L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Slain officer’s tryst with ‘haunted house’ 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

DSP Balraj Singh Gill
DSP Balraj Singh Gill

Ludhiana, February 12
A lie by Monica, jittery friends of DSP Balraj Singh Gill who did not inform the police on time, the haunted farmhouse and visiting the place alone by hiding his real identity were some elements that proved fatal for the duo.

Why DSP Balraj Singh Gill, the most-decorated officer in the Punjab Police, did not take his service revolver despite knowing that the area was full of anti-social elements and drug-addicts is a glaring question that has left investigating agencies bamboozled.

Nearly 12 days after the brutal double-murder of Moga DSP Balraj Singh Gill and Monica Kapila that had rocked the city, the police revealed that Monica had lied to the family.

She left the house in the afternoon by saying that she was going to attend a kitty party, but instead of attending the kitty party, she went to meet DSP Balraj Singh Gill at the farmhouse.

Strangely she left the house in the afternoon and met the DSP in the evening. Where she was all this while is still a mystery. Friends also to allegedly to blame. Had Sanjay Agnihotri, Narinderpal Singh and an assistant commissioner of police, all friends of the DSP, sounded an alert on time, the accused could have been nabbed.

Vandna Arora, a close friend of Monica, was also to blame. She knew about Monica’s intimacy with the DSP, but she kept a secret and did not stop her friend.

Further she did not tell the family about the whereabouts of Monica when they were searching for her on the ill-fated day. It has further come to light that the friends of both victims had encouraged the latter to develop a relation. 

Rape bid

Why did the assailants take away the trousers of the woman after killing her has left the investigating agencies in a fix. The police is suspecting that the assailants might have removed the trousers of the victim in a bid to rape her.


Water, sewerage charges
Audit dept pulls up GLADA for poor recovery of arrears
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 12
There seems to be no end to woes of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) which is once again under fire from the audit department for the poor recovery of water and sewerage user charges from the residents of Urban Estates Phase I and II in Dugri where accumulated dues now stand at a staggering Rs 1.08 crore.

And that is not all. What is more shocking is that out of the total unrecovered user charges, a little more than Rs 67 lakh is outstanding from Urban Estate Phase I to IV, Sectors 32, 38, 39, Samrala Road, Phase I and II Dugri Road colonies which were transferred to the Municipal Corporation for maintenance way back in May 2001. Therefore, for all practical purposes, the old arrears are as good as bad debt, and might have to be written off in full.

Copies of internal and external audit of GLADA, obtained by the Council of RTI Activists under the Right to Information Act, say that during the test check of records of water and sewerage charges and information provided by the staff concerned, it was noted that Rs 1,08,83,644 was outstanding on account of user charges as on March 31, 2011.

The report noted that out of the total default amount, only Rs 41.71 lakh pertained to Urban Estates Sector 32-A, 33, 40 Samrala Road, Phase II and 200 feet wide road Dugri which is still under the administrative control of GLADA, whereas the major part of the default amount (Rs 67.12 lakh) was unrecovered from the localities which stood transferred to the MC more than a decade ago.

In response to the audit objection, GLADA officials, without being specific, gave a stock reply that efforts were being made to recover the outstanding amount from the defaulters.

The functionaries of the Council of RTI Activists Rohit Sabharwal, president, and Arvind Sharma, general secretary, have urged the state government to order a probe into the massive lapse on part of the GLADA which caused a huge revenue loss to the state exchequer. "The supervisory and field staff responsible for the recovery of user charges be identified and suitable disciplinary action be taken against them for dereliction of duty," they said.



Candidates plan short trips to hills
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
After a long and hectic election schedule, candidates are planning short vacations to the nearby hill stations. According to the information gathered from certain candidates, some of them are planning to take a day off from their hectic schedules and proceed for short vacations.

Sources close to the candidates confirmed that till the time the election results are announced on March 6, the candidates would not proceed on a long vacation, but short trips can surely be organised.

A local travel agent, Amandeep Singh, told The Tribune that most candidates were preferring two or three days’ trips. “They are coming up with queries for weekend packages and that also for the nearby hill stations. Some of them have also come up with queries for travel packages of Rajasthan,” said Amandeep Singh, who refused to give the names of candidates who have booked packages.

While speaking to The Tribune, a candidate said they were expecting the state Assembly elections around mid of February. “But ever since the model code of conduct came into force on December 24 and the elections announced for January 30, all those days were very hectic for us. Because we had very less time for campaigning. Now that still many days are left for the results to be announced, we have decided to proceed for a quick vacation along with our families,” said the candidate.

Its not only the candidates who are booking travel packages, but members of their core teams are also planning to cool their heels. “We have worked hard while campaigning and now that we are almost free, we have decided to have some free time with our families.“



Three hurt in road accident
Tribine New Service

Ludhiana, February 12
Three persons, including two women, were seriously injured after a speeding car hit a motorcycle on the Jalandhar bypass here tonight. Angry residents of Karab Bara later blocked NH-1 for nearly half an hour against police inaction.

The incident took place around 10 pm when the trio, who has not been identified yet, were travelling on the motorcycle.

While they were crossing the Jalandhar bypass chowk, an overspeeding car hit them from behind. The impact was so strong that the victims were tossed in the air.

They were rushed to a multi speicality hospital where the condition of the trio was stated to be serious. 



Man nabbed six years after killing gang member
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
A man of Nepalese origin landed in police net six years after allegedly killing his accomplice.

Rohit, alias Ram Bahadur, who was on the run all these years and had perhaps thought that the police might have forgotten about the murder, was nabbed from the Jalandhar bypass here last night.

According to Ravinder Kumar, inspector Salem Tabri police station, the incident dates back to July 6, 2006, when Rohit, along with Vijay and their other accomplices, murdered Sonu Kumar at a hotel in the Salem Tabri area.

While Vijay was arrested by the police, Rohit and his two accomplices managed to flee from the scene. After his arrest, Rohit told the police that he, along with his four other friends, had formed a gang and were striking at houses and business establishments in the old city area.

Sonu was physically strong and during the division of the booty, he used to claim the major share of the loot, revealed Rohit.

Later, four gang members decided to eliminate Sonu. According to Rohit, Sonu was stabbed to death at a hotel following a fight over the distribution of booty.

After killing Sonu, Rohit, Vijay and their two accomplices fled from the scene. While Vijay was nabbed, Rohit and his two accomplices managed to cross the border. Rohit, who had allegedly committed thefts in several districts of Haryana, had entered the city just a few days ago. The police received a tip-off and nabbed the fugitive criminal. 



Murder convict escapes from hospital
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
A 22-year-old convict in a murder case fled from the Civil Hospital here after thrashing the jail guards here last night.

Jasbir Singh of Banga, sentenced to a 20-year-jail term by a local court three days ago, was rushed to Civil Hospital after he complained of chest pain and restlessness. On reaching the hospital, he somehow managed to inform his accomplices about his presence in the hospital.

The jail guards said Jasbir was unshackled and was allowed to use the urinal. In the meantime, Jasbir's accomplices entered the hospital and started fighting with the guards.

Finding an opportunity, Jasbir managed to flee from the scene. An alert was sounded following his escape and the police launched a massive hunt to nab him.



Mother-in-law’s killing
Accused arrested
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 12
The ex-serviceman accused of killing his mother-in-law and injuring four other members of his in-laws’ family was arrested by a police team from the Sidhwan Bet police station today.

SHO Sidhwan Bet police station Gurpreet Singh said the accused Hakam Singh was arrested by a police team near Jagraon following a tip-off. Hakam Singh was arrested when he was trying to escape to an undisclosed location. He will be produced before a local court on Monday, added the SHO.

Sources, meanwhile, claimed that Hakam Singh was arrested from a vacant house at his village Bassian Bet.

The police handed over the body of Surjit Kaur to her family members after conducting postmortem. Surjit Kaur was later cremated.

Hakam Singh had shot dead his mother-in-law Surjit Kaur with his licensed weapon on Friday night. Four other members of the family, including two children, were also injured in the incident. The incident took place at Virk village near Sidhwan Bet.



High price no deterrent for gold buyers
‘Yellow metal integral part of Indian culture’
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
With gold jewellery woven into the culture and tradition of Punjab, city households are pulling out all stops and splashing big money on the precious metal this wedding season.

Traders said sentiment in gold would remain firm on rising demand from retailers despite the price of the yellow metal increasing in the overseas markets.

“Punjabis are known for big fat weddings which are incomplete without gold. Not only bride and groom’s family buy gold but even relatives offer gold bridal sets as gifts for the trousseau. "Most households start saving for marriage years in advance, so a small dip or rise in the price of gold will not upset the demand,'' said Santosh Verma, a jeweller at Sarafan Bazar.

He further said that almost 70 per cent of gold jewellery is sold during the wedding and festival season. It is seen that gold and jewellery make up 50 per cent of total Indian marriage expenses.

"It is traditional custom to give gold at weddings. Soon after children are born, families start saving by buying up small quantities of gold, especially to be given away to the bride which would become her exclusive property. Marriages are incomplete without a significant investment in gold,” added Verma.

“Though gold price is very high, weddings in Punjabi families are incomplete without gold. My daughter is getting married this month and besides buying gold sets for her, we have also bought gold for our son-in-law and his family. Giving gold is a tradition which cannot be ignored even if the price of gold is burning a hole in our pockets,” said Sushma, whose daughter is getting married in the last week of February.

"Everyone wants to look better than the other. It is a crazy set-up during marriages when one buys gold sets. Close relatives give gold sets to the bride during wedding and then there are gifts of gold.

Richer households even serve welcome drinks with 18 carat gold leaf trimmings. In smaller towns too people are continuing with their wedding purchases as gold continues to be an integral part,'' said Anu, a wedding planner.



3 children get electric shock
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
Three children, including two girls, who were attending a party at Janta Nagar here, received electric shock after coming in contact with an overhead high-tension wire today.

The victims have been identified as Jascaptain (17), Gur Simran (14) and Harsimran (12).

The incident took place here this afternoon when the trio was attending a party on the top floor of a house.

The family members of the children were stunned by the incident and rushed them to hospital. The children were then taken to DMC hospital. According to doctors, the condition of Jascaptian was serious, while both girls too received serious burn injuries, but they were reportedly out of danger.



Budget 2012
industry pins high hopes on finance minister
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
With the annual budget drawing near, industry has pinned high hopes on the Finance Minister and expects that while presenting budget the FM will take care of their aspirations. Here is a wish list of Ludhiana industry pertaining to taxes and what they want for their individual trade.

Wish list
Indirect Taxes

A. Central Excise

n Central excise exemption limit: The SSI sector has been given central excise exemption limit of Rs 1.5 crore. Keeping in view the skyrocketing prices of raw materials and allied services, the limit needs to be increased to Rs 3 crore.

n Branded goods: Through a recent Central Excise Notification, the manufacture of goods which are in the nature of packing materials, namely printed cartons of paper or paper board, metal containers, adhesive tapes, stickers, etc, have been allowed to take the benefit of small scale industry (SSI) Central Excise Exemption Scheme even if they use trademark or brand names of other units. This concession should be extended to the SSI manufacturers of all other goods who use trademark or brand names of other units.

n Deemed credit on scrap to steel furnaces: The steel furnaces are not buying steel from central excise exempted SSI units because furnaces have to pay duty if they purchase steel scrap from the said SSI units. The furnaces should be allowed to deem credit on their purchase of scraps from the exempted SSI units. This will provide revenue to the government as the value addition of the furnaces is taxed and helps the SSI units also. This will also curb black marketing on the sale of steel.

B. Customs

n Three tier customs duty structure: There should be a three-tier customs duty structure: Zero per cent for essentials, 5 per cent for raw materials and 10 per cent for others. Peak rate should be maintained at 10 per cent.

n CENVAT certificate and duty drawback claim: Some of the items, it is known, are exempted from payment of central excise duty. As such, the question of furnishing non-availing of CENVAT certificate does not arise at all in respect of such central excise exempted items. However, the furnishing of this certificate is insisted upon by the department for claiming duty drawback. In such circumstances, a self-certificate from the exporters to this effect should be accepted.

n Deemed exports should be exempted from central excise duty: Central Excise Duty is charged at first on goods of deemed exports by the Excise Department and later the amount of duty is refunded by the Ministry of Commerce. In the circumstances, there is no need for charging duty which involves only procedures without any revenue to the government. An exemption notification at par with physical export should be introduced.

C. Service tax

n Service tax procedures: At present, service tax is payable by the 5th of the following month which is untimely and too early. The same needs to be extended till at least 20th of the following month.

n Service tax on business auxiliary services: According to the Finance Bill 2005, the workers in the tiny sector who are engaged in activities like machining, boring, turning, welding, drilling, grinding, painting, electroplating, etc, for their clients have been brought into the service-tax net. The exemption limit with reference to small service providers is Rs 10 lakh at present. Keeping in view the inflationary trend this limit be raised to Rs 30 lakh.

n Service tax on various services for export: Service tax on various export-services poses undue difficulties. The procedure of refund is too cumbersome. Instead of refund there can be provisions where no service tax is charged/payable on various export-related services such as terminal handling charges at port, agency charges paid to clearing agents on exports and service taxes payable on freight incurred from a factory to a port.

Direct Taxes

n Refunds: Refunds of taxes are not received by the assesses as per the time limit fixed. In many cases, the refunds are delayed for more than a year or so. Moreover, the refund orders are prepared but reach the assesses after 2/3 months and in many cases, reach after it becomes time barred. It should be made mandatory that refund cases are cleared within six months of the filing of IT returns.

n Tax audit: Limit of tax audit has been fixed at Rs 60 lakh from Rs 40 lakh. The prices have skyrocketed considerably and it is requested that the limit be enhanced to a suitable level of Rs 200 lakh.

n Delayed payment Act: The large corporate sector is required to disclose the dues payable to the SSI sector as on the 31st March of every year in balance sheets. The auditor should be duty bound to certify that all the dues of the SSI sector is correctly disclosed by the corporate in their balance sheets and applicable interest is also paid for overdue payment. A provision be incorporated in the Income Tax Act to the effect that if the payable amount to the SSI sector as disclosed in the balance sheet is not paid by the corporates before the filing of IT returns, the same will be added to the income of the corporate like statutory payments under section 43 B of the IT Act.

Different schemes, duties

n Excise duty: The imposition of 10 per cent Excise Duty on garments in the Union Budget 2011 is a big shocker and it has lead to harassment and unnecessary burden on the manufacturer. The industry is facing big threat from garments imported from China, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Due to a large scale of production and support from the government, their products are much cheaper compared to our products. It is not possible for our industry to increase price of its products and the industry based in Ludhiana will be slowly wiped out and Ludhiana will lose its identity as a hosiery cluster.

n Technology upgrade fund (TUF) scheme: The TUF scheme is going to lapse from March 31, 2012, on new machines. The textile industry is facing a lot of problems due to a shortage of labour. After the implementation of the NREGA scheme of the Government of India, various industrial cities like Ludhiana are facing the shortage of labour. Whatever labour is available, it is too costly to be a profitable venture for the industry. The textile industry was trying to save itself by upgrading its technology so that the requirement of labour is minimised. In 2007, the government had withdrawn subsidy from reconditioned machines, due to which the industry was almost ruined. The lapse of TUFS from 31st March, 2012, as per the notification will adversely effect the industry and it may not be possible to revive the same.

n Goods service tax (GST): The government's decision on implementing the GST has been abandoned and it has been a big blow for the industry as a whole. The same needs to be introduced in the coming budget in the original form, i.e. abolishment of the CST and implementation of the GST. It is the high time when the GST should be implemented in this competitive ambience for the survival of the industry.



Sahnewal-Kohara road cries for attention 
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, February 12
The Sahnewal-Kohara road is in a dilapidated condition. This road is treaded upon by thousands of vehicles, ranging from two-wheelers to heavy commercial vehicles. Due to the absence of any recarpeting work done in the past, coupled with poor maintenance, the condition of the road has worsened to the extent that it is no less than a death trap, especially for the two-wheelers that ply in huge numbers on this particular stretch.

Although this road serves as a major link from Kohara and surrounding villages to the Dehlon-Ahmedgarh route, little attention has been paid to improve its condition. Moreover, as Sahnewal serves as a major visiting hub for the people of villages such as Jandiali, Ramgarh, Ucchi Mangali, Nichi Mangali, Jhabewal, Sahibana, Pangalian, Barwala, Kot Gangu Rai, Heearn, Laton Dana, Laton Joga, Katani Kalan etc, this road is taken up by the villagers as a matter of routine.

The residents and road users complained that it was an uncomfortable ride, especially at some specific places. The rains play further havoc, as holes filled with rainwater prove no less than a death trap for the commuters. The residents of the town complained that the monsoon multiplies their woes manifold. The problem is further aggravated during night with reduced visibility and poor judgment.

The residents rued that the authorities had been informed several times about the sorry state of affairs but every time the matter has been left in the lurch. Several times, the issue has been highlighted through the media, but to no avail. But for temporary patch up, no constructive change has taken place all through these years.

As per PWD official Gurvinder Singh, “We are fully prepared to start the construction work at the earliest. In fact, we had already started the work but due to unfavourable weather conditions, the bituminous work was disturbed. Hence, we had to stop the work in between. But the tenders have already been allotted to the contractor. The total amount to be incurred has been deposited with the PWD. We shall be re-starting the work after February 15.”



MC ‘fails’ to get land for shooting range vacated from encroachers
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

The poposed layout plan for the development of a public utility and memorial complex at Sunet village.
The poposed layout plan for the development of a public utility and memorial complex at Sunet village. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, February 12
The members of a local NGO, Maha Sabha Ludhiana, and the District Rifle Association (DRA) have said the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has failed to get the land, where an indoor shooting range is to be set up, vacated from encroachers. This shooting range is to come up on 5,500 sq yards at Sunet village here.

The DRA claimed that there is no dearth of talent in the city and if a proper shooting range comes here, the city can produce international-level shooters. The local shooters proved their mettle at the recently held National Shooting Championship. Out of a total of nine shooters from Punjab, who have qualified for the international tournaments, six lone are from the city. This despite the fact that the city has no proper shooting range and these shooters train at a temporary range located at Talwara village on the outskirts of the city.

Even as the state government allotted 5,500 sq yards for the construction of a shooting range for the District Rifle Association, the association has not been able to take the possession of the land due to encroachments. The association has brought the issue of encroachments on the land to the notice of the MC several times, but to no avail.

“Whenever we take up this issue, we are given assurance that the encroachments would be removed, but I wonder why the MC fails to take any action against the encroachers,” said Col JS Brar (retd), president, DRA, Ludhiana.

Even the Maha Sabha Ludhiana has proposed to develop a public utility and memorial complex, which would house an open-air theatre, a memorial to Shaheed Sukhdev and a park for the area residents. This complex is proposed to be constructed along with the 5,500 sq yards in Sunet village.

The complex will come up on 12,105 sq yards (around 2.5 acres). “For the project, we are already in possession of 3,709 sq yards while 4,933 sq yards has been allotted to us by the state government. If we are given another chunk of 3,465 sq yards, adjoining this land, we can construct the complex without taking even a single penny from the state government or any government agency,” claimed Colonel Brar, who is also the president of the Maha Sabha Ludhiana.

At the 55th National Shooting Championship held in New Delhi from January 28 to February 4, six shooters from the city have qualified for International Shooting Sports Federation. “They had taken part in .12-bore skeet event. And if an indoor shooting range is constructed in Sunet, our shooters can bring medals from international events too. But all our pleas to get the land vacated have fallen on deaf ears,” he said.

Commissioner of the MC Malwinder Singh Jaggi claimed to have no information about this matter. “If members of the DRA are having any issues, they can come and meet me in my office anytime,” said Jaggi.



Mannequins undergo evolution!

A man standing inside a mall started saying to a woman that her face is familiar to his. She was taken aback when the man after a double take said mannequin in the mall had been modeled after her. She was surprised to see the resemblance of the mannequin with her face. “With the changes in fashion, even the mannequins seem to be evolving and becoming more lifelike. Earlier, the countenance of mannequins used to be mechanical, but now even these have distinct facial features,” he said. “It would be great if I can also get mannequins made after me,” he said.

No spice to story

The city police is drawing flak for its total failure to make any headway in the investigation of double murder mystery involving a serving DSP and a woman in a farm house at the Humbran road, which sent shock waves in the entire city. Meanwhile, a senior police officer, while interacting with mediapersons, reprimanded one of the reporters for trying to dig out some juicy details, so as to add spice to the story. “If you are looking for some spice for your story, you will not get it from me,” said the police official. Another reporter, who was overhearing quipped, “If the police investigation does not lead anywhere and there is no substance, then what else could the media do but look for some spice.”

Guessing game!

As people wait for election results, the anticipation is getting intriguing for many. Journalists ask people to assess the outcome of the election results, while people in turn ask journalists, which make the situation amusing for both. Moreover, persons from the government intelligence agencies think that reports from journalists are authentic. On the other hand, journalists think that reports from the intelligence agencies are credible.

Redefining 108

The number 108 is an emergency number for making a call to the ambulance service. A few days ago, a caller sent a message to Ludhiana Tribune, stating that 108 means friendship. The caller elaborated it by saying, “Give alphabetic number to each of the letters of the word ‘Friendship’ and you will find that the grand total comes out to be 108. F+R+I+E+N+D+S+H+I+P= 6+ 18+ 9+ 5+ 14+ 4+ 19+ 8+ 9+16=108.

‘God-sent’ opportunity

A few days ago, oil got spilled at the road near Khalsa College and vehicles of the girls coming out of the college were seen skidding due to the slippery surface. Even if the girls drove with utmost care, their vehicles were slipping. Boys standing near the college got a chance to help the girls. They would pick up the vehicles of the girls and exchange a few words of sympathy. The situation was turning out to be a “God-sent” opportunity for the boys to talk to the girls, falling victims to the spilled oil. A passerby seeing all this spread some sand over the oil so that the vehicles did not slip anymore. While the girls heaved a sigh of relief, the boys were disappointed as the chance to talk to the girls was taken away from them.

Contributed by Gurvinder Singh, Kuldip Bhatia, Charanjit Singh Teja, Anupam Bhagria and Manav Mander.



Teachers demand review of CCE system
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
Government school teachers are not satisfied with the current model of continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) system. Teachers are demanding to review the CCE model adopted by the Punjab education department. Fed up with this system, some teachers are even asking students to fill grades at their own in the weekly CCE sheet.

To evaluate the students from various aspects of personality other than academics, the education department started CCE under the instructions of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan during the last semester in government schools. Under this, the students are evaluated weekly.

Most of the teachers are demanding that evaluation should be monthly.

“We appreciate the concept of CCE but it would be meaningful if the department implement it in a right way. Now, it is only increasing the paper work. Teachers are busy in completing the CCE registers,” said a teacher from a government school.

“The teachers are doing only the formality to fill boxes with A, B and C letters on the CCE registers. Even some teachers give it to the students as assignment to fill the boxes of evaluation. Study is also suffering due to this paper work. We are not running from the work but we want output from this work. We feel that it is only wastage of time. Model should be changed,” said another teacher requesting anonymity.

Dr Balwinder Kalia, a government teacher, “It is due to lack of coordination between department officials and teachers. The department adopts wrong model to evaluate students. It should be monthly evaluation.”

Meanwhile, Soma Sablok, in charge CCE at director general education office, could not be contacted for her comments.



Bonanza of activities at GGN Khalsa College
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
A multi-activity event, GGN Bonanza-2012, was organised for college and senior secondary school students at GGN Khalsa College, Ludhiana, today. Eighteen activities, including quiz, commerce expo, poster making, power-point presentation, poem recitation, spellathon, creative writing, debate, group discussion, poem recitation, creative writing, debate, group discussion, were held during the mega event.

Around 125 students participated in the extra-curricular activities. A book fair was also organised on the college campus.

Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, bagged the maximum prizes. The gatka team of the college also regaled the audience with a wonderful performance. The winners were awarded prizes, medals, mementos and certificates by Dr KS Aulakh, former Vice-Chancellor of Panjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

Congratulating the winners, Dr Aulakh urged the student community to actively participate in such events as they helped in personality development. Earlier, Principal RP Singh highlighted the academic, cultural and sporting achievements of the college.

Seminar on classical music

Departments of music (vocal), music (instrumental) and dance of Ramgarhia Girls College, Miller Ganj, organised a UGC-sponsored seminar on “Indian classical music-rooted in the past…Branching out to the future” here on Sunday.

Prof Kartar Singh threw light on the deep connection between classical and gurmat sangeet. He said Gurbani was based on classical ragas and that was what createed the magic in its rendition. Dr Pankaj Mala Sharma elaborated on various musical styles like dhrupad, dhamaar, tarana and khayal. She emphasised the holistic influence of music and how it elevated people to a new world altogether. Prof Alankar Singh elaborated on the nuances of stage performance. Prof Samita Bahaguna presented a paper on prabandh gayan and its various elements.

Ranjodh Singh, president, Ramgarhia Educational Council, lauded all the speakers for giving the valuable information to the students.

Interview tips given

The ISTE Students’ Chapter of Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT), Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, organised a special one-week workshop on “Psychology of Interview and Selection” for the students of the 4th semester of MBA & MCA.

The resource person, Asit Ghosh from Tuff Trac International, Shanti Niketan (West Bengal), advised the students to keep in mind the perspective, context, background and paradigm while answering the questions during interview. He emphasised that the selectors wanted to assess the inner worth of the candidates and their suitability for enhancing the productivity of the organisation. He told the students that a right answer given in a right manner would bring you 100 per cent marks. However, if a wrong answer is given in a right way, even then it might bring credit to the interviewee further up to 75 per cent. But, a right answer given in a wrong way may get bring credit only up to 25 per cent while wrong answer given in a wrong way may result in minus 25 per cent.

The workshop was interspersed with exercises to be done by students. With regards to resume writing, he told the students that a good resume could bring an interview call and it gave the outer view of a candidate, but a right psychological approach to interview can bring out students’ inner strength and secure him a job.

Dr Sandhya Mehta, Deputy Director, was the chief coordinator of the workshop. Dr (Col) HS Singh told the students that there were a large number of vacancies in every field and still a large number of students do not get employment as their preparation did not match interviewers’ requirements.

Skill week

A week-long skill week was organised for the students of the BEd and MEd courses of the BCM College of Education from February 4 to 12.

The first day was dedicated to the development of communication skills. For this purpose, an extension lecture was organised on the topic, “Communication skills”. The second day of the week started with a workshop on resume writing. On the third day an orientation programme on the topic, “Teacher Eligibility Test”, was organised. This session was followed by a very wonderful session, i.e. mock interviews conducted by a panel comprising Dr Vandana Shahi, Principal, BCM Sr Sec School, Dugri, and Charanjit Singh, Director, RICCS Computer, Ludhiana, who also gave tips to the students for the preparation of job interviews.

A book reading competition was organised followed by a panel discussion on the topic, “Right to Information”. The Principal, Dr Khushvinder Kumar, congratulated the students and staff on the successful completion of the skill week.

Quiz contest

A quiz contest was organised by the department of music (vocal) at Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women. The overall in charge of the contest was Harminder Kaur, Head of the Department. There were three teams and each team comprised three students. The Principal, Dr Parveen Chawla, congratulated the winning teams and also gave away prizes to them.



Education dept in dire straits
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
During the recent Assembly elections in the state, certain parties had assured the youth that they would get laptops free of cost after they come to power, but far from this rosy picture, the State Education Department has been facing a severe cash crunch.

Teachers are not only facing problems in drawing their monthly salary but also they are not able to withdraw their Public Provident Fund at the time when they actually need it. Not only the provident fund, retired teachers are struggling to get medical claims after retirement.

The District Education Office has a single statement to make via notices which are usually pasted on the premises of the office: "Department has no budget when the government will release the funds then we will be able to release the funds".

"The government introduced the Public Provident Fund scheme for the employees’ convenience. Half of the money in the PPF is deposited from our salaries. But, unfortunately we are not able to get our money at the time of need. I needed money for construction work at my house. I applied for the provident fund some months ago. But, I am still awaiting the withdrawal amount," said Sukhdarshan Singh, a teacher with a local government school.

Raj Rani, a retired teacher, had also been struggling for the past several moths to clear her medical claim from the department. 



Vibhushit adjudged Mr Ectopia
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
Undergraduate medical students of 2007 batch were declared the overall winners in a cultural festival, “Ectopia-2012”, which concluded yesterday evening at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).

Batch 2009 was declared second and batch 2008 was declared third. The three-day cultural extravaganza came to an end with a glittering prize distribution ceremony, along with exhilarating performances by the participants.

The winners of different competitions were honoured by guests of honour, Satish Sanwalka (treasurer, DMCH managing society); Shobha Sanwalka; Poonam Bindra, along with DMCH managing society secretary Prem Kumar Gupta; principal, Dr Daljit Singh and medical superintendents, Dr Sandeep Puri and Dr Ashwani Chaudhary.

Medical superintendent and chairperson of DMCH cultural committee, Dr Sandeep Puri, lauded the efforts of members of DMCH cultural committee and student coordinators, Jasmeet Singh, Akshjot Puri, Puneet Singla, Praful Tiwari, Nipun Bansal and Jaskaran Singh.

Vibhushit of batch 2009 was declared Mr Ectopia for his award-winning performances and the title of Ms Ectopia was given to Gurkanwal Kaur Toor of batch 2007. 



Urinary incontinence on the rise among women
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
The problem of urinary incontinence is on increase among women, but a majority of women conceal it even when they visit a gynaecologist. This was stated by Dr Meena Dass, consultant uro-gynaecologist at the Barnsley NHS Hospital Trust, UK, who visited the department of urology at CMCH recently.

Dr Dass said, “Only 10-15 per cent women discuss this problem, while others do not. Incontinence in women is embarrassing but it is treatable. Urinary incontinence means that you can’t always control when you urinate. As a result, you wet your clothes most of the time during day and night.”

She further said surgery could be helpful in such cases. It is usually done if other treatment modalities haven't worked or if incontinence is severe. Dr Meena Dass described the new surgical technique of “Tension-free vaginal tape-Obturator approach (TVT-O)” and highlighted its advantage over other surgical procedures for stress urinary incontinence (SIU).

Dr Kim Mammen, head of the department of urology, CMCH, emphasised that TVT-O technique and use of similar slings was a minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of patients with stress urinary incontinence (SUI), who do not improve with medications. It improves the quality of life and makes the patient feel dry.


n Urinary incontinence can be caused due to medical problems, including weak pelvic muscles, diabetes, repeated childbirths, obesity, aging.

n Stress incontinence is common in women. Stress incontinence is when urine leaks because of sudden pressure on lower abdominal muscles, such as when one coughs, laughs, lift something or exercise. Stress incontinence usually occurs when the pelvic muscles are weakened, for example by childbirth or surgery.



550 examined at medical camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
Aashiq-E-Khwaja Society
in association with homoeopaths began a series of free homoeopathic medical camps on Sunday at Baba Ram Singh Avenue, the Ferozepur road octroi post.

Dr Surmeet Singh Mavi, chairman and founder of Hahnemannian Education and Research Forum (HERF), started this series.

The camp was aimed at the treatment of mentally challenged, autistic, genetically mutated and congenital abnormalities. Registrations from all across the state poured in and more than 250 new cases and 300 follow-ups were attended by a team of 40 experienced doctors. 



Concern over drug addiction expressed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) and Educational Welfare Committee (EWC) expressed their concern over the increasing trend of drug addiction in Punjab.

IHRO and EWC of a gurdwara, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana, at a joint meeting held here today decided to adopt some schools, drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres to spread awareness about ill-effects of drugs and start vigorously an awareness campaign against female foeticide in Punjab in collaboration and coordination with other government and NGOs active in the field.

IHRO chairperson DS Gill, general secretary Mohinder Singh Grewal, EWC president Jatinder Singh Sandhu and secretary Harinderpal Singh said, “We have formed three sub-committees headed by former principal, Dr Surinderbir Singh (GNE), MS Grewal (IHRO) and doctors against sex selection committee (IMA, Punjab) chairperson, Dr Jiwanjot Kaur.



Now, theme-based showrooms
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

A view of a showroom in Ludhiana.
A view of a showroom in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, February 12
There is a road with a speed-breaker and helmets hanging from the roof. And then you come across people wearing reflective material. They are the salespersons. The interior design of the showroom is based on the theme of a garage. Another showroom has jeans hanging from chains.

Brands with a focus on the youth are coming up with interesting concepts for showrooms to stand out from the rest of the brands, in a bid to create a niche for themselves in connecting with the new generation better.

Another showroom has a sewing machine, miner's helmet on the top shelves. "These depict the history of the brand how it evolved and developed," said the salesman.

"The older generation would perhaps not like these quirky ideas, but we are able to connect with the new generation better and are able to connect instantly with our ideas and brand experience," says a store manager at a mall.

"I think many of the brands provide similar products. But I like the brand better for the way these are presented. There is a sense of adventure when I visit the store," said Gaurav, visiting a fashion store in a mall.

"I saw the reflectors and traffic cones in the show-window along with the clothes when I walked into the mall," says Anjali, who is pursuing BBA. "I think brands are doing all kinds of things to make shopping an interesting experience, particularly for the youngsters," she said.

"Earlier, the focus was more on making showrooms more aesthetic. But, it is good that more showrooms are now being designed on the latest themes, which are adding a new dimension to brands and shopping," said Richa Arora, a resident of Agar Nagar.



‘NCC should be made compulsory’
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
Cadets who attended the national cadet corps (NCC) camps vouch for the fact that attending these camps was a good learning experience.

Yet, parents of many of the students are not in a favour of their children joining the NCC. Many students also say they are not interested in joining the NCC because they feel attending these camps would lead to wastage of time.

According to Commanding Officer at the 3 Punjab Girls’ Battalion, Lt Col Subhash Sehgal, some of the parents do have reservations about their children joining NCC, but when they see their wards attending the camps and witness positive change in their personality, they have no issues.

According to Mansukh Kaur, a student pursuing BSc at Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Model Town, said joining NCC had been an enriching experience of her life.

Jugnu Sandhu, mother of Japmehr Kaur, who won third prize at the Republic Day camp, feels that the NCC should be made compulsory for all students because of the exposure, discipline and training one receives through the NCC.



Appeal for sick

Ajay KumarLudhiana, February 12
Ajay Kumar, a resident of Fatehganj Mohalla, here needs financial help as he is under treatment at Christian Medical College and Hospital.

His cousin Suneet Shekhar said: "Ajay met with an accident on February 2 and is under treatment at the CMCH. He had to undergo a surgery. For this he will have to pay an amount of Rs 35,000 but he will not be able to pay it. His patient number is C7360667.

I appeal to the public in general to donate money for him. Anyone willing to donate money can directly deposit it in his account on the above-mentioned patient's number." — TNS



Veggies prices zoom
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
Prices of vegetables have seen an upward trend. Prices of peas and carrots have gone up, while summer vegetables, which have started arriving in the market, are also priced highly.

Peas, which were earlier available at Rs 25 per kg, are now priced at Rs 30 per kg. The price of cauliflower has also shot up to Rs 20.

“Prices of some of the vegetables have gone high, while summer vegetables like bottle gourd and French beans have started arriving and are priced highly.”



Minor held with psychotropic drugs

Khamano, February 12
The Khamano police has arrested a minor with a large quantity of intoxicants during a naka on Friday. According to SHO Khamano, Rajwinder Singh, the police has laid a naka near Manela village.

The police stopped the minor, who tried to flee but was overpowered.

During the search, a large quantity of intoxicants, including 1,500 tablets of Phenotil and 100 bottles of Rexkof, were recovered from his possession. The arrested was identified as a resident of Pipal Majra village.

Later, he was presented in a court at Fatehgarh Sahib from where he was let off on bail. — OC



Four held for theft
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
With the arrest of four persons, the city police has claimed to have busted a gang of thieves which was behind a series of thefts that took place in the recent past.

The accused have been identified as Guddu Kumar, Sanjay Kumar, Subash Kumar and Bhim Sen.

Salem Tabri police station Inspector Ravinder Singh said the four were nabbed following a tip-off from the Jalandhar Bypass area.

A motorcycle, a CD player, cooking gas cylinder and other home appliances have been recovered from the possession of the suspects.

They have been booked under sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.



BSF Hockey Club clinch Bhagwant Memorial Gold Cup 
Tribune News Service

Young boys take part in a 1,500m race;

a kabaddi match in progress at the Kila Raipur Rural Sports Festival near Ludhiana on Sunday.
Young boys take part in a 1,500m race; and (below) a kabaddi match in progress at the Kila Raipur Rural Sports Festival near Ludhiana on Sunday.

Kilaraipur, February 12
Defying gender and age differences, ruralites, including youth, children and veterans, exhibited tremendous strength and spirit of adventurism by displaying scintillating dexterity in both traditional and conventional sports as the 76th edition of the Kilaraipur Rural Sports Festival concluded on a colourful note at the Grewal Sports Stadium here today.

The concluding day event was presided over by MLA Jasbir Singh Khangura and legislator Adesh Partap Singh Kairon was the chief guest. Dr GP Ray, deputy general manager, State Bank of India, and Anuradha Naraynana, assistant general manager, gave away prizes to winners of various events.

While Nihang Maghar Singh rode two galloping horses, hockey players of BSF Hockey Club kissed 1,000 gm Bhagwant Memorial Gold Cup by defeating EME team.

Today being a public holiday at government offices, a large number of employees and students joined spectators.

Though sports enthusiasts were disappointed for non-performance of bullock cart races, the participants, aged between 8 and 80, displayed skills they have perfected over the years.

Ken, a photographer from Norway, teaches photography skills to a boy

a dog race in progress during the Kila Raipur Rural Sports Festival near Ludhiana on Sunday.
Ken, a photographer from Norway, teaches photography skills to a boy; and (right) a dog race in progress during the Kila Raipur Rural Sports Festival near Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

The event, a blend of traditional and conventional sports, brought together more than 5,000 sportspersons not only from Punjab but also from other parts of the country, besides attracting a substantial number of non-resident Indians.

Kabaddi, tug-of-war, horse riding and daredevil individual performances remained the centre of attraction and kept the spectators glued to their seats.

Continuing their tradition of honouring outstanding sportsmen of the state, the Grewal Sports Association chose Nirmal Singh (Asian Games), Bahadur Singh, chief coach shot put, Hoshiar Singh Khaira (kabaddi) and Jhanda Singh of Baurhai (bullock cart race) for their outstanding contribution in the field of sports.

The tug-of-war and kabaddi competitions displayed the strength and skills of athletes. Harjit Club (Badhni Kalan) won the men’s inter-academy kabaddi title by defeating Harjit Club (Bajakhana) 33-27.5 in the final.

The women’s inter-academy title went to Ferozepur, who defeated Jagraon 16-14.


200m (men): Inderjeet Singh PP (21.51 sec) (Junior Commonwealth Games gold medallist) 1; Maninder Singh PP (21.60 sec) 2; Ajay of BSF (22.00 sec) 3.

200m (women): Deepti Rani of PP 1; Naini Bala of Ludhiana 2; Anju Rani of Jalandhar 3.

Triple jump (men): Arpinder Singh of Ludhiana (15.13 m) 1; Malkeet Singh of Air Force (15.04 m) 2; Amritpal of Jalandhar (14.08 m) 3. Long jump (men): Kulwant Singh of PP (6.95 m) 1; Bikramjeet Singh of SAI-Ludhiana 2; Rupinder Singh of SAI-Ludhiana 3.

Long jump (women): Bhumika Thakur of Ludhiana (5.36m) 1; Kulwinder Kaur of Sangrur 2; Radha of Haryana 3.

Hockey (men’s senior): BSF beat EME 2-1 (Harpreet, Ranjit scored goals for BSF).

Hockey (women’s senior): RCF Kapurthala beat Government Senior Secondary School, Karron, 3-0.

Hockey six-a-side (synthetic turf): Boys (U-14): Doraha beat Malwa School 4-2.

Boys (U-17): Surjit Academy beat Kila Raipur School 7-6.

Dog race (final): Charlie Neela of Dhat Brothers 1; Buster Boy Dabba of Dhat Brothers 2; Bigu Racy of Kala of Royal Group 3; Black water Kala of Gur Fatehveer Singh Gholia 4; Black Commander Kala of Sant Kirpal Dass 5.



PCA trials to select bowlers today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 12
The Team India’s dismal performance in Australia recently has disappointed the fans back home. The debacle has forced the cricket governing authorities here to chalk out comprehensive plans to improve the bowling skills, as this department found wanting miserably in the Test series against Australia as well as England.

In a bid to improve the standard of bowling skills in this part of the nation, the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) has drawn out a strategy to spot the talented fast and spin bowlers and prepare them for the future competition.

The PCA will be organising trials to select the talented bowlers here at Arya College ground tomorrow from 10 am onwards. Aspirants with the required potential from Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur and Moga can participate in these trials.

Players under 18 years of age as on September 1, 2011 with 5'10" height are eligible for the trials for fast bowlers, while age is no criteria for attending trials for spinners.

The PCA has formed a five-member talent spotter’s panel to shortlist the players. The members of the panel include former Test players Pankaj Dharmani and Harvinder Singh, besides former Ranji players Bharti Vij, Navdeep Singh and Joginder Puri.



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