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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 20, p. 214.


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214
PORT BLAIR
Settlement in stations and guards. They protect the jails, the civil
officials, and convict parties working in the jungles, but do not exercise
any direct control over the convicts.
The 'local-born' population is better educated than is the rule in
India, as elementary education is compulsory for all male children of
Education. 'self-supporters.' The sons of the 'local-born' and
of the free settlers are also freely sent to the schools,
but not the daughters; fear of contamination in the latter case being
a ruling consideration, in addition to the usual conservatism in such
matters. A fair proportion acquire a sufficient knowledge of English
for clerkships. Provision is also made for mechanical training to
those desiring it, though it is not largely in request, except in tailoring;
and there is a fixed system of physical training for the boys. Native
employes of Government use the local schools for the primary
education of their children. Six schools are maintained, of which
one includes an Anglo-vernacular course, while the others are primary
schools. In 1904-5 these contained 152 boys and 2 girls of free
parents, and 55 boys and 40 girls of convict parents; and the total
expenditure was Rs. 5,360. Owing to mistakes in enumeration, the
census returns for literacy are of no value.
There are four district and three jail hospitals in charge, of four
medical officers, under the supervision of a senior officer of the Indian
Medical Service. Medical aid is given free to the
Medical, whole population, and to Government officials under
the usual Indian rules. The convicts unfit for hard labour are classed
as-sick and detained in hospital, convalescents, light labour invalids,
lepers, and lunatics. For each of these classes there are special rules
and methods of treatment under direct medical aid. Practically every
child born in the Settlement is vaccinated.
Port Canning.-Village in the District of the Twenty-four Parganas,
Bengal. See CANNING, PORT.
Porto Novo.-Town and port in the Chidambaram laluk of South
Arcot District, Madras, situated in 11 3o' N. and 79 46' E., at the
mouth of the Vellar river. Population (1901), 13,712, more than
a fourth of whom are Musalmans. It is known in Tamil as Parangi-
pettai, or I Europeans' town,' and is one of the two ports of the District.
The Portuguese founded here, during the latter part of the sixteenth
century, the first European settlement on the Coromandel coast
within the limits of the Gingee country. An English settlement was
established in 1683. In 1780 the town was plundered by Haidar Ali,
and in July of the following year was fought in its vicinity the famous
battle between Sir Eyre Coote and Haidar, in which the former won
a signal victory. The battle was one of the most decisive of all those
fought with Haidar's troops, for had the British retreated the whole
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