Gurukulam programmeCHENNAI: The Dravidian University in Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh, has been chosen to start the much-coveted 21st century Gurukulam programme aimed at developing the rural resources and the youth. The programme, being launched by the Andhra Pradesh Government in collaboration with the Carnegie-Mellon University of the US will begin in September. - Special Correspondent

7 Maoists arrestedVIZIANAGARAM: A special police party has arrested seven Maoists, including a woman, of Kondabaridi dalam in Kurupam mandal and unearthed a huge explosives dump, according to Superintendent of Police Vikram Singh Mann. Biddika China Rama (20) and Nimmaka Siripidi (21) among the arrested were involved in murders and attack on Udayagiri police station in Gajapathi district of Orissa. - Correspondent

Cut in I-T relief opposedHYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh United Teachers' Federation has criticised the Centre's proposals to withdraw Income-Tax relief provided to employees and workers. N. Narayana, general secretary has said the proposals would harm the interests of the working class. - Special Correspondent

Protest dayHYDERABAD: Members of the Struggle Committee of Central, State Governments, Public Sector Employees, Teachers and Workers on Wednesday observed `protest day' in response to a call given by the All-India State Governments Employees' Confederation.

The protest was against the UPA Government's policies of privatisation, reduction in staff, contract appointments and failure to solve problems of employees such as outsourcing. - Special Correspondent

Offers prayersTIRUMALA: Governor of Maharastra S.M. Krishna offered prayers at the Lord Venkateswara temple here on Wednesday. Governor Krishna participated in the `Sahasrabhishekam' ritual, which is performed once a week. - Staff Reporter

Girl kidnappedKakinada: The U. Kothapalli Police registered a case on Wednesday against one Thamana Nagasomireddi (24) who allegedly kidnapped a minor girl, closely related to his family, in Nagulapalli village. According to the complaint lodged by the girl's parents, the accused forcibly took their daughter on her refusal to marry him. - Correspondent

Call to shut `belt' shopsHYDERABAD: Jana Vignana Vedika and other social and political organisations have demanded closure of `belt' shops in the State. In an `open letter' to Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, leaders of the organisations reminded him of the promise to check liquor sale and warned that they would start an agitation if no action was taken. - Special Correspondent

DSC forms availableHYDERABAD: Applications for DSC-2006 posts are available through e-Seva and Rajiv rural e-Seva centres across the State for the benefit of candidates seeking appointment as teachers. They will be sold at Rs. 200 each. The applications will be available till July 13, according to a press release issued by the Commissioner, e-Seva. The DSC examinations are scheduled for August 29 to 31. - Special Correspondent

FIFA on AIRHYDERABAD: All India Radio, Hyderabad, will broadcast commentaries of select league semi-final and final FIFA World Cup 2006 matches involving Argentina, England, Germany and Brazil in English and Hindi on its FM Rainbow channel. - Special Correspondent

Monsoon activeHYDERABAD: Monsoon was active over Rayalaseema on Wednesday. Coastal Andhra and Telangana received isolated rains. During the 24-hour period ending this morning, Kurnool recorded a rainfall of 5 cm; Arogyavaram 4 cm; Nandyal, Nellore 3 cm each;Anantapur, Allagadda 2 cm each and Puttur one cm. According to a forecast by the State Met Office, there will be light to moderate rains in the State on Thursday. - Special Correspondent

SVU postpones interviewsTIRUPATI: The announcement of local body elections has cast a shadow on the interviews in Sri Venkateswara University. The varsity had decided to hold interviews from June 16 to 27 for promotion of teachers under UGC-CAS and regular selections for the post of professors. As the election code is in vogue, the authorities have decided to postpone the interviews for the time being and stated in a release that the revised dates would be intimated to the applicants in due course.- Staff Reporter

Officials told to check spread of diseasesKURNOOL: Collector M. Dana Kishore reviewed here on Wednesday the measures taken to control spread of epidemics during monsoon season. He said the doctors should be accessible to people wherever the diseases broke out.

He wanted them to publish their mobile phones numbers so that the villagers could contact them for help. He said all drinking water sources be chlorinated and the tanks cleaned up.

He asked the Medical Department to stock emergency medicines like Oral Rehydration Solution packets and other drugs.

He drew the attention of the medical officers to the challenge posed by Japanese Encephalitis in paddy growing areas. - Staff Reporter

Andhra Bank's retail driveTIRUPATI: Andhra Bank has launched a special month-long drive to promote its retail products. Explaining the bank's plans for Chittoor, Kadapa and Nellore districts at a media conference, the Deputy General Manager (Tirupati zone) R.Athmaram said that housing loans, personal loans, 'Swarnabharana', mutual funds, educational loans and the scores of insurance plans will be promoted extensively till July 11.

He notes that the bank has effected an upward revision of 0.25 p.c. in the interest rate on deposits. -Staff Reporter

DGP briefed on steps taken for local pollsKURNOOL: DIG of Police K.R.M. Kishore Kumar informed the Director General of Police Swaranjit Sen during video conference on Wednesday that pending arrest warrants were being executed in Kurnool and Kadapa districts. Also, raids were carried out on the villages, which had history of faction violence. The DGP interacted with the SP Malla Reddy and inquired about the steps taken in case of those who were involved in faction violence in the past. -Staff Reporter

Autorickshaw drivers told to follow rulesKURNOOL: Deputy Transport Commissioner (DTC) Ramasri has called upon autorickshaw drivers to follow road rules.

Addressing an awareness programme, she said the accident rate involving autorickshaws was high in the district.

She said overloading of passengers was a common complaint against them. Regional Manager of APSRTC Seshagiri Rao said speed control was very important for reducing accidents. Principal of APSRTC training college Swaroopananda Reddy, RTO Anantha Rao and others were present. - Staff Reporter

New paddy seedSrikakulam: The Agriculture Research Institute, Ragolu, located near Amadalavalasa, has developed a new paddy seed Ragalu-2332. Called Sree Kurma, this seed, suitable for kharif crop and for lands under canals and tanks in the north coastal districts, would be a boon to farmers. According to chief scientist P. Ramamohana Rao, the crop would withstand storms and stagnation due to floods for five to six days. Special Correspondent

Demonstrations heldVIZIANAGARAM: As per the call given by All-India State Government Employees Federation, the district unit of APNGOs association sported black badges and staged demonstrations at the Collectorate on Wednesday protesting the indifferent attitude of both Central and State Governments. Correspondent

Mobile teamsSrikakulam: District Collector V.N. Vishnu has set up mandal-level mobile teams to oversee the implementation of model code of conduct and submit reports about violations, if any, and the law and order situation on daily basis.

Headed by mandal agricultural officer, it would have a Sub-Inspector of Police, two constables and a videographer as team members. These teams would be in force till the election process is completed, Mr. Vishnu said. Special Correspondent