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March 7, 2001 - March 7, 2001

CBSE's decision on exam comes too late -- students Wednesday, March 7, 2001

AHMEDABAD, MARCH 5: As if the ensuing confusion among the State Board regulated schools was not enough, there is yet another largess, this time by the CBSE.
The students appearing in the Board conducted class X and XII examinations may now have the option of a re-examination from April 16 to 27. Besides, they have the option of giving exam from any centre in the country. Even the practical examinations can be given after the scheduled date.

These rules apply to all the students residing in the quake-affected Kutch, Ahmedabad and Rajkot areas. For exams commencing from March 7 for class XII and March 8 for Class X this decision has come a way bit too late.

``If this decision had come with enough time, then students would have even considered it, but for something coming only a day before the exams begin is pretty much useless. Our students will appear for the exams on the due date itself,'' claims Mahipal Jain, teacher K V , Shahibaug. The students, however are not amused by the decision.

``Why didn't this decision come earlier when we were actually looking forward to it? Now that we have already prepared for it, procrastinating would be useless,'' claims Anupama Kaul, a class XII student of KV, Shahibaug.

``We are mentally prepared to face this exam. We just want to get over with it. Once this is done we can then look forward to other exams,'' says Sonal Kachru, a class XII student. ``This decision is not good. It helps us in no way. It might only distract us further. I personally will give the exam as my school is not affected,'' says class X student Purnima Nair of K V, Chandkheda.

``I admit that this decision is delayed. However, it should help the students, who are genuinely affected by the quake and are ill-prepared to face the exams,'' justifies Dr U N Singh, regional Commissioner KVs. The decision came a fortnight after a team led by Minister Murali Manohar Joshi surveyed schools in Gujarat on February 18.

``The students of Kutch and Bhuj should be happy as their schools would have been destroyed. As far as I know, the students of Ahmedabad would go ahead with the examination, and we should see near-complete attendance,'' claims K V Shahibaug teacher Maitri Kachru.

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Traffic reforms in Vadodara Wednesday, March 7, 2001

VADODARA: The city traffic police has decided to deploy motorcycle-borne policemen at important traffic junctions to chase those jumping the redlight signal. assistant commissioner of police(Traffic) Siddharth Khatri said violators would be arrested and penalised as jumping of traffic signals resulted in serious mishaps.
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Rs. One Lakh reward for the fugitive turned builders! Wednesday, March 7, 2001

Gandhinagar: The state government on Monday announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh to anyone who would provide information about 68 absconding builders whose buildings had collapsed on Republic Day quake. The state government has assured that the identity of the informer would be kept a secret.

The Home minister of the state Haren Pandya informed in a press conference that 40 builders in 25 cases have been arrested and 68 builders are still to be arrested against whom cases have been filed. Moreover every day the photographs of five builders will soon published in the newspapers so that people could identify them. The list of those builders involved in using the poor construction material is ready and soon a similar list of the builders from Surat, Rajkot and other cities would be prepared. They have been charged under the section 304 of IPC apart from section 420 and 120. Replying about the controversial Vajubhai Vala’s connection, Pandya denied about having any link with any builders facing charges of poor construction.

Meanwhile in the executive meeting of the BJP at Rajkot, the state finance minister Vajubhai Vala denied all charges against him and his family by describing it as baseless and politically motivated.

In another major development the city police arrested five more city builders from different parts of the city. This includes Nirav Shah, the partner of Rakesh Shah whose three buildings in Maninagar area collapsed. Two other builders, Bharat Patel and Chirag Shah of Haveli Flats in Vatva area and Ramanlal Panchal, whose Shreesadan Apartments in Maninagar area was badly damaged were also picked up by the police.

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'Sponsor-a-home scheme' launced by Prince Charles for Gujarat Wednesday, March 7, 2001

A novel scheme to build 2108 quake-resistant houses in Gujarat by the Shree Swaminarayan Mandir in London, the biggest Hindu temple outside India, was formally launched by Prince Charles, attracting sponsors instantly.

The biggest support for the scheme came from the Hinduja Foundation. The foundation's trustee, David Broad, announced that S P Hinduja and G P Hinduja, chairman and president respectively of the Hinduja Group, have decided to adopt a village under the scheme and would donate one million dollars for the purpose.

The Sunrise radio, which had collected donations from the public, contributed 300,000 pounds while Ramniklal Solanki, editor-in-chief of Gharavi Gujarat, a Gujarati weekly, donated 50,000 pounds for the scheme.

Addressing a large gathering at the temple premises, Swami Atmaswarupdas, head of the mandir, said 6,500 volunteers of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha rushed to the aid of the earthquake victims within hours after the devastating tragedy on January 26.

To date 20,000 victims of the quake in Gujarat were provided hot meals daily, 850,000 food packets, 1.5 million water pouches, 63,000 blankets and 169,000 articles of clothing have been distributed, he said.

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CBSE to conduct re-exams in quake-hit areas Wednesday, March 7, 2001

To facilitate the students in some quake-hit areas in Gujarat to make up for the loss of studies, the Central Board of Secondary Education Tuesday decided to conduct a re-examination for class X and XII between April 16 and 27.

A CBSE release said the studies of students in Ahmedabad, Kutch and Rajkot districts had been adversely affected and consequently they might not find it feasible to appear in CBSE main examination beginning March 7. To help these students, the board had taken the decision to conduct re-examination, it said.

However, those students who appear in the main examination partially would not be entitled to appear in the re-examination.

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