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Vadodara People’s Heritage Festival: Self-sponsored and self-financed, Barodians get together to celebrate our city’s 505th ‘birthday’ and applaud its heritage during National Heritage Week with a series of exciting activities, informative exhibitions, cycle tours and walks, bazaars, illustrated talks, and so on. Remember, this is a People’s Heritage Festival, and if you think you have an interesting nugget regarding the heritage of Vadodara to share with the rest of us, just get on board! This Heritage Week is completely self-sponsored and self-financed. We are all in it together to celebrate our city and its heritage which is our pride.
For the detailed list of activities, please click on: Vadodara People's Heritage Festival (18-11-2015)
Programmes For National Heritage Week: November 19: Heritage walk of old city with architect Karan Grover, starting at 7 a.m. from Collector’s Office at Kothi.

November 19 to 25: Photography exhibition titled ‘The Begda Legacy: Champaner, Pavagadh, Sarkhej Roza’, at 203, Mangaldhara, 83, Sampatrao colony, Alkapuri, 6 p.m. onwards.

November 20 to 25: Exhibition on hand-crafted textiles of Gujarat and photo exhibition by professor Jyoti Bhatt, at SITE Art Space, Makarpura Road, 4 p.m. onwards.

November 21: Heritage talk as part of annual Viraasat Lecture, at LVP Banquet Hall, 6 p.m. onwards.

November 22: Heritage cycle ride with architect Karan Grover, from Kamatibaug to old city, starting from Kamatibaug at 6.45 a.m.

November 22: Heritage photo walk by Rahul Gajjar, starting from Mandvi Gate at 7 a.m.

November 23 to 25: Exhibition of oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma, at Splatter Studio, 5 p.m.

November 24: Heritage talk on Raja Ravi Varma by Ramavarma Thampuran, at Raja Ravi Varma Studio, LVP Compound, 5 p.m.

For further information, please ring 9825577388. (18-11-2015)
Civic Elections May Be Delayed In Gujarat: It looks as if Gujarat’s local body elections will not be feasible before the end of 2015. The Supreme Court has extended its stay on the elections to the state’s municipal corporations, municipalities and panchayats till the next hearing on November 24. The Supreme Court had earlier stayed the process of civic elections following the filing of a PIL that challenged the ‘one ward, four councillors’ system adopted for urban local bodies. Should the polls be postponed beyond a point, administrator rule is the likely option in the six municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar. Polls are also due in 30 district panchayats, 200 taluka panchayats and 60 municipalities as soon as their terms end in October-November. District and taluka panchayats adhere to the ‘one ward, one member’ system. (29-09-2015)
Ganesh Festival Peaceful: Anant Chaturdashi, the last day of the 10-day Ganesh Festival, was generally peaceful on Sunday in Vadodara. Nearly 1,500 Ganesh idols were immersed during the day. About 6,000 police persons – including 4 DCPs, 9 ACPs, 30 Inspectors, 97 Sub-Inspectors and 1,825 Constables – were deployed to ensure that there were no untoward incidents. Two companies of the Rapid Action Force, four companies of SRP and over 3,200 Home Guards were also roped in. The security operation also took the help of two drones and 150 CCTV cameras. (28-09-2015)
Stability Certificate Compulsory For Buildings: Did you know that it is compulsory to have stability certificates for buildings in the city that are more than 15 years old? If you are the owner of such a building the General Development and Construction Rules (GDCR) of Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) stipulate that you must submit the stability certificate to the civic body. VMC has now issued a public notice asking people to comply with the rule immediately. The idea is to ensure that buildings are safe and corrective action is taken where necessary. (20-07-2015)
Unique Identification ‘Aadhaar’ Card: Do you have your Unique Identification ‘Aadhaar’ card? If you have not yet bothered to get the card you can still apply for it, till December 2015. The Vadodara Municipal Corporation is accepting new applications at their ward offices at Laheripura, Harni-Warasia Road, Waghodia Road, Pratapnagar, Raopura, Akota, Fatehgunj, Nagarwada, Ajwa Road, Subhanpura, Vasna Road, Makarpura and Chhani. Applications are also being accepted at Jubilee Baug and at the Planetarium. The entire process is free of cost. (20-07-2015)
Another PVR Multiplex In City: Cinema exhibition company PVR has added one more multiplex to the city, at VED Transcube Plaza in Vadodara’s Central Bus Terminal complex. The seven-screen multiplex has a total of 1,239 seats. This is the company’s third unit in Vadodara. PVR now has 48 screens spread over 11 locations in Gujarat. It has a presence in 43 Indian cities, with 474 screens in 106 properties. (20-07-2015)
Minority Status For Jains: The Jain community in Gujarat may soon be given minority status by the state government. What this means is that Jains will benefit from all minority welfare schemes and their institutions will have autonomy. Jain religious places like Palitana and Girnar will be freed from government control, and educational institutions run by Jain trusts can be run like other minority institutions. The central government has already notified Jains as a minority community. The other minority communities are Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis (Zoroastrians). (01-07-2015)
Big Order For Bombardier Transportation: Bombardier Transportation, based at Savli near Vadodara, has received an order to supply 162 metro cars to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC). With this addition DMRC will have one of the largest metro fleets in the world. The order value is Rs. 15 billion. Bombardier Transportation employs around 1,100 people in India. Its facilities include the railway vehicle manufacturing and bogie assembly unit at Savli, a propulsion systems manufacturing facility at Maneja in Vadodara and a rail control solutions centre near Gurgaon. (01-07-2015)
Solar Panels Over City Flyover: The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) has set the ball rolling on a project to generate electric power from a solar panel dome to be constructed over the Akota-Dandia Bazaar flyover. The power will be used to light up street lamps. The project, which is expected to cost Rs. 25.5 crore, was inaugurated recently by Gujarat Energy Minister Mr. Saurabh Patel. Vadodara is perhaps the first city in the country to take up such a solar energy project. (25-06-2015)
Ventilator Shortage At SSG Hospital: A recent newspaper report suggests that Baroda’s SSG Hospital is running short of ventilators. Thanks to this sad fact, patients at the medical intensive care unit (MICU) are inconvenienced, to say the least. In one case, the patient’s relatives had to manually pump air to assist the patient in breathing for four days! The patient had been put on a ventilator at the MICU after he had suffered a heart attack. The manual pumping was resorted to because the ventilator was needed for another more serious case. It seems that the hospital has only 45 ventilators, and not all of them are fully functional. The procurement authority for this vital life support system is the central medical stores organization (CMSO) in Gandhinagar. (24-06-2015)
Solar Co-operative: Gujarat’s Anand district is working on the idea of setting up a ‘solar co-operative’ run by farmers. A local farmer has connected a solar-powered irrigation pump to the electricity grid, and his ‘solar crop sale' earned him a payment of Rs 7,500 from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). IWMI is promoting the concept of solar power as a lucrative crop (SPaRC). Solar power will be ‘grown’ and sold by the Solar Pump Irrigators Co-operative Enterprise (SPICE), a group of over 40 farmers. SPICE is working on the project with the help of Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Limited (MGVCL) and Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI). Solar irrigation pumps are a boon for farmers with poor access to electricity and water. Besides, if India’s 20 million electric and diesel pumps are replaced with solar irrigation pumps, the country’s annual carbon emission can come down by about six per cent. IWMI estimates that 11 million farmers currently connected with the electricity grid across India could install solar-powered water pumps and sell the surplus energy they produce. IWMI, a scientific research organisation based in Colombo, works on water policy and groundwater governance issues. (23-06-2015)
Shooting Championship: Baroda Rifle Club (BRC) has announced that it is organising a state-level shooting championship at its dedicated shooting range at the Manjalpur sports complex from August 16 to 20. BRC has completed 50 years. (22-06-2015)
Four New MSU Courses: Four new courses are on offer this year at MS University of Baroda. The Faculty of Family & Community Sciences (FFCS) will offer B.Sc in food and nutrition (30 seats) and also in interior designing (60 seats). The Faculty of Technology & Engineering (FTE) will offer BE in computing (60 seats) and in textile processing (seats). Admission to the BE courses will be through the admission committee for professional courses (ACPC). (22-06-2015)
A Small Matter of Road Names: Once upon a time Mysore's Maharaja Chamarajendra Wodeyar and Baroda's Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III happened to be good friends. As a result of this royal equation, the road from Lal Court to the palace (popularly called Rajmahal Road) was named Chamaraja Road in honour of the Mysore Maharaja's visit to Baroda in 1888. As a return gesture of sorts, a road in Mysore was named Sayajirao Road. It now transpires that Chamaraja Road has been renamed Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati Rajmarg by Vadodara Municipal Corporation. A little confusion has arisen now because some people believe that Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati Road is actually the name of the road from Baroda Dairy to Sharadnagar in Tarsali. Incidentally, both Wodeyar and Sayajirao were adopted and became rulers of their respective states. (14-05-2015)
Royal Headgear Collection: A collection of headgear of the royal Gaekwad family is now on display in a special gallery at the Maharaja Fatehsinh Museum. The display opened on the occasion of the 77th birth anniversary of the late Maharaja Ranjitsinh Gaekwad. Ranjitsinh had a keen interest in headgear and had begun work on a doctoral thesis on the subject. The collection of over 150 kinds of headgear is from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. (13-05-2015)
MS University Completes 66 Years: The Sthapana Divas of MS University of Baroda was celebrated on April 30. It was on this day in 1949 that the MS University Act was notified by the then Bombay government. MSU has now completed 66 years and entered the 67th year. The current chancellor-designate Rajmata Shubhanginidevi Gaekwad presided over the function. (01-05-2015)
Nepal Earthquake: No Damage Reported In Vadodara: At around 11.45 a.m. today there was an earthquake of 7.9 intensity in Nepal with its epicentre 80 kilometres east of Pokhara. Tremors were felt in several parts of India. In Vadodara, very mild tremors were felt by a few people on the upper floors in some high-rise buildings. These buildings were evacuated, but only temporarily. No damage has been reported in the city. There is no cause for panic, and authorities have requested people not to spread rumours. (1 p.m.) (25-04-2015)
New Chancellor For MSU: The Gujarat assembly has cleared the appointment of Shubhangini Raje Gaekwad as the new chancellor of MS University (MSU). Wife of the late Maharaja Ranjitsinh Gaekwad and an alumnus of Lucknow’s Loreto College, she is the fourth member from the Baroda royal family to hold this post. She is also associated with Maharani Chimnabai Stree Udyogalaya, Maharaja Fatehsinh Museum Trust, Bal Bhavan Society Trust, Swar Vilas and SOCLEEN. The MSU chancellor’s post has been vacant since the passing away of Mrunalini Devi Puar in January. Ms Puar was the first woman to have been appointed a chancellor of MSU. (05-04-2015)
Ajwa Lake Depth To Be Increased: The Vadodara Municipal Corporation and the irrigation department of the Gujarat government have started work on a Rs. 200 million project to deepen the Sayaji Sarovar (Ajwa Reservoir). The depth will be increased by one to 1.5 meters. The project will increase the lake’s capacity (its present capacity is 63 million cubic meters) and also lessen the impact of floods. (05-04-2015)
MSU Sets Up Institute of Policy Research & International Studies: Set in motion by a special Gujarat government grant of Rs. 40 million, MS University has started the Institute of Policy Research and International Studies (IPRIS) under the Faculty of Arts. The institute will take up research in foreign policy, India’s foreign relations and the country’s security policies. Rs. 30 million was spent on the IPRIS building and Rs. 10 million was spent for the library. The institute is located at the Maharaja Pratapsinhrao Gaekwad Parisar (popularly known as Donor's Plaza). Degree courses will be on offer, along with short-term programmes in international studies and public administration. (03-04-2015)
Railway University At Baroda: India’s first railway university will be set up at Vadodara. The Railway Staff College in Pratapnagar will be upgraded and called the National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR), a full-fledged university. NAIR will award technical and non-technical degrees and diplomas in subjects related to railways. The Railway Staff College, established in 1930 at Dehradun, was moved to Baroda in 1952; it was housed in Pratap Vilas Palace (which was built in 1914 by the Gaekwads). (03-04-2015)
‘Chilli Bombs’ May Replace Teargas: ‘Chilli bombs' may soon allow police forces in Gujarat to bid farewell to the traditional teargas which is used to disperse mobs. One problem with teargas is that people in the crowd can hurl the teargas canister right back at the police. This ‘return shot’ is not possible with the chilli bomb, because it explodes and generates thick smoke when it is shot. The chilli bomb causes coughing and a burning sensation in the eyes. The effect lasts for 30 minutes, which is enough time for the police to control the situation. (02-12-2014)
Online Registration Of Doctors: The Gujarat Medical Council (GMC) has now introduced online registration of doctors practicing in Gujarat, so that they do not have to visit the GMC office in Ahmedabad for this purpose. Currently a one-time requirement, GMC is considering a proposal to make renewal of registration mandatory every five years. GMC’s responsibilities include maintaining a register of the names and addresses of medical practitioners who possess recognized medical qualifications and also taking disciplinary action against errant practitioners. GMC may also begin online education of doctors in order to update their knowledge and skills. Gujarat has over 51,000 registered practitioners. (02-12-2014)
Capacity Expansion At Baroda Medical College: The Baroda Medical College (BMC) proposes to increase its seats from 180 to 250 students. The Gujarat government will seek approval for this from the union health ministry and Medical Council of India (MCI). BMC already has the capacity at the SSG Hospital to treat the required number of patients in order to qualify for the increased seats. The college will, however, need bigger classrooms, a better library, and the latest teaching aids. The state government has sanctioned Rs. 120 crore towards the Rs. 500 crore expansion plan; the balance will be funded by the central government. It seems that the expansion activities will be completed in time for the 2015-16 academic session. (08-11-2014)
Narsinhjino Varghodo: Lord Narsinhji's wedding procession will begin on Thursday evening and go on till early morning on Friday. Starting at the Narsinhji temple it will go to Tulsiwadi. On security duty will be 10 companies of the State Reserve Police, one company of Rapid Action Force, 100 home guards and 1,500 other policemen; heading them will be a police superintendent, five deputy superintendents and 15 police inspectors. Over 150 videographers will be deployed and CCTV surveillance will be used to monitor mischief mongers. And, in what now appears to be a routine precautionary measure, mobile internet facilities will be suspended from 5 p.m. on Thursday (6th) to 7 a.m. on Friday (7th). (06-11-2014)
City May Get A World-Class Cricket Stadium: The Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) has again raised the hopes of Barodians about building a world-class cricket stadium at Kotambi, 20 kms from the city and on the road to Halol. The two-year project is expected to commence soon. The land was bought for Rs. 21 crore. (06-11-2014)
Heavy Security For Tazia Immersions & Narsinhji Procession: To prevent rumour-mongering during the Tazia immersions on Tuesday (4th November) and the Narsinhji procession on Thursday (6th November) the Vadodara city police have banned mobile internet services on both days. Bulk SMS, MMS and Whatsapp services will be suspended from 10 a.m. on Tuesday to 7 a.m. on Wednesday and from 5 p.m. on Thursday to 7 a.m. on Friday. The police have deployed four deputy commissioners, 10 assistant commissioners, 33 police inspectors, 170 police sub-inspectors and 2,315 constables for security during the processions. One deputy superintendent of police, five ACPs, 15 police inspectors, nine SRP companies, one RAF company and 1,000 home guards have been roped in from outside. Also on duty will be 29 CCTVs and 110 videographers. The police have made 288 preventive arrests and detained 15 persons under Prevention of Anti-Social Act (PASA). (04-11-2014)
Baroda Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya Seminar: Modern Sanskrit literature – short stories, drama, poetry, sonnets, ghazals and autobiographies – between 2001 and 2014 will be the subject of national seminar being organised in the city by MS University's Baroda Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya (BSM). The one-day national seminar on 'Sanskrit literature of 21st century' will be held on November 26. Over 250 students and experts are expected to participate. (04-11-2014)
MSU Announces Courses For Yoga & Nature Cure: CLE, the Centre for Lifelong Learning and Extension run by MS University of Baroda, has started short-term self-financed vocational courses to train beauticians as well as programmes in yoga, acupressure and nature cure. CLL has also started a one year course on tourism and travel; the two-semester self-financed programme covers various aspects of tourism and tourism services. (04-11-2014)
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