Port Blair, April 14: Together with the rest of the country, the A&N Police Fire Service is observing the Fire Service Week from 14th to 20th April this year. The Theme for this year is “Fire is Fire, Friend or Foe, We Decide.".

The Fire Service Week is organized every year in memory of a major fire incident that occurred on 14th April 1944, at "Victoria Harbour" in Mumbai, in which 336 persons died and 1040 were injured. Out of 336 who died, 68 were Officers and Jawans of Mumbai Fire Brigade. The tragedy occurred when a ship namely "SS FORT STRIKINE" loaded with explosive materials exploded while berthing at Jetty causing fire in several other vessels berthed in the wharf. To commemorate the act of bravery of the officers and men of Mumbai Fire Brigade who lost their lives during the fire fighting operation, April 14th is celebrated as Fire Service Day. A week long programme has been chalked out by this Unit, which starts with a Commemoration Day Parade on 14th April followed by publicity & educational campaign through banners, educational pamphlets, short video screening, Lectures and Demonstrations at various Institutions including Village Community Centers, Schools etc. The programme also includes inspection of industrial premises, hospitals, hotels and resorts, in order to make them aware of fire safety issues & requirements.

The main function on the Fire Service Day was held on 14/04/2013 at 0700 hrs. at Fire Service HQ Port Blair. Two minutes silence was observed to pay homage to those Fire Service personnel who had laid their lives for ensuring fire safety of our countrymen all over the nation. Soon after the parade, Fleet March of Fire Vehicles was taken out in and around Port Blair town. Similar programme are also being arranged in Fire Stations located in far flung Islands. The A & N Police Fire Service is committed to generate public awareness about Fire Prevention & Control by conducting special campaigns in densely populated areas, industrial establishments, hospitals, hotels and resorts during the Fire Service Week.

Examination Centre At District Jail to Come Up in Forthcoming TEE

Port Blair, April 12: Indira Gandhi National Open University, Regional Centre Port Blair organized its 26th Convocation today at the JNRM Auditorium, Port Blair. Shri Anand Praskahji, Chief Secretary, Andaman & Nicobar Administration was the Guest of Honour at Port Blair Regional Centre. The Regional Centre Port Blair is awarding 189 students on this 26th Convocation, among them 43 from masters degree, 113 from Bachelors degree, 19 from PG Diploma and 14 from Diploma courses.

Dr. Kasturi Pesala, the Regional Director (i/c) in her speech stated that till date the Regional Centre, Port Blair has enrolled 11,824 learners in their 08 Learner Support Centres. She stated further that the Regional Centre has opened an examination centre at Prothrapur District jail for jail inmates for its forthcoming TEE. The BCA/MCA students of IGNOU brought laurels to the Regional Centre by grabbing over all second position at Technovaganza 2012 organised by JNRM, Port Blair. The future plan of IGNOU Regional Centre Port Blair is to start a new course MA (Anthropology) in collaboration with Anthropological Survey of India, Andaman Region.

Further she has given a brief about the university & its activities. IGNOU has a cumulative strength of 3 million students, offering 400 programmes with 3500 courses (Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees & Doctoral degrees) developed through 21 schools of studies and delivered through 67 Regional Centres. The University has strengthened its presence in 43 countries beyond the Indian shores and 82 overseas partner institutions including the PAN Africa Network, SAARC Tele- Education Network, UNESCO and the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation support centres.

To further disseminate the knowledge & to provide effective student support services, the University has 37 Gyan Vani Stations & two Gyan Darshan Educational Channels.  We are also planning to conduct the special drives for the marginalized groups (SC/ST, differently-abled and weaker sections of the society). IGNOU plans to focus on five major areas during the 12th Five year Plan:

•To increase access, equity & quality of (ODL) by strengthening student support services

• To provide support for affordable education  with a provision for lateral entry into main stream education

•To develop human resource through vocational & need based programmes including skill development

•To provide support for ICT enabled initiatives for extending reach to all disadvantaged  sections of the society

The Chief Secretary, Shri Anand Praskahji, Andaman & Nicobar Administration in his speech quoted that The Regional Centre achieved several feets during its short span of 7 years. He further said it’s a remarkable achievement for the IGNOU Regional Centre for opening an examination centre at district Jail for jail inmates. He said that IGNOU is not only working for the betterment of the islanders but it is also giving them an opportunity for higher education near its doorsteps. He congratulated all the graduands of the 26th Convocation on completion of their degree and wished them a bright future ahead and successful life in all their future endeavors.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr.Ashok.K.Pandey, Study Centre-Coordinator, Mayabunder Study Centre-0208

Prof Iqbal Ahamad, Principal JNRM, Port Blair, Dr. R.N.Rath, Principal MGGC, Mayabunder  were special guests at the convocation. The coordinators Dr. J.S. Manhas Study Centre- 0201 & Dr. Ashok. K. Pandey, Study Centre-0208 were also present. Dignitaries from various departments viz. DHS, Education, CARI, PIB, etc. study centre functionaries, academic & non academic staff of JNRM, also graced this occasion with their presence.

Port Blair, April 11: A condolence meeting to pay homage to Dr. B. Srikanth, (IPS), Superintendent of Police, Nicobar District, who expired yesterday due to cardiac arrest at Car Nicobar, was held at Raj Niwas today. The Lt Governor, all the staff of Raj Niwas Secretariat and Senior Police Officers observed a two minutes silence as mark of respect to the departed soul.

The Lt Governor lauded the outstanding work done by Dr. B. Srikanth, IPS during his tenure as Superintendent of Police, Nicobar District. He specially appreciated the initiatives and welfare measures such as providing tuitions by the Police officials to the students of Car Nicobar and providing police bus service free of cost to the villagers for commuting from Mus Jetty to their respective villages of Car Nicobar.

The Administration proposes to commend him posthumously for award of President’s Police Medal for distinguished service on the occasion of Independence Day 2013.