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December 3, 2001 - December 3, 2001

VMC takes back mobile phones from representatives Monday, December 3, 2001

VADODARA: Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) on Saturday withdrew mobile phones provided to 21 officials, including assistant municipal commissioners as well as engineering staff.

Following this, only nine functionaries in the corporation will have official mobile phones. These include the mayor, deputy mayor, Standing Committee chairman and leader of the Opposition of the elected wing. The municipal commissioner and deputy commissioners will also have the facility.

The decision to withdraw the facility was taken recently after the administration decided to cut expenses. Meanwhile, deputy mayor Shailesh Mehta has also offered to let go of his handset if the corporation decides to do so. "I already have another mobile connection and am prepared to let go of the official one," he said.

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

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State approves Rs 2,400-cr irrigation project Monday, December 3, 2001

GANDHINAGAR: The state government has approved a major Rs 2,400-crore irrigation project based on Narmada waters to be released through a pipeline network in North Gujarat's Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Banaskantha, Patan and Gandhinagar districts, where the ground water level is sinking at an alarming rate posing a great threat to the agriculture sector.

Under the project, Narmada waters would be pumped from two places and released in eight reservoirs like Dharoi, Hathmati, Meshwo, Dantiwada, Sipu, Guhai and Chimnabai. The water would be utilised to irrigate huge areas of cultivable land in these districts and which will result in an additional agricultural production of over Rs 1,200 crore per annum.

The new dispensation headed by Chief Minister Narendra Modi has decided to accord highest priority to the Narmada project and irrigation schemes, and the project was first to be finalised in that direction.

State finance minister Nitin Patel told TNN that Rs 311 crore has been earmarked for the first phase of the Narmada waters-based irrigation project, the foundation of which was laid by Modi last week.

As per the schedule worked out by irrigation department officials, the entire project would be completed in the next 18 to 20 months and once commissioned it is expected to change the face of North Gujarat's economy.

The chief minister has evinced keen interest in the project as ground water is fast depleting in North Gujarat following the haphazard use of water by farmers in past few years coupled with the failure of monsoons in some parts of the region. The reservoirs are fast drying up due to inadequate rainfall.

"This project is aimed at saving the agriculture sector producing foodgrains like pulses, spices and medicinal herbs like Isabgol, which is being exported to several European and Gulf countries," said Patel.

In addition to the augmentation of irrigation potential, the government would also save a sizeable amount of around 25 per cent on subsidy given to farmers by the Gujarat Electricity Board on power consumption. This amounts to about Rs 2,000 crore.

Patel said the water supplied through this project would be equivalent to the water drawn by 12,000 tubewells functioning round the clock, 365 days a year, in the region where water has become a costly commodity in the past few years.

While referring to ambitious Narmada project, the minister disclosed that the state government has mobilised all possible sources for the implementation of all ongoing work. He added that Rs 100 crore will be provided every month for the project, the lifeline of the state.

The state government, he said, has also decided to give high priority to complete irrigation schemes in Saurashtra region where the shortage of water might force farmers to migrate. A large number of farmers from Porbander, Jamnagar and Rajkot districts have started purchasing agricultural land in Surendranagar and Ahmedabad to avail the irrigation facilities in these districts.

"Along with adequate budgetary allocations for the Narmada and other irrigation projects, the government is equally alive to the funds required for the social sector. Under no circumstances core sectors like health, education and other welfare projects would be allowed to suffer for need of funds," the finance minister assured.

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

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'CEO must do the tough things' Monday, December 3, 2001

VADODARA: He might have retired after making 'the elephant' (Tisco) dance, but he is certainly not old. Sitting in the small office of social work faculty, surrounded by teachers and HR professionals, Dr Jamshed J. Irani, director of Tata Sons Ltd and former CEO of Tisco, looked younger than his age and perhaps more youthful than those who had huddled him in that room.

Chubby cheeks, a pruned bush for a moustache and a perfectly rotund body. But no wrinkles and no sign of fatigue even after virtually dashing off from the tarmac of Vadodara airport to the MSU. A smile ran across his lips when he made a furtive glance at a small poster in the room which said 'leaders don't flock, they are found one at a time'.

"Most definitely, meet me after the lecture and make sure that you don't make me miss my flight. I have a commitment at 2.20 pm," he said before resigning to his studied posture, with eyes firmly on the small quotations on 'leadership and excellence'.

"CEO must do the tough things no one else wants to do. Responsibility rises at the top. Say what you think and do what you say," Irani said paraphrasing the gist of his presentation on 'Excellence through leadership and quest for quality'.

"Set targets and achieve them. Restructure the top team if necessary, this was specific to Tata Steel, and build a powerful coalition of the board and the management," Irani remarked on what he called were his testaments scribbled on a paperweight after taking over at Tata Steel in 1991.

"Guide the creation of a shared vision, take the responsibility of main change agent and create endless opportunities of two way communication within the organisation _ by far the most important practical aspect. Listen to what the other guy has to say," he said.

Stopping briefly to exemplify, Irani continued with his one liner extracts of his business philosophy.

"Realign HR systems, overcome obstacles, model the desired managerial behaviour and above all maintain credibility. Preserve the core values of your own and your company," he said.

"Create opportunities for innovation in the rank and file, if a guy comes up with an idea don't say you are an idiot. Most of all, maintain focus." The last one, he said, was again specific to Tata Steel.

"When I took over, we were going into coffee, tea, spices etc. We had come up with a slogan we also make steel. It sounded very nice but it was a disaster. Sanity prevailed. We took out the word also and now our slogan is we make steel", Irani said.

Snatching him away from the Tata world for a while and asked whether he is satisfied with the crop put out by IIMs and other premier management institutes in the country, Irani said the syllabus needs to emphasise on values and ethics.

"Business ethics and values are becoming part of the curriculum but not to the extent they are required," he said adding that he is making some changes to this effect in the curriculum of XLRI.

"We should encourage research. Because of economic reasons, business management institutes are going for more and more number of students, that is unfortunate," he said.

"I also feel that each institute should focus on its specialisation. For instance XLRI is not the best as far as business management is concerned but it is the best in personnel management. The point is, you have to find the niche," he said before preparing to live for Jamshedpur.

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

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Ethics in business is important: Irani Monday, December 3, 2001

VADODARA: "Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up and knows that it must run faster or will be killed by a lion. Every morning also in Africa, a lion wakes up and knows that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.

It does not matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle, the hunter or the hunted, when the sun comes up you better be running," the grand old man of the House of Tatas, former CEO of Tisco and current director of Tata Sons Ltd, Jamshed J Irani, said in his address at MSU's faculty of social work here on Saturday.

" ... and for us (Tisco) in the Indian industry, the sun came up in 1991 and it continues to become warmer and hotter," Irani said to his spell-bound audience after taking them on a 90-odd minute journey into the corporate world of the Tatas, letting them know its vision, mission and the zeal that has kept the smelters of the old economy giant still going on full steam.

In a chequered ocean blue shirt and a navy blue trouser, glancing at his 'young' and 'not so young' audience once in a while through his brown big spectacles, Irani won hearts and minds alike.

"Running an organisation requires that elusive quality called vision," he said while delivering the professor Indiraben Patel and Dr S R Yardi memorial lecture on 'Our journey to excellence through leadership and quest for quality'.

"Vision is the ability to look at the past and learn from it. Look at the present and get attuned to it. Look to the future and be prepared for it," he said in his address studded with anecdotes, many coined by the legendary JRD Tata.

"Vision without action is dreaming. Action without vision is time pass. Vision with action can change the world," Irani said while explaining the philosophy of the Tatas.

"Ethics in business is important and it pays. Play the game of business according to rules even if your competitors don't," Irani observed, reiterating the business ethics of the Tata group. His address touched all issues of corporate management, duty and social obligation towards people and society. He also spoke on the importance of two-way communication, transparency of management and change.

"When the rate of change outside the organisation exceeds the rate of change inside the organisation, the end is in sight," Irani said quoting the former CEO of GE, Jack Welch.

Emphasising the importance of wealth generation, Irani said wealth must be passed on to the people. "Generating wealth is different from making profits. It is the engine that drives the rest of things including social work and charity. But wealth generated by an organisation must be passed on to the people," he said giving the example of what Tisco and its contribution in the development of Jamshedpur.

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

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58% success in polio drive Monday, December 3, 2001

SOURCE - TIMES NEWS NETWORK AHMEDABAD: The pulse polio immunisation drive, under the aegis of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, recorded 58.12 per cent success rate on the first day with as many as 2.89 lakh children administered with the polio vaccine.Maximum vaccinations of children below five years of age were recorded in the central zone (63,463) in the Vatva ward and the lowest was in the west zone with 40,117.The 100 battalion of Rapid Action Force also participated in the national polio immunisation programme by setting up five immunisation camps at Vastral, Ratanpura, Mahadevnagar, Sumin Park and Shreji Park. At least 3,615 children were administered polio drops at these camps.

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

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