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September 28, 2001 - September 28, 2001

BCA seats in abundant, no takers Friday, September 28, 2001

Courtsey : Times News Network
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat University may have given fresh approval to eight BCA colleges but no one seems elated about it. The fresh admission process for the 960 seats in these colleges began on Wednesday and already there are signs that many students may not opt for them.

On the first day, 352 forms were sold. Considering that the maximum rush for application forms is on the first day, the signs look ominous. A fear is that only students with less marks will apply to these colleges, impairing the reputation of the course.

The worries are compounded by the general recession in the economy and the IT industry in a spiralling downturn. "The industry needs more BCAs, but they are not the only ones we need," says Rajan Vasa, managing director of Contech Software Limited. "Ideally, I would like to see only 25 per cent effort in creating BCAs and 75 per cent in creating MCAs and high-end engineers."

Applitech Solutions' corporate relations head Kapil Mittal prefers to be blunt. "We hardly ever employ BCAs as they have no idea of industry requirements," he says. "Often they have to be retrained to bring them up to industry standards."

Gujarat University's executive council spent much of the last few months debating whether or not the approval should be given, with the new Congress MLA from Sabarmati Narhari Amin even going to court over norms being allegedly flouted and some approvals being held back. Important work like repairing the university buildings damaged in the earthquake, were put on hold as the power bodies of the university went into intricate details like whether need can be established on the basis of the distance between two colleges.

Finally almost all trusts were allowed to open BCA colleges and not every one is sure if it was such a good thing after all. Students with higher marks have found their way to medical and engineering colleges. Those with good marks and wanting admissions specifically in BCA applied for the eight established colleges leaving only those students who have barely 50 per cent mark.

In fact, first indications of students losing interest in BCA came a couple of months back when the reputed colleges began admissions. Only 2,300 students applied for 960 seats, compared to last year's 6,000. Most trusts, however, did not read the signals and continued demanding new colleges. As an official put it, "The hype on IT has fizzled and it is about time we realise that."

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


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BCA seats in abundant, no takers Friday, September 28, 2001

Courtsey : Times News Network
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat University may have given fresh approval to eight BCA colleges but no one seems elated about it. The fresh admission process for the 960 seats in these colleges began on Wednesday and already there are signs that many students may not opt for them.

On the first day, 352 forms were sold. Considering that the maximum rush for application forms is on the first day, the signs look ominous. A fear is that only students with less marks will apply to these colleges, impairing the reputation of the course.

The worries are compounded by the general recession in the economy and the IT industry in a spiralling downturn. "The industry needs more BCAs, but they are not the only ones we need," says Rajan Vasa, managing director of Contech Software Limited. "Ideally, I would like to see only 25 per cent effort in creating BCAs and 75 per cent in creating MCAs and high-end engineers."

Applitech Solutions' corporate relations head Kapil Mittal prefers to be blunt. "We hardly ever employ BCAs as they have no idea of industry requirements," he says. "Often they have to be retrained to bring them up to industry standards."

Gujarat University's executive council spent much of the last few months debating whether or not the approval should be given, with the new Congress MLA from Sabarmati Narhari Amin even going to court over norms being allegedly flouted and some approvals being held back. Important work like repairing the university buildings damaged in the earthquake, were put on hold as the power bodies of the university went into intricate details like whether need can be established on the basis of the distance between two colleges.

Finally almost all trusts were allowed to open BCA colleges and not every one is sure if it was such a good thing after all. Students with higher marks have found their way to medical and engineering colleges. Those with good marks and wanting admissions specifically in BCA applied for the eight established colleges leaving only those students who have barely 50 per cent mark.

In fact, first indications of students losing interest in BCA came a couple of months back when the reputed colleges began admissions. Only 2,300 students applied for 960 seats, compared to last year's 6,000. Most trusts, however, did not read the signals and continued demanding new colleges. As an official put it, "The hype on IT has fizzled and it is about time we realise that."

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


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Vadodara :: Congress herds corporators to Rajasthan Friday, September 28, 2001

Courtsey : Times News Network
VADODARA: Dogged by fear of "poaching", the city Congress on Wednesday night herded all its 34 corporators to Rajasthan. They are fearing "poaching" by the BJP, which is making desperate attempts to gain an upper hand in the standing committee of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC). Election for the committee is scheduled for Saturday.

All party corporators were on a trip to Mount Abu, Ambaji and other places in North Gujarat and Rajasthan. Party sources told TNN from Rajasthan that the corporators were taken away from Vadodara to "keep the flock together to preventing any chance of horse trading" in the run up to the standing committee elections.

The VMC general board will meet on Saturday evening to elect six members to the committee. Recently six of the members were removed from the committee by the way of a draw.

Congress corporators on the trip said the decision was taken to keep the elected representatives together on the eve of the polls. "While there is no threat of our councillors breaking away, we took the decision as we wanted to stay together before the polls," said Congress corporator Chirag Zaveri.

When the board was elected last year, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got its panel of corporators elected to the same with support from the Samata Party. However, the relation between the coalition partners have severed since.

Political observers said the Congress might be apprehensive of the fact that the BJP might try for cross voting in the corporation using Congress councillors. Roots for such fears lie in the fact that BJP might try to let go of Samata as a coalition partner and look for other allies or try to get some Congress councillors to vote in their favour or abstain.

Notably, a couple of Congress councillors had voted against the party mandate during the elections to the Nagar Prathmik Shikshan Samiti. The incident had raked up a major controversy at that time.

Meanwhile, well-informed sources said last ditch attempts were being made by state-level leaders of the BJP and Samata to strike a compromise. A formula to this effect is being worked out.

According to BJP insiders, a section of Samata corporators were still keen on continuing with the alliance. "Senior leaders of the level of state general secretary and organising secretary are working on the formula. There are all chances that the alliance might work out," a source said.

A meeting of BJP councillors was scheduled late on Thursday evening to take a final decision. BJP state vice-president and Godhra MP Bhupendrasinh Solanki was expected to attend the meeting.

Commenting on his party's situation city BJP president Shabdasharan Brahmbhatt said, "We will prove our majority during the vote. There is no reason for worry as we have the necessary numbers."

Deputy mayor and city Samata Party president Shailesh Mehta said parleys were being conducted by state-level leaders of his party. "They will take a final decision in this regard," he said.

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


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Bleak future lies for diamond exports Friday, September 28, 2001

Source : Times News Network
SURAT: For over 10,000 diamond cutting and processing units here, it is a wait and watch situation, as in the past fortnight post Terror Tuesday, routine diamond exports as part of trade commitments, have slumped 20 per cent along with no forward export transaction having been negotiated bilaterally in view of the uncertainty at global level.

Recession-hit diamond industry with exports worth Rs 36,000 crore, is under commercial siege as no trade commitments have taken place for export of diamonds to the US _ with major commercial centres accounting for over 70 per cent of the city' s total export. So the diamond, gem and jewellery industry is heading towards one of the worst crises.

However, it would be too early to rush to a conclusion about the global impact in the wake of the US developments but the fall-out is being felt in bits and pieces, for the diamond units would have no advance commercial obligations.

The grip of uncertainty is real, according to Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council Gujarat region advisor K K Sharma. The long term impact could be assessed only later.

In case of a prolonged war, it would be the worst phase for the diamond industry, said Surat Diamond Manufacturers Association president Pravin Nanavati. The diamond industry in the recent past has suffered on many accounts and with the recession world over for the past few years, with the uncertainty at the international level the industry seems to be facing turbulent days ahead, Nanavati said.

Though exports have resumed after a few days' closure, what worries trade circles is that no new deal has been struck. So diamond exporters have nothing but to put a brave face.

With the international scenario going through a conflict of sorts, the industries like diamond would definitely be having hard times.

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


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Reserved water stored for summer... released Friday, September 28, 2001

Source : Times News Network
GANDHINAGAR: A big group of farmers from Botad made a strong representation before irrigation minister Nitin Patel demanding that the water should be released from Sukhbhadar dam to save the crop withering due to failure of last spell of monsoon in the state.

The minister assured them that the government would sympathetically consider their plea as in majority of irrigation schemes the water was being stored to cater to drinking water requirement in summer as there was no possibility of rain in next few days.

Later speaking to reporters the minister said the department had already started releasing surplus water from irrigation dams for the farm sector all over the state. In central Gujarat's Kheda and Anand districts, paddy crop had been saved due to timely release of water from Kadana dam and the Narmada canal. Paddy crop had failed last year due to non-availability of water at the Kadana project, but this time paddy grown in over 80,000 hector in the region was saved. This was possible as adequate water was stored in the dam.

Similarly, efforts were being made to release Narmada waters in Sabarmati so that paddy could be saved in the command area of Fatehwadi scheme in Ahmedabad district. At least 300 cusces of water would be drawn from Narmada canal which would be diverted to Ahmedabad, and also in the Saurashtra branch of the main canal of Narmada to solve drinking water shortage in Jamnagar and Rajkot districts.

Senior irrigation department officials have been asked to prepare a schedule for supply of surplus water from irrigation dams for agriculturists as standing kharif crops would wither away if water was not supplied at this crucial stage.

In south Gujarat region, surplus water from Ukai dam was continuously being supplied to the farm sector as there was enough water and no possibility of shortage of drinking water. In Rajkot and Bhavnagar districts, standing crop of cotton and groundnut have been saved from withering through release of water from Aji and Shetrunji dams in the region.

Referring to north Gujarat, Patel said water was being released from Dharoi dam as there was a good amount in the reservoir which was earlier supplying water to Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. In view of the failure of monsoon for two consecutive years, the state government assisted Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to lay a 31-km Raska weir pipeline for supply of drinking water from Mahi, and later Narmada. Ahmedabad thus was not dependent on Dharoi.

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



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