January 21, 2021
Home 2019 March

New Delhi, 29th March 2019: Heart Care Foundation of India has written to the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Health and State Health Departments on policies and regulations of vaping products, including e-cigarettes, based on a consensus statement signed by leading medical practitioners, which is scheduled to be published in the April edition of Indian Journal of Clinical Practice.

The consensus statement shared on the Indian Journal of Clinical Practice website highlights the need for a regulatory framework for vaping products, which allow adults to access quality-controlled products in their efforts to stop the use of combustible smoking with the objective to reduce harm. Further, the letter also urges the Government of India to ensure that the policy for vaping products addresses:

  • Marketing & Advertisement
  • Youth access; such products should only be available to smokers above the age of 21
  • Safeguarding pregnant women from initiation and use through awareness campaigns
  • Labelling
  • Quality control over manufacturing
  • Standards for contaminants

Commenting on the letter, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) said, “Despite efforts to reduce tobacco burden in India by means of taxation, stringent labelling requirements, etc., cigarette volumes have not witnessed any significant decline. HCFI and all the signatories of the letter including some eminent medical practitioners such as PK Julka, TS Kler and Ashok Seth have always supported smokers in their efforts to quit smoking, regardless of the approach, giving their health and well-being paramount importance. Therefore, to help smokers quit, we recommend that clinicians should advise their patients to use available smoking cessation products coupled with behavioural counselling. Further, in cases where the aforementioned methods fail to work, reduced harm alternatives such as vaping devices should be considered”

“In our letter, we have also recommended that the Government of India should allocate funds for independent and continued research on the health effects of vaping products and guide their policies from time to time basis such evidence. There should be consistent guidance from regulatory authorities on product and ingredient standards with a view to further reduce toxicity and addictiveness of any tobacco product and related harm reduction products” said, Dr. Anoop Misra, Consultant Diabetologist, Fortis Centre for Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol (Fortis C-DOC Hospital).

Further, the consensus statement also strongly echoes the view that it is ideal for people to refrain from initiation of consumption of any tobacco product and related harm reduction product. However, transitioning to a related harm reduction product presents an important and critical public health opportunity for existing smokers and must be encouraged through appropriate regulations and support from clinicians.

Amongst the signatories to the statement, are several acclaimed global experts. Commenting on statement, Prof. David Sweanor, Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law-University of Ottawa, and signatory to the statement said, “Cigarettes are significantly more detrimental to public health than non-combustible nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine without the by-products of smoke and tar. We hope that the Governments and public health experts will recognise that bans on less harmful alternatives would only benefit the tobacco industry and not the public at large. Instead, there is a need for policies that aim to reduce harm and help wean people off cigarettes through behavioural support and access to less risky alternatives”

Prof. Lion Shahab, Associate Professor Behavioural Science and Health Institute of Epidemiology and Health, University College London, an expert who has studied both the behavioural aspects of tobacco use as well as the role of smoking-related biomarkers in smoking cessation, stated that “Scientific evidence shows that by switching to e-cigarettes, users are exposed to nearly 95 per cent lower levels of carcinogens compared to long-term cigarette smokers. Nicotine dependence can be reduced using a combination of behaviour therapy and less harmful alternatives, such as NRTs, e-cigarettes or pharmacological options. However, e-cigarettes, by lieu of being behaviourally similar to cigarettes, have seen greater success in aiding smoking cessation. Policies that aim to reduce tobacco harm should take into account these new-age products, as they are not only less harmful but also pave the way to cessation.”

“While complete smoking cessation would be ideal from a public health standpoint, it is not always feasible and in such cases, e-cigarettes or other non-combustible alternatives would pose less risk to the user and should be recommended as an option. I strongly support the cause taken up by Heart Care Foundation of India and other signatories of this letter, and would urge governments across the world including India, to make regulatory frameworks in alignment the relative risk of such products, with an objective to reduce overall harm to people” said, Dr. Riccardo Polosa, Director, Institute for Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology- University of Catania. Dr. Polosa and his team have led several clinical trials on the health impacts of e-cigarettes.

The consensus statement includes a summary of existing scientific evidence in favour of promoting vaping products as a reduced harm alternative to combustible cigarettes. Based on currently available evidence, using current generation vaping products is less harmful than smoking cigarettes and going forward, it is important to continue research on the health effects of long-term use. The Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and the signatory medical practitioners stated that they recognize the irresponsibility to continue monitoring and evaluation of emerging scientific evidence in relation to vaping products and will always strive to promptly inform policy makers, public and medical practitioners of these findings.


Second chance for aspirants to improve their JEE Main scores and rank

New Delhi: Aspirants seeking a good ranking in the JEE Main, have a second chance for a progressive perfection. With NTA’s decision to conduct the JEE Main exams twice a year from 2019, many aspirants are at an added advantage.

For those who missed out on the first attempt or want to improve their ranking to qualify for JEE Advanced, here is a better chance to revise their preparations. The second session of JEE Main are scheduled to be conducted from 7th April onwards. Paper – 1 (B.E./ B.Tech) – 8th , 9th 10th& 12th April, 2019 and Paper – 2 (B.Arch/B. Planning) – 7th April, 2019.The best of the two scores in either of the January/April sessions of JEE Main 2019 will be considered while preparing the Merit list of JEE Main 2019.

This time both the January & April sessions of JEE Main 2019 are Computer Based Tests. Students who further clear the cut off in JEE Main 2019 would be able to appear for JEE Advanced on 19th May 2019. Previous cut offs of JEE Main will draw the attention of the students as they aspire to crack one of the most coveted exams of the country.

“Attempting the first Main exam, should be considered as a mock test which is helpful in understanding the weak areas for detailed analysis and further preparations. Getting familiar with the past year paper trends will be handy and useful for the students. Some of the valuable tips for cracking the exam is time management, Important topics in each of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics and exam pattern. The result of JEE Main 2019 April will be announced on April 30 (Paper I) and May 15 (Paper II). The result of JEE Main 2019 will also serve as a gateway for admission to undergraduate programmes in the NITs, IIITs & GFTIs.” Said Mr. Ramesh Batlish, expert, FIITJEE

For improving their scores and obtain better ranks in the second session of JEE Main 2019, students are advised to solve atleast 50-60 numerical per day in each subject i.e. Physics, chemistry and mathematics. Though good number of problem solving is essential but having it done with the concept clarity accelerates success as the exam may not have a fixed pattern. Though it is good to solve questions,  but focus more on making the concepts transparent. Cracking JEE requires a great strength and hold in analytical skills with a great emphasis on critical thinking. It is thus imperative to understand the application of the concept as well.

“You should ponder not too much about the difficulty level of the exam. If it increases, it will be for every aspirant. Don’t start any fresh topic that you haven’t read in the last one year or recent months. Just revise formulas and practice as many questions as you can from already studied topics. At your end, You must prepared as per the syllabi of JEE Main and also solved adequate number of questions of JEE Main level. With yoursincere and best efforts, you can secure a seat in any branch of National Institute of Technology (NIT)and qualify for JEE Advanced.” He added  

The competition level will be stiff for everybody. Whether you can make it or not will depend upon the actual performance on the exam day. Selection in any competitive exam is based on one’s Preparation level, Comprehensive & Analytical skills, Time Management and most important the actual performance on the exam day. Put in your sincere efforts, practising good number of JEE Main level questions. The most famous web portal for Mock Test iswww.mypat.in.  This will help the students to be familiar with their strong and weak areas.  Focus on Speed and Accuracy. Believe in yourself, you will surely crack JEE Main 2019. You cannot control your friend’s performance, but you can certainly control yourself. If you give the best result, then there will not be any need for comparison. Stay fit and healthy for the exam as it enhances your performance in the exam.


COLORS’ Rising Star is known to be a platform to fulfill dreams of many. Set on the philosophy of ‘Jab Awaz Ko Milega Janta Ka Pyaar Tab Uthegi Har Deewar’, the contestants are raising the wall of their dreams with their singing talent. Each contestant participating has to win the hearts of the aam janta and the experts. In a recent episode, Swaraag Band from Jaipur in Rajasthan impressed the expert panel especially Shankar Mahadevan with their exceptional talent when they showcased their rendition of the song ‘Ghoomar’ from the movie Padmaavat. Music Maestro, Shankar Mahadevan immediately offered them an opportunity to record a song for an upcoming movie at Yash Raj films.

Commenting on the band, Padmashree Shankar Mahadevan said,” I was working on a music track for Yashraj Films and there was a portion in the song which needed some Rajasthani flavour. When I heard the band perform on Rising Star it immediately struck a chord with me. I am just acting as a first step to get them closer to their dreams and I also know they are the best fit for it. This platform has culled out outstanding talent that this country has, and these contestants truly deserve to excel in their singing career”.

Asif Khan, lead vocalist of Swaraag Band said,” We feel privileged to be part of such a grand show. We have no words to thank our experts who appreciated us and would like express our gratitude especially to Shankar Mahadevan sir who gave us this big opportunity. It is a dream come true moment

Swaraag band, known for their Rajasthani folk music was formed in 2014 by a group of daily wagers in Jaipur. Their dream is to launch their own album hence they decided to participate in Rising Star 3. Shankar Mahadevan who is also known as the break devta on the show, has given various opportunities to contestants into the Bollywood music industry for example contestants like Akhtar Brothers, Hemant Brijwasi, Diljot Qawwali group, Ankita Kundu.

Tune into to Rising Star every Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 p.m. only on COLORS


Ace comedian Yogesh Tripathi has been ruling the television space with his Daroga Happu Singh act in &TV’s show Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain and at the same time, making the audiences laugh out vociferously with his comedic antics in his new show Happu Ki Ultan Paltan. Since childhood, Yogesh has been deeply inspired by famous Bollywood comic icons and for this he is grateful to a very special person in life who has been instrumental in making his dream turn into reality. The special person in mention happens to be his mother who used happily take him to theatres to watch various Bollywood movies during his school vacations.

The extremely talented actor very recently gracefully accepted an award for Best Actor in a Comic Role Male (Jury) for Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain. Ecstatic yet emotional Yogesh shared, “It makes me extremely happy to receive an award for a show that gave me immense recognition and success. As a child, I used to watch a lot of award shows on television with my mother never imagining that one day, I would be standing on the stage to accept an award myself. The award ceremonies were so special to us that we used have discussions and bets on the nominees who would win the awards. Today is an extremely special day for me, but at the same time it makes me sad and overwhelmed as my mother wasn’t there to witness this moment. I wish my mother would be present to watch me hold that trophy in my hand and be the testimony of this remarkable moment in my life but, I am sure she is showering her blessings on me from heaven above.”

Yogesh Tripathi, who has won hearts with his cop avatar in both his shows shares a warm bond with his co-star Himani Shivpuri who plays his mother in Happu Ki Ultan Paltan. The two skilful actors have worked with each other previously but Happu Ki Ultan Paltan got them together as a mother and son. Talking about his relationship with Himani Shivpuri he says, “Every time I perform alongside Himaniji it reminds me of my mother and the bond we shared. The chemistry and understanding that Himaniji and I share in Happu Ki Ultan Paltan is extremely warm and affectionate. The show gives me a chance to remember my mother every single day through Himaniji’s character and I feel blessed.”

Such a heart-warming moment for Yogesh Tripathi to accept an award for the first time ever. Here’s to many more to come for the talented actor.


Actor Kaveri Priyam, who is part of Rajan Shahi’s Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke, loves being part of the show. The actor who plays the role of Kuhu, says that it was her character that prompted her to come on board. “I think it’s the character of Kuhu was what enticed me the most because she had many shades to her. I had so much to play with my character,” she says.

She adds. “The character of Kuhu is extremely vibrant and loud, which personally I don’t think I am in my real life. So, she being loud and colourful makes her unique. Also, she is, at times, very innocently negative. She is the illegitimate child of Shaurya and Varsha, yet the family has accepted her and loves her a lot. But then, Mishti comes to the family and Kuhu feels insecure because she thinks her love and attention is getting divided.”

Kaveri associates a lot with the character. “I think when I was a kid, I was totally like Kuhu. Whenever I am playing Kuhu on screen, I get a flashback of all those childhood memories. I am sure that on some point of time in life we all must have behaved like Kuhu in our college or school days,” she says.

The actor loves her look on the show. “I am very happy with my look, it is very stylish, especially my hair which is extremely curly like Maggi noodles. Kuhu is totally different so that way her style and hair are also very different. She is a very modern girl and is very pampered, which is visible in her dressing sense,” she says.

Kaveri feels that the title of the show matches the story perfectly. “I think it’s perfectly apt as before Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai used to come, so at that time one question used to pop in our minds that Kya Kehlata Hai Yeh Rishta? But now, the title of the spin-off has come as an answer to it that!”

Ask her how it is to work with Rajan Shahi, and she says, “It’s amazing! Rajan Shahi sir is a sweetheart. He is the most understanding person. I am very grateful to him and Garima ma’am for giving me this opportunity to be part of this show. Giving me such an important character to play is an honour for me. Also, the director here is very supportive, encouraging and guides me well. The whole environment of the set is very friendly and supportive. My co-actors are extremely experienced, so I am getting a lot to learn from them,” she says.


Recently a leading entertainment portal had reported that Amir Jaffar’s show Meri Hanikarak Biwi is going off air. Show’s producer Amir Jaffar who was caught off guard with this news says,”I was shocked. As far as we and the programming team of &tv is concerned there has been no indication whatsoever that this is going to happen as claimed by the news portal. The show is performing well despite its slot being shifted. We are even shooting special episodes. The show is on air now for more than a year which indicates that audience has liked the show. The characters of the show very well liked with lead pair having a huge fan following. Since the false news broke I have been getting messages from umpteen viewers asking us not to let the show go off air.. Understandably they are equally shocked as I am. Anyways I would like to clarify and inform that Meri Hanikarak Biwi is not going off air any time soon. And I wish to see this show going places as we have interesting twists and turns ahead in the story ” He ends on a positive note.


Actor Soniya Kaur, who is part of Rajan Shahi’s Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke, says that she loves being part of the show. The actor auditioned for a part and bagged it after a meeting with Rajan. “I got a call from the production and so I went to the audition. Then after two days, I got a call from them saying that Rajan Sir really liked my look and my acting and that he has called me for a meeting. After meeting me, Rajan sir said that he got his Jasmeet, which is my character in Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke,” says Soniya, who has been seen in shows such as Anamika, Hum Hain Na and Bade Bhaiya Ki Dulhaniya.

Talking about her character, she says. “I am married in a Marawari family but I am the only one who is a Punjabi. So, my accent, my style, my look, everything is different from others.”

She adds, “I am a Punjabi in real life too, so I know the basic things about how we Punjabis are…how we talk, react, eat, dress up. So, it is quite easy for me to play Jasmeet on screen. In my real life also, I am very energetic and positive and I keep smiling because I love smiling.”

Soniya is a big fan of the title of the show too. “Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke is a very lovely title. As Rishta means relationship and in our life, we see there are many different kinds of relationships such as brother, husband, daughter, etc. So, in this show also you will be able to see strong bonds between various people. I feel this is an apt title for this show,” she says.

The actor loves working with Rajan as well. “It is amazing, Rajan sir is such a positive person. I am from Jammu and my city is all about temples so from childhood I am into praying and all. When I met Rajan sir, I saw that even he is into pooja and strongly believes in God. So, I really liked that about him,” he says.


Actor Sahil Anand, who has been part of BCL for the last two years, is looking forward to this year’s tournament as well. The actor says that his team is sure to perform better than last year, this time.

Since how many years you are playing BCL?

Its been 2 years that I have been playing in BCL.

Which position you will play -allrounder? Bowler, Batsman?

Initially, I was an all-rounder, I used to do bating and bowling as well. But in the second season of BCL, I got hurt so after that I stopped bowling. I was an opening batsman before but now I am second down or third down.

Do you watch cricket matches as well?

Of course, I love cricket and it’s always been my first love because I have already played for Punjab under sixteen and I used to be a good cricketer. So it’s always been my first love and will remain the same for life.

Which is your favourite Test matches, One day or T20 matches?

My favourite is T20 matches because they are done quickly. As in today world we don’t have much time , life is going too fast so we get bored in test matches. But T20 is very interesting as it’s only of 20 overs.

This year Cricket World Cup is also coming what are the chances of India this time?

Yes, this year we have the Cricket World Cup but I cannot say anything about the chances of India winning the cup because we have good batsmen but we don’t have a good middle order.

How you are preparing for BCL?

Everyday, after my pack up, I go for BCL practice and I practice for 2-3 hours every night, irrespective of if I am shooting or not.

BCL is a perfect combination of glamour and entertainment what is your take on that.

Yes, BCL is a perfect combination of glamour and entertainment. You get to see all the celebrities on one platform where they are playing cricket and with that, there is of course lots of entertainment happening on the side.

BCL is famous for controversies. What is your take on that?

I agree that BCL is famous for controversies and it is bound to happen as there are almost 50 celebs on a single platform. I feel that they should happen also otherwise there will be no fun too.

Youth loved BCL last year on MTV. The youth audiences loved it. Comment.

The youth loved BCL when it came on MTV because I feel it is the right channel or the platform for it. Initially, it used to air on colors, which is a good channel as well but the timing when it used to come was 4pm and that too on Saturday , when nobody is at home. So, I feel MTV is the best platform BCL could ever had.

What are your expectations from BCL this year?

My expectations from BCL this year is that my team Delhi Dragons is the best and I wish each and every player of my team scores well and we achieve what we missed in last BCL. Last year, we lost in the semi finals but this time we are going to make it and that’s for sure.

Daily Events

Penguin is delighted to announce the release of

The Children of Destruction
A whole generation of weird is ready to come of age. And when it does, the world will change…


We used to live in a world of magic . . .

For Alice, life as a teenager is hard enough without turning into a supernatural herald of destruction. And you would think that after causing minor hurricanes with a major sneeze, being visited by a talking fox and ending up on a journey with death around every corner, things can’t get much worse.


They can.

Between a blind and telekinetic mass murderer, a girl bound to a shadow-demon and a genetically engineered pseudo messiah, a whole generation of weird is ready to come of age. And when it does, the world will change. If it survives that long.

Author, Kuber Kaushik says, “The book is about two characters – Alice (who wakes up one day with supernatural abilities) and Khadim (who is completely human and only trying to protect his rather ‘unique’ younger brother) as they go on their journeys. It’s not about them being chosen, but about the choices that they make and why they do it. It’s about being extraordinary when all you want to do is be normal, and being normal when everyone around you is extraordinary. And asking – wait – who the hell decided what was normal and extraordinary anyway?”

The Author

Kuber Kaushik was raised on a steady diet of Asimov, Tolkien and Pratchett, and his love for the written word has only grown stronger over time. In the last decade and a half, he has been a blogger, copywriter, content writer, script writer, screenwriter and novelist.

The first feature film written by him, Shadows Fall, was produced in 2016, and was both screened and has won awards at film festivals in Los Angeles, Panama and Europe. His other works include a number of short films, short stories and even a comic strip chronicling the history of healthcare from 6500 bc onwards and the insanity therein.

Daily Events

Well known journalist and columnist Meghna Pant released her book ‘How to Get Published in India’- a very useful guide to navigate the often-opaque Indian publishing industry.

Replete with essays by mavens in the publishing ecosystem- Meena Kandasamy, Jeffrey Archer, Namita Gokhale, Anup Jerajani, Twinkle Khanna and Shobhaa De among others; the book fills a vacuum in the market; and is sure to answer many questions nesting in the minds of aspiring authors.

The book was officially unveiled by best-selling author and writer, Ashwin Sanghi, who said in a lighter vein, “There is a story inside everyone. Sometimes it requires a little whiskey to coax it out,” acknowledging that many young authors would like to be heard today.

Meghna set the context, for her book by saying, “Every 10 minutes a top publisher gets a manuscript in their inbox. The rejection rate with traditional publishing is 95%. Thats because a lot of people who have the desire to publish a book don’t know about the process. There are over 9000 publishers in India today; and many of them allow self-publishing within a matter of minutes. It has become easier than ever before to get published; but thats just the beginning. Whats more important is to be able to sell. You are competing with 75 million books that already exist on the planet. There are 5 million books that come out every single year, across the world, and 1 lakh books that get published every year in India alone, if you leave out the academic books. You are competing not just with other books, but every medium of entertainment; such as Netflix, Pokemon and Taylor Swift.”

Its a fight for attention alright as only 2% of the books that are published in India make it to the bookstores.

Stand-up comedian Sorabh Pant, also the author’s brother, spoke at the launch; and emphasised how tough the journey is. “Writing a book is a ridiculous amount of work. Ashwin Sanghi, a bestselling author today; has gone through 47 rejections.”

Ghostwriter Gayatri Pahlajani navigated the launch process with some fine moderation.

“The Indian publishing industry has seen massive growth in the number of books produced- at the rate of 30%. Meghna Pants How to Get Published in India, is a bonus to those who are entering the field of writing or are struggling to create a space for themselves,” said Maulik Desai, Head, Crossword Bookstores.

The panel fielded many questions from the audience; about challenges they had faced while publishing their book.

As a closing remark, Meghna Pant added, “ we need to stop treating our publishers like our enemies. From the time you sign a contract to editing, book covers, blurbs, marketing, to the availability of the book, there are many stress points between an author and a publisher. So you must remember as an author, the publisher is your friend.”