C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Drugs available in Nabha Jail: Inmate
Places packet of heroin before judge in Mohali court, points an accusing finger at jail officials
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 7
A New Nabha jail inmate today stunned the local court by placing a packet of heroin before the judge, claiming that he had purchased it from Nabha Jail. The inmate, Dheeraj Batra, alias Dheeru, who was brought to the Mohali District Courts for a hearing in a case of causing hurt under Sections 323 and 324 of the IPC, claimed before the Mohali JMIC that the drug was being sold in the jail openly under the patronage of certain senior officials.

Sources said Dheeru placed the packet of the drug before the judge and claimed that he had purchased it from a person in Nabha Jail for Rs 1,500.

The sources said the jail inmate told the court that drugs were easily available in the jail and were being sold under the patronage of certain senior officials of the jail.

Dheeru alleged that he was beaten up badly in the jail by some jail officials. Dheeru is a notorious criminal and several cases have been registered against him.

The judge called up the local police and ordered the seizure of the drug packet and marked an inquiry into the matter. The court also issued orders to shift Dheeru from Nabha Jail to Ropar Jail.

Mohali MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, who reached the spot immediately, demanded a high-level inquiry into the matter. “This is a serious issue in case jail officials are involved in selling drugs in the jail. The development has exposed the tall claims of the state government regarding its special drive against drugs,” said Sidhu.

He demanded the resignation of the ministers concerned on moral grounds.

Another jail inmate booked

The Mohali police have registered a case against Harpreet Singh, an inmate of New Nabha Jail, on a complaint of Dheeru at the Mataur police station.

Inspector Navin Pal Singh Lehal, SHO of the police station, said after seizing the drug following orders of the court, the police had registered a case under Sections 21, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act against Harpreet Singh, who was named by Dheeru in the court. “We are also investigating the role of certain jail officials. If something comes out against them, their names will also be included in the FIR,” said Lehal.



Carjackers thrash Hry Under Secy
Target him at Sec 43, push him out of his car at Kurali and flee with vehicle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
In an incident of carjacking, unidentified assailants forcibly took away the Swift Dezire car of a Haryana government official after beating him up in Sector 43 this morning.

The victim, 53-year-old Ishwar Singh, who is posted as Under Secretary in the Legal Department of the Haryana Government, was returning home after dropping his son at the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) in Sector 43 when he was stopped, beaten up and abducted in the car and later pushed out of the car in fields at Kurali.

The UT police have registered a case of extortion under Section 382 of the IPC and begun investigations.

The incident occurred at 6 am today, minutes after Ishwar Singh, a resident of Sector 7, had dropped his son Vijay Kumar at the ISBT. Ishwar was driving his Maruti Swift Dezire (CH 01 AN 7163) and had reached the main road in Sector 43 when four boys came in a Maruti car from the rear side and signalled him to stop.

They initially enquired from him the way to the Sector 17 bus terminus. All of a sudden, one of the youths snatched his car keys and started to beat him up. All of them then pushed him in the rear seat of the car.

One of the assailants sat on the driver’s seat while two of them sat with him on the rear seat and threatened him to sit quiet. They took him towards Kurali where they pushed him from the car and ran away.

They also took away his purse containing two ATM cards of the State Bank of India, a watch and a mobile. The mobile phone belonged to Ishwar Singh’s son.

Ishwar Singh then called the police and teams were soon dispatched to Kurali to look for clues. A team of the UT police crime branch is also investigating the case along with the police of South Division.

The police are also scrutinising the CCTV footage installed at toll barriers to look for any clues. A case has been registered at the Sector 36 police station.

Police clueless in robbery case

The carjacking incident in broad daylight has highlighted the deteriorating law and order situation in the city. The UT police are still clueless in the Rs 5 lakh robbery case when a cash box was stolen from the cash van of the State Bank of Patiala in Khuda Ali Sher on June 27.



FIFA World Cup: Get ready for live soccer action in pubs
Deputy Commissioner gives special permission to show semifinals, final live on big screens
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
There is good news for soccer lovers! The UT Excise Department and the Deputy Commissioner’s office have given the green light to local hotels and pubs to show the semi-final and final matches of the ongoing FIFA World Cup live on big screens.

To ensure that fans do not miss out on the soccor action while dining out during the coming semifinal and final matches, the DC’s office has started giving permission to hotels and pubs to show the matches live on giant screens while serving food and drinks alongside. The relaxation in the licensing hours, specially for these matches, has been given for the first time.

“We are giving special permission to show these late night matches. Some hotels have already been given permission, while some more are coming forward to seek nod. The decision has been taken only for the ongoing FIFA World Cup matches, keeping the interests of the local youth in mind. The permission is been given under certain rules and regulations following requests from hoteliers,” said Mohammed Shayin, UT Deputy Commissioner.

The FIFA World Cup fever has reached the crescendo with top teams reaching the final four stage. The D-day (July 14), when two top teams from among Brazil, Argentina, Germany and the Netherlands, will fight for the golden trophy, will be the most memorable day for all soccer lovers.

Soccer buffs are making numerous enquiries from hotels and pubs whether they will show the matches live on big screens. The city has two dedicated sports bars-cum-restaurants, besides a large number of discos and hotels, which are likely to show the matches live.

“It’s a good gesture by the authorities. Soccer fans can now enjoy these matches while dining out. With hot favourites having made it to the semis, the matches are a must watch” said Karan Sharma, a BTech student.

Brazuca ball for final unveiled

Making the finals more exciting, the official ball sponsor company, Adidas, has unveiled the Brazuca ball for the FIFA World Cup final. The design of the ball has been inspired by the green and gold on the FIFA World Cup trophy.



Clash at DAV College leaves 2 students hurt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
A violent clash took place at DAV College, Sector 10, today, which left two students injured. The incident occurred in the morning when two leaders of the Students Organisation of India (SOI) were allegedly attacked with blunt as well as sharp weapons by members of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU).

The clash started when the college students were helping a newcomer get admission to the college.

While Navreej Pal Singh received injuries on the head, another student, Vikram, received internal injuries.

The incident occurred outside the college where help desks were set up by student organisations at around 11.30 am.

Navreej, in his statement to the police, said he, along with Vikram, was going to submit the admission form of a new student inside the college campus when members of PUSU attacked them with weapons.

Navreej named PUSU members Sehaj Pal Sidhu and Harshdeep Shergill as the prime accused in the attack. All assailants fled the spot in two SUVs. Most of the assailants were outsiders and not students of DAV College, the police said.

A huge posse of police was deployed on the spot after the clash occurred. SHOs of three police stations rushed to the spot after the incident.

The police said members of the rival parties had indulged in a scuffle on July 1 too.

DSP Ashish Kapoor said they had rounded up some youths, who were let off after verification. A case is yet to be registered.

Tussle between SOI, PUSU

Sources said the main reason behind the ongoing tussle between the SOI and PUSU was that a few potential candidates of PUSU had recently joined the SOI. Last week, there was a clash between leaders of both parties in the PU after which an FIR was registered by the police on a complaint of the PU authorities against seven leaders of both parties.



PU student injured as bricks come off bus queue shelter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
With the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation failing to maintain bus queue shelters in the city, a Panjab University girl student was injured today at the Sector 15 bus queue shelter when bricks started falling off from its roof all of a sudden.

The girl, Pooja (25), an MA final-year student at the PU, was waiting for a bus along with some other people at around 6.30 pm, when around eight bricks fell over her head. She was immediately taken to the GMSH, Sector 16, from where she was discharged after being given first aid.

Babbu, a shopkeeper in Sector 15, said both the bus queue shelters in the Sector 15 internal market were in bad shape. It was not the first time that bricks had fallen. However, today, the girl got injured, he said.

Area councillor Saurabh Joshi, who reached the spot along with nearby residents and shopkeepers, said he failed to understand why the authorities did not maintain the bus queue shelters. “It seems they are waiting for a tragedy to happen,” he said. He assured that he would take up the matter in the next MC House meeting.

The condition of around 200 bus queue shelters in the city is bad. Some of the shelters have half-broken roofs, providing little protection from sun and rain. Dogs can be seen roaming around freely in these. Beggars use the shelters for sleeping purposes. Route maps, highlighting the bus arrival timings, are in tattered condition.

Residents warned against using shelter

After the incident, area councillor Saurabh Joshi and nearby residents pasted posters on the railing of the bus queue shelter in Sector 15 stating that it was unsafe and people should not use it while waiting for buses.



Rescued from Iraq, youths blame travel agency
Say they were cheated, not paid their dues, made to live in inhuman conditions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
At least 36 Punjabi youths rescued from Iraq, who reached the city today from Delhi, lodged a police complaint against a Sector 20-based travel ageny, Shiv Enterprises, for cheating them by not paying their dues for the period they worked in Iraq. The youths had flown to Iraq around three months ago.

Soon after lodging their complaint at the Sector 19 police station, the youths told mediapersons that apart from not paying their dues, they were kept in the dark about the place of their employment. “Initially, we were told that we are being sent to Dubai. However, when we landed there, there was no job and we were taken to Iraq and given a job in a construction company,” said Sohan Singh, who hails from Hoshiarpur.

Another youth from Nawanshahr, Malwinder Singh, said in Iraq, they were made live in inhuman conditions in tin sheds. He said their employer refused to pay their dues, totalling around Rs 2 lakh each.

After the trouble started in Iraq, the employer arranged transportation to ferry the youths to the Indian Embassy. From the embassy, the youths were flown to India.

Station House Officer Poonam Dilawari said they were verifying the complaints and had called the travel agent.


Railway Budget 2014: People’s Expectations
State-of-the-art facilities a distant dream at rly station
City residents expect that the Modi government’s first Railway Budget will focus on making the Chandigarh railway station world class, since the ongoing projects have not yet seen the light of day due to paucity of funds.
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
In September 2013, former railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal released Rs 20 crore for the completion of six projects, but the works have been delayed due inadequate funds. New ticket counters are still not incomplete and escalators are non-functional due to technical problems. Leave alone the world-class facilities, the railway station is still wanting on basic facilities which are still in the pipeline.

Plans for facelift

  • Installation of escalator on Platform Number 2 and 3 from outside the station, two new ticket counters and construction of new toilet blocks at the station along with the newly designed waiting rooms for the passengers.
  • It was decided that before the commencement of new trains, these basic facilities should be ready at the station for commuters.
  • During a visit to the station on Monday it was found that the escalators were installed on Platform Number 2 and 3 but they were non-functional due to technical reasons.
  • The work on the escalator which connects outside to Platform Number 1 is still going on. The new ticket counters which were to be increased with the increase in the number of trains were still under construction.
  • The proposal was also mooted by Bansal to introduce state-of-the-art base kitchen at station for hygienic food and wi-fi facility in trains for passengers.

Other projects announced by Bansal in 2013

In 2013, former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal announced setting up of the first information technology industry in Chandigarh. The land for the industry would be provided on 400 acres of railway property in the city. The main focus of the industry was to manufacture railway signal links and anti-collision devices. Another project announced was setting up of a training centre for the youth by the Railways to provide more employment opportunities to them.

New trains announced in 2014

In 2014, former railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge made announcements for a semi-high speed train between Chandigarh and Delhi and two trains — Jaipur Chandigarh intercity and Ramnagar Chandigarh weekly express. But these are yet to start from the city.

‘Bullet train between city and New Delhi will be revived’

Pawan Kumar Bansal, former railway ministerIn this interim budget, the expected bullet train which was announced in the past to ply between Chandigarh and New Delhi via Yamunanagar will be revived. The work on the double line from Dapar to Chandigarh will be taken up. Another demand for a train from Chandigarh to Haridwar will also be considered by the railway authorities

— Pawan Kumar Bansal, former railway minister

‘We will complete pending projects’

Due to shortage of funds, the work on the projects was slow. A demand has been made to the higher authorities for releasing more funds. This time, we are concentrating on the completion of the ongoing projects and have demanded that funds be released for completion of these this year, rather than looking at new projects

— Anil Kumar Katjpal, DRM, Ambala Division

The Railways should focus on ongoing projects which have been hanging fire for long and release the budget for timely completion of these

— N P Mohan, retired Chief Engineer, Railways

Railway traffic in the city has increased in the last two years as more trains have been added to the route. But the railway authorities are not making adequate arrangements for additional ticket counters to ease the burden on limited counters

— Ravinder Bhanot, businessman

The safety and security of passengers should be a priority as no special measures have been taken by the authorities to strengthen it for the past few years

— Ajay Jagga, city-based advocate

Instead of going for bullet trains, the Railway should first improve the existing facilities in the main trains like Shatabdi and Rajdhani which are as good as the other trains except for the high fare

— Manik Sharma, IT professional

Residents’ take

‘Basic facility, women’s safety should be the priority’

For women’s safety, the authorities have to come up with an action plan which should be implemented immediately. Except for the AC coaches, there are no safety arrangements for women in other compartments

— Kanika, an IT professional

In the long-route trains, hygiene is not maintained. The railway authorities have increased the fare with the excuse of scarcity of funds but they should also provide better facilities to commuters

— Barjesh Kumar, a senior citizen

We are not asking for world-class facilities but basic service like quality of food must be maintained in the trains, as they are charging a hefty amount from commuters for it

— Prerna, a student



Disconnection of water, power supply
Traders oppose UT’s move
Food joint owners were asked to construct oil, grease traps
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
Traders have opposed the UT Administration’s move to disconnect water and electricity connections of many restaurants, food joints for not following environment norms in the last two months.

The UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation had issued directions to food joint owners to construct oil and grease traps, failing which action would be taken against them.

In the last two months, the UT issued notices to 82 food joints and even disconnected water and electricity connection of some them for not following the directions.

Charanjiv Singh, president, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, demanded that the UT Administration should carry out awareness drive for traders rather than disconnecting their water and electricity connections. The UT Administration should also consider that individuals with limited resources are running the shops. They demanded a single window system at the Environment Building in Sector 19 so that they could easily get the no objection certificates in these cases, he suggested.

Meanwhile, an MC official said a grease trap was a device used for removing oil and grease from the waste water. On entering the sewerage system, grease and oil choke pipelines. The grease deposits reduce the capacity of the pipes, resulting in sewage outflow and stink. Notices were served on the owners of hotels, restaurants and eateries in the city and were told to construct oil and grease traps and oil and grease choke pipes. A number of complaints kept pouring in from sectors housing restaurants, hotels and dhabas, he said.

Key demands of traders

  • Restaurant running either in SCOs or booths selling pre-cooked food and using electrical appliances while serving should be exempted
  • Fast food joints running in small booths with no seating arrangement should be exempted as these are small traders and unable to complete formalities.
  • As this is a new concept in the city, more time should be given to traders to complete the formalities.
  • In the meantime, sealing/disconnection campaign may be stopped and joint awareness campaign may be organised for traders.

The notification

As per the notification issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest in 2009, it was mandatory for hotels, restaurants and even service stations to have an oil and grease trap. Public notices were also issued to inform the owners of the establishments after which it would disconnect the water connections.



Panchkula gets marriage palace
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 7
No longer Panchkula residents have to depend on Zirakpur as the township for organising marriage functions has got its own marriage palace. The first pillar-less palace on the Kalka-Shimla highway just next to Red Bishop Complex in Sector 1 here has been constructed at a cost of Rs 7 crore. The palace is open for bookings and registrations now.

Managing Director (MD), Haryana Tourism, Sumita Mishra, said the palace was sound proof and maximum facilities had been made available for people.

“It is spread on three acres having three entries. One entry is from the side of the Kalka-Shimla highway while the other two entry and exits are from the side of the DC residence in Setcor 1,” said an official. Along with the lawn, the banquet that is centrally air conditioned can accommodate a gathering of 1,000 persons.

“We already have advanced bookings with residents calling for the wedding season.

The rent of the banquet along with four rooms has been kept at Rs 2.5 lakh. As many as 22 CCTV cameras have been installed.

A parking space of 200 cars has also been made available in the palace. Besides, provision of a conference hall for meetings had been provided in the palace. Till now Panchkula had no marriage palace and the local residents had to go to Zirakpur for organising such functions. The location of the palace has already made it a hit among residents.



Wall collapse: 20 days on, family awaits justice
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 7
Even after 20 days of the wall collapse incident that claimed the lives of four persons, including two children, the Panchkula police is still waiting for reasons to arrest the accused.

They come out with a standard reply every time that the investigations are on even after innocent lives have been lost in the tragedy.

The owner of AKM resort was booked under Section 304 (culpable homicide) of the IPC on the day of the incident but no arrests have been made till now.

The Station House officer of the Sector 5 police station, Inspector Manish Kumar, when asked as to why the accused have not been arrested even after four deaths, he said: “Our team is investigating the case.” Sources said a senior police officer was coming on the way of the arrest.

“What more do they want in a case when four persons have died. When they booked the accused after knowing that the wall was got constructed by them, still what else do they want for investigation,” said a relative of the deceased on the condition of anonymity.

On the death of the fourth victim, the kin had also protested and met the Deputy Commissioner regarding the delayed arrests, but to no avail.

On June 18, three persons of a family, including a four-year-old girl, were killed while two suffered critical injuries when a boundary wall of a showroom collapsed on their shanty that was put next to it. The inmates of the shanties had complained of poor quality used in the wall. After a few days, the fourth victim, a 10-year-old girl also succumbed to her injuries at the PGI in Chandigarh.



Mortuary freezers conk out
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 7
Vivek Kumar (name changed) is already under shock after losing his 40-year-old relative as he has to shuttle with the body in the night as he got to know that all four freezers of the sole mortuary in Panchkula are out of order.

The kin of the deceased have been put to harassment as all freezers of the mortuary at General Hospital in Sector 6 here went out of order. The hospital authorities are asking the relatives of deceased to take the bodies to Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, Chandigarh for storage and then get it back to Panchkula for autopsy.

This is for the third time that the freezers went out of order. Surprisingly, the new freezers were bought some time ago at a cost of Rs 5 lakh.

The family of the 14-year-old boy, who died due to electrocution last night, also faced hardship following which they requested the General Hospital authorities to keep the body and they would arrange ice slabs for the same. Somehow the family provided ice slabs to them in the night so that the body does not decompose.

Head of the post-mortem department, Dr Sunil Gambhir, said: “We have asked for the repair of the freezers immediately. We are trying our best so that people are not harassed. We are also arranging for vehicles to go to the GMSH-16, Chandigarh for storing.”

He added, “A machine that runs 24x7 would definitely break down sometime.”

Meanwhile, the authorities at the GMSH-16 initially were not taking the bodies as the autopsy has to be conducted in Panchkula. It was after the General Hospital doctors talked to them over the matter that they started taking bodies.

The autopsy of Manoj Kumar (40) got delayed as it took time to release the body from the GMSH 16.

“In such a weather, the ice slabs melt fast. Last time, a body got decayed due to this reason,” said a doctor on the condition of anonymity.

Two months ago, the freezers had stopped working and the same situation prevailed but no back-up arrangements were maintained for the future.

General hospital

The fact that the freezers purchased sometime ago at a cost of Rs 5 lakh giving up time and again raises questions on its quality. Despite knowing that the freezers are giving up after short intervals, the hospital has failed to maintain any back-up facility for the same.



Not getting letters, parcels, complain residents
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 7
Residents of Paradise Apartments, Shivalik City, Sector 127, have claimed that they have not been receiving post through the Postal Department. Smita Seth, a resident, said around 80 families living in the apartments, on the Kharar-Landran road, have also been facing a similar problem.

Registered letters and parcels had, however, been delivered by a Landran postman.

She said she had shifted from Sector 36, Chandigarh, to the apartments in March. “I had informed the Sector 36 post office to divert the letters to the new address. I also went to the Landran post office to confirm the address change,” said Seth.

Seth said the Sector 36 post office diverted a few letters to her new location, but she did not receive any of them. Official letters are also yet to be delivered, said Seth.

“I had complained to the postmaster, Landran, about the proceedings and also sent copies of the complaint to the GPO, Sector 17, Chandigarh, and the Sector 36 post office but to no avail,” said Seth.



No significant difference in expenses incurred on the healthcare of women: Study
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
A PGIMER study assessing the impact of Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), the scheme which aimed at providing free-of-cost care to expectant mothers and the newborns, found that there was no significant difference in expenses incurred on the healthcare of women following its launch in city.

The study involved 425 women from an urban slum in Chandigarh. All women gave birth during the period from June 2010 to June 2012. The period from June 2010 to

September 2011 was considered pre-intervention, as there was no implementation of JSSK scheme, while October 2011 to June 2012 was post-intervention period as JSSK scheme was implemented during this period.

“Out-of-pocket expenditure for delivery decreased from Rs 5,342 to Rs 3,565 between pre and post-intervention period. Strengthening of implementation of JSSK is required to ensure universal access for to care,” concluded the study titled Impact of

Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram on out-of-pocket expenditure among urban slum dwellers in Northern India. The study was published in Indian Pediatrics this month. It was conducted by the School of Public Health, PGIMER.

Data were collected retrospectively over three months from August 2012 to October 2012.

The expenses were assessed in pre-JSSK and post-JSSK deliveries and then comparisons were drawn. A total of 290 and 230 women who delivered babies during pre-and post-JSSK periods, respectively, were studied.

Majority of these were aged from 21 to 30 and had a family income of less than Rs 10,000 per month.

Despite a 23 per cent overall reduction in out-of-pocket expenditure and one-third reduction in public sector hospitals, the study points to persistence of out-of-pocket expenditure on account of medicines and investigations, even in public sector hospitals. A major reason for the same is the poor availability of drugs at public health facilities.

Another area where pregnant women have to incur expenditure is diagnostics due to the non-availability of radiological investigations (ultrasound) and availability of reagents for blood investigations also remains patchy, the researchers pointed out.

About JSSK

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the Janani-Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) in June 2011. The aim was to provide free services to pregnant women. The services include normal deliveries, caesarean sections and care of sick newborns (up to 30 days after birth) at government health institutions in both rural and urban areas.



Dealing with drug addicts not easy, say docs at de-addiction centre
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 7
Doctors at the Drug De-addiction Centre in Mohali Civil Hospital are facing problems while treating patients here. “Most of the patients or their family members are not paying the charges of the treatment and many a times we have to bear the cost of their treatment,” said Dr Andesh Kang, Senior Medical Officer of the hospital.

Addicts are supposed to pay daily charges of Rs 200 against which the government provide them with three-time meals and medicines.

In most of the cases, patients or their family members clearly tell us that they cannot pay the expenses, said the doctor, while adding that several patients or their kin even threaten the staff that they would leave the treatment midway if forced to pay.

“It seems that they just want to get rid of the patient by forcing him to take treatment at the centre,” said another doctor.

Besides, medical staff also bears the brunt of violent behaviour of some of the addicts.

A staff member said a drug addict broke several objects in the ward in a fit of rage last week. “He wanted to go back home. We called up his family members and asked them to take him away. But they plainly refused, saying that he would break goods at home if they took him back,” said a staff member.

Dr Kang added that after the special drive against drug menace by the state government, the number of such patients has grown substantially.

“On an average, we receive around 60 patients for check-up on a daily basis. The duration of treatment varies from patient to patient,” said Dr Kang.



World Allergy Day
Keep your skin clean during monsoon, say experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
With the onset of rainy season, the high humidity in the air and the wet environment makes it more favourable for allergens to penetrate the skin folds, said experts. Those having skin allergies get further infected during the rainy season.

The modern day allergens include various metals. One has to be extra cautious and inform the surgeon if one already has proven nickel or titanium sensitivity before undergoing procedures like surgeries for endovascular stents, orthodontic wires, pacemakers, knee transplants, said Dr Vikas Sharma, National Skin hospital, Panchkula.

Dr Vikas Bhutani, additional director (internal medicine), Fortis Hospital, Mohali, said,“Increased incidence of skin infections like itching, rashes and other fungal infections are encountered in the season due to increased humidity. Keeping the skin clean is the best form of prevention that one can take. In this context, taking bath at least two times a day is beneficial. Ensure you do not keep wearing wet socks or wet shoes in the rainy season.”



Stem cell therapy for type II diabetics

Chandigarh, July 7
The PGIMER is hoping to complete trial of stem cell therapy in treatment of type II diabetes in six months. On completion of the trial, another trial will be initiated depending upon the results of the current trial.

A study conducted by the department of endocrinology had found the effectiveness of stem cells in the treatment of diabetics. It was found that those diabetics injected with stem cells showed 50 per cent lesser need of insulin.

The study used stem cells to treat a group of patients having Type II diabetes. — TNS



GMCH-32 MBBS seats
Led by Kirron, parents meet Health Minister
MCI to decide on fate of MBBS aspirants seeking increase in number of seats at GMCH today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
Irked over the lack of clarity on increasing seats for the MBBS course at the GMCH-32 from 50 to 100, about 11 days after the first counselling, as many as 30 parents of MBBS aspirants met Union Health Minister in New Delhi today. The parents were led by Chandigarh Member of Parliament Kirron Kher.

Disappointed over the decision of the Medical Council of India (MCI), of declining 50 additional seats to the GMCH-32 due to a few shortcomings, the parents gave a representation to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.

“We were told that the MCI chairperson, Dr Jayshree Mehta, will convene a meeting with the Undergraduate Committee and review the issue on July 8,” said Ravinder Singh, parent of a medical aspirant.

“Some of the private medical colleges in the area impart poor training, yet they have been allowed to increase their seats, while the GMCH-32 has not been allowed the same,” read the representation of the parents.

Pointing out a few shortcomings, the MCI had on June 23, rejected the GMCH’s request for increasing the seats to the MBBS course from 50 to 100 this year, leaving scores of students in the lurch as they had left admission options in other colleges in the hope of securing a seat in the GMCH-32.

Meanwhile, Director-Principal, GMCH-32, Dr Atul Sachdev, had submitted a compliance report to the Union Health Ministry last week.

Minister assures Kirron of positive consideration

The Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday assured the Chandigarh Member of Parliament Kirron Kher of positive consideration over the issue of the MCI’s decision to slash down the number of MBBS seats at GMCH-32 by 50 per cent, stated an official statement issued on Monday evening. “GMCH is probably the best medical educational institute in North India, which has the best of all facilities. While the MCI has allowed increasing the number of seats in private medical colleges, the exact opposite has been done at the government college,” said Kher.

GMCH director rushes to New Delhi

GMCH Director Dr Atul Sachdev rushed to Delhi on Monday to attend a meeting called by the Health Minister after he was informed by a parent. The official communication had not reached him. “We did not receive the letter though it was issued on July 4. The minister wants to know more on the compliance report.”

Aggrieved parent writes to prime minister

In response to a recent move of the BJP government to bring back NRI doctors to practice in India, Dr Harbir Sekhon, an NRI based in Florida, USA, and one of the aggrieved parents, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister citing difficulty in settling his son in India as he could not find a seat in the GMCH-32 due to reduction despite being on the merit list.



admissions to undergraduate courses
Day 1: Forms go missing; students in a fix
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
Four government colleges in the city were flooded with complaints on the first day of admission to the undergraduate courses regarding missing forms and their names in the provisional merit list put up on the notice board.

A BA student — who scored 80 per cent marks in Class XII and had applied for a BA course in the Post-Graduate Government College, Sector 11 –- faced harassment as his name was missing in the college merit list and there was no help desk on the premises to guide him on the issue.

Interestingly, when the student went to the college IT cell to inquire why his name was missing from the merit list, he was shocked to know that neither the soft nor hard copy of his documents was available with the college authorities owing to which his admission form was not considered.

The IT staff was also clueless on how to trace his form as he had applied through the help desk in the college.

This is not the lone case of its kind. Several students thronged the IT cells in government colleges to inquire why their names were missing from the merit list though they had scored good marks.

Surprisingly, none of the officials were aware how this had happened.

Another problem that the students faced was that a majority of the forms — filled by the help desk in the respective colleges — did not mention about the category to which they belonged. As such, a number of students had to re-edit their forms from the IT cell to claim seats in the special categories.

Meanwhile, UT Higher Education Director Sandeep Hans said, “I am not aware about this issue. I will look into the matter tomorrow and know about the scenario in all four government colleges of the city.”

Government colleges

  • Post-Graduate Government College, Sector 11
  • Post-Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11
  • Post-Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42
  • Post-Graduate Government College, Sector 46

BCom Counselling

On the last day of B.Com counselling, all Evening Department seats were filled and the cut-off was 88 per cent. In fact, 28 general category seats were also filled on Monday. Coordinator RK Gupta said for 50 seats under the reserved category, the students had been called on July 24.

2,600 admissions

On the first day of admissions on Monday, 2,600 students were admitted under various undergraduate courses.



BCA admissions
196 seats filled in government colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
On the first day of counselling for the BCA course in four government colleges of the city, out of 206 seats, as many as 196 were filled under the general and UT pool categories.

As per data, this year, the cut-off for the BCA course was quite high in government and private colleges as compared to the last year.

Under the general pool, the cut-off in the Post-Graduate Government College, Sector 11, was 82.8 per cent and under the UT pool, it was 76.4 per cent.

At Post-Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, the general category cut-off was 82.6 per cent and the UT pool was 63.6 per cent.

At Post-Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42, the cut-off in the general category was 84.3 per cent and 52 per cent in the UT pool.

At Post-Graduate Government College, Sector 46, it was 81.8 per cent in the general category and 71.6 per cent in the UT pool.

The coordinator Renu revealed that only 10 seats were vacant in the BCA course in GCG, Sector 42, today.

Among private colleges, in GGDSD, Sector 32, the cut-off for BCA was 77 per cent and 70 out of 120 seats were filled on the first day of admissions.

At DAV, Sector 10, the cut-off was 71 per cent and out of 120 seats, 71 were filled on the first day of counselling.

At SD College, Sector 32, all 120 seats in BBA were filled on the first day of admission.

BA students with a score of 80 per cent and above were called on the first day of admission. As many as 130 seats were filled on the first day.

The total seats under this category are 600.

For BSc Honours Biotechnology, the cut-off was 84.3 per cent and 18 seats were filled out of a total 30.



aipmt examination
Notice of motion issued to CBSE chairman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), chairman Vineet Joshi, was issued a notice of motion by the Punjab Haryana High Court (HC) today for the contempt of court proceedings.

The HC had ordered the board to act on the representation regarding six ambiguous errors in the biology section of the All-India Pre-Medical/ Pre-Dental Test (AIPMT), within a span of one week of receipt of the certified copy of the order. However, the board failed to comply with the orders.

The court had issued the order on June 18 and the speed post delivered the court orders at the CBSE office on June 23. The week time-frame for the CBSE got over on June 30.

In the new directions issued by the court, CBSE has been given time till July 18 to file its reply.

The writ petition has been filed by local academician Dr Arvind Goyal.

Earlier, the board had cancelled three questions — two from chemistry and one from biology section — and allotted 12 grace marks.

However, in its late reply to the petitioner, the CBSE has stated that the key had been finalised after due deliberations by experts, who are renowned persons of the respective fields.

The board further stated that even before finalising the key, all objections regarding any response that had been received, have been duly considered by the board’s experts.

Meanwhile, the petitioner Dr Arvind Goyal said, “The reply by CBSE is totally non-specific and incomplete. It is very disappointing to see that even when I had sent the CBSE references of multiple undisputed books for each error, the CBSE in its reply has not made any effort to mention a single reference and justify its stand.”

Medical aspirants from across the country had sought bonus marks for the incorrect questions and had filed objections to the board by submitting Rs 1,000 per question but grace marks were awarded only for three.



Resource teachers intensify protest
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 7
Intensifying their protest, members of the Inclusive Education Resource Teachers Union (IERTU), Punjab, broke earthen pots in front of the office of Director General School Education (DGSE) at Phase VIII, today afternoon.

Raising slogans against the state government and Education Department, the protesting members said the government had been ‘ignoring their genuine demands.’

“We will burn the effigy of the state government and after that, we’ll stage a protest in Ropar and during the forthcoming state budget session”, said Varinder Vohra, president of the union.

Earlier, the union members had sat on a hunger strike and even held a fast unto death but in vain, said Vohra.

The union’s demands include full-pay grades as other teachers of the SSA and summer and winter vacations with full pay.



Clay modelling workshop

CHANDIGARH: The Tribune Model School organised a workshop on clay modelling for the students on the premises today. The workshop was conducted by artistes Gurpreet Singh Dhuri and Gagandeep Kaur. The renowned sculptors from Ahmedabad work in Indian movies.

Sports fashion show

JLPL Pearson School hosted ‘Sports Fashion Show’ where children were seen walking the ramp in sports attire with cricketer Manan Vohra. On the occasion, special EduSports Training Facility was also launched.

Vanmahotsava Week

The Eco Club and NSS Wing of Saint Soldier International School, Sector 28 B, Chandigarh, conducted a plethora of activities to mark Vanmahotsava Week. The students of Class IX presented the morning assembly on the theme ‘Save Trees’.

Students’ excursion trip

Government Senior Secondary School, Khuda Lahora, organised an excursion trip for its students to the Botanical Garden.

Students bag laurels

The students of Sharda Sarvhitkari Senior Secondary School, Sector 40-D, Gunjan Girohi and Tanuja Mehta, received a congratulatory letter from the Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Zubin Irani for their performance in the CBSE Class XII exams 2013-14. They secured 95 per cent in the Hindi subject.

School re-opening party

MOHALI: The Foundation school organised a reopening party for the students on its campus today.

Nature walk held

PANCHKULA: Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15, organised a nature’s walk for the students of UKJ on its campus today. The students were educated on different types of plants, including herbs, shrubs and trees. — TNS



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