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EDUCATION

Need to redefine syllabus, says new School Board chief
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 25
Dr Harbans Singh Sidhu joined as the Chairman of the Punjab School Education Board here. Talking to mediapersons, he stated that other than upgradation of the board’s syllabus, there was need to re-define the syllabus.

He said the syllabus would be brought in tune with the changing needs of the times and more job-oriented and futuristic courses would be added. He felt that the burden on students should be reduced and not increased.

A professor of agro-economics at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Dr Sidhu said he would probe the possibility of allowing students to make the choice of their career streams in class VIII rather than after Class X. ‘‘We will have to go into the pros and cons of both systems and then take a decision.” he said.

Stating that he was aware of the problems that mired the board’s examination system, he said he would try to invite cooperation from universities in strengthening the examination system.

He also said he would want to so something for rural education.

In his over 29 years of teaching and research experience, Dr Sidhu has been attending national and international seminars on agricultural economy.

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DAV students asked to enrol voters for PU Senate poll
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The management of DAV institutions has found a novel way to utilise the services of its students to form a ‘vote bank’ for its nominees in the forthcoming Panjab University (PU) Senate elections.

Accordingly, the management of DAV Public School (Sector 8) has assigned a “project” to its students to identify and then enrol former PU students as voters for the Senate elections. Other schools, from KB DAV-7, DAV Senior Secondary-8 and 15 to smaller DAV institutions, have asked their students and teachers to contribute five members each to the “pool”. Also, they have been told to bear the cost of Rs 75 for enrolling five members each.

DAV-7, it is learnt, has enrolled 1100 members, DAV-8 500 and DAV-15 400 members. The smaller schools have contributed between 150 and 350 members each.

As if this was not enough, the students have now been asked to get the “newly enrolled” voters to come to the school for an interaction with the three official candidates of the DAV Managing Committee, who obviously would use the opportunity to campaign for votes. One of the principals admitted that this particular practice had been introduced for the first time to enable voters to understand what the DAV institutions stand for.

Interestingly, an invitation letter has been issued by DAV-8 for the interaction with the candidates and has been addressed to the “parents” rather than the voters. The letter states, “Besides being a privileged parent, a close associate of the school, you are a valuable voter of Panjab University. I hope you are aware that DAV has a tradition of sending up two-three representatives of the DAV faculty for contesting the Panjab University Senate elections in every term.”

While seeking support for Mr D.R. Gupta, Director, DAV College Managing Committee, who is a candidate for the Senate poll, the letter states that the interaction on Saturday would “provide” an opportunity to know him personally.

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PUSU (Shelly) dissolved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
President of the Panjab University Students Union (Shelley), Gurparvez Singh Sandhu, today, dissolved his unit and joined the ABVP with his supporters at a press conference organised by the ABVP at Panjab University. Mr Saurabh Joshi, Secretary, ABVP, who said that Shelley would be their official candidate for the forthcoming students’ elections. Shelley was made a primary member of the unit.

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Hardev Singh gets bail
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 25
Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) General Manager (Regulatory) Hardev Singh was today granted bail by a local court in a case of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and corruption registered at Mohali on July 4.

Defence counsel Rajesh Gupta said the bail was granted by District and Sessions judge Inderjit Singh. Hardev Singh was arrested on August 18 by Economic Offences wing of the Punjab Police.

Other than Hardev Singh, the four colonisers Amba Prasad, Sunil Saini, G.S. Bhatia and Jaidev in judicial custody were also granted bail by the court.

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Forum holds travel agency guilty of forgery
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
In what is perhaps the first case of its kind, the Chandigarh District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II, headed by Mr Beant Singh Bedi, has held Bajaj Travels, Chandigarh, guilty of forgery and perjury apart from deficiency in service and unfair trade practice. The forum has initiated criminal proceedings against Mr M.S. Bajaj, Director of the firm. It has asked him to explain why a criminal complaint should not be lodged against him for forgery and perjury.

The forum's verdict has come on a complaint filed by Mr. Bhupinder Singh of Morinda, alleging that he had purchased open air tickets for travelling to Niue, near New Zealand, which were to be confirmed only after he had obtained the transit visa. Since the visa was not granted, he returned the tickets for cancellation and refund. But the travel agency refunded only Rs. 58,300 instead of Rs. 86,000.

In his reply, Mr. Bajaj filed an affidavit stating that the tickets were booked through a person, Raman, who was told about the cancellation penalty and the draft for refund in favour of complainant was also sent to him on August 27, 2002.

Mr. Pankaj Chandgothia, advocate for the complainant, submitted that Mr Bajaj's letter vide which the draft was allegedly sent, was ante-dated and forged as the phone numbers printed on the letter head began with "2", which was prefixed in Chandigarh only in November, 2003. Mr. Chandgothia further submitted that the agency was not entitled to make any deduction as the cancelled tickets were unconfirmed. Mr. Paras, advocate for the travel agency, said that the deduction was legal and within the knowledge of the complainant.

After going through the records, the forum held that the letter "is a fabricated and forged document brought into existence to put a false defence to the version of the complainant. Not only this, Mr Mohinder Singh Bajaj, Director of OP, has also gone to the extent of committing perjury by making a statement in his affidavit affirming the genuineness of the aforesaid covering letter".

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Govts given 3 months to deal with stray cattle
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 25
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today gave three months' time to the governments of Punjab and Haryana to make adequate plans to deal with the menace of stray cattle.

During resumed hearing in a case, the Bench headed by Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi was informed that the UT Administration has finalised plans to construct a "goshala" (cattle home) at Maloya village. Till the time the 'goshala' is competed, the stray cattle caught from the roads of the city are being sent to a 'goshala' in Delhi, the Bench was informed.

The hearing will now resume on December 3.

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Expressing love through rakhis

BRIGHTLY coloured silken threads with beads attractively displayed in shops remind us that Rakhi is around the corner.

Ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 1,000, rakhis come in various shapes and sizes. While children sport rakhis with guns, dolls or teddybears, this year they have more choice. Rakhis with Spiderman are the hot favourite this year.

“My five-year-old brother wants to sport a rakhi with Pikacho. I have looked for it but haven’t found one, says Ritika.

Kanupriya is Ms Fresher

A fresher’s party was held at MCM College, Sector 36, on Wednesday.

There was a modelling round where students sashayed down the ramp. A skit was also presented followed by dance.

Kanupriya was selected as Ms fresher. The first runner-up was Nitika Lal and the second runner-up Gurleen Kaur. — OC

If you are looking for something traditional, go for decorated thalis with a small coconut, red moli, sindur and a pinch of rice. The market is flooded with a fashionable rakhis.

“This year I want to do something different. I want to tie a silver rakhi on the wrist of my brother,” said a college student, Aarti Kapur.

“Instead of rakhi I am gifting a watch to my brother,” said Nikita.

As for brothers it is good for them as long as it conveys affection. “I am not bothered what kind of rakhi my sister will tie on my wrist. But rituals that go with it especially, putting a red tilak. I will also give her a gift to express my love for her”, said Ankur, a university student.

Six-year-old Gautam who was standing in a Sector 22 shop was pressing his mother to buy rakhis made in the shape of cars. “ Though he doesn’t have any sister, he is keen to have all these Rakhis.” I will play the role of a sister, mother said.

There are lovely pouches in which you can put rakhi and sweets and send it along with cards.

Those who are late in sending rakhis need not to worry, as the Internet is there to help you out. — OC

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Fitness trail
Tea, a cuppa of health
Renu Manish Sinha

THE very foundation of the American independence movement is steeped in this drink. It was discovered in China while Japanese drink gallons of it. England claims it to be as its national drink. Tea, the truly international drink, is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water.

In India, tea is an all-occasion drink, which can also be called the national time-pass. If there is nothing to do – let’s have tea. If you are down in dumps – a cup of tea will cheer you up.

This cuppa not only cheers but is also brimming with many health benefits, from fighting fat to cancer, according to a Mohali-based nutrition expert, Dr Neelu Malhotra.

The latest medical researches have claimed to find many potential healing properties in this ancient beverage. Many scientific studies suggest that drinking tea, especially green tea, may prevent heart disease, stroke and cavities. Having tea can not only lower blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, but also increase immunity, bone density and may prevent osteoporosis.

This ancient brew has acquired these magical therapeutic properties due to presence of antioxidants called polyphenols and flavonoids. Polyphenols are naturally occurring plant chemicals found in plant foods, including tea, fruits, vegetables, etc, says Dr Malhotra.

Tea is made from leaves of plant Camellia Sinensis. Tea can be classified into three main types, green, black and oolong. Green tea is prepared by heating or steaming its leaves for drying. Black tea is made by fermenting its leaves through further processing, including oxidation by exposure to air. This gives deep brown colour to leaves and enhances its flavours. Oolong is made by partially fermenting the leaves leaving it more processed then green tea and less than black tea. Since green tea is not fermented it has more antioxidants properties than other varieties.

According to a recent research, green tea is loaded with polyphenols which have 100 times more antioxidant properties than Vitamin C.

Flavonoids, another phytonutrient present in tea leaves, is another antioxidant which may prevent heart disease.

Antioxidants protect the body against the harmful effect of free radicals which are formed when body is subjected to stress, exercise, after action of sunlight on skin and during conversion of glucose and fat to energy.

Free radicals are largely responsible for cell damage. Antioxidants are a powerful antidote and can check cell damage and inhibits the growth of cancer cells.

Tea also has tannin, fluoride, caffeine, an essential oil, lead and some minerals, says Suneeta Bhargav, a Chandigarh-based dietician. Tea provides 70 per cent of daily fluoride intake needed for healthy bones and protects teeth against cavities, she adds.

However, tannin present in the tea can hamper the absorption of iron. Hence it should not be had with meals. To counter this negative effect, tea should be had with lemon, she asserts.

But in case of thalassemia (major), tea may be advised with meals so as to reduce iron absorption, says Dr Malhotra.

Since tea also contains lead it should not be boiled or brewed in metal pots. Tannin too acts on metal hence china or earthenware pots are advisable to prepare tea, says Dr Malhotra.

A cup of green tea can provide 10-40 mg of polyphenols and has greater antioxidant activity than a serving of broccoli, spinach, carrots or strawberries.

To get maximum benefits three or four cups of tea (especially green tea) are recommended daily.

However, since it also has caffeine, its excess can lead to caffeine-related irritability, sleeplessness, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, loss of appetite etc, warns Dr Malhotra.

The origin of tea can be traced back to over 4,000 years ago in China. Legend has it a Chinese emperor and medical expert, Sheng Nong, discovered tea as a medicinal herb in 2737 BC. One day while he was boiling water near a tea shrup some tea leaves fell into Sheng’s pot of boiling water. The earliest known mention of tea in Chinese literature was in 350 AD.

A Buddhist Monk introduced tea to Japan in the 6th century and later in the 16th century a Portuguese missionary introduced it to Europe.

The first shipment of tea to Europe was made in 1610. In 1657, tea was sold in coffee houses of the UK for the first time And since then the beverage has been the national drink of Great Britain. The use of iced tea and tea bags, however, originated in the USA. Instant tea was developed in the USA and first marketed in 1948.

To brew a perfect cuppa, use water that is not too hot or hard. For every cup take 1 or 2 spoons of dry tea leaves and steep in water for at least 5 to 7 minutes. Add a dash of lemon and avoid milk and sugar, if you can, to realise its health benefits.

Never brew tea in metal pots, always use china or earthenware pots.

Never brew or drink green tea with boiling water; the high temperature can destroy valuable therapeutic compounds.

Brew your tea for at least 3-5 minutes to bring out the beneficial polyphenols. The more you brew more will be the benefit of polyphenols. Some studies have shown that adding milk to your tea can neutralise the harmful effects of tannin.

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