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June 25, 2001 - June 25, 2001

Astrology centre inaugurated Monday, June 25, 2001

Ahmedabad, June 24: The Gujarat Chapter of All India Astrologers Societies inaugurated its centre in Ahmedabad on Monday. Eminent scholars from all over the country attended the function and spoke on the occasion.

The speakers asserted that astrology is a science and they would fight jointly against the systematic tirade and efforts to run down the ancient branch of knowledge.

The president, Mr Arun Bansal, said that the education of astrology has so far been completely neglected in our country but the present move of UGC, to introduce it in academics is a right step to promote and encourage this ancient science.

Mr Bansal said that people have wrong notions because they haven’t studied the subject in-depth.
Speakers on the occasion said that the need of the hour is to remove ignorance about the astrology prevalent in the society and make it more systematic study involving training and research in the field.

Giving details about centre, Mr Bansal said that the Ahmedabad centre is 51st in the country and 100 more will come up. The centre will provide special courses, syllabus and prepared textbooks.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]

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9 youngsters perish in sea near Hazira Monday, June 25, 2001

Ahmedabad, June 24: An atmosphere of shock gripped the city of Surat following the alleged drowning of nine youngsters while swimming in the sea. The tragedy took place at the seaside village of Suwali near Hazira Jetty on Sunday afternoon.

According to the details available, 15 youngsters had gone to the sea at the Suwani village for a picnic. In course of events, they went into the sea to take a bath when all of a sudden a powerful under-current swept all 15 of them away.

However, six of them managed to come out safely. Later, two bodies were recovered with the help of the Fire Brigade, while the work of finding other bodies started thereafter. The remaining seven youngsters are suspected to have drowned and there were remote chances of their survival. The turbulent sea is reportedly making search operations difficult.

While providing the details of this grief stricken incident, police commissioner, Mr V K Gupta said 15 youngsters belonging to the Chander area had come to the seashore near Suwali village on the Sunday afternoon. All the youngsters went into the sea to take a dip when they came in contact with the under-current and could not battle it.

The six, who survived, started shouting for help to save the rest of their friends. Local fishermen came to the spot to help them. The special team of fire brigade also rushed to the incident spot immediately and managed to retrieve two of the bodies.

Mr Gupta further stated that there was an atmosphere of grief when the bodies of the two drowned youngsters, Rahul Deepakbhai Patel, 17, and Vivek Jitendra Patel, 21, was brought on the shore. The bodies of other seven youngsters are yet to be recovered and the recovery operation is in progress.

The city of Surat was in shock when the news spread. Top police officials, including the deputy commissioner of police, Mr Mohan Jha, immediately rushed to the site. The Itchapur police have initiated further investigations into the incident.

n Ahmedabad: Ms Kalpna Sahegal, a 21-year-old resident of Sukhramnagar, G colony committed suicide by pouring kerosene over her body and setting self on fire. She was rushed to hospital, where doctors pronounced her dead. She is believed to have taken the extreme step out of emotional turmoil. In another case, 40-year-old Dukhdi Nayak, a Chandlodiya Arogya Centre resident, burnt herself in a similar way on Wednesday.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]

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BJP leaders, GU V-C deny graft accusation Monday, June 25, 2001

Ahmedabad, June 24: The Bharatiya Janata Party strongly denied allegations made against the party’s involvement in granting permission to about 14 self-financed colleges in a Gujarati daily on Sunday.

The acting vice-chancellor of the Gujarat University, Mr Chaitanya Khambholja also refuted the charges made in a Gujarati daily by describing it as totally untrue and baseless. In a joint press release, the state BJP general secretary Gordhan Jhadafiya, minister of state for higher education Bharat Barot, Naroda MLA Dr Maya Kodnani and Dhandhuka MLA Bharat Pandya denied the allegations made against them in the Gujarati daily Gujarat Samachar regarding their relation with the trust who had been given permission to start a self-financed college.

The press release stated that the recommendations to set up colleges in some of the areas were initiated to help the people of that area. “There is no infrastructure for higher education in the eastern suburbs of the city and the parents of girl students face a lot of problems in sending their daughters to colleges in other parts of the city.

So they stop sending them for higher studies. Some of the local trusts and other organisations appealed us to recommend setting up of colleges in these areas. We do not have any role in making money out of the fees paid by the students to the trusts,” the release stated.

“Our motive is not to earn money by giving permissions to such self-financed colleges and the decision was taken solely for the benefit of the people of our areas,” added the release.
While questioning the credibility of the news story appeared in Gujarat Samachar, the release asked the paper to come out with the list of the colleges and schools owned by the congress leaders and workers.

The release denied party’s use of educational institutions for making money in the past and assured that it won’t happen in the future too. Meanwhile, the press release issued by the acting vice-chancellor stated that more professional colleges are beneficial for the students and their parents.

Moreover, before giving permission for a self-financed college, the NAC team visits trusts and the management who wish to start a college. Important factors such as locality and its need, economic viability of the area, infrastructure set up in the area and the geopraphic study of the area is considered before the report of the committee comes to the academic council and the decision is taken.

The decision is communicated to the executive council, which takes the final decision to grant the permission. Hence, there is no question of granting overnight permission to such self-financed colleges, the release stated. The release further stated that these self-financed colleges, that have been given the go ahead, are located in the rural areas and the decision is aimed to create a geographic equality among different areas.

The release also denied any link between the MLA’s and the permitted self-financed colleges. The data given in the daily regarding the amount of money earned in self-financed colleges is far from truth as the fees of the colleges does not amount to crores of rupees, added the release.

The release stated that the decision to give the permission to these self-financed colleges was also taken keeping in mind the high percentage of results in this year. These new colleges will relieve the pressure on the existing colleges and the permission has been granted to the colleges keeping in mind the local needs of the people, the release added.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]

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Hingaria ‘first’ quake-resistant village in state Monday, June 25, 2001

Hingaria (Kutch), June 24: What is being hyped as the first quake-resistant village, Hingaria, was inaugurated amid much fanfare on Saturday. Incidentally, June 23, the day on which these villagers moved back into their newly built homes, was the Kutchi New Year day and the mood was upbeat during the function organised to mark the event.

Hingaria village, 65-km away from Bhuj, has been reconstructed in 75 days by Vibhas Trust headed by Urvashi Devi, along with Indian American Foundation. They have built 106 houses, along with social infrastructure like a school, a children’s library, a children’s park and a hospital, which according to the IAF, can withstand another earthquake of nine on Richter scale.

“All the buildings have one metre deep foundation and three layers of RCC. The roofs are made of sheets, which reflect heat and can withstand wind velocity of up to 200-km per hour. Even if there is another earthquake with an epicentre right below the building, it will not collapse,” said a trust spokesperson. Each unit was built at the cost of Rs 70,000 and the total expenditure was Rs 1 crore.

Several Congress leaders were present on the occasion, including leader of the Opposition and GPCC president Amarsinh Chaudhary, Ahmed Patel, Urmila Patel and Shaktisinh Gohil. Most of the leaders came down heavily on the state government even as they praised the efforts made by Vibhas Trust and IAF.

Amarsinh Chaudhary said, “Vibhas trust has taken care of people of Hingaria but there are plenty of other villagers without a roof on their heads and state needs to work towards helping them. Government was quick to make promises after the earthquake but has failed to deliver.

If NGOs can rebuild an entire village within less than three months, state can definitely do even a better job with its infinite resources.” He was critical of state’s “laid back” attitude and said that it has let the people of Kutch down.

He also announced a grant of Rs 2 lakhs from his fund. Ahmed Patel praised the resilience of people of Kutch and lauded the efforts made by the IAF. He also announced a grant of Rs 10 lakhs from MPs’ discretionary quota. In all the leaders pledged Rs 37 lakhs for rebuilding Hingaria.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]

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Lele accused of treating BCA as personal fiefdom Monday, June 25, 2001

By Hitarth Pandya, AsianAge
Vadodara, June 24: Board of Control for Cricket in India selector Mr Jaywant Lele has been accused of misusing his powers in the affairs of Baroda Cricket Association. Mr Lele, who is also the secretary of the Baroda Cricket Association, has reportedly failed to pay the income tax ever since the association was formally registered with the charity commissioner.

The income tax department has slapped a notice to the BCA to recover the income tax for the past 10 years amounting to over Rs 1 crore. The department has also asked for the detailed financial report of the One-day international matches organised in Vadodara by the association.

It can be recalled that Mr Lele could not clarify the financial discrepancies, found in the year 1999-2000, during the annual general meeting held on August 26, 2000 and the meeting was adjourned. The association has failed to convene the meeting after that.

Apart from the payment of income tax, the issue of unsold tickets during an international match held at the IPCL stadium was also raised by the BCA member Sanjay Patel but officials failed to file any reply. Speaking to The Asian Age Sanjay Patel, who is a chartered accountant by profession said that instead of accepting the irregularities, Mr Lele tried to cover up the matter, which, eventually, was noticed by the income tax department.

He Said, “It is surprising that Mr Lele, along with other officials, is handling the BCA as if it is owned by them. Each member of the association has the right to raise queries and it is the responsibility of the officials to answer them. Instead, Mr Lele maintained silence on the critical issues like financial discrepancies.”

Mr Patel wrote a letter to Mr Lele on April 20 and pointed out that the association has never filed income tax returns and the secretary could be held responsible for the tax liability. Though, Rs 1 crore is just the returns, and if you add interest, it could be much more than that, if the IT department decides to penalise the association.

Mr Patel said, “in no case the BCA could have got the tax exemption as the application for the exemption under the Section 10 (23) of the Income Tax Act 1961 was made on March 29, 1996 when the association was not even formally registered.” The association was, however, established in 1937.

On May 9, in a letter to Mr Patel, Mr Lele said, “Whatever activities organised by Board of Control for Cricket in India, same are also undertaken by its affiliated units. It was decided that if required the BCCI would fight for the rights of the affiliated units with the income tax department and the finance ministry at the centre.”

When approached for his comments Mr Lele said, “Its all bull sheet” He said, “all the matters regarding the association finance have been solved and there is no problem at all. The association has not received any notice from IT department.”

Sources at IT department claimed that the department is working on the case with special care and they are determined to punish the association for the negligence. An official at Vadodara office said that one person could not handle the entire functioning of any organisation. After going through the case it is clear that certain members have tried to cheat the other members and the IT department also by not paying the returns.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]

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