L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC latecomers caught unawares
93 found missing on duty during surprise checks at corporation offices
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
As many as 93 Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) employees were found missing on duty during surprise checks conducted at the MC offices here today. The latecomers, whose mornings usually start late, were in for an unpleasant surprise when they came to know that their zonal commissioners had found them “missing” or absent from duty in the morning.

The surprise checks started at 9 am and were conducted in three zones of the civic body on MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi’s orders.

The maximum number of latecomers was recorded in Zone A, where 45 officials reached the office late, while Zone B stands second in terms of latecomers with 33 of its employees caught reaching the office late. Zone D had 15 latecomers.

The surprise checks could not be conducted in Zone C because Zone A and Zone C have the same Zonal Commissioner.

Senior MC officials said they were getting regular complaints that officials didn’t arrive at offices on time. “That is why we decided to conduct a surprise check so that all the guilty officials could be caught unawares. We would be serving show-cause notices on all of them,” said Malwinder Singh Jaggi.

A senior MC official stated that “biometric-attendance system” was the only solution to detect and prevent absenteeism. “The employees manage to tamper with attendance registers, but this system will ensure the presence of every worker, including officials, on duty,” said the official.

In order to check the persistent absence of municipal corporation (MC) staff, the civic body authorities had decided to start the system of biometric attendance at its offices in March last year. At that time, it was claimed that work on installing the new system would start within a week. But even as 10 months have passed, the biometric system of attendance is yet to be functional in the MC offices.

However, Jaggi claimed that the process of installing biometric-attendance machines is on the cards.

Biometric-attendance system in limbo

In order to check the persistent absence of the MC staff, the civic body authorities had decided to start the system of biometric attendance at its offices in March last year. At that time, it was claimed that work on installing the new system would start within a week. But even as 10 months have passed, the biometric system of attendance is yet to become functional in the MC offices.

Office Missing/Absent, Late Officials

Zone A             45

Zone B             33

Zone D             15


City buses to ply extra km
Residents of Atam Nagar, Dugri Road, Jammu Colony, Abdullapur Basti areas to benefit
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
A good news for the city residents. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has extended the route of newly launched city bus service till the Dugri Road flyover. The decision was taken after the MC officials received several inquiries about this route, as earlier the low-floored buses were plying only till the bus stand.

Now, the route has been extended by around 1 km from today. So, people living in Atam Nagar, Dugri Road, Jammu Colony, Abdullapur Basti, and other adjoining areas would be benefited.

Confirming this, Daljit Singh, Manager, City Bus Service, said several people were inquiring about this route. “Some of them even requested us to extend our route as it’s close to the bus stand and it will be profitable for the MC as well,” said Daljit Singh.

At presently, the city bus service is plying only on one route, which is from the bus stand till the Jalandhar bypass and back.

It is learnt that after receiving the next lot of buses, which would reach the city anytime in March, the MC would be starting this service on other roads as well. People from Haibowal, Hambran, GT Road, Gill Road and other areas have been urging the MC to start city bus service in their respective areas as soon as possible.

“Right now we have a fleet of 10 buses and all of them run jam-packed throughout the day. That is why, due to such tremendous response, we have decided to purchase more buses for the project, which are expected to reach Ludhiana in the first week of March. Once the buses reach the city, they would be deputed on different routes,” claimed MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi.

More buses coming

Right now we have a fleet of 10 buses and all of them run jam-packed throughout the day. Seeing such a tremendous response, we have decided to purchase more buses for the project, which are expected to reach Ludhiana in the first week of March. Once the buses reach the city, they would be deputed on different routes.

— MS Jaggi, MC Commissioner



SDM served show-cause notice
Delay in depositing penalty imposed under the RTI Act
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Samrala, Jasbir Singh has been served a show-cause notice by the Personnel Department of the state government for not depositing a penalty amount of Rs 20,000 in the treasury and for dilly-dallying in giving a reply as to why the amount had not been deposited to the state government.

In a letter issued on February 2, 2012, the state government has asked Jasbir Singh to file his reply within 10 days of receiving the letter. In case, the official failed to give the reply within the stipulated time, suitable action according to the rules will be taken against him, reads the letter.

Reliable sources in the State Information Commission, Punjab, told the Ludhiana Tribune that owing to the delay in providing an information under the Right to Information Act, the State Information Commission had imposed a penalty of Rs 20,000 on Jasbir Singh.

Even the office of the Chief Secretary, Punjab, had sent a letter dated January 5, 2012, to the SDM, seeking clarification from him as to why he had not complied with the orders of the commission dated October 31, 2011.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, had written to the SDM on December 27, 2011, and December 30, 2011, respectively, directing him to deposit the penalty amount in the government treasury. But, Jasbir Singh, in his reply to the DC, had said that since the requisite budget allotment for making payment of salary to the officers/employees of the SDM office was yet to be received, thus penalty amount could not be deposited in the treasury. The reply to DC was submitted by the SDM on December 30, 2012.

The State Commission had further asked the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, to deduct the amount from the salary of the SDM, Samrala, and get it deposited in government treasury. But, the DC in the reply to the state Information Commission had written since the SDMs were the drawing officers, the former (DC) had no powers to deduct the salary.



Tortured, woman kills herself
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
In yet another incident of dowry death, a 25-year-old woman set herself on fire on the third floor of her in-laws’ house at Sakhewal village here today. The victim, identified as Maninder Kaur of Dera Baba Nanak, Gurdaspur, was married to Palwinder Singh one year ago.

It was alleged that her in-laws used to torture her for dowry. The incident took place here this afternoon when Maninder was alone in the house, as other members of the family had gone to celebrate victim’s sister-in-law of Chandni’s birthday.

The neighbourers spotted Maninder engulfed by fire. They rushed to rescue the woman, but the door was locked from inside.

Certain neighbours scaled the wall to enter the house. By the time they reached the rooftop, the victim had burnt badly.

The Salem Tabri police further booked her husband Palwinder, sister-in-law Chandni, in-laws Inderjit Kaur and Manjeet Singh under section 304 of the IPC for dowry death. They all have absconded.



Man sets himself afire at chowk
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
High- drama was witnessed at Bharat Nagar Chowk after a 60- year- old man stood in the middle of the intersection and set himself afire after pouring petrol here. The incident took place here this evening when the victim identified as Iqbal Singh of Dholewal village arrived at the chowk and set himself ablaze.

Commuters, who witnessed the shocking scene, rushed to rescue the man and managed to douse the fire.

In no time he was rushed to the civil hospital in an ambulance. The condition of Iqbal Singh was stated to be serious. According to paramedics, the victim has sustained 60 per cent burn injuries. No kin of the victim approached the hospital, the cause of suicide bid is not yet known.



Groups clash at courts complex
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Two incidents involving undertrials led to panic in the District Court Complex here today. In the first incident two groups clashed in Bakshi Khana. The incident took place in the afternoon when the mother of Navjot Singh, an undertrial in an assault case, arrived at Bakshi Khana to offer food to her son.

It is learnt that another group passed nasty comments on Navjot’s mother, which infuriated the latter, leading to the clash.

The cops, who intervened to pacify both the parties, also suffered blows. According to police sources, five persons and two policemen were injured in the incident.

Undertrial ties to flee

Meanwhile, an undertrial facing murder charges, tried to escape from police custody while he was being produced before a court for a hearing.

The incident happened in the afternoon when Deepak Sharma managed to escape for a prisoners’ bus. The cops reportedly raised an alarm and managed to catch hold of Deepak.

Later, he was taken to the CIA for investigation.



liquor vends
Now, draw of lots in mid-March
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
The draw of lots for liquor vends for the next financial year will be delayed this year due to elections. Since election results will be declared on March 6, the draw of lots for liquor vends will be held probably in mid-March, informed A. Venu Parsad, excise and taxation commissioner, during a meeting held here at the Circuit House.

Generally the draw for the liquor vends is held in the first week of March but this year it will be delayed, said the commissioner to the liquor-vend contractors.

While discussing details with the department officials, the commissioner said, "The department is busy preparing excise policy for the next financial year. Once the new government is formed it will be presented before the Cabinet".

Traders have been facing problems with C forms as they are generally not available so the department is thinking of abolishing the C forms from the next year and in addition to this,an online payment will be made mandatory for all, he added.

Telling about the targets, Parsad said the department's revenue target for this financial year is Rs 3,200 crore while Rs 2,800 crore has already been collected. "We are hopeful that we will achieve our target within the time span," he said.



Railway reservation
Passengers suffer as system lies in shambles
Kuldip Bhatia

A non-functional counter at the reservation centre in Ludhiana
A non-functional counter at the reservation centre in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, February 6
Thousands of people visiting the railway reservation centre for booking of train tickets are a harassed lot as the entire network lies in a state of disarray with two, three or at times, even more counters (out of a total seven) being quite often non-functional.

The shortage of staff to make adequate number of counters operational, coupled with technical snags in the network, failure of link with the main server and non-availability of computer hardware and accessories are stated to be the main reasons behind the reservation system not being able function in the desired manner.

Long queues of harried passengers, including senior citizens and women, having to wait for hours together for their turn at reservation counters, is an everyday affair at the railway station. Exchange of hot words or arguments between the staff manning the counters and those waiting in queues is also not uncommon.

The situation is further compounded by touts, middlemen, representatives of authorised reservation agencies, and once in a while even the police personnel, who using their ‘power’, do not let go any opportunity to get reservation tickets out of turn, adding to the woes of those waiting at the counters.

An exasperated Ram Sharan, a migrant factory worker, waiting in the queue to book tickets for Muzaffarpur in Bihar, said he had been standing in the queue for more than three hours waiting for his turn. "The staff deployed for issuing tickets keeps entertaining touts and agents from the back door, while those standing in the queues are made to wait indefinitely."

Sushil Kumar, a bank employee, who was waiting for his turn to get reservation for his superior officer, said the queue was moving at a snail's pace, and when his turn come, the counter was closed citing a snag in the computer system.

"I had no other choice but to shift to another, with a still longer queue to get the ticket."

Sources at the railway reservation centre disclosed that the reservation and enquiry staff, put together, was already short by 25 to 30 per cent, and three more employees had been recently shifted to other stations. "We are not only short of staff, even the computers we use are obsolete. Snags and server failures are frequent, and to make the matters worse, printers and other hardwares and consumables are in short supply too," the sources stated.

Senior railway officials at the divisional headquarters passed the buck to the Northern Railway headquarters at Delhi saying that fresh recruitment was their prerogative and a policy matter.

"We are looking into the short supply of computer hardware and consumables, and necessary steps will be taken to rectify the situation," said an official.



Series: City Bazaars-V
Long rows of woollen bales dot century-old Mochpura bazaar
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
When you think of woolens, you think of Ludhiana. Nearly 100-year- old Mochpura bazaar happens to be the wool centre of not only Ludhiana but also the entire region. Hundreds of shopkeepers in the bazaar are busy selling wool the whole year round and during the peak season transactions worth crores take place in this part of the city.

Eighty-year-old Subhani building was located bang opposite the Mochpura bazaar. Anybody visiting Mochpura bazaar was directed to go straight from Subhani building but sadly this building, which was also one of the landmarks of Ludhiana was demolished two years ago and has now given way to a hotel.

Congested lanes of the Mochpura Bazar. (right) A shopkeeper sells wool at the bazar
Congested lanes of the Mochpura Bazar. (right) A shopkeeper sells wool at the bazar.
Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Long rows of woolen bales can be seen lying outside the shops in the market. "During the peak season, it becomes difficult even to walk through the narrow lanes of the bazaar. Shops in the market sell woolen bales, sweaters and shawls as well," said Harjit Singh, one of the shopkeepers at Mochpura Bazar.

Mochpura Bazaar is the source of wool and synthetic yarn for the entire middle-rung woollen industry in the state and the region. Even some Kashmiris come to the bazaar to sell their produce. Abdul Qayam, from Kashmir, said every year he comes to the city to sell his produce. "There are some shops in the market that buy shawls from us. I have been coming here from the past 10 years," said Qayam.

"The streets are too narrow as the market is 100 years old. The rush of people was always there even before partition, but these days it is overcrowded. Most of the shopkeepers who were Muslims reportedly fled the city in 1947. The market is old and some shops are as old as the market itself," added Raman Batra, one of the old inhabitants of the area.

Slice of history

  • Mochpura bazaar is some 100 years old and was established by the Muslims living in this part of the region. After partition, the Muslims left the city, but the bazaar is still the same as it was 100 years ago.
  • Subhani building, opposite Mochpura Bazaar was a landmark of Ludhiana but has been demolished a couple of years ago. Subhani Miyan, a businessman, had constructed it in 1931. The building was believed to be one of the few tall buildings in the city with six storeys. After partition, he and his family migrated to Pakistan. The building remained uncared for and unattended and was finally pulled down two years ago giving way to Hotel Sunder Classic.

Problems galore

  • Narrow lanes of the bazaar are congested.
  • During the peak season, the condition gets worse as the market is overcrowded.
  • The clutter of wires hangs overhead waiting for tragedy to happen.
  • In case of emergency it will be impossible for fore tenders to reach the place.



Eight city shopkeepers challaned during surveys
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
The weight and measurement wing of the Food Supplies department, Chandigarh, has issued eight challans to various shopkeepers today for discrepancies. The challans were issued by HS Sidhu, director, food and supplies department, alongwith Ranjit Powar, controller, legal metrology.

Rajat Oberoi, District Food and Supplies Controller (DFSC), who accompanied the officials during the inspection told Ludhiana Tribune that eight shops had been challaned for certain discrepancies. The shops, including Khushi Ram and Sons, Bengali Sweets, Lovely Sweets, Geetanjali Jewellery Shop and Jindal Flour Mills have been issued challans during the surveys.

"The officials had come from Chandigarh and inspected the shops. The department conducts random surveys for the consumer awareness and protection. During the surveys , various discrepancies were found in the records, with the result, the shops were challaned. Penalty as per law will be imposed on the defaulters and if the discrepancies are repeated again within three-years then the department will take strict action against the defaulters", said Oberoi.

The weight and measurement wing of the food and supplies department, under various provisions can challan the shops/business establishments using scales/measurement tools and penalty upto Rs 10,000 can be imposed by the wing for discrepancies (including weighing less, no certification or authentification for weights etc).

"It is mandatory to get an yearly authetification of weighing scales/measurement tools by the weight and measurement wing of the department", said Oberoi.



Vet varsity gets pat on the back from World Bank
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
A World Bank team carried out the 10th Implementation Support Mission (ISM) of the National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) visited at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU).

The veterinary varsity is also leading a NAIP (ICAR) Sub-Project entitled "Sustainable livestock-based farming system for livelihood security in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab" from the year 2008. Dr AL Saini, principal investigator of this project said that its total layout was Rs 4.11 crore.

This project is likely to be extended beyond March 31 for another 18 months. There are three more partners namely PAU, Ludhiana, Dairy Development Department, Punjab and The Unati Co-operative Marketing-cum-Processing Society Limited, Talwara.

The mission held extensive discussions with senior officials of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), project implementation unit (PIU), and the consultants working on internal audit and procurement Dr Saini revealed that the World Bank team along with ICAR officials visited the operational area of the project i.e. Hoshiarpur and appreciated the work done.



A tribute with a difference
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
It was a day of consolation for the family of Satish Pal Sharma. His father and family distributed gifts to children at a school for the blind to mark his birth anniversary. Satish died in an accident on December 14 in England. He had gone there to pursue his MBA last September. When on the ill-fated night, he met with an accident and lost his life.

Sharing the softer side of his deceased son, Gagan Pal Sharma said that Satish used to come to the school for the blind with his schoolmates when he studied here. Although he pursued his studies from Dalhousie, but whenever he came back he used to visit the blind school and gave away gifts to the children here.

His father and relatives today remembered him and arranged a lunch for about 200 children and gave the needful items to the children.

Gagan Pal Sharma said that he would set up a charitable foundation and an orphanage in the memory of his son.



Migrant labourer killed as earth caves in during digging for sewarage
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khamano, February 6
A migrant laborer was killed when a big chunk of earth caved in at village Mohan Majra yesterday afternoon. According to information, digging work for sewarage was being done in the village by the village panchayat through a contractor. A JCB machine was deployed for the purpose. The work was being carried out by the water supply and sanitation department when the mishap occurred.

The worker was trapped under the earth which had suddenly caved in. It took about an hour to evacuate him, but he died on the way to Civil Hospital, Khamano, in the 108 mobile van, and was declared brought dead. A police team helped to dug him out with the help of the people of the area and other laborers. The deceased was identified as Mohammed Safique (35) a resident of Jammu and Kashmir.

When JE Sanjiv Kumar of the water supply department was contacted, he said that the sewerage work was allotted to some private contractor and the work was going on from last about 15 days. He also said that they were looking into the cause of incident. Village Sarpanch Sardara Singh said that the village panchayat had nothing to do with the work and the concerned department would be in a better position to talk about it.

According to police officials, no case was registered in this regard and it appeared to be an accident and no complaint was filed from anyone. The body of the labourer was kept in the mortuary at Civil Hospital Khamano as the arrival of his relatives is awaited.



Raikot road in poor shape
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 6
A stretch of the Raikot Road, which was constructed only about a month back, has already started breaking at various places. People staying in nearby areas have blamed the use of substandard material by the contractor as the reason behind the road breaking so early.

As per the information, the construction work of a part of the road, which had been in an utterly bad condition since a long time, was completed only about one month back.

According to the residents of the area, the contractor who was awarded the work of road construction, had used bad quality material while laying down the road, and, as a result, the road has started developing cracks within one month of its construction.

“The contractor used substandard material in the construction of the road. Though we had objected to this at that time, nobody paid attention. Now the result is for all to see,” said Navdeep Jindal, the owner of a shop on Raikot Road.

Another resident Surinder Singh stated that they had even informed the local Municipal Council officials about the use of substandard material by the contractor. “At that time the authorities had assured us that they would look into the matter, and if contractor was found using bad quality material, a strict action would be taken against him. But these claims remained on papers only, and the dues of the contractor were also released immediately after he completed the work.”

The residents also urged that the contractor shall be held accountable for the poor condition of the road.

Due to utterly bad condition of the road, the area residents as well as commuters had to face a tough time. The people most affected are the students and teachers of Government Science College Jagraon, which is situated on the same road.

However, the residents and commuters heaved a sigh of relief when the construction work on this road started about one and half month back.

But they did not know that the situation would be back to square one in such a small time.

Local Municipal Council president Baldev Krishan Dhir, when contacted, expressed ignorance about the cracks developing on the road. However, he assured that he will visit the area to take account of the situation of the road. “An appropriate step will be taken after examining the actual condition of the road,” he added.



Punjabi writers have a date with Canada-based author
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, February 6
An interactive session, ‘Ru-ba-ru’, with Major Mangat, a Punjabi story writer from Canada was organised during the monthly meeting of Punjabi Likhari Sabha Rampur today. During the event, Mangat discussed various issues related to his writing.

Welcoming Major Mangat, president of PLSR, Surinder Rampuri, said that it was extremely tough to keep the writer within oneself alive, especially in an alien culture. “However, Major has contributed some of the very beautiful writings during his stay abroad,” said Rampuri.

Gurdial Dalal said that the stories written by Mangat were very close to the humanity and that he, instead of just relating problems, provided an adequate solution to them as well.

In his address, Mangat expressed concern ever the identity crisis people today suffer from and said that the “market economy was to be blamed for the situation”.

He called upon writers to make efforts for restraining the market culture from entering our homes, lest it should snatch away peace, mental stability and family orientation from the Punjabis.



Cohesive Leftist movt need of the hour, says MCPI-U

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 6
Accusing successive governments of destabilising the economy of the nation, the Marxist Communist Party of India-United (MCPI-U) called upon various leftist organisations to launch a coordinated movement against the alleged defective policies of economic liberalisation and privatisation being pursued by the Congress and the BJP.

The call was given during the concluding session of the regional convention of the party held at Kilaraipur village on Sunday.

Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, a politburo member from Bihar, presided over the convention. The delegates expressed concern over the skyrocketing prices of all essential commodities and the ever- increasing unemployment in the country.



IT staff stir comes as a breather for some
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
The agitation by the Income Tax officials has proved to be blessing in disguise for some. Now, well-heeled individuals and corporates will not lose sleep over fears of tax sleuths knocking at their doors. Nearly 8,500 gazetted income tax officials throughout the country are on agitation.

The Income Tax employees in the rank of IT officers (ITOs), assistant commissioners and administrative officers have gone on a nationwide agitation. As a result they are not participating in any survey, including TDS survey, inspection, verification, study or recovery surveys. The officials are also not participating in any search action u/s 132 and connected survey actions.

"Our main concern these days is to process refunds rather than making recoveries. While it's unclear how long the agitation will continue, high net worth individuals and companies with unreported income will enjoy the breather as long as it lasts," said a senior official from the department.

Rajiv Puri, vice-president of the All-India Income Tax Gazetted Officers Association, said they were agitating against the delay in promotions to ACIT grade and unjust reduction of 207 posts in the grade of DCIT/ACIT in cadre restructuring proposals and large-scale grievances relating to all-India transfers of JCIT.

"There will be no searches and surveys. We will not send any reports to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). We are very upset over the delay in the filling of vacancies and making promotions and will be holding no TDS surveys, inspections, verifications or any recovery surveys," added Puri.

The government has recently empowered tax officials to visit residences of high net worth individuals (HNIs) to verify unaccounted high-value transactions but the agitation could impact collections.

The Income-Tax Gazetted Officers Association had launched the agitation in October, but called it off on December 31 following assurances from the then CBDT chairman that promotions will be fast-tracked. But with their demands remaining unfulfilled, the officials have resumed the agitation.



Save wheat from yellow rust, say experts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Yellow rust is a fungal disease affecting the yield of wheat crop in Punjab. The disease is becoming a matter of concern for the farmers of the sub-mountainous areas in the past few years, said Dr TS Thind, head, department of plant pathology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

He said the disease could be easily recognised from the appearance of the elongated yellow coloured powdery stripes on the lower leaves of the wheat crop. The recent survey, conducted by plant pathologists of the PAU divulged the presence of yellow rust on wheat in Patti, Dher, Surewal, Fatehpur, Daula Taprian, Fatehgrah Viran, Rasidpur and Fasemund villages of Rupnagar district. Besides, the disease has also been observed in the Chhadhauri and Jagatpur villages of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and Baghpur and Pungha Blak villages of Hoshiarpur. Due to the changing weather, the yellow rust disease has become more visible and can cause harm, cautioned Thind.

Now, get admission to MBA through MET

Admission to the MBA programme of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) for the session 2012 will be held on the basis of a state-level test i.e. management entrance test (MET-2012). Informing this, Dr YP Sachdeva, head, department of business management, PAU, said that the Punjab Technical University (PTU) had been authorised to conduct MET exam this year by the state government. PTU has decided to start the process of online registration by the end of February and will hold test in May, informed Dr Sachdeva. The PAU offers a two-year MBA programme, he said and advised students, seeking admission in MBA in the upcoming session to gear up for it two months in advance.

Golden Jubilee Book Fair on Feb 8

A three-day “Golden Jubilee Book Fair” will be organised by the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in the lawns of Mohinder Singh Randhawa Library from February 8-10. Leading publishers and book distributors from across the nation will participate and exhibit latest books on a wide range of subjects. Dr Surjit Patar, eminent Punjabi poet and Saraswati Samman Awardee, will inaugurate the book fair at 2.30 pm. while Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, PAU Vice-Chancellor, will be the guest of honour on this occasion.

Giving details, Dr JK Sangha, librarian, PAU, said that book fair would provide an excellent opportunity to students, faculty, research scholars, book lovers and the entire scientific fraternity to browse publications on various subjects in different languages under one roof. Special discount will also be given by the participating publishers and booksellers. The fair will remain open for the public from 9am to 7pm., she said.

As the agriculture is the backbone of Indian economy, the fair will cover all aspects of agriculture like agricultural economics, environmental sciences, biotechnology, electron microscopy, entomology, extension education, food science and technology, horticulture, nanotechnology, plant breeding, vegetable crops and floriculture. To improve the quality of life of rural and urban families, books on home science covering human development, food and nutrition, communication management, clothing and textile, family resource management and fashion designing will also be displayed during the fair. Books on agricultural engineering and technology with special focus on post-harvest technology, farm machinery and power engineering, renewable energy and bio-fuels soil will also be available, Sangha said, adding that fair would also exhibit basic engineering books, including, civil, mechanical, electrical and computer engineering.

Analysing risks in the field of agriculture

The department of economics and sociology of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), organised a policy advocacy and dissemination workshop on “Risk assessment and insurance products” under the aegis of the National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) here today.

Chairing the inaugural session, Dr SS Gosal, director of research, PAU, underlined the need for more research efforts towards analysing risks in the field of agriculture such as declining rainfall, falling ground water table, rising temperature and escalating cost of production. He disclosed that the PAU is laying special focus on climate change and other agriculture-based issues. Gosal appreciated the efforts of Dr RS Sidhu and Dr Kamal Vatta, the consortium centre principal investigators (CCIPs) of the project from PAU.

The participants from Agricultural Insurance Company of India, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (Coimbatore), Yes Bank, National Centre for Agricultural Economics (NCAP) and various other organisations, shared their views on issues pertaining to risk and assessment in agriculture.

Earlier, Dr MS Sidhu, head, department of economics and sociology, PAU, welcomed the dignitaries and the delegates while Dr SS Raju, principal scientist, NCAP, and consortium principal investigator of the project, presented an overview of the project.



PAU staff union holds rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
The Punjab Agricultural University Employees Union held a rally against the dilly-dallying attitude of the state government towards releasing their salaries in time and clearing 40 per cent arrears due to the employees.

Paramjit Singh Gill, president of the union, said the employees were going to enter the decisive phase of their struggle against the "step-motherly" behaviour of the Government of Punjab with the PAU employees.

"It has been more than a decade that PAU employees are suffering from the anti-PAU and anti-employee policies of the Punjab Government. The state government and PAU authorities should be prepared to face the consequences if the protest is intensified. The monthly salaries must be disbursed in time and the arrears should be cleared immediately," said the president and vice-president of the union.



from colleges
Tips to harness one's potential at GGNIMT

Ludhiana: "Good thoughts lead to good things in life" said Harpreet Singh, president of Educomp Raffles Higher Education Ltd. while delivering a session on "Magic mantra to success" to the BBA, MBA and MCA students at the GGN Institute of Management and Technology (GGNIMT).

Harpreet Singh talked at length about his illustrious experience in the corporate world and how he reached various milestones. He discussed with the students the important factors and indicators of success. He guided the students to figure out their strengths and limitations before choosing a career. Harpreet gave tips and tricks to harness one's potential. He motivated the students to dream big and formulate their ambitions. He exhorted that achievable goals, positive attitude and undying passion for goals help one ride very high on the ladder of success.

"Practice" is the key to success", said Harpreet while explaining the thought-habit cycle that begins with a big dream and soon becomes a habit due to one's rigorous practice for the same. He said that true leaders never make excuses; the excuses are the justifications for one's incompetence. He shared his personal experience with the students and motivated them to work hard for their better future.

Communicative English

In a PU- sponsored one-day workshop organised by the postgraduate department of english, GGN Khalsa College, active and comprehensive deliberations on the 'Teaching Strategies of Communicative English' marked the event with 200 PG students and English teachers from local colleges participating in it.

In the keynote address Dr. Rajesh Sharma, professor of English from Panjabi University, Patiala, dwelt on the importance of effective communication skill for success in any field in the modern day world.

Dr Rana Nayyar, chairperson, department of english, Panjab University, Chandigarh, enlisted the strategies needed for effective communication, which include body language, gestures, facial expressions and eye-to-eye contact between the listeners and speakers etc. Holding the audience spellbound for over one hour, in his humour-coated language at the function, he drove home his points receiving applause with guffaws from the audience. Dr Ashutosh Mohan, associate professor of Guru Gobind Singh Inderprastha University, Delhi, laid emphasis on scientific approach for attaining proficiency in communicative skill.

Professor LS Bedi, HoD of the postgraduate department of English of the college welcomed the guests and highlighted the achievements of the department where a language lab as well as a communication centre have been established. Principal RP Singh presented bouquets to the guests and moved a vote
of thanks.



Farewell party

Ludhiana: A farewell party was given to the students of class XII by staff and students of class XI at St Thomas School. The students remembered the golden moments spent in the school and expressed their gratitude.

Annual athletics meet

Annual Athletics Meet of the kindergarten and primary section was organised at BCM Arya Model School, Shastri Nagar. Children participated in a march past and an oath ceremony was also conducted.The chief guest of the programme was Wing Commander Preeti Lalwale, Air Force Station, Halwara. Cultural items were presented by the students for the inauguration of the event. Athletes took an oath to play fair and the meet began with a synchronised physical training display, followed by mass drill. The first day of the event included race, tri-cycle race, rock and roll race, penguin race, king and queen Race, balloon race, aeroplane Race, and father-mother race.

Foundation day

The foundation day function of Vardhman International Public School was celebrated by students who presented a choreographed performance on the theme ‘Colourful India’, portraying heritage of the country. Awards for art and craft were presented to the students on the occasion. Roll of honour was given to the head girl.

‘Kiddies Pandora’

Students of DCM Presidency School presented a musical concert titled 'Kiddies Pandora' at the school auditorium today. A ‘kathputli’ dance was also presented by the students, with colourfully painted faces and customary Rajasthani costumes. The children danced to “Jaha mein jati hun, wahi chale aate ho". Students also presented patriotic dance sequences, reflecting the cultural and customs of various states of the country. Bhangra and Gidha were also performed by boys and girls.

Spring fest

The kindergarten section of Guru Nanak Public School, Model Town Extension, celebrated spring fest today. The fest was organised with a vision to educate children regarding the significance of the upcoming spring season. The entire school premises were decorated with kites, flowers and butterflies. The tiny tots came dressed in colourful attires. Games, like musical chairs and passing the parcel, were played during the event.

Sandwich-making contest

Doraha: A sandwich-making competition was organised at Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha, on Monday. Tiny tots of class I, II, III participated in this competition. They made hygienic and delicious sandwiches. Principal Manjushaw Vinayak honoured the best three students from each class. Tarunjot Singh, Harmandeep Kaur and Parikshit Jaywan from class I, Livjot Kaur, Jashanpreet Singh, Harbind Kaur from class II, Manmeet Singh, Rupinder Kaur and Parampreet Kaur from class III were selected as best students in the sandwich -making competition.

Cultural fiesta

The campus of Green Grove Public School gave a festive look during its Cultural Fiesta on Monday.

Shalini Gupta, director-general of Desh Bhagat Institutes, presided over the function. JPS Jolly, president of the school and chairperson Satinderjeet Kaur Jolly welcomed the chief guest. The chief guest was accorded a grand welcome by the band team of the school. Principal S George gave a warm welcome speech.

— Tribune Reporters



Seminar on e-commerce
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 6
The department of commerce at the Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, organised a CDC-sponsored one-day state level seminar on ‘E-Commerce and its Applications’ on the college premises on recently.

Eminent scholars presented papers on the ever-expending horizons of e-commerce during the seminar. The topics discussed in the seminar were payment system, stock market, online shopping, newsgroup, teleconferencing, electronic tickets etc.

College principal Dr. Paramjit Kaur welcomed the key speaker, all resource persons and guests. Professor Anu Gupta, department of computer science and applications, Punjab University Chandigarh presented the keynote address.

The first technical session was chaired by Dr Jatinder Kaur, principal Mata Ganga Khalsa College for Girls, Kottan. The resource person for this session was Professor Sonia Sharma. Dr RL Behl, principal, Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce, Ludhiana, chaired the second technical session.

Both sessions were concluded with interesting discussion on the presented papers. The seminar was a very enlightening experience on various facets of e-commerce, business strategies and management issues to secure online business transactions.



DMCH doc delivers lecture in US

Ludhiana, February 6
Dr Harmesh S Bains, Professor and Head of Paediatrics at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here, delivered a lecture on "Child Abuse and Neglect" at an international conference held at San Diego, USA.

Dr Bains pointed out that raising children nowadays had become one of the major complexities of life, and perhaps the most challenging of all the jobs, for which parents are held responsible by society. The most critical task is to effectively discipline children. Anxiety about failure to control children's behaviour is not a new phenomenon.

According to Dr Bains, an effective disciplinary system must contain three vital elements, including positive and supportive learning environment among parents and child, strategy for systematic teaching and strengthening of desired behaviours and strategy for eliminating undesirable behaviours. — OC



Rajbir brings laurels to Harvest tennis academy
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 6
Rajbir Kaur, a budding trainee of the Harvest Tennis Academy, Jassowal, won the singles and doubles under-18 events at the AITA Championship Series Tennis Tournament, which was played on the Harvest Tennis Academy’s 11 synthetic courts.

In the girls’ under-18 singles, seventh- seed Rajbir Kaur defeated second seed Vanshika Sawhney of New Delhi in straight sets 6-2, 6-1. In the boys’ under-18 singles, second -seed Rishabh Dev of Harvest defeated Ranjeet Singh of Chandigarh 7-6(3), 6-2.

In the boys’ under-14 singles, sixth-seed Sumit Pal Singh of Harvest lost to Faisal Qumar of Rajasthan 3-6, 0-6. In the girls’ under-14 singles, second-seed Karman Kaur of Delhi defeated top seed Himani Mor of Haryana in straight sets 6-2, 6-0.

Dr. Avinash Pratap Shrivastava, director, Harvest Campus, distributed prizes among the winners in the end. Tournament director Gaurav Bhardwaj and tournament referee Todd Clark were also present on the occasion.

Other results

Boys’ under-14 singles (final): Faisal Qumar (RAJ) beat 6-Sumit Pal Singh (J&K) 6-3, 6-0; Boys’ under-18 singles (final): 2-Rishabh Dev (PB) beat Ranjeet Singh (CHD) 7-6(3), 6-2;

Girls’uder-14 singles (final): 2-Karman Kaur (DLI) beat 1-Himani Mor (HAR) 6-2, 6-0; Girls’ under-18 singles (final): 7-Rajbir Kaur (PB) beat 2-Vanshika Sawhney (DLI) 6-2, 6-1;

Girls’ under-18 doubles (final): 4-Rajbir Kaur (PB) and Kavita Mishra (MAH) beat 1-Vanshika Sawhney (DLI) and Karman Kaur (CHD) 6-4, 6-4;

Boys’ under-14 doubles (final): 1-Param Pun (CHD) and Paramveer Singh Bajwa (CHD) beat 4-Nihit Rawal (CHD) and Dhruva Arya (HAR) 6-4, 2-6, 10-8;

Boy’s under-18 doubles (final): Nischay Rawal (CHD) and Hardeep Singh Sandhu (PB) beat 2-Rishabh Dev (PB) and Jajbir Singh (PB) 7-5, 4-6, 11-9.



Rider sets eyes on Asian meet
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Piyush Rai is fit as a fiddle. In an exciting transition from boy to man, he has been growing up riding, not only his bike and car, but also horses since his childhood. Crossing many a hurdle on the horseback, he has virtually grown up on a horseback as he started riding when he was in class VI at PPS, Nabha. And his medals, numbering close to half a hundred, are a glittering testimony to his excellence in horse riding.

He can get the horse to jump and do things in accordance to his will - his secret behind making the horse and himself shine with the metal. "You have to gauge the mood and nuances of the horse to understand how it reacts to your spurring it on. In winning, it is both the health of the horse and the acumen of the rider that contribute to the winning streak," says 18-year-old Piyush.

During the recent Republic Day camp, as part of the Remount Veterinary Corps, he bagged two medals in the single event of tent-pegging. Riding on the horseback, he struck the lance accurately to bag gold and bronze in the same event. He is currently studying in class XI at Guru Nanak Public School. Not only individually, he also won teaming up with two of his former PPS batch mates.

He has participated in a number of equestrian events, including the Delhi Horse Show and other shows at Phillaur. He has proved his riding prowess with gold and silver in a north zone event as well. His best moment came when he performed during the golden jubilee celebrations of his school and he was honoured for performing well in front of President of India Pratibha Devi Singh Patil.

He wants to buy a horse for himself. He wants to pursue this passion and play professionally and play at the Asian equestrian events.



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