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Highs and lows of Daler's magic
CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — The current king of 'bhangra', Daler Mehndi, featured in a concert at the Fragrance Garden here today.

Garden damaged during nite

Aria sings and dances
CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — The latest band of crooners to hit the market is a band of four young singers called Aria.
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From the corridors of the PGI

Sheds for milch cattle on anvil
CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — The Chandigarh Administration is considering a proposal to construct sheds for milch cattle where dairy owners could keep their cattle on a monthly rent basis.
Campus beat
Seminar on globalisation
Crime file
Woman hit by truck, dies
Complaint against Zee TV quashed

Computer trainees get certificates
CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 ---- Mrs Kusum Kala, President, Army Wives Welfare Association, today presented certificates to the successful candidates of the computer course run by the AWWA at Chandimandir , near here.

Medical camp held in school
CHANDIGARH, Feb 12—A free medical camp was organised at the premises of Kendriya Vidyalaya, 3BRD, Air Force Station, here today.

Lok Shakti men hold dharna
CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — Members of the local unit of the Lok Shakti today held a dharna in protest against the problems being faced by the city residents, especially those living in the colonies and villages.




State of PGI — II
Few outsiders keen on faculty posts
by P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH: One may variously describe the PGI and may even write different epitaphs for it, the fact remains that it is the last resort for the suffering humanity.

But can the PGI be allowed to suffer and remain sick because of neglect?

How carelessly this institute of national importance is handled by the powers that-be is indicated by the following fact. For one whole one year — December 31, 1997 to December 31, 1998 — the PGI did not have its institute body, which works directly under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This had a cascading effect. There was no governing body. No committees could be constituted even for day-to-day normal functioning, what to speak of recruitment.

The PGI's functioning was badly infringed upon by two major factors: litigation and unionism. It is only recently that a court has ordered that no demonstration or rallies and dharnas should be held on its premises. Thus, lack of governance, litigation and unionism, connived to act as a spoilsport.

The Director, Dr B.K. Sharma, says against a sanctioned strength of 330 medical faculty there exist 140 vacancies. The reconstituted institute body met on January 30 last. It will take still more time before the selection committees and other bodies are constituted. What worries the PGI faculty is that there are no takers for PGI posts. Imagine only 96 applicants, 32 of whom are from within the PGI, for 36 posts of Professor. Who would work here for long official working hours on a poor pay scale! There are 94 posts of Assistant Professors which had been advertised but most of the applicants were from within the PGI.

Last year seven senior doctors, who had carved a niche for themselves and for PGI in medical science world, retired. The retirement age is 60 years. The institute body on January 30 has recommended 62 as the retirement age. As vacancies followed one after the other and in anticipation of the superannuation age being raised to 62, efforts to grant extension to the seven doctors proved abortive. As a result, it became difficult to fill those slots in the departments of cardio-surgery, paediatrics surgery, dentistry, medicine, immunopathology, parasitology and neuro-surgery.

"It is breaking point for the PGI faculty," admits Dr Sharma.

Given the tremendous rush and crush of patients and attendants, the intemperate and curt attitude of the paramedical staff etc., it goes to the PGI's credit that no patient is left either unattended or uncared for once admitted. One can understand the hassels involved when it comes to reaching the right place for consultation, fetching medicines, intravenous fluids, cotton, needles and syringes or taking samples of urine, sputum and stool, blood, etc., to research labs and reports.

The financial health of the institute is not what it should be. Its non-Plan budget is Rs 80 crore for the current financial year as against Rs 53 crore in the previous year. On paper it looks impressive. Dr Sharma states: "At least 71 per cent of this budget goes into salaries and remaining is for the maintenance of buildings and equipment and payment of electricity and water bills etc."

Despite the arduous working hours the PGI faculty has brought name and fame to the PGI. Till now its faculty members have been bestowed with one Padma Bhushan, three Padma Shree awards, while two doctors became president of the National Association of Medical Sciences (NAMS), one became Director of the Indian Council of Medical Research, while 12 were bestowed with the Dr B.C. Roy, National Award, 15 got ICMR awards and five non NAMS awards, besides seven getting international recognition.

Since the medical faculty at the PGI and AIIMS is poorly placed as compared to Central Government Health Services Staff, the heartburning is understandable.

(To be concluded)Top


PGI doctors' strike hits operations
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — With the members of the PGI Faculty Association striking work, medical services were partially affected at the institute today.

A number of patients and their attendants had to be sent back as the planned operations were put off. The OPDs and emergency services, which were manned by the junior and senior resident doctors, however, functioned normally.

A visit to the institute revealed that the junior doctors were manning the OPDs and attending to the patients. There were fewer patients at the PGI than the normal working days.

The President of the association, Dr Jaswant Rai, resigned at the meeting of the faculty yesterday. Sources said he resigned in favour of the Vice-President, Dr Ajit Awasthi, so that the latter could spearhead the agitation. Dr Rai could not be contacted as he was away to Madras.

The doctors of the PGI and AIIMS, New Delhi, are agitating for better pay and against the Central Government’s refusal to accept the modified Baksi Committee Report. While the doctors at the AIIMS are already on an indefinite strike, it is the first time that the PGI doctors have gone on a token strike.

At a meeting here this evening, the faculty decided to continue the protest and wear black badges till Monday when the next course of action would be decided.

Dr Awasthi urged the Central Government to intervene and save the two premier institutions so that the patient-care was not affected.

Dr Awasthi claimed that the PGI faculty was exercising "exemplary restraint" as compared to the AIIMS doctors, who were already on indefinite strike. He feared that the association would be forced to go on extended token strike if the "indifferent attitude" of the authorities towards their demands continued.

It may be recalled that the agitation by the faculty members of the two institutions started when they rejected the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission. The government then formed a committee under the chairmanship of Mr K.K. Baksi, Union Health Secretary, which recommended a better salary structure to the doctors to which the Finance Ministry reportedly raised certain objections.

The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, then intervened and another committee was formed last month.Top


1 child out of 1,000 born deaf: doctor
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — The three-day 31st annual national conference of the Indian Speech and Hearing Association (ISHA) got underway at the PGI here today.

Talking to The Tribune during the continuing medical education programme(CME), Dr Ramesh K Oza, a leading consultant audiologist from Mumbai, informed that approximately one child out of 1000 was born deaf. The acquired deafness, however, could be prevented with early intervention and awareness programme.

Dr Srinivas P. Gudi, Assistant Professor in speech therapy and audiology, RRTC All-India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mumbai, while emphasising the need for long-term follow-up in the case of persons suffering from speech disorders informed that in India there were 10 centres for training in the field of speech therapy and audiology.

Dr R. Meena, speech pathologist and audiologist from the PGI, informed that the institute was getting over 1,000 patients per month. She also stressed the need for regular follow-up and rehabilitation programme.

In the CME programme on "Genetic aspects of speech and hearing disorders" theoretical and practical implications of "gene therapy" were highlighted and ethical and cultural considerations discussed. It was pointed out that the therapy, which was under experimentation, would prove a boon to the persons afflicted with speech and hearing disorders when it became successful.

It was pointed out that certain conditions like Down's syndrome and cleft lip were entirely determined by the genetic factors. A high percentage of congenital deafness was hereditary. Genetic counselling was often given to the parents, who have had one abnormal child and were interested in knowing about their second child.

Earlier, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Local Bodies Minister of Punjab, inaugurated the CME.Top


Highs and lows of Daler's magic
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — The current king of 'bhangra', Daler Mehndi, featured in a concert at the Fragrance Garden here today.The evening today witnessed a mix of highs and lows of his magic.

The evening which began on a serious slow note of a "doha" of Kabir "Mera mujh mein kuch nahin" soon changed into a fast past hit 'Mein dariyaa di machli".The song turned out to be a medley of songs with an effortless weaving in of Hindi hits like "Piya re" and "dhola".

The audience warmed up slowly and soon the hands were waving and the bodies were swaying to " Dil mera naal naal le gayee".This was followed by a small break managed poorly by the compere. His loud voice and jokes which fell flat seemed quite out of place.

Daler once again built the lively atmosphere with "Tere mere pyaar noo nazar lag jayee na" followed by all time favourite "Mein dardi rab rab kardi". At this juncture a section of the crowd seated on the chairs got up to join those dancing far from the stage.

The police had tough time controlling the crowd. Flowers from beds in the garden could be seen tossed up in the air along with clothes of the listeners at the back.The organisers had to request the audience to abstain from plucking flowers.

Certain photographers from the media who were issued specific passes faced their share of hardships as all requests to approach the stage from the main entry fell on deaf ears.

The organisers also called the Mayor and Commissioner of the municipal corporation to hand them a cheque worth Rs 51,000.

The programme began on a lively note after a short break with Daler making an impression with "Le gayee saada dil kad ke" and "Bolo ta ra ra ra".The show which began nearly an hour behind schedule continued for nearly three hours.

The accompanists of the star were Kirpal Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Sohan Singh, Bobby, Amarjeet Singh, Joginder Singh and Shamsher Singh.Top


Garden damaged during nite
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — The promise of the local municipal corporation authorities not withstanding the Daler Mehndi Nite resulted in a considerable damage to the Sector 36 Fragrance Garden, the venue of the event, here tonight.

The decision of the MC to allow the garden as the venue of the event had drawn flak. Officials of the civic body had assured that "foolproof" arrangements had been made to prevent any damage to the garden.

Small seasonal flower plants and grass were trampled by hundreds of people who in their quest for a 'better' view of the singer broke barricades and enclosures, put up by the MC authorities for the protection of flower beds.

In the absence of seats for a large number of people, particularly youngsters, having general category passes, used these barricades around the flower beds as 'seats' with a result that a majority of these were uprooted which damaged grass and flowers in the garden.

The TNS found that except for erecting barricades, nothing had been done to protect the beauty of the venue. As no official had been deployed by the authorities to keep the crowd away from vulnerable areas like flower beds it was a free for all in the garden. A good number of youngsters even relished the glimpse of the singer by climbing small trees and bushes in the garden.

The beauty of the place, which had become popular with the morning walk enthusiasts was further marred by the presence of plastic bags, cold drink containers and cups used for serving coffee and ice-cream in the flower beds and on the lawns of the garden. What added to the problem was the presence of a number of stall selling cold drinks, fast food and other food items within the garden. So much so that nearly six trucks loaded with cold drink bottles and other eatables were allowed to be parked on the lawns of the garden by the authorities.

Though the compere had to request the audience not to damage the flowers or to climb the trees, but this failed to deter rowdy youngsters.

Ironically, the organisers thanked Mr K.K. Adiwal, the Mayor of the local MC, Mr K.K. Gathwal, the Commissioner and Mr Puranjit Singh, the Chief Engineer of the civic body for facilitating the use of the most 'decent' place of the city as a venue for the event. Top


Aria sings and dances
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — The latest band of crooners to hit the market is a band of four young singers called Aria.

Aria, Greek word for 'melody' is a combination of the first letters of their names — Arasha, Reshab, Ishaan and Arpana. And like the yesteryear Western bands, this band of two girls and two boys have started off as "the in-betweens" — not only as a music group but also as a performing group. "We have positioned ourselves like the Broadway Productions — sing, dance and perform to our music", said this group of the four peppy youngsters, at a press conference today at a Sector 35 restaurant.

"Every song of ours has a story to it, and we like to sing live on the stage while performing the song", said Reshab, a trained bharatnatyam dancer, who has danced with Hema Malini's ballet troupe for two years, and has also been trained in carnatic music. "We have not categorised our music, and that is why there is a lot of jazz, rock and latino influences in our music", added Arasha, who has had training in Western classical, while commenting on the reason for not starting off as a Punjabi-pop group.

Interestingly, all four artistes not only have had a professional training in music but also exposure in theatre and television. Reshab was seen as 'Mani — the bully' in the popular TV serial 'Malgudi Days', and Arasha was cast in the lead role, along with Sharon Prabhakar, in Alyque Padamsee's musical — "Roshni". Ishan, with a background in Hindustani classical music with Sudhindra Bhaumik, has sung for Yash Chopra's tele-film 'Humko Ishq ne Mara', along with Arpana, who has studied music under Guru Satyanarayan Mishra, Kalyanji-Anandji and Shobha Gurtu.

"We are not interested in going up the charts today and climbing down tomorrow. We would like to stay here for a long time", assert Aria members. Two of their videos, from their first album — 'Aria' — titled "Mamma" and "Bolo" are being currently aired by music channels. Aria's team includes Amitabh Varma as their lyricist and Pritam Chakraborty as the music composer.

Aria — members also speak about their North-South-East-West connections. Arpana is from Delhi, Reshab from Bangalore, Ishaan from Calcutta, and Arasha from Goa — "we are interested in providing simple Hindi melodies to our listeners". And certainly foot-tapping as well, if their enthusiastic singing at the press conference today was an indicator to go by.

Later in the evening Aria performed live at a discotheque in Sector 9.Top


Sheds for milch cattle on anvil
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — The Chandigarh Administration is considering a proposal to construct sheds for milch cattle where dairy owners could keep their cattle on a monthly rent basis. This was announced by the Adviser to the Administrator, Mr Jagdish Sagar, during a visit to Badheri and Buterla villages, near here, today.

The Adviser assured the villagers that the Food and Supplies Department was preparing ration cards and there would be no problem for any genuine applicant to get a ration card made.

The Adviser was accompanied by senior functionaries of the Administration and Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. Mr Krishan Addiwal, Mayor, said that the Corporation would spend Rs I crore for providing basic amenities in four villages under the civic body. He also disclosed that a community centre would be constructed in the village to facilitate holding of social functions.

Mrs Kamla Sharma, the first Mayor of the city, requested for the metalling of circular and internal roads, regular water supply, sewerage and repairing of streetlights.

The Adviser went round the two villages and issued instructions to officers of the Administration and the corporation to take immediate action on the problems raise by the villagers.Top


Computer trainees get certificates
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 ---- Mrs Kusum Kala, President, Army Wives Welfare Association, today presented certificates to the successful candidates of the computer course run by the AWWA at Chandimandir , near here.

The Defence Institute of Information Technology is conducting these computer classes and has already trained eight batches comprising 128 students, mainly drawn from defence.

Mr Manjinder Sodhi, who heads the faculty of the Institute, said that at present there are 12 batches of about 200 students who are getting training in office automation. Each student gets 100 per cent practical time and computer terminal for training.Top


Medical camp held in school
From our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12—A free medical camp was organised at the premises of Kendriya Vidyalaya, 3BRD, Air Force Station, here today. Over 1200 students were medically checked for eyes, dental and general diseases in the camp organised by the hospital welfare section of the UT Red Cross.

Mrs Rama Chhibber, wife of the Governor, Lt Gen BKN Chhibber, was the Chief Guest. She gave away prizes to students of the school for excellence in academics and co-curricular activities.

The Adviser to the Administrator, Mr Jagdish Sagar, advised the children to get themselves medically examined regularly.Top


Lok Shakti men hold dharna
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — Members of the local unit of the Lok Shakti today held a dharna in protest against the problems being faced by the city residents, especially those living in the colonies and villages.

The protesters sat on dharna in Sector 17 Plaza and were addressed by Mr Vijay Dubey, national secretary of the party. Their main demands included construction of booths for rehri market owners who had deposited money in 1991, issuance of identity cards and rehabilitation of Sector 31 Labour Colony residents.

Another rally was organised by various organisations in the city to protest against the non-issuance of identity cards to roadside vendors. A memorandum was later presented to the Deputy Commissioner. Top


Campus beat
Seminar on globalisation
From our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — Many aspects of globalisation came under close scrutiny at the seminar on "Globalisation: pros and cons", held at Gandhi Bhavan, Panjab University, here today.

Prof Pritam Singh Gill from School of Business of the Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom, explained that though conventionally it was associated with export of goods to Third World countries and international flow of capital, it implied transfer of technology and more so of information technology.

Globalisation, he said, increases efficiency via technological information which help cut down on time. These efficiency gains are transmitted to lower cost of production, thereby creating more demand. It has proved beneficial for human rights groups by allowing greater interaction with their counterparts in countries all over the world. "This has ensured that governments cannot oppress its people without being noticed," he said.

Further, it provides a greater insight into other cultures and awareness of other cultures bring tolerance. It has brought about solidarity in groups engaged in addressing issues of international importance.

Globalisation has also triggered hatred between tribes and classes, made the world more prone to instability and has created a cultural hegemony of the West and our effort should be concentrated on not allowing our cultural identity to be lost, he said.

Dr Bhupinder Brar, Chairman of the department, presided over the function. He said some problems were of international significance and needed international solutions. Some problems, though national, were so immense that their solution required tapping of international resources. Hence, globalisation was very essential.

The seminar was organised by the Panjab University Campus Students' Council.

Seminar: Papers on farmers' suicide were read by Prof K.Gopal Iyer and Dr Mehar Singh Manick, Department of Sociology, on the second day of the seminar on 'Economic development and social transformation in North-West India" here on Friday.

Professor Iyer said that his study revealed that most of farmers who committed suicide were landless or marginal farmers. The major reason for taking the extreme step was indebtedness. It was also found that suicides by farmers had been increasingly taking place in families where there were more female members.

Mr Suneet Chopra, a joint secretary of the All India Agricultural Workers Union and Dr Shakti Kak, sociologist in their presentations on the Green Revolution said the effects had not percolated to the poor sections of the rural society.

Prof G.S.Bhalla, Professor Emeritus at the JNU, contested the argument and said that effect of the Green Revolution had benefited all sections of society, particularly the agricultural labourers.

Dr Sadhu Ram, MDU Rohtak, presented another study on farmers' suicides.

Postponement sought: The Panjab University Students Union on Friday sought the postponement of the annual examination for undergraduate classes as the syllabi was yet to be completed. More than 20 days were lost due to teachers' strike.

The demand was raised at a meeting of the campus and local colleges' presidents of the union.Top


Crime file
Woman knocked down by truck, dies
From Tribune Reporters

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — A resident of Sector 45, Ms Veena Sudesh, was today knocked down by a truck near the Poultry Farm in Industrial Area here.

According to the police, Ms Sudesh, who was driving a moped was seriously injured when she was knocked down by a truck. She was rushed to Government Medical College Hospital, Sector 32, where she succumed to her injuries.

The truck driver, Surinder Singh, a resident of Hoshiarpur, has been arrested and a case registered against him.

Theft: Mr Shanti Ram in a complaint lodged with the police alleged that his servant, Govinda, decamped with a cash of Rs 15,000 and some ornaments from his shop in Sector 22.

A case has been registered.

Car stolen: Ms Sumit Singh, of Sector 34, in a complaint with the police alleged that her car (CH01-H-8914) has been stolen from Sector 16.

A case has been registered.

Scooter recovered: A scooter (CH01-B-4526), belonging to Mr Ravinder Kumar of Ram Darbar Colony in Industrial Area in Phase II, which was stolen a few days back has been recovered from the same colony.

The police said the scooter was recovered from Raju and Chander Mohan.

Liquor seized: The police has seized seven bottles of whisky from the possession of Ram Adhar, a resident of Colony No 5.

A case under the Excise Act has been registered.


Three held: Atleast 521 pouches of liquor have been seized by the police in two separate cases. Three persons have been arrested in this connection.

According to the police Parvinder Singh, a resident of Kakkar Majra, and Ranjit Singh of Yamunanagar were arrested while they were transporting 500 pouches of liquor in a car at Mauli near Barwala on Thursday. Half of the liquor pouches were to be sold at a hotel owned by the suspects at Kakkar Majra while the rest were to be sold at Jagadhri. The liquor was purchased from Chandigarh.

In another case Vikram Singh of Raipur Rani, was arrested for carrying five bottles and 21 bottles of country liquor. The liquor was purchased from Himachal Pradesh. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.Top


Complaint against Zee TV quashed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — The Punjab and Haryana High Court today quashed the complaint filed by Mr Dharambir, former Haryana Minister in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bhiwani, and the summoning orders issued by the court, against Mr Subhash Goenka and Mr Rajat Sharma, Chairman and News Editor of the Zee TV respectively.

Mr Justice R.L. Anand, who delivered this order, held that Mr Dharambir had no locus standi to file a complaint under Section 119, Cr P.C. The complaint was an abuse of the process of law and, therefore, the petition filed by Mr Goenka and Mr Sharma is allowed.

"I may also mention that Mr Bhajan Lal has filed a separate complaint with regard to the news item." observed the Judge and added: "This further strengthens the reason of this court that Mr Dharambir had no locus standi to file the present complaint.

In his complaint Mr Dharambir had stated that on October 20, 1996, a news bulletin was broadcast at 10 p.m. on Zee TV that the CBI had raided the residences of Mr Bhajan Lal at Hisar and Adampur. This news item was loathsome and disgraceful. It was manoeuvred by Mr Subhash Goenka and Mr Rajat Sharma and was defamatory. Since the news was broadcast with a mala fide intention, they were liable to be prosecuted.

Downgrading of posts challenged

Mr J.S. Kang, a former Senior Accounts Officer of the Chandigarh Administration, questioned in the High Court the release of Central pay scales to UT employees from January 1, 1986, and the downgrading of the post of Senior Accounts Officer to that of Accounts Officer and that of Accounts Officer to the post of Section Officer.

Mr Justice G.C. Garg and Mr Justice N.C. Khichi, who constituted the Bench, issued notice to the administration and the Union Government for March 10.

The petitioner stated that since the carving out of Chandigarh as a Union Territory, the Chandigarh Administration employees had been getting Punjab pay scales until December 31, 1985. However, from January 1, 1986, the administration released the Central pay scales. Later on, the administration again reverted to Punjab pay scales from January 1, 1986.

Although the notional pay of employees was fixed in Punjab pay scales from January 1, 1986, the arrears of increased pay were paid from April 1, 1991.

Mr Kant stated that since he had retired from service on September 30, 1990, he was denied the benefit of the revised Punjab pay scales. He has assailed the validity of these two cut-off dates.Top

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