SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

SC goes tough on job on false certificates
New Delhi, January 21
The Supreme Court has laid down that any public employment obtained by a person by fraudulent means against the posts reserved for SCs and STs is liable to be quashed at any point of time, irrespective of the fact for how long such an employee has been in that service.

Atheist Karunanidhi shares dais with Sai Baba
Chennai, January 21
It was a rarest of the rare meeting, atheist Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi shared the dais with Sri Sathya Sai Baba, a prominent Hindu religious leader, for the first time in his political career spanning more than 60 years. The Chief Minister praised Sai Baba for his “pro-people activities” today.

Finnish President Tarja Halonen meets folk dancers of Jammu and Kashmir during her visit to Dilli Haat in New Delhi on Sunday. Halonen is on a five-day visit to India. Finnish President Tarja Halonen meets folk dancers of Jammu and Kashmir during her visit to Dilli Haat in New Delhi on Sunday. Halonen is on a five-day visit to India. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi


EARLIER STORIES


Samata Party revived
New Delhi, January 21
Breaking silence on growing differences with the Janata Dal (United) leadership, Samata Party leaders today revived their party amid glorious references to their leader George Fernandes.

Racist slur may boost Shilpa’s career: Analysts
Mumbai, January 21
Despite the racist slurs, insults and tears that she has had to deal with in the big, bad world of the reality show “Big Brother”, Shilpa Shetty would have at least one reason to cheer when she comes out — her sagging career has got the most unexpected, but strongest boost yet.

World page: Big Brother may go off air

Racism is a reality: Rushdie
Jaipur, January 21
Indian-born author Salman Rushdie has said racism is a reality and he himself faced racist behaviour in his early days in the UK.

Developed Bihar by 2015: Nitish
Patna, January 21
The brand “new” Bihar of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar finally got the desired push at the three-day “Global Conclave on Resurgent Bihar” that concluded here today.

It’s milk not eggs for Karnataka kids
Bangalore, January 21
Milk has won the battle against eggs as the supplement to be provided to 58 lakh government schoolchildren under the midday meal scheme. As with everything else, it was left to Janata Dal (Secular) patriarch H.D. Deve Gowda to lead the JD (S)-BJP government out of this impasse.

Now, online contest for ‘hottest chick’
Bangalore, January 21
After reality shows on television, the country is set to experience online reality shows with a group of engineering students from Ropar launching country’s first online beauty contest.

Women attaining menopause at 30, says study
New Delhi, January 21
In an alarming finding, a study has found that Indian women are now attaining menopause as early as at the age of 30. It also puts them at the higher risk of being affected with osteoporosis, heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension and breast cancer, said a study conducted by the Institute for Social and Economic Change in Bangalore.

One killed in ULFA attacks
Guwahati, January 21
One person was killed and seven injured in two incidents as ULFA carried out attacks for the fourth consecutive day today, even as Army offensives against the banned group continued.

Middle classes to get mid-day meals
New Delhi, January 21
Satisfied with the fair success of mid-day meal scheme, the Centre has decided to extend it up to the middle classes from the next financial year to ensure that it helped in reducing the post-primary dropout rate.

Nithari: CBI clueless
New Delhi, January 21
More than 10 days after taking over the Nithari killings probe, the CBI was yet to give it a ‘direction’ which could prove either of the three theories — organ trade, cannibalism or psychopath killer — doing the rounds.
Video: Artists echo Nithari tragedy on sand (56k)

Ash, Bachchans to offer prayers
Varanasi, January 21
Aishwarya Rai will join fiance Abhishek and would-be in-laws Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan to offer special prayers at the famous Goddess Vindyavasini shrine in the neighbouring Mirzapur district on January 27.

Another ‘heady brew’ from Karan Johar
New Delhi, January 21
The lingering taste of his "Koffee brew", marked by spicy and candid conversations with the choicest celebrities from tinsel town still tickles the palate of the television viewers across the country.

Weekend package for Vaishno Devi
New Delhi, January 21
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp is launching a weekend package for people wanting to visit the popular pilgrim destination of Vaishno Devi shrine from the national capital.

Sonia may take holy dip at Kumbh
New Delhi, January 21
After Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, it could be the turn of Congress President Sonia Gandhi to take a holy dip in the Ganges at Sangam in Allahabad during the ongoing Ardh Kumba mela ahead of Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.

 



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SC goes tough on job on false certificates
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 21
The Supreme Court has laid down that any public employment obtained by a person by fraudulent means against the posts reserved for SCs and STs is liable to be quashed at any point of time, irrespective of the fact for how long such an employee has been in that service.

The court said any person getting employment by producing false SC, ST certificate could not be allowed to continue in service on a flimsy ground that the caste certificate was cancelled by the issuing authorities much after the start of disciplinary proceedings against him and till the inquiry authority had submitted its report, he had put in a sufficient number of years in service.

“Once the certificate on the basis of which the candidate obtained the employment stood cancelled, even no question of allowing him to continue in service would arise, if he had been appointed on the basis of such a certificate,” a Bench of Mr Justice S.B. Sinha and Mr Justice Markandey Katju said.

“When a vacancy was to be filled by SC or ST candidate for whom the post was created, the candidate must be one who belongs to that category. If the selected person does not fulfil the said basic criterion, his appointment cannot be allowed to continue,” the court said.

The ruling came on an appeal of the Postal Department against the Andhra Pradesh High Court order, upholding the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) ruling allowing postal assistant R. Valasina Babu to continue in service although he had obtained it on the basis of a false SC certificate.

Both, the CAT and the high court allowed the benefit to Babu on the ground that the SC certificate issued to him was cancelled on November 28, 1990 almost 10 years after his getting the employment in 1980 against the reserved quota.

The disciplinary proceedings were initiated against him in 1980 after a complaint that he did not belong to the SC community but was a Christian by birth. He was sacked from the service after 12 years on September 30, 1992, as the inquiry authority took a long time to come to the conclusion.

“The tribunal and the high court were not correct in holding that in the departmental proceedings no subsequent event could be taken into consideration,” the apex court ruled.

It said when a public employment was obtained against a vacancy reserved for a particular category of candidates, he must fulfil the criterion.

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Atheist Karunanidhi shares dais with Sai Baba
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, January 21
It was a rarest of the rare meeting, atheist Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi shared the dais with Sri Sathya Sai Baba, a prominent Hindu religious leader, for the first time in his political career spanning more than 60 years. The Chief Minister praised Sai Baba for his “pro-people activities” today.

Mr Karunanidhi said Sai Baba “inspired him”. “Sai Baba’s gesture of serving humanity gives me hope, courage to carry on the welfare measures to eradicate poverty and also other welfare activities,” he added. “We both have been on our long journey like the rivers Cauvery and Kollidam for the welfare of the people,” he said.

During his long and chequered political career, Mr M. Karunanidhi, 82, has often derided Hindu gods and practices. Only last week, he made fun of “nude” deities in some of the temples in Tamil Nadu.

His party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), has ridiculed religious persons in general, and the Kanchi Acharyas in particular. Mr Karunanidhi’s participation in a function with Sai Baba marked a rare confluence of a practitioner of atheism and a religious leader having millions of devotees.

In the past, Mr Karunanidhi had joined late Kundrakkudi Adigal, a radical Hindu priest who renounced rituals and believed in social causes, in public meetings, but the Dravidian leader had avoided mainstream Hindu leaders, especially persons like Sai Baba.

The function was organised at the Nehru Indoor Stadium here by the Chennai Citizens’ Conclave, a forum of Sai devotees, to express city’s gratitude to Sai Baba, whose Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust had completed strengthening work on a canal meant to carry water from the Krishna to Chennai’s once bone-dry reservoirs.

The Governors of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, Mr S.M. Krishna and Mr S.S. Barnala, the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra, Mr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Mr Kumaraswamy Gowda and Mr Vilasrao Deshmukh, the Union Home Minister, Mr Shivraj Patil, the Railway Minister, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav, and the Union Communications Minister, Mr Dayanidhi Maran, were present on the occasion.

Mr Patil said water had to be rightly used and shared in accordance with the needs of the people. The Tamil Nadu Government made a fervent plea before Sai Baba to extend the Telugu Ganga channel from zero point to Poondi and Puzhal reservoirs, and take up desilting and improvement of the existing waterway.

Thanks to the strengthening works on the Kandaleru-Poondi canal undertaken at a cost of Rs 200 crore, Krishna water is now flowing at a faster pace than at any time since the Telugu Ganga Project was commissioned in 1996.

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Samata Party revived
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 21
Breaking silence on growing differences with the Janata Dal (United) leadership, Samata Party leaders today revived their party amid glorious references to their leader George Fernandes.

Although Samata Party founder and former JD(U) president George Fernandes was conspicuous by his absence at the large gathering on the VP House grounds, former general secretary of the Samata Party Jaya Jaitley lit up a “mashaal”, which is the party symbol, to announce the rebirth of the party.

This is the first time that Jaya Jaitley has attended a JD(U) convention. None of the eight JD(U) MPs were present at the gathering. Of the 88 JD(U) MLAs in Bihar, Paswan was the only one present there. Samata Party president and former MP Brahmanand Mandal welcomed those who had decided to return to the party.

Leaders of the state units from Gujarat, Haryana, Manipur, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand, were present with their supporters.

Sunday’s gathering afforded Fernandes loyalists and disgruntled party workers an opportunity to vent their anger against the JD(U) leadership. They expressed lack of confidence in Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s style of functioning.

The formal disassociation with the Janata Dal (United) helped unhappy party workers muster courage to speak up against Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar.

Heads of state units were unsparing in their criticism of Yadav and Nitish Kumar for sidelining Fernandes. While some referred to Fernandes as “a messiah of the poor” and “a revolutionary”, others praised him for his integrity.

Jaya Jaitley said George Fernandes commanded respect across the country.

Chhedi Paswan, the lone JD(U) MLA who came to attend the convention, was suspended for contesting his party leaders offensive remarks against Fernandes. Paswan said the present government in Bihar was working on the directions of a bunch of sycophants. He said change in the regime in Bihar alone could transform the state.

This is the second time that the Samata Party has been revived. Prior to its merger with the Janata Dal (United) on October 28, 2003, the party merged with the Janata Dal and the Lok Shakti in July, 1999, but four months before the Bihar Assembly elections, the JD(U) split thereby reviving the Samata Party.

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Racist slur may boost Shilpa’s career: Analysts

Mumbai, January 21
Despite the racist slurs, insults and tears that she has had to deal with in the big, bad world of the reality show “Big Brother”, Shilpa Shetty would have at least one reason to cheer when she comes out — her sagging career has got the most unexpected, but strongest boost yet.

“Shilpa has not really had a hit since ‘Dhadkan’, which was almost seven years ago. However, since the unexpected outrage in the UK since the Big Brother episode, her graph has suddenly shot up,” trade analyst Taran Adarsh said.

“Companies in the UK are sure to be looking at endorsement deals and her acting career will pick up after this,” Adarsh said.

The 31-year-old actress has cut down on the number of films she is doing in the hope that she will get to do “meaningful” roles, but that hasn’t really worked for her. She did win critical acclaim for her role as an HIV positive woman in “Phir Milenge”, but since then has not played a notable role.

“Distributors in the UK and advertisers are sitting up and taking notice. Whether its a publicity stunt or a genuine incident, it has definitely given a huge boost to her career and that too internationally,” a film industry observer said.

Shetty’s next film is Anurag Basu’s “Metro” in which she plays a wife struggling with the stress of city life and a crumbling marriage. — PTI

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Racism is a reality: Rushdie

Jaipur, January 21
Indian-born author Salman Rushdie has said racism is a reality and he himself faced racist behaviour in his early days in the UK.

He, however, added ''Now When I am in India, London or New York I don't feel like a foreigner. There was a time I do feel like a foreigner in all these places.'' The Booker Prize winning author is here to attend the second Jaipur Literature Festival.

While talking to newspersons, the internationally renowned author who kicked up a storm in the Muslim world with his 'Satanic Verses', said Muslims must think over the means they have chosen to achieve their target, in an apparent reference to the turmoil in the Islamic world.

The critically acclaimed author said people are identified with religion, region, nationality which creates a ''baggage of identity'' and is commonplace.

''Once we are able to define our identities irrespective of these factors, we would be able to reach a common ground,'' he explained.

He said terrorism is a great threat but it must be fought without guns.

Rushdie considers his first novel 'Midnights Children', that won him a Booker Prize and catapulted him to literary fame, his best work ever.

The renowned author said, ''The work which gave me the most creative satisfaction was 'Midnights children'.'' He said, ''It was the most pleasurable thing and writing the book was really fun. It has been appreciated by the classes and masses.'' But he regretted that he has not written much short stories.

''I have written only a dozen short stories and plan to write more in future,'' he said.

When asked whether the brand India excites him, the author said though he did not believe in brands, he was very conscious of his Indian roots. ''I could not manage to write a book without a central Indian character in my book.''

Admitting that he has not read any work by an Indian author, Rushdie said according to him Ranadas Gupta was among the best Indian-origin writers in English.

The acclaimed writer said his next work is a historical novel set in the 16th century India and Italy. He said, ''I feel very nervous about talking unfinished works. I am writing a historical novel set in the 16th century India and Italy and a comparative study of the thought process of the book of 'Babarnama' and the works of Macaulay.'' — UNI

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Developed Bihar by 2015: Nitish
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, January 21
The brand “new” Bihar of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar finally got the desired push at the three-day “Global Conclave on Resurgent Bihar” that concluded here today.

As the state is now said to be on the threshold of a turnaround, Mr Kumar has set 2015 as the deadline to achieve the goal of a developed Bihar.

The first push with regard to the image makeover came from none other than President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who in the presence of over 70 NRIs from across the globe and other dignitaries, kicked off the global meet here on Friday.

The message was loud and clear from the President who was optimistic of the conversion of Bihar into a “beautiful” state once political establishment, cutting across the party lines, join hands to rebuild the state.

Dr Kalam said, “The dream of a developed India by 2020 was directly linked to the progress of Bihar as a developed state”.

With 42 per cent of state’s nine crore population still below the poverty line against a national average of 26 per cent, the roadmap for the development charted out by the President underlined the need to attach topmost priority to agriculture and agro-based industries.

Other dignitaries who endorsed Mr Kumar’s “new Bihar” as a saleable brand included economist Lord Meghnad Desai, ILO Director Gerry Rodgers, World Bank Chief Economist (South Asia) and PM Economic Advisory Council Chairman Shanta Devarajan, former RBI Governor C. Rangarajan and Planning Commission member Abhijit Sen.

The meet was organised jointly by Bihar Times and the New Delhi-based Institute of Human Development with support from the state government.

In his speech at the conclave, Lord Meghnad Desai, member of the House of Lords and noted economist in the London School of Economics, observed that social equality beyond caste and creed was more important for a real turnaround of Bihar.

Ever since Mr Kumar took charge of the state 15 months back, he resolved for the turnaround of the state, hitherto mired in backwardness.

The Chief Minister was optimistic of repositioning the state in the days to come as a favourable investment destination under the roadmap charted out by his government.

“I am committed to developed Bihar by 2015,” he remarked.

While Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi has planned to set up an NRI cell to facilitate investments, a group of 10 NRIs has floated “Bihar Parishad” to facilitate socio-economic development in the state.

Besides US, NRIs (mostly Biharis), who attended the conclave, were from the UK, Canada, Doha, Qatar, Singapore, China and few other countries.

However, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad seemed to be less impressed with the efforts to rebrand Bihar through this conclave involving NRIs. “It was more a stunt. I also organised a conclave in 1995. But no investments followed after that,” he claimed.

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It’s milk not eggs for Karnataka kids
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, January 21
Milk has won the battle against eggs as the supplement to be provided to 58 lakh government schoolchildren under the midday meal scheme. As with everything else, it was left to Janata Dal (Secular) patriarch H.D. Deve Gowda to lead the JD (S)-BJP government out of this impasse.

Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who was facing flak from both BJP as well as religious heads in the state, chose to follow his father’s advise on the issue. In a late evening development, Mr Gowda suggested that the state government withdraw its order to supply eggs to students under the midday meal scheme.

It is clear that real politics is behind the move rather than any concerns about nutrition. Mr Gowda said the government’s decision had created a controversy and those opposed to it were getting more support from the public. He said the government should not go against public opinion and drop the move to supply eggs to children.

Chief Minister Kumaraswamy wasted little time subsequently to rescind his order and announced that milk would be served to children instead of eggs. He took the occasion of a religious meeting at Suttur to make his decision public. This despite the fact that yesterday, the Cabinet had failed to reach a decision on the issue and had authorised the Education Minister to find a solution after studying the midday meal schemes running in other states.

The Chief Minister has, however, maintained that the decision was taken in the interest of farmers who owned milch cows. He said the move would give a fillip to the dairy industry in the state. Suttur mutt seer Shivarathri Deshikendras, who along with heads of other mutts, had opposed the move earlier, welcomed the decision and said it would improve the economic conditions of the rural poor.

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Now, online contest for ‘hottest chick’
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, January 21
After reality shows on television, the country is set to experience online reality shows with a group of engineering students from Ropar launching country’s first online beauty contest.

The contest will start from February 1 and is being conducted to promote a youth-driven website www.bunkd.com, launched by a group of engineering students of the Rayat Engineering College, Ropar, led by Harpreet Singh, a third year student.

Harpreet says the contest has been named “India’s Hottest Chick Contest” and will be open to all girl students in the age group of 16-24 years. He promises a clean contest with there being no bikini round and no revealing of personal details of contestants.

“Hot” for the new portal means being spicy, having a lot of “masala” and attitude. “This is what we want our viewers to look for in the contestants,” Harpreet says, adding interactive sessions with viewers and fun games will help contestants choose the winner. He says netizens can vote in or vote out the candidate of their choice online as well as through SMS which will make the quizzes, debates and games being played by the contestants more competitive.

Giving details of the format of the show, the student discloses girls can register themselves online at www.bunkd.com till January 31. Registrations have started since January 1 and already 167 girls have registered for the contest, which will run for one month with the winner being declared on March 1.

There will also be prizes for every level scaled by the contestants and also prizes for those clicking onto the site to judge the contestants. The winner will get jewelry worth Rs 25,000 from D'damas while the runners-up will get an ipod.

Harpreet says most of the contestants are from Chandigarh and Delhi with few girls also registering from Mumbai and Chennai.

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Women attaining menopause at 30, says study

New Delhi, January 21
In an alarming finding, a study has found that Indian women are now attaining menopause as early as at the age of 30. It also puts them at the higher risk of being affected with osteoporosis, heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension and breast cancer, said a study conducted by the Institute for Social and Economic Change in Bangalore.

The study, conducted by T.S. Syamala and M Sivakami, said that women living in rural areas were more prone to “premature menopause.”

“It is of great concern that women are attaining premature menopause. Some women are attaining it as early as 30 years,” Syamala said from Bangalore.

“Early menopause may be a risk factor for earlier mortality from diseases related to decreased estrogen levels and may promote increased incidence of osteoporosis, heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension and breast cancer,” she said.

The report, which was presented in Parliament, has said in India 3.1 per cent of the women are already in menopause by the age of 30-34, and which rises to 8 per cent for the age bracket of 35-39 with the incidence of menopause being quite rapid after the age of 40-41.

The proportion of women in premature menopause is lower in urban areas (16.1 per cent) than in rural areas (18.3 per cent).

She said women who marry late did not need to panic as they have children late, resulting in delayed menopause. — PTI

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One killed in ULFA attacks

Guwahati, January 21
One person was killed and seven injured in two incidents as ULFA carried out attacks for the fourth consecutive day today, even as Army offensives against the banned group continued.

One person was killed on the spot and two were injured when rebels mounted a grenade attack at the crowded Bohuri Bazaar in lower Assam’s Barpeta district, the police said. The explosion caused panic among people as they ran for cover. The rebels managed to escape before police reached the spot.

Earlier today, ULFA exploded a bomb near the Bongaigaon railway station, injuring five people critically. The police said the bomb was hidden inside a motorcycle. — PTI

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Middle classes to get mid-day meals
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 21
Satisfied with the fair success of mid-day meal scheme, the Centre has decided to extend it up to the middle classes from the next financial year to ensure that it helped in reducing the post-primary dropout rate.

The Union Human Resource Development Ministry has proposed to make a provision of an additional Rs 2,500 crore for mid-day meal scheme for students of post-primary classes from April 1, the ministry officials said. They said with this the scheme would cover 17 crore schoolchildren in primary and middle classes in all government schools across the country.

The total expenses for this would be Rs 8,000 crore.

The Planning Commission in its approach paper for the 11th Five-Year Plan has emphasised on linking the mid-day meal scheme to the right to food rather than focusing on the welfare approach.

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Nithari: CBI clueless

New Delhi, January 21
More than 10 days after taking over the Nithari killings probe, the CBI was yet to give it a ‘direction’ which could prove either of the three theories — organ trade, cannibalism or psychopath killer — doing the rounds.

The CBI has so far recovered more than 50 bags of “bio-material”, including 20 skulls and 70 bones of limbs and torso, and collected DNA samples of 37 parents of the victims.

However, the investigating agency is yet to come out with a plausible explanation on the cause of killings or with a substantial evidence.

Lucknow: Even after a fortnight of receiving the report on Nithari killings, the Uttar Pradesh Government is yet to take action against six senior police officials, including an SSP rank officer, as recommended by its two-member committee. — PTI, UNI

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Ash, Bachchans to offer prayers

Varanasi, January 21
Aishwarya Rai will join fiance Abhishek and would-be in-laws Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan to offer special prayers at the famous Goddess Vindyavasini shrine in the neighbouring Mirzapur district on January 27.

The occasion will mark the 51st birthday of Bachchan family’s close friend and senior SP leader Amar Singh, who along with family will also offer prayers with the filmy clan at the Vindhyavasini temple, the Amar Singh Fans Association (ASFA) claimed here today.

This will be the first time since January 14 Ash-Abhishek engagement that she will offer prayers at a temple with her fiance. — UNI

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Another ‘heady brew’ from Karan Johar

New Delhi, January 21
The lingering taste of his "Koffee brew", marked by spicy and candid conversations with the choicest celebrities from tinsel town still tickles the palate of the television viewers across the country.

After a hiatus of almost an year, Karan Johar is ready with another ''heady brew of Koffee and intimate conversations'' with a new set of celebrities in the second edition of his much-talked about talk show, 'Koffee With Karan' which kicks off next month.

This time round, with the new edition of the weekly celebrity chat show, premiering on February 11, Karan promises a greater ''irreverence, tongue-in-cheek humour and fun-filled talk.'' Also, unlike the earlier edition of the show, the new season of 'Koffee With Karan' will feature celebrity guest not just from the entertainment industry, but also from the sports and corporate world.

Some of the "celeb-combo's" that will feature in the new season include Kajol, Rani and Shah Rukh; Priyanka and Hrithik; Sanjay Dutt and Priya Dutt; Shahid, Kareena and Karishma; John and Bipasha to name a few.

Talking about the new edition of 'Koffee With Karan', Karan Johar said, ''It's great to be back! I have tried to make it more irreverent, more tongue-in-cheek, more fun and I am sure everyone will have fun watching it.''

''The guests on my show will include a lot of my friends from the first season, but in unusual combinations and will also feature big names from the corporate and sports world. I am sure that the show will recreate the same magic, as it did in the first season,'' he added.

In its second edition, 'Koffee With Karan' , will be telecast simultaneously on Star One and Star World unlike the different telecast timings on the two channels for the earlier edition.

For Star, the launch of the second edition of the popular chat show on Star One, following close on the heels of its announcement of the launch of popular music-based show 'Antakshri' on the channel from next month, is another step to boost its TRPs.

Says Sameer Nair, CEO, Star Entertainment India, ''Koffee with Karan has been one of the most popular shows that has just the right mix of fun and excitement coupled with Karan's own unique style. In this context, we are delighted to launch the second edition of the show which became a topic for coffee table discussions for everyone across the nation.''

He said keeping in view the huge popularity of the show among TV viewers, it has been decided to air the show across two channels -- Star One and Star World. — UNI

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Weekend package for Vaishno Devi

New Delhi, January 21
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp is launching a weekend package for people wanting to visit the popular pilgrim destination of Vaishno Devi shrine from the national capital.

Starting January 26 this year, the IRCTC is launching the three night-two day all-inclusive package for just Rs 3,950, Corporation's General Manager P K Goel told UNI.

The deal would entail AC three-tier train travel, transit, food, hotel stay and 'darshan' on priority basis.

The trip would start on Friday evenings from New Delhi Railway Station and end early on Monday mornings at the same place.

The journey from Delhi to Jammu would be by Jammu Rajdhani, from where passengers would be taken to Katra by a luxury bus and put up in a hotel. There would be free 'pick-up and drop' facility from the hotel to Banganga, where ascent to the hilltop cave shrine actually began. — UNI

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Sonia may take holy dip at Kumbh

New Delhi, January 21
After Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, it could be the turn of Congress President Sonia Gandhi to take a holy dip in the Ganges at Sangam in Allahabad during the ongoing Ardh Kumba mela ahead of Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.

“Chances are there, but the date is not finalised,” highly- placed party sources said indicating that Gandhi may go there in the coming days.

Gandhi had also visited the Kumbh Mela there some six years back. — PTI

 

 

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