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Retired MSU teacher donates Rs. 25 lakh: Dr. R.G. Sharma, a retired teacher of the Department of Hindi of MS University (MSU), has donated Rs. 25 lakh towards the cost of a new building for the department. The new building of the Hindi department is being constructed next to the Bhasha Bhavan near the D.N. Hall campus. On 8th March MSU chancellor Shubhangini Raje Gaekwad will lay the foundation stone for the extension of Padra College. This exercise will cost Rs. two crore. The money will be used to build facilities like classrooms and laboratories. (14-01-2019)
Ahmedabad police issued 12.7 lakh e-challans to traffic offenders in 2018: The intensifying crackdown on traffic offenders in Ahmedabad has resulted in 10.73 lakh e-challans being issued between September and December 2018. The traffic police have set up 6,000 Red Light Violation Detection (RLVD) cameras at 130 crossroads and junctions under the Smart City project. A major violation was Amdavadis jumping the ‘stop line’; 12.21 lakh of the total 12.72 lakh e-challans were issued for this offence. Other violations: 35,000 e-challans for parking in no-parking zones; 3,000 for over-speeding; 1,500 for driving on the wrong side; 1,700 for sporting fancy number plates, 82 for driving in the BRTS corridor. In 2018 the fines levied amounted to Rs. 24.61 crore, but only Rs. 5.41 crore has been realised; the offenders still owe the traffic police an amount of Rs. 19.20 crore. A driver’s licence can get cancelled for non-payment of a fine. The traffic cops will soon be equipped with a new device to check the pending dues of a driver. If any amount is pending, the driver will be asked to pay on the spot, failing which the vehicle will be confiscated. Traffic cops in Mumbai have used such devices to achieve a fine recovery rate of 90 per cent. (13-01-2019)
Vadodara aims to become a zero waste city: Vadodara aspires to become a zero waste city by October 2019 under the Swachh Bharat Mission. Working towards this ambition the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) has made arrangements for door-to-door collection of kitchen waste from institutions and establishments and use it to generate gas and manure. A contractor will collect kitchen waste from restaurants, canteens, community halls and party plots. He will be paid Rs. 0.90 per kg to collect the waste and transport it in covered vehicles. VMC has two bio-methanation plants. The Gajrawadi plant can process five metric tonnes (MT) of flesh from animal carcasses and wet waste. The plant at Voragamdi near Jambuva can process 15 MT of wet waste only. The gas generated is bottled and sold to industries. These capacities may be increased in future. (12-01-2019)
Schoolbag weight reduced drastically: Here is a good story to come out of the education innovation fair that was organised recently by the Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT). The principal of the Bhagad Government Primary School, 15 km from Navsari, has managed to drastically reduce the weight of schoolbags. He organised the syllabus of the primary section into 10 books, each book covering a month’s lessons. The students therefore do not have to carry all the subject textbooks covering the whole year’s course. They carry just one slim book covering the contents for one month. The average schoolbag weight has come down from 2 to 5 kg to just 750 grams. The teachers at the Bhagad school say that now parents are not compelled to accompany their children to school just to carry the schoolbags. We do not know whether there is a direct connection, but it is reported that the number of students at the school has increased from 73 to 131over the past two years. (11-01-2019)
Gujarat’s government schools need improvement: The Gujarat state education department recently conducted a survey of 32,772 government schools. Some of the findings which emerged are quite depressing:
… 12,000 schools are run by just one or two teachers
… 8,673 schools have less than 51 students
… 6,498 schools have less than 100 students
… There are 2.78 lakh teachers for 90 lakh schoolchildren
The government may close down the schools which have less than 100 students, and nearby schools may perhaps be merged; this may help to improve the quality of education and optimise the use of resources. Of the current education budget of Rs. 27,000 crore the major share goes to schools that have almost no teachers or students. (10-01-2019)
Navrachana student shines in junior table tennis: Barodian Manush Shah, 17, has made it to the 10th spot in the list of the world’s top U-18 junior table tennis players. The list is prepared by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). Manush is the first Barodian to feature in this list. A 12th standard student of Navrachana School, Sama, he picked up the basics of the sport at Deesha Table Tennis Academy. At age 11 he played in the Open Gujarat Table Tennis Tournament and in 2012 in the national sub-junior TT tournament. He played in the World Junior Table Tennis Championships in Australia in 2017. (09-01-2019)
‘Happy Birthday Sayajibaug’: Some Barodians got together on Tuesday to cut a cake to celebrate the 139th birthday of Sayajibaug. A blood donation camp was organised to celebrate the occasion, and two bicycles were donated to the needy. The 113-acre garden near the Vishwamitri river was gifted to the city by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1879. Sayajibaug continues to be the most popular place in Vadodara for both children and adults. (08-01-2019)
Shukravari Bazaar has encroached into surrounding roads: Vadodara’s famous Shukravari Bazaar in Bhutdi Jhampa may soon be downsized by Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC). The move is prompted by the fact that this flea market has expanded over the years and led to a lot of congestion on the roads in the vicinity. It today occupies twice the space originally earmarked for it. The Shukravari Bazaar has been around for decades, perhaps going back to the times when the Gaekwads ruled city. It originally functioned from Fatehpura but was moved to Bhutdi Jhampa in 2008. (07-01-2019)
City’s fire brigade gets much-needed modern equipment: The Vadodara Fire and Emergency Services (VFES) of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) is running short of vehicles. Between six fire stations it has 27 water tenders and foam tenders; 17 are over 25 years old and five are over 10 years old. Recently 11 vehicles over 35 years old were phased out. The ageing fleet results in maintenance headaches, not many mechanics can repair them and original spares are difficult to come by. Still, all is not lost. VMC will soon procure three fire-fighting vehicles including two Advanced High-tech Special Vehicles (AHSVs) to tackle fires in high-rise structures from a distance. The vehicles are equipped with thermal imaging cameras mounted so that they can be moved up to a height of 20 meters. Guided by the images sent by the camera, operators will be able to direct the water more precisely towards the fire. VFES will also get a Rapid Intervention Fire Vehicle (RIFV) which has provisions for fire-fighting, rescuing, towing, etc. The city has 511 high-rise buildings with NOCs (No Objection Certificates). (06-01-2019)
Rajkot chosen as location for a new AIIMS: Vadodara has lost out to Rajkot as the location for a new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The Rajkot AIIMS hospital will have 800 to 1,000 beds. It will cost Rs 1,200 crore and it will be spread over 120 acres. It will also promote research activities. The selection criteria were: geographical conditions, population type, local facilities, etc. The Rajkot AIIMS is likely to be ready in the next four years. As far as Vadodara is concerned many politicians are now calling for the facilities at the government- run SSG Hospital (SSGH) to be improved. SSGH has about 1,800 indoor patients against a capacity of 1,516 beds. The Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS) hospital at Gotri has sufficient space for new facilities. (05-01-2019)
Vadodara International Marathon: The eighth edition of Vadodara International Marathon (VIM) will be flagged off by Gujarat Chief minister Vijay Rupani on the morning of Sunday, 6th January. Over one lakh runners are expected to participate. The marathon will have four categories: 42 km, 21 km, 10 km and five km. Additional special categories include the Divyang Paralympic Run, the Swachchta Run, the NGO Pledge Run and the Transport Jawan Run. The causes this year are organ donation, plastic-free Vadodara, swachchta and women empowerment. The race will start from Navlakhi and pass through different areas of the city. According to the VIM website, it was started in 2009 and "… is an independent Chapter-25 Non-Profit Company that undertakes the activity of conducting annual marathons in Vadodara. … VIM is accredited to Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and BDAAA (Baroda District Amateur Athletics Association). It is the largest sporting event in Gujarat". (04-01-2019)
Alumni organise event to mark 70 years of Baroda Medical College: Over 600 doctors – including 150 NRIs – will participate in the three-day World Congress 2019 being organised in the city from January 4 by the Baroda Medical College Alumni Association. The event marks 70 years of Baroda Medical College (BMC). Dr. Damodar Nene, an alumnus from the first BMC batch, will inaugurate the event. The theme of the event is ‘futuristic medicine’. Among the participants will be Dr. Ajeet Kothari, the chair of the board of trustees of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin; he also heads the BMC Alumni Association in the United States. BMC is the oldest medical college of Gujarat. Its first batch of 40 students passed out in 1954. (03-01-2019)
Students should say ‘Yes sir’ or ‘yes madam’ to register presence at roll calls: ‘Yes sir’ or ‘yes madam’ is the usual response of school students to register their presence at roll calls. This may now change to ‘Jai Hind’ or ‘Jai Bharat’ in Guarat’s schools according to a recent notification issued by the Directorate of Primary Education and Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB). The notification will apply to students of Class 1 to 12 in government, grant-in-aid and self-financed schools. District education officials have been instructed to implement this decision immediately. (02-01-2019)
All tuberculosis cases must be reported in Ahmedabad: Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has filed a police complaint against a doctor who did not notify a tuberculosis case to the authorities (AMC had earlier informed all doctors to report tuberculosis cases). Government hospitals report about 11,500 tuberculosis cases every year, and about 3,500 cases are reported from private hospitals. According to Gujarat government statistics, 1,26,665 cases were notified in the state in 2016. While 89,923 were reported by government hospitals, only 37,732 were reported by private hospitals. From January 1 to December 26, 2018, 1,05,365 cases were reported by government hospitals, while private hospitals reported only 41,232 cases. Between 2016 and 2018, 19,932 new cases were reported. (01-01-2019)
Ragging is a ‘barbarous practice’: Terming ragging in education institutes as a ‘barbarous practice’ the Gujarat high court has called for banning it. It has asked the state government to frame a law and make it a cognisable offence. The high court said that a number of states have enacted laws making ragging a cognisable offence and prescribed the types of punishment to be awarded. “Why is there no such legislation in the State of Gujarat? It is high time that such a legislation was passed by the legislature of Gujarat also,” the court said. (31-12-2018)
Vadodara touches 7.2 degrees Celsius on Saturday: The minimum temperature in Vadodara dived to 7.2 degrees Celsius - two degrees below normal - on Saturday. It was second lowest in the decade for the month of December. It had touched 5.5 degrees Celsius in December in 1983. Going by forecasts by the India Meteorological Department respite from the current cold wave is still a few days away. (30-12-2018)
Patangotsav at Kevadia: The Gujarat government will organise Patangotsav on a ground near the Statue of Unity (SOU) in Kevadia on January 8. The kite festival is expected to promote the SOU and surrounding areas as a tourist spot. The festival will see the participation of 86 kite fliers, 46 of them from 15 foreign countries. The government is also taking several other steps to encourage tourists. Among the proposed new activities are a helicopter ride and a seaplane facility. (30-12-2018)
The street dog is also a neighbour: ‘Abhay Sankalp’, a new initiative started in Vadodara by Humane Society International – India, is a programme which works with housing societies to promote peaceful coexistence between street dogs and people. As the organisation’s website states, it helps neighbourhoods to better understand their issues with street dogs. The organisation helps neighbourhoods to humanely manage street dogs in their areas and bring about more responsible pet ownership amongst its members. It implements mass street dog sterilisation and vaccination projects in the city. Currently animal birth control projects only focus on the dogs, but no one is engaging the people around the dogs, which can result in conflicts between them. By law a street dog cannot be relocated or killed, therefore it is imperative to help communities understand dog behaviour, rabies and the importance of rabies vaccinations, how to avoid dog bites and very importantly, proper waste management. (29-12-2018)
Be careful on New Year’s Eve: Please do not misbehave this New Year’s Eve. Over 1,000 police personnel will be monitoring the city’s streets, happening places and farmhouses to ensure that celebrations do not get out of hand. What does good behaviour mean? No liquor. Cops will be stationed at about 40 points, equipped with 200 breath analysers. Over 300 cops will be patrolling the city in plain clothes to nab overzealous revellers on the streets and at party venues. Over 100 cops have been assigned to conduct vehicle checks at eight points and 11 check-posts. Bootleggers and history-sheeters will of course receive special attention. The cops have also advised people to be careful about how they are dressed; dress as you please, but do not ‘show skin’. Also, no vulgar dances. The liquor rules are clear enough. But if you are confused about the dress code, stay at home and welcome the new year on TV. (28-12-2018)
Traffic cops are collecting more fines: One sign that the police have been trying to tame traffic offenders is the number of cases registered. Take a look at some of the statistics for the current year: 518,391 commuters penalised; Rs. 6.21 crore collected as fines; Rs 1.15 crore collected from 115,000 persons for not wearing helmets; 81,778 car drivers fined Rs. 8,177,000 for not wearing seat belts; Rs. 6,00,000 collected from 60,008 drivers who jumped the red signal or drove on the wrong side of the road; 16,826 autorickshaw drivers were fined for allowing a passenger to sit on driver’s seat; 23,164 autorickshaw drivers were penalised for overloading their autorickshaws with passengers. Now that the traffic cops have been given further help in the form of additional CCTV cameras, it is expected that the next year will bring in more revenue by way of fines. However, in spite of the larger collection of fines from errant drivers their irresponsible road behaviour does not seem to have improved and traffic still continues to be chaotic. Perhaps the authorities should consider penalties other than fines for the more dangerous offences – such as confiscating the driver’s vehicle for driving on the wrong side of the road. (27-12-2018)
City police want to hold employers also responsible for an employee’s traffic violation: Here is a new idea in the making. The police wants companies to ensure that their employees follow all traffic rules. If a person is caught for a traffic violation the Vadodara traffic police department may write to the person’s employers informing them about the traffic rules that their employee has broken. The employers will be requested to ensure that their employees follow traffic rules. If an offender repeatedly flouts traffic rules, the employer may be asked to pay up to Rs. 500 per violation. A maximum of Rs. 25,000 can be collected as penalty from the employer. Is this idea workable, and fair? (26-12-2018)
Amusement park launched near Ajwa lake: An amusement park has been launched near the Ajwa lake in Vadodara. Spread over 75 acres, the park has 50 rides and is patterned along the lines of theme parks elsewhere in the country. The park may be called Atalji Amusement Theme and Adventure Park of India (AATAPI). The Vadodara Municipal Corporation has given the land for the Rs. 125 crore project, the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd. has invested Rs. 125 crore and the private partner Cube Construction Engineering Ltd. has put in the balance amount. Cube Construction will operate the theme park. (25-12-2018)
Anand’s commercial surrogacy business may get banned: Among many other things, Anand is also known as the ‘surrogacy capital of India’ because of the baby business that flourishes in this town. Anand may soon see less of this activity because the Lok Sabha has recently passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 which seeks to ban commercial surrogacy – a Rs. 1,300 crore industry – by calling it a punishable offence for all parties involved in it. The Rajya Sabha still has to clear the bill. Anand’s surrogacy business employs about 3,000 persons – doctors, nurses, hotels. A lady can get as much as Rs. 3.6 lakh for being a surrogate, so the stakes are high because many depend on this industry. At the same time, there are many people who feel that the ‘rent-a-womb’ commercial surrogacy business is often unethical, sometimes risky for the surrogate and even perpetuates patriarchy. Those opposed to the ban are afraid that it may push the business underground. In 2015 a regulation banned surrogacy for foreigners. (24-12-2018)
Contractor cheats Vadodara Municipal Corporation: Irregularities – perhaps another word for instances of cheating – have been spotted by Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) in some recently completed storm water drain works. A contractor had cheated VMC by laying a 300 mm pipe instead of a 450 mm pipe. The contractor did not lay the pipe for the fill contracted length, and in another area the pipe was not laid at all. The cheating was not caught in some routine inspection; it came to light only when someone tipped off the authorities. VMC has now suspended two of its engineers. Surprising, is it not, that such large-scale cheating is not prevented by routine inspection procedures? Police have arrested the contractor. (23-12-2018)
Stiff fines for using plastic below 50 microns: Users and manufacturers of plastic below 50 microns can be fined heavily according to new rules notified by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). Manufacturers, traders and plastic recyclers will have to register themselves. Manufacturers and dealers will have to segregate plastic waste from other waste; if they do not they will have to pay hefty fines. Even plastic knives, spoons and forks meant for single use have to adhere to standards. The user also will be liable for punishment if using plastic products below 50 microns. Brands that pack their products in plastic or plastic bottles will have to make their own arrangements for disposal of their products. The ‘Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016’ have been notified by both the Centre and the state government. (22-12-2018)
1,750 lawyers vote in Baroda Bar Association elections: Hasmukh Bhatt has been voted in as the new president of the Baroda Bar Association (BBA). He defeated Nalin Patel, who has held the post since 2011. Over 1,750 lawyers voted, and Patel was defeated by 376 votes. The other winners: Dilip Patel (vice president), Rajesh Dhobi (general secretary), Ritesh Thakkar (joint general secretary), Nehal Sutariya (treasurer). (22-12-2018)
People in Gujarat love dairy products: The calcium content in the teeth of a person from Gujarat is more than that of someone from southern states such as Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. This has been reported in a study by the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University (GFSU). People in Gujarat had 82% calcium in their teeth, while people in Kerala had 80%. Though this 2% may appear to be a small difference it is considered significant when it comes to teeth. In humanitarian forensics teeth can help to identify a person because they can withstand a fair amount of pressure and are not very damaged by fire; they are good biomarkers for primary identification. Per capita milk availability in Gujarat is 563 grams per day, as against Kerala's 189 grams per day. Gujarat is one of India’s major producers and consumers of milk; people in the state are fond of milk and buttermilk and sweets like pedas and shrikhand. (21-12-2018)
Stiff punishment for wrong-side driving in Ahmedabad: Ahmedabad’s traffic police department and the RTO (Regional Transport Office) will blacklist all drivers who drive on the wrong side of the road. For the first offence, the driver’s licence will be suspended for a period of three to six months. If the same person breaks this rule again, his driving licence will be cancelled permanently and he will be blacklisted at the RTO. The cops have even given themselves a target of sorts – they will attempt to cancel at least 50 licences daily! Wrong-side driving is the cause of most accidents. (20-12-2018)
Surveillance will be increased in the city: The extent of round-the-clock surveillance of the city’s localities is going to increase substantially. Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) and the police department plan to cover the city and its entry points with over 2,000 CCTVs at 800 locations. Disturbance prone areas will be covered first so as to ensure that trouble brewing in these places can be nipped in the bud. There are 400 such locations under six police stations – City, Panigate, Wadi, Karelibaug, Warasia and Bapod. This exercise is likely to cost about Rs. 40 crore. The cops presently have a network of about 300 CCTVs; many of these cameras are used to issue e-challans for traffic offence. (19-12-2018)
Civic body will install 50 public e-toilets throughout Vadodara: The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) will install 50 coin-operated public e-toilets throughout the city. The e-toilets will be automatic and staff will not be needed to clean and operate them. Each e-toilet will be a prefabricated stainless steel structure with an automatic system for access, flushing and cleaning of the floors. The user will have to insert a one-rupee coin to gain access. VMC will give the space for the e-toilets and provide water and drainage connections. A private company will operate all the toilets on a revenue sharing basis; the company will also get advertising rights and a share in the revenue generated by the e-toilet. The e-toilets will also sell sanitary napkins (along with a proper disposal system). (18-12-2018)
Adoptive father’s name cannot be inserted in a child’s birth certificate: An adoptive father’s name cannot replace the biological father’s name on a child’s birth certificate. This was the ruling given by a court in Ahmedabad in the case of a woman who divorced her first husband and remarried. The court also said that inserting the name of the adoptive parents would be valid in cases of adoption of children who have been abandoned by their biological parents. (17-12-2018)
Police acquire another gadget in ongoing war against traffic offenders: In spite of so many warnings and fines by the traffic police there are still thousands of drivers in Vadodara who could not care less and brazenly jump the red signals and intrude into the zebra crossings. The cops are now going to acquire one more weapon in their fight against unruly drivers. They will install hi-tech cameras that can capture vehicle registration plate numbers and send e-memos to offending drivers. The new gadgets, called red light violation detection (RLVD) cameras, will be set up at 26 traffic junctions, four cameras at each junction. The cameras will function round-the-clock. Fourteen points of entry and exit of the city will also be under similar surveillance. (17-12-2018)
Vadodara’s bus service will get ‘smarter’: The city bus service of Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) is likely to be improved soon with the help of an Intelligent Transit Management System (ITMS). This will facilitate real-time monitoring of the movement of buses by VMC and, eventually, by commuters too. The location and arrival timings of buses will be monitored in real time and displayed at bus stops along the routes. The buses are likely to be GPS and CCTV enabled. VMC is also working on a system to help commuters to select – in real time – the shortest route to any destination. The system will help commuters to make more coordinated and 'smarter' use of the bus service. (16-12-2018)
Government makes weekly tests compulsory for students of class 3 to class 8: All students from class 3 to class 8 in Gujarat’s government run primary schools will be put through continuous evaluation in the form of weekly tests. A state education department directive says that this will be effective from December 22 for Gujarati, English, Hindi, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Sanskrit. It is hoped that the weekly tests will help improve the outcome in the National Assessment Survey which is due in 2019. Considering that schools sometimes fail to cover the full syllabus this step will force teachers to be more serious about their work. (16-12-2018)
Many malls and multiplexes violate building norms: Do Vadodara’s malls and multiplexes provide enough parking space? Are they suitably equipped to tackle emergencies? Following a public interest litigation (PIL), the Gujarat high court has directed that a survey should be conducted of 14 malls and multiplexes in the city. Officials have been asked to check whether these complexes comply with the General Development Control Regulations (GDCR) norms, whether they provide adequate parking space, and whether they are equipped to tackle emergencies. The PIL complained that some malls and multiplexes in the city have not adhered to the norms in the permissions given to them. Among the norms which have to be adhered to: enough margin spaces on three sides of buildings to allow easy access for fire services; cinema halls with more than 500 seats should provide parking space of 40 cars per 100 seats; there should be no illegal or irregular construction added after permission was granted. (15-12-2018)
GIS mapping of underground service lines will start soon: Vadodara will soon implement a Geographic Information System (GIS) to map underground service lines throughout the city. The GIS mapping of properties is already being done, and it will shortly be taken up for underground service lines. GIS mapping helps to ensure that underground drainage, sewage and gas pipelines and other cable systems are not damaged while other construction activity is going on. GIS mapping also makes it easier to repair service lines. Many towns and cities do not have consolidated and easily accessible maps of service lines. (15-12-2018)
Forensic testing of products in the public distribution system: The Gujarat State Civil Supplies Ltd. (GSCSL) is being assisted by the state’s Directorate of Forensic Sciences (DFS) to investigate complaints about the quality of products in the public distribution system (PDS) and school mid-day meal schemes. The Food Research Laboratory (FRL) has been set up at DFS to check wheat, rice, cereals, edible oil, sugar, etc. Over 30% of the initial samples have been found to be below the standards acceptable to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI); over 3,890 samples were collected in 1,390 cases. Such forensic testing has succeeded in reducing the rejection rate from 33% to less than 3%. The tests focus on colour, brittleness, presence of insects, size of the grains, presence of foreign bodies, etc. (14-12-2018)
CCTV surveillance on MS University campus: The MS University (MSU) campus in Vadodara has its own share of troublemakers and the authorities have decided to improve the ways in which these elements can be tracked down and identified. The university’s syndicate has approved a proposal to set up CCTV surveillance in certain areas of the campus. The control room for this activity will be in the union pavilion building of MSU Students Union (MSUSU). About 130 CCTV cameras will be installed in the first phase. Eight of these cameras will be able to recognise vehicle number plates; these cameras will be installed at the entry and exit points of the campus. The first phase will cost Rs. 30 lakhs. MSU is hopeful that the project will take off in three months. (14-12-2018)
Traffic cops insist on driver discipline: Please park your vehicle behind the yellow line which demarcates the parking space on the road. If you disregard this rule your vehicle is likely to be locked up on the road or even towed away. The police have been busy painting the yellow lines along the major roads. Also, 50-metre stretches of roads near 24 traffic circles have been designated as no-parking and no-stopping zones. The traffic cops are now equipped with 19 towing vans for two-wheelers and four for cars. Commuters are also being encouraged to use the parking lots in commercial complexes instead of parking on the roads. (13-12-2018)
Bank gave account details to wife without husband’s consent: A bank in Ahmedabad gave a man’s bank account statement to his wife without his consent. The man sued the bank for giving the details without consulting him. The Ahmedabad District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum recently fined the bank Rs. 10,000 for this lapse. There was a matrimonial dispute between the man and his wife, and the former maintained that his wife could use his bank statement to her advantage. The man’s lawyer argued that the bank should not give any details without an account holder’s permission. The court ruled that Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines and bank rules state that statements should not be given to a third party without an account holder’s authority letter. His wife had not come with this authority letter. The court ruled that this is deficiency in service. (12-12-2018)
Gujarat Science City will get an oceanarium: An oceanarium is being built at Gujarat Science City, Ahmedabad. Gujarat government’s department of science and technology announced that the Rs. 250 crore project, spread over 13,000 square metres, is likely to be completed next year. An oceanarium is a saltwater aquarium for displaying marine animals and plants, fishes and mammals. It is a centre for public entertainment as well as education and scientific study. Gujarat Science City is part of a government initiative to draw more students towards education in science. The oceanarium’s gallery will have 72 exhibit tanks with about 12,000 fish and 200 aquatic species from Asia, Africa, the Americas and various oceans. The galleries will have different types of water – fresh, brackish and salty. An underwater tunnel will allow visitors to see sharks, rays and other fish. There will be African penguins too. (11-12-2018)
City based ayurvedic company wins trademark battle: Kushal Kanthil, an Ayurvedic medicine to treat a sore throat, is a remedy made for almost 40 years by Vadodara based Kushal Ayurvedic Pharmacy. It seems that a company in Ahmedabad was marketing a product called ‘Real Kanthikal’ which appeared to be similar in looks and efficacy to Kushal Kanthil. A court in Vadodara recently restrained the Ahmedabad company from manufacturing and selling its product ‘Real Kanthikal’, following a trademark suit filed by Kushal Ayurvedic Pharmacy. The court also ordered that Rs. 364,110 should be paid by way of damages to Kushal Ayurvedic Pharmacy. (10-12-2018)
Government jobs mean big business for coaching classes: Why were 8.75 lakh candidates so enthusiastic recently about applying for 9,713 relatively junior positions in the Gujarat Police department? The standard answer is that most people want the reasonably good salary and almost total security of a government job. The 9,713 posts offered a fixed monthly pay of Rs. 19,000 for five years, and the possibility of a permanent job after that. According government data, over 27,700 class I to IV posts were announced in one year, and 81.12 lakh applications were received – which is 292 applications per post. The search for government jobs has led to the proliferation of private coaching classes which help students to prepare for the entrance tests for these posts. These classes are often run by retired or serving class I officers who also double as faculty members. This particular ‘industry’ – which includes classes, hostels, reading rooms, libraries and reading material – has an estimated annual turnover of over Rs. 500 crore. Gandhinagar alone has 172 coaching classes with over 20,000 students opting for government recruitments. Along with Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara and other centres, the number of students can touch several lakhs. (09-12-2018)
Solar dome nears completion on Akota-Dandia Bazaar link road: The structure of the solar dome project on the Akota-Dandia Bazaar link road is expected to be completed within a few months. The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) now needs to select a contractor to install the solar panels on the dome’s roof. The contractor will also operate and maintain the solar panels. Electricity generated by the project will be sold to the Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Ltd. (MGVCL). Though the contractor will charge VMC for the power produced from the dome, the charge will be lower than the savings VMC will make by supplying power to MGVCL. The solar dome project is along a 280-meter stretch of the Akota-Dandia Bazaar link road. (08-12-2018)
Barodian architect Karan Grover bags prestigious award: Vadodara based architect Karan Grover has won the Kohler Bold Design Award (KBDA) for the design of Akshar Center for Hearing Impaired Children. KBDA is a design competition for leading architects and designers in India. The biennial award recognises the best of Indian design and architecture. Over 1,200 entries were received. Mr. Grover won the award in the ‘public institution’ category that is meant to celebrate the most beautifully designed public establishments such as unusual schools, clubs and auditoriums that stand out for their architectural styles, building materials and interiors. Akshar Center is spread across 2,100 sq metres. Akshar Trust was established in 1988 to provide education and care to hearing impaired children and guidance to their families, conduct research, investigation and experiments in education of hearing impaired children and train teachers of the hearing impaired. (07-12-2018)
Lok Rakshak Dal exam re-scheduled: The cancelled Lok Rakshak Dal (LRD) exam has been re-scheduled. It will be held on Sunday, January 6, 2019. The Gujarat government will soon send fresh call letters to 8.75 lakh candidates across the state. The candidates will not have to pay for travelling by bus to and from the examination venues. (06-12-2018)
Schedule announced for class X and XII board exams: The class X and XII board exams of the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) will be from March 7 to March 23, 2019. Over 17.50 lakh students will take the exams. About 11 lakh students have enrolled for the SSC exam, five lakh students have applied for HSC general stream, and about 1.50 lakh students have been enrolled for HSC science stream. The SSC examination will begin on March 7 and will end on March 19, HSC (Science) will end on March 16, and the HSC general stream will end on March 23. The schedule can be seen on the GSHSEB website. (05-12-2018)
You need not carry your driver’s licence: According to the revision of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules you can drive around with the digital versions of your driver’s licence and vehicle registration certificate in the DigiLocker or m-Parivahan mobile app. According to the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Section 139 of Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1989 allows usage of digital copies for verification. The rule states: ‘As per amended provision, citizens can produce transport-related documents such as registration, insurance, fitness and permit, driver’s licence, certificate for pollution under check and any other relevant documents in physical or electronic form on demand by any police officer in uniform or other officer authorised by the state government.’ Government has approved two platforms: DigiLocker app and m-Parivahan app. However, not all traffic police personnel are aware of this change. Photographs and scanned copies of documents are not acceptable. The documents have to be on DigiLocker account that can be opened only after providing your 12-digit Aadhaar number. DigiLocker is a ‘digital locker’ service operated by the Government of India that enables Indian citizens to store certain official documents on the cloud. The service aims to reduce the need to carry physical documents. (05-12-2018)
Video analytics-based driving test to be introduced: The prevailing method of testing drivers uses an automated computerised driving test. Being sensor based, this test can be manipulated. The Gujarat government is considering the introduction of the latest video analytics-based driving test; this test has limited human intervention and will therefore restrict the scope for cheating by the staff of the RTO (regional transport office) or contractors. In the new method a video analytics mechanism directly monitors the test and the data generated is stored on the department’s central server. Based on this data the video analytics system will automatically decide whether a driver has cleared the test, and an alert will immediately be sent to the driver’s mobile phone. (04-12-2018)
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation will accept only segregated waste: The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has announced that it will accept only segregated waste. To encourage citizens to follow proper waste disposal procedures the municipal commissioner, civic officials and 40,000 municipal employees fanned out across the city and visited housing societies, 250 parks and gardens, shopping centres, bus stands and restaurants. Over 28,000 local waste collection points have been identified. There are standing instructions to the effect that unsegregated waste will not be accepted. The results may not appear overnight because the objective of effecting a major behavioural change – in both citizens and civic officials – is quite challenging. Ahmedabad should be congratulated for making a start in the right direction, and other cities and towns in Gujarat should quickly follow this example. (04-12-2018)
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Retired MSU teacher donates Rs. 25 lakh (14-01-2019)
Ahmedabad police issued 12.7 lakh e-challans to traffic offenders in 2018 (13-01-2019)
Vadodara aims to become a zero waste city (12-01-2019)
Schoolbag weight reduced drastically (11-01-2019)
Gujarat’s government schools need improvement (10-01-2019)
Navrachana student shines in junior table tennis (09-01-2019)
‘Happy Birthday Sayajibaug’ (08-01-2019)
Shukravari Bazaar has encroached into surrounding roads (07-01-2019)
City’s fire brigade gets much-needed modern equipment (06-01-2019)
Rajkot chosen as location for a new AIIMS (05-01-2019)
Vadodara International Marathon (04-01-2019)
Alumni organise event to mark 70 years of Baroda Medical College (03-01-2019)
Students should say ‘Yes sir’ or ‘yes madam’ to register presence at roll calls (02-01-2019)
All tuberculosis cases must be reported in Ahmedabad (01-01-2019)
Ragging is a ‘barbarous practice’ (31-12-2018)
Vadodara touches 7.2 degrees Celsius on Saturday (30-12-2018)
Patangotsav at Kevadia (30-12-2018)
The street dog is also a neighbour (29-12-2018)
Be careful on New Year’s Eve (28-12-2018)
Traffic cops are collecting more fines (27-12-2018)
City police want to hold employers also responsible for an employee’s traffic violation (26-12-2018)
Amusement park launched near Ajwa lake (25-12-2018)
Anand’s commercial surrogacy business may get banned (24-12-2018)
Contractor cheats Vadodara Municipal Corporation (23-12-2018)
Stiff fines for using plastic below 50 microns (22-12-2018)
1,750 lawyers vote in Baroda Bar Association elections (22-12-2018)
People in Gujarat love dairy products (21-12-2018)
Stiff punishment for wrong-side driving in Ahmedabad (20-12-2018)
Surveillance will be increased in the city (19-12-2018)
Civic body will install 50 public e-toilets throughout Vadodara (18-12-2018)
Adoptive father’s name cannot be inserted in a child’s birth certificate (17-12-2018)
Police acquire another gadget in ongoing war against traffic offenders (17-12-2018)
Vadodara’s bus service will get ‘smarter’ (16-12-2018)
Government makes weekly tests compulsory for students of class 3 to class 8 (16-12-2018)
Many malls and multiplexes violate building norms (15-12-2018)
GIS mapping of underground service lines will start soon (15-12-2018)
Forensic testing of products in the public distribution system (14-12-2018)
CCTV surveillance on MS University campus (14-12-2018)
Traffic cops insist on driver discipline (13-12-2018)
Bank gave account details to wife without husband’s consent (12-12-2018)
Gujarat Science City will get an oceanarium (11-12-2018)
City based ayurvedic company wins trademark battle (10-12-2018)
Government jobs mean big business for coaching classes (09-12-2018)
Solar dome nears completion on Akota-Dandia Bazaar link road (08-12-2018)
Barodian architect Karan Grover bags prestigious award (07-12-2018)
Lok Rakshak Dal exam re-scheduled (06-12-2018)
Schedule announced for class X and XII board exams (05-12-2018)
You need not carry your driver’s licence (05-12-2018)
Video analytics-based driving test to be introduced (04-12-2018)
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation will accept only segregated waste (04-12-2018)
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