L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Overbridge set for New Year opening
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
The Northern Railway is all set to give a New Year gift to the city residents. The senior officials of the Northern Railway claimed that the ongoing work on the new foot overbridge would be completed by December 31 and it would be inaugurated on January 1. The passengers and visitors to the railway station will get a major relief with the opening of the overbridge.

The railways will complete the construction of this 20-foot-wide overbridge in record time. The construction work started in the first week of August this year and it is about to be completed within four months.

The new overbridge will replace the existing 8-foot-wide bridge, which was unable to handle the load of visitors.

Moreover, the existing bridge did not have connectivity to platform numbers 6 and 7. The new bridge will connect exit and entry points (old GT Road and Guru Nanak Stadium) as well as platforms from number 1 to 7.

The Railways had proposed to construct a foot overbridge in 2010-11 to link all the platforms and both entries to the railway station. But due to some technical problems, the project did not materialise then. The railway officials found the space between the tracks insufficient to install pillars of the overbridge, so the authorities decided to design a new bridge.

The footbridge is a long-pending demand of the residents and during his visit to the railway station, former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had assured the residents that it would be constructed soon. The Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Manish Tiwari, also took up the issue with the ministry concerned.

Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Ferozepur Division, Northern Railway, NC Goyal, inspected the on-going construction work at the overbridge site yesterday.

Ravinder Sharma, Railway Superintendent, said: "According to the instructions of the DRM, we will speed up the construction work. We hope the overbridge will be completed within the deadline. The Railway will give a New Year gift to the Ludhiana residents in the form of the bridge".

A well-thought design

The Railways had proposed to construct a foot overbridge in 2010-11 to link all the platforms and both entries to the railway station. But due to some technical problems, the project did not materialise then. The railway officials found the space between the tracks insufficient to install pillars of the overbridge, so the authorities decided to design a new bridge.

According to the instructions of the DRM, we will speed up the construction work. We hope the overbridge will be completed within the deadline. The Railways will give a New Year gift to the Ludhiana residents. — Ravinder Sharma, Railway Superintendent


Gaushala comes up on MC land
Kuldip Bhatia

The gaushala that has come up on the MC land in Dairy Complex on the Humbran road in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, December 25
Encroachment on government land, even for a noble cause, remains an unlawful Act. But perhaps the field staff of the Municipal Corporation think otherwise. Had it not been so, the construction started long ago in the name of setting up a gaushala on land measuring 1,000 square yards, shown as a park in the plan of the area, would have been prevented.

Residents of the locality around the dairy complex on Humbran Road here say the piece of land has been marked as a park in the plan but never developed for the intended purpose. It was encroached upon in the name of "lawaris gaushala" (home for the abandoned cows) long ago.

"Even after repeated complaints lodged with the MC, no action has been taken to remove the unlawful structures or stop the construction work, which is continuing even now," said a resident of the area, adding that even if the cause of taking care of abandoned cows was noble, an encroachment on the MC land still remained an illegal activity.

Enquiries made by The Tribune revealed that a group of well meaning senior citizens had taken up the work of setting up a gaushala for abandoned cows as the vacant piece of land, shown as a park in the layout, had never been developed as a green belt.

Mohan Kairpal, a senior citizen and functionary of the gaushala, said two cattle sheds had been set up for the abandoned cows on the said piece of land long ago. "We have not encroached upon the MC land as the sign board put up at the gaushala still says it is the property of the MC. About the construction work being carried out at present, he said a "kholi" (small room) for the caretaker was being constructed. He also denied that any MC official had intervened and asked them to stop the construction work.

The Assistant Town Planner (Zone D), Rajinder Sharma, however, claimed that a building inspector had been sent to the site to get the construction work stopped on Sunday and today as well.

"The building branch can only intervene to the extent of stopping the unlawful construction and preventing an attempt to encroach upon the MC land. If the piece of land shown as a park in the layout has not been properly developed for the intended purpose, the residents ought to take up the matter with the higher officials," he added.



Blooming chrysanthemums mean Diwali, Christmas to these flower lovers
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
These men don't have a mere interest in chrysanthemums, they are passionate about the flowers. They think, talk and dream 'guldoudian'. "Although these flowers bloom only for about 20 days, they give us a delight worth joy for the rest of the days of the year," says Mohinderpal Singh, a self-professed chrysanthemum-fanatic. Charandeep Singh also got inspired from him to get baptised into this 'chrysanthemum-cult'. They have a number of flower pots decked with these flowers at their places.

Mohinderpal has been "crazy" for these flowers and has been growing these for the last 30 years. He is the man behind the display of hundreds of pots of these flowers at Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib. A businessman by profession, he says he has to spend about 10 hours to arrange a single pot.

The expertise in growing flowers lies not only in seeing to that the flowers grow into the largest, the most bountiful and beautiful ones, but also in their arrangement, says Mohinderpal. As there are so many varieties of these flowers, all blooming at the same time, there are infinite number of ways these flowers can be arranged and in that lies the creativity and skill of an expert, says Charandeep, who is a social science teacher at Government Senior Secondary School, Bhoondri, in the district. "The flowers can be arranged in a number of ways, including by creating a canopy, in steps and in a cascade," he adds.

Both of them are now friends and phone each other a number of times to discuss about flowers and often visit each other's place to have a look at the flowers grown by them. They participate in flower shows together, sometimes working as a team and sometimes competing against each other.

One has to pay attention to each pot every single day and spray fungicides, pesticides and appropriate fertilisers for the optimal growth of the flowers, says Mohinder Pal. The flowers must remain in sunlight and should be saved from frost and rain until these bloom, and are kept in shade most of the time afterwards.

They start making preparations for these flowers by June, checking the seeds and tending these everyday. They consider growing flowers as the best time of the year for them. "We don't celebrate Diwali, Holi or Christmas. For us, the days these flowers bloom is the festive season and the most beautiful time," says Charandeep.



Suvidha Centre staff back to work
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
Having got an assurance from the government that within one month a "favourable" policy will be made for the employees of the Suvidha Centres all over the state, the striking employees of the centres returned to their work, giving respite to the city residents. Though the employees joined back their duties on Monday (December 23) after attending a meeting with officials in Chandigarh, a large number of residents had visited the centres in the past two days. It was a half working day at the Mini-Secretariat yesterday.

The President of the Association of Punjab State Suvidha Karamchari Union, Satnam Singh, said on an average around 1,000 visitors visited Suvidha Centres in Ludhiana on any working day but in the last one day and a half, around 3,000 people visited the centres after the strike by the employees was called off. "Our only genuine demand has been that we may be regularised by the government as we have been working at the centres for more than seven years. We had a meeting with the higher-ups, who have assured us that they would do something in our interest within a month. The operators are hopeful that they will do the needful and will not let the public suffer unnecessarily due to such strikes," he said.

Around 60-70 operators man more than 30 counters at the Suvidha Centres. About 40 services are being provided to the public in routine. One of the officials of the district administration said: "Things will get streamlined only after December 31 as the staff as well as officials prefer to exhaust their remaining casual leaves in the year-end," said the official.



Six held for illegal sand mining
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 25
The Jagraon Police have arrested six persons for alleged illegal smuggling of sand, while an unidentified person managed to escape leaving behind a tractor trolley. The police have also impounded seven tractor trolleys allegedly being used by the accused for illegal smuggling of sand.

The accused were arrested during separate raids conducted by joint teams of the mining department and Jagraon police in past 24 hours. The accused have been identified as Gurpreet Singh of Gehlan village in Barnala district, Gurjit Singh of Talewal village near Barnala, Jaswinder Singh of Madepura village, Harbans Singh of Bansiwal village, Jaswant Singh of Kurshaidpura village and Tarsem Singh of Bansipura village near Sidhwan Bet.

Confirming the development, ASI Satpal Singh said that the police have booked seven persons under the Mining Act and further investigations are on.

"We have also confiscated seven tractor trolleys laden with sand. The efforts to trace one unidentified person who escaped from the spot are underway,” said the ASI. All the accused arrested by the police were produced before a local court that sent them to judicial custody till the next hearing.



Improvement trust
Mixed bag for GLADA, LIT draws flak
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 25
The year 2013 was a mixed bag for the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GMADA) which did well in completing the ambitious Rs 24 crore project for 8-laning of the Ferozepur Road (a national highway) from Sidhwan Canal to Octroi Post and sold quite a few commercial and residential properties in its colonies at a handsome premium through public auctions.

However, it was found coping with the task of regularisation of unauthorised colonies while its plans to acquire several chunks of land for commercial exploration remained on paper due to a variety of reasons. Not more than 40 per cent developers and property owners turned up to submit applications, and the applicants complained of harassment at receipt counters.


  • Rs 24 crore project of 8-laning of Ferozepur Road completed
  • Work on construction of railway under pass on Lodhi Club Road at a cost of Rs 31 crore underway as per schedule, and expected to become operational in May next year.
  • Sale of commercial sites, built up properties, residential plots and flats in various colonies at a handsome profit.


  • Failed to cope with the task of regularisation of unauthorised colonies under the revised policy.
  • Several projects remained on the drawing board as plans to acquire more than 2,500 acre of land in four pockets at different locations in the district faced stiff opposition from land owners while in one case of proposed acquisition of 32 acre land belonging to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited stayed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.


The field staff accused for allegedly colluding with colonisers and developers for carving out unlicensed colonies.

The Ludhiana Improvement Trust seemed to be in a state of hibernation, mainly due to most of its colonies having been transferred, or in the process of being transferred to the Municipal Corporation (MC) and no new scheme being on the anvil. Court cases, litigation in the District and State Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum and particularly the Right to Information Act remained big thorns in the flesh of the LIT functionaries while hordes of vigilance probes in acts of omission and commission continued to give the LIT authorities sleepless nights all through the year.


  • Contrary to speculations, appointment of a political person as chairman of the Trust failed to materialise and the charge remained with the bureaucrats.
  • The LIT also witnessed change of four executive officers during the year which led to dislocation of routine works of public dealing pertaining to registration of sale deeds, transfer of ownership and recovery of arrears.
  • Poor regulation and enforcement in large scale illegal change of land use by owners of residential flats, shop-cum-flats and shop-cum-offices in different colonies.
  • Poor recovery of user charges (sewerage and water supply) from residents of several colonies.


  • LIT authorities were repeatedly criticised by the appellate authority and the Punjab State Information Commission for failure to comply with the provisions of the RTI Act.
  • Probe by Vigilance Bureau (Punjab Police) and Vigilance wing of the Local Government Department into irregularities in allotments and regulatory measures against illegal change of land use.



Research workshop

Ludhiana: A two-day ‘Research and Extension Specialists Workshop’ for fruits, mushroom, agro-forestry along with post-harvest management, farm power and machinery, food technology and agricultural economics concluded at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). The officers of the State Department of Horticulture, Directors of Regional and Fruit Research Stations, Associate/Deputy Directors (Training) from Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Senior District Extension Specialists, senior officials of PAU and heads of the various departments of the University participated in the workshop.

The chief guest, PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, said, “Excellent work has been done by PAU in horticultural crops, mushrooms, and agro-forestry in the past.”

Dr LS Brar, Director of Horticulture, Punjab, spoke on the ‘targets, production and problems of fruits crops’. He apprised the participants of the subsidy schemes, being offered by the National Horticulture Mission and the Punjab Government, to promote fruit cultivation, mushroom growing, beekeeping, farm mechanisation, poly square net-house, and post-harvest management.

Earlier, welcoming the dignitaries and the participants, Dr HS Dhaliwal, Dean, College of Agriculture, said India was the second largest producer of fruits. Dr MS Gill, Director of Extension Education, highlighted the significance of horticultural crops, mushroom cultivation, and agro-forestry.

New varieties of fruits

The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has come up with the three new varieties namely ‘Red Lady 786’ of papaya, ‘Bhagwa’ of pomegranate and ‘Brown Turkey’ of fig (anjeer). All these varieties have been approved for general cultivation in the Punjab state during the meeting of the State Variety Approval Committee for Horticultural Crops, held under the chairmanship of Dr LS Brar, Director of Horticulture, Punjab.

Giving details about the papaya variety ‘Red Lady 786’, Dr SS Gosal, Director of Research, said its plants were self-fruitful, vigorous having height of 238 cm. “Fruit bearing starts from a height of 86 cm from the ground level,” he added. Its fruits are medium, oblong to oval, and its flesh is reddish orange having excellent taste and flavour.

Referring to the pomegranate variety ‘Bhagwa’, Dr Gosal said that its tree was medium in size, bushy, partial deciduous and regular bearer. Its fruit is medium to large in size, rind, smooth, glossy, red in colour, with soft seeds having red coloured aril, he added. Its fruit weighs around 215.0 gm, juice 45.03 per cent, TSS 14.2 per cent and acidity 0.48 per cent. Informing that the main crop matures between mid-August to mid-September, he said its average yield was 14.6 kg/plant. Elaborating, Dr Gosal said the fruit of ‘Brown Turkey’ fig was of medium to large size, delicious with deeply coloured ribs, and a medium sized eye. Its fruit skin was purplish brown and lighter at the stem end, and the flesh is pinkish brown with an excellent flavour, he highlighted. Its tree is prolific and crops yield well i.e. 53 kg fruit per tree. Fruits mature from last week of May to the end of June, he said.

PAU seeks historical photographs

PAU has invited memorable and historic photographs concerning agriculture for the publication, being prepared by the university on the occasion of two-day alumni meet. Divulging details, Dr Ravinder Kaur Dhaliwal, Additional Director Communication (ADC), said the photographs could be sent to the office of the ADC at the Centre for Communication and International Linkages, PAU or through e-mail at adcomm@pau.edu.

Yellow rust, the most serious wheat disease

Yellow rust is one of the most serious diseases of wheat which can affect the yield of the crop tremendously, stated Dr PP Singh, Head, Department of Plant Pathology, PAU. For the past 5-6 years, the disease is regularly appearing in the sub-mountainous districts of Punjab, during December-January, he said, adding that it can spread to other districts of the state as well. The prevailing environmental conditions (relative humidity and temperature) are highly conducive and there is likelihood of the appearance of this disease shortly in the wheat fields, he said to the farmers.

Dr Singh said the scientists of the Department of Plant Pathology and Wheat Section of the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics are regularly monitoring the appearance of yellow rust in the fields of the farmers of sub-mountainous areas of Punjab. Till date, no report of the occurrence of the disease has been received, he informed. For further queries, the experts of Plant Pathology can be contacted at phone no. 0161-2401960/Ext. 319. — TNS



Despite check, drug abuse on rise
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 25
Notwithstanding the tall claims being made by the Punjab Government regarding the eradication of drugs from the state, the menace of drug abuse has been rising continuously.

A large number of people, particularly the youngsters, are getting hooked to the drugs. Despite strict vigil being kept by the local police to check the practice of drug peddling and consumption, the menace of drug addiction has reached dangerous proportions in Jagraon, Sidhwan Bet and surrounding areas.

Though the police have arrested a large number of alleged drug peddlers and seized a huge quantity of drugs like opium, poppy husk, heroin, smack and even synthetic drugs from them during the year, yet the practice of drug peddling continues and many youths are falling prey to the menace.

According to sources, the situation has become graver during the past couple of years with the new generation getting hooked to dangerous drugs like heroin and smack. “These days the youngsters are getting addicted to drugs like heroin and smack which are more harmful to human health as compared to drugs like opium and poppy husk. Though there drugs are quite expensive but the addicts prefer these because of easy availability,” said the sources.

The police officials too admit that the consumption of drugs is on the rise. “The new generation is getting hooked to drugs like smack and heroine as they are easy to carry and smuggle. It is quite difficult for the police to locate these drugs,” said a police officer though preferring anonymity.

DSP Jagraon Surinder Kumar said the police had been doing its best to check drug peddling. “We have arrested several drug peddlers with huge consignments of drugs during the ongoing year. We have also held several people involved in heroin peddling but it is not easy to check the smuggling of heroine completely because this drug is often smuggled in small quantities which are easy to carry and smuggle. However, we would further increase the vigil to prevent this practice,” added the DSP.

Three peddlers, including two women, arrested

The Jagraon police have arrested three peddlers, including two women, and have recovered 570 gm of synthetic drugs, 3 kg of poppy husk, 24 sets of mobile phones, gold ornaments weighing 80 gm, silver ornaments weighing 210 gm besides ~1.45 lakh from them. However, one unidentified accomplice of the accused managed to flee. The accused have been identified as Paro Bai, Raj Kaur and Mangal Singh, all residents of Aaliwal village. Station house officer (SHO) Satwinder Singh said a checkpoint was set up near Aaliwal village following a tip-off. All the three accused were arrested at the naka. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered against all the accused at the Sidhwan Bet police station.



Scientific session

Dr Satish Jain, chief oncology surgeon and medical director, and Dr Veena Jain, chief consultant, Gynaecology and Gynaecologic Oncology of Ludhiana Mediways Hospital, shared their experience and chaired a scientific session at the Asian Society of Gynaecologic Oncology Conference in collaboration with the Japanese Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology held at Kyoto, Japan recently. They were among 11 delegates from all over India who were invited as guest faculty. Dr Veena Jain and Dr Satish Jain presented case studies on Neoadjuvant chemotherapy in advanced stage carcinoma ovary and Carcinoma of vulva.


The Punjab Government should release the prisoners who have completed their sentence in jails in the state, demanded Bahujan Samaj Party members. Ramanjit Lali from the party said imprisoning people after they had completed their sentence was a violation of human rights. He said the legal procedures after the completion of their sentence was complicated and should be simplified.

New Year celebrations

New Year celebrations would be organised at Lodhi Club on December 31. Singer Rana Shad with his troupe in addition to a female vocalist would perform on Punjabi, Hindi and Western music on the occasion, according to General Secretary of the club Manoj Gupta and Cultural Secretary Pawan Garg. An ‘LED dance’ would also be organised, they said.

Birth anniversary

Desh Bhagat Yaadgari Society,Punjab,organised a function on Gill Road, to celebrate the birth anniversary of late President Giani Zail Singh. Speaking on the occasion, the society’s patron, Jagdev Singh Jassowal, and president Krishan Kumar Bawa termed Giani Zail Singh as the great patriot who strongly fought against the British rule. They recalled that Giani Zail Singh had played a key role during the freedom struggle by participating in the Riasti Parjamandal Movement. Both Jassowal and Bawa said Giani Zail Singh did remarkable work for Punjab They urged upon the state government to get prepare a documentary on the life and works of Giani Zail Singh.

Grants distributed

The Public Works Department Minister, Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon, distributed grants worth Rs 16 lakh to six gram panchyats by visiting separate villages in Sahnewal area. Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon said, “Whereas the Punjab Government is making efforts to make the state a surplus power state, we will do efforts to regularise the distribution of electricity. The government will update the existing system of power supply.”


A meeting of various social and political organisations held at Rakh Baag on Wednesday. It was decided to organise a state-level convention to oppose the state government’s move to implement property taxes and regularising fee for regularised colonies. A 13-member committee was constituted to make the arrangements for convention. Kawaljeet Khana, member of committee, said the convention would be held on December 5. — TNS



Schoolchildren join in celebrations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
The birth of Jesus Christ was celebrated in various schools across the city.

Pallavan Pre-school

Pallavan Pre-school wore a festival look. Students showcased their creativity by making bags, decorative bells, colourful stars, snowman and X’mas tree. The day started with story telling. Children were told that Christmas is a joyful festival and to do something special for the needy. This message was conveyed by giving gifts to underprivileged children. The day was followed by an art and craft activities and muffin decoration. Sandwich-making competition was held to involve parents.

ABC Montessori

A village scene depicted the birth of Lord Jesus at ABC Montessori, Basant Avenue. A snowfall scene added flavour to the festival. Students and teachers reflected upon the teachings of Jesus Christ. Tiny tots sang carols. They came dressed as Santa Clause. Some dressed up as cartoon characters. Colourful balloons decorated Christmas trees. Children sang "Jingle Bells" and danced to the tune of "We wish you a Merry Christmas".

Teja Singh Sutantar Memorial School

The day began with the sounds of “Jingle Bells”. Santa Claus distributed candies and gifts among the students. Principal Gurbachan Singh gave his heartiest wishes to the students and teachers.

Babies Paradise Playway

The school was beautifully decorated with red and white balloons. Director Shallu Sachdeva told the children why the day was celebrated. Parents were invited too. Students presented dance performances. Fun games were organised for both parents and children.

Manav Vidya Mandir

The Christmas celebrations added flavour to the Foundation Day celebrations of the school. Music, songs, carols and hymns echo through the otherwise quiet and sunny atmosphere of the campus. Students and teachers danced and exchanged gifts.

Shining Star School

Santa Claus distributed sweets among children at the Hargobindnagar campus. The school principal told them about the importance of the festival. The students and staff enjoyed the celebrations to the fullest.



NGO to help ensure school enrolment
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 25
With the intent to help the Education Department achieve its targets set under the Right to Education Act, the Navchetna Employees’ Front, an NGO formed by government employees, has launched a movement to spread awareness about ills of child labour.

This, besides rescuing the exploited children, will help the department to achieve full enrolment at the elementary level. The decision to launch the movement was taken at a meeting of the office-bearers of the organisation held at Ludhiana recently.

Referring to decisions taken at the meeting held under the supervision of president Sukhdhir Singh Sekhon and patron Bhushan Lal Khanna, senior vice-president Lakhvir Khattra said office-bearers and activists had been asked to identify children who had never been to a school or were drop-outs.

Parents and guardians of the identified children will be persuaded to send them to some nearby government or private-aided school. The organisation will also extend financial help in case of need, said Khattra.

The organisation has also constituted a group of volunteer educators to provide free coaching to slow-learning students in their area.

"Though Director General School Education Kumar Rahul had already initiated the process for identifying the out-of-school children, we realise the target cannot be achieved without active involvement of local residents," said Khattra. He said the volunteers would also coordinate with heads of various educational institutes.



Campaign against property tax launched
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 25
The office-bearers and activists of various wings of the Congress party have launched a campaign against the imposition of property tax and flourishing menace of drug trafficking in the border state.

Besides organising protest rallies and marches, the crusaders would undertake door-to-door campaign to spread awareness about the issues among residents of various localities of the region.

Protestors led by former legislator Surjit Singh Dhiman and block president Harjinder Singh Nathumajra called upon the residents to join hands with them in fight against alleged arbitrary and anti-people decisions of the state government.

Vikas Tandon and Ravinder Superfine, office-bearers of local wings of the party, claimed the office-bearers and activists of a number of non-political organisations had come forward to extend their support to the movement launched for welfare of the masses.

“Already burdened with loads of financial obligations, the residents of the state have started feeling helpless with the imposition of property tax. Now, when we have launched the movement against highhandedness of the SAD-BJP government, people have got a platform to air their grievances,” said Tandon after the conclusion of protest rally held at local grain market.

A memorandum demanding the withdrawal of property tax was handed over to the officials of sub-registrar office here on Saturday.



From schools
Reunion rekindles memories at BCM Arya School

Ludhiana: Nostalgia and joy filled the air when over 300 alumni gathered at the BCM Arya campus to celebrate the reunion 'Yadein'. The evening rekindled old memories among the attendees, who recalling their heydays at the school. Some were returning to their alma mater after 25 years. There was a lot of bonhomie as old friends met after a gap of many years and recalled the time they had spent together. On the occasion, the starcast of upcoming Punjabi movie "Mere Yaar Kaminey" joined the gathering.

Meritorious students awarded at Everest School

The 43rd Annual Prize Distribution Function of Everest Public Senior Secondary School, Moti Nagar, was held on Wednesday. MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon was the chief guest. ADC (General) Neeru Katyal and ADCP (Traffic) Gurdeep Singh were the guests of honour. Rajinder Sharma, director of the school, welcomed the guests. Ranjit Singh while addressing the students lauded the remarkable progress made by the school in the field of education and sports. Neeru Katyal asked the students to shine in every sphere. The programme started with “shabad gayan” and “Ganesh Vandana”. The students presented a colourful programme. They performed in skits based on discipline and patriotism besides presenting folk dances and folk songs. The group items such as garbha and Western dance presented by the tiny tots were fascinating. The prizes were given to the meritorious students.

Annual function

The annual function “Gunjan 2013” was organised by GMT Public School. The function began with the arrival of dignitaries including DGSE, Punjab, Kumar Rahul and DFO, Sangrur, Shailender Kaur. The chief guest lighted the lamp, escorted by the principal Amarjit Dhaliwal. “Shabad” recital followed by “Hanuman Chalisa” rendered by the middle section students began the cultural programmme. The performance which mesmerised the gathering was "Doremon" by tiny tots. — TNS



Implement Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan in its true spirit, say teachers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
Though Punjab Government has been trying hard to impress upon the Central Government for implementing Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) at the earliest, the teaching community feels that it needs to be implemented in its true spirit if the gross enrolment ratio had to be improved.

At the same time, the teachers maintain that state government must not want RUSA in Punjab to get grants from the Centre worth crores of rupees but should focus to bring "real" improvement in higher education.

Talking to The Tribune, the general secretary of Government Colleges Teachers' Association, Punjab, Prof Jaipal Singh said that within the first year of RUSA, the state government should at least fill 85 per cent vacancies in the state.

"Government needs to get the ban imposed on recruitments by the High Court lifted at the earliest. The improvement in higher education is possible if staff is appointed on regular basis. Guest faculty cannot serve the purpose," said Prof Jaipal Singh.

At present there are around 1,873 sanctioned posts of lecturers in Punjab, of which only 804 posts have been filled by the regular staff.

Apart from the recruitment process, the teachers feel that the state government must utilise all the grants under RUSA only on higher education. Dr Hardeep Singh, the president of the association, said most of the times, the grants of the Central Government were utilised on other tasks and the real aim of such projects was defeated.

Teachers said that the State Higher Education Council, formed by the Punjab Government on the directions of RUSA, was not having sufficient number of academicians.



Gadvasu NOTES
Training on scientific goat farming concludes

Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension Education, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana organised a one-week ‘specialised training on goat farming’.

Dr Jaswinder Singh Bhatti, Head of the Department and course director informed that with the changing lifestyle and eating habits, people have started diversifying from the traditional patterns of livestock rearing.

Farmers from all over Punjab and its neighboring states attended the training programme and showed keen interest in learning the techniques used in goat rearing.

Dr Bhatti added that trainees have been given knowledge about housing, nutrition and feeding management practices. Apart from these issues, they have also been trained to handle the newborns along with methods of weaning, care and management.

Participants were also given training on the value addition of the goat byproducts. Dr MP Gupta was the technical coordinator of the training.

Dr Udeybir Singh, course coordinator, informed that 61 farmers participated in the training and they learnt all the new techniques enthusiastically.

It is important to mention that all these trainings are conducted under the able guidance of Dr RS Sahota, Director of Extension Education, GADVASU, Ludhiana.

Dr RS Sahota said the veterinary varsity was organising such training programmes regularly.

Sahota informed that another training of two weeks duration for dairy farmers will be organised from January 13 to 24, 2014, and those who are interested can get themselves registered for the training as soon as possible. — TNS



Merger of schools
Teachers pin hope on CM
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
Teachers working in aided schools are hopeful that in the forthcoming meeting with the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at Chandigarh on January 8, the demand of merger of aided schools with government schools will be considered by the Punjab Government.

The teachers, who have been struggling for this for past few years say this is the only solution to all the ongoing problems of aided schools in the state.

The press secretary of the Aided School Teachers' Union Devinder Rehan said during a massive rally in Chandigarh recently, message was conveyed to us by the Director, Elementary Education, Darshan Kaur that a meeting of the aided-teachers had been mixed with the Chief Minister.

"The next course of action will be decided after the meeting. In case, the state government listens to our genuine demands, it will be a respite for about 4,200 teachers. If the government refuses to it, we will intensify our agitation," said Rehan.

The serving teachers in aided schools are in no mood to take the Teachers Elementary Test (TET) in case the state government decides to absorb them. The teachers said they had been serving in schools for the past several decades and 50 per cent of them were on the verge of retirement. It would be wrong to ask the serving teachers to take the test, they said. The teachers said since 95 per cent of the grants were already being given by the state government, the aided schools should be merged with government schools.



Stationery items, calendars find favour as New Year gifts
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
With New Year only a few days away, people have started purchasing New Year diaries, calendars and corporate stationery for gifting purposes. "New Year is an excellent time for buying gifts such as diaries, pen sets and calendars," says Rahul, a resident.

Not only individuals, companies are also purchasing such gifts for their clients and employees besides for promotional purposes.

"We are already getting a few calendars printed with the logo of our company imprinted on them. We are gifting these to our employees as well," says Sarabjit, a city-based businessman.

Sarabjit says. "As a child, I would get excited about the new books and new stationery on entering a new class in the school. The similar kind of excitement is felt when I get new stationery items, calendars and diaries at New Year.”

Sharandeep, a resident of Chandigarh Road, says he loves pens, and all his friends who know about his passion gift him one on New Year.

“All of my friends know that I love pens and the New Year gift generally includes pens and stationery. So, I get different brands of pens as gifts," he says.

Different variants of diaries, calendars and other corporate stationery items are available this year. Larger-than-standard-size diaries are also available for the first time.

Slump in sales this year

Stationers, however, are seeing a slump in sales this year-end.

"The business this year is down to half as compared to previous years. Markets have been slow throughout the festive season," says Amit Syal of Lekh Raj Syal and Sons.



Animal prints in vogue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
Animal print clothing and accessories are back in the trend. Many women are seen donning the dresses inspired from patterns of animal skin. Animal prints, particularly imitating leopard skin are becoming especially ubiquitous. These are seen in different colours varying from black and white to the actual colours of the leopard skin.

As the prints on dresses become popular, these now are transcending the boundaries of clothing and are quickly becoming visible in fashion accessories as well.

Even jewellery is not less popular. Necklaces, bracelets, hair bands, bags and even phone covers, animal prints are visible everywhere.

“There is such a huge craze for the animal prints that not only the prints of the skins, but the prints of animals are also coming in vogue,” says Isha Sharma, a Chandigarh-based designer.

Bird prints are also coming in trend. “I have tops, scarves and other fashion wear with bird prints on them. The size of the prints also matter, as some of the prints are just an impression of the bird, only the silhouettes, whereas some of the prints have complete bird pictures on them,” she adds.

Animal prints look very energetic and interesting. These prints have a different appeal on different fabrics,” says Smriti, a student. “When used on a furry fabric, these look like the actual fur of the animal. With the normal fabric like satin, these form interesting patterns,” she adds.



X’mas spirit wafts across city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
Christmas was celebrated with fervour in the city. The city was painted in the Christmas colours of red and white, with images and masks of Santa Claus visible throughout the city markets and malls.

The occasion was marked with parties at various city clubs including Lodhi Club, Sutlej Club and Laxmi Ladies Club. Members danced to the tune of carols. A fashion show was organised for children at Lodhi Club. Solo and group dances were performed by children. Singers entertained the gathering, said Manoj Gupta, general secretary of the club.

Tattoo making, face-painting and fun games were organised at Sutlej Club. Children’s choir sang carols. Club members also played tambola. Cake-cutting ceremony was also organised, said Ruchi Bawa, cultural secretary of the club.

The city malls and hotels had been especially decorated with the images of Santa Claus, apart from the traditional Christmas decor. Devotees made a beeline for the various churches to offer prayers.



Groups’ tussle
Church remains locked amid festivities
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
Apprehending a clash, the authorities deployed heavy police force outside the church located near Fountain Chowk today. The church remained locked amid the festivities.

Station house officer, Division No. 8, Davinder Choudhary said the police personnel were deployed due to security reasons.

Two groups of the community are at loggerheads, staking claim on the church. They have clashed several times in the past, which prompted the authorities to lock the religious place.

It was perhaps for the first time that the devotees paid obeisance outside the locked church on Christmas. The two groups, in fact, pitched separate tents outside the church and offered prayers.

Disappointment was writ large on the faces of children who were visiting the church today.

"I came here to offer prayer and to make wishes for the coming year, but the Church was locked. I had to light the candle outside the premises," said Emanuel, who was standing outside the church along with his friends.




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Budding cricketer brings laurels
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Class X student Shubhneet Chawla. A TRIBUNE PHOTOGRAPH

Ludhiana, December 25
Budding Cricketer Shubhneet Chawla has brought laurels to the city. He was a member of the team that secured the second runners-up position at the National Junior Premier League (JPL) recently held at Jaipur. He played for Punjab Challengers who defeated Mumbai.

Shubhneet also played for Nepal Premier League as well as he was selected by the Indian Progress Games Association (IPGA) for his excellent performance in the U-19 Cricket Club Tournament in Nepal. Right hand batsman Shubhneet is also a good fielder.

A student of Class X at Springdale Senior Secondary Public School, Shubhneet is a talented sportsperson and good in academics as well. He has many achievements to his credit in field of sports.

The 15-year-old would be playing matches in Sri Lanka and Pakistan. He is also selected for India Team Camp to be held at Kolkata.

Exhibiting his talent and efficiency in the game, he was able to secure a rank among 44 cricketers selected out of 2,000 players to attend the Indian Premier League (IPL) Camp at Hyderabad.

His dream to play at the international level is also about to be fulfilled as he has been selected for the league matches in England.

“It was my dream to represent India in any international event. With the selection for the league matches it now seems as if my dream is about to come true,” said Shubhneet.

Expressing her delight at achievements of Shubhneet, the Managing Director of the School, Avinash Kaur Walia congratulated him and his family.

“Shubhneet is a very committed player and we accept that he will rise in future. He has shown his mettle in the recently held national level cricket tournaments and we hope that he will perform with same ambition in international matches as well,” said Kamal Singh.



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