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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)
Mobile Phones Not Allowed Inside Polling Booth. Please remember that on April 30 you will not be allowed inside the polling booth if you are carrying a mobile phone or a camera or a video recorder. This instruction has been issued by the chief electoral officer (CEO), Gujarat, Anita Karwal. No arrangements will be made at the booth for voters to hand over their phones and cameras before entering the booth to cast their votes. Polling booths are normally within 2 to 3 km from voters’ houses, so voters should not face much of a problem. Persons caught illegally taking photographs or doing videography will be booked for an offence that can carry a three-month sentence or a fine. The Election Commission has also directed that a voter recording a vote should not be videographed. No photography or videography will be allowed for media persons or any other unauthorised persons inside the polling station in order to maintain the secrecy of the vote. There is no objection to any photographer taking photographs of a crowd of electors lining up outside the polling station subject to the maintenance of peace and order. (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)
Urban Renewal Ideas. The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) has decided to submit eight detailed project reports (DPRs) for funding under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM). The projects, if approved, are likely to cost Rs. 390 crores. The proposed projects: sewage treatment plant (STP) at Sayajipura; storm water drain to divert rain water entering the city from the eastern parts; STP at Atladra; flyover at Gotri over the Harinagar crossroads; bridge across Vishwamitri river to connect Harni and Sama; water supply projects for Makarpura GIDC and Vasna; purchase of additional buses for the city; another water service line for supply from Nimeta to the national highway. Many of these project ideas are not new and have been in the news off and on for quite some time now; let's hope we see some action soon. (29-10-2013)
Building Collapses In Tandalja. Madhav Park Flats, a three-storey apartment building on Sun Pharma Road in Tandalja, collapsed at about 3 a.m. on Friday. Since the structure had begun to sink and tilt a few days earlier, all the occupants (from 18 flats and 21 shops) had been evacuated well in time. There were no injuries. The private building was built over 10 years ago. In another incident, parts of two more blocks gave way at VUDA’s Madhavnagar scheme in Atladara (this is the same scheme where a major mishap had taken place in August this year). No one was injured. (28-09-2013)
Vadodara Moving Towards Normalcy. With the Vishwamitri level at Kala Ghoda having come down to 26 ft (situation at 9 a.m. on Friday), the river waters have receded from several residential and commercial localities. The city is getting back to normalcy. One of the important tasks for the civic authorities now is to ensure that there is no outbreak of water-borne diseases. Towards this end the concerned public health and sanitation departments have swung into action. Additional sanitary workers have been roped in to ensure cleanliness and swift garbage collection. Hyperchlorination of water supply is being done at the source to guard against any possible contamination. Medical teams are also monitoring affected areas. The recent floods in Gujarat have claimed 13 lives and led to the evacuation of over 90,000 people. (27-09-2013)
The Rains Cause Havoc In Vadodara. On Wednesday (25th September), the Vishwamitri river at Baroda was flowing above the danger mark of 28.9 ft. By Thursday morning the level had touched 29.9 ft. Over 30,000 people in Vadodara district have been shifted to safer places. Thousands more have been affected as the river waters have entered many city areas. Sayajigunj, Fatehgunj, Mandvi, Waghodia Road, Ajwa Road, New VIP Road, Harni, Waghodia-Dabhoi Ring Road, Gorwa, Manjalpur, Makarpura, Vasna Road, Old Padra Road, Sama, New Alkapuri, Karelibaug, Subhanpura, Rajmahal Road, Sanjaynagar, Parshuram Bhatta, Warasia, Tulsiwadi and Kamatipura were among Flood 2013 the areas where waterlogging caused problems. To provide round-the-clock assistance and relief to the affected people, the district administration has roped in the fire brigade, the police, NDRF (National Disaster Response Force), rescue teams of the Nauka Talim Kendra and several NGOs. The army is also on alert. Three bridges – near Kala Ghoda, on Mangal Pande Road and the Bhimnath Bridge – were closed temporarily. The Vishwamitri water level at 3 p.m. on Thursday was 29 ft. All schools and colleges in the district will remain closed on Thursday also. The waterlogging has led to the cancellation of 18 trains by Western Railway. It seems that the area under the Vadodara Municipal Corporation has expanded over the years to about 160 sq km, up from the earlier 108 sq km. Much, though not all, of the drainage system was set up in 1894. The city’s storm water drains have been unable to cope with the heavy rainfall. Vadodara district’s worst affected talk is Karjan. (26-09-2013)
Floods Affect District. Heavy and continuing rains and the resulting floods have played havoc with many parts of Vadodara district. A high alert is on in the badly affected talukas of Karjan, Miyagam, Dabhoi, Padra, Sankheda and Pavijetpur. The army is assisting in rescue operation in the flood affected villages of Karjan taluka. Some 20,000 people from over 100 villages have been moved to safer places. Train services between Ahmedabad and Mumbai have been disrupted. In Vadodara city, the water-level of Vishwamitri river touched 28.5 feet at 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday. As the water level rose, over 2500 people were moved to temporary shelters in the city. As usual, both the underbridges near the railway station are closed and there is heavy traffic on the major flyovers. Schools and colleges continue to remain closed as a precautionary measure. Office attendance has been thin. (25-09-2013)
Two Buildings Collapse In Vadodara. Very early on Wednesday (August 28) morning, two three-storey residential buildings collapsed in Madhavnagar, in the Atladara area. Ten persons have been reported killed in the mishap, and over 30 were trapped under the debris. The two buildings were part of a 450-houses scheme for the economically weaker sections planned by the Vadodara Urban Development Authority (VUDA). Rescue operations are being conducted by the VMC fire and emergency services and National Disaster and Rescue personnel. The injured are being treated at SSG hospital. It was only recently that Atladara village was merged into Vadodara city. (28-08-2013)
Gujarat’s First IIIT. India’s Ministry of Human Resources Development proposes to establish 20 IIITs (Indian Institutes of Information Technology) all over the country to train information technology professionals for industry. Gujarat was quick off the block and reacted positively to the central government’s initiative by offering a 100-acre plot of land in Jaspur village of Padra taluka, 35 kms from Vadodara. This plot has tentatively been found to be suitable by the institute’s representatives. The state government now has to give formal approval to the site. The land is worth Rs. 750 million. The total project cost is currently estimated at Rs. 1500 million. The funding: 50 per cent by the central government, 35 per cent by the state government, 15 per cent by the participating industries (who will also chip in with other facilities). (15-07-2013)
Fully Wi-Fi Enabled MSU Campus. MS University’s students and teachers are likely to have a fully Wi-Fi enabled campus. Moving towards this objective, plans are underway to start with the university's head office, the Faculty of Technology and Engineering, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Family and Community Sciences, Professor C.C. Mehta Auditorium and the boys’ and girls’ hostels. Over 900 Wi-Fi access points may be needed for students, teachers and officials to get internet connectivity on mobiles, laptops or iPads. Wireless connectivity should be possible within 20 metres of the access points. The facility will not be available to outsiders. The campus covers 272 acres. (15-07-2013)
City’s 18th Police Station Inaugurated. Vadodara’s 18th police station was recently inaugurated at Sama, in the Sardar Sarovar Nigam Ltd. (SSNL) complex at Chhani. The Sama police station, carved out from the territory covered by the Fatehgunj police station, will cater to people in the northern parts of the city – including Nizampura, EME Road, Abhilasha Crossroads and the Sama area extending to Dumad Crossroads. The station will be staffed by four police sub-inspectors, 25 assistant sub-inspectors and head constables and 31 police constables. National Police Commission norms say that there should be one police station per 40,000 persons, which means that Vadodara should have 40 police stations! (14-07-2013)
Another Small UGC Allocation To MSU. The University Grants Commission (UGC), India’s apex body of higher education, has once again given a very small grant to MS University of Baroda – merely Rs. 240 million under the 12th plan allocation. This works out to Rs. 50 million annually to carry out development work on the campus. MSU had submitted plan proposals worth Rs. 1500 million. It had received Rs. 18.5 million in the 11th Plan. Incidentally, UGC chairman professor Ved Prakash was the chief guest at MSU's 60th annual convocation in 2011. It is worth pointing out that 85 per cent of India’s total student strength is serviced by the state universities, but these universities get only 10 per cent funding from the UGC; on the other hand, Central universities and IITs, which service merely 15 per cent of the student population, get more (which at times is not fully utilised). (14-07-2013)
Sandalwood Tree Stolen. An 80-year-old sandalwood tree was cut and stolen recently from Kamatibaug, early in the morning of 11th July. The theft was noticed by an early-morning walker. The tree was worth about Rs. 800,000. A similar incident took place six months back, but the thieves were spotted in the act at that time and escaped, leaving most of the sandalwood behind. Over the years, the garden has reported 35 sandalwood tree thefts. Such attempts have been made in the MS University campus too. (12-07-2013)
Why our once beautiful garden city is so dirty. A concerned Barodian, who wishes to remain anonymous, has written to Baroda-Online about the way in which citizens sometimes add to the garbage collection problem. Please see http://www.baroda.com/viewersletters.php. We invite other readers to write to us with their views and comments about this and any other subjects pertaining to the city. Please see http://www.baroda.com/sendnews.php (22-06-2013)
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