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September 29, 2001 - September 29, 2001

Will the teachers go on strike again? Saturday, September 29, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The uncertainty shrouding the political leadership in the state has put teachers in a bigger quandary.

With mediators like Union minister for heavy industries Vallabh Kathiria and VHP's international general secretary Pravin Togadia _ who had negotiated with the government on behalf of teachers _ busy in Delhi averting a political crisis, the teachers are not sure whether the government is really bothered about their demands or not.

Significantly here, it was reportedly decided in a meeting of district education officers from across the state held in Gandhinagar on Thursday that all the notices unleashing series of disciplinary action against the erring education fraternity that include non-payment of grant, building rents, non-granting of NOC, cancellation of recognition of minority-trust schools amongst others, will remain in the implementing stage. "The action plan will remain in the implementing stage," confided a senior education department official.

At the time of withdrawing the fortnight-long strike on September 13, the leaders had promised that they will go back on strike on October 10 (later revised to October 2) if the state government fails to meet their demands and revoke all the notices of disciplinary action against the education fraternity.

So will they desert the classes once again? This is precisely what the teachers are divided about. Having been bitten once when they were forced to unconditionally withdraw their 15-day long strike after the state government cracked the whip, the teachers are twice shy to go on a warpath again.

"There is no progress on the issue of our demands. Mediation is on and right now I am in no position to make any statement," said Ashok Shah, the spokesman of Gujarat Rajya Shaikshanik Sankalan Samiti, who had spearheaded the strike earlier.

But, the fact is that the mediators namely Vallabh Kathiria and Pravin Togadia are presently too caught up in a political maze to lobby for the demands of the teachers.

But then the state government is firm on its stand that they have already met their demands they could, and now the ball is in the court of teachers to decide. "We have already met the teachers' demands. There is no room for further discussion, as we never said that we will accept their demands if they call off the strike," said education minister Anandiben Patel.

The education department, till Thursday evening, has not made any move to withdraw the notices of disciplinary action shot to the teachers and managements alike that include harsh measures like non-payment of grant, non-payment of building rent and terminating services of shikshan sahayaks who had joined the strike. "The department is going to implement the plan," confessed a senior department official.

Pushed to the wall, other samiti leaders confess that they will be left with no other choice but to embark on a protest programme, although of a different kind. "If the government takes us for granted, we will protest. This time, although we will not desert our students, we will involve them in our fight by teaching on weekdays and protesting on weekends," said another samiti leader on the forefront, Narayan Patel.

It may be noted that while the samiti is confident that mediation will resume and resolve their issue in the coming one or two days, the leaders have convened a meeting of the front representatives on September 30 to discuss the plan of action.

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

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Rana to submit report on poll debacle by Oct 8 Saturday, September 29, 2001

AHMEDABAD: State BJP president Rajendrasinh Rana on Friday said that he would submit the report on party's debacle in Sabarkantha and Sabarmati by-polls to party's national president Jana Krishnamurthy by October 8.

Rana, who has been camping in New Delhi, told TNN that the party has decided to convene an emergency meeting of the state executive committee and also that of the core group in Ahmedabad on October 4 to analyse the results, the details of which would be incorporated in the report to be sent to the central leadership.

The proposed meeting will be attended by top leaders of the state unit including Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, Union textiles minister Kashiram Rana, Union minister of state for heavy industries Vallabh Kathiria, organising secretary Sanjay Joshi and in-charge of the by-elections Ashok Bhatt and Jayantilal Barot.

The functionaries will also have a brain storming session on the drastic changes to be effected at the organisational level as suggested by the central leadership during the hectic parleys held at New Delhi in the last three days.

"We will have to make an in-depth study of the factors that led to the party's defeat in the crucial by-elections. An effective strategy should be worked out to strengthen the party to face the challenge posed by the Opposition Congress party for the next Assembly elections."

It is learnt that selected leaders from the party would also be consulted before reaching any conclusion on the reasons for the party's debacle.

When asked about the proposed changes in the organisation, Rana observed, "We have already revamped several district committees based on the report of Bharat Barot committee appointed to probe the abysmal performance of BJP in the panchayat and civic elections held in the state last year." However, there are strong possibilities to further overhaul the party set-up in the coming months, he added.

To another question whether disciplinary action would be taken or not against those BJP workers who had reportedly connived with the Opposition Congress party, mainly the Shankarsinh Vaghela faction in Sabarkantha, Rana replied in the affirmative.

The party would also examine a report that in Sabarmati Assembly constituency, several party workers had become inactive at the behest of former party legislator Yatin Oza, who has supported the Congress candidate Narhari Amin.

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

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Panel suggests drastic cut in fees for payment seats Saturday, September 29, 2001

VADODARA: A committee appointed to review the fee structure for payment seats in the faculty of commerce has reduced fee to about half the present amount. The decision is subject to approval by the syndicate meeting, scheduled for Saturday.

According to sources in the committee, a meeting of the senior officials of the faculty of commerce had recommended that the fee be brought down to Rs 2,500 or Rs 3,100. The review committee took its decision after considering the recommendations made by the faculty members.

Member of the review committee and syndicate member Pragnesh Shah said students seeking admission on the payment seats will have to pay Rs 2,850 as fee in the first year. "Fees for second and third year shall be Rs 2,950 and 3,200 respectively," Shah said. The reduction is drastic considering the fact that earlier the university had finalised a fee of Rs 6,100 per annum on the payment seats.

The committee has also recommended that the dean must ensure that senior teachers and
isiting faculty are also involved in the studies of students taking admissions on these seats. Another major suggestion is that of constituting a vigilance committee to ensure that attendance is taken regularly in the university.

Shah added that the admissions process to FYBCom would now stand closed. "No more admissions will be given except on the seats lying vacant at the Padra College. Students having up to 61 per cent marks will be accommodated on the regular fees seats," he said.

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

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Jamnagar :: Dengue, malaria cases strike Jamnagar Saturday, September 29, 2001

JAMNAGAR: A case of dengue was detected by the health department of the civic body here in the city. According to a health officer, a youth in Momai colony was infected by dengue.

All measures have been taken to contain the spread of the disease, the officer added. About 88 cases of malaria have also been recorded in the district.

Computerised ration cards: Jamnagar civil supplies department has started work on a war footing for new computerised ration cards here.

District supply officer R R Raval while giving details said that all precautionary measures have been taken to keep a check on ghost cards. In 1998, 1,000 ghost cards were detected.

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

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Junagadh :: One dies, 7 injured in accident Saturday, September 29, 2001

JUNAGADH: One person died and seven others were injured when a private luxury bus rammed into the wall of Nejawala building and the gate of Allied School on Gebansha Peer Road. The accident occurred due to brake failure. The bus (GJ 5 8489) was heading towards Surat. The deceased has been identified as Abdul Ibrahim. The 52-year-old died during treatment. All the injured are from Junagadh and are undergoing treatment.

Four rob a woman's gold chain
JUNAGADH: Four people robbed a Dalit woman's gold chain worth Rs 10,000 at Old Vandarvad village of Hatina taluka in Junagadh district. The victim's mother, Ramaben Jadav, has lodged a complaint with the Malia Hatina police in this regard. The complainant stated that her daughter was harassed by the children of Ahir Liliyben Uka, Uka Samat and Kaushik Uka, who had attacked her and looted her gold chain.
The police have registered cases of looting, attacking a woman and atrocity in this regard and are investigating further.

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

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