C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Pensions scheme for PU employees mooted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
Introduction of pension scheme for employees will be an important item on the agenda of the Board of Finance of Panjab University meeting to be held here on February 20.

Panjab University is the only one in this region which does not have a pension scheme and nor is there one for the employees of the private colleges affiliated to it.

What has prompted the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, to place the item before the board is the buoyancy he has brought about in the University's revenue. In fact, for the fourth consecutive year he will present the budget proposals. The university’s annual budget for 2004-05 is around Rs 99 crore.

This revenue mobilisation has made Punjab to think about releasing even the grant for the university as per the Re-organisation Act, 1966. Punjab and the Centre share the deficit of the university in the ratio of 40:60. In the current year it released only Rs 15.2 crore against the normal share of Rs 27 crore.

The logic in support of the introduction of pension scheme by Professor Pathak is that at present the university contributes 10 per cent towards an employee’s contributory provident fund. This amounted to around Rs 75 crore. If an employee contributed 5 per cent share it would partially meet the requisite financial requirements of the proposed scheme, which would be “self-financed”. This 15 per cent resource per employee is what the university has calculated to be the minimum requirement, besides financial support from Punjab and the Centre to launch the scheme, if approved.

He says his proposal is that both Punjab and the Centre through the Chandigarh Administration should share the additional cost of the proposed pension scheme. Even if the two were to meet 50 per cent of the revenue generated i.e. Rs 23 crore for a limited number of years it would enable the university to implement the scheme.

Therefore, to pay pension and meet additional financial liabilities Professor Pathak says an initial corpus fund of Rs 200 crore is required. The university has Rs 75 crore for contributing towards an employee’s provident fund.

The Vice-Chancellor says, if approved, the pension scheme will be effective from January 1, 1986. Nearly 800 employees have retired since then. They would get immediate relief. The scheme will also benefit the present 3,000-odd employees. Employees to be recruited after April 1, 2004, will be covered under the new pension scheme.

When asked about the fate of nearly 10,000 teachers working in private colleges who have been denied increments for the past two to three years and that the Ministry of Human Resource Development had not given them the next grade since 1996, he said the issue was raised at a meeting of the Syndicate in 2003. “I will also write to the managements of the private colleges, asking them to grant the increments to the teachers who are stagnating at the old selection grade”, he added.



Chinese delegation visits education board
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 17
A five-member Chinese delegation from the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education (JPDE) reached the Punjab School Education Board here today under the educational cooperation programme.

The delegates met the Chairman of the board, Dr Kehar Singh, and other senior officials for exchange of views.

Dr Kehar Singh said the purpose of the visit of the Chinese delegation was to understand the education system in Punjab and have a general idea how the syllabi and curriculum was decided.

The delegates would be taken to various schools in the state during their seven-day visit. Tomorrow they would be taken to Sant Isher Singh Senior Secondary School here in the morning and would have dinner at Paragon Senior Secondary School.

On February 19 the delegates would leave for Phagwara and Amritsar. They would be shown a school at Mukandpur village in Nawanshahr district and later taken to another school at Phagwara. The delegates would also be taken to KMV, Jalandhar, and Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar. The next day they will be shown three more schools in Amritsar before coming back to Chandigarh. A cultural programme would be organised the same evening at the guest house of the education board. They would also be shown a school at Patiala. The delegates would leave for China on February 23.

The visit of the Chinese delegation followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Punjab team and authorities of the JPDE in China on September 21 last year.

The purpose of the MoU on educational cooperation, included regular mutual visits of educational administrators and school managers, partnership between schools to encourage exchange of letters, audio-visual material between schools in Punjab and Jiangsu and organising joint educational activities.

The members of the delegation include Mr Ge. Gaolin, Deputy Director General of JPDE, Mr Yin Tianran, Senior Officer of Division of Basic Education, JPDE, Ms Cao Meizhen, Director of School Affairs Committee of Nanjing Teacher College affiliated Middle School, Ms Qian Jinxia, Vice-Principal of Suzhou Midu Middle School, and Ms Shi Yunyu, Project Coordinator and Interpreter of Division for International Cooperation and Exchange, JPDE.



10 UK teachers on Punjab schools’ visit
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 17
As part of a special project, 10 teachers from the UK are on a visit to Punjab to understand teaching and learning system here.
The team visited Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, Chandigarh, and Sant Isher Singh Public School, Phase VII, here.

The teachers were taken to each classroom in the schools where they interacted with students and teachers. They were shown the library and its laboratories. Students of the school presented a brief cultural show in this regard.

Giving details about the visit, Mr Rajpal Singh, coordinator of the Indo-British cultural exchange programme, said the teachers had come to India as part of the Teachers International Professional Development Project of the League for Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers.

“This is an enriching experience for teachers of both countries. Members of the group, led by Ms Joanna Villegas, are teaching in different schools in Glouceseershire County, UK.

The group includes Sarah Kellet, Lisa Brind, Sophie Cook, Janet Haworth, Sandra Russell, Helen Roberts, Sylvia Kingston, Dennis Palin Tolin and Lynne Regan.

Stating that music, dance and art are compulsory subjects for the junior classes in England, Janet Haworth stated that by the time the students reach senior classes they have experimented with many creative arts and can then chose what they want to do further. “And in case if someone wants to take up a specialised job then lectures are bought by the student concerned. These are provided at subsidised rates by the school,”she said.

The teachers will also visit some more schools across Punjab, including YPS, Patiala, in the coming week.



Paragon school signs pact with Korean institute
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 17
Paragon Senior Secondary School, Sector 71, here has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mokpo Jeong Myung Girls Middle and High School, Republic of Korea, relating to cooperative educational exchange.

Mr B.S. Shergill, secretary of Paragon school, said here today that a 15-member delegation of the school had gone to Korea on February 5 where an MoU was signed between the institutions on February 10.



Jhankar-2004 for PU students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
The national youth festival of the campus, Jhankar-2004, is slated to begin on February 19.
The festival will see various colleges and university departments vie for top spots in contests ranging from dance to debate and painting to plays.

Though the programme begins on February 19 with a variety programme at Law Auditorium, a “jaago” will be held on February 18 at the Students’ Centre. The first evening of the event will also feature a laser show.

The second day has been earmarked for fine arts activities like painting, rangoli, paint-your-face at the Fine Arts auditorium. Folk song and dance contests will be held in the afternoon. Singer Jasbir Jassi will wrap up the festivities on the second day with a music show.

On February 21, students will contest in histrionics, one-act plays, debates and declamation. A dance party in the evening will mark the end of the three-day festival. The prize distribution function will be held the following day at Law Auditorium.



Devotion marks Parkash Utsav at PU
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
Devotion blended with a feeling of camaraderie, all-pervasive at Panjab University since morning, bond together students drawn from various departments of the campus here today.

With the notes of shabads and gurbani resounding at the campus ground during the annual Guru Gobind Singh Parkash Utsav, these students joined hands to cook a sumptuous community lunch for a 2500-odd crowd. The lunch was organised to mark the conclusion of the three-day path this afternoon.

In the “Guru ka Dwar” they had no hang-ups, no inhibitions, only the will to serve the devotees of their God kept them going since they began the arduous task of chopping, cooking and serving.

Busy kneading the flour for the chappatis, Ajay Pal Singh from Political Science, informs, “I have never done this at home. It is my maiden attempt and I have God to guide me through this. My friends are, of course, helping me with the consistency.”

In the makeshift kitchen, while the boys kneaded dough and cut vegetables, the girl students sat in small groups rolling out chappatis and cooking vegetables. While 10 quintals of flour and pulses each was used, seven quintals of milk, 2.5 quintals of sugar and one-and-a-half quintals of rice was utilised to make kheer for the devotees.

Conveying similar sentiments were Arshdeep Kaur and Rimpy from the Punjabi Department who showed interest in exhibition of paintings on the life of Guru Gobind Singh. The paintings were brought from Nawanshahr for the function.

Beginning February 15, the students organised prabhat pheris in all the hostels on the campus, creating the feeling of an extended family involving students from all groups, castes and cultures to make it a success. 



High Court
Drugs case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
Issuing notice of motion to the state of Haryana on a petition filed by National Students’ Union of India’s General Secretary Ajit Singh Beniwal and two others alleging implication in a drugs case due to political reasons, Mr Justice Mehtab Singh Gill of the high court on Tuesday granted them interim bail.

Claiming to be innocent, Beniwal, his brother and uncle had earlier asserted that they had nothing to do with the alleged recovery of opium. Counsel for the petitioner had added that the petitioners had not been named in the first information report.

Hooda case: Acting on a petition filed by Dr Geeta Grewal — daughter-in-law of Haryana Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda — seeking security cover, Mr Justice Mehtab Singh Gill of the high court on Tuesday issued notice of motion to the state of Haryana.

The judge, however, declined to issue notice of motion to Mr Hooda, his wife and another respondent. In her petition, Dr Grewal had asserted that security cover was essential in view of the threats by and at the instance of Mr Hooda and other respondents. She had added that the Hoodas, emboldened after the grant of anticipatory bail, were pressurising her to withdraw the petition.



Samra presents new witness

Chandigarh, February 17
Mr Gurvinder Singh Samra, the controversial complainant in the bribery case involving a suspended Judge S.S. Bharadwaj, today presented before the media a person whom he identified as a personal driver of a Punjab police officer to prove that the officer was allegedly involved in the bribery case. “The officer’s driver, Mr Charanjeet Singh, had been sent to Bhutan by him a day after Mr Bharadwaj was arrested because he was a witness to the officer’s murky deals,” he told mediapersons here today. TNS



Six local artists feted at exhibition
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 17
Six artists from Chandigarh and Mohali were honoured on the inaugural day of the 76th annual All-India Art Exhibition organised by the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi and the All-India Fine Arts and Crafts Society at Akademi Hall in Sector 34 here today.

The winners were selected by a jury that met on December 3 last year out of 95 entries from artists of Chandigarh and nearby areas. The award-winning paintings were: Supreet Kaur’s untitled graphics in which the artist has used folk motifs to construct a human form, Mala Goyal’s untitled graphics in which she has played with forms and light to perfection in etching and aqua tint method.

Other paintings include Sanjay’s drawing in colour titled “A Polishing of the Mirror of the Heart ,” Parmod K Arya’s sculpture called “Samvad”, Rajesh Kalsi’s drawing called “Logic- I” and Mahesh Prajapati’s painting in mixed media called “Time and Space”. The winners were given a cash prize of Rs 10,000 each by Mr Lalit Sharma, Adviser, Chandigarh Administration, UT Chandigarh, who also inaugurated the exhibition.

About 42 entries other than the award winning paintings and drawings are also being displayed at the gallery. The exhibition concludes on February 27. 



Festival of Young Dancers begins
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 17
The inaugural day of the Festival of Young Dancers had something to offer to everyone at the Tagore Theatre here today. Organised by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, and the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Academy, the festival aims at providing a platform to young artists.

Starting the show with a Sattriya Gayan Bayan from Assam, an ancient dance form initiated by Srimanta Sankardev which has recently attained the status of a classical dance, the members of Uttar Kamalabari Sattra, Majuli, demonstrated the simplest form of rhythm in a synchronised form using just ‘dhol’ and ‘khol’.

The show presented two budding artistes in Bharatnatyam — Kapil Sharma and Aditi Rao. Starting the recital with ‘kirtanam’ along with Kapil, Aditi then demonstrated “birha ras” with graceful movement and ‘abhinaya’.

The star attraction of the show was upcoming kuchipudi exponent Yamini Reddy. Already a familiar in the art circle, Yamini lived up to the expectation of her famous father Padma Bhushan Raja Reddy and Guru Kaushalya Reddy who took an active part in the concert today.

Starting her performance with Durga Stuti, Om Kara Akarini, Yamini described the physical appearance of Durga. What followed was her all-time favorite item, Shiva Dance, a vigorous dance form that captured all ‘navaras’ associated with Lord Shiva. Yamini then presented “Krishna Sabdam”. Yamini concluded her performance with Tarangam, showing her balancing skill on a plate.



City gets the Volvo luxury bus
Have a smooth ride in the AC bus with toilet and fridge
A.S. Prashar

Volvo, described as "the driver of change in the Indian commercial vehicle industry" on Monday displayed the new model of its successful B7R luxury inter-city air-conditioned bus in Chandigarh. Costing about Rs 56 lakh, the bus was also shown to the officials of the Punjab Transport Department and Citco who were given a smooth ride on it. The bus has been equipped with a chemically-treated toilet and a fridge. Powered by a 260 hp rear-mounted engine, it conforms to Euro II emission standards generating power that is around twice that of typical buses in in the country. A gearbox with retarder is a standard fitment in the bus. The retarder avoids the need for frequent braking and minimises the associated jerks. In addition, exhaust brakes make it possible to keep a higher average speed while driving downhill, without overheating wheel brakes.

Claimed to be India's first bus built on a true-bus chassis, the Volvo B7R was launched in October 2001. According to Mr Akash Passey, General Manager Bus Division, Volvo India Pvt Ltd., the B7R has already established itself as the "finest luxury bus in the Southern and Western regions of the country".

Mr Passey said that over 300 Volvo buses now operated from 60 destinations across South and West India and several buses had covered over 6 lakh km often operating 800 km per day. Private series providers who started with just one or two buses in their fleet had now grown to building exclusive Volvo fleets accounting for upto 20 Volvos.

He claimed that Volvo bus had emerged as a ticket brand across South and West India. The Bangalore-Kochi route was an example of the changes that a Volvo could effect. Before the entry of Volvo, this route accounted for 20 luxury buses — all non-airconditioned. This luxury segment here had grown by over 100% — all accounted by Volvo buses, all airconditioned. Another key example lay in the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. There were over 60 Volvo buses operating on this route which had begun to challenge rail services.

Volvo buses had also reduced the travel time between cities and enabled innovative tour packages. The Bangalore-Mumbai route was now covered in five hours less than a train journey and several operators had started package tours to pilgrimage destination such as Shirdi and Tirupathi, he said.



Khadi making waves
Ruchika M. Khanna

Various fashion houses are marketing a pret line in khadi
Khadi in vogue: Various fashion houses are marketing a pret line in khadi. — A Tribune photograph

If you thought of khadi- yes, we are talking about the “national fabric of India”- as dull, staid and only for the netas, take a chill pill. Khadi— in its various hues and weaves, — is making the new style statement.

From wrap-around skirts and wrap around pants, to chic unisexual kurtas and kurtis, or the tank tops, and from self woven designs, to prints and embroidery, the fabric that Mahatma Gandhi promoted vociferously, is finally making a big bang on the city’s fashion scene. The hep as well as the strictly traditional - all seem to be making a beeline to stock the latest in khadi. Other than a fabric to be used in clothing, khadi has also arrived in a big way in home linen- for drapes, tapestry and as bed linen.

Gone are the days of the fabric being used for the National Flag, or the kurtas, and bags, that too, for the journos or the netas and neta- in- making. Or the dull shades of creame or the earth colours - which, incidentally, came to be known as the khadi colours. Fuschia, indigo, crimson, sunshine yellow or the bright orange— the fabric has certainly had a new evolution. Be it the cool tank tops and spaghetti tops, or the kurtas and formal suits, or the short shirts and formal shirts, and trousers for men- khadi has one to offer to everybody.

And khadi bhandars are not the only place to shop for the pret khadi outfits. The opening of Fab India and khadder — both stocking khadi outfits of different cuts and for all silhouettes, and the roaring business being done by them, speaks of the growing popularity of the fabric. Incidentally, the khadi bhandars themselves have failed to keep up with the trendier khadi clothes, and are still selling the age old khadi kurtas and fabric.

Says Pragatti Singh, a young city based lawyer, “ In the summers, everyone seems to be stiff in their chiffons and georgettes. However, last year saw the return of comfy clothing, and khadi in its new avatar, made an entry. But this year, the fabric and garments created from it , will make a big bang in the forthcoming spring summer season”.

Agrees Diltaj Grewal, Manager, Fab India, “ With comfy clothing being the prime concern for most people, khadi has been gaining popularity. And not just for the casual wear, the block printed and embroidered khadi wear - Indian and Indo Western outfits, are very popular for occasional wear.” She says that the fact that khadi is very suitable for the local clime, has also added to its popularity- in clothing as well as home linen.

With unisexual clothes ruling the fashion scene, the men and women’s designer wear - kurtas, shirts, and Aligarhi pyjamas, kurtis, kameez, tops, wrap- arounds, trousers, spaghetti tops and tank tops - the Indian, Indo- Western and Western line at Khadder, Sector 17, too, is attracting a lot of people. “ The lurex outfits and sequin embroidered kurtis, are preferred for party wear, the tie -and- dye, striped fabric for both men and women wear is preferred by men. With khadi having been promoted by various top Indian designers in their fashion shows, and the fabric also making an appearance in international fashion shows, a lot of youngsters are getting hooked to khadi, “ says Garima Sharma, manager of Khadder. 



Fitness Trail
Having a flat midriff is everyone’s dream
Renu Manish Sinha


  • Work your abs to limit by keeping them as tight as possible during all ab exercises
  • Even while, walking, jogging, during aerobics, floor exercises, etc keep your stomach muscles pulled in.
  • While doing crunches or other ab exercises, crunch slowly because if you crunch fast, form is sacrificed and muscles do not get the desired benefit.

According to a Finnish study, a man’s risk of having coronary diseases increase as inches on his spare tyre expands:

Waist size (in inches) Risk of heart disease

32 Average

33 — 34 38 per cent increase

35 — 37 89 per cent increase

More than 38 102 per cent increase

Rashmi, an aerobics instructor with Oceanic, Panchkula, performs an abdominal crunch
Rashmi, an aerobics instructor with Oceanic, Panchkula, performs an abdominal crunch.

Have you got a spare tyre or two that you badly want to shake off ? But these do not go away, no matter what you do and stick around where you hate it the most — your middle.

A stream of TV infomercials all day round will readily make us believe that ab anxiety ranks up there with death and taxes. Everybody is in search of this hard-to-reach but not impossible target — a flat midriff and a toned abdomen. Whether you are on a weight reducing spree or desire a toned body, a flat stomach is always the first thing on the fitness wish list.

The abdominal muscles play a major role in keeping the body in alignment by providing stabilisation to the lower back.

But today’s sedentary lifestyle, which is a major factor in rising obesity levels, plays havoc with this large muscle group leaving it weak and poorly toned. The result is a flabby and fleshy stomach. Having a baby or an abdominal surgery also weakens the ab muscles leaving them sagging. Even wearing high heels affect the tilt of the pelvis and cause an increased curvature of spine. This in turn will extend the ab muscles forward.

Apart from the sedentary lifestyle, faulty eating habits are other major culprit behind the increasing girth.

Today’s fast-paced generation does everything on the go. Having a meal is no longer in fashion so we grab a bite and gulp the food down. In the process we hardly chew the food. Since saliva produced by chewing is necessary for digestion, the undigested food settles in the stomach, turning into fat.

Also as we gulp down the food a large amount of air is swallowed causing a bloated stomach. Drinking through a straw or eating with mouth wide open can also lead to swallowing of air.

Water retention may also lead to a bloated stomach. Hormonal changes in a female body before the periods or a high intake of salt also causes water retention.

Dyspepsia (acidity) or flatulence (gas in stomach) may also give a feeling of a bloated stomach. Apart from these, medical problems like constipation, stones in gall bladder or ulcers in stomach, too, can cause heaviness in stomach, heart burn, nausea, gas formation, acidity etc, says Dr Neelu Malhotra of Silver Oaks, Mohali.

Hurry, worry and curry have been listed as the major causes of ulcers, adds Dr Malhotra.

Fruits and vegetables with a high-water content like cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, radish etc give a bloated feeling. It is advisable to add a dash of lemon juice or black pepper while eating these raw. Add hing or ajwain while cooking these food items, adds Dr Malhotra. Whole pulses, rajmah, chana are some other foods which can cause heaviness. Even peas and milk can cause gas formation in some persons.

Ginger, lemon or lemon juice, kala namak, hing, saunf, ajwain, pipli should be included in the diet to counter these problems, suggests Dr Malhotra.

Apart from taking care of the diet, some sort of physical activity or exercise should be included in our daily routine so as to burn extra calories.

Include these simple exercises in your workout to tone up ab muscles and to achieve a flat midriff.

1 Curl Up

A. Lie on your back with legs bent and feet shoulder width apart. Rest head on your fingertips with elbows bent.

B. Tighten abdominal muscles and curl up to raise shoulders off the floor and count 2. Hold and lower slowly. Build up to 15 to 20 repetitions.

2 Reverse Curl

 A. Lie on your back with hands on sides. Bend knees so that your feet are off the floor and knees over hips at about 90°. Tighten abdominal muscles.

B. Gently tilt pelvis up by bringing knees towards chest, count 2. Build up to 15 to 20 repetitions.

C. Do not swing legs or rock; relax arms, neck and shoulders; lower smoothly.

3 Alternate Curl Up

A. Lie with feet apart and flat on the floor, with knees bent. Place hands behind ears with elbows bent.

B. Tighten abdominal muscles and curl up, count 2, then bring left shoulder to left knee and vice versa. Lower slowly. Do 15 to 20 repetition on each side.

4. Standing Stabiliser

Stand with feet parallel, hip-width apart, place hands on hips. Inhale as you raise right knee in front, stop at hip level. Pull in your stomach and hold (use a chair or wall for maintaining balance).

5. Foot Push

Because legs and hips are heavy and hard to lift than upper body this move is even better than a crunch

A. Lie on back, hands at sides, hold legs in air, straight from hips. Exhale and contract abs by pulling stomach muscles in while pushing feet up, hips will tilt forward slightly and lift legs a few inches.

B. Hold and inhale as you lower legs slowly. Repeat 15 times. Do one to two sets of 15.

Along with these exercises give yourself good cardio workout to shed off extra pounds. For this a minimum 30-minute jogging, running, fast walking is required before doing these exercises, recommends Jasbir Kaur of Oceanic, Mohali.


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