Monthly Archives: June 2024

Kirtan & Antim Ardaas : Jagdeep Singh Bhasin (“Father”):

To commemorate the life of our beloved Father

Mr. Jagdeep Singh Bhasin (Father)

Please join us for Kirtan and Antim Ardaas on Friday, 28th June, 2024 at Gurudwara Sahib Patshahi Dasvin, Sector 8 Chandigarh from 12 pm- 1 pm followed by Guru ka Langar

Grief stricken:

Ruhie and Ankit Chaturvedi

Naina and Himmat Jakhar

Abhaysher and Aishwarya Singh Bhasin




Jagdeep “Father” Bhasin

With great sadness we inform that Jagdeep Singh Bhasin passed on at his home in Panchkula 24/6/24.

BCS  Lefroy House Batch 1970.

26th June update about Kirtan & Antim Ardaas 

JAGDEEP Singh “ Father “ Bhasin
Lefroy House
Class of 1970

With great sadness, we announce the loss of our beloved class mate, Jagdeep Bhasin.. In loving memory of Jagdeep,we are grieved to announce his passing away on
24 th June 2024..A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. He was that tall strapping “ gentle giant” amongst us; we guys were always kept in suspense when he vanished out of the school gates for brief interludes; his return was revealed by him reciting his myriad escapades in, around and outside School.. For some of us who lived with him “
PK, Chops, Nagu Chief, Mousie” we were his mini gladiators as he practised his wrestling bouts but never hurting us …being a great fan of Dara Singh…
Father lived his life in the tri-cities of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula… he lost his wife early in his journey but remained steadfast to bring up his lovely daughter and son…he was a genuine soul; the Almighty has welcomed him into his garden of eternity ..
Please join us to mourn the passing of Jagdeep Bhasin fondly known as “Father” to his school mates.
Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti

– Vivek “Bonnie” Bhasin (BCS Class of 1970)

Letter from a Cottonian & member of BOG of BCS [Anil Mehra]

Dear OC’s
No one forgets their school years . Memories of BCS grow stronger & each of us have our own memories, but there are many which are common amongst most of us. However, our zest to do good for the Alma Mater still remains our top priority. I also know all OCs wish to contribute in any which way for the good of our great Institution and its stakeholders.
Let me share with you that for several years during the period 1976 to 1986 a huge void was created by the school for ‘not allowing the Old boys to freely visit and interact with the School’. Sadly, you all will agree that this was not in the best interest of the school too. Ravi Sawhney and myself, were determined to set this situation right but did not make much head way due to Brig. Sam Mukand, (the headmaster at that time), in not allowing any OC visitors to the school without his written permission which was unreasonably withheld . Later, through my conviction and ‘never say die’ attitude, I, with the support of D.C Anand Sir (President Emeritus – OCA India), proposed to amend the constitution in February, 2006 to clarify and provide inter alia:

a) All properties and assets of the School shall vest with Bishop Cotton School Society Constituted under the Societies Act;
(b) The President of the OCA (India) will be an ex-officio member of the Board of Governors (BOG) of BCS;
(c) At least 2 OC’s will be inducted as co- opted members on a term of 3 years. The co-opted members are of course eligible for re-election; 

(d) All capital assets shall be approved by the BOG;
(e) The Headmaster BCS will be the ex-officio member secretary of the BOG with no right to vote;
(f) The Recording Secretary will be appointed at each meeting by the members present in the meeting;
(g) Importantly, that the decisions by the BOG are taken according to three fifths of the members entitled to vote etc. And thus the existing Veto rights & casting vote was done away with for ensuring that the normally accepted system of prudent management is in place for years to come. His grace, the Bishop Samantaroy has led the school for almost 3 decades with dedication & admiration from all. Yes, without these statutory changes, the Old boys would not have any formal say in the affairs of the school. And, with the honour of being on the board, a privilege indeed, also goes the fiduciary duty for serving the school. 

At the cost of being immodest let me further list down and share with you all, just a few achievements & challenges over the past few decades including my brief work experience & acknowledgements to OC’s: 

1.(i) ROBUST FINANCIAL POSITION: When I took over the added responsibility of chairmanship of the Finance Committee , the school had losses, debt-ridden situation where even the Endowment Funds & statutory gratuity liability was not funded and the school was burdened with accumulated financial liabilities of about 5/-Cr. In a very short time, the annual losses were not only arrested but converted into a reasonable surplus each year resulting in a healthy cash surplus. And this was achieved despite lower school fees than others. These results could not be possible without the support of the BOG , the Bursar Mr Rajiv Mehrotra & his team. (ii) The challenges of Covid for about 3 years were met very successfully by the management of the School. During this period, while rebates were given to the entire students including higher help to deserving students through the bursary scheme, on the other hand the school did not enforce any salaries cuts for the teachers & staff. 

(iii) The school is today equipped in improving the overall salary structure with higher salaries to deserving teachers based on reviews & recommendations to teachers with proven track record.
(iv) The food menu is good & plentiful 

(2) FINANCIAL CONTROLS: Strict internal controls both financial & non-financial have been implemented. In a nutshell the School’s financial position is sound & robust enough to meet the immediate basic future infrastructure needs of the school . However, OCs are welcome to contribute generously to the School through the OCA for the mutual benefit of all its stake holders.

(3) INFRASTRUCTURE: Reconciliation of the school land under various categories and survey of the land has been professionally done & recorded to ensure accuracy in ownership as a prerequisite before embarking on our various infrastructure projects. The school has an ambitious plan to spend a further about 35/- Cr in next 3 years from its surplus corpus funds. OC’s Jaspal Sawhney current President and Manav Singh, have volunteered to help & oversee the infrastructure demands of the school. Thank you both. 

What has already been done: In the last few years, the School has built teachers quarters below the cart road, the entire bitumen road from the entry to our School leading to the cart road below is cemented which will be good for years to come.
The Classrooms & Senior School dormitories have been heated for the comfort of all students. The Middle/ Junior school classrooms/dormitories are being heated and this project will be completed in time for the start of the 2024-25 academic year. The 3rd flat has fitted with an imported ‘artificial turf’ to provide the best playing conditions throughout the year. Further refurbishing of the entire Junior School is at the advanced stage of completion. 

What is being planned in the next 2 years : Now that BCS has generated the funds, we must upgrade BCS to its pristine glory and chase our quest for becoming an undisputed number one boarding School for Boys . 

(4) CONTRACTS: The processes for awarding contracts for such infrastructure work are totally transparent & awarded to vendors with proven track record. 

(5) TEACHING STAFF: Audit on teaching staff & identifying teaching gaps of teachers & improving their skills /learning through teacher’s training programs are being formalized . Simultaneously, the school has plans to upgrade teachers grades & emoluments for attracting talent & revamping of school faculty & Library. I have seen the Doon School impressive library & hopefully the management will upgrade ours to at least their level. 

(6) HEALTH CARE: BCS has a Special program to assess each student’s health at all levels with regular feed back to the parents on the child’s progress on each activity e.g., eyes, teeth, posture, height , weight, sugar, blood pressure etc. I believe BCS is one of the very few schools to have this program which has been restarted post Covid. The school attention towards the boy’s comfort & welfare is utmost. 

(7) IMPLEMENTING SOLAR POWER: The blueprint including positioning of solar panels at 4 to 5 locations to give maximum output in units produced has already been vetted for its implementation when required once the subsidy is restored. Similarly, comprehensive study for water harvesting also needs to be planned & implemented. 

8) INTRODUCATION OF O/A LEVELS: This initiative has been implemented during the current academic year 2024 by the current Director Mr. Simon Weale. This will give the students of BCS the much-needed opportunity for the pre university education options.

Mr. Simon Weale– Director, Mr. Mathew – the Headmaster & their team are doing a wonderful job in maintaining some of the traditions and simultaneously are also doing their best in uplifting the education standards & co-curricular activities with the changing times to meet the Parents increasing demands under various parameters. I hope some of these initiatives will go long way to overcome the challenges being faced by the school for retaining boys generally and particularly after class 10 for class. 

(9) STUDENT STRENGHT: The school needs the Students strength to restore to at least 450 to start with, even though 475 is the ideal strength to commensurate with the facilities and to sustain its financial health & infrastructure program. At present our numbers are about 400. 

(10) ALMA MATER FUND AT SCHOOL: For the benefits of OC’s who may not be aware that we have set aside an OCA fund of 50/- L in the school where the interest (about 4/- L p.a.) can be used by the school for OCA at the OC week/ Annual get togethers at Shimla to facilitate and celebrate students of each class after completing 25 years etc. There is also a Bursary Fund for deserving students including that of old boys. For further improving ties with their alma mater BCS, the OCA & the School have already recruited a separate alumni secretary, based at the campus. 

11) ENDOWMENT FUND: I have an Endowment Fund (present corpus is about 5/- L) set up almost 20 years ago, for the Accountancy Prize at BCS which also allows them Articles hip in one of the big four accounting firms once they have merited themselves as graduates. It is a matter of record that Chartered Accountants (CA) are highly placed as MD’s, CEO’s, CFOs in most organizations worldwide. C.A. has become a fruitful degree requiring minimum education cost that will hold such Students in good stead. I will be happy to guide and advice the students at BCS towards the same. 

(12) SESQUICENTENNIAL: I was privileged to be one of members organizing the sesquicentennial celebrations of the school in 2009 which went off rather well. We wish to acknowledge Vivek Bhasin for doing a wonderful job as Master of Ceremony. Vivek, through courtesy of the India Today FM music channel, used the platform effectively for interviewing OC’s & played Rock Music for everyone’s delight. The historic celebrations were well supported by the school teachers, members of the BOG & many OC’s while the class of 1959 supported financially the maximum. By the way, I was the single largest contributor, but sadly I could not attend the celebrations as just a few days before I was down with Swine flu. Jaspal Singh Sawhney as convenor ensured sufficient funds were collected for the festivities. 

I am glad that in the current year 2024, 165 years of celebrations of the school has been planned and we hope the old boys will participate in abundance & contribute for its success.

(13) ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS to BCS & OCA : My education at BCS has duly rewarded me for building a successful career. After graduating in (Hons) from SRCC, I was amongst the few handfuls of meritorious graduate friends including another OC & a close friend A.K. Puri (Tunu), now based in Florida USA, selected by the RBI to be allowed to pursue the CA in London-UK in 1963. Post leaving BCS, my father made sure I was toughened by going to the ‘Akhaada’ in Old Delhi in the wee hours where I was trained to wrestle both Indian & Western styles and that gave me a perfect platform to get fitter. I say it with pride that I made up in sports by representing SRCC college in Hockey, football, Cricket, Table tennis & was awarded colours in Swimming. Playing Squash in London with some of the partners of the accounting firm held me in good stead. Today, I play golf regularly at weekends at the membership clubs Delhi Golf Club & Jaypee Greens and occasional billiards at the Delhi Gymkhana Club. This keeps me busy keeping up with old friends and make new ones simultaneously. You will all agree that meeting old school friends/ batch mates and remembering & recollecting old memories of those good old school days at BCS gives us immense satisfaction. 

I take this opportunity to acknowledge some of my Cottonian Sirs and friends who have supported me & the school. Let me thank Wendy Dewan (walking encyclopaedia on the history of the school & who also worked for the BCS administration) & Toti Agarwal, for being my guardian angels during my Train journey from Delhi To Shimla when I joined BCS in 1954. I was in BCS for 5 years and was a below par student but excelled in sports (awarded Boxing colours in the years 1956 & 1958). Regretfully, my biggest disappointment was that I could not finish my schooling at BCS but fortunately I caught up with most of my colleagues later at the Delhi university in 1960. I transformed my education status from poor to meritorious one through sheer hard work, dedication & the Cottonian spirit instilled in me without losing my focus on sports. The results were, indeed, gratifying. 

Since I left the school couple of years before finishing, I was even more determined to give back to the School in any which way. After my return from London in 1969, I, along with Mr. R. S. Sawhney, who we lost very early, Ini Bawa, Jogi Kohli & others registered the OCA (India) as an association in 1969/70. Maj. General M.N. Batra, a senior distinguished OC was the unanimous choice as the president of the OCA. I have been associated with the school ever since my return from London in 1969, initially as the secretary & later as the President of the OCA (India). I wish to thank my friend Mr. Ravi Sawhney, the President – OCA India during the 80’s (now in Bangkok) for sharing the burden under difficult & frustrating times during Brig Mukand era. 

I also thank Mukhi & Sukhi for their hospitality and whose residence at Villette was raided by us frequently. I also thank Teji, whose residence at ‘Knollswood ‘was available with open arms to the OC’s. Both these Heritage Estates in Shimla were ‘homes away from home.’ For several years in the past, the premises at Plaza Cinema (Sawhney’s) and Bawa’s residence at 6 ,Hailey road were used for OCA meetings/ get- togethers till we moved our annual Lunch get-togethers to the splendid location of the Anand Group headquarters, at 1- Aurobindo Marg, courtesy Mr. Deep Anand (President Emeritus ), a very successful businessman, who will always be remembered for his advice at the Board & even otherwise for his generous financial support to BCS & his ever supporting wife Kiran towards the OCA fraternity. On behalf of myself & the OC’s we thank you sir for your unstinting support. 

I also wish to thank The Sawhney’s, R.S. & Jaspal & the Bawa’s Ini, Sweety & Lovely for their support & hospitality to OC’s at the premises at Plaza & 6 Hailey road respectively. A special mention to my friend late Col. S.M Jain (past President-OCA), who kept the OCA flag flying for many years, for his huge support to OCA & BCS whilst he was with the Anand Group. I wish to thank my Childhood friend & Cottonian Tunu Puri, for donating a large sum of money to the Samuel Foundation Trust (headquarters in Germany) to operate in Delhi where hundreds of women, mostly house-wives, were given the opportunity to be self-employed in making garments for their livelihood and which also gave them the recognition & respect from their husbands & in- law families. Thank you Tunu for imposing your faith in me and allowing me to partner you in this Philanthropy. 

I also wish to thank OCs Late Jasbir Sawhney, who helped the school with his Architectural excellence, Past Presidents of OCA (India) – B.M.Singh, Justice R.S. Sodhi, Sukhinder Singh, D.S Jaaj (was also the Schools’ auditor), Justice S.S. Saron, the current President Mr. Jaspal Sawhney & their team of Cottonians spread over all the chapters in India & abroad for their support. I also wish to thank my seniors, the legendary Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister of Himachal for many years who was invited by school as chief guest on occasions, The Batras, Gen. Rawley (my neighbour), Chand Pasrich (past President – OCA), K.C. Anand, G.P. Singh, (The legendary Freddie Brown acknowledged G.P. as having the Best handwriting in School), N.D. Mehra, Soni, A. S. Dulat (Judy), Vishi Anand, Guri Sandhu.

I also wish to thank some of my colleagues who frequently attended the annual get togethers in yester years viz: Vijay Singh (Piloo), Mehra Bros., Vijay Khurana, H. Janartha (ex-member of the BOG-BCS ), Captain Vivek Bhasin (Sweden – who articulates the history of BCS better than anyone & narrates many nostalgic events of the school with flair & colour). Vivek has given much time to the school to provide courses to students on Etiquette etc., Chickoo Daljit Singh, Badal, Chetan Ahluwalia of pioneer sports, (key person in organising golf events for OC’s), Prem, Thomas Banon, Nakul Anand of ITC (who recently received the Hall Of Fame Award from the International Hospitality Council & whose good offices catered the Delicious Lunch at numerous Annual get togethers), Pillars of OCA – Ash. Virk, Vijay Singh, to name a few and of course many other old boys who have given much time & support for their Alma Mater. Forgive me if I have missed some names. 

Simultaneously, the OCA in London was galvanised during the 80’s through courtesy Anil Bhasin who hosted the annual get together lunch at his hotel on Half Moon street, off Green Park. Thank you, Anil, for rekindling the OCA- UK. Later the annual get togethers at London continued to be held each on the last Saturday of June each year, first under the Presidentship of the dynamic & pleasing personality Gay Niblett sir -member of the BOG -BCS & his charming wife Christine. Thereafter, the reigns were taken over by the President Kuljinder Singh Bahia of the famous South Hall Travels who achieved the heights of excellence in his successful travel & hospitality business. The dapper dressed Vivek Bhasin & my friend Raj Lamba (Whom I stayed with in Scotland), Padam Singh & Vinod Nanda were all there attending the annual get togethers at London. Bar a few years till covid, I attended the Annual Get togethers in London each year in June where I was privileged to meet also many of the legendary & Cottonian stalwarts like Arthur Jones, Lumbo Evans, The Krischner Brothers, Bob Myers, John Philips, John Whitmarsh Knight, Tony Sinha, Alan Bapty, Ken Richards, Behram Irani, Daljit Jaijee, Jogi Chahal and of course the ever-green Hindi speaking Peter Stringer. We must also thank Peter Stringer & his wife Margaret for their generosity in hosting lunch for some of us each year & set the ball rolling just before the annual Lunch get togethers. 

I know that friends made in boarding schools are invariably the only insurance policy one can rely on and I am indeed fortunate to still have a few, thank you, BCS.

NOSTALGIA & WAY FORWARD : Some of us do feel that the school up to the 50’s & early 60’s was at its pristine glory when standards & traditions remained high, but I feel nostalgia alone can turn toxic if we believe that the school has gotten worse. I agree that Parents’ expectations are high in today’s ever-changing education and digital environment and the school needs to focus more on Science/ technology including AI. Financial literacy is another area which we don’t teach in schools & should be part of the education system. Further, Chess through online classes can also be conveniently included in boarding schools. BCS needs to play a vital role in fostering an environment conducive to intellectual & social advancement by encouraging the faculty to innovate & develop new relevant courses that will push boundaries of knowledge & our heritage at the forefront of our students & make BCS a stronger brand. 

BCS is fortunate that the members of the board are all persons of proven track record in their respective field & I am indeed privileged to work with them & take this opportunity to thank them for their support. 

I know age is just a number but now that I am an Octavian and a proud great grandfather, I am doing my best to continue with the same gusto as before for the benefit of the school. Memories & habits in school are hard to die. I am still polishing my shoes, making my own bed & driving my car to office. I am happy for it and that keeps my reflexes in better shape. I do wish & hope that the old boys give their suggestions in any which way for the benefit of the school. Please write to the President OCA & based on merits of your proposals, I have no doubt that the School will look at these positively. 

In the end, with all humility, I thank the Board & BCS for recognising my services for over 30 years as Board member & as Chairman of the Finance Committee by conferring the prestigious “SPARTAN” at the recently concluded annual get together in February, 2024. This mail may also be taken on record as my formal set of brief achievements & my dedication to OCA & BCS collectively for 55 years since 1969 for being conferred this honour. 

Three Cheers for BCS. Best Wishes,
Anil Mehra (Dimpy)

After graduating as B.Com (Hons.) from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, Anil Mehra qualified as a Chartered Accountant & is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of England & Wales and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in India.
He started his career with Thomson Press, Printing arm of the India Today Group, and Retired recently as Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the India Today Group, a Multimedia Group with over 47 years of association and continues as an Advisor to the India Today Group. 

He was Instrumental in creating various new generation businesses, spanning across Multimedia, Education, Finance, ecommerce and other business verticals. As a Professional his expertise lies in Financial Management, Tax Planning, Legal & Corporate Affairs and Corporate Structuring. He was Instrumental in creating various new generation businesses, spanning across Multimedia, Education, Finance, ecommerce and other business verticals. As a Professional his expertise lies in Financial Management, Tax Planning, Legal & Corporate Affairs and Corporate Structuring. He is a Governor/Trustee of leading Educational institutions & Director in companies. He has served as a Member, General Committee Co-Chairman Membership committee and Treasurer during 11-12, 12-13 of the Delhi Golf Club. 

He has served as Past President of Institute of Internal Auditors (Florida) Delhi Chapter, and currently is the President of Association of UK Chart & VED Accountants in India. Recently, he was privileged to be included in the Book “Building Strong Economies” launched by ICAEW in December 2017 as one of the achievers in India amongst members of ICAEW. 

Compiled by: Ash Virk

PDF File from Ashwani Virk attached here:
An accomplished Cottonian

Antim Ardas Bhog held for Late Iqbal Singh Sehmbey

I am attaching a few photographs taken from the Antim Ardas Bhog held for Late Iqbal Singh Sehmbey.
   I attended the Prayer Meet yesterday along with Pankaj Berry, Yashwinder Singh Dhaliwal and Anil Kumar (Victor).
Dhiraj Berry
Mob: 9814060426

DOCUMENT Attached: Iqbal S Sehmbey

The BCS 165 Celebrations


You are invited to

The BCS 165 Celebrations


Friday, 18th October &

Saturday, 19th October 2024

Son et lumière & Director’s Dinner


VENUE: Bishop Cotton School

DRESS CODE: OC or Black Tie, Evening Wear

To secure your place please email:


To register with your own chapter, payment and registration details are mentioned below.

For OC participation form, please click on the link below to share your details

Registration fees allows two people INR – 4000/-
Suggested Contribution INR – 15000/-
Bank details of your chapter
Old Cottonians Association (India)
A/c Name: OCA India
Bank: UCO Bank, BCS Shimla, Shimla-2 Himachal Pradesh-171009
A/c No: 19710100001970, IFSC: UCBA0001971

Article on Fali Nariman’s school days at BCS

Posted by Mr. Lakhanpal on the OCA Mumbai Grp.
Sent by Ms. Deepa Kennedy.

Click for full view of photos

1962 – Staff & Prefects, Rivaz

1962 – Staff & Prefects, Rivaz
(L to R): V.Chabra ( House Prefect), Miss Wylie, Mrs Mal, Mr.Mal, Mr. Dasgupta, Mr.Paul ( Housemaster), Rev. Dr. T.M.Dustan ( Headmaster), Mrs. Dustan, S.Nanda (House Captain), Mr. Roberts, Mrs. Roberts, Mr.Dutt, Himmat Singh (House Prefect). Standing: left to right: Vijay Chopra, R L V Nath, C M Kohli.

1962 Rivaz