L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Unauthorised colonies
GLADA notice to 114 developers
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 1
In a move which is indicative of a tough stand being taken against persistent unplanned development around the city, the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) today issued a notice to 114 unauthorised colonies which have mushroomed in the mega city in the past few years.

GLADA Chief Administrator KS Pannu has issued the notices under the provision of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act 1995 (PAPRA), which lays down that no person shall set up a residential colony without the permission from the competent authority and without obtaining a licence as a promoter of a colony from the government.

Taking a serious note of a large number of unscrupulous developers setting up residential colonies on the agriculture land without the change of land use (CLU) and also without obtaining any licence from the competent authority (GLADA), Pannu observed that such colonisers not only resort to unlawful activity but also fail to provide proper space for public utilities in the unauthorised colonies.

"The unauthorised colonies are developed without getting the CLU from agriculture to residential, without paying stipulated external development charges and other fees to the government as laid down in PAPRA. Therefore, the state government or the local development authority is not duty bound to provide any services or amenities to such colonies which are virtually concrete slums. Unauthorised colonisers somehow manage to attract gullible investors with a view to duping them by charging hefty money," the GLADA chief administrator said.

In a note of warning against the unauthorised and unlicenced development of residential colonies, Pannu asked defaulting promoters to desist from such practices. He also made an appeal to the general public not to invest their hard-earned money by buying plots in such unauthorised colonies as these colonies can be demolished anytime.

The one-month public notice issued to the developers of the unauthorised colonies clearly states that the violators shall be prosecuted under the law, which could lead to imprisonment for a maximum period of three years and fine of Rs 10,000.

Pannu also made it amply clear that unless the promoters initiated the process for obtaining licence by fulfilling the laid-down conditions and payment of the licence fee and external development charges within the notice period, construction or structures, if any, in such unauthorised colonies would be demolished.


city’s periphery
Structures in 4 illegal colonies razed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 1
Continuing with its drive against unauthorised colonies on the periphery of the mega city, a team of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) today demolished internal development projects in four such colonies in Jhabewal and Sahibana villages.

Additional Chief Administrator (ACA) of GLADA Jaswant Singh, who led the team, said these four colonies were being developed in an area of 25 acres. "The GLADA team razed roads, electric poles, sewerage lines and water supply lines in these unauthorised colonies."

He said GLADA had taken a tough stand against the mushrooming of unauthorised colonies.

"Final notices have been served on 114 illegal colonies which had come up in different parts of the city during the last couple of years to get their colonies regularised under the policy framed by the state government or this purpose. In case of non-compliance, GLADA will demolish all construction, internal development projects and other structures in such colonies," the GLADA ACA said.



Daylight ‘robbery’ of Rs 22 lakh sends police in tizzy 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
The city police today went in a tizzy after an employee of a multinational apparel brand claimed that three armed assailants robbed him of Rs 22 lakh while he was returning to his factory unit located on the Rahon road here yesterday.

The broad daylight robbery claim sent shock waves in the police department.

Besides hunting for the robbers, the police is also trying to find the reason as to why the employee kept mum on the “sensational robbery incident” for over a day.

Narrating the incident, Prem Kumar, an employee of Venus Apparel, located on the Rahon road, said the incident took place in the afternoon yesterday when he was returning to the factory unit on his scooter, after withdrawing cash Rs 22 lakh from two banks located in Sherpur Chowk and Rahon road, respectively.

When he reached near the factory unit, three armed assailants, travelling on a motorcycle, intercepted him. Before he could react, one of the assailants pulled out a pistol and trained it at him.

In the meantime, the other assailants took out the cash that was kept in the dickey and in no time the assailants from fled the scene.

Prem Kumar said he was so terrified that he could not jot down the number of the motorcycle of the assailants.

Prem Kumar further told the police that he had informed his employer Vikas Bector, who was in Delhi, about the incident.

It was today that Prem Kumar lodged a formal robbery complaint.

ACP Swapan Sharma said the matter was being investigated from all angles. It is learnt that Prem Kumar was questioned in connection with the robbery.



Bus driver, conductor nabbed for rape
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
In a shocking incident, a 30-year-old migrant woman lodged a complaint of gang-rape against the driver and conductor of a private bus.

The incident took place when the victim, a widow and a mother of six children, who is a Kapurthala resident, was visiting her mother's home in Hambran.

According to the victim, when the bus reached Jalandhar Bypass, the passengers alighted from the bus and she was left alone.

She stated to the police that the conductor and the driver of the bus overpowered her and raped her.

As soon as the bus reached the bus stand, she raised an alarm and lodged a complaint with the police.

The driver and the conductor of the bus were arrested. SHO Division No 5 Raj Kumar said, "Prima facie, we have registered a case against the driver and the conductor of the bus. They would be further taken to the Civil Hospital for medical examination to substantiate the rape charges."



Car-lifter woman nabbed in Delhi
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
The woman who fled with a car from the Sector 32 area two days ago was nabbed by the Delhi Police here today.

Sources said the city police came to know about the arrest here this evening and sent police parties to Delhi to take the woman on production warrant. The woman was nabbed when she was selling off the stolen vehicle.

It was on Sunday that the woman fled with the vehicle from the Sector 32 area on the Chandigarh Road area.

Jatinder Singh, owner of the Tata Indigo car, said he had parked the car outside his house here in the morning and went inside to pick up some goods. He saw a woman along with a child roaming in the street. Jatinder's son Harsh, who was on the roof of the house, saw the woman and the child entering the car.

He raised an alarm and informed his parents about the car theft. By the time family members rushed to the gate, the woman had fled with the vehicle.



Forged signatures case
Case registered against two
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
A case has been registered against Rakesh Sharma, a resident of Haibowal Khurd, working as a senior assistant in the District Sainik Welfare Office, Nawanshahr, and Gurlal Singh, a resident of Ghumar Mandi, under Sections 420-511 of the IPC at Division Number 1 for drawing a cheque-book by allegedly forging signatures of District Sainik Welfare Officer, Ludhiana on January 21.

District Sainik Welfare Officer (DSWO), Lt-Col Manmohan Singh (retd), had complained to the SHO, Kotwali, to register a case against Rakesh Sharma and Gurlal Singh who, by forging his signatures, got a chequebook issued from a bank and later tried to withdraw Rs 4.3 lakh by presenting a cheque to the bank the same day.

The complaint was filed by the DSWO, vide letter no. DSW/FD1/02/2012/288, on February 9, 2012. In his letter, the DSWO wrote that on January 21, 2012, a person posing as Devinder Kumar went to Allahabad Bank, Clock Tower, and got issued a chequebook (10 leaves) by forging his signatures.

The same person, then posing as Deepak, tried to encash a cheque of Rs 4.3 lakh from the bank. As the bank manager got suspicious, he contacted the DSWO, who immediately faxed a letter to the bank to block all transactions, as it was a forgery case.

Even the CCTV cameras installed at the bank had got the footage of the person, who tried to commit the fraud. The DSWO had complained that the two employees of the DSWO office were the "masterminds" behind the fraud and suitable action must be taken against them according to the law.



Girl thrashed by eve-teasers

Ludhiana, March 1
A class XII girl student was thrashed by a group of eve-teasers when she allegedly slapped one of them. The incident took place here this evening when Meenu was visiting the market for shopping.

The eve-teasers passed abusive comments on her. At this, she retorted back and slapped one of them. The eve-teasers then thrashed her. Residents of the area overpowered the eve teasers and beat them. While one youth was nabbed, others managed to escape. — TNS



Woman alleges highhandedness at tehsildar’s office
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
Parkash Kaur, a resident Jugiana village, has alleged that officials at the office of Sahnewal Tehsildar harassed her and did not get the land-deal registered which was due on February 28, 2012.

She further levelled allegations that officials did not mark her present while she was present at the Sub-Registrar's office from 9 am to 5:50 pm. The woman further alleged that it was only when she paid Rs 10,000 as "bribe" to the Reader of the tehsildar that she was marked present.

While giving an affidavit, Parkash Kaur said that a deal was struck between her and one Mandeep Singh of Churpura village (district Ludhiana) at the rate of Rs 45 lakh per acre on November 26, 2010. She was the seller while Mandeep Singh was the buyer in the deal and Rs 15 lakh was given to her by the buyer as token-money.

"On February 1, 2011, I was paid Rs 5 lakh more by the buyers and the remaining amount was to be paid on the registry date on February 28, 2012. On February 28, neither the Sub-Registrar Sahnewal nor the buyer was present in the office for getting the land deal registered. I kept on waiting for them till 5:50 pm. When I pleaded to mark my presence, the Reader of the Sub-Registrar asked me to give Rs 10,000. I had to pay the amount to show that I was present. Next day, I was again called by the officials, but being alone, officials in connivance with the other party did not get the land-deal registered. I am being cheated both by the buyer and the officials," alleged Parkash Kaur.

The Reader, Harish Kumar, when asked for comments, said, "These are baseless allegations, I did not demand anything from the woman. The woman was marked present."



pu ma exam
City students bring laurels
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
It was a joyous moment for Puja Malik and Kanika Mighlani who appeared last year in the annual examination of MA English (correspondence) in part-II and part I, respectively, and scored top positions in the exam.

Interestingly, the result of both these students was declared in July 2011, but they got to know about their top positions only three days ago when they received invitation letters from the Chairperson of University School of Open Learning, Panjab University, Chandigarh for attending the annual prize distribution function where they are to be awarded.

Kanika Mighlani, who is curently pursuing her studies in MA II (correspondence) said, "I scored 61.5% marks in MA (I) last year. Only three days ago I received a letter from

Professor Lalit Kumar Bansal, Chairperson, University School of Open Learning, Panjab University, Chandigarh, in which I have been told that I would be awarded during the annual prize distribution function on March 13 at Punjab University Chandigarh. I am very happy as I have been told that students who score first two positions are awarded."

Kanika passed graduation from the Khalsa College for Women in the year 2007 and afterwards did B.Ed and then joined some job. She gives credit of her success to Dr D V Jindal, a retired professor of linguistics from SCD Government College, for guiding her in studies.

Overjoyed after getting to know her first position in MA II English correspondence, Puja Malik said,"I scored 60.5% marks in MA II and got to know about my first position only two days ago. I have also been invited to collect my award at the annual prize distribution function on March 13 at Chandigarh."

Equally overjoyed and surprised was Shiwani Saini, an old student of GGN Khalsa College, who said,"I passed MA in English last year with 58% marks. A few days ago, I received a letter from Assistant Registrar, Panjab University Chandigarh, that I would be awarded with Professor MG Singh Memorial Gold Medal during the annual prize distribution function for scoring maximum marks in linguistics, i.e. 79% marks. The credit goes to my linguistics teacher Sushminderjit Kaur who always inspired us to study this subject and of course to professor KBS Sodhi who has retired now."

She wants to be a teacher.



700 attend rehearsals for poll counting
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
About 700 employees, who have been put on the duty for the counting of the Assembly election votes on March 6, attended the rehearsals at Guru Nanak Bhawan here today.

Fourteen tables each will be put up for the counting purpose for all 14 constituencies falling in Ludhiana district. The counting will start at 8 am on March 6 and the votes which were sent through post will be counted first.

Rupanjali Kartik, Additional Deputy Commissioner, while giving details about the counting, said that before opening the electronic voting machines (EVMs), the counting supervisors will tally the particulars mentioned in Form Number 17-C with the details given in the machines. "To make everything transparent, each table will be videographed," said the ADC.

She further added that after each round of counting, the counting supervisor will fill the counting form and give it to the Returning Officer concerned (of constituency) and the micro-observer will provide the information to the observers. These observers had been deputed by the Election Commision of India.



School Quiz draws flak
Cluster-level contest a mere ‘formality’, say teachers
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
The cluster-level quiz competitions for classes IXth and Xth of government schools conducted by the Education Department today have drawn flak from teachers and academicians who allege that the department has conducted these competitions as a mere "formality".

The department had issued a circular only two days ago to inform the schools about the competitions conducted under the Rashtriya Madhymik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA).

According to the Director-General of School Education (DGSE), the department is conducting these quiz competitions in the subjects of mathematics, science, social studies and English to uplift the standard of education in the government schools.

The teachers, however, alleged that the department that was required to spend the money reserved for the purpose till March 31, was in a hurry to get the responsibility off its shoulders.

According to a teacher, a number of quiz conducting teams were unable to come today because the department had failed to inform them about the contest in time. Even students who were to participate in the competitions had to be "managed" on the spot.

Sukhcharan Singh, a teacher at a local government school, said: "What is the benefit for the students who participate in a quiz competition without any preparation? We appreciate the government for its efforts in uplifting the educational standard of the government schools, but due to the mismanagement at the department level the efforts go in vain. A detailed academic schedule should be chalked out and followed right from the start of the session so that such competitions are not reduced to a mere formality."

"The department should have informed the schools some days in advance," said another teacher from a local government school.

According to the DGSE, the District Education Officer (DEO) was responsible for organising these competitions. The DEO, when contacted, was not available for the comment.



Training on soyabean processing ends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
A valedictory function was organised at the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) to mark the conclusion of the training session on soybean processing. Head, Transfer of Technology Division, CIPHET, Dr Deepak Raj Rai, advised the participants to maintain highest standards of hygiene and quality in soyabean processing.

"There is a lot of demand for soya milk and tofu in urban areas, but products should only be introduced into market after their standardisation," he said. CIPHET scientist Dr Indu Karki took feedback from the participants and Technical Official Dr OP Moondan informed them about other training programmes available at CIPHET.



College notes

National Science Day

Ludhiana: National Science Day was celebrated at the GMT College of Education under the guidance of the officiating principal, Dr Shikha Soni. Assistant Professor of Science Department Amritpal Singh expressed his views about the history of National Science Day and told the students about the importance of science in our life. He also talked about the various inventions of Dr CV Raman who is known as the “Father of National Science Day”. The science students of the college also expressed their views related to science like objectives of science, Dr CV Raman’s achievements in the field of science.

A science quiz was also held for the students. Tanu Gupta and Sandeep Singh presented some motivational quotations. Science students Swati, Rinku Singh, Poonam and Sandeep Singh also shared their views.

National seminar

A two-day UGC-sponsored national seminar on “Toxic Trails of Punjab, Uranium, heavy metals and pesticides” was organised by the Department of Chemistry, AS College, Khanna.

The seminar was inaugurated by Principal RS Jhanji along with the chief guest, Dr SS Parmar, and Prof KP Singh. Prof Ravinderjit Singh, Head of Chemistry Department, introduced the speaker, Dr Parmar who spke on “Uranium and Radon in the environs of the south-west Malwa region of Punjab, India."

Prof KP Singh from Punjab University, Chandigarh, highlighted the prevalence of uranium in various water samples in Punjab. It was recommended that scientific fraternity should collaborate among themselves for information sharing.

An eminent Professor from Punjabi University, Patiala, Dr Jagbir Singh Kirti, spoke on the topic, “Environmental degradation: Problems and Solutions”.

Dr Brijesh Pathak from Baba Farid University, Bathinda, delivered a lecture on “Phytoremedies of Uranium”. The delegates and students also participated in a poster presentation. — TNS



School notes

Cluster-level quiz

Ludhiana: A cluster-level quiz competition under RAMSA, according to the schedule given by the DGSE office and the directions by Ludhiana District Science Supervisor Varinder Kaur and Assistant DSS Arun Kumar, was conducted at all clusters of Ludhiana. Ludhiana District Science Supervisor Varinder Kaur and her team supervised all the quiz competitions.

Nearly 334 students of class IX and X participated in the contest across Ludhiana district. The competition at Government School, Pakhowal, was conducted under the supervision and guidance of English Master Trainer Amandeep Singh. Ten schools of the Pakhowal cluster participated in this competition. The winners of English-social studies quiz was Government High School, Lohat Badi, while the winner of science-maths quiz was GSSS, Pakhowal.

Annual function

The annual prize-distribution function was organised in NM Jain Model School. The students performing well in academics were presented with prizes. The students of class XI also organised a farewell party for the students of class XII.


An in-service training programme was held in Sai Public School to groom teachers. The training is imparted to keep teachers updated with the latest techniques of teaching, improve their spoken English. The zero period has been earmarked for teachers’ training. — TNS



Auto parts’ exhibition
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
A two-day auto parts exhibition started today at the Institute of Auto Parts and Handtool Technology in focal point.

Government Vehicle Factory, Jabalpur, Northern railway workshop, Jagadri, Rail Coach factory, Kapurthala, Diesel Loco Modern, Patiala, and several manufacturers from Ludhiana and around were also there. Director MSME SS Dhillon and B K Chowdhary, Assistant Director (Chem) MSME addressed a national vendor development programme on auto parts and allied components.



Textile expo begins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
Textile Expo-2012 started today at Hotel Le Baron here. The expo was inaugurated by Textile Commissioner VK Kohli. The exhibition is all about handloom products and nearly 40 exhibitors from Ludhiana and other parts of the country are displaying their products.

Speaking on the occasion, Kohli informed the participants about the government schemes, especially for the handloom iIndustry. He especially focused on the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) scheme, which is supposed to be valid till March 31.

He also talked about the skill development programme and laid emphasis on group insurance of workers, especially of the handloom industry. He also threw light on the other schemes being run by the Ministry of Textiles.

Vinod Thapar, president of Knitwear Club, also shared his opinion on these schemes and requested Kohli to take up with the Ministry of Textiles the issue of extension of the validity of the TUF scheme and providing the MSME a major share of funds under the TUF scheme as MSMEs are the backbone of the knitwear industry.

Dhruv Aggarwal, member the All-India Powerloom Board, proposed setting up of a testing lab on the basis of public-private partnership for the welfare of the industry.



Training on millets

Ludhina, March 1
A three-day training on “processing and value addition of small millets” was organised by the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET).

Around 10 participants from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand attended the programme, which included lectures, practical, hands-on training and field visits.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr MR Manikantan, course director of the training proramme, said the Government of India had allocated Rs 300 crore for nutritional security through Intensive Millet Promotion (INSIMP). — TNS



Commerce students get career tips
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, March 1
To make students aware of career prospects in the field of commerce, the Postgraduate Department of Commerce of GTB National College Dakha held an extension lecture on "Career Prospects in Commerce" in the college auditorium today.

Dr Bikramjit Singh Virk, Associate Professor at NJSA College, Kapurthala, was the resource person. In his interesting power-point presentation, Dr Virk dwelt upon the various aspects of the BCom course. He explained the various careers open to commerce students, including chartered accountancy, chartered secretary, management, banking, teaching, etc.

He also discussed the cost of each course and the remuneration expected. While concluding his lecture, Dr Virk opined that the present age is that of smart work, therefore the students should make the best use of the facilities available to them. The resource person also answered to various queries made by the students of the Commerce Department.

Earlier, welcoming the resource persons, Prof Avtar Singh, Head of the Commerce Department, said the present age is the age of commerce education and there was no dearth of opportunities for students of commerce stream in various organisations.

In the end, principal Assa Singh Ghuman thanked the resource person for sharing his experience with the students. He also emphasised the need of supplementing commerce education with the IT and communication skills to cope the requirements of the present age.



Play revives memories of Hambran killings
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
Playwright Ajmer Singh Aulakh's play “Ishq Baaj Namaz Da Haj Naahin” staged at Panjab University Regional Centre (PURC) here today revived the memory of the chilling incident of Hambran honour killings that took place last month.

The play, presented by the Dramatics Society of the PURC, raised many pertinent questions about the honour killings and the tacit social approval that often accompanies such killings.

The honour killing, as the play suggests, is not an isolated act of a bigoted family. It's a tragedy waiting to happen in a patriarchal society where social stratification is based on both caste and class. The girl's mother (in the play) wants her to get married to a high-caste boy who's well heeled. When the girl tries to reason with her mother that his wealth is ill-gotten, her mother admonishes her and asks her to have a realistic approach.

The girl's decision to exercise her right to choose her spouse compounds the issue. What proves to be her nemesis is that the man of her choice belongs to a low caste. The men in her family cannot accept a woman who, by their yardstick, has gone astray. The "izzat" (honour) of the family has to be vindicated and the girl is killed in cold blood. The girl's maternal uncle, who's inclined towards religion, has his own way of easing his conscience - he says the spiritual lesson of "oneness" is not applicable to the mundane issues. The play freezes on his entry to the crime scene.

The play was produced by Dr Harpreet Kaur Vohra, assistant professor of English at the PURC, and directed by Prince and Randeep, both PURC students, under the patronage of Deepak Kapur, director, PURC.

Gurbhajan Gill, president, Punjabi Sahit Akademi, was the chief guest, while theatre personality Nirmal Rishi and singer Inderjit Nikku were the guests of honour on the occasion.



MC recovers Rs 20-crore dues in Feb

Ludhiana, March 1
In its recent recovery drive, the Municipal Corporation has recovered about Rs 20 crore in February. In a press note issued here today, Municipal Commissioner MS Jaggi has said that the MC has set a target to collect at least Rs 1 crore on every working day. He appreciated his officials and staff for recovering a good amount of money. The commissioner said they would achieve a target to recover Rs 40 crore in March.

He appealed to the residents that they should deposit the due amount till March 31 and save themselves penalty. — TNS



Changing weather brings ailments
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
With the changing weather more and more patients suffering from cough, cold and fever are visiting the hospitals and clinics. A majority of the patients have the symptoms of exposure due to cold.

Dr Kanwal Masih, Medical Superintendent of the Christian Medical College and Hospital, said: “Owing to a little increase in temperatures, people think that winter has gone now. But it is not like that as weather is still under change. People have started wearing summer stuff, which affects their health."

Dr Rajinder Gulati, pediatrician, said: "The number of asthmatics have increased, perhaps due to allergens in the environment."

He suggested that outdoor activities at places with more greenery and flowering should be avoided, as it exposes to environmental allergens. Dr Anurit Gill, Senior Consultant, SPS Apollo Hospital, said: ''The number of patients with soar throat and viral fever are on the increase. This is the changing weather and one should take all precautions required for good health. One should not take off woollens immediately and should not remain empty stomach."



cycle expo
Orders worth Rs 50 cr booked
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
The cycle industry here is in a jubilant mood as it has received orders worth Rs 50 crore during the cycle expo held recently in the city. Nearly 4,000 dealers from the entire country came to the city for the expo. The figures have only boosted the confidence of the city's industry and next month, a delegation will be visiting China to exhibit their products.

"The recently held cycle expo has proved very beneficial for the cycle industry. The industry has booked orders in large numbers and the expo managed to bring back smiles on the faces of industrialists dealing in cycle and cycle parts. The expo proved to be a great platform for both the buyers and sellers," said Gurmeet Singh Kular, president, United Cycle Parts and Manufacturers Association.

Dashmesh Singh, dealing in cycle chains, said the expo has proved very beneficial for him. "Dealers from across the nation came for the exhibition and I managed to book considerable amount of orders. Though it was not allowed to book orders at the exhibition venue, we took dealers to our units where orders were booked," he said.

To further upgrade their technical knowhow, a delegation from the local cycle industry will be visiting China next month. Kular added that he had been visiting China since 1998 and visiting factories.



Agri future to be science-based: Expert
Convocation of the College of Agriculture, Punjab Agricultural University
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
To meet the challenges of the 21st century and to feed billion-plus population with only 2.3 per cent of global land resources and about 4.2 per cent of water resources, food security has to be at the core of the agriculture development agenda, emphasised PK Basu, Secretary (Agriculture and Cooperation), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, while delivering his convocation address at the convocation and prize-distribution function of the College of Agriculture of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here today.

According to Basu, the future of agriculture is going to be science-based. Only science will guide us to produce more from the limited land resources. The agriculture of tomorrow will be greatly influenced by the developments of biotechnology and nanotechnology. He said: "Owing to the availability and adoption of high-yield crop varieties, inputs and farm machinery, the key ingredients of the ‘Green Revolution’, the production of food grains has increased from 82 million tones in 1960-61 to 250 million tones in 2011-12." But the tough task of food and nutritional security still needs to be addressed, he added.

The PAU has played a pivotal role in making Punjab a nationally dominant agricultural state, which is rightly recognised as the Food Bowl of India," he highlighted.

Expressing concern that the water table has gone down to more than 10 metres in 97 per cent of the cultivated area of Punjab, reaching critical levels and endangering sustained agricultural production, he said the enactment of the Sub-soil Water Preservation Act, which bars transplant of paddy before June 10, is a right step to check the excessive use of groundwater resources.

Climate change is the emerging threat to sustainable agriculture, he noted, saying that the promotion of resource conservation technologies well-supported by precision farming operations like laser land leveller and tensiometer, developed by the PAU, can help the farmers to minimise the impact of climate change.

Presiding over the function, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, awarded a total of 266 degrees in BSc Agriculture (Hons), 13 BEd, 41 merit certificates, seven gold medals/medals and 16 prizes (for academic excellence) to the students who passed out during 2008-11. Ramanpreet Kaur and Rajdeep Singh Khangura clinched University Gold Medals, Academic Roll of Honour, ASPEE Medal and Dr Ram Dhan Singh Medal for securing the highest overall credit point average and first position in BSc Agriculture (Hons) for 2009 and 2010, respectively.



ransom case
Sukhjit granted bail
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
The court of Additional Sessions Judge KS Kang today granted bail to Sukhjit Singh, alias Sukhi Chahal, who is facing accusation of demanding ransom of Rs 10 lakh from former Minister Malkit Singh Birmi.

Earlier, the former minister had given a statement in the court and an affidavit stating that he was having no objection if the bail was granted to the accused.

On the last date of the hearing counsel for the accused Harpreet Singh Sandhu had surrendered the accused’s passport. He had assured that Sukhi will not leave the country till the pendency of the case.

The court ordered the accused to furnish two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each. The court has also directed the accused not to leave the country without prior permission of the trial court.

Sukhjit Singh, a resident village Heeron Khurd, Mansa district, was facing charges of posing as alleged conduit of Khalistan Commando Force to extort Rs 10 lakh from Congress candidate Malkit Singh Birmi during the 1992 Assembly elections and was caught by the then SHO Gurmeet Singh Pinky in 1992.

Police officials confirmed that he was declared a proclaimed offender by the court on May 14, 1999, by the then judge AS Kaler. Subsequently he got political asylum in the USA and became a citizen there.

It was on January 21 that the police allegedly picked up Chahal from Mohali and further took him to Patiala from there he was further taken to the city and sent on judicial remand by a local court.



Thieves target school lab
Computers, UPS, LPG cylinders stolen
Our Correspondent

Amloh, March 1
Some unidentified thieves broke the locks of a computer lab of Government High School, Bugga Kalan, and took away 4 CPUs, 4 UPS, 3 LPG cylinders of the ration for the mid-day meal scheme amounting to around Rs 35,000.

The Amloh police has registered an FIR on a statement of Headmaster Didar Singh Mangat.

The Headmaster reported that the post of watchman was lying vacant in the school.

Earlier, such thefts at Government Middle School, Machhrai Kalan, Middle School, Lakha Singh Wala, and Government High School, Bibipur, had been reported to the police but no thief had been traced so far, said the headmaster.

The local police is investigating the matter and has sent police parties in various places.



LBA men retain title
Ludhiana eves dethrone Kapurthala in basketball
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 1
The reigning champions in the men's section, Ludhiana Basketball Academy (LBA) made a clean sweep, wrapping up all the three matches in the semifinal league to retain the title in the 62nd Punjab State Basketball Championship which concluded at Guru Nanak Sports Complex here today.

In their last fixture, the LBA players drubbed Ludhiana district 59-24 to secure 6 points and emerge the champions again. For the winners, Amritpal Singh sank in as many as 15 baskets and Kuldeep Singh contributed 11 points.

For the losing side, Arjoo played his heart out and went on to reduce the margin at regular intervals. He accounted for 13 points but this was not enough for his side ti catch up with the academy cagers.

Amritsar district won two matches and lost one to garner five points to finish as runners up while Ludhiana district with one win and two loses had to content at third place.

Similarly, in the women's section, Ludhiana district recorded victory in all three matches to romp home. In the last league encounter, Ludhiana eves scripted a thumping 76-53 win over Jalandhar district.

Jalandhar district eves came out triumphant in two matches and lost third one to occupy second place while the last year's winners, Kapurthala district lost two matches and won one to secure third place.

Surinder Singh of GS Autos and Kumar Sanjay Jha, Commandant, B S F distributed the prizes. Teja Singh Dhaliwal, honorary secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, Surjit Singh Sandhu, District Sports Officer, Ludhiana, Dr S Subramanian, former Director, NIS Patiala and former international cyclist, Prof Rajinder Singh along with coaches were present on this occasion.



Kirti sprints to glory
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 1
Kirti Sharma won 100m sprint to emerge as the fastest runner among girl participants on the opening day of the 65th Annual Athletics Meet of Arya College, Civil Lines, here today.

Dr Charanjit Singh Grewal, Director, Sports, Panjab University, Chandigarh, was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony and he declared the meet open. Colorful balloons were released on this occasion to mark the opening of the games.

The chief guest called upon the students to take active part in sports. He regretted the declining level of physical health among the youths. He attributed the poor health in the young generation to the lack of physical exercise.

"People take care of the economic, social and religious activities but ignore physical fitness and adopt incendiary ways of life, as a result they fall an easy victim to ailments like hypertension and diabetes," added Grewal.

Dr TL Joshi, Principal of the college, read out the annual report that highlighted the achievements by the college students at different level tournaments. Rajesh Sharma, president, Arya College Managing Committee and Prof AK Maleri along with faculty and a large number of students were present there.

The following are the first day's results

Girls- 100m race- Kirti Sharma 1, Reena 2 and Ganga Gautam 3; 800m walk- Ganga Gautam 1, Neha 2, Harpreet Kaur and Sagun 3; Spoon race- Divya Puri 1, Lisa 2 and Sonia 3; Rope skipping race- Reena 1, Parveen Sharma 2 and Aarsh Arora 3; Javelin throw- Lovleen 1, Kajal 2 and Neha Kapila; Discus throw- Lovleen 1, Harpreet Kaur 2 and Reena 3.

Boys: 800m race- Rachhpal Singh 1, Dhaniya Sahi 2 and Hari Krishan Dhand 3; 1500m race- Dhaniya Sahi 1, Hari Krishan Dhand 2 and Tirath Kumar; Shot put- Prabhjot Singh 1, Jarnail Singh 2 and Ramandeep Singh 3; High jump- Jatin Kaushal 1, Gurlal Singh 2 and Sandeep Singh 3; 200m race- Jarnail Singh 1, Dhaniya Sahi 2 and Atshay Lamba 3; 5000m cycle race- Nitin Kumar 1, Lalit kumar 2 and Deepak Kumar 3; Shot put (non-teaching) Karan Singh 1, Rambir Singh 2 and Har Singh 3.



Inter-varsity meet
Chakar academy pugilists shine
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, March 1
Trainees of Sher-e-Punjab Sports Academy, Chakar, near Jagraon, have brought laurels to the academy as well as Ludhiana district by winning three medals in the All-India Inter-University Boxing Tournament that concluded recently.

According to Balwant Singh Sandhu, director, Sher-e-Punjab Sports Academy, Chakar, three pugilists of the academy took part in the tournament and bagged two silver medals and one bronze medal while representing different universities. The tournament had been held at Lovely Professional University (LPU), Jalandhar, from February 23 to 27.

Trainee of the academy Shavinder Kaur, who was representing Panjab University, Chandigarh, in the tournament, bagged silver medal in the 50-kg category whereas Amandeep Kaur, who represented Punjabi University, Patiala, also bagged silver medal in the 80-kg category.

Parminder Kaur, another trainee of the academy, clinched bronze medal in the championship in the 52-kg weight category. Parminder Kaur represented Panjab University, Chandigarh, in the championship.

Expressing satisfaction on the trainees’ performance, convener Baldev Singh Sidhu said this was the first time that three girls from the same village took part in such a prestigious tournament and also bagged three medals.

All the residents of the Chakar village were upbeat at this achievement of the girls of the village. They were given a warm welcome by the villagers on their return from the championship.



Bodybuilding meet begins today
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 1
The stage is set for the Federation Cup Bodybuilding Championship scheduled to be held at Guru Nanak Bhawan here on March 2 and 3.

Over 300 participants, including national and international-level bodybuilders from across the country, will be seen in action in different weight categories during this two-day event to be organised by the Punjab State Amateur Bodybuilding Association.

The weighing of the participants will be done at the Community Centre, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and the competition will start late in the evening.

The organisers have also announced that Padmashree awardee and former World Champion Prem Chand Degra would be honoured at the prize-distribution function on March 3.

He will be given a cash prize besides a citation, highlighing his achievements.



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