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July 11, 2001 - July 11, 2001

IMA's hypertension awareness week Wednesday, July 11, 2001

By A Staff Reporter, The Times of India News Service
VADODARA: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) is organising a Hypertension Awareness Week beginning on Monday. The IMA will sensitise people here about the problems arising out of high blood pressure, and the need to check pressure regularly.

"Our aim is to create awareness among the general public so that they keep a check on their pressure levels at regular intervals," says IMA's Vadodara unit president Vijay Shah.

"Hypertension is commonly found in those leading a stressful life and prevalent among males, usually after 35 to 40 years of age. Regular check-up can help prevent major complications like brain haemorrhage, strokes, blindness, paralysis and gangrene," he adds.

The city has been divided into five zones. Co-ordinator for each area has been assigned functions to be carried out during the awareness week. A public function will also be organised in association with the Vadodara Municipal Corporation on July 14 at Gandhinagar Gruh.

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


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Governor lays foundation for martyrs' memorial Wednesday, July 11, 2001

By A Staff Reporter, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: Governor Sundar Singh Bhanadari on Monday stressed the need to impart knowledge of history among the younger generation which didn't know much about the sacrifices of countrymen to free the nation from the British rule.

Addressing a function after laying the foundation for a memorial at Tajpur on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, for seven soldiers who laid down their lives during 1857 Mutiny, Bhandari appealed to educationists to keep school and college students abreast with information related to the Freedom Movement.

Expressing concern over apathy of the younger generation on the matters of facts pertaining to Freedom Movement, he said, "We must tell them the truth so that they realise the importance of the price we have paid to free India."

The martyrs memorial will be set up the state government at Tajpur village where the British army hanged to death soldiers who revolted against the Raj during the Mutiny of 1857. The basis of research work was done by Bharati Shelat, Usha Bhatt and Ashutosh Bhatt. All three were honoured at the function which was also addressed by, among others, former minister Ashok Bhatt.

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


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'Govt population policy could have adverse fallouts' Wednesday, July 11, 2001

By A Staff Reporter, The Times of India News Service
VADODARA: Gujarat government's proposal to bring about a restriction on family size to two children through some harsh measures while framing the state population policy may have adverse social consequences and further intensify the gender bias and discrimination against the girl child, feels joint director at the Population Research Centre of the MS University's faculty of science NP Das.

"We have not learnt lessons from neighbouring east Asian countries like South Korea and China, which have already experienced a steep rise in the masculinity of the sex ratio at birth as a consequence of the fertility decline, but are treading the path of these countries, which like India have a strong son preference," says Das.

"Experience of these Asian countries strongly suggest that fertility decline in societies characterised by a strong son preference could be accompanied by an increased manifestation of the gender bias and a steep rise in the child sex ratio.

"The strong political pressure to reduce family size to one child in China, led parents to severely under-report children of undesired sex children (usually girls), abandon or kill female children and most often abort female foetuses, in an attempt to evade penalties for having higher order births.

"The loss of female children due to sex selective abortion and female infanticide will create an unbalanced sex structure of the population in the country and will have serious demographic and social consequences. Moreover, these practices reflect the social discrimination against females and are in serious violation of the fundamental human rights of women and children. They also do not conform to the principle of gender equality in a modern, civilised society.

Das feels that the decline in the overall sex ratio (females per 1000 males) in India, is not a new phenomenon. The overall sex ratio in the country has been declining during the last century particularly after 1961. The trend seemed to have reversed at the all-India level and the overall sex ratio had improved during the last decade.

"Since the publication of the first results of the 2001 census, feminist groups, policy makers and planners, researchers and scholars are expressing their concern regarding the declining child sex ratio. They are of the view that the increasing use of pre-natal sex determination tests and female foeticide must have contributed significantly to the substantial decline in the sex ratio in the last two decades.

"In view of the relatively lesser influence of the other factors for the rise in child sex ratio, the role of the last factor like sex selective abortion assumes particular significance for the rise in masculinity of child population during the last decade. If there is a substantial volume of sex selective abortion, it should reflect on sex ratios at birth in those states as well as in the country as a whole where child sex ratios have become more masculine during the last decade.

"Two other states, Gujarat and Maharashtra, are reflecting a similar pattern and have become more masculine during the recent period. In Gujarat, the sex ratio at birth rose to about 111 among the 1993-97 birth cohort, while the available data for Maharashtra indicate a sex ratio of 114 at birth.

"While the second round of National Family Health Study (NFHS) data are yet not available for such an analysis, the first round of NFHS data did confirm that couples are resorting to sex selective abortion to achieve their desired number and sex composition of children in the above mentioned states.

For example, in Gujarat the NFHS data indicate that the sex ratio of the subsequent births after parity one is only 103 males per 100 females when the first birth is a boy, while it rises to as high as 116 when the first birth is a daughter. A similar pattern emerges at the fact that in a society characterised by strong preference, the total number of children desired falls more rapidly than the total number of sons desired during the process of fertility transition.

Das feels that as a result, the tolerance for daughters decreases during this period. When couples exercise their son preference to achieve the desired number of sons with a limit on total number of children, a rise in sex ratio at birth is noted.

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


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Voice recording facility on phone soon Wednesday, July 11, 2001

By A Staff Reporter, The Times of India News Service
AHEMDABAD: Gujarat Telecom will shortly introduce voice recording service. Announcing the launch of this pilot project, chief general manager P K Chanda said tenders would soon be floated and the service was likely to be effective in the city in four months.

Chanda said with this facility messages of incoming calls would be recorded when the phone was busy. "Customers can check for those missed calls and messages using a 'numeric-password', and get back to the callers as per requirements," he said. The service would be provided at a nominal value.

Chanda said the department was trying to bring down the fault rate to single digit, adding that 16,000 km of underground five-pair cables were being laid all over the state which would make obsolete overhead cables and minimise faults. The department was also introducing customer-friendly steps to cater to people. The toll-free 1094 service launched last week for consumer grievances had so far received 250 complaints, which are being attended to. Powers were also being delegated to clerks at the counter level so that problems can be solved or dealt with without customers approaching higher authorities.

While the laying of new cables and expanding the number of exchanges in the rural areas would bring down the pendency in the number of connections from over 2.3 lakh, the telecom department would also facilitate connectivity in the non-feasible areas using the WiLL (Wireless in Local Loop) technology.

Chanda said customers falling under the zones where cable laying was not feasible, would be provided WiLL at highly concessional rates. "They will not have to pay the Rs 10,000 deposit, but will have to bear the premium of the insurance cover of the telephones which would be provided to them." The charges would be Rs 20 per month in addition to the normal charges of a land line phone, the CGM said.

The telecom department was also planning to expand WiLL technology in the state by providing connections in other cities as well. Apart from increasing the connection to 20,000 in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot, each will be provided 10,000 connections.

About 5,000 lines would be installed for Valsad and Jamnagar each, while Bharuch and Ankleshwar would have provisions for 2,000 lines. Bhuj, Gandhidham and Kandla would be provided 4,000 cordact connections, which will support internet connectivity along with WiLL facility, Chanda said.

The department also announced that all application forms pertaining to its services were available on the internet site www.gujarat.dotindia.in from where they can be downloaded.

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


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ACP Trivedi moved to state IB Wednesday, July 11, 2001

By a Crime Reporter, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: The state home department, in a sudden move, transferred assistant commissioner of police (crime) Subhash Trivedi as deputy superintendent of police (intelligence) with effect from July 6.

Seen as a well-calculated move, made reportedly after a representation by Trivedi before the home ministry, the police fraternity is reading much more into it than just a routine transfer, especially since it was a lone move and there was no simultaneous replacement at the crime branch.

Incidentally, Trivedi had been on 'sick leave' for 15-odd days and was last seen at the Rathyatra when he had specially reported for duty. When contacted, Trivedi said that "his time was up", and that he had wanted the change. Asked why he had gone on leave, Trivedi, who has completed some two-and-a-half years in the crime branch, did not say much except that he was not well for sometime.

Sources in the department, however, say Trivedi was not happy with the new change of guard in the crime branch, especially with hard-task master deputy commissioner of police G S Malik posted right over him.

With Malik's entry, the city crime branch's 'bi-polar' existence came to a virtual end with the senior officer, though posted at Shahibaug, making regular visits to the Gaekwad Haveli headquarters of the crime branch.

Sources in the crime branch said there had been a lot of resentment within the branch on account to Trivedi who was blamed for creating a "coterie of police officers" which had reportedly led to groupism in the branch. "There were a lot of divisions created even within the constabulary which had led to the demoralisation of the staff for lack of a good leader," confided one official.

Sources close to Trivedi admit that "he had enjoyed virtual independence at the Haveli premises, and had wanted it to remain that way."

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


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