CU time tabs on principals
Cyclone spares city, blows over Sunderbans
Tanners want complex ready before pay-up
Woman undertrial escapes from hospital
Three women suffer burns
Expert prepares doctors for Viagra
150-yr-old Bihar church breaks male stranglehold
Assam police comb Nalbari for killers
Majuli shrine goes online
12-hr Tripura bandh peaceful

Calcutta, Oct.28: 
Calcutta University will soon make it mandatory for principals of undergraduate colleges to sign the attendance register, mentioning their time of arrival and departure.

At present, principals of city colleges are not required to do so.

The university has finalised a code of conduct for college and university teachers and this move will be part of the administrative overhaul in undergraduate colleges under its jurisdiction. The matter has been referred to Governor Viren J. Shah, who is also the chancellor of the university.

CU registrar Tapan Kumar Mukherjee said on Saturday that the code of conduct will be circulated among the colleges and will come into effect once the chancellor gives his assent.

The code of conduct was formulated at the behest of the state higher education council, following a guideline from the University Grants Commission (UGC). The university had appointed a one-man committee, comprising Karuna Bhattacharya, former pro vice-chancellor (finance) of the university, to draft the code. The Calcutta University senate approved the draft during its meeting on September 26.

Under the new code, college teachers will have to undertake 36 weeks of direct teaching in an academic session. They will also have to prepare an annual self-appraisal report which will be a part of their service book and will be consulted while settling their pension dues after retirement.

In the report, college and university teachers would have to fill in details like how many classes they have taken in an academic session and whether the syllabus was completed in time. Moreover, correcting answerscripts will be made mandatory.

Apart from taking routine classes, teachers will have to conduct tutorial classes, counselling of students and hold group discussions.

The code also suggests the formation of a coordinating body for colleges which share premises. The principal of the day college will be the coordinator of such a body.

Like the principal, other teachers, too, would have to sign the attendance register.

Teachers’ representatives in the CU senate have sought time to discuss the issue. “This is a serious matter”, said Satyabrata Dasgupta, a senate member and RSP leader.

However, there is no dispute among teachers over the introduction of the code of conduct as the university has no option but to implement it as per UGC guidelines.    

Calcutta, Oct.28: 
Nature carried out its threat early on Saturday morning when Friday evening’s depression developed into a cyclonic storm and crossed the Bengal coast east of Sagar Island. Gales of up to 75 kmph speed and heavy rainfall hit the Sunderbans before moving into Bangladesh.

Though Calcutta was spared the fury, receiving just 47 mm of rainfall till 8.30 am, Canning and the still-submerged Bongaon experienced heavy downpours, with the former receiving 108 mm of rain, the Alipore weather office said.

“After hitting land, the cyclonic storm weakened and became a deep depression that lay centred over Bangladesh, 100 km west of Agartala, on Saturday evening,” said met office chief R.N. Goldar.

There were reports of damage in some areas in North 24-Parganas, especially in places like Hasnabad and Sandeshkhali, where breaches had occurred in the river embankments. Windspeed over the city picked up around 2 am, reaching a peak of 50 kmph four hours later. “After crossing the coast, the cyclonic system moved in a east-northeasterly direction towards Bangladesh,” Goldar said.

Dum Dum received 70 mm rainfall, while Krishnanagar measured 25 mm. Windy conditions, accompanied by intermittent drizzle, continued till late Saturday over Calcutta.“Misty conditions are likely to occur on Sunday morning, after which the sun will reappear,” the Met chief said. “There is no likelihood of rain over the city tomorrow.”    

Calcutta, Oct.28: 
Chinese tanners based in the Tangra area have decided not to pay the balance installment for relocation in the Calcutta Leather Complex till all infrastructural facilities, including power, water and security, are provided by the promoter.

The Supreme Court on October 18 had directed the tanners to pay up the third and fourth installments within a fortnight to avail of plots of land in zone I of the complex on a first-come-first-serve basis.

However, the Supreme Court did not made the payment mandatory, and instead asked the tanneries to pay up if they were prepared to do so. There is no order asking the tanners to close down if they failed to shift within January 2001, as reported earlier.

The promoter of the complex, M.L. Dalmiya and Company, have stated before the court that infrastructure development in zone I will be completed by December 31, 2000. The apex court has also instructed a Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) team to inspect the zone immediately after December 31 and report to the court whether the infrastructure exists.

A representative of the Tangra Chinese Welfare Organisation said the 230 tanners have decided to pay their remaining installments only after all facilities were provided by the promoter. The project is being developed on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. There are about 230 Chinese tanneries in Tangra.

Former green judge, Justice Kuldip Singh, in the parent judgement in 1996 had directed the West Bengal government to hand over land and infrastructure to the tanners within one-and-a-half-months from the date of payment of the first installment.

“Despite paying up two installments we have not got the allotment letters as directed by the Supreme Court in 1997,” the representative said.

Akbar Ali, advocate on behalf of the Chinese tanners, said there was no question of paying the full amount before everything was completed by the promoter as the tanners “were not developing the complex”.

“The tanners have lost confidence in the way the complex is being developed,” Ali said. He pointed out that there was no move to set up the common effluent treatment plant (CETP) which is the backbone of the environment-friendly leather complex.    

Calcutta, Oct.28: 
A 32-year-old woman undertrial, who allegedly belonged to a kepmar gang, escaped from police custody on Thursday.

The undertrial, Maya Devi, escaped from Medical College and Hospital where she was admitted after falling ill in the central lock-up at Lalbazar on October 22. The woman hails from Bandel in Hooghly district.

The police top brass at Lalbazar came to know about her escape on Saturday.

Deputy commissioner of police, detective department, Narayan Ghosh, said officers of Posta police station arrested Maya Devi at Strand Road on October 20. The court remanded her in police custody till October 30.

At the hospital, she was kept on the second floor of the Green Ward. On Thursday, Maya took permission from the constable on duty to go to the toilet, from where she escaped.

The constable, Rita Das, told the police that the woman slid through the skylight of the toilet. “But it is not possible for a sari-clad woman to reach the skylight and jump from second floor. There was not even a pipe to help her climb down,” the detective chief said.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the constable did not escort Maya when she went to the toilet. A departmental probe has been started against her.    

Calcutta, Oct.28: 
Three women were burnt in separate incidents on Friday night.

Sabita, 18, a resident of the Jorabagan area, was reportedly set ablaze by her husband, Vinod Rai. Bharati Shau, 30, set herself ablaze at her Tollygunge Road residence. Three persons, including her husband, Swapan, were arrested. Nilam Barodi, 25, of South End Park in the Lake police station area, was injured in an accidental fire. The woman was in the advanced stage of pregnancy.    

Calcutta, Oct.28: 
The ‘sex doctors’ of Grant Street were not invited. Had they known about the workshop, they would have somehow sabotaged it.

For the first time in Calcutta, a day-long interaction on sexual disorders and medicine was organised by the city branch of the Indian Medical Association on Saturday.

“An attempt was made to remove a grey area in health care delivery, where quacks and unscientific methods still have an upper hand, simply because allopathic doctors lack proper knowledge on how to address such problems,” said IMA secretary R.D. Dubey.

About 350 doctors, many of them consultants in different disciplines, were present right till the end, asking questions reflecting the problems of their patients, if not their own as well.

“Knowledge of sexual disorders and their treatment options are still at a preliminary stage in India. The situation is compounded by the myths and misconceptions that prevail in our society, and the taboo on discussing sex and sexuality,” pointed out Sudipto Roy, IMA president.

The workshop on “male sexual dysfunctions and their management” was organised on the eve of the directorate of drug control’s sanctioning of the production and marketing of sildenafil citrate, the main ingredient of Viagra.

The meeting was conducted by internationally acclaimed sexologist Prakash Kothari, who is a pioneer in the field of sexual dysfunction and its treatment.

He is the head of the department of sexual medicine at Mumbai’s KEM Hospital and G.S. Medical College.

Combining experience and wit, Kothari, who claims to hold the only Ph.D in the world on orgasm, held the doctors in rapt attention as he addressed several down- to-earth and everyday problems of sex and sexuality.

Taking a diagnostic approach, the specialist divided the problems in four categories: desire, erection, penetration and orgasm.

“Erectile dysfunction (the non-derogatory term for impotence) has to be primarily treated with a psychotherapeutic approach,” he said, and a doctor should not only have patience with his patient but also encourage him to come out with the whole story.

“The patient may be a victim of myths and misconceptions, or have a fear of failure or deeper insecurities, or may have had an illness or operation. The doctor must find out.

“He should also check penile anatomy, hormonal and vascular supply, and see whether his patient can give complete yet relaxed attention during sexual intercourse. Anxiety should be absent at all stages of the act.”

Questions on length of penis, early ejaculation, best position for different situations, fantasies, even ghazals and sexuality were answered. “But the main requirement was to have an understanding, affectionate and sensuous partner, which is the best sex tonic.”

Several pharmaceutical companies are set to manufacture and market their respective versions of sildenafil citrate, and have named the drug keeping a similarity with the original, like Edegra.    

Ranchi, Oct. 28: 
The 150-year-old Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church, the first German church to set up base in south Bihar, today broke its all-male domain by ordaining three women priests at an elaborate jubilee celebration in Ranchi.

While hailing the decision to break away from age-old tradition, Church leaders stressed that though the Lutheran Church took a long time to decide on the contentious issue of inducting women priests, its final action proved that the Church was eager to rectify its past mistakes.

Incidentally, the Church of North India (CNI), which was also toying with the idea of inducting women priests over the past several years, failed to muster enough courage to break the tradition. Church sources, however, revealed that with the Lutheran Church paving the way, the Church of North India may soon follow suit. The CNI also plans to ordain three women priests, who are being imparted intensive training.

The three women priests ordained are Isabela Barla, Ashian Kandulna of Hulhundu in Ranchi district and Marian Minj. Barla, who is the vice-principal of the GEL Bible School at Govindpur, also conducts courses on agriculture, animal husbandry, farming and income-generation programmes. Minj is the professor-in-charge of psychology department at the city’s Bethseda College.

Orissa forum: The All-Orissa United Christian Forum, which had launched a Rashtriya Surakhya Vahini to counter fundamental forces, today asserted that the organisation was a non-religious human rights movement, reports PTI.    

Nalbari, Oct. 28: 
Assam Police today launched massive combing operations to nab the culprits involved in the killing of 10 people here on Diwali eve. A tight security dragnet has been thrown to prevent further attacks.

A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the killings. A separate probe has also been instituted against the alleged inaction of the nursing homes and doctors in admitting victims of the massacre.

An ex gratia payment of Rs 1 lakh has been announced by the government to the next of the kin of those killed. A compensation of Rs 20,000 has been also declared for the injured.

Director-general of police P.V. Sumant, who was supervising the operations, told The Telegraph, that the “hills, jungles and other possible hideouts” were being combed. A police picket has also been posted in the area where the killings took place.

The massacre has sent shockwaves across the district. Angry residents of Barua Road, where the incident took place, complained of police inaction and refusal of the nursing homes to admit the injured.

Chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta along with senior police and civil officials visited the site this morning. Mahanta met the members of the bereaved families and called upon the people to “resist attempts to divide the people”.

The chief minister also reviewed the law and order situation at Nalbari circuit house, which was attended by the director-general of police, among other officials. A businessman, who lost his father in the incident said, “Three persons alighted from a green Tata Sumo and started firing indiscriminately. Three persons were shot dead at the first shop. They kept on firing on a few more persons before escaping”.

Another resident said a small posse of CRPF personnel was present on the spot a few minutes before the incident. However, a police official came and asked them to leave the place, he said. “The police station which is less than a kilometre from the spot came arrived an hour late,” a resident said. Human rights groups in the state said the killing was the handiwork of government-sponsored “secret killers”.

Traders downed their shutters in protest against the killings.    

Jorhat, Oct. 28: 
Majuli’s Auniati satra, the oldest Vaishnavite monastery, has gone online. The satra website was launched a couple of days ago.

Apart from being the world’s largest river island, Majuli is also famous for its 60-odd satras, set up by Saint Sankardeva. These satras preach Vaishnavite culture. “We want the world to know about the satras and its work,” the satradhikar (head priest) of Auniati satra told The Telegraph.

The satradhikar said the initiative in this regard was taken by two disciples of the satra — Dilip Changkakoty and Shekhar Jyoti Bordoloi, who is a scientist at the Regional Research Laboratory here. Though there is no Internet connection available at the island, the satradhikar said, “We will get connected to the Internet soon.”

Auniati satra, established by Ahom king Sutyinpha Jayadhavaj Singha in 1652, is unique. It is from this satra that the first Assamese newspaper Assam Vilasinee was published. The press, Dharmaprakash Yantra, was set up by the then satradhikar Sri Sri Deva Dutta Devagoswami in 1871.

Two more magazines Assam Tara and Assam Pradeepika were also published from here. Currently, Sanskriti Pallav, the religious and cultural magazine of the satra is being published.

As the Brahmaputra river continues to eat into the seat of Vashnavites, the satras of the island are looking for alternative sites on the mainland. The Auniati satra has started its permanent construction at Kaliyapani on the mainland. A permanent museum and auditorium are also under construction at the North Guwahati branch of the satra. The island has been reduced to almost half of its original size owing to constant erosion. An effort is on to declare Majuli as world’s heritage site. The website has a vivid description of the satra, its cult, music, library, museum, craft, magazines, etc. “Online service for readers will be available soon,” the satradhikar said. The website also describes the craft which is unique to the satra. Cane hand fans, decorated boats, throne of god, wooden sarai, grass mattress and cottage products made by the monks are displayed in the site. Hanggool-haital, the natural colour used for decoration, coloured sasis (manuscripts) will also be available on the Net soon.    

Agartala, Oct. 28: 
The 12-hour Teliamura police station area bandh called by the CPM to protest against last night’s massacre of six Bengalis including children by National Liberation Front of Tripura militants passed off peacefully.

Government offices, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed while vehicular traffic stayed off the roads except on the Assam-Agartala National Highway which passes through Teliamura.

The death toll in last night’s NLFT attack rose to six with one more injured succumbing in G.B. Hospital, Agartala.

Sources said the police and paramilitary forces were combing the Debendra Sardar Para village — the place of the massacre — and its adjacent areas in search of the militants though no arrests have been made yet.

According to the police, a large group of heavily armed NLFT rebels stormed into Debendra Sardar Para village — dominated by non-tribals — and opened indiscriminate fire. While Mithu Deb (8), Haripada Shil (55), Minati Shil (48) and Saudamini Shil (80) died on the spot, two others, Shipra Biswas (16) and Rajen Biswas (12), were declared dead in the hospital.

Sources said 10 others sustained serious injuries. Four of them, Harendra Ghosh (55), Rina Biswas (8), Rinki Deb and Asish Gope (9) were admitted to G.B. Hospital in a serious condition. Following the massacre, more than 50 Bengali families have left their homes to the nearby Moharcherra area, sources said.

This is the first major militant attack against Bengali civilians in past four months. Reacting to the killings, former chief minister Samir Ranjan Barman said, “This is nothing unusual as I always felt that the so-called success of police in anti-insurgency operations was a bubble that would burst soon”.

Barman castigated the Left Front government for its reluctance to launch all-out offensive against the outlawed militants.    


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