health disorders, they are also involved in criminal activities like animal and human sacrifices to “cure” patients. Some of them go to the extent of asking women to “sacrifice” a lamb, calf or even a child for an "offering."

Providing “remedies” for chronic disorders like renal failure, AIDS and even cancer is a common practice among the witchdoctors, who advertise their claims on cable TV and print media without fear. However, the health & family welfare department has failed to take any action against any “witchdoctor”, quack or medically unqualified practitioner making false claims of providing treatment.

An NGO working for “social causes”, Taraksheel Society, Punjab, is seemingly waging a lone battle against witchdoctors and quacks in the city. In the absence of any support from the district administration and the police its activists have not met with any success in putting an end to the practice of these imposters.

However, Jaswant Jirakh, a senior office bearer of the NGO, said its members had recently helped three individuals in getting back their money from ‘tantriks’ (practitioners of blagic magic and withcraft). "A of Simlapuri resident, Purshottam Chand, had become a victim of ‘Moin Ji Samrat’, who offers ‘magical remedies’ near Gill Chowk, and had paid the latter Rs 4,500 to keep his children in ‘good health and mind’. But, unable to get any results, he came to us and gave an affidavit against the swindler. As a result we went to this ‘witchdoctor’ along with cops and got back the money,” said Jirakh.

In the other two cases, Balraj Kaur of Leer village had gone to one Mohib Malik who took Rs 31,000 from her under the pretext of helping her to reclaim disputed property. “Realizing she was taken for a ride Balraj came to us and we got back the money from the ‘tantrik’.

Another man, Mewa Singh, a cop, too had deposited Rs 11,000 in Malik’s account which was returned by the latter after our NGO stepped in”, Jirakh added. Said Dr Narottam Dewan, a noted general surgeon in the city.

Women easy prey

Unable to cope with stress at the workplace, even educated professionals - especially women - become victims of ‘tantriks’ (practitioners of blagic magic and withcraft, who claim to provide easy solutions to their problems. Self-styled witchdoctors and quacks exploit vulnerable women who are apprehensive to go to psychiatrists and instead choose to go for bogus remedies.

Notices Served

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari in his capacity as the district magistrate had recently banned advertisements by witchdocotors and quacks on cable TV channels. But, channels have failed to abide by the orders. “We are serving notices on the channels for violating the Drugs and Magical Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement) Act. We will ensure its implementation,” said Tewari.



Saaban Bazaar Locality
BSNL installs mobile tower amid protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
Despite protest by shopkeepers of the area, BSNL authorities installed their mobile tower in the congested Saaban Bazaar locality under tight.

On Tuesday morning, as soon as the BSNL authorities began installing their mobile tower in the bazaar, the shopkeepers of the area led by Vinod Jain, Davinder, Arvind Sharma, Rajesh Sharma, Sudesh Sharma, Neeraj Chawla, Ravi Kumar and others gathered at the site to oppose the move. The shopkeepers rued that due to installation of the tower in the area hazardous rays would be transmitted that would be harmful to them.

They asserted that they would not allow the authorities to install the mobile tower in the area. However, the BSL authorities called up the police and soon a heavy contingent of police force led by Station House Officers (SHO) Devinder Kumar and Nirmal Singh reached the spot to avert any violence.

As the shopkeepers tried to enter the top floor of the building on which the tower was being installed, the police officers had heated arguments with shopkeepers. After which the shopkeepers raised slogans against the police and brought down the shutters of their shops in protest. They even alleged that the police was not allowing them to exercise their democratic rights and was pressurising them to allow the tower to be installed. However, the police officers told them that they were only implementing the orders and were not interested in any sort of confrontation. However, despite the protest by shopkeepers the BSNL authorities were successful in installing the tower.



Residents usher in Basant amidst festivities
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
“Aayee basant, pala udant” (With the outset of Basant goes the winter chill). Singing a goodbye to the chilly winter and welcoming the cool spring season, city residents celebrated Basant Panchmi here today. With sun symbolising Basant, people celebrated the festival by donning yellow-coloured clothes and savouring similar delicacies.
Team Spirit: Getting ready for the kite-flying contest
Team Spirit: Getting ready for the kite-flying contest

People, especially students, visited temples and worshiped Goddess Saraswati, the deity of knowledge, intellect and wisdom.

Schools and colleges also celebrated the festival with fervour.

Students in the primary wing brought yellow-coloured sweetened rice in their tiffin. College students had a gala time flying kites and dancing to the beats of the “dhol”.

Take off Time: A contestant tries her hand at kite flying.

Cheer leaders: Girls in a festive mood 

Students of Gujranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GGNIMT) celebrated the festival with fun and frolic on the campus.

The celebrations began with a kite-flying competition wherein multi-coloured kites filled the sky.

Fun races like hurdle race, lemon race and frog race were also held.

The main draw of the day was the inter-class tug-of-war competition, which was won by the students of BCA (II) “A” section.

Jasmeet Singh Makkar of MBA (fourth semester) was adjudged “Mr Basant”, while Nidhi Kashyap of BBA (fourth semester) got the “Miss Basant” title.

Ishjot Bhullar, a college student, said: “All my friends got together and indulged in kite-flying. They also savoured yellow rice, the special delicacy of Basant, prepared by my mother.”



Loan from PWSSB
Even after 10 yrs, LIT fails to get repayment
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
In a clear testimony to the apathy shown by the authorities towards optimum usage of public money, the officials of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) have not even bothered to finalise the basic conditions for getting interest and repaying of a loan given to the Punjab Water Supply Sewerage Board (PWSSB) about a decade ago.

The Audit report of LIT for 2009-2010, the copy of which has been obtained by Rohit Sabharwal and Arvind Sharma, the president and secretary of the Council of RTI activists under the Right to Information Act, has highlighted grave irregularity in the working of the improvement trust.

In their report, the audit branch had highlighted that after getting directions from the Local Bodies Department wide memo number 10/187/2001-2SS-11/10413 dated 20/8/2001 the LIT had given an interim loan to the PWSSB. But ironically even after passage of 10 years the LIT had not yet finalised the terms and conditions of repaying the loan or paying the interest on it.

The result of which is that the loan money has not been repaid yet and the LIT has suffered huge economic loss due to it.

Commenting on it, Sabharwal said that it clearly showed that the LIT was not bothered about utilising the public money in a proper manner.

He said that Rs 3 crore was not a small amount and it could have been utilised in a proper manner had the civic body bothered to get it back from the PWSSB.

Demanding a thorough inquiry into the matter he said that the officials responsible for such a mess must be made accountable.

“The objections raised by the audit branch are of grave nature and action must be taken,” he added.

Similarly, Arvind Sharma also alleged that LIT officials were not developing the colonies due to shortage of funds, but on the other hand they had forgotten to get the money even after passage of 10 years.

He also said that strict action must be initiated against the officers who were responsible for the lapse.

When contacted, MM Vyaas, the chairman of the LIT, admitted that some part of the loan had been repaid but they had not got any interest against the loan given to PWSSB.

Attributing it to callousness on part of the LIT officials, he said that they were not serious in getting the money back. However, he said, they had sent reminders to the state government for getting the transfer payment back.

Lax approach

The audit branch in its report had highlighted that after getting directions from the Local Bodies Department, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) had given an interim loan to the PWSSB. However, even after 10 years, the LIT had not yet finalised the terms and conditions of the repayment of loan or payment of interest on it. Consequently, the loan has not been repaid yet and the improvement trust has suffered a huge economic loss



Preparations on for Punjab Games
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 8
The preparations are in full swing for the twice-postponed Shaheed-e-Azam Punjab State Games for men and women, now scheduled to be held at four venues — Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Mohali and Patiala — in the state from February 28 to March 9.

This 10-day sports extravaganza will begin with the ceremonial inauguration at Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana, on February 28.

Over 5,000 sportspersons along with officials will take part in the games. The position holders will be given cash prizes besides trophies.

Various committees under the supervision of Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Rahul Tiwari have been formed for the conduct of the event.

This information was given by District Sports Officer, Ludhiana, Sat Pal Singh who has been co-ordinating with his counterparts at Jalandhar, Mohali and Patiala.

Cine star Akshay Kumar will be the main attraction at the opening ceremony. “A cultural programme is also being chalked out for the occasion. The closing ceremony will be held at Jalandhar,” he added.

Ludhiana will play host to basketball, athletics, football and kabaddi events, while Mohali will witness competition in rifle shooting.

Matches in boxing, wrestling and weightlifting will be held at Patiala, while Jalandhar will play host to hockey matches.



Sales Tax Dept
Relief for traders as website restarts
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
Traders finally got a respite after the official website of the sales tax department restarted today after a halt of one day.

As a result of the glitch, hundreds of trucks remained stranded at the barrier as tax forms could not be filled online. Traders eventually got the forms filled out at the information collection centre.

“I was unable to fill out my form online as the website remained out of order. The officials on duty filled it out manually and the entire process took a lot of time as the data had to be matched,” said Santosh Kumar, a trader.

Another trader dealing in jewellery had come from Delhi but had to wait for hours to get the clearance.

“Since I deal in jewellery, it was quite risky to get stranded at the barrier for hours. But as the website remained on the blink yesterday, I was left with no option but to get the forms filled out manually at the information collection centre,” he added.

Tax professional Jatinder Khurana said chaos prevailed due to the glitch in the website. Many trucks remained stranded.

“The website got operational in the evening and the entries from yesterday were done manually and the traders had to wait for hours to get their consignments passed. If any such problem occurs, the department should get it repaired at the earliest,” he added.

A source in the department said a technical snag in the website had led to the shutting down of the website. Since the website is managed from Patiala, the Ludhiana office had no control over its maintenance, he added.



Filling of vacancies in government depts
Start dialogue or face consequences, PAU students to govt
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, February 8
The agitating Agricultural Technocrats of Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) have asked the state government not to test their patience and initiate a dialogue with the students. If the government failed to do so, they would be forced to take steps for which the government would be held accountable.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Punjab Agricultural University Students’ Association (PAUSA) president Randeep Randhawa said the students had so far maintained decorum of the university by holding a peaceful protest.

He said the students had continued with their peaceful protest even as the authorities had been fearing disruption by students in the proceedings of an international conference being held at the university.

“However, the authorities must not take it as a weakness and must keep their promise of taking up the cause of the students with the government,” Randhawa said, adding that many such conferences were scheduled in the university in the coming months. Any laxity on part of the authorities could result in a retaliation by students, he added.

Meanwhile, the hunger strike by protesting students entered its 13th day today.

The students said the authorities could not keep requesting the students to exercise restraint and do little to redress their grievances.

“Students had a right to the vacant posts across various agricultural departments of the state. Ignoring them would only harm the interest of the state in the field of agriculture,” they said.

They claimed that they had support from various quarters, including student, labour and state organisations. However, the students were against lending a political colour to their agitation, they added.

Double standard

The authorities cannot keep requesting the students to exercise restraint and do little to redress their grievances

— Protesting students



Road to temple site sought

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 8
Devotees of the area have urged the administration to construct a road leading to a place on outskirts of Rohira village where a new temple is coming up.

The construction of the temple was started by the residents after a piece of rock in the shape of a “Shivling” was found in the fields of Major Singh and the farmer donated the land to a religious organisation of the town.

Hearing the news of the appearance of the “Shivling”, a large number of devotees started flocking the place and paying obeisance there. Kar Sewa was already being carried out by volunteers. — OC



NIFT Meeting
‘Fashion body must to help textile industry’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
National Institute of Fashion Technology, Kangra, today organised a meeting on fashion education upgradation. Representatives from hosiery and knitting industries and students from NIFT, Kangra, attended the meeting.

Dinesh Lakra, president, Small Scale Udyog Bharti, said hosiery and textile industries of the city needed a fashion organisation that would help these industries increase quality, quantity and production.

Dinesh Kumar Rangra, director, NIFT, said National Institute of Fashion Technology was set up in 1986 under the aegis of the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

VK Goel of SEL Group, Vinod Thaper, Charanjeet Singh, Narinder Miglani from Knitwear Club, Dinesh Lakra, president, Small Scale Udyog Bharti, Lalit Mahajan from Vardman, BS Nagi, assistant director, MSME, were present on the occasion.



Students honoured

Ludhiana, February 8
Swami Vivekanand Study Circle awarded “Swami Vivekanand Youth Award 2011” to Parul of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. The silver medal was won by Abhay Kumar Grover of the College of Agriculture Engineering, PAU, on the occasion of National Youth Day at KIMT, Ludhiana.

Besides, 14 other students from all over the state were awarded Swami Vivekanand Appreciation Award and eight others were given participation certificates on the occasion. The students were honoured in recognition of their aims, spirits and dedication towards the nation.

CS Talwar, Special Secretary (Finance), Punjab government, inspired students to follow the preachings of Swami Vivekanand. — TNS



Miss College Ludhiana 2011
71 city girls to undergo training

Ludhiana, February 8
Around 71 students have been selected for Miss College Ludhiana 2011. The contestants will undergo a training process of three days for enhancing their overall personality in different aspects. Tips on personality and styling, beauty, attire and costume will be given to contestants by experts. 

“After the training, these girls will undergo one last audition to finally make it to the finale to be held on February 10 at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan, Ludhiana,” said project director Neha Jain.” — TNS



20 Ramgarh families rejoin SAD
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, February 8
Around 20 families of Ramgarh village rejoined the SAD here today. They had supported the Congress in the previous elections.

The families promised to support Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, chairman, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, and in-charge, Sahnewal constituency, in the coming elections.

Dhillon said he would strive hard towards the development of the constituency. “Sahnewal shall be transformed into a model constituency in the coming year. Voters nowadays vote not for a political party but for the work accomplished by the incumbent government. It is the development carried out in Bihar and Gujarat that prompted the voters to retain the incumbent governments,” he said.

“People were fed up with the false promises made by the Congress. The Akali-BJP combine is committed towards its people and a sizeable number of development works have been initiated,” Dhillon added.

On the railway overpass at Sahnewal, Dhillon said in spite of the hurdles being created by the Opposition, the sanction for the bridge was in its last stage.

“Punjab MPs had met railway minister Mamata Banerjee in this regard and she promised to speed up the process in the coming days,” he added.

On complaints about erratic power supply in the area, Dhillon assured the people of rectifying the problem within 10 days.

District Akali Dal president Santa Singh Umedpuri urged the people to unite at the village level and work for the development of the area. He also thanked the state government for giving approval to various development projects in Sahnewal from time to time.

Those present included SS Board member Jeewan Dhawan, Ramgarh sports club president Karamjit Singh Neeta, zila parishad members Bhag Singh Mangarh and Sharanjit Singh Garcha.



Training in post-harvest processing begins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
Taking its technologies to the international level, the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) today initiated an “Indo-Africa Forum Summit” — a 14-day training on post-harvest processing and value addition of foodgrain.

The training programme, which will continue till February 22, is sponsored by the ministry of external affairs, Government of India.

Participants from countries like Nigeria, Mauritius, Egypt, Tanzania, etc. on the African continent are taking part in the training programme, which is a blend of hands-on experience, field visits and expert lectures.

“We are especially interested in the processing of millets and sorghum and developing value-added products from them. CIPHET has already done work on these foodgrain,” said Yara Koreisi, a scientist in Mali, an African country.

Saraspandee Subramaniam, a scientist from Mauritius, said: “We have high hopes from the training programme. Our country imports a major part of its grain and pulses and processing is also very low.”

Assuring that CIPHET would provide assistance to the participants from African nations, Dr RT Patil said: “One can find all kind of research activities and product development under one roof at CIPHET. Trainees get to know about new opportunities too.”

He added that transferring technology in the area of post-harvest was not easy.

“Until we provide hands-on training to the entrepreneurs, they cannot develop the expertise in developing quality products and subsequently market them,” he said, adding that future was bright for the small entrepreneurs in India and abroad.

“Decentralisation of production is more effective because both load of production and risk involved get shared,” he added.

Dr SK Nanda, project coordinator, said CIPHET was undertaking all-India coordinated projects, one on post-harvest and another on plastics. Dr MR Manikantan, senior scientist and co-coordinator, said they would provide a comprehensive training to the participants.

CIPHET Initiative

Participants from African countries like Nigeria, Mauritius, Egypt, Tanzania, Mali, etc. are taking part in the programme, which is a blend of hands-on training, field visits and expert lectures



Tribune Impact
Postal dept official conducts check

Doraha, February 8
Taking a serious notice of the report published in these columns over the negligence shown by the staff of the local post office in following the official time schedule, an inspector deployed by the superintendent of the postal department raided the office and took stock of the situation. Sources said the inspector, who had been especially deployed by the superintendent to visit the place following the report, reached the post office before 9 am and conducted a surprise check.

He marked the attendance of the staff members and found a number of them arriving late in the office. The inspector took the statement of the staff as well as the customers present there. He also prepared a list of the complaints made by the customers. The postal officials were, however, not available for comments. — OC




Ludhiana: Dr JPS Gill, professor and head, Veterinary Public Health, has been awarded Dr SP Singh best paper award by the Indian Association of Veterinary Public Health Specialist at the IX Annual Conference of IAVPHS and national symposium on “Veterinary Public Health: New Horizon for Integrating the Animal Production, Food Safety and Human Health” held at Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai.

‘Young Scientist’

Dr Gurpreet Kaur, assistant professor of Virology at the Department of Veterinary Microbiology, has won the “young scientist award” at the recently-held national symposium and VIII Annual Congress of the Indian Society for Advancement of Canine Practice at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology in Jammu. The award was conferred on Dr Gurpreet Kaur for her paper “diagnosis of canine parvovirus using nested-PCR and comparison of blood profile in affected dogs.” .— TNS



From Schools
Basant Panchami celebrated 

St GDS Convent

The festival of Basant Panchmi was celebrated with great fervour on the premises of St GDS Convent School, Meharban, on Tuesday. All staff members were wearing yellow attires. A speech on the significance of Basant Panchmi was delivered in the morning assembly. Students enjoyed kite flying. A dance workshop was also organised in which about 200 students participated with enthusiasm and enjoyed the dance and music.

Tagore International

Tiny tots of Tagore International Senior Secondary School, Sahnewal, celebrated Basant Panchmi with great zeal. All students were beautifully attired in yellow dresses. The function started with a Saraswati vandana. A special assembly was organised by teachers in which the children were acquainted with the importance of the day followed by a small cultural programme. A speech was delivered by principal Swati Aneja to motivate the kids to follow the traditions and celebrate all festivals. Sweets were distributed among the students by the school management.


Students of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar Bye Pass, welcomed the spring season with great enthusiasm. Students of the kindergarten looked stunning in yellow dresses. A flower decoration competition was held for the students of Classes I-III. They also worshipped Goddess Saraswati and Lord Brahma to whom the festival of spring is dedicated. Chairman-cum director of the Chain of Green Land Schools Rajesh Rudhra told the students about the significance of yellow colour on this day .

Atam Devki

Atam Devki Niketan celebrated Basant Panchmi with great enthusiasm. Students performed various rituals. They also worshipped Goddess Saraswati. Principal Mridhu Ablash wished everybody on this occasion and told the students about the importance of celebrating the festival of Basant. All students were dressed in yellow attires and brought yellow food items in their tiffins.

Spring Dale

On the occasion of Basant Panchmi, Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School, Sherpur, organised a sports meet called "Fun With Sports". On the occasion, Saraswati - the Goddess of learning and music was worshipped. The programme commenced with a Saraswati vandana followed by speeches in Hindi and English, giving the message of Basant Panchmi. Various events like three-legged race, partner race, one-legged race, lemon and spoon race, sack race and tug-of-war were organised. Students participated with great zeal and enthusiasm in all events and realised the importance of sports in their physical, social and emotional lives.



From Colleges
“Run for Fitness”

The Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management here organised the "Run for Fitness" on Tuesday. A total of 400 students and all faculty members of the college participated in the marathon. The Marathon started from the college sports ground. It was flagged off by Neeraj Jain, executive director, Vardhman Textiles Limited, Dr. RL Behl, Principal, and Col PS Choudhry, GM, (education and administration). Boys crosscountry race was won by Nikhil Jain of B.Com. III followed by Sahil Sehgal of B.Com. II, who stood second and Nitish Jain of B.Com. I stood third. Among the girls, Jasleen Thandi of B.Com. II was the winner of the Girls cross country race, followed by Jimmy Gupta of B.Com. III, who stood second and Geeshu Sikka of B.Com. III stood third.

Award for PCTE

PCTE Group of Institutes will be honoured with B-School Leadership Award. "This award will be presented by Star News during the National B-School Awards function on February 12 at Mumbai. The Star News National B-School Awards recognises institutes that are innovative, modern and industry related in their curriculum in marketing, advertising and marketing communications etc.", Dr KNS Kang, director General of P CTE Group of Institutes, said.

Spinning industry

Students of department of Management, GNDEC made a visit to Nahar Fibre, Jitwal Kalan recently. The students interacted with the company officials and discussed major problems being faced by the spinning industry in India .The recent one wherein the government had imposed restriction on yarn exports and how it had affected the factory, was elaborated by the company officials. Also, the officials deliberated on the steps they had taken to fight this problem like further reducing their costs to maintain their margins. — TNS



Ernakulam, Pune shuttlers retain titles
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 8
Defending champions Ernakulam region in the men’s section and Pune region in the women’s section emerged victorious in the 6th All-India Badminton Tournament of New India Assurance Company Limited organised by the New India Assurance Sports and Recreation Club, Ludhiana, which concluded at the Shastri Hall near Guru Nanak Stadium here yesterday.

In the men’s section, hosts Ludhiana finished runners-up, while Hyderabad region secured section position in the women’s section.

In the individual category, Rajender Kumar of Delhi region tamed KM Binu of Ernakulam region in straight sets 21-18, 21-10 to romp home. In the women’s section, R Ambike of Pune region proved too good for her rival Shipra Goel from Head Office, Mumbai , whom she outplayed 21-15, 21-18 to come out as the victor.

In the men’s doubles category, the pair of CM Babu and KM Binu from Ernakulam region beat the duo of AK Pandey and SS Bhaduria from Kanpur region 21-14, 21-14 to fetch the trophy.

The pair of R Ambike and Bharti Dandekar of Pune region outclassed Terresa Rani and Minakshi Bhagwa of Hyderabad region 21-12, 21-11 to lift the trophy in the women’s doubles section.

Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab, Harish Rai Dhanda gave away prizes to the winners.

JP Sheokand and Dr SL Khosa, deputy general manager and chief regional manager, New India Assurance Company Limited, along with other officials were present at the prize distribution function.



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