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September 16, 2001 - September 16, 2001

GSEB resolves to improve standard of education Sunday, September 16, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat Secondary Education Board (GSEB) will provide model question papers for class XI (science) in all higher secondary schools across the state. The move is to prepare the students for better performance in competitive exams.

The working committee of the board on Friday resolved that this year the schools will be given an option to use the model question papers on a voluntary basis. "If need be, the same will be made compulsory in the coming years", said board chairman P V Trivedi.

The board has also resolved to send five model papers each for class X and class XII. For the time being, the board will send one paper of each subject before the prelim examinations.

Considering the comparatively low standard of education in the state, the board has decided to organise an educational workshop to ensure uniformity of syllabus as per the national standards.

It was also resolved in the working committee that the board should not reduce itself to an exam conducting agency only, but also organise regular programmes to enhance the standard of education in the state.

The board also sent to the state government for its approval a proposal to form a permanent action plan committee for the Class X and Class XII board exams.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]

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MSU plans to participate in youth festival Sunday, September 16, 2001

VADODARA: The Union ministry of youth affairs and sports had proposed to MS University to co-host the National Youth Festival last year. But neither could the MSU host the festival nor could it send any delegation to participate in the youth festival _ all because student elections are not held early in the academic year, sources said.

They said this year too the scenario has not changed. "How can we participate in any of the innumerable festivals organised by bodies like the Association of Indian Universities if we have not yet appointed a students union. Generally such festivals are held between October and December. It is already mid-September, and we have not yet completed the student's elections. It is only after this that we can have inter-faculty competitions," said an MSU official.

On the positive side though, MSUSU president Sanjeev Vaidya said things are set to change, and that they were planning to have competitions once the student's elections were peacefully over on Friday (September 14).

"Unless we arrange our own festival of drama, vocal music, debate and elocution we cannot send our teams. So we would have to arrange internal competitions to choose and shortlist the best students to represent at the national level," he said.

According to him, organising such programmes require university students and staff to get together to arrange competitions to screen students and send the best team to the inter-collegiate festivals.

"We want to change old ways now. Once MSU students' union elections are over, we plan to arrange a special meeting with elected representatives to organise extra-curricular programmes on the campus," says Vaidya.

Students' Union treasurer Satish Joshi said they have already started receiving invitations to inter-college youth festivals from different parts of the country, and if these are held after a month they would be able to start shortlisting students.

MSU students' union has a variety of committees _ the hiking committee, the indoor games committee, the cultural entertainment committee, the badminton committee and the union magazine, among others. He said the committees are allotted funds and these can be used to organise extra-curricular activities on campus.

Vaidya said so far most departments and faculties in the university have worked in isolation - with each organising their own programme. We want to bring all of them together so that MSU as a whole can have a festival.

The committees can play an important role in organising these events. Though nothing is finalised yet, the best time to have inter faculty competitions would be within the next few days, as after that Navratri and mid-term exams follow.

There are many competitions, some of which are arranged by the Association of Indian Universities at the national level. If MSU students have to participate in these, then inter-faculty competitions should be conducted within the campus. "If we are unable to shortlist candidates on a short notice, then those who perform well this year can be sent only next year to represent MSU at the national level," he says.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]

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Relief and distress written all over e-mails from US Sunday, September 16, 2001

VADODARA/AHMEDABAD: Computers screens staring at Net users poured horror and pain, anguish and agony as hundreds of mails poured in from different parts of the US, with people desperate to get in touch with their near and dear ones as New York became a target for terrorist attacks on Tuesday.

Shabana I Desai, a resident of Juhapura in Ahmedabad forwarded a message sent by her sister Shaheen, who stays in Milwaukee near Chicago which said: "Thanks for your mail of today. Please pray for our well being. It seems we are not safe here. I don't want to write anything in the e-mail. We are fine here... just keep praying for us. My kids are doing fine here. Shaz has lot of questions in his mind. I will not send him to Islamic Centre for some days. Aapa, hope you all are doing fine there. Salaam to you all and love to all the kids. Allah Hafiz."

A perturbed Shabana told TNN after receiving the message: "I am very disturbed after getting this e-mail. Though this is the worst act of terrorism which chills our spine, I want to know who will give protection to Indian Muslims living in America! Is anything being done by the government to provide security to them as well! Our government is conveniently forgetting the plight of Indian Muslims who are living in constant fear of being victimised."

Gautham Iyer, an employee at the Duetsche Bank's US headquarters, in an e-mail message to his friend in Vadodara, said: "I am alive and I have got a second birth today. It all started at 8.48 am. I just walked into the office, which is right opposite to the World Trade Centre, reading a mail. I heard a thud kind of a sound as my seat is very near to the window. Initially, I saw a lot of paper stuff falling, and when I looked up there was lot of smoke coming in and small metal particles hitting my window. I ran as fast as I could and reached the ground floor for further announcements ..."

"It's just like the earthquake, yaar ...," wrote Khyati Nayak, a city girl now studying in the US. Khyati wrote: "People are terrified ... they can't believe anything like this could happen in the US. They are sending hate-mails on the Net. I think the Americans are real nationalists."

"As my room is on the 76th floor of the WTC, I wanted to call him to find out if he is fine. So, I took the lift which were still working and went to the 9th floor. I tried calling him. Then I heard this second big sound which shook my building and saw lots of debris falling. This time big metal pieces coming towards my window. I ran fast. I ran down the nine floors in a minute ..." said Gautham in his mail.

"I witnessed one of the worst events in history. I saw everything collapse in front of me. I am not sure if I should be happy for coming out alive or sad for those thousands of people who died. There might me many friends who are trapped in it. I am fine now, but still in a state of shock. I cannot believe this has happened," added Gautham.

And, it just wasn't from the US. Mails poured in from Canada too. "Hi, what a day of terror!! I was actually afraid, because if someone can target the US, then no country in the world is safe. We could not work, and kept talking about what had happened. I heard that Nostradamus had predicted that in the first year and nine months of the new century, something like this would happen in the new city. Was he meaning New York?" wrote Dhruva Sheetal, a Vadodara girl now settled in Canada, in an e-mail to her friend.

A Vadodara-based portal,, which posted a message board to connect people from Vadodara to their relatives and friends in the US, was flooded with e-mails from desperate people trying to get in touch.

"I am happy to receive the mail from your organisation. I was trying to contact my home, but could not due to the heavy traffic of phones. I am unable to contact my son and father. Could you please tell them we are safe? My brother stays in Manjalpur," wrote Jagdish Patel to a city portal.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]

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Administrative staff federation to continue strike Sunday, September 16, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Striking Gujarat State Colleges and Administrative Staff Federation members organised a garba at the Bhadra temple in Ahmedabad on Friday to protest for their pending demands. They also organised a Ramdhun in front of the residence of BJP MLA Ranchod Rabari, who gave them an assurance that their demands will be met with as soon as possible.

The members will form a human chain at Nehru Bridge as part of their ongoing protests, the president of the federation, Prabodh Bhatt, told TNN.

However, unions from Gujarat University have not taken part in the protests after the initial rally as they do not belong to the federation.

Ironically, teachers' and principals' unions in the state have appealed to the federation to withdraw the strike in the interest of the teachers. The same unions had threatened against imposing ESMA on striking school teachers. Vice-chancellors of the seven prominent universities in the state have also joined in the appeal by the teachers.

Among the unions appealing to the federation are Gujarat State College Managements' Association, the Gujarat University Affiliated Colleges Management Association, the Gujarat State College Principals' Association, the Gujarat University Principals' Association and The Federation of College and University Teachers' Association of Gujarat State.

There were rumours that the federation may withdraw its strike by Monday under pressure from the other unions, but its officials called it deliberate misinformation and insisted that the strike will continue indefinitely till their demands are met.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]

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Three men kill auto driver after dispute Sunday, September 16, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Three persons living in the Vastral road area on the outskirts of the city were on Friday booked for killing a rickshaw driver after a dispute with him over fare.

Rohit Ganpat Chunara, who lives in Devipura na Chhapra in Khokhra lodged a complaint with the Amraiwadi police that three persons had fought with Kantibhai Roomalbhai Chunara after hiring his rickshaw, and then stabbed and beat him to death.

According to the police, the accused Rakesh Rajaram, Rohan alias Kailash Rajaram and Rajaram Krishnamurthy _ who stay in Green Park flats on Vastral road _ had come to the chawl and one of them had got hold of Kantibhai while the rest beat him in the head with iron pipes and stabbed him in the stomach. The incident occurred near the Khokhra municipal bus station at around 12.40 pm. The quarrel was apparently over inflated fare. None of the accused have been arrested yet.

Communal riot: Barely a month after the Chanasma incident, the police lobbed teargas shells and lathicharged a riotous mob when some miscreants tried to stone a mosque in Tharad town in the sensitive border district of Banaskantha on Friday.

Police sources said the incident was a fallout of another incident which occurred on Wednesday when the eyes of a Hanuman idol in a temple were found gouged out and crushed beside the idol. This temple was also in the Tharad town. Assuming that the act must have been that of a particular community, the rival group on Friday decided to declare a bandh and lead a procession through the town. The mob reportedly pelted stones at a mosque, causing tension in the town. A police source said, "The miscreants probably came with the intention of stealing the idol."

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]

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