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                        Vol.3, No.8 [*] March 2, 1997

              We are spectators of one another, mutual witnesses
                        of each other's discomfiture.
                              - N.F. Simpson

   Former MP Mr Bijoy Krishna Handique of Congress(I) of the Jorhat  Lok
   Sabha  constituency  is leading by more than 15,000 votes at 4:30 pm.
   In Barpeta, the CPI candidate, Mr Udhab Burman is leading.    -  Mozz

   Counting  of  votes of the recently-held election to the 14 Lok Sabha
   seats in Assam begun at 8  am  today  along  with  the  rest  of  the
   country.  The election commissioner-cum-chief election officer of the
   State, Mr Bhaskar Musahary said that 52 counting centres had been set
   set  up in all the districts and subdivisions of the State which were
   provided special `hot line'  telephone  and  fax  connections.    The
   progress of counting, trends and results of every round would be sent
   to chief   election  office  through  these  `hot  lines'.    Special
   arrangements are also made to enter the data directly to computers in
   New Delhi through the NICNET centres in the district headquarters.
   The control room of the chief election officer of the State set up in
   the `Media Centre' at  the  Directorate  of  Information  and  Public
   Relations  (DIPR)  office,  Dispur is also connected to the State NIC
   office.  Trends are likely to be  available  by  evening  and  a  few
   results are  expected  by  tomorrow.    It  may be mentioned that 100
   candidates are in the fray in Assam.
   [ Election results are available on the Internet  from  the  official
   Election Commission  of  India  website  at:   http://www.eci.gov.in.
   Also, look  out  for  the  NICNET  site:      http://www.nic.in   for
   information on the results.  - Mozz ]

   The exit poll results of the Doordarshan evoked mixed reactions  from
   the  leaders  of  the  political parties of the State and most of the
   parties have claimed that they would get more  seats  than  what  was
   predicted in  the  exit  polls.    The  exit  poll  results for Assam
   predicted eight seats for the Congress, four for BJP and only two for
   the AGP and its alliance partners.
   A senior AGP minister, on condition  of  anonymity,  told  The  Assam
   Tribune that  the exit poll was a trick played on the people.  Senior
   CPI leader and State Flood Control Minister, Mr  Promode  Gogoi  said
   the the exit poll results will not be correct.  He expressed the view
   that  it  is  not  possible for the BJP to get four seats in Assam as
   shown in  the  exit  polls.  `It  seems  that  the  exit  polls  were
   motivated,' he added.

   The All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) will launch a fresh agitation  for
   the  creation  of  a separate State of Bodoland immediately after the
   formation of a new Government at the Centre, said  the  president  of
   the ABSU,  Mr  Urkhau Gwra Brahma.  Talking to newsmen at Guwahati on
   March 1, Mr Brahma said that a `peoples organization' in the line  of
   the Bodo People Action Committee (BPAC) is likely to be formed at the
   next  annual  convention of the ABSU at Dudhnoi to be held from April
   7, to spearhead the agitation for the creation of  a  separate  State
   for the  Bodos.    The  BPAC  was dissolved after signing of the Bodo
   accord in 1993.

   Chief  Minister  P.K.Mahanta is likely to undertake a major reshuffle
   on completion of two years of the Government in May after the  Budget
   Session  of  the  Assembly is over, party sources in Guwahati said on
   February 28. The Budget Session starts from March 16.  Sources  said,
   couple  of ministers might be dropped and new faces inducted into the
   28-member Ministry whose size, however, will not go beyond 30 members
   after the reshuffle, sources added.  There  are  18  Cabinet  and  10
   ministers of state in the present ministry.

   The Assam Government has decided to create a new  Department  at  the
   secretariat  level  for  the  welfare and development of the minority
   community of the State.  This was disclosed by the Minister of  State
   for Char  Areas  Development,  Mr Abdul Jabbar.  The organization and
   activities including the Char  areas  development,  Assam  Minorities
   Development  Board,  Linguistic  Minorities  Board,  Assam Minorities
   Development and Finance Corporation, Wakf properties,  implementation
   of  the  Prime Minister's 15 point-programme for minorities, Hajj and
   other  matter  relating  to  the  minorities  like  formulation   and
   implementation of  schemes  etc.  would be included under the preview
   of the department.

   The  Fifth  Guwahati  Trade  Fair 1998 was declared open by the Assam
   Chief Minister P.K.Mahanta at 4:30 pm at the Judges Field in Guwahati
   on February 28.  Foreign companies like PFAFF of Germany, Walt Disney
   of USA, Tong Young of South Korea, Royal Government  of  Bhutan  were
   among 180  participants  taking  part in the fair.  And for the first
   time, an Orchid export group from Assam has opened  a  stall  in  the
   fair, with many exotic varieties of orchids from the Arunachal.

7  BRPL GETS ISO-9002 CERTIFICATE			    [S:2-MAR-98]
   Bongaigaon Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited has received the  much
   coveted   ISO-9002   certificate  from  the  Bureau  Veritas  Quality
   International (BVQI). The ISO-9002, 1994 received on February 10 will
   effect  from  January  1998  after  close  scrutiny  of  the  quality
   management  system  which  was  found  to  fulfill  the  requirements
   incorporated in EN ISO-9002, 1994 received by BRPL. 
   Under the globalized business environment, BRPL envisaged the need of
   an internationally accepted  quality  management  system  to  achieve
   improved   productivity,   better  work  culture,  improved  customer
   satisfaction  by  several  consistent,  high  quality  products   and
   improved market share.

   Renowned  historian  and  former president of Indian National History
   Congress, Dr Heramba Kanta Barpujari said that the State Government's
   policy of appointing Assam  Civil  Services  (ACS)  officers  in  the
   highly   specialized   departments   of   Archives,   Historical  and
   Antiquarian Studies, Archaeology etc.   could  ruin  the  specialized
   departments.   Talking to The Assam Tribune, he said ACS officers are
   as good as `Barababus', they are  not  specialist  and  there  is  no
   justification in imposing these officers such departments as panacea.
   The vacuum existing in these departments in matter of experts, should
   be filled up with the talents from amongst the teachers  of  colleges
   and  universities of the State and even with the experts from outside
   the State, if the situation so demands, Dr Barpujari said.

Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only.
      [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB]