L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Fire incident at CMCH
No one hurt; short-circuit the reason
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
A tragedy was averted when a minor fire incident took place in Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here this afternoon.

The reason behind the fire incident was a short-circuit in the electricity panels located on the fifth floor of the hospital building.

After the hospital authorities came to know about the incident, the entire corridor was vacated and the situation was brought under control within 20 minutes. Even the Fire Brigade’s fire tender, which had reached the spot, was not used.

Aishley, general superintendent, CMCH, said around 2 pm, there was a minor fire incident on the fifth floor of the hospital building. “After we came to know about the incident, our fire department officials were rushed to the spot and with the help of our own fire-fighting arrangements, the fire was brought under control within 20 minutes. As a back-up, we had also called the Fire Brigade, which reached the hospital on time. But as it was a minor fire incident and we had controlled it ourselves, we did not avail the services of the Fire Brigade,” he said.

Kartar Singh, assistant divisional fire officer with the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, said that one fire tender was rushed to the spot. “By the time our vehicle reached the spot, the hospital authorities had doused the flames. Moreover, it was a minor fire incident and that is why, they managed to control it themselves.”


Info panel order to MC
Locate missing file of Zone D building
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
The State Information Commission (SIC) has directed the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to locate the missing file related to the construction of the Zone D building of the MC in Sarabha Nagar, which is allegedly an encroachment on a green belt, by January 31.

The SIC has also ordered that if the MC officials fail to recover this file, an FIR should be registered with the police department, a copy of which should be submitted with to them on January 31, which is the next date of hearing.

A city resident, Kuldeep Singh Khaira, had filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act on May 30, for seeking details about the said file, in reply to which the civic body had stated that it was “missing”.

In July, the then MC commissioner AK Sinha had instructed officials to locate the file within 10 days, failing which a first information report (FIR) would be filed with the police against those responsible for the lapse. But till date, the MC has not been able to locate the file.

Khaira then approached the State Information Commission and the State Information Commissioner BC Thakur, ordered, “Dharam Singh, Superintending Engineer, appearing on behalf of the respondent, states that information running into 342 pages has been supplied to the appellant other than relating to the missing file. The appellant states that the information supplied to him is still incomplete.

Accordingly, the PIO is directed to make more efforts to trace the missing file and provide the remaining information to the appellant before the next date of hearing. He is also directed to be present in person on the next date of hearing along with a copy of the information so supplied to the appellant. In case the missing file is not traceable, the PIO is directed to file an FIR with the police and bring a copy of the same on the next date of hearing,” read the order.

Building details sought

In his application, Khaira had asked about the MC's zone D office building, including plot number, name of the building, name of the owner, date and number of sanction of site plan and certificate, total area covered, number of basements, permissible height of the building, minimum parking area, name, address and class of registered architect/building designer to occupy building in pursuant of section 272 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1976.

In reply to this application, the APIO (D), Bridges and Roads, MC, on June 28, sent a reply to Khaira, which reads, “In this connection, it is stated that the information asked for cannot be supplied under Section 2(j) of the RTI Act, 2005, as the same is not available in the record of the MC Ludhiana. The maximum period of preservation of the information was three years under Municipal Account Code. If you are aggrieved against the above decision, you are advised to file appeal to the Commissioner Municipal Corporation Ludhiana within 30 days of the receipt of this communication. The Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, is the first Appellate Authority.”



MC night shelters: Few avail the facility
Reason: Low awareness; shelters located far from homeless
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service
Homeless sleep on a footpath near Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana
(Above) Homeless sleep on a footpath near Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana; (below) People sleep in a night shelter opposite the Zone A office of MC at Ludhiana on Tuesday night. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, December 21
With the city in the grip of cold weather, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is making arrangements so that people can save themselves from chilly winds. For this purpose, the MC has made arrangements for bonfire at four different places in the city. For bonfire, the MC is using tree stumps, which don’t take time to burn away and can be used to keeping people warm throughout the day.

Even two temporary night shelters have been set up by the MC, but these shelters are serving no purpose, as very few people are availing of this facility. MC officials say the main reason behind this is that very few people know about these shelters. Besides, these are far from those places, where most of the homeless live.

Arrangements for bonfire have been made near Cheema Chowk, Bus Stand, Clock Tower and near Durga Mata Mandir.

“We have deputed the MC Landscaping Officer Surinder Kumar to make sure there is no shortage of wood at these four places. Instead of wooden logs, we are using tree stumps, as these take time to burn away and can be used throughout the day,” said MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi.

The two night shelters have been set up in the Fire Brigade building opposite Manju Cinema and in the scooter parking lot opposite the Zone A building of the MC in Mata Rani Chowk here. At both these night shelters, the MC has made sleeping arrangement for 50 people each, but MC officials say not many people are availing of this facility.

A visit to the night shelter near the Zone A office revealed that five persons were using it. One of them was a traveler, who had missed the last bus to his village near Jagraon, while the other four were homeless.

“I came to the city for some work, but got late. So I missed the last bus going to my village and that is why decided to spend the night here. I could have gone to Jagraon, but for reaching my village, I need to take another bus, which I could not have got late in the night. To my surprise, the MC has made good arrangement and even the bedding is clean,” said the middle-aged person, who did not wish to be identified.

It is also seen that most of the homeless prefer to stay near religious places, where they get food, blankets and other items in the form of alms by city residents. That is why, the homeless prefer to stay near such religious places, than shifting to a night shelter, where they would not get anything to eat.

Ironically, hundreds of homeless can be seen sleeping anytime of the year near a temple near Jagraon Bridge here. Ironically, the divider of Jagraon Bridge is used by the homeless for sleeping, even during the chilly winter season.

“Both our night shelters are not very far from this place and people can easily avail of this facility,” said Jaggi. But when asked why the temporary night shelter cannot be constructed on the green belt near this temple, Jaggi said, “As per the Supreme Court directions, we cannot use the green belt for this purpose.”

Keeping them warm

The MC has made arrangements of bonfire at four places in the city. For bonfire, the MC is using tree stumps, which don’t take time to burn and can be used to keep people warm throughout the day



EPF money siphoned off; resident cries foul
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
In a possible lead hinting towards mass-scale embezzlement in the employees provident fund (EPF), a city resident alleged that Rs 15,947 was siphoned off from his EPF account and credited into a fake account.

Abhishek Narang, a resident of Harnam Singh Nagar, near Model Gram, was shocked when he received this response to his query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

"The EPF authorities stated that I have already settled the EPF and withdrawn Rs 15,947 through two cheques. But the two cheques were never credited into my account," claimed Abhishek, while showing the details of his bank account.

Abhishek believes that he is amongst hundreds of residents who have been duped of their hard-earned money.

"The surfacing of Rs 7-crore EPF scam has further strengthened my suspicion that I am amongst many residents who has lost their money," said Abhishek.

A computer technician, he was working for the DOEACC Society that handles the data entry operations of the electricity department.

"I worked in the organisation from 2006 to 2008, after that I left the job. For nearly a year, I was shuttling from one office to another to withdraw my EPF amount, but to no avail. Recently, I filed and RTI to check my EPF status and that was when I came to know about the embezzlement," said Abhishek.

While levelling allegations against the EPF authorities, he said,

"I suspect a foul play, the EPF amount was directly credited into my colleagues’ account, but in my case, the EPF money was not directly credited. Instead, it was shown that the payment has been made through two cheques," he said.

Abhishek has demanded a high-level probe into the case of embezzlement.

Regional Director PPS Maingi said the case of Abhishek Narang falls in the Chandigarh region and the Ludhiana regional has no link with the matter.

Rs 7-cr EPF scam

The local EPF office was recently rocked by a scam of ~7 crore. A team from Delhi also raided the EPF regional office in this connection and even checked the record of the State Bank of India. Four persons Kulwinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Ram Singh and Jasbir Singh were booked. The accused are to be arrested.



Kite ‘looting’ poses danger to kids
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
As the year comes to an end, many schoolchildren try to relax themselves by flying kites after appearing in exams. Some fly kites, while many run after after the ones that have got detached from their strings.

It has been observed that just for the sake of a few rupees, children risk their lives and run after the cut-off kites without caring for the traffic on the roads. They aim to “loot” the kite and the kite string. Holding long wooden sticks in hands, such children keep wandering from one street to another just to collect maximum kites and kite strings.

Some children also love to play by tying stone with kite string (gaati) and become an easy prey to accidents. It was on November 9 when an eight-year-old boy Badaami got seriously injured after getting shock from high-tension wires passing over his house in the New Kundan Puri. He was playing by tying a stone with a kite string (gaati) while standing on the top of his house. Suddenly, he got shock from a nearby passing high-tension wires and received 98% burns and was rushed to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital in a critical condition.

Dr Sanjeev Uppal, professor and head of plastic surgery, Department of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, says, "Kite-flying, no doubt, gives happiness to children as well as to youngsters, but one should not risk life for the sake of a kite.


Do's and Dont's

  • Children should fly kites under the supervision of elders
  • Don't use iron rod for catching a kite/string that has got detached
  • Don't fly kites near electricity wires or high-tension wires
  • Don't keep a burning lamp in the kite as it may lead to a fire accident



Kites in myriad shapes, sizes set to soar
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

 Kites with Bollywood, Bhojpuri stars are quite popular amongst children. Kites carrying message of in support for activist Anna Hazare
(Centre) Kites with Bollywood, Bhojpuri stars are quite popular amongst children. Kites carrying message of in support for activist Anna Hazare.

Ludhiana, December 21
Munni, Sheela, Harry Potter, 3 Idiots, Yamla Pagla Deewana, Desi Boyz, Anna Hazare and even fish are set to take to the skies. For, kites of all shapes and sizes are ready to throw a riot of colour and excitement in the air.

Shops in many city areas, including Field Ganj, Ghumar Mandi, Dandi Swami Chowk, are embellished with colourful kites these days.

This time of the year is popular with residents for flying kites, as the days are bright, breezy and sunny.

“The nip in the air coupled with the cozy sun makes it an ideal time to spend outdoor,” says Navneet Luthra, a high school student.

Kites of myriad shapes, sizes, colours and varieties unfold a spectacle of creativity and imagination.

The rhombus of the yesteryear seems to have taken the shape of an eagle now, apart from elongated, heart-shaped and other irregular rhombus kites.

Besides paper kites, Chinese kites made of cloth are also available. These come in the shape of an eagle, owl, butterfly and fish.

“There are snake kites as well with long frilly tails,” says Happy, who runs a shop near Dandi Swami Chowk.

“Kites with pictures of Bollywood actors are quite popular with kids this year,” he adds.

There is something nostalgic and contemporary about kite-flying. While some parts of the city continue to revel in the soaring delights, the aerial play seems to be conspicuously absent in the skies of the “elite” landscape.

“What do these children engrossed with modern-day gadgets know about the joy of flying kites,” he says. “Those who don’t know and do not relate to kite-flying really miss out on all the fun. This is a less expensive hobby,” says Harvinder Singh, a businessman.

“The zeal with which a kite flies in the air is unmatched. There is something magical about a piece of paper or cloth rising so high up in the air,” he says.

The prices of kites range from Rs 5 to Rs 200. A six-foot kite covering 30 sq feet costs around Rs 150. The prices of strings range from Rs 100 to Rs 200 per 1,000 metre.

“Kites symbolise the essence of life. As long as you are connected to the roots, you will continue to rise. The moment you lose the contact, your fall is inevitable,” he says.



Assembly poll on horizon
Officials advised against taking leave
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
Gearing up for the coming Assembly elections, which are expected to be held in the second week of February, officials in all departments, especially District administration, have been given instructions not to seek station leaves. Since all preparations have to be made before the elections, officials have been asked not to ask for station leaves in December and January.

As the year comes to an end, residents are all prepared to make the "best-plans" to welcome 2012, but it will be the officials, who will not be allowed to leave the station. A meeting in this regard was held at Chandigarh recently in which all Deputy Commissioners were asked not to grant leaves to their officials without the approval of higher-ups at Chandigarh.

An official with the District Administration, on condition of anonymity, said he had to attend a family function at Delhi in the end of December but he was not being allowed to take leave for more than two days. "It is a family get-together, but I cannot afford to spend more than two days. My family will stay back in Delhi, while I will come back after attending the function," said the official.

Many said December was the month when every official preferred to avail their casual leaves, else these would lapse."I have to avail seven casual leaves in December but there are standing instructions by the state Electoral Officer that no one can avail the station leaves. In the end of the year, family wants to spend quality time with me, but due to elections, I have asked them to make their own New Year plans," complained the official.

A senior official with the Municipal Corporation (MC) said though there were no written orders in this regard, officials put on election duties had been asked not to take too many leaves. "Almost all government structures will be involved in election duties and officials will not be allowed to take leaves unnecessarily," said the official.

Year-end plans go awry

December was the month when every official preferred to avail their casual leaves, else these would lapse.I have to avail seven casual leaves in December, but there are standing instructions by the state Electoral Officer that no one can avail station leaves. every year end, my family wants to spend quality time with me. but due to elections this year, I have asked them to make their own New Year plans.

An official



LIT project gets going
Rs 125-cr Atal Apartments to come up on Pakhowal Road
Our Correspondent
An architectural illustration of Atal Apartments, a multi-storey housing project of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, which got under way in Ludhiana on Wednesday
An architectural illustration of Atal Apartments, a multi-storey housing project of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, which got under way in Ludhiana on Wednesday.

Ludhiana, December 21
After several procedural, administrative and legal glitches for almost a decade, a new housing project of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) — the Atal Apartments, named after the former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee — is all set to take shape as the land-cutting ceremony for the multi-storey housing project was performed here today.

In the absence of Punjab Local Bodies Minister Tikshan Sud, who could not make it to the ceremony, trust chairman MM Vyas, along with trustees — Gurinderpal Singh Pappu, Naresh Dhingan, Subhash Bansal, Paramjit Kaur Shivalik, Harbans Lal Fenta and Sunil Moudgil — performed the ceremony after the “bhoomi poojan”.

The project was conceived way back in 1999 when a notification was issued under Section 36 of the Punjab Town Improvement Act, followed by another notification under Section 42 of the Act in November, 2000.

The award (for compensation) was announced in 2002 but due to extended litigation, the LIT could take possession of the land in February, 2009.

In fact, the project practically took off during the tenure of former LIT chairman Ashok Juneja, who took great pains to secure the possession of 8.8 acres in Shaheed Karnail Singh Nagar on the Pakhowal Road with police assistance, sought approval from the state government for change of land use and also named the project after the former Prime Minister of India.

Vyas said the final design of the housing project was finalised after a design competition in which 11 leading architects from different parts of the country participated.

After the selection of the final design, prepared by a Chandigarh-based architect, the final drawings were sent to the Chief Town Planner for approval and soil testing was conducted.

The Rs 125-crore multi-storey housing project envisages two blocks of 11-storey complexes of 234 HIG and an equal number of MIG flats, while a four-storey complex will have 48 LIG flats.

Provisions will also be made for adequate parking spaces, wide roads, open spaces, green belts, a community centre and a shopping complex in the housing project, which will be constructed under the self-financing scheme.

The detailed estimates for the project are being prepared after which tenders for the work will be invited. “The LIT will soon invite applications from the members of public for the HIG, MIG and LIG flats and the allotment will be made by draw of lots,” Vyas added.

Over 500 flats

The multi-storey housing project envisages two blocks of 11-storey complexes of 234 HIG and an equal number of MIG flats, while a four-storey complex will have 48 LIG flats



Pricey furnace oil hurting industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
Furnace oil is widely used as fuel by the industry in Punjab to heat steel. Forging industry, rolling mills and light engineering industries heavily depend on the oil.

However, the price of the oil has soared to the extent that it is having a compounding effect on the price of the end product.

PD Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the furnace oil was the distillate of crude oil, which used to be the cheapest of all distillates.

The price of the oil was now higher than the price of diesel, which was subsidised. The calorific value of diesel was higher than furnace oil and it was a cleaner fuel.

“The industry switches to diesel from furnace oil for industrial heating whenever the price of furnace oil goes higher,” said Sharma.

The domestic furnace oil consumption fell by 6.5 per cent in 2010-11 and during the current year, the fall was around 9 per cent.

The country’s annual furnace oil consumption was 10.87 million ton against 60 million ton of diesel.

In Punjab, the consumption of furnace oil had fallen from 18,000 ton per month to 13,000 ton per month.

In the global market, the price of furnace oil had remained below that of crude oil and much below diesel.

“But now, furnace oil is sold for Rs 56,000 per ton against Rs 49,500 for diesel. Although the economic sense allures industry to use diesel instead of furnace oil but the industry has to make alterations in its system of use,” he added.

He has also written to the petroleum minister about the distortion in the price of furnace oil, which was affecting the industry adversely.

It was unfortunate that diesel was being subsidised heavily by 21 per cent for use in costlier luxury cars.

“The dependents of Punjab industry of furnace oil are very crucial. Many major sectors of the industry in Punjab are mainly dependent on furnace oil and these industries are highly labour intensive. If the industry shifts to diesel instead of furnace oil, it has to bear an extra burden of 2 per cent octroi on diesel. While, the industries outside the octroi limits do not attract the levy,” he said.

Fuel Switch

The price of furnace oil is now higher than that of diesel, which is subsidised. The industry switches to diesel from furnace oil for heating iron ore whenever furnace oil gets costlier



2 top cops transferred
Blue-eyed officer’s shifting cheers Congress
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
In a sudden move, the police department has transferred Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP-III), Joginder Singh Golu, and the ADCP (Traffic), Sajjan Singh Cheema.

While Joginder Singh has been appointed SP (vigilance), Ludhiana, Cheema has been shifted to the PAP, Jalandhar. Kulwinder Singh Thyara will replace Joginder Singh as the ADCP-III.

Joginder Singh’s transfer has come as a shot in the arm for the opposition Congress who have been opposing the plum posting to the officer.

The transfer of Badals’ trusted aide has ruffled many feathers in the SAD. The workers, who were banking on the officer for support during the forthcoming Assembly elections, were left high and dry on receiving the news of Joginder Singh’s transfer.

The police department, while playing down the development, termed these routine transfers.

On the other hand, a section of lawyers is patting its back for imposing pressure on the government, which eventually led to Joginder Singh’s transfer.

Sources said the decision to transfer the officer was taken following inputs that the election commission would crack down on him once the model code of conduct came into effect.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashish Chaudhry said: “The decision on the transfer of officers is taken at the top level. I cannot comment on this.”

Allegations had been rife that Joginder, who was transferred to the city just six months ago, had superceded his colleagues due to his political clout. Joginder’s name was 
also associated with the realty business.

Young Lawyer Forum Against Corruption president Munish Purang and general secretary Malwinder Ghuman claimed that their continuous opposition to post Joginder Singh as ADCP-III in the city had finally borne fruit.

“The forum had met Sukhbir Badal during his recent visit to the city and complained against Joginder Singh for sheltering the land mafia. Sukhbir had assured that he would take necessary action against police officers facing allegations,” said Purang.

Joginder Singh could not be contacted for comments as his phone remained switched off.

Blessing in disguise

Political analysts feel the transfer will prove to be a blessing in disguise for Joginder Singh, as he has been appointed SP (Vigilance), Ludhiana. Congress leaders allege that the SAD has looked after the officer’s interest by not transferring him out of the city.



Institutes puff away Tobacco Act
Seven years on, yet to implement provisions
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 21
Even after seven years of the execution of the Cigarettes and Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003, the administration has failed to get the provisions of the Act implemented by authorities of various educational institutes of the region falling under Sangrur and Ludhiana districts.

Let alone sensitise students against smoking and consumption of tobacco products, these institutes have not bothered to display notices warning traders against the display and sale of these products.

Though a task force has been constituted to prevent commoners from smoking in the open and check the sale of tobacco products in Ludhiana and other cities, little seems to have been done to check the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in the vicinity of educational institutes located in rural areas.

Contrary to the provisions of the Act, most educational institutes have some visible or hidden spot of otherwise banned products.

Perusal of the records reveals that in 2005, the then Deputy Commissioners of Sangrur and Ludhiana had directed the head of all educational institutes falling under their jurisdiction to ensure that cigarettes and other tobacco products were not displayed or sold within the 100-yard radius of their respective institutes.

Though they had asked them to display notice boards on their institutes regarding the ban on the sale of these products soon after, no such board was seen displayed on any of the institute of the area even after six years of the warning.

According to the Act, owner or manager or any person in charge of the affairs of educational institutions should display and exhibit a board at a conspicuous place outside the premises prominently stating that the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products within a radius of 100 yards of the institute was strictly prohibited and that it was an offence punishable with fine up to Rs 200.

A visit to the area revealed that most educational institutes had at least one sale point where cigarettes or other tobacco products were being sold openly and that too to teenagers.

At some institutes, a cigarette vendors were found stationed adjoining the boundary wall but no school or college was found displaying the required board.

Besides flouting the civil rules, these organisations ignored the recommendations of the World Health Organisation also, which urged the member states to resort to legislation and other effective measures for protecting their citizens with special attention to risk groups, like pregnant women and children, from involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke and other harms.

The vendors and shopkeepers selling tobacco products and cigarettes said they were not aware of the consequences of the violation of the law.

They considered a fine of Rs 200 a minor punishment in comparison to the income from their customers who seldom bothered to bargain.

No displays

The then Deputy Commissioners of Sangrur and Ludhiana had directed the head of all educational institutes falling under their jurisdiction to ensure that cigarettes and other tobacco products were not displayed or sold within the 100-yard radius of their respective institutes. But in a sheer violation of these instructions, these institutes have not displayed notices warning traders against the display and sale of these products.



Mixed response to semester system
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, December 21
The semester system, introduced by Panjab University (PU) for postgraduate classes, seems to have received a mixed response from intellectuals, academicians, teachers and students of various colleges affiliated to PU.

An MA (English) first semester student viewed, “If one has to have an in depth understanding of concepts, one semester is too less a time. At the postgraduate level, one concept is closely knitted with the other. Since thoroughness demands time, time is the one thing that is killed in the semester system.”

“It appears as if we are being taught just from the examination point of view. Sometimes our teachers, due to paucity of time, instead of making us go through the text, ask us to depend on a handful of questions for our semester exams. Possessing peripheral knowledge seldom helps one at the postgraduate level. Moreover, the charm of studying and understanding the concepts has been nullified due to the semester system,” opined another student, appearing in MA (philosophy) first semester exams.

While on the other hand, a few students share an entirely different opinion. “This is the best thing the university would have done to reduce stress among students. In the annual mode of examinations, I feel the students remain overburdened, as theories and concepts remain crowded in memory and ultimately form a collage to give no satisfactory results at the end of the year,” shared Jaspreet, appearing in MA (political science) first semester exams.

“As I have just shifted from the annual to semester mode of examination, I feel relieved,” said a student of MCom.

“As everything has its positive and negative aspects, so also is the case with the semester system. For students, it may have come as a relief, but from the administrative point of view, it has definitely added to our problems, especially at this stage when the semester has been introduced at the postgrduate level, but the annual system is still not over for undergraduate classes,” Jasbir Kaur Makkar, principal, SCD Government College, Ludhiana.

“It seems that the semester system has been introduced in a hurry and modalities should have been worked out before introducing it. Till date, candidates with compartment or seeking improvement, are not sure about the syllabus they would be questioned from,” said Harpreet Dua, fellow, PU.



Ludhiana scan

New branch opened

Punjab National Bank (PNB) opened its 92nd branch at Gill village. An ATM has also been provided for the benefit of its customers. Ludhiana circle of PNB has 92 branches with 129 ATMs in the circle consisting Ludhiana and Moga districts.

Harbhajan Mann visits NGO

Punjabi singer and actor Harbhajan Mann visited Aagaz, an NGO centre at Atiana village in Ludhiana on December 19. He interacted with women who are working under the Aagaz Charitable Foundation. The organisation works for the social and economic uplift of women.

Christmas Carnival

Christmas Carnival road show was organised on Wednesday in support of the Red Cross Senior Citizen Home and Red Cross Children Home. Food and gifts were distributed.


Novelist Baldev Singh has been congratulated by Punjabi Sahit Academi for being honoured with the Bhartiya Sahit Academi Award-2011 for his “Dhahan Dilli De Kingre”. He has written many Punjabi novels, including Sadaknama, Lal Batti, Sadkan De Jaye, and story collections like Chidiya Khana, Savere Di Lo.

— Tribune Reporters



60 donate blood to mark NSS camp
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 21
The seven-day NSS camp for girls and boys at Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, commenced here today.

On the inaugural day, a blood donation camp was organised in which a total of 60 NSS, NCC and Youth Club volunteers donated blood.

President Kisan Club, Pavittar Pal Singh Pangali, said, “Nothing can be noble than donating blood. If your blood can save a life, you are the blessed ones.” Programme officials elaborated upon the aims and objectives of the NSS and motivated the volunteers to recognise the dignity of labour. The other activities to be followed in the coming days are cleanliness of the campus, rallies, educating rural population, working towards community service, planting saplings for green environment, spreading moral education through extension lectures and teaching dignity of labour. “Further, mehandi, embroidery, poster making, essay writing and paper-reading contests will also be organised. Various activities like yoga and lectures on general awareness regarding health will be delivered to the volunteers during the camp,” shared the programme officials.



Patient needs financial help

Ludhiana, December 21
Puneet, a 26-year-old city resident, has been undergoing biweekly dialysis at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

According to the doctors, Puneet is suffering from renal failure and has been on dialysis for the past four years. His father Ishwar Chander is also bed-ridden with chronic arthritis. The family has exhausted all financial resources on Puneet’s treatment. On family’s behalf, the hospital authorities have appealed to philanthropists to extend monetary help to the patient. The help can be sent through a cheque/draft in favour of “Dayanand Medical College & Hospital” with “Treatment for Puneet” and CR No. 89816 written overleaf. — TNS



At the crossroads
When mind discovers inner self

Even in an uneventful life, there are certain phases which ultimately prove discoveries. Taking admission in a college after matriculation, against all odds, was like discovering a new world. In that cosmos, pursuit of knowledge was the main concern of the students, while imparting knowledge was the main aim of the teachers. In the classroom, nothing except the lecture mattered and the eyes were focussed on the figure clad in a silken suit even in summer.

Jotting down the main points at intervals was just a ploy to catch the eye of the unsuspecting lecturer. Even then, when the class was over, the feeling that I have gained something new overwhelmed me. On the way back home, I chuckled inwardly that the people of the locality were not aware that I was gaining knowledge, while they were ignorant of this fact.

This idea was intended to be a morale booster even though for a short while. In due course of time, the degree in my hand seemed to be a piece of paper as it could not help me, for a year or so, make both ends meet on my own. Leaving the hometown in disgust for the national capital in search of a job was a sort of baptism of fire.

Those three weeks still rankle in my mind as during that period the “bhikshu” in me went from office to office with a begging bowl. Nothing emerged there but like a blessing in disguise, I was invited to Shimla, the state capital of Punjab at that time, for an interview. The selection was like a pleasant surprise as the earlier three interviews at that hill station had been disappointing.

While in Shimla, the ruffled feathers were smoothed and the rarefied air infused a new spirit in me to be up and doing. There again began my quest for knowledge and I started studying books not with some aim but just for the pleasure of discovering new avenues of life. In this manner, I was perhaps a wiser but definitely a sadder man. The white-collar job seemed to be a passing phase whereas I wanted to be a lecturer in a college. The reading for pleasure was substituted by reading for a purpose and ultimately the purpose was a achieved. That was yet another phase of discovering anew what had been a hazy concept.

In the college, after more than a decade, I found that there was no change in the system of education. The students looked at me absent-mindedly for some time and then jotted down something at intervals, perhaps to boost my morale as a good teacher. Still, there was for me a new discovery that the teachers too learnt in the process of teaching the students. This process was indeed imperceptible as revision of the past experiences took place in the mind of the teacher, while the students gained from the teacher who never closed doors to new ideas.

As a college lecturer, I took to creative writing with a vengeance. It was in fact a race against time. What could not be done earlier was possible then as, in the words of Robert Browning, ‘my soul smoothed itself out — a long-cramped scroll’. Novels predominated upon the screen of my mind, since there was freedom of expression in that genre. I could convey not merely what had happened but also of what might have happened. Wistful longings could not be ignored any longer as they comprised the sum-total of the life unlived. Without looking back to take stock of things, it was not possible to move ahead. It was like discovering one’s inner self. In a way the retirement ensued rather too soon. But there was still time to stroll in the valley of creativity. The feeling of ‘the petty done, the undone vast’ overpowered my mind and it became restless as never before. Luckily two more novels, some books of criticism, a lot of articles and a few translated works were published in due course of time. The bag was full and it did attract the award — giving agencies which reluctantly or otherwise doled out something that had a semblance of recognition. This gesture gave me time to discover the inner potential.

Now at the fag end of the journey of life, I am reminded of Dr Mohammad Iqbal’s exhortation to the camel to move briskly, as the destination was not far off — “Tez tarak gaam zan, manzil-e-Maa dur neist”.

But this is just a poetic way of craving for the ultimate or to be able to discover the unknown. In reality I am with John Keats who wanted to travel for ever in ‘the realms of gold’ and for that he relied on the power of his imagination — ‘Ever let the Fancy roam!” — NS Tasneem



Schools face paucity of space
Display of RTE Act instructions on walls
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Slogans, posters, maps and other details displayed on the walls of a school
Slogans, posters, maps and other details displayed on the walls of a school. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, December 21
The Director General School Education (DGSE) has sent a notification to all schools to display guidelines of the Right to Education Act (RTE Act) on the walls of schools. But a number of schools of the city are facing paucity of space on the walls, as slogans, logos, posters, maps and charts, which are mandatory to be displayed in the schools, have taken most of the space on the rooms.

The schools have not enough space to display the RTE Act guidelines. Now the school authorities are in fix whether they should display the new RTE instruction or the mandatory information. According to departmental instruction, all these details and slogans are mandatory to be displayed on the school walls.

There are more than 10 points of the RTE Act instructions to be displayed. Some of the instructions are quite detailed.

Mandatory instructions to be displayed are National Anthem, Punjabi-promoting slogans, SSA logos, slogans, Location map, village map, district map, state map, map of India, Details of grants, Padho Punjab material, Teaching learning material, Midday meal menu, Public audit performa, Moral, social awareness slogan, PASWAK detail chart.



Play, dance mark Christmas celebrations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
Christmas was celebrated at Tagore Public School with enthusiasm. Students of playway schools also participated in the celebrations. Christmas tree was decorated with balloons, buntings, bells, stars, etc. The model of the birthplace of Lord Jesus Christ was also made. The added attractions of the celebrations were a variety of swings, bouncers, see saws, merry-go-round, colourful Santas roaming in the playground and the highlight was a magician performing various tricks. Gifts were distributed among the children.

Green Grove

Children dressed as angels, fairies, shepherds, wise men and Santa Claus celebrated Christmas at Green Grove Public School. Children danced on mesmerising carols.

Green Land

Christmas was celebrated at Green Land Convent School, Dugri, on Wednesday. There was a festivity in the air. Students dressed as Santa Claus, angels and fairies danced and sang Christmas carols. The nativity scene was presented depicting the birth of Jesus Christ. The school principal congratulated the students for their wonderful performance.

Trip to Malaysia

Don Bosco Global School organised a 10-day trip to Singapore and Malaysia. The trip comprised of 12 students and two teachers. The major attractions included iconic Petronas Twin Towers, majestic KL Tower, Beryl’s Chocolate Factory, Cocoa Boutique, Museum Negara, The National Monument, Batu Caves.

Flower arrangement contest

An inter-house flower arrangement competition was held at Green Land Public School, Jalandhar bypass. Students from classes VIII to X participated. They made fresh flower arrangements, dry flower arrangements, dry-cum-fresh and foliage arrangements, respectively, depicting eternal beauty of nature. The students displayed the arrangements aesthetically using antique pots, concrete stones, wax and even tissue papers.



Stress on nanotechnology in veterinary sciences
Tribune News Service

An expert addresses a seminar at GADVASU in Ludhiana on Wednesday
An expert addresses a seminar at GADVASU in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, December 21
The department of veterinary public health and epidemiology, GADVASU, in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, has organised a one-day seminar on “Nanotechnology: Its scope and perspective in veterinary sciences with emphasis on public health issues” her today.

In the presidential address, Vice-Chancellor GADVASU, Dr VK Taneja said nanotechnology had a tremendous potential to revolutionise livestock and agriculture sector. It can provide new tools for molecular and cellular biology, biotechnology, veterinary physiology, animal genetics, reproduction, etc, which will allow researchers to handle biological materials such as DNA, proteins or cells in minute quantities usually nano-liters or pico-liters. It is reasonable to presume that in the upcoming years nanotechnology research will reform the science and technology of the animal health and will help to boost up the livestock production.

In the inaugural address, Dr Baljit Singh Gill, associate dean research, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, revealed that nanotechnology has a lot of potential exists for new jobs in this area.

Dr SNS Randhawa, director research of GADVASU, explained that nanotechnology is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale. This covers both current work and concepts that are more advanced. In its original sense, nanotechnology refers to the projected ability to construct items from the bottom up, using techniques and tools being developed today to make complete, high performance products.



Experts dwell on significance of science
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
On the second day of the science camp “Inspire- Innovation in science pursuit for inspired research,” scientists from across the state deliberated on various aspects of science 
and technology.

Inspire programme involves participation of students from RS Model School, Government Multipurpose School, Government Senior Secondary School, Chak Kalan (Mullanpur); Government Model Senior Secondary School, PAU; and Government Senior Secondary School for Boys, Jawahar Nagar camp.

Experts from various universities of Punjab highlighted the significance of science. Dr GL Soni, a professor of biochemistry, Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, shed light on the “Joy of career in science.”

Dr ML Sood, professor and former head, department of zoology, PAU, and Dr Joginder Singh, director, Gulzar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Khanna, delivered lectures on environment and physics - mother of all sciences. Dr JS Kirti, professor of zoology, Punjabi University, Patiala, dwelt upon “Science and education.”

For practical exposure, the participating students visited PAU laboratories of zoology, biochemistry, chemistry, botany and microbiology. To exhort the students to take up science as their field, the participants would be taken to Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala, tomorrow.



Severed hand fixed back on patient
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
Dr Rahul Tandon, a plastic and microvascular surgeon of a private hospital, has successfully fixed an amputated hand back on the forearm of a 27-year-old patient, who had suffered total amputation.

Dr Tandon said: “On October 13, the victim’s right hand was severed from the body after it came in a machine. The patient, being an ESI card holder, was referred from the ESI hospital to a private hospital.

From there he was referred back to the ESI, which again referred him to their hospital. The patient was admitted around 9.30 pm.”

The patient’s amputated hand was brought in a bucket containing cold water and ice.

Though such surgeries should ideally be performed within 6 hours of the accident, the doctors were able to join back the hand nine hours after the accident, as the hand was well preserved.

Seven hours into the accident, Dr Tandon explained the implications to the patient and his relatives, and planned the surgery to fix the hand back to the patient’s forearm.

Blood was arranged and after six hours of surgery, a team of doctors successfully reimplanted the hand after joining the artery and vein.

“The hand is doing fine and has undergone one more operation to cover the deficient skin,” the doctor added.



20 get job letters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
Health and Family Welfare Minister Satpal Gosain today gave appointment letters to as many 20 persons on compassionate ground during a workshop of the health department at Punjabi Bhawan.

The minister will also distribute appointment letters to 113 multipurpose workers on compassionate ground tomorrow at the Circuit House.

The health department also organised a workshop on mother and child welfare. Dr JP Singh, director health, was also present, along with other officials of the health department.



Job fair today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
The Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology (LCET) is organising a job fair on December 22 and 23. The fair aims at providing common platform for recruitment of engineers and management professionals and to facilitate the industry-institute interaction.

LCET training and placement (T&P) cell has organised job fairs at its campus since 2007 and a large number of institutions from all over the country have participated in these fairs.

The cell has contacted and managed participation of a large number of major MNCs for recruitment of candidates of BTech (electronics and communication, computer science, information technology, mechanical engineering), MBA, BBA and BCA.



Diaries, calendars popular corporate gifts
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
For Puneet Kapur, a manager of a private company in the city, every New Year starts with new diaries and calendars. He unwraps the gift wrappers to find diaries and calendars in them as gifts and buys the same to present.

New Year diaries, calendars and stationery items are seeing brisk sales in the industrial city, as the New Year is approaching.

Diaries in various sizes and varieties are popular as corporate gifts. The price of these diaries ranges between Rs 200 and Rs 3,000. “The kind and prices of these diaries depends on the function and designation of the person,” says Amit Syal from Lekh Raj Syal and Sons. For example, for senior employees or executives, month and week at-a-glace diaries are popular, whereas for a marketing executive, smaller diaries would fit the bill, as these are more convenient to carry.

Many firms in the city are not losing the chance to get stationery items made with their brand imprinted or especially made keeping their brand values and customers in mind. “Once these calendars or diaries land on somebody’s desk, these remain there for all the year,” says Ravi Sharma, marketing executive of a city-based firm.

Desk calendars based on the themes that go with the brand values are the most popular corporate gifts for the New Year. “Most the firms choose calendars that go with the brand values of the firms. For example, the firms that are into green energy choose calendars that convey these messages,” said Syal.



Man killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
A factory worker, Jai Nayaran, was killed after a speeding vehicle ran over him at Cheema Chowk last night. With this, the death toll in road accidents here has touched six in the past 15 days.

According to the police, Jai Narayan, a resident of Janakpuri, was crossing the chowk after alighting from an auto-rickshaw when a speeding vehicle came from behind and ran over him.



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