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November 7, 2001 - November 7, 2001

MICA students make into Dubai show Wednesday, November 7, 2001

News Source : Times News Network
AHMEDABAD: Three students of the Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad (MICA) have bagged finalist positions at the Ibda'a awards for excellence in media, instituted by the Dubai Media City.

The entries focus on the creating awareness theme and will be sent to Dubai for the awards ceremony where the winners will be declared.

The institute sent 13 entries in all for the awards. While two were on smoking the third one was on dyslexia.

The awards meant for college students cover many aspects of the media - journalism, advertising, film and TV documentary and graphic design.

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

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CM signs MoU with Russian province Wednesday, November 7, 2001

News Source : Times News Network
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday signed an agreement - Protocol of Co-operation - with the Astrakhan region of Russia at Kremlin in presence of Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

With this initiative, Gujarat and Astrakhan region have further strengthened their bilateral co-operation in different areas including trade, commerce, services and culture. Gujarat and the Russian province had strong bonds in the 16th century which has been revived now.

The agreement will also pave the way for speedy movement of cargo between the areas through ports like Kandla and Okha in Gujarat and those in Astrakhan.
The Chief Minister invited the Russian President to visit Gujarat during his next trip to India.
News Source : Times News Network

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Teachers may have to pay the price if students cheat Wednesday, November 7, 2001

News Source : Times News Network
AHMEDABAD: Ever since it conducted the first examinations way back in 1961, the Gujarat Secondary Education Board (GSEB) has found fault only with students and punished them for large-scale mass copying that has become synonymous with SSC/HSC board exams in the state.

But now it is turn of the 'gurus' to get whipped for helping the students beat the system. The GSEB has officially recognised 30-odd ways by which teachers, supervisors, examiners and other school and board staff could be assisting students in copying and other malpractice during exams.

These recommendations have been made by a five-member sub-committee constituted recently to look into the issue of increasing number of complaints of teachers and supervisors being involved in copying during board exams.

The recommendations will be placed before the working committee meeting of the board, scheduled later this month, for approval.

What's more, for each wrong-doing, there is a set of punishment recommended. This could be anything from reserving the yearly increment to blacklisting the erring staff and circulating his/her name among education fraternity across the state.

Sample some of the crimes acknowledged and punishment proposed.

Any teacher, supervisor or other staff employed in board exams, if found patronising a student found copying, assisting students indulging in mass-copying or smuggling the question paper outside the exam hall, could lose an increment and be permanently barred from taking part in examination work. A principal found changing photographs for accommodating dummy candidates will also receive the same punishment.

The teachers' misconduct will recorded in the service book for future action and they will be subjected to the humiliation of being blacklisted and their name circulated in schools across the state through the official magazine of the board that reaches all those who matter in the field of education.

The board has also acknowledged examiners indulging in malpractice, including tampering with answerbooks, awarding more marks to select candidates, or worse, accepting monetary bribes for giving more marks. Terming the latter a serious felony, suspension of the teacher from service has been recommended.

In order to ensure that school managements implement the disciplinary action against the erring staff, the board has recommended that managements which do not effect the punishments, will face 100% cut in grant-in aid or even non-registration of their HSC and SSC students for the board exams.

Glaring instances of connivance of the teachers with students in mass-copying were reported early this year, following which education minister Anandiben Patel had promised disciplinary action against teachers.

Board chairman PV Trivedi expressed confidence that the measures, if implemented, would go a long way in restoring the sanctity of the exam system.

Curiously, apprehension about the implementation of the disciplinary action still persists. "It is a complex issue. Things will have to be followed up in great detail for when it is a penal provision, the offence will have to be established, proof obtained and the accused will have to be heard which could be long procedure," said Trivedi. Trivedi conceded that while ideally the action recommended should be included in the Secondary Education Act, the same is a complicated matter. As for making an amendment in the Act, a change in the very definition of the Act will have to be effected.

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

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Court stays discussing Pande's service extension Wednesday, November 7, 2001

News Source : Times News Network
VADODARA: Chances of MSU Baroda Sanskrit Mahavidyalay principal H M Pande getting an extension of service beyond November 30 became bleak after a Vadodara civil court on Monday issued an interim stay order, instructing the syndicate not to take up the issue for discussion until November 7.

The order by judge SD Parmar follows a litigation filed by MSU senate member Narendra Tiwari against taking up for discussion item number 14, which is related to the extension of Pande's term as principal, in the syndicate meeting held on Monday.

According to Tiwari, though the Mahavidyalaya deals with the language of Sanskrit, Pande does not have a Ph.D in the language. "He has a Ph.D. in Hindi. For the last five years, his thesis in Sanskrit has been rejected", Tiwari said.

"This shows that the man is not efficient and cannot hold such an important post. There are many other experts in Sanskrit who can be considered for the post. We have also found that Pande has recruited his relatives in more than 70 per cent of the MSU posts. Some of the beneficiaries are his wife, sister, sister-in-law and brother-in-law", Tiwari alleged.

"He has also made the Baroda Sanskrit Mahavidyalay a place from where the RSS organisation of Sanskrit Bharati functions. This is not acceptable. However, many political interests are trying their best to reinstate him in the post and this litigation is an effort to ensure that Pande stays home after November 30", Tiwari added.

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

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Land grabbing ! now under PASA, Haren Pandya Wednesday, November 7, 2001

News Source : Times News Network
GANDHINAGAR: After cracking down on corrupt revenue officials, new revenue minister Haren Pandya on Tuesday announced that the government plans to invoke Prevention of Anti Social Activities Act (PASA) against those who use vacant government land for commercial purpose and running industries.

Speaking to mediapersons, Pandya said this was for the first time that the government has decided to deal firmly against land grabbers. The district collectors have been directed to initiate action against land grabbers if they did not comply with the warnings by December 1.

He said the anti-encroachment teams would remove illegal structures if those owning them did not remove them at their cost within the period of deadline. The department will issue public notice asking them to remove encroachments carried out without the required permission from concerned authorities.

The government has also decided to video-record the existing vacant plots owned by the state so that revenue authorities could stop any encroachment on such plots. In case of land grabbing after videography, the government will take punitive action against concerned mamlatdar and circle revenue inspector.

To begin with, the drive will be launched in six municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar and in the jurisdiction of urban development authorities of these cities and in limits of municipalities.

In the second phase, action would be taken against those who have constructed illegal houses on government plots. He assured that even politicians if found involved in land grabbing activities would not be spared from the dragnet of law as in no circumstances government would tolerate such nefarious activities flourishing in a big way in the state.

He said that so far PASA has been used sparingly against land grabbers but under the new dispensation headed by Chief Minister Narendra Modi, such elements would not get any political shelter.

Quoting the figures of land grabbing, the minister said that in 1996 only 17 people were booked under PASA out of a total 1065 detained under the deterrent act. While in 1997 out of the total arrest of 534, only one person was detained under PASA.

In 1998, out of 844 detainees, 10 were arrested under PASA. In 1999 only 8 cases were registered out of 1141 and in 2000 two land grabbers were booked out of 234 persons arrested under PASA. In the current year, as many as 707 arrests have been made under PASA but no one has been booked for land grabbing.

Pandya said the government has, in order to further streamline revenue administration, created a special post of Revenue Inspection Commissioner and appointed a senior IAS official, Chandrashekhar, for the new assignment. The teams from the commissionerate will carry out surprise raids in rural areas and supervise the functioning of the revenue staff.

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

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