Home Baroda News New Listings Events Diary Movies Vadodara Sightseeing Gujarat Tourist Spots About Vadodara Old Baroda Wallpapers Quiz Photographs
Associations & Trusts NGOs Training & Education Shop Talk Home Products Hotels Restaurants Medical Services Wellness/Beauty Leisure/Picnics Railway Time Table
Business Directory & Worldwide Directory of Barodians Yahan Hai Hum Chhupe Ho Kahan Send Event Listings Real Estate Festival Calendar Impt. Numbers Contact
Gujarat’s election programmes are clashing with the wedding season’s auspicious dates: Elections are important. So too are the wedding seasons. They should have their own separate times, ideally, but this time the Gujarat election schedules are inconveniently close to the wedding season’s auspicious dates. It seems that about 25,000 weddings will be happening around election time. Some experts feel that this will affect the turnout, though it is not clear whether they refer to the turnout of voters or the turnout of wedding guests. We should not worry, however. Indians love their elections, and their weddings too. So both will somehow manage to go on, at the same time and with equal enthusiasm. By the time the inauspicious 'kamurta' period sets in, the voters will have finished with their voting as well as with their marriages. (14-11-2017)
Amul takes to trains to transport butter: Anand based dairy major Amul and Indian Railways have now joined hands to use refrigerated railway vans to transport butter across India. The first butter consignment – 17 tonnes – was sent recently on a milk train from Palanpur to Delhi. The railway ministry announced that "Indian Railways will be utterly butterly delighted to get the taste of India to every Indian.” Till now Amul has been using road transport throughout the country to move 10,000 metric tonnes of refrigerated products every month. The products include butter, cheese, chocolates and ice-cream. Trains help to reduce the transport time (cutting it down in some cases from a week to 36 hours), and they can be more economical in the long run. India’s railway network is already being used by Amul on various routes to move liquid milk and dairy products like milk powder. (12-11-2017)
Ahmedabad airport may get India’s first ‘Remote and Virtual Tower’: Ahmedabad airport is likely to get India’s first remote air traffic control tower, the technical jargon for which is Remote and Virtual Tower (RVT). The RVT enables air traffic control for an airport from a remote location, not necessarily at the airport itself. One tower can monitor and control aircraft movements at multiple nearby airstrips. Ahmedabad may get this facility by the end of next year. Airports Authority of India (AAI) is also considering the possibility of handing over the operational and maintenance control of Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports to private companies. (11-11-2017)
Anand Agricultural University is in the race to become a world class university: The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) wants to transform 10 public and 10 private institutions into ‘Institutions of Eminence (IoE)’. The objective is to internationalise campuses and create world class universities. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked universities and institutions to apply for the eminence status. In addition to the regular grants, the government will pump in a total of Rs.10,000 crore into the selected education institutions. Out of the over 50 government funded universities in Gujarat, the Anand Agricultural University (AAU) was found to be the only one eligible to compete. There will be 32 universities competing from all over the country for the IoE status. The list of selected institutions is expected to be announced by April 2018. Importantly, the IoEs will be allowed to chart their own paths to growth; they will be freed from the usual regulatory procedures. They will be allowed to take in 30 % foreign students. While the public institutions will be permitted to hire 25% foreign faculty, there will be no such limit for the private institutions. (10-11-2017)
Vadodara’s water does not come cheap: The city spent over Rs. 84 crore last year on just operating and maintaining its water supply system. Of this amount, the electricity bill alone was Rs. 44 crore (Rs. 24 crore of which was for pumping water from the French wells in the Mahi river). The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) is studying various energy efficient methods to cut down on the electricity costs associated with its water supply systems. One possible solution being considered is the use of alternative energy in the operation of the Mahi river French wells. (10-11-2017)
‘Bhukhi Nullah’ will no longer be a dirty drain: If you have not studied at MS University of Baroda (MSU) you may perhaps be unaware that a small tributary of the Vishwamitri river winds its way through a fairly large part of the campus: beginning behind the Polytechnic College campus, moving to the boys hostel area, old Faculty of Law building, C.C. Mehta auditorium, new Vikram Baug, Science Faculty, Fine Arts Faculty premises and ending at the Vishwamitri at Kala Ghoda. The tributary – known as ‘Bhukhi Nullah’ (does anyone know how this name came about?) – is compelled to pick up and leave behind a lot of rubbish along its stinking course; neither the sight nor the smell are pleasant. The poor tributary is more like a dirty drain; it deserves better from those of us who molest it. The Gujarat government has now sanctioned Rs. eight crore so that the university can use this funding to make the tributary’s route through the campus a little more pleasant, perhaps even a little more fragrant. Will this project involve a complete makeover, or just a little tinkering here and there? We do not know. When will the work be completed? We do not know. Once transformed, should ‘Bhukhi Nullah’ be given another name? Any suggestions? (07-11-2017)
Vadodara Railway Division nabbed 42,000 ticketless travellers last month: Western Railway’s Vadodara division has set up a record of sorts. Last month’s ticket checking drive managed to zero in on over 42,800 cases of ticketless or irregular travel (which includes unbooked excess luggage). The division collected Rs. 2.16 crore by way of fines, and this figure is the highest monthly collection in a decade. Another record: on October 18, the division collected Rs. 16 lakh by way of fines, the highest in a single day in the last ten years. Perhaps such records should feature in the book of Guinness World Records! But should we call such records ‘achievements’, or something more appropriate, like ‘passenger honesty benchmarks’? (05-11-2017)
Political parties are likely to spend Rs. 300 crore on the forthcoming Gujarat elections: Except for a few people at the top in the political parties, no one can say for sure how much and what kind of money is going to be pumped into the forthcoming Gujarat elections. One guesstimate of what is officially likely to be declared as expenditure is Rs. 350 crore. The Election Commission’s own budget is Rs. 200 crore. This adds up to Rs. 550 crore. In addition, individual candidates too open up their personal purse strings. The officially permitted limit per candidate is Rs. 28 lakh. With these kind of figures, contesting elections is not every common man's cup of tea. Fortunately, voting is free. (04-11-2017)
CCTV cameras compulsory in all GSHSEB schools: All schools affiliated with Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) have been instructed to install CCTV cameras in their premises. Further, the schools have been ordered to set up committees to ensure student safety on the campus. The GSHSEB directive states that there should be 100% CCTV surveillance in the schools. Failure to comply will result in cancellation of recognition. (02-11-2017)
Governmet’s Regional Transport Offices may become more efficient: Like many government departments, Gujarat’s Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) too are often overflowing with agents (some of whom are referred to as touts). Good, bad or indifferent, these agents must be performing some role other than being a nuisance. Perhaps RTO procedures are so opaque and arbitrary that only the well-connected agent can get your work done for you, for a fee of course. The transport department’s senior officers know that things need not be so complicated and that it is about time that the madness gets replaced by some method. Taking a cue from the vastly more efficient and people-friendly passport seva kendras, the RTOs will shortly introduce new systems which will allow people to take prior appointments, and then completely wrap up their work in 15 minutes! ‘Front Office Desks’ will be set up not only at the RTOs but also at several other locations within the cities, so that a person can get his work done at the nearest location. Once the new systems are in place, access to RTO centres will be restricted to customers only. What, then, will the agents do? Will they be out of work? Not necessarily. The government can perhaps deploy their disruptive genius to design corruption-proof bureaucratic procedures. Trust the thief to thwart the thief! (31-10-2017)
India's Election Commission needs the co-operation of all Indians: It takes a lot to keep elections free and fair, uncontaminated by dirty money and muscle power, and isolated from the inducements of liquor and drugs. To keep everything straight and honest in the Gujarat assembly polls which are around the corner, the police department has formed 472 flying squads of city and district personnel who will work in co-ordination with district election officers. Headed by a magistrate-level officer, each squad will have a police sub-inspector, an assistant sub-inspector, a head constable, a videographer and three constables, plus six Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) jawans. Air intelligence teams will work with CISF and local police to monitor suspicious activities at airports with interstate connectivity, such as the airports at Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhuj and Jamnagar. Ninety check-posts on district and inter-state borders with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Diu, Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli will attempt to stop liquor and high value cash movements. India's Income Tax (I-T) department also has a crucial role to play in the election exercise in order to curb the flow of illicit cash during the elections. Movements of courier companies, angadia units and hawala operators will be closely watched. (30-10-2017)
Here’s how you can prove your identity to enter an airport terminal: India’s Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has clarified that any one of the following 10 identity documents can be used to gain entry to airport terminals and check in:
1. Passport
2. Voter ID
3. Aadhaar or m-Aadhaar
4. Pan Card
5. Driving licence
6. Service ID
7. Student ID card
8. Passbook of account in a nationalised bank with photo
9. Pension card or pension documents with photo
10. Disability ID card or handicapped medical certificate

In case a passenger who for some valid reasons is not in a position to produce any of the above photo identity proofs, the identity certificate issued by a Group A gazetted officer of central/state government on his/her official letterhead with passenger's photo duly attested will be valid. Infants or minors accompanied by a guardian with a valid ID will not need a separate proof for domestic air travel. Unaccompanied minors will need the necessary documents. (29-10-2017)
ATM usage is slowing down in urban India, but rural India can use more machines: Guess what? Indians seem to be shedding the cash habit, though slowly, if you give some importance to a minor statistic: in the three months between June and August 2017 the ATM count across the country fell by 358. This fall of 0.16 per cent is significant considering that ATMs grew at a compounded rate of 16.4 per cent in the previous four years. ATM costs are not low: kiosk rentals (Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 15,000 per month), security costs, salaries of ATM staff, maintenance charges, electricity bills, all of these add up to about Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000 per month. The footfalls at ATMs do not always justify the running costs. But here too there is an urban-rural divide. More than 80 per cent of ATMs are in urban locations and service 33 per cent of Indians who now have easy access to net banking, point-of-sale networks, e-wallets, mobile banking apps, etc. For rural Indians who still have to rely on cash, the availability of ATMs is very poor. (28-10-2017)
Vadodara district administration prepares for the polls: For those who love their democracy, India’s elections are a fascinating phenomenon. As Gujarat heads into the forthcoming Assembly elections, take a look at the scale of operations in just one district of the state – Vadodara. Vadodara district will have 2,433 polling booths and 10 auxiliary polling booths, working out of 1,267 buildings. The number of voters in the district: 23,40,882 (12,08,328 males, 11,32,480 female, 74 third gender). Ten video surveillance teams, ten video viewing teams, ten accounting teams, 30 flying squads and 30 static surveillance teams have swung into action to enforce the model code of conduct. One polling booth in each of the ten assembly constituencies of the district will be completely managed by female staff. (27-10-2017)
Gujarat Assembly elections will be on December 9 and 14: The Election Commission (EC) has announced the polling dates for Gujarat Assembly elections: 89 Assembly constituencies in phase 1 on December 9, and 93 Assembly constituencies in phase 2 on December 14. Counting of votes will be on December 18. Following the announcement, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has come into force in the state with immediate effect. The expenditure ceiling for each candidate is Rs. 28 lakh. The election will be held in 182 assembly constituencies comprising a total of 4.33 crore voters. There is an increase of polling stations from 44,579 to 50,128. For the first time, 102 polling stations will be staffed only by women. Electronic voting machines with VVPAT paper trail will be used at all the polling booths. VVPAT is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted. To win the Gujarat elections a party needs to get a majority at 92 seats. The BJP had won 116 seats in the last election, the Congress had won 60. The tenure of the current 182-member Gujarat Assembly ends on January 23, 2018.The elections will see the deployment of a substantial security force: 32,000 personnel from the central armed forces such as the CRPF and the BSF, and 55,000 from the state police. The Election Commission has asked for 320 companies of central armed police forces. (26-10-2017)
Mobile application launched for '108-Emergency' ambulance service: The recently launched mobile application for Gujarat’s '108-Emergency' ambulance service gives to the caller precise information regarding the arrival time and route of an ambulance. You can download the application free of cost from Play Store by writing '108 Gujarat'. After registration, whenever a user presses '108', his or her current location will be automatically traced by the emergency response center. This facility helps to save the time spent in exchanging information about the location of the accident. This time saved is a saving in the so-called ‘The Platinum 10’, that is, the crucial first 10 minutes post-injury, a saving which can make a difference between life and death. The application will also list the nearest available medical facilities. Gujarat’s ‘108 Service’ deploys 585 ambulances over 196,000 sq km. (25-10-2017)
Sardar Patel Planetarium reopens after renovation: The Sardar Patel Planetarium at Sayajibaug has been refurbished and thrown open to the public again. The planetarium was built in 1974 and it was about time that it was spruced up and renovated. The ‘transformation’ exercise involved a cost of over Rs. six crore. Some new astronomical models have also been added. Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) had roped in the Vadodara chapter of Indian Institute of Interior Designers (IIID) to help with the project. (24-10-2017)
City Information Centre launched: The new city information centre set up by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) at the Vadodara railway station is now ready to serve Barodians and tourists. The information centre was set up at a cost of over Rs. 1.4 crore. It is supposed to provide information about the city and its attractions to visitors and tourists. (24-10-2017)
Vadodara’s Sunday was full of inaugurations and project launches: Arriving in Vadodara on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a busy schedule inaugurating completed projects and launching work on new ones, all of it adding up to Rs. 3,600 crore. Here is a quick but partial list:
… Rs. 100 crore City Command and Control Centre, a Smart City project to provide CCTV surveillance, monitor the city’s water supply system, and function as the nerve centre for emergency services.
… Rs. 125 crore Vadodara Smart City transport hub in the railway station area.
… Rs. 160 crore multi-modal city transport hub at Nizampura.
… Rs. 267 crore waste-to-energy project.
… Rs. 225 crore flyover from Genda Circle to Manisha Crossroads, the longest (3.5 km) in Gujarat.
… Rs. 166 crore Mahi-based water supply scheme.
… Rs. 36 crore flyover on Sussen Crossroads.
… Safari park at Ajwa.
… New pipeline of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) between Palanpur and Vadodara, at a cost of Rs. 1,889 crore.
… Rs. 60 crore project for the development of Pavagadh.
… Inauguration of the Baroda Bhavan of the Bank of Baroda.
… Rs. 442 crore water supply scheme for rural areas in Vadodara district. (23-10-2017)
MSU Senate prepares to elect university’s representative to Medical Council of India: The Senate of the MS University of Baroda will meet soon to elect the university’s representative to the Medical Council of India (MCI). MCI was established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933, now repealed, with the main function of establishing uniform standards of higher qualifications in medicine and recognition of medical qualifications in India and abroad. Since the provisions of the Indian Medical Council Act were not adequate to meet the challenges posed by the fast developments in medical education, the old Act was repealed in 1956 and a new one was enacted. This was further modified in 1964, 1993 and 2001. MSU will witness this election after four years. In 2013, Dr. Prakash Shah was the only contestant for the position and thus elected unanimously as the MSU representative. This time round there are several candidates in the fray. Besides monitoring standards of both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education, MCI also recommends the recognition, or even de-recognition, of medical qualifications. Every once in a while MCI has been caught up in allegations of corruption in its working. (22-10-2017)
Vadodara Marathon scheduled for 7th January: The seventh edition of the Vadodara Marathon (VM) has been scheduled for January 7, 2018, and registrations are now open. Over 100,000 registrations are expected. The route, which will start from Polo Ground, awaits the final nod from the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS). AIMS is a member-based organisation of more than 400 of the world’s leading distance races, from over 100 countries and territories. An extra feature this time will be a 5-km NRI Homecoming Run; more than 200 non-resident Gujaratis (NRGs) have already confirmed their participation. (21-10-2017)
Vadodara Municipal Corporation’s standing committee speeds up approval of development works: In a burst of energy the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) standing committee has been speeding up the process of clearing development works. The contracts cleared recently are worth over Rs. 280 crore and include the Rs. 222-crore flyover stretching for 3.5 km from Genda Circle to Manisha Crossroads, new enclosures costing over Rs. 6 crore in the Sayajibaug zoo in order to make it compliant with the norms of the Central Zoo Authority, a safari park at Ajwa on a public-private partnership basis, and beautification of the Kalali and Lalbaug bridges. (20-10-2017)
Fire at district collectorate: Tuesday (17th) saw a fire breaking out in the Civil Defence office just below the chamber of the district collector. The fire was contained and doused in an hour by the Vadodara Fire and Emergency Services (VFES). A short circuit in the electric panel could perhaps have caused the fire. The record room of the collectorate is just next door, but the fire was doused before it could spread to it. Six months earlier, in May, a fire had caused significant damage to the collector's chamber and an adjoining room. (19-10-2017)
MS University plans to increase its student population to 45,000: Within the last few years the student population at MS University (MSU) has grown from 35,000 to 40,000, but the university wants to increase it further to 45,000 in the next three years. The growth is expected largely in the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Technology & Engineering. MSU has again started the Science stream at the M. K. Amin Arts & Science College & College of Commerce in Padra. Starting next year the Padra college will also offer Mathematics. The objective is to increase the Science stream student strength at the Padra college to 600. At the Faculty of Technology & Engineering, the university may start a course in aeronautical engineering. (17-10-2017)
3.5-km flyover from Genda Circle to Manisha Crossroads: Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) is seeking the standing committee’s clearance of the project to build Gujarat’s longest flyover in the city. This flyover project – stretching for 3.5 kms from Genda Circle to Manisha Crossroads – has been discussed on and off since 2014, but not much has happened on the ground. The plan was prepared after a study by the Central Road Research Institute. The likely cost will be over Rs. 222 crore; this does not include the cost of shifting service lines. Starting at Genda Circle, it will span over Trident Circle, GEB Circle, Chakli Circle, Malhar Point, Diwalipura Crossroads and Manisha Crossroads. And the completion date? For the answer, let us wait for a further bulletin from the civic body. Currently, the longest flyover in Vadodara is the 1.14-km Fatehgunj flyover, and the longest in Gujarat is Surat’s 2.72-km Varachha flyover. (16-10-2017)
Barodians need to drive more safely: Vadodara has the dubious distinction of being ranked second in Gujarat in terms of road accidents (1046 in 2016). According to a 2016 report of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways the first rank is occupied by Ahmedabad (1,783 road accidents). Surat ‘scored’ 790 accidents and Rajkot 719. In terms of the number of persons killed per 100 accidents, the figure for Vadodara is less compared to Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot. Needless to say, Vadodara’s citizens can do better by following traffic rules and driving more safely. Driving while using the mobile phone may appear to be smart but it is stupid, weaving in and out of traffic lanes may appear to be heroic but it is disgustingly impolite, and driving on the wrong side of the road is a sign of shamelessness rather than skill. (15-10-2017)
Child marriages: What are the implications of the recent Supreme Court judgment which annulled a 77-year-old law to rule that sex between a married couple would be considered rape if the wife is less than 18 years old? Under IPC the husband can be jailed for 10 years, and for life under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. In Gujarat, over 100,000 girls below 15 are married, and 25 per cent of these girls had two children before they even turned 15! In the 10-14 age group, 811 girls are divorced and 1,596 have separated. Another shocker: 4,183 girls had been widowed by age 14. In the 10-14 age group, even 230,000 boys were married. (14-10-2017)
Yet another proposal floated for Sursagar's cleaning and beautification: One of the endlessly discussed topics in Vadodara must be the Sursagar cleaning and beautification project. This project has been considered by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) every once in a while since 2011, but nothing seems to happen. Well, it seems to be Sursagar time once again, because VMC has come up with another plan regarding the lake’s cleaning and beautification work. A Rs. 38-crore proposal has been sent to the civic body’s standing committee. Here is what the city has to deal with at Sursagar: an area of 65,000 square meters; water level of 4 meters, water volume of 260,000 cubic meters, sludge layer of 2 meters, sludge volume of 130,000 cubic meters. According to the plan now being considered, water from the lake will first be drained out and then the settlement (mostly plaster of Paris) at the bottom of the lake will be removed. To drain out the water, a pipeline will be laid from Sursagar to the Vishwamitri river. After the water is drained out, it may take the settlement at the bottom about 30 days to dry. Once it is dry, it will be dug up by excavators and carried away. It is only after this is completed that the beautification process can start. Once the beautification process is over, it is hoped that the citizens of Vadodara will not allow anyone to re-start the process of re-dirtification. (13-10-2017)
Ahmedabad to get a large stainless-steel replica of Mahatma Gandhi's charkha: The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is donating a stainless-steel replica of Mahatma Gandhi's charkha. The installation is rather large: 1.5 tonnes, 11 feet tall, 21 feet long, 3.6 feet thick spool. It may be placed on the Sabarmati riverfront, next to the Sabarmati Ashram. Some people feel that such a large and imposing structure would perhaps appear to be incongruous inside the simple, unostentatious, no-frills premises of Sabarmati Ashram. Last year KVIC had installed the world's largest wooden charkha at New Delhi airport. A similar steel charkha will be installed in Motihari; one more exists at Connaught Place in New Delhi. (12-10-2017)
Sexual intercourse with a girl below 18 years of age is rape regardless of whether she is married or not: Hearing a petition by Delhi-based child rights NGO Independent Thought, the Supreme Court today said, “…In our opinion, sexual intercourse with a girl below 18 years of age is rape regardless of whether she is married or not.” The decision applies to all faiths and will hopefully act as a deterrent against child marriages. The judgment will have ‘prospective effect’; it will not apply to past cases. Incidentally, according to the National Family Health Survey, 46 percent of Indian women between the ages of 18 and 29 were married before the age of 18 years. The bench asked the Centre and the states to take proactive steps to prohibit child marriage across the country. (11-10-2017)
Archives (Click Here For Old Stories)
Gifts Send To Baroda
Home | Baroda News | New Listings | Events Diary | Movies | Vadodara Sightseeing | Gujarat Tourist Spots | Leisure/Picnics | About Vadodara | Old Baroda | Wallpapers | Quiz Photographs | Impt. Numbers | Associations & Organisations | NGOs | Trains | Shop Talk | Hotels | Real Estate | Medical Services | Festival Calendar | Viewers' Letters | Business Directory & Worldwide Directory of Barodians | Yahan Hai Hum | Chhupe Ho Kahan | Send Event Listings | Contact