L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Drivers’ stir hits MC demolition drive
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
The much-awaited demolition drive of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation in Industrial Area-A and Textile Colony was postponed following a strike by the MC drivers today. The drivers, who operate ditch machines as well as other vehicles, went on strike following the death of a former driver, whose services were terminated by the MC around 18 months ago.

The drivers as well as the members of deceased Darshan Singh's family held a protest outside the MC Zone A office today. An ailing Darshan Singh died yesterday. His family had kept the body in front of MC office in protest.

His services were terminated after the garbage truck he was driving crushed a boy near Samrala Chowk here. At that time Darshan Singh worked as a contractual employee and was getting salary according to the DC rates.

A senior MC official said led by some politicians, Darshan's family members had met senior MC officials in the Zone A office. "We are willing to accommodate one of their family members on compassionate grounds, but the family as well as the politicians accompanying them are pressuring us for a permanent job. Darshan was a contractual employee and his services were terminated after he crushed a young boy to death. The family is just trying to pressurise us by holding a protest," said a senior MC official.

Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said the MC was willing to provide a contractual job to one of his family members on the DC rates. "I appeal that they should lift their dharna," said the Mayor.

For the removal of encroachments, the MC had prepared an action plan under which all the encroachments would be removed from the city in a phased manner. Today was the fourth consecutive time that the drive as planned under the Action Plan had been postponed. This action plan was prepared following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In Industrial Area A and Textile Colony, the MC was to remove a total of 406 encroachments from April 9-12.

Demolition of 30 shops in Gur Mandi area on March 13
Demolition of 22 shops in Talaab Bazar on March 21
Demolition of 64 encroachments from Sem Wala Nullah in Haibowal on April 2

April 9-12: Industrial Area A and Textile Colony (a total of 206 encroachments)
April 22: Haibowal Kalan (56 encroachments have to be removed)
April 30: Saban Bazar, Brown Road and Jail Road (a total of 10 encroachments are to be removed)


Man shoots himself in head at village
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
A 40-year-old man allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with his licensed rifle at Gahlewal village here last night.

The deceased has been identified as Rajpal. He had been living alone for the last seven years following a divorce with his wife.

Last night, he came out of his house and shot himself in the head. He was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead by the doctors. A post-mortem examination of the body was conducted at the Civil Hospital and it was handed over to his relatives.

Balwinder Singh, SHO of the Jodhewal Basti police station, said the deceased was a well educated person and used to take excessive alcohol. Owing to his habit of excessive drinking, he was under a financial crunch and had recently sold off his house.

Rajpal had lived in Germany and got married to a German woman. But, the marriage did not last long and both of them parted ways. Rajpal then started living in England. He left England and got settled in the US for some time.

He was soon caught in the US and deported. In India, he got married again but even the second marriage did not work. Rajpal got married for a third time a few years ago and the couple had a son from the wedlock.

His third wife also left the house accusing Rajpal of domestic violence.

He lost a large part of his property in litigations.

Man robbed of cash, gold

A youth along with his accomplices allegedly snatched cash and a gold ring from a local politician after assaulting him.

The incident took place last evening, when the accused, identified as Kaku, a resident of Harbanspura, along with his accomplices attacked Abhimanyu, a resident of Mahmood Pura.

Sources said that when Abhimanyu came out of the school, the accused along with his accomplices thrashed him. They accused robbed Abhimanyu of Rs 18,500 and a gold ring and fled from the scene. The police sources said that the accused are still at large.



Power tariff hike big blow to people
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 10
An across-the-board increase of 9.06 per cent in the power tariff announced by the Punjab State Energy Regulatory Commission (PSERC) today has come as a blow to the people from all walks of life.

In its orders, the PSERC, while justifying the hike, has observed that according to the annual revenue requirement of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) for the financial year 2013-14, a deficit of Rs 1782.50 crore had to be covered, which had necessitated the increase in the existing power tariff.

The PSERC had given its nod to an upward revision in the power rates after the Punjab Government had decided to grant a subsidy of Rs 4778.13 crore for free power supply to the agriculture sector and another Rs 829.29 crore for free power supply of 200 units per month to the SC families and non-SC families living below poverty line.

Lambasting the government and the power utility for inflicting a huge blow to the people, who were already reeling under the burden of skyrocketing prices of almost all the items of daily use, Sher Singh, a former railway employee and chairman of the Northern Railway Pensioners Welfare Association, said even those from the upper middle class segment were feeling the pinch of ever rising prices.

"Yet another increase in the power tariff will badly hit the people with limited resources, including pensioners," he remarked.

Demanding a complete roll back in the hike, the Communist Party of India has said the consumers were being penalised for financial mismanagement of the PSPCL, and the resultant losses to the power utility. The district secretary of the party Kartar Singh Bowani and assistant secretary Arun Mitra said the hike in the power tariff, which had come immediately after a huge cut in the supply of subsidised LPG, will make the common man's life miserable.

Mohinder Aggarwal, secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, said the hike in the power tariff would have a devastating effect on the overall economy as ultimately the additional financial burden would have to be passed on the consumers who would have to pay more for daily use items and services. He made a plea to the government to review the decision, which was bound to fuel inflation and push the prices northward.



State industry fears exodus of units
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Industry has strongly reacted to the hike in the power tariff. The tariff for the small power industry has been increased by 12.5 per cent from paise 510 to paise 574 and for the medium power industry it's 11.55 per cent, an increase from paise 561 to paise 626. The worst hit are those units which require huge power supply. The hike for them is 13 per cent from paise 561 to paise 633.

Badish Jindal, president of the Federation of Association of Small Industries of India, said they were shocked at the latest increase in the power charges by up to 13 per cent.

"Giving a jolt to all the sectors, the cross subsidy on agriculture has been increased from 17.68 per cent to 22.97 per cent, giving the direct benefit of Rs 491 crore to the Government of Punjab," said Jindal.

The cross subsidy has been increased for the industrial sector from Rs 916.33 crore to Rs 1252.02 crore, and for the non-residential areas it has been increased from Rs 331 crore to Rs 351 crore.

"It is a major shock for the state industry and this will result in the exodus of industrial units from Punjab as with the increased tariff, the cost of production will increase," he added.

Gurmeet Singh Kular, president of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, opposed the hike in the power tariff. "The industry is already under financial crunch and has to tackle various problems. The hike in the power tariff will further debilitate production, squeeze liquidity and throw the industry out of competition in the national and international markets. The better option for the government will be to reduce the transmission losses and cases of power theft," he said.

"For the industry, which is already facing a crisis due to the non-cooperative attitude of the government, this hike in the power tariff is an additional burden, and it will automatically lead to an increase in the price of products," said Dev Gupta, general secretary of the Induction Furnace Association of India.

Mohinder Gupta, president of the Mandi Gobindgarh Induction Furnace Association, said the state industry was left with no other option but to shut down. "We will be forced to switch to other professions as it is not possible for us to continue under such conditions," he added. 



Man hangs himself from tree
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
A 35-year-old man allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree on the rear side of Lord Mahavira Homoeopathic Medical Hospital, near the Haibowal bridge, here today.

The deceased has been identified as Moti Lal (33), who lived in a shanty alongside Budha Nullah.

The incident came to light when passersby spotted the body hanging from the tree and informed the police about it.

Soon, Moti Lal's relatives reached the spot. The police sent the body to the Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

It is learnt that the deceased had attempted to commit suicide last year too. Excessive drinking was stated to be the reason behind his extreme step. 



Sub-Registrar's Office-West
No land deal registered for the second day
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Visitors to the Sub Registrar's Office (West) here were a harassed lot as no land deals could be carried out on the second consecutive day today in the absence of the tehsildar/naib tehsildar. The visitors, who come from far-off places to register their land deals, had to go back disappointed as no documents were registered even today.

It is learnt that ever since the Vigilance sleuths nabbed tehsildar Arvinder Pal Singh and one of his personal assistants on the charge of corruption on April 5, the officers and other staff members have been "reluctant" to carry out work at the office.

Chaman Prakash from Jagraon said he had purchased a piece of land here and had been trying to get the deal registered for the past two day. "It is too difficult to come here daily and wait endlessly for the officials to arrive. We have been asked to come again tomorrow," he said.

The authorities have given Rohit Gupta (Tehsildar, South) the additional charge of Tehsildar, West. He joined the office on Monday and worked for some time. He gave up the charge after his promotion.

"On Monday, just 10 documents were registered against the daily average of 150 land-deal registrations at the office. We are hopeful that within a day or two, a tehsildar/naib tehsildar will join and clear the pending cases," said one of the staff members.

Rahul Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner, said additional charge was given to the Tehsildar (South), who got promoted as District Revenue Officer and was posted in Chandigarh. "A new Tehsildar, Pradeep Bains, will join the office of the Sub-Registrar (West) tomorrow," he added.



Now, building plan to be approved in a day
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
If any resident wants to start any construction in the city, he will now get approval of his building plan within a day. For the speedy clearance of building plans, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation will soon create a panel of private architects under self-certification scheme. These architects would get deemed approval on behalf of the residents.

When this plan takes final shape, Ludhiana will become the first city of state to implement such a scheme. The MC officials plan to implement this within a week as it has already been approved by the MC general house.

This self-certification of building plan is expected to bring in much needed respite to the common man who had to face harrowing time while getting his building plans sanctioned in the MC offices, earlier.

Under this plan, the architects can be registered under three categories- as an ‘architect’, ‘class A architect’ and ‘class B architect’.

An architect would be registered with the Council of Architects under the Architects Act. Once empanelled with the MC, he can certify the building plans (under self-certification scheme) of all types of buildings such as residential, commercial, cinema houses, hotels and restaurants, nursing homes and hospitals, marriage palaces, group housing, institutional and other public and industrial buildings.

Similarly, once empanelled, a class A architect (either degree holder architect/town planner/civil engineering) can certify building plans of residential and industrial buildings on all sizes of plots and commercial buildings, hotels, restaurants, nursing homes, hospitals, institutional and other public buildings on plots up to 500 sq yards.

A class B architect (diploma holder architect/civil engineering/draftsman) can certify the building plans of residential and commercial buildings on plots up to 250 sq yards.

The MC Additional Commissioner, Isha Kalia said that this plan would start functioning within a week. “If a resident wants to carry out any construction in the city, he can contact an architect and both of them will then enter into a contract. The architect would then prepare the building plan and other required documents, which would be submitted by him at the MC Suvidha Centre. And without wasting any time, the architect would be given deemed approval within a day,” she said while speaking to The Tribune.

The residents who do not wish to opt for self certification scheme can continue to get their building plans sanctioned from the MC directly.

“If any architect is found violating any rules or if he allows the construction of some illegal building or not as per plan, we would take action against him, which includes blacklisting and writing to the central registering authority, ” informed Assistant Town Planner Kamaljit Kaur.



Cheques distributed under cluster development scheme in city
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Cheques were today distributed among seven clusters under the cluster development scheme of the government. A total amount of Rs 1.12 lakhs was distributed among six clusters for preparing the diagnostic study report (DSR). Clusters, which today received cheques for preparing DSR include, hand tool, wire drawing, dyeing, tractor parts, oil expeller and bicycle parts cluster. Meanwhile, a cheque of Rs 12.32 lakhs was given to offset printers cluster for soft intervention.

After distributing the cheques, Mahesh Khanna, general manager, District Industries Center said, "The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Government of India has adopted the cluster development approach as a key strategy for enhancing the productivity and competitiveness as well as capacity building of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs)."

"Clustering of units also enables providers of various services to them, including banks and credit agencies, to provide their services more economically, thus reducing costs and improving the availability of services for these enterprises," said he.

Objectives of the Scheme
To support the sustainability and growth of MSEs by addressing common issues such as improvement of technology, skills and quality, market access, access to capital, etc.
To build capacity of the MSEs for common supportive action through formation of self-help groups, consortia, upgradation of associations, etc.
To create/upgrade infrastructural facilities in the new/existing industrial areas/ clusters of the MSEs.
To set up common facility centres (for testing, training centre, raw material depot, effluent treatment, complementing production processes, etc).



Now, transfer money through cellphones
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
As a relief to thousands of migrants in the city, the money transfer scheme using mobiles phones launched at the postal department through mobile phones has now expanded to different states. With a large number of migrant popular present in the city, the money transfer by using mobile phones would make it more convenient for them, even in the remote areas, where post offices lack computers, said an official of the postal department.

Through this scheme, money can be transferred through mobile phones. When a person approaches the postal department to transfer the money, a code word is sent to both, sender and receiver of the money, on their mobile phones. The receiver can receive money by telling the code received on his mobile phone to the post officer where he wants to receive the money, giving a proof of his identity. The maximum limit for one-time transaction is Rs 10,000.

Although similar scheme, but using mobile phone makes it more convenient and accessible even at remote post offices lacking computers, the official said.

As many of the migrants do not have accounts in banks, money transfer through alternate means like money order and electronic money order is more convenient. "Money transfer through mobile phones has made it much easier," says Pramod, a migrant.

This service is being utilised more in post offices like Focal Point PO, sub-post office at Miller Ganj, where migrant population is more, said the official.

The scheme was started in the first phase in four states including Punjab. But it has been expanded to more states like UP and Bihar, said the official. As the city has a large number of migrants, working in factories, this would make money transfer much easier, says a migrant.

How it works
When a person approaches the postal department to transfer the money, a code word is sent to both, the sender and receiver of the money, on their mobile phones. The receiver can receive money by telling the code received on his mobile phone to the post officer where he wants to receive the money, giving a proof of his identity.



Medical camp for ex-servicemen
Tribune News Service

Halwara, April 10
An outreach medical programme for the Ex-servicemen was conducted by 9 Air Force Hospital, Halwara, to commemorate the World Health Day. This event was an effort by Indian Air Force Medical Services to demonstrate to our veterans that “we do care for them”.

The Air Marshal, AK Behl, Director General Medical Sciences (Air) was the driving force behind this idea. The medicare camp was conducted at Jagraon town. It was inaugurated by Air Commodore RGK Kapoor, Air Officer Commanding 9 Wing. The officer emphasised the need to observe healthy lifestyle and stressed on the adverse impact of lifestyle diseases in our life.

The health education lectures on backache, female foeticide and HIV/AIDS were delivered by medical, surgical and gynecologist respectively. This was followed by a medical examination of the veterans. A dental team from 6 Air Force Dental Corps complemented the medical team in their efforts. A total of 285 Ex-servicemen and their families got registered and benefitted from the camp. The response of the veterans to this initiative was very encouraging. Theywere very thankful for this initiative by the Indian Air Force. 



Two injured in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 10
Two persons were injured seriously when the milk tanker, they were travelling collided with a tractor trailer on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road near Sayan village here today morning.

The collision was so powerful that tank was tossed at a large distance from the chassis and the passersby had to break open the windows of the vehicle to rescue the occupants.

The victims were identified as Sukhwinder Singh and Kuldeep Singh of Gujjarwal village in Ludhiana district. It was learnt that driver of the milk tanker had lost control over the wheel on confronting bright headlights of some vehicle coming from opposite side at about 4 am today.

As the tractor driver could not apply breaks on time, the driver of the tanker got confused and the vehicle collided with a tractor trolley, carrying unbaked bricks.

Profusely bleeding victims were shifted to a multi-speciality hospital at Ludhiana, where their condition was stated to be serious.



wheat storage
Govt should make efforts to vacate stores: BKU leader
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana April 10
Expressing his concern over the shortage of storage for arrival wheat grain, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, president Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) appealed to the government to enhance the storage capacity or vacant the filled storage.

"The wheat has been arriving in mandis. But the stores of procurement agencies are filled with the old grain. If the government does not make any effort to vacant the stores, then the farmer will have to stay in mandis to wait for procurement. Government has to arrange the storage to avoid the inconvenience of farmers," said Lakhowal.

Bharti Kisan Union (Lakhowal) held a meeting to discuss about the Dharna, which they had organised at Delhi.

Lakhowal said that sugar mills of the state have not been paying the balance of Rs 104 crore of farmers of Punjab. They have to pay the balance to the farmers, otherwise government should have make an alternative arrangement to pay the balance to the farmers of the state. Kisan Union demanded to increase the MSP (minimum support price) for sugarcane from Rs 250 per quintal to Rs 400 per quintal.



Man alleges harassment
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
A man has alleged that the office of Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) is harassing him by not recording his statements in an inquiry against a senior PCS officer. The complainant, Kuldeep Singh Khaira, has alleged that it has been three times that he had gone to the office of ADC (D) but the officers present there failed to record his statements.

An RTI activist, Kuldeep Singh Khaira, has complained against PCS officer, Malwinder Singh Jaggi, for permission to prosecute the public servant for using “defamatory remarks” under section 197(1)(b) of the CrPC. ADC (D) Rishipal Singh is conducting an inquiry in this regard but till date, he has failed to record even the statement of the complainant.

Kuldeep Singh Khaira rued, “Despite being present in the office of the ADC (D) on the three different dates (February 26, March 25 and April 9 and several visits to know the next date of hearing), neither any of my statements was recorded nor has Malwinder Singh Jaggi, against whom the inquiry is being conducted, has bothered to visit the office of ADC (D). This shows the callous attitude of the Inquiry officer towards the issue.”

“Earlier also, the then ADC (General) had recommended to file the case relying upon the statement of Jaggi only without mentioning my statement in his inquiry report as well as any further investigation of the case. The department of personnel had to write to the Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana for a detailed inquiry,” he informed.

When contacted, ADC (D) Rishipal Singh claimed that he was not aware of the fact that statement of Kuldeep Singh Khaira has not been recorded. “Yesterday also, I had called Khaira for recording his statement, but due to an important meeting related to the Election Commission, I could not record his statement. But certainly, I would make sure his statement is recorded on next date,” he assured.



Dance gaining popularity in Ludhiana
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Girls were doing the belly dance, and a man was busy in making video of his daughter performing in the dance, feeling proud in the city. Let alone feeling of pride, a father would not perhaps have allowed a girl to learn these dances.

With the changing times, the perception, exposure and awareness of people have changed. "Many parents come to me to make the children learn different dance forms. Because of Internet, people come to us having done the research and aware about the pros and cons of dancing," says Sangita B Khushwaha, from Sangita's Dance Studio.

"People now know about the benefits of dancing. Belly dancing, for example is a classical Egyptian dance form, and helps improve posture," says Sangita.

Parents are more open about making children learn all dance forms. "Learning dance forms would make my daughter more confident. A dance becomes vulgar only if it presented in that way, it is an art otherwise. My husband and I want her to learn all forms of dance," says Aarti, a BRS Nagar resident, who encourages her 10-year-old daughter to learn dances.

Reality television dance shows have also changed the perception towards dance. "We were inspired after meeting belly-dancing expert and reality TV dance star, Meher Malik, when she visited the city," she says. Reality TV has changed the perception had made parents and families more permissive towards different forms of dance, says Komal, another parent.

"We know that dance not is not only an art, but also keeps children active and fit," says Abhishek, a father. "I wanted to learn the dance. But my parents never allowed me to learn. So I allow my child to learn, as people no longer frown upon good dancers, and dance command respect and good careers now," says another parent.



Photography is a passion for him
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
A photography exhibition by Thakur Dalip Singh was organised at MS Randhawa Art Gallery, Punjab Agricultural University. About 30 pictures of nature and wildlife photography were displayed during the exhibition.

All the photographs have couplets from Gurbani. "The photographs give a tangible form to the intangible lines of Gurbani. Sometimes, my photographs are an attempt to picturise Gurbani lines, and at other times, it is the spur of the moment, capturing anything that seems interesting to me," he says.

He is the nephew of namdhari Satguru Jagjit Singh, he has been into photography since childhood, he says.

A lover of nature, he says he cannot live in a city, because everywhere one looks around, there is concrete jungle in all the directions. One feels deprived of the touch and views of nature in stars, skies, animals, winds and openness, he says.

Talking about his passion for photography, he says that he has been clicking pictures since childhood, developing interest in the art from his father. Now, his daughters are also into photography, he said.

For a good photographer, the scope of good photographs is everywhere. Yet, beauty created by nature at a particular place can only by photographed at that place, he said. But for a genuine photographer, there is no limitation for equipment or place. But having them is a benefit, he added.

He said he has clicked thousands of photographs and has travelled across India and many countries and clicked photographs at most of the places he went. He said that the quality of equipment is important, but it is the eye of the photographer that also matters. "I have pictures clicked with a mobile phone, a point and shoot camera, a camera worth Rs 25,000 and also one of Rs 2 lakh. It is difficult to make out the differences in the picture at first glace. Photography depends as much on the eye of the photographer as it does on equipment, although good equipment always has its benefits, he added.



BCom students resent wrong setting of paper
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Hundreds of students of BCom part II from various colleges in the city, were harassed a lot as the question paper of Cost Counting was all theoritical. While as per the prescribed syllabus, 50 per cent of the paper had to be theoretical while remaining 50 per cent was to be based on numerical. On seeing the question-paper, the students got confused and panicked while the teachers asked them to maintain calm at their respective examination centres.

Swati Goel (name changed), a student of BCom part II of a local college here said that there students had a blank look on their faces as soon as they saw the question paper. "We were all shocked to see that it was all theoretical part. While as per our syllabus, 50 per cent of the question paper should have been numerically based and 50 per cent as theory part. But the absence of numerical in the question paper created panic among the students. We informed the invigilators, who further contacted the respective subject teachers ", rued Goel.

While Navtej Singh (name changed) another student said that most of the students were well prepared for the numerical part. "We can get full marks in numerical, while in the theory part has never been so scoring. But we were completely blank to see the question paper", said the student.

It is learnt that different colleges have been preparing for a representation which will be sent to the Chairman for Under Graduate Board of Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh. A subject teacher said that it was total negligence on part of the paper-setter, who did not read the instructions carefully and set the paper as per his own convenience.

Meanwhile, Prof Ashwani Bhalla, Executive Vice-president, Punjab Commerce and Management Association here has urged the authorities to re-conduct the exam. "Grace marks will not serve any purpose as meritorious students will suffer. The exam should be re-conducted for the benefit of students", said Bhalla. 



educational institutions
Ban on electoral politics unjustified, says expert
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana April 10
The ban on electoral politics has led to the formation of self-styled student leaders who are more interested in poster politics than the real issues of students.

The electoral politic in educational institutes in Punjab has been banned since the decades, but the student interested in politics often show their power by forming groups and pasting the posters on the walls.

It has been learnt that student politics in local colleges and university depends on the posters. One can consider himself as president of college, university or any institute by pasting his posters on the walls of the institute.

The rival groups of such self-made presidents also adopt the same way to beat him. They replace the existing posters with the new posters which often leads to the clash in the educational institutions. It has been observed that such clashes have become a routine affair in colleges and universities.

Students associated with students' wings of political parties also seem to be in activism for fame and do nothing different from the self-style student leaders.

"Poster cannot convert someone into a leader and the removal of any poster would not lead to anyone's downfall. As a result the mature students should come forward to lift the ban and implementation of real democracy", Parminder Gujar, a former president of PAU students' association.

Dr Amarjeet Singh Bhullar, an expert of political economy said, "The ban should be lifted from the student politics in the state, since the electoral politics can contribute a lot in the state affairs. A number of politicians belong to the students' politics. The politics is a natural phenomenon, any sort of ban on the politics can't be justified".



PAU scientist releases book on agricultural sustainability
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana April 10
An alumnus of Punjab Agricultural University and Scientist at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland, Dr Gurbir Singh Bhullar has edited a book with global coverage on agricultural sustainability. The book offers an insight into agro-biodiversity, biotechnology, marginal crops, industrial approaches, resource conservation, nutritional enhancement of crops and crop products.

The Vice-Chancellor of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, and the Chancellor of the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda, Dr SS Johl released the book titled, "Agricultural Sustainability: Progress and Prospectus in Crop Research", here today.

Dr Gurbir Singh said the book was dedicated to the PAU, which was jointly edited by his wife Dr Navreet Kaur Bhullar.

"The book reflects the economic priorities for attaining farm sustainability. It consists of a foreword, written by renowned agricultural scientist Dr MS Swaminathan, an interview of Dr Gurdev S Khush, a world-renowned rice-breeder and chapters contributed by the PAU alumni, Dr SS Johl, Dr DS Brar, and Dr Virmani. The scientists from different countries such as Italy, Australia, Switzerland and many more have also contributed to this book," said Dr Bhullar.

In his remarks, Dhillon expressed happiness over the dedication of the book to PAU and described it as a "Diverse book with diverse contents." He lauded the authors for promoting the exclusive features of the international experts and the PAU alumni, who had contributed significantly to this book.

Dr Navpreet K Bhullar, editor of the book said, "The book contains 15 chapters, which have been contributed by the internationally recognised scientists and further been grouped into four distinct sections, each representing a thematic area. We wanted to contribute and dedicate our efforts to PAU. We wanted to release it during the Golden Jubliee year of the PAU but it was a vast project which took a lot of time".

Interestingly, Dr Gurbir Singh Bhullar is believed to be the first to submit summary of thesis in his mother tongue "Punjabi" at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland. Dr Gurbir Singh Bhullar said, “I have written my thesis in English. But it is mandatory in Switzerland to submit the summary of thesis in any of the native language apart from the English. I have submitted the summary in one of the local languages. Then I also submitted the same in Punjabi."

"It should be mandatory in Punjab also. I feel that summary of any research work is for the people of your region who pay for your research by paying the taxes. Summary should be understandable to them," he added.



Day 4: 68,514 administered polio drops

Ludhiana, April 10
On the fourth day of migratory round of pulse polio campaign, District Health Department administered polio drops to as many as 68,514 kids.

The District Immunisation Officer Dr Sanjeev Hans said, "Today our volunteers visited 1,45,947 houses. The volunteers administered pulse polio drops to 42,677 children in their respective houses. However 16,650 children were vaccinated outside houses, while 4,633 kids were vaccinated in the houses. The supervisors vaccinated 1,242 kids while the mobile teams vaccinated 3312." — TNS



Jail inmate held with habit forming drugs

Ludhiana, April 10
The alert jail guards seized 1,000 habit-forming drugs from an inmate here.

The accused was identified as Gurpreet Singh, who is lodged in jail in connection of drug peddling case, had hidden a pack of the habit-forming tablets by creating a space in his shoe sole.

The jail guards seized the drugs while they were searching inmates who were taken back from jail following a hearing. Gurpreet Singh was taken to Jagraon in connection of a hearing. The jail officials are suspecting that during the visit, someone had handed over the pack to Gurpreet, who further hid it. — TNS



PAU notes
US fruit breeder visits communication centre

Ludhiana: A citrus fruit breeder from the University of Florida, USA, Dr Fred G Gmitter visited the Centre for Communication and International Linkages (CCIL) of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here on Wednesday. He interacted with the Additional Director of Communication, Dr HS Sehgal and other staff members. Dr Gmitter also visited the Museum of Rural Life and Social History of Punjab, Museum of Water Resources (Dr Uppal Museum) and the Virus Free Citrus Nursery Production Unit, Department of Fruit Science, PAU. In his welcome remarks, Dr Sehgal said that the major mandate of the CCIL is to communicate and disseminate farm techniques and technologies, developed by the PAU experts, to the farmers through print and electronic media, and through the publication of farm literature. "The farm publications, brought out by the CCIL, are in a great demand amongst the farming community," he informed. The two monthly farm magazines "Progressive Farming and Changi Kheti (English and Punjabi edition), and the Package of Practices for Kharif and Rabi Crops have gained momentum amongst the farmers, he said. All the publications sell like hot cakes throughout the year and during the Kisan Melas (Farmers' Fair) organised twice a year in March and September in various parts of the Punjab state.

Mexican expert delivers lecture on hybrid technology

The Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics (PBG) of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today organised a lecture on the topic entitled, "Hybrid Technology: A Way Forward to Meet 21st Century Plant Breeding and Genetics Changelings." Dr SK Vasal, Maize Scientist, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), Mexico, delivered the talk. Dr SS Gosal, Director of Research, PAU, Dr RK Ghumber, Head, PBG, and the faculty and the postgraduate students of PBG department attended the lecture. In his talk, Dr Vasal referred to the plant breeding technologies and strategies. He said that the successful technologies of the past and the future include plant ideotype, reduction in plant stature, no till agriculture, farm mechanisation, post-harvest handling and packaging, and diversity of herbicides to tackle weeds. About the crops under hybrid technology, he observed that their number was constantly increasing. Possibilities of increasing the area under hybrids exist in several countries, he added. Dr Vasal highlighted several important considerations for hybrid technology such as hybrid performance, economics of seed production, continuous evaluation towards more sophisticated and productive hybrids, stability, and preparedness against biotic vulnerability. — TNS



From colleges
Path of Sri Sukhmani Sahib held

The path of Shri Sukhmani Sahib was organised at the Punjab Institute of Management and Technology (PIMT), Mandi Gobindgarh, for seeking the blessings of the almighty. The Kirtan was performed by the Kirtan Jatha of Gurdwara Guptsar Sahib. All staff members of the PIMT were present on the occasion. Gur Ka langar was also distributed among the sangat.

Farewell party

Junior students (Management and IT) of the Punjab Institute of Management and Technology, Mandi Gobindgarh, organised a farewell party for their seniors. The event was full of enthusiasm and zeal. The budding managers and technocrats were seen in joyous mood. The function started with the lightning of a ceremonial lamp. Gaurav and Jagdish were chosen as Mr. Farewell-2013 for MBA & MCA, respectively. Aashima and Simran were selected as Miss Farewell-2013 for BBA and MCA, respectively. Balakram was chosen as Mr. Personality and Naazneen was chosen as Miss Gorgeous for BCA and MBA, respectively.

Workshop organised

A Workshop on ICT Skill Enhancement was organised by Gaurav Kumar and Sukhwinder Singh at DCE to equip the faculty with latest demands of the present education system. The faculty members were given practical information Bluetooth connectivity, WiFi and E-Bean technology. They were told about upcoming issues such as nano technologies. Dr SS Johl awards a degree to a student during the annual convocation of the LCET in Ludhiana on Wednesday.

Annual convocation

Annual Convocation and prize distribution of Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology, Katani Kalan was organised. More than 400 students were awarded degrees in various disciplines. Dr Pawan Kumar read the Annual Report of the college. — TNS

Dr SS Johl awards a degree to a student during the annual convocation of the LCET in Ludhiana on Wednesday. A Tribune Photograph



Man held with drugs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
The police has nabbed a drug peddler near Dhyan Singh complex here last night. The accused has been identified as Rinku Lal, a resident of Ambedker colony at Model Town Extension.

The police caught the accused following a tip-off that the accused was carrying some kind of drugs.

During the search of his belongings, the police seized 350 gm of seductive powder found from his possession.

The accused has been booked under Section 22, 61, 85 of the NDPS Act.



One more held in fake ID card case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
The city police today arrested Gurpreet Singh, a close aide of Mohd Yasin, son-in-law of folk singer turned MLA Mohd Sadiq's, who was arrested for posing as an undercover agent of Crime Investigation Department (CID).

Gurveer Singh, PAU Police Station, SHO, said it was Gurpreet Singh, who was creating fake ID cards of the CID.

"We have got hold of two fake cards, a police uniform and fake service belt. We have also recovered photographs where Gurpreet had posed as a policeman in uniform. A stamp has also been recovered from his house," said Gurveer.

He had made a card of one man identified, as Ajay and took Rs 12,000 from him. Gurpreet, a resident of Khanna, reportedly informed the police that he had started the work recently and had given CID cards to Yasin and Ajay. He was today produced before the court and further sent on police remand.



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