C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Three-year-old boy dies at nursing home
Two doctors held for negligence, released on bail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
Vikas, a three-year-old child, died at a nursing home here today after he was given general anaesthesia before being operated for a fracture in his elbow. The child allegedly died within seconds of being administered the anaesthesia. Soonafter the incident, spine surgeon Dr Mohinder Kaushal and anaesthetist Dr Ajaya Chakravarty were arrested from the Orthoscopy and Spinal Endoscopy Centre in Sector 20 for causing death due to negligence.

The Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sector 19 police station, Janak Rana, said a case under Section 304-A had been registered against the doctors following the complaint of Satbir, father of the deceased. The doctors were later released on bail.

Satbir, a roadside vendor, said Vikas had suffered injury on his arm on July 7 while playing at home. They took him to the Government Multi-speciality Hospital, Sector 16, where doctors said he would require surgery as he had sustained a fracture. “However, we decided to take him to Dr Kaushal at the Orthoscopy and spinal centre. The surgery was scheduled for this morning,” he said.

It was around 7 am that Dr Ajaya gave two injections to Vikas and immediately the child stopped breathing, he alleged. “They asked us to go outside and took Vikas to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, using a back door. We were not informed. He was later declared dead. We then informed the police,” Satbir alleged.

Dr Kaushal said Dr Ajaya gave anaesthesia to the child and he “developed sudden cardiac arrest” following which all standard resuscitative measures were undertaken. The child was taken to the GMCH under the observation of a team of doctors, including Dr Ajaya and two paramedics, but unfortunately the child could not be revived, he said.

“By that time people started gathering in front of the nursing home and we informed the police,” said Dr Kaushal. Later a postmortem was conducted by a medical board at the GMSH.

The Indian Medical Association, Chandigarh, condemned the arrest of the doctors. As per a Supreme Court judgement, no case could be registered against a doctor without the expert opinion of a medical Board, said Dr Ramneek Singh Bedi, president of the association.



Being ferried to GMSH in ambulance? Watch out!
Most drivers not qualified; authorities wake up
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
Patients being ferried by a fleet of ambulances at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, seem to be at a risk. The authorities at the hospital have found that 10 drivers engaged by them are not qualified for the job as none of them possess the mandatory certificates and qualification to run the emergency services.

“The medical examination of the drivers could reveal more startling information as a few of them had attached a medical certificate at the time of recruitment,” sources in the hospital said.

Inquiry by the hospital authorities reveals that the private contractor who had been outsourced the job of providing drivers had not complied with norms. They were supposed to give documents pertaining to their educational qualification and experience certificate.

In a damage control exercise, the hospital authorities have asked the contractor to submit the credentials of the drivers or replace them with new drivers. The health department had ordered the scrutiny of credentials of all employees hired through outsourcing agencies in April when one of the drivers at the hospital was found suffering from colour blindness. He had been working with the department for over two years at the GMSH. It becomes difficult for such patients to follow traffic signals, which can endanger the life of the driver and passengers.

The GMSH authorities have hired at least 700 employees, including doctors, laboratory technicians, operating theatre technicians, clerks and drivers. In case of regular employees, the antecedents were sent to the Deputy Commissioner and the education authorities concerned for verification, the sources said.

This practice was not followed in the case of contractual employees hired through outsourcing agencies, which may have helped many people with “inadequate” qualification get a job.



Local boy wins silver at Special Olympics
Tribune News Service

Manpreet shows his medal.
Manpreet shows his medal. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, July 9
Local boy Manpreet has made the city proud by winning a silver medal during the Special Olympics, held in Athens from June 25 to July 4.

The mentally challenged boy bagged the medal in 100m and finished fourth in the shot put. He also participated in the 400m relay.

According to officials, 172 countries had participated in the games and 182 athletes from India had taken part, winning 78 gold, 73 silver and 92 bronze medals.

After winning top honours in the National Games for Special Children, held at Anathapur in Andhra Pradesh, Manpreet had booked his place for the Special Olympics. “He is very talented. He had bagged several medals in national games earlier. We are looking forward to of selectors’ confirmation for the Special Olympics in 2013, be held in South Korea,” said Harish Kumar, his coach. A student of SOREM, Sector 36, Manpreet had joined the special cell at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in 1996 and started skating.

“He is very hard-working. After a practice session at Sports Complex, Sector 7, he undergoes rejuvenating activities. Our parents support him to excel in sports,” said his brother Amandeep.



No silt removed from Sukhna Lake this year
Siltation rate decreasing every year; increase in vegetation in catchment area
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
In contrast to removing a record 108 lakh cubic feet (lcf) last year, the UT Administration’s engineering department did not remove any silt from the Sukhna Lake this summer. Reason: “We did not find space in the lake from where we can remove silt,” said a senior UT engineering department official.

The reason was that the lake did not dry enough this year, he added. “As it (the lake) has again refurbished in the monsoon, the de-silting process will take place only next year,” the official said. Normally, the job (removal of silt) has to be done before the onset of monsoon every year.

Last year, the department had removed a record 108 lakh cubic feet (lcf) of silt at a cost of Rs 2.14 crore. This was 105.84 lcf more than the previous year’s (2009) figure that was 7.75 lcf while in 2008, only 2.14 lcf silt was taken out. The Union Tourism Ministry had reportedly given the UT Administration Rs 2.84 crore last year to save the lake.

The record removal of silt from the lakebed caused increase in its pond level to 1162.05 feet last year, around 2.75 feet higher than in 2009. There is 10.33 per cent feet increase in water level in comparison of last year’s figure in the corresponding year.

According to a study by the Society for Promotion and Conservation of Environment (SPACE), an NGO funded by the local directorate of environment, the siltation rate in the lake has been decreasing every year. “Around 15 years ago, the siltation rate was 150 tonne per hectare per year which worked out to 9.5 tonnes per hectare per year around five to six years earlier. The figure now is between 0.71 and 6.44 tonne per hectare per year in the past three to four years.

The growth and development of vegetation cover in the catchment area of the lake is the main reason behind stopping the soil erosion. “The overall tree density has improved from 162 to over 450 and bush density from 5,977 to 9,000 per hectare in the recent years. The thicker cover of trees and bushes in the area also caused leaf litter accumulation on the forest floor from 2.05 to over 4.5 tonnes per hectare that is very effective in soil conservation,” reported the study.


Electric crematorium fated to ‘silent death’
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
To fulfil the last wish of Amitoj Singh to be cremated in the electric crematorium, his father Gurcharan Singh, a resident of Sector 45, and his dear ones had to go through trauma today as there was no electricity at the Sector 25 crematorium.

As the family of Amitoj, who died last night, reached the crematorium with his body, the attendant told them that it was not working due to power failure. Gurcharan Singh said when he asked the attendant to start the generator installed in the crematorium, he was told that it was not functional for the past over five years. The body was finally cremated when the power supply resumed after an hour.

Amitoj father is quite fortunate that he was able to fulfil his son’s last wish, but there are many others who have to return due to lack of proper infrastructure at the electric crematorium. Around 30 bodies are cremated every month in the electric furnace and almost an equal number are returned due to some snag in the system.

A visit to the crematorium revealed that out to the two furnaces, one was working and the other was non-functional for the past three months. Interestingly, the generator that was installed in the crematorium over five years ago has yet to become functional. 



Accused threatened us, say Victims’ kin
Tribune News Service

Relatives of Pankaj Chaudhary, a clash victim, argue with the police at the Sector 10 police station in Panchkula on Saturday.
Relatives of Pankaj Chaudhary, a clash victim, argue with the police at the Sector 10 police station in Panchkula on Saturday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, July 9
High drama was witnessed at the Sector 10 police post here this evening as the parents and relatives of injured Pankaj Chaudhary and Sarthak, who had been allegedly assaulted by about 12 youths, led by a municipal councillor’s son, today alleged that the accused threatened them while in police custody.

The protesters demanded that the accused should be booked for threatening them. They alleged that the police was yet to arrest three of the accused involved in the assault case that took place on Tuesday night.

One of the witnesses in the case, Saurav Malik, cousin of Sarthak, alleged that the police was under political pressure and had framed the main accused Pankaj under Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) instead of Section 307 (attempt to murder).

He alleged that the accused had even threatened them with dire consequences for implicating him in the case.

Malik said he was present in the market on the day of the incident along with one of his friends Naresh. However, they managed to escape from the site of the incident and informed the parents of the victims.

Surjeet Singh, in charge of the Sector 10 police post, said they had registered the case according to the medico legal report and had even arrested seven accused, including Pankaj, son of a local HJC councillor. He denied that there was any political pressure on them to save the accused.

Complainants Pankaj Chaudhary and Sarthak, residents of Harmilap Nagar in Zirakpur, had stated in their complaint that the accused, Pankaj, along with 12 youths, had alighted from a white Innova car and attacked them at a Sector 10 market on Tuesday night.

Later, the police arrested Pankaj, son of Sudesh Rani, along with Amit Rana, Ankit Chaudhary and two minor accused after registering a case under Sections 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC against Pankaj and other accused at the Sector 5 police station.



Youths tease woman, thrash husband
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 9
High drama was witnessed in Pallavi Hotel, Sector 5, late last night when a few youths beat up a resident of Mani Majra. He exchanged heated arguments with the youths as they were teasing his wife, as a result they beat him up.

Though hotel CCTV footage had recorded everything, the police has not initiated action against anyone.

According to information, Mani Majra-based couple had gone to Pallavi Hotel to have dinner. When the husband went to washroom, five youths teased his wife. When he returned, his wife narrated the story to him, thereafter some heated arguments were exchanged between the husband and youths.

As youths were more in number, they thrashed him and fled from the spot.

Hotel manager RS Negi said CCTV had recorded everything and if the police would demand the footage, they would provide the same.

Meanwhile, Sector 5 police station SHO Om Prakash said they had not received any complaint in this regard.



Allowances for pre-Independence awardees up
Tribune News Serrvice

Chandigarh, July 9
The Centre has increased the amount of the award money being given to the pre-Independence awardees. These gallantry awards were given to the Indian soldiers for their actions in operations, including the two World Wars, around the globe as part of the British Empire.

Recipients of the Distinguished Service Order, Indian Order of Merit and Indian Distinguished Service Medal will now be entitled to Rs 4,000 per month. Those who were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Military Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Military Medal and Distinguished Flying Medal will get Rs 2,800 per month. Earlier, the award money was Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,400 respectively.

Each bar to a medal would carry the same amount in addition to the original award. The revision of the award money for the pre-Independence awardees comes in wake of increase in the award money for the post-Independence gallantry awardees. 



‘Moh maalve da’, a big draw
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, July 9
The Malwa Cultural and Social Welfare Society presented the 18th edition of their annual programme “Moh maalve da” at the Tagore Theatre here today.

The highlight of the cultural bonanza was a Punjabi play “Arbad Narbad Dhundukara”, which revolved around folk tales related to the slumbering love legends of Punjab like Heer Ranjah, Sassi Punnu, Shirin Farhad, Bego Naar and Mirza Sahiban. Written by legendary playwright, Dr Ajmer Singh Aulakh, the play flourished under the able direction of actor Preetam Rupal.

Weaved in the Punjabi Malvai dialect in pastoral idiom, the play was a veritable mix of absurd and realistic theatre technique, which mesmerised audience.

Later Sufi maestro Dr Mamta Joshi took the centrestage only to spell magic in her rendition of folk and Sufi utterances of mystics.



tricity scan

Entrepreneurship summit
Prominent businessmen of the region deliberated on several issues concerning the region at the National Entrepreneurship Summit held at the PHD Chamber in Sector 31 here. The summit, organised by Rayat Bahra Group, entrepreneurship cell in collaboration with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), concluded on Saturday after holding a series of discussions on how to create the northern region as the top entrepreneurial hub of the country. Gurvinder Singh Bahra, chairman Rayat Bahra Group, while inaugurating the summit said it was first-of-its-kind event in the region, as it is the first summit organised by a set of students and welcomed the participating businessmen of the region. Pratap Aggarwal, managing director, IDS Infotech Limited, while speaking on entrepreneurship and leadership shared his views on how a team leader can make his team perform and also on why leadership skills played a key role for an entrepreneur. RK Verma, MD, Punjab Infotech, while speaking on where Chandigarh stood in entrepreneurship cited examples of those who had started with a small business and sustained because of their hard work, adding that there was a need to make Chandigarh and this region as a whole, an entrepreneurship hub. While sharing his ideas on opportunity finding and grasping, Navneet Gosal, venture capitalist, talked about when to launch a business idea and further convince a venture capitalist invest in your idea.

Women achievers felicitated

The social stigma of gender discrimination and female foeticide can only be eradicated by bringing openness in our society towards women. This was expressed by union minister for parliamentary affairs, science and technology and earth sciences Pawan Kumar Bansal while honouring women, girl achievers of the tricity on the occasion of Daughter’s Day celebrated by the Chandigarh Chapter of Public Relations Council of India (PRCI) here on Saturday. Congratulating women achievers, the minister said no law could prevent the menace of female foeticide until the mindset of people to accept the potential of women was changed. He said with the Union government’s initiative for 33 per cent reservation of women in the elected bodies, today over 10 lakh elected women representatives are playing an important role in their respective fields. Renuka Salwan, chairperson, PRCI Chandigarh Chapter, said our country’s history was replete with innumerable instances of the girls, who excelled and rose in the position of power. The union minister also donated books for Mahabodhi girls’ hostel library to girl students of the Chandigarh branch of Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre.

Eatables destroyed

During a special epidemic raid conducted by a team of medical official of health (MOH) in the last one week in various sector markets, apni mandis, villages, slums and colonies, a huge quantity of food items, which were found unfit were destroyed. The team has destroyed 1,050 kg of ice, 1,114 kg of rotten fruits and vegetables, 8 crates of aerated water bottles, 259 kg sweets and other eatable articles and 155 kg fish and pork. The inspectorate staff of MOH is conducting surprise checks daily in the municipal limits of Chandigarh in compliance of the notification under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and destroying food articles, which are unfit for human consumption. Residents are informed that they should resist from consuming cut, exposed and rotten vegetables, fruits and drinking water from shallow hand pumps during the season, which is prone to water-borne diseases.

Awareness rally
Students of Shemrock Senior Secondary School took out a rally to commemorate the International Year of Forests. Members of the Environment Club started from their school at 10 am carrying placards and shouting slogans on how to save forests and conserve nature. The banners had awareness messages like “Charo taraf haryali laaye, jeevan mein khushali falaye”, “Heal the world, let forests be”, “Give a hoot, don’t pollute”, among other catchy slogans.

Swings to be installed in parks

The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) will install swings and benches in 400 parks across the town. This was stated by chairman of the District Planning Board NK Sharma while inaugurating the drive to install the swings in the parks adjoining counter of Punjabi University Library in Phase VII here. He informed that at a cost of Rs 81 crore, eight multi-purpose sports complexes were being constructed in Mohali.

Habit-forming drugs recovered

The Punjab health department on Saturday swooped down on chemist shops near Mohali and recovered habit-forming drugs from two shops. Official spokesman said health minister Satpal Gosain took a serious note on the issue of selling psychotropic drugs at chemist shops without prescription that was ruining the lives of youth. The raids were conducted on five shops and drugs were found in two shops. In this raid, drugs were recovered from Guru Nanak Medicos, Phase IX, and Singla Medicos Balongi, worth Rs 11,000.

‘Get gullies clean’

The Sector 10 residents’ welfare association has urged HUDA to immediately get road gullies cleaned and grass on the road berms to be removed so that residents could be saved from a flood-like situation. Bharat Hiteshi, general secretary, House Owner’s Welfare Association (HOWA), said rainwater accumulated in the low lying areas of house numbers 240 to 486 and house numbers 517 to 646, thus contradicting the tall claims of the authorities. In the last six years, rainwater has been entering into these houses in low lying areas of the sector. He further demanded that HUDA should immediately deploy persons at a tubewell and at a sumwell. — Tribune Reporters



Principals express concern over affiliation issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
From discussing regularisation of fee structure to uploading crucial statistics related to inspection in colleges, all hitches being faced by affiliated colleges were today thrashed out at Panjab University.

A meeting of principals of the affiliated colleges was held with PU administrative functionaries on the campus today to address these problems. The principals expressed their concern on disability to fulfil all conditions imposed by the university to grant affiliation for a particular course.

Out of nearly 188 affiliated colleges, about eight colleges awaited recognition for certain courses for the academic session 2011-2012, whose compliance letters have been forwarded to the university.

Certain other colleges have not completed all stipulated conditions laid down for granting affiliation for specific courses, while in still other cases, there were discrepancies found.

However, after the meeting, PU dean (college development council) Naval Kishore said, “All colleges whose compliance letters have been sent to PU will be immediately dealt with. Even other colleges, where some or other affiliation related issue has come up will be resolved.”

He added that all data related to colleges, be it status of affiliation of a particular course in a college or important statistics related to college fee, etc, will be uploaded on website. Addressing the issue of syllabi of semester system in postgraduate courses in colleges, the dean colleges said, “By July 11, the syllabus, which has not been updated on website, will be uploaded.”

Certain college principals had expressed apprehension on non-availability of semester system syllabus, to which PU officials said the syllabus was ready, however, the same was not posted on the PU website yet.

The principals had also highlighted the uncertainty over dates of affiliation committee’s visit to the colleges. To this, the varsity officials responded that the information would also be available to the college authorities on the website.



PU releases admission schedule
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
Panjab University (PU) has released the admission schedule for various departments.

Centre for public health

The departmental entrance test for admission to first year of masters in public health will be held on July 11 from 10 am at the zoology department auditorium.

The test will comprise 100 multiple-choice questions, to be attempted in 90 minutes. There will be negative marking as per CET rules. Candidates are advised to bring original documents with them.

Department of mathematics

Interviews for admission to first year of MSc (honours) through OCET in mathematics for all categories will be held on July 13 from 10 am at the mathematics auditorium.

Hindi department

Interviews for admission to first semester of MA in Hindi will be held on July 11 from 10 am at the room of the chairperson of the department. All applicants should bring their original academic certificates with them.

Department of Urdu

Interviews for admission to first semester of MA in Urdu will be held on July 11 from 10.30 am to 5 pm at the department of Urdu. Students have been advised to bring their original documents and other relevant papers with them.

Centre for stem cell and tissue engineering

The department-level admission test, followed by interviews, for admission to first year of MSc in stem cell and tissue engineering will be held on July 11 from 9.30 am at the centre for stem cell and tissue engineering, on the second floor of the pharmacy extension block.

All applicants are advised to reach the centre by 9 am. They must bring their original certificates, marksheets and other relevant documents for verification.

School of communication studies

Group discussion and personal interviews for admission to first year of MA in journalism and mass communication will be held at the department.

Interviews for candidates with serial number 1 to 25 in the interview letter will be held on July 12 from 9.30 am to 1 pm and for candidates with serial number 26 to 50 from 2 pm to 6 pm.

Interviews for candidates with serial number 51 to 75 will be held on July 13 from 9.30 am to 1 pm and for serial number 76 to 100 from 2 pm to 6 pm.

Interviews for candidates with serial number 101 to 125 will be held on July 14 from 9.30 am to 1 pm and for serial number 126 onwards from 2 pm to 6 pm.

All eligible candidates are advised to bring all their original certificates for scrutiny at the time of group discussion and personal interviews. They have to submit the documents required by 4 pm on July 11.

Department of chemistry

Interviews for admission to first year of MSc (honours) in chemistry based on OCET will be held on July 14 from 10 am at the seminar room of the department.

Department of public administration

Interviews for admission to first semester of MA in public administration will be held at the department, in arts block III, on July 12 from 10 am.

Department of zoology

Interviews for admission to first year of MSc (honours) in zoology will be held on July 14 from 10 am at the department.

Candidates who have qualified the OCET in zoology are eligible. Candidates should bring original documents and certificates at the time of interview.

Department of physics

Counselling for admission to first year of MTech in nanoscience and nanotechnology will be held on July 18 from 10.30 am at the committee room of the physics department.

Candidates are required to bring original academic and other certificates, an affidavit of gap year and SC/ST certificate, if of those categories.

Department of computer science and applications

Candidates who have submitted forms for admission to MCA should submit relevant documents by 5 pm on July 11.

National centre for human genome studies and research

Counselling and interviews for admission to first semester of MSc in human genomics will be held on July 19 from 10.30 am at the office of the director of the department at the pharmaceutical extension block.

Candidates are required to bring original certificates and documents at the time of interview. No separate letter will be issued.

Department of anthropology

Interviews for admission to first year of MSc (honours) will be held on July 14 from 10 am at the department of anthropology.

Department of physical education

The physical efficiency test for admission to BPEd and MPEd will be held on July 14 from 7 am at the university grounds.

Counselling and interviews for admission to BPEd and MPEd will be held on the same date at the department of physical education.

Department of evening studies

Interviews for admission to BCom-I will be held on July 11 from 5 pm at the auditorium of the department of evening studies.

Interviews for admission to BCom-II will be held on July 11 and 12 from 5 pm at room 5 on the first floor of the arts block-I.

Interviews for admission to BCom-III will be held on July 11 and 12 from 5 pm at room 6 on the first floor of the arts block-I.

Interviews for admission to BA-I will be held on July 11 and 12 from 5 pm. Group 1 will be interviewed at room 1, group 2 at room 3, group 3 at room 4 and group 4 at ground floor hall of the arts block-I.

Interviews for admission to MA-I in English will be held on July 11 from 5 pm at room 1 on the first floor of arts block-III.

Interviews for admission to MA-I in political science will be held on July 11 from at 5 pm at room 2 on the first floor of arts block-III.

Interviews for admission to MA-I in history will be held on July 11 from 5 pm at room 3 on the first floor of arts block-III.

Interviews for admission to MA-I in economics will be held on July 11 from 5 pm at room 7 of arts block-I.

Interviews for admission to MA-I in Punjabi will be held on July 11 from 5 pm at room 8 of arts block-I.



Online admission website launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
The website for online admission for BEd from Panjab University, Punjabi University, Guru Nanak Dev University and Chitkara University, http://bedadmissions.puchd.ac.in, was launched at the computer centre of Panjab University today.

Filling in the online application form can be done in three steps. In the first step, registration and payment of fee will be done.

The candidate will get a link to print a bank deposit slip, a printout of of which is required to deposit fee with the State Bank of India. The fee is Rs 500 for SC/ST/BC and Rs 1,000 for others.

In the second step, the candidate will visit the website for submission of admission form 24 hours after depositing the fee.

The candidate will fill in the form as per instructions given therein.

In the third step, the candidates will choose college and subject.



Centre’s nod a boost to education
Recruitment of regular lecturers in five govt colleges on cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
After waiting for almost a decade, Chandigarh may recruit regular lecturers in five government colleges.

In what comes as a relief to the city colleges and department of higher education, lecturer recruitment rules have finally got a nod from the Centre.

The notification has identified qualifications specified by the UGC as the basis of recruitment.

The approval means that the UT will now be able to fill hundreds of posts lying vacant since 2002, temporarily filled by contractual lecturers.

“There are 300-odd posts and with these rules being finalised, we will be able to fill a minimum of 65 posts. The UT had put in a request for the notification of these rules. Every year, we were forced to get lecturers on a contractual basis,” said Director, Higher Education, Ajoy Sharma.

The UT had, for the past eight years, been spending lakhs every year on interviews to hire lecturers on a contractual basis. The exercise was being repeated every year.

The teaching fraternity was elated. A contractual lecturer said, “We have all qualifications specified by the UGC, but still had no job security and had to prove our worth every year. We work more than regular lecturers, but gain nothing. This will be an opportunity to be a permanent part of education system.”



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