C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Babla alone responsible?
Anomalies in market panel recruitment ignored
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Is Devinder Singh Babla singularly responsible for Rajesh Chauhan’s appointment as auction recorder in the market committee? This question has become a topic of debate among the cops as well as administrative circles, following registration of a police case on Monday against Babla and Chauhan on charges of cheating, forgery, theft, making a false declaration, possession and use of a counterfeit government stamp and criminal conspiracy.

Interestingly, the complainant in the case, Rashwinder Singh of Badheri, had filed a complaint with the UT finance secretary and the UT deputy commissioner-cum secretary of the state agricultural marketing board (SAMB) on August 5, alleging irregularities committed in the recruitment. However, the authorities concerned sat over the complaint for four months and swung into action only after Babla’s arrest on December 28. The police contacted Rashwinder the next day and got a fresh complaint on the case lodged by him.

It appeared from the copies of letter obtained from the market committee by Rashwinder that the authorities failed to properly crosscheck the appointment letters. While the letter issued to one Chandan Singh of Naya Gaon had eight conditions to fulfill for his appointment, that issued to Chauhan had only seven. The only condition missing in the latter’s letter was verification of educational qualifications, age, experience, etc.

The letter issued to Chauhan reads the appointment was made following approval accorded by the UT secretary SAMB u/s 20(2) of PAPM Act, 1961 “vide his kind orders dated February 27, 2009”. The latter bore the signature of Babla as the chairman of the market committee and copies of the letter were forwarded for “information and necessary action” to the secretary SAMB, RSA and accountant of the market committee, besides the appointee.

Sources close to the market committee told TNS the four-member selection panel was comprised of Babla, two directors of the market committee including Subash Chander and Darshan Singh (the present chairman of the market committee) and a tehsildar, who was absent during the interview. The latter was held by three members only on February 12 last year.

The sources added Babla had proposed the names of the members of the committee, which was constituted on his recommendations. He sent the proposal to the SAMB secretary who had the final authority to approve the panel.

Rashwinder, who had procured information from the market committee using the Right to Information Act,found out Chauhan had furnished fake certificates to get the job. He requested the authorities to hold an inquiry into the matter as well as registration of a criminal case against Chauhan for furnishing bogus certificates.

Rashwinder told TNS his complaint had been gathering dust in the deputy commissioner’s office for months. “SDM Prerna Puri had told me in August end that she had sent her report to the DC, where it remained stuck forever. It was after Babla’s arrest that DSP (CID) Satbir Singh called me up and told me to lodge a fresh complaint in the case”, he added.



Night temp to dip further
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
There has been no respite from dense fog and cold in Chandigarh and nearby areas. A thick blanket of fog enveloped the entire region today and there were no signs of it lifting, reducing visibility to a mere 100 metres.

The minimum temperature in the city was recorded at 7° Celsius today while the maximum dipped to 11.6° C.

“Cold wave is the main reason behind the dipping of temperature in the region. We are expecting the night temperature to dip further in the coming days,” the Director of the Chandigarh Meteorological Department, Chattar Singh, stated.

“The fog is because of the western disturbances. There is a possibility of rain in the region and isolated snow in some parts of Himachal Pradesh by January 7. This would bring relief from dense fog,” he said.

Meanwhile, after all airlines announced the cancellation of flights to and from Chandigarh, some passengers were still seen at the airport with hope while trains coming to the city were delayed by several hours and passengers had to wait in the cold at the railway station.

Motorists also had a tough time driving to work due to the dense fog. As per reports, there has been an increase in accidents in early mornings and late evenings due to the fog.

Road traffic on most highways in Punjab and Haryana was reduced to a crawl due to thick fog that dropped visibility to dangerous levels. Taxis carrying newspapers reportedly reached their destinations behind schedule, causing inconvenience to newspaper readers.

The Met office has forecast cold wave along with cloudy sky in the next 48 hours. Fog, mist and ground frost is also expected during morning and the night temperature would continue to fall.



CHB, Parsvnath go at it again
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The dispute between the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) and real estate major Parsvnath Developers Ltd, on the luxury Prideasia township project in the plush Chandigarh Technology Park has now taken another turn with a new ‘letter war’ breaking out between the two stakeholders.

Last month CHB served another ‘default notice’ on Parsvnath asking the latter to deposit Rs 317 crore, the amount that the latter had been defaulting on for several months. Reacting quickly the realtor questioned the very locus standi of the board in demanding the money as the arbitrators had already been appointed.

In the default notice CHB had accused the developer of not commencing work on the project and delaying the payment of the remaining amount. On the other hand, Parsvnath termed the notice as "untenable" and "one-sided".

In fact the project appeared to be jinxed since October 6, 2006 when the project agreement between CHB and Parsvnath was signed. Parsvnath had only paid Rs 517 crore as the first installment. It has been defaulting on the remaining amount on the plea that CHB had failed to provide ‘encumbrance-free’ land and delayed approval of the project’s building plans.

To settle "outstanding issues" between themselves Parsvnath and CHB had earlier appointed justices DP Wadhawa and Amar Dutt as arbitrators, respectively, under the "nominee clause" under the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996. Later, a third neutral arbitrator - justice SC Aggarwal - was appointed. The arbitrators had already met last month with the next meeting scheduled on April 9.

Touted to be an "important milestone in furthering the public-private partnership model of development” in Chandigarh, Parsvnath had bagged the housing project, spread over an area of 123 acres, in 2006 by placing the highest bid of Rs 821 crore. A 30 per cent share in the sale of the residential property in the project, pegged at Rs 1,600 crore, was to go to CHB.

Interestingly, a major part of this amount was to be utilised by the board for an ambitious slum rehabilitation scheme.

The project in the sprawling Rajiv Gandhi IT Park was in the news for the high prices of the apartments, with a one bedroom flat costing about Rs 52 lakh and a ‘villa’ going at an astounding Rs 6 crore.

Though a number of investors evinced interest in the project yet various controversies forced most of them to withdraw the initial amount deposited for the purchase of the dwelling units.



Contradictions in CHB quota allotment
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
In a contradiction of sorts, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has proposed to allow the sale of houses under the discretionary quota after five years of allotment.

At the same time, the agenda item also includes action against 26 allottees, under the discretionary quota, who had either transferred their property or sold it. The list includes some ministers, civil servants and police officers.

Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar said: “The discrepancy had arisen because the board in the past had allowed the transfer of property after five years in certain cases. We were finding it difficult to refuse others who wanted to sell their property. So, we have decided to place the issue before the board of directors.”

The issue would come up for discussion in the forthcoming meeting of the CHB later this month.

Houses in the discretionary quota fall in the category of those allotted by the UT Administrator to the handicapped, handicapped in war, war widows, leading personalities in various fields and sportspersons, among others.

The CHB has, till date, allotted approximately 3,000 houses out of the discretionary quota. It is in receipt of 32 applications for allowing the transfer of plots in this category, which they had procured as a general power of attorney (GPA) deal.

This category would make an interesting discussion at the board of directors meeting because the UT does not recognise the GPA in the first place and allowing the transfers was as such questionable.

“In a way, the CHB proposes regularising an illegal sale. The houses were given under the discretionary quota for a specific purpose and there is no justification in allowing a resale,” a CHB official said.

The UT had earlier attempted to allow the resale of GPA property in 2003, but the move never went through.

It is being argued that even if the house was allotted to someone under the discretionary quota, the owner should have independence to decide about its ownership. He has been allotted the house on merit and might have genuine reasons, even monetary, which force him to dispose of his property.

But on the flip side, if the house had been allotted under the discretionary quota for someone with special needs or the deserving, he should not dispose of the property merely for financial gains.



Spiralling stress pushing kids to depression
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Three school students, including an 11-year-old reality TV show star, committed suicide in Mumbai in the last 48 hours in separate incidents. These deaths shatter the myth that only youngsters and adults suffer from depression and have suicidal tendencies.

While there have been many cases where class X and XII students have attempted to end their lives after failing to clear exams, depression is affecting children across the country. And this phenomena is not restricted to metros, where fast paced lives add to daily tensions. Even a ‘laidback’ city like Chandigarh has kids who are living on the edge, ready to snap under the pressures of life.

A recent study on ‘stress and suicidal ideas in adolescent students in Chandigarh,’ conducted by the psychiatry department of Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32, concluded that students with academic problems and an unsupportive environment at home perceived “life as a burden” and thus have a higher rate of suicidal thoughts. Also, the study highlights the fact that relationship with peers and parents is a significant determinant of psychological health.

Out of 2,402 students of classes VII through XII, selected for the study from ten schools - both government as well as private, half of them (1,201) perceived problems in their role as students, 1,078 had psychological problems, 930 suffered an academic decline, 180 reported life was a burden, 122 reported suicidal ideas and eight reported a suicidal attempt. The study was published in the ‘Indian Journal of Medical Sciences’ in 2009.

According to the study, one-fourth of the students reported problems in relation to their parents. They include frequent arguments among parents, criticism by and interfering attitudes of parents, disagreement between student and parent, poor trust, high expectations and lack of guidance. In earlier studies also, a disturbed interpersonal relationship with parents was associated in 77 percent of adolescents with deliberate self-harm and higher stress in three-quarters of suicidal adolescents.

According to experts, the burden of underdiagnosed emotional disorders is very huge. ‘‘Children who are emotionally disturbed suffer silently - parents and teachers dismiss them as ‘difficult’ children. These children are more prone to become academic failures, have sudden suicidal tendencies and show a decline in studies. After all, between a person's inclination towards abnormality and the actual extreme step of suicide is a gamut of emotions suppressed over years - mainly the formative age. This particular tendency during formative years is what we were trying to analyse and check, which so far is going undiagnosed,'' says Dr BS Chawan, head of the psychiatry department at GMCH-32 and researcher of this study.

Parents need to be careful while handling their kids. There are times when they compare their children with others, not realising they are further lowering their kids’ self-esteem.



Tournaments cancelled, postponed
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The chill after the rain on Sunday evening has either led to the cancellation of various tournaments or their postponement, causing restlessness among players.

Keeping in view the severe cold weather conditions and poor visibility due to the fog in the city, most ongoing cricket tournaments have either been abandoned or postponed.

The final between the GNPS and CCA and Greenfield Cricket Academy was abandoned due to the rain and both teams were declared joint winners in the BTS Gold Cup Tournament being organised by the Banyan Tree Academy.

Sportspersons said on the condition of anonymity that it was not possible to hold matches as it was difficult to judge the speed of the ball from a distance of 22 yards as the visibility was very low due to the foggy conditions and could lead to serious injuries to players.

In the second match between MCA-YPS and Shree Shree Academy, the match had to be abandoned due to rain and both teams

were given a point each.

The organisers are now planning to hold the match between the MCA and the Green Field Academy to decide the semifinalists in the Saint Soldier Trophy.

Yadavinder Mehta of Bharti Vij Academy said the pitch had got wet at Saint Soldier International School, Sector 28, and would take time to dry. He said the match between the MCA and Green Field Academy would probably be held tomorrow and both semifinal matches would be held on Sunday as the players were very enthusiastic about the tournament and wanted to play the match.

In the Blue Chilly Cup Cricket Tournament for under-16, being organised by Desh Prem Azad Crickt Academy, the organisers were yet to decide the dates for the semifinal matches. DP Azad was not available for comments.


Activists oppose Home Ministry’s move on FIRs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Members of the RTI Users Association have opposed the proposed move by the Union Home Ministry to make the registration of every complaint as FIR.

In a letter addressed to the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram the convener of the association HC Arora has submitted that lack of discretion on the part of police officers to reject frivolous complaints would jeopardize the criminal justice system and every complaint once registered as FIR, shall involve a lengthy procedure for its cancellation.

“Before cancellation of the FIR, a notice shall go from the court to the complainant, and there shall be a legal battle. An innocent citizen may get reprieve from the court after a few years, but at considerable costs both monetary and otherwise. He shall have to run from Session’s Court to High Court for getting anticipatory bail on apprehension of arrest and the police would become all the more powerful to harass the accused/innocent,” he wrote. “Our suggestion is that Section 154 of CRPC be suitably amended to make it obligatory on the SPs concerned to record reasons wherein a case any police officer decides against registration of an FIR,” he added.



Cancellation of flights
Instrument landing system non-functional 
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The Chandigarh Airport has been closed, with all flights to and fro the city been cancelled, for the last six days.

While fog and the resultant poor visibility remains the immediate reason for this air traffic suspension, the actual cause is the non-functioning of the Instrument landing system (ILS) at the airport.

Director of Airports Authority of India (AAI) Suneel Dutt informed the TNS that the ILS at the airport has been out of order for over last six months. Had all systems being in place, there was no need to cancel the flights.

A Jet Airways official said since Saturday, they started informing passengers about the cancellation in advance to avoid any hassles.

He revealed that earlier passengers used to be kept in the dark about the cancellation till the last hour, resulting in heated arguments with airlines’ officials.

Many airlines have said they would refund the money to passengers.

They said they could not do anything about the operation of the flights, since the matter related to the AAI. They claimed they were trying to do their best to ensure that the passengers were not harassed.

It is learnt that the airport does not even have its own ILS facility. The current facility was provided by the Indian Air Force. But now the IAF authorities have asked the AAI to install its own facility at the airport.

Dutt said the AAI was already in the process of installing the facility at the airport, however, there were many formalities involved. It requires clearance from the Defence authorities also, because of which it is taking so much time.



Science fellowship for Dr Kohli
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Dr RK Kohli, chairman Botany Department, Panjab University, has been elected as the fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore. With this fellowship, Dr Kohli has now become eligible for the special honorarium of Rs 15,000.

Dr Kohli, who achieved the highest global accreditation as senior ecologist, is also the recipient of the Punjab Ratna Award 2008 and the state honour 1998 by the UT administration is already a fellow of such prestigious organisations.

The Haryana government had recently selected him for Haryana Vigyan Ratna Cash Award UGC/CSIR. 



Race hots up for MC sr vice-president’s post
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 5
There are several aspirants in the race for the post of senior vice-president of the local municipal council, which will get vacant on January 31 after the one-year term of the present team expires.

Though none of the councillors has so far shown interest in the post openly, the names doing the rounds in the municipal circles for the post of senior vice-president include Paramjit Singh Kahlon, Gurmukh Singh Sohal, SS Barnala, Amrik Singh, Phulraj Singh, BB Maini and Amteshwar Kaur.

The post of senior vice-president will go to the opposition group, which is currently in majority having 19 members in its fold out of a total of 30.

One seat fell vacant with the death of Prabhjot Kaur Sodhi, who was with the ruling group.

The posts of senior vice-president and vice-president remained vacant for nearly a year and half before Harmanpreet Singh and Prabjot Kaur Sodhi were elected to the two posts, respectively, on January 31 as the district administration had failed to convene a meeting in this regard.

Opposing the indifferent attitude of the district authorities, which had thrown the democratic norms to the wind, councillor Kuljit Singh Bedi had moved court after which the elections to the two posts were held.

Whether elections to these posts will now be held soon after the one-year term expires is yet to be seen. It is reported that executive officer of the civic body Amna Kumar Goyal has informed the Deputy Commissioner through a letter that these posts will fall vacant on January 31 after which the elections could be convened.



H1N1-hit schools in tricity to be fumigated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
Waking up to their social responsibility, the corporate sector has now joined the efforts to cope with the ongoing swine flu endemic. Alliance Formulations, a leading service provider for fast moving consumer goods, lifestyle and healthcare products, has begun fumigating and sanitising schools in the Tricity free of cost. These mainly comprise those institutions that have remained closed due to the spread of H1N1 infections.

Alliance Formulations director Anil Nagpal said the company has decided to combat the growing endemic of viral and influenza in a unique way. “We will be fumigating and sanitising those schools that have reported swine flu cases. Fumigation would help in preventing students from falling prey to the virus when they return to school,” he added.

Launching the initiative at Bhavan Vidyalya, Sector 27, Nagpal said” “Affected areas of the school are being fumigated and all the touch points sanitised, so that this new year students can enter the school fearlessly to a germ free area”.

He explained during the process a fumigation machine is placed inside classrooms with their windows and doors closed. Later, all public touchable surfaces including doors, windows, tables, water taps and even handles are sanitised to wipe off any kind of virus left behind. The chemical treatment not only destroys the H1N1virus but also bacteria, other deadly viruses (including HIV and HBV, myco bacteria, bacteriophages, amoeba, yeast, fungi and spore forming organisms.

“Other schools that will be fumigated soon include Bhavan Vidyalya, Kabir Public School, Bhavan Vidyalya, Panchkula and Gurukul School, Panchkula. We will accept requests for fumigation from all institutional heads who are concerned for their employees and students”, Nagpal added.



GMSH-16 doctor awarded
Tribune News Service

Dr Sarabjit Singh Chandigarh, January 5
Dr Sarabjit Singh, medical officer, Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, has been awarded the Pioneers’ Circle membership for India and Asia Pacific region, in the field of minimal invasive procedure for haemorrhoids (MIPH) at the MIPH surgeons’ meeting in New Delhi recently.

The award is given for academic and clinical contribution to the minimal invasive procedure for haemorrhoids. He is the only surgeon from the government set-up in the northern part of the country to get this award.

The achievement of Dr Sarabjit is a sutureless and painless procedure, which has already been demonstrated at his institution. He has also been awarded the first prize in the surgical quiz during the 55th annual conference of the International College of Surgeons in Amritsar recently. The conference was attended by at least 3,000 surgeons from all over the world.

Dr Sarabjit is the author of the research paper “Surgical treatment of haemorrhoids with stapler haemorrhoidopexy: our experience” in the indexed medical journal JIMSA.



Elderly prone to skin diseases, says doctor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The elderly, forming a major portion of the tricity population, are prone to a number of dermatological diseases and disorders because of decreased elasticity, thickness and resilience of skin.

In fact, certain diseases found in the aged, including diabetes mellitus and congestive heart failure, have a negative effect on the skin’s ability to heal.

Some of the skin problems can be prevented by adhering to a few common sense principles, says Dr Vikas Sharma of Panchkula.

Adequate nutrition is essential for healthy skin and in case of the elderly, the skin needs all support it can get from a balanced diet, he says.

As people grow older, their chances of developing skin-related disorders increase. Two types of skin ageing exist, intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic ageing includes changes that are due to normal maturity and occur in all individuals. Extrinsic ageing is produced by extrinsic factors such as exposure to ultraviolet light, smoking and environment pollution.

The common skin disorders in the elderly include xerosis, pruritis, purpura, eczematic dermatitis and chronic venous insufficiency.

Xerosis is characterised by dry, cracked and fissured skin with scaling. Most often, it occurs on the legs of the elderly, but may be present on the hands. Xerosis preys on the elderly.

Characteristic features of pruritis include scratching and inflammation. The condition is often associated with other underlying diseases.

Several of eczematic dermatitis disorders are commonly seen in the elderly. Elderly persons are especially susceptible to hemorrhage in the skin.

Ageing causes a gradual reduction in the number of blood vessels and elastic fibres as well as losses in dermal collagen and fat, causing thinning of the skin and reduced protection from external trauma.

Suggestions for management include reducing the frequency of bathing with lukewarm water, avoiding harsh skin cleansers, minimal use of a non-irritant soap, applying moisturiser directly on skin that is damp, using air humidification in dry environment and avoiding friction from washcloth, rough clothing and abrasives.



Watch out for ENT infections among kids!
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The spell of first winter showers may have made the weather chilly and gloomy, depriving residents of bright and sunny days, but they will provide the much needed relief to children, especially those under five years of age, from dry cough and cold.

According to experts, the hitherto prevailing dry conditions are a major cause of ailments among children, particularly those under 10 years of age.

Doctors say though the dry spell leads to a general increase in ailments related to chest, throat and skin allergies, small children are particularly prone to getting severe ear infections in such weather.

According to ENT specialist, throat infection after common cold can lead to ear infection causing acute suppurative otitis media (ASOM).

Dr Surinder Singhal, consultant in ENT department of the GMCH-32, says there has been a sudden increase in ASOM cases. In the beginning, children complain of pain in the ear that shoots up at night.

“Children initially complain of running nose and sore throat. Then they start having problem in the ears, which begins aching badly, especially during night. This happens when common cold is not treated in time and the infection enters the ear through the throat,” says Dr Singhal.

An aggravated form of common cold, ASOM, if not treated properly, may lead to CSOM (chronic suppurative otitis media), resulting in perforation in the ears and in extreme cases, a hole in the ear drums, adds Dr Singhal.

“The best remedy for any cold infection, especially for upper respiratory infections, is inhaling of steam. But steam should be inhaled only through the nose and never through the mouth. The addition of eucalyptus is just cosmetic, as it does not make steam more effective,” says Dr Aneesh Gupta, another ENT specialist.

Inhaling steam works even for ASOM. If the patient complains of sudden pain in the ear, he should be given steam followed by a dose of medicines, adds Dr Gupta.

Those suffering from sinus should also take extra precaution in winter as the chill may aggravate their infection. “Sinus patients should try to keep themselves warm and cosy. Inhaling steam on a regular basis helps cure this ailment too,” he says.


Keep yourself warm: This indirectly helps keep away bacterial and viral infections. Cold conditions decrease your immune response, increasing chances of colds, flu and pneumonia.

Drink plenty of water: You don’t feel as thirsty as in summer, so the water intake tends to decrease. In winter, one tends to consume hot drinks like coffee and tea more often. But caffeine draws out the water from the system, causing dehydration. Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water per day.

Exercise regularly: With shorter daylight time, we tend to wake up later in winter. Our fitness routine is usually put on the back burner. Make a conscious effort to follow a daily exercise regimen. An extra 20 minutes of physical activity helps improve circulation and keep those extra pounds at bay.

Massage hands and feet: To prevent chilblain (small, itchy, blue swellings) in extreme cold temperatures, massage your palms, fingers, toes and heels with warm vegetable oil.

Get at least eight hours of sleep: Managing the recommended eight hours of sleep is crucial as a lack of it lowers one’s immunity and energy levels during winter. Avoid alcohol and nicotine for a good sleep.

Take care of hands and feet: This is a must for everyone. Foot care is important for diabetics to avoid infection that can lead to gangrene.

Have vegetables and fruits: Winter is the season especially in humid cities for good seasonal vegetables and fruits. Feel free to binge on them as they improve immunity and keep the body in supply of its requirements of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.


Never forget to moisturise: Winter wind is harmful to skin, so moisturise it as frequently as possible. Everything from hair to your skin starts to feel scaly so stock up on thick luxurious moisturisers and use the chapstick. Moisturised wipes will be useful if you have a cold.

Don’t eat only high-calorie food: Many of us fall back on carb and fat heavy comfort food like pasta, thick creamy soups, mithai, ghee-soaked parathas. However, this will not only hinder your weight loss goals but also make you lethargic and sleepy. 



Four more cases of swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Four more persons, including as two-year-old boy from Sector 37, have tested positive for the H1N1 virus in the city.With this, the total number of confirmed swine flu cases in the city has gone up to 357, according to UT nodal officer for swine flu HCGera.

The child has been admitted to the advanced paediatric centre of the PGI.

His condition is reported to be stable. Other patients are from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.



‘Late referral to blame’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Officials of the Chandigarh health department have said the referral of swine flu patients to hospitals in a critical stage has emerged as the primary reason for the increase in the number of deaths due to the infection.

They said this during a meeting to review Type A H1N1 cases in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Chandigarh.UT Adviser Pradip Mehra asked health secretaries of the neighbouring states to develop infrastructure so that they could share the burden of increasing cases pouring in at the PGI.

Analysing the cases of death at city hospitals, officials said 33 per cent of the deaths had occurred between six and 12 hours of the patient’s arrival to hospital.

While 32 per cent of the deaths had occurred within a day, 35 per cent of the deaths were reported at the PGI and the GMCH two or three days after admission to hospital.

The deaths had occurred because of delay in starting treatment, said Dr Aashish Bhalla of the department of internal medicine at the PGI.

Mehra requested the states to upgrade ventilator support and start treatment with Tamiflu at an early stage, immediately upon the onset of symptoms. Prof Rajesh Kumar, head of the school of public health, opined that the sensitisation of private doctors, private laboratory personnel and NGO members should be done by the respective states to that patients were treated in time.

“There is a need to upgrade PGI facilities by making provision for more ventilators and strengthening infrastructure so that patients from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana are accommodated for treatment,” said Mehra.

To reduce the burden on the PGI, the GMCH would get 12 ventilators soon, said a health department spokesperson.



Intelligence Officer
Call letters issued for test
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The Staff Selection Commission (SSC) has issued call letters to all eligible candidates for examination in intelligence officer (post category NR-B-3 of advertisement No. SSC/HQ/2/2009) in the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to be held on January 24.

The said examination will be held at Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Allahabad, Lucknow and Guwahati centres. The examination will be of merit-cum-screening nature and will have objective type multiple questions on general intelligence and reasoning, English language and comprehension.

As per the press note of the SSC issued here today, those candidates who do not receive call letters might download the duplicate admission certificate from its website www.sscnr.org.<http://www.sscnr.org.>. They may also contact the regional office of the commission at Kendriya Sadan, Sector 9 A, Chandigarh, for the issue of the duplicate admission certificate. In case of any difficulty, they may also contact at 011-24363343/24360840.



Extension of Vacation
Senior students face admn’s apathy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Though the extension of winter vacations for the primary classes has left the senior students expecting the same for themselves, neither the UT administration nor private schools seem to agree to it.

The vacations in Carmel Convent, Sector 9, St John’s High School, Sector 26, St Anne’s School, Sector 32, and Sacred Heart, Sector 26, have extended their vacations for all classes till January 10.

These schools will open on January 11 and also the pre-boards, which were scheduled to be held on January 6, will commence then only.

According to DPI (S) Sunil Bhatia, extending the holidays just for the heck of it was not justified.

“First of all, weather surely does not come under the label of ‘unbearable’. For senior students it’s the concern of catching up with the syllabus as well. We have done the needful by changing the timings. Still if there are some who think extension is must they can voluntarily take a leave,” he asserted.

HS Mamik, director Vivek High School, said, “If we got by the prediction than we can expect sunshine tomorrow or day after so why extend the holidays. Moreover in many cases both parents are working and no one can take a leave to be with kids so they themselves ask us not to extend any holidays. The school will reopen as scheduled,” he said.

Many private schools like DPS though have not declared the holidays but delayed their commencement by half-an-hour and informed the parents accordingly.

“We have sent text messages to all parents and they can log onto www.dpschd.com <http://www.dpschd.com> for more details.”



Implementation of MHRD notifications reviewed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisations (PFUCTO), Panjab University, held a joint meeting today to review the implementation of MHRD notifications today.

The committee took a serious note of the Punjab government’s silence on the issue of enhancement of retirement age of teachers to 65. Though special committee has been constituted by the government but no meeting has been held in the last six months.

Meanwhile, PUTA president Manjit Singh was unanimously elected as the president of PFUCTO.

MOU signed

The Dikshant International School signed an MOU with the UK-based Buzan organisation known for pioneering mind mapping technique yesterday at Singapore.

As per the memorandum, the Buzan centre at Dikshant would be the only authorised and licenced centre by the Buzan organisation to impart training in mind maps in India.

The centre would also specialise in imparting training in speed-reading and memory techniques.

The centre’s primary focus would be to make learning fun. Age appropriate sessions would also be held for students of all age groups.

Special focus would be to help the students appearing for their board examinations soon by conducting a crash course to enhance their retention and recall power.



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