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May 23, 2001 - May 23, 2001

Vora resigns, Shah new AEC director Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Ahmedabad, May 22: The board of directors of Ahmedabad Electricity Company has accepted the resignation of the director of AEC, Mr Ravi Vora, and appointed Sudhir Shah as director to hold the charge temporarily.

According to an AEC press release, Mr Vora resigned due to personal and family reasons. Rejecting the speculation that there were problems with the management, Mr Vora said he had received full support of the directors during his tenure.

According to company officials, they had Indian as well as imported coal based on techno-economic and environmental considerations. While the government pricing policy covers the Indian coal, the imported coal is subject to international price movements and hence the price differentials it added negating the reports of malpractice in purchases of coal.

Mr Vora said that his appointment in AEC was proposed by Torrent. Negating reports in certain sections of media that he had resigned from his post due to excessive interference of the parent company Torrent in day-to-day working of AEC, he said, “There were no differences on the use of imported coal.

I was in agreement with the use of imported coal based on its own economic and environmental merits.” Mr Vora denied allegations that he represented any for eign company, especially Powergen, and said that he was not appointed to facilitate the sale of AEC to any foreign company.

Meanwhile, AEC is also caught in the controversy of disinvestment of its shares by the state government. At present, AEC holds 25 per cent of the equity, the state government has 18.89 per cent stake while the financial institutions hold 35 per cent.

While there were talks of complete disinvestment on one hand, there were also talks of not allowing free run to private sector in a key infrastructure sector of the economy.

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


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Mismanagement dogs MDCB: BJP leaders Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Gandhinagar, May 22: Former BJP Union minister from Mehsana, A.K. Patel and state irrigation minister Nitin Patel have written to the chief minister highlighting mismanagement in the Mehsana District Cooperative Bank.

Mr Nitin Patel said, “MDCB had given Rs 45 crores to a government corporation Bharat Pertrofil Cooperative Society five years ago. The loan was given without the board’s sanction. Till date, no steps for recovery of the capital or the interest have been taken and the amount must be around Rs 100 crores.

Moreover, as per the bank’s norms the loans can be given to only to farmers’ cooperatives or farmers in Mehsana.” Reacting to the statement, the bank chairman Atmaram Patel, who is a leading figure in the cooperative movement said, “This is all political eyewash. They are seeking limelight as the elections come near with this loose talk.

Till last year, we were not having any problems and the society has an estate of Rs 1000 crores.” n The state will have fast track courts by June as per the Central government scheme according to the minister of state for law, Mr Hemant Japatwala.

The discussions for the same are going on with the high court he said. When asked about the announcement made earlier regarding the plans for separate courts to expedite the process of justice against the errant builders, he said.

“Till date no discussion has taken place for starting such courts.” Giving details about the way justice is delivered in the quake affected areas, he said, “Over 40 courts are operating from prefabricated structures.

Moreover, it is expected that the state will get eight new courts in the next year and the process for the same is at various stages of completion.”

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


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Taxing tuitions: A curse or a blessing? Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Ahmedabad, May 21: It is almost an year before the Board examinations held by the Gujarat Secondary Education Board and the Central Board of Secondary Education in March 2002 will begin.

However, several students from Ahmedabad, who will appear in the board exams during the academic session 2001-02, have already finished the vast syllabus, much to the credit of the tutorial classes.

These coaching classes, which harp on completion of the course syllabus in a short period to facilitate the student however, do little help to them.

While academicians strongly refute the idea of dragging a student to ‘learn the syllabus by heart’, rather than ‘understand it’, psychologists say that the mad rush to complete the syllabus leads to anxiety and depression.

“Students must be thorough with the syllabus so that they can revise and re-revise it again and again until the board examinations,” justifies Vinod Goswami, who runs the Shrikant Vyas Classes.

The classes which coach students of class and 10 and 12 of the GSEB, have been very dynamic since last several years. “And keeping in line with the tradition, we have been particular to complete the syllabus of class 10 during the vacations.”

Goswami informs that he will however go slowly with the class 12 syllabus, because it is vast.
Similarly, Dilip Kanani of Alfa Classes informs that his students have completed 40-45 per cent of the course syllabus.

He says, “We got sufficient time to complete it, since the schools close down early in the last academic session.” Kanani further claims, “By the end of May, we will cover the entire syllabus of both class 10 and 12.”

While the students and their parents give credit to the coaches for being able to provide the instant syllabus-potions for success, they fail to realise consequences of such a strenuous schedule.

As mental break down, depression, anxiety and panic grip the students, their academic life suffers. “The youngsters get a wrong notion of what education is all about,” observes psychologist Dr Anil Shah.

“The exercise is so fast that unless a student is mentally prepared for it, he might break down if he is unable to bear the pressure,” he says. Indeed, attending the coaching classes for duration extending for hours together is no joke.

While tutors take pride in announcing that their classes run for three-four hours without a break, which they claim is mandatory in the present circumstances, it is a torture for students who can not cope with it.

According to another psychologist Dr B Siddique, “The most prone to suffer are dull students, who might get confused. The moderate students experience anxiety, while the bright ones take it lightly and gulp down the potions without little or no problems at all.”

Jasmeet Negi, 16, a student of class 12 of Mount Carmel Convent High Secondary School, for instance, feels it is part of the academic life and every student goes through. Academicians however, disagree, and feel that half-baked knowledge served in a platter never benefits the students.

According to principal of Diwan Ballubhai High Secondary School, Paldi Dayalbhai Patel, “The whole concept is crazy. The mad rush to complete the course does not help them, and is no way to success.”

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VASNA:::: For Rs 2,000 they became slum-chums Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Vasna, May 22: In order to meet with development needs of health, education, economic betterment and for physical upgradation; the residents of Pravinnager and Guptanager situated in Vasna, set an example by shelling out Rs 2000 from each house, under the jurisdiction of the Integrated slum development programme.

Kali, a slum dweller said, “When we were asked to pay the required amount, we were a little hesitant in the beginning, but soon we realised that it will lead to our betterment and we all gave the required money for the noble cause.”

Ranchod, a sweeper, commenting on the issue said, “It was difficult for me to give Rs 2000 at a time. I was able to contribute for the noble cause when the concerned officials agreed to arrange an installment plan for me. I paid Rs 2000 in instalments of Rs 500.”

It is a matter of pride for the slum dwellers of Guptanager as it has been incorporated under the perview of a programme made by the British Broadcasting Corporation. The programme is named —Land Rise— and the other slums incorporated in the programme include slums from Nairobi in Kenya, Lema in Peru and Bangkok in Thailand.

Saath, an Ahmedabad based NGO has geared up the Integrated Slum Development programme in Pravinnagar and Guptanagar. Mr Rajendra Joshi, director of Saath giving details said, “The implementation of the programme has changed the mindset of slum dwellers.

They are now responding positively to any change.” Talking about the monetary aspects involved in the programme, Mr Joshi said, “Around Rs 36 lakhs have been spent by Saath in order to gear up the programme. The funds have been arranged by a Dutch agency called Cordaid and the AMC.”

Mr Joshi pointing out towards the positive changes that the programme has brought in the life of slum dwellers said, “The results show that average family size of slum dwellers has decreased by 2.81 per cent and 80 per cent of slum children have got immunised.

As a result of the implementation of the programme, 90 per cent women go to gynecologists regularly, and literacy among women has increased by 12 per cent.” Looking at the results of the ISD programme, the AMC now wants to extend the programme for all the slums in the city.

Sources from AMC said that the city municipal corporation is having talks with the World Bank regarding the funding of the programme.

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


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Wannabe nurses find a haven at Civil hospital Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Ahmedabad, May 22: The nursing school at the Civil hospital is doing a commendable task by grooming about 100 candidates from across the state to take up nursing. Significantly, about 60 per cent of these candidates are from three other nursing institutes, which shut down due to poor performance.

According to the information given by Swati Pandya, principal of the nursing school, “Despite the capacity of the institute to manage about 40 students, we had to accept students from Surendranagar, Palanpur and Bhuj since the nursing institutes of those districts could not continue teaching.”

At present, the nursing school is catering to 20 candidates each from the three districts. Ms Pandya said that while the institutes at Surendranagar and Palanpur were closed down after a poor performance during an evaluation by the Indian Nursing Council, the nursing school at GK General Hospital, Bhuj fell prey to the earthquake.

The INC conducts a five-year survey to assess the performance of various institutes imparting nursing.“The INC found the institutes unfit to impart nursing education because of insufficient facilities, not at par with the INC-set norms and even the institute buildings were found unfit to conduct the classes,” she said.

Bhuj candidates are new addition to the list of students. The INC has already approved of this Ahmedabad-based institute to carry on the teaching of these students. “The stipends will be furnished from the respective districts,” she specified.

While third year nursing students from Bhuj were accommodated in March 3 to prevent delay in the academic session, the department is expecting the freshers batch by September 1.

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


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