Sunday, March 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Ex-scientist paying to save research material
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
A terminated scientist of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Dr Amarjit Grewal, is in a centre of a controversy as research material pertaining to the theleria vaccine for tick-borne diseases of the cattle, worth crores of rupees, developed by him is facing the threat of being damaged. The research material is under scientific investigation for over 14 years and, according to the scientist, was at the fruition stage.

Even though the university had terminated services, Dr Grewal is pained at the neglect of the research material, which was a property of the university. He has reportedly spent over Rs 10,000 from his pocket to save it. The university did not even reimburse the expenses.

An immunologist, Dr Grewal was terminated from the post in November last year on the plea that the scheme under which he was appointed had expired and his services were no more required. He is fighting the orders by making representation to the government and the Chancellor. However, despite being shown the door, he continues to spend from his pocket to save the research material.

The material is supposed to be preserved at a certain temperature much below the room temperature. For the purpose, a coolant gas, liquid nitrogen, is required but the university has failed to provide the coolant despite repeated requests by the scientist.

It is important to mention here that the scientist was specifically invited by the then Vice-Chancellor of the PAU in 1986 to work on the theleria vaccine and set up a department in the PAU.

According to information available, Dr Grewal has even lodged a complaint with the police regarding the threat to the material and the harassment caused to him. The police sources, however, reveal that they could not do much as the complaints were not cognisable. Dr Grewal, when contacted, confirmed the incident and said he was shocked at the university’s callous attitude towards the research material. Vice-Chancellor K.S. Aulakh was not available despite repeated attempts.

Although the scheme under which the vaccine was to be prepared had expired years ago, the university acknowledges the importance of the material. A board of scientists headed by a former Vice-Chancellor of the PAU, Dr G.S. Kalkat, had suggested to the Director, Animal Husbandry, Dr G.S. Chahal, that the vaccine culture developed by Dr Grewal must be preserved either by the Punjab State Department of Animal Husbandry or by the PAU.

A copy of the letter which is with the Tribune also states that Ludhiana theleria master seed culture should be preserved in view of any foreseen demand and special funds would be provided to Dr Grewal for this purpose. (Proceedings dated 22.2.2001 signed by DR, Dean, COVS and ADR (veterinary).



Agencies gear up to procure wheat
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, March 9
The official procuring agencies of the Punjab Government are fully geared to meet the challenge of wheat procurement which would start arriving from the middle of next month.

The state is expecting a bumper wheat crop this year as the recent rains have benefited the standing wheat crop. The production of wheat is likely to be more than 120 lakh tonnes this year.

According to official information available today, the state agencies would procure 60 per cent, while the Food Corporation of India would buy 40 per cent of wheat arriving in the mandis.

The officials explained that the three major inputs for the procurement of wheat are complete — sufficient quantity of gunny bags has been arranged and the same have even reached the different agencies in the districts; storage, the space for the same has already been identified, panchayat lands, playing grounds of the colleges and schools in the rural areas have been identified and earmarked for storage of the procured wheat stocks; and wooden dencrates for dunnage of the wheat stocks have been arranged and the agencies have further procured huge quantity of polythene covers to cover the stocks of wheat.

The state government is making hectic efforts to arrange for the finances. It is estimated that at least Rs 7,000 crore are needed to purchase wheat arrivals which would be more than one crore tonnes as marketable surplus.

The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Food and Supplies Minister, Mr Lal Singh, have already met the Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, and sought adequate funds for the procurement of wheat stocks.

Officials of the agencies rule out any problem in the procurement of wheat this year and hope that the same would be smooth as payments can be made later. The major concerns of the government are to lift the stocks of wheat which would arrive in the mandis and infrastructure for the same is available.

Contrary to this, the Akalis are hoping that the government would fail in its arrangements and procurement of wheat would not be smooth. The Akalis are hoping to cash in on the “expected” failure of the state government on the procurement front.



2-day course on oral implantology
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 9
“Earlier people went for full dentures or half dentures but now teeth implants for functional and cosmetic purposes are being increasingly used. It has taken 20 years for implantology to find widespread acceptance,” said Dr J.L. Joshi, Principal, Christian Dental College. He was addressing the participants who had come from all over Punjab to attend a two-day course on implantology starting from today.

Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, has organised a hands-on course on oral implantology on the college premises. It was inaugurated by Mr Surinder Kumar Dawar, MLA from Ludhiana district. Among those present on the occasion were Dr J. Jacob, Associate and Acting Director of CMC, Dr N.S. Mann. Additional Dirertor of Heath Services, Punjab (retd).

The concept that missing teeth is a major disability needs to be recognised. With the present scientific knowledge, the best way to remove disability is by dental implants. Implants do not take the support of the gums, but are substitute for root of the teeth. Implants not only help a person restore normal chewing efficiency but also go a long way in restoring self-esteem and well-being by improving speech, confidence and health. Earlier the replaceable denture could cause complications in chewing and could be misplaced and proved to be quite cumbersome.

The workshop was coordinated by implantologists Prof Raghvendra Pradhan, Dean, Faculty of Dental Sciences and HOD of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, KGMC. Lucknow; Dr Vikram Prabhakar, Associate Professor, Unit of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Department of Dentistry, DMC, and Hospital Ludhiana and Dr Mahesh Chauhan, former adjunct Associate Professor at Ohio State University, College of Dentistry, Ohio, USA.

The organising secretary, Dr Manisha Prabhakar, said that since inception, implants have seen many advancements both in technology and procedures. With implantology, dentists will be able to render services to patients with missing teeth without harming the existing teeth far beyond the horizon of dental treatment.



Annual fashion show
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 9
Students of Ramgarhia Girls College taking a one-year home science diploma course presented their annual fashion show here today.

Girls attired in sarees, office wears, formal suits, parallel suits and cotton suits presented themselves very gracefully. The girls had embroidered and stitched their own dresses for the show. Besides, several music and dance items were presented by students to entertain the audience in between the rounds.

Ms Manjit Sandhu, Head of the Home Science Department, said that the girls had put in a lot of efforts for the show.



Delicate hands that draw godly sketches
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
The tender and delicate hands of Sumit Vaid seem to defy his age as he draws the picture perfect sketches of various deities, gods and goddesses. Show him an image and he will present you with a perfect sketch within no time. So far, he has been drawing the pictures of gods, gurus and temples.

Twelve-year-old Sumit Vaid is studying in seventh standard in Dhirbal Vidya Mandir. Drawing and sketching comes to him naturally. In fact, he left studying drawing after fifth standard, as his school does not offer drawing as a subject. But he keeps on making sketches of his own.

Sumit, who comes from a middle class family, is not undergoing any special training to improve and polish his talent. “He keeps on doing it by himself only”, narrates his father, Mr Ravinder Kumar.

He keeps on painting and drawing sketches in his spare time. He spends most of his holidays in drawing sketches. “When other children of his age are playing outside, he sits at home with his pencil and drawing board and keeps on making sketches”, reveals Mr Ravinder, who feels proud of his son.

Sumit says that drawing sketches makes him feel happy. “Everybody likes to watch cartoons on television, I like to make these myself”, he remarks.

“I really feel great after completing a sketch and it gives me more confidence for drawing more pictures”, says Sumit.


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