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April 1, 2001 - April 2, 2001

ineering students clash on polytechnic campus Monday, April 2, 2001

VADODARA: Group clash among students of faculty of technology and engineering (FTE) took an ugly turn when BE mechanical engineering student Yagnesh Jobanputra was allegedly assaulted late on Friday.

Jobanputra, a students representative of mechanical engineering department, was allegedly hit by a cricket stump and had sustained a head injury. The group clash took place near S J Hall (boys' hostel) on the polytechnic campus.

In a complaint lodged with the Fatehgunj police station, Jobanputra said FTE students' association general secretary Jayesh Radaria, Rakesh and one PC had attacked him. Jobanputra said in his complaint that he was abused and beaten up because he did not invite Radaria and his friends to a farewell party thrown for final year mechanical engineering students.

Radaria and his friends, in a cross complaint filed with the Fatehgunj police station, denied the charges levelled against them. Radaria's friend, Ramesh Jhala, said in his police complaint that he was abused and beaten up by Jobanputra and Pralay Patel. Jhala says in his complaint that Jobanputra and Patel manhandled him over the issue of students' association election in FTE conducted earlier this year.

Many here feel that the genesis of the group clash lies in the FTE students' association election. Jayesh Radaria, who is close to MSU students' union general secretary Bharat Dangar - also from faculty of technology and engineering - had won the election for the post of FTE students' association general secretary.

"They were defeated in the election. They did not take the defeat in the right spirit and always looking for one or the other reason to drag me into some controversy or the other," Radaria said. He added he and his friends were beaten up on couple of occasions. "They were harassing us for quite some time but we did not complain. We thought that it was an internal affair of students of technology faculty and should be solved amicably. However, these people did not budge and continued targeting us," Radaria said.

He said many students of mechanical engineering who supported him in elections were not allowed to enter the farewell party of their own department students' held at a computer institute in Jetalpur.

Jobanputra's supporters however said that Radaria had tried to bully them on couple of occasions. "Their so-called lobby of students are bullying us. We did not allow them to enter our farewell party. They did not like this and had told us that they would settle score", said a BE mechanical student.

Significantly, MSUSU vice-president Parth Joshi has taken keen interest in this infighting among two groups of students. Joshi led a delegation of students and demanded for ousters of those students who had assaulted Jobanputra. Joshi submitted a memorandum to FTE dean S G Shah.

"They have demanded that I should throw certain students out of this college. But that is not possible. I have to hear both the sides before taking disciplinary action", professor Shah said. He added that as the students had not fought in FTE campus he could not intervene in the matter beyond a certain point.

"I want that these two students group should not continue their enmity. They should compromise and become friends. I am trying my level best to convince them," Shah said. Professor Shah observed that if the two students' group don't compromise he would institute an inquiry committee to probe the charges and counter charges.

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Tiwari wins BBA president election for 11th time Monday, April 2, 2001

VADODARA: Narendra Tiwari created a new record by winning election for the Baroda Bar Association's president for the 11th time in succession. Tiwari won by a margin of 200 votes.

A total of 1209 votes were cast for the BBA election. According to last reports contestant for BBA vice-president post Nalin Patel was leading. Nikhil Shah (Tony) contesting for BBA secretary seat was also ahead of his nearest rival. "I am very happy. This results shows that the BBA stands as a united body", Tiwari said.

Advocates gave an overwhelming response to the BBA elections. Members from several parts of the Vadodara district including Savli, Padra and other areas came to Nyay Manidr to cast their votes.

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Students to put annual projects on Net Monday, April 2, 2001

VADODARA: Internet and multimedia has caught the fancy of school students here. Instead of the voluminous annual school assignments or projects that students submit at the end of the term, this time around, many students have put their project work on the Internet.

While earlier school teachers had to comb through pages of written text, diagrams and models now they have to sit and watch a hi-tech presentation by their students that not only has text and diagrams but also animation, sound and live interaction.

Computer notebooks may still take some time before getting into schools. But students' across primary, secondary and higher secondary sections of city schools have seemingly readied themselves for the IT age schools.

"This is the best way to expose the students to Internet and multimedia. All projects submitted by students in various disciplines would be placed on our school website," said Tejas Vidyalay vice-principal S Govindan. She said that putting projects on the Internet has inspired students to perform better. "They are aware of the fact that their work can be viewed by anybody surfing the net and hence want to perform better," Govindan said.

Class XI student of Tejas Vidyalaya Mithil Shah admits that putting projects on Internet has been a motivation. "We have worked hard for the project. We are happy that many people will now get opportunity to have a look at our work," Shah said.

M Srinath, standard XI student of Navrachna School's Vidyani Vidyalaya, said that putting project on the Net was encouraging. "It is definitely encouraging. Our work will have a wider accessibility. Also when we finish school our project work will still remain in the archives of school website. It will be an important link", Srinath said.

School principals feel that putting school assignments on Internet will bring students of different schools together. "There will be easy exchange of knowledge and information between students. This will also help in overall development of students' personality," Govindan said.

"Once the project presentation is over, neither the students nor the teachers work to update the information and the project gathers dust. But if it's placed on the website then students would get an opportunity to update it," said Navrachna School principal Manju Gupta. She said that projects submitted by students from class IV to XII will be placed on put on school web-site from April 4.

Teachers say that the trend of putting projects on the Net would help them introduce teaching various subjects through multimedia. Interestingly, some schools have not only placed the projects on their school's website but also on other websites that deals with school education.

"We have placed all our projects on the Net. This gives us a bigger platform to present the skills and expertise available in the school," said Mira School principal Rekha Shah. She added that such and initiative also helps school in getting feedback.

"We have been placing our projects on the Net since last two years. The response from students has been tremendous. They really work hard to update the information on the Net," said Alembic Vidhyalay principal Harshad Patel.

"Such developments in the field of education is really encouraging. Unfortunately not all schools have funds to access the Internet or use multimedia. A large number of students are still unaware of Internet", district education officer (DEO) CV Nisarta said.

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Special - Fashion designer with inborn aesthetic sense Monday, April 2, 2001

Anuradha Vakil detests being labelled an 'ethnic' fashion designer which, to her dismay, the press is wont to do. "I consider myself more of a textiles person, a revivalist of textile crafts," says Vakil sitting pretty at her cosy boutique Noor.

And it is tough, she confides, "Walking a tightrope constantly between working on traditional designs where your inborn Indianness comes through and applying a modern idiom to them to appeal to contemporary sensibilities for making high-fashion couture. It is a fine balance I have constantly strived to strike," she adds.

Browsing around Noor and marvelling at a Ikat kurta embroidered in Phulkari or a resplendent Maheshwari embellished with Kutchi work, you are surprised to learn that Vakil doesn't have a formal degree or diploma in fashion designing.

In fact, Vakil who did her MBA from Michigan University (she specialised in computer-based info systems in 1988) was snooty enough once upon a time to consider clothes as absolutely haus-frau stuff. "I used to be in my khadi kurtas in college, without the jhola, of course, but was never really a clothes-horse," laughs the attractive Vakil.

But after having worked for a couple of years with computer engineer hubby Rajkamal Vakil (her classmate since school), she decided to finally move on to textiles. Why textiles? "Well, it is a question of aesthetic sense, something which one is gifted with", she reasons. "Whether it is the performing arts (trained in Hindustani classical music and has a liking for Kathak too) or good cinema and theatre or good taste in clothes, it is something you have or you don't."

One thing which she was clear about, beginning her enterprise in 1994, was that she wasn't going to make "a half-hearted attempt at the usual bored housewife routine of working out of a garage, filling in lazy afternoons."

So six months before Noor, "The word which means Divine Light always fascinated me" began, "I was scouting around in villages in Andhra Pradesh looking for that exclusive Ikat weave or going to Sanganer in Rajasthan to find the best block printing techniques." Basically, "I went to master craftsmen who were national awardees to get the working knowledge of what the textile business was all about," she adds.

While this kind of hands-on experience has worked just fine with her, she concedes that the learning process would have been simpler had there been some formal education in designing.

A late start has, however, not dampened Vakil's career path. Vakil's creations now retail out of Melange in Mumbai, Ogaan in Delhi and Kolkata, Folio in Bangalore, Chennai and Cochin. And now she has made it as one of the privileged few members of the Fashion Designers Council of India (FDCI) (which she terms as an acceptance into the mainstream, as it were of designers in the league of Rohit Bal, Gitanjali Kashyap and Ritu Kumar).

FDCI acts like a forum for designers to interact with the government on policy issues related to the textile industry.

There are pertinent concerns related to the designing industry which need espousing, feels Vakil. For instance, designers are now upset about the excise levied on registered logos, it will make a designer think twice before attaching labels to his work. The other major problem that bugs her is the pilferage of ideas, what with a near absence of copyright laws related to any particular design. Sample: The lawsuit that designer Ritu Kumar had filed years ago and the attendant legal hassles.

While she tends to wear most of her creations, fellow designers' Wendell Rodricks and Rohit Bal's creations are what she sometimes picks up.

Vakil subscribes to the view that the exclusivity of a product puts a premium on its price and therefore she doesn't feel apologetic about the high prices that result. "If I am commissioning an Ikat weaver in Andhra Pradesh and sending the stitched kurta from my workshop in Ahmedabad to Karnataka for having Kasuti embroidery done, there are so many links in the complete picture that a buyer is probably unaware of. Therefore, it is only the discerning buyer who has a taste for classics and the parameter of more wear out of the garment that people would buy my clothes, just like they would invest in a sari. While she hasn't been inspired by any particular designer, her trademark is of being "a colours person." Delhi is where she feels her major clientele is, thanks to the Indianness of the Delhiite's tastes as compared to Mumbai, which is far more westernised.

And though she is a loner (a single child, having lost her father at the age of two), she almost fully attributes her success in life to hubby Rajkamal, who has been a national champion in billiards. While he is not much of a creative person, I rely on him strongly for business sense and for just going on.

In the end, however, Vakil has found her 'Noor' in work, for she manages to use her business education and her creative bent of mind in doing what she likes best.

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Discipline is the last priority for BJP Sunday, April 1, 2001

GANDHINAGAR: Despite new Bharatiya Janata Party president Jana Krishnamurthy being in direct touch with state party leadership, particularly Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel on rising dissident activity in the state, discipline seems to be the last thing on mind.

With party's prestige having taken a severe beating for its poor show in rehabilitation work, those at the top are unable to decide if disciplinary action will help or destroy the party, now facing a new crisis in wake of Tehelka revelations.

Even if the signature campaign for a change in government leadership cooled off within a few days, state party chief Rajendrasinh Rana here in Gandhinagar on Saturday agreed that it was 'for the first time' that a section of partymen had directly demanded CM's ouster.

Rana, who discussed things with the CM on Friday and Saturday and was even instrumental in bringing half-a-dozen rebels back to the fold, said, "We are still discussing things. We have not arrived at any conclusion about what to do with the demand for CM's removal. However, we have taken the matter quite seriously. To say that the state government handled the quake very well would be an overstatement. It was a huge, difficult task."

Rana sought to downplay Suresh Mehta's resignation, which he said was due to "natural resentment" over certain things not being done. "Mehta has since been satisfied. His grievances have been taken into account. Problems have been solved. He expressed his views in a democratic spirit", he added. However, he had no good words for the man known to have organised the latest round of signature campaign, Union textile minister Kashiram Rana. "Problems do exist", he affirmed when asked about Kashiram.

Rana, who addressed newspersons here at the end of his two-day itinerary, agreed that Tehelka had created problems for the party. "Initially, there were many apprehensions", he said. "Cadres asked many questions. But slowly party workers are coming out of the Tehelka shock. My meeting with them for organising kar seva from April 2 onwards in Sabarkantha, Dahod, Panchmahals, Bharuch, Narmada, Gandhinagar and Mehsana districts shows they have come out of the shock. They are ready to join the kar seva in big numbers. It will be the first political movement of its kind in India."

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