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October 11, 2001 - October 11, 2001

Palanpur :: 3-day conference on veterinary pathology Thursday, October 11, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
PALANPUR: A three-day long national conference of veterinary pathology will be held at College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Gujarat Agricultural University, Sardar Krushinagar (Dantiwada) beginning on Thursday.

The seminar will mainly focus on various diseases of livestock, poultry, zoo and wild animals, and the different methods of diagnosis and treatment in these animals.

The theme of the conference is "Current trends and challenges in livestock and poultry diseases including wildlife crisis in 21st century".

Union minister of state for agriculture Shripad Naik will inaugurate the seminar while the GAU vice-chancellor, Dr M H Mehta, will preside over the function.

According college principal M C Desai, who is also the convenor of the seminar, eminent scientists and research scholars would present about 200 research papers on various diseases found in livestock, zoo and wild animals in different climatic conditions.

The seminar will provide an effective platform to manifest the facets of animal diseases and diagnosis especially emerging and re-emerging diseases.

The seminar will widely benefit not only the scientific community but also help the farming community.

Keynote lectures will be delivered by deputy director general (animal science) Dr Kiran Singh, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, Dr Lal Krishna, assistant director general, ICAR and former director of Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Dr R S Rajya and president of Indian Association for Veterinary Pathology, Dr J L Vagad.

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


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State wakes up slowly to threat of bio-attack Thursday, October 11, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD/VADODARA: Five doctors from the state have been despatched to the Armed Forces Medical College and Institute of Virology, Pune, to get hands-on training on the invisible, infectious weapons of biological warfare namely anthrax, botulism, sarin, tularaemia, small-pox and more, and to learn about new breakthroughs in their prevention and control in the wake of the threat of bio-terrorism rearing its ugly head in the region.

"We are preparing ourselves to face any eventuality. People have been sent to gets hands-on training on these feared weapons of bio-terrorism. We are taking all possible steps to keep ourselves fully prepared to combat this unseen enemy," said state health commissioner CI Joi.

It needs mention here that the state health department had also convened an emergency meeting of key health officials last week to review the plan of action in case of a biological war breaking out.

With the Centre alerting the state governments to bio-terrorism, the status of availability of antidotes, namely vaccines, antibiotics, etc, is also being reviewed, Joi said.

Though the Vadodara IMA chapter and the district health department have learnt practical lessons and organised seminars on medical disaster preparedness following the January 26 earthquake, a biological warfare is an unprecedented disaster, say most doctors.

The state government has therefore decided to have regional meetings in various districts, including Vadodara, on Friday to discuss the eventuality, informs SSG hospital's Preventive and Social Medicine department's Dr. P V Kotecha.

"This is a new kind of medical disaster and even the US might be unable to ascertain how to combat a sudden attack. Vadodara doctors too would need to be trained for this kind of warfare," he says.

"There can be a viral attack, a poisonous or a bacterial attack and dealing with this would require resources, manpower and training. We have some resources like a large number of beds, a control room and doctors. But dealing with such attacks would require doctors to undergo training," he added.

Not wanting to be quoted, a doctor said, "Vadodara's doctors are not aware of such a calamity. I personally am unsure about how one could handle such a medical disaster as this is a new concept. Training would be needed to handle such a crisis," he said.

Most doctors feel though hospitals (government and private) would be ready with beds and medical equipment and doctors too would be ready to help, such a disaster would be difficult to handle due to the complexity involved.

This is an imaginative situation and it would be difficult to handle it. "Neither Vadodara nor any other city in world is be fully prepared for an attack like this," said a doctor.

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


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Keshubhai camp interested in retaining ministry Thursday, October 11, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
GANDHINAGAR: Even as it became known on Wednesday that Chief Minister Narendra Modi might go in for the expected Cabinet expansion by the week-end after he returns from New Delhi, there is an air of eager anticipation about who would get the crucial revenue portfolio.

While transfers effected in the last two days make it evident that the new chief minister is cutting to size bureaucrats perceived to be close to the previous regime, the issue of the next revenue minister is critical to determine whether skeletons of dubious land deals during the last three years would tumble out.

With Keshubhai Patel's right-hand man and former revenue and finance minister Vajubhai Vala, who is himself in the real estate business, having been kept out of the Modi ministry in spite of immense pressures, the revenue portfolio is crucial as the previous BJP government had a record of close liaison with land sharks, builders and industrialists who also served as a major source of party funding.

The nexus between the real estate and construction industry with the previous regime had come out in the open after the January 26 earthquake when it was found that most of the buildings that collapsed were actually sanctioned and constructed during the BJP regime.

The ex-CM has already made two attempts, both unsuccessful, to have his man installed as the state's revenue minister.

Keshubhai first wanted Vala to be inducted in the new Cabinet. The other name proposed by him for the post of revenue minister was that of Kaushik Patel.

Kaushik was taken in but at the last moment Modi gave him the energy and petrochemicals portfolio, which again upset the former CM.

A top source close to Keshubhai confirmed: "He did suggest Kaushik's name as revenue minister but he never insisted on it."

Options before Modi now are few. At one point, Suresh Mehta's right-hand man, and Saurashtra Patel leader, Purshottam Rupala, was tipped to get the revenue portfolio.

With Rupala having been given agriculture, the revenue issue is still an open question. Other persons whose names are doing the rounds in the state Capital are those of Haren Pandya, a minister of state for home in the previous government, and Amit Shah, an MLA from Sarkhej (Ahmedabad). Both are very close to Modi.

Pandya has a clean record as minister but he may be reluctant to dig up the dubious deals of the past. As for Shah, after his successful handling of the Madhavpura Mercantile Co-operative Bank crisis, he is also seen as the next co-operatives minister.

Insiders say Modi would be keen on digging out details of numerous land deals with industrialist houses and port developers around the Gulf of Kutch and transfer of land into hands of those who were close to the previous regime.

Besides, huge tracts of land in and around Rajkot had exchanged hands of late, and the revenue department had played facilitator in such activities.

Also, several land deals had been struck and were in the process of being executed. Any change of guard could disrupt the process.

Which is why Modi would be keen to have a person, in whom he has complete confidence, to head a department which could provide crucial ammunition to counter his adversaries within the party.

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


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Kanjibhai to revive textile units Thursday, October 11, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
GANDHINAGAR: New labour and employment minister Kanjibhai Patel says his first priority will be to explore possibilities of re-starting some of the closed and 'sick' textile units of the National Textile Corporation, on the lines of Jehangir Vakil Mill in Ahmedabad, which reopened last week.

While speaking to reporters, Patel said serious efforts would be made to re-start the textile units in consultation with Union textile minister Kashiram Rana.

A joint meeting would be soon held between state officials and textile ministry officials either in Gandhinagar or New Delhi, to discuss the issue.

Kanjibhai admitted that the general slowdown of economy posed a threat to employment, but asserted that the government would strictly enforce laws aimed at protecting industrial workers.

He has summoned officials from labour and employment commissionerate on Wednesday to review the implementation of 53 labour laws in the state.

When asked about former chief minister Keshubhai Patel's plan to provide part-time jobs to 1,00,000 unemployed youth with salaries ranging from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000, Patel replied, "We will implement the plan as it was BJP's commitment to the unemployed youth... there is no plan to abandon it."

Referring to the job potential in the information technology sector, Patel said existing schemes for setting up computer training institutes by offering them incentives would be streamlined.

In last two years, more than 1.5 lakh students, including a large number of girls, have been trained in computers and a majority of them absorbed in offices and business establishments.

The government would also review implementation of the policy on recruitment of local youth in state and central undertakings to ensure that they are following recruitment norms.

In rural areas schemes for marginal farmers and farm labourers would be implemented effectively, he added.

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


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Kanjibhai to revive textile units Thursday, October 11, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
GANDHINAGAR: New labour and employment minister Kanjibhai Patel says his first priority will be to explore possibilities of re-starting some of the closed and 'sick' textile units of the National Textile Corporation, on the lines of Jehangir Vakil Mill in Ahmedabad, which reopened last week.

While speaking to reporters, Patel said serious efforts would be made to re-start the textile units in consultation with Union textile minister Kashiram Rana.

A joint meeting would be soon held between state officials and textile ministry officials either in Gandhinagar or New Delhi, to discuss the issue.

Kanjibhai admitted that the general slowdown of economy posed a threat to employment, but asserted that the government would strictly enforce laws aimed at protecting industrial workers.

He has summoned officials from labour and employment commissionerate on Wednesday to review the implementation of 53 labour laws in the state.

When asked about former chief minister Keshubhai Patel's plan to provide part-time jobs to 1,00,000 unemployed youth with salaries ranging from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000, Patel replied, "We will implement the plan as it was BJP's commitment to the unemployed youth... there is no plan to abandon it."

Referring to the job potential in the information technology sector, Patel said existing schemes for setting up computer training institutes by offering them incentives would be streamlined.

In last two years, more than 1.5 lakh students, including a large number of girls, have been trained in computers and a majority of them absorbed in offices and business establishments.

The government would also review implementation of the policy on recruitment of local youth in state and central undertakings to ensure that they are following recruitment norms.

In rural areas schemes for marginal farmers and farm labourers would be implemented effectively, he added.

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


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