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September 11, 2001 - September 13, 2001

US Attacked: Aid might get hampered Thursday, September 13, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The flow of aid from the US to the Kutch quake victims may taper off as NRIs and their business establishments may have been hit by the New York terrorist attacks.

Fund-raising programmes of Action India Foundation, which had promised $50 million in the long run for rebuilding Kutch, are chaired by former US president Clinton.

However, there is a possibility of the funds flow being affected since NRIs in New York and other cities, who had planned fund-raisers, will now have to give up the idea. The terrorist attacks have clearly overshadowed the quake which is no longer high on the memory recall of foreigners, least of all Americans.

"On September 25, a fund-raiser was planned in Chicago by the Foundation. But in the present situation it won't be possible. However, we have disbursed aid worth $2 million amongst different organisations for rehabilitation work and our funding will continue," said Raju Bhatt, who is co-ordinating the AIF activities.

He is busy establishing contacts with AIF members to know about their whereabouts. The AIF office is located a few hundred metres away from the collapsed World Trade Center and hence the priority is damage assessment.

Bhatt is hopeful that the aid flow will not cease. "The Asian American Hotel Owners Association, which has a membership of about 7,500 had also evinced interest in our programmes and we had sent the details to them. But, at this juncture it would not be appropriate to inquire about funds", said Bhatt.

Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority CEO PK Mishra, however, ruled out the possibility of the rehabilitation work being affected by the NY events.

"I don't think that any commitments will be affected... Yes, there could be a marginal effect on programmes like fund-raisers, But since they form only a small portion of aid, it may not have any impact," he observes. A majority of the funds are expected from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other organisations so there is not much possibility of impact, added Mishra.

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

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Protest against delay in teachers' appointment Tuesday, September 11, 2001

VADODARA: Students of the MSU department of German are protesting against the delay in appointing teaching staff and are alleging "anomaly in recruiting temporary lecturers in the department".

The students say that the ego clashes between the faculty of arts dean, Prof P J Patel, and the department head, Dr N K Natarajan, is taking its toll on the students.

"For some reasons, the dean is against recruiting Kinan Kansara, a gold medalist from the department and who has also cleared the NET, for the post of temporary lecturer. The dean is misinterpreting the rules of the University Grants Commission (UGC) regarding the appointment of temporary lecturers. He says that a candidate who has cleared the NET should also have a two years experience, but this is not as per the UGC guidelines," said a student.

However, the dean said, "The norms regarding selection of a candidate have changed and the UGC guidelines are strict about appointing a candidate only if he has cleared the NET and has two years or more teaching experience. Kansara has a good academic record but does not fulfill all the UGC norms", the dean told the TNN.

But students believe that the reason for Kansara's rejection is not due to these reasons. "In other departments too, the dean has appointed many candidates, who have cleared the NET but do not have teaching experience," said another student.

Students are complaining that so far they have not been able to make much headway with the syllabus due to this delay in appointing teachers. The department of German has a number of students for its self-finance courses that include the diploma, postgraduate diploma as well as the degree and postgraduate degree classes, they say.

Meanwhile, the students say that they are planning to approach the pro vice-chancellor with their complaints, as the dean had earlier rejected their petition and allegedly torn their petition.

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

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PALANPUR :: Athwa Farm inspires cotton growers Tuesday, September 11, 2001

PALANPUR: Gujarat Agricultural University is all set to convert Surat based Athwa Farm, the main cotton research centre, into a model farm in the country.

According to vice- chancellor M H Mehta, it will be one of the four model farms to be developed in each zones-Navasari (south) Anand (central), Junagadh (Saurastra) and S K Nagar Dantiwada (North Zone).

Addressing a conference attended by research scientists and four campus directors and director of research (GAU) and director of Cotton Technology Research Centre Mumbai, he counselled the need to harness advanced technology developed at Athwa Farm.

Cotton growers should be encouraged to adopt technology to the maximum, he said, 'as that could boost the production, both in quantity and quality, bringing prosperity not only for the individual farmer but also for the state. as cotton is a major crop cultivated in the state.

Highlighting the contribution of Athwa Farm to cotton growers in the state, he said the country's oldest farm was set up 105 years ago-- in 1896 and has made tremendous contribution to the textiles industry which placed Gujarat among the three industrially rich states. Besides, Ahmedabad was known as Manchester of India. Athwa Farm spread over hundreds of acres in Surat is the main research centre and a premier institution in the country helping to enhance the quality of cottonseeds. The farm has not only increased the production and productivity of the cottonseed but also held a significant position as trial blazer.

The release of Hybrid-4 cotton in 1970 evolved at the centre had brought about a revolutionary change in the cotton cultivation scenario. The research findings of Athwa Farm benefited not only the state but also the country to be self-sufficient. It placed India among the few cotton exporting nations of the world. Both geography and climate have been apt for cultivation of the cash crop. Over the years, the productivity in the sate has gone up to 450 kg. a hectare in 1999 from 139 1960.

Taking the cue, farmers should adopt hybrid varieties and on their part experts and scientists should educate them. An ambitious project on seed production has been planned in collaboration with GUJCOT, he said adding, "We have supplied nucleus seed of high quality for multiplication so as to cater to at least 50,000 hectares. In the past couple of years we have suffered a setback. However, with favourable monsoon this year we will be back on track.

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

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BHAVNAGAR :: Teachers Strike Tuesday, September 11, 2001

BHAVNAGAR : Bhavnagar Shaikshnik Sangh Sankalan Sammiti spokesman K P Swami on Monday said that hundreds of teachers, principals and non-teaching staff gheraod the district education office as a part of their ongoing strike.

They burnt copies of the ESMA notification and other notices issued by the state government.

However, DEO B K Maru claimed that over 30 schools were functioning in the district.

This correspondent saw only three schools - Nandakuwargba Girls High School, Kumarshala and Mastaram High School - were working in the city whereas principals teachers and non teaching staff of other highschools had gathered at the DEO.

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

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BHAVNAGAR :: Anti-encroachment drive Tuesday, September 11, 2001

BHAVNAGAR: Municipal authorities on Sunday removed over 30 larries and cabins to evacuate 400 sq. m. area they had encroached at Ghogha circle. Encroachers had also built a compound wall 'to prevent entry into the area, one of the most busy eating centres famous for all sorts of snacks and refreshments'.

This was one of the biggest operations, said municipal commissioner P D Vaghela. The prime property worth Rs 2 crore was occupied by larriwallas for many years.

Most of the owners of larrigallas rushed to the spot and a few took away their makeswhift arrangements; some others made a strong protest and said that their means of livelihood was snatched by the corporation.

Deputy commissioner Gadhvi said the estate department has prepared a list of important municipal plots illegally occupied by the people. Anti-encroachment drive would continue, he added.

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

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