L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Headless body of man recovered from plot
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Identification Marks

  • “SK” tattooed on left arm
  • “Pyar ek dhokha hai” tattooed on the right arm
  • Right hand nails coloured
  • Victim was in his mid-30s

Ludhiana, April 18
In a gruesome incident, the police recovered the headless body of a man in his mid-30s from a vacant plot at Sandhu Nagar near International Public School, Jassian road, here today. The police searched for the head throughout the day in vain.

As per information, a passerby Jaspal Singh spotted the body in the morning. He immediately informed the police. The police and forensic experts reached the spot and took the body into their custody for further examination.

The SHO of Salem Tabri, Gurdev Singh, said the man had been brutally murdered and the killers had probably taken the head along with them. “The murder is first of its kind in which the killers took away the head to make identification difficult. We have been searching for the head in the entire area. But our efforts have been in vain. Most of the clothes of the deceased had also been removed. We have not recovered anything from the spot,” he said.

After examining the body with a magnifying glass, the police noticed that the letters “SK” had been tattooed on the right arm of the deceased while the left arm bore “pyar ek dhoka hai” which had been cut with a sharp-edged weapon

“The tattoos are not recent. The killers slit his throat,” he said, adding that the nails of the right hand of the deceased were coloured. “It seems that the victim was either working in a dyeing unit or was a dyer,” said Gurdev Singh.

A case under Section 302 and 201, IPC, had been registered.


42-yr-old man murdered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
The Ladhowal police today found the body of 42-year-old Jaswinder Singh on the main road here today. He was murdered by unidentified persons last night. The in charge of the Ladowal police station, Kulwant Singh, said a passerby informed the police after he spotted the body.

“The victim was a resident of Noorwala road. According to his wife Harpal Kaur, he left home on his motorbike in search of some work at around 4 pm last evening. When he did not return till late, she got worried and contacted other family members and friends. Since his name was on the missing person list, we asked her to identify the body,” said Kulwant Singh.

He said no injury marks were found on the body. “The victim may have been given some poisonous substance with a view of robbing him. His motorcycle could not be traced,” he said.



Village youth launch war against addictive drugs
Train guns on quack; health officials yet to take action
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

‘Allegations Baseless’

“I have not given any wrong medicine to anyone in the village. I have been practising medicine for the last 15 years. The allegation that I am dispensing habit-forming drugs to youths is false. I give medicines that are safe and permitted under the law. I will show my credentials to the Senior Medical Officer (SMO) in Sahnewal tomorrow,” doctor Jasmel Singh said.

Habit-forming drugs

Schedule-H drugs are being sold without prescription and in violation of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The drug control authorities can cancel the licences of such chemists. It is also a violation of the NDPS Act. But a large number of retail chemists are selling habit-forming drugs over the counter.

No action against offenders

Unlicensed wholesale counters operating in Pindi street (the wholesale market of medicines) are selling schedule-H drugs openly. Narcotic substances worth crores of rupees are sold without proper sale or purchase records. Despite the recovery of such drugs, unlicensed godowns continue to function.

Ludhiana, April 18
A group of young men from Lalton Kalan village have kicked off a campaign against the sale of habit-forming prescription drugs and other medicines by lodging a formal complaint against a quack for dispensing such drugs to village youngsters. They alleged the self-styled doctor had caused the death of two migrant labourers by administering them wrong medicines.

Harkomal Singh, an NRI living in Spain, along with his associates Parminder Singh, Narwinder Singh and Aman Brar (all residents of Lalton Kalan) filed a written complaint to the district health & family welfare department against the quack, Jasmel Singh Gill, who despite not having any recognized medical degree runs the "Gill clinic" in the village.

However, health officials have yet to take any action on the complaint against the quack.

Harkomal and his associates claimed a team of health officials visited the quack on Monday but, instead of filing a case against him, they returned without checking his credentials.

"It was shocking as the quack convinced the senior health officials who gave him two days’ time to produce his degree and registration. The officials were trying to safeguard the interests of the self-styled doctor, who doesn’t even possess a matriculate certificate. The quack is already responsible for the deaths of two people and is endangering the lives of other villagers”, said Harkomal.

Said Parminder: “Gill has been openly selling cough syrups, tablets and injections including Phensedyl and Corex (both cough syrups), Lomotil (antidiarrheal drug), Parvon Spas (analgesic and antispasmodic drug), Diazepam (anxiety-relieving and muscle-relaxing drug), Fortwin injections and morphine. Even though he doesn’t have a pharmacy certificate, a must for dispensing medicines, he has stored them in his home cum clinic”.



Traders still unable to claim VAT refund benefit
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
Although the excise & taxation department recently issued a notification stating traders can get 75 per cent of VAT refunds up to Rs 1 crore on the basis of monthly returns against indemnity bonds, the department has yet to provide any details about the proforma to be submitted in this regard.

Although the notification was issued last month traders have not been able to avail of the benefit since they are clueless about the proforma to be filed with the department.

Trade and industry's hopes to get timely VAT refunds appear to have once again been dashed. This is the time for submitting returns and traders were hopeful to get 75 per cent of VAT refunds at the earliest but, in the absence of guidelines, they have not be able to do so.

Commenting on the issue, Jatinder Khurana, a tax professional, said: “Though April 30 is the last date for filing VAT returns, till date no instructions regarding submission of indemnity bonds have been issued. The excise & taxation department’s announcement on VAT refunds had come as a relief to traders whose hopes to get timely refunds were raised. But now this won’t be possible since they are in the dark about the proforma to be submitted along with the return form”.

Said Jaswinder, a local trader: "For the past few years industrialists haven’t been getting VAT refunds in time due to unavailability of ‘C’ and ‘H’ forms. We thought the problem would be resolved now as we’d get 75 per cent of VAT refunds on submission of indemnity bonds. But the excise & taxation department has not issued the proforma and the traders’ woes will continue”.

"We’re facing problems in conducting our business as a huge amount of money is lying with the excise & taxation department. It seems the announcement will remain an illusion as nothing has been done so far to turn it into reality. The traders’ hopes to get VAT refunds on time will remain a distant dream”, lamented another trader.



School kids take to bhajan to beat stress
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
If you think bhajan and kirtan is for the old, think again. The city’s GenNext has taken to devotional singing with aplomb. They are attending special classes, learning kirtan and “path”, and perform in groups, besides playing classical instruments like harmonium and tabla.

Devotional and spiritual singing has caught the fancy of youngsters in such a way that children as young as four are also keen to learn kirtan.

Jasmeen Gill, a class VIII student of Guru Nanak Public School, learns devotional music twice a week along with friends. “I love singing and doing kirtan. It is an extremely powerful medium which relaxes the mind, body and spirit. After every session, I feel refreshed and energised as if I have been purged of all anxieties,” says 13-year-old Jasmeen.

Her friend Gurman Singh, a student of Sacred Heart Convent, also loves to attend classes for devotional music. “Singing bhajan and kirtan give me an inexplicable sense of peace. It is an awesome experience that cannot be explained in words,” she says.

Harleen Kaur, a student of Class VIII, also goes for music class where she learns devotional singing and plays musical instruments like harmonium, mrudanga, satranji and tanpura. “Devotional music is so powerful and energising. It gives me a sense of security and stability,” she avers.

“One may get bored of an Enrique number or a Bollywood song, but devotional music is like soul energy. It’s a song from the heart, which unlocks the love within. The chants on classical instruments are also very innovative,” she says adding that the music class has students drawn from all across the city and include many as young as four years old.

The trend has caught up in such a big way that besides devotional workshops and concerts, many individuals and musicians in the city have started giving lessons in spiritual and devotional music.

Keeping in mind the younger generation’s fast-changing concept of spirituality, spiritual organisations and individuals aim at “purifying the conscience” through music and chants.

“Revival of devotional music through children is a great idea. The children will ensure that the music goes a long way and far beyond geographical borders. And at the same time, the music will help them evolve into better humans,” says Parminder Kaur, who runs a devotional music class. Another music teacher Harpal Kaur says: “The best thing about devotional music is that the soul gets going, the body gets refreshed and the musician in the child stays alive forever.”

“Parents, too, are encouraging their wards. This keeps the child’s mind pure and peaceful and stimulates their physical, mental and spiritual development,” the teachers say.



PSEB examiners get a meagre Rs 5 per copy!
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, April 18
The apathetic attitude of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) on recompensing its examiners has them fretting and fuming. The board pays as little as Rs 5 per copy to its examiners to check answer sheets of board examinations.

On the other hand, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) pays over double the amount to its examiners for the same task. CBSE examiners draw Rs 12 per copy for checking answer sheets of Class 10 students and Rs 16 per copy in the case of Class 12 sheets.

Teachers whose services are engaged by the board for checking answer sheets have been demanding their remuneration be brought at least at par with that given to CBSE examiners.

Requesting anonymity, a teacher rued the Punjab board was still paying Rs 4 per copy to examiners. “I’m glad the amount has been raised by Re 1 from the current session. Till last year it was only Rs 3 per answer sheet. I’m not satisfied with the amount we’re paid for the job, which comes with a high degree of responsibility. The board should increase the remuneration to encourage teachers to do a good and fair job”, he said.

He even hinted many teachers had even been using “unfair means to make a quick buck”.

A former teacher voiced similar concerns. “Marking answer sheets isn’t an easy task. The board should raise the remuneration,” he added.

Most of the teachers and checkers have been appointed by the board itself. Those selected get an official letter from the board and have to report to the coordinator of the examination centre concerned, who is authorized to add more teachers or checkers from government and aided schools, if required, in order to meet the deadline. A copy checker gets one bundle that contains 250 answer copies and has to complete the target within 12 days.

All checkers have to get their copies checked by the head examiner (having at least ten to 15 years of experience) of the subject concerned. The head examiner can randomly select ten copies for checking and, if required, guide the teacher about the board rules and regulations to be kept in view while marking the answer sheets.

In Ludhiana the Board has formed four headquarters; including Ramgarhia Government Senior Secondary School for Boys and Malwa Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Model Gram, for Class XII, and Government Senior Secondary School for Boys, Jawahar Nagar Camp, and Government School, Village Kalakh, Dehlon, for distributing the bundles of answer books to the checkers/ teachers.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Mehma Singh, deputy coordinator at the Government Senior Secondary School for Boys, Jawahar Nagar, described the checking procedure of the board answer sheets. "We have about 90 checkers/teachers for checking six subjects answer copies - 15 checkers for each subject. The checking spell started on March 31 while we are all set to return our first installment. I have around 4,000 copies of various subjects."

Mehma said the head examiners had been deputed according to the examination subject. "We have Sadhu Singh from Government Senior Secondary School, Chakh Kalan appointed as head examiner of Mathematics subject. Vivek Kumar of Dayol Public School is head examiner of Hindi. Darshana Manchanda of Christian Senior Secondary School, Brown Road and Major Singh of Jawahar Nagar School are head examiners of social studies. Jai Gopal Goyal of PS Khalsa Senior Secondary School, head examiner of Punjabi and Sukhash Kumar is head examiner of English," he added.

Vivek Kumar, head examiner of Hindi, said about ten teachers are on duty for checking the Hindi subject answer sheets, while, Major Singh, head examiner of social studies, said he had 18 bundles of answers sheets, each containing 250 copies. "I have 18 bundles as well as 18 teachers for checking the answer copies”, said Major.



Clampdown on ‘Sunday car bazaar’
Dealers resort to protest, hunger strike
Our Correspondent

‘Traffic chaos claim unfounded’

The car bazaar operates only on Sundays when all other offices, banks and commercial establishments in the market are closed. The traffic chaos witnessed on week days inside as well as all around Feroze Gandhi Market is an ample proof of that.

— Used car dealers

Ludhiana, April 18
After the police and district administration prevented the operation of “Sunday car bazaar” (sale-purchase of used cars) in the Feroze Gandhi Market yesterday following the directions of Punjab and Haryana High Court, the used car dealers held an angry protest and resorted to chain hunger strike against what they termed as highhandedness of the administration.

While a five-member batch of the Ludhiana Car Dealers Association — Sandeep Makkar, Balwant Singh, Vijay Sharma, Amit Sharma and Jatinder Pal Singh Laddu — commenced a chain hunger strike, other car dealers held a rally to slam the district authorities, the civic body and the police for throwing them out of work on the basis of HC directions, which they claimed, were applicable to only eight shops.

“There are some 45 used car dealers in this market and the HC orders were issued specifically in respect of eight shops whereas the authorities have decided to close the entire operations of ‘Sunday car bazaar’ in an arbitrary manner,” alleged Suresh Sharma, president of the association.

The protesters asserted that the plea of the district administration and police that the car bazaar was obstructing the flow of traffic did not hold water. “The car bazaar operates only on Sundays when all other offices, banks and commercial establishments in the market are closed. The traffic chaos witnessed on week days inside as well as all around Feroze Gandhi Market is an ample proof that the allegation is baseless and far from being true,” they maintained.

The car dealers attributed traffic jams and disruption in flow of traffic to unregulated building activity in the upmarket commercial complex.

“Owners of several commercial complexes in the market have constructed high-rise buildings far beyond the approved building plan in connivance with corrupt officials of the municipal corporation. And the result is there for every one to see. If the market is choked with vehicles and flow of traffic remains obstructed, it is absolutely unjust to blame the car bazaar for this menace.”

Thrown out of work by the administration, the dealers vowed to continue their protest till justice was dispensed to them. They also kept the option of taking legal recourse open against the arbitrary action of the authorities.



CM’s ‘sangat darshan’ tomorrow
Sore residents hope for a miracle
Mahesh Sharma

Raekot, April 18
Accusing the successive state governments of ignoring their demands, residents of localities falling under the Raikot Assembly constituency are looking forward to the Chief Minister’s scheduled sangat darshan at Bassian, near here, on Wednesday.

Hoping the Chief Minister will announce the opening of some government professional institutes for providing employment avenues for youth, area residents, irrespective of their political allegiance, want widening and strengthening of roads, adequate drinking water supply and sewerage system and expansion of existing grain markets.

Lamenting that work on certain projects started during the Congress regime has been interrupted by the SAD government, some Congress leaders have demanded the finishing of the incomplete projects before starting new ventures.

Residents of villages are upset over the alleged indifference of the successive governments towards providing expertise and skill required for employment to the youth.

Youths of the area have to go to far-off areas to get professional training and pursue other courses. The administration has also failed to check exploitation of innocent villagers at the hands of organisers of certain private groups of educational institutes.

Bawa Singh, a resident of Jhordan villages, rues that the successive governments have done nothing to enable rural and poor youths earn their livelihood. While large industries and professional institutes have opened in small hamlets of other regions, no such institute has opened in the area, he says.

Recollecting that the segment has been electing legislator supported by the party in the Opposition in the state, residents regret that the development of the area has suffered due to disparity in loyalties of the legislator and the government.

“Contrary to the situation in other parts of the state where each locality has a separate tank for storing drinking water, residents of at least three villages receive supply from one tank only,” says Nirmal Singh of Accharwal.

Recollecting that Parkash Singh Badal had announced to establish a separate ministry for generating employment for the youth during Assembly elections, Dr Gurtej Singh has urged local SAD leaders to remind the Chief Minister of his promise.

Residents rue that similar treatment was meted out to them during the Congress regime.

Acknowledging that the then Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had also announced to send extra grants for the development of the region, residents allege that demands to expand grain markets and construction of news roads remain unfulfilled.

Residents say the government should get pending projects completed before announcing new ventures in the area.



SAD-BJP govt has ‘betrayed’ electorate
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 18
Charging the SAD-BJP government with betraying the people by failing to fulfil any of its pol promises, Congress’ former district president Krishan Kumar Bawa has said people of the state are feeling cheated at the hands of the coalition government.

Addressing a meeting as part of party’s ongoing mass mobilisation drive in Gobind Nagar under the Atam Nagar Assembly segment here last evening, he claimed that farmers, members of trade and industry, government employees, workers, shopkeepers and the youth were feeling frustrated at the anti-people policies of the government.

“The industry is in the process of migrating to other neighbouring states, the so-called pro-farmer government is not prepared to pay Rs 50 per quintal bonus on wheat to farmers over and above a similar amount of bonus announced by the Centre, the agitating employees — even women — are being thrashed by the police or goons of Akali leaders,” Bawa said.

On the work done by Member of Parliament Manish Tewari, he asserted that Tewari had given a new direction to the industrial capital of the state during the past two years.

Darshan Kaur, wife of prominent freedom fighter Harnam Singh Panchhi, was felicitated at the meeting.



Remarks against martyrs
More support for Sukhdev’s kin as Cong remains mum
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 18
As the indefinite hunger strike by the functionaries of the Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust at the ancestral house of the martyr in Naughara locality here continued for the fourth day today, widespread support came from various quarters to the move in response to objectionable remarks about the martyrs — Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru — in the mouthpiece of the Congress.

Even as a few city-based Congress leaders visited the fasting activists, albeit in their individual capacity, the party failed to respond in any manner to the demand for a public apology for showing disrespect to the martyrs.

Former Congress minister Harnam Das Johar and former parliamentary secretary Surinder Dawar, who have represented Ludhiana West and Ludhiana East Assembly segments, respectively, met Ashok Thapar and Sandeep Thapar, president and secretary of the Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust, to lend their individual support to the protest.

Both assured of taking up the matter with senior leaders of the party soon.

From the BJP, Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly Sat Pal Gosain came forward to express solidarity with the protesting kin of the martyr.

Criticising the Congress for showing the martyrs in bad light, he asserted that the party ought to regret its action and tender an unconditional apology to the nation.

Earlier, Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal visited the ancestral house of the martyr and lent his support to the protest. Undaunted by the blind eye given by the Congress to the protest, both Ashok Thapar and Sandeep Thapar maintained that their hunger strike would continue till the erring party relented and apologised for its action, which had created a sense of outrage among people. “We are determined to carry on with our protest. If there is no positive response from the Congress in the next couple of days, we shall be forced to shift our protest to Parliament in New Delhi,” they announced.



Central excise supdts facing stagnation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
Around 12,000 superintendents of central excise are suffering from prolonged stagnation, financial degradation due to pay erosion and social humiliation in officio- social hierarchy due to irresponsive attitude of the Central Board of Excise and Customs, said AK Sharma, president of the All-India Association of Central Excise Gazetted Executive Officers (Chandigarh zone, comprising Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Chandigarh).

He said most superintendents who had joined as inspector of central excise were retiring from the post after only one promotion in their service of 33- 35 years in comparison to IRS officers and ministerial staff in the same department of CBEC who got four to five promotions.

In the CBDT, under the same ministry, officers recruited as inspectors were retiring after five promotions, which went up to the level of additional commissioner. Three officers had already been promoted as commissioners and 17 were on the verge of promotion to the same rank, he added.

Sharma added that these issues were raised earlier too and a peaceful protest was held at Jantar Mantar in November, 2009. A memorandum to this effect was given to finance minster Pranab Mukerjee.

Boota Singh, general secretary of the association, said the All-India Association of Inspectors had joined hands with them on the issue and would be present in the “Shantigoshthi” to be held at Jantar Mantar on April 34.



Too much liquor claims man’s life
Our Correspondent

Mahinder Kumar Jagraon, April 18
A middle-aged man died, reportedly of excessive consumption of liquor, here last evening. He was identified as 42-year-old Mahinder Kumar. According to his family, he left his house along with others in the afternoon to attend a festival at a ‘dargah’ at Kaunke village nearby.

The persons brought him to his house in an unconscious state in the evening and told his family that he had consumed excessive liquor.

They left the house, saying he would be alright after some time. When he did not wake up after a long time, Mahinder’s family noticed that he was not even sighing.

After this, they called a doctor, who after a check-up, told the family that he was dead. The police arrived at the house and started investigations.

The police did not register a case in this regard. When contacted, SHO Inderjit Singh said they did not take action as the family did not want any action to be taken.

“As the family of the deceased were sure that Mahinder died of excessive drinking and there was no other reason behind his death, they did not want the police to take any action,” he said.

“They gave a statement that they did not want any action against anyone and so, we did not register a case. The family even refused to get a post-mortem examination conducted,” he added.

Hailing from Gurgavan village in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh, Mahinder had been living here for the past more than 15 years.

He had been living in rented accommodation at Hargobindpura mohalla on the tehsil road here. He was survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.

The family of the deceased, along with persons from villages near his native village, took the body to Mahinder’s village for the last rites this afternoon.



Lung cancer patient needs monetary aid
Tribune News Service

Rajinder Kumar Ludhiana, April 18
A lung cancer patient, 37-year old Rajinder Kumar needs financial support. He was diagnosed with the disease in 2009. Rajinder started undergoing treatment at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here, but could not afford the treatment, which included chemotherapy.

Following an appeal made by doctors, a pharmaceutical company supported his treatment for almost a year.

After 2010, Rajinder had been facing difficulty in procuring life-saving drugs, including injections and tablets worth Rs 40,000 per month.

“I have lost my job and cannot support my family. The cost of treatment is too high. I have exhausted all finances,” he rued.

“I am not bothered about my life. It is the survival of my daughter, son and wife that concerns me. I want to get better for my children,” he added.

Rajinder was undergoing treatment at the SPS Apollo Hospital. Dr Amit K Dhiman, oncologist at the hospital, appealed to people to help him.



English teaching in govt schools
Stress on use of innovative methods
Our Correspondent

British Council’s pilot project

A pilot project by the British Council has been adapted by the education department, Punjab, under “Punjab English Enhancement Programme (PEEP)” and is aimed at promoting English language through textbooks and making teachers better “communicators” in spoken English

Ludhiana, April 18
Teachers must use innovative methods to teach English in government schools and make efforts for the overall improvement in the standards of education in Punjab, said Sneh Lata Saini, principal, Government In-Service Training Centre (GISTC), here.

She was addressing a gathering of English teachers from government schools of Jalandhar and Ludhiana during a five-day “Teacher Development programme” being organised by the British Council in association with the education department, Punjab, under the Rashtriya Madhmik Sikhya Abhiyan (RMSA) today.

District education officer (DEO) Harbhajan Ram urged teachers to implement the latest trends of education in government schools and advised them to be more educationally-interactive with students so as to help them understand the hard topics of the subject in a better way.

Aparajita Bharadwaj, training consultant, British Council, and chief resource person, said: “Communicative English, micro-teaching, classroom management would be taught during the training programme.”

Dr Davinder Singh Chhina, lecturer, GISTC, said the pilot project by the British Council had been adapted by the education department, Punjab, under “Punjab English Enhancement Programme (PEEP)” and its aim would be to promote English through textbooks and make teachers better “communicators” in spoken English.

Pradeep Kumar Kapoor, lecturer GISTC, asked teachers to make the best use of the project and termed it a boon for English teachers of the state.

Jasbir Kaur, senior lecturer, GISTC, and Ashish Kumar, district project coordinator, RMSA, also spoke.



PAU offers new course for class-XII passouts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
PAU has started a new course for class XII (science) pass-outs in the disciplines of basic sciences. According to dean, college of basic sciences & humanities, PAU, Dr RS Sidhu five-year integrated MSc (Hons) in chemistry has been started in the university from this academic year.

Class-XII pass-outs in medical and non-medical streams with minimum 50 per cent marks would be eligible for the course, he said.

Under the programme, students will have the option to leave the programme after the successful completion of three years and earn BSc degree.

“Yet, a student who gets admission directly to the MSc (Hons) programme does not have to compete again for seeking admission to the programme,” said Dr Sidhu, adding that the PAU had also started similar MSc (Hons) five-year integrated courses in the disciplines of microbiology, biochemistry, botany and zoology last year for which, class XII medical and non-medical students got admissions.

After the successful completion of these programmes, students can seek employment in pharmaceutical, agro-chemical, food processing industries, fermentation industries, hospitals and clinical laboratories, biotech industries and research and teaching organisations, claimed Dr Sidhu.

The last date for applying to these courses is May 12.



Conference on pest mgmt kicks off at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
The Third Congress on Insect Science, organised by the department of entomology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), in association with the Indian Society for the Advancement of Insect Science (ISAIS), began on the university campus today.

The national conference on “Pest management for food security and environment health” saw the participation of scientists from research centres, state agricultural universities and agrochemical industries.

Inaugurating the three-day congress, chief guest PAU VC Dr Manjit Singh Kang said: “Insect pests caused 5 per cent losses in wheat, 25-30 per cent in cereals, 10-20 per cent in pulses, 15-30 per cent in oilseeds, 20 per cent in sugarcane and 50 per cent in cotton in the country. In Punjab, the losses were even higher.

Dr Kang expressed concern over the food security and environment health. He emphasised the need for developing economical and environmentally benign pest management technologies.

Guests of honour Dr RD Shroff from Mumbai and Dr C Devakumar, assistant director general, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), hailed the contributions of the PAU in making the country food-surplus.

Keeping in view the burgeoning population, Dr Shroff said India had witnessed an unprecedented growth in industry but failed to produce the desired results in agriculture.

Dr Devakumar, in his remarks, said science had become sophisticated. Bemoaning the information gap between the experts and the farmers, he said the ICAR had started video-conferencing facility for the timely dissemination of scientific knowledge.

Special guest Dr Herbert J Thompson, president, Olds’ College, Alberta, Canada, appreciated the pro-agricultural and pro-farmer policies of the university.

Appreciating the research, extension and academic programmes of the PAU, Dr Thompson said the contribution of the university to the nation’s food buffer was enormous.



CIPHET to support soya entrepreneur association
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
To ensure quality soya milk and products, soya products manufacturers have come out with United Soya Entrepreneur Association (USEA), Punjab. The association will get technical assistance from the CIPHET and its director will act as patron.

Owner of the BK Soya Products Bachittar Singh, who was nominated president after the meeting of soya products manufacturers at Alamgir Sahib, said they would hold regular interaction with CIPHET scientists to bring about improvement in their products.

“All members of the association have taken oath not to use any chemical or adulterant in soya products,” he said, adding that so far 28 manufacturers had joined their association. “We expect that more manufacturers would join the association soon.”

Appreciating the formation of the association, CIPHET director Dr RT Patil said the move would go a long way in promoting soya products and providing quality products to consumers.

Saying that they would support the formation of any such associations in the post-harvest sector, he assured of providing technical and institutional support to the USEA.



IMA lecture on MSMEs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
The Ludhiana Management Association will organise a lecture on “Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in India”. Susheel Kumar Sehgal, chief general manager, State Bank of India, Chandigarh, will be the speaker. VK Goyal, president, Ludhiana Management Association, Dr KNS Kang, general secretary LMA, industrialist of the city will also be present.

Dr Kang said India had a vibrant micro and small enterprise sector that played an important role in sustaining the economic growth by contributing 39 per cent to the manufacturing output and almost one-third to exports.

He said the sector was second largest employer of human resource after agriculture, providing employment to 30 million people in rural and urban areas of the country.

The sector also helped in encouraging entrepreneurship among the business houses.

Most entrepreneurs started their business as small units and with innovative ideas and professional excellence made these small units into large business houses, said Dr Kang.

Goyal said the government was encouraging the sector through policies of infrastructure development, technology upgrade, preferential access to credit and reservation of products for exclusive manufacturing in the sector.

He said the city was a hub of MSMEs and a great learning ground for members and industrialists.



Investiture ceremony at Sacred Heart
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, April 18
Sacred Heart Convent School, Sahnewal, organised its investiture ceremony on the commencement of the new academic session today. Director Daniel Gill was the chief guest and presided over the function. He gave badges to the members of the council.

Pawandeep Singh of class X was elected the head boy and Komalpreet Kaur of class X was elected the head girl. Jaskaran and Nivedita of class IX were elected vice-presidents.

Rupinder Kaur and Abhinav Kaushal were elected president and vice-president, respectively, of Red House, Ashneet Kaur and Rajpreet of Green House, Simranjit Singh and Rajvir Singh of Yellow House and Shakti Dev and Harmanjot Singh of Blue House.

The oath was administered by former head boy of the school. The student representatives took oath of honesty in carrying out their duties. They vowed to be fair in their leadership.

The director in his address urged the students to be enterprising, optimistic and enthusiastic and prove to be befitting role models for juniors.

He honoured the representatives with sashes and badges. Flags of the four houses were handed over to the respective captains. The school flag was handed over to the head boy and head girl.

School principal Sister Pavitra and vice-principal Sister Enrose welcomed the newcomers.

They advised the students to take the responsibilities given to them seriously and be role models for other students.



Punjabi book released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
Ujagar Singh Kanwal’s latest Punjabi book “Rutaan de Parchave”, which is dedicated to his wife, was released at Centre for Immigrant Literature Studies, under the aegis of Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College and Gujranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Vocational Studies, here today.

The function was presided over by Dr SP Singh, former Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. Dr Surjit Pattar, Prof Gurbhajan Singh Gill, Dr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, Dr Manjit Paul Kaur, Swarnjit Singh, Dr Charanjit Kaur, Tejpratap Singh Sidhu attended the function.

Dr SP Singh highlighted a few of the writer’s achievements.

He said Kanwal’s writing had a unique descriptive style and every page reflected the emotions and approach of the writer.



‘Kismat’ is here
Our Correspondent

Amloh, April 18
We should not force our desire about the career of our children contrary to their aptitude so that we can extract the best out of their talent. This was stated by Bollywood singer Labh Singh Janjua during a function to mark the release of the Punjabi film ‘Kismat’ here on Saturday.

Appreciating the theme of the film, Janjua said it provided recreation as well as a lesson to the youth to desist from drug addiction.

The story depicted the problems of the common man; living in a village, no vocational guidance for students, lack of stadiums and healthcare.



from schools

‘Spellathon’ for kids

Ludhiana: To improve vocabulary and word skills of students in English language, a “spellathon” competition was organised at Guru Nanak Punjab School, Birmi. Rounds like spell the word, jumbled word, “antakshri”, opposites, fill in the blanks to frame a word were held for students of classes III and IV. The winners were honoured by principal DK Khanna. She applauded their efforts and exhorted them to read and learn at least 10 new words daily. This would enhance their vocabulary, she added.

Manveerpal Singh of class III and Sanimar Singh of class IV clinched first positions, while Bhavneet Kaur class III and Sukhmanpreet Kaur (class IVth) secured second positions.

Jasmeet Kaur of class III and Amarjeet Singh of class IV finished third in the competition, respectively.

Fancy dress contest

To usher in the new session, the kindergarten and primary sections of Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, organised a fancy dress competition for classes LKG to II.

The function was presided over by Principal Navita Puri, primary section in-charge Annu Sehra and KG section in-charge Ranjana Dhanda.

The theme for KG students was “People who help us”, while that for primary students was “My favourite character”.

Seema Sood and Roop Ranjan Dharni from the higher section of the school adjudicated the competition.

Results: LKG: 1 Vanika Jain, 2 Kritika Jain, 3 Sahira; UKG: 1 Kaavish Babbar, 2 Aanya Chauhan and Japjot Singh, 3 Agam Gupta and Mridul Singhania; class I: 1 Manasvi Singh, 2 Kuber Krishna, 3 Samridh Sharma; class II: 1 Tanish Jain, 2 Lally Kaura, 3 Prapti Arora.



Owner of hotel alleges bid on life by waiter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
The owner of the Batra Hotel here, Ashok Batra, has alleged that one of the waiters at hotel tried to give him an electric shock last night while he was sleeping in a hotel room, claiming that it was a conspiracy against him by his rivals.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Batra stated that since the renovation of the hotel was going on, he had been staying at the hotel for the past several months.

He said a waiter at the hotel, Ajay Kumar, entered his room around 1 am and tried to give him an electric shock by using an iron rod. Batra added that when he raised the alarm, the waiter fled, leaving the rod behind.

“It is a conspiracy against me. I had scolded and warned him while he was caught in a compromising situation with a female housekeeping employee,” he said.

“At the behest of someone, the waiter tried to kill me, but I was saved. I have informed the police about the incident and the truth will come out after police investigations,” he added.

Sandeep Wadhera, the SHO concerned, said the police had received the complaint. “Batra has levelled allegations that a waiter tried to kill him. The waiter has not been traced yet,” he said.

“We cannot register an FIR merely on the basis of allegations. We are working on several theories. We have also been told that there was some property dispute in the family and Batra used to stay at the hotel,” he added.



Stenographer commits suicide

Ludhiana, April 18
Thirtyfive-year-old Swaran Singh, a stenographer at the district development and panchayat office, committed suicide at his residence. The postmortem was conducted yesterday, followed by his cremation.

It is learnt that Swaran Singh was taking treatment for depression. Baldev Singh, president of the employees’ union at the Deputy Commissioner’s office, claimed that the victim was under depression which was aggravated due to his previous posting. “The SDM had marked an inquiry against Swaran Singh and it added to his depression,” he stated.

“Officials fail to empathise with subordinate employees and the kind of work pressure they are subjected to during office hours,” he said.

The union convened a meeting at the DC’s office today and demanded the transfer of the SDM(W). — TNS



Punjab emerge overall champs in karate
Our Correspondent

Girls in action during the championship
Girls in action during the championship. Tribune photographs

Ludhiana, April 18
Punjab clinched the overall title in the All-India Ahihara Karate Championship that concluded at Balmiki Bhawan, Chandigarh road, last evening. Delhi and Bihar followed Punjab in second and third positions, respectively.

Somya Dogra and Arvinder Singh of Punjab got first and second positions, respectively, in the sub-junior boys’ section.

Avkash Rana, Jappandeep and Lovekaran of Punjab clinched the first, second and third positions, respectively, in the 22 to 25-kg weight category.

Upinder Gautam and Harshit Rana bagged gold and silver medals, respectively, in the 25 to 28 kg weight category. Anil Shah of Bihar followed them in the third position.

In 28 to 30 kg weight category, Sachin of Bihar and Arun of West Bengal bagged gold and silver medals.

Results: Boys’ section: 30 to 33 kg: 1 Arashpreet, 2 Kartik Mahajan, 3 Sajan; 33 to 36 kg: 1 Manpreet, 2 Gurleen, 3 Rishabh; 36 to 39 kg: 1 Naveen, 2 Anuj Mehta, 3 Lovepreet; 39 to 42 kg: Tejpal, 2 Ashish, 3 Jujhar Singh.

Girls’ section: 40 to 45 kg: 1 Dimple, 2 Vandana, 3 Amritpreet; 45 to 50 kg: 1 Dozi, 2 Disha, 3 Sonia; 50 to 55 kg: 1 Lakshmi, 2 Sunita, 3 Paramneet; 55 to 60 kg: 1 Aarti, 2 Urmila, 3 Rajbir.



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