L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bomb shell triggers panic
n Was fired from fighter aircraft
n IAF team takes it in custody
Jaswant Shetra

An Air Force personnel carries away the unexploded rocket fired from an IAF fighter
An Air Force personnel carries away the unexploded rocket fired from an IAF fighter. Photo: Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 15
Terror and panic gripped thousands of residents of Ramghar Bhullar and Leelan Megh Singh villages when the shell of a bomb, fired from an Air Force aircraft, fell in the fields between the two villages near Jagraon this afternoon.

The bomb was reportedly fired from a fighter aircraft with the Halwara Air Force station during a routine exercise in the SK Range near Sodhiwal, about 15 kilometres from Jagraon, but its shell landed in a farm between Ramghar Bhullar and Leelan Megh Singh village, seven or eight kilometres from the SK Range.

Though there was no loss of money or life during the incident, the villagers complained that it might have resulted in a tragedy in case the bomb fell in the main residential area, only a few metres from the place where the shell fell.

Some farmhouses were located close to the field where the shell was found. A large number of farmers of these two villages, who were busy harvesting the wheat crop, were shocked when the shell fell around 1 pm in a field belonging to Amarjit Singh.

Terrified residents immediately informed the police about the incident. Soon after, a team from the Jagraon Sadar police station reached the spot. They sealed the area and informed the Air Force officials concerned at the SK Range.

An Air Force team reached the spot and took custody of the shell. The residents and police officials were amused at the fact that it took more than half an hour for the Air Force team to reach the spot from the SK Range, situated only seven or eight kilometres from the spot.

The people were relieved when the Air Force team reached the spot and took custody of the shell. The Air Force officials remained tight-lipped on the issue. The officer leading the team refused to tell his name and designation to the police, which irked police officials and led to an argument between them.

When police and CID officials convinced the Air Force officials that they were doing their duty and it was mandatory on their part to prepare a report on the incident, they were told that the Air Force team was from the SK Range and was led by range safety officer Vikrant Bhargav.

“I was standing in front of the gate of my house when something, measuring three or four feet and emitting smoke, fell in the farm in front of my house. Farmers who were harvesting crops in fields nearby started shouting and running away. We came to know that it was a bombwhen a police team arrived from Jagraon,” said Mohan Singh, whose house was situ-ated a few metres from the spot.

This was not the first incident of a shell falling in the area around the SK Range. Many such incidents had taken place in the past. A few months back, a shell had fallen in a street of Agwar Ladhai village, near Jagraon.


Only Rs 1.25-lakh grant for village in 4 years!
Anshu Seth/TNS

Samrala/Ludhiana, April 15
Disappointed over inadequate funds given to the panchayat of Sihala village in Samrala constituency, a group of panches led by the sarpanch has accused the state government of neglecting the village for the last four years.

The members of the panchayat had come to attend the sangat darshan programme of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. A meagre amount of Rs 1.25 lakh has been given to the panchayat in the last four years.

Out of the Rs 18-lakh grant sanctioned under various heads under the rural development department, Punjab, for 2010-11, the Chief Minister presented a cheque for Rs 6 lakh to the panchayat today.

The sanctioned amount under various heads for maintenance include Rs 5 lakh for street drains, Rs 2 lakh for main drains, Rs 3 lakh for cremation ground, Rs 2 lakh for a dharamshala, Rs 3 lakh for a panchayat ghar and an additional grant of Rs 3 lakh under MANREGA.

The village has a population of 1,869, out of which 1,283 are voters. But despite their repeated requests, the village residents have been deprived of funds sanctioned under the rural development department in the last four years.

Sarpanch Rakesh Kumar said the proposal was formatted by the area Junior Engineer (JE) today itself. “Our requests have fallen on deaf ears and the village residents are living in poor sanitary conditions. Clogged drains, broken roads and poor upkeep of the panchayat ghar and the cremation ground are a sore point,” he complained.

Former sarpanch Teerath Singh said: “We have already suffered a lot on account of the government’s apathy. But we will not put up with the casual approach any more.”

Villagers manage govt school

Village residents are managing the Government Senior Secondary School at Sihal. The parent-teacher association has appointed teachers for classes XI and XII and are also paying salaries from money collected by parents of students. The government has not bothered to recruit teachers against vacant posts in the school. “The appointment of teachers by us is only a temporary arrangement to ensure that the studies do not suffer. It is the responsibility of the government to appoint qualified teachers,” said former sarpanch Teerath Singh.



Father of sightless kids seeks help
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Goslan (Khanna), April 15
Even as the harrowing ordeal faced by a ‘dalit’ ex-serviceman, Hardev Singh, who resides in Goslan village, continues, his family has now pinned its hopes on the chief minister's ‘sangat darshan’ scheduled to be held in Lopon, near here, on Saturday. Although Hardev served in the country for 17 years instead of leading a life of retirement he has been forced to take care of his sightless children.

His elder son, Avtar Singh, 27, is blind by birth and the younger one, Varinder Singh, lost his eyesight at an early age. His daughter, Gurpreet Kaur, 21, went blind when she was studying in class 10.

In spite of the tragedy that befell them, Hardev and his wife, Kulwant Kaur, never lost heart and help their disabled children to perform everyday tasks like taking a bath.

Due to the ex-serviceman’s determination, Avtar has completed his graduation with a BEd degree and is due to appear for the MA (‘sangeet’) examination. Varinder, who has regained some vision after protracted

medical treatment and has become a good hammerthrow player in the area. Gurpreet is studying for a BA degree despite being completely blind.

Hardev had tried to provide the best treatment to his children at AIMS, New Delhi, PGI and other prominent institutes, spending a large amount of money in the process.

Some villagers have now conveyed his plight to MLA Jagjivan Singh Khirnia who asked Hardev to speak about his problem to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. The ex-serviceman’s family today met Badal at the ‘sangat darshan’ in Samrala and requested him to provide a government job to at least one member under the reservation policy. However, the CM expressed his inability to do this and instead gave Rs 20,000 to each of the family members.



Small enterprises pay more interest
Manav Mander/TNS

Ludhiana, April 15
The medium and small enterprises (MSE) sector is one of the vital cogs in Punjab’s wheels of progress and the mainstay of the state’s economy, next only to agriculture, and contributes significantly to the generation of revenue and employment avenues.

The biggest problem being faced by MSEs in Punjab is the high rate of interest

being charged by banks while large industrial houses get loans at lower rate of interest.

A majority of Punjab’s industry is in the micro, small and medium sectors, but it still has to pay a higher rate of interest on loans as the cash credit limit for working capital is not adequate.

Avtar Singh, general secretary of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), said banks were charging between 12 and 15 per cent interest on loans to MSEs and 9 per cent to textile mills.

“Desired efforts should be made to remove this anomaly. Though the cash credit limit should be 20 per cent of the projected sale figures of the project approved, banks in general are not willing to grant this facility to MSEs,” he said.

“There is an urgent need to provide adequate credit at cheaper rate of interest to MSEs, marginalised under the existing institutional mechanism,” said Upkar Singh, joint secretary of CICU.

“Banks should offer a special scheme for cluster development, which will help promote the industrial growth trajectory in the state,” he suggested.

“The lead bank in each district should set up a facilitation desk at each district common service centre, which can provide financial advisory services to MSEs,” he added.

Only on paper

Banks not implementing the following credit schemes recommended by the RBI for the benefit of MSEs:

  • Grant of collateral-free loans up to Rs 10 lakh to all units
  • Grant of collateral-free loans up to Rs 100 lakh to units under CGITMSE scheme



Cool weather boosts milk output, keeps prices down
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Those who feared prices of milk would soon catch up with those of petrol prices can now heave a sigh of relief - the relatively cooler weather this month has led to a spurt in milk production.

With the maximum temperature in the city hovering way below 36.4 degrees Celsius, the normal for this time of the year, the weather is said be “apt” for flora and fauna, said scientists at the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University (GADVASU). According to varsity officials cows and buffalos are producing more milk due to the pleasant weather conditions.

Said Dr ML Mehra, in charge of dairy farming at GADVASU: "We’ve conducted a survey and the results were astonishing. The reports showed buffalos have produced 600 grams more milk this month as compared to the same period last year, while cows on an average produced 300 grams of extra milk”.

According to Mehra, the reason behind the higher milk output could be attributed to the better quality of animal fodder. "Due to the pleasant weather the fodder is still green and hasn’t dried yet, which is also helping in increasing milk production”, he added.

“Usually, with the heat rising in April the first fortnight of the month sees a sharp decline in milk output, but this hasn’t been the case this time. I believe the good weather will keep a check on milk prices going up,” Mehra stated.

Last year saw a particularly early start to summer with day temperatures in April averaging about 40.4 degrees C.

“The reason behind the below normal temperatures this month was the persistent activity of western disturbances”, said a weather expert at Panjab Agricultural University.



Family ‘kidnaps’ minor girl
Marriage proposal was turned down
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 15
In a strange but interesting incident, that can seem like a scene from a movie, a girl was allegedly kidnapped by the family of a boy which wanted them to marry.

When the family of the girl rejected the offer of boy’s family, the boy, along with his family and some others, reached the girl’s house yesterday.

They allegedly kidnapped the girl after giving her grandparents some poisonous substance, following which they fell unconscious. As per information, the incident took place at Kular village.

In his complaint to the police, Tehal Singh of Kular, grandfather of the girl, stated that Gurjinder Singh of Dehraka village, near Jagraon, came to his house, along with his father Sukhdev Singh and mother Jaswinder Kaur, some days back.

According to Tehal Singh, the family of Gurjinder Singh asked him to marry his minor granddaughter to their son, but when he refused, they started threatening him.

Tehal Singh alleged that yesterday, Gurjinder Singh, along with his parents and some others, came to his house and gave him and his wife some poisonous substance. He added that they fell unconscious, after which they kidnapped his granddaughter.

Chaunkiman police post in charge Mohhmad Jamil said the police had registered a case against Gurjinder Singh, Sukhdev Singh and Jaswinder Kaur under Sections 363, 366, 328, 506 and 120-B of the IPC and an investigation was on.



Remarks against martyrs
Members of Sukhdev Trust go on hunger strike
Sukhdev's kin term it a political gimmick
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 15
Hurt and disgusted over objectionable remarks in the Congress mouthpiece - Sandesh about martyrs Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, the functionaries of Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust took to an indefinite hunger strike in Naughara locality in the old city here today.

However, Bharat Bhushan Thapar, a nephew of martyr Sukhdev, termed the protest as uncalled for and an "over-reaction". He said certain persons were making attempts to gain cheap publicity and draw political mileage in the name of the martyrs, perhaps with their eyes on the coming Assembly elections.

Ashok Thapar and Sandeep Thapar, president and secretary respectively of the Trust, had served an ultimatum to the Indian National Congress on Wednesday to tender an unconditional apology to the nation within 48 hours failing, which they would resort to an indefinite hunger strike at the ancestral house of Sukhdev Thapar in Naughara here.

"In the absence of any response from the Congress party, we are left with no other alternative but to launch the protest," the Trust functionaries stated while commencing their fast. Ashok Thapar claimed that there was a sense of outrage among the public over the manner in which the Congress had shown utter disrespect to the great martyrs, and as if it was not enough, the party was now coming forward to regret its action.

The protesting functionaries of the Trust further claimed that their move had received an overwhelming support from various social, religious, political parties and groups in the city as almost everyone was feeling hurt for showing the martyrs in bad light. "Our indefinite fast will continue till the Congress expresses regret over its remarks and tenders an apology to the nation," they added.

Senior deputy mayor and a BJP leader Parveen Bansal, who visited the spot where the Trust functionaries were sitting on hunger strike to express solidarity with them, said that the entire nation was shocked and outraged at the objectionable remarks against the martyrs in the Congress mouthpiece. "The Congress owes an apology to the nation for showing disrespect to the martyrs."



Attracting NRI students
International students' hostel at PAU inaugurated
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
As professional colleges across the state are doing every bit to lure international students, the Paunjab Agricultural University (PAU) has also joined the bandwagon and opened a state- of- the- art hostel to attract aspiring foreign scientist who want to peruse studies in PAU. Punjab Agriculture Minister Sucha Singh Langah today inaugurated the international students hostel at PAU.

Speaking on this occasion, Langah said that PAU had changed agriculture not only in Punjab, but also in the whole country. During pre-partition and post-partition, the country was faced with a shortage of foodgrains and good seeds. It was difficult to have two square meals a day. Thanks to the research carried out by PAU scientists, the nation has become self-sufficient in food grains production, the minister said.

Lauding the efforts of Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, he stated that under his leadership, the university had scaled new heights in academic, research and extension programmes. The international students hostel was a necessity, as PAU had become the first preference of the students for education, he said.

In his presidential remarks, Kang recalled his own days at PAU and stated, "It is a good facility for the international students. With the coming up of the hostel, the students would find their stay comfortable and fruitful."Dr Kang divulged that more than Rs 20 lakh have been spent on the hostel and more funds were needed for its furnishing.

Dr PPS Lubana, estate officer-cum-dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, PAU, welcoming the chief guest, presiding officer and other dignitaries, said that it was a historic moment for the university. Modeled on the pattern of Land Grant Universities in USA, he added that students of PAU had worked very hard to bring laurels to their alma-mater in the international arena.

Dr Ramandeep Singh, hostel warden, International Students' Hostel, PAU, proposed the vote of thanks. Present on the occasion were registrar, comptroller, deans, directors and faculty of PAU.



Trendy ‘n’ cool: Bag-full to school!
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
The new academic session has begun and school campuses are abuzz with talk about who has got the best, the trendiest and the coolest school accessories.

Every school-going kid worth his salt is vying for attention with his latest acquisition, that also happens to be his claim to fame among peers, be it the BEN 10 strolley bag, Dora pencil case, Barbie water bottle or Spiderman tiffin box.

Needless to say, chic school accessories are the latest big thing on kids’ minds. “Look at my beautiful bag. It has BEN 10 on it,” Ankur, a seven-year-old squeals happily, pointing at the image of an angry BEN 10 squirting coin-like-things out of his watch.

His classmate Pushkar, too, is a BEN 10 fan. The child’s entire school collection boasts of BEN 10s, school bag, water bottle, pencil case, tiffin box and little green raincoat. The angry kid BEN 10 has also found a place of pride on Pushkar’s pencils, erasers, sharpeners, crayons and notebook covers.

Just like BEN 10 and Spiderman, Ninja, Jheenga, Pokemon and Shin Chan are the other popular cartoon characters that have found their way onto school accessories. While these action-oriented cartoon characters are a hit among boys, girls prefer Dora and Hannah Montana. Barbie, too, remains the first love of many girls, as do other Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Winnie-the-Pooh.

“Last session, my mom promised to buy me my favourite school stuff if I come among the first three toppers of the class. I kept my promise and she kept hers,” exclaims 10-year-old Anahita. The little girl proudly flaunts her Dora the Explorer school bag, the Barbie water can and Winnie the Pooh pencil case.

Another young school-goer, Shraddha, is smitten by Barbie. One can see her affinity and great love for Barbie in her pink strolley school bag, water bottle, pencil pouch and lunch box. The Barbie even stares at the little girl from amid curtains in her room.

The craze is not only limited to tweens and teenagers. Even pre-schoolers and primary students have their own favourites when it comes to choosing the ‘right’ school items. Not surprisingly, Scooby Doo, Popeye, Fred Flintstone, Bob the Builder and Noddy are the hot favourites of this category of children and can be found on almost everything that a child needs at school.

The great cartoon character fixation has the parents in a fix as their children’s never-ending demands for the latest in the market makes them loosen their purse strings too often. “My six-year-old son Kishley wants to be the coolest kid in town and for that, he needs to have all the latest Pogo and Cartoon Network characters in his school bag, quite literally,” avers Sangam Mitra, a housewife.

She adds that every few days, her son comes up with a new demand. “Just because one of his friends at school has brought a new water bottle, he wants a similar one too, no matter how ‘new’ his own bottle is,” Mitra rues.

Another mother, Mamta, confirms that school-going children today are highly trend conscious and would not settle for anything but the latest. “My daughter is always telling me about the new things her classmates bought recently. Though I indulge her with goodies, I feel that there is a need to draw a line somewhere and make the child understand that fashion accessories are not the only incentive to do well at school,” she says.

Unlike Mamta, Animesh feels that it is good to be in tune with the times. "Moreover, school accessories are the only trendy stuff that children can indulge in at this age. If the parents can afford, it is not at all a bad idea to let the kids have all the fun with BEN 10 bags, Barbie geometry pouches and Shin Chan tiffins,” says the father of two school-going children.



Dhillon out to woo voters
Inaugurates mini bypass of Bet Area
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, April 15
Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, chairman, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, along with chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, and Santa Singh Umedpuri, chairman, SS Board Punjab, recently inaugurated the road from Ludhiana to Tajpur to Dhanasu, also known as the mini bypass to the backward area of Bet.

The road has been upgraded under Nabard-XVI programme of the Punjab government. This is the only road of Ludhiana District, which has been upgraded under Nabard-XVI programme. The total length of the road is 8.33 km and it has been widened to 5.50m as opposed to the earlier one of 3m. A total of Rs 3.73 crore has been spent on this road.

Punjab public works department has completed the project in four-and-half month. This road was in bad condition from the past several years. Residents of the area had been demanding about the widening of this road since long.

This road was approved in November 2010, and the work was started in December last.

Dhillon said only those parties and leaders, who have development agenda as their top priority will survive in the future. He praised the engineers for constructing the road on time. He said more roads would be constructed in this financial year.

Earlier, Dhillon also held Sangat Darshan in three villages of Sahnewal constituency. At Jandiali village, he gave a cheque worth Rs 10 lakh and announced Rs 11 lakh for providing urinals to the poor.

He said a case regarding the cleaning of the village pond had been sent to the authorities concerned for approval. Similarly, at Ramgarh village he gave a cheque of Rs 5 lakh for various developmental works. He also gave a cheque of Rs 7 lakh for development works in Sahibana village.

Chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, urged the people to vote for Sharanjit Singh Dhillon in the coming elections. He also said the way Dhillon had launched a developmental drive in and around the town, he deserves to be voted.

Santa Singh Umedpuri, chairman SS Board Punjab, said the government was doing its best to uplift the living standards of the Poor. Schemes such as Shagun Scheme, Old age Pension Subsidised Atta-Dal Scheme had been initiated during the Akali regime.



Club to help smokers quit
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 15
Identifying smoking as a major factor behind tuberculosis and heart diseases, the Rotary Club has drafted a programme to help smokers quit the habit.

Efforts will also be made to help the administration implement the Supreme Court of India orders of banning smoking at public places.

A large number of patients of lung and heart diseases, including tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer, approached various social organisations to seek financial help for their treatment.

In the proposed de-addiction programme, light smokers will be persuaded to shun the habit gradually through motivational programmes, while chain smokers will be given nicotine therapy. Heavy smokers who would be willing to enter the programme would be given medicine containing nicotine dose, which would be reduced slowly.



Changing scenario of mgmt discussed
Our Correspondent

Doraha, April 15
“Management Summit-2011” was organised to deliberate on the emerging management paradigms by students of the Doraha College of Education and Doraha Institute of Management and Technology, Doraha, recently.

The programme was inaugurated by Sukhpal Singh, chairman, Doraha Group of Institutes. Japvir Singh, director Doraha Group of Institutes; Dr Sandeep Sawhney, principal Doraha College of Education; Supreet Kaur, coordinator, Doraha Institute of Management and Technology; faculty and students of MBA and BBA were present during the summit.

Dr Sandeep Sawhney was the guest of honour.

Dr RK Lekhi highlighted the changing scenario of management globally.

He said in today’s dynamic work place, a manager was a valuable asset to an organisation. He must be effective, interpersonal and communicative with employees.

Ashu Sharma, a BEd student from Doraha College of Education, highlighted the benefits of e-commerce.

She said e-commerce was a part of e-business that was related to buying and selling of goods and services through the Internet.

Vaneet Kaur and Pardeep Kaur, both students of MBA, stressed on the role of women managers in organisations. Present scenario in India is that IT companies employ 20-25 per cent women, while BPOs employ over 50 per cent.



Spreading awareness on health
Our Correspondent

Samrala, April 15
The Hope Society for Health and Humanity organised its annual health samagam to make people aware about health.

Society president, Dr Hardeep Shahi apprised the people about health problems and cautioned them to take care of health in right manner.

He appealed to the people to join health movement as it is the need of the hour and health problems are increasing day by day.

MLA Jagjivan Singh Khirnia also announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh to the society. A social activist, Shiv Ram Dhir also announced to give Rs 50,000 to the society for this welfare cause.



Course on keyhole surgery

Ludhiana, April 15
The Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) witnessed a flurry of activity as minimal access surgeons from across the country gathered for a skill course of the Association of Minimal Access Surgeons of India here yesterday.

Lectures were delivered and advanced laparoscopic surgical procedures demonstrated in a video presentation. The conference was attended by over 200 delegates and 25 faculty members. Surgeons watched with anticipation as procedures were performed.

“This course has not been held in this part of the country before and has been received with more warmth and excitement than we anticipated,” said Dr Navneet Kumar Chaudhry, course convener, professor and head of surgery.

“Laparoscopic or keyhole surgery has always been in the forefront of my practice. I am delighted to have the privilege of convening the course this year and am sure that all those involved will benefit greatly from the experience,” he added. — TNS



Experts to dwell on pest management
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
The department of entomology, PAU, in collaboration with the Indian Society for Advancement of Insect Science will organise the congress on insect science from April 18 to 20.

The congress will focus on the theme “Pest management for food security and environment health”, said Dr AK Dhawan, head, department of entomology and organising secretary of the congress.

He added that the congress would see participation of project coordinators from National Agricultural Research Centres (ICAR), heads of entomology departments and entomologists from 20 agricultural universities and national agricultural research institutes, along with professionals from pesticide, bio-pesticide and seed industries from across the country.

Dr Dhawan said the congress would also have participation of Dr S Ayyappan, director general, ICAR; Dr Gurbachan Singh, agricultural commissioner, Government of India; and Dr GS Kalkat, chairman, Punjab State Farmers Commission.

“The climate change was threatening useful arthropods, especially pollinators and natural enemies of pests. On the other hand, many new pests like mealy bugs, cereal aphids and leafhoppers were emerging in the agro ecosystem,” said Dr Dhawan, adding that deliberations at the congress would help in formulation of strategies for preserving useful insects and for eco-friendly management of nefarious pests.

He disclosed that the three-day congress would have technical sessions on insect biodiversity, novel approaches in pest management, information technology and IPM (integrated pest management), ecological basis of pest management, environment health and public-private partnership.

In addition, experts will deliberate on cost effective technologies for combating agricultural pest problems for the benefit of farming community and nation.



PAU Notes

Prospectus for courses

Ludhiana: The aspirants want to take admission in different courses of PAU can avail the prospectus from the Sale Counter of Centre for Communication and International Linkages. The last date for the courses for which the admission can be taken through entrance test is May 12 and for the courses in which no entrance test is required, last date is June 20. With late fee of Rs 1,000, the applications will be received after one week of mentioned dates. PAU additional director of communication, Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, informed that these forms were available from the sale counter by paying Rs 1,100 whereas by post these prospectus could be availed by paying Rs 1,170. The aspirants can also download the application form by paying the prescribed amount for different courses. Business manager of the centre Vishal Khullar informed that these forms would be available between 9 am and 5pm on the sale counter even during the gazetted holidays, and Saturdays except Sundays.

French delegation visit

An eighteen-member delegation of the French Chambers of Agriculture (APCA) visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today and held a meeting with the Vice Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang. Speaking on the occasion, Kang highlighted the contribution of PAU in heralding the green revolution, thereby making the country food surplus. Acquainting the delegation with the research, extension and transfer of technology programs of the university, he added that PAU has been imparting education in different branches of study particularly agriculture, basic sciences, home science and agricultural engineering and technology.The food security of the country depends on Punjab for it contributes 60 per cent of wheat and 40 per cent of rice to the nations' kitty. Agriculture, in India, is the means of livelihood and PAU experts, from time to time, update the farmers' knowledge by equipping them with information about the new innovations, farm techniques, technologies and the latest advancements made in the field of agriculture, he said. International partnerships in the field of agriculture always benefit farmers, he said. The visiting delegation led by Guy Vasseur, chairman, APCA, said that their visit aimed at developing linkages with PAU for agricultural research. India was an agriculture-based country and PAU had played a pivotal role in wiping out food deficiency, he said.The agriculture (farming population 3.1 percent) makes up for a large part of the French economy's workforce, added Vasseur and disclosed that besides the focus on sustainable, profitable, liveable, dependable, adaptable, renewable agriculture, the emphasis was on food security and agricultural productivity. Wondering how PAU and farmers were having close equation with each other, the delegation members evinced keen interest in knowing about water conservation technologies, soil health, green house gases, academic programmes of PAU and other activities pertaining to agriculture. Dr SS Gosal, director of research, PAU, highlighting the research activities, revealed that 800 scientists were working at the university. PAU has released 694 crop varieties and hybrids till date, he said and added that the scientists had worked on 95 crops. The university had carved a special niche for itself in the mushroom production and bee keeping by introducing Italian honey bee "Apis mellifera" in Punjab and developing technologies in honey production, extraction and processing. He disclosed that at present, the major emphasis was on conservation agriculture, value added and food processing. Dr MS Gill, director of extension education, PAU, said that the university conducted field trials of different crops at different stages and after the success of trials; the technology was transferred to the farmers. For vegetables and fruits, PAU is recommending drip irrigation. Farmers, in lakhs visit PAU and are imparted training in agriculture and its allied sectors. The subject matter specialists at PAU Plant Health Clinic provide technical guidance to the farming community.



From Colleges

Seminar on research in electronics engineering

Ludhiana:A seminar on recent advances and future challenges in electronics and electrical engineering was held at Ludhiana Group of Colleges (LGC), Chaukimann, Ferozepur Road, Ludhiana.Prof MS Seekree, former head, department of computer science and electrical engineering of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, was the key note speaker on the occasion. He enlightened the participants and engineering students about recent advances in the field of electronics and electrical engineering in India and abroad. Apart from students of electronics and communication engineering, the event was attended by the students of mechanical, computer science, civil and electrical engineering also.He emphasised that application of nanotechnology in the development of efficient materials will go a long way to reduce the size of various electronic devices.The conservation of electric energy in industrial, agricultural and domestic sector as one unit of electricity saved is equivalent to cost of 1.25 units produced, he asserted.

The engineerg students interacted with the delegates regarding further scope of research and development in this field. In his valedictory remarks, Rajeev Gulati, general secretary, LGC, encouraged the participants and the students to work whole heartedly for the development of indigenous technology and reduce dependence on foreign countries for the purpose.



School Notes

Tips in time management

An orientation programme for class XI students was organised by B.C.M Senior Secondary School Chandigarh Road, Ludhiana. Principal DP Guleria was spellbound by the oratory skills of the students. He discussed various distractions of students at this age and suggested the ways to overcome them. While giving various tips for "time management", he told the students to keep a goal in their mind and put strenuous efforts to achieve that goal. Acharya Anand Purusharthi enlightened the students to do their worldly tasks while performing their spiritual duties as well.

8 DAV students bring laurals

Keeping the tradition of academic excellence alive eight students of DAV Public School, B.R.S. Nagar, Ludhiana, brought laurels to the school by clearing pre-liminary round of CBSE PMT 2011. The test was conducted by CBSE on April 3 in which 17 students of the school appeared. Out of them, eight students came out with flying colours and made the school proud. The students are Mehnaz, Jasmine, Gurnoor, Drishti, Samridhi, Nitika, Dipan and Amiksha. The principal of the school, RS Patial, congratulated the students and their parents on their commendable achievement.

Orientation programme

Building Bridges - An Orientation Programme for the parents of class VI students was organised in Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines. More than 400 parents were present to join in the programme.

This orientation programme aimed to bridge the gaps between the primary and middle and pre adolescents to adolescents. Sonia Verma, listed 4-power capsules which empowered the parents to cope with the changes listed above. She also highlighted the expectations from the parents of class VI. Nidhi Sidhu, the school counsellor apprised the parents of the physical, emotional and psychological changes that they would come across whereas Parvinder Kaur spoke about the academic changes and the requirements of the CCE. Since it is a change of sections for students, class teachers and subject coordinators were introduced. Navita Puri, principal, in her address exhorted the parents to be with the school in taking it to the top. She also said that when both set of parents i.e. at home and school joined hands, no one could stop the child from scaling heights. She appreciated the efforts of in charge Sonia Verma and her team for putting up a good programme. The parents were also appreciative of the orientation and stated that they felt empowered.

Baisakhi celebrated

Students and staff of Little VIP's Pre-school, Chandigarh road, celebrated Baisakhion Friday on the school premises.Students exchanged dried wheat stalks, that is a symbol of sunshine and happiness. children were dressedup in beautiful bhangra attires and they danced on the Punjabi beats. aThey relished jalebis offered on the occasion.

Art mela

More than 100 students turned up to take part in the Second Art Mela and Open Competition organised by the Deepti Institute of Fine Arts in association with Fevicryle-hobby Ideas on Friday. The competition had three catrgories - class II to class IV, class V to VII and class VIII to X. Interestingly, the students from class V upwards were given different topics, themes to showcase their talent in drawing and painting. As students tend to violate traffic rules thereby putting their precious lives as risk the topic of "road safety" was given to make the young minds aware of its importance.Gagan and Vivek from Fevicryl distributed participation certificates among the participating students. While Radhika Jaitwani, acclaimed artist from the city, adjudged the skills of students. She opined that such competition would encourage the students to do well in such arts.



Anchal, Nazia clinch gold
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, April 15
Anchal of Delhi clinched the gold medal in the 100m race (B-I) in the women’s section during the 7th National Sports for the Blind being held at Guru Nanak Stadium. Priti and Shilki, both of Ludhiana, were second and third, respectively.

Priti Lakra and Tara Kumari, both of Jharkhand, bagged the first two positions in the 100m (B-I) in under-16 category. Nazia of Ludhiana finished third in this event.

Dalip Kumar (Delhi) and Satnam Singh (Ludhiana) secured top positions in the 200m race in under-16 and under-12 age groups (B-II), respectively.

Harpreet Singh of Faridkot and Divyanshu of Dehradun bagged silver and bronze, respectively, in the under-16 age group.

Suraj of Faridkot and Parkash of Delhi finished second and third, respectively, in the under-12 age group in 200m race.

Nazia, Punam and Shruti of Ludhiana secured first, second and third positions in long jump (under-16).

Satnam Singh of Ludhiana (B-III, under-12), threw 5.23 metres to clinch gold. He was followed by Bittu (3.12 m) and Bhagwan Dass (3.08 m), both of Faridkot.

Raj Kumar of Shimla threw 5.11 metres to clinch gold (B-II, under-12) in shot put. Rehan and Dinesh, both of Chandigarh, followed him on second and third positions by throwing 4.22m and 3.67m, respectively.

Satwinder Kaur, Gurwinder Kaur and Kamaldeep Kaur of Ludhiana clinched positions in 200m race in the women’s section (B-II category).



Vision impairment no bar for him
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, April 15
Kudos to the confidence and professionalism of this visually impaired athlete. He has sacrificed everything for the sake of sports. He has dedicated his life to sports.

Balwinder Singh, an international-level athlete from Machhiwara, has become a role model for other visually impaired athletes taking part in the National Sports for the Blind at Guru Nanak Stadium here.

An employee with the Punjab health department, Balwinder has represented the country in the Beijing Olympics. He also took part in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games in 2006.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Balwinder said, “Despite my family insisting on it, I have decided not to get married. I focus on sports and promote it among the visually impared people.”

Balwinder claimed that his family, particularly his elder brother Gurpreet Singh, had always supported him. “I have always received full support from my brother, who is my pillar of strength,” he said.

He said, “I have suffered a lot. Now I am going to support the people who are special, just like me. I will motivate the visually impared towards sports and support them to stand on their own feet.”

“I am very lucky to have a secure job. There are numerous others who are denied even the basic necessities of life. I will fight for their rights. I find sports the only perfect field to make our present felt,” he said.

Balwinder was also the president of the Punjab Blind Sports Association. “I have numerous plans in my mind for the upgrade of sports and the uplift of visualy impaired sportspersons,” he said.

Reacting to Balwinder’s determination, his brother Gurpreet said he would support him in every field and on every decision. “He has brought laurels to the family. After being influenced by his achievements, my daughter has begun participating in sports events.”

Gurpreet urged the state government as well as the Centre to provide grants for visually impaired sportspersons. “These people are contributing in a major way to sports,” he said.



She needs a grant to compete abroad
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, April 15
Harmanpreet Kaur (16), an international-level visually impared athlete, will meet Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal tomorrow to request him for a financial grant to take part in the World Youth Games for Visually Impaired, to be held in the US this June.

An optimistic Harmanpreet, talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, hopes that the Chief Minister will agree to facilitate her. “The state government had ignored my requests of financial support two years ago. A request was given to the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner. He forwarded to SDM Payal, who forwarded it to Chandigarh, but to no avail,” she said.

“After trying hard to get a grant, but failing to do so, my father decided to take a loan to bear air travel expenses, that was around Rs 1.25 lakh. But he cannot afford my journey this time,” said Harmanpreet, disappointment writ large on her face.

“I was convinced that the state government would help me as it honoured me with the state award for my outstanding achivements in the international championship,” she said. A class XII student, she resided at Chhraudi village, near Machhiwara.

A contingent of 11 persons, including eight athletes, took part in the championship in 2009. She was the only athlete from Punjab and had secured a gold medal in shot put and a bronze medal in 100 metres.



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