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October 17, 2001 - October 17, 2001

St Xavier's, Asia caught in GU affiliation tangle Wednesday, October 17, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat University seems to have a mind of its own when it comes to affiliating new colleges. Despite asking advocate general Suresh Shelat's legal opinion on whether or not to affiliate two colleges, the university's executive council decided to refer the entire matter back to the need committee.

Most applications in the recent batch of trusts wanting colleges have already been approved. Only St Xavier's College and Asia Trust have been left out and may have to wait for a while before they finally get the stamp of approval. Both trusts are known to have excellent infrastructure with St Xavier's even considered a pioneer in computer education in Ahmedabad, but many in the university fear they may not get the colleges.

"I can't understand why the advocate general's advice has to be taken if we finally have to vote on the issue," said advocate Sudhir Nanavati who is a member of the executive council. At the voting on Monday, six out of 10 members to go back to the need committee. "If the matter had to be finally resolved through voting then why did we go in for a legal opinion in the first place? We could have gone back to the need committee without such a lengthy process and wasting time."

Now that the need committee will look at the two applications all over again, yet another long-winded process will start with one committee referring it to another.
The Council will meet again on Wednesday to discuss the issue regarding empty seats in the seven new BCA colleges where only 265 of the more than 900 seats remains vacant.

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


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11 foreigners attending entrepreneurship camp at EDI Wednesday, October 17, 2001

BY HARIT MEHTA, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI) has organised an International Trainers' Training Programme for New Enterprise Creation. Eleven participants from five countries _ Kazakhistan, Egypt, Zambia, Sri Lanka and the Kyrgyz Republic _ are going through the six-week training programme being conducted at the EDI, Ahmedabad.

"The programme will develop a cadre of hardcore professionals who will work for the promotion of economic activities in developing countries. They will be equipped with new tools and techniques to help potential entrepreneurs to start their own enterprises and will help existing small entrepreneurs to grow further," said S B Sareen of EDI, who is the programme director.

According to him, this will lead to the strengthening of the efforts of policy-makers and planners towards economic development of their respective countries. EDI had organised 15 such trainers' training programme in the past and has trained over 265 officers from a number of Asian, African and Commonwealth member countries.

The programme supported by the Indian Technical & Economic Co-operation (ITEC), Government of India, also aims at strengthening educational, training and other support institutions with faculty resources by giving the participants an insight into the soft skills as well as hard skills so that they become competent entrepreneur trainer-motivators (ETMs). India spends about Rs 250 million annually on ITEC activities. Since 1964, India has provided nearly $2 billion worth of technical assistance to developing countries, including neighbouring countries.

The six-week programme aims at achieving its goal by increasing the supply of competent entrepreneurs in all the stratas of society in developing countries and encourage growth of existing small enterprises by way of providing effective business counselling services. "After the four-week classroom sessions, we will take all the participants on a study tour and make them visit the support institutions as well as small and medium enterprises. This will help them to know the practical aspects," said Sareen.

Elmira Faizova, who teaches at the Taraz State University in the Republic of Kazakhstan believes the programme, so far, has been of immense help to her. "The first thing I'll do back home is prepare a proposal for starting such a centre at the university."

Aymen Mounir Badar Sheta, who works with the ministry of manpower and migration, Egypt, admits that the idea of training entrepreneurs' trainers is completely new to him. "I never imagined that entrepreneurship can be taught. And taught effectively," he said.

Echoes Mubita Amakoka, who works with the Zambia Centre for Accountancy Studies, is happy that he is taking a lot of learning with him, which will be of immense help to his country.

According to Sareen, all the participants are asked to prepare a plan of action just before the training comes to an end. "The plan of action talks about how each participant would go about conducting more such programmes in his/her country. We keep in touch with them even after the training is over and try to help them out whenever we can," said Sareen.

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


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Where to go this Navratri, the big question Wednesday, October 17, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
VADODARA: This year, youngsters in Vadodara face a dilemma: where to go to celebrate Navratri. It's a dilemma created due to a problem of plenty with a large number of organisers pitching in with attractive garba grounds, singers and sound system.

This year in addition to the old-timers and favourites like the United Way of Baroda and Way to Unity Trust garba others to have pitched in with attractive promises to make Navratri a fun experience.

Not just that, this time schoolchildren too have their own set of separate garba functions at various city areas. Shishu Sanskrutik Garba organisers Sonia Shah says: "Special children's garba was a felt need of many parents. Younger children between three to 15 years love to dance, but in garbas meant for the youngsters they do not get a chance to dance and get overshadowed. We therefore decided to organise special garbas for toddlers and school children," she said.

According to her, they have organised the children's garbas in such a manner that children would make the most of it. "Even the singers we have are children, so they enjoy more," she says.

Similarly the Way to Unity Trust garbas at the Laxmi Vilas Palace too have slotted a special children's garba at 7 pm. Here too a children's group of singers would be singing for dancers all of who would be schoolchildren.

Another set of garbas have been organised for elderly women who are unable to dance the way they like. These are being organised at the Milan Kunj Club where old garba tunes and dance styles are being followed for those wishing to opt for the traditional garbas.

Those interested in merely watching can opt for the MSU faculty of fine arts garbas where though they cannot participate they can watch girls dance to the resounding beats of the 'dholak'.

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


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It's guns 'n' garba for these foreigners at EME school Wednesday, October 17, 2001

BY MANJU RAMANAN, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
VADODARA: For once, the lilting garba tunes will replace the booming of guns for these soldiers from distant countries. As the city gets into Navratri mode from Wednesday, over 20 soldiers from 10 countries studying at the Indian Army's EME School here plan to enjoy Gujarat's vibrant 'navla norta'.

These foreign students are currently being trained at the faculties of weapon technology, instrument technology and vehicle technology. They come from the neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan, Mauritius and even countries like the West Indies too.

Officiating Commandant Brigadier K Venkataraman explains: "In accordance with policy decisions between their country and India, they are allowed to take training here. Also there are chances that their countries do not have the required defence academies for training because of which they are sent here."

Colonel N K Dutta, commanding officer, faculty of vehicle technology adds, "Usually, a foreign student is given a sponsor or a 'buddy' who tells him in detail about the country and its history. Often these decisions are taken to maintain ties with neighbouring countries."

Sergeant Zurarath Hanif, a 23-year-old student from Maldives, is midway through his diploma in electrical engineering course. After his XII standard examinations, he was a stock holder for a while and then as part of the three-year government bond joined the army. His country has sent him to India and he has been here ever since. He and his friend, Abdulla Rasheed, also from the Maldives, had seen the Navratri celebrations last year. "We were all in a jeep and couldn't see much. This time, however, we plan to see more festivities," he says.

For Parashuram Ghimine from Nepal's Dhading district, Navratri is not new, but garbas are. A technical nayak and student of electrical upgrading-2, he has seen festivities similar to Navratri in his home country. "I have seen Navratri celebrations in Uttar Pradesh, but never the dance of the garbas," he says.

Warrant officer Vijayapalaa, a student pursuing his diploma in automobile engineering, is from Maateli, Sri Lanka and has been here since a year. So has his friend Karunarathna, and both have had a glimpse of the festivities. "We understand English and a little bit of Hindi, but we don't really understand the lyrics of garba songs as they are in Gujarati," he says.

Thirty-one-year-old Sangay Tshemp from Galephu, Bhutan is a Ist grade vehicle mechanic and is reminded of his country's mask dance when he sees Gujarat's folk dance garba. "Mask dance is in the Zongkha language, and both men and women take part in it," he says.

And, as enthusiasm sweeps the EME campus as much as it grips the city, Armymen manning the EME plan to relax rules a bit so that officers can watch or even take part in Navratri celebrations.

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


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Jungles of Panchtantra to come alive in Gujarat Wednesday, October 17, 2001

By SAJID SHAIKH, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
VADODARA: The jungles of the famed 'Panchtantra' are about to come alive in Gujarat. And along with them all those 'once upon a time stories'. Stories that spoke of the pristine forests and its wild dwellers -- the lion king, red-faced monkeys, smart.

No folklore this, the state forest department indeed wants to bring back the jungles described in the 'Panchtantra'.

In what seems to be the most ambitious plan ever drawn up by a government agency, the state forest department has developed a Rs 200-crore management plan for as many as 21 forest sanctuaries and four national parks including the Gir and Black Buck national park in Gujarat. The plan was recently approved by a high-level committee of experts and will be implemented soon.

"The thrust of this plan is on wildlife, conservation of bio-diversity or the habitat for wildlife," deputy chief conservator of forest M M Sharma told TNN.

He said earlier projects on forests had not focused specifically on wildlife. "Here we are focussing on wild animals. Everything else revolves around them. We would like to manage the forests in such a way that it becomes more conducive for wildlife, their population increases and that the endangered species are protected," Sharma said.

He said the objective was to restore the former glory of forests. "We want to bring back to present day forests the image that the 'Panchtantra' conjures for us. A jungle full of birds and animals having abundant foliage making their home more comfortable to live in," Sharma observed.

He dubbed the management plan as a work of excellence that had contributions from some of the finest experts from the Wildlife Institute of India, the Central government, the National Institute of Oceanography, academicians as well as the international principles and practices of forest management. "Besides our own indigenous management systems we have also adopted from foreign literature especially the studies on wild animals like lions, sloth bears etc," Sharma said.

Preliminary drafts for the management of the Wild Ass Sanctuary, Ratanmahal Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Narayan Sarovar Chinkara Sanctuary and the Kutch Desert Sanctuary have already been prepared. Also, about 21 senior rank forest officers have taken the tasks of putting the management plan comprehensively in the form of a voluminous study report on individual sanctuaries and national parks.

"The management plan is in context of the wildlife. It is the wild animals living in forest that we are focussing on. Once upon a time when the forests were rich, these wild beasts were found in huge numbers. Gradually as the forest cover depleted, their numbers shrunk. We want to reverse this trend. Make forests thick and let wildlife flourish," conservator of forests, wildlife circle Vadodara R N Tripathi said. He said help of local NGOs and volunteers would be taken to implement the management plans.

"A part of this management plan is devoted to the development schemes of forest. It has laid down the ways to minimise man-animal confrontation, reduce the dependency on forest resources of villages falling in forest limits and reduce the negative impacts on bio-diversity," Tripathi said.

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


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