Wednesday, September 19, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PGI gets 17 human genome projects
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
As many as 17 human genome projects in the PGI have been given a go ahead by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

According to the Director General, ICMR, Prof N.K. Ganguly, who is in city in connection with the Indo-German workshop on “Genetic Basis of Host-Pathogen Interactions”, which began in the PGI today, out of the total 83 ICMR projects on the human genome, 17 projects will be undertaken at the PGI. The money for the projects, amounting to about Rs 9 crore, will be released following the Extra Budgetary Committee’s meeting. Work on the project is likely to begin within two months.

The workshop is aimed to elicit Indo-German collaboration on research on genetic basis of host pathogen interactions. The ICMR-sponsored workshop is being attended by leading scientists from India and Germany who will, according to Prof Anil Narang, organising secretary of the workshop, try and link the disease process of different communicable diseases to a genetic or molecular basis.

While inaugurating the three-day workshop, the PGI Director, Prof S.K. Sharma, said such databases along with detailed analysis, will play an important role for diagnostic and therapeutic pathways of different diseases . This would help change traditional boundaries among molecular medicine and give new tools to manipulate and help management of acute and chronic disease, he said.

Genetic revolution will occupy centerstage of modern biological research in future, said Professor Sharma. In a message, the Union Health Minister, Dr C.P. Thakur, said enthusiasm about understanding genetic basis of diseases will have far reaching implications in molecular medicine. The social, ethical, regulatory and legal aspects, however, also need to be worked out adequately, he added.

The Health Minister said the workshop would identify areas of common interest between the two countries — India and Germany — and hoped the deliberations will aim towards benefitting both the partners.

Talking to TNS, Dr Rudi Balling from the GBF German Research Center for Biotechnology, who is heading the team of German scientists, said “pharmaceutical research has undergone a tremendous change in the past five years and identifying biological mechanisms will help improve diagnosis as drug course of a particular disease may be different in different people.” Based on this type of research, it can be deduced why people suffering from similar disease differ in their resistance and specific drug targets, said Dr Balling.

Dr Balling specialises in infectious diseases like streptococcal infections leading to rheumatic heart disorders and others. According to him, the workshop was a beginning of coordinated efforts in the genetics between the two countries,. In future, joint research work on genetics of infectious research will be funded by the ICMR on the Indian side and Ministry of Education and Research in Germany.

During the next two days , top leading scientists will be presenting their work so that research linkages between the two countries could be developed which will open new vistas in the field in future.


2 diagnostic centres lose licences
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
The UT Health Department today cancelled licences of two diagnostic centres in the city for conducting ultrasonography and other tests on foetuses under the Prenatal Diagnostic Technique (PNDT) Act, 1994.

These are Dr S.B.S. Chawla’s MRI Scan Centre in Sector 22 and Dr R.S. Reen’s Chandigarh Fertility Centre in Sector 35.

According to the Director, Health Services (DHS), Dr Rameshwar Chander, the centres had been found violating the Act and conducting sex determination tests despite a ban.

According to the DHS, the UT Health Department would file a complaint in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, together with evidence and the written report soon. Action would be taken against those violating the PNDT Act, he said.

An investigating team of the UT Health Department, with the help of two decoys, conducted raids on these two centres yesterday. The team had tried to crack down on some other centres in the city, but could not succeed.

About two months back, the UT Health Department had asked all those diagnostic centres conducting sonography tests to register themselves with the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare.

Sources added that Dr R.S. Reen, running a fertility centre in Sector 35, was not even a clinician and had a Ph.D. degree in biological sciences. He did not have any experience in genetics.

Dr Reen was running a clinic where he claimed to be doing sophisticated X,Y sperm separation, InVitro Fertilisation (IVF) and other modern technologies of treating infertile women, which were not available at the AIIMS and the PGI.

When his clinic was visited by Dr Satbir Singh and others, including a team of two representatives of the Government of India, Mr G.L. Singhal and Dr Kewal Kumar, they were surprised to find the clinic operating in an area of only 100 square feet.

Sources said, he did not have any provision for a sperm bank and had only two to three rudimentary instruments, besides employing a degree holder in ayurveda as gynaecologist.

Though Dr Chawla and his team were qualified, he was reportedly not maintaining any duplicate record on persons he was carrying sonography on, which was mandatory under the PNDT Act. The doctor was also found to be carrying out sonography without any referral slips, essential for such cases. Keeping records was a costly affair, he reportedly told the investigating team.


Overall trophy for Bon Sante
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, September 18
Bon Sante, a centre for body fitness in Sector 17, bagged the overall trophy by winning three gold medals, three bronze medals and 47 points in the second Inter-club Body Building championship held this evening at DAV College, Sector 10. The meet was organised by the Chandigarh Body Building Association.

Narender Puri of Bon Sante was declared Mr Inter Club’. Other winners were Sukhdev Singh (below 55 kg), Narinder Puri (below 60 kg), Satnam (below 65 kg), Sudesh Kumar (below 70 kg), Manjeet Singh (below 75 kg) and Gurjap Sekhon (above 75 kg).

Meeting sought

Mr Ravinder Talwar, who was recently changed from the post of general secretary to vice-president of the Chandigarh Basketball Association, in a letter to Mr A.S. Judge, president of the Chandigarh Basketball Association, asked him to convene a meeting of the general house of the association so that an effective team could work for the betterment of the association. He also sent copies of the letter to the Basketball Federation of India officials and the Director, Sports UT.

He said in the last general body meeting held on August 17, Mr Judge was made president and the house had also desired to utilise the services of Mr K.S. Bharti as general secretary of the association. Mr Talwar alleged that Mr Judge had nominated Mr A.S. Yadav and Mr M.S. Gill as general secretary, and secretary respectively, of the association .

Mr Judge, when contacted, said he had taken the decision for the uplift of basketball activities in the region. He said for the past eight years, the same team was continuing and he wanted to bring about a change so that others could work sincerely for the betterment of the game.

CISF triumph

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) emerged winners in the Chandigarh State Hockey Championship, which came to a close this afternoon at the Panjab University grounds. This three-day meet was organised by the Chandigarh Hockey Association.

CISF defeated 3 BRD by three goals to nil. The half-time score was 1-0 in favour of the winners. The first goal was scored in the 36th minutes when Munda Mungra scored through a field goal. In the second half, Irfan Ahmed converted a penalty corner in the 51st minute. In the 68th minute, the third goal was scored by Jai Pal Singh.

Softball meet

Panjab University campus, GGD SD College and DAV College, Chandigarh, won their respective matches in the PU Inter-college Softball (men) championship at PU grounds here today.


Badminton meet from today
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, September 18
All is set for the four-day Chandigarh State Badminton Championships, which will begin here tomorrow at Sector 42 indoor badminton hall. According to Mr Gian Chand Gupta, president of the Chandigarh Badminton Association, 17 events will be organised in various age groups. Mr Surinder Mahajan and Mr Rajiv Tuli will be the Chief referee and Director of competitions, respectively, informed that following seedings have been accorded.

In view of the midterm examinations of the school students, the association officials have promised to conduct the matches for this section in the afternoon session only. Mr TPS Puri, secretary of the association, said the new scoring system will be a new thing for the players. Mr Bal Ramji Das Tandon, Minister for Local Bodies, Punjab will inaugurate the meet at 5 pm tomorrow.

The seedings : Men: Vivek Sharma 1, Ashish Sharma 2. Women: H. Sarda Devi 1, Mala Gaba 2. Junior boys: Puneet Bansal 1, Robin Kanwar 2. Junior girls: Mala Gaba 1, Isha Sharma 2. Sub-junior boys: Narinder 1, Neeraj 2. Sub-junior girls: Harleen 1, Samridhi 2.Mini boys :Oscar Bansal 1, Munish 2. Girls; Seema 1, Neha 2.

Doubles: Men-Vivek and Varun 1, Ashish and Deepak 2. Women: Sarda and Mala 1, Isha and Parnita 2. Junior boys: Gurjeet and Akash 1, Pankaj and Paras 2. Junior girls: Isha and Parnita 1, Mala and Samridhi 2.

Sub-junior Boys: Vikas and Neeraj 1, Narinder and Oscar 2. Girls: Harleen and Astha 1, Samridhi and Kanika 2. Mini-Boys: Oscar and Munish 1, Hardeep and Sunil Mahala 2.


MC starts work on 8 injection wells
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) has started the process of constructing as many as eight injection wells in the Leisure Valley for artificial recharging of ground water.

The said project is being undertaken as part of an ambitious scheme for enhancing ground water levels by harnessing the surplus run-off rain water in the city. This will also help meet the ever-increasing need for water for domestic use. The project will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 11.56 lakhs. While the work is being undertaken by the Public Health Wing of MCC, the funds for the construction of recharge wells and related civil works will be provided by the government through the Central ground water board.

According to sources, Leisure Valley passes through the heart of the city, bisecting Sectors 3,10, 16, 23, 36, 42 and 53 onwards. It carries water throughout the year but during rainy season it overflows. All storm water outlets of the city open into the choe. The choe is a natural drain and flows through the centre of Leisure Valley.

As part of the scheme, pits with inverted filters will be constructed for the collection of water, above the injection wells. The run-off of the choe will now be made to pass through this for recharging ground water which otherwise goes waste. Giving details, the Superintending Engineer (Public Health), Mr Swaran Singh Kanwal, said once the work is completed, it would help recharge the aquifer system of the southern sectors where ground water is being tapped through tubewells indiscriminately.

Highlighting the benefits of the scheme, Mr Kanwal said this would help ensure proper utilisation of available and run off waste water, which presently goes to the drain or squatters on the roads.


Geeta Bharti takes charge
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 18
Ms Geeta Bharti took over the charge of Estate Officer, Haryana Urban Development Authority, here today, relieving Mr D.P. Singh. She said the priorities included sorting out the problem of encroachment by jhuggi-dwellers and rehris at roundabouts.

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