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October 26, 2001 - October 26, 2001

Sharad Joshi backs farmers Friday, October 26, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The Sharad Joshi-led Shetkari Sangathan has rallied support for cotton farmers in Gujarat who are being threatened that their standing crops may be destroyed as they had used an unapproved hybrid variety of genetically-engineered seeds.

Joshi, in a statement on behalf of the Kisan Co-ordination Committee (KCC), said the Khedut Samaj of Gujarat will hold a 'kisan rally' at Bharuch on October 30 on this issue. The rally will be addressed by Sharad Joshi, Sardar Bhupendder Sing Maan (Punjab), Chaudhari Prem Simha Dahiya (Haryana), P Chengal Reddy (AP) and the president of KCC Saroj Kashikar.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Chirayu Amin helps Vadodara stage a FICCI coup Friday, October 26, 2001

AHMEDABAD: In what is seen as a coup by the Vadodara lobby two weeks before Chirayu Amin is to relinquish office of the president of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, the outgoing president has nominated Amit Goradia as the chairman of the Gujarat state council of FICCI's western region unit.

Goradia and Amin both hail from Vadodara, and in the past, the former has had a running battle with the Gujarat Chambers of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) which was hitherto seen as FICCI's nominee in the state. Goradia, who had last year accused the GCCI of being a 'puppet' in the hands of the Gujarat government, however, sought to downplay his differences with the largest trade and industry organisation in the state on his taking over as chief of the FICCI's state outfit.

Talking to TNN after his meeting with the new chief minister, Goradia still described GCCI as "Ahmedabad-centric" and said FICCI's state council will try to bring together on one platform all the trade and industry organisations operating in the state. Differences between the GCCI and other regional chambers of commerce and industry had come out in the open last year over the issue of power tariff when organisations in Vadodara and Rajkot took a more strident stand and organised a prolonged strike even while GCCI adopted a more moderate approach towards the issue.

Goradia said while the Gujarat council will be presently headquartered in Vadodara, it could move to other cities depending on who heads it. The council was also planning to set up an office in Gandhinagar for better co-ordination with the government.

Powerful industry representatives in the GCCI admitted they were upset over Goradia taking over the mantle of the FICCI in Gujarat and said this had more to do with his proximity to Chirayu Amin. However, the concept of setting up regional councils was not new and the FICCI had already done this in Maharashtra and three southern states. The timing of the appointment however suggested that certain elements did not want the new president to take over FICCI in a fortnight.

Former GCCI president Mukesh Patel, who is also on FICCI's executive council, said it would be wrong to suggest that GCCI was Ahmedabad-centric and was not representative of the state. He said Ahmedabad was the commercial capital of Gujarat and it would be desirable that instead of raking up past differences the regional council of FICCI could forge better co-ordination and co-operation between the various trade and industry associations.

Another FICCI executive member from Gujarat, Girish Dani said GCCI would be represented on the regional council which "cannot do without GCCI which is the largest trade and industry organisation in the state". Dani said even on the power tariff issue, GCCI's stand was vindicated because the strike by other industry organisations had to be called off without getting any concessions from the government.

FICCI secretary general Amit Mitra, who was also in town, said FICCI was already involved in a big way in Gujarat in earthquake relief, where it was building 2,500 houses in nine villages. The FICCI-IDRC project in Vadodara aims to help 25 auxiliary petrochemical units eliminate pollutants. FICCI also has a special thrust on special economic zones (SEZs) by which Kandla, Positra and Surat will benefit.

A major event 'Resurgent Gujarat -- Business Partnership Meet 2002' early next year will be organised jointly with the state government to identify potential projects and market them to potential investors both in India and overseas.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Vadodara in brief on 25th Oct. 2001 Friday, October 26, 2001

MSU course in interior design
VADODARA: M S University's Centre for Continuing Adult Education and Community Services will start a long-term but part-time certificate course in 'Advance Elements of Interior Design' by November-end. Those interested may contact the centre on 795510 for forms.

Refresher course
Sardar Patel University (Vallabh Vidyanagar ) department of English has organised a UGC-sponsored refresher course in English for college and university teachers from November 21 to December 11. Teachers interested in participating in the course may contact the university department before October 30. Requests can also be given in writing to the co-ordinator at the department of English, SPU, VV or on phone number 02692-26829 or fax 02692-36475.

EME celebration
The 58th anniversary of the EME Corps Day was celebrated at the EME school here last week on October 15 at the Eugene stadium. As part of the festivities, a week-long programme and a Barakhana was also organised where senior and junior officers met for a cultural programme and dinner. EME officiating commandant Brig K Venkataraman and his wife grace the occasion. A large gathering of all ranks of the EME and retired EME personnel and their families were present on the occasion. The highlight of the evening was the filming of the growth and raising of the EME corps and their outstanding achievements.

Inter-school quiz
The Mars Gregorios Memorial School has organised a special inter-school science quiz. The Mars Gregorios Rolling trophy for the inter-school science quiz 2001 would be organised on October 27 at the MSU campus general education auditorium between 8 am to 12 noon. The science club of the school organises the quiz every year and 20 schools would participate in it. Students from standards eight to 12 can participate. A cash prize of Rs 500 each would be awarded to winners, and Rs 250 for the runners-up. The school which gets the maximum points would receive the Mars Gregorios Rolling trophy.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Tests negative, but doctors gear up for real bio-attack Friday, October 26, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The suspected anthrax packet received at the office of home minister Gordhan Zadaphia tested 'negative' on Thursday even while doctors in the state, who met at a workshop, said the health infrastructure should be ready for a real germ attack.

The 'yellow crystals laden powder' found in the mail at the minister's office tested negative for anthrax bacteria and has been sent to the forensic science department for a chemical analysis. "It was a hoax..... we are expecting many more such packets to keep us busy", confessed a senior health official.

"Please do not be scared. This may not happen but if it does happen you will have hundreds of cases in one stroke, so be prepared", department of preventive and social medicine head Vasudev Raval urged over 200 health officials participating in the state-level workshop on bio-terrorism on Thursday.

The officials, including civil surgeons, physicians, hospital superintendents and regional deputy directors (health), were briefed about the threat perception of the biological and chemical warfare in the state and how to combat it.

A printed training module containing details of six such invisible bio-weapons - anthrax, small-pox, plague, botulism cholera, brucellosis - their clinical features, diagnosis and treatment was given to officials to sensitise the health workers and paramedics at the grass-roots level.

"Identify the signs and symptoms and report any case that you think is curious and out of place. Please and I repeat please, step up surveillance in all the districts so that we are not caught unawares by any bio-attack in the state", said Raval.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Surat doctors discuss need for awareness on anthrax Friday, October 26, 2001

SURAT: Keeping in view the several incidences of suspicious white powder-like substance -- somewhat similar to 'anthrax' -- being delivered in various parts of the city, members of the General Practitioners Association and the Surat chapter of Indian Medical Association held a workshop at Mahavira Hospital on Wednesday to create awareness among doctors on the clinical aspects of anthrax and measures to be initiated in case of an attack.

According to New Civil Hospital superintendent Shailendra Bajpayee, the need of the hour is to create an atmosphere with emphasis on general awareness among people about anthrax and the measures to be taken if exposed to it.

While stressing the need to curb rumours, he said efforts should be made towards gearing up of various medical and para-medical agencies with due response to the prevailing issue, so that the general public do not panic unnecessarily. He said anyone finding suspicious substances should put them in a plastic bag and inform the police for its necessary follow-up examination, to ascertain the clinical contents.

He told TNN the microbiology department of the Government College was fully-equipped for laboratory examination. He said the places from where any anthrax-like substance is found should be decontaminated first and the persons exposed, if any, should be treated without delay.

If inhaled, anthrax could be deadly, that too within a short time. Hence, if a person gets exposed, treatment should start immediately, Bajpayee stressed.

Others who expressed their views included Vikasben Desai, Mukul Petrolwala and Ashok Kapase. Desai deliberated on the epidemiological aspects of anthrax and other related infections, while Petrolwala expressed his views on the clinical manifestation of the substance, and Kapase talked about clinical management.

Such workshops are expected to help in bringing various agencies under one fold for a concerted approach to the crisis, Gandhi added.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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