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June 10, 2001 - June 11, 2001

Let’s talk about sex, say state top guns Monday, June 11, 2001

By Hitarth Pandya, AsianAge
Ahmedabad, June 10: Vadodara, June 10: Gone are the days when issues related to sex used to be discussed in a hushed voice. The students, who have passed their secondary examination, opined that instead of ignoring sex education it should be bravely introduced in the school curriculum.

Students at different schools claimed that it is high time to introduce them to the reality, which is quite alarming. The sex education in school curriculum, if introduced, would bring awareness about the dangerous disease like AIDS at the right age.

Speaking to The Asian Age, city toppers said that they would not hesitate to learn the unheard things about sex education. Arpit Desai who stood fourth in the State said, “Why should anyone ignore this issue? Though I have decided to choose computer science as a career, I give equal importance to issues like HIV and Aids.

Being students we are given a little knowledge about reproductive systems and that is all. It is high time that the new curriculum with a special focus on sex education should be introduced.”

Margi Modi, whose sister is a gynaecologist, said that the respecting the values of the society is different thing and getting knowledge about serious issues is a different matter.

She said, “as my sister is a doctor, she often talks about different cases but not many get this kind of support from their sibling. The society is fast changing and while respecting old values we should be able to adopt the changes like introducing sex education at school level.”

Rajul Rathod 10th in the city too agreed that the values set by the conservative society would not sustain for long. He said, “we are already introduced to sex education by the Bollywood directors. Even newspapers are coming up with articles based on sex education.

One can call them obscene and absurd articles but if we take it positively we are being introduced to the reality.” He opined that the student, in comparison to the past, is introduced to some of the serious issues like sex much earlier.

He said, “such issues are discussed only among friends of same age but no guidance is given by the teachers or elders. Due to lack of knowledge students tend to commit mistake and ultimately get infected with HIV and Aids.”

Third in the state and topper in the city Arpita Madhusudan Shah said that she would not mind if sex education gets introduced in the school curriculum. She said, “we are taught about certain basic facts about sex in the school.

However, that is not enough, as the word “sex” does not have one meaning and one definition, it has eventually become a social issue. Diseases like Aids and HIV have become a perennial problem and it is growing only because of the lack of awareness.”

She added, “instead of leaving young generation with half knowledge there has to be a detailed curriculum which would enable us to fight against the evil of Aids and HIV.”

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

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GU phase two admissions to begin today Monday, June 11, 2001

Ahmedabad, June 10: In the wake of pending admissions to science and commerce colleges, the Gujarat University will launch a second phase of admission from Monday.

“Students seeking admissions for the first year in the Science stream could get admission forms from the N.R.S Hall of the GU campus on Monday between 11am and 6pm. The students of first year Commerce stream could get the forms from the Gujarat College, Ellisbridge, between 11am and 6pm from Monday to Wednesday,” stated a press release issued by the GU.

The release further stated that this is the last attempt for the students left out to secure admissions. Students who have already sought admissions to a college during the first phase of admissions must not fill the admission forms, failing which their previous admission would be cancelled. “The student concerned would also be denied admission to any other college,” the release specified.

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

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WANAKBARA:::: Fishermen, families face a sea full of woes and misery Monday, June 11, 2001

By Nandini Oza, AsianAge
Wanakbara (Diu), June 10: It has been a double blow for around 100 families of Wanakbara and nearby areas. First the cyclone washed off their breadwinners in May 1999 and now even after two years, the families are yet to receive insurance claims.

According to an official note (dated September 3, 2000) from Diu collectorate, 141 fishermen from Diu were found missing or dead after the cyclone on May 18 and 19, 1999 at Okha and Jakhu sea coast of Gujarat.

After being dependent on friends and relatives for a couple of years, life has now become miserable for these families. Of the total number of fishermen, who either died or were reported missing, 42 were from Wanakbara. Leader of the fishermen Ukarda Bava said that all the fishermen had taken group insurance for which they approached three insurance agencies.

Ashwin Joshi, a development agent, said that the claim figures around Rs 74 lakhs. “When the claims are settled each of the beneficiary family will get around Rs 60,000,” he said.
Mr Joshi and Mr Bava said that they have written several letters to the Veraval branch and the regional office in Ahmedabad.

“The Veraval office says that it has forwarded necessary documents to the Ahmedabad office,” Mr Joshi told The Asian Age. While top officials in Ahmedabad regional office were on leave and not available for comments, deputy manager P. V. Mehta said that his office has not received any communication. “Power to clear certain amounts is with the local offices.

We might have even told them about this and done the needful,” he added. “We are not bothered about what the two offices have to say. We are pained to know that even after suffering so much the families have not received any compensation,” Mr.Bava said.

He also said that one of the two other insurance companies have settled the claims. Laxmi, a widow, does not know much about the claim amount. She is only worried about the limit of her dependency and her ability to support her four children.

Valuben, who has three children lost her sister who was mentally unstable committed suicide after knowing that her husband died in the cyclone. Today, Valuben’s husband is the only earning member in the family and they have to take care of about eight children, including five of her brother’s who are mentally challenged.

Mr Bava is angry about the fact that around 60 families of Wanakbara and other areas have not received the claims despite the fact that all the necessary documents, including the death certificates have been submitted well in time and that insurance claims of the affected families should be settled immediately.

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

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Increase in Amdavadi students opting for British varsities Monday, June 11, 2001

Ahmedabad, June 10: It seems that British universities are enticing more students from Ahmedabad for higher education. The fact that the number of Amdavadi students opting for higher studies in UK is increasing is evident from the figures – the number of students, who had gone to UK for further studies has increased from 30 in 1999 to 60 in 2000.

Officials concerned, observe that the numbers have surpassed 100 students in the current year.
“One of the important reason for increasing awareness among the students of the city is the education fair that was organised in November 2000.

Around 40 reputed British universities took part in the fair and 1,500 students attended the fair compared to the fair that was held in 1997 when a mere eight universities took part,” said the manager of the British library in the city, Mr Satish Deshpande.

He added, “With an increasing availability of information regarding British education, more Indian students and Amdavadi students in particular are opting for higher education in UK..” According to Prof. Rahul Gandhi, who is an Ahmedabad-based educational consultant for foreign education, “Initially British education was considered conservative and expensive.

But the outlook changed soon after British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced last year to offer more privileges to international students, and introduction of Training and Work Experience (TWE) and other such schemes wherein international students are allowed to work for two year in Britain after the completion of their courses, has excelled the prospects of British universities in India.”

The number of students coming for counselling to British Library and private educational consultants regarding admission prospects in British universities have also increased over years and it has contributed in more.

“In the last two months, around 70 students seeking admission in the British universities have come for guidance,” informed Mr Deshpande. While explaining the reason for opting for a British university one of the student Chetan Shah (24), who had applied for a degree course in computer science said, “The reason for this is the introduction of sandwich courses of four years by the universities.”

Wherein a student have to study for the first two years and go for an industrial placement for the third year where he would be paid as an regular employee and again come to the university in the fourth year and complete the course. The industry placement is provided by the university and it really gives a great exposure to the students.”

Commenting on the economic viability of studying in Britain compared to other countries one aspiring graduate student who has applied for post graduate admission in biotechnology in a British university said, “Normally the Masters course in Britain takes one year compared to two years in other foreign countries.

It saves the fees of the students, as they have to pay around 6500 pounds for the entire course compared to around $25000 to $30000 for just one year of study. Moreover the number of scholarships for international students have also increased.”

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

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Karnavati row feared to assume communal overtones Sunday, June 10, 2001

AHMEDABAD: During his initial visits as Union Home Minister to the city, Advani used to be frequently quizzed by journalists and his party workers on why the BJP was dragging its feet over renaming Ahmedabad as Karnavati, despite being in power in the city, state and at the Centre.

Advani, who represents the Gandhinagar constituency, which has sizeable portions of Ahmedabad, seemed quite ill at ease answering these questions. "It is not on the agenda of the NDA," he used to say, trying to be dismissive of the issue.

Asked whether the BJP would try to put it on the NDA agenda, he seemed vaguely ambivalent. Gradually, the questions stopped coming. The man just wasn't interested in the issue as long as it made political sense not to dent the BJP's new-found secular image.

On the face of it, the BJP has been given sufficient time to rename the city as it would have liked to. It is 11 years since the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, then ruled by the BJP, passed a resolution approving the name Karnavati. It was endorsed by the BJP-ruled state government later.

And yet, having failed to rename the city in spite of being in control of all the tiers of government, the BJP is now crying foul when the Congress-ruled AMC board has reversed the resolution and decided to retain the name Ahmedabad.

BJP leaders ransacked the mayor's office on Friday, indulging in the same kind of behaviour which it had deplored when Congress MLAs damaged the speaker's office in the Assembly early this year.

The matter does not end there. Apparently, a Hanuman statue in the mayor's office, which was damaged in the attack, is now being used by the Congress for some saffron-bashing.

And the BJP, which lost to the Congress in last year's civic elections, is ready to pounce on the renaming issue in a big way to revive its fortunes which were dipping after the quake and the Madhavpura scam.

And, most ominously, police officers fear the issue has the potential to assume communal overtones if both the parties continue to play this dangerous and rather meaningless political game.

Some in the Congress feel that the party's civic leadership should not have raked up the issue once again as it was dead and buried. However, another section points out that the BJP at the Centre may have used the 1990 resolution to suddenly rename the city, particularly because Advani himself has a huge stake in the city. That, they point out, would have come as a huge embarrassment for the Congress-ruled municipal corporation.

Coming to think of it, nobody in the BJP refers to Ahmedabad as Karnavati. If at all there is a distortion, it is more towards 'Amdavad', which is how the man on the street likes to call his city. The only reference one finds Karnavati are in the Vishwa Hindu Parishad press releases and publications which have been steadfast in their commitment to the cause than the wavering BJP.

All the recent renaming of cities - Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai - were done because the rulers thought it was time to do away with the British legacy.

This has been a trend in many other erstwhile colonies like Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and Kampuchea (Cambodia).

The problem with Ahmedabad is different; its name is associated with the former Muslim rulers. If Prayag has remained Allahabad, Lakhanpuri as Lucknow and Pataliputra as Patna, there can only be a political game behind the Ahmedabad versus Karnavati issue which now threatens to spill over to the streets.

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

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