Times of India | 6 days ago | 23-11-2022 | 08:29 am
Thiruvananthapuram: The Swarnim Gujarat Sports University (SGSU), government of Gujarat, and Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education (LNCPE), Thiruvananthapuram, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance the cooperation of teaching and learning process, research and extension of service in the field of physical education and sports science. The MoU will also provide opportunities for the faculty members and students to use the expertise and facilities available in both the institutions through training of students and staff.LNCPE principal G Kishore said that it is a great opportunity for exchange of students, research scholars and sports scientists of one institute with the other. It will help both the institutes to work jointly for the common research interest at national and international level. tnn
Mansa assembly seat, which is part of the Mahesana parliamentary constituency, seems to be a neck-and-neck battle between the BJP and the Congress, with poll outcomes partly decided by people voting along community lines. This year’s battle will be between JS Patel from BJP, Thakor Babusinh Mohansinh from the Congress party, and Bhaskar Patel caste Jayanti Patel aka JS Patel who has been associated with BJP since its Jana Sangha days, belongs to the Patidar community, while Congress candidate Babuji Thakor, is from the Thakor community and is in the transport business. Of the 2.28 lakh voters in Mansa assembly constituency, Patidars account for approximately 46,000 votes, Thakors 42,000, OBCs (Other Backward Classes) 34,000 Rajputs 29,000, Chaudharys 22,000, and Scheduled Castes 17,000. The remaining belong to minority communities, the Scheduled Tribes, and other castes. The question, however, remains that will the poll politics extend beyond caste and address the pressing issues among citizens. Speaking with the residents, the region seems to be riddled with several major problems including poor education infrastructure, poor roads, and slow economic development. Piyushbhai Panchal, social worker, says, “Mansa is truly underdeveloped in the education sector. Students have to go to other cities for higher education.” Rasikbhai Patel, businessman, states that local employment is less, since there’s only 1 Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) in the region. No major company has entered the industrial complex in the last ten years. The newer generation who is educated has to go to Ahmedabad for employment opportunities. Rakeshbhai Rahi, teacher, says “traffic is a big issue in Mansa. Due to illegal construction, traffic has become a big problem. Stray animals including cows and dogs also add to the traffic. In addition, negligence by the municipal corporation has posed the problem of potholes and gutters on roads.” The BJP had won consecutively from the Mansa seat from 1995 till 2007. Although Mansa was traditionally a BJP stronghold, the saffron party has been losing the Mansa assembly seat since 2012. Interestingly enough, Amitbhai Harisingbhai Chaudhary of the Congress who defeated the local BJP heavyweight D.D. Patel by 8,028 votes in 2012, later defected to the BJP and contested in 2017 from Masa on the party's ticket. However, he lost to the Congress candidate, Sureshkumar Chaturdas Patel, by a thin margin of 524 votes. In fact, BJP’s tally in Gujarat had dropped to a two-decade low of 99 in the 182-member legislative assembly in 2017. What makes this loss even more surprising is that Mansa is Amit Shah’s hometown, located in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar district, where he spent 16 years of his early life and where extended family members still reside. The union minister is often touted as BJP’s “election machine” and so the expectations lay heavy when the constituency in question is Shah’s own hometown. Having said that, this time with a new candidate and a fresh approach, Shah is indeed involved behind the scenes to bring BJP a seventh consecutive win in Gujarat. Elections will be held on 89 seats in the first phase on December 1 and on 93 seats in the second second on December 5. Counting of votes will be taken up on December 8.
Chhotubhai Vasava is contesting from Jhagadia (File)Jhagadia: The residence of seven-time MLA and Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) founder Chhotubhai Vasava in Vasna village of Gujarat's Bharuch district is unusually calm with very little activity, quite odd for someone contesting Assembly polls that are less than a week away.This time, Chhotubhai Vasava is contesting as an independent from his traditional Jhagadia seat in the district, from where he has won seven times in a row.The candidates of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), however, are slugging it out, hitting the ground, meeting voters, and seeking to wrest the seat held tightly by the septuagenarian leader for the last 32 years."I don't need to go out now. I don't have to buy votes. My workers are campaigning for me, visiting villages. I know people in every village and their issues," the 78-year-old leader told PTI.In the past three decades, Congress as well as the BJP have ended up as runners-up in the battle against Vasava. The Congress won this seat, reserved for the tribal community, in 1985 - nearly four decades.Be it any party's wave, Vasava held on to his bastion firmly, contesting either as an independent or a candidate of Janata Dal, Janta Dal (United) or BTP.But this time things are different, say his rivals.They look determined to snatch the seat from the ageing patriarch who holds sway in the tribal belt of Gujarat and Rajasthan.Two chief ministers - Bhagwant Mann (Punjab) and Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh), belonging to the AAP and BJP, respectively - have already campaigned for their candidates, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi also canvassing for the ruling party in this constituency speaks of the importance attached to the seat.But in the run-up to the next month's polls, there was a twist in the tale. Vasava's son and BTP president Mahesh Vasava entered the fray from Jhagadia as the party's official candidate. Soon later, his father jumped into the poll arena as an independent, revealing the fissures in the family.Finally, Mahesh, the sitting MLA from the Dediapada constituency, withdrew from the contest to avoid making it a father versus son fight. So now, the seat does not have any official candidate from the BTP.This time, the BTP initially tied up with the AAP only to walk out of the alliance."I was never willing to ally with the AAP," Chhotubhai Vasava said.The BJP has fielded Ritesh Vasava (46), a former associate of Chhotubhai.The saffron party is also going all out to win this seat. UP CM Adityanath was among the star campaigners for the party that canvassed for him."PM Narendra Modi will address a rally in Netrang tehsil (which is part of the Jhagadia seat) on November 27," Ritesh said.He said education, health and roads will be at the top of his agenda if he is elected."I have worked with him (Chhotubhai) for 20 years, so I know how he works. The BJP has won the panchayat samitis in Jhagadia, Valia and Netrang (all three tehsils in the constituency), and it will also win this seat this time," he said.The Congress has fielded Fatehsinhbhai Vasava, while the AAP's Bharuch district president Urmila Bhagat is in the fray.Bhagat is seeking votes on the assurances of 300 units of free electricity, Rs 3,000 unemployment allowance and Rs 1,000 allowance to women above the age of 18 years. Plus, the development in the areas of health and education, Bhagat added.But Chhotubhai Vasava looks unperturbed."My support (among the tribals) has not receded," he said.Jhagadia goes to polling on December 1, in the first phase of the two-phased Assembly elections. With 2,58,955 voters, the economic activity of this area is largely around the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC).As one enters Vasna village, the roads are smooth. There are posters of BTP candidate Mahesh Vasava (who withdrew from the race later) in some houses.Barely 100 meters from his residence lives Suresh Vasava, a 27-year-old agricultural labourer and father of three (one son and two daughters). Suresh said there is no water in his locality despite a tap that was recently provided.Suresh said he makes Rs 200 a day by working in the fields of others. He received money to build toilets under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, but it is too small and water is an issue, so he goes out to relieve himself.Near him is 21-year-old Vishal Vasava, who will cast his vote for the first time in an assembly poll. Vishal could not clear his matriculation and works as an electrician in a company in the nearby GIDC and earns Rs 5,000. His main issue is there is no mobile network in his area which becomes a problem in an emergency.They did not specify their voting preference.In Selod village, two friends - Bhavesh Vasava (a daily wage labourer) and Malik Salman (who runs a small eatery in the GIDC), both 28 - do not complain of any major lack of amenities.Bhavesh said he will vote for Chhotubhai, as always.Salman did not specify his voting preference but said the contest is tough as Chhotubhai has been an MLA for the last seven terms and there is a lot of anti-incumbency.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comBack in the main town of Jhagadia, a man, a BJP supporter, who runs an eatery said the saffron party candidate will trounce Chhotubhai, citing anti-incumbency. Featured Video Of The Day"Both Are Assets": Rahul Gandhi Amid Ashok Gehlot vs Sachin Pilot
— Mansi SinghAbout 66 per cent of schools in India lack access to the internet, with states such as Bihar and Mizoram having 92 and 90 per cent schools, respectively, in this category as per a Unified District Information System for Education plus (UDISE+) report for 2021–22.The report, which is an Education ministry initiative to collate data about school education, shows that 80 to 85 per cent of schools lack internet access in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Odisha, Telangana, and Tripura.Delhi and Lakshwadeep each have 100 percent schools with working computer facilities and 97.4 per cent schools with access to the internet. Delhi is also the only Union Territory (UT) to have 100 per cent of its schools with an internet connection. Other UT’s such as Chandigarh (98.7 per cent) and Puducherry (98.4 per cent) also perform well in this category.At 94.6 per cent and 92 per cent, Kerala and Gujarat are the top-performing states in this respect. Gujarat is also the only state in the country where more government schools have internet access than private. (94.2 per cent and 89. 6 per cent, respectively).However, the gap between government and private schools persists. While 59.6 per cent of the private and unaided schools and 53.1 percent of government-aided schools surveyed had internet access, only 24.2 per cent of government schools did so.The report adds that less than 50 per cent of the schools surveyed had functional computers, with accessible functional mobile phones for teaching purposes just at 20 per cent.The availability of smart classrooms is also low. Out of the 1.4 million schools in the country, only 2,22,155 have functional smart classrooms with digital or smart boards used for teaching. Out of its 3911 schools, Mizoram has only 25 schools with smart classrooms. Tamil Nadu has zero schools in this category. In what is indicative of a large gap between different regions in the country, West Bengal has 99.99 per cent schools with smart classrooms. Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, and Kerala also have more than 90% in this respect.However, the report shows an overall uptick in comparison to previous years. Although the total number of schools in India have decreased in the last four years, from 15,51,000 in 2018-’19 to 1,48,9,115 in 2021–’22, the number of schools with internet facilities have increased from 2,90,447 (18.3%) in 2018–’19.to 5,04,989 (33.9%) in 2021–’22.
Ahmedabad: Along with the expiry of the terms of deans of six branches of Gujarat University (GU) deans, the term of its academic council is also coming ending in December. However, the elections for the new deans and the academic council will only be conducted after the state assembly election is over. Sources in GTU said the three-year term of deans of branches such as arts, commerce, science, law, education and medical will end on December 27. While the current academic council’s term is also ends around the same time.tnn
The firebrand sitting Congress MLA from Vav Assembly constituency in Banaskantha district, Geniben Thakor, 46, is contesting her fourth Assembly election. A tall role-model for the community, Geniben represents women from the rural Thakor community that records a higher female dropout rate in secondary classes than others in the state, and even passes community resolutions not to allow them cell phones.How is the 2022 election different from the three previous ones for you?I’m the sitting MLA. In the last five years, all the promises I had made—be it on water, education or health—we have been successful in completing these. Due to our work, there is a better connect with the public and an established trust factor. With this, I can say that I’ll win with a bigger margin this time.Does the possibility of division in your community vote worry you? Why do you remind this to voters in all of your sabhas?A fracture in the community vote could be a major factor in this election. I’m reiterating it because both candidates (BJP and Congress) are of the same caste. In that case, votes get divided, which should not happen. I’m telling everyone to avoid any division of votes. Also, the BJP’s candidate (Swarupji Thakor) has no vajood (identity, ie, he is an unknown face). It’s merely a ploy to divide votes. So, I’m alerting voters not to get misguided and vote for the Congress. I’m reminding them not to repeat the results from 2012, when the [Thakor] votes got divided between me and the NCP candidate.What are the local issues this time?Local issues I’m stressing upon are roads connecting villages, water for irrigation, education facilities by the government and not privatisation of education, as most people in rural areas can’t afford private schools. I’m trying to improve the quality of government education here.Unemployment is another big issue here. Youth are educated but unemployed. Houses are running only on cattle rearing and agriculture. In future, I want to bring GIDC (Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation) promoted industries like diamond-cutting, embroidery work, etc., to smaller towns, and especially for women, so that people can earn while sitting at home. This is our aim and I’ll fulfil it.Any plans to address low female literacy and empowerment in your community?I came into politics due to my father. I’ve been in politics now for 28-29 years, starting at the taluka panchayat, then the zila panchayat and then to the Vidhan Sabha. This is my fourth Vidhan Sabha election, and eighth in total. I’ve contested on general seats too. Women generally contest for smaller positions like taluka, zila panchayat and local bodies, but due to lack of education, they are unable to handle the daily administration even in these. Due to this, they are unable to progress and face difficulties. The educated sections should come into politics and contest elections. I’ll motivate educated women to contest local body elections.How can women advance if major parties don’t let them contest polls? Is it a lack of trust in women candidates?In my case, I can’t complain about the Congress. This is my fourth Assembly poll. Parties choose women candidates for seats where women are active, based on survey reports, people’s representations and recommendations of party workers. Contesting an election for an Assembly constituency of 2.5-3 lakh voters, that too, independently, is very difficult for a woman. Only those women who have handled local body elections and administration independently, can tackle Assembly elections.Why then do parties promise larger representation for women and youth before polls?The Vidhan Sabha elections are not contested on quotas like youth and women, but on recommendations of local people, caste equations, survey reports and contributions to the party. Connectivity with people in an area is another important factor.In your political career, what are the problems you have faced as a woman?Not too many. The reason is that my family, who are Congress workers, have always given me support and love. They have never let me feel that I’m incapable of some work as a female. No candidate, irrespective of how powerful they are or the caste they belong to, can win such a big election on his/her own, without community leaders supporting them as if they themselves are contesting. No candidate can win on his own, just on the basis of their personal charisma or their party’s mandate.