Monday, March 13, 2000,
Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Ayurvedic teachers meet Jacob
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — A deputation of the Staff Coordination Committee of Shri Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College Teachers led by the Convener, Dr S. Bhardwaj, yesterday met the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lt-Gen ( retd) Mr M.M Jacob to highlight their long-pending demands and plight of teachers, who are on an indefinite strike since March 6.

In a release issued here, the Convener claimed that the Administrator gave them a patient hearing and assured them that appropriate and positive action would be taken at the earliest.

In a letter written to him, they have pointed out that teaching faculty and students of the college are suffering since the inception of this Institution due to lack of funds as stated by the management. They have further stated that the administration has been giving step motherly treatment to the ancient system of Indian medicine, which is gaining world-wide recognition and fame. They have asked him to consider their demands.Back


Show on AIDS awareness
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, March 12 — A road show to educate the people about prevention of HIV/AIDS, was organised by the Haryana AIDS Control Society (HACS) in Sector 10, here today.

Ten councillors participated in the show. They were in an open truck which went through the streets of the township. They presented several street skits. They went around distributing contraceptives and pamphlets among the people.

The show performed awareness drives at 6 notified spots, which included Old Panchkula, Industrial Area, Spring Fest in Sector 5, and three colonies in the township. The show was held as part of the second phase of the National AIDS Control Programme.Back


Doctors spread message via local channel
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 11 — Preventive medicine has an important role in minimising the incidence of some common diseases, both infectious and seasonal, says Dr Sarvinder Gandhok, child specialist.

Dr Gandhok, who has been spearheading the message of preventive medicine, through his weekly programme on the local cable channel, says that the response to the programme has been overwhelming.

In the present day environment, he says, the visual media is the best channel to reach out to masses. With the advent of summer, the incidence of certain diseases starts going up. But if the people are educated and cautioned against taking contaminated water without boiling it, the incidence can be brought down.

Similarly, TB, which was threatening to assume epidemic proportions, can be controlled with effective preventive medicine.

"It is with these ideas that this weekly programme was introduced in the cable network. It would create health awareness and educate people about common diseases, their symptoms and ways to prevent them. More than 30 episodes have already been telecast and now seeing its popularity, it has been decided to extend it," Dr Gandhok added. The compere of the programme is Mr Iqbal Singh, a bank employee.Back


Time to implement biosafety guidelines
By Gautam Dheer

PANCHKULA, March 12 — Guidelines regarding universal precautions and other biosafety practices have been made mandatory since long. Ironically, their strict implementation in health care settings has hardly been put into practice in India, reportedly, due to paucity of funds.

However, despite all shortcomings, the district health authorities have decided to strictly enforce the National Guidelines on Hospital Waste Management. The Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998, were notified under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, by the Ministry of Environment and Forest of the Government of India. The guidelines have been circulated to help each hospital implement these rules under a comprehensive plan for scientific disposal of waste.

These guidelines shall be enforced in all eight Primary Health Centers (PHC), two Community Health Centers (CHC) and General Hospital in the district. The Chief Medical Officer, Dr H.C. Nagpal, said it was extremely essential that recycling of certain items was prevented before any further damage.

''For adequate disposal of wastes which are prohibited for recycling, the Health Department has distributed 12 needle-and-syringe-destroyer machines in all centres," he added.

Every hospital, nursing home, veterinary institution, animal house, blood bank, and research institution generating biomedical wastes should install an appropriate disposal system, the national guidelines suggest. Following the guidelines, the district health authorities have formulated a three-point programme which includes collection, segregation and storage of wastes.

The guidelines lay emphasis on segregation of waste material as it determines the kind of disposal or disinfection system to be followed. Items like gloves, syringes etc should be shredded, cut or mutilated before disposal, followed by deep burial. A time frame for setting up of waste-disposal system has also been suggested under Schedule VI of the rules.

The hospital's capacity or the number of beds in it shall determine the time frame in this regard. Keeping in view the bed-capacity of the local General Hospital in Sector 6, the time limit for setting up of a waste-disposal system shall expire on December 31, 2001.

However, one of the most sophisticated disposal equipment, the incinerator, installed in the hospital more than a year ago, has been non-operational ever since, reportedly, due to a paucity of funds in the department.

The incinerator, which was installed under the World Bank's Population Programme, had incurred a cost of about Rs 12 lakh. Sources reveal that the average monthly electricity cost of running the incinerator is estimated at Rs 40,000, almost equal to the total electricity costs borne by the hospital in a month.

Sources state civil surgeons, in a meeting held a couple of months ago, had agreed to constitute an expert committee to workout the running cost of operating the incinerator.

The report of the expert committee has already been forwarded for approval. An audit objection in this regard has also been marked. However, till date, the proposal seems to be a distant dream. Back


Tina, Vikramjit win 100 m races
By Our Sports Reporter

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — Tina Kochhar in the girls’ section and Vikramjit Singh in the boys’ section, won the 100 m races, on the concluding day of the two-day VIIth Annual Athletics Meet of the Government Medical College, Sector 32, at sports complex in Sector 46 today.

Kanwal Thakur Singh, an Arjuna Award winner for badminton, who was the chief guest at the function, gave away prizes to the winners. Athletes said they felt inspired after receiving prizes from her. A former national badminton champion, she now lives in the USA. She appreciated medical students for sparing time for sporst activities despite their tough schedule.

The following are the results of the competitions: Shot put (faculty) — Dr A.S Bawa 1, Dr Srikant 2, Dr C.S Gautam 3; 100 m race (veterans) final — Dr Krishan Vij 1, Davinder Singh Khalsa 2, Dr D.P. Mehta 3; Javelin throw (faculty) — Dr Srikant 1, Dr Raman 2, Dr Lahal 3; 100 m race (faculty) — Dr Arjun Dass 1, Dr Srikant 2, Dr Raman Abrol 3; 100 m race (staff) — Raj Kumar 1, Satish Kaushik 2, Ranjit Shammi 3; 100 m race (Class IV) — Pardeep Kumar 1, Chetan Pathak 2, Rajesh Kumar 3; Obstacle race (staff) — Satish Kaushik 1, Sanjiv Bali 2, Raj Kumar 3; Obstacle race (faculty) — Dr Arjun Dass 1, Dr Rajiv Sharma 2, Dr Ravi Gupta 3; 800 m race ( boys) — Geetinder Goyal ( 1997 batch) 1, Harkirat Singh (1997 batch) 2 , Gurbakshish Singh ( 1999 batch) 3.

Relay 4x100m (girls) — Manisha, Anuradha, Preeti, Jasmeet (1996 batch) 1, Tina Kochhar, Mili, Aanchal, Parminder (1998 batch) 2, Puja, Deepika, Chetna, Maninder (1997 batch) 3; boys — Amit Kansal, Avisham, Anup and Veeraish 1, Vikramjeet Singh, Akash Jindal, Harkirat and Geetinder 2, Ashish, Puneet,Vikram and Ravi Kant Gupta 3.

Triple jump (boys) — Manish 1, Hemant 2, Veeraish 3; javelin throw — Neha 1, Chetna 2, Anindya 3; High jump (boys) — Hemant 1, Mandeep 2, Harbir 3; Long jump (boys) — Hemant 1, Amit Kansal 2, Veeraish and Divesh 3; 400 m (boys) — Vikramjit Singh 1,Geetinder 2, Amit Kansal 3; High jump (girls) — Reetu Kundu 1, Chetna 2, Mili Bhardwaj 3; shot put (boys) Basant 1, Geetinder 2, Hemant 3.Back


Treating two-wheeler owners with bias

The management of government-owned Mountview Hotel has in a recent decision decided not to allow owners of two-wheelers to park their vehicles in the main parking area. Whenever a client on a two-wheeler visits the hotel, he is chased by securitymen and told to park his vehicle either in the basement of the newly constructed wing or outside the hotel.

The parking in the basement of the new block is basically meant for employees working in the hotel. And then, the visitors and even clients get confused from where to enter the hotel. In the absence of any directions, some of them even walk around the hotel and get back to the main entrance. A few others try to enter through entry doors provided in the new block which remain locked.

The only way to enter the hotel then is to climb a staircase from the basement. But what about physically disabled or handicapped people coming to the hotel on their specially designed two-wheelers? Perhaps, the hotel is closed for them.

Nowhere has the management put any directions identifying separate parking areas for two-wheelers and four-wheelers. Perhaps owners of four-wheelers are more valued customers than those who come to the hotel on their two-wheelers.

“Maalis” unite: The city “maalis” (gardeners), too, have formed a trade union. They not only have decided to fix the rates of services to be provided to their parttime employers but have also specified their working conditions.

The Maali Welfare Society has now decided that if a “maali” works one hour a day daily, his monthly remuneration will be Rs 500. Those working half an hour a day will get Rs 250 a month. Similarly, where a “maali” is required to work three times a week, his remuneration will be Rs 200 per month. It will be Rs 150 a month for working two days a week and Rs 100 a month for once a week.

Further, all Sundays will be off days and each maali will be entitled to four “casual leaves” a month.

Medicines: How good are the medicines sold in retail in Chandigarh ? Sentinel last week received two samples. One is of Senquel-AD — a desensitising oral rinse. This sealed bottle purchased from a local chemist contains impurities visible to the naked eye. The bottle priced at Rs 48 and manufactured in July,1999, is good for use before June, 2002.

The second case is interesting. A 200-gm jar of Dabur honey has been sealed with a cap of Baidyanath, another group selling ayurvedic preparations. This was also purchased from a local retailer.

Pond saved: An old pond situated between the fruit nursery of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) and the Technical Teachers Training Institute (TTTI), Sector 26, has been saved from extinction. The staff of the TTTI has stopped depositing garbage and waste products in it.

This pond is a habitat of several white breasted water hens and fish and harbours marshy plants like typha augusta etc.

Originally a lagoon of village Kanchanpur, this wetland lost its importance when the village was depopulated along with 59 others to make space for the construction of the new city of Chandigarh in 1952. Later, the TTTI levelled one-fourth of it for the construction of staff quarters some 20 years ago. This pond slowly started shrinking due to the dumping of garbage by the staff of the TTTI. A report in this column appeared on August 23 last year.

Dr S. Krishanamurthy, Principal, TTTI, told ESI President S.K. Sharma that his staff would stop throwing garbage in the pond when an alternate site was allotted and a large bin provided by the MCC.

Meanwhile, the oxygen level of this pond dropped due to large-scale dumping of garbage which resulted in the death of some birds and fish. The ESI President promptly contacted the health department, MCC. The site was allotted and a bin provided.

On the orders of the Principal the staff has now started throwing the solid wastes in the bin.

Banker’s account: Mr R.D. Kailey, a senior manager in Punjab National Bank, has opened an account in the music world. He was a child when he came to know that he had a sweet voice. That made him a bathroom singer. In his youth he started singing regularly. After a long gap he came to Chandigarh as a banker. He showed more interest in singing and received coaching from music director Prabhjot Bali.

A few days back Mr Kailey gave a music performance at Punjab Kala Bhavan, Sector 16, for which he selected the Punjabi songs and gazhals of poet-journalist Sham Singh from his book “Rooh De Bol”.

He composed the tunes of these songs himself, which suited the words and themes. His tunes were so original and fascinating that after the performance of one hour and a half the listeners were still asking for more.

Dr Attri: Dr Ashok K. Attri, Honorary Secretary of the Chandigarh state unit, has been awarded the “National President IMA appreciation award for outstanding performance” for the year 1998-99.

Dr Attri, who took over in 1996, has been instrumental in organising various programmes of academic, medical and social nature. Besides this, a new IMA complex named after the late Dr PN Chhuttani has also been constructed during his tenure.

A Reader in the Department of Surgery in Government Medical College Hospital, Sector 32, Dr Attri was also awarded the certificate of merit by the IMA (HQ), New Delhi, last year.Back


Need to fight cyber crime

In India, the number of Internet users is rapidly increasing. Cyber revolution is bringing splendid opportunities to computer lovers.

While the potential positive impact of online interaction is enormous, its negative effects have already been seen in the form of cyber crime. This is a challenge in the new millennium. ‘Cyber terrorists’ have made their presence felt in the computer world. In the USA, this crime is increasing at the rate of 35 per cent annually. In India, too, this crime is being noticed. Recently an incident came to light of a fraudulent transaction in which criminal misuse of passwords resulted in the loss of over Rs 50 lakh.

Several anti-social elements are using Internet to swindle innocent people. Lakhs of rupees are stolen through credit card thefts.

In India, there is no legal recognition given to digital signatures, electronic correspondence and commerce. Cases have been seen of virus introduced in computer networks, attacks on Internet sites and transfer of important data from memory device without the knowledge of the person concerned. This is done by ‘cyber terrorists’ without any hesitation. There is no law under the Indian penal system to check this crime. The police is not in a position to offer much assistance to the victims of cyber crime.

It is a serious matter and the government should make laws to check this menace. I hope the Government of India will take necessary steps to check this hi-tech crime and make cyber space clean and terrorist-free.

Karun Saini

PEC posts

I was astonished to read in Chandigarh Tribune of March 1 that there are 70 posts of teacher vacant in PEC (Punjab Engineering College) Chandigarh. These conditions are deplorable. How can students get proper and effective education and training when there is no faculty ? I am on a short visit from the USA and it hurts me because I was a member of the PEC family in sixties. I was Assistant Professor (civil engineering) and also did my M.Sc. in highway design in 1968. I then left for the USA for higher studies.

Filling the vacant posts on an ad hoc basis or by using guest instructors is a temporary solution. These vacant posts should be filled with well-qualified candidates for each category. When I was at PEC, there were few positions of lecturers and more posts of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and one professor and Head of Department in each department. Now there are several positions of full professors, which is a big incentive to qualified (Ph.D. degree holders) and experienced teachers.

The teaching-staffing situation at PEC is serious and needs immediate attention of the authorities concerned.

Himmat S. Chadda
(currently visiting India)

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