NEW DELHI, India: The almost total failure of the monsoon in 21 out of India’s 24 States has left the country suffering from severe drought. In contrast, 1n the northeast and in Bangladesh there are devastating floods. The Indian government has taken a series of emergency measures to help deal with the situation. A series of committees have been set up to tackle the drought and control rooms opened across the country to monitor relief. The government has diverted all available diesel oil to the operation of irrigation pumps, and is spending an estimated 3,200 million United States dollars on efforts to combat the severe conditions. The summer Kharif crop has almost totally failed in vast stretches of the country. The annual rice production is likely to drop by 20 to 30 per cent. Only a third of the ground nut crop is expected to survive. However, despite the harsh conditions, the government is expecting to keep famine at bay with a 23.5 million tonne food grain surplus. Government controlled “Fair Price” shops selling grain and the drought relief schemes should enable people to earn just enough to eat.

Students Rally to Press for Prime Minister’s Resignation HUBANESWAR: The Students Federation of India (SFI) and the democratic youth federation of India (DYFI) will take out a joint rally in Delhi on September 23 to press for the Prime Minister, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi’s resignation and a midterm poll. Announcing this at a news conference here on Tuesday, the SFI president, Mr. Vijay Raghavan, and general secretary, Mr. Nilotpal Basu, said fresh polls had become necessary in view of the various scandals rocking the present government. The proposed rally would also highlight the need of “education for all, jobs for all”, scrapping of the new education policy and guarantee of employment opportunities.

The SFI president and general secretary said the all India university students’ convention held here on August 8, 9 was a resounding success. Nearly 400 delegates from 95 universities participated in the convention.

The SFI, meanwhile, has extended its full support to the striking university and college teachers. Describing the indefinite strike as just and a natural consequence of. Faulty policies of the Union government, Mr. Vijay Raghavan called on all student organizations to rally round the striking teachers.

Article extracted from this publication >>  August 28, 1987