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August 30, 2001 - August 30, 2001

BHAVNAGAR :: Admission hassles peak up parents' anxiety Thursday, August 30, 2001

BHAVNAGAR: Announcement on Monday of the admission programme for medicine, engineering, Aayurveda and allied courses, has once again revived the excitement and feeling of uncertainty for borderline students and their parents alike.

"Though I feel that the HSC examination system is correct and reliable, time has come for establishing an absolutely non-political guardians' committee comprising different subject experts to examine genuine academic matters like setting question papers and assessment," says Dipak Gandhi, who runs a pathological laboratory here.

Parents cite the example of this year's physics paper, which according to many teachers, too, was an odd one. Parents opined that all answer books were not assessed strictly as per the key provided by the board.

They added that due to this year's high results, some bright students could not get admission in medical colleges, On the other hand, a few frustrated parents added that for medical and engineering streams, subjects of mathematics and biology should be made optional at standard XII.

A high school teacher whose son is likely to miss admission in medical course by a margin of one or two marks, suggested that there was an urgent need to increase seats in all medical colleges. The government could set up an experts committee to examine this point. Similarly, a couple of dental colleges could be started in Gujarat.

Even those getting admission in the first MBBS will have to lose one term due to delayed admission. Thus, a time duration for the MBBS course would practically become five years instead of four and a half years. "Who is responsible for such a social crime and that too, for accommodating 60 to 70 NRI students", a doctor father lamented.

News Source : The Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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Social forestry in full swing in Mehsana Thursday, August 30, 2001

MEHSANA: After a three -year long dry spell in North Gujarat, the good rainfall this year has boosted the morale of Mehsana circle of social forestry staff that looks after greening of Banaskantha, Sabarkantha and Mehsana districts.

In the past three years the Vanmahotsava had become a frustrating experience for the department as a large number of saplings planted between June and August withered away due to scant rains and lack of irrigation.

This time with a rainfall of 5505 mm, Mehsana forest officials are particularly more excited about the real green Vanmahotsava and have already planted or distributed 59.32 lakh saplings at various places during the ongoing 52nd Vanmahotsava aptly named Narmada Vraksha Mahotsava 2001 to mark the welcome to the Narmada waters. In Sabarkantha 55.95 lakh saplings have been distributed. In Banaskantha 54.6 lakh saplings were given.

According to sources in the department, the Mehsana circle has kept the target of distribution of 285.33 lakh saplings and seeds in the three districts. It has distributed 169.93 lakh saplings to village panchayats, educational institutions, government offices and some individuals.

On the Independence Day, the circle planted 1.06 lakh saplings and distributed 2.06 lakh saplings at government offices and the educational institutions in Mehsana, Banaskantha and Sabarkantha districts.

And to spread the message of social forestry and create public awareness about the importance of Vanmahotsava, it held functions at Dantivada in Banaskantha, Karanpura (Narmada junction near Kadi in Mehsana) and Anera (Sabarkantha).

Talking to this reporter, Mehsana circle conservator of forests A K Saxena said all his staff was earnest in trying to make up for the loss of previous dry spell. He wanted every citizen to religiously nurture at least one sapling by protecting it from all hazards. However, Saxena was unhappy with the bureaucratic approach to social forestry.

Vanmahotsava, he said, should not be a mere annual ritual. It should be a part of life in the broader sense which involves sensitiveness to our environs. He felt that the concept of social forestry had not been realised in its fullest manifestations. Wastelands, for example, continue to be such are not harnessed. If they were cultivated, there would be an enormous potential source of prosperity.

Saxena suggested that wasteland (a paradox in itself) should be handed over to the social forestry department by the revenue department. Or this could be leased to people, institutions and to corporates to harness its potential which, he felt, was tremendous.

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Seminar on consumers' problems Thursday, August 30, 2001

SURAT: The Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) will organise an open house on Friday to solve the problems of consumers of Gujarat Gas Co. Ltd.

According to a press note, officials from the company head office in Ahmedabad will take part in the meeting to address the queries of the consumers.

SGCCI president Prafulbhai Shah made an appeal to all concerned to get their problems redressed.

NCP appeal to party workers

The district wing of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has appealed to all its party workers to participate in large numbers in a rally to be addressed by party president Sharad Pawar on Friday at Umargaon in Valsad district. According to a press release, issues pertaining to south Gujarat region would be taken up during the rally.
Man booked under PASA

One, Sheikh Sandu Bannemiya, resident of Mandarwaja near railway colony in the city was booked under PASA and was sent to the district jail at Porbandar on Tuesday. According to a press note, the accused had been booked on August 18, as per instructions of the police commissioner.

Six arrested for involvement in flesh trade

With the arrest of six persons, including four women, near Kapodara on Monday the city police claimed to have busted a prostitution racket in the city. Acting on a tip-off, the police nabbed the six from an apartment near Puna village on Surat-Kadodara road from where they were conducting flesh trade, police said. They were booked under the Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act (SITA).
Cultural association plans fete

City-based Shree Narayan Cultural Association will organise the 147th Shree Narayan Guru Jayanti (Chathayam) at Pandesara on September 2. Scores of Keralites in the city will participate in the ceremony, according to a press release.
Adivasis hold meet

Tribals of Nizar, Uchhal, Songarh, Vyara, Mandvi, Mangrol and Umarpada in the district recently celebrated the International Adivasi Day. Around 19,000 tribals and members of the Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre participated on the occasion, a press note said. The celebration was organised by the Adivasi Sarvangi Vikas Sangh.

News Source : The Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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Schoolteachers hold rally; announce indefinite bandh Thursday, August 30, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat Rajya Shaikshanik Sangh Sankalan Samiti on Tuesday called for an indefinite bandh of around 5,500 secondary and higher secondary schools across the state.

In a massive show of strength, over 50,000 teachers, principals, representatives of school managements and administrative employees converged at the Gh-0 circle in Gandhinagar to stage a protest rally against the government's inaction to fulfil long-pending demands of principals, teachers and other staff of the secondary and higher secondary schools.

Announcing the indefinite school bandh state-wide, president of Sankalan Samiti Keshubhai Patel also called upon the teachers to totally boycott any work related to the Gujarat Secondary Education Board. The state government, however, described the rally and the school-bandh call as a ploy by teachers to hold education system and the society at a ransom.

The indefinite fast is an extension of the long-time fight being put up by the federation to press for their demands. The three main demands put forward by the Samiti include 100 per cent recruitment of teachers in all grant-in-aid schools (the Samiti has demanded that the state government urgently issue a GR announcing the same), vehicle allowance for teachers and also that the teachers be given Fifth Pay Commission arrears as accorded by the Centre.

Last month, the federation had called for a state-wide school bandh that had met near-total response what with almost all of 5,500 schools remaining closed in protest. This was followed by a recent programme of teachers shaving their moustaches in protest against government inaction.

In its reaction to the massive rally and school-bandh call, BJP state general secretary Gordhan Zadaphia described the rally and the bandh-call as a ploy to hold the education system and the society to ransom.

"I have been personally mediating between the Samiti and the state government to resolve issues in the past and the present issues would have been resolved too. The bandh ‚lan is unnecessary", Zadaphia said.

"The teachers earn salaries between Rs 12,000-15,000. One can understand if a starving man indulges in such demonstrations but the teachers are being misguided into holding education at a ransom by some politically motivated elements," Zadaphia said.

Zadaphia said the state government has effectively discussed the issues what with education minister Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel discussing the matter.
"We insist that there is still room for discussion and debate. Holding education at ransom does not augur well for the state," Zadaphia insisted.

News Source : The Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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MSU ex-student wins international award Thursday, August 30, 2001

VADODARA: An MS University faculty of technology and engineering student, Amit Pal, has bagged this year's prestigious Rieter Award.

The Rieter Textile System is a Switzerland-based textile machines manufacturing company that presents awards annually for outstanding students projects to students from university across the globe.

After short-listing more than six students' work from universities across the country, the Rieter Award was presented to Amit Pal for his student's project titled 'High Volume Instrument and Advanced Fibre Information system'.
The projects were displayed at a fair organised at Mumbai where the Rieter's general manager Ravi Shankar saw them.

Pal, who has now passed out of the MSU department of textile, is employed with the Arvind Mills as technical management trainee. As a part of the award he was presented with a shield and would also be entitled to an eight-day trip to Switzerland to see the Rieter factory and the country.

Pal said Rieter general manager Ravi Shankar saw his project when they represented MSU at a fair organised in Mumbai in December 2000. Shankar later visited the MSU faculty of technology and interviewed him on his project.

News Source : The Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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