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Vadodara Municipal Corporation occasionally deploys the police in ‘hostile’ situations: Did you know that State Reserve Police (SRP) personnel are routinely deployed to help out in some of the activities of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC)? Considering that VMC has its own officers and security staff, many people wonder why the SRP should be roped in. The reason is that VMC personnel are often caught in ‘hostile’ situations where strong-arm protection is called for. Some of these situations are: impounding of stray cattle, removal of encroachments from roads, and sanitation drives to stop littering in public places. To prevent violence erupting in such situations the state police has allocated a team of armed SRP personnel which includes two police sub-inspectors, seven assistant sub-inspectors, eight head constables and 42 police constables. The police force is not deployed free of cost; VMC has to shell out over Rs. 46 lakh every month for their services. (02-11-2018)
City gets its 24th police station: Vadodara’s 24th police station, inaugurated on 31st October, will be devoted exclusively to cybercrime. Located at Bhadra Kacheri in the old city area, it has Rs. 50 lakh worth of sophisticated equipment and a staff of over 15 persons, including an assistant commissioner of police (ACP), a police inspector (PI) and two police sub-inspectors (PSIs). The staff strength will eventually be increased to 60 persons. A separate police station exclusively for cybercrime will perhaps help to increase the focus on the increasing incidences of online frauds. (01-11-2018)
Ankleshwar hit by dengue and malaria: Some councillors of the Ankleshwar Nagarpalika believe that the administration has failed to control the spread of dengue and malaria in the town. Adopting a rather unique form of protest the leader of the opposition attended the Nagarpalika board meeting covered in a mosquito net. Some other corporators also donned mosquito nets. (31-10-2018)
Supreme Court modifies order on firecrackers: The Supreme Court has modified its previous order on the timings for the bursting of firecrackers during Diwali and other religious festivals. The court now says that state governments can decide when people can burst crackers on festival days, provided the total time does not exceed two hours. This means the authorities can stagger the time-slots for bursting crackers; for instance, the timings can be an hour in the morning and an hour at night. The direction came after the Tamil Nadu government moved the court saying the festival in the state will be celebrated on the morning of November 6. The court also banned joined firecrackers (series of crackers tied together); the ban will apply not just to festivals, but also to marriage ceremonies and other celebratory events. (30-10-2018)
Restrictions on bursting of firecrackers: The Supreme Court has directed that the bursting of firecrackers should be allowed only between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. during the Diwali period. Violators of this directive can be booked under the Indian Penal Code as well as sections of the Gujarat Police Act, and punitive measures can be taken against those breaking the law. Among the likely measures: a one-month jail term and Rs. 200 fine. You can even dial 100 and complain about those breaking the law, and PCR vans will check such complaints. The usual time for a PCR van to attend to a call on 100 is five minutes, in Ahmedabad. Photographic and videographic evidence can also be used to lodge complaints. (29-10-2018)
NGO group wants agricultural schemes to be more women farmer sensitive: A group of over 40 NGOs – the Working Group for Women and Land Ownership (WGWLO) – has requested the Gujarat government to make agricultural schemes more women farmer sensitive. The group wants special and separate budgetary provisions for women farmers and agricultural schemes that are designed from the perspective of women farmers. This will not only ensure gender equity but also increase agriculture yields. Most current agriculture schemes benefit only land owners, and women do not have land in their names even though they contribute towards 65 to 70 per cent of agriculture related work. It stands to reason that agriculture schemes should be de-linked from land ownership status. A demand has also been made for gender-based segregated data for women and men farmers. The Census 2011 figures show that 40 per cent of Indian women are farm labourers, and 65 per cent of farm labourers are women. Women farmers in a patriarchal society cannot negotiate with their male counterparts. (28-10-2018)
Ban on autorickshaws within walled city revised: The Vadodara city traffic police have revised their recent public notification regarding the entry of autorickshaws within the walled city. The revised rule permits the entry of autorickshaws on narrow roads throughout the day, except during the two hours of peak traffic movement in the evening. So, today onwards the ban on autorickshaws will only be between 5.30 p.m. and 7.30. p.m. The ban on city buses with over 32 seats will continue, and four-wheelers will not be allowed to park. (27-10-2018)
Gujarat has 58 individuals with a net worth of over Rs. 1,000 crore: The Barclays Hurun India Rich List 2018 reveals that Gujarat has 58 individuals with a net worth of over Rs. 1,000 crore. Their cumulative wealth is Rs. 2.54 lakh crore. India has 831 individuals in this category. Three states are ahead of Gujarat as far as the number of billionaires is concerned: Maharashtra (272), Delhi (163) and Karnataka (72). In Gujarat, Adani group chairman Gautam Adani is at the top with Rs. 71,200 crore (he is number eight nationally). Following Adani are Pankaj Patel (Zydus group, Rs. 32,100 crore), Bhadresh Shah (AIA Engineering, Rs. 9,700 crore), Karsanbhai Patel (Nirma, Rs. 9,600 crore) and Torrent group promoters Samir and Sudhir Mehta (each Rs. 8,300 crore). Location wise, Ahmedabad has 49 billionaires, Rajkot 5, Surat 3 and Vadodara 1. Ten women feature among Gujarat’s wealthiest. Are these wealthy individuals self-made? The report says that 28 are first generation entrepreneurs, and 17 inherited their wealth. Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani is right at the top of India’s richest, with a net worth of Rs. 3.71 lakh crore. The billionaires list is based on the net worth of living Indians as on July 31, 2018. (26-10-2018)
Ahmedabad cops get tough with dangerous drivers: Determined to come down heavily on reckless drivers who are a danger to commuters and pedestrians, the Ahmedabad Traffic Police has decided to file complaints under Sections 184 of the MV Act read along with Section 279 of the IPC, both of which deal with driving of motor vehicles in a manner that is likely to cause hurt or injury to another person. These sections can mean a Rs. 1,000 fine or six months imprisonment, or both. If a second offence is committed within three years of the first, the punishment is a fine of Rs. 2,000 or imprisonment of up to two years. (25-10-2018)
Tarannum Sheikh appointed coach of city’s junior women’s football team: The Baroda District Football Association (BDFA) has appointed Ms Tarannum Sheikh, 26, as the coach of the junior women’s team. She will be the city’s first female footballer to get this job. She has a C license for coaching, and this makes her eligible to coach even senior teams. She began her sporting career as an athlete. A BE in computer science and engineering, she has won 115 medals in sports. (25-10-2018)
Autorickshaws banned in walled city areas till Diwali: The Vadodara traffic police department has asked autorickshaws to avoid the walled city areas during the evening peak hours. This ban, which was announced on 23rd October, will be in force till Diwali, between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. daily. Entry of 55-seater city buses has also been banned, but 32-seater buses will be exempt. Four-wheelers will be allowed, but they will not be permitted to park on the narrow road. The ban does not apply to two-wheeler drivers and autorickshaws with patients, senior citizens and handicapped people as passengers. (24-10-2018)
Disappointing learning levels in primary schools: A recent study by the Gujarat government assessed the learning levels of government primary school students. The findings are not reassuring. Three out of ten students of classes 6, 7 and 8 are unable to read and write basic simple sentences in Gujarati and English. They cannot do basic arithmetic, like adding or subtracting single digit numbers. Almost 21 lakh students were surveyed. To remedy this sorry state of affairs, the state government had launched ‘Mission Vidya’ where teachers have been asked to conduct three hours of extra classes daily for 35 days for the benefit of weak students. This initiative resulted in substantial improvement for 43 % of the weak students. Some educators believe that the no-detention policy – students are not detained till class 8 – has perhaps harmed learning outcomes. (23-10-2018)
Road accidents report reveals sorry statistics for Gujarat: A recent study – ‘Road Accidents in India 2017’ – reveals some sorry statistics for Gujarat. Over 40% of road accident deaths were due to people not wearing helmets or seat belts. Five deaths daily were due to not wearing helmets. Gujarat was the only state where more pillion riders died for not wearing helmets than those who rode the two-wheelers. Ahmedabad traffic police fined an average of two citizens per minute for not wearing helmets. (22-10-2018)
Vadodara can perhaps bid to be a World Heritage City: Can Vadodara make a bid to become recognised as a World Heritage City? Perhaps it can, says a forum of citizens active in SHAR – Share, Harness, Act and Rejoice. SHAR is an initiative launched by those close to professor Sharad Bansal, former MS University Commerce Faculty dean who was the main force behind the university's Office of International Affairs. Architect and urban planner Sanjeev Joshi says that with a multicultural legacy going back 2,000 years Vadodara has a strong case to emerge as a World Heritage City. He has interacted in the past with Mr. Rabindra Vasavada – the person who put together the dossier for Ahmedabad when it aspired to be a World Heritage City. Some discussions in this matter have been initiated with the Vadodara Municipal Corporation. (21-10-2018)
New regulations for CBSE schools: The ministry of human resource development (MHRD) has revised some regulations and state-based schools affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will now have to follow the directives of the Fee Regulatory Committee (FRC) set up by the state government. Gujarat has over 350 schools offering CBSE to students. The process of registering new schools has been simplified but schools will now require the state administration’s consent too. The new regulations also include mandatory teacher training, including training for principals and vice-principals. A new school category has been added to cover innovative schools that implement new ideas in skill development, sports, arts and science. (20-10-2018)
Gujarat high court asks government to frame parking policy for commercial and public spaces: Thanks to firm directions from the Gujarat high court in the recent past Ahmedabad city had moved swiftly to clean up the traffic mess on the roads. The high court now wants the state government to come up with a parking policy for commercial and public spaces. Pending the framing of such a policy, the court has permitted malls and multiplexes to collect parking fees from visitors, after allowing free parking for the first hour. The charge should be reasonable, but not more than Rs. 30 per day for four-wheelers and Rs 10 for two-wheelers. The parking policy should be framed for public premises, roads and streets too. (19-10-2018)
Bank issued a credit card to a man who did not want it: State Bank of India (SBI) and its card and payments services apparently issued a free credit card to a doctor couple even though they did not want it. The bank even renewed it later and levied an annual charge. A consumer court has now ruled that this is a wrongful practice. The complainant argued that levying charges on a free credit card and renewing it is an illegal act. The court upheld his arguments; the bank was asked to pay him a compensation of Rs. 15,000 for physical and mental torture. (19-10-2018)
Glitches crop up in Online Development Permission System: Considering that there are some glitches in the Online Development Permission System (ODPS), the Gujarat government has decided to approve building plans manually also. This should help to speed up real estate projects which were held up due to the disruption of the online system. According to the Gujarat chapter of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI), both the manual and the online system will continue to operate to clear plans. The governmemnt and the real estate body will conduct training on the ODPS software for the benefit of developers. (18-10-2018)
Historian Ramachandra Guha gets appointment at Ahmedabad University: Bangalore based historian and biographer Ramachandra Guha has been appointed the Shrenik Lalbhai Chair Professor of Humanities at Ahmedabad University (AU). The distinguished historian and biographer will also be the university’s director of the Gandhi Winter School. According to a statement issued by the university, “Guha will help imagine a curriculum that lies at the intersection of history and other streams in the humanities, as well as explore how history can enrich diverse disciplines, spanning technology, business and even specialisations such as life-sciences, heritage management or environment and energy”. Mr. Guha has taught at the universities of Yale and Stanford, held the Arné Naess Chair at the University of Oslo, and been the Indo-American Community Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. In the academic year 2011-12 he served as the Philippe Roman Professor of History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics. His research interests include environmental, social, political, contemporary and cricket history. He is also a columnist. (17-10-2018)
Video surveillance system at all police stations in Gujarat: Following directions from the Gujarat high court, the home department is rushing to ensure that cameras and an IP-based video surveillance system are in place in all police stations in the state. The high court issued these instructions after repeated complaints of police excesses. Police stations will be monitored at district headquarters, city commissionerates and Gandhinagar. More cameras are being added, including at those areas where citizens come to register FIRs, lockups for men and women and entrances to the cabins of police inspectors. Police-public interactions will be recorded. The system will also be linked to the chief minister’s dashboard in Gandhinagar. (16-10-2018)
Baroda Ranji team announced: Krunal Pandya, 27, has been selected to captain the Baroda Ranji team for the 2018-19 season. The announcement was made by Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) secretary Snehal Parikh. Krunal’s brother Hardik plays for India. The rest of the team: Kedar Devdhar (vice-captain), Aditya Waghmode, Deepak Hooda, Vishnu Solanki, Yusuf Pathan, Pinal Shah (wicket-keeper), Swapnil Singh, Noor Pathan, Atit Sheth, Bhargav Bhatt, Lukman Meriwala, Sagar Mangalorkar, Baba Khan Pathan and Shoaib Tai. (16-10-2018)
Some city garbage collectors illegally monetise the waste collected: Many garbage collectors who are a part of the door-to-door garbage collection system of Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) segregate the waste and monetise it, on the side. What this means is that some garbage collectors remove the saleable items from the garbage and sell them unofficially, without depositing them at VMC’s landfill sites. It is a side business, done on the sly; strictly speaking, it is cheating. VMC has now decided to make this activity official; the sly side business of the garbage collectors will now become the official business of the civic body. VMC has started its own segregation facility – it’s called a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) – at Atladra near its existing garbage transfer station. At the MRF the dry waste is separated into plastic, metal, paper, glass, etc., materials which can be monetised by selling them to recyclers. The waste which remains after material recovery can be processed to make Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) pellets. (15-10-2018)
Higher salaries for Gujarat’s legislators: The salaries and allowances of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly members, speaker, deputy speaker and the state’s ministers and opposition leader have been amended, upwards of course. The governor has approved the necessary bill which had been passed – unanimously of course – by the state assembly. The state’s 182 MLAs will get a 65% hike in their monthly salaries – up from Rs. 70,727 to Rs. 1.16 lakh per month. Ministers will get Rs. 1.32 lakh per month, up from Rs. 86,000. The salaries and allowances were last revised in 2005. (14-10-2018)
Police will help out in some civic drives: The Gujarat government has agreed to deploy State Reserve Police (SRP) personnel to help Vadodara Municipal Corporation carry out activities in which municipal employees need to be better protected. Some of these activities include removal of encroachments, impounding of stray cattle and public sanitation drives. The security personnel sanctioned for these tasks are two police sub-inspectors, seven assistant sub-inspectors, eight head constables and 42 police constables. The policemen will be armed. (13-10-2018)
Civic body ties up with urban development authority to set up sewage treatment plants: Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) and Vadodara Urban Development Authority (VUDA) have agreed to pool their resources – technical expertise, manpower, land and money – to jointly develop sewage treatment facilities in and around the city. The collaboration will be mutually beneficial. VMC is running short of sewage treatment capacity and VUDA is unable to treat sewage in its newly developing areas. VMC will need additional plant capacity to treat 535 MLD of sewage by 2050, but it needs the land to house the treatment plants. VUDA has enough land on which the plants can be set up. VMC and VUDA will jointly foot the bill for erection, operations and management of the sewage treatment projects. (13-10-2018)
Regulatory board conducts surprise inspections of x-ray units: Surprise inspections of medical diagnostic centres were conducted recently in some Gujarat cities by personnel from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). AERB issued a warning to Vadodara’s SSG Hospital relating to an X-ray unit operated by its radiology department. AERB inspectors similarly inspected a machine of a private diagnostic centre and sealed it. Another private centre was issued a warning. The purpose of the inspections is to ensure that radiation machines do not pose undue risk to people. An x-ray machine at Baroda Imaging Center was sealed because the staff was not taking enough precautions; the machine will be started again when the compliance report is submitted. The AERB team also asked SRL Diagnostics to comply with the relevant norms. (12-10-2018)
Government launches portal to accept cybercrime complaints online: Under the National Mission for the safety of women the central government has launched a portal – cybercrime.gov.in – to help victims or complainants to report cybercrime complaints online. As the website says, “ ... the portal caters to complaints about online child pornography, child sexual abuse material or sexually explicit content. .... Complaints reported on this portal are dealt with by the respective police authorities of states and union territories. ... Option for anonymous reporting of content has been provided as per the direction of the Supreme Court.” The following points have been excerpted from the website: “Child sexually abusive material (CSAM) is material containing sexual images in any form of a child who is abused or sexually exploited. It is punishable to publish or transmit material depicting children in sexually explicit acts in electronic form. ... At this stage, complaints related to online content containing child pornography, child sexual abuse material, sexually explicit content such as rape, gang rape can be reported through this portal. In case of other cybercrimes, you may contact your local police station or your state cybercrime cell. ... False information provided by a complainant may lead to penal action. ... It is recommended that you provide as much information about the incident as possible so that the police authorities working on the complaint are able to take appropriate action. It is recommended that you upload the evidence with your complaint which would help police authorities for prompt action. However, you can also report a complaint by providing information like website address, e-mail address, WhatsApp number, etc. Apart from this portal, there are alternative ways to remove objectionable content from social media websites. Most of the social media websites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc., have the option of reporting or flagging objectionable content. The social media platforms may take appropriate action based on the contents reported to them as per their content policy.” (11-10-2018)
Domino’s Pizza goes vegetarian in Gujarat: Announcing that it has gone vegetarian in Gujarat, Domino’s Pizza says that it is responding to a market of consumers who largely prefer to eat only at food outlets that do not serve meat. The company had earlier followed this policy only during Navratri. Its outlets now display the green dots on doors and boards indicating that they serve only ‘lacto-vegetarian’ food as required by the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Act. Domino’s has 75 outlets in Gujarat. (10-10-2018)
Sabarmati Jail offers journalism and proof-reading course: To improve the employment prospects of its prison inmates when they are released, Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati Central Jail will soon start a diploma course in journalism and proof-reading. The jail authorities and Navjivan Trust say that the course will start from October 15 and 20 inmates have been selected for it. Navjivan Trust – it publishes books in several languages on Gandhian studies and philosophy – will give proof-reading jobs in the jail premises to those inmates who complete the course successfully; those who get the jobs will be paid according to the jail rules. (09-10-2018)
Amul Dairy will soon market camel milk: Amul Dairy is likely to start marketing fresh camel milk in Ahmedabad by the end of this year. The milk will be processed in order to remove its volatile odours and make it more palatable. Camel milk is pasteurised in the same way as cow milk; the only difference is the addition of the deodorisation process. The camel milk processing unit being readied in Bhuj will be able to process about 20,000 litres of camel milk per day. It will be packed in 500 ml pet bottles. The milk will be procured from camel breeders. Camel milk has more salt content, but it has high therapeutic value. It is being used to make chocolates. Compared to cow’s milk price of Rs. 28 to 30 per litre, camel’s milk fetches the farmer Rs. 50 to 55 per litre. It is the ‘Maldharis’ who breed camels in Kutch district and they sell about 1,500 litres of camel milk per day to the milk co-operatives. (08-10-2018)
RTO may open another office for the city: In order to open another office in the western parts of the city, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) has asked Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) to allot a suitable plot of land. The new RTO office at Darjipura (it was earlier in Warasiya) is very convenient for residents in the city’s eastern parts and adjoining rural areas, but it is rather far for other Barodians. The RTO wants 20,000 sq m of land. The possible locations are Race Course, Akota, Vasna, Bhaili, Atladara and Kalali. (07-10-2018)
MS University gets a grant of Rs. 8 crore: MS University of Baroda will soon receive another grant of Rs. 8.75 crore from the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) for infrastructure development, renovation and purchase of equipment. Approval had been given in 2014 for a grant of Rs. 20 crore, and Rs. 11.24 crore had been received earlier; it is the balance amount which is being released now. Among the projects for which the funds have been spent are additions to the Institute of Fashion Technology (IFT) and completion of construction work at the Faculty of Family and Community Sciences. RUSA’s terms are that 35 % of the funds are for works of capital nature, 35 % for maintenance of classrooms and 30 % for purchase of equipments, books and computers. Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan is a holistic scheme of development for higher education in India initiated in 2013 by the central government’s Ministry of Human Resource Development. The scheme provides strategic funding to higher educational institutions throughout the country. The funding ratio is 60:40 for general category states, 90:10 for special category states and 100 % for union territories. (06-10-2018)
Education board issues new rules for schools: The Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) has now ruled that 80% attendance is compulsory for students of class X and XII during the academic year from June 15 to February 15. The old rules allowed students who did not fulfill the attendance criteria to take the board exams as private students. The new rules stipulate that at least 65% attendance is required for a student to take board exams as a private student. The attendance requirement may be relaxed by 15% under circumstances such as prolonged illness, the death of a parent or participation in NCC/NSS camps. Roughly 1 lakh students appear as private students for the class X and XII board exams. (05-10-2018)
Vadodara Gas Ltd. increases CNG price: The Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) price for vehicles has been increased by Vadodara Gas Ltd. (VGL). The increase is Rs. 3.25 per kg, from Rs. 50.75 to Rs. 54. The justification for the price increase is the hike in gas prices due to the depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar. VGL is yet to decide on the pricing of piped natural gas (PNG); the current prices are Rs. 25.24 per unit for domestic consumers and Rs. 52 per unit for commercial consumers. (04-10-2018)
Canara Coffee House will be born again, at a new location: Dandia Bazaar’s Canara Coffee House (CCH) refuses to be consigned to history. The famous eatery was closed some time back and the building was more or less demolished. But CCH seems to have a life of its own, independent of its location. It is now due to make a comeback, this time at Lakdipul in Dandia Bazaar. Work is in progress on the new CCH building and the coffee house should open again after a few months. Over the years the old owner passed away, and the management has changed a little. We are told, however, that the menu will remain more or less the same. (03-10-2018)
Baroda’s Radha Yadav selected for India’s T20 World Cup squad: The Baroda team’s Radha Yadav, age 18, has been selected for the Indian women’s squad for the T20 World Cup to be staged in West Indies in November. She becomes the first woman from Gujarat to play in the T20 World Cup. She had put up an impressive performance during the recent Sri Lanka tour. Radha is a left-arm spinner, a good fielder and bats well too. After a stint playing for Mumbai, she shifted to Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) in 2014-15. (02-10-2018)
International cricket stadium project takes another step forward: The Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) has submitted a presentation regarding the proposed international cricket stadium at Kotambi to the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA). The scope of the presentation covers the stadium’s cost, design, seating, player facilities, guest rooms and practice pitches. The suggestion is that the project should be taken up in two phases. The first phase should include the international-level cricket ground, pavilion, players’ and members’ gallery, media tower and temporary covers for spectators. The second phase should cover construction of the entire stadium along with seating arrangements for 30,000 spectators, a restaurant and a gymnasium for players. The estimated cost is about Rs. 200 crore, and IL&FS will suggest how funds can be raised. The final approval of the proposal can be given only after the BCA elections which are expected to be held within a few months. (01-10-2018)
Amul is among the world’s top 10 milk processors: According to a survey by the International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN) – a global dairy research network – Amul is now among the world’s top 10 milk processors. IFCN figures show that Amul’s market share in the world is 1.1 %. United States’ Dairy Farmers of America occupies the top position with 29.2 million tonnes milk intake and 3.5 % of the world’s total milk production. New Zealand based Fonterra is at number two with 23.7 million tonnes milk intake and 2.8 % market share globally. France’s Groupe Lactalis is third and Arla Foods from Denmark, Sweden and other European nations is fourth. Switzerland’s Nestle is in the fifth position. (30-09-2018)
City based National Academy of Indian Railways gets new head: Mr. Pradeep Kumar is the new director general (DG) of the Vadodara based National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR). He is an officer of the 1981 batch of the Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineering (IRSSE). After completing Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication and Masters in Communication Systems – both from IIT Roorkee – he joined Northern Railway in 1983 and went through several postings –South Eastern Railway (chief safety officer), South Central Railway (divisional railway manager), West Central Railway (additional general manager), Railway Electrification, Railway Board and RailTel Corporation of India Limited (general manager, business development, and executive director). He has also completed his MBA in marketing and finance from Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia. He has undergone training in high-speed rail at Japan. His expertise areas are telecom network design and planning, train operations and disaster management, and signalling projects management. (29-09-2018)
Rapes do not seem to be rare in Gujarat: With two rapes every day, rapes do not seem to be rare in Gujarat. Ahmedabad city has the dubious distinction of being at the top of the list; 621 cases were reported in the last five years. The state witnessed 4,358 cases (401 of them from scheduled castes) between April 2013 and March 2018, and during this period 1,404 women (51 of them from scheduled castes) were murdered. In the rape cases, 2,408 victims (55% of the cases) were minors. In 94% of the cases, the accused was known to the rape victim. Over 6,300 accused have been arrested in connection with these cases. (28-09-2018)
Tata Consultancy Services may train some MS University students to become employable: It has been reported that MS University’s Faculty of Commerce proposes to enter into an agreement with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) under which the software major will train third-year B.Com students from poor socio-economic backgrounds to become more employable. The training will cover personality development, spoken English, interview skills, soft skills and IT. The students will be from reserved category, minority communities and those with an annual family income less than Rs. two lakh. About 1,000 students are likely to be trained. TCS may hire some of them. No fees will be charged for the training. (27-09-2018)
Round Table donates two classrooms for school in Koyali: The Indirapuri school in Koyali near Vadodara has received a precious donation from the Baroda Young Turks Round Table (BYRT-201). The donation is in the form of two newly constructed classrooms spread over 1,500 square feet. The school’s 500 children can look forward to a better environment. To raise funds for the classrooms BYRT-201 teamed up with a group to organise a performance by the magician Jonathan David Bass. BYRT’s ‘Freedom through Education’ initiative has also given three new classrooms and washrooms for boys and girls at Gavasad Adarsh Shala in Padra taluka. BYRT similarly raised Rs. 14 lakh to build a classroom and a play area for Spandan School for Mentally Challenged Children in Gotri. (26-09-2018)
Ayushman Bharat Scheme will touch 200,000 families in Vadodara district: The Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) scheme lauched across India on Sunday should benefit about 200,000 families in Vadodara district – 91,333 families in rural areas, 92,076 families in urban areas, 10,664 families in nagarpalika areas and another 362 notified families. The scheme provides a coverage of Rs. 500,000 per family. With 1,354 packages the scheme is supposed to be the world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme. The centre will provide 60% of the funding, and the state government will contribute 40%.The scheme’s benefits are available in the district at 19 government hospitals and 34 listed private hospitals. (25-09-2018)
Intelligent Transit Management System: The Intelligent Transit Management System (ITMS) is meant to be one of the components of the Smart City project of Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC). ITMS is supposed to make urban mobility more convenient; it will ensure that the bus service is efficient and commuters have access to online information regarding the location and expected arrival time of a bus they want to board. With ITMS in place VMC’s buses will be equipped with GPS and CCTV facilities, and bus stands will have automated online displays of bus movements. ITMS will also enable the monitoring of bus movements from the city’s Central Command and Control Centre (CCCC). All the plans are ready, but a capable vendor to provide the system still remain to be identified. (24-09-2018)
State MLA salaries hiked: The Gujarat assembly has passed a bill to increase the salaries of MLAs, ministers, speaker, deputy speaker and leader of the opposition by at least Rs. 45,000 a month. MLAS get a hike from Rs. 70,727to Rs. 1.16 lakh. Ministers, the assembly speaker, the deputy speaker and the leader of the opposition will move from Rs. 86,000 to Rs 1.32 lakh. The revision will be with retrospective effect, from February 2017; Rs. 6 crore will be disbursed by way of arrears. The extra hit on the state treasury will be Rs. 10 crore annually. The bill was passed unanimously, of course. It was debated for only 26 minutes. It seems that the last revision was in 2005. Earlier, MLA and office-bearer salaries were based on the pay structure of an under secretary; the new salaries are based on the remuneration of a deputy secretary. The bill has also eliminated multiple allowances and introduced dearness allowance for MLAs. (23-09-2018)
Gujarat's liquor laws tightened: Those who want a liquor permit in Gujarat on health grounds will now have to pay more. The cost has gone up from Rs. 550 to Rs. 4,000. One more obstacle: recommendations from private doctors or superintendent-level officers on the medical board will no longer be enough to issue a health-based liquor permit. Of the approximately 72,000 liquor permits in Gujarat, 40,000 are health-based. (22-09-2018)
Two city children qualify for World Robot Olympiad: Two children from Vadodara – Hriday Parikh, 11 and Rishiraj Behki, 12 – have won the national round of World Robot Olympiad (WRO) 2018. They will now represent India in the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) at Thailand in November; they will compete with teams from 60 countries. In the competition children build and programme robots to complete a specified task. This year’s theme was ‘Reduce food waste’. Students had to build a robot to sort food products according to appearance and expiry date and transport them to designated places. (21-09-2018)
Rooftop solar power at university head office: The MS University (MSU) head office will have access to solar power; a 150 kilowatt (KW) solar rooftop project has been commissioned. The total solar power capacity on the rooftops of the university’s buildings now touches 500 KW. MSU will eventually save Rs. 19 lakh annually with this latest project. The university head office unit will generate 600 units per day in ideal conditions. A shortfall, if it arises, will be automatically compensated for by drawing power from the grid. The system has the additional benefit that it will also generate power during holidays and weekends, and this power can be fed directly to the grid. The system was installed at the head office at a cost of Rs. 78 lakh. (20-09-2018)
An Ahmedabad judge sets a great example: When Mr. M.K. Dave took over as the Principal Judge in the City Civil and Sessions Court (Ahmedabad), there were several changes noticed in the working environment: no mobiles during office hours, no meals on the work tables, no loud talking, music in the canteens, no littering or filth on the campus, attendance monitored strictly, food to be eaten only in the canteen, canteen spruced up. Employee efficiency has improved; the court has disposed of over 1,500 cases in just two months. There were over 1,600 pending applications for certified copies of documents; this has dropped to 490. Mr. Dave arrives at the court at 10.05 a.m. and quickly inspects the premises for anything unusual – litter, broken furniture, dead telephone lines …whatever. He meets the staff and tries to solve their problems (even personal problems). Regular health check-ups are organised for the staff. (19-09-2018)
MS University receives a Rs. 24 crore government grant: A grant of Rs. 24 crore has been sanctioned by the Gujarat government for MS University of Baroda (MSU) to make a new building for the Faculty of Pharmacy and extend the head office. The foundation stone for the new building was laid last month. The Faculty of Pharmacy initially began as a department of the Faculty of Technology and Engineering; it was given faculty status in 2015. The All India Council for Technical Education rules stipulate that faculties should have their own independent infrastructure. (18-09-2018)
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Vadodara Municipal Corporation occasionally deploys the police in ‘hostile’ situations (02-11-2018)
City gets its 24th police station (01-11-2018)
Ankleshwar hit by dengue and malaria (31-10-2018)
Supreme Court modifies order on firecrackers (30-10-2018)
Restrictions on bursting of firecrackers (29-10-2018)
NGO group wants agricultural schemes to be more women farmer sensitive (28-10-2018)
Ban on autorickshaws within walled city revised (27-10-2018)
Gujarat has 58 individuals with a net worth of over Rs. 1,000 crore (26-10-2018)
Ahmedabad cops get tough with dangerous drivers (25-10-2018)
Tarannum Sheikh appointed coach of city’s junior women’s football team (25-10-2018)
Autorickshaws banned in walled city areas till Diwali (24-10-2018)
Disappointing learning levels in primary schools (23-10-2018)
Road accidents report reveals sorry statistics for Gujarat (22-10-2018)
Vadodara can perhaps bid to be a World Heritage City (21-10-2018)
New regulations for CBSE schools (20-10-2018)
Gujarat high court asks government to frame parking policy for commercial and public spaces (19-10-2018)
Bank issued a credit card to a man who did not want it (19-10-2018)
Glitches crop up in Online Development Permission System (18-10-2018)
Historian Ramachandra Guha gets appointment at Ahmedabad University (17-10-2018)
Video surveillance system at all police stations in Gujarat (16-10-2018)
Baroda Ranji team announced (16-10-2018)
Some city garbage collectors illegally monetise the waste collected (15-10-2018)
Higher salaries for Gujarat’s legislators (14-10-2018)
Police will help out in some civic drives (13-10-2018)
Civic body ties up with urban development authority to set up sewage treatment plants (13-10-2018)
Regulatory board conducts surprise inspections of x-ray units (12-10-2018)
Government launches portal to accept cybercrime complaints online (11-10-2018)
Domino’s Pizza goes vegetarian in Gujarat (10-10-2018)
Sabarmati Jail offers journalism and proof-reading course (09-10-2018)
Amul Dairy will soon market camel milk (08-10-2018)
RTO may open another office for the city (07-10-2018)
MS University gets a grant of Rs. 8 crore (06-10-2018)
Education board issues new rules for schools (05-10-2018)
Vadodara Gas Ltd. increases CNG price (04-10-2018)
Canara Coffee House will be born again, at a new location (03-10-2018)
Baroda’s Radha Yadav selected for India’s T20 World Cup squad (02-10-2018)
International cricket stadium project takes another step forward (01-10-2018)
Amul is among the world’s top 10 milk processors (30-09-2018)
City based National Academy of Indian Railways gets new head (29-09-2018)
Rapes do not seem to be rare in Gujarat (28-09-2018)
Tata Consultancy Services may train some MS University students to become employable (27-09-2018)
Round Table donates two classrooms for school in Koyali (26-09-2018)
Ayushman Bharat Scheme will touch 200,000 families in Vadodara district (25-09-2018)
Intelligent Transit Management System (24-09-2018)
State MLA salaries hiked (23-09-2018)
Gujarat's liquor laws tightened (22-09-2018)
Two city children qualify for World Robot Olympiad (21-09-2018)
Rooftop solar power at university head office (20-09-2018)
An Ahmedabad judge sets a great example (19-09-2018)
MS University receives a Rs. 24 crore government grant (18-09-2018)
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