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September 26, 2001 - September 27, 2001

HC orders SU to prepare new merit list Thursday, September 27, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court has directed the Saurashtra University, Rajkot, to prepare a fresh merit list for post-graduate course in medicine for 2000-2001, using the correct mathematical formula to calculate marks of the applicants and to grant admissions to the students strictly on the basis of the merit list prepared in accordance with the Medical Council of India (MCI) guidelines.

A division Bench comprising Chief Justice DM Dharmadhikari and Justice RR Tripathi observed this while pronouncing the judgment in an appeal moved by a PGM student, Dr Jayesh Meghani, and others.

In November, 1983, the Saurashtra University had introduced a rule to grant admissions to the post-graduate medical course on the basis of the marks scored by the students in the last year of MBBS.

However, the rules were modified on September 1, 1995. As per the new admission rules, 25 per cent marks scored during the first and the second year and 50 per cent of the third year were to be taken into consideration for granting admissions to the PG course.

The university decided that the new rule would be applicable only when the students granted admissions in August 1995 will apply for the PG course.

Subsequently, on October 7, 2000, the MCI issued a Gazette notification named Post-graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000, but the SU decided to apply the same on students admitted in August 1995 and onwards.

The Bench observed that an earlier decision of the single judge of the HC to uphold the above decision was not reasonable and not in accordance with the MCI regulations. An appeal filed by the SU was then not allowed.

The court observed that two difficult systems of selection adopted for students admitted to the first year of MBBS course prior to and after August 1995 were unfair and discriminatory. This was more so in view of the MCI rules which came into force in October 2000.

The court allowed the students' appeal. The petitioner had claimed that Dr Meghani had scored 60.96 per cent marks on basis of cumulative performance in three years as calculated by the university. However, if correctly calculated, his score would increase to 62.14 per cent and his position in the merit-list would go up from 66 to 42. Similar change was possible in the case of Jaimin Patel, whose score would go up from 61.66 to 62.53 per cent.

Considering the mathematical nature of the problem, the court appointed advocate SN Soparkar, who is also a chartered accountant, as amicus curaie. Senior counsel PM Thakker with advocate NV Anjaria appeared for the petitioner. Advocate BP Gupta, advocate, JR Nanavati, advocate general SN Shelat appeared for the state and advocate MK Shelat appeared for the Medical Council of India.

Soparkar pointed out that the calculations can be made in more than one ways. He also showed that the petitioner had calculated correctly. Petitioners had also submitted opinion of Dr BB Jani, who is head of the Statistics department of Gujarat University. It was shown that the Gujarat University and other universities had adopted this method but the SU had not.

It was observed by the court that each year's marks should be calculated on percentage basis and on that basis, weightage of 25, 25 and 50 per cent respectively for each year has to be worked out.

The court observed that the SU should adopt this method as it makes lot of difference so far as chances of admissions for each candidate is concerned.

The HC then directed the SU to modify the merit list and prepare a fresh modified list on the basis of calculations as given by the amicus curiae. The SU was then directed that after a fresh merit list is prepared, the university shall grant admissions to the students strictly in the order of the merit list prepared.

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


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MSUSU V-P embroiled in controversy Thursday, September 27, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
VADODARA: Newly elected vice-president of the Maharaja Sayajirao University Students' Union (MSUSU), Bharat Dangar, is amidst a controversy even before the celebrations of his convincing victory get over.

It has now come to the notice of a section of union leaders that Dangar's academic term would come to an end in December this year. This implies that he cannot hold the post after December, as he would cease to be a student.

The issue was raised at a recent meeting of the union by a section of Faculty Representatives (FR). Senior leaders and other FRs, however, brought the situation under control. The issue was taken care of before it snowballed into a major controversy.

It is being alleged that Dangar kept the students and the authorities in the dark regarding the fact that he would not be a student after December. He is, at present, studying as a Master of Engineering (ME) student at the Faculty of Technology.

Said former MSUSU general secretary Prakash Verma, "Dangar has taken the electorate for a ride. It is obvious that he knew that he would cease to be a student three months after the elections. He should not have contested the polls."

Several other student leaders belonging to factions opposing Dangar expressed similar views. Said Jignesh Patel, who lost the polls to Dangar, "I did not know that I was contesting against such a candidate. Had this come up earlier, he would never have won the polls." Dangar, however, seems to have been lucky as the issue got unnoticed during the poll campaign.

Rules regarding the candidature for MSUSU polls are silent regarding such cases. According to university sources, the rules only state that a student contesting the polls or voting for the same must be enrolled with the university and his fees must be paid before the date of notification.

"The rules do not specify whether the candidate should be a student till the end of his tenure. In fact, there have been incidents in the past when students have paid the fees of only the first term and contested polls. After winning the elections, they never bothered to pay the fees of the second term," said returning officer for the MSUSU polls, N M Bhatt.

Commenting on the issue Dangar said that his election was legal. "No rules have been broken. Besides, I will take admission somewhere once my present term ends. Thus the issue of my ceasing as the vice-president would not arise," he said. Dangar claimed that admissions to several courses in the university would remain open even in December.

He denied taking the students for a ride in any manner. "The allegations that I cannot continue after December are only partially true. The students must rest assured that I will not have to vacate the seat," Dangar said.

University observers, meanwhile, hold that time was ripe to make yet another change in the rules. "Tomorrow someone might get elected only for a month's period. The rules must be corrected immediately by the Syndicate," a university official said.

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


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Union minister visits Kutch Wednesday, September 26, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Union minister of state for defence U V Krishmraju visited the border areas of Kutch district on Monday to review the security measures in the wake of developments following terrorist attacks in the US.

Krishmraju also attended a meeting with defence personnel and took stock of the situation arising out of a possible US retaliation, official sources said. He was accompanied by top defence officials during his visit.

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


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PALANPUR :: Updating farm technology Wednesday, September 26, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
PALANPUR: A three-day long fourth training cum workshop of Krushi Vigyan Kendra(KVK) of two western states (Rajasthan and Gujarat) concluded at Sardar Krushinagar Dantiwada on Thursday with a resolution to exchange the agricultural technology developed by the scientists of agricultural universities in both the states.

Assistant director general Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) A N Shukla, chief guest said the information technology evolved by GAU was a unique experiment in the sphere of agriculture in the country. The communication facility developed in GAU should benefit farmers elsewhere in the country.

The main characteristic of the device is that a farmer can seek guidance from any expert even while sitting in the remotest spot in his village. This saved his time and energy to traverse a long way to and from the university. "If this technology was made familiar in other parts of the country we can bring about radical changes, both qantative and qualitative in the output. Its main characteristic is two- way communication facility", said Shukla who was impressed by the innovative device.

Inaugurating the function, vice-chancellor M H Mehta said the popularity of the IT Krushi Goshthi has inspired other states to emulate the model. GAU has been approached by other states who wished to share the experience and expertise. "We have put forward our claim even before the Planning Commission to allow a special slot for the IT technology for agricultural development. Looking at the vital challenges in the agricultural field, it is necessary for our traditional farming to undergo changes keeping in view demands of the times. The days have gone when a farmer helplessly relied on luck. Now the farmer is not that helpless; he is a part of knowledgeable society", he added.

He emphasised on the need to take Krushi Gosthi in every nook and corner to enable a toiling farmer to repair his fortune along with the prosperity of the country.

Campus director Girish Patel said delegates came here from 31 Krushi Vikas Kendra (KVKs) in Rajasthan and 10 KVKs from the state. Zonal director R N Prashad gave a brief account and objective of the seminar cum work shop at Sardar Krushinagar, GAU's main campus.

Director of extension B D Patel was also present.

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


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Petitioners appeal to GERC for uniform power tariff Wednesday, September 26, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
SURAT: Scores of petitioners, under the aegis of the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Surat Citizens' Council Trust (SCCT), have appealed to the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission that the Surat Electricity Company be directed to adhere to the state government order of billing electricity as per the Gujarat Electricity Board rates.

The SEC receives electricity from the GEB and in turn supplies it to its consumers in the city. Since Januray 1996, the SEC has been supplying electricity to its consumers at GEB rates following orders from the state government.

However, the SEC directly approached the GERC for hiking the tariff last year and has made several representations before the Commission since then. Interestingly, the GEB has not approached the GERC for revising the tariff since October 10, 2000.

According to SCCT managing trustee I J Desai, who represented the case before the Commission, the SEC should not be allowed to implement its own conditions for power supply and frame miscellaneous charges different from the that of the GEB.

The Surat Electricity Company (SEC), has sought legal sanction for the same from the Commission.

The SEC receives electricity from the GEB and in turn supplies it to its consumers in the city. Since Januray 1996, the SEC has been supplying electricity to its consumers at GEB rates following orders from the state government.

However, the company approached the GERC for hiking the tariff last year and has made several representations before the Commission.

For the city based consumers of the SEC to be charged with discriminatory tariffs, if the application for revision in the charges for supply of electricity to its consumers is accepted for implementation by the GERC, would amount to unfair and denial of distributive justice, according to several consumers of the city who have been agitating for long against the exploitative designs of the SEC.

In the hearing held last week at the Commission in Ahmedabad, scores of petitioners from the city, under the aegis of the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) and the Surat Citizens' Council Trust (SCCT), have appealed to the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) that the SEC should adhere to the state government order of billing electricity as per the GEB rates and also follow their regulations.

According to SCCT managing trustee I J Desai, who represented the case before the Commission, the SEC should not be allowed to implement its own conditions for power supply and frame miscellaneous charges different from the that of the GEB, particularly even after October 15, 1991 when power to get its own conditions of supply under the Licensee Act, 1948 does not apply to it.

Desai remarked when the validity of SEC's sanction had been challenged in the Supreme Court under special leave petition, pending final disposal, instead of the GERC, the case be settled by the apex court only. The company has ceased to be a licensee with effect from October 15, 1991 as per the Act, hence the GERC can not have jurisdiction to entertain the application of the SEC for revision in the electricity tariff, Desai forwarded.

For the purpose of supplying electricity at GEB rates to consumers of the SEC in the city, determination of cost of purchase of the electricity from the GEB is determined on the calculation of profit equivalent to 80 per cent of reasonable return which is allowed by the government to be earned by the SEC against the subsidy payable to the GEB by the government for the difference between the lower purchase price fixed by the GERC as per its order dated October 10, 2000, Desai elaborated, hence the application of the SEC for revision even before the GEB amounts to be premature and irrational.

Further, by entertaining the SEC case, the Commission has tried to interfere with the powers of the government as stipulated, he added. For the past 15 years, the city based consumers of the SEC have been agitating against the discriminatory tariffs of electricity levied by the SEC and with effect from January 1, 1996, the government ordered the company to supply the electricity at the GEB rates, he informed. But during 1968 to 1995, due to varying tariff, by the SEC, the consumers of SEC in the city were put to additional burden amounting to hundreds of crores of rupees, Desai stated.

Since the decision of the GERC is awaited, the above facts should be considered by the Commission in the interest of justice to consumers as discriminatory tariff for the same product amounts to unfair distributive system and gross injustice, Desai asserted.

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


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