|Monday, May 8, 2000,
Phase out drug price
Cong no to Mahajot may
Pak poll meaningless
Uma ends fast, to continue stir
UGC action against erring
Who is the real Karmapa?
Ministers body to be
Society divided over
1.38 lakh tonnes of foodgrains
Gang rape: court orders CBI probe
Pak womens delegation in
Gujral: India should cooperate
Calcutta victim of labour
Canadian help for Anandgarh
Birth anniversary of Ramgarhia
Drought-hit greet rain with puja
Phase out drug price control
NEW DELHI, May 7 (PTI) The Prime Ministers Task Force on pharmaceutical and knowledge-based industries has recommended phasing out of drug price controls in three years and strict regulatory process for import of bulk drugs and formulations.
A sub-group of the task force comprising Ranbaxys D.S. Brar, Dr Reddys Labs Anjii Reddy and Ajay Piramal of Nicholas Piramal suggested in its draft report a complete phase out of micro-price controls and profit ceilings over the next three years and strengthening the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) laws in the country.
"The policy for price controls has outlived its relevance in the current context and could be detrimental to future growth of industry and create impediments in meeting the health needs of our people," the draft report said.
Stating that India could develop a competitive advantage for playing a leading role in niche areas of pharmaceutical research and development, the group asked the government to encourage R&D through fiscal and non-fiscal measures and allow tax free r&d income.
Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha last week had announced tax holiday for R&D companies for 10 years, besides raising the weighted deduction on R&D expenditure from 125 per cent to 150 per cent.
Outlining the constraints faced by the industry, the task force said while the country offered immense potential in terms of R&D, IPR protection should be strengthened on the lines of WTO regime.
Observing that the pharma sector could attract nearly Rs 15,000 crore in R&D over the next 10 years, the report asked the Government to harmonise standards for clinical testing with international practices and provide freedom for animal experimentation.
The task force was set up in January this year by the Prime Minister to suggest ways and means for the industry to become a global leader on the lines of information technology.
Stressing the need for improving the quality of drugs in India, the task force said the regulatory standards for the domestic industry should be benchmarked against the Food and Drug Administration standards in the USA for manufacturing.
On strengthening of the IPR regime, the report further suggested building a world class patent office and benchmark efficiencies with the US standards by 2010.
The task force asked the Government to implement the Dr Mashelkar Committees recommendation on "gold standards" for companies seeking price decontrol.
The report said during the interim period of phase out of price control, the Government should use price control selectively for curbing monopolies and allow compensation for products under price control to meet regulatory and quality standards.
It also asked the Government to create knowledge parks to attract best international research organisations to invest in the country.
Stating that there were several ways in which the industry and the Government could partner in evolving innovative solutions for building a robust industry, the task force said a partnership mechanism should be instituted to expand the reach of medicine to weaker sections of society.
Cong no to Mahajot may split party
CALCUTTA, May 7 (PTI) Minister of State for Communication Tapan Sikdar today claimed that the Congress in West Bengal would split if the party did not join the proposed Mahajot (grand alliance) to oust the CPM-led Left Front from power.
"There are many people in the Congress who want to fight against the Marxists. They will come out if the Congress refused to join the grand alliance. Congress can avert a split in the state only if the party joined Mahajot, he told a meet-the-Press programme at the Calcutta Press Club.
Terming the call for a "Mahajot" given by Trinamool Congress Chairperson Mamata Banerjee as a step in the right direction, he said those who voted against the Congress candidate in the Rajya Sabha election in the state recently should come forward to ensure the formation of the alliance.
Mr Sikdar, the former state BJP Chief, said he had no objection in sharing dais with Ms Mamata Banerjee and WBPCC President A B A Ghani Khan Chowdhury. "In fact, from the beginning I have been advocating that the BJP and the TC should launch joint movement against CPM."
Admitting that Mahajot could be formed only in 13 of the 79 municipalities election for which was scheduled later this month, he said the Congress should participate in the grand alliance for the coming polls to Calcutta Municipal Corporation and Bidhannagar Municipality prior to next years Assembly election.
Pak poll meaningless
NEW DELHI, May 7 (PTI) A former Air Marshall of Pakistan Asghar Khan has termed the announcement of Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharaff of holding general election in the country soon as "meaningless and pointless" until he is able to prevent ISI from meddling in politics.
Terming ISIs role as "the biggest destabliser" in Pakistan, Khan, in an interview to a Pakistani monthly magazine "The Herald" said "I ask General Musharraf to close down the (political) cell, otherwise new elections will be meaningless and pointless."
The magazine, which made an indepth investigation of the role of ISIs political cell vis-a-vis political situation in the country, says their constant meddling had brought things to the current state of virtual collapse.
"Democracy, it seems, will always be subservient to the national Security Agenda of the ISI," the magazine said.
The ISIs meddling in politics and elections was first exposed in June, 1996, when a former Interior Minister Naseerullah Babar disclosed in the National Assembly about the existence of a political cell in the ISI.
At least two former ISI chiefs Hameed Gul and Asad Durrani have admitted to manipulating election results with the former even saying that the exercise was done in the "larger national interest."
Ironically, the cell was created by former Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1975 against whose party the cell launched a campaign to prevent his daughter Benazir Bhutto from attaining an absolute majority.
Durrani admitted that he distributed nearly 140 million (Pakistani) rupees during 1988 elections to block the way of Bhuttos Pakistan Peoples Party from getting absolute majority, the magazine said.
It said Secretary of Islamic Jamuri Itehad Ghaffor Ahmed had also admitted that the anti-PPP alliance was set up by the intelligence agency to block Bhuttos way to an overwhelming majority.
This operation of ISIs political cell had the blessing of the then President and care-taker Prime Minister of the country, The Herald said.
A senior incumbent in the current military establishment told "The Herald" that "if the ISI had meddled in 1988s election, the country would have been destroyed."
Noted scribe Mubashir
Zaidi, author of the article, questioned "even as
General Musharaff has been quick to label the democratic
exercise in the country as sham democracy, he should be
aware that it was actually ISIs political cell
which was orchestrating and perpetrating the sham."
Uma ends fast, to continue stir
BHOPAL, May 7 (UNI) Former Union Minister Uma Bharati ended her seven-day fast this evening, but vowed to continue to struggle on behalf of the retrenched daily-wage workers of Madhya Pradesh.
Acting on the advice of the co-ordination committee constituted by her to discuss the issue with the state government, Ms Bharati accepted a glass of fruit juice from the mother of a worker a worker who had committed suicide.
The former Union Minister had resumed her fast at a new site this morning after evading the police for two days.
Society divided over betting
NEW DELHI, May 7 (PTI) "I cannot afford to lose what is essential for gaining what is superficial."
As the match-fixing controversy rocks the game of cricket highlighting the vices that betting can give birth to, this logic of a Russian writer seems to be losing its universal appeal.
There are now demands to legalise this basic human instinct and let the state too extract its pound of flesh. The issue has revived the centuries old debate on allowing financial issues to take precedence over moral causes.
Views of a cross section of people, reveal a vertically divided society putting forth strong arguments to prove their point even as the government has gone on record to say that legalising betting is out of question.
Interestingly, most of the people associated with the business as also law enforcers are not in favour of legalising such games of chance, saying "One wrong doesnt justify another."
Chandigarh-based DGP (Vigilance) Punjab, Sube Singh, concedes that its difficult to crackdown on bettors, but at the same time he says "If betting is legalised tomorrow people will say legalise murder also. No form of betting should be allowed."
"Betting", says Supreme Court advocate Gautam Banerjee, is a contract based on a doubtful event, which cannot be recognised by law.
"Making it legal would lead to more offences such as conspiracies and even murders to sway events in favour of specific parties," says Mr Banerjee, noting the demand "has lots of immoral implications and should be denounced by all quarters."
But this is not what advocate B.L. Wadhera, who has sued MP Subba Rao for alleged frauds in Nagaland state lottery feels: "Betting and gambling should be legalised in the interest of the state and not for mafia interest."
Citing the case of Americas rocky state of Nevada which has built all its wealth by legalising betting and organising it by building innumberable casinos, Mr Wadhera says "People will either way gamble or bet.
"The practical option for the state is to legalise it and allow it to flourish in such an organised way that the rights of the common man remain protected while the state is able to earn tax on the occupation."
So Mr Wadhera is not against the principle per se, but its the way the game of betting is flourishing that is irking him. And he is not alone. The vice, as social activists call betting, has dealt a severe blow to the organised state-owned lotteries, says the general-secretary of the Akhil Bhartiya Sarkar Lottery Vyapari Mahasangh, Mr K. Pant.
Referring to the recent match-fixing controversy, Mr Pant says "The spirit of game and entertainment is lost the moment it is known that the match is fixed and it then becomes an act of fraud committed on the part of organisers...".
It was to discourage such "un-scientific" forms of trying luck that the Constitution under Schedule 7th, authorised state governments to launch reliable lottery schemes, which have been running for over three decades now, without any major complaints against the organisers.
And Mr Pant takes serious offence to any comparison between lottery and variant forms of betting famous or infamous across the country as satta, matka, jallikattu (Tamil Nadu) with subjects varying from weather, to arrival or departure of trains and flights, as also vehicles crossing roads, cock fights etc to literally anything that has an element of uncertainty.
In fact, in Bhagalpur, a commercial hub of Bihar, people are known to have betted on whether it would rain or not and even on the extent of precipitation, says a veteran journalist from the state.
Based on feedbacks from small traders, Pants mahasangh estimates that satta worth Rs 10 crore is played in the Capital everyday and there are at least 50 big time sattorias (bet organisers) in Delhi alone.
"They are bringing a bad name to the game. So organised are the operations that they work from houses and with mobiles," he says calling for an immediate stop to what he terms as the unhealthy game of chance.
The best instance of state benefiting is cited by Kerala which has introduced a welfare scheme including pension for small-time lottery hawkers in the state.
Interestingly, betting is not banned under the Indian Penal Code, says advocate Banerjee. Gambling and betting are offences under the Police Act, which gives the cops the authority to nab people indulging in the same.
Some state officials in Haryana have favoured legalising the games as an effective means of management with additional income to the exchequer. But there are those like a Cuttack-based police official who point out that the police encounter difficulties in curbing this menace because "there is no specific law to deal with betting or match-fixing.
"To deal with these police always applied Section 420 of the IPC for cheating, which was bailable.
"A new law should be formulated specifically to curb with this menace," he insists.
Similarly, Syed Mustafiz Ahmed, a former minister and social worker notes "What we need is strong enforcement of law."
Legalising betting exposes poor people to a risky business, argues BJP MP Vijay Goel, who has been at the forefront of getting single-digit lotteries banned in the country.
A restricted activity is undertaken only by a small fraction of society, says Mr Goel. Were such activities legalised betting would assume unmanageable and drastic levels exposing one and all to an "affliction" he describes "deadlier than AIDS"
For those suggesting legalising as the recourse, Mr Banerjee argues that it is erroneous to link legalising betting with legalising prostitution or lifting prohibition.
"It doesnt call for a similar treatment... stealing is an offence yet people continue to do so and get caught. That does not mean that we cease to recognise stealing as an offence and let go the culprits.
An act that gives birth to other offences is moving society backwards and not forward, hence it calls for a total ban, he argues.
UGC action against erring universities likely
MUMBAI, May 7 (PTI) The University Grants Commission (UGC) is likely to take punitive measures against those universities in the country which have not applied for accreditation with the UGCs National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), according to its Chairman, Dr Hari Gautam.
Talking informally to the press here yesterday, Dr Gautam said since the UGC has extended last date as December 31, 2000, "We expect all universities to come forward voluntarily to get their accreditation so that the standard of universities for higher education can be improved." Asked about the type of punitive measures, Dr Gautam said, "the UGC controls funds for universities and that can be used as one of the weapons to improve the situation".
The UGC has also taken up the revision of syllabus very seriously for all subjects and would constitute a curriculum committee which should be ready by the year-end, he said adding, "Model curriculum will be given to universities and we will make it compulsory to adopt, improve or amend according to their need base."
"Although we are
not thrusting upon the universities, we want to make
mandatory to improvise the syllabus for the benefit of
the students with the fast changing times," he said
while adding, the UGC would take stern action if the
universities have not taken any initiative in this
direction by December this year. Dr Gautam said the
universities have been given autonomous power to take 20
per cent foreign student for all courses only in the
university departments, including technical courses and
notification regarding this had also been sent to all
universities to implement the scheme from the next
Who is the real Karmapa?
NEW DELHI, May 7 (UNI) Four months after 14-year-old Ugyen Trinley Dorji, the 17th Karmapa, made one of the "greatest escapes" in history travelling 1,000 km from Tibet to reach India, varying claims continue to cast a shadow over his status.
Shamar Rinpoche, the senior regent of the Kagyu order of Buddhism of which the Karmapa is the leader, has claimed that Trinley Thaye Dorge, who is studying at Kalimpong in West Bengal is the real Karmapa.
Shamar Rinpoches claim and the uncertainty over the granting of political asylum to the Karmapa in India has prevented his journey to his seat in the Rumtek monastery in Sikkim.
"The Buddha Cries: Karmapa Conundrum", a new book on the episode by senior journalist Anil Maheshwari reveals "murky plots and mudslinging in the highest echelons of the Buddhist institutions.
Drawing extensively from government reports and historical documents, Maheshwari narrates the sequence from the death of the 16th Karmapa to the controversial escape of Ugyen, who is recognised by China, to unravel the politics behind the affair that goes beyond diplomacy and religion.
The intrigue began on November 5, 1981, when the 16th Karmapa died of cancer in Chicago, USA, leaving behind property worth about $ 1.2 billion and a network of more than 430 centres worldwide.
Karmapa is the head of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism, the other orders being Nyingma, Sakya and Gelug. Kagyu has the largest following in the west apart from one million followers in Tibet.
"The Buddha Cries", which is to be released shortly, says before his death, the 16th Karmapa had desired that three vital projects be completed the Nalanda institute for higher Buddhist studies at Rumtek, the dharma chakra centre in Delhi and the printing of 500 sets of "tenjur", an extensive collection of commentaries on Buddhas teachings.
The dharma chakra centre project came under the supervision of Shamar Rinpoche, who does not recognise Ugyen. Situ Rinpoche, the third high-ranking lama in the Kagyu order and considered close to China, recognises Ugyen.
Shamar Rinpoche and Situ Rinpoche first locked horns over the issue in March 1992 when the latter disclosed the existence of the "peacock letter" of the 16th Karmapa about his reincarnation he received in Calcutta. Shamar Rinpoche refused to acknowledge the letter.
On September 27, 1992, when Ugyen was ordained in Tsurphu as the 17th Karmapa, the Rumtek monastery, members of the Karmapa Charitable Trust, and the majority of the representatives of the Kagyu centres in the west did not approve of the procedure. Shamar Rinpoche, historically second after the Karmapa in the Kagyu spiritual hierarchy, did not attend the ceremonies.
Beijing had officially recognised Ugyen on June 29,1992, bestowing on him the title "living Buddha". The Chinese recognition coincided with the Dalai Lamas formal approval, which was given in Dharamsala the same day.
Ministers body to be preserved
CALCUTTA, May 7 Veteran Communist leader Benay Chowdhury (92), a former Politburo member who died last night at a city hospital after a protracted illness, will not he cremated but his body will be preserved as per his wishes for medical research.
eyes,which he had pledged for the blind, were removed
soon after his death. Mr Chowdhury remained West
Bengals Land Reforms Minister for over two decades
since 1977. He worked as officiating Chief Minister in Mr
Jyoti Basus absence.
1.38 lakh tonnes of foodgrains damaged: Shanta
JAIPUR, May 7 (PTI) Over 1.38 lakh tonnes of foodgrains, mainly wheat and rice, were damaged in FCI godowns all over the country in the past 3-4 years, Union Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Minister Shanta Kumar said today.
"It is a very serious matter. This is due to utter failure of the management," he told a press conference here.
He said nearly 2,000 tonnes of damaged foodgrains stored in Rajasthans FCI godowns would be released for feeding starved cattle in the desert state.
Reacting sharply, Rajasthan Minister for Civil Supplies Ramkishan Verma said: "We will get the foodgrains tested in laboratories. The quality has to be ensured."
Mr Shanta Kumar said the
FCI had been given directions to expedite the sale of old
stock at the earliest and submit a status report to the
ministry in this regard. He said the production of
foodgrains in the country was more than expected. The
minister said 35 per cent of the PDS quota was being
diverted to other areas, adding that the Centre was
trying to curb foodgrain thefts.
Gang rape: court orders CBI probe
NEW DELHI, May 7 (PTI) A Delhi court has ordered the CBI to probe into the gang rape of three women in Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh allegedly by three local policemen in August 1998.
Delhi Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) R.K. Gupta, who committed the case for sessions trial on April 30, asked the agency to complete further investigation into the case within three months. The court has asked for an interim report into the matter by the CBI by May 12.
Three policemen of Madho Tanda police station of Pilibhit district, Head Constable Jai Singh and constables Kishan Pal Singh and Naresh, and Sarvan Thakur had allegedly raped three women in the farm house of Anokh Singh during the night intervening August 16-17, 1998, while he was away for his sons treatment. They also took away jewellery from the house, it was alleged.
The CMM asked the CBI to
probe the role of the then Pilibhit Superintendent of
Police A.K. Tyagi who had allegedly taken away probe from
the hands of initial investigating officer, shown
inaction on requests for permission to arrest the accused
policemen, created an alibi in favour of them and
intimidated victims and witnesses to prevent them from
naming police officials.
Pak womens delegation
JAIPUR, May 7 The Delegation of Pakistani women under Womens Initiative for Peace in South Asia was given a rousing welcome by women of Jaipur city here today.
Such was the emotional excitement at the welcome ceremony that the states Minister for Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Ms Beena Kak, was virtually in tears while giving welcome address. Hardly consoling herself the Minister observed that the experience of Indian women who were recently in Pakistan on the goodwill mission was a pleasant one. The Pakistani delegates gave the Minister a hearty ovation when she remarked, "You are here during summers. But by seeing you all here "sade dila wich jo thand paie hai" that we will never forget".
The venue of the ceremonial welcome Jawahar Kala Kendra bore festive look today. The entire complex was tastefully decorated with Jasmine flowers. The folk musicians played drums, shehnaie and other instruments to the delight of visiting delegates.
When Indian women tied rakhis on the wrists of Pakistani delegates they were overwhelmed with joy and reciprocated the gesture in the same way. A Pakistani delegate commented, "bahut acha lag raha hai, yeh dosti ka paigham hai. Rakhi yahan per ek khas mauke per bandhi jati hai aur yeh mohabbat ka nishan hai. Chunki hum mohabbat ka paigham le kar aye isliyen jab inhone rakhi bandhi to bahut achha laga".
Pakistani delegation included doctors, lawyers, social activists, teachers, students, musicians, painters, writers, journalists and theatre artists. Many women poets recited poems to give vent to their feelings.
Earlier, the leader of Pakistani delegation Ms Asma Jahangir, told this correspondent that she was overwhelmed with the reception accorded to the Pakistani delegates. "It is difficult to express our feelings in words. We are getting tremendous love and affection wherever we are going in India. Even common people are treating us like sisters".
She observed that "The way we are being showered with affection and love we only wonder why do we fight each other. Why should we not establish our relationship by sitting at one place like human beings".
Ms Asma Jahangir said that there might be animosity amongst the rulers of the two countries but the people are basically friendly. She said that it was true that there are some people who do not treat each other as friends. But, they are in minority. However, they are holding the majority as hostage.
Gujral: India should cooperate
NEW DELHI, May 7 A former Prime Minister, Mr Inder Kumar Gujral, today said India should extend all cooperation to the Sri Lankan people to thwart the forces of extremism and disruption, adding that this would lend added credibility and seriousness to Indias own fight against such forces.
Saying that the governments statement that India would not send its troops to Sri Lanka to repeat the IPKF experience was understandable, Mr Gujral said this was in line with the policy of the V.P.Singh government adopted in 1990, when he (Mr Gujral) was the External Affairs Minister, in the course of withdrawing the IPKF from Sri Lanka.
"At that time also we had serious security concerns because of Pakistan militancy in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir that had caused tensions on the Indo-Pakistan border. In this respect, the current situation has some similarity", he said.
"With this in mind, we must ensure that unity and integrity of Sri Lanka does not come under duress and the Sri Lankan people together can work towards peace and stability", he added.
Mr Gujral said since 1966, India had tried with noticeable success, to build a mutually cooperative relationship with its neighbours. "Some of the initiatives taken by my government in 1997, in this respect, particularly with Sri Lanka under President Kumaratungas leadership, have subsequently been carried forward by the present government. The conclusion of Indo-Sri Lanka free trade agreement highlighted one such initiative", he said.
India, keeping its own interests in mind, was committed to a sovereign, united and multi-ethnic Sri Lanka where all minorities, especially Tamils, could live with dignity and without fear, he added.
Calcutta victim of labour indiscipline
CALCUTTA, May 7 (PTI) Calcutta, once referred to as "the city of palaces", could be moving towards a natural death due to "lack of political will" and "apathy of Calcuttans".
"And no amount of money from New Delhi or the World Bank can save our city" unless these deficiencies are tackled, warns a book authored by Dr Chittabrata Palit and published by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BNCCI).
The book, recently released by the Chamber here, entitled "Growth of Commerce & Industry in Bengal" (since 1887, the year of formation of BNCCI), identifies labour indiscipline, or "Leftism", as the "root cause of economic malaise" in "West Bengal, and Calcutta being the state Capital could hardly escape the rot.
"While New Delhi is rightly regarded today as one of the fastest expanding cities in the world, the growth of Calcutta remained almost nil," the book said.
Listing the woes of a "dying" city, the book says the drainage system in the city is 200 years old. The last major road had been built in 1930. The road space is less than five per cent of the city area while in Delhi and Mumbai it is over 30 per cent.
Environmentalists speak of Calcutta as the most polluted city in the world, it says. Set in an historical perspective, the book puts the onus on the
"lack of political will" and militant trade unionism, which often crossed fences to qualify for "anarchy".
environment is being vitiated by multiplicity of trade
unions, inter and intra-union rivalries and the
deteriorating law and order situation. For many years,
West Bengal has topped the list of statewise man-days
lost and accounted for about 50 per cent of all India
man-days lost," the book says quoting a BNCCI report
in 1983. "The fact that the emergency of 1974-75 was
supported by the Indian business class as a whole was
much due to the suppressive ordinances to put down labour
unrest," the book says.
Canadian help for Anandgarh
NEW DELHI, May 7 (PTI) The Punjab Government is seeking Canadian assistance in building "Anandgarh", a modern township near the historic city of Anandpur Sahib and held discussion in this regard with Canadian officials here.
A Punjab Government delegation led by Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Ranjit Singh Ballan had a detailed discussion with embassy officials Friday on the issue of finance, infrastructure facilities, designing, landscaping and other related projects pertaining to the development of the township, a state government spokesman said here yesterday.
The delegation, which
also had Anandpur Sahib Urban Development Authority
(ASUDA) managing director Vini Mahajan as one of its
member, in a 90-minute deliberations assured the embassy
officials that uninterrupted power supply would be
ensured to the township. The spokesman said that the
embassy officials had assured them that the interest of
the state would be taken care of by the Canadian
Government as per the agreement.
Birth anniversary of Ramgarhia sardar
NEW DELHI, May 7 (UNI) A special programme was today held at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib in the Capital to commemorate the 277th birth anniversary of Sikh military ruler Jassa Singh Ramgarhia.
Raagis and dhadis or ballad singers presented hymns set to music at the programme as eminent scholars and religious leaders threw light on the life of the "prudent and courageous Sikh general of the 18th century".
Addressing the gathering, former Akal Takht Jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh drew what he called a contrast between Sikh rulers of yore and the community leaders "who are in power today".
"Earlier, we had rulers who made profound sacrifices for their community, but unfortunately contemporary leaders are more concerned about `ministries and about the well-being of their family members," he said.
The former envoy to
Mozambique, Dr Jaspal Singh, member of the Delhi Sikh
Gurdwara Management Committee, paid his tributes to Jassa
Singh Ramgarhia and called upon the Sikhs to preserve
their rich heritage.
Drought-hit greet rain with puja
AHMEDABAD, May 7 (UNI) Many drought-weary Gujaratis performed puja as upper air disturbances brought rain overnight and a sudden drop in temperature in parts of the state.
Various regions reported a significant drop in temperature after scattered light to very light rains accompanied gusty winds since last evening. Baroda received 20 mm of rainfall during this period.
Reports received here said the raingod (Meghraj) was welcomed with prayers. People bathed in the first shower.
A report from the pilgrimage town of Ambaji in Banaskantha said though the the people rejoiced, heavy winds damaged the mango crop.
Sources said cyclonic
circulation in upper air in the south-west part of
Rajasthan had built up the rains. The sources predicted
mainly dry weather in the state and the Union Territories
of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli during the
next 24 hours. Partly cloudy skies with scattered showers
was predicted in various places in the state.
Population Commission soon
Beware of coin
Criminal dies in
2 feared drowned
11 take oath in
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