October 6, 2001 - October 7, 2001
Narendra Modi sworn in as Gujarat CM Sunday, October 7, 2001
Profile of our new CM, Mr. Narendra Modi Sunday, October 7, 2001
IIM placements now through video-conferencing Saturday, October 6, 2001 News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]
AHMEDABAD: There seems to be an invisible umbilical cord linking the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and the World Trade Centre even after the two towers have collapsed. For starters, there were 32 of its alumni working in companies which had offices at the WTC. Now, the institute's prestigious summer placements may be affected with many US companies putting India on the restricted travel list.
"Only six of the 10 foreign companies will be sending their officials down for summer placements this year," says student placement co-ordinator Kapil Dahiya. "Many of them would like to come down but their security officials won't let them," he adds. As these companies would still like get a taste of the students from India's modern-day management 'Takshashila', they will be using the special video-conferencing facility that the institute has set up to make the placements.
Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Deutsche Bank, UBS, IFC and HSBC are the only companies sending their officials for interviews. Merril Lynch, Solomon Smiths and Barnes, Morgan Stanley and J P Morgan will have to make do with video-conferencing. Bringing Merril Lynch to the campus even if digitally is considered quite a coup for the students, as the company is coming to India for a placement for the first time.
Many of the students are disappointed as they believe that an up- close and personal approach is more effective. Apart from the slow-down in the US economy, which on its own is expected to account for fewer placements this year, video-conferencing may also take its toll, bringing down the number of students selected per company even further. Sitting thousands of miles away, companies may not get a correct picture of the candidates, students feel.
The upturn from the entire exercise may be that Indian companies may get a better deal. "We have 40 more students in the fray compared to last year," Dahiya says. "Besides, if the foreign companies make fewer placements, 60 to 70 more students will be placed in India this year," he adds.
Many other factors, however, may play spoilsport this year, which ironically includes the very high reputation that the institute enjoys. Aware that they would be left with only scraps if IIM-A completes its placement first, the other IIMs in the country invariably arrange their placements a day or two before. As a result, they often pick up prime placements. Indian companies have already picked up a large number of students from IIM, Calcutta a couple of days back, putting an extra wrinkle of worry on the faces of students in Ahmedabad.
The competition is so fierce that the other IIMs will rearrange their entire schedule if IIM-A changes its dates, just to ensure that their placements are finished before Ahmedabad starts. This trend is seen during the final placements as well.
Although Dahiya refuses to comment on the fierce competition, he has been spending more time convincing companies that they will get students in Ahmedabad as well. He says, "Indian companies often fear that they will not get students in Ahmedabad, and fill-up many vacancies before coming to Ahmedabad. I have made it a point to let them know that they don't have to worry."
Also, these worries should not be seen as a reflection of things to come during the final placements, Dahiya insists. "There is no direct relation between the two. We had a large number of foreign summer placements last year, but that did not translate into more students going abroad during the final placements," he says.
IIM-A's post-graduate programme chairman professor G Raghuram says that as far as the faculty is concerned, summer placements are merely an academic exercise. "Over the past few years, however, students have come to see them as a route to pre-placement offers. It would, therefore, be unfair to say that summer placements do not reflect what will take place at the final placements. At the same time, it would be unfair to say that you can get the total picture of the final placements here," he adds.
What the students feel, however, is based more on speculation and intelligent guesses. How the companies will react to the tele-conferencing and the latest crop of students will become clear only in the coming weeks.
News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]
NSUI, ABVP members in arms against each other Saturday, October 6, 2001 News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]
Source Times News Network
VADODARA: First came the election defeat. Then came a stay order. Now, it is time for a hand-to-hand fight. NSUI and ABVP drew swords on Wednesday night at an MSUSU party.
NSUI member and former FR Neerav Desai and Mehul Ojha were allegedly beaten up by a group of students having allegiance to ABVP and supporters of MSUSU VP Bharat Dangar and GS Mehul Lakhani. NSUI claimed that Neerav and Mehul were beaten up while they were about to leave the party which ironically was thrown by Dangar and Lakhani. NSUI also said it was the third time that Neerav was targeted by Dangar and Lakhani's supporters.
On Thursday morning, however, it was NSUI's turn. A staunch supporter of Dangar and Lakhani, Dharmendra, was beaten up on science faculty campus by former commerce FGS Amit Ghotikar and former MSUSU VP Amar Dhomse (both NSUI members). Dharmendra, they said, had to be taught lesson for beating up Neerav. Than on the political fight began.
Senior NSUI and ABVP student leaders crowded the Sayajigunj police station. Cross complaints were filed. Dhomse, Ghotikar, NSUI president Prashant Patel and former MSUSU GS Prakash Verma blamed 'errant' ABVP student leaders for targeting innocent NSUI student leaders. Verma and Co squarely blamed Dangar and Lakhani and claimed that NSUI student leaders have been repeatedly beaten up.
Dangar and Lakhani, on the other hand, said that NSUI has still not digested its humiliating defeat in MSUSU elections and on every occasion tries to tarnish their image, also sullying ABVP's image for no reason at all. Both leaders denied NSUI's claim that Neerav and Mehul were beaten up. Instead, they say the assault on science faculty campus was uncalled for.
"Senior MSU student leaders like Dhomse and Ghotikar beating up a young boy does not look good. It speaks volumes of what kind of attitude they have and what example they are setting for society", Dangar said.
Lakhani too came heavily on NSUI. "They want to take revenge on me. Instead of taking the defeat in their stride, they indulge in cheap acts," Lakhani said, adding that some other innocent student leaders were also threatened by Dhomse and Ghotikar.
"They went to these students' home, abused them in public and threatened to beat them up," Lakhani said.
Verma, Ghotikar and Dhomse vehemently denied the allegation and said they had to intervene because some innocent NSUI student members were being targeted. "They have thrice attacked Neerav. There is a limit to one's tolerance. If they believe in beating him up they should also be prepared for the same treatment," Verma said.
The bitterness between the two groups, however, was somewhat subdued after Sayajigunj police inspector MS Patel managed to break the ice.
"Such petty fights speak ill of the entire student community. I have taken assurances from both the rival groups that none will attack the other," PI Patel said.
After trading charges at police station for over three hours, senior leaders of both NSUI and ABVP agreed to maintain amicable relations and assured the police that they will see to it that junior students in both groups do not indulge in violence.
News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]
Modi's swearing-in to be 'modestly extravagant' Saturday, October 6, 2001 News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]
Source : Times News Network
GANDHINAGAR: Modesty is the 'best policy', especially if you are an incumbent CM being crowned mid-term after quelling an intra-party revolt. But how about a little extravagance?
A 23-feet high dome _ over 90-feet wide and 70-feet long _ accommodating a 1,800 square foot podium is being erected at the Gandhinagar helipad ground. The temporary-dome, a unique one with metal framework and very few columns between the arches, is rivalled in height and size only by the over two-decade-old concrete dome at a corner of the helipad.
With the swearing-in of Narendra Modi as the new Gujarat CM on Sunday likely to draw an august gathering of about 1,500 VVIPs, and a guest list which includes Union ministers, about seven CMs and other dignitaries apart from the 40,000 BJP workers, the size of the dome is hardly surprising.
Over one lakh square feet area of the helipad will be covered for the swearing-in with the same off-white cloth which will adorn the dome. While there will be no dearth of flower pots at the venue, organisers are still deliberating on whether or not to select the 'cut-flower' backdrop screen to be fitted behind the huge dome.
On Thursday, the Gandhinagar helipad was abuzz with activity as the decorators _ R Gandhi and Co _ set shop at the venue with over 175 men deployed to ensure an extravagant swearing-in ceremony sans hitches.
Apart from the decorators _ for whom this is the fifth CM's swearing-in ceremony which the company has handled _ a sizeable number of staff deployed by the roads and buildings department are also looking after strategic positioning of air-conditioners, air-coolers, pedestal and ceiling fans and, of course, a large number of loud speakers.
But, that's not all. Heavy police bandobast _ one inspector-general of police, three superintendents of police, 12 deputy superintendents of police, 30 police inspectors, 100 police sub-inspectors and a 1,000 police constables will be deployed at the site on Sunday. Aiding the police will be a huge fence which will cut off all unnecessary entry and exit points.
Though R&B department principal secretary H P Jamdar insisted "the programme will be a simple one," ground realities suggest that even in the suggested "simplicity" there is that underlying urge to lend elegance to the swearing-in. And herein the age-old adage 'too many cooks spoil....' fits in.
Already, the dome construction plans and the ever-important sitting arrangements have undergone three changes since Thursday leaving the ground staff bewildered. First the podium was to be 50-feet-long at five-feet-high. Then the podium size was stretched to 90 feet and the elevation boosted to 7.5 feet, only to be brought down to 5.5 feet.
"After all, press photographers and cameramen of the electronic media cannot be left to look up struggling to get a clear shot," said a BJP member at the under-construction venue. The number and proper placement of fans, air-coolers and air-conditioners as also the loud speakers gauging the wind direction is also being debated upon.
But frequent change of plans has left even R&B employees deployed at the site jaded. An official told TNN: "I can't give you any information simply because I don't know how many more changes will we have to go through. Already we have seen overhauling of plans with every heavy-weight thinking his idea to be the best. The only thing I can say is that there won't be any mistakes or goof-ups. One can't afford to do anything that would cause embarrassment to our new CM."
The programme will be attended by Union home minister L K Advani, Union minister for information and broadcasting Sushma Swaraj, Farooq Abdullah and six other CMs, along with 300 VVIPs from the Centre will join Gujarat VVIPs to witness Modi's swearing-in.
And thus, say the organisers, such meticulous planning is necessary for "a simple" programme. But, ask about the expenditure, and nobody is aware. Neither the contractor, nor senior BJP men or even the principal secretary of R&B has any inkling about the money involved for this modestly-extravagant ushering in of the new chief minister of Gujarat.
News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]
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