Thursday, March 14, 2019

Major fire accident at Power Plant averted; Nearby denizens remain victims of engines' heat and smoke all days

NITU SINGH
Port Blair, Mar 13: A fire accident reported from Bambooflat's Power Plant at Midnight 11.56 pm of Mar 11, 2019. Timely action by Bambooflat Fire Service avert the accident before turning it major, the fire fighters team consisting of ASI, Shri Abdul Rasheed, Constables, M. Krishna Rao, Junas Kashep, A.M. Sajid, Mohd. Rafique and Lifing Billong were engaged upto 1.15 am (Mar 12, 2019) to control over fire.
Reportedly, due to overheat in one among the 12 gensets installed at Bambooflat was bust at that midnight, and the staffs on duty reported the fire incident to fire service immediately.
As per nearby residents of the 12 gensets installed locality at Bambooflat, 'preceded Power Plant of Suryachakra had high chimneys to out the heat of the engines, but this recently installed Genset Express Corporation's 12 engines has not even a chimney to release the heat and smoke, which causes health hazards to nearby resident especially the children and old age members in our family', Shri Musa Kaka said. 'In this regard we have also given a complaint at PS Bambooflat', the residents added.
'The A&N Administration has its responsibility to look into, while setting up such engines near the residential areas. Proper arrangements must be done to ease the residents of the nearby areas, especially when it comes to the health hazard of denizens', opined Smti. Rashida Begum, the nearby resident.

ANC inducts two tug boats


Port Blair, Mar 13: Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) inducted two 10 Tonne (T) Bollard tug boats NT Abhishek and NT Aja into active service at Naval Ship Repair Yard (NSRY), Port Blair on March 11, 2019. The vessels have been designed and built by Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. at Vishakhapatnam. Maj Gen Beji Mathews, Chief of Staff, Andaman and Nicobar Command presided over the induction ceremony in presence of Cmde B Ajay, Commodore Superintendent of Yard, NSRY, Port Blair and other dignitaries.
The induction of the Tugs in NSRY, Port Blair will augment the support infrastructure for the flotilla at ANC. The tugs NT Abhishek and NT Aja have state of art systems designed for in-shore engagement and will provide assistance to ships and vessels.

Lok Sabha Election 2019 in A&N Islands


Port Blair, Mar 13: In 71 days, India will know about the composition of the 17th Lok Sabha with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Mar 10, 2019 announcing the crucial dates on which voting will take place and the results declared.
Similarly, the Chief Electoral Officer, A&N Islands, Shri KR Meena accompanied by his team of electoral officials declared that the A&N Islands were all geared up to conduct the Lok Sabha Elections in fair and transparent manner as addressed in a press conference held on March 10, 2019 at Secretariat conference hall, Model Code of Conduct come straignt into force with the declaration.
All together 294435 people in the A&N Islands will go to vote in Loka Sabha Election 2019.


Multi Speciality Health Camps organised by ANC


Port Blair, Mar 13: As part of community outreach program for the local populace of the Islands, Andaman & Nicobar Command (ANC) conducted two multi-speciality medical camps at Car Nicobar and Campbell Bay on March 9 & 10, 2019 respectively. Both the camps were gathered an enthusiastic response and many patients received expert medical opinion and treatment.

‘Only growth can solve jobs, agrarian distress’; Chennai, Mar 13: Raising MSP no solution: Ahluwalia

Jobs and agrarian distress in India cannot be solved unless the economic growth rate is high, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former Deputy Chairman of the erstwhile Planning Commission, said.
“The crux of the agrarian crisis is that prices have collapsed and it is said that minimum support price (MSP) is a solution. But, if the market demand does not support it, I am not sure if an MSP will solve the problem,” he said, speaking on the topic “India’s growth prospects for the next decade”.
The event was organised by The Triplicane Cultural Academy and The Kasturi Srinivasan Library.
Mr. Ahluwalia said if there is much higher growth, there won’t be a problem of farm income going down. In the first 6-7 years of the the UPA Government, that is exactly what happened... when the real wages went up and there was no crisis, he said.
Non-agriculture jobs
“If growth was there, people would have gone out of agriculture to take up non-agriculture jobs. Therefore, rural distress is not going to be solved by keeping the present number of people in agriculture and making their income go up. It’s going to be solved if you run the economy in a way which absorbs them away from agriculture into better earning jobs. That way, existing agriculture population would be better off,” he said.
On jobs, he said that technology is changing rapidly and also making existing jobs disappear.
“TheTechnology changes would create new jobs. But the economy should be prepared in such a way that those new jobs are created in large numbers,”he Mr.Ahluwalia said.
He said if economy is managed well, India can grow at 7.5%.
In his address, C. Rangarajan, former Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, said that investment rate and health of the financial sector, among others, should be improved for achieving higher economic growth.
He said the economy had the potential to achieve 9% growth. (The Hindu)

Simple M.Com to Super M.Com

The broad meaning of commerce is a branch of business, concerned with the exchange of goods and services. It includes all those activities which directly or indirectly facilitate that exchange. In today's context, the e-commerce, internet based sale and purchase platforms (Amazon, Flip-cart, etc.) are well known to youth population. Similarly, the popular commerce educations are - B.Com and M.Com - offered at colleges/universities. The commerce related branches include: BBA, MBA, Chartered Accountancy, Cost Accountancy, Company Secretaryship, etc. Therefore, the inter-link between B.Com/M.Com and other commerce related studies is available now in higher education system. For the academic benefit of students of Chartered Accountancy/ Cost Accountancy/ Company Secretaryship, the specific specialization B.Com (or) M.Com degree programmes is readily available in India.
*B.Com (General)
*B.Com with Major in Accountancy and Finance
*B.Com with Major in Corporate Affairs and Administration
*B.Com with Major in Financial and Cost Accounting
Company Secretaries of India: The Institute of Company Secretaries of India constituted under an Act of Parliament, i.e. the Company Secretaries act, 1980 is the only recognized professional body in India to develop and regulate the profession of Company Secretaries in India and to award the certificate bestowing the designation of Company Secretary to a candidate qualifying for membership of the Institute. It was in 1960 that the Government of India formed an Advisory committee to standardize the basis qualifications needed for company secretaryship course and to conduct the company secretaryship examination. Initially, the Company Law board registered the students, conducted company secretaries examination, provided practical training facilities and issued Government of India, Diploma in Company Secretaryship to qualified candidates from 1960 to 1968. As the number of persons taking up the company secretaryship course grew, the Government promoted on 4th October, 1968 the Institute of Company Secretaries of India under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 for taking over from the Government of India, to conduct the company secretaryship examination. The Institute has since been converted into a statutory body w.e.f. 1.1.1981 under the Company Secretaries Act, 1980. The Institute has on its rolls over 20,000 members including over 3,000 members holding certificate of practice and has totally registered over Five Lakh Twenty thousand students since the inception of the course in 1960.
Bachelor of Commerce with Major in Corporate Affairs and Administration: It is designed and developed in collaboration with the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, exclusively for the Company Secretaryship students. The main objective of this programme is to develop skills and competencies of the students in the field of competencies of the students in the field of Corporate Affairs and Administration. The students can simultaneously study B.Com with Major in Corporate Affairs and Administration with company secretaryship foundation programme offered by ICSI. This programme comprises of 104 credits, out of which 24 credits are from IGNOU and 80 credits are part of foundation and executive programme. Once a student passes Company Secretaryship Foundation and Executive Progarmme automatic credit transfer is given in this B.Com programme for all those students.  This scheme facilitates the students to obtain dual degree simultaneously.
Master of Commerce in Business Policy and Corporate Governance:  It is designed and developed in collaboration with the Institute of Company Secretaries of India exclusively for the company secretaryship professional programme students. The main objective of this programme is to develop skills and competencies of the students in Business policy and corporate governance. Students can simultaneously study this M.Com programme along with company secertaryship professional programme offered by ICSI. This programme comprises 12 courses out of which 4 courses once a student passes 8 courses of company secertaryship professional programme, he/she receives credit transfer for those 8 courses in this programme. This scheme facilitates the student to obtain dual degree simultaneously when student passes company secretaryship programme.
The Institute of Cost Accounts of India (erstwhile the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India) was first established in 1944 as a registered company under the companies Act with the objects of promoting, regulating and developing the profession of Cost Accountancy. It has since been continuously contributing to the growth of the industrial and economic climate of the country. The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India is the only recognized statutory professional organization and licensing body in India specializing exclusively in Cost and Management Accountancy. A cost account is a person who offers to perform or perform services involving the costing or pricing of goods and services or the preparation, verification or certification of cost accounting and related statements.
It was during the early years of World War II, that the concept of cost as an independent entity made its beginning in the industrial circles of the world. Due to the prohibitive cost of defense operations, the then governments at war found it difficult to ascertain the price of defence purchase and thus evolved the concept of cost + contracts. This forced the contractors to submit the cost of the work to be undertaken by them, in order to be awarded the contract. 1945 brought the end of the war, and the nations ravaged by the effects of war began large-scale reconstruction of their economies through industrialization. The end of colonialism meant that many nations gained their independence, and this process increased rapidly. The late forties and fifties can really be termed the golden era of industrialization. The importance of cost accounting as being central to the formation of government polices provided the foundation of the rapid growth of the profession. What began as a mere exercise in estimating the cost, later developed into a movement for efficiency and optimum utilization of scarce resources.
Bachelor of Commerce with Major in Financial and Cost Accounting: Student can simultaneously study this programme with ICAI foundation/intermediate courses offered by the Institute of Chartered Accounts of India. It comprises of 104 credits, out of which 24 credits are from IGNOU and 80 credits are part of ICAI Foundation/ Intermediate courses. Once a student passes ICAI Foundation/Intermediate courses, automatic credit transfer is given in this B.Com with Major in Financial and Cost Accounting programme for all of those ICAI foundation/Intermediate courses. This scheme facilitates the student to obtain dual degree simultaneously.
Master of Commerce in Management Accounting & Financial Strategies:  It is designed and developed in collaboration with the Institute of Cost Accountants of India exclusively for the ICAI students. The main objective of this programme is to develop skills and competencies of the students in Management Accounting and Financial Strategies. Students can simultaneously study this M.Com in Management Accounting and Financial Strategies with ICAI final programme offered by ICAI. This programme comprises of 72 credits, out of which 24 credits are from IGNOU and 48 credits are part of ICAI final course. Once a student passes ICAI final course, automatic credit transfer is given in this programme for all of those institute of Cost Accounts of India Final course. This scheme facilitates the student to obtain dual degree simultaneously.
Charted Accountancy: During fifty eight years of its existence, ICAI, set up under an Act of Parliament, has created a unique name in the society. ICAI is a premier accounting body in the country. The letters 'CA' which stands for 'Chartered Account' and widely recognized as alphabets of trust. Over the years, the chartered accountancy profession has achieved rapid growth by virtue of quality professional services rendered by its members and the profession has occupied a prominent role in the development of the country. Increasing responsibilities are being placed by the Government and society on the members of the profession and their specialized knowledge and skills are being utilized in various fields of activities. The Institute is playing a prominent role in the International Accounting Bodies as well.
ICAI has contributed in the fields of education, professional development, maintenance of high accounting, auditing and ethical standards. It is imperative for ICAI to have an understanding with IGNOU, well known for its contribution in the areas of open and distance education, research, extension and training. Both the educational bodies strive to provide sustainable and learner centric quality education. Separately, they have also been helping millions of students across the country and abroad in qualitative education. The understandings have helped in commencing of a special B.Com with Major in Accountancy and Finance and a special M.Com in Finance and Taxation by IGNOU. Exemption in these B.Com and M.Com courses are available according to what the students study in ICAI courses. This understanding will also facilitate collaborative personal contact programmes for the students as well as foster research initiatives to improve pedagogy for the commerce and management studies.
Charted Accountancy is a challenging profession that offers practice or job opportunities in the areas of accounting, auditing, corporate finance, project evaluation, company and other business laws, taxation and corporate governance. The multifaceted knowledge a chartered accountant enjoys through unique academic programme blended with practical training is what the business and industry need in the advent of liberalization, privatization and globalization of Indian economy. Chartered Accountants are better equipped to discharge accounting and audit function in a computerized business environment. A globally acclaimed profession capable of offering new vistas to young talents, new vision to young talents, a new vision to build a career and a new idea to blossom.
Recognizing subjects studied in the entry level course of chartered accountancy and subjects of study in the first stage of chartered accountancy, course under the approved scheme of education and training of the ICAI, as well practical training component, IGNOU conducts a specialized B.Com course majority in Accountancy and Finance for the students of chartered accountancy course by which exemption is granted in certain common subjects such that these students can improve their learning process by acquiring knowledge in new areas rather than concentrating in the same subject, which are covered in the theoretical education scheme of the chartered accountancy. Further, recognizing subjects of study in the chartered accountancy final stage, the IGNOU conducts a special master programme in commerce majority in finance and taxation for the benefit of students who are undergoing CA final course or who have already qualified CA final examination.
Bachelor of Commerce with Major in Accountancy and Finance:  Students can simultaneously study this B.Com programme with Chartered Accountancy First stage offered by ICAI. This programme comprises of 96 credits, out of which 32 credits are from, IGNOU and 64 credits are part of Chartered Accountancy course (First Stage). Once a student passing Chartered Accountancy first stage, automatic credit transfer is given in this B.Com (A & F) programme for all of Chartered Accountancy first stage course. This scheme facilitates the student to obtain duel degree simultaneously.
Master of Commerce in Finance and Taxation:  Students can simultaneously study this programme along with Chartered Accountancy Final Course offered by ICAI. This programme comprises of 13 courses, out of which 5 courses are offered by IGNOU and remaining 8 courses are part of Chartered Accountancy Final course. Once a student passes the 8 courses of Chartered Accountancy Final Course., he/she receives credit transfer for those 8 courses in this programme. This scheme facilitates the student to obtain dual degree simultaneously when a student passes CA final, he/she becomes the member of CA and at the same time he/she is also qualified to receive this M.Com degree by completing only 5 more courses from IGNOU.
The requirements of students for commerce degree (or) PG degree is increasing day-by-day.  To meet such requirements, the professional bodies in commerce education system associated with the universities of Open and Distance Learning System (Eg: IGNOU). Given the opportunity, it is for the young students to avail the golden opportunity provided by Open and Distance Learning System. Getting multiple benefits from single professional study of Chartered Accountancy/Cost Accountancy/ Company Secretaryship) is possible now. It provides more professionalism in commerce education.
(The authors are Dr. S. Ganesan and Mr. S.Shaji, IGNOU, Regional Centre, Port Blair and can be reached at rcportblair@ignou.ac.in (M-8900936718)

Advertisements certification; all concern advised

Port Blair, Mar.13: In view of the ensuing General Election 2019 Lok Sabha, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force. All applications relating to advertisements/ banners/ posters and other publicity material to be printed in print and electronic media may be addressed to Member Secretary, Media Certification and Monitoring Committee for its approval at an early date. Concerned person/ party may submit their applications in prescribed form available with Shri Mohammed Mustafa, PRO (IP) and submit the same to him at Room No.15, First Floor, Directorate of IP&T, Port Blair with immediate effect. He can also be contacted over phone number 244014/ 9476040076.

Election teams should work in coordination to follow ECI instructions/guidelines: RO


Port Blair, March 13: A training programme was organised for the flying squad, video surveillance, video viewing, check point and static surveillance teams in the auditorium of the ASI here on March 12, 2019. Initiating the training programme, the Returning Officer, A&N Islands Parliamentary Constituency, Shri Udit Prakash Rai has once again reminded the duties and responsibilities of different teams formed to check and respond to the complaints of Model Code of Conduct violations.
The RO said the team members should work in co-ordination with each other and have to keep vigil on public meetings, rallies, use of loudspeakers and all election related events, so that MCC rules are not violated. The teams have to give immediate response to the complaints of political parties/candidates and whatever action they take should be impartial, he added. "We need not to favour anybody but have to follow the instructions/guidelines of the ECI for the conduct of the general election in a free, fair and transparent manner" the RO said.
The RO further stated that every officer is working for the Election Commission of India once he is engaged in Election duty and has to discharge his duties with utmost responsibility. The team members should go through the guidelines of the commission and understand their duties and responsibilities. Action should be taken against those who violate the Model Code of Conduct prescribed by the Commission and every work should be as per the rule, the RO cautioned. The check point teams must ensure that normal public should not face any problem during their routine checks.
The Nodal Officer MCC, Shri Yash Chaudhary, the Asst. Commissioner, (HQ) Ms Nidhi Sarohe and Shri M. Mohammed Ashraf, Sr. AO also addressed the gathering.

Horse Safari guidelines uploaded; comments/ suggestions invited

Port Blair, Mar.13: Tourism Department, Andaman & Nicobar Administration is in the process of finalizing guidelines for registration of 'Horse Safari Operators' in A&N Islands. In this regard a draft guidelines has been prepared and uploaded in the official website of Tourism Department www.andamantourism.gov.in for inputs/ suggestion/ opinion, if any.
Tourism stakeholders and all concerned have been requested to furnish their comments/ inputs/ suggestions, if any, to the Tourism Department's office on or before 21/03/2019 for finalizing the guidelines.

Smart Islander Card issuance at ITF Ground; Newly enrolled members will be covered in 1st phase

Port Blair, Mar 13: Photography Camp is setup at ITF Ground for the issuance of Smart Card based Islanders Cards to all the newly enrolled members i.e. spouse (Husband/ wife) and children added with the registered family. All such newly enrolled members are requested to bring documentary identity proof like copy of Aadhaar Card and parent's / Spouse's  Islander Card through which their name have been included in the Islanders list.
All the newly registered members of 15 years age and above shall be given the card as per the schedule. Smart Islander Card will be charged Rs.100/-. On payment, a receipt will be generated with complete details of persons for the verification/ confirmation and signature. Hence, applicants are requested to ascertain the details printed on the receipt provided to them before approaching for printing of the smart card. Replacement of Card is chargeable.
Further, it is clarified that those already issued with Paper based Islander Card shall not be covered in this round of photography for the cards. All such Islanders will get opportunity for replacement of their card only after the newly enrolled members are duly issued with smart card during current phase of photography.
Photography and issuance of smart Islander Card shall be available for newly enrolled members commencing from 11/03/2019 at the ITF Ground, Port Blair as per the schedule given below:
Sl.
No.
Name of the Revenue Village
Photography Schedule
(9.30 AM to 5.00 PM )
1
Haddo
11/03/2019   to 16/03/2019
2
Buniyadabad, Phoenix Bay
including Delanipur, Prem Nagar, Anarkali
18/03/2019   to 21/03/2019
3
Junglighat
22/03/2019, 23/03/2019, 25/03/2019
4
Aberdeen including Aberdeen Bazaar
26/03/2019  to 30/03/2019
Rest of the venues/ schedule will be announced separately, a communication from Deputy Manager (IT), O/o Deputy Commissioner, South Andaman District said.

LG pays floral tributes at Chatham Memorial



Commemorating arrival of first batch of Freedom Fighters in the Islands Admiral D K Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.), Hon'ble Lt Governor, A&N Islands and Vice-Chairman, Islands Development Agency paid floral tributes at Chatham Memorial on March 10, 2019. Shri Chetan Bhushan Sanghi, Chief Secretary, Shri Dependra Pathak, DGP and other senior officers of the Administration alongwith dignitaries from Public were also present on the occasion.

People demands restriction of vehicles into Sunday Veg. Market


TMI Correspondent
Port Blair, Mar 06: One of the busiest places in city on Sundays is Junglighat's Vegetable farmers Market place where people crowd can be seen are busy, between 6.00 am and 1.00 pm on Sundays. During the time, police can also be seen restricting the entry of vehicle into the market upto 11.00 am, but after that, the two wheelers and sometimes four wheelers are found menacing between the people's crowd.
"Here we have no place to walk even, and these vehicles are infiltrating freely to hassle the crowd", says a lady in the market. "Police deputed at entry of this market should stay upto 1.00 pm at least in busy hours", a farmer vending vegetables said.

Practice of two wheelers in city



Picture shows the practice of two wheelers in city, stopping their vehicles beyond the road divider fixed by Andaman & Nicobar Police at Light House signal points. One can observe, during relax time many hurry two wheelers used to cross the line ignoring the traffic from opposite direction, which may lead to traffic jam and sometimes accidents at signal points. Your call Andaman & Nicobar Police (Traffic)!

CS launches Smart Card based Islander Identity Card


Port Blair, Mar.6: The Chief Secretary, A & N Administration, Shri Chetan B Sanghi have launched Smart Card based Islander Identity Card for Islanders in the presence of Shri Udit Prakash Rai, Deputy Commissioner, South Andaman in the conference hall of Secretariat on Mar 05, 2019. With this, the long pending demand of Islanders has been fulfilled.
The enrollment drive for the unenrolled spouse and children of the bonafide Islanders was carried out during 2016. A total of 36752 applications were received and 64803 members were added to the Islander Database. Out of 64803 members, there are 19922 new enrolled members are of age above 15 years for whom Smart Card based Islander Card shall be issued in first phase.
After completion of the first phase, facility for replacement of Paper Card with Smart Card based Islander Card shall also be extended. It is pertinent to mention that 369848 members were enrolled in the Islander database during the survey conduct in the year 2002.
Further, it has also been decided to issue "Smart Card" instead of existing Paper Card. All the newly enrolled members shall be issued "Smart Islander Identity Card". The bonafide Islanders having Paper Islander Identity Card can also get their card replaced with new Smart Card.
A camp shall be setup at ITF ground, Port Blair w.e.f. 11.03.2019 for the issuance of Smart Islander Identity Card to the newly enrolled family members. The "Smart Islander Identity Card" shall be issued on a payment of Rs. 100/-.
It is once again mentioned that the Islanders enrolled in the list published during 2002 and their spouse/ children shall only be issued with the Smart card based Islander Card.

Trng. on Cyber Security imparted


Port Blair, Mar.6: In pursuance to the directions of the Election Commission of India for the ensuing Parliamentary Election -2019, training on Cyber Security was organized in the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Port Blair on March 4 for officers/ officials engaged in the election process. The training programme was attended by 19 officials from various departments.
The Cyber Security, Nodal Officer, Shri Abdul Rasheed explained about different types of cyber threats prevailing these days like e-mail account takeover, malware, phishing, credential replay, social engineering, call forwarding and spoofing, etc and stressed on adopting safety measures by every individuals who works online from such cyber threats.

Sagarika Emporium invites applications from handicrafts manufacturers

Port Blair, Mar 06: The SHGs, Coop. Societies, SMEs, artisans, individuals engaged in manufacturing of Handicrafts products and who are interested to avail marketing support through the departmental outlets of A&N Emporium- "Sagarika".
They are requested to submit their rates of the handicrafts/ products along with samples in the prescribed format available in the A&N Emporium - "Sagarika", concerned Pradhans, Asst. Commissioners, Tribal Council Office, Asst. Director, Extension Offices of Department of Industries at Bakultala, Diglipur and Car Nicobar along with photographs (in jpeg. format) of the samples for acceptance and fixation of sales price on or before 27th March 2019.
The applicants will be shortlisted based on guidelines to be notified shortly and preference will be given to new, upcoming and first time applicants as well as from remote areas of A&N Islands. This does not confer any right on the applicants for marketing assistance and the Administration reserves right to withdraw the notice.

Empower Women through Education


Women's and gender studies are emerging and growing areas of academic enquiry today. To have a deeper understanding of formulation of empowerment, one must be exposed to cultural, literary, political and socio-economic dimensions within gender frame works. There is a need to deconstruct the complex power hierarchies and relationships operating in society, from the perspective of women and gender.
Development policies and practices have a different impact on women and men. This necessitates an understanding of the 'gender gap' in access to resources, privileges, entitlements and choices. Consensus has evolved around the need to explore the 'gender gap' in key development sectors and how this gap can be bridged. There is now greater emphasis on mainstreaming gender perspectives into the development process. This will contribute to building a gender-sensitive rubric of development, recasting development theory and action in the direction of improved living standards, socially responsible management and use of resources, elimination of gender subordination and socioeconomic inequality as well as to promote the organizational restructuring required to bring about desirable change.
Exploration of gender issues has become an important activity for most non- governmental organizations. Increasing emphasis is being laid in Governmental agencies on establishing gender-differential impacts and taking positive, affirmative action towards gender equality and equity. It is now widely acknowledged that gender considerations need to be reflected in all development plans, programmes and policies. There is growing concern over the isolation of women in so-called "soft" sectors in education, employment and development rather than mainstreaming gender concerns across all organizations, institutions and activities. While the concerns are clearly articulated, national goals and the UN millennium sustainable development goals cannot be achieved without concrete effort towards gender equality.
 Some of the Gender related courses offered through Open and Distance Learning System are:
* Master of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies (MAWGS)
* Master of Arts in Gender and Development Studies  (MAGD)
* Post Graduate Diploma in Women's & Gender Studies (PGDWGS)
* Diploma in Women's Empowerment and Development (DWED)
Now it is a known fact that if a female child is educated in the family, the education is useful for entire family. Women is the backbone of the family, if she is educated, the entire family is educated. In other words, the benefit of girl's education has directly or indirectly impact on entire family up-gradation process. It has strong multiplier effect in the family as well as society.
The upward movement from literate stage to empowered stage is geared-up by the education process. Swamy Vivekananda said, 'Knowledge is power', one way of acquiring knowledge is through education system. Today we need brain power than muscle power. Thus, educated women get gradually empowered in terms of economic status as well as social status.
Government of India provides many schemes to empower women; one such scheme is free education for 'single girl child' in Kendriya Vidyalayas. For few years, the government of Gujarat has offered free education opportunity for women applicants in IGNOU- Ahmedabad. It really boosted the educated population significantly. Giving equal opportunities for females has already crossed 33% quotes in many fields. This is well noticed in most of the employment notifications where sex is not a bar. To give importance for female candidates, some offices keep exclusive 'women' counters, thereby special services provided to them.
Our former Prime Minister Smti. Indira Gandhi says, 'Education is a liberating force, and in our age it is also democratizing force, cutting across the barrier of caste and class, smoothing out inequalities imposed by birth and other circumstances'. The Open and Distance Learning System provides education to all, with equal opportunities. Eliminating the sex bias in all the process is need of the hour. The education level of the society in general and employer in particular does the fading effect of sex-bias. In the developed countries, where the level of education is higher, the differentiation based on sex is low. The education changes the attitude very much.
Let us all try to minimize the sex bias and evolve bias free environments for all, as mentioned by Nelson Mandela 'education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world'.
(The authors are Dr.S. Ganesan, Regional Director of IGNOU, Regional Centre, Port Blair and Ms. Swaraja Laxmi Bai, Assistant of IGNOU, Regional Centre, Port Blair and can be reached at rcportblair@ignou.ac.in (M-8900936718)

cVIGIL in citizens' hands

Port Blair, Mar 06: The Returning Officer, A&N Parliamentary Constituency, Shri Udit Prakash Rai said a people friendly Apps have been put in place by the ECI especially the cVIGIL app which can be downloaded from Google play store by which people can lodge their election related complaints. Citizens can go for alternate method for lodging election related complaints by dialling toll free number 1950 if they come across connectivity issue while using cVIGIL. At present 4 lines are available for 1950 which will be increased to 8 for the benefit of the users, the RO added. Shri Udit Prakash Rai also informed about the National Grievances Service Portal (NGSP) portal which has so far received 300 suggestions and election related complaints between 60-70 so far. The disposal rate of the complaints is 100 percent, he said.