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EDUCATION

PU to have DNA test lab soon
State-of-the-art facility will be first of its kind in country
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Panjab University will soon house a state-of-the-art DNA identification lab. The lab will be the first of its kind in the country and will make use of advanced technologies to make the DNA testing and identification faster and accurate.

According to PU vice chancellor Prof R.C. Sobti, talks are on with the experts, including Prof Sudhir Sinha, Reliagene Technologies, USA, Prof Ranajit Chakraborty, director, Centre for Genome Information, University of Cincinnati, Dr M. Tahir, technical manager of forensic DNA, and Dr Frank P. Miller, forensic pathologist from the USA .

The VC said, “I also spoke to the IG, Chandigarh, and if all goes well, the university will boast of the region’s only DNA identification laboratory in collaboration with Reliagene Technologies, USA. A similar tie-up also exists with the University of Lahore.

“In fact, the modalities to sign a MoU are being worked out,” said Professor Sobti. The vice chancellor was speaking on the sidelines of a three-day Indo-US seminar-cum-demonstrative workshop on ‘Animal cell culture, DNA fingerprinting and cell marker identification’ at PU.

Prof Sudhir Sinha, Reliagene Technology, gave a lecture on ‘DNA fingerprinting and recent advances in the DNA testing’. Talking to mediapersons, he said, “With the latest advances in technology, it is now possible to test DNA at a faster, cheaper and much accurate rate. In fact, a CD-sized silica chip can analyse 96 samples in less than an hour which would otherwise take at least two days using the existing technologies for each sample.”

“Taking a cue from the 9/11 incident in New York and Tsunami in North East Asia, a team of DNA experts has been formed to deal with the problems of identifying the DNAs of the victims. The experts encountered problems during both tragedies,” said Prof Sinha.

Prof Ranajit Chakraborty, Dr M. Tahir and Dr F. Miller from USA spoke on the application of the DNA-based technologies in forensic analysis. In the post-lunch sessions, the participants were given hands-on training on cell culturing and DNA fingerprinting. Professor Sobti talked about the basic concepts of animal cell culture and its future applications. Dr Sharmila Bapat, NCCS, Pune, spoke on modelling cancer stem cell biology in culture systems.

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PEC conference on communication ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
An array of experts working in the field of communication participated in the two-day conference on ‘Wireless and Optical Communication’ (WOC-07) concluded on the premises of Punjab Engineering College, Sector 12, today. The conference was organised by the electronics and electrical communication department of the college.

The technical session was chaired by Prof Ajay Chakrobarty, IIT, Kharagpur. He discussed electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) regarding digital circuits and PCB designing.

Prof P.J. Mendhe presented the session’s first paper on ‘High Performance patch array antenna for MSS terminal’. The second paper was presented by Aditi Sharma on ‘Micro Strip-Line Fed Single Pin Shorted Rectangular Patch Antenna for Broadband Communication’. In the fifth technical session, Dr Adrish Banerjee from IIT, Kanpur, introduced the concept of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing which is a multicarrier communication scheme. R.N. Tiwari and Babita Makkar, senior lecturer, Shiv Shankar Engineering College, also presented their papers in this session.

The sixth and final session had an invited talk on ‘The Sub Access Network’ by Prof Subratkar from IIT, Delhi. Dr Sanjay Tyagi, additional director-cum-centre head, STPI, Mohali, was the chief guest. Dr Pawan Kapur, director, CSIO, Chandigarh, was the guest of honour. Prof Arun Kumar Singh, organising secretary, highlighted the deliberations of the conference. Certificates were given to the presenters. Mementos were presented to the dignitaries in the end.

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26 teachers attend refresher course at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
A refresher course on ‘Political Science in the 21st Century: The Emerging Trends’ organised jointly by the department of political science and Academic Staff College, Panjab University, is in progress at the department of political science. 

Twenty six teachers from the north-west region are participating in the course. Prof Manjit Singh, director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, gave a lecture on ‘Changing Political Economy of Agrarian Structure in Punjab’. 

Professor Singh also spoke about the role of migrant labourers in Punjab in his second lecture. He stressed that there would not have been any success of green revolution in the state in the absence of abundant supply of cheap migrant labour from neighbouring states.

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CAT waives recovery amount imposed by KVS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Ignoring that Karam Singh, the applicant, had drawn more salary than entitled, the Central Administrative Tribunal has waived the recovery amount that the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan had imposed on him.

The tribunal said the higher pay drawn by the applicant during the past 10 months of his service would not give him the right to claim retiral benefits. He would be entitled to pension and other benefits on the basis of the entitlement to actual pay fixed by the respondents.

Karam Singh, an ex-serviceman, joined Kendriya Vidyalaya as a low division clerk. Considering the last pay drawn by him in the Army, his salary was fixed at the pay scale of Rs 260-400. When he was about to retire, the KV Sangathan passed an order that his pay should have been fixed at the minimum stage of the pay scale. It added that the previous salary that was considered for fixing his pay scale in KV was with increments. It also sought to recover the surplus money from him.

He filed the case before the tribunal claiming that he was entitled to draw the said pay by the protection of pay last drawn by him in the Army. He said even if the high salary was given to him by mistake, it could not be corrected now as he had drawn the pay at a higher stage and was entitled to pension and retiral benefits on the basis of the pay drawn by him.

A division bench has ruled that the applicant was wrongly granted protection pay. The bench stated that the department could always correct administrative mistakes. According to it, one was entitled to retirement benefits on the basis of the actual entitlement of pay and allowances over the past 10 months and not on the basis of the pay wrongly drawn by him.

However, Karam Singh was saved from paying up the surplus money as it was not his fault.

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Reprieve for cop
CAT removes dismissal tag
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Going easy on a UT police’s dismissed constable, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has changed its dismissal order to removal. CAT reversed the dismissal of constable Ashok Kumar to removal from the UT police, as this will give him an opportunity to get a government job.

He was dismissed from the UT police after being convicted of assault. Ashok Kumar was accused of participating in an unlawful assembly on the intervening night of October 23-24 in 1995.

He was booked for assaulting Gurprit Singh and Ajit Singh. Holding him guilty of the crime, the judicial magistrate convicted him under Sections 323 and 509, IPC, in April, 1999.

The court later released him under the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 after he furnished bonds. Ashok appealed before the district and sessions judge, who dismissed the plea.

He was issued a show-cause notice by the SSP asking him why punishment of dismissal from service should not be imposed on him. Ashok was dismissed from the UT police in 2000. The applicant filed an appeal with the IG on October 3, 2000. The appeal was accepted and the case was remanded to disciplinary authorities. The disciplinary authorities dismissed him from service.

Ashok later pled before CAT that no inquiry was conducted before dismissing him. A division bench stated: “After dismissal, the applicant (Ashok) will not be able to get any government job. While imposing severest punishment human aspects should also not be lost. Therefore, the penalty of dismissal of the applicant is hereby converted into one of removal from service.”

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