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May 22, 2001 - May 22, 2001

Rs 903.75 cr needed to bail out handicraft sector Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Ahmedabad, May 21: The handloom and handicraft sector this year is showcasing a grim scenario. On one hand the sector has suffered a loss accounting to Rs 74.76 crores, on the other the sector is facing major problems due to draining condition of around 33,143 quake affected artisans. According to rough estimates presented by the state government, a sum of Rs 903.75 crores is required for rehabilitation and reconstruction of the sector.

Other government estimates reveal that around Rs 805 crores will be exclusively needed to gear up the rehabilitation work in the maximum hit zone 4 and 5 areas. Around Rs 600 crores will be required for the accomplishment of repair and reconstruction work at the quake affected industrial plants and machinery. Besides this, the state government plans to have a revolving fund of Rs 15 crores for the rehabilitation of the cottage industry.

As a part of its long-term plans, the state government has decided to set up fifty rural industry development centres at Rs 9 lakhs each for providing infrastructure facilities at 100 per cent assistance. The abolition of octroi in the municipalities in the state is likely to boost the sector, as both sales tax and octroi is levied on handlooms in the state.

To avail the cropping benefits under the perview of the Critical Infrastructure Balancing Scheme for upgrading and creating new infrastructure facilities, the state would need a sound infrastructure. The budget allocation for this sector has seen a decline each preceding year. While it was Rs 7.25 crores in 1997, it became 7 crores in 1998 and just Rs 5.63 crores in 99. The utilisation is still less with Rs 5.24 crores in 97, Rs 5.45 in 99 and Rs 4.87 crores in 99.

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

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Mayor’s decision on VS contract rapped Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Ahmedabad, May 21: In an emergency board meeting at the VS Hospital in the last week of April, mayor Himmatsingh Patel gave out a contract worth whopping Rs one crore to Vijay Securities to look into the VS hospital securities. Significantly, the decision was taken without inviting any tenders.

Usually if any contract above Rs 5,000 is to be given, tenders are invited. And in case of emergency, short tender notice should be invited and the party with the lowest tender should be given the contract. However, the mayor okayed the tender to Vijay securities for a three-year-term before he left for Honolulu on May 2. The new contractors will take over the contract from Rajdhani Securities, whose term expired on April 31.

“Tenders regarding water tankers and valves were invited during the recently held standing committee meeting before the mayor left for Honolulu,” informed Mayur Dave, corporator from Khadia. In spite of the emergency, the tenders were rejected. “The mayor has misused his powers and has given an important contract to one of his relatives, who owns Vijay Securities, which I believe is unfair. If the mayor can give a contract worth Rs one crore for three years why can’t they take decisions in the emergency tenders?” he added. Giving clarifications,

Mayor Himmatsingh Patel said, “It was not necessary to invite tenders. Since I was leaving and the contract of the previous security service was expiring, I had to take a decision. Moreover there were lots of complaints regarding the misbehavior of the previous security. I have not done anything wrong. We have selected a security company which has been serving AMC for last five years.” A few BJP corporators have submitted a memorandum to the municipal commissioner and have asked him to investigate the matter.

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

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Kutch health drive to begin from June 13 Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Ahmedabad, May 21: An exhaustive health programme will be kicked off at Kutch on June 13 to check cases of health ailments during the forthcoming monsoon among quake affected individuals. In addition to this, a mobile van and a workforce comprising 400 people will begin clearing operations during the period to check spread of epidemics in the region.

According to a press release issued by the state government on Monday, “Several non governmental organisations will lend their support to the health department to fulfil the mammoth task.” The release further informed, “Three hospitals of Kutch district, 10 community health centres, 37 primary health centres, 37 dispensaries, 252 sub-centres and 1,203 anganwadis will take up the massive operation from June.

As many as 208 posts out of 834 posts at these medical centres are vacant but will be filled soon. During this period, 31 medical teams from other parts of the state will also attend to the emergency call.” The health teams will distribute tablets to check malaria, cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid and other water-borne diseases to the people of the district during forthcoming monsoon. The teams would also conduct orthopaedic camps for the quake survivors who sustained injuries during the calamity. “The camps will be held at Limbdi, Surendranagar and Gandhidham, respectively,” the release informed.

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

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‘Mad rush for BCA disturbing trend’ Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Ahmedabad May 21: Gujarat University received 19 applications asking for affiliation to start new BCA colleges. There are already seven colleges that are running BCA courses and some of them are not completely equipped with facilities and are also not following the norms that are given by the university.

With the alleged downfall of the Silicon Valley and many US- based IT companies, the opportunities for BCA graduates are lessening despite the fact the university decided to call the applicants for an interview on the May 30 and May 31.

Out of the present seven colleges in the city, the GLS Institute of Computer Applications, H.L.Institute of Computer Application and L.J.College of computer Applications are few of the famous ones where the fresh pass outs aim to take admission.

Mr R.P.Soni, the director of the G.L.S.Institute of Computer Applications, said, “We strongly follow the university norms and we intend to go ahead in the same way in the future. In my college, there are 60 computers and it is going to increase as soon as the third year batch starts. All the professors in my college are either an MCA or a electronics engineer which is according to the recruitment norm of the university also.”

Though GLS is building up its attitude in a positive way by fulfilling the university norms, Mr Soni says, “I don’t think the university should give away the affiliation to the present proposals. That can hamper the present scenario of market and degrade the respect of the BCA graduates also in the market. The IT market has not yet taken up much.

The US markets are slowing down and it is expected to be slower in next two to three years. After that the market may again take up. So till then the university should not consider the applications, if not for any reason, at least for the sake of the students who are looking forward to constructive future.”

He also mentioned that there is a scarcity in the availability of eligible professors, “so it wouldn’t be very much advisable to increase the number of the colleges and create a crisis in both academic and practical areas.”

There are many other colleges where the professors, including the director of the colleges are not even computer literate. As Mr B.V.Mehta, the director of H.L.Institute of Computer Application, said, “There are a few colleges in my knowledge those who don’t even have enough professors and are recruiting part time professors who don’t fulfil the university norms. But right now no action can be taken as all the members of the board committee are busy in framing the syllabus of third year BCA.”

Being one of the members of the board committee, Mr Mehta, added that the university should not any more colleges to crop up as it may make the situations in the field of IT more dire. He said, “The need committee that is taking care of the whole matter should consider pros and cons of allowing the new applicants to set up the colleges.”

According to the board committee officials, a minimum of 78 per cent is needed to get through the admission in the BCA course but if there are more number of colleges, then the present reputation of the course might be harmed. Where as Mr B.S. Dave, the L.J.College of Computer Applications, portrayed a positive attitude and expressed that the university must consider the proposals and give the affiliations as the prospect in the field of IT is quite bright.

When asked about the matter to the chairman of the need committee, Mr Darshansingh Sikh, he denied commenting and said that every aspect will be considered before taking any decision. Though later on he mentioned that BCA is a prospective course and people should go ahead with it. University vice-chancellor, Mr Naresh Ved was tightlipped and only said that the matter would be taken care of well by the need committee.

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

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2-day technological conference on textile development Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Ahmedabad, May 21: The two-day 42nd Joint Technological Conference started at Atira on Monday. Union minister for textile Kashiram Rana inaugurated the conference while B.C. Khatia, commissioner, ministry of textile, gave the keynote address.

Addressing the conference Dr M.M. Gharia, director, Atira elaborated on the progress achieved by the four research institutions. He said, “We have managed to sustain the tempo of development by restructuring the organisation in spite of several challenges including the sickness which has affected the textile industry and in turn the research institutions.”

In his keynote address, Mr Khatia said, “Since last five years the situation has been bleak but there was some improvement have after mid-1999, especially in textiles products like cotton and blended yarn, polyfilament fabric, handloom and polyfilament fabric, handloom and powerloom.”

In his inaugurating speech Mr Rana said, “The textile industry is the second largest industry in terms of number of persons employed. It employs 380-lakh persons that include women from scheduled caste and tribes. Besides employment generation, it also earns foreign exchange which accounts for nearly one-third of India’s total foreign exchange earnings.”

Stressing on the importance of cotton in the textile bandwagon Mr Rana said, “The basic raw material for the textile industry is cotton. We produce sufficient cotton to meet our requirements. The crop of the year is normally 140 lakh bales. For the year 2000-2001 it was 128 lakh bales because of climatic conditions and recent calamity. Overall our requirement is 140 lakh bales. However, our cotton is highly contaminated as compared to world standards. Our per hectare cotton production is 330 kg while in Australia it is 1,800 kg. Contamination of cotton is primarily responsible for poor quality of yarn and ultimately affects exports.”

Briefing the participant on the technology mission launched by the government Mr Rana said, “Under the purview of the technology mission on cotton, we are trying to remove contamination to improve our quality and organise our production per hectare.

We are also going to establish market system so that we can get remunerative price of cotton. In order to boost cotton export we have set up the technology mission on cotton with Rs 600 crores. This scheme has been launched by Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee. It indicates the importance of cotton for the textile industry and for the farmers. The objectives of the mission include improvement in productivity and quality of cotton and improvement of ginning and pressing sector.”
The conference was jointly sponsored by BTRA, NITRA, SITRA and Atira.

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

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