Friday, November 25, 2016

Code of conduct for e-pharmacy sector launched

The Indian Internet Pharmacy Association today released the ‘Self-regulation Code of Conduct’ for the e-pharmacy sector, an attempt to adhere to the highest professional standards and to have proper safeguards to ensure consumer’s health and safety.
 According to the ‘Self-regulation Code of Conduct’, E-pharmacy will process scheduled medicines only against a valid copy of prescription (physical or scanned) of a registered medical practitioner and ensure that no schedule X and other sensitive habit forming medicines are processed through their platform.
  “E-pharmacy must ensure that the medicines are dispensed through licensed pharmacies only. They 
must make reasonable effort to ensure that all the pharmacy partners (before facilitating the sale of any medicines through such pharmacy partners) are duly registered under the Drugs And Cosmetics
Act/ Rules,” the code of conduct said.
 The player must make suitable arrangements to ensure that the medicines are packed, transported and delivered in such a way that their integrity,quality, and effectiveness are preserved, it said.
 Besides, e-pharmacy players must partner with government for any recall of medicines and collect
adverse events of medicines (consumer reports) and comply to submit them to National Centre for 
  It also said the online pharmacy sector must ensure a proper mechanism is in place to address any
queries or grievances that the customer may have and an ombudsman commission be appointed to address any public grievance.
 The Indian Internet Pharmacy Association (IIPA) is body formed by online pharmacy retailers in the country.
 The code of conduct was released under the ambit of FICCI today.
 “We need to embrace technology, in both offline and online models. There is a great opportunity to 
take this ecosystem ahead by leveraging the India stack using the existing infrastructure of Aadhaar and Digi-locker to maintain the repository of prescription, health records and monitor the dispensing of  sensitive medicines.
 “All pharmacies, online or offline, should check prescriptions on this locker,” Arvind Gupta, Head of Digital India Foundation said.
Prashant Tandon, CEO and founder of 1mg mentioned that this group of progressive e-pharmacies have come up with code of conduct in the interest of consumers and as a group they look forward to productive engagement with the regulator to help make the Indian pharmacy sector a model sector.
    Source: The Hindu- Buisness Line  November 21, 2016 -NEW DELHI

Univ for disabled to get Central tag

Enthusiastic teachers, innovative teaching methods and keen students at JRHU offer life lessons for the more privileged

Chitrakoot, UP: There is nothing unusual about a teacher standing in front of a classroom delivering a lecture to eager students. But Manish Kumar's classroom is slightly different. This visually impaired teacher stands with great pride, in his class of students, who are visually and physically challenged Located in Chitrakoot, the Jagadguru Rambhadracharya Handicapped University, (JRHU), is a university specifically for the differently abled. It is a living embodiment of just what the less-abled can do if given a chance. In fact, the ‘can do' attitude of the staff here has impressed the government, and the HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar is considering granting it the tag of Central University soon. Kumar is a good example of this ‘can do' attitude. He is just 28, but his work gives hope to his students that they too can become a ‘somebody', someday. His unique teaching method is something that the sighted or ‘normal' teachers could possibly learn from.
“I use various teaching methods. I am a visually disabled person, I cannot write on the blackboard. So, I make use of the projector to teach a particular concept that needs detailing. I also use audio mediums to connect with the visually disabled,” he says.

Kumar is not alone. Many other teachers (some of whom are challenged) come to work daily. Students here are just as keen, some come from far-flung villages in UP, and even neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, to learn. According to the school staff, currently there are 1,500 students learning from a choice of 15 courses offered at the university. Apart from the regular B.Ed, some of the courses include a degree in Social Work, Music, Fine Arts, and other special training courses. Teachers say that those who have hearing disabilities opt for courses in Fine Arts and Computers, while the visually disabled choose courses like Music. The B.Ed is, of course, common to all students.

How different is it to teach the physically challenged as compared to ‘normal' students? Gopal 
Mishra, a professor who teaches Music at the university says, “When you teach students with a 
disability you have to be extra-sensitive to understand their feelings. You need to be completely 
involved with them. In my case, when I teach visually disabled students, they can only hear me, so if 
my tone changes, they assume I am getting angry with them.” Most of the students live on-campus. There are two hostels - one for boys and one for girls. Despite their individual challenges,
 thestudents find solace in helping each other. Botla Yadav, a 19-year-old physically challenged 
student shares, “I am from Badhoni village in UP, and I am pursuing my BA here. I have made good 
friends in the hostel and they help me in moving around the campus”.

Basic facilities like tri-cycles, hearing aids, and other amenities are provided to the students free of 
cost. “We can expect better things if the university gets Central University status,” says Mishra.
And Mishra's wish just might be coming true soon. A team of University Grants Commission (UGC) 
officials visited the university early in November to review the facilities for granting Central 
University status to the institution. Commenting on the visit, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said, 
“A team of UGC officials visited the campus and have given me a positive feedback on the 
university. I am also positive that we can grant it the status of Central University soon.”

Source: DNA- 22nd November,2016

Online e-pharmacy portals to make patients' lives easier

The govt in collaboration with FICCI will digitally track all medicines issued to customers
The formation of a strict monitoring system for online sale of medicines is underway by the Centre, that has come up with a Self-regulation Code of Conduct for the E pharmacy sector for the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The e-pharmacy model proposed by the apex business organisation provides digital tracking and traceability of medicines, addressing the problem of counterfeit medicines and unsupervised consumption of antibiotics without prescription. It also improves access and affordability of medicines for patients.

This monitoring system will be formed in the wake of the significant rise in popularity of e-pharmacy in the past year. E-pharmacy has also become an important channel to provide last mile access to medicines. This will most importantly benefit patients suffering from chronic diseases, the elderly and sick who are not in the condition to go to the pharmacy. The e-pharmacy model has proposed that medicines must be processed only against a valid copy of a prescription from a registered medical practitioner. e-pharmacy websites must also ensure no schedule X or other sensitive habit-forming medicines are processed and that there are adequate checks in place to prevent sale of such drugs. “e-pharmacy players must partner with the govt to recall any medicine and collect adverse events of medicines through consumer reports and comply to submit them to National Centre for Pharmacovigilance,” Dr Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI. “Dispensation from duly licensed pharmacies under the India e-pharmacy model must be accepted. The e-pharmacy must make reasonable effort to ensure all pharmacy partners are duly registered under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act,” he said. “We are working with private players to develop a centralised online system that involves manufacturers and supply chain managers to develop a fool-proof system for online sale of medicines,” Drug Controller General of India, Dr G N Singh said. “Consumers need quality medicines at an affordable price. Drugs and Cosmetics Act is the most poorly implemented - thus making consumers vulnerable to counterfeit medicines and self-medication,” said Bejon Mishra, Founder at Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) India.

India's sudden burst in an epidemic of chronic diseases has led to the development of online medicine portals. “We can't deny that home delivery of medicines is not risky, because there is no tracking. Most of it is happens over the phone,” said Mishra.
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has already said that strict action will be taken against those who dont complt with the Drugs and Cosmetic Act.

Source: DNA-22nd November,2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

Google India Launches Second Edition of 'Web Rangers' Contest

Google India Launches Second Edition of 'Web Rangers' Contest

In an effort to promote and educate the youth about staying smart, safe and savvy online, Google India today announced the launch of the second edition of the Web Rangers contest. Google Web Rangers contest is open to students across the country within the age group of 10 and 17 years. 

Entering its second year, the competition aims to encourage young people in schools and communities to highlight the importance of Internet safety and being good digital citizens.

As part of the competition, students across the country are invited to create, innovate and submit their creative ideas in various categories in the form of entries ranging from a comprehensive Internet safety campaign, to a project involving a video, website, app or even design a poster to educate and spread awareness around digital safety. 

“Last year, kids from across the country amazed us with their innovative and inspiring submissions. The Web Rangers contest is a platform to enable these young adults to become good digital citizens and empower their friends and families to have a safer and meaningful digital experience. ” said Sunita Mohanty, Director, Trust and Safety at Google.

The deadline for submitting entries for this year’s contest is January 5, 2017. Winners in each of these categories stand to win Chromebooks and tablets. To learn more about the rules and format, or to submit your entries, visit this page

Friday, November 18, 2016

This AI system associates images with sounds

Using artificial intelligence techniques, a team of researchers has designed a system that can automatically learn the association between images and the sounds they could possibly make.

Given a picture of a car, for instance, a new system by researchers at Disney Research and ETH university in the city of Zurich, Germany can automatically return the sound of a car engine.

"A system that knows the sound of a car, a splintering dish or a slamming door might be used in a number of applications, such as adding sound effects to films, or giving audio feedback to people with visual disabilities," Jean-Charles Bazin, associate research scientist at Disney Research, said in a statement.

To solve this challenging task, the research team leveraged data from collections of videos.

"Videos with audio tracks provide us with a natural way to learn correlations between sounds and images. Video cameras equipped with microphones capture synchronised audio and visual information. In principle, every video frame is a possible training example," Bazin added.

One of the key challenges is that videos often contain many sounds that have nothing to do with the visual content.

According to Markus Gross, Vice President for Disney Research, sounds associated with a video image can be highly ambiguous.

"By figuring out a way to filter out these extraneous sounds, our research team has taken a big step toward an array of new applications for computer vision," Gross said.

"If we have a video collection of cars, the videos that contain actual car engine sounds will have audio features that recur across multiple videos" Bazin said, adding, "on the other hand, the uncorrelated sounds that some videos might contain generally won't share any redundant features with other videos, and thus can be filtered out."

The results of the research were recently presented at a European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV) workshop in Amsterdam.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Nanobots are controlled by light

Scientists have developed the world's first light-seeking synthetic nanorobot, which may help surgeons remove tumours and enable more precise engineering of targeted medications.
It has been a dream in science fiction for decades that tiny robots can fundamentally change our daily life. The classic movie ‘Fantastic Voyage' is a great example, depicting a group of scientists driving their miniaturised nano-submarine inside a human body to repair a damaged brain.

In the real world, however, it is an altogether different challenge to design a sophisticated nanorobot with advanced functions. Now a team of researchers, led by Dr Jinyao Tang from the University of Hong Kong, has developed the world's first light-seeking synthetic nanorobot.
With a size comparable to a blood cell, those tiny robots have the potential to be directly injected into patients' bodies, enabling surgeons to guide them toward tumours and facilitating more precise engineering of targeted medications.
Given that each nanorobot is barely a few micrometre in size (about 50 times smaller than the diameter of an average human hair), it is generally challenging to squeeze normal electronic sensors and circuits into nanorobots within reasonable price points.

Currently the only method to remotely control nanorobots is to incorporate tiny magnets inside them and guide them on with the help of an external magnetic field. However, the nanorobot developed by Tang's team takes a different route-it is built to use light as the propelling force.
The team demonstrated the unprecedented ability of these light-controlled nanorobots as they were made to ‘dance', and even spell a word under the influence of a controlling light source. With a novel nanotree structure, the nanorobots can respond to the light shining on it like moths being drawn to a flame. The team gained inspiration for the nanorobot design by studying natural green algae. Despite being a single cell, these green algae can sense the intensity of light and swim towards the light source for photosynthesis. The findings were published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. -PTI

Source: DNA -November 11,2016

Wireless brain implants now help paralytics walk- The Experimental procedure develped by scientists reduces recovery time by orders of magnitude

A multi-electrode implant is surgically placed over the spinal cord below the injury. Each electrode stimulates a specific neural pathway that controls a group of muscles. A spinal injury can be devastating. With a loss of movement in limbs, even performing everyday tasks like picking up a glass of water could become near impossible. In spinal injuries, signals from the brain are inhibited or even terminated before they reaches the limbs. A patient with such an injury could spends years in painstaking physiotherapy before they attain a normal level of functionality and mobility in their affected limbs. But this could change drastically.
A research group at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have developed the brain-spine interface, a wireless implant that connects the motor cortex in the brain and many neural circuits around the spinal cord. The system is now being tested on two monkeys that had paralysed legs and the results are nothing short of astonishing--the procedure had the primates walking again within just two weeks of their debilitating injury.
Professor Grégoire Courtine, a research professor at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne said, “This is the first time neuro-technology restores locomotion in primates.
But there are many challenges ahead and it may take several years before all the components of this intervention can be tested in people.” He also added, “To implement the brain-spine interface we developed an implantable, wireless system that operates in real-time and enables a primate to behave freely without the constraint of tethered electronics.” The study claims that both monkeys were walking again after using the brain–spine interface for two weeks, although, one of the monkeys gained the movement in its disabled leg after just six days.
Here's how it functions: the brain–spine interface reestablishes communication between the motor cortex and spinal nerves to restore communication between the brain and the limbs. The mechanism decodes brain signals in real-time, then transmits them wirelessly to the implant in the spinal cord, effectively creating a neural-electrical bridge between the monkey's brain and its leg tendons. This system is destined for initial human clinical tests by the end of the decade.

Source: DNA - November 11,2016.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Mumbai paper clip: ‘Students taught through the flipped classroom method perform better, are more satisfied’

The model has been both hailed and criticised around the world. While some say it improves performance, others say it increases students’ workload.Written by Priyanka Sahoo | Mumbai | Published:November 15, 2016 1:32 am

ACROSS THE globe, rigorous research is underway into better classroom teaching models to improve students’ performance and experience. One such proposed model is the Flipped Classroom — where students watch lectures through videos at home and utilise classroom hours in discussion, problem-solving and other activities.
The model has been both hailed and criticised around the world. While some say it improves performance, others say it increases students’ workload. To determine the efficacy of this model, a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, attempted to implement a flipped method, while constraining the work that a student has to do.

According to the study, 85 percent of the students said that this method was as effective as or more effective than conventional methods. It further found that about 80 percent of the students said that there should be no change in the major components of the course, such as weekly quizzes and mid-semester exams.
The report titled ‘Efficacy of a flipped method in an undergraduate class at IIT Bombay’ also found favourable result in the students’ performance. “A limited comparison of the performance with a control group that did the same course taught by another instructor in the conventional way showed that the flipped classroom students performed better. Students who did well in the weekly quiz, did well consistently throughout the course,” read the report.
A compulsory course, Process Control, was taught to 63 chemical engineering undergraduate students. A set of 36 one-hour videos, recorded in the previous year when the course was delivered through the conventional method by one of the authors of the report, was used as the instructional material.
Students studied three videos every week and discussed them through Moodle, a Learning Management System. The class met one hour a week, to assess understanding through an MCQ and to discuss difficult topics. Big quizzes, mid and end-semester exams, virtual labs, and tutorial sessions were the other components of the course.
The study conducted by professor Kannan Moudgalya of Chemical Engineering and Educational Technology departments and other researchers found that the students both performed well and were satisfied.
The report, however, pointed out that student satisfaction and overall performance alone were not sufficient reasons to convince traditional societies to adopt the flipped method.
“It is also necessary to show that the students go through the lecture material regularly and that learning happens throughout the semester.
This requirement is indeed fulfilled in the current study: this fact is brought out through the weekly quiz and a detailed study of it,” read the report.
Source: Indian Express | 15 November 2016

Indian scientists burdened by cost of research published in open access journals

Indians spend close to $2.4 million annually to get their scientific research output published in different open access (OA) journals, authors of a new study say, raising concerns that scientists often have to cough up two months equivalent of salary to get their work into those journals. “We estimate that India is potentially spending about $2.4 million annually on Article Processing Charges (APCs) levied by those journals. To publish a paper in OA, some journals levy a charge that is equivalent to two months’ salary of an assistant professor in India,” Muthu Madhan of DST Centre for Policy Research, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, told IANS.
Criticising the practice, Madhan says it is not right, given the major part (about 70 per cent) of research funding is sourced from taxpayers. “And there is shortage of funds for research. It is not right for researchers to give part of it to rich publishers — who overcharge anyway for the meagre services they provide and take home profits in the range 30 to 40 per cent year after year even when the economy was not doing well,” he said. The authors arrived at the figure based on the data mined from Science Citation Index Expanded that revealed 37,078 papers were published by Indian researchers in 881 OA journals during the five-year period from 2010-2014. An abstract of the analysis is available in the Current Science journal, ahead of publication.
“This accounts for about 14.4 per cent of India’s overall publication output, considerably higher than the 11.6 per cent from the world,” the study notes. It is co-authored by Siva Shankar Kimidi of the Library Department, Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad; Subbiah Gunasekaran of the Knowledge Resource Centre, Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Karaikudi; and Subbiah Arunachalam of the DST Centre for Policy Research. The authors suggest that it would be prudent for Indian researchers to make their work freely available through inter-operable repositories, a trend that is growing significantly around the world.
The study does not include the expenditure on OA papers published by Indian researchers in subscription journals which make papers available on OA on payment of a fee. Raising the financial and ethical issue of paying for getting papers published in professional journals, the authors opine the funding agencies in India should “forbid researchers who are now using research grants” (funds provided only for research) to cover APCs. The analysis shed light on the fact that Indian authors have used 488 OA journals levying APC, ranging from Rs 500 to $5,000, in the five years, to publish about 15,400 papers.
Use of OA journals levying APC has “increased” over the four years from 242 journals and 2,557 papers in 2010 to 328 journals and 3,634 papers in 2014. There has been a spike in the use of non-APC journals as well, but at a slower pace. More than half of these papers were published in just 13 journals. PLOS One and Current Science are the OA journals Indian researchers use most often, the authors note.
Though most leading Indian journals are open access ones and do not charge APC, there is a leaning towards “foreign journals” in the pecking order. “Most Indian journals are nowhere near the top in this order. In general, researchers prefer to publish their papers in prestigious journals (as considered by the community), irrespective of the publishing country of a journal. However, most of the prestigious journals (in science, technology and medicine) are published from either North America or Western Europe,” Madhan observed.
To circumvent the expenditure, Madhan suggested researchers make their papers OA in two ways. “They can publish their papers in traditional professional journals that do not levy an APC and place the accepted manuscript (called post-print) in an inter-operable institutional repository. There are ways — protocols — by which all the distributed institutional repositories could be viewed as a single mega repository by a searcher.”
Institutions can also establish and maintain an inter-operable repository at a negligible cost using open source software such as EPrints and DSpace. In India, there are many institutions that have set up such repositories. Notable among them is ScienceCentral — maintained by CSIR — URDIP Pune, which hosts repositories for institutions of CSIR, DBT and DST, and harvests and indexes metadata of the contents in those collections. It provides a single search interface, points out Madhan.
At the global level, Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) is a major player. The attitude, “paying money to publish papers” that the APC levying journals are trying to nurture, is dangerous for the scientific community, Madhan warned. “There is a feeling that this idea offers space for dubious publishers who exploit the scientific community and corrupt the research system, and one can no longer ignore the growth of such predatory publishing,” he added.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Pfizer wins patent rights for autoimmune diseases' drug -The patent office dismissed the objections of two opponents and granted two process patents for Pfizer's etanercept

   Pharma major Pfizer has received two process patents related to its blockbuster drug etanercept, sold under the brand name Enbrel in several countries  including the United States of America, by winning against pre-grant oppositions filed by Mylan and Biocon. 

 The decision was taken on two patent applications, one for production of polypeptides and another for production of TNFR-Ig Fusion Protein. Both applications were filed by Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals in 2007 to process patents for Etarncept, legal sources close to the development said.

  The drug is a biopharmaceutical aimed at treating autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis. 

 Mylan Laboratories and Biocon Ltd had filed pre-grant oppositions witih the Indian patent office, seeking it to refuse Pfizer's claims on the grounds that mere application does amount to invention. 

   Biocon, for its part, argued that the inventions were obious, and thus not patentable. There is a lack of sufficient disclosure and the applications were an  attempt to secure multiple patents for the same invention, it said further.

  These oppositions were however dimsissed by the Assistant Controller of Patents and 
Designs, Patent Office, New Delhi.

 Pfizer had a co-marketing tie up with Amgen to sell the drug in US and Canada, while the 
company recorded sales from other markets for the drug, according to reports.

 The order comes at a time when Enbrel, one of the top selling drugs of Pfizer, is expected to face the threat of biosimilars in the US and European market, said reports.
According to compnay's acnnual records, Enbrel had in 2015 earned a revenue of $3.33 billion, following closely the $6.24 billion Prevnar family and the $4.83 billion Lyrica.

Source:Buisness Standards -November 8, 2016 Last Updated at 15:02 IST



Research can’t be bound in hierarchy: Javadekar at Hackathon launch

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: November 9, 2016 7:44 pm

Javadekar also announced that a MOOCS platform will soon come up which will spread education far and wide into the country.

Research cannot be bound in hierarchy, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar today said as he launched an initiative where technology students in institutions across the country would rack their brains to come up with solutions to problems faced by Central ministries, the first initiative of its kind. “There can’t be research in hierarchy. Only promotions happen in hierarchy,” Javaekar said emphasising that freedom and inquisitiveness is needed for innovation.
He was speaking at the launch of ‘Smart India Hackathon’ 2017, a 36-hour non stop digital competition in which thousands of students from educational institutions across the country would work on 500 problem statements received from over a dozen ministries and come up with solutions.
Addressing the students present, Javadekar said that tapping the potential of the youth is the key and he has complete faith that they would be able to solve these problems.
Emphasising on the importance of innovation he said that new thinking is required and highlighted online registration in hospitals likle AIIMS as examples. The world is changing at an amazing pace, he said.
Javadekar, however, rued that even when India was referred to as an “IT superpower”, it has not come up with giants like facebook, twitter, linkedin, Whatsaapp, google or Windows even when some Indian must have been involved in their coming up.
Such innovative entities should come up in India now and for this youth has to be encouraged, the HRD minister said.
Javadekar also announced that a MOOCS platform will soon come up which will spread education far and wide into the country.
As he spoke on the need for innovation, Javadekar said “after yesterday’s surgical strike on blackmoney, social media is abuzz with innovative quips on the issue.” AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe said that a Hackathon which had been organised in Pune, where students solved problems of the municipal bodies through digital solutions had come to notice.
The idea now is to take this concept nationwide, he said.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Swayam: An online official website for free online courses

SWAYAM is a programme initiated by Government of India and designed to achieve the three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., access, equity and quality. The objective of this effort is to take the best teaching learning resources to all, including the most disadvantaged. SWAYAM seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy.
This is done through an indigenous developed IT platform that facilitates hosting of all the courses, taught in classrooms from 9th class till post-graduation to be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time. All the courses are interactive, prepared by the best teachers in the country and are available, free of cost to the residents in India. More than 1,000 specially chosen faculty and teachers from across the Country have participated in preparing these courses.
The courses hosted on SWAYAM will be in 4 quadrants – (1) video lecture, (2) specially prepared reading material that can be downloaded/printed (3) self-assessment tests through tests and quizzes and (4) an online discussion forum for clearing the doubts. Steps have been taken to enrich the learning experience by using audio-video and multi-media and state of the art pedagogy / technology. In order to ensure best quality content are produced and delivered, seven National Coordinators have been appointed: They are NPTEL for engineering, UGC for post-graduation education, CEC for under-graduate education, NCERT & NIOS for school education, IGNOU for out of the school students and IIMB for management studies.
Courses delivered through SWAYAM are available free of cost to the learners, however students wanting certifications shall be registered, shall be offered a certificate on successful completion of the course, with a little fee. At the end of each course, there will be an assessment of the student through proctored examination and the marks/grades secured in this exam could be transferred to the academic record of the students. UGC has already issued the UGC (Credit Framework for online learning courses through SWAYAM) Regulation 2016 advising the Universities to identify courses where credits can be transferred on to the academic record of the students for courses done on SWAYAM.
SWAYAM platform is indigenously developed by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) with the help of Microsoft and would be ultimately capable of hosting 2000 courses and 80000 hours of learning: covering school, under-graduate, post-graduate, engineering, law and other professional courses.

SOURCE: | 10th November 2016

Veterinary clinic in Boisar has no space to store costly drugs

Expensive medicines meant to treat animals are going to waste at a dilapidated government veterinary clinic in Boisar. Reason: lack of space and no proper facilities to store the medicines. Fungus has grown on some of the boxes, which have been in the open from September, said activists, adding that the lone veterinary doctor at the clinic is helpless, as he has no attendant to clear the mess or guard the medicines.
Besides, there is no record to audit the medicines being supplied to the clinic. As a result, there is no way to keep a track of the stock, they alleged.
The zilla parishad runs this lone vet clinic at Boisar where ailing animals of farmers from Murbhe, Navapur, Varangade, Mahagaon, Olewadi, Paam, Tembhi, Khairpada, Betegaon, Katkarpada, Dandipada and Vanjarpada, among other areas, avail of treatment.
“Dr Arun Kochre, the lone veterinary doctor at the clinic, treats at least 10 ailing animals a day. As the zilla parishad hasn’t appointed any helper or compounder, Dr Kochre ends up doing all the jobs, including treating and examining animals, putting him at the risk of being attacked by the animal. Besides, he also has to treat animals from other remote areas of the village,” said Pankaj D Raut, a social activist.
According to Raut, boxes of saline, injections and medicines are left in the open, making them unfit for use. “The animal husbandry department procures these medicines from pharma companies free of cost and supplies them to the clinic at Boisar and other such clinics in the state,” said Raut.
“My complaints to the zilla parishad to improve the infrastructure to store these medicines have fallen on deaf ears. Often, the medicines kept in the open are stolen and sold to private medical shops, forcing farmers to procure the medicines at a higher rate,” said Raut.
“This could be the tip of the iceberg,” he added.
Dr BU Bodhankar, district veterinary officer, Palghar, said, “All the medicines supplied by the government are stored carefully in cold storage and cupboards. A record of these medicines is also maintained. However, Palghar is a newly formed district and there so, there could be some problems in appointing staff at the clinic.”
Ashok Vade, chairman, agriculture and animal husbandry, zilla parishad, Palghar, said, “I have demanded an inquiry into the matter.”
 SOURCE: Ram Parmar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai| 10th Nov. 2016