C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


It will be no cakewalk for high-scorers
Admissions to class XI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
With over 10,500 applications being submitted for admission against around 8,800 seats in various streams in government senior secondary schools of the city, it will not be a cakewalk for the high scorers seeking admission in class XI to the top-rated government schools in the city.

Today being last date to submit the application forms, there was a huge rush at the Government Model Senior School (GMSSS), Sector 23, here. Seeing the rush of the applications, officials in the UT Education Department believe this year’s cut off percentage would break all the previous records.

The persons manning the sale counters at the GMSSS, Sector 23, told The Tribune that around 11,500 applications had been sold and in the last two days, after the date to submit the forms was extended, around 2000 application forms had been submitted. The department had extended the last date from June 26 to June 29 as there was delay in declaration of the result of class X by the Punjab School Education Board.

Expecting a high demand, the UT Education Department has already increased around 430 seats in the science and commerce streams, depending upon the area specific demand for the subjects. The number of subjects in the vocational stream have also been increased, said a senior official of the education department.

The move to increase the number of seats for class XI has also been propelled by the rising cut off percentage, said the DPI( Schools), Mr D.S.Mangat.

Last year the cut-off percentage for commerce and science stream touched 71.2 per cent and 84.4 per cent, respectively. The admission in the government-run schools was done through a centralised system.

The total number of seats in the science, commerce and arts stream were 2700, 1230 and 3940, respectively. The interviews would begin from July 2 and go on till July 17.


Seminar on technical education
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 29
A four-day development programme to create awareness on competition and changing scenario in technical education , started today at the Shaheed Udham Singh College of Engineering and Technology, Tangori, near here.

The seminar sponsored by the All-India Council of Technical Education will focus on areas requiring improvement in the quality of education in engineering colleges. The idea is to develop human resources in engineering colleges of the region.

The first day’s function and workshop was specially designed for managements, principals, directors, deans and head of departments of engineering colleges of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. About 50 professionals participated in the workshop.

Prof N.S. Ramaswamy, chairman of the India Heritage Academy, Bangalore, conducted a session on “ Technical education scenario and value based management.” 


New courses in bio-sciences
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The GGDSD College, Sector 32, has introduced different courses in bio-seciences. The new courses are being offered to students from the new academic session, according to the Principal of the college, Dr A.C.Vaid here today.

He said bio-sciences was an area in which the college would offer specialised courses, keeping in mind the need of the industry and avenues of employment. The infrastructure required to teach the subjects was being readied in a building coming up on the college premises.

The college was among the 45 institutions across the country which had been selected by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to run M.S.c (Hons) bio-informatics. Dr Vaid said the college had on its own framed the curriculum for B.Sc ( Hons) bio-informatics. The college authorities had also decided to introduce courses like bio-chemistry, B.Sc (Hons) in bio-technology, post graduate diploma in tourism and travel management and mass communication.


Withdraw notification: school board body
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 29
The Punjab School Education Board (Non-teaching) Employees association condemned the decision of the Sarv Siksha Abhiyan Authority and the Social Welfare Department of getting book printed at their own level at a rally held here today.

The association demanded that the government should withdraw the notification issued in this regard by July 15, failing which the association would be compelled to intensify the agitation. It said that even depots located at district levels would be involved in the protest.

The union leaders said the board was getting no grant from the government and it was sustaining itself only the income it earned by printing books.

Mr Bhagwant Singh Bedi, general secretary, said the board had the copyright to print the books in question. He said even a deputation of the Board of Directors had met the Chief Minister in this regard and he had given assurance that the decision would be reviewed. But soon after a notification was issued by the government under Section 21 of the board which was against the interests of the board as well as the employees.

He said it had been alleged that substandard paper was used by the board for the books and even the printing was not up to the mark. Moreover, the prices fixed for the books were too high.

He said the board was running nine Adarsh Schools from the profits it earned from the printing of books. If the government did not withdraw the notification, all these schools would close down. The board would also be compelled to raise the fee structure of the admission forms drastically in order to support itself financially.


PU declares results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Panjab University declared the results of BA I, MA II (Ancient Indian History and Archaeology), MA I (Fine arts) examination conducted in April-May this year, here today.

The result gazettes will be available at the new enquiry office of the university for consultation and personal enquiry from 11 am tomorrow and on all working days between 10 am and 4 pm.

The result will also be available on the university website www:puchd.ac.in from 11 am. No telephonic enquiry will, however, be entertained, according to the Controller of Examinations.

Representation submitted: Students of Panjab University have appealed to the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to fill up the Class I and Class II posts lying vacant in the state.

In a signed representation submitted here today, the students have urged the Punjab Government to formulate and adopt a criterion to regularise the holding of PCS (Executive) and Allied Services Examinations to fill vacant posts.

Giving details, the representation adds that since 1993, the examinations for the said posts had been held only once in 1998 during the term of the Badal Government.

Claiming that not only bigger states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan but even smaller states like Himachal Pradesh conduct such examinations to fill all such posts annually. Haryana had recently started conducting these examinations annually. The representation states that in view of these facts, the Punjab Government should take steps to put a policy of holding annual examinations in place.

Rush at PU counters: Long queues of students continued at the university counters for submission of admission forms, here today. Tomorrow being the last day to submit forms, students and parents began arriving at the campus since early morning.

The guidance bureau of various students’ organisations had a hectic day, accompanying applicants to the administrative block, guiding them and helping them to fill up their forms and have certificates in order. 


PU to start Shanti Rani Sahni Scholarship
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Punjab University will start giving scholarships to UIET students from the next academic session. The Shanti Rani Sahni Scholarship worth Rs 1000 per month will be given to a needy and meritorious student for a period of 10 months every year. The scholarship will continue for all the four years of study provided the student passes all examinations without any reappears.

The scholarship has been named after the mother of Dr Paramdeep S. Sahni, a former student of PU, who donated $ 5000 to Panjab University.


Doctor moves court for anticipatory bail
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 29
Dr Anil Kaushal, who was booked by the Health Department under the PNDT Act on the charges of performing illegal abortion, today moved a local court for anticipatory bail.

Accusing the Health Department of “falsely implicating” him, Dr Kaushal claimed that Sunita had come to his clinic with acute abdominal pain and he had given medicine for that ailment only.

It may recalled that the department had sent Sunita to the clinic of Dr Kaushal as a decoy for the illegal termination of pregnancy (MTP). Though the department claimed that the MTP was performed, the doctor denied the charges, sources added.


Exposing rural Punjabis to Shakespeare magic
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Punjabi theatre is suddenly opening up to new possibilities. Shedding its traditional image, it is adopting new techniques for theatrical communication, besides taking up challenging themes that have historical relevance. One such experiment in novelty is being done by Media Artists, an organisation involving people from different media.

They have embarked upon the project of translating “Macbeth”, the legendary creation of Shakespeare in Punjabi for the first time. Although Shakespeare has been translated in Punjabi earlier, but all those exercises have been purely academic in nature. What makes the present attempt unique is the element of novelty and surprise that stems from the use of Punjabi for reflecting the prowess of Shakespeare. Also, the team involved in adaptation, casting and production is a true representation of Punjab in that it features theatre experts from Patiala, and the actors taken from villages of the state.

Jatinder Preet from Media Artists told The Tribune, “It is for the first time that Shakespeare has been adapted by a theatre person who understands the theatrical requirements of staging a play. In fact, Shakespeare has never ever been attempted at this scale in Punjabi. What makes the Punjabi adaptation of “Macbeth” stand apart is the transposition of an English setting into our own milieu. The folk music incorporated in the play imbues it with Punjabi ethos all the more. For our part, we are indulging in something blissful.”

The idea originated out of the need to expose rural Punjabis to the magic of Shakespeare, and his vast literary corpus, laced with varied emotions. “Macbeth”, with its classicism, was the natural choice of director Samual John, alumni of Punjabi University, Patiala, and also a full-time theatre activist. The play has been adapted by Balram, who also has a postgraduate degree from Punjabi University, Patiala.

Working on the concept was not easy, given the challenge which any play of Shakespeare poses when it comes to its adaptation in regional languages. But with the current adaptation of “Macbeth” in Punjabi over and the script ready, the director and his team of village actors have been camping in Lehragaga, a tiny, nondescript village of Sangrur, practising emotion. Lehragaga is hosting the theatre team these days and is also serving as an ideal location for emoting the Shakespearean saga of greed and hatred.

The director says, “The rehearsals are going on in full swing at the open air theatre in the village. The small theatre in the midst of lush paddy fields makes an unusual but perfect setting for rehearsals. The enthusiasm and energy of amateur artists from nearby villages guided by professional and experienced theatre activists is a heady combination. The rehearsal process is an exhilarating experience in itself.”

The play will first open to the village audience at Sangrur. It will later be staged in Ludhiana on July 15. From Ludhiana, it will be taken all over the state.


Fitness Trail
Fad diets are not for keeps
Renu Manish Sinha

Celebraties on fad diets Atkins admirers: Geri Halliwell, Sarah Jessica Parker. South Beach followers: Bill and Hilary Clinton. In the Zone: Jennifer Anniston, Brad Pitt, Madonna, Cindy Crawford, Mathew Perry, Demi Moore, Sandra Bullock.

Let food be your medicine, and let medicine be your food, said Hippocrates. But the Gen X refuses to believe this centuries-old advice of the great physician. For it believes that food is just a tool to mould your body according to the fashion of the moment, whether skinny is in or well-endowed bodies are popular.

Food or ‘diet’ as is popularly known as, just something to decrease or increase the kilos. Though 99 per cent of the time it is to decrease the kilos.

This obsession with the weight has this entire generation in search of a perfect diet which will get their body into shape (read skinny). This constant search for a perfect weight loss plan has them flitting from one food plan to another. It has spawned a whole industry of fad diets trying to cash on this obsession of Gen X. From no-carb to all carb, to no-sugar to no-protein to no-starch to only cabbage-soup, various fad diets have tried all kinds of permutations and combination to hit upon the perfect diet.

Since many Hollywood stars too have tried many of these diets at one time or another for youngsters it is sort of an endorsement of these diets though city-based nutritionists speak against these diets in one voice.

The high protein/high-fat/low-carb diet was designed Dr Robert Atkins. In this diet plan you can have unlimited amount of protein, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, butter, mayonnaise, cheese etc. This diet also allows a good amount of fat unlike other diets. But carbs are restricted. Foods like bread, roti, grains, brown rice, starchy vegetables like potatoes, lentils, dosa, jowar, bajra, corn, carrots, beans, onions and all fruits are also banned. Because Dr Atkins claims those carb-rich foods stimulate appetite and make people hungry.

The diet plan claims to switch the body’s metabolism to a fat-burning system. Normally the body burns carbs first for energy requirements not touching fat reserves of the body. But if carbs are unavailable then the body turns to stored fat reserves changing the metabolic rate of the body and the person loses weight in the process.

The initial weight loss takes place due to increased metabolic rate as protein takes three to four hours to digest and fat takes four to eight hours.

However, the rapid weight loss in initial phase is mostly water loss and not fats loss. During this water loss, vitamins and minerals also leech out of the body says Dr Sudha Khurana, Consultant Dietician, Department of Dietetics, PGI. This puts the load on kidneys.

Also a high-protein diet will produce more nitrogenous waste in body affecting the kidneys, asserts Dr Neelu Malhotra, Diet Consultant, Silver Oaks, Mohali.

When the body burns fat in absence of carbs, the fat does not get burnt completely releasing substances called ketones into blood. Ketones are toxic cells producing a condition called ketosis, which suppresses appetite. Ketosis causes nausea, dizzy spells and fluid loss. Ketone production in diabetes and pregnant women can have adverse effects said Dr Malhotra.

Also when ketones get oxidised we need anti-oxidants to counter their harmful effects. But as veggies and fruits are restricted in this diet plan anti-oxidants are not available to body, says Dr Khurana.

This diet is not good for diabetics or people having heart, kidney problems or high BP.

A diet high in fat and low in fibre can increase the risk of heart disease, high BP, stroke, diabetes, various cancers (colon, prostate) constipation, headaches, dehydration etc. says Dr Malhotra.

High intake of animal proteins over a long period can cause liver disorders and possible bone loss (as too much protein leads to acidic urine causing calcium to leech out of bones), she further adds.

Cabbage soup or General Motors Diet: General Motors Inc developed this diet plan for its employees and their families in 1985. During this plan you can eat as much cabbage soup as you want plus various offbeat food combinations.

On day one all fruits. Day two all veggies are allowed. Day three fruits and veggies (except bananas and potatoes). Day four bananas and milk only. Day five meat and potatoes. Day six meat and veggies. Day seven brown rice, fruit juice plus veggies. Soup is a constant feature on all seven days.

This plan claims to detoxify the system. Since the choice is restricted the calorie-intake is less leading to weight loss.

But one cannot stick to this regime for long, says Dr Malhotra. All major food groups required on a daily basis are missing. This kind of restrictive plan encourages binge eating and can cause depression, iron deficiency, nausea, says Dr Malhotra.

This is a monotonous plan, not sufficiency balanced lacks many minerals and vitamins, says Dr Khurana. It is like sleeping all day once a week or eating all day once a week. Since body needs to perform all functions on a daily basis, similarly a balanced diet is a daily requirement, adds Dr Khurana.

There has been other fad diets, which have been quite popular.

Fit for life: Designed by Harney and Marilyn Diamond in early 1980’s this diet plan says when proteins and carbs are eaten together they cannot be digested by our digestive system as enzymes that digest protein nullify the enzymes that digest carbs and vice-versa. This plan recommends eating only fruit till noon and for lunch and dinner a carb-only or a protein-only meal. Dairy foods are banned, as are fish, chicken, mutton, eggs etc.

Not a balanced diet as food combining may create deficiency of zinc, calcium, vitamin D, B-12 and protein. Difficult diet to be followed by Indians. Imagine eating rice without rajmah or curry.

Beverly Hills diet: actress Judy Mazel designed it. It includes various offbeat food combinations and relies heavily on fruits. It says fruits like papaya can soften body fat, pineapple burns it off and watermelon flushes it out. Monotonous and severely restrictive it is unhealthy as it results in inadequate intake of fat, protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin B-12 and essential fatty acids. Not a long-term option says Dr Malhotra.

South Beach diet: Authoured by cardiologist Dr Arthur Agatston it was designed for heart patients to lower cholesterol and for diabetics. It encourages you to have healthy carbs and bans processed carbs. Also recommends good fats like olive oil, nuts, omega-3 fats from fish and fish oils and bans trans fats. Low-fat protein foods skimmed milk, skin-less chicken, egg whites, fish grains etc are recommended.

The Zone: The zone diet comprises 40 per cent carbs, 30 per cent proteins, 30 per cent fats. This is reportedly a hunters/gatherers type diet which claims humans were genetically programmed to digest. This diet plan too encourages you to have good carbs and good fats and avoid processed carbs and trans fats. When you are in the zone you will have more energy; less hunger and cravings, better mental focus and you will soon achieve your optimum weight. Frequent small meals are recommended (with four to five hours between every meal and 2.5 hours after a snack whether you are hungry or not). You are not supposed to remain hungry as being in the zone means your mental focus is heightened, that is not possible when you are hungry.

The only diet that will work in the long run is the one with which you can live all your life, a balanced diet, says both the diet consultants. Both recommend six small meals a day and 30 minutes of exercise for a planned and sustained weight-loss plan.

Celebraties on fad diets

Atkins admirers: Geri Halliwell, Sarah Jessica Parker.

South Beach followers: Bill and Hilary Clinton.

In the Zone: Jennifer Anniston, Brad Pitt, Madonna, Cindy Crawford, Mathew Perry, Demi Moore, Sandra Bullock.


Celebration time at Inlingua

Inlingua International School of Languages, in association with AIESEC — the world’s largest youth global network body - organized a “Blue & Yellow” celebration party at Hideout in North Park Hotel, on Monday night.

The celebrations were on account of the unique partnership between AIESEC and Inlingua and the successful commencement of activities by Inlingua in Chandigarh. Inlingua has more than 300 institutes spread over 30 countries worldwide and enrolls nearly 5 lakh students every year. Over 150 students and faculty members danced enthusiastically to foot-tapping numbers belted out by the DJ. The presence of AIESEC’s interns from all parts of the world added an international flavour. Apart from foot-tapping music, a laser show was also organised. The bash which started late in the evening, continued till midnight.

According to the Gaurav Singhal, Corporate Relations Manager, AIESEC, “the theme of the party was “Blue & Yellow” to signify the partnership between AIESEC and Inlingua. Blue stood for AIESEC’s vast global network while yellow depicted Inlingua spreading the light of knowledge, crossing all barriers.” Former local committee presidents of AIESEC, Chandigarh, Pancham, Avneet and Sarthak were also there to grace the occasion.

Mr Mohit Chitkara, Director, Inlingua International School of Languages, said on the occasion: “Music, fun and enjoyment is a universal language the world over and Inlingua is happy to share this language with AIESEC. TNS


Live-in relationship finds takers in city
Swarleen Kaur

Most of us won’t readily agree to the idea of a couple living together without getting married. Nevertheless the concept of live-in relationships is catching up in big cities.

For business executive Jatin Sharma live-in relationship is a stepping stone towards marriage. “It will helps us to understand each other better. Before committing myself to the other for whole life, it is important to know that we vibe well,” he says.

But for some like dental surgeon Neha Aggarwal it is an assertion of her individuality. With varied interests like trekking, painting and travelling, she feels that marriage will require a lot of sacrifices from her, which she is not ready for. Unlike in West, the whole responsibility and burden of adjustment falls on woman. This saps her energy and leaves little time for pursuing another interests of life.

Sandeep and Jyoti who are living together from past two years are of the opinion that, “A mismatched marriage could ruin your life. But it makes sense to live with a person who shares your interests and understand your feelings. For that person securing social approval is a secondary thing.”

A similar feeling is echoed by a city-based fashion designer Nikita who is divorced. At present she is living with her mother and does not want to get married again.

“My trust in this institution is shaken. I can’t commit myself to a person for whole of my life unless I know him totally. I would prefer a live-in relationship if it culminates into marriage it would be good, if not I would be thankful for having escaped another disaster,” she said.

But Sidartha, a city-based medical college student, has a different opinion that live-in relationships point at increasing distrust in marriage. Most of these ties lack depth and emotional commitment. Though this trend is not new in the city but still there are such couples in the city as compare to metropolitan cities.

“Moreover these kind of relationships are not acceptable by the Indian society,” he said.

According to Panchkula-based psychologist, Mohan Sharma these relationships have both negative and positive sides. He believes that relationships become meaningful only when both partners are committed to each other then the question of marriage does not hold much significance. However, if one partner is not honest and sincere then the other suffers.

He also feels that girls have to bear the brunt of such relationships. They are emotionally insecure and find no support from their parents. On the positive sides gives freedom to both to men and women to live according to their ideals.

Ms Radhika Kapur, who is mother of 7-year-old girl, says that she won’t mind if one day her daughter will go for live-in relationship. She feels that in a marriage a woman’s contribution both emotional and physical is taken for granted.

“In times to come the number of such couples will increase and society will give them recognition too,” she said.


All set to enjoy college life

IT is the beginning of college life for those students who have just cleared plus two exams. This is the time when their eyes are set on career and at the same time the desire to taste the fun and frolic of college life is equally strong.

While brilliant and ambitious students are seeking entry to medical, engineering colleges and other professional courses, average students seem to be in a dilemma.

With a majority of them opting for commerce or humanities stream, big rush of students can be seen on the campuses of government colleges for women and men, DAV College, MCM College and other colleges.

While some are lucky to enjoy the fruit of their labour, a few are low in spirits. Take the case of Sonia Kapur who is endowed with artistic abilities. She had worked hard to get admission into the Government College of Arts but compartment in history shattered her hopes. Unable to secure admission there, she is now exploring other avenues.

There are many like her who have no clear map drawn for the future.

With parents pressurising them into choosing a job-oriented course, many of them are confused, says Chetan, who has cleared plus two in the second division in humanities. “My parents want me to do an MBA or a course in chartered accountancy. But I don’t have any aptitude for the subject. At this moment, I have not decided anything about my future”, he said.

Paramjit, who is equally aimless, is not worried. I will plan a career for myself after my graduation.“Right now I am looking forward to have fun”, he said.

There are many youths like him who want to live life to full without having career anxieties. Deepika is not also keen to focus on career.

“Now I can choose subjects of my own liking and nobody can force me to study subjects which I don’t like. And I guess I will have a lot of fun”, she said.

It is also a shopping time for many students.

Mangla Bhardwaj, who is seeking admission in MCM College, has recently bought an Activa Honda scooter and a new mobile phone.

She said, “I am tired of wearing school uniform but now I am keen to acquire a trendy wardrobe. I have already bought good pairs of jeans and a lot of T-shirts of my favourite colours”.

Similarly, Divya who wants to join Government College, Sector 11, has bought stone-washed jeans and matching trendy hand bags to look cool. Her father presented her a stylish mobile phone. She is also taking lessons of personality development to gain confidence.


Top audio-visual brands under one roof

Top international audio and video brands have come under one roof with the opening of the Yamaha AV World here.

A brain-child of Mr Rajnish Gill, an electronics graduate from the Jadhavpur University, the exclusive mega store boasts of some of the best products the electronic world has to offer to the discerning buyers. Aesthetically designed on the principle of “music as good as it sounds”, the owners claimed that it had one of the largest variety of the hi-end electronic products available towards this side of New Delhi.

“It is the one-stop solution to your all audio and video needs,” says Mr Gill adding that his target client list included discotheques, pubs, auditoriums, recording studios and gardens besides the homes. Besides sales and service, consultancy and installations are the other services offered by the company.

The products included home theatre systems,world space receivers, high-definition plasma TVs, projection TVs, projectors, DVD players and audio systems. Toshiba, Dynaudio, Mission, LG, JBL are international brands on sale at the electronic supermarket. — TNS

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