Monthly Archives: SEPTEMBER 2016

Education Minister Felicitates Teachers on eve of ‘Teachers Day’
05.09.16 - TEAM PT
Education Minister Felicitates Teachers on eve of ‘Teachers Day’

The Education Minister, Punjab, Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema here today honoured 2 academicians with Lifetime Achievement Award, 34 teachers with State Award, 33 teachers/education Officers/employees with commendation letters.

The state level function to mark the ‘Teachers Day’ held today at CGC Landran was dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Punjabi Suba. On the occasion, Sister Mirabel and Principal Swaran Singh were honoured with ‘Lifetime Achievement’ awards which were awarded for the first time. They were also presented with an amount of Rs. 1 lakh each, a medal, a shawl and a commendation certificate.

The state awardees were presented with the increased amount of Rs. 25,000 each which earlier stood at Rs. 10,000.
The state awardee 34 teachers were also honoured with a medal, shawl and a commendation certificate. These teachers would also get an extension in service for the period of one year. Besides this, another 33 Teachers/Education Officers/Employees were awarded a shawl and a commendation certificate.

The State level function commenced with Saraswati Vandana. After this, Chief Guest Daljit Singh Cheema paid homage to Former Presidents Dr. S. Radhakrishnan.

The function reached its pinnacle when before the presentation ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award, a documentary showcased the yeoman’s contribution to the field of education rendered by the 2 awardees Sister Mirabel and Principal Swaran Singh. The whole hall resonated with a thunderous applause for quite a few minutes. The awardees were then seated on the dais where they were felicitated by Dr. Cheema.

Earlier, before beginning the award ceremony Cheema while addressing the teachers said that the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award has been started for the first time to honour those who have devoted their entire life spans to serve the cause of education.

Cheema also congratulated the teaching community on behalf of Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal and also remembered the former President of India Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan whose birthday every year is celebrated as the ‘Teachers Day’. He also exhorted the teaching community to take pledge for making Punjab No. 1 in academic sphere.

He said that after infrastructure, now the target is to make Punjab topmost state academically. Before this, Principal Secretary Mr. G.Vajralingam and Director General School Education Mr. Pradeep Agarwal also stressed on the value of education and teachers. Mr. Pradeep Agarwal also read out the messages of the Prime Minister of the country.

On this occasion, the Chairman of C.G.C. Landran Mr. Satnam Singh Sandhu addressed the gathering and welcomed Dr. Cheema and all the other guests. DPI (Secondary Education) Mr. Balbir Singh Dhol presented the vote of thanks. During the occasion, DPI (Elementary Education) Mrs. Pankaj Sharma and Director Administration Mrs. Gurpreet Kaur Dhaliwal read out the commendation letters of the teachers. The programme was anchored by Lecturer Rupinder Kaur Grewal.

On the occasion, students of Government Senior Secondary School Nurpur Bedi presented qawali, students of Bhutto school and Ropar school girls showcased their talent in Bhangra with choreography by CGC Landran students acting as the icing on the cake. The function culminated with national anthem by NCC cadet of CGC Landran.

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The words that trees tell each other
The words that trees tell each other

A few weeks ago we heard a talk which told us that trees engineer their own clouds by releasing vapours into the atmosphere. This week Suzanne Simard, a professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, tells us that trees talk to each other!

This fascinating revelation comes with a story which begins with Simard telling us of how she helped her grandfather rescue their pet dog who had fallen into a pit. In that process, Simard found that under the ground lay, "…white mycelium and under that the red and yellow mineral horizons. I realized that that palette of roots and soil was really the foundation of the forest… trees are the foundation of forests, but a forest is much more than what you see…underground there is this other world, a world of infinite biological pathways that connect trees and allow them to communicate and allow the forest to behave as though it's a single organism. It might remind you of a sort of intelligence.”

As Simard took it up for study she says, "Scientists had just discovered in the laboratory in vitro that one pine seedling root could transmit carbon to another pine seedling root and I wondered, could this happen in real forests? Trees in real forests might also share information below ground. ..some people thought I was crazy. But I persevered, and eventually conducted some experiments deep in the forest, 25 years ago. I grew 80 replicates of three species: paper birch and Douglas fir…”

How did the experiment work? Simard put plastic bags over the trees. She then injected the bags with tracer isotope carbon dioxide gases. She injected carbon-14, the radioactive gas, into the bag of birch. And then for fir, she injected the stable isotope carbon-13 carbon dioxide gas. She used two isotopes, because, "I was wondering whether there was two-way communication going on between these species… I waited an hour. I figured it would take this long…I went to my first bag with the birch. I pulled the bag off. I ran my Geiger counter over its leaves. The birch had taken up the radioactive gas. Then the moment of truth… I went over to the fir tree. I pulled off its bag. I ran the Geiger counter up its needles, and I heard the most beautiful sound. .. the sound of birch talking to fir, the sound that it had taken up the radio active gas too!”

Continues Simard, "I knew I had found something big, something that would change the way we look at how trees interact in forests, from not just competitors but to cooperators. And I had found solid evidence of this massive below ground communications network, the other world. How were paper birch and Douglas fir communicating? They were conversing not only in the language of carbon but also nitrogen and phosphorus and water and defence signals and the chemicals and hormones -- information. Before me, scientists had thought that this below ground mutualistic symbiosis called a mycorrhiza was involved. Mycorrhiza literally means "fungus root”. You see their reproductive organs when you walk through the forest. They are the mushrooms. The mushrooms, though, are just the tip of the iceberg, because coming out of those stems are fungal threads that form a mycelium, and that mycelium infects and colonizes the roots of all the trees and plants. And where the fungal cells interact with the root cells, there's a trade of carbon for nutrients, and that fungus gets those nutrients by growing through the soil and coating every soil particle. The web is so dense that there can be hundreds of kilometers of mycelium under a single footstep. And not only that, that mycelium connects different individuals in the forest, individuals not only of the same species but between species, like birch and fir, and it works kind of like the Internet…You see, like all networks, mycorrhizal networks have nodes and links,” so saying she shows an illustration. "We made this map by examining the short sequences of DNA of every tree and every fungal individual in a patch of Douglas fir forest.”

Simard identifies on the map what she calls hub trees or mother trees because they nurture the young ones by passing them nutrients. "In a single forest, a mother tree can be connected to hundreds of other trees. And using our isotope tracers, we have found that mother trees will send their excess carbon through the mycorrhizal network to the understory seedlings, and we’ve associated this with increased seedling survival by four times…”

Simard’s experiment turns into a beautiful story when she says, "And it turns out they recognize their kin. Mother trees colonize their kin with bigger mycorrhizal networks. They send them more carbon below ground. They even reduce their own root competition to make elbow room for their kids. When mother trees are injured or dying, they also send messages of wisdom on to the next generation of seedlings. So we've used isotope tracing to trace carbon moving from an injured mother tree down her trunk into the mycorrhizal network and into her neighbouring seedlings, not only carbon but also defence signals. And these two compounds have increased the resistance of those seedlings to future stresses.”

Indeed truth is stranger than fiction, more beautiful than poetry, to coin a new comparison.
(Courtesy: *The Hindu)

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