L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC wakes up, clears gravel on roads
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
It took the death of 60-year-old Sita Ram Malhotra yesterday to shake the Municipal Corporation (MC) out of its slumber and clear the debris and other construction material strewn on all major roads in the city.

Sita Ram had died yesterday after a mini truck ran over him after his motorcycle skidded on a heap of gravel lying on the road. The MC authorities today started the cleaning drive after the issue was highlighted in these columns. The MC has given stern directions to its officials and contractors that all the debris and construction material scattered on the road must be removed so that no inconvenience was caused to the public.

Since the beautification work on road dividers is still going on, special directions have been issued to the contractors to ensure that if it was not possible to lift the debris immediately, it should be collected and put in a corner so that no mishap takes place. Instructions have also been given to the contractors to put precautionary boards at places where the debris has been kept.

Whose was it anyway?

Whose gravel killed a 60-year-old man in a road accident yesterday? This question came up after the Municipal Corporation (MC) and the Greater Ludhiana Area Development (GLADA) kept passing the buck.

MC officials today washed their hands off the controversy stating that the gravel was not theirs as they had not allotted the work on road dividers. A look at the site reveals that some beautification work was being conducted by the MC and sources revealed that the MC had not officially allotted the contract to anyone.

It was a routine work for which the contractor concerned was to be given payment later as no work was allotted to anyone, sources in the building and roads (B&R) branch of the civic body stated.

The MC officials claimed that the work was being undertaken by GLADA, which was installing a signboard at the particular spot. The Executive Engineer of the B&R branch, HS Khosa, said they were not conducting any work and no such contract had been allotted to anyone. He suggested that as GLADA was putting signboards at the site, the gravel was its responsibility. He also claimed that the man had died after he was hit by an autorickshaw and later by a truck and not by skidding on the gravel.

GLADA officials have, however, refuted the claim of the MC. They said no work was being carried out by them. RK Sharma, Superintendent Engineer of GLADA, said more than 90 per cent of the work on the signboards was over.

Social activist moves PSHRC
A social activist, Arvind Sharma, has filed a complaint with the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) against the lax attitude of the MC authorities due to which a resident lost his life. He alleged that the MC had turned the city into an accident-prone place and the death of a seven-year-old boy after falling in an open manhole and the death of a 60-year-old man due to the debris lying on the road was a testimony to it. He sought strict action against the guilty MC officials. 

Not ours, claims MC

“We did not allot any work to anyone on the road dividers. Hence, the gravel was not ours.”

— HS Khosa, Executive Engineer

Not ours either: GLADA

“We are not carrying out any work on any site. More than 90 per cent of our work on the installation of signboards is complete.”

— RK Sharma, Superintending Engineer (GLADA)


Colony residents caught in no man’s land
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
Caught up between regulations on land registration dating before the country gained independence and those in force now, the owners of shops and houses in a colony in Doraha town find themselves at the receiving end for no fault of theirs.

In 1939 the colonization department allotted about 800 shops and houses, built over 100 acres on Railway Road, for which the buyers had to make payments in installments. However, following partition of the country in 1947, a large number of allottees failed to pay the remaining installments but kept possession of their respective plots without having any valid registration documents in their names.

The property in the colony was sold and purchased by the owners on the basis of the TS-1 form but, with the implementation of rule 135 of the relevant land registration regulations in 2005, the owners were caught in a tight spot.

The individuals who own these plots have not been able to sell their property or take out loans during a financial crunch, according to Rajinder Singh Khalsa, a local leader. "The actual owners of these plots aren’t alive. Despite that we’ve helped the colonization department to gather all relevant records. The problem has also been discussed with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, but to no avail," he rued.

Interestingly, even after all these years the state government has failed to take notice of the problem faced by the owners of the shops and houses in the colony and their pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Its move to streamline land records in the state stands defeated in the wake of harassment caused to these traders and small landholders.

"In the absence of land registration documents we’re all living on the edge as the fear of being thrown out from our houses and respective businesses looms large,” said a grocery merchant.

State cabinet to take up issue: DC

Ludhiana deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari said he had written about the issue to the colonization department after receiving a representation from the colony’s residents. "They’ve already conducted a survey and have also compiled data on ownership of the plots. The proposal has been forwarded to the Punjab financial commissioner (revenue) (FCR), Punjab and the matter will be taken up at a state cabinet meeting," he added.

State exchequer loser

The 100 acres of “unregistered” land in the colony located on the railway road is causing a loss to the state exchequer as the approximate registration rate of the land in the area is Rs 2,000 per sq yard



Teachers coaxing schoolkids into using ‘guides’
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
Bringing the numerous educational reforms introduced by the Central Board of Secondary Education to naught, the city's top schools are recommending “guidebooks” to their students to help them sail through the forthcoming final examinations.

Yes, guidebooks that were hitherto forbidden in schools and considered to be “low grade” have now made their way into the schoolbags of numerous students, courtesy teachers. Not only are the latter recommending these guidebooks to their students, many of them are even forcing the children to buy these books and bring them to school.

The development is not only shocking but unfortunate as well in the wake of the CBSE’s tireless efforts in the recent past to encourage conceptual learning rather than the rote form. Needless to say, the trend has distressed parents who feel their wards are being led in the wrong direction by their own teachers, the ones who are supposed to guide their students with a beacon.

"My daughter studies in class 8 in one of the city’s elite schools. Her math and science teachers are constantly forcing her to buy guides to study from. When I tried to reason with one of them she retorted these books are concise and the extra questions given therein are very helpful to prepare for exams," said Sheena Mehta, mother of student.

A class 9 student of a local convent school confirmed the trend. "My social science, math and Hindi teachers have asked us to buy guides and have even told us these would help us prepare better for the final exams. Though my parents were very apprehensive I still had to buy them," the student said.

Another parent, Satish Juneja, rued guidebooks had a dubious reputation of being “low grade" and badly written. “Moreover, there’s a big question mark on the authenticity of the information given in them. It’s shocking schools are still recommending guidebooks. These kinds of books can prove detrimental to a student’s performance and intellectual development. The schools should ban rather than promote them," he averred.

Parents feel there is no need for teachers to force students to waste their precious time on guidebooks. Instead, they should encourage the children to utilize that time on reading their NCERT (National Council of Educational Research & Training) books, class notes and sample question and answer papers.

"So-called guides can never compensate for class notes and NCERT books, which are the most reliable sources for any student. In our times, even till a couple of years back, teachers used to impress upon students the ill-effects of studying from guidebooks and asked them to shun these in case one aimed to succeed. It's shocking why everybody is now recommending these horrible books to children," remarked Nalini Dutta, another parent.

Not surprisingly, the school heads the Ludhiana Tribune talked to denied any such practice in their schools.

Is pecuniary gain a factor?

With teachers in numerous schools encouraging students to go in for “guidebooks” in particular subjects, the age-old allegation of teachers being “promotion agents” of publishers and bookstores has again reared its head. "Obviously there’s some skullduggery involved in the practice, else why would teachers recommend such books to students? It’s clear teachers are doing it with a purpose, most probably monetary benefit," remarked a member of the CBSE Parents' Association for Educational Reforms.

Stuck in time

The recommendation of guidebooks by teachers is in stark contrast to the educational reforms introduced by the CBSE. While on the one hand, e-technology is being incorporated into the school education system with the introduction of smart classes, on the other hand, these teachers are going back to the archaic method of studying from guidebooks, which has been shunned by educationists.



40 pc robberies fake: Police Commissioner 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
Police investigations have revealed that about 40 per cent of robberies committed in the city were stage-managed. The police department will soon submit the recovery details of these fake robberies to the Income Tax department. Besides, Section 420 will also be liable on the guilty in addition to Section 182 of the IPC.

Commissioner Police Ishwar Singh said such incidents gave an impression that the city’s crime graph was rising. But, during investigations it was found that about 40 per cent of robberies and theft cases were fake.

The Commissioner also added that major gangs of vehicle thieves, which were active in the city for the past many months, were busted. This had led to the decline in number of such cases. “We will catch hold of the remaining vehicle thieves soon, he added.

The commissioner said about 11 entry points had been identified by the police for installing 100 CCTV cameras in the first phase. These cameras would be installed on all major entry points of the city, including the Gill road near Sidhwan canal, Kohara- Chandigarh road, Sahnewal, Hambran road, Ferozpur road near Sunet Bridge, Pakhowal road near Octroi post, Rahon road, Samrala chowk, Bharat Nagar chowk, Bhai Bala Chowk, Jagraon bridge and Ladhowal toll plaza.

Private watchmen were being trained by the police department to handle emergency cases and call PCRs immediately. 



Two prime sites to be auctioned on March 14
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 23
The sale of two prime commercial sites, with floor areas of 1.016 acre and 0.90 acre on the Ferozepur Road, through open an auction on March 14 by Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) is virtually going to prove a litmus test if past experiences of putting large chunks of commercial lands under the hammer are any indication.

It was in November 2010 that two pockets of commercial land measuring 3.60 acre and 1.60 acre out of the erstwhile old district courts complex, offered for sale by PUDA with a reserve price of ` 80,000 per square yards, had found no takers. The auction had to be put off. Even though PUDA had made elaborate arrangements, anticipating heavy turnout of prospective buyers, just about two or three realtors had shown interest, and only one person had deposited the eligibility fee.

The freehold commercial sites now being offered for sale through open auction by GLADA are located adjacent to West End Mall on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur National Highway with sound business potential. While both pockets have the same reserve price of ` 1,76,670 per square yard, site 1-A with floor area of 1.016, being a corner plot will be sold at a premium of 10 per cent. Intending bidders will have to deposit an eligibility fee of ` 86,87,641 and ` 76,95,745 for the two sites, respectively, before taking part in the auction.

Barring the unproductive auction of two sites at the old district court complex in November 2010, GLADA and PUDA have an enviable track record of selling commercial sites, residential plots and flats in the mega city.

Besides receiving a huge response to sale of residential plots in Sector 40 on the Chandigarh Road, MIG and HIG flats in Dugri, GLADA had made most of two pockets of old courts complex, measuring 3.60 acre and 11,000 square yards which were sold at a whopping ` 228.26 crore and ` 169.69 crore, respectively, after the land was handed over to the agency by the state government for commercial exploration under the "Optimum Use of Vacant Government Land" policy.

Sources in the real estate sector were of the view that even though the realty market, of late, had shown some signs of revival, but at times, it again appears jittery. "If GLADA succeeds in selling big chunks of commercial sites at a reasonably good price, it will certainly indicate a turn around and things will indeed brighten up."



Trade union activists leave for Delhi 
To stage protest in front of Parliament 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
Huge rush was witnessed at the local railway station last night as a large number of workers left for Delhi to take part in a protest march towards Parliament in New Delhi. Workers belonging to the All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), industrial, construction, palledars, bhattha mazdoors, federations and associations of banks, insurance, railways, telecom, electricity , anganwadi, aasha and mid-day meal workers went to New Delhi by rail and road from different parts of the district to participate in the protest.

The AITUC group was led by OP Mehta, DP Maur, Mewa Singh, Gurnam Sidhu, Amar Singh, Naresh Gaur, Gurnam Gill, Harbhajan Singh, Vijay Kumar, Feroz Master and others. 

Workers’ Demand

Check on the rise in prices of essential commodities, effective PDS.
Hike in minimum wage to Rs 10,000 per month
Stop disinvestments of public sector units.
Enroll regular employees in various sectors, end contract system
Implementation of already existing labour laws.
Stop so-called reforms in labour laws
Implementation of service laws for workers of unorganised sector.
Stop misuse of Section 144
Anganwadi and Asha workers be regularised with grade equivalent to Class III and IV employees.
Trade unions should be given representation in tripartite committees 



People asked to register domestic help, tenants
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
Giving another chance to residents of the city to get their domestic helps and tenants registered with the police, a help centre has been established by the Division Number 8 police. Besides, the police has also started conducting door-to-door survey in the residential colonies to bring the crime graph down.

SHO Maninder Bedi said today that police would get the verification forms filled by the residents.

The first round of verification would start from Ludhiana (West) and cover areas like Civil Lines, Sarabha Nagar, PAU and Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar.

For this exercise, police has authorised workers of a private company to conduct the surveys. A special dress will be given to the employees 
of company helping police. The teams will visit more than 125 houses in a day. In case, the homemakers do not find it convenient to give details about helpers in the absence of male members, the teams will visit again, police officials said.

The Commissioner Police has fixed March 31 as the last date for getting the domestic helps and tenants registered with the department. If residents fail to do so, strict action will be taken against them, he added.



Councillors excluded from MC budget decisions
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
Though every year the municipal corporation makes a budget allocation of crores of rupees for civic projects in the city, the elected representatives of the residents are never included in the decision making process involved in the decision making process.

The basic aim of effecting reforms in urban local bodies in the early 1990s was to ensure more public participation in key decisions relating to development. However the basic purpose of the reforms appears to have been lost as, instead of making proposals the bureaucrats have turned into decision makers by sidelining public representatives. The result is that there seems to be no work for the mayor and 74 councilors elected by city residents except receive complaints over civic amenities and try to redress them.

This can be well judged from the fact that neither the mayor nor any councillor is consulted by the bureaucrats while preparing the city’s annual budget. As a consequence haphazard growth takes place as the budget is simply a balance sheet of the civic body, which shows its expenditure and income. It is strange that for a civic body catering to the needs of a population of over 4 million not even 40 people are involved in the crucial decision making process. Rather the budget is prepared by a handful of people and is presented before the MC house, which gives its approval without much deliberation.

Every year a few pages of the budget shows the expected income and expenditure of various branches of the civic body and a random sum is kept for development. However, insensitive MC officials have never accounted that how many crores of rupees have been wasted because of their wrong decisions. Similarly they never bothered to consult people that what could be done for improving civic facilities in city might be because of legacy of the British Raj in which officers were always considered right is being carried till today.

The most unfortunate part is that councilors, who represent thousands of people, have also never demanded they should be made a part of this important process, a result of which is that the audit department highlights anomalies worth hundreds of crores of rupees every year. Though for those in power it certainly never matters but for taxpayers who contribute for the city’s development this amount is very high.



TUFS Withdrawal
Textile industry banks on budget
Manav Mander/TNS

Ludhiana, February 23
The rollback of the Technology Upgradation Fund (TUF) Scheme midway has dealt a big blow to the textile industry. Now, the industry is pinning its hopes on the forthcoming Budget, anticipating the revival of the scheme.

“The scheme needs to be reintroduced in its original form as the policy was valid till 2012 and the industry had planned expansions accordingly,” said Vinod K Thapar, president of the Knitwear Club. The textile industry was trying to save itself by upgrading its technology and automating the processes, so that the requirement of labour was minimised. “We hope the scheme is reintroduced in the forthcoming Budget,” added Thapar.

Further, he said, from the allotted funds for the TUFS, at least 50 per cent had to be reserved for the SME sector, as the bigger and organised units took maximum benefit out of it, but till the time the SMEs got ready after documentation, funds for them lapsed.

After the implementation of the NAREGA scheme of the Government of India, various industrial cities like Ludhiana are facing the shortage of labour.

The labour available is too costly to be seen as a profitable venture for the industry.

“In such circumstances, we had been upgrading our technology and adopting automation with the help of the TUFS. However, with its withdrawal, we have been left in the lurch. We hope it is revived in the forthcoming Budget,” added Mukesh Sharma, an industrialist.

A lot of investment, which is already in the pipeline, has been put on hold as no industry can compete globally after paying annual interest as high as 12 per cent to 13.50 per cent without the TUF incentive. Further, it has shaken the confidence of the industrialists in the stability of policies of the government.

In case, the incentives are denied for a further period of time, the overseas buyers will turn to suppliers in other countries like China and Bangladesh, which will result in irreparable loss to the industry and country at large,” said another industrialist.



Environment takes backseat
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
Of all the problems faced by the city, the one concerning environment protection and depletion of the green cover needs to be addressed in earnest. The budgetary provisions regarding the sustenance of green cover in the city need to be implemented in a proper manner.

The municipal corporation authorities had set aside Rs 13.50 crore for the horticulture branch last year. While this year, the budgetary provisions have gone up to Rs 21.75 crore for the purpose.

The figure may sound promising but a major share of the budget outlay goes towards the maintenance of infrastructure in the horticulture branch instead of ensuring green cover in the city.

The city has became a concrete jungle due to the gradual depletion of the green cover and surge in haphazard growth.

This has necessitated the need for spending the money provided in the budget effectively.

In the past few years, the city has paid the price for uncontrolled construction of buildings and development works, with a large number of trees having been axed by the MC authorities.

And, the authorities have never bothered to replenish the green cover to compensate for the loss.

With no tab on the cutting of trees, the green cover has depleted rapidly. This, despite the fact that environmentalists have been crying foul over the issue.

The MC authorities have also failed to ensure that the budget set aside for the plantation of trees is utilised in a proper manner.

MC Additional Commissioner Mahinder Pal Gupta, who is in-charge of the horticulture branch of the civic body, said they had already kept provisions in the budget to ensure adequate green cover in the city.

He added that they had been trying to ensure optimum utilisation of funds through plantation drives.

Growth takes toll
The city has paid the price for uncontrolled construction of buildings and development works, with a large number of trees having been axed by the MC authorities. And, the authorities have never bothered to replenish the green cover to compensate for the loss



No planning for sustainable growth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
Rapid urbanisation has taken place in the city in the last two decades due to which a lot of burden has increased on the resources of the Municipal Corporation (MC).

But MC officials have never bothered to draft a concrete planning to make the city a livable place. No funds have ever been earmarked for planning or conducting a research for the optimum utilisation of the resources of the civic body.

The MC has not been able to provide water and sewerage facilities to all city residents. The MC sometimes take decisions that are not in the interest of the public and cause huge losses to the state exchequer, besides depleting resources.

A glaring example is the fall in the ground water level in the city and the growing number of tube wells that are being sunk.

Building bylaws are being flouted with impunity and roads have to be dug up for laying sewers in the wake of fresh planning when the pressure of population increases on the infrastructure.



Feroze Gandhi Market
No takers for parking lots

Ludhiana, February 23
All efforts of Municipal Corporation’s authorities to allot parking lots of the prestigious Feroze Gandhi market to private contractors failed after yesterday’s auction was postponed due to the lack of proper quorum.

The Municipal Corporation had set up a reserve price of Rs 73.26 lakh for auctioning parking lots to private contractors. However, the private contractors refused to participate in the auction on the grounds that the reserve price was too high.

The Municipal Corporation had called for an auction yesterday. But, not a single private contractor came for the bid. It is mandatory for at least three bidders to take part in the auction. Thus, the officials of the Municipal Corporation postponed the auction yet again for the want of quorum. — TNS



MC asks advertisers to remove illegal unipoles
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
The advertising sub-committee of the Municipal Corporation has asked leading adversities to get their illegal unipoles removed from the prestigious Sarabha Nagar market and other places of the city.

Meeting of the sub-committee was held at the D zone office of Additional Commissioner, Mahinder Pal Gupta, in which committee members, including Gurdeep Singh Neetu, Pal Singh Grewal, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Inderjeet Singh Gill and other members took part.

The members unanimously decided to take stern action against illegal advertisers, who are bringing loss to MC exchequer by displaying illegal advertisements. They said even these advertisers misbehave with officials and elected representatives, which must be checked. They said these advertisers should not be spared and strict action must be taken against them.

The committee members also decided to get an illegal electronic digital advertisement board installed at the Jagroan bridge removed. They also asked the advertiser, who had installed the board, to remove it at the earliest or police would be used to get it removed forcibly. The committee also asked the advertisers to remove five illegal unipoles that have been installed at Sarabha Nagar market. Advertisers were also asked to raise the height of unipoles from a few roads so that it does not hinder smooth flow of traffic. The committee also approved allotment of overhead signboards and garbage dumps to a few advertisers for putting up advertisements.



Post office street 
Life is a hell here
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, February 23
One comes across choked sewers in every nook and cranny of Doraha. Presently, sewer of the post office street, which is overflowing for the past 15 days, has made the life of residents miserable.

“A few complaints lodged in this regard with the municipal council of the town have fallen on deaf ears. The accumulated water has not only made the life of residents a hell, but also exposed them to numerous vulnerable diseases,” residents said.

“Sanitary employees have not even bothered to clear the sewers for days together. We have approached the committee on numerous occasions but they aren’t serious about solving the problem. Since these sewer pipes are narrow they get choked soon. If the committee is not in a position to provide a permanent solution to our problem where should we go for help? We simply cannot stay in an environment in which it is difficult to breath,” the residents alleged.

People are forced to put up with filth, squalor, sewer and disease all around. “The sewer water not only floods the street but also enters houses, thus making the situation all the more deplorable. The drainage system gets choked to such an extent that even a small downpour leaves the streets chocked and houses flooded. Even if doesn’t rain, the street turns into a pool of filthy water,” residents say.

A resident of the post office street said, “This is not for the first time that we are encountering such a problem. But now the situation has gone out of control, as we are unable to breathe in such

filthy conditions. The foul-smell emitted out of the sewer water is unbearable.”

The residents complain, “The municipal council has been informed about the unhygienic conditions of this street but no remedial measures seems to be yet in sight.”

“The sangat darshan of Badal, too, failed to provide any solution. Despite repeated pleas and reminders, our demands have remained unfulfilled for years together,” alleged a senior citizen of the town.



Cleanliness drive
Our Correspondent

Amloh, February 23
Health and education is necessary for overall development of the country. Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, MLA, stated this during a cleanliness drive launched by Amloh unit of Sant Nirankari Mandal at the local civil hospital today.

At least 20 saplings were planted on the occasion and inner ward and outer area of the hospital complex was thoroughly cleaned.

A similar drive was launched by Sant Nirankari Mandal of Mandi Gobindgarh. Civil hospital of Mandi Gobindgarh was adopted for carrying out the cleanliness drive. 



Sanskriti Express comes to town
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
The five-coach exhibition train called 'Sanskriti Express', giving a deep insight into the life, works and paintings of versatile genius Rabindra Nath Tagore, today reached Ludhiana for three days.

Photographs, writings and paintings of the great legend fill the five coaches of the train that was flagged off by the Indian Railways at Howrah Railway Station on May 9, 2010 as a tribute to Tagore on his 150th birth anniversary.

The train, visiting all parts of the country, reached Ludhiana Railway Station this morning at 10am.

The five coaches have a collection of old photographs, writings and paintings of Tagore, with translations of his poems. English translation of 'Jana Gana Mana', covers of Gitanjali translated in different languages, pictures of Shantiniketan, photographs of Tagore with his family, with Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, a number of his paintings, etc. form part of the exhibition which is aimed at acquainting the masses, especially the youth, with the creative genius of Tagore.

Giving details, station superintendent Ravinder Sharma said, "The main purpose behind this train's journey across the nation is to familiarise the masses with legendary poet Tagore and his invaluable works."

He added: "We want the students to come and take a look and get to know one of the greatest bards of all times. For the purpose, we have informed the district education officer and asked him to arrange visits from various city schools. Today, students of some schools had come and more are expected over the next two days."

The exhibition is open to the public from 10am to 8pm. The train, which has come to the city after visiting the royal city of Patiala, will head towards Jammu and Kashmir on Friday. After touching all important stations of the country, it will return to Kolkata on May 8 this year.


Coach 1 titled 'Jibon Smriti' gives pictures and depictions of Tagore's life, his reminiscences, Shantiniketan and Sriniketan.

Coach 2 titled 'Gitanjali', shows a glimpse of the songs, verses and poems of the legendary poet.

Coach 3 titled 'Muktodhara' has exhibits of his short stories, novels, dramas and other writings. It also shows Tagore as a performer.

Coach 4 titled 'Chitrarekha', shows the paintings, portraits and sketches of Tagore.

Coach 5, titled 'Sesh Katha and Smaranika' depicts Tagore's final journey and his last days. There is also a stall at the end, exhibiting Shantiniketan handicrafts to browse and buy.



‘Batalavi reincarnation of John Keats’ 
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
Shiv Kumar Batalavi with his undying romanticism, illustrative writing and love for beauty is indeed an "incarnation" of the English writer John Keats, opines Professor KBS Sodhi, a retired professor of English.

Having translated 33 poems of Keats in Punjabi language and compiling them under the title "Asan Da Jauban Rutte Marna", the professor has called upon the authorities of universities to introduce a special paper on five classical English writers in MA, Punjabi.

Born after 115 years of John Keats, Shiv Kumar Batalavi in his song "Ik geet hijr da" refers to the a young girl in solitude which has been rightly compared to "Lines on the Mermaid Tavern" by John Keats. The translation of the poem revolves round the assemblage of Elizabethan poets at a tavern and the lines "Ruhan uh mahan jo keh ke alvida pahunchian vich behshati fani jagat chad, mehkhane vich lande si kade uh raunkan…."depict the scene.

"Asan Da Jauban Rutte Marna" is an anthology of 15 sonnets, nine odes and some miscellaneous works of John Keats.



Myopia among drivers causing mishaps: Doc
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 23
Claiming that poor vision of drivers was the major reason behind majority of vehicular accidents taking places during night hours, Dr Rajesh Garg, an ophthalmologist at the local civil hospital, urged residents to shun the tendency of ignoring minor eye defects.

Eye ailments like myopia and hypermetropia were caused due to the lack of concern about eye care among people living in rural and sub-urban areas. He said this during an eye camp jointly organised by Hind Hospital and the civic body of Jandali village near here recently. Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, MLA, Dhuri, inaugurated the camp. Bhupinder Singh Bath, convener of the project, said a team of ophthalmologists examined at least 400 persons on the occasion.

Majority of patients examined during the camp had ignored their eyes. “Besides ignoring hygiene, they paid little attention to nutrition required for optimum vision,” the doctor added. 



GADVASU scientists’ research paper gets first prize
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
Three scientists from the department of Animal Genetics and Breeding, GADVASU, participated in the VIII Annual Convention of Society for Conservation of Domestic Animal Biodiversity (SOCDAB) and National Symposium on “Animal Genetic Resources for Sustainable Livestock Sector in India” at Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology (OUAT), Bhubneshwar recently.

The research paper entitled, “Exotic inheritance, milk yield, body condition scores and some blood constituents in healthy and lame crossbred dairy cows” by CS Bahga, Simarjeet Kaur, CS Ahuja and ML Mehra, presented by Dr Simarjeet Kaur, assistant animal geneticist, was adjudged the best paper during the poster presentation and the poster bagged the first prize and a cash prize of Rs 1,000.

The organizers of the symposium selected Dr. AK Jain, senior animal geneticist of the department of Animal Genetics and Breeding as co-chairman for a special technical session for the young scientist award. In another technical session on, “Evaluation and Utiliszation of Indigenous Animal Genetic Resources: Current Status and Future Strategies”, Dr. ML Mehra, senior animal geneticist of the department of Animal Genetics and Breeding was made the co-chairman.

Research work appreciated

Dr Ashwani Kumar, assistant professor of the department of veterinary surgery and radiology, College of Veterinary Sciences, GADVASU participated in the 11th Indian Veterinary Congress and the 18th Annual Conference of Indian Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Research and National Symposium on “Veterinary Science and Education on Move: Critical Gaps and Needs” at Apollo College of Veterinary Medicine, Jaipur recently.

During the conference, Dr. Ashwani Kumar presented a research paper entitled “Ultrasonographic evaluation of traumatic reticulperitonitis in cows and buffaloes” and it was adjudged second best research paper in the "Dr Rishenrda Verma Young Scientist Award" session. This research work was co-authored by Dr NS Saini, V Sangwan and J Mohindroo. The research work highlighted the dynamic mode of ultrasonography to diagnose and differentially diagnose various stomach disorders in cows and buffaloes caused by ingestion of sharp metallic foreign objects like wires, nails and needles etc. which were taken by the animal along with its feed. The paper was highly appreciated by the participants and the organisers.

Dr. Narinder Singh Saini, professor-cum-head, Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology, informed that the research work on ultrasonographic diagnosis of abdominal disorders of cows and buffaloes was started couple of years back and at that time it was the first work of its kind in India.



Avoid new queen bees from abroad: Expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
The second day of honey fest at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today witnessed "experience exchange workshop on prospects and promotion of apiculture for augmenting hive and crop productivity" , organised by the PAU Department of Entomology in collaboration with the Directorate of Extension Education.

Inaugurating the workshop, chief guest Dr BL Sarswat, Director, National Bee Board (NBB), Government of India, New Delhi, said that the objective of NBB was the overall development of scientific beekeeping in India, to increase productivity of crops through pollination and increase honey production for enhancing the income of farmers and the beekeepers.

He shed light on the constraints confronting the development of beekeeping, which include poor quality control for production of honey and other bee-hive products and lack of scientific data on the choice of honey bee species for commercial beekeeping and for promoting cross pollination.

Sarswat said, “At present there are about 1.6 million bee colonies in India, with estimated production of around 65,000-metric tonnes of honey, including that from wild honey bees. There is a need to enhance the production and PAU can play a key role in this regard", he said. As per the cropped area under the major insect-pollinated crops, about 200-million bee colonies were required in the country to enhance the yield levels of these crops at par with the yield levels of developed countries, revealed Sarswat adding that it would provide jobs to about 215 lakh persons.

Guest of honour Dr NP Goyal, president, All India Beekeeping Association, said that a tendency had long been observed both among traders as well as enthusiastic scientists to make fresh introduction of new queens from abroad. He emphasised," such a tendency needs to be curbed effectively lest a few queens of the killer bees get introduced in India thereby putting an end to the gains achieved through the earlier careful introduction of Apis mellifera made into India". Goyal impressed upon the scientists, beekeepers and the farmers not to allow personal gains to play with such experimentation which may put the beekeeping industry at risk in the country.

Dr SS Gosal, Director of Research, PAU, gave an overview of the apicultural research achievements of the university. Three technical sessions chaired by Dr NP Goyal, Dr RC Mishra and Dr GS Gatoria took place today. The sessions saw discussions on prospects, problems and promotion of beekeeping for augmenting crop productivity and technical innovations and interventions of scientific principles in beekeeping for higher profitability. The delegates were also taken to apiary and apiculture exhibition gallery at PAU. On this event, a souvenir was also released. 



PAU is numero uno farm varsity: VC
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, February 23
Four years ago when Vice Chancellor, Dr MS Kang of Punjab Agricultural University had taken over and the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal had asked him about the university's ranking in the country, he had reluctantly named Tamil Nadu Agricultural University as the number one.

“Four years down the line, I am glad that today I can proudly tell the CM that PAU is the numero uno university of the country. This is not my claim but it has been bestowed-upon with "Krishi Shiksha Samman- Agri. University of the Year 2011" award,” said an elated Kang, while talking to the Tribune today after he returned from New Delhi here today.

He was conferred with the national award during the Mahindra Samriddhi India Agri. Awards 2011 ceremony held on February 21 at New Delhi.

“We have put together a great show,” said Kang, hailing the efforts of his team. Stating that the farm university had played a key role in increasing the food-grain production in the state of Punjab, Kang further said the history stood as a testimony as PAU helped the country in ushering in an era of Green Revolution. Besides, it had made notable contributions in increasing the livestock and poultry production. Kang said, "It is not just a proud moment for PAU but a great honour for Punjab as well. Out of total 22 nominations, PAU emerged as the winner. These awards in the field of agriculture have been introduced this year and PAU is the first one to receive Best Agri. University Award. Tamil Nadu Agriculture University has won the runner-up award". Kang added that PAU had also contributed in establishment and development of bee-farming in India, contributing to 30 per cent of the national honey production. Besides, it had developed/ released 693 varieties/hybrids of various crops.



Training Programme
Students get certificates

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 23
Students who completed a training programme under the “Hunar Se Rozgar Tak Scheme” launched by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, were given certificates by Desh Bhagat Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology here yesterday. The function was presided over by Minister for Tourism and Cultural Affairs Hira Singh Gabhria.

Gabhria lauded the initiative of the National Council of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, New Delhi.

He said the Punjab government was committed to provide employment to the youth.

Desh Bhagat Group chairman Dr Zora Singh and vice-chairperson Tejinder Kaur said the institutes laid emphasis on the skill development of students. Prof Shalini Gupta stated that under the “Hunar Se Rozgar Tak Scheme”, the institute had started an eight-week free skill-development programme for those who had passed Class VII examination and were in the 18 to 25 age group. Free tool kits, textbooks, pens and uniforms were given to students. 



From Colleges
Stress management workshop

The Department of Psychology of the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women organised a de-stressing stress management workshop for the students of psychology here yesterday. The workshop was facilitated by former PGI consultant and stress management expert Dr Shruti Shourie from D.A.V. College, Chandigarh.

Kamaldeep Kaur, HoD, psychology department, said that stress caused more illness, absenteeism, job loss, decreased profits and mental health problems than all other diseases together. Shourie counselled the students at the workshop and spoke on how to cope up with stress through some practical de-stressing exercises. She said stress was useful in limited sense beyond which it was detrimental for one's physical and mental well-being. She advised that a person should know the scope of his/her strengths and weaknesses and should make him/herself adaptable to the surrounding environment.

The Principal of the college, Dr Karmjit Kaur Virdi, inspired the students to reduce stress in their life and improve their ability by managing it through stress management.

LCETians bring laurels

Students of Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology brought laurels to the college. Four students namely, Darmendra Kumar Sharma, Luvkush Pathak, Pushpendra Kumar, Anil Saini from the MBA department got placed in Meera and Co. As management trainees at the package of 1.2 lakh and incentives during the job fair held at the Synetic Business School recently. Dr.JS Sohal and principal Dr Pawan Kumar of LCET congratulated the students for their success and wished them luck for their future.


GGN Institute of Management and Technology (GGNIMT) organised a seminar on “MS Windows 7-a New Operating System” for BCA and MCA students.

Rajnish Kumar, a senior faculty member, was the resource person.

Rajnish spoke on the evolution of windows operating systems. He apprised students of the strengths and weaknesses of each operating system at length. In order to inculcate a deeper understanding of the subject, he also compared the reliability, security and performance parameters of operating systems like Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Vista and Windows ME.

The second part of the session focused on the fundamentals and features of the new operating system-Windows 7. The resource person informed students that the new operating system was based on Windows Vista’s platform and was designed to overcome the drawbacks of Vista. He said Windows 7 not only helped perform tasks on computers with great ease, it also enabled to make PC work the way one wanted. The resource person also elaborated on these features through video clippings and practical demonstration. The session concluded with a question-answer round.


The 12th annual convocation of BCM College of Education was held today. A total of 296 students (25 MEd and 271 BEd) were conferred degrees. Dr Rajneesh Arora ,Vice-Chancellor, PTU, Jalandhar, was the guest of honour.

Among others present on the occasion included Satyanand Munjal, chairman, BCM Foundation, Brij Mohan Lall Munjal, chairman, Hero Group, RB Khanna, director, coordination, SK Mehta, secretary, managing committee of the college, and members of Panjab University Senate and Syndicate, fellows and principals.

The convocation started with the Saraswati vandana by college students. Principal Dr Khushvinder Kumar extended a warm welcome to all guests and read out annual report of the college. Dr Rajneesh Arora conferred degrees on students.

Students who received the college colours included Swarnima Sharma (MEd gold medal, Panjab University (2009-10), Pavneet Kaur (BEd gold medal, Panjab University (2009-10), and Manaswinee (national awardee for debate). SK Mehta proposed the vote of thanks. — TNS



From School
Mother Tongue Day

DRV DAV Centenary Public School, Phillaur, celebrated International Mother Tongue Day with fervour. Principal Yogesh Gambhir started the programme by lighting the lamp. Teachers Manju, Surender Kaur, Ramandeep Kaur, Seema Bhanot and Jasbir Singh, addressed the students and explained the significance of speaking, writing and reading the mother tongue properly. Students presented poems and speeches to express their love and affection for their mother tongue.

Annual concert

Cherry Lane Play School conducted its sixth annual concert "Journey of a Play School" on the school premises on Wednesday. Tiny tots presented a colourful cultural programme, which showcased their journey into the school. They began the show with prayers, which they do in the school daily. The programme moved towards other activities Tiny tots perform at an annual concert in Cherry Lane Play School, Ludhiana, that the kids enjoy and learn in play schools. The activities included dancing, sports, oriented aerobics, colourful depiction of fruits and vegetables, correct recognition and identification of alphabets etc. The children also dressed up as national achievers like Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Vijender Singh, Dr Kiran Bedi, Ratan Tata, Aamir Khan, AR Rehman, Aishwarya Rai etc. The tiny tots left the audience spellbound. It was heartening to watch the little ones sing the National Anthem with great patriotism in the end. — Tiny tots perform at an annual concert in Cherry Lane Play School, Ludhiana, on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma



Monika fastest among girls
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 23
The 37th annual athletics meet of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, concluded here today. The meet was inaugurated by Dr Suresh Tandon, vice-chairman, Punjab School Education Board.

In his inaugural address, the chief guest exhorted the athletes to dedicate time to sports besides pursuing their academic goals.

He lauded the college management and the principal for running an educational institute in a rural area like Doraha.

Competitions in high jump, long jump, shot put, sack race, three-legged race, 400 m relay race, 100m race, 5,000m race, tug of war, hammer throw, ripple jump, 1,500m race, 400m race, 200m race and javelin throw were held.

A cultural programme was also organised. The boys of the college performed bhangra.

Principal Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu welcomed the chief guest and other dignitaries. Prof Balwant Singh Pangali, general secretary, shared his views with the audience.

The results: Girls: 100m: 1 Monika Sood (BCom III), 2 Mandeep Kaur (BA II), 3 Navshikha Sharma (BA I); 200m: 1 Mandeep Kaur (BA II), 2 Sandeep Kaur (BA I), 3 Gurpreet Kaur (BCom III); 400m: 1 Jaswant Kaur (BA I), 2 Mandeep Kaur (BA II), 3 Sandeep Kaur (BA I); 2 km walk: 1 Mandeep Kaur (BA II), 2 Gurwinder Kaur (MA I Punjabi), 3 Preeti Sharda (BA III); high jump: 1 Shamma (BA I), 2 Ravinder Kaur (BA II), 3 Manpreet Kaur (BA I); long jump: 1 Shamma (BA I), 2 Manpreet Kaur (BA I), 3 Ravinder Kaur (BA II); shot put: 1 Ramandeep Kaur (BAIII), 2 Rajvir Kaur (BA III), 3 Amanjot Kaur (BA II); discus throw: 1 Amanjot Kaur, 2 Ravinder Kaur, 3 Harmandeep Kaur; 1,500m cycle race: 1 Harmandeep Kaur, 2 Pardeep Kaur, 3 Anu Puri; 800m: 1 Mandeep Kaur (BA II), 2 Sandeep Kaur (BA I), 3 Avneet Kaur (BA II); 4x100m relay race: 1 Mandeep Kaur, Gurpreet Kaur, Avneet Kaur and Ravinder Kaur, 2 Sandeep Kaur, Shamma, Gurdeep Kaur and Jaswant Kaur, 3 Navshikha Sharma, Anu Puri, Gagandeep Kaur, Harpreet Kaur; sack race: 1 Sandeep Kaur, 2 Gurpreet Kaur, 3 Rajvir Kaur; chatti race: 1 Mandeep Kaur, 2 Navjit Kaur, 3 Harpreet Kaur; three-legged race: 1 Babita Rani and Navjit Kaur, 2 Rajni Rani and Manpreet Kaur, 3 Harpreet Kaur and Kiranjit Kaur.

Boys: 800m: 1 Kamaldeep Sharma (BA I), 2 Kulwant Singh (BA II), 3 Manpreet Singh (BA I); long jump: 1 Gurpreet Singh (BA I), 2 Simranjit Singh (MA I Punjabi), 3 Gagandeep Singh (PGDCA); javelin throw: 1 Simranjit Singh, 2 Baltej Singh, 3 Hardeep Singh (BA III); shot put: 1 Paramvir Singh, (BBA I), 2 Simarjot Singh (BCom I), 3 Jaspreet Singh (BA II); 5,000m: 1 Amritpal Singh (BA I, 2 Kulveer Singh (MCom II), 3 Randeep Singh (BA I) 3.



Paramjit, Surinder best athletes

Ludhiana, February 23
Paramjit Kaur in the girls’ section while Surinder Singh in the boys’ section were adjudged best athletes in the two-day 91st edition of the annual athletics meet of Satish Chander Dhawan Government College, which concluded here today.

Results: Boys: 5000m race: 1 Mandeep Singh, 2 Surinder Singh and 3 Vipan Kumar; 400m race: 1 Joginder Singh, 2 Surinder Singh and 3 Ravi Yadav; 800m race: 1 Khushdil, 2 Paramjot Singh and 3 Ramesh.

Girls: shot put: 1 Simarjeet Singh, 2 Majwant Singh and 3 Priyanka; javelin throw: 1 Ramandeep Kaur, 2 Deepika and 3 Arshdeep Kaur; discus throw: 1 Majwant Kaur, 2 Ramandeep Kaur and 3 Harpreet Kaur. — OC



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