Sunshine to have expanded reach without environment clearance

Gujarat Tribal Development Department (TDD) is all set to increase the command area of project Sunshine. It is an ambitious Venture to increase agriculture productivity in the tribal belt with the help of genetically modified (GM) crop manufacturers- Monsanto and Gujarat Narmada valley Fertilisers Corporation (GNFC). But this year, the old project does not even have an Environment Assessment Report (EAR),which the TDD officials consider as sacrosanct for implementation of any projects involving large-scale use of GM crops.

Under Project Sunshine in 2008, Panchmahal and Dahod districts, consisting of 720 villages, were selected by the TDD to implement the project in a 72,000- acre area. In each villages in these two districts, a minimum of 100 acres were planted with Dekalb corn hybrid seeds. As per the project proposal, for 612 metric tonnes of seeds, the fertiliser requirement was shown as 12,000 metric tonnes.
Meanwhile,officials of the Gujarat Rural Institute for Socio-Economic Reconstruction, Vadodara said that in Dahod, in which the organisation was made a part of the project, the results have been successful. "Previously, only 600 kg of corn could be produced from an acre, but 1,800 kg of corn was realised in the last cropping season in the district," said an official.
The Indian Express,5 May 2009

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Importance of eco industrial parks highlighted in Gujarat conference

Recognising the obligation for sustainable Development in the state and to attract government's attention towards the same, various stakeholders of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Gujarat State Council (GSC) and German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) have advocated the concept of "Eco Industrial Parks' in Gujarat.

The stakeholders, who deliberated on 'Eco Industrial Parks- Planning and Management,' also included the Indo-German Institute of Advanced TEchnology, Vishakhapatnam and the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC). S K.Nanda, principal Secratary, Environment and Forests, Government of Gujarat, who delivered the keynote address, stressed upon the reuse and recycling of industrial waste and mentioned the forthcoming biofuel policy of the state.
The Indian Express, May 4,2009

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From BPL to BPO tribal youths break all stereotypes to enter urban jobs

seventy two tribal youths,all from below poverty line(BPL)families, are all set to take up commercial back office and customer care jobs after being trained for a year at a business process outsourcing (BPO) unit. A total of 88 tribal youths from Chhota Udepur mastered various data entry software such as content Management System (CMS) and Microsoft Outlook.What's more they also learnt globally accepted Spoken English in a short time.

Now, this first tribal BPO is handing business operations for Panchmahals Dairy, Sabarkantha DAiry and Baroda Dairy. The brainchild of Tribal Development Department
(TDD) and the Vadodara based Shroff foundation, the BPO has trainees who come from far-flung areas covering distances of up to 40 km. some even walk for 2-3 km to reach the training center at 9 am everyday and swipe their identity cards on an attendance device, just like their affluent counterparts in the metros.
Akhileshwar Singh, Manager (operations) said: " WE started with100 trainees from various areas. But some of them opted out because of family issues or
transportation hassles.But with a sense of discipline while keeping tribal sensibilities in mind, we have been able to handle our first pilot project with Panchmahal Dairy, which we finished successfully in April this year.
The Indian Express,May 13,2009

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'Greener' industry will help economy prosper

For a sustained economic and industrial growth,ecological development is imperative. This was the consensus reached upon by the experts at a one-day awareness workshop titled ' Eco Industrial Park - Planning and Management', organised by the Federation if Indian Chambers of commerce and Industry (Fcci) in collaboration with Getz on May 4th 2009.

SK Nanda, principal secretary of the forest and environment department of the government of Gujarat, said that human beings are trustees of land, water and air and that their purity and sustainability must be maintained through the use of new technologies like the post pollution management technology.

The shift must be from ecology in industry to industry of ecology,said Nanda. " we should adopt clean development mechanism and cleaner processes," he added. HE urged industrialists to cover the open spaces around the factories with more plants and trees to counter the effects of carbon emission.Trees not only absorb the carbon dioxide, reducing the pollution level, but also help bring down temperature.
DNA,May 5,2009

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Rajkot academician plans mini revolution in villages

Soon, a thousant remote villages in Gujarat will have a small library each with a set of 365 books, thanks to Rajkot-based academician Gijubhai Bharad. He plans to weigh Muktanand Bapu, his inspiration, against a pile of books in what is called as 'Gyantula', and donate them to these mini libraries.

Muktanand Bapu runs a residential school for children orphaned by the 2001 earthquake
at Chaprda in Junagadh.He weighs 90 kg. So, Bharad has written and complied 365 books,each having around 100 pages, on various subjects covering science, mathematics, technology, languages, literature, religion and general knowledge, which together weigh 90 kg. " The villagers will have a book for every single day of the year in the mini library and we hope they will read them. I don't expect any revolution to happen, but this project aims to provide a direction," said Bharad.

A group of youngsters will be entrusted with the responsibility to run the library from some public building in their respective villages. A team from Limca Book of Records will remain present at the event, as Bharad has published the highest number of books as an individual.
The Indian Express, May 5,2009

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