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GSFC University Started In Vadodara: Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited (GSFC), the Vadodara based state-run company has launched GSFC University and its first academic session will begin from this year. It will start with a School of Technology, offering four-year degree courses in Mechanical and Chemical Engineering; 60 students will be admitted in each stream. Half the seats will be reserved for students from the state. Management and liberal arts courses are also planned. GSFC University has been recognized by the Gujarat government. (15-05-2015)
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)
Vadodara Gas Ltd. Now A Reality: Vadodara Gas Ltd. (VGL), the joint venture (JV) company of Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) and GAIL Gas Ltd. (GGL), is now a reality. VGL will be responsible for piped natural gas distribution in the city. It will also have eight CNG gas stations for cars. The company will also have the task of supplying piped gas to more areas of the city. Incidentally, in 1971 Vadodara Municipal Corporation became the first Asian civic body to provide piped natural gas distribution. VMC currently supplies gas to 75,000 households and 2,500 commercial customers. (31-10-2014)
Prof Ramanlal Mehta Passes Away: Professor Ramanlal Mehta, the first dean of MS University's Faculty of Performing Arts, passed away recently in Baroda at the age of 96. He was the dean of the faculty from 1954 to 1978; he had earlier spent nine years with All India Radio. He followed the Kirana style of the Late Ustad Abdul Waheed Khan. He was accepted as a fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2008 and awarded Padma Bhushan in 2009. He founded the Indian Musicological Society in 1970. (31-10-2014)
‘Rang Rasiya’ To Be Screened In City: Though born in the state of Travancore, the 19th century painter Raja Ravi Varma had a special relationship with Baroda. Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III , an admirer of his work, drew him to Baroda in the 1880s and gave him a studio. Now Ketan Mehta has directed a film – Rang Rasiya – based on the painter’s life. The film will be screened in Baroda on 2nd November, with lead actors Randeep Hooda and Nandana Sen in attendance. The Gaekwad family will co-host the first show. The film has been produced by Deepa Sahi. (30-10-2014)
Vivekananda Memorial Renovated: The Swami Vivekananda Memorial in Baroda, currently housed in the 150-year-old Dilaram Bungalow on R.C. Dutt Road, has been renovated recently at a cost of Rs. one crore. The spiritual leader stayed in this bungalow when he visited Baroda in 1892. The building was handed over to the Ramakrishna Mission by Gujarat government in 2005. Gujarat has two other memorials dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, one at Porbandar and the other at Limdi. (30-10-2014)
Capacity Expansion at Jalaram Blood Bank: The United Way of Baroda (UWB) has helped the city based Medical Care Center Trust (MCCT) to increase its capacity to collect, test and store blood at the Jalaram Blood Bank. The capacity will be stepped up from 2000 to 3500 units of blood. The UWB funding will be Rs. 11 lakh. Incidentally, Jalaram Blood Bank gives blood free of cost to poor patients. UWB is also considering helping out MCCT to set up a cancer ward at the K.G. Patel Children Hospital in Karelibaug. This hospital has also received similar help from UWB for cleft lip surgeries for children. (29-10-2014)
Corporate Relationship Cell At MS University: MS University has decided to set up some formal mechanism to seek the involvement of corporate India in the university’s research, training and placement activities. Towards this end MSU has set up a Corporate Relationship Cell (CRC) with professor Bhavna Mehta from the Faculty of Social Work as its director. CRC will also invite the help of industries in curriculum development and consultancy services. Of course, corporate funding and grants will also be welcome. Formal approval of the MSU syndicate is awaited. (29-10-2014)
India’s Biggest Canal-Top Solar Power Plant Comes Up At Baroda: Located at Baroda, India’s biggest canal-top solar power plant is expected to soon start producing power. The 10-MW plant has been constructed on a 3.5-km canal stretch from Sama to Chhani. The power will be used by Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. (SSNNL). Over 480 solar tablets (each 6.5 metres x 2.3 metres) have been laid along the canal top. The plant, constructed by Hyderabad based Mega Engineering & Infrastructure Ltd., will supply 16.2 million units of power annually. Using the space above the canal helped save about 20 acres of land that would otherwise have been needed for a project of this size. The canal-top structure also reduces water evaporation from the canal. (28-10-2014)
Rooftop Solar Plants: The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) is considering rooftop solar plants on three large buildings of the civic body – the Khanderao Market office, the Manjalpur outdoor sports complex along with its parking area and the Sama indoor sports complex. The project will be handled by an agency recognised by Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd. (GPCL). The agency will foot the project cost, sell the generated power to Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Ltd. and give VMC Rs. 2 per unit of electricity as a green incentive. VMC is expected to earn over Rs. 900,000 every year from this solar power project. (28-10-2014)
Theft At Baroda Museum: During the Diwali holidays two antique revolvers and the sheath of an antique sword – both over 100 years old – disappeared from the Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery in Sayajibaug. The revolvers had been donated to the museum very recently by retired IAS officer Ashok Bhatia and his wife. Surprisingly, the thief ignored more valuable items. It seems that the thief had cut the wires of a CCTV camera. The museum has 44 CCTV cameras. A police forensic team is investigating the case. (28-10-2014)
Vadodara Peaceful: The situation in the city has been peaceful on Saturday. The police are maintaining a strict watch to ensure that mischievous elements do not cause any trouble. To stop the spread of baseless rumours, the authorities have ordered a temporary ban on mobile internet services throughout the city. This ban affects about 520,000 mobile phone customers. (5 p.m.) (27-09-2014)
Minor Incidence Of Stone Pelting In City: Vadodara witnessed another minor incident of stone pelting between two groups in the early afternoon hours on Friday, September 26. The worst affected area was Fatehpura. The authorities seem to have acted swiftly to restore calm. People have been asked to refrain from spreading baseless rumours. (4.30 p.m.) (26-09-2014)
The Vishwamitri level was 14.50 Ft. At 2 p.m. on Saturday (13th September): Most of the flood-affected people in the city are gradually returning to their homes. However, in the rest of Vadodara district there are many more still having to stay in the relief camps. The bypoll for the Vadodara Lok Sabha seat is going on, though the voter turnout is not very heavy. (2.30 p.m.) (13-09-2014)
The Vishwamitri level was 20.25 Ft. At 7 p.m. on Friday (12th September): Schools and the MS University of Baroda have resumed classes. Clean-up operations are in full swing all over the city. (7.30 p.m.) (12-09-2014)
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