Thursday, 31 August 2006

BIS makes hallmarking compulsory for gold jewellery

2006
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 31: With the Indian jewellery market taking a giant leap forward in recent times, the Bureau of Indian Standards proposes to make mandatory certification of gold and silver ornaments and artefacts.
If the BIS has its say, only Hallmarked jewellery will have to be sold in the Indian market. The BIS came out with a draft Bureau of Indian Standards (Hallmarking of Precious Metals) Regulations, 2006 under BIS Act, 1986 and invited suggestions and comments from all stakeholders across the country. Thursday (August 31) was the last date for receipt of comments on the draft regulations. After taking these suggestions into consideration, the BIS will formulate its new regulations.
The BIS took up the proposal following complaints from different quarters on the quality of gold and silver jewellery available in the country. As a run up to the proposed mandatory certification, it has acquired country-wide infrastructure for assaying and hallmarking of jewellery. In a recent nation-wide survey carried out by the BIS at select centres including Hyderabad, it was found that not even a single piece of jewellery purchased by BIS inspectors (posing as common customers) in Hyderabad, Kolkata and Jaipur was of 22 carat purity as claimed by jewellers.
The BIS study showed that 88 per cent of the jewellers surveyed by BIS inspectors failed to follow the purity levels of gold articles. The BIS introduced Hallmarking concept six years ago and at present Hallmarking is purely optional and it is not binding on jewellers.
After the regulations come into force, jewellers will have to register themselves with the BIS and produce their jewellery samples for BIS Hallmarking and certification on purity of gold/silver used.
In all 1890 jewellers across the country have taken licence for Hallmarking of gold jewellery and 65 jewellers for silver jewellery and artefacts. The BIS has recognised 37 Hallmarking centres.
India is the largest consumer of gold in the world with people purchasing jewellery weighing a whopping 850 tonnes every year and more than one lakh jewellery making units catering to their needs. In the absence of rules for compulsory Hallmarking of jewellery, it is estimated that unscrupulous jewellers make a profit of about Rs 40,000 crore every year by knocking of 12.5 per cent gold from unsuspecting customers through reduction in purity.
The World Gold Council had noted that India would emerge as a major market centre for gold if jewellers here maintained international hallmarking standards.

Hallmarking of gold jewellery must, says BIS

2006
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 31: With the Indian jewellery market taking a giant leap forward in recent times, the Bureau of Indian Standards proposes to make mandatory certification of gold and silver ornaments and artefacts.
If the BIS has its say, only Hallmarked jewellery will have to be sold in the Indian market. The BIS came out with a draft Bureau of Indian Standards (Hallmarking of Precious Metals) Regulations, 2006 under BIS Act, 1986 and invited suggestions and comments from all stakeholders across the country. Thursday (August 31) was the last date for receipt of comments on the draft regulations. After taking these suggestions into consideration, the BIS will formulate its new regulations.
The BIS took up the proposal following complaints from different quarters on the quality of gold and silver jewellery available in the country. As a run up to the proposed mandatory certification, it has acquired country-wide infrastructure for assaying and hallmarking of jewellery. In a recent nation-wide survey carried out by the BIS at select centres including Hyderabad, it was found that not even a single piece of jewellery purchased by BIS inspectors (posing as common customers) in Hyderabad, Kolkata and Jaipur was of 22 carat purity as claimed by jewellers.
The BIS study showed that 88 per cent of the jewellers surveyed by BIS inspectors failed to follow the purity levels of gold articles. The BIS introduced Hallmarking concept six years ago and at present Hallmarking is purely optional and it is not binding on jewellers.
After the regulations come into force, jewellers will have to register themselves with the BIS and produce their jewellery samples for BIS Hallmarking and certification on purity of gold/silver used.
In all 1890 jewellers across the country have taken licence for Hallmarking of gold jewellery and 65 jewellers for silver jewellery and artefacts. The BIS has recognised 37 Hallmarking centres.
India is the largest consumer of gold in the world with people purchasing jewellery weighing a whopping 850 tonnes every year and more than one lakh jewellery making units catering to their needs. In the absence of rules for compulsory Hallmarking of jewellery, it is estimated that unscrupulous jewellers make a profit of about Rs 40,000 crore every year by knocking of 12.5 per cent gold from unsuspecting customers through reduction in purity.
The World Gold Council had noted that India would emerge as a major market centre for gold if jewellers here maintained international hallmarking standards.

Sunday, 27 August 2006

Scam in AP Wakf Board

2006
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 27: The Congress government has issued orders for recovery of honorarium from State Wakf Board former chairman Syed Yousuf Ali, who is presently a general secretary of the Telugu Desam.
This is perhaps the first time that the State government has issued orders for "recovery" of money from a senior politician. Syed Yousuf Ali had drawn Rs 1.46 lakh towards various heads from the State Wakf Board when he was its chairman.
According to Go Rt No.249 dated August 24, 2006, Syed Yousuf Ali had drawn an amount of Rs 16,350 during 1996-97 towards daily allowance while attending office. This is irregular as received a monthly honorarium. Besides payment of honorarium to the chairman, the Board has no provision for making payment of daily allowance while attending office. The GO directed that the amount claimed by Yousuf Ali be "recovered immediately".
The government order noted that Yousuf Ali had claimed Rs 300 per day as daily allowance while on tour, though he was eligible for just Rs 120 per day. The difference of Rs 14,400 will be recovered from the former chairman.
He also incurred Rs 1.46 lakh towards taxi hire charges along with diesel expenses. The government wanted the amount claimed to be recovered as vehicles were available in the Board, apart from a new vehicle purchased for the chairman.
Principal secretary (minorities welfare) M Chaya Ratan directed that State Wakf Board chief executive officer recover the amount from Yousuf Ali and "send a compliance report to the government".
Interestingly, the proceedings against Yousuf Ali were launched during the previous Telugu Desam regime. The issue has been pending for the last five years and the present Congress government accepted the audit report now.
Yousuf Ali, who held dual posts of Wakf Board chairman and government whip, drew perks from both the Wakf Board and the State Assembly. Government norms stipulate that a person should draw perks only from one department irrespective of the number of posts being held by him.
The Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee demanded that penal action be taken against the Telugu Desam general secretary for "violation" of norms. It wondered how the TD leadership had made such an "undeserving person" as a party general secretary.

Laugh a day keeps the doctor away

August 27, 2006

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: For the health conscious Hyderabadis, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is no longer the magic mantra. This age-old proverb has just metamorphosed for the stress-ridden Hyderabadis, who now believe that "laugh a day keeps the doctor away".
No wonder then that the number of laughter clubs in twin cities has doubled in just a couple of years. And the number is growing fast with new clubs added to the list every month as more and more people are turning to "laughter therapy" or "Hasya Yoga". The city has a couple of Hasya Yoga centres where chronic health problems are simply "laughed out" without the prescription of any conventional medicines.
Says Dr Sriranga Lakshmi, consultant neurologist at Apollo Hospitals, DRDO, "when one laughs the neuro transmitters get activated and when these are activated one overcomes depression. The work efficiency goes up. Moreover, laughing also leads to our facial muscles and the whole body being exercised resulting in burning of body calories".
One minute of a good bout of laugh is equivalent to 10 minutes of jogging. "All one has to do is a hearty laugh, just smiling and giggling will not help", says OA Seth, secretary of Hasya Yoga Club, KBR Park.
Seth points out that laughter therapy beats stress effectively and solves health problems like high blood pressure, heart ailments, depression, cough and cold, peptic ulcers, insomnia, allergies, asthma and migraine and even cancer-related stress.
Shirin Panjwani, who runs a "laughter clinic", gives examples of two persons recovering from severe health problems through simple laughing techniques. Stating that "laughter is inner jogging", Shirin recalls how one Shyamala Reddy got rid of chronic sinus problem within six months of taking to laughter therapy.
"After all conventional medicines failed to give relief, Shymala Reddy underwent laughter therapy. Within three months she set aside all her woollen clothes she used to wear to keep herself warm to reduce sinus problem. And within six months she got rid of the problem. Another person, an officer in LIC, had his facial texture improved within a month of joining the laughter club. All the wrinkles on his forehead vanished in no time," she observes.
Hasya yoga or laughter therapy is a 5000 year old Indian tradition that modern-day Indians have forgotten to utilise for their benefits. As the A Japanese proverb says, "time spent in laughter is time spent with God", but the Indian ancient texts have emphasised the importance of laughter in one's life thousands of years before the Japanese learnt to employ the technique.
Laughing leads to release of endorthins from different parts of the body, brain etc. These help in dilation of the blood vessels and improved blood circulation resulting in good health, according to Dr Suchi Madhusudan, consultant endocrinologist.
Dr Madan Kataria, who is known as the "Hasya Yoga Guru" and runs a website extolling the importance of laughter therapy, argues that since more than 70 per cent of illnesses have some relation to stress, laughter is the best medicine to treat mind-related diseases.
Laughter reduces the release of stress related hormones and aids in relaxation. "Our studies have shown that people suffering from a variety of diseases have benefited in some way or the other. There is a 10-20 mm drop in blood pressure after a 10 minute laughter session. The daily guffaws strengthen the immune system of the body by helping to increase the count of natural killer lymphocytes and raise the antibody levels. The antibodies in the mucous membranes of the nose and respiratory passages increase after laughter therapy," according to Dr Kataria.
A typical laughter yoga session in city parks, mainly KBR and Indira parks, lasts between 20 and 30 minutes as too much of laughter is also bad for health.
World-wide there are 3000 laughter clubs and of them Mumbai has 90 and Bangalore 78. With new laughter clubs coming up in the city, Hyderabad is all set to beat Mumbai and Bangalore when it comes having a "hearty laugh".

Saturday, 12 August 2006

Govt fails on its promise: to merge APIDC with APIIC

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 12: The assurance of the State government that it had kept in abeyance the controversial GO (No. 5) on restructuring of public sector units notwithstanding, officials of the Industries and Commerce Department have initiated the procedure for the merger of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation (APIDC) with the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Limited (APIIC).
The deadline set for the merger is December 31, 2006. Though the government's announcement that it had kept the GO in abeyance was made in July, the Industries and Commerce Department circulated a letter to APIDC, AP State Financial Corporation, APIIC and the Commissioner of Industries on August 7 seeking immediate steps for the merger.
The APIDC has been directed to take legal advice on cancelling the loan sanctions in cases in which disbursement has not commenced. However, it will continue disbursement in partly disbursed cases before its merger with the APIIC.
APIIC has been given the free hand to select employees of the APIDC after the merger in a position lower than that held in the APIDC. The loan portfolio of APIDC will be got valued and transferred to APSFC.
The Opposition parties, particularly the Telugu Desam and the CPM, have been demanding that the government withdraw the GO No. 5. Unless clear instructions are issued to officials and the GO withdrawn, officials will continue with their job of preparing estimates for merger or closure of PSUs, CPM State secretary BV Raghavulu observed.

Friday, 11 August 2006

Rouzatul Hadith in Hyderabad to be revived

2006
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 11: The State Wakf Board is finally reviving the century-old Rouzatul Hadith, one of the important Islamic libraries in the country, 26 years after it was shut down for wants of funds.
The Dubai-based Juma-al-Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage has provided financial and technical assistance to revive the library and restore its more than 900 rare books and manuscripts, most of them 500 years old. Dr Izzadin Bin Zeghiba of the Centre supervised the digitisation of the manuscripts. It is the only such library in the city after the world-famous Dairat-ul-Marif located on Osmania University campus.
"We have completed the restoration and digitisation work and the library is now ready for reopening. It was closed down 26 years ago. Since the doors of the library were locked with none to take care of the books, we have lost two cupboard loads of rare books and manuscripts to termites. It is for the Wakf Board to fix a formal date of reopening," says Syed Hashim, incharge of the library.
Wakf Board special officer SA Huda said the Rouzatul Hadith, located at Yakutpura, was one of the important sources of Islamic knowledge for research scholars from around the world. The library was closed down during its heydays.
"After I took over the charge of the State Wakf Board eight months ago, I have handed over the restoration work to the Dubai-based organisation. The entire project is funded by them. There are many books in Persian, Arabic and Urdu which are out of print and not available anywhere in the world," Huda told this correspondent.
Interestingly officials carried out the restoration work based on the tips provided in a 100-year-old book in English, gathering dust in one of the library cupboards. "It's a wonderful experience restoring an old library. We followed the tips mentioned in the book. While we lost several books to termites, the English book was intact. It helped us a lot," observes Wakf Board chief executive officer Ahmad Ali Khan.

AP Wakf Board politics: Files pending for 26 years cleared

2006
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 11: The State Wakf Board finally clears hundreds of important files after sitting on them for full 26 years.
The Board kept pending thousands of files since 1979 locking up the fate of its prime lands under encroachments. A few crore of Rupees was also held up in the process. The Wakf Board also failed to account for the money spent on its monthly meetings for the past one decade.
"We have taken up the file clearance work after noticing that many important files have been pending for more than two decades. So far we have closed a few hundred files. Many files are still pending and we will close them soon," special officer SA Huda told this correspondent.
The State Wakf Board is the richest Muslim endowment body in the country with properties running into at least Rs 35,000 crore. However, most of the landed properties of the Board are either under encroachment or locked up in legal battles.
Thanks to non-clearance of files the board suffered financial losses. Now that the file clearance process has begun, Board officials hope to recover the pending money from various sources. "Once all the files are cleared, we will know how much money is owed to the Board and which of its properties are under encroachment. This will streamline the entire process in the board," points out Wakf Board chief executive officer SM Ahmad Ali Khan.
The Board recently recovered Rs 6.8 crore from Visakhapatnam district collector pending for almost five years. It has initiated the process to recover Rs 80 lakh interest accrued on the principal amount. The money pertained to the sale of Wakf lands in Visakhapatnam and the Board could not pursue the matter with the district collector as it had been kept pending all these years.

Thursday, 10 August 2006

New vaccine based on Virosome technology to prevent Hepatitis A

2006

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 10: A new vaccine based on the latest virosome technology for prevention of Hepatitis A will soon enter the Indian market.
According to Dr Christian Herzog, who developed the vaccine, the new technology that went into the preparation of the vaccine makes it quite gentle on the body without causing fever, pain or red rash. Virosome uses a biodegradable delivery system presenting the most natural way of delivering antigens to the immune system of the body.
Unlike conventional vaccines for Hepatitis A, which uses aluminium salt as an adjuvant to give extra kick to the vaccine, the virosome Hepatitis A vaccine employs the empty shell of influenza virus. No adjuvants are added to the vaccine and this makes it safer. The empty viral shell ensures that the vaccine embedded on it is delivered effectively without causing any side effects, said Dr Herzog.
According to Dr M Indra Shekar Rao, professor and head of the department of paediatrics, Institute of Child Health, Niloufer Hospital, the Hepatitis A virus is quite active during rainy seasons and it spreads fast in comparison to other viruses. The virus easily spreads in areas where there are poor sanitary conditions or where personal hygiene is not observed.
"Of the 50 cases of jaundice reported in Niloufer Hospital every day, one case relates to Hepatitis A. The latest problem is that it is being observed in older age group of people between 15 and 20 years. Earlier it was felt only in small children," Dr Indra Shekar pointed out.
Dr S Sanjay of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics' committee on immunisation, said though Hepatitis A was not as problematic as Hepatitis B, it's better one should get immunised for the A variant of the virus if one could afford it.

Most of the animals slaughtered in Hyderabad are not healthy

2006
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 10: Meat-eaters beware! About 80 per cent of animals slaughtered in twin cities do not undergo the mandatory veterinary tests for diseases.
According to a survey commissioned by Information and Energy Minister Muhammad Ali Shabber, only 20 per cent of meat available in the city market is hygienic and undergoes the regular statutory tests. The remaining meat is from animals slaughtered at unauthorised abattoirs.
"Following the closure of abattoirs in twin cities for hygienic reasons, the State government has opened the modern abattoir at Chengicherla. Animals need to be slaughtered only at the Chengicherla slaughter house but our findings show that only 20 per cent of meat available in the city is from animals slaughtered at Chengicherla," Muhammad Ali Shabber told this correspondent.
The remaining 80 per cent of meat is from animals slaughtered either at houses or at the Jiaguda abattoir. There is no veterinary surgeon at the Jiaguda abattoir, he said.
Muslim religious scholars have been demanding closure of illegal slaughter houses in the city as such abattoirs do not have veterinary surgeons to test whether is animal is fit for consumption and mullahs to slaughter the animals in the Islamic halal procedure.
The State government rules stipulate that abattoirs should have veterinary doctors and Muslim mullahs. Around 10,000 animals are slaughtered in the city daily.
Shabber said he would convene a meeting of senior officials and representatives of abattoirs and butcher community to discuss the issue to ensure that only hygienic meat is sold in the market.

Tuesday, 8 August 2006

Environmental Information System to keep check on spread of diseases

2006
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 7: Finally, the State government will be able to keep various epidemics, particularly the life-taking Japanese encephalitis, under control thanks to a special software being developed by the city-based Indian Institute of Chemical Technology.
Dozens of people fall victim to brain fever or Japanese encephalitis and several hundred to malaria and viral fevers in the State every year. The agency areas dominated by tribals are the worst hit. So far this year as many as a dozen people died due to viral attacks in different parts of the State. The main Opposition, Telugu Desam, however puts the number of deaths at around 1100.
The Environmental Information System at the IICT is presently working on a database management system for integrated control of Japanese encephalitis and bancroftian filariasis. It will be released in market soon. The software will help in successfully predicting the outbreak of epidemics round the year so that the State government wakes up in time to control the health menace.
"We are working on development of database on various ecological niches responsible for breeding of vector species with special reference to water quality," IICT director JS Yadav said.
The Envis is also busy developing a web-based software on identification of vector species with special reference to habitats by using expert system, text and graphics as well as a database on environmental and cultural methods for vector control in paddy fields.
The study includes development of various databases like micro and
macro breeding habitats, surveillance with special reference to ecological parameters like percentage of organic matter and factors influencing the emergence.
The software throws light on the ecological parameters affecting the dispersal and distribution of the vector species. The data will effectively bring out various environmental management methodologies for the control of vectors and vector borne diseases through integrated system and disseminate to various end users like post-graduate students of environmental sciences, health officials and non-governmental organisations.

Monday, 7 August 2006

The significance of 786


August 7, 2006
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 6: Numbers have always fascinated man because they convey more than just numeric values.
Some numbers have religious or astronomical significance while others are of astrological, historical or mathematical importance. When one number combines all these factors, it becomes still more important. And that number is 786.
This August 7, the world will witness a unique combination of date that signifies this magical figure 786 - seventh day of the eighth month of the sixth year of the new millennium or 7-8-6 for short.
Apart from the religious importance a majority of the Muslims attach to this number, 786 has astrological, historical, mathematical and astronomical significance too. This unique combination of date is repeating itself after 100 years and it will recur only after a century.
The number 786 is a gematrical (numerical) value of the Islamic invocation, Bismillahi’r Rahmani’r Rahim, or In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, which every Muslim is commanded to recite before doing any work. Muslims in the Indian sub-continent revere 786 and print it on wedding and other invitation cards and put it down on paper before the start of writing anything. However, Muslims in other parts of the world do not attach any religious significance to the number and write Bismillah (In the name of Allah) in full.
According to Islamic scholar Hafiz Syed Shujath Hussain, in Arabic there are two methods of arranging letters, one of them being the Abjad (ordinal) method. Early Islamic scholars have assigned an arithmetic value to each of the Arabic letters from one to 1000.
The letters are arranged as Abjad, Hawwaz, Hutti, Kalaman, Safas, Qarshat, Sakhaz and Zazagh. This arrangement was based on the gematric system adopted in West Asian languages like Aramaic, Phoenician and Hebrew.“We get the magical 786 if we take the arithmetic values of all the 19 letters in Bismillahi’r Rahmani’r Rahim,” he points out.
Besides the Islamic importance, 786 has historical significance because the famous Abbasid Caliph, Harun Rashid, assumed throne on September 14 in the year 786 CE. It was during his regime and perhaps in the year 786 CE that the gematrical value of Bismillah (786) was calculated and arrived at by Islamic scholars and linguists of his court, says Muslim religious teacher Moulana Abdul Kareem.
Mathematically speaking, 786 is a sphenic number (a positive integer that is the product of three distinct prime factors). In other words, 50 can be partitioned into powers of two in 786 different ways, points out senior mathematics lecturer V Radhakrishna. Also 786 might be the largest “n” for which the value of the central binomial coefficient is not divisible by an odd prime squared.
This number is significant even in astronomy and astrophysics leave alone astrology and numerology. The New General Catalogue refers to NGC786 as a magnitude 13.5 spiral galaxy in the constellation Aries. An asteroid has also been named as 786 Bredichina.
The triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn occurs very rarely and so far this astronomical event has been witnessed only thrice in the living memory as it occurs only every 800 years. It was first recorded in 7 BC (the Star of Bethlehem in the sky at the time of the birth of Jesus Christ ), then in 786 CE and the last time in the year 1583, according to a astro-mathematical calculation prepared by the University of Helsinki, USA.
Astrologers point out that the ubiquitous astrological predictions trace their origin to the year 786 BC. This year is considered of great importance to astrology as it was the year of official opening of the new temple dedicated to Babylonian god Nabu at Calah, an ancient city of Assyria. Nabu is represented by planet Mercury and is considered as the god of astrology among other things.
Mufti Ibrahim Desai is of the view that the numerical 786 cannot replace the written Bismillah. In a fatwa, he says, the tradition of writing 786 was not present during the days of the Prophet. It was introduced about 150 years after his passing away."Whosoever uses 786 with the intention to obtain Allah's Blessings, is a misguided person and any attempt to justify it, is ignorance”, he observes.
However, the Mufti Muhammad Khaleel Ahmad of the 130-year-old Jamia Nizamia is of the view that 786 is allowed and permissible to write with the intention of gaining Blessings.All-India Muslim Personal Law general secretary Abdul Rahim Qureshi told this paper that "786" is written only in India and Pakistan.
It does not have any Islamic significance except that it is a numerical code for Bismillah.
Interestingly, if the letters in “Lord Hari Krishna” are to be given gematrical value in Arabic, the total numerical value of Hari Krishna will sum also up to 786, says Hafiz Shujath Hussain.
Eminent astrologer TM Rao, however, does not see any astrological significance for August 7, 2006. "It is just like any other day, except that it has a significant combination of numbers 7,8 and 6," he adds.

Saturday, 5 August 2006

Aviation lubricant: India all set to enter the exclusive club of nations

August 5, 2006
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 4: India is all set to enter the exclusive club of three nations which produce aviation lubricant, a highly strategic material currently imported by the country.
Only the USA, Japan and France produce aviation lubricant, whose technology is kept a closely guarded secret by these nations. City-based Indian Institute of Chemical Technology has successfully produced five litres of aviation lubricant for tests on aviation engines. It will be commercially available from next year.
"Aviation lubricant is a highly strategic material with very stringent technology. It is also a highly guarded technology. It has to function well at both high temperatures of 140 degrees C and low temperatures of minus 40 degrees C," IICT director JS Yadav observed.
He said developing synthetic aviation lubricants indigenously was very important as the exporting countries might bring the entire aviation fleet of an importing country to a grinding halt by simply refusing to sell the product. "The IICT technology will make India self-sufficient in aviation lubricant soon. The Indian Oil Corporation will market the product commercially," he told reporters.
The country now imports 200 tonnes of aviation lubricant worth Rs 100 crore. "We have produced five kgs of lubricant. Our target is to produce 75 kgs in one batch for full testing of the flight engine. We will achieve this next month," Dr Yadav observed.

Friday, 4 August 2006

Rural youth in Andhra Pradesh weaned away from Naxalites

2006
By Our Correspondent
Hyderabad, Aug 4: The Congress government's strategy to wean away rural youth from Naxalism after the failure of peace talks seems to have paid off in the past eight months.
As many as 5206 youths in interior and Naxal-infested villages have joined Youth Employment Societies formed by the State government at the district level to check Maoist influence on young minds. Of them, 1174 got jobs in Army, Air Force and BSF, while a few were absorbed in the Home Guards Organisation.
Following the State government's innovative drive, Naxal influence on rural and tribal youth particularly in the backward Telangana region came down considerably. The Naxals could not make new recruitment after the breakdown of the peace process. All the recruitment made by Maoist and Janasakhti Naxalites were only during the ceasefire period between July and December 2004.
"Unemployed youth in Naxal-hit areas can always be potential recruits to Naxal movement. Providing these youth with employment will weaken Maoists as they will not find new recruits. As a policy, we are recruiting more youth as home guards or forest guards on contract basis in disturbed and problematic areas," a senior official told this correspondent.
According to intelligence sources, Maoists and Janasakhti groups together recruited around 1000 rural youths into the Naxal movement. The Naxalite outfits even relaxed their recruitment norms to enrol as many youngsters as possible taking advantage of the ceasefire period. But once the talks process failed, the State government changed its policy deciding to wean away the rural youths from Naxalism through employment and training.
The government also strengthened the scheme of rehabilitation of surrendered extremists. District collectors have been directed to hold review meetings by 7th of every month. They will take up all applications received from surrendered Naxalites by then for financial assistance.

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