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Change Of Top Brass: Avantika Singh has been transferred to Vadodara as the new District Collector. She took over from Vinod Rao who moved to Bharuch as the District Collector. In the other major appointment, R. Radhakrishnan took over as the city’s new Police Commissioner, in place of Satish Sharma who has been transferred to Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd. (18-08-2014)
Rs. 24 Crore For Sursagar Development: The standing committee of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) has approved a Rs. 24.7 crore plan to develop the Sursagar lake and its surrounding areas. The lake and its surroundings may well become a recreational attraction. The lake’s water body will be spruced up and its periphery will be beautified. On the agenda: a stepped garden, a play area for children, lazing areas, fountains (may be even a musical fountain). Most importantly, preventive steps are being taken to eliminate pollution due to the immersion of idols during religious festivals. (11-08-2014)
Kamatibaug Is Getting A Facelift: Kamatibaug is due to receive major funding from the Vadodara Municipal Corporation, as much as Rs. 20 crore for a facelift and some additional facilities. On the agenda for the garden, which is now 135 years old, are a butterfly park and a cable-stayed pedestrian bridge. Two duck ponds and a fountain have been given a fresh lease of life, a cactus garden has come up, a new boundary wall is being built along the C.C. Mehta Marg, new food spots have been earmarked, there is new fencing along the Vishwamitri River, and there are more places to just sit and laze around. There will be better drinking water facilities and a larger lawn behind the Health Museum. Visitors can also use the cycling track. And, yes, there is a lot of fitness equipment available, and some people have started free yoga classes. If you visit the garden now, there is certainly a perceptible improvement. (08-08-2014)
MSU Signs MoU With Tata Consultancy Services: MS University’s Statistics Department has joined hands with Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS) to introduce application oriented courses in retail, business analytics and other areas. These courses will be both elective or certificate based. Over 40 students from various faculties have registered for the first three-month course. Based on performance, students may get preference in placements at TCS. (06-08-2014)
Free Knee & Hip Replacement Surgeries: Baroda’s SSH Hospital has recently collaborated with Hariom Seva Trust (HST), a city based NGO, to offer knee and hip replacement surgeries free of cost to poor patients. HST collected funds from donors to facilitate 70 such surgeries. The trust started with total knee replacement (TKR) surgeries and then began to facilitate total hip replacement (THR) surgeries. SSG Hospital performs two to three such surgeries daily. Over 60 patients are on the waiting list, but the trust cannot handle all the cases unless more donors come forward to help. (22-07-2014)
Toy Room At GMERS Hospital: The Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS) General Hospital at Gotri now has two toy rooms and a play area where children admitted to the paediatric ward can play in the evening. The toy rooms have been set up with the help of an NGO – Voluntary Youth Organization for Motivation (VYOM). Though the Medical Council of India (MCI) stipulates that every paediatric department should have a toy room, not all hospitals follow the rule. The toy room helps in the rehabilitation of children as well as in their mental development. The toy room and its activities are supervised by VYOM members. VYOM serves underprivileged children and women by involving youth volunteers. It is active in Baroda and some neighbouring areas. (22-07-2014)
MS University Accreditation: The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) will visit MS University in early 2015 to review the accreditation of the university. Its current grade is ‘B’ and the university is making attempts to become eligible for grade ‘A’. A core committee has been formed for the purpose with the assistance of the university’s Internal Quality Assurance Cell; the committee is chaired Vice Chancellor Yogesh Singh. The NAAC is an autonomous wing of the University Grants Commission (UGC); its task is to rank Indian universities on the basis of their performance. (17-07-2014)
No Gifts of Fruit Baskets & Flowers Please: In her first visit to Baroda as Gujarat chief minister, Anandiben Patel was faced with a minor deluge of gifts in the form of fruit baskets and flowers. Disapproving of such a wasteful formality at official and political events, she requested those present to regularly donate fruits and food to anganwadis instead. As a matter of fact, this was followed a few days later by a government circular to the effect that felicitations of guests in official programmes must include only baskets of fruits or vegetables and pulses that must later be distributed to children studying in local anganwadis. The circular also stipulated that guests and officers should no longer be felicitated with ‘flowers, shawls and books’. Even stage decorations for government events should not have more than a modest display of flowers. Incidentally, at her first public event (the Krishi Mahotsav held in May), she was welcomed with a garland of peanuts instead of flowers. (16-07-2014)
Honour For MSU Chancellor: MS University chancellor Dr. Mrunalinidevi Puar was given the outstanding chancellor award at the recent World Chancellors' and Vice-Chancellors’ Congress in Mumbai. Chancellors and vice-chancellors from 107 countries participated in the congress. Dr. Puar is a leading nutrition expert. She has an MS (Food & Nutrition) from Iowa State University of Science and Technology, USA, and a PhD from MSU. She is an associate member of the Nutrition Foundation of India. (16-07-2014)
Shastri Bridge To Be Widened: The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) plans to widen the two-lane Shastri Bridge near the MS University Polytechnic to four lanes. A 10 metre span will be added to the bridge, most likely on the northern side of the bridge (near the polytechnic campus). The project needs the approval of VMC's standing committee. The likely project cost is over Rs. 17 crore. The bridge was built in the 1970s. (12-06-2014)
Barodian Will Become Infosys CEO: Baroda born Vishal Sikka, former CTO of SAP, has been appointed as the chief executive officer and managing director of Infosys. Born in the city in 1967, Vishal passed out from Rosary High School and studied computer engineering till the third year at MS University's Faculty of Technology and Engineering. He did MS in computer science at Syracuse University, New York, and PhD from Stanford University. Sikka is widely considered to be the brain behind the HANA platform. (12-06-2014)
MSU To Get New VC: MS University of Baroda recently put out a public notification seeking applications for the position of Vice-Chancellor (VC). The university has never ‘advertised’ like this in the past. Over 150 academicians applied for the job. The current VC, the 16th for the university, is Professor Yogesh Singh; his term expires on July 6. It seems that four current faculty deans are also in the running. Among the essential criteria for the job: the applicant must be a professor or equivalent and also have a PhD. (10-06-2014)
B. Com (Hons) Course Announced: MS University’s Faculty of Commerce is preparing to start a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) course this year. It will be able to admit 180 students. The course will be conducted in the faculty’s new auditorium building. Being set up at a cost of Rs. 8 crore, this building will be the most expensive on the campus. The self-financed programme will cost about Rs. 20,000, annually. (10-06-2014)
What You Can Do If You Do Not Have An Election Card: Voters who do not have an election card will be able to vote in the coming parliamentary polls using identity cards issued by the central and state government or state-owned companies or public limited companies. They can also show their bank or post office passbooks with photographs, PAN cards, Aadhar cards, National Population Register smart cards, jobs cards issued under MNREGA, health insurance scheme smart cards issued by the labour department, pension certificates with photographs or voter slip with a photograph issued by the election machinery. Overseas electors will have to bring their passport for voting. (17-04-2014)
Fire At Waghodia Factory: A fairly major fire broke out at the factory of Atmiya Engineering & Plastics in the Waghodia GIDC Estate near Baroda on Wednesday (April 16) morning. No workers were injured. The Fire Brigade, deploying two of its own fire tenders and one from GAIL, brought the fire under control in six hours. The company makes water coolers and water purifiers. Substantial damage was caused to machinery and stocks. The initial estimate of the loss is Rs. 20 crores. (17-04-2014)
Steps Taken To Ensure Peaceful Polling: To ensure that the coming parliamentary elections are peaceful, the Vadodara police are doing their bit by arresting history-sheeters and temporarily taking custody of licensed firearms. Owners of firearms have been asked to deposit their weapons in order to prevent their misuse. This will not apply to bank security guards, jewellers and a few individuals. Vigilance has been stepped up to ensure that liquor and dubious cash are not smuggled into the city. (16-04-2014)
Sub-Junior Hockey Tournament: Vadodara will be the venue in May 2014 for the 4th sub-junior national hockey tournament for boys. The tournament will have over 450 participants from 21 states. Baroda High School (ONGC) will provide many facilities and the playing venues will be the Kala Bhavan hockey ground, the SRP grounds and the hockey ground of MS University. (16-04-2014)
Vadodara Parliamentary Constituency: There will be eight candidates in the fray for the Vadodara parliamentary constituency. The BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Congress national general secretary Madhusudan Mistry and Madhusudan Rohit from Bahujan Samaj Party are the three candidates from national parties. Also in the contest are Sunil Kulkarni (Aam Aadmi Party), Ambalal Jadhav (Janata Dal-United), Sahebkhan Pathan (Samajwadi Party), Tapan Dasgupta (Socialist Unity Centre of India) and Mehboobkhan Pathan (Apna Desh Party). There are 1.14 million voters in the Vadodara Lok Sabha constituency, with 590,000 female voters and 540,000 male voters. The seven Assembly constituencies within the constituency are: Sayajigunj, Vadodara City, Akota, Raopura, Manjalpur, Savli and Waghodia. The previous winners from this constituency are: 1957 (Fatehsinghrao Gaekwad, Indian National Congress); 1962 (Fatehsinghrao Gaekwad, Indian National Congress); 1967 (Pashabhai Patel, Swatantra Party); 1971 (Fatehsinghrao Gaekwad, Indian National Congress); 1977 (Fatehsinghrao Gaekwad, Indian National Congress); 1980 (Ranjitsinh Gaekwad, Indian National Congress); 1984 (Ranjitsinh Gaekwad, Indian National Congress); 1989 (Prakash Brahmbhatt, Janata Dal); 1991 (Deepika Chikhalia, Bharatiya Janata Party); 1996 (Satyajitsinh Gaekwad, Indian National Congress); 1998 (Jayaben Thakkar, Bharatiya Janata Party); 1999 (Jayaben Thakkar, Bharatiya Janata Party); 2004 (Jayaben Thakkar, Bharatiya Janata Party); 2009 (Balkrishna Khanderao Shukla, Bharatiya Janata Party). (15-04-2014)
Gynaecologists Will Now Get MS, Not MD: MS University of Baroda will henceforth consider gynaecology as a branch of surgery. The relevant nomenclature will change from Doctor of Medicine (MD) to Master of Surgery (MS) in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. This is in line with the stipulations laid down by the Medical Council of India (MCI). The branch of obstetrics and gynaecology is concerned with women's health, pregnancy, reproduction, child birth and maternal care. (13-04-2014)
MSU Budget: MS University’s proposed budget for 2014-15 is Rs. 233 crore. Of this, Rs. 211 crore, will foot the salary bill. The estimated deficit is Rs. 1.35 crore. MSU expects the state government to grant Rs. 226 crore, and it expects to collects Rs. 4.19 crore from student fees. Some funds are also provided by University Grants Commission (UGC). (10-03-2014)
E-Waste Collection Drive: Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) has signed a MoU with ECS Environment Pvt. Ltd. to start e-waste collection in the city. ECS will collect e-waste from Barodians for re-cycling. The e-waste will include electronic gadgets, TVs, washing machines, mobile phones, computer monitors, gaming consoles, etc. The vendor will give 12 per cent of the total collection to the municipal corporation. Waste disposal will be certified by Gujarat Pollution Control Board. (08-03-2014)
MS University Museum: MS University of Baroda proposes to set up a museum featuring its 133-year history, from its start as Baroda College in 1881 to the present. The plans include displays of old photographs and mementos and a library with archives and documents related to the university’s establishment and an audiovisual presentation. MSU’s department of museology will prepare the necessary project proposal. A likely site is the Sayaji Bhavan, behind the university head office. Sayaji Bhavan (more popularly known as White Bungalow) is a heritage building which served as the Residency Bungalow in British times. It was built in 1835. (07-03-2014)
MSU Bags Project From Ministry of Environment & Forests: India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests has given a project grant worth Rs. 4.7 million to MS University’s Department of Botany towards a biodiversity assessment study using the geospatial approach. The project focus will be on Central Gujarat, specifically Vadodara district. The study will use optical and microwave data for assessment of biodiversity (microwave data is based on radiation emitted by the object in focus). The project will continue for three years. (06-01-2014)
Dr. V.C. Patel Passes Away: Former Baroda mayor Padma Shri Dr. V.C. Patel, 81, passed away in Vadodara on 3rd January. He had a heart problem recently. A graduate of Mumbai’s Grant Medical College, he was a municipal councillor between 1980 and 1986 and became mayor of Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) in 1986. He was the national president of Indian Medical Association in 1999-2000. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1989 for his activities in public affairs, socio-medical relief and medical education. He also received the Dr. B.C. Roy National Award in the socio-medical category in 1985. (05-01-2014)
Mangal Bazar Fire Could Have Caused More Damage: Vadodara got off relatively lightly in Monday’s fire in Mangal Bazar. Most shops are closed in this market on Mondays, and 9 a.m. was rather early in the day for the market to get busy and bustling. It’s about time that city authorities take steps to ensure clear movement through this crowded area. The fire brigade and the police had a fairly tough time navigating through the crowds of onlookers and the blocked traffic. The fire brigade managed to move in 40 tanker-loads of water (4000 litres each) and then resorted to getting the water pumped out (using a water relay system) from the nearby Sursagar Lake. Three persons were injured and seven shops were destroyed in the fire in the 100-year old building. The cause of the fire is still not known, and investigation has been handed over to FSL (Forensic Science Laboratory). Over 75 persons from the fire department were involved in the operation. The fire department used its newly acquired Bronto Fire Fighter for the first time. (31-12-2013)
Major Fire At Mangal Bazar: The fire started around 9 a.m. and was controlled in 3 hours. The fire occurred in a two-storey building (opposite Pratap Cinema) with shops on the ground floor and a godown on the first floor. 15 fire tenders were pressed into service. Two persons have been injured and many shops have been destoyed. (30-12-2013)
Rahul Gajjar awarded Gujarat Gaurav Puraskar: Baroda based photographer Rahul Gajjar has been awarded the Gujarat Gaurav Puraskar by the Government of Gujarat for the year 2012-13. A Fine Art Photographer, with specialization in Architectural, Heritage, Environment and Wildlife subjects, he has worked extensively as a New Media Artist (Digital Art). The main focus of his work is photographically documenting the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Champaner-Pavagadh, trying to capture its various moods in different seasons, at various times of the day and year. He has a collection of more than 50,000 images of the site. He is presently involved in documenting 28 existing UNESCO World Heritage Sites of India. He has so far completed nine sites in India - Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, Humayun's Tomb, Sanchi Stupas, Taj Mahal, Keoladev Bird Sanctuary, Fatehpur Sikri, Ajanta and Ellora and Roman Baths and Stone Henge in the UK. (21-12-2013)
Rangoli Exhibition: Baroda’s famous rangoli exhibition – an annual feature since 1993 – has opened once again, and it will be on from 31st October to 14th November. This year, however, the venue has shifted from the usual Kirti Mandir to the Premanand Hall at MS University’s Faculty of Arts. Organised by Swastik Rangoli Kalakar Group, the exhibition features 15 rangolis. The Kirti Mandir venue was unavailable this year, apparently because of ongoing repair works. (31-10-2013)
Global Healthcare Summit In Gujarat: The 8th annual Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) 2014, organised by the Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), will be held in Gujarat (at Ahmedabad) from 3rd to 5th January. The summit, to be held in collaboration with the Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO) and Indian Medical Association (IMA), the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs & Ministry of Health, will be attended by some of the world’s leading physicians and industry leaders. Over 1,000 experts are expected to participate. Workshops will include advances in resuscitation, endoscopy skills, gastroenterology, surgery, oncology, diabetes, cardiology, wound care and hyperbaric medicine and robotic and laparoscopic technology. This is the first time that the summit will be held in Gujarat. Incidentally, it is claimed that one out of seven patients in the US is treated by a doctor of Indian origin, but this is of course a statistic which is difficult-to-verify. (30-10-2013)
New Library Automation System At MSU: The Hansa Mehta Library system of MS University (MSU) is likely to introduce Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags to identify, track, sort or detect all library holdings. The new library automation system, costing Rs. 5 million, will be acquired with guidance from Gujarat Informatics Ltd. The use of RFID reduces the amount of time required to perform circulation operations. The most significant time savings are attributable to the facts that information can be read from RFID tags much faster than from barcodes and that several items in a stack can be read at the same time. RFID-based systems move beyond security to become tracking systems that combine security with more efficient tracking of materials throughout the library, including easier and faster charge and discharge, inventorying, and materials handling. RFID is a combination of radio-frequency-based technology and microchip technology. The MSU library has over 800,000 books and related material. (29-10-2013)
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