C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CBSE-affiliated schools under scanner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The CBSE-affiliated schools which are allowing the use of their premises for running coaching classes for students of other boards have come under the scanner of the board. It is learnt that action would be taken against such schools, which enrolled students and made them sit in examination of other boards, especially the Punjab School Education Board.

The modus operandi of such schools was to enroll weak candidates as private candidates and make them appear in examination of different state boards.

Officials feel that such schools were spoiling the name of the CBSE by enrolling and coaching students of other boards.

As per the Chapter-II (norms of affiliation) of the CBSE, the institution affiliated to the board would not be allowed to send candidates for appearing in the examination of any other board or university. The institution could prepare candidates for the secondary and senior secondary examinations of the CBSE only. The general principle has to be followed at that affiliation for classes higher than senior secondary.

The Chairman of the board in a recent interview with Chandigarh Tribune had clearly stated that the board would not allow schools affiliated with it to seek affiliation from another board or institution. The board could disaffiliate those violating the norms.

The issue of the schools allowing its premises to provide education has to come to light with the case of private candidate who could not sit in the matriculation examination of the Punjab School Education Board as Sanjay Public School did not allegedly issue the roll number. While the school authorities have denied any violation, the CBSE has sought an explanation from the school.


Seminar on female foeticide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Laying stress on the growing imbalance in sex ratio, Ms Ranjana Shahi, a councillor, stated that Punjab and Haryana, considered prosperous states, also reported a number of female foeticide cases.

The seminar was organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad at Gandhi Bhavan, Panjab University. As many as 90 slogans were received in a contest organised during the seminar. Astha from a medical institute and Rajiv from DAV College were declared winners.

Memorandum submitted: A demand to start Ph. D in Defence Studies was made by a delegation of Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU), Panjab University, here today. Mr Rajwinder Singh and Joint Secretary of the Panjab University Campus Students’ Council, submitted a memorandum to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak. They also urged the Dean University Instruction, Dr S.K. Sharma, and Dr R.C. Sobti to shift the BSc-I English paper from April 11 to April 12 since the date clashes with the All-India CBSE pre-medical test. With a few students appearing for the CBSE exam, the authorities accepted this demand as well.


Mock interviews for IAS aspirants
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
For the first time, the Panjab University IAS Coaching Centre has announced the starting of practice interviews for students who have cleared the IAS (Main) examinations, the results of which were announced yesterday.

According to the coordinator of the centre, Ms Belu Maheshwari, mock interviews for those who have cleared the written test will begin this week. The Union Public Service Commission has slated the interviews from April 5 onwards.

She said the centre had invited serving and retired bureaucrats and other personalities from various disciplines to conduct mock interviews. She said a series of such exercises would equip candidates to handle real-time pressure better, besides sharpening their skills to face the seven-member UPSC board.

The centre would charge minimum fee, she added.

Ms Maheshwari said the centre would also be starting personality development and communication skill classes for PU students from April 7. These classes will also be run on no-profit-no-loss basis.

She said that a number of top professionals from different areas of specialization have been sounded to be on the faculty and the Centre aims to create resources which will help in bringing about all round development in an aspirant’s personality.

PU, she said, had done well as far as its share in the IAS is concerned and now the Centre plans to broadbase its activities by including other competitive examinations in its fold. Mrs Maheshwari said that HCS (E) coaching classes have already begun along with those for the judicial services.


High Court
Govt directed to show liquor auction record
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Taking up a petition filed by a liquor contractor against the clubbing of Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr circles, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the placing of auction record before it.

Appearing before the Bench, comprising Mr Justice N.K. Sud and Mr Justice Hemant Gupta, Mr Mohan Jain argued on petitioner Sanjeev Bhandari’s behalf that a document was prepared to regularise the auction proceedings.

Refuting state’s claim of acting in public interest, Mr Jain added that the petitioner was willing to pay Rs 5 crore more than the successful bidder. The auction, he added, was completely hijacked by liquor baron Ponti Chadha’s group.

In his petition, Mr Bhandari had alleged that liquor vends in Nawanshahr were allotted to Mr Chadha’s firm for Rs 37 crore against available bid of Rs 40 crore.

He had added that the auction for vends in Hoshiarpur was closed at Rs 70 crore despite the fact that the petitioner and his associates had offered Rs 72 crore. He had further alleged that the entire process of auctioning liquor vends of Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Jalandhar was completed within a few minutes in violation of the licence rules, auction conditions and directions issued by the high court.

DSPs’ selection

A bunch of petitions challenging the process of selecting and appointing Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSP) in Punjab will come up for hearing before a three-Judge Bench of the high court on April 1.

A direction to this effect was issued by a Division Bench of the high court, comprising Chief Justice Mr Justice B.K. Roy and Mr Justice Surya Kant Sharma, after counsel for the state informed the court that similar petitions were pending before different courts.

In one such petition, Jaskaran Singh Brar had submitted that the entire process of selection, right from the issuance of advertisement, to the dispatch of appointment letters, was completed in an extraordinary haste. Describing the process as “tainted”, the petitioner had added that mala fide conduct of the state was conspicuous from the circumstances.

The petitioner had asserted that the state and other respondents were likely to recruit the “wards of influential people”.

Notice issued

Challenging Election Commission of India’s directions regarding the removal of hoardings and advertisements, a social organisation on Tuesday claimed that the same would put pressure on the public exchequer.

In its petition against the commission, the states of Punjab and Haryana, besides the Union Territory of Chandigarh, city-based National Consumer Awareness Group added that the party coming to power would again erect hoardings spending public money in the process.

Taking up the petition, a Division Bench of the high court, comprising Chief Justice Mr Justice B.K. Roy and Mr Justice Surya Kant Sharma, issued notice of motion for March 31.


High Court tells PU to cooperate on Senator’s plea
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
In a petition filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Panjab University’s sitting Senator Pawan Valecha today alleged that the university was creating hindrance in the decision of an election petition filed by him.

The petitioner had claimed that he had questioned the election of Mr G.K. Chathrath and Ranvir Partap Asija by filing a petition on January 27. Acting on the petition, the Vice-President of India’s office had called for Panjab University’s comments. But despite a lapse of over 40 days the university was intentionally withholding comments thereby creating hindrance. He added that the university authorities were siding with the elected candidates.

A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, comprising Mr Justice Swatantar Kumar and Mr Justice Amar Dutt, directed Panjab University’s Chancellor to decide the petition filed under Section 38 of the Panjab University Act, within a month. The university was also directed to co-operate in the disposal of the petition without any delay.


Gandhi ‘frustrated’ in modern India
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 16
A two-day theatre festival organised by the local Adakar Manch started at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh today.

The festival was organised to celebrate World Theatre Day, which falls on March 27.

The festival started with the Hindi play ‘Gandhi ki wapsi’, directed by Zulfikar Khan. It is a political and social satire in which various scams like ‘gurda kand’ and ‘chara ghotala’ are highlighted.

In the play, Narad Muni brings back Mahatma Gandhi to the land for whose independence a long and hard battle had been fought. But unfortunately, nobody recognises him. He has to introduce himself to the people. At one point, he is arrested.

Gandhiji feels frustrated as he sees that the caste system and other social evils still prevail. He does not want to stay in the land for whose freedom he had played a big role.

He laments that the freedom of the country has not come in the form in which martyrs had dreamt of.

Dr Sahib Singh of the manch said 27 children from slums acted in the play. The aim was to create confidence in them. He said a two-day festival in connection with the celebrations of World Theatre Day would be organised at Beas from March 26.


Bhangra exchange programmes planned

After getting his foothold on the foreign soil as a bhangra artiste, Avtar Singh Chana, is all set to start bhangra exchange programmes for bhangra troupes between India and Canada. The programme aims at providing a platform to the university students to showcase their talent in front of the audience at the international level.

“The idea came to me when I went as a judge for the World Bhangra and Dhol Competition organised by the Bhangra National Multicultural Association in Toronto this year,” says this city-based bhangra dancer who was honoured with “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the association.

Avtar Chana who learnt bhangra initially from Mohinder Singh and later Garib Singh and Mali Ram, all outstanding bhangra dancers of the region, has been performing bhangra since 1973. To popularise this folk dance on the foreign soil, Chana has been conducing workshops in countries like the Czech Republic and London.


Yash Chopra to shoot in Ropar area

Yash ChopraAditya Chopra was joined by father Yash Chopra in Chandigarh today. Accompanied by his crew, the legendary film-maker landed in the city, ready to explore its beauty to enhance the strength of his visuals.

The father-son duo will camp here for a while, as they shoot for the new, still-untitled film that will feature Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee and Preity Zinta in lead roles. While the director and technicians are here, the lead cast of the film will start pouring in from tomorrow.

Busy organising things all this day, Yash Chopra hardly made himself available for talks. Right from the airport where he arrived at about 2 pm, the director began working things out for the shooting that will commence from tomorrow. He, however, put to rest all rumours about Shahrukh and Preity being in the city today.

“They will arrive tomorrow and day after, when the shooting begins. Aditya has been here to set things right. He has scripted the film, which will have a strong element of Punjabi culture. We have specifically chosen Chandigarh and the surrounding locales because we wish to reflect the nuances of Punjabiyat in our new film, which I am directing. The film’s music will be released by September, while the film itself will come by Divali. It is a romantic story but not the mundane triangle.”

Flanked by crew members, the director then made his way to Hotel Mount View, where he remained unavailable for a long time again. Interestingly, everyone in his camp is quite tight-lipped about the film, which is already evoking interest because of the element of mystery shrouding its title.

It was only later that Yash Chopra, who was earlier in Chandigarh to hunt for a suitable location, spared time to speak about the purpose behind his visit. The shooting of the film will take place around Ropar. TNS


Ashutosh Rana rules out politician’s role
Aditi Tandon

Unfazed by the tide that has swept many Bollywood stars towards political parties, Ashutosh Rana is concentrating on his new role. For sometime now he is literally being chased around by political parties that would love to cash on his popularity, notwithstanding his “villainous” portrayals on the screen. But discerning as he is, Ashutosh knows how to keep “unwanted” elements at bay, lest his ideals suffer.

As we catch up with the actor, who is here to shoot for Anil Sharma’s Indo-Pak tussle inspired film, “Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon”, he gives us interesting sound bites, some of them extremely pertinent in the wake of politics turning glamorous.

“This trend could have been healthy had the new entrants to politics been convinced about their decision. It is not important what you are doing. More important is why you are doing it,” asserted Ashutosh while hinting that he was under pressure to join politics. Dismissing any such move, he added, “I am too much of an individualist to join politics. I love transparency and our system lacks it. So there is no match. I would rather float a party of voters and release their manifesto than buy the false promises of politicians. Issue-based politics is what we need and I don’t see this dream being realised in the near future.”

Interestingly, if ever Ashutosh has his way, he would raise such questions in films. But he strongly feels that the Indians are not ready for such a product. He reasons, “Whenever significant issues are raised in films, people label the film as art cinema. Our audiences are forever seeking definitions for styles. They don’t realise that “classic” refers to something that caters to everyone, irrespective of class. Why talk of audiences, even those who give away awards make distinctions. That explains why the award for best actor never goes to the villain. Do judges imply that only heroes act, while the villains simply hang around on the sets?”

Making references to the autobiography of Adolf Hitler which he is reading these days, Ashutosh says, “It is easy to dismiss people. We know Hitler as the hater of Jews. But we don’t know him as a reformist. I am fascinated by his personality. His power intrigues me. After this book, I will read about Mussolini. We should know what made dictators of plain men.”

Ashutosh’s fascination for the negative is reflected in his portrayals on screen, be it ‘Dushman’ or ‘Sangharsh’, both of which fetched him the Filmfare awards for best actor in a negative role. He will again appear in a negative role in “Ab Tumhare...”, to be shot in Chandigarh from tomorrow. “I play Sikander Khan, who hates India for valid reasons. The storyline has been altered keeping in mind the peace moves between India and Pakistan. It should work, given the director’s commitment.”

Another production in which Ashutosh claims to have “acted brilliantly” is Navkumar Raju’s “Chot”. “After long I feel I have really acted in “Chot” which is much like “Deewar”.” His next film “Shabnam Mausi”, will feature him in the lead role — as Shabnam, the eunuch who contested elections from Madhya Pradesh. TNS


Cashing in on cricket frenzy
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Anything to cash in on the cricket frenzy. From renaming the dishes after ace cricket stars on both sides, to cancelling film shows for telecasting the Indo- Pak day and night match today, the city entrepreneurs are lapping up the opportunity to jack up their sales in the name of “cricket patriotism”.

Never mind if Saurav’s boys beat Inzy’s eleven or the latter rout the army-in-blue at Rawalpindi today, make money while the cricket blitzkrieg lasts is the new mantra. Restaurants and bars in the city claim that the sales were double, with the pubs and restaurants bursting at their seams in the evening, as India began their innings.

Most restaurants and bars have set up huge screens for the fans as they enjoy the match over a beer mug, with Dravidi drumsticks, Parthavi paneer tikka, or Irfani macchi. Other than the cricket crazy city fans, a number of youngsters from the nearby areas of Kharar, Morinda, and even the satellite townships of Panchkula and Mohali were also in the city to watch the match. Sparsh Vohra, a resident of Kharar, and his friends, had come all the way to a restaurant-cum-pub in Sector 35, to watch the match. “With a big screen to watch the match, showering abuses on the arch rivals and cheering the Indian team with beer and snacks flowing, we preferred to watch the match here,” he explains.

Informs Mr D.S. Verma, manager at a hotel in Sector 35, “The number of customers pouring in increased after we announced the plan to telecast the live match by hiring a big screen for the series. As compared to our daily lunch sales of Rs 2000- Rs 2500, the sales during the lunch hours today have touched Rs 6000”.

Agrees Mr Munish Vohra, marketing executive of another hotel, “Though the big screen in the restaurant has always been a crowd puller, but the rush has increased during the ongoing Indo-Pak series”. The restaurant is charging a Rs 200 per head from the cricket fans and a beer of mug (on-the-house) is immediately rushed to each table whenever an Indian player hits a six.

The cricket carnival at a hotel in Sector 17 involved not just the play on the big screen, but hooters and tricolour bandanas were given to all those coming there for enjoying the match. “After all, it is for the first time in 15 years that arch rivals- India and Pakistan, fight it out on the Pak soil. More than who wins the match, the fact that it is a match between the two countries has caught on everybody’s imagination,” says Mr Rahul Kakkar, manager at the hotel. So other than renaming the dishes as Tendulkari tikka, II Indian Platter, Pakistan 11 Platter (with mutton dishes) or Laxman flick (a cocktail), the restaurant is telecasting the match on a screen, while three television sets too beam the scene at the Rawalpindi greens. And instead of today being a Tuesday, fans were just pouring in.

In nearby Panchkula, Suraj Theatre has cancelled its film show on all five days of the match, and after having tied up with Ten Sports, are beaming the telecast on a 1100 square feet screen. They have set up a 12-feet dish, and received duplicate set of decoders to ensure a match free of any technical goof ups. A DJ has been hired to play the “Hindustani” tunes, in the break between the overs. Though the first match of the series on March 13 failed to evoke a good response, a number of fans were found enjoying the match with perfect picture quality and great acoustics, says the proprietor of the cinema, Mr Vipin Jain.


Fitness Trail
No substitute for balanced diet
Renu Manish Sinha

Don’t reach for supplements.A mineral has been defined as an inorganic element obtained by mining. These inorganic elements not only make the earth fertile but are also required for its cellular functions of the body.

Don’t reach for supplements. — Photo by Manoj Mahajan

Vitamins and minerals have become the buzzwords on the health scenario. These promote health, prevent diseases and boost immunity. Since these have so many life-sustaining qualities, we tend to think the more we can take these the better our health will be. This is precisely the reason why we are popping supplements so religiously.

However, health experts warn that supplements cannot substitute a balanced diet but can only supplement it.

According to Dr Neelu Malhotra, Diet Consultant, these disease-fighting minerals and vitamins are absorbed better if taken in form of natural foods rather than from pills or supplements.

While the benefits of vitamins are widely known, minerals are the unsung heroes.

According to Dr Malhotra, there are at least 19 minerals required by the body. But till now the researchers have been able to provide information on 13 elements. According to their body daily body requirement, these minerals have been classified into three groups.

Major minerals

These are required in large amounts, at least 100mg or much more per day by our body e.g. calcium, phosphorus, sodium, chlorine and potassium.

Minor minerals

These are required in smaller quantities by our body — less than 30 mg a day. These include iron, sulphur and magnesium etc.

Micro minerals or trace elements

These are required by the body in miniscule quantities — from 0.5mg -2 mg per day —like chromium, copper, fluorine, iodine, molybdenum, selenium and zinc. Minerals are important for various functions of the body:

These form structural components of bones, teeth, soft tissue, muscles, blood and nerve cells.

  • Minerals help in regulating the activity of nerves with regard to the stimuli and contraction of the nerves.
  • These elements help in maintaining the pH value of body fluids.
  • These substances control the water balance in the body.
  • Minerals help to utilise the food by helping in process of digestion.
  • These substances are part of molecules of hormones and enzymes.
  • These also act as enzyme activators.
  • These regulate cellular oxidation. Presence of minerals in cells helps providing with energy.


Of all minerals, calcium is the most important. A major part of calcium is found in the bones and teeth. Calcium is needed for the clotting of blood, normal muscular activity and development and maintenance of bones.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of calcium is 1200 mg, asserts Dr Malhotra. At least 600-800ml of milk or milk products, besides 4-5 servings of fresh vegetables veggies and fruits and cereals in a normal diet are sufficient for the daily calcium RDA.

Sources: Milk and its products, green leafy vegetables, especially mustard leaves (sarson ka saag), radish leaves, cauliflower leaves, green fenugreek leaves (methi), spinach, betal leaves. Ragi (cereal) is an excellent source of calcium and so are til seeds, kidney beens (rajmah), soyabean and gram. Fish and oysters are also good sources of calcium.

Deficiency or low intake of calcium can weaken bones and teeth. It can also cause osteoporosis (in both men and women). Rickets (softening of bones) is another fall-out. Infantile rickets, especially in pre-mature babies, can cause bow-legged formation of legs, walking is delayed and muscle development is poor.


Another mineral which works in tandem with calcium is phosphorus, informs Dr Malhotra. Phosphorus is required for the normal development and maintenance of bones and teeth. It maintains the acid-base balance of the body.

Deficiency of phosphorus or hypophosphetmia can cause anorexia, weakness, pain in bones, retarded growth and poor teeth and bone formation. The RDA for phosphorus is 800 to 1200 mg, adds Dr Malhotra but for post-menopausal women, it is 1500 mg.

Sources: Milk and its products, meat, poultry products, chicken, egg yolk and almonds .

Absorption of calcium and phosphorus is affected if there is excess dietary fat. Also in patients of liver disorder, there is poor absorption of fat hence calcium absorption is also affected. The absorption of calcium through green leafy vegetables is hampered because of the presence of oxalic acid in these. Hence these vegetables should always be taken in combination with vitamin C sources like lemon, tomatoes or curd etc. These should also be cooked in mixed form or with cereals as their constituency changes when cooked together. Vitamin D is also required for calcium absorption. Between 9-18 years calcium absorption is maximum in our bodies.

While a normal balanced diet can provide us with our daily RDA of calcium and phosphorus. However, in certain cases supplements can be needed and prove beneficial. Calcium supplements are required for pregnant and lactating women, post-menopausal women, old people, persons suffering from rickets etc.


‘Sikh models stand fair chance on the ramp’

Harkaran Singh SandhuIt’s a strange socio- religious paradox. It was to flaunt his good looks that Harkaran Singh Sandhu shaved off his beard and got his hair cut. Now, to be a part of the glitzy glamour world, he has adopted five principles of the Khalsa.

This 21-year-old six-feet tall hunk from Patiala was recently selected as a finalist for the Mr Sikh India contest to be held in Delhi next month. He was picked up by Gurmeet Singh Gill of Launchers — The Modeler, the modelling agency for Sikh models, during the auditions held at Chandigarh last month, and after attending a training module by the agency, has been selected in the final list.

A firm believer in destiny, he says that if Naomi Campbell with her ebony looks could bowl the fashionistas all over the world, Sikh models like him had a fair chance on the ramp.

“In fact, I was so moved by the effort made by Launchers to establish Sikh models that I decided to embibe the principles of Khalsa and then try my luck at modelling. By wearing my turban again, I am getting my respect as a Sikh back,” he says.

A Bachelors in Business Management from Australia and having done a course in hotel management, Harkaran says that he had never thought of modelling as a career. “ I returned back from Australia last year, and was planning to set up a business in hospitality. Being tall and blessed with good looks, and minus the turban, friends and relations would often joke and ask me to try my hand, or rather my feet on the ramp. I never gave it a thought, until last month when my uncle pestered and took me for the auditions last month. I was told to grow my hair and beard and be proud of my religion and its dictats. I obliged, not to gain entry into the glamour industry, but because it struck my consciousness that I have to be proud of what I am,” he says.

Now, Harkaran is trying to build his biceps and getting into shape. He says he now plans to approach the country’s top modelling agencies and try his luck. However, I am not going to lose my Sikh identity but hope that my tall and broad Punjabi physique will get me work. TNS

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |