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November 15, 2001 - November 15, 2001

Bhandari issues Diwali greetings Thursday, November 15, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Governor Sundar Singh Bhandari has conveyed his best wishes to citizens of the state on the eve of Diwali. In his message, Bhandari wished that the festival of lights bring love, peace, security and prosperity in the lives of people.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Narendra Modi has decided to spend his Diwali Day with the January 26 quake victims. Modi will spend his entire day with families of quake victims by personally visiting their houses in Kutch district. He will reach Chobari village in Bhachau taluka on Wednesday morning and later at Trambo village in Rapar taluka.

The members of council of ministers, too, would spend their Diwali Day with the families of quake victims in around 100 villages spread across the district.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Govt. tech inst. short by 500 teachers Thursday, November 15, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Students in the six state government engineering colleges and 23 polytechnics may find themselves with a lot of extra time on their hands even after the Diwali break. With the centralised admissions process over, they may want to get back to the classroom, but the authorities simply don't have enough teachers to take lectures.

Sources at the Sachivalaya said there are at least 550 vacancies for professors, assistant professors and lecturers in these government institutions. Add to this the fact that the state government decided to terminate the services of the 75 ad hoc lecturers appointed after September 2000 as the rule does not allow colleges to have ad hoc teachers for more than 11 months. Not that these lecturers would have made much of a difference, but that was the only help that the authorities had. Sources added that the Gujarat Public Service Commission (GPSC) recently sent back the education department's requisitions, allegedly due to mistakes in some of the applications.

"The government keeps adding new seats and courses in our colleges but there is no effort to give us full-time teachers," a distressed principal of a college told Times News Network. "The situation will become unmanageable if they take away our ad hoc lecturers too."

One of the worst affected is the prestigious L D College of Engineering, Ahmedabad, which is short by 92 teachers. It requires 242 teachers, including 37 professors, 71 assistant professors and 134 lecturers, but has only 21 professors, 26 assistant professors and 103 lecturers. Modasa Engineering College is another example, short by 54 teachers for its seven faculties. For the 15 professors, 31 assistant professors and 67 lecturers that it requires, it has only four professors, nine assistant professors and 46 lecturers.

In stark contract, approximately 1,200 seats were increased in the government colleges and polytechnics this year. Even the less popular colleges, like the ones at Modasa and Bhavnagar, were given courses in information technology and computer engineering despite their low level of infrastructure and negligible staff.

"Each college or polytechnic is short by at least 15 to 20 teachers if not more," a harried assistant professor said. "In fact, there are no new professor-level appointments as the University Grants Commission demands very high standards which none of the present teachers meet. As if this was not enough, the education department takes its own time in demanding new posts and sending requisition to the GPSC."

In fact it takes the government two to three years to appoint teachers. The department of technical education sends its request to the state government, which in turn passes it on to the GPSC. The GPSC conducts it own tests and interviews and sends the list of successful candidates back to the government, which in turn gets back to the department which issues the appointment letters.

Many of the colleges have asked the government at regular intervals to devise a more simpler system of making appointments where they can pick-and-choose the man they want. If an institution as disciplined as the Army can arrange recruitment 'melas', with a stringent monitoring system to ensure quality, why can't the state government do the same, they ask.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Ladoos for Diwali, but on World Diabetes Day! Thursday, November 15, 2001

AHMEDABAD: With Diwali falling on World Diabetes Day this year, it is an irony of sorts for diabetic patients. Imagine the dilemma of being offered 'kaju-katri', 'gulab jamuns', the sinful 'ladoos' and the overriding guilt of knowing that sinking teeth into each of these delicacies will undo months of labour to tame the glucose levels notorious for its upward flight!

Especially so in Gujarat that has the distinction of having one of the highest number of diabetic patients in the country, thanks to the incurable penchant for anything sweet. Conservative estimates indicate not less than 5.5 per cent of the adult population of the total five crore people in the state are diabetic and the number is likely to increase three-fold by the year 2025!

So what do the diabetics do? Do they succumb to the festive spirit or manage to hold on to diets despite the testing times? Ask experts and they will tell you how the most committed of patients will throw caution to the wind during the festive season and indulge in anything sweet.

What's more, many would not even fight shy of self-prescribing a higher dose of insulin or medicine as penance for having sinned! "A number of my patients confess to moderately alter the medication to make up for indulging in sweets during the festive season," said senior diabetologist O P Gupta.

Take his patient Rajkumar Agarwal, a severe diabetic required to take two shots of insulin everyday, who declared that it was just not possible for him to decline sweets when offered on social visits. "I will have to oblige ... but what the hell, I will take 15 units of insulin instead of the prescribed 12 units," conceded Jha.

Experts warn that while indulging in sweets is harmful, playing around with the dosage of drugs could be suicidal. "A number of patients have this tendency to increase the dosage of drugs to make up for not adhering to the prescribed diabetic diet. But we warn that such a thing should not be done as it could lead to dangerously lowering the levels of glucose, that can even prove fatal," said diabetologist R M Shah.

It is advised that barring an occasional sweet, diabetics should largely follow their diet and exercise regularly even during the festive season. But even the doctors know better to expect compliance from their patients. "Whatever advice we give lasts only till the patients are in the clinic. Once at home where festivities and sweets are in abundance, majority of patients come back unsettled with increased glucose levels," concedes Gupta.

Here too, some are clever enough to dodge the doctors. "Many are smart ... they will not come immediately after Diwali. They will diet for three weeks, control diabetes and then come with the reports," quips Shah. Hope the World Diabetes Day will make a difference this Diwali!

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Charity centre to come up in city Thursday, November 15, 2001

VADODARA: The Kalyanraya Sarvajanik Charitable Trust is setting up a Rs 3.50-crore charity and service centre _ 'Kalyan Prasad' _ here. The building, dubbed as architectural splendour, will come up at Bajwada and have units that will cater to religious, philosophical and cultural education. The centre will also be involved in contemporary education and social service. It will also have a health centre with state-of-the-art medical facilities, said Nanda Shah, a volunteer of Vadodara Vaishnav Samaj.

"Special programmes on medical awareness will be organised by the diagnostic centre to come up in Kalyan Prasad. Ayurveda and homeopathy centres will also be a part of the multi-functional complex," Shah said.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Cheats held for involvement in fraud case Thursday, November 15, 2001

VADODARA: The city police arrested two persons, Harish Shalivahan and Ashok Bhagatji, from Killa Pardi in Valsad in connection with a Rs 90-lakh fraud case. Police said the two had been accused of duping 12 people. "They had taken Rs 75,000 from each of these 12 people and promised them to get jobs abroad. Later they took some more money as fees but offered nothing," said a police official. One Praveen Patel of Manjalpur who too had aspired for an overseas job and in the process got duped lodged a complaint with Makarpura police. On Wednesday, the police arrested Harish and Ashok from Killa-Pardi in Valsad.

Oil pilferage bid case: Three more persons were arrested in connection with the oil pilferage attempt at Gandhar oil field. Those arrested are Manilal Rathod, Mukesh Patel and Mukesh Desai. About seven persons have been arrested so far in the case in Gandhar. The pilferage was attempted at a crude oil well site. The oil theft attempt, however, led to a major fire accident in which three persons were killed. ONGC had to activate its disaster management machinery and had called experts from the US to contain the flames which took about 10 days to douse.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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